Republicans concoct a whole new xenophobic bugaboo to goose up their anti-immigrant demagoguery — another border wall.
In the 1980s, many Texans were alarmed that hordes of immigrants were fleeing Rust Belt states and pouring across the Red River to take our jobs. So, my friend Steve Fromholz recommended a big beautiful wall across our northern border to keep them out.
But Fromholz — a popular singer-songwriter and renown political sprite — was ahead of his time in the political sport of wall-building. Instead of steel barriers and miles of nasty razor wire, Steve proposed preventing Yankee refugees from entering the Lone Star State by planting a 10-foot high, 10-foot thick wall of jalapeno peppers along the length of the Red River. Eat your way through… and you’d be accepted as a naturalized Texan.
I thought of Steve’s impishness when I read that Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and other Republicans were concocting a whole new xenophobic bugaboo to goose up their anti-immigrant demagoguery — another border wall. We can’t just fear the “invasion” coming across our Southern border, they cry! Indeed, Haley wailed: “It’s the northern border, too” — adding ominously that we must “do whatever it takes to keep people out.” And then DeSantis piled on, saying we should wall off America’s Canadian border.
Meanwhile, nearly all residents living along that 5,500-mile boundary fear the political wall-mongers more than the imaginary threat of foreigners surging across illegally. “People have always been coming through Canada,” says a clerk at a general store in far-north New Hampshire. Scoffing at the silly political hype, she says: “I don’t think the residents are really worried.”
But Chicken-Little politicos won’t be shooed off by reality. After all, they still have the east, west and gulf coasts to shut off — so expect them to propose razor wire for the entire U.S. shoreline. Their ridiculousness makes Fromholz’s satire seem rational!
The Shameful Greed of the Solano County Gold Rush
Farming can be a deeply satisfying life; you’re connected directly to nature, you are your own boss, and you do work that’s real, benefitting humanity.
But then there are the pests — such as invasive bugs, monopolistic profiteers… and a new, exceptionally destructive plague: billionaires. Yes, flocks of predatory ultra-billionaires, wanting not just to gouge farmers but to take away their farms.
The crassest example of this land grab is happening now in Solano County, California, a bucolic agricultural area just north of San Francisco. A gaggle of narcissistic Silicon Valley tech titans with maximum bank accounts and minimal ethics has arrogantly (and surreptitiously) been spending nearly a billion dollars in an investment hustle to buy out and pave over every farm in the county.
Led by a former Wall Street huckster literally known as “Golden Boy,” the titans pose as altruistic futurists intending to turn this rural county into a magical technetronic haven of urban affluence and sophistication. Agriculture, they say, is the low-yield economy of yesterday, wasting valuable real estate on farming. So, farmers must sell out and get out of the way, allowing so these capitalist visionaries to grow a new “Mega-City of the Future.”
But not everyone in Solano was charmed, with many refusing to sell to Golden Boy. So, flush with self-entitlement, the Silicon Valley Money Lords are trying to muscle the uppity rural holdouts by suing them for — get this — refusing to sell their farms! The lawsuit is BS, of course, but it’s meant to crush the farmers with legal fees.
Altruistic visionaries? In a note soliciting others to invest in this thuggish thievery, one of the billionaires bluntly touted the syndicate’s real motivation, gushing that the Solano land grab can be spectacularly profitable for investors.