A ‘Hearing’ on the Border Wall – Are you listening?

I write to inform, not to foment debate. How can there be a good debate without the knowledge of facts?

Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
    Their ears are open for knowledge.
Proverbs 18:15

A great American pastime is the game of armchair quarterback. It’s a game in which we are all players at one time or another. Isn’t it easy to sit in the comfort of your home, calling better plays than the quarterback on the gridiron?

Armchair quarterbacks in Foggy Bottom and across the country are calling plays in the Rio Grande Valley, but quarterbacks actually on the field (the Rio Grande Valley) hold perspectives different from the armchair quarterbacks.

The people most affected by illegal border crossings and tandem crimes committed by illegalssteven r covey quote on listening want very much for the rest of us to listen to them.

The current border wall project isn’t a new idea. It’s already there. About 700 miles of ‘already there’.

It was our 43rd President George W. Bush who, on October 26, 2006, signed into law the Secure Fence Act. I defer to a PBS video produced July 3, 2009, that provides a broad view of the construction of a segmented fence across our southern border, its effects on U.S. property owners along the border, and the opinions of Americans whose lives have been dramatically affected by the fence.

Do you notice the title? PBS doesn’t attribute the fence to either President Bush or to President Trump. PBS rightfully tags the project “Obama’s Border Fence“.

Video source: PBS NOW, July 3, 2009

A current (August 12, 2017) report from the Austin Statesman titled Advocates stage first big Texas protest against border wall reflects sentiments of hundreds of brown-skinned and white-skinned border residents.

My wife and I were born and raised in South Texas, she, right on the border. Our viewpoint is not that of armchair quarterback. I suppose you could label us bench warmers who have seen and experienced Rio Grande Valley life since the 1950’s.

Where is the border? How many borders between the U.S. and Mexico are there? What’s the history of the Mexico-U.S.  border culture and economics?

There are three borders. The one you know about is the geographical (continental) border you see on road maps. There are two other borders not shown on typical road maps: the two immigration borders. Immigration borders? Isn’t that big river an immigration border? In a word, no.

U.S. citizens regularly drive across the border to shop or dine or just visit friends. Your present automobile liability insurance has you covered. Likewise, when Mexican citizens shop in Texas, for example, their Mexican automobile insurance covers them, as well.

The above holds true so long as motorists don’t cross the respective immigration borders (my term) without proper insurance and official permission (a visa). The immigration borders are officially called the border region.

us-mexico-border-region-CDC-map
The border region extends 37 miles south of the continental border, 37 miles north, 37 miles east into the Gulf of Mexico, and 37 miles west into the Pacific Ocean, as per the La Paz Agreement of July 8, 1966.

Historically, a chain of cross-border economic areas defines the official border region. There are Mexican citizens who live in Mexico and work in Texas, likewise U.S. citizens who live in Texas and work in Mexico.

There is a suggestion that Mexico should pay for the border wall. Is this reasonable? Do you know that over half of all illegal immigrants that cross our southern border are OTMs, Other Than Mexicans?

Reference:

Pew Research: What we know about illegal immigration from Mexico, March 2, 2017

Illegal aliens were deported at a much higher rate under the Obama administration than under the present Trump administration. Both liberal and conservative news services confirm this fact among these are the Washington Post, Politico, Newsweek magazine,  Vox, and AOL News.

Chinese illegal immigrants are second only to border crossings by illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America, combined, according to the NY Times, March 6, 2017. Unlike our neighbors to the south that cooperate with deportations, we have no such cooperation from communist China.

Combative rhetoric, devoid of facts, posits unproductive confrontation.

Do I oppose President Trump’s commitment to defending our nation? No. I applaud his boldness and courageous leadership. Do I suggest there is a dearth of knowledge on the matter of border protection? Obviously, yes.

Can we talk? Are we ready to learn?

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Prison Camp America: Can we talk?

The numbers cry out for answers. Why are more people, per capita, locked up in the USA than any other nation on the face of the earth? Click on the link below the to enlarge the view.

prison policy institute pie chart 2017
Source: The Prison Policy Institute | 2017

Any ordinary American would expect the people whom we incarcerate to come out of prison better than what they were when locked away from society. Some do come out better people, but on the dark side, petty criminals tend to become well-trained, crafty, dangerous criminals and this lends well to explain high recidivism rates.

