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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#101 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2015-August-24, 11:49

View Postbillw55, on 2015-August-24, 08:11, said:

So, has every Dutch citizen taken such a test? Is it required in order be a citizen? Or for other privileges of citizenship, such as voting, driver license, etc?

No. And this is not a test for citizenship. It is a test for residency.

So, if you want to be an alien resident in the Netherlands you have to pass the test before you enter the Netherlands. (Nationals of certain countries, like EU countries, etc., do not need to take the test. Refugees do not need to take the test either.)

This test is a result of the influence of xenophobic politicians in the Dutch government.

The reasoning goes like this:

- We need to help foreigners to integrate into Dutch society.
- We give them a course about the Netherlands and the Dutch language.

(So far, so good)

- We make the course mandatory. (It starts to get difficult.)
- You need to pass the test before you come to the Netherlands. After all, if you don't pass the test, you are not serious about integrating.
- You can take the test at selected locations abroad. You need to pay a large amount of money to take the test.
- The test is so difficult, and filled with useless trivia, that most Dutch citizens will not pass it and it has little to do with every day life in the Netherlands.
- The integration course is not available.

I find this sickening and it makes me ashamed that I am Dutch. (My brother is married to a woman from Madagascar. She will not be able to get any resident status in the Netherlands. She would probably need to travel to the Dutch Embassy in South-Africa if she wanted to take the test. They are living happily on Madagascar, but when they are visiting the Netherlands, their time here is limited by her visa.)

Compare this to what I got when I came to Sweden.
- After a few weeks, I got a booklet in the mailbox: "Welcome to Sweden! Sweden explained to foreigners". I think mine was in English, but it was available in 20 languages or so (Arabic, Chinese, Persian, Serbian, ...). I guess it was about 60 pages thick. It explained the whole Swedish system, from the parliamentary democracy to christian holidays, from banking to food and from the Swedish attitude and culture to their legal philosophy.
- One of the things it mentioned was that there was a course "Swedish for immigrants". If you would like to, you could take that course.
- I took the course, two mornings a week. The course was free. It was also adjusted to the student's level. (I was well educated and from the Netherlands, and Dutch and Swedish are fairly similar. There were also illiterate people from China. They needed to start with the alphabet. My course took half a year. Others take 7 years or more.)
- This course didn't just teach the Swedish language. It also taught the Swedish culture and attitude to things. (One of the most important words in the Swedish language is "lagom", which is impossible to translate, but it roughly means "sufficient" or "moderate". Swedes are happy with "lagom": enough is enough.)
- After the course, you do the test. You do need to take the course, or take the test, but it obviously is a nice addition to your resume when you are applying for jobs in Sweden.
- There are follow-up courses that you, again, could take for free.
I want my opponents to leave my table with a smile on their face and without matchpoints on their score card - in that order.
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#102 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-August-24, 12:19

View Postgwnn, on 2015-August-24, 11:14, said:

I wasn't offended. Just saying that this isn't such a huge issue as you make it out to be. I'm still a bit puzzled tbh.

Well, it is not really a big deal to me. I just got curious. We were discussing birthright citizenship in America. I have this. But I got to wondering, what other ways are there of determining who is a citizen and who is not? So I asked.








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#103 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2015-August-24, 13:30

View PostWinstonm, on 2015-August-24, 07:28, said:

I cannot agree more. M brother is 5 years older than me and when he was in high school the school offered Latin I and II, which he took. When I started in the same school, Latin was no longer offered. My brother became a Ph.D.; I became a bridge bum. Correlation? Causation? I'll have to ask my brother. ;)


Latin? I took Spanish my freshman year in high school because it was the year for Spanish. If I had started high school a year earlier or later I would have taken French. They rotated. As far as I know, no high school in St. Paul, at least no public one, offered Latin or German or Swedish or any of those weird things.

Becky's younger sister took Russian. It happened like this. The default high school was not so great. Becky placed academically in Lowell (in SF, what today I guess would be called a magnet school) and took a bus to get there, but her sister was seriously less academic. A nearby high school, not the default one, was better but you had to supply a reason to be assigned there. The kids in the neighborhood were all told by their mothers that they were to henceforth express a great interest in learning Russian, which was not taught at the default school but was taught at the nearby better school.

