RANGER AGAINST WAR: Up Against The Wall <

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Up Against The Wall

 --The fall of the Berlin Wall

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall 
--Mending Wall,
Robert Frost

 It is not the strongest
of the species that survives,
nor the most intelligent,
 but the one most responsive to change
--Charles Darwin

When you believe in things 
that you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way 
--Superstition,  
Stevie Wonder
__________________________

We approached this election as a people assaulted and insulted, both from within and without. The wall with Mexico was a campaign promise to give some succor to these bruised people.

Democratic institutions generally do not build walls, but rather, bridges. That said, border protection is a legitimate concern for any nation, and building a wall with Mexico became a campaign promise. And like all campaign promises, it provided a simplistic and easily-imaged solution.

Every president enters with some good ideas, but also some not so good. The wall may fall into the latter category. Not because a nation does need good border defense, but because there are better alternatives. Less iconic, but more effective.

This proposed wall is both a symbolic and actual gesture against the seemingly most porous point of entry, giving a sense of power to a people who have felt vulnerable and transgressed upon since the terror events of 9-11-01 (and probably before that).

But true defense in the 21st century is based upon mobility, and not static lines.

According to a Center for Migration Studies (CMS) 2017 report, illegal Visa overstays from all visitors to the United States (including those from Mexico) outnumber the "entries without inspection" (EWI) from across the Mexican border.

It is estimated that two-thirds of those who arrived in 2014 did not illegally cross a border, though the Department of Homeland Security does not release actual numbers. 

A 2017 DHS report estimated 629,000 visitors to the United States — just over 1 percent of all travelers — remained in the country at the end of 2016 after overstaying their visas as students, workers or tourists. However, Mexico is still the leading country for both overstays and EWIs, with about one-third of undocumented arrivals from Mexico in 2014 being overstays.
The problem with the wall solution is, static defenses like walls have been OBE time and again. Think of any of the great walls, now fallen: Hadrian's, China's or the Berlin Wall. Or the Maginot and Siegfried and Winter (Gustave) Lines. All linear defenses ultimately were breached.

The concept of a static line defense has become superannuated by the wars of the 20th century. No commander will do a static defense. Bataan taught that lesson.

Another challenge for a Democratic nation would be the fact previously mentioned at RAW, namely, that an obstacle is useless unless covered by fire. Are we willing to go all Berlin Wall on Mexicans?

Probably not, since even the most hardcore wall advocate must see that Mexicans are the ones building the United States these days. Heck, legals would probably be the ones building the wall.

In contrast, a mobile defense would be more realistic, for several reasons.

A mobile border defense would present a better cost/benefit ratio than would a fixed wall. The European precedents include Germany's Grenzpolizei (Bundesgrenzschutz) and France's Central Directorate of Border Police (DCPAF). 

Why not get innovative with border protection and get the citizens on board with the project? To that end, why not have a draft for service in the Border Patrol?

In the tradition of VISTA or the badly-gutted Clinton initiative, Americorps, service in the border patrol could become part of a mandatory post-secondary service modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA).


Further, a prerequisite for future military service could be a three-year stint with the Patrol. Future officers could not be commissioned until their Border Patrol service is completed. Officer selection could take place in that initial placement with the Patrol.

This envisions Border Patrol service as a sort of quasi-military function (moreso than currently). A person need not enter the Army proper, but could spend one's entire career border patrolling. (However, the Patrol would have to maintain its quasi-military shroud, as an outright militarization of the patrol would be seen as an act of war by Mexico.)

Since defensive measures are always in-depth, what guarantees that the Mexican government will provide a depth of operations on their side to assist this proposed mobile defense? The politics would have to be groomed immaculately.

The United States would need the complicity of the Mexican government to identify the shifting areas of main threat, as the success of mobile defenses is based on that knowledge. 

"Strong point defenses" could be emplaced around major U.S. border cities, with "zones of security", and discrete mobile forces could be garrisoned there to neutralize local penetrations and to provide local area security. This denies illegal immigrants their local active and passive support (without which they cannot thrive).

Traditionally, this border function was the purview of the Texas Rangers. In the military, this is "rear area protection" -- defending the border in depth.

The Wall is a simplistic image of unassailibility, but walls are made to be breached.

A multipolar, focalized and local mobile defense is the more 21st century answer to achieving border security.

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36 Comments:

Blogger Jerry Shepherd said...

Walls and forts became obsolete with the invention of the cannon. Even if you think passively groups have tunneled under the border when there wasn't a wall.

Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 2:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Coupla thoughts here.

First, why model this as a military problem with the people trying to find a place in the Big PX as an enemy? I don't see this as a "barbarian invasion"; these folks aren't Picts swarming down to loot Eburacum. The overwhelming majority are either looking for a better life, or escaping a worse one.

So it seems to me that you're making them into an "enemy", the very kind of thing we used to complain about at Intel Dump; using force as the hammer and making every policy problem into a nail.

The other thing worth thinking harder about seems to me to be the people coming here from Central America, and why

Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador...a lot of Central America is a mess, and a lot of the mess We the People helped make what between United Fruit and the USMC. Did you consider that some - maybe a lot - of the people fleeing these countries are the very people those countries need? The ones with the gumption to get off their butts and try for a better life that their home countries are too messed up for them to hope to change?

So that another way to deal with this might be to try and figure out ways that will make Salvadorans want to build a better life in ElSal and Mexicans in Mexico, no? Rather than Army-up the Border Patrol?

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 7:21:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

In fact, I wrote a big ol' post about this same issue WAY before economic insecurity got our orange leader elected - http://firedirectioncenter.blogspot.com/2010/04/hispanics-at-3-am.html - in which the crux of the biscuit was:

"The real issue - the one Which Dare Not Speak Its Name - is that the institutional poverty, misgovernance and social maladjustment of most Latin American countries is so profound and so destructive that to address it would take every penny that the U.S. has spent on poorly planned foreign adventures and more. Much more.

So instead we get this idiotic argument that all we need to do is fence these little heatherns out and everything wil be Good. God will once again be White and in His Heaven, the food will magically get harvested, processed, cooked and served by Real Amurikans (actual Citizens) who will suddenly, magically, want to work for the pittance we want to pay for these jobs to prevent our food, clothing and service costs from reflecting what it would cost to pay humans actually living wages to do these things.

As Hadrian himself might have said: Nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet.

It is your business when your neighbour's house is on fire."

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 12:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I agree with FDChief. In the past, Jim, you've written very strongly about how the military and the government are saying that terrorism should be treated as an act of war instead of as a crime. This seems similar.

There is no actual military threat to the U.S. southern border, so why invest an extra penny into a military response to such a phantom threat?

I'm especially a bit surprised at this idea that you would make experience on border patrol necessary for experience in the army. Aren't these two separate professions, really?

However you have a way of putting these things very clearly and in a lot less words than I always end up using, so perhaps you would be able to show me where I'm wrong in this. Maybe I'm just missing your point here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 2:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David, you are correct and my position has not changed.
i never said that there is a terror threat coming north,but we must control the border.
one point that got edited from my essay is that free trade(nafta)and closed borders are 2 diametrically opposed concepts.
free trade implies open borders.
all i can say is that TOO MANY CHEFS RUIN THE STEW.
i just can't work thru a filter that is trying to resolve my thoughts to accept what i do not accept.
i will more later, but my computer is making all my entries very small and hard to read.
sadly i'm very frustrated.
jim

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 12:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim

Well I've always figured NAFTA was about open borders for elites only, but yes there is a contradiction there.

It would be nice if people had a better sense of perspective here but instead the U.S. government gets unfairly attacked for the inevitable results of having a massive border with the Third World. Now that Syria and Africa are emptying out, Europe has suddenly realized that maybe it is really a hard thing to have to figure out after all.

By the way I had never realized before your stat about visa overstays versus border crossings. Assuming that's right it really reinforces that all this dicking around about sending the National Guard, building the wall, etc. is just political gimmicking. The biggest part of the problem DID go to the border crossings, and was LET through.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 1:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

NAFTA is a troublesome issue, but relates only tangentially to the Latin American diaspora (mostly through flooding Mexican markets with cheap U.S. agribusiness corn and making farming ruinous for Mexican small farmers)

NAFTA had no effect on capital mobility; that's conventional tax law, which the current GOP US trying to gimmick to make it easier for US corporations to transfer overseas profits back into the US.

Still...the real question is, why see the people as the problem? Why not, for example, look at meatpacking - which used to be a good union job in Northern cities - and through a mix of unionbusting companies and compliant union-hating politicians, has largely become a Southern business employing and exploiting non-citizen labor? Why is the problem the poor Honduran working in the chicken plant and not Tyson making millions off of that?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 7:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

FDChief,

It would be hypocrisy for me to be against immigration, since I am an immigrant. But it's not outlandish to say that a sovereign country should be able to decide who enters that country, subject to the law. That was my point there. For all the political wrestling this causes it is probably worth remembering that there is no country in a comparable situation, to my knowledge, and most of Western civilization turns out to be far worse than America when pushed. At least America doesn't send illegal immigrants to prison camps on remote islands yet, like Australia.

