From The Asian Reporter, V27, #11 (June 5, 2017), page 6.
A Wall for our Americas
Come close. I want to tell you something. Pero please, not a word of this to
mi familia or my facebook friends. Not a whisper to my Mexican or Muslim best
buds. Nor to our Filipino or Chinese neighbors. Okay?
Here goes: I submitted a bid to build The Wall. That $20-billion wall. Sure,
big U.S. and Mexican contractors submitted theirs. But mine will win,
because my Wall will dwarf China’s Great Wall. Mine’ll divide the Americas in a
way that will put Israel’s awful Wall to shame. Remember that ugly thing that
cut Germany in two? — Forget about it.
Forget all that old-school history, my Wall is cool, what’s more, it’s
practical and cheap.
The Border Wall must be cool because, as any fifth-grader will tell you, our
executive branch can propose whatever it wants, but only congress can fund it.
And congressional approval requires cool.
To please establishment GOPers, my Wall has swinging doors — the kind harried
waiters hip-bump dashing between steamy kitchens and hungry eaters. Willamette
Valley farmers, Clatsop County dairymen, and Beaverton suburb builders love this
feature. I asked.
Ask chambers of commerce, coast to coast. They’re not shy about articulating
just how far behind the ball D.C. has been in lowering the blackberry bramble of
federal regs, appellate board decisions, federal court rulings, and presidential
orders that in the awful aggregate gets called "immigration law."
Sure, our angry neighbors insist "those illegal aliens gotta wait in line,"
like their ancestors waited at Angel Island or Ellis Island. But N.E. Broadway’s
café owners and Silicon Forest chipmakers will say: "What line?"
For both our demand and supply sides, there is no system to meet their needs.
Business big and small has waited for decades. Analogize this to running trains
or busses. Imagine TriMet’s sleek MAX or my morning bus without their handy
ticket outlets or those hip smartphone apps. My Great Wall will have tidy
turnstile ticket machines, miles and miles of them. Pling-pling.
Liberal Demos will love my bid too. My Wall includes cool passage for the
healthy grazing and happy mating of Mexican jaguar, West Indian manatee,
pronghorn antelope too. It’s chest high where our Pacific Northwest monarchs and
Chapman Elementary chimney swifts have always crossed. Not cool is dividing our
love for bugs and birdies from our love for human families, each doing what each
has always done everywhere, across our precious planet’s well-worn face.
Because my Wall will be less about walling out necessary and natural
phenomena, my Wall is cheap. Say, 70 percent less to build — less the proceeds
from ticket sales to those 10 million shamelessly ambitious Mexican men and
women already working real hard here. And, add to the "plus" column, lease
proceeds for 1,000 spidery cell towers I’ll raise to keep up with expanding
markets for the great ideas, for Amazon deliveries, and for the digitalized
dollars these families spread across our Americas.
Sure, getting zippy chimney swifts and grumpy jaguars to pay for passage will
be harder, but not really necessary. Big Wall talk is actually not about barrier
building. The former USSR tried and tried to divide Europe, but now chunks of
Berlin’s Wall are on eBay. China tried it too, but today’s Great Wall crawls
with tourists. It’s really more about national theater. And that won’t cost $20
Bottom line of my no-drama bid: Dollars and goods move, people and birdies
move, Depoe Bay’s beloved gray whale families move. This movement has always
been necessary and natural. Beautiful. Only borders are new. And tall Walls are
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