The above is an excerpt from the book Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World (titled Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century for its UK release) by Paul Collier, an Oxford professor of economics, published in 2013 by Oxford University Press.
I'm sorry to say but Collier has got it all wrong. It's exactly the other way around! Let alone a clear one, there definitely is no moral obligation to help very poor people who live in other countries or in our countries either. I myself may and do feel obligated to help because otherwise I cannot enjoy the blessings I have been given; however, I do not see that as an obligation for everyone.
On the other hand, Collier claims “the obligation to help the poor cannot imply a generalized obligation to permit free movement of people across borders.” Of course that is true, the implication that is. Helping the poor has got nothing to do with free movement, they are two unrelated entities. Collier's main assumption again starts from the wrong base, he connects the wrong dots. “obligation to permit free movement of people across borders”... The important point he misses is that nobody, I mean NOBODY, that is we, the “Western” “civilized” people in this case, DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT to block the movement of people in the first place!
Just like Collier starts with the wrong assumption, taking the status quo as the correct one when arguing about “the right to work” in his Guardian article of “Why denying refugees the right to work is a catastrophic error”, he makes the same mistake here. That's the trap the reputable professor Collier falls into. Just like nobody has any right... I mean they do but they shouldn't! have any right to prevent anybody from getting a job, nobody should have the right to block anybody from moving around the world we all are born in. Especially not simply because they were born within some stupid imaginary line drawn by a bloody war or bloody politics.
Collier thinks people are focusing on the wrong question, and I think he is focusing on the wrong moral basis. I do not believe helping others less fortunate is a moral obligation. Everybody cannot have the same moral obligations, we all have our own values. However, everybody should have the same basic rights, especially when it comes to the natural rights to the earth we all are born on. Along with that of life and liberty, Locke should have put the right to free movement instead of property as one of the three pillars of natural rights.
Galileo allegedly said “Eppur si muove” after recanting. And yet it moves... I say “Eppur si muovono.” And yet people move... You may make laws, require people to carry passports and get visas, build walls and fences, put surveillance cameras, the police... Eppur si muoveranno. Yet people will be moving... Movement is a natural life force!
Sorry, Collier again gets it wrong. Migration controls are an embarrassing vestige of nationalism and racism! Of course; of course they are. What determines who can go anywhere? Their nationality. And if you discriminate people according to their nationality, that's racism!
In fact, on the October 27, 2013 issue of Financial Times in the review of the Exodus, Ravi Mattu writes:
“The debate was split between the extremes of those who viewed migration as a threat and those who believed that to question it was tantamount to racism.”
Yes, to question the right of migration is tantamount to racism! Exactly! There is no other way of seeing it. What determines who can go anywhere? The place they were born. So it IS Birthplace Racism.
Collier thinks people are focusing on the wrong question. Yes, I agree with him. The question should not be whether we should open borders or not, the case for freedom of movement/migration is clear; what we should be discussing is how do we go about putting this into reality by having the least bad impact on the majority be it migrants or the hosts. For all his "wrong" thesis, Collier is probably right on one thing: Excessive migration can be detrimental. Therefore, some work needs to be done prior to recognizing the right to free migration. But one thing should stop being questioned:
Along with life and liberty, the right to free movement/ free migration should be one of the three pillars of natural rights.*
To Die or Not to Die?
How do we achieve the transition to the universal recognition of the natural right of man to movement? That's the question.
And for so many a people that's a question of life and death. “To die or not to die?”**
*I actually would add "the right to have enough food" to that, making it the four pillars of natural rights. That might also save us from excessive migration as well. But even with that aside, there definitely is a need for UBI (Universal Basic Income) in this global village, high-consumption modern age. Not on a country basis, but on a global level. UBI in its true sense, a universal UBI. For everyone. For every single person living on this Earth.
** Please take action. I wish to go to every country in the world only to burn my passports in the end to protest this worldwide accepted injustice at birth, the birthplace racism, global apartheid. Please support me in my endeavor to Strike at the Root by at least signing your name for moral support.
Please sponsor this mission for protesting birthplace racism.
Turkish Airlines has launched a "Fly Good Feel Good" program in collaboration with Mehmet Öz, making a big campaign which unfortunately turned out to be "Fly Good Feel Bad" for me. The following screenshots are from the corresponding videos. You be the judge and tell me if I am right or wrong.
We start with the Introduction video. I give the length of the videos as well to have an idea of the "density" of mistakes. This is 57 seconds.
Traveling with children - 2:38 mins
Traveling while pregnant- 5:44 mins
And do you know where they got the "inconvenience" from? I was curious and checked the most used Turkish-English online translator tureng.com for the Turkish word that was used, engel. Guess what came up?
