Yeah, but we aren’t Americans, what can we do?

Back in December, then President-elect Donald Trump established a forum “composed of some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders” https://www.blackstone.com/media/press-releases/article/president-elect-trump-establishes-the-president-s-strategic-and-policy-forum

The members of the Forum include:

  • Stephen A. Schwarzman (Forum Chairman), Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone; [Gateway One Macquarie Place, Suite 3901 Sydney NSW 2000, Australia]
  • Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners, LLC, Former Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission; [not in AU]
  • Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors; [Holden Ltd: PO Box 1714, Melbourne, Victoria, 3001]
  • Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic; [not in AU]
  • Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co; [ Sydney, Australia: +612 9003 8888]
  • Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock; [37, Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia +61 2 9272 2200]
  • Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company;
  • Rich Lesser, President and CEO, Boston Consulting Group; [Level 41, 161 Castlereagh Street  Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia +61 2 9323 5600 ]
  • Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; [not in AU]
  • Jim McNerney, Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Boeing; [Boeing – Australia & South Pacific Boeing Australia Level 10, Exchange House 10 Bridge St Sydney NSW 2000 AUSTRALIA Tel: +61-2-9086 3300 ]
  • Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners; [Global Infrastructure Management Australia Pty Limited (affiliate), Level 30, Deutsche Bank Place, 126 Phillip Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 Phone: +61 2 8259 4229 ]
  • Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM; [Australian Head Office
    IBM Australia Ltd  Level 13 IBM Centre 601 Pacific Highway St Leonards NSW 2065]
  • Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, Former Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System;
  • Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young EY; [EY The EY Centre Level 34 200 George Street 2000 Sydney phone: +61 2 9248 5555 fax: +61 2 9248 5959]
  • Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric; [Multiple separate businesses in Australia]
  • Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit; [not in AU?]
  • Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber (joined Dec 14)
  • Elon Musk, CEO Space X, Tesla (joined Dec 14)

Of those, Elon Musk has now spoken out against Trump’s attack on the US constitution & rule of law using his ban on people from selected middle east countries.

  • Investment bank, Goldman Sachs is not represented on the forum but Trump’s administration is replete with ex-Goldman Sachs employees, including Steve Bannon Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin, National Economic Council Chairman-appointee Gary Cohn and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman nominee Jay Clayton. [Goldman Sachs Australia Pty Ltd Level 46 Governor Phillip Tower 1 Farrer Place Sydney NSW 2000 Australia +612 9321 8777 ]

Many of those companies operate in multiple nations. Those companies have twitter accounts, some of them (e.g. Disney, Uber) market directly to ordinary people. We can challenge what they are doing. Sure, there is an argument that they are trying to engage with Trump for better outcomes for everybody – but if they can’t speak out against gross attacks on basic principles common to all democratic societies then they aren’t ‘engaging’ they are collaborating with hatred.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/ceos-tesla-uber-pepsi-join-trump-s-business-council-n695881

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47 comments

  1. JJ

    Thank you for this! Even as an American, this gives me people to approach and say, “This is NOT okay, do not support this!”

    Like

  2. thephantom182

    https://sethfrantzman.com/2017/01/28/obamas-administration-made-the-muslim-ban-possible-and-the-media-wont-tell-you/

    Just saying. Also, the people caught in the green-card “suspension” thing yesterday weren’t suspended and kicked out. They were interviewed, and allowed to continue on. Or so it says, anyway. Hard to say, given the utter lack of reliable coverage.

    So you can freak out and scream and cry over the injustice of it all, or you can realize that we’re all being lied to by three or four different axis of media liars from different countries. We do not know what they’re doing. At all.

    What really needs to happen to the US immigration department, IMHO, is a fire. They need to burn it down to the ground and start over, just to drive the rats out. Pink slip every single worker, and replace them -all- with non-union, private sector people. That would be a place to start the clean up. Anything less will be wasted effort. If you haven’t experienced it personally, you can’t understand how utterly f-ed it is.

    They also need to finally decide who they want in the country. To date they’ve been keeping accomplished and credentialed people out while letting landscapers, goat herders and chicken pluckers in. Probably not a growth solution.

