Wall foolishness

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Note to Americans: There’s already lots of wall.

PRESIDENT TRUMP came out of the gate like gangbusters during his first week in office. Kudos to  him!

He restrained the ham-fisted leftists running the Environmental Protection Agency.  He cut off federal aid to law-flaunting leftists running Sanctuary Cities.

He canceled the cash that left-wing Barry had funneled in his waning White House days to Palestinian terrorists.

He revived the Keystone Pipeline. He canceled the horrendous Catch-and-Release policy for illegals.

And Trump declared Israel great again, reversing Barry’s leftist, anti-Semitic tomfoolery.

But there’s one very dumb thing my boy Donald is doing: this business about Mexico paying for a border wall.

Did Israel demand that Mohammedans pay for the walls it’s erected? Lots of good it would have done.

Do you expect your next-door neighbor to buy the deadbolt for your house’s front door?

Nations who want to secure their borders, and all nations should, especially successful ones, must finance their border walls themselves.

That Mexico would pay for the wall was a good campaign slogan, appealing to low-information voters. But the campaign is over. Extend the wall, but don’t expect Mexico to pay for it, and don’t force it via other means.

Keeping your house locked is your own responsibility.

And Mexico should build a wall on its southern border. Don’t expect Guatemala to pay for it.

84 thoughts on “Wall foolishness”

  1. A physical wall is like a steel door on a gingerbread house. It won’t work. Perhaps a psychological or economic one might. It’s already happening with companies foregoing investment in Mexico and others planning returns to the USA. If that continues Mexico will indeed pay for it.

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    1. Please define “won’t work.” If you mean keeping 100% of the would-be crossers out, then yes, it “won’t work.” But if that’s your belief, then doors, locks, windows, fences, bank vaults, etc., “don’t work” either. But if it keeps out or deters some reasonable percentage of would-be crossers, then it works fabulously. And the evidence says that where the wall already exists, it works fine.

      By the way, that wall is also going to become an enormous psychological barrier. All those children from Central America started coming because they perceived that the Obama administration would slap them on the wrists and then let them in. That was a correct assessment, and we now have a large, new-ish problem.

      Once Trump builds a wall, no one is going to think that it’s easy to get in. And that will be a YUUUUGE psychological deterrent.

      Prediction: Once the wall is built, expect CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the MSM idiots to run endless stories about the few who actually managed to get over the wall anyway. And I’ll file those stories in the same category as vaccine deniers. Vaccines aren’t 100% effective either.

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      1. I seem to remember a news story about the Mexican Government stopping incoming refugees from south of the border and the US government convincing them to give the “refugees” a type of visa that let them pass through Mexico – like letters of transit, a la the movie, Casablanca. Also, it was Warren Buffet’s train – the Beast – that allowed these refugees to travel to the US border, many of these young people traveling at great risk to themselves. We – that is, our former administration – put Mexico in this position by asking them to accommodate refugees. The ones causing the biggest problems now are Haitians in Tijuana. Many of the immigrants that are caught crossing the border are from countries south of Mexico, not Mexicans. Someone in the press, if they had a brain, might want to point this out.

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    1. Steve: I’ve read nothing of that. If there is one, it’s probably some inconsequential thing in what few relatively urban areas exist on the border. I think we’d rather let the Central Americans in so we can rob them or whatever.

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  2. Why not take the money and fix the freeways and bridges etc.? But he got elected on the “build the wall” thing, so we’ll see what happens. The better solution would be to do the E-verify and hurt the people that create the attractive nuisance that makes the U.S. attractive.

    The wall will no nothing other than piss a lot of people off and waste a ton of money.

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    1. Tancho: Walls work quite well. Ask Israel. But the problem is multifaceted. Sanctuary Cities need to be stomped out. Laws need to be enforced. Lots of stuff that the lefties have no interest whatsoever in doing. They’re too busy singing Kumbaya and thinking all cultures are of equal worth.

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  3. I think he’s led people to believe that Mexico will be forced to write a check or pay cash for the wall, but his real intent is to make them pay for it through tariffs on goods sent into the States. Rope-a-dope for the media. It’s been a great week in the new U.S.A.