We can survive without Latin.
Vini vidi vici.
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#104 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-August-24, 14:06

View Postkenberg, on 2015-August-24, 13:30, said:

Latin? I took Spanish my freshman year in high school because it was the year for Spanish. If I had started high school a year earlier or later I would have taken French. They rotated. As far as I know, no high school in St. Paul, at least no public one, offered Latin or German or Swedish or any of those weird things.

Becky's younger sister took Russian. It happened like this. The default high school was not so great. Becky placed academically in Lowell (in SF, what today I guess would be called a magnet school) and took a bus to get there, but her sister was seriously less academic. A nearby high school, not the default one, was better but you had to supply a reason to be assigned there. The kids in the neighborhood were all told by their mothers that they were to henceforth express a great interest in learning Russian, which was not taught at the default school but was taught at the nearby better school.

We can survive without Latin.
Vini vidi vici.
Ken


Ahh Russian and the city of SF...it is all starting to tie together now...:)
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#105 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-24, 15:52

How did noone notice this before?? THIS THREAD TITLE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED - IT'S A

Trump coup
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#106 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2015-August-24, 15:57

View Postbillw55, on 2015-August-24, 12:19, said:

Well, it is not really a big deal to me. I just got curious. We were discussing birthright citizenship in America. I have this. But I got to wondering, what other ways are there of determining who is a citizen and who is not? So I asked.

Sorry -- I meant "huge issue" as in "an issue that will creates a lot of difficulties to solve," not "something that gets people upset." I think it is relatively straightforward for any country to implement a birthright that has a) existed for several centuries and b) has some sort of computerized system.
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#107 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-August-24, 21:53

View Postgwnn, on 2015-August-24, 15:57, said:

Sorry -- I meant "huge issue" as in "an issue that will creates a lot of difficulties to solve," not "something that gets people upset." I think it is relatively straightforward for any country to implement a birthright that has a) existed for several centuries and b) has some sort of computerized system.



In the USA having a huge central govt computer system having all sorts of citizen info...again central data base is a huge huge issue in the USA. We do not trust the govt....add on a hacker, think evil, true evil.


?Divided govt control... divided in the sense they attack each other....divided data computers that do not talk to each other.

compare this to much of Europe where working together....trust in each other...is very important.


In USA we do not want you to work together....too much...we do not trust you..

We prefer the 3 branches of govt. go to war with each other..

Then we complain.....confusing....:)
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#108 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 03:54

View Postbillw55, on 2015-August-24, 09:54, said:

How one got listed in the database is, perhaps, irrelevant. Might I be able to bribe a Dutch IT worker to add my name? Presumably when found out, my name would be removed. Thence the question, for what reasons can names be removed, i.e. citizenship revoked?
if you obtained citizenship by fraught or if you ask to have it revoked, typically because you need to have it revoked in order to obtain citizenship in some other country
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#109 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 08:46

View Posthelene_t, on 2015-August-25, 03:54, said:

View Postbillw55, on 2015-August-24, 09:54, said:

How one got listed in the database is, perhaps, irrelevant. Might I be able to bribe a Dutch IT worker to add my name? Presumably when found out, my name would be removed. Thence the question, for what reasons can names be removed, i.e. citizenship revoked?

if you obtained citizenship by fraught or if you ask to have it revoked, typically because you need to have it revoked in order to obtain citizenship in some other country

Or, as some expats have found out, when the Dutch government revokes your citizenship (without notification) because you gain citizenship to another country. These expats (born and raised in The Netherlands as Dutch citizens) tried to travel back to the Netherlands to visit friends and family and couldn't enter the country because they didn't have a visa.

View Postbillw55, on 2015-August-24, 09:54, said:

Also Gwnn, I am not picking on the Dutch in particular. This was just the first example that came up when I asked a generalized question. No offense intended. I only find it interesting that defining a citizen does not seem to be an easy thing to do.

