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From the L.A. Times:

Border wall work begins in downtown Calexico
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
FEB 21, 2018 | 1:15 PM

The federal government began work Wednesday to replace a section of border wall in California, the first wall contract awarded in the Trump administration outside of eight prototypes that were built last year in San Diego.

Customs and Border Protection is replacing a little more than two miles in downtown Calexico, a sliver of the president’s plan for a “big, beautiful wall” with Mexico. A barrier built in the 1990s from recycled metal scraps and landing mat will be torn down for bollard-style posts that are 30 feet high, significantly taller than existing walls.

The administration is seeking $18 billion to extend the wall. …

In November, SWF Constructors of Omaha, Neb., won a contract for $18 million to replace the wall in Calexico, about 120 miles east of San Diego. It encompasses an area bisected by the New River, where smugglers are known to guide people through polluted waters. The project, which includes a bridge over the river, is expected to take 300 days.

So, a little under $9 million per mile. The border is about 1,950 miles long.

The administration cleared the way for construction in September by waiving dozens of environmental and other reviews in Calexico. A 2005 law exempted it from environmental reviews if the Homeland Security secretary deems a wall to be in national security interests. …

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was taunted by Trump during the presidential campaign for his handling of fraud allegations against the now-defunct Trump University, is expected to rule soon on whether to allow the border wall lawsuit to go forward.

 
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  1. Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    Read More
    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
    Is the front door on your house really necessary to keep uninvited people from walking inside of it?

    Maybe some, but not all.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?
     
    More importantly, is it really effective?
    , @Matthew McConnagay
    No. A wall can be easily circumvented. (They manage to get drugs in prison, right?) People already sneak across the border through tunnels and by boat.

    If one wants to stop illegal immigration, what's needed is to identify illegal immigrants and deport them. The modern police state is perfectly capable of doing this, but it appears Trump doesn't want to do that any more than Obama did. Or, more charitably, it's politically impossible.

    The wall is just a way for it to look as though something is being done.

    , @nebulafox
    It doesn't get to the crux of the matter: the employers who create the economic opportunities for illegals. Destroy that, and how do illegals survive in the US? Financially ruin a few stupid businessmen over the matter and make sure it is publicized nice and wide. The rest will fall into line, quick. If there is a single measure that would start decreasing the illegal populace in the US-not just because people will return home, but also because less people will start attempting to come-that'd be it. Problem is, we're dealing with the Republican Party here. ("Bu, but... THEY'RE JOB CREATORS!" No, dude, they are enemies of our national interests. If most of the GOP base was aligned with the Chamber of Commerce boys on this issue, Jeb Bush would have lost to Hillary in 2016.)

    Eliminating access to public services for illegals as much as possible, having ICE subtly cooperate with local police departments under the noses of sanctuary cities (give them a taste of their own medicine), and awarding the American public monetary incentives (If coupled wisely with the message of black people gaining the jobs or getting increased wages for every illegal deported, this could also further serve to screw up Democratic Party dynamics) for turning in illegals are all nice add-ons, too. If given the choice between 10,000 dollars and being feted by Vox, I'm willing to wager that most people making below six digits in the US will take the former.

    Also, having things like this spread wide for mass consumption is useful to harden public opinion:

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article195434409.html

    , @J.Ross
    Is this the same AndrewR? These comments are wierdly different lately.
    , @istevefan
    The wall, if properly built to succeed, will significantly decrease the amount of people able to come into this country. There is always a possibility of some individuals being able to overcome it, but by and large the bumrush will be over. To me if it cuts down on the rate of flow by 50 percent it is worth it.

    But as importantly, the wall will reestablish the fact that we have borders that must be respected. Our southern border is no longer looked upon as a delineation by many in Mexico who think that we stole their land, and that it is their right to get it back. Additionally many globalists in the USA have begun to think of Mexico and the USA as one entity. Recall the think tank guy who testified before Congress about us worrying about securing Mexico's southern border,thus paving the way for a North American Union.
    , @John Cunningham
    Depends on what you want. Every other border wall on the planet works.
    , @Erik Sieven
    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border, which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity.
    I wonder whether there are better methods to control illegal immigration.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Economy of scale should reduce the cost per mile. Plus, they don’t have to build a bridge every two miles, do they?

    Judges should not be allowed to block progress on a border where the whole purpose is to keep out invaders. It is one of the fundamental responsibilities of government, and it is an executive function.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chris Marsk

    Economy of scale should reduce the cost per mile. Plus, they don’t have to build a bridge every two miles, do they?
     
    I think you missed the point: If you do the math, it works about to almost exactly what Trump requested for the whole, $18 million. So the figure seems to be realistic. Or maybe the contract was a take-it-or-leave-it thing, meet our budget or get outta here.

    There will be bridges here and there, and they'll have to solve other complications that might raise costs, such as the southern border of Big Bend National Park, where a wall in the middle of the Rio Grande in the Boquillas Canyon would wreak a natural wonder. I think the only solution there is to militarily annex some more land in Mexico, but I think our troops can handle that. To the Halls of Montezuma!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. @AndrewR
    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    Is the front door on your house really necessary to keep uninvited people from walking inside of it?

