maybe the real wall was the one through our hearts.
January 24, 2018 7:30 AM   Subscribe

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says that the President's border wall wall promise was 'uninformed' and that the United States is going to pay for it, apparently sparking a furious Trump to say his plan has "never changed or evolved." Even as Sen. Minority Leader Schumer withdraws offer on Trump's wall, but even the offer indicates How Democrats Stopped Worrying and Learned to Accept Trump's Wall.
Easy enough since The Trump administration has already started building the border wall, and thanks to previous Presidents, Basically, Donald Trump’s Border Wall Already Exists

so what ABOUT the Wall? What does the border look like now?

Is Donald Trump a conceptual artist, offering a chilling lesson in the power of architecture in a national monument to American nativism? "They were banal and startling, full and empty of meaning. Here were the techniques of Land Art, medieval construction, marketing and promotion, architectural exhibition and the new nativism rolled uncomfortably if somehow inevitably into one." A new, unbreakable canvas for some graffiti?

Between The River and The Wall. Records Show Where Trump Plans to Build Texas Border Wall. Trump’s border wall would slice through wildlife refuges and cut off U.S. territory in Texas.
One section of Trump's US-Mexico border wall could prompt 'decades of court cases' from private landowners, including wildlife preserves like the privately owned National Butterfly Sanctuary.

Texas Standard Takes On ‘The Wall’ with a series of reports. Texas is ground zero: In remote Starr County, federal agents say a wall will slow smuggling as landowners and nature tourists question the need for a border barrier.

Even if Congress says yes, Trump’s border wall faces these four big hurdles, including the ethical decisions for firms to work on the Wall. Can environmental protection and border security coexist? And as Trump admin taking quiet steps on seizing border land, the use of eminent domain will be expensive, slow, and full of mistakes: THE TAKING -
"Years before President Donald Trump promised to build his wall, Homeland Security erected an 18-foot-high fence here in a botched land grab that serves as a warning for the future.

An investigation by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune shows that Homeland Security cut unfair real estate deals, secretly waived legal safeguards for property owners, and ultimately abused the government’s extraordinary power to take land from private citizens."

Bill would ban eminent domain for border wall


The opportunities for graft are enormous and will continue: How a Local Bureaucrat Made Millions Amid the Rush to Build a Border Fence

Maybe we need a 1,954 mile long continuous pink Luis Barragan-inspired wall

The Wall That Trump Actually Built - A year ago, people in bucolic Pepin County, Wisconsin, discovered that deep political fissures ran through their community. They’ve only gotten deeper.
posted by the man of twists and turns (67 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
 
Build it and make bitcoin pay for it
posted by Going To Maine at 7:32 AM on January 24 [14 favorites]


Finance it with Mar-a-Lago membership fees.
posted by triage_lazarus at 7:40 AM on January 24 [11 favorites]


Hello, hello, hello. Is there anybody out there?
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:41 AM on January 24 [14 favorites]


The best response I've seen to this whole wall thing --

Alyssa Marie‏ @issyelliot

Why don't the Republicans who want the border wall just start a GoFundMe.

And if you donate more than $100 you get your name engraved on a piece of it. Like a memorial wall but for racists.
5:58 AM - 22 Jan 2018


.
posted by pjsky at 7:43 AM on January 24 [118 favorites]


The worst thing about that GoFundMe idea is that it would probably work.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 7:46 AM on January 24 [8 favorites]


Couldn't the border be secured much more effectively and much less expensively with a dense 24/7 drone network dynamically linked to a chain of small guard posts with 4wd vehicles?
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:47 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says that the President's border wall wall promise was 'uninformed' and that the United States is going to pay for it, apparently sparking a furious Trump to say his plan has "never changed or evolved."

What's the odds on Kelly making it another Scaramucci? Seems to be wearing a bit thin.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:48 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


"One of the things with the wall is you need transparency," Trump said. "You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can't see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall.

"And I'll give you an example: As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don't see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It's over," Trump continued. "As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs."

Amazingly enough, that's an actual quote.

