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WRDL Debate #2: The Wall: Cold Front vs ncordless

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Fawlty, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Fawlty Red Belt

    Fawlty
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    [​IMG]

    Should the US Build a Border Wall With Mexico?


    Affirmative: Cold Front

    Dissenting: ncordless



    Judges: @meauneau, @CEROVFC, @Jack V Savage
    moderator: Fawlty



    *Links to debate posts will be maintained at the bottom of this post*


    Rules & Procedures: The debate will be formatted according to the updated rules and procedures outlined here:
    http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/126371787/
    (judging criteria are also outlined here)



    A note to the audience: Thanks for keeping it respectful last time, and generally free of deep discussion of the debate topic. Please feel free to comment, but do not make arguments, critique the arguments being presented, or start a debate between yourselves. No assisting the participants with knowledge/arguments. After the debate, a discussion thread will be opened where you can do that as much as you want.


    Thanks, and let's get it on!!






    Affirmative argument (Cold Front): http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/126982089/
    Dissenting argument (ncordless): http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/126982091/

    Response to dissenting argument (Cold Front): http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/127006331/
    .....Second response (ncordless): http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/127033985/
    ..........Third response (Cold Front): http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/127091481/

    Response to affirmative argument (ncordless): http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/127413139/
    .....Second response (Cold Front): (agreement to move on)
    ..........Third response (ncordless): (agreement to move on)

    Q&A (Cold Front):
    .....response (ncordless):
    Q&A (ncordless):
    .....response (Cold Front):

    Closing Statement (ncordless):
    Closing Statement (Cold Front):
     
    #1
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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  2. Fawlty Red Belt

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    Affirmative Argument by Cold Front:




    Walls work. They work at deterring invasions. They work in helping to prevent illegal immigration. They work as an important symbol of a nation’s sovereignty. Nations have built walls for millennia because walls are good at keeping out people you don’t want in.


    A wall to secure the U.S.-Mexican border is a necessary (but not sufficient) step to prevent illegal aliens from continuing to cross into the United States and to re-establish American sovereignty. It is not the most important step to achieving either of these two aims, but it is essential to both goals.


    Close to half of all illegal aliens who come into the United States cross the U.S. southern border. Many of these illegals are Mexicans, but a growing number come from several Central American states who use Mexico as a transit.


    The U.S. southern border presents what at first appears to be a formidable challenge to building a wall. At nearly 2,000 miles long, it is the tenth longest border in the world shared by just two countries.


    But a significant portion of that border will probably not need a wall. Geographic barriers in some border areas should prove sufficient in keeping undesirable people from making the crossing. And one-third of the southern border already has a fence. That fencing needs to be improved and double-layered, but its existence in crude form has already worked in slowing the rate of illegals crossing into the U.S.


    The cost of the wall will run into the billions. Most estimates range from $15 to $25 billion. President Trump has promised that Mexico will pay this cost, and the president has several ways of ensuring that it does, including the taxing of remittances or the imposition of a small and temporary tariff.


    But even if Mexico avoids paying for the wall, the cost will be more than worth it for many Americans. They will no longer have to pay for illegals crowding into their hospitals. They will no longer have to educate the children of illegals in American schools. They will no longer have to be concerned about the joblessness and low wages illegals cause among low-income Americans because they vie for the same jobs. They will no longer have to pony up for jailing the illegal alien criminals who never should have been in the United States in the first place. Housing costs will decline as fewer illegals crowd the market.


    Less-crowded hospitals, better schools, less crime, higher wages, lower housing costs - these are all significant improvements in the American quality of life to be weighed against the cost of a wall. And none of those savings take into account the cost of a major terrorist attack should the unsecured border be used against the United States as a means to deliver a sneak attack.


    The cost of building a wall is barely noticeable compared to the nearly four trillion dollars spent by the federal government every year. $25 billion, for example, is less than a tenth of a percent of the 2015 U.S. federal budget.


    Compare that number to the cost for several military items, like the V-22 Osprey program, which will cost American taxpayers more than $50 billion, or the Virginia Class Submarine, which will cost more than $80 billion. And unlike high-tech military items, which require new versions every couple of decades or so, the cost of building a wall only happens once. Maintaining and manning the wall will be much cheaper.