    Maybe some, but not all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Just don't let someone like René Magritte build your door:

    http://belcikowski.org/ladormeuseblogue2/wp-content/uploads2011/magritte_beal/magritte_victoire.jpg

    That's our border now. We need a complete wall.

    Magritte designed a wall too. So far Trump's wall is like Magritte's, but "Ceci n'est pas un mur."

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ses9jQrkk1s/V2ZK6_geghI/AAAAAAAAF4o/B9vhJOUWyHQvg7j0Jhw2v7D1ZJv30QOxACLcB/s400/Rene%25CC%2581%2BMagritte-%2BThe%2Bempty%2Bpicture%2Bframe%252C%2B1934.jpg
    , @anony-mouse
    If you have nothing in the back (Canadian border)...?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Seems awfully expensive. He should check around.

    Border walls or fences are far more common than the media would have you know.

    Lots in the Middle East, and not just Israel.

    Saudi Arabia is a good example. They were getting people coming north from Africa. Plus hostile Shiites in Yemen.

    They still have a problem with people coming for the annual pilgrimage then not leaving. But those people aren’t entitled to a penny of government money and that’s a considerable incentive to leave.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  5. The purpose of the wall is keep the aliens away from lawyers and judges on the American side of the wall.

    Read More
    • Agree: Abe
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  6. I’m wondering if the wall will extend through the Rip Grande portion of the border. The river itself is not much of a barrier and little more than a stream along some sections. In Big Bend Park, it actually goes through a canyon with sheer cliff faces on both sides, so a wall there would be kind of redundant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Trump specifically mentioned it wouldn't be necessary in Big Bend Park.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. @AndrewR
    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    More importantly, is it really effective?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Samuel Skinner
    It is political theater. Of course, the thing about the theater is that people pay attention to it. Having a wall up lets outsiders know that the US will defend its borders and the treasonous snakes are not in ascendance.
    , @22pp22
    The Bulgarians, Hungarians, and Israelis have proven that walls are HIGHLY effective.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    Walls just don't work. That's why Democrats don't care about the wall and don't waste time trying to stop it being built because they now it will not impede illegal border crossings.
    , @Lurker
    We can certainly tell who believes it will be effective by their opposition to it.
    , @M_Young
    Yes, a physical barrier is effective. Even NPR had to admit it, more than a decade ago.

    "As Congress looks to revamp immigration policy, some lawmakers are pushing to extend fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico. Proposals range from beefing up existing fences in Arizona to constructing new fences that would span 700 miles. Those advocating expanded fencing already have a model they can look to: a fence the federal government built more than a decade ago along a 14-mile-stretch in San Diego, Calif., that borders Tijuana, Mexico.

    A Cultural Icon
    To those on the U.S. side, the fences in urban areas between Mexico and the United States are a symbol of security. Very few sections are painted or adorned in any way.

    To many Mexicans, though, the fence is either an insult to be covered up, or a business opportunity. In Nogales, Sonora, shopkeepers say they are offended that the United States built a wall between them and their twin city, Nogales, Ariz. In Tijuana, long stretches of the fence are covered in advertisements or posters. Another section has crosses and coffins nailed to it, in memory of those who died trying to immigrate.

    And at Imperial Beach, which is split at the border by giant steel pillars sunk into the sand, a movie crew shoots what is billed as a “Spanish-language, science-fiction love story” with the fence as a backdrop... immigration politics as entertainment.

    Before the fence was built, all that separated that stretch of Mexico from California was a single strand of cable that demarcated the international border.

    Back then, Border Patrol agent Jim Henry says he was overwhelmed by the stream of immigrants who crossed into the United States illegally just in that sector.

    "It was an area that was out of control," Henry says. "There were over 100,000 aliens crossing through this area a year."

    Today, Henry is assistant chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. He says apprehensions here are down 95 percent, from 100,000 a year to 5,000 a year, largely because the single strand of cable marking the border was replaced by double — and in some places, triple — fencing.

    The first fence, 10 feet high, is made of welded metal panels. The second fence, 15 feet high, consists of steel mesh, and the top is angled inward to make it harder to climb over. Finally, in high-traffic areas, there's also a smaller chain-link fence. In between the two main fences is 150 feet of "no man's land," an area that the Border Patrol sweeps with flood lights and trucks, and soon, surveillance cameras.

    "Here in San Diego, we have proven that the border infrastructure system does indeed work," Henry says. "It is highly effective."

    Rancher Carol Kimsey, who lives in a valley near the Pacific Ocean on the U.S.-side of the fence, says the border barrier has improved the quality of life in the area.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. in downtown Calexico

    Will the wall divide the L and the E in Calexico? Mexicali wants to know.

    A perhaps cheaper idea: give every poor person in Mexico and Central America a free custom IPhone or Android. Then set up the border with one of those electronic virtual dog fences. They’d have to give up the phones to get through, and those would be their most valuable possessions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @You don't say
    Your obviously ignorant to the lifestyle of mexicalians. They don't care about nothing.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYFr3UyVpRA
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  9. Show me a $9 million per mile stretch of wall, and I’ll show you a $10 million worth of ladders. Or something.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  10. Trump threatens to pull ICE out of California . . .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chief Seattle
    Once he's done, the only thing left will be Alforna.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. @Reg Cæsar

    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?
     
    More importantly, is it really effective?

