Thanks for the video clip of Mexican "drug mules." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAyrTRJzkZs
Fences do not work, will not work and cannot work to control illegal entry along the Tex-Mex border.
The border fence is an illuminating case study in corporate welfare, a boondoggle for the construction industry, a sop to mollify America's hatred of "the dark-skinned Other."
What does work are "police on the beat" and "boots on the ground."
Given the nation’s intractable unemployment rate (made structurally worse by automation, robotization and software-enhanced productivity) it would be wise - and effective - to create an impermeable “fence” by positioning four law enforcement agents at regular intervals along the entire border: two agents for the day shift; two for the “infrared” night.
These agents would live in two bedroom trailers and would partner closely with adjacent posts, creating serial "squads," each numbering 12 agents.
Since the U.S.-Mexico border is 1954 miles long, these guard-post trailers -- situated at one mile intervals -- would require a total force of 7816 agents.
At half mile intervals, the force would comprise 15,632 agents.
And at quarter mile intervals, the force would total 31,264 agents.
Currently, the complete reimbursement package for a "military police sargent" is $53,960.00 which includes food, rent, healthcare and salary. http://www.goarmy.com/benefits/total-compensation.html
Note that the housing component of the sargent's "package" is $16,164.00.
Since a two bedroom mobile home can be purchased for $50,000.00 (probably 25 thousand for a simple, no-frills “government design” and Uncle Sam's "wholesale" buying power) it is clear that the current military housing allotment is wildly inflated.
With a total expenditure of no more than $45,000.00 per agent per year, it would cost one and a half billion dollars ($1,407,000,000.00) to position 4 soldiers at quarter mile intervals along the entire Mexican border.
At quarter mile intervals, an agent can jog from his/her guard post to either extreme of the "coverage area" in 90 seconds.
Try to get this solution to meet with the approval of American “conservatives” and you will soon discover that these head-burying troglodytes prefer to piss-and-moan about the unworkability of ANY government program rather than accomplish the goals they claim central to the “conservative agenda.”
I am increasingly convinced that American conservatives are, by nature, hopeless, pessimistic people who – despite their rhetoric – do not want solutions, unless, of course, they come under the magical rubric of laissez faire's "invisible hand” – the very "hand" that collapsed the world economy in 2008 when the finance industry – across the entire spectrum of "bogus paper" – did whatever the f___ they wanted.
Not only were there no operable rules in place, it had become de rigueur to behave as malfeasantly as possible.
The invisible hand only works to get into your pants. Once there, it empties your wallet, then jerks you off.
In case it is not yet obvious, this is why so many Americans are jerk offs.
In the “mind” of “conservatives,” it is much more important to maintain problems than to solve them.
By maintaining problems, “conservatives” needn't come to grips with “getting a life” but instead wallow in the arrested development of whiney, bitchy, oppositional “adolescence” til the day they die.
In closing, I will mention that Ron Paul sees the appropriate role of national defense as guarding one’s borders.
Guard the borders.
Given that Uncle Sam’s overseas swashbuckling has “shot us in the foot” for the last half century, I think Paul is “onto something.”
Pax on both houses,
PS Control of the Tex-Mex border is not high on my list of priorities. As Lonnie Coleman says: "As soon as the economy recovers, we will beg Mexicans to come back."
PPS The "Gridlock" component of today’s “State of Things” was very good – four Dukies from The Government School discussing America's political gridlock. http://wunc.org/tsot/archive/gridlock/view
Tuesday, February 21 2012 by Frank Stasio and Susan Davis
Is political gridlock in Washington worse than ever? Duke University professors David Schanzer and Don Taylor, of the Sanford School of Public Policy, think so. They are teaching a class in the hopes of raising awareness among young people about the troubles facing our country. If compromise doesn't make a comeback, could the United States face total collapse? Schanzer, Taylor and two of their students, Kate Klimzak and Chris Diaz, join host Frank Stasio to examine the effects of hyper-partisanship, demographic changes, campaign finance and the 24-hour news cycle on the practice of democracy.