    Like

    • camestrosfelapton

      //Also, the people caught in the green-card “suspension” thing yesterday weren’t suspended and kicked out. They were interviewed, and allowed to continue on//

      Some where interviewed and allowed to continue on, particularly AFTER a federal judge enacted a stay (not all DHS agencies complying with that – hence something of a constitutional crisis). Others were charged with breaking immigration law even though the order wasn’t in effect when they boarded the plane! Others have been deported.

      Iraqi’s working for the US forces in Iraq have been denied entry. It’s a chaotic, unconstitutional mess.

      Australian government has confirmed that Australia Defence Force personnel with dual citizenship in affected countries are being advised not to travel to the US.

      ” We do not know what they’re doing.” – which is the point Phantom. Immigration chaos does many things but it doesn’t make the US more secure.

      Lots of reasons why this appalling but if the moral, social, security or constitutional reasons don’t move you, the sheer level of applied incompetence should cause you some pause for thought.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. delagar

    mr. phantom continues to bring the alternative facts. It would all be very funny if my country wasn’t currently being taken over by a white Nationalist / fascist, while people just like mr. phantom continue to spread these lies at his vile bidding.

    I can’t tell if these conservatives are really stupid enough to believe the lies they’re repeating, or if they’re just so eager to have an authoritarian bully in charge they’ll say anything to keep him there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aaron

    Pink slip every single worker, and replace them -all- with non-union, private sector people.

    Privatizing the work done by the Federal government has never improved its efficiency or effectiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thephantom182

      I’m more proposing -ending- most of the immigration “work” presently done by the federal government, as it accomplishes nothing. It doesn’t catch criminals or terrorists, it doesn’t promote the health or wealth of the USA, it just wastes money and makes life miserable for people.

      To that end, firing every single member of the present establishment would be considered merely a good start.

      Like

      • thephantom182

        More like my radical -functional- borders policy. Currently it keeps out people they need and lets in ones they don’t. That’s backwards.

        I notice none of you noble souls is down on Canada and our borders. We don’t let anybody in without a visa in this country, except from certain select nations. Of which, Mexico is not one. Isn’t that suuuuper Nazi or something?

        Like

      • camestrosfelapton

        //We don’t let anybody in without a visa in this country, except from certain select nations.//

        Nobody gets in without a visa except the people who do? Wow. That’s extraordinarily unexceptional as a border policy. But 10/10 for the most Canadian boast I’ve heard today 🙂

        [Yeah, I know. Nobody living in Australia should even think about mocking any other nations border policies. Even Trump hasn’t set up freaky island concentration camps yet]

        Like

      • KR

        Incorrect. Mexicans do not need a visa to enter Canada. They fill out an online Electronic Travel Authorization before they depart and come on in. it was covered in the news quite extensively when Trudeau met with Pena Nieto.

        Like

      • camestrosfelapton

        My favourite visa was visiting Turkey. It cost ten-pounds for British people and you got it when you arrived and you were advised to have a ten-pound note ready…so essentially the visa was a ten pound note.

        Like

      • KR

        I went to an undisclosed country last year and there was a massive hours-ling line-up at immigration, but noticed a special line for Canadians who had to pay an entry charge (I assume it was a reciprocity deal) — I was pretty happy to whip out my wallet and pay what was, essentially, a queue-jumping fee 🙂

        Like

      • Aaron

        I’m more proposing -ending- most of the immigration “work” presently done by the federal government, as it accomplishes nothing. It doesn’t catch criminals or terrorists, it doesn’t promote the health or wealth of the USA, it just wastes money and makes life miserable for people.

        You have no idea what you are talking about, again. The vetting process turns away numerous applicants as unsuitable based upon a wide array of security criteria. Your claim that it “doesn’t catch criminals or terrorists” is entirely unsupported and contrary to the known evidence. But do keep yammering on ignorantly. It makes clear what a complete fool you truly are.

        Like

  5. Aaron

    To date they’ve been keeping accomplished and credentialed people out while letting landscapers, goat herders and chicken pluckers in.

    You really have no idea how the visa process works, do you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • thephantom182

      I do, as it happens. I went through it myself. You, like most Americans, have absolutely no idea how profoundly f-ed that whole thing is. You live in a haze of blissful ignorance.

      And yes, it is EASIER for a Somali goat herder to get a Green Card so he can go pluck chickens in Marshall Minnesota, than it is for a Canadian born doctor, educated and credentialed IN the USA I might add, to get the same green card, to work at the hospital in Marshall Minnesota. Fixing the drug resistant tuberculosis the Somali brought with him, by the way.