    A wall by itself will not solve the problem of illegal immigration into the United States. Visa overstayers, who represent about half of all illegals in the U.S., must be tracked. And the lure of jobs must be turned off by passing E-Verify. Only a comprehensive restrictionist program will succeed in preventing most illegal immigration.


    But a wall is a necessary step in that program.
     
    #2
  3. Fawlty Red Belt

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    Dissenting Argument by ncordless:




    Once there was a great civilization, founded on the ideals of republicanism and exceptionalism, which from humble beginnings became the preeminent power in the world. This civilization expanded, eventually stretching its borders through the wilderness until it collided with other nations. Through war and diplomacy, it took and held foreign land until it became theirs. But even though they held sovereignty over the land, the other nations peoples continued to live there, and retained social and economic ties with its former country, now neighbors. Then, at the height of its power, the great civilization then made a great blunder. Instead of incorporating these ties and encouraging migration and trade, it tried to stop it. Reckoning that migration was harming their nation, they built a huge series of walls and fortifications to dam the tides of humanity ebbing and flowing on its border. They dumped their blood and treasure into their endeavor, but, as it turned out, they could not stop the tides of this human ocean. Eventually the dam broke and the resultant flood wave led to the great civilization’s ruin.


    I am talking about Rome and the Germanic migration/invasions. But I suspect, if we do build a huge wall from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific, the same story might apply to the USA someday. Such a wall would be the greatest folly in our nation’s history. Such a wall would be a black hole to dump our treasure in. Such a wall would not effectively deal with illegal immigration.


    But before I go further, I want to define what this argument is not about. This is not an argument that we should not secure our border. The wall is not required to have reasonable, effective and efficient security on our border and to control the ebb and flow of migration tides. There may well be sections of the border where a physical barrier makes sense, whether it be a fence, a wall, or what have you. Nor is this an argument about immigration, legal or illegal generally. Or whether borders should be open or closed.


    Instead, this is an argument about building the coast-to-coast wall. Over the course of this discussion, I will advance a variety of arguments from a variety of perspectives. I will use liberal and conservative, progressive and libertarian, economic and moral, environmental and commercial, practical and aspirational principles interchangeably. All of them lead to the conclusion that the wall is a bad idea.


    In order to set the table, I want to lay out some facts about illegal immigration. I am not going to include citations here due to space considerations. Most of my numbers come from Pew, or INS, etc. and are easily searchable on google.


    There are currently 11.1 immigrants living illegally in the USA. Of these, around 8 million are in the work force. They represent 3.5% of the total population, and 5% of the workforce. They are overrepresented in in agricultural and construction sectors. In 2014, the median illegal immigrant had resided in the USA for 13.5 years.


    Between 600,000-700,000 new illegal immigrants appear in the USA each year. Roughly 40% of illegal immigrants entered the USA legally, and then overstayed their visa/work permit, etc. Of that remaining 60%, there aren’t really good numbers that I’ve found to show what percentage of them cross over the US/Mexico border as opposed to by boat, through Canada, etc, though I think it is safe to assume it is a healthy supermajority.


    It should be noted that “the wall” will not even try to do anything to stop overstays. Nor will it do anything to stop those entries without inspection which arrive by other means besides the Mexican border. So we are effectively talking about the wall as a means to stop between 300,000-350,000 illegal immigrants that are currently getting through our border security. Even if the wall would stop all those illegals, the cost wouldn’t be worth it. But the wall won’t stop it. As long as demand and opportunity lay on the other side of that wall, people will go over it, around it, under it, and through it. The wall will only increase the violence, and the cost, of the attempts and the defense against those attempts.


    Therefore, as I will detail in subsequent posts, the wall should not be built because it is an ineffective means to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, and its results will be worse than the harm it is attempting to cure.
     
    #3
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  4. Fawlty Red Belt

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  5. glennrod Are you Syrian?

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    Cold Front is really good in a debate, this should be good
     
    #5
  6. Limbo Pete Super Samoan Belt

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  7. Buck Swope Why can't I find a decent corndog?

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  8. NewGuardBjj Guest

    NewGuardBjj
    I mean, I already know who wins. :D
     
    #8
  9. Fawlty Red Belt

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    Thanks to the Participants for their timely opening statements.

    Now we examine the dissenting argument.

    Cold Front will respond to the dissent, then ncordless will respond, and then Cold Front will respond.

    Then we will move to the affirmative argument.
     
