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Open Door Policy???

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Balladeer
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0 posted 02-04-2010 09:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Obama's budget curbs border programs
By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY


If Congress approves Obama's proposals:

• The Border Patrol, which doubled to 20,000 agents during the Bush administration, would lose 180 agents through attrition. Border staffing would stay the same.

• A "virtual" fence of pole cameras and sensors aimed at stopping illegal immigrants, drug smugglers and terrorists on the U.S.-Mexican border, faces a $225 million cut from $800 million last year. That would delay implementation while a review of the fence, plagued by technical problems, is done.

• Five of the Coast Guard's 13 elite Maritime Security and Safety Teams (MSST), created since 2001 to protect waterfront cities, would be eliminated. Obama is proposing cuts in New York City, San Francisco, Anchorage and King's Bay, Ga.

• The existing 643 miles of concrete-and-steel border fence would be maintained but no new barriers would be built.

Former Homeland Security department policy chief Stewart Baker says in paying for more aviation security, the White House "has decided that some of the border defenses are more expendable. ... We're taking some risks there."
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-02-04-border-security-budget_N.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomWashington-TopStories+% 28News+-+Washington+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo
.


Good idea? Bad idea? What?
Bob K
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1 posted 02-05-2010 10:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     The image of the fence or the wall tends to hit me hard, Mike.  In "Mending Wall," I saw the wall as a way of withdrawing from the world.  In John Hersey's shattering novel of the Warsaw Ghetto, [i]The Wall[i], I saw the wall as a means of persecution, isolation and destruction.  As a child watching the Berlin Wall go up, I felt a kind of horror, wondering what sort of horrific things were going to be done on the other side.  While I don't practice, I was born a Jew, and the notion of containment in some sort of fenced-in ghetto or of being isolated from participation in the larger society by the same walls or by their social equivalent gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Seeing Israeliis trying to put up literal walls in their own country touches off stores of discomfort that it's hard to describe.  Watching my own government go through similar sorts of acrobatics does something very much like that to me as well.

     In large part, if we didn't offer jobs that these people needed, they would stay where they were.  And if these people didn't offer labor at a price that we weren't salivating to pay, we wouldn't hire them.  The conservative conclusion that these people are bad for coming here and should be punished doesn't address the problem.  The Liberal conclusion that we need force foreign employers to pay the same wages as American wages seems unrealistic, especially to Central and South American countries, where any political upheaval that resulted would virtually guarantee a response from us on some level or another, as it has in the past.

     I think we need to ask ourselves why is Mexico, one of the most oil rich countries in the world, so poor?  And then we need to ask ourselves if there is something that we can do about it.

     If you look at the time and energy and enterprise that the Mexicans have been willing to pour into Narco-trafficing, I think you'll have to admit that there's no scarcity of enterprise and energy there, nor of will and drive when the people actually feel that the goal is within their control.  Even when the risks are high.  How can we help them harness that spirit to good ends, ends that will be to our mutual benefit?  

     The very fact that so many are so desperate and so willing to take the risks to get here says the same thing.  How can we help them use that energy in their own country to the ends of the development of their own society?  That seems to be the question as far as I'm concerned.  Spending time trying to figure out how you can beat down the creative energies of people trying to better themselves has always seemed like a losing strategy to me.

     You asked for thoughts, Mike, and those are mine at this time on the matter.  How about yours?
threadbear
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2 posted 02-05-2010 11:27 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Reduce the head count, increase the number of sonic cannon weapons, and initially deploy them on mobile backed ATV's along the border.  Warn Mexico that further illegal immigration into USA will no longer be tolerated as of MMDDYY.  Install infrared laser movement scanners of these devices in regular geographic intervals.  Any approaching object bigger than XX will be shot with a directional sonic burst.  These devices are self-defended, since the vandalizer can't get near them.  The possible destruction of a device can directly trigger a drone launch to that location, with perhaps a sonic gun of its own.  

These sonic weapons are now being used in naval ship defense against Somalia pirates, for instance.  They've been highly effective against surging crowds in riot situations.  

Drone patrols scanning for concentrated groups of people can tip off certain locations of incoming border violators.  

The sonic fences work.  When the Mexicans finally come to the realization that they can't beat the device, they will stop trying to come in droves.  At the very least, it will have a drastic effect on numbers.  At the very most: it will stop illegal immigration almost entirely.

The other alternative is a version of an armed Berlin Wall, which isn't and should never be, an option.