So both the illegal immigration and the corporate exploitation of it are the problem. I don't see why it's one or the other.

That said, I have limited sympathy for people who vote either for pro-globalization leaders or for wealthy elite leaders, and then turn around and complain about union-busting or the end of the blue collar middle class. Everybody hates globalization when their town's plant closes down, but none of them seem to mind so much when it means a chance to buy some cheap made-in-China goods at Walmart, or care too much about who butchered the meat they're buying, either. We are the authors of our own misfortune, I think.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 8:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

FDChief,


Jim did not cite an "enemy", nor did he propose a military approach.

(Per this:it's the very kind of thing we used to complain about at IntelDump; using force as the hammer and making every policy problem into a nail -- Jim never did participate @ IntelDump; I did.)

You are an intelligent man, and have been a friend.

We call people by their names and/or honorifics @ RAW. He is "President Trump", or "Mr. Trump".

I don't know how it is in your neck o' the woods, but here, two years on, "orange man" is growing a little long in the tooth. Speaking for myself, it feels painful to continue to deny realities.

Further, if one refuses to call someone or thing what "it is", one may not speak honestly about situations.

When the resistance ends, understanding may begin.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 12:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

In fairness, Lisa, it is difficult to read a proposal to militarize the border as anything other than "a military approach." Perhaps Jim's point was that a lot of this starts getting unrealistic awfully quickly. A "modest proposal," in other words. I do not know.

Drafting the citizenry to defend the border and turning the border patrol into a pipeline for careers in the military implies that there is some need to defend the border militarily. If there is no real or even potential enemy then surely this militarization is not necessary.

Right now the border patrol is a law enforcement agency. Blurring the lines between military and law enforcement is precisely what has been happening for years now, and I believe the inevitable end of that road is an authoritarian police state. Giving such expansive powers to the state usually ends up in them being turned against the people. Surely history has taught us that by now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 2:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


I'll let Jim answer.

It was my understanding, however, that he was suggesting a kind of a hybrid organization which could possibly serve as an entry-point to military service. Alternately, workers could remain non-military and remain in the patrol as a career.

But the border patrolling would remain law enforcement in nature.

Not a militarization of the border, but a re-configuration of what is already there. The goal would be to make it more effective by making it more collective in configuration and cooperative with the Mexican government.

This would be pitched to the citizens who are so hot-n-heavy for the border wall, i.e.: if you wanna beef up protection that badly, then throw your chips on the table.

Have your kids do a two-year mandatory public service stint, which may include border patrolling. (As in Americorps/VISTA or the military, one would have a menu of work assignments from which one may choose.)

But like I say, these are not my thoughts. [I'm just the little lady typist 'round these parts ;).]

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 9:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

If the point was that countries should have national service I agree completely. Everybody should, on completing their education, be required to do something for the country that just gave them that education, that will get them some experience actually doing something for the nation as opposed to for themselves. We need some way to get people thinking as citizens and not just as consumers. Apparently Facebook and Twitter aren't quite up to the job.

However, I can't escape the fact that Jim sounds like he's thinking through border security as a military problem. In fact it almost sounds like he wants the border patrol to think of itself as fighting a counterinsurgency on American soil. How long will it be before what is basically a new auxiliary military force operating on American soil finds some reason to target American citizens?

Indeed they will have to do from the outset given that some of that "local support" that needs to be choked off will be citizens. Then it will grow from there. Some bureaucrat will realize he could get a big budget increase by arguing that the new force is uniquely suited to monitoring pro-amnesty groups, etc., etc., etc.

All this in the absence of an actual organized enemy force, which is what I thought the point of a counterinsurgency was.

And also given what Jim says is a fact, namely that this still won't catch most of the illegal immigrants because most of them are entering the country legally.

No doubt that fact will be known to this new paramilitary version of the border patrol, too, and it will justify expanding their presence across the country. Just for surveillance and monitoring purposes at first, of course. Police states are always just doing surveillance and monitoring. Nothing to worry about here, citizen.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 12:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I should have added, though: If Jim's point is that if you're to build a wall to keep people out then it would probably be better to spend the money developing a more agile response force that won't involve machine-gunning would-be illegals from surveillance posts Berlin-style, then yes, I can see his point.

