Monthly Archives: January 2019

Negotiating With Terrorists

Should we negotiate with terrorists? I mean, if a Mooslim takes a hostage and then makes an demand, should we agree to those demands? Is that smart? Or does that just encourage other bad actors to take more hostages?

Which brings me to my friend Dward Farqward, who was holed up in the Third National Bank here in Monkey Valley, Arkansas. Now, since I knew Dward from our mutual work on the “Bullets for Bunnies” program , he agreed to let me into the bank to talk.

Me: Hey, Dward. I am here with the police and SWAT team  and they want you to send out your hostages and surrender.

Dward: Well, I can deal. Here’s my conditions. I get to keep all the money from I stole from the bank, am guaranteed a private plane to the Seeshell Islands and a Cleveland Browns authentic  football signed by Lou Gehrig.

Me: Well, Dward. I don’t think they will agree with all that. Maybe I can get them to lessen some charges.

Dward: Nope. My way or I will shut this bank down for as long as it takes. I feel bad for the hostages and the folks can’t access their money. But it is not MY fault. I am willing to negotiate.

Me: Well, Dward, the thing is. You created this mess by robbing the bank in the first place.

Dward: I needed money. What was I supposed to do?

Me: Did you ask for a loan? Talk with the bank about a line of credit?

Dward: WHAT? That would have been a sign of weakness! What if they would not give me EVERYTHING I wanted? It would have been humiliating. Besides. I had a gun. So, I have my rights. 2nd Amendment.

Me: But Dward. You are hurting so many people. And there really is no way out for you. Eventually you will have to give yourself up.

Dward: Not a chance. I have 20 hostages. Let em starve. Then the police will come crawling on their knees. This is not my fault. If the SWAT team had stayed out of this I could have been on my way by now. Don’t try to put this on me.

Me: But Dward, you are the one with the gun. You are the one with the unreasonable demands.

Dward: No. This is what the American people want. They want me to keep these hostages. They want me to take the money. They want me to demand a plane to the Seashells. Not my fault. Not my fault.

Me: Well, Dward, this is not going to end well. Either hostages will die or you will. You cannot just take the law in your hands.

Dward: As long as I have the hostages, I AM the law. Those are my demands. Take em or watch the blood flow.

Update.

After all the hostages were executed by Dward he gave himself up. His attorney, Rudy Giuliani ,  is pleading “insanity”. Not for Dward. For himself.

Dward is happy. He made his point. And 34% of Americans have donated to a  GoFundMe Account named: Dollars For Dward, Our Homegrown Terrorist.

 

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Filed under Conservatives, Immigration, Politics, POTUS, Society, Terror, Trump, United States

Don’t Blame Trump

Polls show that most Americans blame Trump for the current shutdown. I don’t.

I taught Participation-in-Government classes for high school seniors for about 25 years. So, while I am not an expert I probably know more than most people about  the US Constitution. Which is why I do not blame Trump for the current shutdown.

The president does not make the laws. Maybe a lot of people think the president makes the laws, he doesn’t. He executes the laws passed by Congress. He may decide to prioritize some laws over others, which makes sense and is his right. But he cannot overturn a law or create a law.

That is the job of Congress. The powers of Congress are contained in Article 1 for a reason. The founding fathers put the representatives of the people first. Article 1. Only the Congress can make laws. And all laws requiring appropriation of tax dollars must originate in the House of Representatives. That is the constitution. Clear. Precise. Congress makes the laws.

Now, Mr Trump cannot sign a law unless Congress first passes it. For example, he recently signed a law which will give back pay to the 800,000 federal employees laid off through no fault of their own. Which is curious. That means when this debacle ends, all the workers will get paid. Even though they did no work. Both Congress and the POTUS agree that this is the thing to do.

The House of Representatives have passed a number of bills, 6 I think, to fund all of the government. None of those bills includes funding for a long, 2,000 mile wall. These bills were then sent to the Senate to act on.

So, the ball is in the Senate’s court. Even though the Senate passed the very same bills just last month, the Senate now refuses to even vote on these bills. But wait. Why are they refusing to vote on bills they just passed?