The president of the USA think we need "transparency" in the wall building not to protect us from overbilling by defense contractors but so that people don't get hurt when drug dealers throw 60 pound sacks of drugs over the wall. I'm confused why he didn't say a 90kg projectile, but it appears that he is not joking.
posted by GregorWill at 7:50 AM on January 24 [40 favorites]


Maybe your idea is cheaper, CynicalKnight, but we’re probably better off questioning the premise; how secure does the border need to be?
posted by notyou at 7:50 AM on January 24 [8 favorites]


Couldn't the border be secured much more effectively and much less expensively with a dense 24/7 drone network dynamically linked to a chain of small guard posts with 4wd vehicles?

Or in a hundred other ways. The purpose of trump' s wall is not to secure the border. The purpose of trump' s wall is to display racism.
posted by mrgoat at 7:51 AM on January 24 [54 favorites]


White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says that the President's border wall wall promise was 'uninformed' and that the United States is going to pay for it, apparently sparking a furious Trump to say his plan has "never changed or evolved."

Yup, that's it, keep pointing out how insane Trump is, maybe someday people will notice.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, people wouldn't need to illegally cross the border if the job situation was better for them (and at the risk of angering Mefites, the drug profit wasn't so attractive).

Pepin, Wisconsin? The home of Little House in the Big Woods? Sigh.
posted by Melismata at 7:56 AM on January 24


The "unbreakable" link says:
Military special forces based in Florida and U.S. Customs and Border Protection special units spent three weeks trying to breach and scale the eight models in San Diego, using jackhammers, saws, torches and other tools and climbing devices
Serious question: did they try ladders? I would have thought a tall ladder with some grappling would be pretty easy to get over the wall with. Throw some cushioning down on the other side and you can probably handle an 18ft drop.
posted by Green With You at 7:56 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Anyway, the most efficient solution is the one in Nancy Farmer’s House of the Scorpion: tax the drug lords and let them control a no man’s land along the border.
posted by notyou at 7:56 AM on January 24


The wall is the stupidest part of the stupidest 2 years of post-civil war American history. My passionate hope is that Trump just builds enough wall that the cameras can't see where it ends in the photo op, declares wall-mission accomplished and moves the fuck on because that would be the only way that everybody can shut the hell up about the damn stupid wall. If he never builds the wall, the Trumpheads will blame the lack of the wall on the deep state and never shut up about it, if he actually builds the wall it will be a financial and environmental catastrophe. Either way, the racists win, because Trump is President, but at least with a fake wall nobody else loses too much.
posted by dis_integration at 7:56 AM on January 24 [9 favorites]


My passionate hope is that Trump just builds enough wall that the cameras can't see where it ends in the photo op, declares wall-mission accomplished and moves the fuck on because that would be the only way that everybody can shut the hell up about the damn stupid wall

I do have to admit that a 10-mile-long stretch of border wall, constructed in the middle of nowhere, at ruinous cost, conferring precisely zero benefit to anyone, is the perfect visual metaphor for this administration.
posted by Mayor West at 8:04 AM on January 24 [62 favorites]


Dear god, that Mother Jones article really is food for thought, and so sad. Such terrible times we are (and have been for a long time) living in
posted by Myeral at 8:04 AM on January 24 [4 favorites]


The purpose of trump' s wall is to display racism

In, um, fairness to Trump (so to speak), I don't think he's capable of processing even that level of symbolism.

The purpose of Trump's wall is that he's a moron and thinks it would actually work. He's just put way too much thought into this (for him), for it to be anything but.

I mean, Mar-a-Lago's got walls, the White House has walls, a lot of the people he envies live in mansions with walls around the property, and, look! those walls keep undesirable people out! You wanna keep a bunch of drug-dealing illegal immigrants from south of Texas out - build a wall. America as gated community, literally. It really is that simple, and that's why he keeps insisting on funding the wall. Maybe there's a touch of the instinctive con-man in him recognizing that building the wall was a campaign promise to his base and he ought to deliver something. But mostly he's a fucking idiot.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:08 AM on January 24 [25 favorites]


What's the odds on Kelly making it another Scaramucci? Seems to be wearing a bit thin.