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    1. Paul: Yes, he did initially give the impression that he would force Mexico somehow to write a check or something, which was absurd. Right now, I think he needs to ratchet down the verbiage. It’s just causing lots of ill will in Mexico. Mexicans have no right to get offended, Lord knows, but that’s not how human nature functions.

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  4. I guess I am not very smart but could someone please explain how a tariff (or tax) on Mexican goods to pay for the wall would come out of Mexico’s pocket?

    I have, over the years, imported many things into Mexico from different countries. As an example, if I would buy an Italian product and pay to have it shipped to me here in Mexico, and upon arrival I pay an import duty plus 16% IVA, that money doesn’t come out of the Italian exporter’s pocket but mine as a Mexican consumer.

    Turn this all around and make the product Mexican and the importer American. Won’t Americans be the ones paying the duty (or tax) on Mexican products entering the US? So the way it seems to me, any duties or taxes will serve solely to increase the price of Mexican goods ( a punitive trade practice that completely flies in the face of the so-called free market philosophy the US adheres to) entering the US. But in reality the gringos will be paying for it.

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        1. Gordie/Clete: Yep, the tariff idea is purely punitive, a very bad idea. It’s not one of Trump’s best ideas, but he has so many other excellent ones. I cut him slack on this one.

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    1. Gracias, Peggy. Come on down from wherever you are, and I’ll buy you a cafecito on the plaza. I must warn you, however, that I am far less engaging in person than I am here on the internet. Langdon, eh? One of my best friends for much of my life was Jim Langdon. He’s older than I am, and has become a little iffy. He lives in Colorado now.

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        1. Oh, my, Bonnie. I’ll fully confess to the taciturn, but I came across as brooding? Well, that’s interesting and food for thought for me.

          Actually, I’ve likely gotten worse since we met.

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  5. Tancho has a very good point. Making it far more difficult for employers to hire illegal aliens will be far more effective than any fence. And, of course, that is not a cure-all, either. Documents can be forged and plenty of employers are willing to risk fines.

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    1. Señor Cotton: Tancho’s points are always good ones. And systems to make it difficult to hire illegals, or to punish those who do, have been mentioned often over the years. I don’t see that anything has been done, or if it has, that it’s been effective in any meaningful way.

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    2. It is illegal to hire undocumented workers in the U.S. That is spelled out in the immigration laws passed in 1986 during the Reagan administration. Businesses don’t like that therefore their main lobbys (Chambers of Commerce, for example) who own the Republican Party are against enforcement. No enforcement & no punishment. Hire away.

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    3. The problem with making it hard to hire illegals is that too many well-connected people actually benefit from hiring cheap, illegal labor. This is why the system hasn’t been changed to something that works. I know plenty of Mexicans who have crossed illegally, gotten fake papers, and then go to work in short order.

      However, I suspect that Trump is likely working on this. He’s obviously more serious about the problem than any of his predecessors.

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  6. You never print my comments… the truth is uncomfortable, isn’t it? You Sir, and millions of others like you, elected a maniac, and you do not get to pick and choose which campaign promises he should make good on. No way, you get the whole bloody package and unfortunately, so does the rest of the world. What is to come is on your conscience. Shame on you!

    Joanna

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    1. Joanna: I have ceased to print your comments due to repeated rudeness on your end, sadly. I sincerely regret that, but I cannot control the manners of others. It’s certainly not because your “truth” is uncomfortable. But you managed to sneak this one in by switching your name and/or email address. Must be one you’ve used in the distant past because otherwise it would have gone to the moderation pile. No matter. I can bear up under the temporary strain.

      You are amusing me now, I’ll admit, with this “maniac” business. No Hitler references? I read recently another leftist blogger in Mexico, in the vicinity of San Miguel, who referred to Trump as “vile” and a few other such sillinesses. I mean, really, vile?

      Fact is that he’s neither a maniac nor is he vile. He is tough stuff, New York-style, and he is voter blowback due to decades of U.S. mis-government by both Republican and Democrat administrations and political correctness that had risen to stellar heights and incredible ridiculousness. Enough voters, myself included, simply had it up to here and weren’t gonna take it anymore.

