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The Wall

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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16 January 2019 14:45
 

Yes, there are border security problems.  However, I disagree that 1/4 of the Federal government should shut down until $5.7 billion worth of wall is approved.  That’s like saying, there is an opioid crisis, and we should shut down the government until X amount of money is spent on solution Y.  As said above, the President’s solution is not the only option or even the best option.  Plus, there are important functions of government that are not getting done.  There are a whole lot of serious problems facing our country that government can work on, without forcing a shut down and making a whole lot of people go without paychecks.  Remember, Trump literally said, on camera, and broadcast to the nation:

If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government,” Trump said. “And I am proud. I’ll tell you what. I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. Because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.  The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting down. I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

We know who is responsible for the shut down.

[ Edited: 16 January 2019 14:48 by hannahtoo]
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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16 January 2019 15:07
 
hannahtoo - 16 January 2019 02:45 PM

We know who is responsible for the shut down.

We certainly do.

...The Washington Post found that Americans continue to oppose the wall, 54% to 42%. Quinnipiac found a similar result, 55% to 43%, virtually unchanged from the pre-shutdown figure.

By a 2-to-1 margin, Quinnipiac reports, Americans reject the tactic of closing the government to force Congress to approve funding for the wall. This is bad news for the president, because Americans overwhelmingly hold him, rather than congressional Democrats, responsible for the shutdown.

...most Americans reject Mr. Trump’s arguments. Just 43% said that the wall would make us safer, while 55% said it wouldn’t. Only 43% thought the wall would be an effective way of protecting the border. Even fewer—40%—thought it was essential for that purpose, and 59% said it would be a poor use of taxpayer dollars.

https://tinyurl.com/yad546cf

 
 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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16 January 2019 15:37
 
Cheshire Cat - 16 January 2019 01:10 PM

I think you are the one missing the point.

The Democrats are not against border security. They want to do it in the most cost effective and intelligent way possible, which is not to throw money away on an idiotic physical wall 2,000 mile long, just so Trump and pander to his base.

Well said. Independents also support cost effective strengthening of border security.

 
Quadrewple
 
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Quadrewple
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16 January 2019 16:13
 
Cheshire Cat - 16 January 2019 01:10 PM

The Democrats are not against border security. They want to do it in the most cost effective and intelligent way possible, which is not to throw money away on an idiotic physical wall 2,000 mile long, just so Trump and pander to his base.

So what you’re arguing is the government will handle a financial problem in a way which gives the private recipients of said money an unfair advantage and total sum of money will be ridiculous?  Welcome to the club!  Libertarians have been saying this for decades…..  So what do we do about that fact?  Keep putting out the little fires of individual spending projects?  That hasn’t worked so far, what makes you think it’ll work now?

You want a monopoly on force, but you don’t want what that model produces.  It’s like saying “If I can jump off this cliff, and then reduce my speed while in the air….” - it’s a pointless statement because it assumes that something which is not actually feasible is feasible.

It’s not actually feasible to give a small group of humans this much power over others and come up with a good result.  The days of armed revolution are over.  The days of parents being the main influencers of their children are over.  We are totally underneath the government-corporate blanket which relies on the government’s monopoly on force to work.  You can boycott a corporation, never the government.

People who control government spending never have an incentive to reduce government spending, because the more money they can hand out, the more favors they can bag in return.  That’s politics.  Trump is not a fiscal conservative and neither are Democrats or Republicans.

The nation-state is a short-term solution, just as more basic tribalism was just a short-term solution.  I’m not saying I have the answer, but it’s sure as hell not this.

What I’m saying is that even though you’re right, you’re fighting the wrong battle, and you will never run out of battles to fight because the entire US model was built for a different age (Industrial Age), for FAR fewer people, and it was built for a world before technology and relative abundance.  It was built in a world where without a centralized power to collect money and deliver information, there would be less financial incentive for progress.  This is simply no longer the case - and most technological progress is driven by military aims rather than health aims or things which actually serve mass human potential.  They get the money, they decide the direction of the money, the future of technology, which is the future of our species.

Sorry, that’s just the harsh reality.  This is the nation-state model.  It produces massive financial waste and unfair advantage.  Now what?

Can we gain understanding about this situation and adapt moving forward or is it always going to be about Trump and then we all stop talking about it when we have the next president?  There’s a window here for dialogue which closes as soon as he’s out of office (at least for all the temporary fiscal conservatives)

[ Edited: 16 January 2019 16:18 by Quadrewple]
 
 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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16 January 2019 16:48
 

The government shut down has nothing to do with border security, but instead is political theater.  Trump was embarrassed by the radical right for not keeping his empty promise to have Mexico build the wall, so he decided to take Americans hostages until Americans pay for Trump’s political vanity.  His supporters don’t care if a wall is built, they just want their bigoted sentiments confirmed by the president.