Because of one man. Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell is the virtual dictator of the Senate just as Nancy Pelosi is virtual dictator of the House. Whether you like that system or not, that is what it is.

If Mitch McConnell allowed a vote he knows that the bills passed by the House would easily pass. Then those bills would be sent to the president. The president can then decide to sign or veto any or all of them.  But, as of today, Trump is irrelevant.

Obviously the POTUS has some say in what the laws will be. He should. But ultimately it is not Mr Trump’s decision to pass any bill. He cannot sign something that has not been sent to him.

So, don’t blame Trump.

Blame Mitch McConnell. He has decided that he will not even allow a vote to open the government. He has said he will not allow any bill unless Trump gives him permission. Think about that for a moment. The leader of the Senate will only pass bills that the POTUS wants. Period.

That means that the president now controls not only the executive branch, but the legislative branch as well. Exactly the OPPOSITE of what the Constitution demands. A separation of powers.

The proper process is to pass the bills, send them to the POTUS and let the POTUS respond. Mitch McConnell has given all that power , which is supposed to be in the legislative branch, to the executive branch. One wonders why?

So don’t blame Trump for the shutdown. He has nothing on his desk to sign or veto. For some reason Mitch McConnell has decided it is not the job the the legislative branch to legislate.

Don’t blame Trump. Blame Mitch.

 

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Brexit and the Wall

Today the British Parliament will vote on the Brexit plan put forth by Prime Minister May. I don’t know how the vote will turn out.  The fact that they are even bothering with that nonsense shows how easy it is to manipulate voters using racism and BS.

Similar to Trump’s “Wall” idea,  Brexit is just that, an “idea”.

A word.

A concept.

A vague feeling in the gut.

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
(MacBeth, Act 5, Scene 5)
The wall and Brexit are tales told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

There never was a plan for Brexit. Just a Putin-backed, Trump supported PR campaign to spread the illusion.The illusion that Britain is being overrun by immigrants from the Middle East. Overrun because of its connections with the EU. The darkies are coming, the darkies are coming !

So, 52% of the British people (mainly in the rural areas) voted to leave the EU. Without any actual debate as to what that divorce would look like. No one knew what the vote actually meant. The Putin-backed campaign to rip the UK from the European Union was based on the simplest propaganda techniques. Say it over and over and over. Keep it vague. Play on fear. Fear of the “other”. The oldest trick in the book. And it stays in the book because it works. A good trick. Play on fear. It works.

So, now the UK is faced with an economic and political catastrophe of its own making. Putin set out the worm of xenophobia. The fearful bit. Took it in . Hook, line and sinker. As they reel in the big one they discover it is not a trout. It is not a pike. It is not a perch or blue gill. It’s an old musty, Russian shoe.

Trump’s wall is the same. First, recall that the “wall” was a mainstay of the Trump-Putin campaign. Go for the fear. Go for the hate. But in the case of the wall, the American people REJECTED the idea. They saw through the BS. Perhaps they understood the geography of the Mexican border. Perhaps they just saw through all the Trump BS.

But, because of our rural-oriented Electoral College, Trump was elected anyway. Even though the majority of the American people had the sense to reject his ideas. So, we have the idea of a “wall”.

No plans. No public hearings. No specifics. One day it is concrete, the next day it is steel slats. One day it costs $ 5.7 billion, but that is only for the start. Eventually it may cost over $30 billion. For what? No one can tell us what it will look like. How it will cross the Rio Grande River in the places where the Rio Grande winds into and out of Mexico. How it will be built across one of the highest mountain ranges in the American. How deep it will have to be built to anchor it in the deserts. How much land will have to be taken from ranchers and farmers, and, of course, from Native Americans.

In other words, it is an “idea” without a specific plan.

But that matters not. Like Brexit, the “wall” is a symbol more than anything else.

A symbol of isolationism. Fear. Hatred of the “other”. A symbol of “Trumpism”.  A solution to a problem that does not exist.

Brexit and the Wall. Two tales told by idiots. Full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.

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Let’s Hear It For the Wall

What is wrong with a wall? A fence? A barrier? Nothing.

As Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats have voted for in the past. All of them have voted for partial fences or barriers as part of an overall strategy to control illegal immigration. They cannot deny it. And so did the Republicans. They also voted for comprehensive border control. The Democratic House just passed a bill  that the GOP Senate passed last month. Mr Trump will not sign it. Keeping the government open and border security in place. So, why the controversy over a 2,000 mile wall all the way across the US -Mexico border?

I have a number of barriers on my property. To keep animals in. To keep animals out.

I have a chain link fence across part of my backyard to keep my dogs from running off. They can see through the fence and get chuffed when the squirrels run up the trees. And go absolutely bananas when a few deer lope through the woods. They want to run. They want chase. The fence keeps them in. It works. It performs as expected.

My wife has a field where, in the summer, she keeps her horse. We have an electrified fence around the field. It is just a few wires attached to a low voltage box. When you touch it it creates a small jolt. Enough to teach a horse not to break through. Of course, it doesn’t stop the deer from leaping over it. Or a cat or dog or fox from sneaking under it. It is designed to keep horses in and works quite well. It performs as expected.

Every other year we raise chickens. As meat birds. We have a chicken wire fence around the chicken area. So they can wander around and get some “free range” exercise in their short time on Earth. Initially I put up a fence that had wire squares, too small for chickens to get through. One year we had an extremely small chicken that would run THROUGH the fence and back in again. So, I had to adjust the fence and add chicken wire all around. Problem solved. The chicken fence works well. It performs as expected.

I built that chicken coop for our chickens. Because at night the raccoons come out. And fat juicy chickens are high on the raccoon and fox menu. One of my farmer neighbors lost about a dozen chickens to a weasel one year. Others have lost chickens to foxes. I have never lost a chicken. My coop, which keeps the furry foodstuffs in safely at night is impregnable. The Fort Knox of chicken coops. It performs the expected.

There is about an acre of my property where I don’t have a wall or fence. The part that is a lowland. A swamp. A wetland. It extends from the road to the woods. Even if my dogs escaped they could not run away through it.  The deer avoid it. I cannot walk through it without getting sucked into a squishy marsh. So, it remains an untouched little part of the ecosystem. Putting a fence or a wall around this would be a massive waste of money. I don’t have money to throw away on walls that don’t work. The wetland performs as expected.

Back to the border wall.

Nine members of the US House of Representatives represent districts that border  Mexico. Every one of them opposes a long wall. Not because they want “open borders” but because a long wall , in and of itself, is not the appropriate solution to the problem. All want walls where they work. Near towns and cites. In fact, there are already walls, (voted for by the Dems and GOP) , because they are appropriate. But not across the entire border.

These nine members, who know more than anyone else the problems of illegal immigration, do not want to waste money. They want drones. They want more border security personnel. They want rapid response teams. They want border control that works.

So, do we need a “Wall” across the entire border? Is it even possible to build? What would it cost? More important. Is it the best, smartest way to spend our tax dollars? And why do we shut down the the government over a dispute over a wall?

We need to open up the government. Then we need hearings. Yes, hearings. We have NEVER had any public hearings on the best way to control the border. Let us see the actual wall, where it will go and what it will cost. If a wall or steel barrier is the best way to secure the border, then let us have a public discussion. With experts to testify as to the cost and feasibility.

Perhaps the GOP can make a solid case that the best way to spend tax dollars effectively to control the border is a wall. At this point there is NO SPECIFIC plan for what a wall would look like or cost. Perhaps the Democrats can make the case that the best way is a combination of a wall, where appropriate, and more modern techniques where those work better. At this point they have NO PLAN for border security.

So, let’s have hearings and see what is really going on. If this is so important to Mr Trump should he not welcome the chance to show how and why the 2,000 mile wall will work and what it will cost? With facts? With data? With evidence? With a cost analysis? Shouldn’t those who want other types of border security be allowed to make their case?

So. Open the government. Congressional hearings on border security. Let’s “hear it” for the wall.

From Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;.....

.....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....

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/mending-wall

 

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No Left Turn

At  President Trump’s long speech/ press conference regarding the negotiations over a border wall he made a number of points worth considering.