The first one is wrong. It should be as in the second like "end of THE 35th week"
Jetlag- 2:08 mins
Blocked nose and ear trouble- 2:58 mins
Massage- 4:57 mins
Exercises- 8:49 mins
"A half circle" is the correct one.
Eating while flying- 1:51 mins
"I recommend that all our guests prefer" or "I recommend all of our guests to prefer"
Preparing for a flight- 1:54 mins
I do not know about you but these are way too many mistakes for such a reputable company like Turkish Airlines to make in such a short space. These are sloppy mistakes, they are mistakes that show ignorance. They're not like the below mistake of "Before traveling with youR child..." (under the allergies section in their website)
This mistake can be attributed to simple human error; we are all humans and we err. However, the mistakes in the subtitles is nothing but sloppiness and ignorance, and these are things not acceptable in such a prestigious company.
I have hundreds of articles on my website, articles with long and detailed analysis, and you know what? I definitely do not have so many sloppy mistakes. These mistakes on a campaign of Turkish Airlines are totally UNACCEPTABLE and they really owe me for my contribution to their quality. Of course, after all this work and time spent, they owe me more than one simple ticket. They could award me a hundred thousand miles for example!
Or even two hundred thousand...
It all started on the flight from Ouaga. We were about to land in 20 minutes, I had finished my book, the magazine and the newspapers. So I started playing around with the inflight entertainment program. Came across Fly Good Feel Good. I decided to have a look at what it was. I had not opened up the earphones, I said “Let me not waste it for nothing, let me have a look with subtitles.” Hay bakmaz olaymışım!
The subtitles were full of Turkish mistakes, not even simple mistakes or mistakes that are unfortunately very common these days, there were grave mistakes, unacceptable mistakes.
So I wrote to Turkish Airlines. As I am travelling to Africa these days and Turkish Airlines is almost unrivalled in Africa, knowing that they wouldn't be doing it out of their own accord, I asked for a free flight ticket to Chad, N'Djamena or somewhere else. (For my bringing up an important point to their attention.) I didn't expect them to do it, but we have a Nasreddin Hodja story: One day the Hodja is seen pouring yoghurt into the lake. They ask what he is doing and he answers “I'm fermenting the lake.” People of course laugh at Hodja, they say “Hodja, would the lake ever become yoghurt? You must be joking.” And Hodja answers: “I know it wouldn't, but what if it does?”
So I do it too. I test people and institutions like this. I had nothing to lose by asking. However, it turned out that I had so much to lose: basically a lot of time trying to get them to accept their mistake and in the meantime, I have lost my peace of mind.
Why are the people doing crappy jobs paid, i.e. rewarded, whereas the ones with the proper knowledge, who are bothered with those mistakes and correct them are not seen as deserving any payment or compensation? Why? Why am I supposed to be fine with a simple “Thank you”? I told them, they should have said that “Thank you” to the one who did the crappy job and paid me! Sorry but that's the way it should have been. That's how things should be working. I keep telling it but nobody seems to believe me or take me seriously. Everything is upside down in this world.
What I asked was simply nothing for them. Nothing. Given that flights to Africa are never full, given that they are flying anyway, it would have cost them nothing, NOTHING. It would have earned them prestige. Okay, I am just one person, but still, you earn customers one by one. Besides, I am seriously contributing to their quality. Please have a look here at all the mistakes in the English subtitles.
"Ah we are so sorry we cannot meet your expectation, ah thank you very much for your contribution, ah we care so much about our customers."
They are just paying lip-service. You do not care about your customers by saying you care about your customers. You care by in fact caring and doing something to show you care. Same with the mistakes. I'm aware, it's not such a big deal, it's got nothing to do with flight security or their services, BUT, there is a big but, they are Turkish Airlines, they are not Banana Republic Airlines. They have Morgan Freeman in their ads, they have done this Fly Good Feel Good with Mehmet Öz. And that is exactly why these mistakes are simply unacceptable and should not have been made in the first place. Turkish Airlines represents quality, they are a most reputable company. That's why they cannot brush off their mistakes even if simple so easily. They cannot. And their trying to say they cannot give me an open ticket, making as if they cannot issue reward tickets or do anything about it infuriates me more. It would have been much better if they just said “No, we are not doing it. We are not issuing you a free ticket. Yes, the people who did that crappy job deserved the money we paid; no, for you, a simple thank you is good enough.” It really would have been much better.