“Securing the border” is a dog-whistle for “keep the brown people down, and the rest of you non-whites better watch it, too.”  Securing the border is a whole lot easier if the incentive to come illegally is removed - namely, giving illegals jobs - than putting up a barrier which can be defeated with a $15 ladder.  Also, there is nothing to stop the Mexicans from building a ramp to the top of the wall from the Mexican side, just to make it easier to scale it.  I suppose the Americans could build the wall a few hundred yards inside the border and spend money building roads to patrol it so ramps won’t be built, but then that adds another recurring cost, and it puts agents at risk from attack because they will be caught in no-mans-land, which effectively will become Mexican territory.

Then tunnels.

Illegal drugs are not carried on the backs of illegals making a run for it.  They are brought in via legitimate transport, since Customs agents are lucky to be able to inspect 5% of cargo.  And if Customs does decide to increase inspections, it will slow down commerce to a crawl, which will get major American businesses banging on Trump’s door, and he dare not take them on.  Nor does he dare take on the major employers of illegals, such as himself, because that is a fight he can’t win.

So, yeah, Trump scapegoats the weakest segment of society (politically, socially, and economically) as the biggest threat to the security of America because he knows they can’t fight back, not because they are a threat.  Instead of coming up with a work-visa program to take advantage of low-cost labor, he insists on an all-or-nothing program which vilifies workers until they gain full citizenship through a Byzantine process.

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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17 January 2019 12:12
 
Skipshot - 16 January 2019 04:48 PM

The government shut down has nothing to do with border security, but instead is political theater.  Trump was embarrassed by the radical right for not keeping his empty promise to have Mexico build the wall, so he decided to take Americans hostages until Americans pay for Trump’s political vanity.  His supporters don’t care if a wall is built, they just want their bigoted sentiments confirmed by the president.

“Securing the border” is a dog-whistle for “keep the brown people down, and the rest of you non-whites better watch it, too.”  Securing the border is a whole lot easier if the incentive to come illegally is removed - namely, giving illegals jobs - than putting up a barrier which can be defeated with a $15 ladder.  Also, there is nothing to stop the Mexicans from building a ramp to the top of the wall from the Mexican side, just to make it easier to scale it.  I suppose the Americans could build the wall a few hundred yards inside the border and spend money building roads to patrol it so ramps won’t be built, but then that adds another recurring cost, and it puts agents at risk from attack because they will be caught in no-mans-land, which effectively will become Mexican territory.

Then tunnels.

Illegal drugs are not carried on the backs of illegals making a run for it.  They are brought in via legitimate transport, since Customs agents are lucky to be able to inspect 5% of cargo.  And if Customs does decide to increase inspections, it will slow down commerce to a crawl, which will get major American businesses banging on Trump’s door, and he dare not take them on.  Nor does he dare take on the major employers of illegals, such as himself, because that is a fight he can’t win.

So, yeah, Trump scapegoats the weakest segment of society (politically, socially, and economically) as the biggest threat to the security of America because he knows they can’t fight back, not because they are a threat.  Instead of coming up with a work-visa program to take advantage of low-cost labor, he insists on an all-or-nothing program which vilifies workers until they gain full citizenship through a Byzantine process.

‘Then tunnels’ - https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/01/14/trump-pushes-wall-authorities-keep-finding-drug-tunnels-under-us-mexico-border

quote - “The president has argued that building physical barriers would stave off illegal immigration and drug trafficking into the United States. But experts say these tunnels reaffirm a reality at the southern border: Drugs are trafficked into the country through multiple channels, including underground. A physical barrier, whether it’s fencing, steel slats or a concrete wall, would keep out people who are willing to play by the rules. But for those who aren’t or can’t afford to, walls are mere temporary inconveniences, said David Shirk, an international relations professor at the University of San Diego.

“Whether we’re talking about drugs or people, where there’s a will, there’s a way to get around the wall. ... These tunnels underscore the futility of the current debate in the fact that there will be numerous ways in which smugglers and undocumented persons will be able to breach the barriers that we build at the border,” Shirk said.

https://nationalpost.com/news/how-mexico-drug-tunnels-are-built-and-a-closer-look-at-the-new-border-agency-robots-that-will-patrol-them

quote:  “Smugglers have dug dozens of crude tunnels in Nogales, Arizona, that begin in Mexico and tie into the Arizona city’s storm drainage system.

For sophisticated tunnels, such as those found near San Diego, cartels will hire engineers and miners to build the tunnels. A cartel will have a financier or a cell that reports to the cartel bosses and runs the construction.

U.S. border officials estimate that the more sophisticated tunnels probably cost between US$2-million to US$3-million to build.”

