U.S. Border Strategy: Fail.

I had the privilege of listening to Roy Germano speak last week. Germano is a researcher, and the director of the documentary “The Other Side of Immigration,” which is a must-see film. As he wrapped up, he showed us this short clip he shot, highlighting the sheer inefficiency of border fencing, when compared to the U.S. taxypayer cost burden of “securing” our borders in this fashion. The girls did this on their very first try. A lighthearted view, to be sure, but it illustrates a fine point. Take a look:

If you’d like to learn more about Mr. Germano’s work, you can check him out here.

What I’m reading this week.

After trudging through a tome on US-Mexico border wars, I decided it was time for something a little bit lighter. It IS summer, after all. The book, “How Did You Get This Number” by Sloane Crosley, is laugh out loud funny (as discovered while I read in bed one night, while poor Andy tried to sleep), smart, and completely relatable. Reading through Crosley’s essays about life and her experiences, I find myself frequently understanding precisely where she comes from. So, if you’re looking for something light, fun and not totally ridiculous this summer, then by all means, check this book out.

Why is Sarah Palin stressing me out?

I had a dream last night that Sarah Palin had found some way to spin her tea-partying ways into some ultra-conservative (read: cultish) organized religion, and it was one that was catching fire across the country faster than parched desert shrubbery (Sorry, southwest states). Anyway, I somehow found myself invited to her headquarters, which oddly enough looked like the rendering of the new Apple headquarters that is being proposed in Cupertino. While there, she led us into this Imax-ish type theater, where she proceeded to play this horrific film of what it would be like to witness the apocalypse from the sidewalks of some undisclosed urban setting. As simulated buildings fell on us, firebombs burst, and citizens of cybercity screamed, fled and were incinerated, her voice was overhead, warning of us events JUST LIKE THIS, if Obama is reelected to another term in 2012. Dream-me was incredibly frightened-not of the prospect of Obama’s second term, but of the fact that this monster was motivating the weak of mind around the country, with her ever-misguided fear-mongering. Would people actually fall for this stuff? As I looked around at the other people in the room, I realized-yes, they would. I wondered if I’d be sacrificed in the name of Glenn Beck if I dared dissent. You betcha! I needed a way out, and fast.

So, we left. Dream-Andy was with me, and he was totally taken in by her tomfoolery. I stared, slack-jawed at him, as he rationalized everything she had just said, and made immediate resolutions to further her message, as well as to adopt a conservative, traditional Christian lifestyle. I think staring down the barrel of homemade cotton dresses and Duggar-style reproduction, while listening to President Palin’s State of the Union speech sent my brain into a spasm of improbability, because all of the sudden, I snapped awake, unsure of whether or not to move. While I frequently say I never have nightmares, I can confidently tell you that this would qualify as bona fide night terror. It may seem ridiculous, but trust me, it was so REAL. I laid there for awhile, searching through my mind to better understand what led to this dream, which is something I always do. Things needs to make sense in my mind, have a linkage between the conscious and unconscious hours. As you can imagine, dreams involving trees made of teeth with Woody Allen swinging from the branches are especially difficult to logically piece together. I digress.

I think we’ve witnessed so much nonsense at the hands of our government (as well as those who oppose it) over the past decade, that it increasingly seems like nothing is out of bounds anymore. Rationally, logically, I know Sarah Palin will most likely not even declare candidacy, let alone get elected, but that nasty, awful “What if” always sneaks up on me. Things make sense less and less everyday in the world around us, and before you know it, I’m watching death and destruction in Imax HD with the Pipeline Princess in my dreams. Terrifying.

So, I’m going to leave you with this. With campaign season upon us, it’s so, SO important to educate yourselves on the candidates. Understand who they are and where their experience lies, their platforms, and how these things impact not only the country we live in, but the world-at-large, and our fellow citizens. And for the love of God, VOTE. Do your part, and vote your values. It’s your responsibility. Otherwise, Sarah Palin is coming to get you.

The WeinerTweet.

Ok, so now we’ve been inundated with what seems like near hourly updates on the news that Anthony Weiner tweeted pictures of his, um, weiner to women who are not his wife, as well as carried on in other forms of cybermedia. And thus far, he refuses to resign from his position in the House. Unlike a lot of people, I happen to more or less support that decision. While what he did was no doubt devastating to his wife and family, I don’t think it has any direct impact on his work as a representative. I find him to be a bright, capable (and certainly colorful) leader, who champions great causes. Honestly, people’s sexual endeavors are nobody’s business but their own, and to call for his resignation based solely on that action is puritanical and let’s face it, a really weak case.


The catch to this (for me) is that he lied. Whaaaat? A dishonest politician? The hell you say! Honestly, had he been up front from the get-go, and said, “Look, you know what? That is my picture, and I’m embarassed and sorry to do have done such a foolish thing”, I’d have some respect for the guy. Had he done that, and then said he wasn’t going to resign, I’d say fine. Good. Lesson learned: don’t put your genitalia on internet blast, particulary when you’re a married elected official. But you lied about it. To everyone. And while I’m not going to be naive and act as though a lie coming from a politician is a rarity, THAT is the part of this situation that that’s a bit hard to swallow. As a representative of the people, it is one’s responsibility to tell the truth. But all that said, I still can’t say I think he should resign, because as I’ve said, they all lie. We’d have lots of desolate government space across this great land if we demanded that everyone resign for lying. An oversimplification, yes. But you get my point.

Nonetheless, if I were a betting woman, I’d venture to guess that Rep. Weiner will ultimately resign. I think this is going to put him in a pressure cooker to vacate his seat, due to people’s inability to separate the complexities of personal and professional responsibilities, and due to the desire for those in his party to distance themselves from him. And of course, there are always the Republicans, who are in perpetual lie-in-wait mode for something just like this to spring up, so they can attack. But even if he goes, maybe he’ll bounce back. I mean, look at Spitzer…you don’t see him walking around with his head hung low, particularly while spouting off on CNN. Maybe there’s a seat available at that table for Weiner.