You fly good with Turkish Airlines; their services are optimum. But the program they launched should have been titled Fly Good Feel Bad, because their approach makes you feel bad.
PS: Please feel free to correct my English mistakes on this site, but just in case you attempt to, no, you do not have any right to criticize me or come back to me with the same argument. I am not a company, I do not have people working for me, to check things for me, I am a solo woman trying to do the best I can; and most importantly, nobody is paying me for what I do. (And you know what? I definitely do not have so many sloppy mistakes in all my site full of long articles. I do not!) What's more, I am not on the news all around claiming “Ah look I've launched a new program!” promoting it with superstars like Mehmet Öz. If one day I achieve that status, I will take criticism and compensate anyone who contributes to my perfection.
And you can be sure I'll compensate them generously. Very generously...
Yesterday when buying the tickets to Djibouti, I had considered going to Mogadishu. The Turkish Airline flight that goes to Djibouti goes on to Mogadishu and back again from Djibouti. It would have been nice to go to Somalia even if for a day and stop on the way back in Djibouti. But I need someone to look after me in Somalia. So I decided I may need to wait some more until I find such a person or postpone it in the expectation that one day Mogadishu might become a safe place for me to visit by myself.
You see, I have read the book “The Mayor of Mogadishu” by Andrew Harding (“...immensely insightful read.” I agree with the comment of the “U.S. Current History Magazine”) and I now definitely want to go there. I mean I wouldn't mind going to Hargeissa, Somaliland and considering it as I've been to Somalia for the sake of the Mission to Every Country; but the point is not that. I want to see Mogadishu. I want to go and imagine how nice a place it was once upon a time, what lives were lived there. Harding says “I wanted to reach back to the years when Mogadishu was one of Africa's loveliest cities...” I wish to see that lovely city. Even though it is no longer so. I want to go see the Lido Beach, I want to go see the waterfront. I want to witness the places I read about in the book. I want to be a part of the history of what it was. I want to inhale that “once upon a time...”
And today there was a bombing in Mogadishu. In the Guardian article “Mogadishu truck bomb: 500 casualties in Somalia’s worst terrorist attack” by Jason Burke, it says:
Alinur Abdi, a local businessman, said: “There is nothing resilient about this. How can you say ‘we are resilient’ when people are being killed in their hundreds? We need to get our act together and find a solution for this madness.”
Yes, not only the Somalis, -even though they certainly should have a priority to get their act together and find a solution for this madness- the whole world, or rather the leaders of the whole world really need to get their act together and find a way to end this madness. We really need leaders, enough of misleaders.
Perhaps even the leader itself is a misguided term, perhaps it's actually impossible for anyone to lead a crowd of people. Yet I know one thing for sure: The rules of this world game we're playing need to be changed. We will never have total peace in this world, that's not possible. It's not possible even for two people let alone billions; it's not possible even for those who supposedly or supposed to love each other, let alone those whom we do not like. It's not possible even if we all had everything we wanted. I know how conflicts can arise even when there is no scarcity of resources or anything. We do not need a serious reason to hold a grudge, a hill of beans is enough. No, we won't ever have peace; not in this world. But we sure can make this world a better place to live in for more people by making changes to the rules of the game. I state the most important number 1 rule of the game:
If men want to play soldiers, they play soldiers. But they play only with those who wish to play. Please keep those of us who do not wish to get involved in your war game out.
I bought four tickets today. Three one way, one return. My pre and post menstruation period is especially dangerous, plus the days people upset me. In such cases, I go on to the internet foraging flights. My shopping addiction is this. At least, it's for a cause. Mostly, people want to travel the world, so they attach a cause to it to find sponsors. For me, this was the opposite. (No wonder! I always seem to see and do things from the reverse.) I had a cause, and I attached a mission to it. To get attention. It doesn't seem to be working, but still, my cause of Free Movement, Ending Global Apartheid, Ending Injustice at Birth, Migration Without Borders is there.
First I got a ticket from Luanda to Rome. I'll be burning my flight back from Cameroon. There's no point in going back there. I had bought a return ticket thinking the flights within Africa would be cheaper, instead no. Some routes are more popular and therefore much cheaper obviously. So TAP flies to Angola sort of cheap. I mean you can get a fairly reasonable price if you are flexible with the dates. So I bought my return from Angola. I already have my flight to Cameroon. Then I worked my way backwards. Bought the Kinshasa-Luanda. I'll be getting to Kinshasa crossing the Congo River by boat from Brazzaville. So next I bought my flight there from Gabon: Libreville-Brazzaville. I hope to get to Gabon by bus. I would also like to go to Equatorial Guinea. Again by bus. Of course if I can manage. Equatorial Guinea is one of the strangest countries I hear. I do not wish to fly to Malabo and back. The capital city is on an island. There's no point in spending that money. But if I have to, I will. They all ask for your flight tickets to give you the visa. What do I do if I wish to go by land? Equatorial Guinea also asks for confirmation of your hotel. How do I do that when I do not know the exact date I'll be travelling? They also ask for your criminal records from the courts. Good for them.