      I love him. May he last the next eight years. Then to be replaced by Mike Pence.

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  7. Those of us who spent a good amount of time in Texas understand that our relationship with Mexico goes back a long way and is complex. I am sick over this latest.

    Enforce the law, first. Deport criminal illegal aliens and build a wall where the most egregious problems occur. But, don’t punish Mexico or US companies that were enticed to invest in Mexico by the policies in place at the time. I feel heartsick over this and so do my relatives – mostly conservative – in Texas.

    Keep out the Muslims, by all means, but reform the immigration policy with our nearest neighbors. I graduated from HS in El Paso and at the time I could cross the border with my drivers license. I felt safe. Every weekend my family traveled to Juarez to go to the Mercado and ate at our favorite steakhouse.

    I really think this is the wrong approach with Mexico – isn’t there anyone who is not from New York that can advise the president?

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  8. Although I believe a secure border would be better for Mexico in the long run, I agree it’s silly to insist they print extra pesos for it. Just secure the border and mind your own business. I was having coffee with a friend today discussing what a pleasant change it is. We are no longer gagging from forced-feedings of multicultural bromides and kumbayaism. We can actually speak the truth, and it’s nice. 🙂

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    1. Rosalind: You said it quite right. Just secure the border and mind your own business.

      But, on the larger stage, yes, it’s quite nice since Trump entered the White House.

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  9. I suspect the remittances sent home will be subject to a tax. That puts part of the expense on the Mexican people. A tremendous amount of money gets sent to Mexico every payday. Now, part of that will stay here.

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      1. I think that Mexico’s third largest gross income comes from those remittances. Taxing that income could create a huge mess…drugs being smuggled into the States and money being smuggled out of the States and then back into the States. Whew…

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        1. I think that was the point of my guest post that you published. But “finish the wall” doesn’t have nearly the persuasion power of “build the wall.” That’s why Trump did what he did.

          To me, the real mystery is why not a single one of Trump’s opponents (either D or R) made the point that we already had a wall. On the R side, “Jeb!” could actually have run on finishing his brother’s project and perhaps taken the issue away from Trump.

          But he would have been a terrible president, so let’s just be glad that he didn’t do that.

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  10. The wall for better or worse is an excuse to keep manufacturing in the United States for American workers. It is an excuse to get Congress to enact tariffs and penalize American industry from moving south of the border.

    It is also an excuse to militarize the border and give our armed forces a legitimate excuse to operate domestically so perhaps we’ll stop invading other nations all over the world.

    NAFTA was an excuse to turn North America into a political union like the European Union by eliminating borders. It is not working very well in Europe with a continuous flood of refugees.

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  11. Well, I could finally hit the like button up top, that is for my agreement on your thoughts about the wall. How he will round up criminal illegals will be interesting; what I fear is that there will be a lot of profiling by the cops at routine traffic stops. The day they send home the Mexicans who do a lot of the shit work in this country that gringos won’t do is the day this country starts to fall apart a little bit more.

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    1. Angeline: I’m a big fan of profiling, mostly as it relates to Mohammedans, but it works well with any recognizable group that’s responsible for criminal activity. Most illegals in the U.S. are Latino, and most Latinos are recognizable. The shit-work justification for giving illegals a pass is a long one. If there are fewer illegals to do Gringo shit work, then Gringos will simply have to pay more to get it done. That’s how capitalism works.

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  12. I agree with you that it’s probably not right for Mexico to pay for the wall. But EPN is just doubling down on idiocy by refusing to meet with Trump, who is nothing but a negotiator. Had EPN read “The Art of the Deal,” he’d know that Trump starts any negotiation with a ridiculous offer, and then negotiates from there. By refusing to negotiate, EPN is locking Mexico into the ridiculous offer, rather than working for a better deal.

    Also, all the huffing and puffing in the world doesn’t change the fact that Mexico is starting from a very weak position against the strongest country in the world.

    And circling back to the idea of who should pay, I think the USA can reasonably argue that Mexico hasn’t exactly gone to extreme lengths to prevent its citizens from crossing the border illegally. And they have not been terribly cooperative about solutions. So there’s some sense NOB that the Mexicans do indeed owe the USA something for helping to create this problem.

