border security

The border is many things to different people across America. For some, it is a place of opportunity, where goods flow in and out of the country, adding to the economies of both Mexico and the United States. Others see it as a gateway for drugs and illegal immigration.

We wanted to know how the people who live and work on the border feel.

So we are travelling this week to Texas’s Rio Grande Valley.

This part of the border has been getting a lot of attention from politicians in Washington lately.  It’s one of the most active places now for apprehensions of illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. But it is also an economic pump for Southern Texas, because of its role as a huge shopping destination for Mexicans hitting the malls of McAllen.

The Rio Grande Valley in Texas abuts 320 miles of river, the iconic Rio Grande, which acts as the natural barrier and the de-facto border between Mexico and the United States. But in many parts of the area there is no man-made barrier between the two countries. In one tiny community, a hand cranked ferry takes people and cars across to the other side. It’s a sign of how intertwined the communities on both sides of the river are.

A decade ago, there were plans to build a border fence here but they never came to fruition because of lack of money, among other reasons. Today, President Donald Trump has promised to build a wall across the entire Southern border and this part of Texas may be included in that.  

Join us—Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host of Weekend Edition, and producers Ravenna Koenig and Samantha Balaban– as we explore this area over the next four days.

(Photo: NPR/ Ravenna Koenig)

Trump’s border wall will cost up to $21.6 billion, Homeland Security internal report says

  • A new internal U.S. Department of Homeland Security report evaluating the logistics of Trump’s border wall may be a rude awakening.
  • The document, first reported on by Reuters, estimates the wall would cost the government up to $21.6 billion and take nearly the entire length of Trump’s term to construct.
  • Officials are expected to present Trump’s administration with their findings — which include blueprints for a three-phase plan to close off the border by the end of 2020 — in a few days. After that, it’s up to Trump and his advisers whether they will honor the department’s recommendations. Read more (2/9/17 7:42 PM)
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The installation entitled Inflatable Refugee, created by Belgian artists Schellekens & Peleman,​ cast its anchor in the Yarra River, Melbourne Australia this weekend ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20.

The six-metre-tall figure in a boat has gone on display on the river bank to highlight the global refugee crisis and the harrowing journey millions of refugees make every year.

The artists say the artwork is constructed out of the same material human traffickers use for the boats that carry refugees across the Mediterranean Sea.

O. D. Emery stands on his farm in southeastern Texas. On the one side of his property is the Rio Grande River and Mexico. On the other, a 20 foot concrete and steel beam wall, guarded by border patrol. Emery’s father bought this land in the 1940s and he grows cotton and sugarcane on it. Under President George W. Bush, a barrier was put up here to stop the flow of drugs and immigrants coming in illegally. Emery has liked the results and thinks more walls should be put up in this area. “Who wouldn’t want the wall? Crooks? Illegals? They are the only ones who don’t want the wall. I don’t think we are going to build a wall across the bridges, you can still enter legally. You can still see your family or go shopping. We are just trying to stop the illegal activity.” 

– Lulu 

(Photo: NPR/Samantha Balaban) 

Trump’s border wall would be 1,900 miles long. DHS has enough funding for one mile.

  • Trump has so far only scraped together less than 0.1% of the wall’s expected $21.6 billion budget, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
  • That’s according to an internal Department of Homeland Security report on what funding the agency has available to re-direct towards the wall, Reuters reported. 
  • According to the report, while the $20 million is enough to begin prototyping the project, DHS estimates each mile of fencing will cost $9.3 million and each mile of actual wall would run as high as $17.8 million.
  • Thus the president has shifted enough funding to erect approximately one whole mile of wall. Read more (3/1/17 7:10 PM)

Trump’s tweets attacking the judiciary go well beyond conventional criticism of judicial opinions on the substance or of “unelected judges” who are said to be overstepping their power. The description of the judge who first blocked his ban as a “so-called judge” directly targeted the judiciary’s institutional legitimacy. And it’s not hard to imagine where Trump’s explicit claim that any terrorist attack should be blamed on the judiciary will take him next, if such an attack does occur.
 
 
Trump recently claimed that “any negative polls are fake news,” particularly those from major networks like CNN, NBC and ABC. He added: “Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.” In other words, any poll that finds that Trump or his policies are unpopular is suspect or invented by definition. Multiple polls have shown that majorities reject his travel ban and his border wall, and global protests have broken out against the ban in particular. In other words, the public backlash to the first two major efforts to translate Trumpism into policy reality has been severe. In response, Trump is explicitly telling his supporters that any empirical evidence of that backlash must be discounted as fake news — particularly if the polls in question come from major news organizations, who are thus being cast as deliberate deceivers of Real Americans.
 
