There’s nothing quite like watching your American tax dollars go draining down the pork trough. You can smell the mess that is the 700 Mile fence — hoped to be built in the name of Homeland Security to keep out all those nasty foreigners traveling by land and never by sea — straight up to here in New Jersey.
When does a fence become a wall?
Is “The Wall” too negative a concept for public consumption?
Does “The Wall” imply a repressive, punishing,
system of government like “The Great Wall” of China and “The Berlin
Wall” in Germany and Pink Floyd’s anarchist album, “The Wall?”
Does a “fence” mend us into nicer neighbors? Does “The Friendly
Southern Fence” feel more palatable to democratic wagging tongues than
“The Mexican Wall?”
Is a wall thicker than a fence?
Is a fence ever taller than a wall?
Isn’t a wall more secure than a fence?
Why don’t we just start calling it, “The 700 Mile White Picket Fence”
to better protect our notion of The American Dream and to confirm what
great neighbors we are and how we pretend to offer to protect the
huddled masses yearning to breathe free while beating them back with
“Keep Off The Grass” signs?
On September 29, 2006, CBS News reported:
(AP) Republicans will go into the elections with a message
that they’ve made great strides fighting illegal immigration, including
authorizing a fence along one-third of the U.S.-Mexico border and
making a $1.2 billion down payment on it.
Among its final tasks before leaving to campaign, the Senate on Friday
night passed and sent to President Bush a bill authorizing 700 new
miles of fencing on the southern border. No one knows how much it will
cost, but a separate bill also on the way to the White House makes a
$1.2 billion down payment on it. A 14-mile segment of fence under
construction in San Diego is costing $126.5 million.
A week later, the San Francisco Chronicle claimed the fence will never be built:
(10-06) 04:00 PDT Washington — No sooner did Congress
authorize construction of a 700-mile fence on the U.S.-Mexican border
last week than lawmakers rushed to approve separate legislation that
ensures it will never be built, at least not as advertised, according
to Republican lawmakers and immigration experts.
GOP leaders have singled out the fence as one of the primary
accomplishments of the recently completed session. Many lawmakers plan
to highlight their $1.2 billion down payment on its construction as
they campaign in the weeks before the midterm elections.
But shortly before recessing late Friday, the House and Senate gave the
Bush administration leeway to distribute the money to a combination of
projects — not just the physical barrier along the southern border.
The funds also may be spent on roads, technology and “tactical
infrastructure” to support the Homeland Security Department’s preferred
option of a “virtual fence.”
“Virtual fences” are really good at protecting us from “pretend
enemies” and “perceived threats” and missing “weapons of mass
A day later the Union-Tribune said the fence WOULD be built:
OTAY MESA – On a windy bluff overlooking Tijuana, Rep.
Duncan Hunter yesterday rejected suggestions that high-tech security
measures might replace some segments of a 700-mile border fence project
newly enacted by Congress.
“The fence will be built,” the Alpine Republican told reporters at a
border news conference. “This is not a recommendation. It’s a mandate
Hunter was a co-sponsor of the so-called Secure Fence Act, which the
House and Senate passed last week and President Bush signed Wednesday.
The legislation requires double-layered fencing, similar to that
erected in the late 1990s along San Diego County’s border with Tijuana,
to be installed along huge swaths of California, Arizona, New Mexico
Why aren’t we creating a “Northern Wall” to protect us from all those
self-righteous Canadians with their “Aye”s and “Don’cha Knows?” and
their superior beers and more skillful hockey teams?
There’s no greater threat to democracy and Americanism than neighbors
who don’t brag about their better life across “The Great Frozen Wall of
the Great White North” — unless, that is, you start to count the cold
shoulder from the rest of the world that cannot be shrugged off by the
most duplicitous act in the history of Homeland Security.