The ‘Wall’

Mexico-U.S. border wall prototypes/photo by CBP Photography/Flickr

I understand immigration is a big issue, particularly illegal immigration. I went through hell to get into this country legally, all because I just happened to fall in love with a US citizen!

This isn’t the solution though; a wall that is. The proverbial ladders are already being funded and built. The real costs will be incredible! You’re talking about taking land from farmers, stopping their seasonal workers from doing the laborious jobs no one else will do because the pay isn’t worthy of the labor-intensive nature involved. Fresh produce will increase in price – for all of us, as will law suits because the government is taking private land and there are very few private land owners willingly ready to give up their hard-worked land. Not to mention the incredible environmental impact – the actual production of cement/concrete, creates immensely harmful greenhouse gasses. The Rio Grande is often a scarce water region so locals, neighbours, on both sides of the river, have for years worked together to come up with solutions to share the water resources. They have built dams together, they have, for the most part, been extremely amicable, my daughter literally read a passage out of her fifth grade social studies/geography text book about just this thing last night.

Then there’s the devastating impact on wildlife. The National Butterfly Center located in Mission, TX has had a portion of its property sectioned off to build a part of the wall that was already funded under Congress last year (2018) when it approved the funding of approximately 33 acres of ‘barrier’ costing an estimated $600 million. The Butterfly Center is going to try to fight it, but “Under laws passed since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has said it can override federal environmental regulations to build barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border.” (Texas butterfly center fighting border wall construction).

But, here’s the thing & it’s big! The hatred for fellow Americans has to cease, as does the great big line that has been invisibly drawn between us. You are representatives of a great country, a great multi-cultural country. A country that has developed in diversity because of all the immigrants that have contributed to it. You have the opportunity to show what great people you are! And just how great the UNITED States of America is! We have to work together to find a solution for illegal immigration. We have to stop the hatred between fellow man. We have to be reasonable when looking for solutions to problems such as illegal immigration. We cannot join in with the BS currently circulating throughout this great country. The division, the name calling, the hatred, it has to cease. I don’t have the answers, but I’m certainly willing to keep an open mind if reasonable ideas are put forward for how to eliminate illegal immigration at the US/Mexico border and take care of both our fellow human beings and the animals who populate the world with us. Just not a wall.

References

Retrieved from: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2019/02/04/texas-butterfly-center-fighting-border-wall-construction

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Is it time to return to Washington’s Vision? Methinks so. 

Is it time to return to Washington’s Vision? Methinks so. 

I haven’t written any blogs for the past couple of weeks because I haven’t really had any time firstly, (this month has been particularly busy) but also because I haven’t really wanted to get involved in the upcoming US elections, which are dominating every form of media and quite frankly, turning into a joke as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
You know America, we may give you crap (a lot sometimes) but it’s because we love you. You’re like a sibling that thinks they know everything. You’re a ‘big brother’ so you hold the power too, but wow, just like a sibling, sometimes you make silly decisions and this election and the two candidates running for power, is no exception; what the hell are you thinking?

Now, I feel like I can give you crap personally because my husband has served in your military for 13 years. He has done two ‘official’ deployments and numerous months away from us for his country. We have three kids all of whom are half American. I have personally volunteered for 100’s, possibly even approaching the 1000’s of hours helping the US Army and US Navy and the children and spouses of service members over the years who have sacrificed a lot for this country. My husband has missed countless birthdays for both the children and myself and the list goes on.  I am Australian and am in the process of applying for American citizenship and as a legal green card holder and contributing member of American society,   I’ve earnt the right to voice my humble opinion on this matter.  This blog is about the fact that somehow two people who do not necessarily represent the people of the United States of America, are running as presidential candidates to become the leader of this great country and in turn, the leader of the western world!
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard extremely intelligent people utter phrases such as “I don’t like Donald Trump but I hate Hillary Clinton more!” Or “I’m not a Hillary fan, but I’m a Democrat, so I have to vote for her!” And it goes both ways. Basically very few people actually like their party’s candidate, yet they seem to be voting for them anyway just because they’ve always been a Republican or a Democrat! 
Are you kidding me? How can the leader of the most powerful country in the western world be chosen like this? Why are people just going along with their party’s decisions? I know there’s the third party options; the libertarian; Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein (Green party) but did you know there are also a number of independents (over 3,000 people have put their names forward as nominees) running for President, & that maybe, just maybe, one of them might be a better leader of this nation than either the Democratic or Republican representative? Why this so well-developed nation, this republic, is run by two parties, and two parties that have shown themselves to not necessarily be about the best interests of the people, is beyond me.
On September 17, 1787, eleven men – ‘The Council of Eleven’ – were given the task to find a way to elect a President of the United States. They had to ensure they represented the will of the majority but also that they protected the rights of the smaller states and defended against influence from foreign entities. It was a difficult task but they came up with multi-tiered voting system modelled after a system of government used in the ancient Roman Republic. It was called the College of Electors. This same system is still in use today. 
From my very basic understanding, the new president will need the majority (270) of the Electoral College votes. The Electors are proportionally given to every State (to include the District of Columbia) equalling the number of delegates to the Senate and House of Representatives). Each state (except Maine & Nebraska who for some reason do things completely differently) then pledges its Electoral College votes to the presidential nominee who had the most votes in the State. Maine and Nebraska give out votes proportionally by Congressional districts for some reason unbeknownst to me. So, why is the country run by two main parties instead of some fairer representation of the people? I have no idea! What I do know is that the first president, Mr George Washington, one of the founding fathers of this nation, as he is known, was adamantly against the idea of political parties, believing them to cause partisanship and division on a federal government level. He never aligned himself with any party throughout his term of presidency and went so far as to urge the American people, in his 32 page farewell address, “to avoid excessive political party spirit….” This great leader knew then what both the people and the politicians seem to have forgotten today; political parties don’t necessarily represent what is good in the world.
If a third party or independent candidate got some airtime, we may know what they’re thought process is, where their loyalties lie, and where they stand on the ‘big’ issues. Unfortunately, unlike a certain candidate’s latest media accusations, no third party or independent candidate gets the airtime needed to allow the general populace an opinion on his/her political positions. The monetary funding behind a political candidate deems the whole process unfair to those who come to the political arena with nothing behind them but ideals and good intentions. Far from being a fair and just system. 
These United States are supposed to be a Republic of open debate and the exchange of ideas. Nowhere does it say that it should be run by two major political parties. The only way it can change is if the people start voicing their opinions by using their voting power to select a candidate that isn’t backed by either party, a candidate who truly represents the majority. Maybe we can then send a message to these political parties telling them that not only have they strayed from where their beliefs should align, but they have pissed off the American people enough to put them back in their respective places; as representatives of the ideals of the people, not the crazy whims of the powerful and wealthy. 
If George Washington was aware of the control of the two political parties in the current political world, he would be rolling over in his grave.