27 October 2011

New York City and Washington DC

I Don't Care What They Do

Do these people understand anything about the other 200 million people (counting unlawful immigrants) that don’t live in the metropolitan Northeast or a large coastal city? 

I doubt it.  Nothing that happens there is important to rest of us.  It’s not our financial center.  It’s not the cultural or social center of anything that matters, even occasionally, to most of us.

Nor, should we let Northeast Media personalities (TV, Newspaper, magazine and Internet) tell us what to believe, feel, think or do, and for whom we should vote or why.  

I don’t think so and here’s why.  They are not the reason for anything important to our inland citizens.  Those people have almost nothing in common with the rest of American’s residents.  Most of us don’t share their dreams or hold their same values, or live their kinds of lives, or care what celebrities think or do, don’t find anything remotely interesting or amusing about New York City, or think everything worth seeing is within walking distance of our flat, whatever that is.

For instance, personal vehicular travel in the inland west; some county seats are more than 150 miles from our homes.  Some families live 50 miles from the closest paved road.  Many technicians must drive hundreds of miles each day to get to work sites.  Most have never been to New York City and have no reason to ever go, and never will; and have no interest in Washington DC aside from visiting monuments and museums.  And don’t care what New Yorkers think, do or want.  Many wouldn’t go to a Broadway Play if they were there and it was free.  About half have never been on mass transit.  Most will live their entire life having never taken a train to and from work, and wouldn’t give up their truck, car, motorcycle, boat, plane, bicycle, or horse even if there was a subway station within hundreds of miles.  

In my case we live in the middle of a desert, so everything must be brought or collected from great distances; food, clothing, medicine, all consumer products by truck, car, train, or plane.  The closest mass transit station is 105 miles away, the closest airport 90 miles away, and our county seat is 94 miles away.  My county is roughly the size of the whole State of Delaware.  It is 150 miles to Las Vegas or Los Angeles.  Every commodity requires fueled delivery, even our gasoline and diesel fuel are mostly delivered by trucks.  There is no subway station, no mass transit, no park and ride; personal transportation, our own trucks and cars are essential.  Annual driving of more than 24,000 miles is required for the most conservative life styles.  Shopping for goods, tools or appliances, or medical care can easily involve a 300 mile round trip.  A special lunch date or a movie, can easily reach 200 miles, or 500 miles on a weekend for entertainment, amusement or sporting events.   

In my little town, homeless people and transients don’t urinate and defecate in our doorways.  Whores don’t work our street corners.  Big time drug dealers and violent street crime are rare.  Bribery, corruption and extortion rarely occur.  Crimes occur, but police brutality hasn’t been alleged in decades.  Two homicides in the same year, it must certainly have been transients.  We straddle what must be the nation’s busiest Interstate highway with more than 55 million vehicles per year and most of our crime comes to us on their way elsewhere.

Abundant, low priced fuel is essential.  Start drilling and pumping our nations abundant fuels, and stop taxing the life blood out of our inland towns and rural citizens.

And someday, when there is an efficient, practical alternative to the current fossil fuels, we’ll buy it, without subsidy, tax or tariff.

In the mean time, stop acting like everyone in the country lives and thinks like New York social celebrities and a few thousand of their closest friends, or would ever want to.   

19 October 2011

Border Fence

In the middle of the Rio Grande

I favor much more secure borders surrounding our country. 

I like the idea of constructing more physical barriers that do their intended jobs when the authorities are not present. 

Building great walls (fences) physical and technological, I think is a worthy idea and a great public works project and a massive employment program.

Placing more trained and equipped enforcement personnel in strategic locations of likely encroachment with the tools, training and authority to stop illegal entry and facilitate the start of the legal immigration process.

As much as I would like to see great monumental barriers erected for border security, and it certainly can be accomplished easily by our great nation, there are a few vexing dilemma. 

Let’s look at the land border between the great state of Texas and the great nation of Mexico.  It is defined mostly by the Rio Grande River channel and the center of its lakes, about 683 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico east of Matamoros, Mexico.  Let’s ignore the water route via the Gulf, it is quite complex and expensive to build and maintain a physical fence at sea, but it is possible.  The sky is another matter for later.

Even the most exclusionary fences and walls can be breeched; over, under or through, so don’t be na├»ve, structure alone does not exclude intruders, they do deter many; people, weapons and technology are always necessary to prevent access by ground.

