Don’t fence me in!

By Jack Hoffman

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences/ gaze at the moon until I lose my senses/can’t look at hobbles, and I can’t stand fences/ so don’t fence me in.” Sung by Gene Autry.Words and Lyrics by Cole Porter.

It seems every time I hear about tightening our borders, especially with a fence, I want to scream out: “You phony fools! You’re duping the American people again!”

In 2006, in response to an outcry from panicked citizens, Congress once again attempted to tackle the problem of the proliferation of un-documented workers. Unable to reach any compromise, or anything that made sense,Congress authorized the building of a 700-mile long fence. It was cake to the constituency, but it was as dumb as the idea of picking up 12 million workers and deporting them.

Make no mistake: This is no ordinary fence. It’s 18 feet high and three feet thick at some points, with another three feet buried into the desert sands and framed to be filled with concrete. The “wall,” as it should be appropriately called, has been contracted to Boeing, who in turn is using sub-contractors who just happen to have bene fined for using undocumented workers.

Its ironic the U.S.A. is partially responsible for the problems at the border. You might say, “What goes around comes around.”

This is our wall of shame: It is emblematic, in the same way that the Berlin Wall was a symbol of the failure of Communism Soviet style. It’s our symbol of a failed foreign policy that for years included exploitation of many of the countries south of our border. Countries whose corrupt dictators we protected to cover the asses of many of our large corporations so they could use its cheap labor and steal some of its most important assets. We just wanted to keep them happy down on the farm- at least we hoped. History repeatedly tells us that when the natives got restless, we called out the C.I.A. or we just invaded. Yes, over 120 times into South and Central American countries and three times into Mexico to steal its oil. Fortunately, we never got it that way; we just forced them into using our refinery capacity.

Now the Homeland Security bozos wants to shift 200 miles of that seven hundred failure to southern Texas, an area where I spent a great deal of time. The big secret that I share with the locals, the Border Patrol and politicians is that this idea won’t work. It’s a grandiose idea that is as futile as telling these folks: Stay home, don’t work and stay happy with your existing life. Texas has over 900 miles of border with Mexico. There are just nine border crossings.

The largest and busiest is The Peace Bridge in Laredo-now that’s some oxymoron. Every day over 2,000 commercial vehicles cross the bridge. That includes the trucks that go across to buy diesel at 90 cents per gal. Another 3,000-5,000 Mexicans cross to do their shopping in town, and hopefully they return. It’s that easy to say “Adios” to Mexico. By the way, there is a 1,500 mile coast line in Mexico that circles around the southern part of the U.S.A.

The new wall will actually bisect the campus of the University of Texas at Brownsville. It will continue until it reaches Ms Eloisa Tanz’ property who, at 72, has seen the government take half of her original 12,000-acre ranch and pay her nothing. Now the government will take pretty much the balance. To the point she will now be able to reach out and touch the wall from her kitchen. She has refused compensation, and the government is prepared to issue a condemnation of the property. All Ms. Tanz wants to know is why does the wall stop some 50 miles from her home at the swanky River Bend golf and Resort Club? A swanky facility for all those wealthy Texans. The wall picks just 10 miles from the 18th hole- runs another sixty miles until it hits J.L. Hunt’s ranch. You remember him – the billionaire oil man who attempted to corner the silver market. Good old J.L. loves Republicans and his precious board job at Halliburton.To put it mildly, he doesn’t like a fence in his back yard. How about a wall? J.L. also developed a 500-acre lot along the Rio Grande that presently includes 300 homes ranging in price from $500,000 to $1 million, with one of those fancy Natick Collections inside this cozy gated community. In another 10 miles, the wall picks up and ends just down the highway a bit, as they say in Texas, from Huntsville, as in J.L.

So you tell me about that fence wall being built for what that’s going to save us all from those bad terrorists. Tell me again. By the way, not a single detainee has been held who would match the description of a terrorist.

The word from downtown is that many Brazilians are beginning to leave to go home. Two reasons: their economy is starting to pick up and the Reais (Brazillian Dollar) is gaining on the dollar. I wonder how much of a hand we had in improving their economy. Adios: Maybe I’ll take a holiday down to Mexico and help improve their economy!