I agree it is very difficult to define a citizen.
But I think that the concept of citizen is somewhat alien (and outdated) to some people. I can think of myself as a Dutch-American-Swedish-German francophile. I do not feel much more for the Netherlands than for Sweden or the USA. I don't know how e.g. Helene_t feels about that, but I doubt that she would be filled with joy to join the Danish army if there would be a war against the Netherlands.

And for other people their citizenship is so obvious that they don't even know what it really means. Archie Bunker is obviously an American citizen, but since he barely acknowledges the existence of anything across the border, this citizenship isn't really relevant, is it?

Rik
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#110 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 09:06

View PostTrinidad, on 2015-August-25, 08:46, said:

Or, as some expats have found out, when the Dutch government revokes your citizenship (without notification) because you gain citizenship to another country. These expats (born and raised in The Netherlands as Dutch citizens) tried to travel back to the Netherlands to visit friends and family and couldn't enter the country because they didn't have a visa.


I agree it is very difficult to define a citizen.
But I think that the concept of citizen is somewhat alien (and outdated) to some people. I can think of myself as a Dutch-American-Swedish-German francophile. I do not feel much more for the Netherlands than for Sweden or the USA. I don't know how e.g. Helene_t feels about that, but I doubt that she would be filled with joy to join the Danish army if there would be a war against the Netherlands.

And for other people their citizenship is so obvious that they don't even know what it really means. Archie Bunker is obviously an American citizen, but since he barely acknowledges the existence of anything across the border, this citizenship isn't really relevant, is it?

Rik

Agree, usually it is obvious or irrelevant. One can always construct edge cases though. Let's say I am a German orphan adopted by a Frenchman and a woman who lived most of her life in Netherlands but was actually born in Antwerp. As a family we have lived partly in Netherlands, but currently reside in Belgium. Am I a Dutch citizen? French? German? Belgian? Is Belgian even a word? Perhaps the laws are such that I may, or must, choose my nationality upon reaching a certain age. If so, which choices are available to me?

OK, these things are mostly rare, and maybe I am being a little silly.
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#111 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 09:48

I imagine that most people, including myself, rarely think much about citizenship. No areas onto. But then it comes up. My father came here in 1910. He became a citizen in 1937 or38. After so many years, why bother? Well, I was adopted in 1939. He never said so, but my guess is that the events were related. He married and bought a house in the 1920s, no problem, he made a decent living, no problem related to his status, but I can well imagine that if he wanted to adopt an American child, it would be best if he were an American citizen.


Life is more complicated these days, a cliche for sure. My father arrived three years before the sixteenth amendment (regarding modern forms of income tax) was ratified.Social Security didn't exist. And so on. I suppose he couldn't vote but that may not have bothered him all that much. He came when he was 10, so his language skills were such that I doubt anyone except a Henry Higgins would have realized he was not born here, so there really was no problem to be dealt with.

Now of course it is different. For better or for worse, we interact with the government often. We who are citizens don't give the matter much thought, but surely it causes difficulties for those who lack this asset.How should it be obtained?

There is a standard path for immigrating to this country and becoming a citizen. I guess those who are here illegally find it too much trouble. exactly why we should accommodate people who find it to be too much trouble to take the legal path has never been explained. Possibly it is not just that it is too much trouble, they in fact would not be successful in obtaining citizenship through the standard path.

I expect that I am at least as open to immigration as many supporters of various legalization plans, I just am not comfortable with legalizing illegal immigration on a grand scale. It seems like selling pardons or indulgences. Instead of being paid in cash, the pay-off is in votes.

I thoroughly agree with various comments that the country has more pressing problems.
Ken
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#112 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 09:51

I imagine that if American citizens by birth were given the test required to become a naturalized citizen, the majority would fail.

Maybe that's who we should deport. :)

#113 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 11:21

View Postbillw55, on 2015-August-25, 09:06, said:

Agree, usually it is obvious or irrelevant. One can always construct edge cases though. Let's say I am a German orphan adopted by a Frenchman and a woman who lived most of her life in Netherlands but was actually born in Antwerp. As a family we have lived partly in Netherlands, but currently reside in Belgium. Am I a Dutch citizen? French? German? Belgian? Is Belgian even a word? Perhaps the laws are such that I may, or must, choose my nationality upon reaching a certain age. If so, which choices are available to me?