    It is political theater. Of course, the thing about the theater is that people pay attention to it. Having a wall up lets outsiders know that the US will defend its borders and the treasonous snakes are not in ascendance.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. @AndrewR
    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    No. A wall can be easily circumvented. (They manage to get drugs in prison, right?) People already sneak across the border through tunnels and by boat.

    If one wants to stop illegal immigration, what’s needed is to identify illegal immigrants and deport them. The modern police state is perfectly capable of doing this, but it appears Trump doesn’t want to do that any more than Obama did. Or, more charitably, it’s politically impossible.

    The wall is just a way for it to look as though something is being done.

    Read More
    • Agree: AndrewR
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @AndrewR
    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    It doesn’t get to the crux of the matter: the employers who create the economic opportunities for illegals. Destroy that, and how do illegals survive in the US? Financially ruin a few stupid businessmen over the matter and make sure it is publicized nice and wide. The rest will fall into line, quick. If there is a single measure that would start decreasing the illegal populace in the US-not just because people will return home, but also because less people will start attempting to come-that’d be it. Problem is, we’re dealing with the Republican Party here. (“Bu, but… THEY’RE JOB CREATORS!” No, dude, they are enemies of our national interests. If most of the GOP base was aligned with the Chamber of Commerce boys on this issue, Jeb Bush would have lost to Hillary in 2016.)

    Eliminating access to public services for illegals as much as possible, having ICE subtly cooperate with local police departments under the noses of sanctuary cities (give them a taste of their own medicine), and awarding the American public monetary incentives (If coupled wisely with the message of black people gaining the jobs or getting increased wages for every illegal deported, this could also further serve to screw up Democratic Party dynamics) for turning in illegals are all nice add-ons, too. If given the choice between 10,000 dollars and being feted by Vox, I’m willing to wager that most people making below six digits in the US will take the former.

    Also, having things like this spread wide for mass consumption is useful to harden public opinion:

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article195434409.html

    Read More
    • Agree: MBlanc46
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. Israel’s cost for fence, road, and surveillance equipment was $3 million a mile on Egyptian border.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Goat, Israel's wall/fence just needs to slow the invaders down a bit so they can shoot them as they cross.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @AndrewR
    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    Is this the same AndrewR? These comments are wierdly different lately.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Are they?

    I've never been terribly convinced the wall is necessary, assuming it would work at all. As Matthew McConnagay points out above, we just need to enforce existing law [...for starters, but that's another discussion]. Our problem isn't lack of a wall. It's lack of political will. Illegals make up a large part of our economy, as well as potential future Democrat votes. I think a great dystopian novel could be written about what could happen if the federal executive branch stopped playing around and made it a goal to deport all illegals within a year.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. @AndrewR
    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    The wall, if properly built to succeed, will significantly decrease the amount of people able to come into this country. There is always a possibility of some individuals being able to overcome it, but by and large the bumrush will be over. To me if it cuts down on the rate of flow by 50 percent it is worth it.

    But as importantly, the wall will reestablish the fact that we have borders that must be respected. Our southern border is no longer looked upon as a delineation by many in Mexico who think that we stole their land, and that it is their right to get it back. Additionally many globalists in the USA have begun to think of Mexico and the USA as one entity. Recall the think tank guy who testified before Congress about us worrying about securing Mexico’s southern border,thus paving the way for a North American Union.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. @AndrewR
    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    Depends on what you want. Every other border wall on the planet works.

    Read More
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  18. Whaddya mean build a wall? The Democrats still haven’t gotten over what happened on November 8, 2016 . . .

    Read More
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  19. Great. Now MOAR.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  20. @Reg Cæsar

    in downtown Calexico
     
    Will the wall divide the L and the E in Calexico? Mexicali wants to know.

    A perhaps cheaper idea: give every poor person in Mexico and Central America a free custom IPhone or Android. Then set up the border with one of those electronic virtual dog fences. They'd have to give up the phones to get through, and those would be their most valuable possessions.

    https://sep.yimg.com/ay/hightechpet/trade-in-your-invisible-fence-1.gif

    Your obviously ignorant to the lifestyle of mexicalians. They don’t care about nothing.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. Here is what we do know.

    There are some sections of the border which are well guarded, and have a decent wall. Illegal aliens tend to avoid those areas, going to the less populated and less guarded areas. Those areas are often in rather desolate areas, so a number of illegal aliens die during the trip. Some are raped. Some are held for ransom until their relatives pay more money for them to get through. Many make it through. That is what happens when we outsource our immigration to Mexican drug cartels and Chinese gangs, etc.

    There are two possible ways to reduce the number of deaths.

    First, we could simply open our borders.

    Second, we could discourage people from coming to America.

    A wall would stop SOME of the drugs and gangs and illegal aliens.

    The most cost-effective way to stop illegal immigration would be far more workplace enforcement. However, workplace enforcement violates the Golden Rule: those with the Gold make the Rules.

    If we were a democracy, instead of an oligarchy, workplace enforcement would be the #1 tactic used to stop illegal immigration. If people in Puebla or Guatemala City see neighbors who had lived in the US for years, or even decades, returning home because they were either deported or could no longer find work, far fewer people would make the trips.

    Discouraging people from coming to the US would reduce deaths, rapes, robberies and kidnappings en route. It would reduce the number of foreigners being held as slaves in the US.