    My particular beef is about how Mexico pays. If Trump somehow cuts off, or taxes remittances, it’ll be the poor Mexicans who pay, not the elites. Frankly, Trump ought to figure out a way to hit the corrupt, oligarchic elites and make them pay. Heck, if he could communicate that strategy to the average Mexican, he might even garner their support.

    Meanwhile, it’s fun to watch the outrage on both sides, who should have seen this coming at least six months ago.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we are somewhat amazed that the Mexicans haven’t figured out a more effective response; they’ve had plenty of time.

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  13. Well, a 20 percent tariff on imported goods will go a long way to solving some of our problems. For the income tax to be an effective source of revenue, there must be income. We just don’t have enough of that nowadays.

    The issue of “American Companies” moving abroad needs to be looked at a little more closely. Just what is an “American Company”? These are joint stock companies, and just about anyone with the cash can buy into them. The product looks the same, and it still has its U.S.-sounding name, but down in the corner there is that little “Made in China” notation. Now just who owns the controlling interest?

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  14. Why would a supposed U.S. company repatriate their overseas earnings if the controlling interest is held abroad? There are so many accounting tricks to enable those owning the company to siphon off funds over there.

    If they want to maintain a U.S. incorporation, they should pay the tax.

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  15. Here’s a relatively short blog post by Scott Adams who does the Dilbert cartoon. It’s fun and accurate. Tip of the sombrero to Kim G. for bringing it to my attention:

    I’m having a fun time watching President Trump flood the news cycle with so many stories and outrages that no one can keep up. Here’s how the math of persuasion works in this situation:

    1 outrage out of 3 headlines in a week: Bad Persuasion

    25 outrages out of 25 headlines in a week: Excellent Persuasion

    At the moment there are so many outrages, executive orders, protests, and controversies that none of them can get enough oxygen in our brains. I can’t obsess about problem X because the rest of the alphabet is coming at me at the same time.

    When you encounter a situation that is working great except for one identifiable problem, you can focus on the problem and try to fix it. But if you have a dozen complaints at the same time, none of them looks special. The whole situation just looks confusing, and you don’t know where to start. So you wait and see what happens. Humans need contrast in order to make solid decisions that turn into action. Trump removed all of your contrast by providing multiple outrages of similar energy.

    You’re probably seeing the best persuasion you will ever see from a new president. Instead of dribbling out one headline at a time, so the vultures and critics can focus their fire, Trump has flooded the playing field. You don’t know where to aim your outrage. He’s creating so many opportunities for disagreement that it’s mentally exhausting. Literally. He’s wearing down the critics, replacing their specific complaints with entire encyclopedias of complaints. And when Trump has created a hundred reasons to complain, do you know what impression will be left with the public?

    He sure got a lot done.

    Even if you don’t like it.

    In only a few days, Trump has made us question what-the-hell every other president was doing during their first weeks in office. Were they even trying?

    For a fun party trick, ask your most liberal friends if they think the Federal government should have a say in whether a woman gets an abortion or not. When they say the Federal government should stay out of that decision, inform them that President Trump shares their opinion. He doesn’t want the Federal government to be in the business of making health care choices for women. He prefers leaving that decision to the woman, her doctor, and state laws.

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  16. My prediction is that Mexico will supply the labor and the US will supply materials for this damn wall in the end. I am still thinking we will see a front page photo of Trump and Nieto shaking hands with smiles on their faces as they come to an agreement over this. Each country needs the other. Now I’m going to sleep to have a happy dream about it!

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    1. Bev: I hope you had that happy dream, but I don’t see the Mexicans supplying any labor for this thing. They’ve really got their hackles up down here. All “offended,” you know.

      I wonder to what extent people in Mexico realize in their heart of hearts, even though it’s unspoken, how they deserve this “effrontery” after so many decades of sneaking over and tunneling under the border, thinking it’s their God-given right to do so.

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  17. Wow, Felipe, seeing that the U.S. actually stole half of Mexico’s territory I wonder if Gringos realize in their heart of hearts how they really should be ashamed of themselves?