 

You cannot divorce that last point from the larger context here: Trump and Sean Spicer spent days attacking the news media for accurately reporting on his shriveled inauguration crowds, and Stephen Bannon has claimed that Trump’s “populist nation-state policies are supported by the vast and overwhelming majority of Americans” — in other words, that a vast silent majority is rooting for Trumpism to succeed. But that’s just nonsense. The effort to falsely inflate impressions of popular support for Trump — and for policies that in reality are deeply controversial and divisive and are being rejected by majorities — is concerted and deliberate. And the unabashed use of obvious and demonstrable lies to carry out this deception campaign is remarkably brazen.
 
 

Trump is now claiming that the media is covering up terrorist attacks, saying that “ISIS is on a campaign of genocide, committing atrocities across the world,” and that “in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” The larger context here is crucial, too: The media has in fact been invaluable in rooting out the dangerously incompetent process that led to the creation of this ban, as well as the ugly, discriminatory ideological underpinnings of the idea. In response, Trump, once again, is moving to obliterate the very possibility of shared agreement on the legitimate institutional role of the news media in informing the citizenry — right when it is playing that role to great effect by shedding light on the truth about his latest and most visible exercise of executive power, thus demonstrating that it can function as a check on him.

— 

Trump is now attacking all the institutions that could limit his power.

This is not what a president in a democracy (or, pedants, representative republic) does. This is what an autocrat who hopes to be a dictator does.

Congress is doing fuckall to stop this madman and his puppet master, Steve Bannon. We have to keep calling, keep marching, and when we have a chance, defeat these cowards in the next election. This means we start working now, and we don’t stop until they are gone. We will lose more battles than we win, but the ones we win will be fundamental to protecting our country.

1933 uranus-pluto square - the rise of nazism, eugenics, dictatorship  

1870′s uranus-pluto square - an image depicts the savagery of european powers as they divide and declare colonisation of africa, each diplomatic waiting for his slice, the term plutocracy is developed

uranus square pluto current - increasing fear associated with border security and alt right ideology, mass displacement, generation of ISIS as a result of western occupancy

1960s uranus-pluto conjunct - vietnam war; use of napalm, mao tsendong effectuates communism in china

Oculus founder is reportedly developing a virtual border wall 

  • Self-described libertarian, Trump-inauguration contributor and Oculus VR founder, Palmer Freeman Luckey is allegedly developing new surveillance technology to act as a digital border wall.
  • As the Times explained, the company will use technology known as light detection and ranging, or lidar, as well as infrared sensors and cameras to monitor borders for illegal crossings.
  • The technology, the Independent noted, could also be used at military bases or for added security at public events.
  • According to the Times, the company has already hired a few people to work on the project, including Chris Dycus, the first employee at Oculus. Read more (6/6/17)

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I can’t explain the feeling in a way that you can truly grasp how much it hurts me. To be away from you. To wish things were different for us. To long for the day when the distance between you and I is only as far as between the white linen sheets of our brand new king sized bed. I don’t know how to tell you that I feel like I’m missing something when I’m not with you. Like a part of my brain shuts down and can’t function properly or like my lungs give out and I can’t breathe the right air when you’re a country away from me. It’s a physical pain. A type of longing for you that I’ve never been so desperate for. My eyes stay wide when I should be sleeping. My fingers trace my pillow in hope of finding your heartbeat. My ears listen for a dedicated whisper that you love me and don’t want to lose me. My back craves your security from tightly resting your strong body against me. My lips want to gently kiss your rosy nose to sleep. My heart yearns to spill out all the words that I’ve never had the guts to say. And my arms. My arms just want to be wrapped around the only thing that has given me reason to be here. There’s a thousand miles between you and I, and every time I have to walk away in search of border security at the airport and look back to see your truck drive away, I feel a bullet to my heart and a desert in my throat, a sudden inability to walk forward and my slow breathes disappear. Nothing breaks me more than having to carry that feeling with me until the next time I can run into your arms.
—  you’re worth the distance but I need you closer
Trump Seeks $1.6 Billion for 'Brick and Mortar'Border Wall

Trump Seeks $1.6 Billion for ‘Brick and Mortar’Border Wall

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President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget calls for more spending for border security and immigration enforcement — but the ask is still modest compared to what fulfilling his campaign pledges would likely cost. (more…)

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Ai Weiwei, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.”

“The fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbor,’ which are connected to the current global political environment,” 

“But what’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same. Some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more,”

New York Public Art Fund  40th Anniversary Celebrations.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors will be on view October 12, 2017 – February 11, 2018 at sites throughout New York City.

title: the council
rating: T
summary: sarada uchiha is not one to be played.
author’s note: nothing can convince me that sarada isn’t the perfect balance of strong and sarcastic. she is the sasusaku lovechild.
disclaimer: i don’t own naruto, or any of it’s characters. all rights reserved to tv tokyo, shonen jump and kishimoto.
ps: am i supposed to capitalize the word sharingan? and the names of justus? the world may never know.