For example, he pointed out that he may no longer want a concrete wall, despite his recent claims that he wanted a concrete wall. Then he said he wanted a concrete wall. Then he said he wanted a steel wall if that is what the Dems want. Or maybe steel slats you can see through. A negligee wall. A flimsy, provocative steel wall.

He demonstrated his expert knowledge of building materials by explaining that steel is stronger than concrete. That is something we had not considered before. It may be a good idea for the rest of the nation to start using steel instead of concrete. For bridges, railroad tracks, even automobiles and trucks. It would last longer and be stronger. Score one for Mr. Trump.

Another thing he mentioned was that today many Mexicans just drive to the fence or wall and keep driving. Then , they turn left and BINGO!. They are in the USA! Yes, he did. He said that they “turn left” at the end of the wall and just drive into the US! This is outrageous! So, how can we stop them?

My idea. Put a guard at the end of the fence !!! Also, put up a “No Left Turn” sign, maybe even with a traffic light. That would be pretty cheap. Or one of those European socialist traffic circles. The poor fools would never figure out how to get out of one of those. Of course, you would need a big , beautiful sign  in English and in Spanish and (because we have THOUSANDS of Muslim terrorists entering every year) also in Arabic.  Now, when the illegals drive to the end of the fence and try to turn left. GOTCHA ! NAILED ! Sorry, amigo, no entry today.

Mr Trump also pointed out that the Democrats want OPEN BORDERS! Yikes ! They do not want a wall or a fence or even any border security. Yikes! He also pointed out that Chuck and Nancy and the guy from Kenya had, in the past, voted FOR fencing. To the tune of billions of dollars! Now, they don’t want to buy a wall just because Trump wants it. It is ALL ABOUT DONALD. He explained quite eloquently that they want open borders so in the past they have voted for border security…Let me try that again. The Dems want open borders so they have supported billions of dollars for border security.  Just shows how sneaky they are .

Now, the Dems want to open the government until September and appropriate money for Homeland Security and Border Control until February. So they can continue to negotiate on border security issues. But Donald will have none of it. It is too important. It is a national emergency ! Which is why he does not want a bill to fund border security. Because border security is an emergency…So, because it is an emergency he does not want it funded…So…I am lost…

Finally Mr Trump made it clear that while he will not budge on a “big, beautiful, concrete wall” it is ok to call it something else. Maybe a “steel slat”. Or a “fence”. Or, if you want, a “wall”.  But it must be a wall, because modern technology, like sensors and drones,  does not work. As he said, he knows more about technology than anyone. So, there!

And it is also clear that Mexico is paying for the wall, as he promised they would. But, even though Mexico is paying for the wall he still demands that US taxpayers… uh… pay… uh… for the wall. Mexico claims they are NOT paying for the wall. Why would we need US tax dollars to pay for a wall that Mexico is paying for? But Mexico is wrong. Mexico IS paying for the wall. Which is why we need US tax dollars to pay for the wall that Mexico is paying for. Simple. Get it?

So, it all makes sense. Shut down the government to protect the American people. Refuse to fund Homeland Security to keep America Secure. Steel is stronger than concrete. Spend billions of US tax dollars on a wall that Mexico is paying for. Lock Her Up.

And when you come to the end of the wall, turn left. I do.

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Humpty Trumpty

Humpty Trumpty demanded a wall

Made out of concrete

Thirty feet tall.

Humpty Trumpty shut government down

Stomping his feet

Punching the ground.

Humpty Trumpty called in the Dems

Chuckie just sat there

Nancy wouldn’t bend.

So Humpty Trumpty tweeted and moaned

The wall must go up

A no immigrant zone.

Humpty Trumpty begged and he pleaded

But Chuck and Nancy

Would not be defeated.

Humpty Trumpty then asked around

For a  ditch or a fence

Anything above ground.

Humpty Trumpty pretended to win

I got my wall

He tweeted with a grin.

But all Humpty got was some egg on his face

While Pelosi and Schumer

Put him in his place.

Humpty Trumpty sat on his wall to the sky

Then Humpty fell off, but he didn’t die

You see Humpty Trumpty’s wall was a lie

The Great Wall of Mexico…

Just 3 inches high.

 

 

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