OK, these things are mostly rare, and maybe I am being a little silly.

These things are rare in the USA, but in Europe they are less rare since there is a free labor market between countries. Helene just moved from the UK to the Netherlands (after having moved around before). Gwnn now lives in the Netherlands (unless I have missed something and he has moved to yet another country) and has lived in several other countries. People with some professions (e.g. scientists) move from a job in one country to a job in another country like Americans move from state to state.

And at some point they settle somewhere... they may get married, have kids and a dog, or they just find their home for themselves and the traveling from job to job stops. So now they are in their fourth country of residence, which is not their country of citizenship, possibly with a "significant other" in his/her fourth country of residence and they call it home. And their kids may have been born somewhere along the way.

Apart from the dog, that is the story of my life. What citizenship do you think would be appropriate for my kids? And remember that citizenship has consequences... which country is allowed to draft my kids to serve in their army when they are at war... with one of the other candidate countries?

Rik
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#114 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 11:44

View Postkenberg, on 2015-August-25, 09:48, said:

There is a standard path for immigrating to this country and becoming a citizen. I guess those who are here illegally find it too much trouble. exactly why we should accommodate people who find it to be too much trouble to take the legal path has never been explained. Possibly it is not just that it is too much trouble, they in fact would not be successful in obtaining citizenship through the standard path.

Ken, the underlined part seems a little unfair to me.

Can Joe Alien simply knock on the door and say: "I would like to live, work, eat, sleep, love, be happy and sad in the USA. I can mow lawns, clean toilets, paint, you name it... I know the Pledge of Allegiance, the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America as well as Take me out to the ball game. Where is the line to get in?". Would Joe Alien get in?

Or does Joe Alien need an employer who will state that Joe Alien's skills are crucial for the US economy? So, how is Joe Alien going to get in legally when Joe Average has the same skills as Joe Alien?

I am not criticizing the US immigrations policy. I am just pointing out Joe Alien's perspective who doesn't have the same possibilities as Joe Average for the simple reason that he was born on the wrong side of a line on a map.

Rik
I want my opponents to leave my table with a smile on their face and without matchpoints on their score card - in that order.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!), but “That’s funny…” – Isaac Asimov
The only reason God did not put "Thou shalt mind thine own business" in the Ten Commandments was that He thought that it was too obvious to need stating. - Kenberg
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#115 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 12:24

View PostTrinidad, on 2015-August-25, 11:21, said:

Apart from the dog, that is the story of my life. What citizenship do you think would be appropriate for my kids?

That's a good question. Do you have to register them as a citizen somewhere? Do they get to choose for themselves at some point?

For that matter, which nation are *you* a citizen of, and how did that come about?

And by the way, I totally recommend dogs. I'm pretty sure I would vote mine president over Trump.


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#116 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 12:31

View Postbillw55, on 2015-August-25, 12:24, said:

And by the way, I totally recommend dogs. I'm pretty sure I would vote mine president over Trump.

A 35-year-old dog is indeed special.
:)
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#117 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 13:40

View PostTrinidad, on 2015-August-25, 11:44, said:

Ken, the underlined part seems a little unfair to me.

Can Joe Alien simply knock on the door and say: "I would like to live, work, eat, sleep, love, be happy and sad in the USA. I can mow lawns, clean toilets, paint, you name it... I know the Pledge of Allegiance, the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America as well as Take me out to the ball game. Where is the line to get in?". Would Joe Alien get in?

Or does Joe Alien need an employer who will state that Joe Alien's skills are crucial for the US economy? So, how is Joe Alien going to get in legally when Joe Average has the same skills as Joe Alien?

I am not criticizing the US immigrations policy. I am just pointing out Joe Alien's perspective who doesn't have the same possibilities as Joe Average for the simple reason that he was born on the wrong side of a line on a map.

Rik


Yes, I agree. Or at least I think I do. Maybe the problem runs something like this:

We will always have immigration and a legal path to citizenship.
There always will be people who would not make it through by following that path.