Consider these facts about prison gangs.

Aryan Brotherhood

The Aryan Brotherhood is a product of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). This well-organized gang has a written constitution and five generals who direct criminal enterprises inside and outside prison walls.

Like cancer, the Aryan Brotherhood metastasized. This gang is now active beyond Texas borders

aryan brotherhood tattoos.PNG
Aryan Kingpin Byrd

. Favored symbols include the Nazi swastika. Unlike cancer, their tattoos make them easy to detect. Known for being ‘white supremacists’, they are pragmatic criminals who work well with Latino and African-American gangs.

The important fact you should know is this: the Aryan brotherhood wasn’t spawned by criminals in the community; it was spawned inside Texas prison walls.

Learn more from PBS station KERA: The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, May 2, 2017

MS-13 | Mara Salvatrucha

This gang was birthed in Los Angeles County jail where criminal illegal immigrants chiefly from El Salvador learned the ropes from fellow prisoners. Today, MS-13 has members from other Central American countries and the gang operates in every major city in every state in the Union. Their crimes are vicious beyond description.

MS-13 members that were deported built a criminal enterprise in their native country of El Salvador where even the government fears them. Deportations of these hardened criminals further exacerbate civil unrest in El Salvador, leading to more people fleeing that the Banana Republic in search of a better life in the United States.

Learn more from Breitbart: 5 Facts Every American Must Know About the Brutal MS-13 Gang, May 5, 2017

The important fact you should know is this: MS-13 was birthed in a county jail.

What is the definition of insanity?

Why do we continue doing things the same way and expect different results?

wrong way
What’s the Answer?

Take a moment to read how and why a policeman paid for items stolen by a shoplifter.

Toronto officer buys shirt, tie for shoplifter who needed outfit for job interview

As throwing debtors into prison did not help the lenders, throwing non-violent lawbreakers into jails and prisons does not contribute to the general welfare of the population as a whole.

Prisons notoriously transform petty non-violent criminals into hardened dangerous criminals who go on to perpetrate greater offenses after release from prison.

First: It’s time to unleash Christian ministries. As the Bible says, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

Second: Let’s end the practice of using jails and prisons to punish nonviolent lawbreakers. The only persons who should be locked away are those who are sure to harm persons or property if allowed to go free.

Former prisoners face formidable barriers to returning to civil society. Who will hire them?

Back to the first answer, I point to CARE Center Ministries and the head of that highly successful ministry that focuses on the least, the last, and the lonely, the poorest of the poor. I’ve known the head of CARE Center Ministries about 30 years. Today, the ministry has branches in Birmingham AL, Managua Nicaragua, and Mountain Home Arkansas.

care center ministries

Pastor Eldred Sawyer’s disciples are living proof that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. His ministry proves there is a better more effective way to restore lives than any prison.

God has been in the business of turning sinners into saints from the beginning of mankind. He never went into retirement.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Obama ‘Deep State’ Federal Judge Stages Constitutional Crisis

Here’s the headline:
federal judge in Hawaii halts Trump travel ban
Facts in Evidence

  • Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin filed the suit on March 8, 2017
  • Barack Obama arrived in Hawaii 48 hours before the lawsuit
  • Federal judge issues opinion on March 15, 2017
  • Ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson is 43 pages in length – Read full text here ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER 3-15-2017 CV17-50 219 doc
  • Barack Obama-Derrick Watson nexus: Both Barack Obama and US District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii were classmates at Harvard Law School. Both graduated in 1991. Harvard Law graduates between 500-600 students each year.
obama makes trip to hawaii 48 hours before judge blocks travel ban
Obvious Official Corruption

The Big Question of the Hour: Is President Trump anti-Muslim?

Bloomberg headline, March 14, 2017: Saudi Prince Sees Trump as True Friend to Muslims

The ACLU for which the political director is a Muslim activist falsely claims President Trump violates Muslims First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion? The Obama-appointed judge agrees? But, the Saudi kingdom disagrees and you don’t get more Muslim than the country where Islam was founded.