[ Edited: 17 January 2019 12:21 by unsmoked]
 
 
EN
 
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EN
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25 February 2019 12:44
 

A reminder of the arguments against the Wall along the 1200 mile Texas border with Mexico:

1. People can go over and under walls.  It’s a 1st Century solution to a 21st Century issue.  Walls haven’t kept Mexicans out of Texas since the Alamo;

2. It is unnecessarily expensive.  GOP Congressman Will Hurd from Texas (his district has 820 miles of border - the most of any Congressman) has put forth a proposal for a “Smart Wall” that relies on cyber security/surveillance, increased Border Patrol presence, and more equipment, rather than a Wall.  It could be done at a fraction of the cost;

3. Texas already has natural border protection in the form of the Rio Grande, mountains, canyons, lakes, and a forbidding desert.  Most entries of dangerous people and drugs come at actual international crossings, not out in the open country;

4. The actual border is the middle of the Rio Grande, established in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War.  Since the Wall cannot be built in the middle of the river, wherever it is placed will effectively cede the area between it and the actual border to Mexico, making it a No-Man’s land;

5. The Wall will cut off American/Texas citizens’ access to their own river;

6. The Wall will divide individuals’ private property and cut off access;

7. The Wall will divide communities along the river;

8. The Wall will cut off special areas such as the National Butterfly Center, the Santa Anna Wildlife Preserve, and the Lomita Chapel property in the Rio Grande Valley, destroying access to those landmarks (these were preserved from harm in the recent Congressional Budget, but Trump’s “national emergency” puts that all in doubt as it seeks Wall funding outside of the Congressional appropriations process);

9. The people who actually live along the border don’t want a wall.  That’s why every Congressman with a border district in Texas is against it, even the one GOP Congressman - their constituents don’t want it.  If Iowans want a Wall, let them build it in their state;

10. It would destroy the natural beauty of places like Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and the Lower Canyons Wild and Scenic River, the most beautiful places in our state;

11. It would cause flooding in some areas;

12. It causes ecological/environmental disruption, negatively affecting wildlife habitat and vegetation pattern;

13. It is nothing but a monument to Donald Trump’s ego;

14. There is no National Emergency on the border.  That’s why the majority don’t want it there.  In a real national emergency, like the one with the Houston flooding, the affected citizens want help;

15. It would be a horrible symbol to an area where people on both sides have gotten along pretty well over the years, with robust cultural and economic exchange;

16. Trump lied when he said the current fencing made El Paso safe - it was already safe and had been for some time.  Laredo is also safe;

17. Immigrants commit violent crimes less frequently per capita than the native population;

18. There are two large lakes (Falcon and Amistad) on the border - no need to build a wall around those - the lakes can be patrolled;

19. In Big Bend there are canyons with 1500 foot walls - no need to put another 30 feet of manmade wall on top of that; and

20. Trump sucks.


If we were talking about some fencing here or there, there probably wouldn’t be much dispute.  But Trump’s goal to build a monument to himself, like another Trump tower, makes the whole project untenable.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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25 February 2019 17:55
 
 
 
EN
 
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EN
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25 February 2019 18:09
 
GAD - 25 February 2019 05:55 PM

This was my idea, these guys stole it, really.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/bold-plan-replace-the-border-wall-with-an-energy-water-corridor/

Interesting, but you would have to exempt certain areas like the Big Bend region.  Maybe go north of it along I-10, away from the mountains.  We do need desalination plants in Texas.  We have all the wind, sun and natural gas you could ask for, and the whole Gulf of Mexico is waiting for us.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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25 February 2019 20:41
 
EN - 25 February 2019 06:09 PM
GAD - 25 February 2019 05:55 PM

This was my idea, these guys stole it, really.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/bold-plan-replace-the-border-wall-with-an-energy-water-corridor/

Interesting, but you would have to exempt certain areas like the Big Bend region.  Maybe go north of it along I-10, away from the mountains.  We do need desalination plants in Texas.  We have all the wind, sun and natural gas you could ask for, and the whole Gulf of Mexico is waiting for us.

In my version the city would only be 1-3 wide, no cars and very high density 10K-100K per square mile, that’s 60-600 million people living in a fully green 2000 mile long city.

 
 
mickleby
 
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mickleby
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26 February 2019 10:01
 
hannahtoo - 16 January 2019 02:45 PM

Yes, there are border security problems.

I’m reminded of the “footnotes to Plato” quip. I argue any coherent sense of what is bordered is lost. I enjoy joking, “Yes, let’s build the wall—around Trumpistan!” It feels “beyond the looking-glass” when Leftists proclaim supra-constitutional slogans like “Not My President” and Rightists from Turkey all the way west through the US use the levers of government to dismantle civilization.

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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26 February 2019 12:14
 

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/g2924/9-plants-deadly/

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/desert-cats-claw-tree-72893.html

Once, hiking in Joshua Tree, I got stuck in a narrow wash trying to crawl under cat’s claw.  That was a nice down jacket.  Was.

“A native of northern Mexico and the American Southwest, cat claw acacia grows naturally in desert washes and slopes. Cat claw acacia grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10. The tree is not at all shade tolerant and must be given full sun to thrive.”[/quote}

[ Edited: 26 February 2019 12:17 by unsmoked]
 
 
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