But then I've never been the one who needed convincing because I realized from the outset that the wall was goofy.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 12:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


Your last reply got to the heart of the matter. (No where does the post state or imply that the U.S. is fighting a counterinsurgency with Mexico. )

In fact, quite the opposite: it calls for strengthened co-policing efforts with MEX in order for the effort to become more successful.

You have stated the crux of the biscuit here:


"If the point was that countries should have national service I agree completely. Everybody should, on completing their education, be required to do something for the country that just gave them that education, that will get them some experience actually doing something for the nation as opposed to for themselves. We need some way to get people thinking as citizens and not just as consumers."


Precisely it.

I have written an unpublished piece re. my p.o.v. on this very issue. I come from the position that this could be the perfect time to enact such an initiative. We have employment problems and youth (societal) problems involving disconnection and lack of empathy (despite 24/7 connectivity).

We have an entrepreneurial president who could avail himself of the past advice from one of his party fellows -- John McCain -- on this very matter. IMHO, enacting such a program would be a true win-win, as they say.

When McCain proposed it, Democrats probably saw it as too fascist, I suppose (their new pet epithet). This despite its wonderful socialist-Marxist overtones ;). [All political systems have their nodal points, no?]

Since the common man wants "HOPE" and "CHANGE" (i.e., to "Make America Great Again"), what could be better than offering a true route to success on both the personal/humanistic level, as well as the employment side?

Any of the old-timers I've spoken with who participated in the WPA or CCC have only good to say of the experience.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 2:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Lisa, oh Lisa.

"A mobile border defense...Border Patrol service as a sort of quasi-military function...the Patrol would have to maintain its quasi-military shroud, as an outright militarization of the patrol would be seen as an act of war by Mexico...a depth of operations on their side to assist this proposed mobile defense...the shifting areas of main threat, as the success of mobile defenses is based on that knowledge...(s)trong point defenses" could be emplaced around major U.S. border cities, with "zones of security", and discrete mobile forces could be garrisoned there to neutralize local penetrations and to provide local area security."

Are you seriously insisting this is not "militarization"? I know jim is a GI, but so am I, and I don't talk about border control in these terms.

And as for understanding...there is "understanding" only where there is common ground.

What possible common ground can someone like me, who comes from working people, who has been a working man all my like, whose sympathies are all with these people trying to get better work and lives for themsevles, than I have the the sort of high-level con men running the current GOP, or the real-estate shyster in the Oval Office who uses hate for these poor people trying to make better lives to empower those very sorts of corporate sharks that are exploiting them, and me, and you?

This reflexive bashing of immigrants is nothing but a brutal application of power for the sake of it. There's a reason that "resistance" to brutal power is celebrated and "collaboration" is scorned.

And as far as the Fool on the Hill goes...well, respect is earned. It doesn't simply come with the position, or did I miss all the "respect" that ol' draft-dodging Bill Clinton got at this site? Or the tongue-bathing Dubya got?

And at least those guys didn't set up phony "universities" or lie as often as they breathed.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 5:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

David:

"But it's not outlandish to say that a sovereign country should be able to decide who enters that country, subject to the law."

No kidding? Here's from more than a year ago: http://firedirectioncenter.blogspot.com/2017/02/fuera-de-aca.html

"As a citizen, as someone who thinks about politics and governing...well, let's start with this; to be a stateless person, a non-citizen, in a foreign nation is not a good thing.

It's not good for the person, who has no civil rights, who is outside the protection of the civil law, and who is, therefore, hideously vulnerable to all sorts of malefactors.

And it's not good for the nation, that has this indigestible mass of non-citizens within it prey to crime and violence, exploited by employers and living in fear of taking part in the civil life of the community.

So. The bottom line really is; if you are a citizen of Mexico, or Ireland, or Bali...you belong in Mexico, Ireland, or Bali unless you are a legal resident or visitor of where-ever-it-is-you-are; in this case, the United States."


But...

"Here's the problems I DO have with this.

First, I can see a gajillion ways that this is going to be a fucking total shitshow. American citizens will be grabbed up and deported by mistake. Sweeps will result in a seething mob of people shoved into FEMA trailers without any sort of organization or preparation. Screening will be a disaster. The optics - "jackbooted ICE agents handcuff adorable tiny Latino kiddies" - will make the Land of the Free look like the Land of the Assholes. People will get stranded in Mexico City airport with nowhere to go and no hope of relief.

I can see about a dozen ways this will be a smoking crater - it's Trump, for one thing, who seems to have a gift for employing people who couldn't run a child's birthday party - that will make the Iraq War look like VE Day.