    But it would offend people looking for cheap labor or cheap votes.

    Read More
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  22. @AndrewR
    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border, which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity.
    I wonder whether there are better methods to control illegal immigration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Eric Sieven wrote:

    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border, which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity
     
    Putting politics aside and speaking just as a scientist, I think you are mistaken here (although I myself am a physicist, I am married to a biologist, and I have some knowledge of population biology).

    Both the Southwest USA and northern Mexico are large areas. A wall that manages to stop wildlife from crossing (animals are pretty clever -- they may not be stopped!) would simply be the ecological equivalent of a high mountain range, a broad river, etc., which occur all over the planet. Of course, the newly created ecosystems would have to adjust to the new geography, but, again, that happens all the time.

    Environmentalists act as if ecologies are these horribly fragile little teacups that are ready to shatter at the slightest touch. If that were true, the biosphere would have disappeared billions of years ago.

    In fact, the exact opposite is true: billions of times the biosphere has absorbed without a hiccup changes far more dramatic than a wall.

    We can argue about whether the wall makes sense politically or economically, but, ecologically, it is the proverbial "nothingburger."

    Of course, the environmental cultists will just lie about this anyway.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border

     

    That's racist.


    which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity

     

    Overpopulation also is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity. How many square miles of habitat have been developed to house the 100 million people we have added since 1972 when native birth rate reached equalibrium?
    , @Daniel Williams

    I wonder whether there are better methods to control illegal immigration.
     
    I favor machinegun nests and a moat, but we'd never get the funding.
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  23. Trump’s masterstroke would be to crowd source the wall. Put simply, even at the inflated rate of $9 per mile, all it would take is his 60 million voters putting up $300 a piece to build it from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. That is $1 a day for less than a year. Anyone else who wanted to contribute would be welcome to do so.

    This would simultaneously out group the Democrats who are sitting on their hands grousing about racism and bypass the Republicans who are bellyaching about the cost.

    Make any contributions fully tax deductible or a tax credit and write on every 1040 near the bottom line an itemized line where people could write in and write off their contribution. California does that now fund the rare and endangered species, firefighters memorials, etc. It would be very easy to set up fund raising drives and set goals for towns, schools, factories similar to how money was raised to build tanks and planes during WW2. Tell the public, if there is any money left over we will continue along the Canadian border.

    It would be unstoppable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Peof Woland wrote:

    Trump’s masterstroke would be to crowd source the wall.
     
    And, of course, Trump could start it out with a press conference at which he personally wrote out a check to cover the first five miles!

    And, anyone who paid for at least 100 ft. of wall could put up a plaque dedicating the wall to a person or cause of his choice (how many sections would be dedicated to Nancy Pelosi?).

    You need to get this idea to the Administration!
    , @dr kill
    I'd gladly buy a brick if I could add a custom message. There's a real business oppo here.
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  24. @Reg Cæsar

    in downtown Calexico
     
    Will the wall divide the L and the E in Calexico? Mexicali wants to know.

    A perhaps cheaper idea: give every poor person in Mexico and Central America a free custom IPhone or Android. Then set up the border with one of those electronic virtual dog fences. They'd have to give up the phones to get through, and those would be their most valuable possessions.

    https://sep.yimg.com/ay/hightechpet/trade-in-your-invisible-fence-1.gif

    Read More
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  25. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Is the front door on your house really necessary to keep uninvited people from walking inside of it?

    Maybe some, but not all.

    Just don’t let someone like René Magritte build your door:

    That’s our border now. We need a complete wall.

    Magritte designed a wall too. So far Trump’s wall is like Magritte’s, but “Ceci n’est pas un mur.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Just don’t let someone like René Magritte build your door:
     
    On the other hand, MC Escher would be perfect!

    http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/wm/live/1280_640/images/live/p0/2v/hq/p02vhq1v.jpg
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  26. A wall would be even more popular if our government bothered explaining the cost savings associated with building one. Even at the inflated rate of $18 billion, a cost reduction of $1 billion per year on the fixed costs associated with staffing the border would yield a 5.5% savings. Our government is currently borrowing money on 30 year t-bills at a little over 3%. Then you add in the savings that we are spending now on prison costs, education, crime, and social displacement and you are now talking about a real return on investment. On top of that, the wall would be build in the USA so it would produce jobs with a high multiplier effect stimulating the economy. This is a no brainer.

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  27. Curiel shouldn’t be ruling in this case. He may have been born in Indiana, but he’s spent his career looking southward from San Diego. He’s done training for Colombian prosecutors, Mexican judges, Costa Rican magistrates and bi-national conferences. He belongs to the ABA Hispanic Advisory Commission, Hispanic National Bar Association, La Raza Lawyers of San Diego, Latino Judges Association and the National Hispanic Prosecutors Association.

    A pattern is clear and it gives the appearance of partiality. He should recuse himself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    densa wrote:

    Curiel... belongs to... La Raza Lawyers of San Diego...
     
    Since the literal meaning of "la raza" (according to Google translate) is "the race," that means that Curiel is, in the most literal possible sense, a "racist," doesn't it?

    I mean, if you can't trust Google translate, who ya gonna trust?