      Marshall Minnesota has Vanco-resistant TB -and- the Schwan Food Company, one of the larger food processing complexes in the USA. Nice combination, right?

      Then there’s the current scandal of Big Silicon firing Americans and hiring H1B visa immigrants, because they’re cheaper and easier to push around. One phone call from Head Office and you go back to Islamabad, and you can kiss all your worldly possessions good bye too. That’s some fricking work incentive, right there.

      That is the reality of the visa process, as it stands,and has been that way since the 1990s at least. So if you want to be outraged about things, maybe you should find out what the f- is actually going on in your own country first.

      Like

      • delagar

        Cool story, bro.

        Not sure what it has to do with Steve Bannon’s blanket ban on Muslims from countries where Donald and his other Wall Street buddies don’t have any business interests (including five year old, seven year old, and other infant terrorists), but I’ve ceased to expect coherent argument from you.

        Like

      • Aaron

        And yes, it is EASIER for a Somali goat herder to get a Green Card so he can go pluck chickens in Marshall Minnesota, than it is for a Canadian born doctor, educated and credentialed IN the USA I might add, to get the same green card, to work at the hospital in Marshall Minnesota.

        No, it is not. You’ve exposed your abject ignorance on this subject quite comprehensively at this point.

        Like

      • thephantom182

        Aaron spluttered: “You’ve exposed your abject ignorance on this subject quite comprehensively at this point.”

        Oh, really? Pray, enlighten us, good sage. We await your wisdom. You are an immigration lawyer, I take it?

        delagar said: “Not sure what it has to do with Steve Bannon’s blanket ban on Muslims…”

        Well, if you RTFA waaaaay up at the top, you will find that Trump blocked refugees from one country in his executive order. Syria. The other countries are an existing ban. Like, from Obama. Go read it, and understand the extent to which we are being misled. Fake news, full time.

        All the rest of the current uproar is sand in the gears of government, in an institution where there’s more sand than gears. The Immigration department is profoundly broken. It needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. They are like a bank where the workers don’t know what money looks like. They couldn’t organize a two man rush on a three hole sh1t house, which failure results in the chaos currently on display.

        And now, for a preview of what is in store if this border thing doesn’t get done, I direct your attention to Quebec. Where a mosque got shot up and people were killed. Pay particular attention to the spin, as we go from “This is a TERRORIST ATTACK!!!” to “what mosque?” later, if it turns out the attackers were Muslims. They are really hoping to get a bloody shirt out of this. You can practically see them praying that the shooters were two Anglos from Ontario, or better yet, Alberta.

        Please note, I am commenting on the behavior of the media and my government, not the attack itself. People died, over nothing, and these men are playing politics.

        Like

      • ligne

        “One phone call from Head Office and you go back to Islamabad, and you can kiss all your worldly possessions good bye too. That’s some fricking work incentive, right there.”

        that’s a very good reason to guarantee non-national workers rights. and to boost other workers’ rights too, so they’re not left at the hands of abusive employers and working practices.

        Like

    • Aaron

      Oh, really?

      Really. I pointed out more comprehensively below, but a Canadian doesn’t even need a work visa to work in the United States. Your claim is simply ridiculous on its face. You have no understanding at all of how the U.S. immigration process works, and it shows every time you post a comment.

      Like

  6. Aaron

    For the record:

    Canadians are exempt from the general requirement that a person who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident requires a visa to work in the U.S.

    Generally, a Canadian whose prospective U.S. employer has obtained the approval of a petition filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may show the Notice of Approval at the border or at an airport in Canada, and be allowed to enter the U.S. to work for the employer.

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) permits persons who are citizens of Canada or Mexico to work for a sponsoring employer in the U.S. in certain professional occupations without even the necessity of submitting a petition to the USCIS. Canadians can simply show the required paperwork at the border or at an airport and be approved on the spot to work in the U.S. in TradeNAFTA status.

    As far as licensing goes, although it may take a few months for certain states to issue M.D. licenses to Canadian physicians, most U.S. states do so based on reciprocity. Generally, if a Canadian physician has a provincial license, he can obtain a U.S. license in the state where he intends to work.