Second, I can also see how this could turn into something far nastier and far worse, along the lines of the Japanese internment of 1942. There's always been a hell of a strong strain of race hate and xenophobia in America (as there is in about...well, pretty much everywhere humans live...) that could take this from a calmly conducted law enforcement process into a screaming ratissage against every person or group of people that every whacko wingnut hates and freaks out over (Hello? Alex Jones? Hello?).

And, finally, I think that, even if this isn't a dumpster fire, that the results will be at best underwhelming. The promised Day of Alien-Free Jubilee will turn out to be a quiet monotone of unpicked crops, uncleaned hotel rooms, unwiped asses, and uncooked meals.

The result of all this huge slug of spending - surely paid for by a tax hike, right? - will be, outside of personal hardship for those involved, a vast expanse of...very little.
"

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 5:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

"We have an entrepreneurial president..."

Assumes facts not in evidence, Lisa. Your "entrepreneur" went bankrupt, repeatedly, including in the casino business, where people GIVE you MONEY.

No. We have a con-man president. His role, as you can tell if you've been paying attention, is 1) to make money on the grift, and 2) pump up his public image. Everything else he does is pure bog-standard GOPism; cut taxes for the rich, make life as unpleasant as possible for the poor - are there no prisons? are there no workhouses? - and starve the government beast everywhere except where it functions as a conduit for arms purchases.

So...sorry. The idea that the Trumpkins are suddenly going to open up a government program for national service would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. Mitch McConnell pimping a new CCC? Joni Ernst huckstering a modern WPA?

That'd be enough to make a cat laugh.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 5:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I think we need to carve out two discussions here. Objectively, the militarization of the border either is a good idea or isn't. Whether or not it is a good idea is unrelated to who may be in office. I am still waiting to be shown how turning the border patrol into a pipeline for the military and employing tactics like "strong point defenses" and "zones of security" is anything other than thinking through the border problem from a military perspective.

That said, the idea that today is a window of opportunity because the current president is "entrepreneurial" is laughable and the faith that intelligent friends put him in remains to me, as it did two years ago, one of the great mysteries of the modern age. You wanted a president who had little knowledge or interest in the legislative process and did not believe America's word was worth keeping, and you got him. Of course the predictable downside is that there is no chance of this administration leading a major policy reform of this kind or of persuading any foreign government to put a penny into anything of their own volition. Jim says this requires careful diplomatic work to get the Mexicans aligned. If so, then until 2021 at minimum, this is pure fantasy.

There. I hope I've managed to draw fire from both sides now.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 7:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dear Chief,


I appreciate your impassioned expression.

Given: Ranger is heavy-handed with the military-speak. (Oh, if you could only hear the average dialog on normal civvie topics. Entering convo only today was "harassment and interdiction", "OPCON" ... well, I can't possibly re-create the wonderfully surreal experience that is a "commo check" with him :).)

But only wishful thinking would impute to this administration alone "high-level con men". Should it have gone the other way, Mrs. Clinton would have served you her own ration of subterfuge.

Believing, as I do, that none are lily white, still, each is not all-debauched, either. 2016 was a momentous election, and the "basket of deplorables" spoke. Why beat one's head against the wall? It is done. DJT seems to be functioning efficiently.

The tragedy is that the news will not highlight things that matter, and things that go well. Being morose and despondent is a la mode today.

Confronted with this attitude, I am reminded of nothing so much as The Sorrows of Young Werther. (You may say I'm Pollyanna, but I'm simply non-aligned.)

I respectfully disagree here: "there is "understanding" only where there is common ground." We all (exempting sociopaths) share a common ground for a good life for us and ours. As you remember your working-class roots, surely you see from that cohort people who elected this president. So you are they, too, and they should not be disdained.

Do you presume to be so alienated from your fellows and a duly-elected president because of his wealth? The Clinton's were very wealthy indeed (some of which was probably ill-gotten from skullduggery as yet not fully investigated.)

A dark horse may have won an election (unheard of in modern times -- not allowed!), but he is not imprinted with the mark of the Beast. The earth has not shifted its polarity, and life goes on.

Of course the intrigue of investigations and purported or real wrong-doings keeps us riveted to the talking head's endless speculations, keeping the followers of such things endlessly agitated and on high-alert.

I don't see it that way; the sky will not fall.

Of concern to me are real problems, like water shortages and overpopulation, ad nauseum -- problems which far precede the advent of this administration. Denied a posture of curiosity and the possibility of finding common cause, discomfiture and perturbation rules the day for the "news" folks, and thus, their adherents.