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      1. Predictable response. So while forcefully conquering territory is quite acceptable, even a God-given right in your world, peacefully immigrating across borders is unacceptable? You need to leave the 19th century and fast forward to today.

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        1. Gordie/Clete: Would that common sense were more predictable. Conquering territory is neither acceptable nor unacceptable. It’s simply what we are, the human race. As for peacefully immigrating/emigrating across borders, that’s the preferred way to do it, peacefully. And legally. You need a visa. Without a visa, you’re simply a criminal.

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            1. Gordie/Clete: Not a personal insult, which is far stronger. You are, of course, a man of the left, and you said that the U.S. stole a big hunk of Mexico. That is straight out of the La Raza playbook. Own it, amiguito!

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  18. At this moment, with 68 comments, we have tied the previous comment record which was on the initial post of our 10th anniversary trip in 2012 to communist Cuba. Actually, the Cuba report was a two-parter. The second segment, four days later, racked up another 35 comments.

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      1. Gordie/Clete: True, most folks who weigh in here are conservative. The alt-right is a relatively new development, and there are two sides of it. The far-right nutjobs, and the more moderate school. I might qualify for the latter.

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            1. The level of self-delusion on the left is literally beyond belief. Have you seen the Project Veritas videos about the violence at Trump’s pre-election rallies? If you haven’t you really should.

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              1. Kim: Their world view, especially over the Obama years but it’s gone on far longer, has become ingrained in them to such an extent that they quite literally cannot grasp any other reality. The education system furthers this big-time. For instance, the fact that Trump on more than one occasion in public speeches has embraced the whole alphabet soup of gay, transgender, etc., issue sails right over their heads, or more likely they simply don’t know due to not paying attention to him directly. No matter, he’s simply a homophobe. The fact that he has no known history whatsoever of mistreating women or blacks, no matter, he’s a racist and misogynist. Where all this will end is a mystery to me. Well, I hope, but I am not optimistic.

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                1. Yes, when I tell my friends that Trump was the first Republican candidate for president to promise support for the LGBTQwhatever people, they are in disbelief. Or they discount it, which they shouldn’t.
                  And they are in even more disbelief when I tell them that the Republicans gathered mostly cheered.
                  But all those things happened.

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  19. I was a regular reader of your blog until about a year ago. I had genuine curiosity about the views of a retired American living in my country and your posts rarely disappointed. I stopped visiting due to your open support of Donald Trump, something that I found simply beyond comprehension, particularly coming from a supposed libertarian. I checked in again recently, hoping to discover that you had finally seen the man and his clique for who they really are. I’m saddened to say that, instead, it is me who has finally seen you for who you really are.

    I wish I could take consolation in the fact that Trump’s ambitions are only surpassed by his gross incompetence, but I’m afraid none of us will be spared from the consequences of the impending catastrophe that his administration is about to bring upon the world.

    So long, Felipe. May you continue to enjoy the generosity of this land and its people.

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    1. Hi, Juan. We’ll have to agree to disagree on Trump. Stick around a day or two more because I have a post en route pointing out why Mexicans have no right whatsoever to be offended by the new U.S. president. Quite the contrary. Mexico and both political parties in the U.S. created The Donald.

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      1. The very notion that you could somehow think that it’s ok to express an opinion on whether or not Mexicans or any other group of people has the “right” to be offended by something just reinforces my point. But my opinion about Trump has little to do with being Mexican, quite honestly, as I’ve never reeled in nationalist sentiment. When I say “none of us will be spared” I mean the whole world. A man who thinks climate change is a hoax and vaccines cause autism is in charge of the most powerful political structure devised in human history. Let that sink in for a second. When all is said and done, his bigotry and misogyny may be the least of our problems.

        Good luck with your upcoming post. It seems like the crowd will cheer on.

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        1. Juan, I do indeed think I have a right to express an opinion on Mexico’s culpability in this situation. I am a card-carrying Mexican now. You folks went and let me through the door over a decade ago! Should have been paying more attention. By the way, I came here legally, which is more than we can say about most of our paisanos above the Rio Bravo.

          In time, I am sure you’ll discover that the world has not come to an end with the election of Trump. Stay tuned!

          Hey, you write English very well, better than many Gringos, actually. Kudos!

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