What I want President Trump to know:

  1. The three branches of federal government are not co-equal. There is a hierarchy of authority that was set in place by the Founding Fathers and this hierarchy self-identifies in the first three articles of the Constitution: Most powerful is the Legislative branch (Article I), second most powerful is the Executive branch (Article II), and least and last of all the Judicial branch (Article III). Read Dispelling the Myth of Co-Equal Branches of Government
  2. A judge’s ruling is not law. It’s an opinion. Period. Paragraph second of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes this so clear even a child can understand what constitutes the Supreme Law of the Land.
  3. Laws crafted by the Legislative branch and Treaties ratified by the Senate are the Supreme Law of the Land.
  4. Judges are constitutionally bound by the law, not their personal agendas, not their personal opinions, not by political debts to the president who appointed them.
  5. President Trump is acting well within the law: 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, a.k.a. the McCarran-Walter Act (An act to revise the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality; and for other purposes)

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Read the law yourself: 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, a.k.a. the McCarran-Walter Act

I call on U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to demand a congressional investigation of probable criminal acts perpetrated by former president Barack Obama acting through his well-funded subversive organization called Organizing For Action.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Potpourri for ‪Poverty‬ – So, you want to legalize ‪marijuana‬?

legalized pot makes people poorer.png

“The middle and upper classes have been the ones out there pushing for decriminalization and legalization measures, and they have also tried to demolish the cultural taboo against smoking pot. But they themselves have chosen not to partake very much. Which is not surprising. Middle-class men and women who have jobs and families know that this is not a habit they want to take up with any regularity because it will interfere with their ability to do their jobs and take care of their families.” NY Post – link to full story http://ow.ly/T5IR303sszo

In the years of my youth, it was called Mary Jane. Some folks, people like Willie Nelson, became rich despite the use of ‘weed’, but Willie is an exception.

Is marijuana a ‘gateway drug’ that leads to the use of more powerful drugs? Perhaps. I’ve been on planet earth a while and over my lifetime I’ve known folks who smoked pot, but never graduated to a higher high and others who became blithering idiots.

There are millions who regularly drink alcoholic beverages in moderation and never become drunken. Then there are those whose personalities change after one beer.

There is no magic number, no specific means to predict when a person will lose self-control and for this reason, I strenuously object to the blood-alcohol level standard that arbitrarily defines “driving under the influence” by Texas state law.

The issue to me isn’t at what level of blood-alcohol is or is not DUI. Neither is the issue of should we or should we not legalize marijuana. The issue is one of self-control.

As it is written in holy scripture, “…the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and SELF-CONTROL. There is no law against these things!” – Galatians 5:22-23

Do you see? There is no law against self-control.

Human laws come into play when we engage in activities whereby we lose control of ourselves.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

A Wall of Compassion or A Wall of Attrition?

Esquire Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jay Fielden visited the Texas-Mexico border from Brownsville to El Paso. He listened to the folks who live there. What did he learn?

border fence

They said, ‘Build the wall.’ They said two things, whether they were Hispanic, Anglo, Democrat, Republican, uncommitted, clueless, whatever; they said we want a wall and yet we want it married with some compassion…

Video 1:37

Does a swarm of illegal aliens overwhelm the USA? Yes, but even more so Mexico. Read

‘At the limit,’ Mexico buckles under migrant surge to U.S.

“We’re at the limit of our resources,” Humberto Roque Villanueva, Mexico’s deputy interior minister responsible for migration, told Reuters.

It’s important to know that Mexico has a border fence along its southern border, but illegal aliens swarm over it. The flood of minor immigrants has overwhelmed Mexican state services to a point they don’t know what to do.