Per, There's a reason that "resistance" to brutal power is celebrated and "collaboration" is scorned" -- this is an inflation and misrepresentation of our situation, and we are not on the eve of the French Revolution. Collaboration should never be scorned, for how else to achieve a rapport?

Since it seems I alone amongst my liberal fellows called the 2016 correctly, I have maintained a different posture vis-a-vis DJT. I find the brooding and melancholy quite, um, sad.

We got what we got. Now drive on.

Myself, I don't see where arguing for the "good folk" who want to attain a good life in the U.S. illegally is really a meritorious project. Not if you believe in the rule of law.

Though Emma Lazarus would give you some lovin' for it ;).

Ta-ra.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 9:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

"DJT seems to be functioning efficiently."

Out of curiosity, what would an inefficient president look like?

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 10:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I prefer to stay on the positive, since inefficiency is not what we're after. I think we can agree that every office has had its share of the latter.

So "efficiency" would look like this, sans all the press flak. But that is the new normal, and Mr. Clinton's transgression in office gave us the harbinger of things to come.

Now we're all so high-falutin' behind, um, the little ladies who sell their favors to powerful men, and this becomes a route to tear a man down. Unless he does the deed in Nevada, I guess, where it is legal to indulge in such unspeakables. (Hypocrisy much?)

And the logical endpoint is, we would deny working women their props.

We've become so parochial in one way (which has always been the undertow in America), and yet so salacious in our exploitation of the supposed horrors. I'm sure the accusers feel virtuous; perhaps, it's just good ole schadenfreude.

It seems we are a very silly people.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 10:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

I am against enforced servitude of all kinds.
Thus I am against compulsory national service of all kinds.

As far as the border is concerned, Canada is in a very privileged geographical place.
Especially with the prospects of climate change. I am very pleased with my choice of parents.

Given the inevitable climate disruption ahead, it does seem stupid and counterproductive to adopt policies that stoke the furnaces of human misery. Even if it does come at the cost of reducing the further enrichment of the already rich.

Those that sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 11:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ael,


Thank you for injecting a bit of levity. I guess jury service is out, too.

I knew, like any good liberal, you would see a two-year national service as indentured servitude. (Despite the fact that it would model the requirements of so many other democratic-type nations, and would appeal to many Democratic socialists.)

As you would crusade for absolute human freedom, and we would be talking about service from, say, 16-21 year olds, I presume you would exempt them, too, from the oft torturous and certainly odious servitude of sitting in the modern schoolhouse, i.e., prison, for 12 years of their lives?

Maybe there would be provisions for human choice, but only following a preparatory six years? Five?

Your penultimate paragraph enjoys a wonderful non-sequitur, but it is late at night, and the time for such mischief.

Stoking furnaces of human misery. Are you talking of the violence and bog corruption of the Mexican government? If so, then, yes, what I see in the news suggests that Mexico is not after the self-actualization of its citizens, and quite happy with their misery.

But sadly, this could be said of a panoply of nations. So remind me: what are you saying here?

Are you saying that "adopt(ing) policies that stoke the furnaces of human misery" include following immigration laws that are already on the books in the U.S.?

If so, that's quite grandiloquent, don't you think? Of course, maybe that's how the average Canuck thinks.

I don't think my dad thought that way, as it took his Canadian brother about 20 years to get into the U.S., despite being a chartered public accountant and owning his own business which hired others.

Ael, if you were a judge, you would be one of those dern "crusading types" which doesn't sit too well with most Americans.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 4:17:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having actually lived and worked (for Uncle Sugar - as a BLM ranger - not BP, but plenty of coordination with BP) on the border, the idea that everyone crossing illegally is just some poor down-trodden multi-generational victim of the Banana Wars strikes me as the very worst of mush brained leftist philosophy.

Venezuela has certainly managed to screw itself recently with its home grown leftist ideology. Seems to me like that + rampant corruption, more than anything, is the root cause of Hispanic woes down through the years.

There are sections of the US side of the border - I know well b/c I worked them - that are off limits to civilians. Let that sink in. Large swaths of your federal lands are deemed too dangerous due to foreign national activity, for you to enter. Official signs are posted stating that and you will be detained if you ignore the signs, for your own good. Because those sectors are so damn dangerous. The Mexican cartels commit crimes that would make an ardent ISIS member cringe. All kinds of drug mules and assorted other criminals roam relatively freely back and forth across the AZ and TX border. Yours truly almost had his head blown off when a couple of the liberals' "victim" pets du jour thought it would be more convenient to kill rather than have a smuggling op interrupted.