It’s true enough that she had her mother’s spirit—her slight akin for kindness and softness under her stone cold, black exterior. She had Sakura’s aptness and almost desperate need to want to heal and protect her loved ones, but she had always been her father’s daughter through and through.

From her hair to her eyes; from the way she hated anything over the top to the way she couldn’t stomach anything remotely sweet; from the way she was born a prodigy to the way everyone seemed to think she took up after Itachi.

Like her uncle, Sarada was a genius and the combination of her sharp eyes and mind let her see the shinobi world for what it truly was and it left her torn; a formidable ninja with the heart of a pacifist. She didn’t mind taking the medical route, but her Uchiha pride and blood didn’t allow to be anything less than the best ninja around town, nothing less than the best for those she loved. 

The love from an Uchiha is a love like no other; it’s deeper, louder, more intense, and not to be handed out lightly. There were few people Sarada could say she truly loved in the world—she didn’t dare extend it beyond her teammates and family. But the love she had for those select few ran deep to her very core and she vowed to herself to do nothing less than protect them until the day she died. She wouldn’t stand for anyone attempting to harm her loved ones, nor did she stand for any slander against them.

So when an elder of the Konoha council seethed about the dangers of the Uchiha and the threat they posed to village, Sarada didn’t blink twice at controlling her temper (she was Sakura and Sasuke’s child after all—she had a tempered unmatched by the most jealous and vengeful of gods).

“What did you just say?” Tone dangerously low, eyes all but barely open as she squinted in the direction of voice that had dared to insult her clan, her family.

Most would agree that a sixteen year old had no business attending a meeting for the clan heads and other important officials and notable shinobi of a major powerhouse in the allied nations. Except if that sixteen year old year girl was a clan head herself, the Captain of the Police Force and the strongest kunoichi of the newest generation of Konoha ninja.

Sarada sat at the lefthand most corner of the round table, to her right, Naruto sat loud and proud at the head of the table, Hanabi Hyuga to her left. Heads of other important Konoha clans sat in succession, followed by military leaders, ANBU captains, research division heads, Granny Tsunade, and the village elders.

The meeting had been called to discuss village security, given the staggering amounts of missing and dead ninja reports on top of requests for ninja escorts and guards from surrounding towns. Hanabi suggested stationing more Hyuga around the borders, to potentially foresee and prevent future attacks or suspicious activity. As head of investigation and interrogation, Ino suggested that Naruto send recon squads to spy and gather further information. Tsunade claimed they ought to focus on the barely living ninja that had been brought back to the hospital in shreds. Naruto listened intently, alarmed at the situation, but content that the group in front of him had such wonderful ideas. Until one of the elders opened their mouths.

“If you want Konoha to be safe, Hokage-sama, I say that you need to start with protecting people from the inside,” Lady Choi grunted. The gray haired woman was nearing 97 years old, but had the sass of a surly nineteen year old. In all there were five elders on the board, Lady Choi and her brother Meno by far the most conservative of the bunch.

“How do you suggest we do that, Lady Choi?” Naruto asked. Old people were never exactly his thing, but dealing with Lady Choi was like dealing with an angry Tsunade—not something he preferred to do.

“If you want this village to be safe, you ought to purge it of internal dangers. Start by getting rid of those murdering ministers in the Uchiha complex. That family has brought nothing but pain and torture to this village for years.”

Eyes at the round table went wide. While Lady Choi was conservative and snarky in conversation, she remained an elder, and few chose to openly reply to her with the same amount of sarcasm and sass that she dished out. Except for Sarada Uchiha.

“Excuse me?” She snarled. “What did you just say?”

Onyx eyes stay fixated on the old woman across the room. Exactly who did this raisin think she was?

“You heard me, child. Those damned Uchiha are the reason for half of the attacks on this village. Hokaga-sama, just how many times have we had rogue ninja sneak past border security looking for that cursed sharingan? They’re murders, a danger to the people of Konoha, and a threat to our security.”

“Murderers? And what do you call our Assassination ANBU unit? I suppose they’re a bunch of holy purgers, correct?” Sarada’s voice dripped sarcasm, her knuckles becoming whiter the harder she gripped on to the table.

“They’re given orders,” Choi retorted, “Those Uchiha kill at their own free will. Itachi Uchiha nearly killed his entire clan, what makes you—”

“Shutup.” Sarada’s voice ripped through the room at a dangerously low octave. All eyes on her, she stood up from her chair, hands firmly on the table, it took all of her strength not to activate mangekyou and end the old woman across from her.

