Congratulations Mr. Giuliani! You are my new pen pal! The other recipient of my missives was suffering sugar deprivation syndrome as a result of the strain of starting wars. Besides he just won’t listen… to anybody.
Now it’s your turn. At least you can read and write. Bush was (I like writing about him in the past tense, don’t you?) the exception that proves the rule: during his Administration no childrens other than himself, were left behind.
You possess all the qualifications to be my pen pal.
1) You are an elected official;
2) You have friends under the scrutiny of the law;
3) You are an attorney; and,
Actually, cross-dressing normally disqualifies folk from my Rolodex, but you’re showing your feminine side, so I’ll make an exception. Just don’t get all weepy on me.
But I digress.
It is said that the Roman Emperor Tiberius wanted to be remembered fondly after he died, therefore he chose for his successor somebody worse. Caligula. Now isn’t that what George W. Bush is doing as he allows you to aim for that womb-shaped room at the White House? If you are "elected," your subjects will wax nostalgic for the "good times" of The Decider.
What’s all this, then, about a "virtual fence" between Texas and Mexico? I thought we already had genuine one… the Rio Grande. Officially it is known as "The Border." Tarn nation! Ain’t a line on a map or a big river virtual enough for you?
My understanding is you want to seal off America… electronically. Who thought up this lamebrain scheme, the Olde Towne School for Dogs or your Second Life Avatar?
You see… I’ve got a beef with this virtual fence. Actually, I’ve got several beefs, so listen up.
I know, I know, you’ve promised America’s children that you will protect them from an intergalactic attack. You think those kids are going to accept second best? An electronic fence along America’s southern border is not anywhere near as cool as the Enterprise’s shields. Ask Bill Shatner.
How about protecting US citizens from the maniacs in Washington DC? There’s a lot of us outside the Beltway who’d pay cash money to see a wall built around Washington DC to keep locked down all the criminals therein.
That movie "Escape from New York" should make for a good model. Check out the tag: "The world’s greatest leader" — that could be you Bro! — "is a hostage in the most dangerous place on Earth." — that is D.C. — "Now only the deadliest man alive" — who’s that, Dick Cheney or Osama bin Laden? — "can save him."
What bugs me about your plan to use video cameras, smart dust and laser-guided bio-zappers is that there’s no fun in it! Where’s the sport? Or were you planning on sub-contracting Ted Nugent to set up a "Sunrize Safari Huntin’ Camp" all along the virtual border?
What’s wrong with a good, old-fashioned cement wall? Hey, if it was good enough for the Soviet Union to use in Berlin, surely it is good enough for the U.S. of A. Where’s the thrill of pole-vaulting over… nothing? Or tunneling under… nothing? Or hang gliding over… you guessed it you sly dog… nothing?
And come on, how are people going to spray paint catchy slogans like: (vernacular sanitized for you protection)! What gives? Do you have something against free speech and the arts? Never mind. The question is rhetorical. You want to fill Bush’s shoes, it follows that you’d hate the First Amendment and all those left-wing… and I shudder at the thought… artsty-fartsy types.
Let’s face it, a 1,200-mile mural would be stunning… from both sides! Maybe you’d be able to see it from space. How about getting Christo to wrap it? Better yet, call in Banksy. Naw… call in some of the local youth groups to do it. They’ll give it a more "homey" touch.
And besides… The Great Wall of China is a huge tourist attraction so it follows that The Great Wall of ‘Merica can help America’s anemic balance of payments. Those foreign visitors who still want to see the USA’s fruited plains might pay much needed foreign currency to see it.
Once considered passé, real walls are all the rage in this New American Century. Look at Baghdad. The U.S. can be proud. The walls of Baghdad may be the only things the U.S. has built in a seven year "reconstruction project" that aren’t piles of (vernacular removed with plastic gloves). And a tiny country smaller than the State of California is rapidly constructing the Mother of All Walls… in Palestine. Don’t be a wuss and settle for also-ran status.
As America sinks into a Depression, wall building could be a marvelous public works project. As I get older, I yearn for the old days of the WPA. I know I’m in trouble when your big ideas start to make the New Deal look good. And then I imagine the world my grandchildren will inherit: When the American Empire crumbles and the dollar tumbles, our wall will be here to stay… unless people have to tear it down and sell the chunks on eBay just to survive.
The type of virtual fence you propose will be… uh… full of holes! What’s to stop some entrepreneur… also referred to as a "coyote" from, oh… shooting out the cameras? Don’t tell me you are gunning for the Second Amendment too? Or do you really think signs reading: "Peligro! Rayo Lasero de Estados Unidos!" will scare people away? Yeah, I know that’s not kosher Spanish but I doubt if you care. Nobody else will… on either side of the wall.
Piffle, you say, hi-tech is the way of the future!
How often do you suppose the Virtual Wall’s computer-controlled system will crash? Is it to be powered by some whiz-bang system? Is there enough money in The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to hire sufficient computer techs to keep the virtual Separation Barrier functioning at peak inefficiency? Or maybe you’ll just import Alistair Darling from the UK to run the show.
And then, what about the hackers?
Truth be told… illegal immigrants will be welcomed by America’s Mayor. That high maintenance woman you married needs mas aliens ilegals to tend the garden, kids, laundry and you. Security firms and US agri-corps are desperate for cheap labor. You’re not really interested in keeping them out… are you? Didn’t think so.
Fact is… you want to keep us in.
So snap on those electronic ankle bracelets! Hoorah for the National ID card! Let’s get cracking on those TSA exit visas for citizens! And let’s not forget proper papers to travel from Columbus, GA to Phenix City, AL. Recruit Alberto Gonzales from out of Laura Bush’s garden to fix a new interpretation of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution.
And Rudy… for Pat Robertson’s sake… build a honkin’ cement wall of which all American’s can be proud. My fingers are itchin’ to release artistic urges and I’ve got a garage full of half empty cans of spray paint.
Elizabeth Gyllensvard contributed to and edited this story.
Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.