After buying the three tickets, I couldn't step on the brakes. I have tickets to four more countries by the end of the year. That would be bringing the count up to 142. But I wanted to make it to 143; then it would be 11/15 x 195. So I will have completed 11/15th of the countries by the end of the year. The next goal would be 12/15th which is 4/5.
4/5th of 195 = 156
So that's the next goal.
Let's see how many I can manage on the coming up Africa trip starting from Cameroon. Of course, first I need to see I get to the next five!
Carlo got my Eritrean visa today. After dinner, I got my passport out to have a look at it. It was written by hand. What's more, they had put it upside down on the page. All the other visas were facing outside as it should be, Eritrea was facing center. I read the name and the dates. Everything seemed to be fine. I didn't fold the passport and put it back in its place like I normally do after checking it. I kept looking at the visa. I noticed the holographic camel. It was so nice.
I kept staring at the visa. There was a bigger camel on the stamp too. So Eritrea was a camel country. I had seen the same camel magnets in Kuwait, Qatar, United Emirates and other gulf countries. All produced in China of course. It was the first time I was seeing it on a visa stamp.
I still kept staring at the visa. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to fold the passport and put it away. Then I realized... I realized how excruciatingly painful it is going to be for me to burn these passports. I mean, if you set aside what they symbolize, passports are such a precious and nice memento. All the visas, the colorful designs, emblems, dates, stamps showing your history. It is my life. For a traveller, her passports are the embodiment of their life, the experiences, the arduous trips... To burn them would be to burn my life, even if only figuratively. Some might not understand this, but those who travel would know and understand it so very well. There is a romanticism to passports.
So if burning my passports is going to be burning my life, why do I want to do it? Because Passports are a symbol of discrimination. That's why I am willing to go to every country in the world and then burn all my passports.
I'd rather forego the testimonial to my life than have so many people suffer from not having the right passport.
Keeping Quiet is NOT Sexy, Raising Your Voice IS...
Raise Your Voice Against Global Apartheid & Be SEXY...
To Be SEXY, Raise Your Voice Against Global Apartheid...
These are several titles that I thought of before deciding on the final one. Who knows, perhaps then I can get somebody interested in reading what I write!
Reading Aviva Chomsky's “Undocumented” was such a relief. I finally found a prominent person outspoken about immigration and talking about it in terms of questioning the ideas we take for granted, not arguing from an economic point of view.
The entire immigration apparatus is based on the presumption that we know where people belong and we need to legislate their mobility.” Aviva Chomsky
This needs to be written in capitals and starred all around to attract attention.
Let's admit that our discriminatory laws are unjustifiable. Let's abolish the category “illegal” and give everyone the right to exist. We would solve the problem of illegal immigration with the stroke of a pen.” Aviva Chomsky
Yes YES YES!
Yes, let's give people a right to breathe. Let's internalize the motto “Live and let live.”
Dear Followers and “Friends”
I'm almost only retweeted by sex girls, it's depressing. I'm quitting Twitter at the end of the year. (Unless I miraculously get a real 1000 followers and/or some main sponsor backs me up on this mission.) I'm also “quitting” Facebook. As if I ever was active on it! My husband had attached Twitter to Facebook and that was it. My posts get a like or two if they ever do; no shares, no interaction there either.
I seriously am not interested in followers, what do followers serve unless they read you and pass your pieces on? I'm not interested in “friends”, so called friends, who do not even bother to write a sentence to share their thoughts. There are also those who ask for friendship on FB, I don't even know who they are. I mean I'm open to being friends with anyone, I like it so much that children can say “Let's become friends” and start playing. But at least, it's common courtesy to introduce yourself. I understand you're interested in me and what I'm doing, thank you for that. But I'd like to get to know you too. I shouldn't be obliged to scramble through your posts and read irrelevant details about your life, which are no concern of mine; but I'm sure interested in what you think of my ideas. Please have the courtesy to say hi and comment on why you'd like to be a “friend” if you are asking for friendship to someone whom you do not know. By the way, if you're only interested in my travels and not the ideas behind it, sorry, I'm not interested in you.