1) Inform bordering nations that non-lethal enforcement of the borders will occur.
2) Implement permanent costs measures at regular metric intervals with sonic devices.
3) Let the chips fall where they may for two years.
4) Service, maintain devices
Balladeer
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3 posted 02-06-2010 12:07 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, my thoughts are that your thoughts are unrealistic. I do not say that to be insulting, nor am I wishing to some bruhaha started that too many of our conversations wind up in. I simply find them unrealistic.

The "wall" in this case is for our security and protection. It has nothing to do with persecution, isolation, destruction or withdrawing from the world.  If the word were "knife" one could be reminded of using it to murder, while another reminded of it being used as a way to cut meat, while another reminded of it being used to fashion tools for survival in the jungle. The word knife is not evil; neither is the word wall. We are spending billions of dollars to protect the country from terrorist attack. Doesn't it seem feasible to make it difficult for them to just walk on in, too?

The conservative conclusion that these people are bad for coming here and should be punished doesn't address the problem.

Really? I'm conservative and I don't feel that way. I know why they are coming here and I can't say I blame them. I have no problem with them coming here....as long as they do it in the right way, like hundreds of thousands before them have. You seem to feel that the main reasons for the heightened security is to keep Jose from sneaking in to earn a living. My feeling is that the main reason is security against terrorism and Jose just happens to get caught up in the net.

The Liberal conclusion that we need force foreign employers to pay the same wages as American wages seems unrealistic

Yes, completely unrealistic.

I think we need to ask ourselves why is Mexico, one of the most oil rich countries in the world, so poor?  And then we need to ask ourselves if there is something that we can do about it.

If you need to ask yourself that, Bob, then you are not very familiar with world governments. It's the golden rule....those who have the gold, rule. The wealth of Mexico is in the hands of the government and the drug lords...and it never gets to the poor. Mexico is not alone in that endeavor. How did Haiti,one of the poorest countries in the world, have a hundreds of million dollar governmental palace with leaders driving around in limousines? How was Idi Amin a multi-millionaire while millions were starving to death in Africa? You don't have  enough fingers and toes to count the countries that are rich in resources and yet the majority ofthe people live in poverty. Is there something we can do about it? No.

  If you look at the time and energy and enterprise that the Mexicans have been willing to pour into Narco-trafficing, I think you'll have to admit that there's no scarcity of enterprise and energy there, nor of will and drive when the people actually feel that the goal is within their control.  Even when the risks are high.  How can we help them harness that spirit to good ends, ends that will be to our mutual benefit?  

Beats me. If you find out, then perhaps we can use that plan on the Taliban or the dozens of terrorist organizations around the world. They certainly pour their energy into destruction, to the point of killing themselves for it. Be nice to harness that spirit to good, too, wouldn't it?

How can we help them use that energy in their own country to the ends of the development of their own society?  That seems to be the question as far as I'm concerned.

Then your question is unrealistic, Bob? Do you want to try to convince the drug dealers to give up their evil ways and better their country? Do you want to try to convince the corrupt governments to do the same? That goes beyond Pollyanna thinking. Who is it that you are trying to help change their minds? Certainly not the paisanos. They have no power at all. The only way that they can fight the system is to come here. Of course you could advocate invading Mexico, throwing out the government, end corruption and killing the drug cartels if you wanted the only realistic solution but I doubt you want to go there. I certainly don't.

BY speaking about the "conservative conclusion", you are making it political when it shouldn't be. National security should not be political. Both parties should strive for that. Making it difficult for illegals to sneak into the United States should be a priority for both.

I can understand you empathy for the MExicans, Bob. I feel it, too, perhaps a little more strongly, having lived in countries like Mexico where poverty reigns and personal liberties are minimal. I can understand their wanting to escape. As I said, they ARE allowed into the country. They simply need to do it in a legal way and they are welcomed. Is it so unrealistic to require  that?

To minimize our security at this time is very foolhardy and, if Obama does it, the next attack is on him. We just  dodged one bullet, thanks to a faulty bomb. There should be little doubt in anyone's mind that there will be others. Reducing national security at this time is unforgivable.
Bob K
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4 posted 02-06-2010 04:32 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Well, Mike, I don't think all conservatives are punitive, or are looking for the sort of solutions that I characterized in my earlier posting.  If you've read Threadbear's interesting piece, he's more the sort of point of view I was talking about.  I don't impute nasty motives to him.  I simply feel that this is the way he sees the world; that all these Mexicans and Spanish speaking folk represent a real threat to the country that the country needs to protect itself against.  Seen from that point of view, Threadbear has a point.  I simply don't share that point of view; it doesn't mean that I don't see and understand it.

     The folks that we need to worry about as terrorists aren't the folks from down south.  