    Anyone want to give odds as to how Curiel is going to rule?

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  28. @Reg Cæsar

    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?
     
    More importantly, is it really effective?

    The Bulgarians, Hungarians, and Israelis have proven that walls are HIGHLY effective.

    Read More
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  29. @Goatweed
    Israel's cost for fence, road, and surveillance equipment was $3 million a mile on Egyptian border.

    Goat, Israel’s wall/fence just needs to slow the invaders down a bit so they can shoot them as they cross.

    Read More
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  30. @Erik Sieven
    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border, which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity.
    I wonder whether there are better methods to control illegal immigration.

    Eric Sieven wrote:

    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border, which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity

    Putting politics aside and speaking just as a scientist, I think you are mistaken here (although I myself am a physicist, I am married to a biologist, and I have some knowledge of population biology).

    Both the Southwest USA and northern Mexico are large areas. A wall that manages to stop wildlife from crossing (animals are pretty clever — they may not be stopped!) would simply be the ecological equivalent of a high mountain range, a broad river, etc., which occur all over the planet. Of course, the newly created ecosystems would have to adjust to the new geography, but, again, that happens all the time.

    Environmentalists act as if ecologies are these horribly fragile little teacups that are ready to shatter at the slightest touch. If that were true, the biosphere would have disappeared billions of years ago.

    In fact, the exact opposite is true: billions of times the biosphere has absorbed without a hiccup changes far more dramatic than a wall.

    We can argue about whether the wall makes sense politically or economically, but, ecologically, it is the proverbial “nothingburger.”

    Of course, the environmental cultists will just lie about this anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AndrewR
    High mountain ranges don't spring up in a short time period, nor, generally, do broad rivers. I don't claim to be an expert on the ecology of the US/Mexico border region, but I know enough to think your analogies are terrible.
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  31. Curiel will never allow the Wall to be built. Conflict of interest is for little people.

    Read More
    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
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  32. @Hapalong Cassidy
    I’m wondering if the wall will extend through the Rip Grande portion of the border. The river itself is not much of a barrier and little more than a stream along some sections. In Big Bend Park, it actually goes through a canyon with sheer cliff faces on both sides, so a wall there would be kind of redundant.

    Trump specifically mentioned it wouldn’t be necessary in Big Bend Park.

    Read More
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  33. @densa
    Curiel shouldn't be ruling in this case. He may have been born in Indiana, but he's spent his career looking southward from San Diego. He's done training for Colombian prosecutors, Mexican judges, Costa Rican magistrates and bi-national conferences. He belongs to the ABA Hispanic Advisory Commission, Hispanic National Bar Association, La Raza Lawyers of San Diego, Latino Judges Association and the National Hispanic Prosecutors Association.

    A pattern is clear and it gives the appearance of partiality. He should recuse himself.

    densa wrote:

    Curiel… belongs to… La Raza Lawyers of San Diego…

    Since the literal meaning of “la raza” (according to Google translate) is “the race,” that means that Curiel is, in the most literal possible sense, a “racist,” doesn’t it?

    I mean, if you can’t trust Google translate, who ya gonna trust?

    Anyone want to give odds as to how Curiel is going to rule?

    Read More
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  34. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Is the front door on your house really necessary to keep uninvited people from walking inside of it?

    Maybe some, but not all.

    If you have nothing in the back (Canadian border)…?

    Read More
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  35. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada–United_States_border is certainly much prettier especially with the long areas with minimal security (if that). I guess no one wants to mess it up.

    Read More
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  36. @Prof. Woland
    Trump's masterstroke would be to crowd source the wall. Put simply, even at the inflated rate of $9 per mile, all it would take is his 60 million voters putting up $300 a piece to build it from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. That is $1 a day for less than a year. Anyone else who wanted to contribute would be welcome to do so.

    This would simultaneously out group the Democrats who are sitting on their hands grousing about racism and bypass the Republicans who are bellyaching about the cost.

    Make any contributions fully tax deductible or a tax credit and write on every 1040 near the bottom line an itemized line where people could write in and write off their contribution. California does that now fund the rare and endangered species, firefighters memorials, etc. It would be very easy to set up fund raising drives and set goals for towns, schools, factories similar to how money was raised to build tanks and planes during WW2. Tell the public, if there is any money left over we will continue along the Canadian border.

    It would be unstoppable.

    Peof Woland wrote:

    Trump’s masterstroke would be to crowd source the wall.

    And, of course, Trump could start it out with a press conference at which he personally wrote out a check to cover the first five miles!

    And, anyone who paid for at least 100 ft. of wall could put up a plaque dedicating the wall to a person or cause of his choice (how many sections would be dedicated to Nancy Pelosi?).

    You need to get this idea to the Administration!

    Read More
    • Replies: @JMcG
    Yes! We could have one of those fundraisers where you buy a brick for a couple hundred and they put your name on it.
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  37. @Reg Cæsar

    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?
     
    More importantly, is it really effective?

    Walls just don’t work. That’s why Democrats don’t care about the wall and don’t waste time trying to stop it being built because they now it will not impede illegal border crossings.

    Read More
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  38. @Erik Sieven
    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border, which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity.
    I wonder whether there are better methods to control illegal immigration.