I'm not interested in likes either. What does “like” serve me unless the idea is passed on to others to spread the message? The movie Zeitgeist may have got almost 25 million views... but obviously that's not enough in a 7 billion world. Okay, it has made a change, a dent in the mental curves of some people. Still, to me, it's no use unless the proposal is realized. We need to work to bring change. And change can only happen through the change of mindset, of concepts; we need a certain number to get to the tipping point.
I've got perhaps two people -and those are people I already know and call friends as in friends- who really care about what I'm doing and support it. That's a pitiful number given what I'm trying to do, and given the graveness of the situation with so many people dying, so much suffering, being right in the center of the current news, and given how majestically unacceptable this discrimination by nationality, this injustice at birth is.
If they're not after cute kitten photos and videos, people go after local politics. They keep propagating whatever is on the media. If the topic does not get media coverage, if an argument does not fall into one of the perspectives of the media coverage, they're deaf. I cannot explain this total indifference to such a huge global injustice any other way.
At Chomsky's university, they were discussing accepting undocumented students openly and organizing a public event about it or just opening some back doors quietly. Some suggested the latter, claiming that doing it openly would endanger the undocumented students. There is truth in that. But we cannot act in fear. Then, they will have “won.” I know governments always win, but still...
One person retorted at the suggestion of doing it secretly: “Do you know of any historical example where social change has come about by people keeping quiet?”
That sentiment resonates with me. This Injustice At Birth as I call it, or be it Global Apartheid, Discrimination by Nationhood, Citizenship or Birthplace... Whatever you call it, this needs to become a SEXY topic. Of course with that I do not mean sex girls retweeting me! I mean more people openly saying the things I and Aviva Chomsky are saying. Yeah, I did that, I put Aviva Chomsky together with myself. It feels so good.
“I've got Aviva Chomsky on my side, I've got Aviva Chomsky on my side,” I sing hopping in the corridor.
Politicians and media personalities cannot risk to say this openly lest they lose their voter or fan base, but we, the ordinary people, should be saying it out loud:
Defining people by the imaginary line they're born in, what's more, defining their radius of movement again by that imaginary line is nothing but madness.”
Start repeating these lines and BE SEXY like Aviva Chomsky and me.
I had not heard of Henry George before. He has interesting ideas that I need to work on. The most important thing should be the shift in the idea of land belonging to states. I'm not so sure about private land ownership as we need a place to live, a space to exist in. It's good to have a place to call home, apart from the Earth being our home.
Got these from the website of The Henry George Institute.
This mission is hard family-wise. I am so lucky that I have a wonderful supporting husband. I wouldn't have been able to do this if not for him. You know, there are many journalists who go away to report on wars or dangerous places. I started reading a book about Africa and this guy was thanking his wife for letting him go and then welcoming him back home. It's generally the women who do this, but it's the reverse for us. I mean of course I'm not stealing that much time away from home, trying my best to keep up the family and my duties to both my husband and our daughter. My conscience is less burdened because I've been at home and have been with my daughter almost 24/24 for 5.5 years, and now it's time to let go a bit. Healthier for both of us. And it's fine that my husband gets to spend some time with the child he had at 50. Still, I won't be getting this time back with my daughter and any day spent away from my two most precious in the world is time stolen. And of course I miss her terribly. And I seriously doubt that I would have done this if it wasn't for internet and WhatsApp.
“Where have you been lately?” asked a friend.
“I've been to Iraq,” I answered.
“Did you go to the north?”
“Did you go to Erbil?”
“Then you don't say you've been to Iraq.”
Well... Exactly my sentiments! I've been thinking the same thing. Yet, Erbil, for what it is, even though it is Kurdistan, even though it is semi-autonomous, it still is a part of Iraq. When you take the UN countries as a reference, there is no sovereign state of Kurdistan; thus, it is Iraq.
Still... I would have preferred to go to Baghdad. On the other hand, I am not on my own anymore. I have a family, a family of my own, a husband and a daughter that I am responsible to (and for). I cannot put my life at risk so easily as I did in my bachelor days. I might still have gone to Baghdad, had it not been for the visa. I could get into Erbil without a visa. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website was full of warnings that the entrance from Erbil did not grant the right to go to Baghdad or any other regions than Iraqi Kurdistan for that matter. There were many Turkish citizens who were put to jail because of that. If you wish to go to Baghdad, you need to get a visa. End of story.
Perhaps, or rather hopefully, I'll get to Baghdad too one day. For now, Erbil, -with its 7000+ years old Citadel, one of the oldest continuously occupied human settlements, a UNESCO World Heritage site,- will suffice.
Have I been to Haiti?