    #9
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  10. sickc0d3r Brown Belt

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  11. Quipling Brown Belt

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    This is going to be interesting. I'm already noticing that there are going to be far more factual claims in this debate than in the previous one. I hope that they are sourced as necessary.

    An even more interesting thing is that the participants are already arguing about different things.
     
    #11
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  12. Fawlty Red Belt

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    Appropriate use of sources is one of the judging criteria. I ask that participants keep this in mind, and remind them that their factual claims are subject to fact checking.

    Judging criteria are part of the Rules & Procedures, which are linked in the OP.
     
    #12
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  13. m52nickerson EXTERMINATE!

    m52nickerson
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    Good opening statements from both.
     
    #13
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  14. CEROVFC --------------------------------------------------

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    Iiinteresting. So far so good but lots to be fleshed out.
     
    #14
  15. Kafir-kun Gold Belt

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    I'm going to be that guy and say that this debate topic is meh. Better than the last one but still meh to me.
     
    #15
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  16. Cold Front Black Belt

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    Response to Dissenting Argument


    ncordless begins his opening statement with an eloquent appeal to the fall of Rome. In his telling, Rome was toppled because it chose to no longer assimilate the various Germanic hordes - Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, Sueves, Angles, Franks, etc. - who spent nearly a century dividing up the Roman empire before deposing of its last Western emperor in 476. Roman leaders instead chose to build walls to stop this migration and thus sealed their fate. ncordless says there is a lesson in this example for contemporary America.


    But this history is fanciful. Not a single part of it is true.


    First, the Romans built walls as defensive fortifications from their earliest days. The city of Rome itself had a wall built around it - the Servian Wall - long before it ever became an empire. If walls truly hurt Rome, as ncordless believes, then the city would have never risen to became the supreme power of the Mediterranean world. Indeed, walls were a standard part of Roman defensive fortifications at every point in Rome’s history. Building them had nothing to do with its decline and fall.

    [​IMG]

    The Servian Wall

    Second, Rome did try to assimilate the Germans. Many were allowed to settle in the empire. They eventually became a significant part of Rome’s military. They were sometimes used to fight other Germans. But as Rome became weak, it was easier for the German tribes to invade and plunder. Why settle down and pay taxes to a power they no longer feared? The Romans even gave away significant land holdings in their provinces to keep the peace. None of these stalling tactics worked. There were always more Germans who wanted a piece of the action. In fact, Rome would’ve fallen much faster had the various German tribes been united. But the Germans were a squabbling group of invaders, almost as likely to fight each other as they were the Romans.


    Third, the Romans did NOT build a large series of walls and fortifications in the last century before their fall. To the contrary, most of their border fortifications were empty in the decades before the final Western emperor was deposed. There was no money for such fortifications. The German invasions had eroded the tax base. Besides, the border was meaningless. The Germans were already in the empire.


    Here is how Bryan Ward-Perkins puts it in The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization.


    It may have been the intention of the imperial government that Roman rule would continue within the territories where Germanic peoples were settled by treaty. For instance, this appears to have been the hope in Aquitaine in 419: the imperial government planned to go on ruling the Garonne valley through the normal structures of provincial civilian administration; the newly settled Visigoths were, in theory, a friendly and obedient force settled on territory that was still Roman.


    But, whatever the intention, the introduction of large numbers of heavily armed and experienced fighters under the rule of their own king in reality led to the rapid transfer of effective power [from the Romans to the Germans].


    Ward-Perkins, Bryan (2005-06-23). The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization (p. 56). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.​


    And that’s the largest anachronism in ncordless’s comparison of Imperial Rome with contemporary America. The ancient Germans were not migrants looking for honest work in the empire. They were warriors looking for opportunity. And Rome’s weakness provided that opportunity, a weakness that was borne out of an inability to man the walls and forts along the empire’s borders.