    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border

    That’s racist.

    which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity

    Overpopulation also is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity. How many square miles of habitat have been developed to house the 100 million people we have added since 1972 when native birth rate reached equalibrium?

    Read More
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  39. @Reg Cæsar

    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?
     
    More importantly, is it really effective?

    We can certainly tell who believes it will be effective by their opposition to it.

    Read More
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  40. At least Coulter will finally shut up about her “the border wall isn’t being built” contrarian dog-that-caught-the-car nonsense.

    (No she won’t.)

    Read More
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  41. @PhysicistDave
    Eric Sieven wrote:

    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border, which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity
     
    Putting politics aside and speaking just as a scientist, I think you are mistaken here (although I myself am a physicist, I am married to a biologist, and I have some knowledge of population biology).

    Both the Southwest USA and northern Mexico are large areas. A wall that manages to stop wildlife from crossing (animals are pretty clever -- they may not be stopped!) would simply be the ecological equivalent of a high mountain range, a broad river, etc., which occur all over the planet. Of course, the newly created ecosystems would have to adjust to the new geography, but, again, that happens all the time.

    Environmentalists act as if ecologies are these horribly fragile little teacups that are ready to shatter at the slightest touch. If that were true, the biosphere would have disappeared billions of years ago.

    In fact, the exact opposite is true: billions of times the biosphere has absorbed without a hiccup changes far more dramatic than a wall.

    We can argue about whether the wall makes sense politically or economically, but, ecologically, it is the proverbial "nothingburger."

    Of course, the environmental cultists will just lie about this anyway.

    High mountain ranges don’t spring up in a short time period, nor, generally, do broad rivers. I don’t claim to be an expert on the ecology of the US/Mexico border region, but I know enough to think your analogies are terrible.

    Read More
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  42. @PhysicistDave
    Peof Woland wrote:

    Trump’s masterstroke would be to crowd source the wall.
     
    And, of course, Trump could start it out with a press conference at which he personally wrote out a check to cover the first five miles!

    And, anyone who paid for at least 100 ft. of wall could put up a plaque dedicating the wall to a person or cause of his choice (how many sections would be dedicated to Nancy Pelosi?).

    You need to get this idea to the Administration!

    Yes! We could have one of those fundraisers where you buy a brick for a couple hundred and they put your name on it.

    Read More
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  43. @J.Ross
    Is this the same AndrewR? These comments are wierdly different lately.

    Are they?

    I’ve never been terribly convinced the wall is necessary, assuming it would work at all. As Matthew McConnagay points out above, we just need to enforce existing law [...for starters, but that's another discussion]. Our problem isn’t lack of a wall. It’s lack of political will. Illegals make up a large part of our economy, as well as potential future Democrat votes. I think a great dystopian novel could be written about what could happen if the federal executive branch stopped playing around and made it a goal to deport all illegals within a year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Matthew McConnagay
    Wasn't Trump going to do exactly that? And so fast our heads would spin?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. @Prof. Woland
    Trump's masterstroke would be to crowd source the wall. Put simply, even at the inflated rate of $9 per mile, all it would take is his 60 million voters putting up $300 a piece to build it from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. That is $1 a day for less than a year. Anyone else who wanted to contribute would be welcome to do so.

    This would simultaneously out group the Democrats who are sitting on their hands grousing about racism and bypass the Republicans who are bellyaching about the cost.

    Make any contributions fully tax deductible or a tax credit and write on every 1040 near the bottom line an itemized line where people could write in and write off their contribution. California does that now fund the rare and endangered species, firefighters memorials, etc. It would be very easy to set up fund raising drives and set goals for towns, schools, factories similar to how money was raised to build tanks and planes during WW2. Tell the public, if there is any money left over we will continue along the Canadian border.

    It would be unstoppable.

    I’d gladly buy a brick if I could add a custom message. There’s a real business oppo here.

    Read More
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  45. @Erik Sieven
    This wall also stop wild animals to cross the border, which is bad for ecological stability and biodiversity.
    I wonder whether there are better methods to control illegal immigration.

    I wonder whether there are better methods to control illegal immigration.

    I favor machinegun nests and a moat, but we’d never get the funding.

    Read More
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  46. Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?

    Sometimes you build things just to make a point. Especially when your enemies are scum.

    Judges should not be allowed to block progress on a border where the whole purpose is to keep out invaders. It is one of the fundamental responsibilities of government, and it is an executive function.

    They aren’t. Well, technically they are: by Congress. The Judiciary is Congress’ fault, period. They have practically absolute authority (they have a couple of effectively meaningless restrictions) granted them by the Constitution to regulate and constitute the judiciary. They haven’t done their job in generations. This state of affairs is of course enabled by a corrupt and treacherous alliance of the political/donor class, academia, and big media. God willing, this will enter the public consciousness in a big way, going forward.

    I’m starting to think the Judiciary is relatively restrained, given the way Congress has completely abdicated any kind of oversight for so many years.

    More importantly, is it really effective?

    A year ago I would have said “no,” and pointed out that simply making criminal infiltration a high priority of federal law-enforcement, frog-marching lots of criminal employers past the cameras and into jail for real stretches (after extracting ruinous – think bankruptcy – fines) is the way to go.