     We may need to worry about the flow of drugs from the south, but I suspect that's a different problem.  It can probably be solved by legalizing and taxing, the same way we solved the Alcohol prohibition problem and the wave of criminality that came with it.  It would also reduce the prison population substantially and save a lot of taxpayer money, incidentally.  And open up a good revenue stream for the Feds.  People who had serious problems could get treatment paid for with some of the excess tax dollars, and a substantial part of a good health care system might even be funded that way.  Just speculation there, but there is a large potential tax revenue stream possible.

     As a plan for Taliban or other terrorist groups throughout the world, it not actually too bad, either.  It's one of the basic methods of negotiation, by finding out what each side has in common as a higher goal, and finding common pathways of attaining that goal that are mutually acceptable.  It also works for some sorts of internal problem solving for folks who have certain sorts of issues where they feel they are conflicted about what to do or how to go about something.  That's also probably off the subject.  But it does work very often when applied well.

     Too tired to continue now.l  See you later, alligator.
Balladeer
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5 posted 02-06-2010 07:23 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The folks that we need to worry about as terrorists aren't the folks from down south.  


True enough but the folks from down south just get caught in the crossfire. If I spray a house for roaches, the ants die from the same treatment, even though my primary objective was not the eradication of the ants. If we protect the country from intruders based on security measures, even Jose gets caught up in it, being a threat or not. Or perhaps you suggest we defend against all the other ways to get in the country and leave the southern borders alone, not to impede the Mexicans, Cubans, Haitians, etc. Bin Laden would love to hear that.

Peaceful dealings with the terrorists groups would be a good idea? I agree. COme up with a plan for doing that and the  U.S. and Israel will bless you.

I'm sorry you didn't address my points in further detail but I can understand being tired....happens to me occasionally, too.
JenniferMaxwell
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6 posted 02-06-2010 09:07 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

The article you copied and pasted, Balladeer, really doesn’t give enough information for me to form an opinion on whether the proposed cuts would be good or bad.  For instance, how would cutting less than one per cent of Border agents affect security if border staffing remains the same or will the eliminated MSST be replaced by say, other Coast Guard units? Perhaps more cost effective security measures are going to be put in place of the ones being eliminated?

Bob K
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7 posted 02-06-2010 05:42 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

quote:

I think we need to ask ourselves why is Mexico, one of the most oil rich countries in the world, so poor?  And then we need to ask ourselves if there is something that we can do about it.

If you need to ask yourself that, Bob, then you are not very familiar with world governments. It's the golden rule....those who have the gold, rule. The wealth of Mexico is in the hands of the government and the drug lords...and it never gets to the poor. Mexico is not alone in that endeavor. How did Haiti,one of the poorest countries in the world, have a hundreds of million dollar governmental palace with leaders driving around in limousines? How was Idi Amin a multi-millionaire while millions were starving to death in Africa? You don't have  enough fingers and toes to count the countries that are rich in resources and yet the majority ofthe people live in poverty. Is there something we can do about it? No.



     My energy is very low these days, Mike, but I'm trying to answer the questions here in the decent fashion you deserve.   I happen to agree with you about your golden rule.  It may surprise you that Karl Marx probably would as well.  Whatever hash people have made of his thinking, the man was very often quite practical and insightful about these basic things and the culture has picked up his thinking because of this very practicality.  Don't choke, though, I think Adam Smith would agree as well.

     You've seen what a hash this sort of thing will make of a country in Mexico and in much of central and south America first-hand.

     One way around this seems to be to base government in the army — the Idi Amin solution.  I think this works very poorly.  It simply eliminates the entrepreneurial folks and alows the head of the army to loot the country and to alow the wealth to trickle down through the ranks of the army while no new wealth is created.  The result is a total train-wreck.  Bad idea.

     Another might be for the major powers to stop trying to influence the outcomes of elections in these countries, and to stop trying to destabilize these countries if the elections were not to their liking, or if events in these countries were not to their liking.  Hungary in 1956, for example, the invasion of Tibet in 1949, for example, and our interventions here and there; say, in Chile in 1970.  I keep my examples firmly in the past here because I am trying to follow the principle of striking when the iron is cold.  It is a useful principle to follow on occasion.

     There are sanctions we can use to affect things.  Sometimes these are more effective than others, and we need toi keep in mind that sanctions cut two ways, so use of sanctions needs to be sparing.  Selective use of tarrifs can make a point.  Forbidding export of certain goods to a specific country can be useful.  

     The other thing that I wanted to say before closing here is that your comments about the golden rule don't apply only overseas.  They apply domestically as well, and this is one of the places that I have difficulty.  I believe that the power of those who have the gold in this country needs to be actively offset as much as possible by those who don't so that the power is spread more evenly and so that the folks who earn the money get a larger share of what they earn.  That's all.
 
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