Also, foreign nationals from far away as Pakistan and Bangladesh are routinely apprehended by border patrol. We MUST know who's entering the country. Ostensibly, on a visa overstay, we at least have some idea. With an illegal border crossing, we do not.

44% of Californians don't speak English in their homes. The state is going broke, in part, paying for the benefits for these new arrivals. These are not the Italians, Irish, etc of old who either worked hard and made it or failed and went home. These are people that settle in, have a few kids and can live off the public dole for the rest of their lives, even if they turn to crime.

All that said, I agree with RAW's assessment and proposed tactics. Mostly.

I have seen, with my own eyes, gapping holes in the worn out border fence near official crossings that foreign nationals use like hiways. That's because the gaps are near urban centers and/or North bound roads. In these sectors a wall is definitely need. In the more vast expanses of desert, a defense in depth is called for, per Jim's vision. "The Wall" was always more metaphoric than literal. It will be a virtual wall consisting of various methodologies. Trump supporters are fine with that. It is only the smug liberal parody of Trumpers that have them so stupid that actually understand that a contiguous physical wall would be built from sea to shining sea.

avedis

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:12:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now for the tactics.....construct walls along sections of the border that contain obvious (and well know) points of infiltration. So near urban centers (e.g. Nogales, Ajo, Laredo, etc, etc), North bound hiways, relatively short hikes through the desert to East/West hiways.

Also, construct walls such that infiltrators are funneled into "collection zones" (equivalent of kill zones).The terrain and climate is harsh. There are large expanses of territory that Lawrence of Arabia couldn't cross. This limits obvious alternative routes once the aforementioned have been blocked. Here drones, manned aerial patrols, mounted patrols, manned outposts, satellite imaging, and other high tech monitoring, backed by quick reaction forces, would be sufficient to eliminate infiltration 99.99%.

Deploy Border Patrol and National Guard units. This would be an excellent opportunity for the NG units to train on everything from basic patrolling to civil affairs, to use of high tech monitoring systems. Bingo. Done. This is not complicated.

I am also for punitive raids into Mexico (a la black Jack) to control cartel activity. No ROEs. Search and destroy. More good training for NG units.

avedis

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 9:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

"So "efficiency" would look like this, sans all the press flak."

Your president is under investigation because his campaign was colluding with foreign powers, and you're upset about "press flak"?

You know, it's funny. In the rest of Western civilization, people say America is an excessively nationalistic country, which I always found a bit of a silly thing to say.

Yet in any other country, a president this tainted by foreign collusion in his election would have been run out of town on a rail by now.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Ael,

On the border,

I think being on our side of it inevitably gives Canadians a bit of a different view of things, but rather than blame the U.S. for being uniquely racist it is probably better to look at Western civilization as a whole. For instance, illegal immigration spiked in Australia in recent years, and they've resorted to what are, in effect, offshore concentration camps. Illegal immigration obviously spiked in southeast Europe in the last few years resulting in countries that are one bad election from going fascist.

Half of Africa is probably going to empty out through the Mediterranean over the next century, and there isn't any credible plan to fix that problem.

So I don't think what's happening in the U.S. is weird. If anything the U.S. has been more restrained than other Western countries that find themselves sharing large, undefended borders with the Third World. I think if you could geographically find a way to prod Canadians the same way, you'd get exactly the same response as in every other Western country in recent years.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:39:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
"I think being on our side of it inevitably gives Canadians a bit of a different view of things, but rather than blame the U.S. for being uniquely racist it is probably better to look at Western civilization as a whole."

You gotta be kidding. Try illegally entering China, or India or any number of African countries. You won't find "sanctuary". Rather, horrible things will happen to you.

What is with this self-hatred and love of the backward third world that so inflicts liberals?

avedis

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I'm not sure what the hell you are talking about there.

My point is, the U.S. behaves in pretty much the way I would expect any Western country in its situation.

I have no desire to enter China, or India, or Africa, because those are shithole countries.

Or at least they used to be. Apparently that's a bad word now.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 12:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
I thought you were saying that the western countries enforce borders because they are racist. I merely countered that racism has nothing to do with it or that, if you want that it does, everyone in the world is racist because they all enforce borders, especially shit hole countries populated by non-Caucasians.

Mexico in no way reciprocates the kindness we show to its citizens who are in the US illegally. I do not comprehend all the moralizing and virtue posturing on this topic. It is self-loathing and self-flagellation by short sighted airheaded westerners, as far as I can see.