    Now that I’ve seen a bit more from The Swamp, I think a wall may actually be the most effective way to solve the problem, given the political climate. Once a wall is built, there will be less The Swamp can do to undermine it. You can disband a unit in a second and a half. A wall’s a bit harder to get rid of.

    Walls just don’t work. That’s why Democrats don’t care about the wall and don’t waste time trying to stop it being built because they now it will not impede illegal border crossings.

    This is a man who should be writing talking points for the (freshly purged, if we’re wishing) GOP.

    High mountain ranges don’t spring up in a short time period, nor, generally, do broad rivers. I don’t claim to be an expert on the ecology of the US/Mexico border region, but I know enough to think your analogies are terrible.

    Meaning, what? That the ecology needs geologic time to adapt? His point seems at least as plausible as yours. On the other hand, I stopped entertaining the left’s eco-blather back when I realized that they absolutely forbid preserving or researching human races/subspecies/population groups. There is no more important facet of biodiversity.

    Our problem isn’t lack of a wall. It’s lack of political will.

    I’ve been saying the same thing for years. Over and over. BUT, if you’re planning security for a client, you don’t lecture him about what a wuss he is if he’s too soft-hearted to buy a gun, learn to shoot it, and plan on using it against intruders. You just build him the damn wall and install the damn alarms like he wants.

    Read More
    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
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  47. I don’t claim to be an expert on the ecology of the US/Mexico border region

    The Loire Valley it ain’t.

    Read More
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  48. @AndrewR
    Are they?

    I've never been terribly convinced the wall is necessary, assuming it would work at all. As Matthew McConnagay points out above, we just need to enforce existing law [...for starters, but that's another discussion]. Our problem isn't lack of a wall. It's lack of political will. Illegals make up a large part of our economy, as well as potential future Democrat votes. I think a great dystopian novel could be written about what could happen if the federal executive branch stopped playing around and made it a goal to deport all illegals within a year.

    Wasn’t Trump going to do exactly that? And so fast our heads would spin?

    Read More
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  49. @Reg Cæsar

    Is the wall really necessary to keep illegals and contraband out?
     
    More importantly, is it really effective?

    Yes, a physical barrier is effective. Even NPR had to admit it, more than a decade ago.

    “As Congress looks to revamp immigration policy, some lawmakers are pushing to extend fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico. Proposals range from beefing up existing fences in Arizona to constructing new fences that would span 700 miles. Those advocating expanded fencing already have a model they can look to: a fence the federal government built more than a decade ago along a 14-mile-stretch in San Diego, Calif., that borders Tijuana, Mexico.

    A Cultural Icon
    To those on the U.S. side, the fences in urban areas between Mexico and the United States are a symbol of security. Very few sections are painted or adorned in any way.

    To many Mexicans, though, the fence is either an insult to be covered up, or a business opportunity. In Nogales, Sonora, shopkeepers say they are offended that the United States built a wall between them and their twin city, Nogales, Ariz. In Tijuana, long stretches of the fence are covered in advertisements or posters. Another section has crosses and coffins nailed to it, in memory of those who died trying to immigrate.

    And at Imperial Beach, which is split at the border by giant steel pillars sunk into the sand, a movie crew shoots what is billed as a “Spanish-language, science-fiction love story” with the fence as a backdrop… immigration politics as entertainment.

    Before the fence was built, all that separated that stretch of Mexico from California was a single strand of cable that demarcated the international border.

    Back then, Border Patrol agent Jim Henry says he was overwhelmed by the stream of immigrants who crossed into the United States illegally just in that sector.

    “It was an area that was out of control,” Henry says. “There were over 100,000 aliens crossing through this area a year.”

    Today, Henry is assistant chief of the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector. He says apprehensions here are down 95 percent, from 100,000 a year to 5,000 a year, largely because the single strand of cable marking the border was replaced by double — and in some places, triple — fencing.

    The first fence, 10 feet high, is made of welded metal panels. The second fence, 15 feet high, consists of steel mesh, and the top is angled inward to make it harder to climb over. Finally, in high-traffic areas, there’s also a smaller chain-link fence. In between the two main fences is 150 feet of “no man’s land,” an area that the Border Patrol sweeps with flood lights and trucks, and soon, surveillance cameras.

    “Here in San Diego, we have proven that the border infrastructure system does indeed work,” Henry says. “It is highly effective.”

    Rancher Carol Kimsey, who lives in a valley near the Pacific Ocean on the U.S.-side of the fence, says the border barrier has improved the quality of life in the area.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    In Tijuana, long stretches of the fence are covered in advertisements or posters. Another section has crosses and coffins nailed to it, in memory of those who died trying to immigrate
     
    I'd thought of plastering the south side with giant pictures of Mexico's most attractive places.

    But now, I think of photos of that guy who shot up McDonald's in San Ysidro years ago.

    https://www.historyandheadlines.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/july-18-1984-mcdonalds-shooting-1.jpg

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/I-5_South_San_Ysidro.jpg

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  50. If the new wall is just bollards, won’t they be able to just walk around the bollards? Bollards are just for vechicles.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    If the new wall is just bollards, won’t they be able to just walk around the bollards? Bollards are just for vechicles
     
    Never mind the bollards, here come las Pistoles del Sexo.
    , @Reg Cæsar
    http://www.adeevee.com/aimages/200609/04/pasante-healthcare-condoms-bollard-outdoor-96163-adeevee.jpg
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  51. @M_Young
    Yes, a physical barrier is effective. Even NPR had to admit it, more than a decade ago.