    More to the point of this debate, Ward-Perkins mentions that walls in ancient Rome did exactly what they were intended to do:


    Roman military dominance over the Germanic peoples was considerable, but never absolute and unshakeable. The Romans had always enjoyed a number of important advantages: they had well-built and imposing fortifications; factory-made weapons that were both standardized and of a high quality; an impressive infrastructure of roads and harbours; the logistical organization necessary to supply their army, whether at base or on campaign; and a tradition of training that ensured disciplined and coordinated action in battle, even in the face of adversity. Furthermore, Roman mastery of the sea, at least in the Mediterranean, was unchallenged and a vital aspect of supply. It was these sophistications, rather than weight of numbers, that created and defended the empire, and the Romans were well aware of this fact. Vegetius, the author of a military treatise dating from the late fourth or the first half of the fifth century, opened his work with a chapter entitled ‘The Romans Conquered All Peoples Only through their Military Training’, in which he stressed that, without training, the Roman army would have achieved nothing: ‘What could small Roman forces achieve against hordes of Gauls? What could the short Roman soldier dare to do against the tall German?’


    These advantages were still considerable in the fourth century. In particular, the Germanic peoples remained innocents at sea (with the important exception of the Anglo-Saxons in the north), and notorious for their inability to mount successful siege warfare. One Gothic leader is said to have advised his followers to concentrate on looting the undefended countryside, observing wryly that ‘he was at peace with walls’. Consequently, small bands of Romans were able to hold out behind fortifications, even against vastly superior numbers, and the empire could maintain its presence in an area even after the surrounding countryside had been completely overrun. For instance, in 378, despite a terrible defeat in the field, Roman forces were still able to hold the nearest town, and, most importantly of all, were able to protect the imperial city, Constantinople.


    Ward-Perkins, Bryan (2005-06-23). The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization (p. 35). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.​


    As a side note to this debate, it’s important to remember that not all of Rome fell in 476. In the eastern empire, the rule of Constantinople continued for another millennium. And those Romans in the east would be surprised to hear my opponent's argument that walls did not provide them with security.


    [​IMG]

    The Walls of Constantinople


    *****


    When ncordless gets to the meat of his argument, he says he has nothing against a border wall as long as it’s limited. He prefers, instead, to argue against building a coast-to-coast wall.

    I'm surprised to hear this. Not even Trump believes that building a coast-to-coast wall is necessary. So ncordless appears to want to argue against a position that no one is seriously arguing for.


    Could the U.S. build such a long wall? Of course it could. It has both the resources and money to do so. But should the U.S. build such a wall? Probably not. Why build it if you don’t need it? The wall need only be as long as it has to be in order to be effective.


    My opponent also points out that many illegal aliens do not cross the border. They come here legally, and then overstay their visas.

    This is true, but irrelevant. Many tens of thousands still cross the border illegally every year. They’re forced to cross it because they can’t get a visa to legally come to the United States. They’re either too poor or they have a criminal background or they traffic in drugs. In other words, they are the kind of illegals who will cause the U.S. the most trouble if they are allowed into the country. A wall is designed to keep them out.


    I do agree with ncordless that building a wall by itself is insufficient to restrict the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. He rightly points out that many illegals come here legally and then overstay their visa. A wall will do nothing to prevent this kind of illegal alien from settling in the U.S. But I’m not aware of a single restrictionist who believes it will. A wall is only part of the solution, but it is a part. No one believes it is the entire solution.
     
    #16
  17. JDragon War Room Patriot

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    Don't give aid or structure arguments for participants, please.
     
    #17
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  18. snakedafunky Brown Belt

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    Only one reply in and we already blame it on the Germans.
    <mma4>
     
    #18
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  19. Fawlty Red Belt

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    First response in, @ncordless, back to you sir

    @Cold Front @ncordless, a concern came out of the judge discussion and I ask that we clarify something:

    Central to the debate is the building or not building of the wall. We have existing fences and walls in certain areas. Cold Front is taking the position that those areas need to be expanded and strengthened on a grand scale, and it seems ncordless is taking the position that only minor work if any should be done.

    There should be a very large difference between these two positions, but we're risking moving the goalpoasts. As I understand the proposition, in effect every current fence would become a massive wall. Every currently unfenced area that doesn't have a major natural barrier would become a massive wall. This is not a debate about merely shoring up whatever weaknesses may or may not exist. I won't allow the discussion to continue very far down that road, because it erodes the premise too much.

    I ask that we now clarify the scale of each position, so we can agree that there is a major difference between the positions.
     
    #19
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  20. Bald1 War Room Can

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    Agreed @Fawlty. It seems we have two pro border control guys arguing semantics. Angela Merkel vs Kim Jong Un debate this is not. Get crazy ncordless, and tell us why we need no borders. :)
     
    #20
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