Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Border Control

Welcome back! I hope weather is better by you than in Irkutsk, where we rang out May with a snowstorm, and rang in June with a rainstorm (I gather the phase change was planned by the central weather commission of the Supreme Soviet... I mean Russian Legislature. Thanks for not snowing us in again, your upper-mongolian Comrades thank you!

But if you've been tuning in, you'll know that I didn't plan on blogging the weather. Come on, I know my life is boring, but that'd be serious, even for me. As advertised, I'm going to say my two bits on immigration, and hopefully I'll piss a few people off (pissed of together with me, not at me or on me). Pissed off people make for regular reader.

First, the context about immigration. I gather that there's a little bit of talking going on stateside with regards to this right now. Some people, like Kim du Toit, seem to want to flush billions of taxpayer dollars down the toilet by building a wall to keep out illegal immigrants. I'm not one of those people, and I'm not even going to say the obvious, that it won't work. I don't care if it would work, and I'm not even going to talk about the economics of it all. I'm going to stick to my principles, and tell you where I'm coming from.

Here it comes: The US has no right, nor does any other country, to keep people out (or in, for that matter).

I've been thinking about this a lot. I was recently stranded in Mongolia on the Russian border, but couldn't cross because my passport had been stolen. After an expensive and lengthy process to fix things, it turns out that the best the US would do to help was to say that I was at least lucky I hadn't been beaten up for it, and that I'm on my own. In short, the Mongols ransomed me, not letting me leave until I paid a fine. While the fine wasn't that bad, the ambassador indicates it could have been anything they wanted, and they said they couldn't and wouldn't do anything about it, even if I were unable to pay. Charming, but in the words of a better man, you're fired.

My aim is to deligitimize the power governments have taken upon themselves in setting border and immigration restrictions. Their basis for this power is even part of the conventional poly-sci definition of a state: an organization that has a monopoly of force in a given geo-political territory. Taking out of their incompetent hands this tool is just as sensible as taking the car keys from a drunk. If you want to talk about how this could change things, just comment away, I'm always happy to chat or post again. But for now, I'm happy just planting that landmine and walking away.

Yours truly,

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