    "As Congress looks to revamp immigration policy, some lawmakers are pushing to extend fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico. Proposals range from beefing up existing fences in Arizona to constructing new fences that would span 700 miles. Those advocating expanded fencing already have a model they can look to: a fence the federal government built more than a decade ago along a 14-mile-stretch in San Diego, Calif., that borders Tijuana, Mexico.

    A Cultural Icon
    To those on the U.S. side, the fences in urban areas between Mexico and the United States are a symbol of security. Very few sections are painted or adorned in any way.

    To many Mexicans, though, the fence is either an insult to be covered up, or a business opportunity. In Nogales, Sonora, shopkeepers say they are offended that the United States built a wall between them and their twin city, Nogales, Ariz. In Tijuana, long stretches of the fence are covered in advertisements or posters. Another section has crosses and coffins nailed to it, in memory of those who died trying to immigrate.

    And at Imperial Beach, which is split at the border by giant steel pillars sunk into the sand, a movie crew shoots what is billed as a “Spanish-language, science-fiction love story” with the fence as a backdrop... immigration politics as entertainment.

    Before the fence was built, all that separated that stretch of Mexico from California was a single strand of cable that demarcated the international border.

    Back then, Border Patrol agent Jim Henry says he was overwhelmed by the stream of immigrants who crossed into the United States illegally just in that sector.

    "It was an area that was out of control," Henry says. "There were over 100,000 aliens crossing through this area a year."

    Today, Henry is assistant chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. He says apprehensions here are down 95 percent, from 100,000 a year to 5,000 a year, largely because the single strand of cable marking the border was replaced by double — and in some places, triple — fencing.

    The first fence, 10 feet high, is made of welded metal panels. The second fence, 15 feet high, consists of steel mesh, and the top is angled inward to make it harder to climb over. Finally, in high-traffic areas, there's also a smaller chain-link fence. In between the two main fences is 150 feet of "no man's land," an area that the Border Patrol sweeps with flood lights and trucks, and soon, surveillance cameras.

    "Here in San Diego, we have proven that the border infrastructure system does indeed work," Henry says. "It is highly effective."

    Rancher Carol Kimsey, who lives in a valley near the Pacific Ocean on the U.S.-side of the fence, says the border barrier has improved the quality of life in the area.

    In Tijuana, long stretches of the fence are covered in advertisements or posters. Another section has crosses and coffins nailed to it, in memory of those who died trying to immigrate

    I’d thought of plastering the south side with giant pictures of Mexico’s most attractive places.

    But now, I think of photos of that guy who shot up McDonald’s in San Ysidro years ago.

    Read More
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  52. @Alden
    If the new wall is just bollards, won’t they be able to just walk around the bollards? Bollards are just for vechicles.

    If the new wall is just bollards, won’t they be able to just walk around the bollards? Bollards are just for vechicles

    Never mind the bollards, here come las Pistoles del Sexo.

    Read More
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  53. @Alden
    If the new wall is just bollards, won’t they be able to just walk around the bollards? Bollards are just for vechicles.

    Read More
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  54. @Detective Club
    Trump threatens to pull ICE out of California . . .
    https://youtu.be/olEK_U13Ljc

    Once he’s done, the only thing left will be Alforna.

    Read More
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  55. @Buzz Mohawk
    Economy of scale should reduce the cost per mile. Plus, they don't have to build a bridge every two miles, do they?

    Judges should not be allowed to block progress on a border where the whole purpose is to keep out invaders. It is one of the fundamental responsibilities of government, and it is an executive function.

    Economy of scale should reduce the cost per mile. Plus, they don’t have to build a bridge every two miles, do they?

    I think you missed the point: If you do the math, it works about to almost exactly what Trump requested for the whole, $18 million. So the figure seems to be realistic. Or maybe the contract was a take-it-or-leave-it thing, meet our budget or get outta here.

    There will be bridges here and there, and they’ll have to solve other complications that might raise costs, such as the southern border of Big Bend National Park, where a wall in the middle of the Rio Grande in the Boquillas Canyon would wreak a natural wonder. I think the only solution there is to militarily annex some more land in Mexico, but I think our troops can handle that. To the Halls of Montezuma!

    Read More
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  56. @Buzz Mohawk
    Just don't let someone like René Magritte build your door:

    http://belcikowski.org/ladormeuseblogue2/wp-content/uploads2011/magritte_beal/magritte_victoire.jpg

    That's our border now. We need a complete wall.

    Magritte designed a wall too. So far Trump's wall is like Magritte's, but "Ceci n'est pas un mur."

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ses9jQrkk1s/V2ZK6_geghI/AAAAAAAAF4o/B9vhJOUWyHQvg7j0Jhw2v7D1ZJv30QOxACLcB/s400/Rene%25CC%2581%2BMagritte-%2BThe%2Bempty%2Bpicture%2Bframe%252C%2B1934.jpg

    Just don’t let someone like René Magritte build your door:

    On the other hand, MC Escher would be perfect!

    Read More
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  57. No US federal judge is named Gonzalo Curiel.

    Read More
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