Will simply building a wall stem the tide of illegal immigration? Perhaps we should look to the root of the matter and it’s not poverty. Nicaragua is the poorest of all Central American countries, but the fewest illegal aliens come from that country.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

La Voy Finicum Executed by the FBI

January 29, 2016 AD

An Open Letter to Congressman John Ratcliffe

Honorable John Ratcliffe
6531 Horizon Road
Suite A
Rockwall, TX 75032

Subject: The Proper Role of Government

Congressman,

No doubt you are aware of the Oregon standoff that ended with the slaughter of citizen La Voy Finicum.

la voy bundy executed by the fbi
The Moment the FBI Executed La Voy Finicum

The standoff in Oregon ended with an unarmed man shot to death by FBI. To me, this is “Ruby Ridge Deux”.

This is an opportunity to refocus on the first duty of all government. For this, let’s look again at a foundational principle found in the second paragraph of the Unanimous Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Review the video for yourself. See heavily armed FBI agents execute La Voy Finicum. FBI personnel claim only a few shots fired; witnesses claim as many as 120.

The Point

As I point out above, the chief duty of all government, federal state and local, is to secure the rights of citizens. What I see, and surely you, too, is this did not happen for Mr. Finicum.

This is an all too familiar replay of tyrannical government abuse. Earlier examples include the heavily-armed assault on a home in Miami to forcibly repatriate Elain Gonzales to his noncustodial parent, the father. It was the custodial parent, Elian’s mother, who risked her life and losing it to get her son to our shores.

Still earlier, the heavily-armed assault on the Branch Davidians in Waco where children, as well as adults, perished in a government-started fire. Seventy to eighty persons, all U.S. citizens, perished at the heavy hands of federal employees – none of them were punished.

For the last example, I remind you of the Ruby Ridge incident where FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot an unarmed mother to death, she with her child in her arms.

My Appeal

Apparently, federal law enforcement personnel are unaware of the principle stated above. This in mind, I ask you to prepare and promote legislation that would require annual refresher training for all federal government employees, whether armed or not.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

 

Texas Public-Carry Is the Law of The Land January 1st

December 23, 2015 AD

Open-Carry of handguns has only been "unusual" here in the Lone Star state until now.
Open-Carry of handguns has only been “unusual” here in the Lone Star state until now.

Open-Carry Law Becomes Effective January 1, 2016. With respect to gun-free areas of a county courthouse, particularly Rockwall County Courthouse, where the entire building is not “essential to the operation of the courts”, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued KP-0049, an official AG opinion, on December 21, 2015. You can read the entire opinion by clicking on the link in the preceding sentence.

Excerpt of KP-0049:

Thus, it is only the courtrooms, and those offices determined to be essential to their operations, from which Hays County may prohibit concealed handguns without risk of incurring the civil penalty in section 411.209 of the Government Code.

Texas Government Code 411.209:

WRONGFUL EXCLUSION OF CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE HOLDER. (a) A state agency or a political subdivision of the state may not provide notice by a communication described by Section 30.06, Penal Code, or by any sign expressly referring to that law or to a concealed handgun license, that a license holder carrying a handgun under the authority of this subchapter is prohibited from entering or remaining on a premises or other place owned or leased by the governmental entity unless license holders are prohibited from carrying a handgun on the premises or other place  by Section 46.03 or 46.035, Penal Code. Read the full code…

In a brief exchange with Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson he stridently objected to this provision of the law. He remarked how he AG would soon publish an official opinion, saying to me “we have to follow the law”. I replied, “that goes for both of us”. From this brief discussion, I got the impression he assumed the AG would rule an exception to the law, the entirety of our County Courthouse.

Sheriff Eavenson’s two objections spoken to me:

  1. too costly
  2. too many risks out there

To the first, I say let’s weigh the meager cost of screening persons entering courtrooms or court offices against the extreme cost in personal liberty guaranteed to us by the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

To the second, I say I face comparably far fewer risks in the courthouse than I do in everyday life. So I ask, is it to be every citizen is a suspect? As Thomas Jefferson said to James Madison, “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

General Paxton issued his opinion and Mr. Paxton’s interpretation of the law agrees with my own and with the opinions of the lawmakers who authored and sponsored the bills that became the law of the land.

A point of order: That county courthouse on Yellowjacket Lane is not the personal property of any elected official. That courthouse is OUR property. We are a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Next? Will our County Commissioners Court follow the law or maintain the status quo?

John White
Rockwall, Texas