    Under U.S. immigration laws, “foreign medical graduates” can’t practice medicine in the U.S. without first completing a medical residency in the United States, and before doing so, they need to pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), Steps I and II. However, graduates of Canadian medical schools are not considered “foreign medical graduates” and their residency training in Canada is considered equivalent to residency training in the U.S.

    Like

    • thephantom182

      “Canadians are exempt from the general requirement that a person who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident requires a visa to work in the U.S.”

      That is categorically false. There are a -select- set of specific jobs that fall under the NAFTA treaty, for which you -may- get a NAFTA visa exemption. Annually. IF they bother to process your application. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

      Physical therapy is an example, air-frame mechanic is another. I for example practiced PT on a NAFTA visa in Arizona for some years. No visa, no work. The trip to the Mexican border every year was a barrel of laughs. They can deport you to Mexico for any reason or -no- reason. They make you leave the USA and walk through the Mexican side of the border point, where the Mexican authorities can and sometimes do chose to detain and question you. In Spanish. As a Canadian, that makes for a fun trip.

      Canadian physicians specifically require an H1B visa to practice, regardless of where their training took place. Whether or not a particular physician can get that visa in any particular year is a crap-shoot based on when they apply, where they apply and the phase of the moon. It doesn’t matter if you already have one, the numbers are limited to X every calendar year.

      Meaning, you can be a working doctor at John’s Hopkins one day, and have all your worldly shit piled up in a U-Haul headed for the Canadian border the next, just because. Sometimes people’s visas just plain don’t get processed, and they have to wait for months and months with no work and no pay, because the little piece of paper didn’t come in the mail yet. It happens, and I know people it has happened to. There’s a whole legal industry around it.

      You don’t even understand the significance of that page you just googled. Try googling “H1B Visa Abuse” and then read about what -your- country does to honest people every f-ing day. Then think about the thousands of dishonest people a week streaming over the border for a free ride on your dime. The ones that don’t die in the desert, anyway. Plenty of them too.

      -Trump- a fascist? He is literally the least of your concerns.

      Like

      • thephantom182

        JJ, can you read? Really dude, I said what my profession is.

        Aaron said: “Sorry, it is true. See 8 CFR Sec. 274a.12”

        Oh, I guess the series of immigration lawyers I hired over the course of ten years didn’t read that. Gee, I should have hired you, Aaron! You know everything!

        Like

      • Aaron

        I guess the series of immigration lawyers I hired over the course of ten years didn’t read that.

        Well, since you lied about being a doctor to us, did you lie to your lawyers as well? That probably made things more difficult for you.

        Like

      • thephantom182

        Wait, now you’re saying -I- claimed to be a doctor? Can you people not read?

        “I for example practiced PT on a NAFTA visa in Arizona for some years.” This is me claiming to be a doctor, is it?

        You two are now officially beyond parody.

        Like

  7. delagar

    It’s useless trying to present mr. phantom with facts, as we all have learned, but nevertheless: I realize Briebart News and others have been feeding you the lie that this is an “existing ban,” but if you’ll move outside your bubble, you’ll find that the reality is far otherwise.

    Also, my comment had to do with your silly list of lies about immigration, and what THOSE lies had to do with Bannon’s ban on allowing Muslims from countries where he and his buddies don’t do business into the country. Nice red herring, though.

    Like

    • thephantom182

      Well delagar, how many countries are listed in the Trump executive order? One. Syria. That’s the fact of the matter. The rest of it is bullroar from one source or another, muddying the waters.

      Like

  8. Aaron

    Well, if you RTFA waaaaay up at the top, you will find that Trump blocked refugees from one country in his executive order. Syria. The other countries are an existing ban. Like, from Obama.

    No, they were not from an existing ban. Trump’s executive order bans the citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen – from entering the U.S. on any visa category. The Obama restriction was to remove those countries from the visa-waiver program. The United States allows the citizens of numerous countries to visit the United States for up to 30 days without a visa via the visa-waiver program. The only thing the Obama administration did with these seven countries was remove them from this waiver program and require that their citizens get a visa before entering the United States.

    Like

    • thephantom182

      Not if you -read- the executive order, apparently. When you read it, one country is listed. Syria. The executive order is printed out at the link I left above. Yet more evidence that linking things is useless here because Aaron can’t read.

      Like

      • Aaron

        Not if you -read- the executive order, apparently.

        The problem is that I have read it. It says this:

        “I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order”

        What do you think “aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)” means? Did you bother to look that up, or did you not know that refers to multiple countries besides Syria?

