On the Rio Grande River.
Paid for by the Texas taxpayer, the Agriculture Secretary, Todd Staples, has set up a site for sharing border security information. The remarks collected there since the site was set up contain language like ‘Killem All!!!!” The agruculture department has a disclaimer to avoid any responsibility for the kind of violence advocated by citizens commenting on the site.
Of course, the border fence has always been a boondoggle, as I have pointed out previously.
When I visited there, I found no question about what sort of comments were expected. When I clicked on the site for collecting stories about border experiences, the instructions read;
Submit Your Story
Share with fellow Texans your stories regarding lack of border security.
Sorry, I have had nothing but good experiences along the border, so I’m not welcome.
Several border area legislators have asked for the site either to come down, or to portray the situation fairly. A recommendation also has gone out that Texas border violence proponents should consult with their counterparts in D.C., where recommendations to cut futile programs now draining funds for border security are proposed and being heard in committee.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, whose district encompasses a huge swath of South Texas from Laredo to the Rio Grande Valley, said Republicans in Texas should take their concerns to Republicans in Washington. The current budget proposed by the GOP-controlled U.S. Congress eliminates $350 million in funding for border security, fencing, infrastructure and technology, he said, and cuts roughly 870 positions. “I am not going to deny that” the border needs to be secured, he said, “but to paint it the way they are painting it, they are painting one extreme position.”
The website isn’t all comments. It includes such features as a night-vision video of a police chase that ends when a car plunges into the river, and an interview with a Texas Ranger, Arthur Barrera, who backs up the claims that the region is under siege. “Tractor operators are being accosted by these guys, threatening them,” he says in the video. “They fear for their lives, they have family. We are in a war and I am not going to sugarcoat it by any means. We are in a war, and it is what it is.”
Just what the border needs, agitation to regard the zone as a war site, with armed forces gathered to defend the Homeland. Of course, if you actually visit the border, you’re going to find life going on pretty much as it is in most of your hometowns, some areas safe, others questionable. Using taxpayer dollars to dramatize the downside of border security is hardly worth making us all pay, and is dangerous besides.