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The Wall


【Written by: Kayser】

It's been a tumultuous week since Trump's travel ban executive order (signed on Friday Jan 27). Criticized as unconstitutional and unlawful, the abrupt temporary ban barring civilians and refugees from the 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the US has been subject to widespread scrutiny and uproar.

The ruling on Saturday night, just a week after the implementation of the ban, by Washington State District Court Senior Judge James Robart in temporarily halting such travel ban nationwide, presented the first major challenge to the new president, embarking on Trump's war against the US Constitution.

The White House appealed immediately, but was quickly rejected by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. For now, Trump's travel ban is temporarily placed on hold until further court hearing, and everything is resumed to pre-ban state. At this point, should the White House attempt to continue the ban, it will have to go to the Supreme Court.

The core of this executive order is anti-immigration (in the name of securing the country's "safety"). In fact, there is another executive order addressing the same issue in session, signed just 2 days before the travel ban.

It was about building "a wall" – a 1,900 miles-long wall, between the US and Mexico.

A truck drives near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico. AP Photo

During the campaign, Trump boasted that once elected, he would build an "impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall". And it would be paid by Mexico!

Here comes time to fulfill his grand promise, only Mexico would definitely not pay for the build-out! Trump then say the Americans would pay for it, in advance; and the cost would be covered, later, by the tax imposed upon products imported from Mexico – an utter demarcation from his original promise!

While many states and cities wouldn't want to comply with such a plan, Trump threatened to halt federal subsidies to these states and cities.

So how much does this "wall" cost? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McDonnell estimated a price tag at about US$15 billion. Washington Post, on the other hand, provided a pricier estimate at about US$25 billion!

Would Americans really want to pay for this wall with their own money?

The Emperor of the Qin Dynasty built the Great Wall of China to protect the country from the outlying "barbarians" at the time. The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) built the Berlin Wall to segregate the ideology from the Federal Republic (West Germany).

Trump wants to build a wall to stop drugs from flooding into the US from Mexico, while he described the Mexicans as bad people, killers, rapists….that America should not tolerate their illegal entry.

His racial discrimination narrative was much in line with his notion of protectionism via his famous America First rhetoric throughout his campaign. The problem is, many Americans do not see this as the spirit of America.

Tonight is the annual Super Bowl, when people cheered for one of the most popular sports – and businesses – of the country. Traditionally this is also the primetime for advertising. Companies invest big spends in all creative genres perfecting their artistic and comedic and other crafts to wow their audiences – "1984" from Apple Computer, for example, was one of the most-remembered and famous Super Bowl commercials of all time.

This year, among all the Super Bowl commercials, I found the one from a small / mid-size company in the construction materials business stood out to be extraordinarily powerful.

However, due to its controversial content, the TV station didn't allow a full running but a mere 90 seconds' showing. The full version can only be viewed on-line. I would like to share here:

In fact, Trump's "wall" reminds me of a 1982 Pink Floyd album – "The Wall".

We recede inward in order to protect ourselves. We use the bricks to shield our inner selves. One by one, the bricks become a wall, separating us from the outside world. We crown ourselves kings behind the wall, and when the wall breaks one day, we become a crazy autocrat.

I hope Americans can maintain a clear mind. I hope we don't see protectionism as a solution for our problems.


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