But what then are we to do? We could, and quite possibly we should, look at the legal path to see if we should be making more space available to those who are now left behind. But no matter how we revise the legal path, at least in any manner we would at all consider, there still will be many who will not be able to come in via the legal system. Do we just then say ok, you can't come legally but if you can make it here illegally that will be fine?

As a practical matter, I doubt that we can stop them and I doubt that we can deport them in large numbers. But that doesn't mean that we grant them citizenship. This who come legally are on a path to citizen ship, those who come illegally are here, and quite possibly will be staying here, but (as I would have it) are not on a path to citizenship. That path begins with legal entry.


This view is, perhaps, theory. As the man said, theory and practice are, in theory, the same. In practice they aren't. If we can't make it work that way then we can't. But I think that giving up on insisting on the legal path should be done only if there is no alternative, and then it should be done with regret. The guy going to night school preparing to take a test that will give him citizenship is entitled to wonder why he has to bother with this if others do not.
Ken
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#118 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 14:49

View Postkenberg, on 2015-August-25, 09:48, said:

There is a standard path for immigrating to this country and becoming a citizen. I guess those who are here illegally find it too much trouble. exactly why we should accommodate people who find it to be too much trouble to take the legal path has never been explained. Possibly it is not just that it is too much trouble, they in fact would not be successful in obtaining citizenship through the standard path.

I expect that I am at least as open to immigration as many supporters of various legalization plans, I just am not comfortable with legalizing illegal immigration on a grand scale. It seems like selling pardons or indulgences. Instead of being paid in cash, the pay-off is in votes.


Right now, if you are from Latin America, without relatives in the US, and you want to permanently immigrate to the US legally, you get on a list. At the current rate the list is processed, if you are currently in your 20s, you get to immigrate roughly when your grandkids have died. (Obviously, this is inaccurate, because people get off the list by dying. But it remains true that you are more likely to get off the list by dying than by being admitted.)

The legal path, for all practical purposes, does not exist, because the quota is much smaller than demand.
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#119 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 17:15

Someone upthread mentioned the word "subject", as in "a subject of the Netherlands" or more precisely, I suppose, of King Willem-Alexander. At least, I think that's the monarchy he was talking about. So I'm curious — what's the legal difference between a citizen and a subject? What's the practical difference, if any? Is it any different in other monarchies?

As to immigration, I have this strange idea that we should have open borders, so long as the adult immigrant is willing to become a productive member of our society. Yes, there are problems with that, not the least of which is "how do we keep out the folks who just want to come here and live on welfare, or do crimes? I don't know the answer to that, or to other related problems, but it's got to be a better approach then building a wall along the Mexican border. Every time I hear about that, I hear in my head that arch-Conservative Ronald Reagan saying "Mr. Gorbachev, [i]tear down this wall.[i]" How can we now propose building one along our own country's border, even granting that the idea is to keep people out, rather than keep them in?
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#120 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2015-August-25, 20:09

View Postakwoo, on 2015-August-25, 14:49, said:

Right now, if you are from Latin America, without relatives in the US, and you want to permanently immigrate to the US legally, you get on a list. At the current rate the list is processed, if you are currently in your 20s, you get to immigrate roughly when your grandkids have died. (Obviously, this is inaccurate, because people get off the list by dying. But it remains true that you are more likely to get off the list by dying than by being admitted.)

The legal path, for all practical purposes, does not exist, because the quota is much smaller than demand.


There is a large immigrant population from Latin America. Is it true that most all recent ones are either illegals or relatives? Perhaps so, I really have no idea. But it brings up a very interesting possibility. We could change the basis for legal admission, strongly de-emphasizing the importance of having relatives already here. This would give those who currently have no choice but the coyotes a new option. Advocating such a position would not endear a politician to the voting Latino population, however. Those who were hoping to see the last of the in-laws might approve, but by and large it would not be the way to get votes.. There is a lot of politics in this.

We do have to select on some basis. If the ordinary guy is being oushed aside to accommodate relatives, this could be corrected.
Ken
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