        Like

      • thephantom182

        Aaron, please. Who wrote section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)? Was it Trump, or Obama? It was the Obama order.

        Trump specified Syria only, by name. The rest were already specified by the Obama administration, in the previously in-force section. Nothing changed except Trump added Syria. That was the point of the article I posted. That’s what he said.

        Was that wrong, then, what he said? Because from what I read there, it seems pretty right to me. Plain English, even.

        Trump specified Syria, and that’s all that has changed, but everybody is making a hell of a noise about SEVEN COUNTRIES!!!!! and its the end of the world… except no, it is business as usual with more cameras pointed at it and more idiots beating people up at the airport in Portland.

        Oh and btw, all the “detainees” have been released. Except they were being interviewed, not detained, and it took this long because La Migra suck at their jobs.

        Like

    • Mark

      Aaron, what’s the betting that they wrote the EO in the way they did (simply referring to the legislative spaghetti of “section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)” rather than naming the countries directly) for the precise reason of allowing people to make this specious argument?

      Like

      • camestrosfelapton

        2019 Trump nukes France, Germany, Italy, Poland and seberal other nations. Says its not his fault, its the EUs fault for saying which nations are in the EU.
        Nukes UK also “for the laughs”

        Like

      • Mark

        Humpf, within an hour of writing that I start spotting twitter eggs spouting “it’s not in the order! It was all Obama’s idea!” Truly our phantom is a prophet of things to come.

        Like

      • ligne

        ” Nukes UK also “for the laughs””

        tbf if he did nuke half of Europe, dropping one on us too would be a kindness.

        which is to say, there’s no way in hell he’d do it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • Aaron

      The rest were already specified by the Obama administration, in the previously in-force section. Nothing changed except Trump added Syria.

      No. What was specified by the Obama administration is that those countries were not part of the visa waiver program established by 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12). That means that foreign nationals from those countries couldn’t come to the United States without a visa. That is not a ban.

      Trump imposed the entirely new restriction that those with visas would be denied entry no matter what kind of visa they hold. That is new. Trump banned travel from seven countries, even for people who had gone through the visa process, and, according to how the order was originally directed to be interpreted by the White House, even those who were legal permanent residents of the United States. That is not a “previously in-force section”. That’s new.

      Reading comprehension Phantom. You need to get better at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Aaron

    Oh and btw, all the “detainees” have been released.

    Except for the people who held valid visas who were denied entry into the United States and sent back. And the 173 people who had been refused boarding on American-bound flights. And of those not denied entry were only not denied entry because Federal judges issued orders prohibiting deporting those detainees.

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  10. Aaron

    Who wrote section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)? Was it Trump, or Obama? It was the Obama order.

    Obama didn’t write the list. Congress did. But the list wasn’t part of a ban when it was written.

    For those who are interested in the actual facts:

    8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12) is a statutory provision that establishes a visa waiver program for the United States. Under this program, the residents of certain countries may visit the United States for up to thirty days without the requirement that they have a visa of any kind. This program applies to about thirty countries. It has never applied to residents of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, as these countries were never part of the visa waiver program. Residents of those countries have always needed a visa to enter the United States.

    In 2015, as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of FY2016, the list of seven countries was included, but it didn’t restrict visas or travel for any resident of those countries. What it did do was say that residents of countries that were part of the visa waiver country who had travelled to those seven countries could no longer participate in the visa waiver program (with some limited exceptions), and instead had to apply for visas in order to travel to the United States. Because none of the listed countries were ever themselves part of the visa waiver program, the rule didn’t affect anyone who was a resident in any of those countries.

    Note, however, that this wasn’t a blanket travel ban for anyone. When Phantom says that the portions of the Executive Order that apply a ban on entry for citizens of those countries as just part of a “previously in-force” section, he’s lying. The list that Trump used was not, and never before had been, a ban on people with valid visas entering the United States. It was a list of countries for which a specific, quite limited exception to a rule concerning visa-free travel applied.

    Claiming that because this list existed for entirely unrelated purposes means that somehow the travel ban is the result of the Obama administration’s policies would be like saying that a ban on entry into the United States for people from NATO countries is just implementing an already established policy because the list of NATO countries is already set out in U.S. statutory law somewhere (all ratified treaties are Federal law in the United States).

    Like