For crissakes, as an American, if I illegally crossed the border into Canada, I'd be in trouble. The entire convo is stupid, IMO. No borders = no country - and John Lennon - Mr. Imagine - was an alcoholic, fur wearing, wife beating, gazillionaire elitist. I could give two flying fucks of a fat rat's ass what his stupid diddy has to say about a godless, bordless, possession free world. If you form your ideas about life based on such addled expressions, then you're not worth taking seriously (not you, David. The generic you)

avedis

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 1:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,


Thank you for your reasoned and cogent extension of the thinking. You have made a valuable contribution.

Yes, it is a pity that any administration initiative today is taken to its uttermost extreme visualization, in this case with the sea-to-sea imagery. Moderation and consideration is not allowed.

I know many previously sensible and intelligent people so incensed (still!) that their paradigm of DJT will allow for nothing less than the cartoonish and the (hoped-for) failure. Alas.

2016: the year they drove rationality down. Even the once-rational now go apoplectic upon hearing the man's name or seeing his face. I believe the press has effectively re-wired behavior on a neuronal level. (This is an amazing achievement in itself, and worthy of study, IMHO.)

Myself, I have witnessed actual writhing and psychological covering and blocking positions should I say one NON-hateful thing about the man. I find this loss of sobriety over a fait accompli both shocking and terribly sad.

I believe they call this self-defeating behavior, cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

But hey, they'll work real hard to make sure all the poor suckers in the world not actually legally entitled to be here can come on in.

Not sure how that helps their quality of life, but all of a sudden it seems the perennially protesting (Against what? Reality?) cohort wishes they were volunteering on a deployed Doctors Without Borders team.

Oh, without actually doing it, of course. All the feel good bennies, none of the personal resource depletion. Just a hearty "No!" every time they see/think of/hear about the president.

Kinda seems like a collective madness to me ... a kind of St. Vitus's Dance, of sorts.

They sure do seem to enjoy their little do-si-do tho', don't they?

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 2:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

No, you've got me right now, I think. It's weird how my comments seem to trigger both the strong-border people and the weak-border people.

I don't compare the U.S. to Third World countries because as far as I am concerned there isn't any country outside Western civilization that is worth comparing any Western democracy to. China doesn't even take refugees from North Korea.

But Australia puts their refugees in concentration camps on remote islands. America doesn't. Europe panics and starts bribing North African gangs to kidnap migrants before they can reach the Med.

I just meant to say that nothing the U.S. is doing stands out as uniquely evil. Kind of telling of how partisan the climate is now that I can say that and have it be controversial.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 2:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

P.S. --

In agreement, I, too, "do not comprehend all the moralizing and virtue posturing on this topic. It is self-loathing and self-flagellation by short sighted airheaded westerners, as far as I can see."

We have been taught that we are very, very bad, so this must feel like a great mass penance. A wonderful catharsis, I s'pose. (Do the folks who so inveigh then have to go to confessional?)

And I LOVE thinking about the notional, "generic" David :). Because to us, David, you're all good, and we hope, not lost post-2016.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 2:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa,

Your insistence that there must be some mental illness among those who fail to appreciate the genius of the leader is common to personality cults.

Interestingly I hear from my liberal friends that Trump supporters are mentally ill, too.

Clearly at best one side is right. It seems to me it's more likely that all are being riled up and played for chumps by the same people in the middle though. It's a New York billionaire versus a New York multimillionaire and somehow people have convinced themselves that only the OTHER side is being played by wealthy elites.

The one thing it does show is that Western civilization is unstable to the point that when the ruling class wants to whip an electoral bloc into shape it has to play increasingly to the hysterical to do it. I guess that's the best way to show up in a Facebook newsfeed.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 2:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa,

We're kind of leapfrogging each other here.

In reference to the post-2016 thing, no, I wouldn't say I'm lost. My feelings remain the same as they did this time last year, and then the year before that. I believe that the current president is unfit, that the alternative would likely have been unfit in different ways, and that in general countries around Western civilization are locked in permanent decline towards authoritarianism while elite political factions try desperately not to actually right the ship, but just to stay on the posh upper decks of it.

So far nothing has caused me to change my opinions. Oh look, another military strike in the Middle East just happened.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 3:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now we have illegals carry assault rifles.

http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2018/04/18/illegal-aliens-caught-near-border-assault-style-firearms-says-border-patrol/

Liberal heads explode in a violent spasm of cognitive dissonance?

avedis

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 3:30:00 PM GMT-5  

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