Another simple but vexing problem is where to physically construct the fence.  The actual boundary is in the middle of the river water, or river channel with occasional water, or through the approximate center of lakes.  Like the sea, rivers and lakes pose construction and maintenance difficulties.  The choice quickly becomes their side of the river or our side?

Their side would require an elaborate treaty agreement for placement and maintenance that would have to be done by the US.  Mexico is not likely to agree.

Placement on our side would require giving up access to some popular places for recreation, commerce and natural resource extraction.

Both choices could eliminate natural wildlife migration, although few larger species that migrate across the river.   

I think the only sensible choice is to give up the whole river channel to Mexico in many places and fence to the middle of the river and lakes in other places with various physical devices that prevent passage on, in or below water; and use abundant human enforcement personnel and sophisticated surveillance and interdiction technology where river, lake or land barriers are too complicated.     

Turning briefly to the Gulf Coast and inland waterways; surveillance, enforcement and interdiction technology and trained and equipped personnel patrolling from land, sea and air, and human intelligence on the ground in the US and Mexico will always be necessary.

The sky’s are another matter; much more technology and human surveillance and patrol are necessary, many low level and low speed manned and unmanned flight devices are succeeding day or night at many places along the Rio Grande boundary, over water in the Gulf, and over remote lands in West Texas.

I’m sure the Northern land and water boundaries have similar problems, but I’m not as familiar with them.  It was mentioned on TV news today that unmanned drones have been used in conjunction with ground forces effectively up north.  I believe too few physical barriers are in place there as well.

Our nation’s long coastline and immense inter-coastal waterways are a gigantic problem.  Barriers that exclude intruders also restrict citizen access to waterways, fishing, beaches, boating, and nature recreation.  Increases in human enforcement and technology, with some added physical barriers in selected, remote, low or no use locations, and much more patrolling are urgently need. 

Millions of short term jobs could be created constructing barriers and installing technology.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs training and patrolling the land, water and air at and over our borders could be supported in the long term.

First job, keep them out.  Next job, find the ones already here.  Next, get them out or get them started on citizenship. 

Just like effective barriers, deportation of 20 million illegal immigrants can be done. 

How long we’ve tolerated our mistakes doesn’t matter.  If they cannot become citizens, start shipping them to their homeland tomorrow.

If they have children born here, allow the child to stay with other citizens, or accompany their parents out of the country until they are adults.

All of these things can and should be done.  All that is needed is the will to begin.    


Want All Debt Forgiven

How greedy and selfish can you get?  Their personal interest, thinly shrouded in “forgive everyone’s debt” is the height of hypocrisy.  Everyone?  Really?  The guy who owns the park where they are denying its use to others; the bankrupt city that borrowed union pension funds and widows retirements; the banks, insurance companies, and vehicle manufacturers forced to borrow money from the taxpayers; the foundations, governments, hospitals, and nonprofits that need loaned money paid back to help people during times of disaster. 

Is that all the debt they want forgiven? 

Or, is it just the debt they agreed to and lack the honor, energy and commitment to pay back?

Is it the debts that governments owe us in benefits, the debts schools owe their teachers, the debts that children owe their parents, maybe it’s the debts citizens owe their veterans, police, hospitals, schools, parks, communities and country’s.

Is that the debts they want us to forget?  Or, do they just want to forget their debts?

They are so phony; if you forgave their credit card debt, their college loan, their car, apartment, furniture, utility bills, income taxes, medical and food bills, they would shut up and be gone by nightfall, not caring for one second about your debts or those of the ignorant, poor and starving peoples of the world; or for that matter, the sick, the elderly, or the injured desperately waiting for entitlement programs or philanthropic organizations.

Their personal interests are all that matters to them.  Just like the selfish greed they claim are the worst motives of businesses and the wealthy.

They are ignorant, selfish and inconsiderate, and yes, greedy.  I often wonder why they are not picketing lawyers, entertainers, athletes, or politicians, or others who take out much more than they have put in.  Instead they would rob widows who invested their savings so they could care for themselves in old age.

Grow up, learn a few things, get a job, go to work, honor your commitments, pay your bills, save some money, pay your taxes, contribute to worthy causes; then when have some extra money, loan it out.  When it’s too late for you, or you’re too tired or too sick to earn it back again.

Maybe you will feel like forgiving all that debt?

I doubt it.