When East Germany built a wall through Berlin to cut off traffic between the two halves of the city, Americans got upset and complained mightily about the horrible behavior of a nasty Communist country. Dividing families, cutting off trade and friendly traffic, etc. East Germany's goal, obviously, was to prevent its citizens from leaving poverty and heading for jobs and prosperity in the west. We thought it was bad; we were all rejoicing when "The Wall" came down.
Well, the bulldozers are busy now building a 135 mile "fence" (looks like a wall to me--tall steel panels) along the Rio Grande. The governor of Texas, for whom I have no abiding affection, thinks this is a great idea. President Bush thinks this is a great idea. They want a wide area of scorched earth for the military to patrol up and down. They think this is a matter of urgent national security. So, of course, did the East Germans.
It would be bad enough if this were only an ugly fence and bare strip off in the middle of nowhere that menaced nothing but common sense and common plants and animals. It's not. This fence and "bare strip" they want is destroying a unique habitat, where rare and endangered species survive because they have access to the river's water (which the fence will cut off) and native brush (which the bare strip will destroy.) Already, bulldozers are working close to a butterfly preserve in Starr County, in Roma. Rampant development in the Border area has already destroyed habitat on both sides of the river...there is no place for many of these plants and animals to go.
Now I grew up in that area, down the river in the next county. I love that country, and the people (on both sides of the river.) Yes, trouble can come out of Mexico. But so has a lot of good, and we have dumped a lot of our troubles (like polluted water in both the Rio Grande and the Colorado) onto Mexico. The vast majority of the illegal crossings are honest people who want to work, who want a better life for their families--the same way my ancestors did when they left Europe (or the other ancestors did, who left NE Asia and crossed the land bridge.) I hate this fence, the whole idea of this fence. I do not want to lose either people or the unique and irreplaceable habitats that lie along the Rio Grande, with their unique and irreplaceable plants and animals, just because we have an Administration and state governor exaggerate dangers to manipulate public opinion in favor of their schemes.
There's still lightning outside, quite a lot of it. Radar's not showing as much "stuff" as we're getting, which isn't unusual as radar's often off by up to 5 miles where we are. We had a big line of thunderstorms go through earlier--hail, high winds, heavy rain, lightning, thunder--and it settled down for awhile but now seems to be building again. At the start of that one, I crawled under the desk and unplugged things...then when it seemed to be letting up, and I put the TV on again to check their radar info, it seemed like things were going to be all serene.
Ha. Wasn't thirty minutes before I heard thunder again, and it's wandered our way good and loud (and bright. When you see what looks like a gigantic blue-white ball in the sky, semi-outlining bubbly-looking clouds...there's stuff that should be showing up on radar, whether it is or not.)
My ceiling is not dripping at the moment (yay!) and the power is, obvously, still on. And so far the plumbing still works. (We're on a septic system. If we get too much rain too fast...things can become inconvenient.)
Tomorrow morning, I'm first on my farrier's list to work on the horses. The local weather forecasters are saying there might be a final line of storms moving through "about rush hour." You can hear the hollow laugh from wherever you are, I'll bet. Want to consider the fun that may occur when he's trying to trim horses in a lowish all-metal barn in a hailstorm? It's loud enough in a hard rain. I'm wondering if I should stuff their ears with cotton (what they do with race-horses) or if that will make them even more skittish.