“Who do you think you’re talking to, child? Show some respect.

If there was one thing Sarada hated in the world more than anything, it was being called a child. She had worked far too hard to be diminished to such a status. Her pride wouldn’t let her.

“This child is the head of the Uchiha clan.” she seethed. “You shut your mouth about my uncle, lady. He is not a murderer—”

“Where is your respect? I am a village elder, you ought to be arrested for talking to me like this.”

“Arrested? You’d think you’d know something for being an elder—you can’t arrest the Captain of the Police Force, grandma.”

Choi’s eyes went wide. “This is the new Police Captain, Hokage-sama?” she accused Naruto, bewildered that the youngest Uchiha held such a powerful title. “No matter, insolent child. You ought to have respect for—”

Respect is earned, not handed out like blankets in the winter,” dangerously dark eyes bore through the old woman, “You seem to be the only one not knowing who you’re dealing with here. Tch, you’d think for being as old as you are, you’d know basic social rankings around here.”

Sarada pushed back her chair and crossed her arms. “Village elders sit on a board, thrice removed from the right hand of the Hokage. On par with Clan Heads, first behind the Chief of the Medical Corp, second to the ANBU Black Ops, and third to and furthest removed from the Chief of Police,” she spat, “You’re a nothing but a political figurehead—you advise the Hokage and provide him with a primary source of historical events, but by no means do you have nearly as much power as anyone else at this table. In fact, any nominations or proposals you make and be checked and vetoed by Tsunade-sama, ANBU and me.

The room fell even more quiet than before. Some were shocked, others like Hanabi and Tsunade sat comfortably with a small grin on their face. To Sarada’s right, Naruto sat with his hands folded, chin resting in his palms with a signature grin settled on his face; the three of them had the same thought—just like Sakura.

“Say what you want about power,” Choi retorted. “That’s all you Uchiha are after anyway. I’ve seen too many rogue Uchiha in my lifetime and mark my words you’ll end up just like that monster Itachi, killing off his entire clan and—”

“Because you told him to,” Sarada roared. “If you’re going to talk about my uncle then tell the truth. You and your band of elders are the very people who ordered Itachi Uchiha to kill his family. You told a fifteen year old boy that the only way to save the village was by murdering his family and I’ll be damned if you think I’m going to sit here and let you spread lies about him. He is not a monster and the Uchiha are not murderers. Mind you we built this village—I will not sit here and let you spread lies about my family.”

Then Sarada did the unimaginable; leaned forward, grabbed Choi by her collar and brought her to her level.

“You mark my words: the Uchiha are not your pawns. If you think you can control and manipulate me and then conflate my story to fit your twisted beliefs, then you’re dead wrong. I am my uncle’s niece, my father’s daughter, but I am not the summation of their actions. I will tell their stories but don’t you dare try and tell mine. If you even so much as dare to tell the smallest lie about my family ever again, I’ll show you exactly what happened, so you won’t forget it,” sharingan swirling, Sarada let the old woman go, standing upright again.

“Am I understood?” the blood red of her sharingan piercing through Choi’s mind. Sarada hadn’t dared to activate a jutsu, but the proximity and sight of the legendary doujutsu had been enough to shut Choi’s mouth.

In the tradition of the Uchiha, Sarada leaned forward again, daring and unsatisfied, “I said, am I understood?”

Lady Choi inhaled sharply, looking at the ninja in front of her and around the room. When it was clear to her that not even the other elders were going to defend her, she hesitantly met the red eyes in front of her and nodded gravely, “Yes, Captain.”

With a satisfied smirk, Sarada brushed off her flak jacket and took her seat again, turning to Naruto as if to say she was ready for the meeting to resume.

The blonde Hokage gave his goddaughter a reassuring smile, and looked to Tsunade who had the same look on her face—Sarada Uchiha was most definitely her father’s daughter.

npr.org
Trump Unveils 'Hard Power' Budget That Boosts Military Spending
President Trump's budget blueprint calls for a 10 percent increase in military spending, along with deep cuts in foreign aid and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Trump administration’s new budget blueprint aims to quantify the president’s nationalistic agenda in dollars and cents. The plan, released Thursday morning, calls for significant increases in military and border-security spending, along with corresponding cuts in many other parts of the government.

It also sends a clear message domestically: this administration is willing to make drastic, controversial cuts to fund that “strong-power” message. That includes slashing spending on foreign aid and the environment, as well as long-standing programs aimed at boosting the arts and humanities, as well as the fortunes of the most vulnerable Americans. The question now is how much the Republican-controlled Congress will go along with that vision.