Word is Ivanka's already got out the long knives for Kelly.
posted by briank at 8:10 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


The Border Patrol and Mexican authorities occasionally find drug catapults on the southern side of the line, most recently in February.

Presumably, this factoid was mentioned to Trump in a briefing as one of many, many reasons you might want to maintain a line-of-sight across the border, and it caught in his imagination like a squid beak in a whale's stomach lining. Drug catapults are actually a reason why a wall would ultimately be futile; the ambergris of Trump's racist paranoia converted them into weapons of siege, constantly shelling our citizens with 60 pound bales of kush.
posted by Iridic at 8:12 AM on January 24 [28 favorites]


He's just put way too much thought into this (for him), for it to be anything but.

I read (and I am sorry, I do not recall where the cite was from) that Trump didn't have much interest in the issue until advisors got him to insert it into the standard rally speech - and it was the most succesful applause line, the Trump rallygoers loved it. "Build the wall!" and they'd go nuts like Rush fans when the opening notes of "YYZ" ring out into the arena. That's what he cares about, the adulation of the "base".
posted by thelonius at 8:12 AM on January 24 [18 favorites]


was hearing on the 538 podcast the other day where they were speculating that Trump's approval ratings holding steady at 30-something percent means that there are still 30-something percent of people who are still unflagging supporters of his, no matter what he says, because they love the idea of him and all of the embedded, symbolic racism, nativism, sexism, and so on

it's a number that is very similar to the polling that Pew has done on the popularity of the border wall with the majority of favorable respondents being Republican white folks who are 50+. they were also saying that strengthening border security was pretty much a bipartisan issue up until Trump made it a central part of his platform, something that I'm sure Republican strategists who see the long-game of shifting demographics and dying generations are losing a ton of sleep over, esp with regards to how Latino and Asian populations (ie the largest reason for that demo shift) see the issue (which... good, lol)

there's a part of me who hates this - because of the suffering it causes now. and then there's the accelerationist in me who sees this as a not-the-most-horrible phenomena that will drive change, socioculturally, that'll really separate my generation and the generation younger than mine from Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, hopefully along a great many fronts. I think that's a large part why I tend to focus only on local, radical politics - because the establishment politics will change for reasons beyond what the institution can influence but the suffering around me is immediate, salient, and actionable, and always in need of more money/power/labor/love
posted by runt at 8:14 AM on January 24 [7 favorites]


The worst thing about that GoFundMe idea is that it would probably work.

At somewhere north of $12Bln, possibly more than $15B, that's a lot of $100 signatures---120 to 150 million people, call it roughly half of population of the US. I'm a little skeptical that there are that many don't-tread-on-me types willing to open their wallets.

Interestingly, there are only about 120 million federal tax payers in the US, so $100 is roughly what each of you would pay anyway.
posted by bonehead at 8:16 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Since the wall is not going to be built in Mexico, all 1255 miles of the Tex-Mex border will have the Rio Grande will be on the Mexican side of the wall.
f that isn't enough to scare reactionaries, all that Mexicans would need to do have babies in America is to find a safe spot on the Mexican side of the wall which is in American territory.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:22 AM on January 24 [13 favorites]


Any stretch of wall that actually gets built will make for a great future public works project : pay a million people a living wage to destroy it with sledgehammers. The tougher and more extensive the wall, the more billable hours to crumble it. Add another million or two of support staff, plus a military detachment to discourage terrorism from desert-dwelling Trumpo-revanchist cells, and you have yourself a recovery powerhouse in the inevitable coming economic depression and societal wreckage. Plus there'll probably be good music at night in the wallbreaker camps. Trying to look for the bright side here, folks.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:34 AM on January 24 [17 favorites]


Trump didn't have much interest in the issue until advisors got him to insert it into the standard rally speech

Mmmm. . . . . Well, I can't speak to his level of interest, but he did promise a wall in the very first speech he made, the one announcing his candidacy back in June of '15. Source: Huffington Post: Donald Trump's Border Wall -- An Annotated Timeline
posted by soundguy99 at 8:35 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


I read that Politico piece on Pepin, Wisc., because I went to a family reunion there in the 1980s. A great-(great?)aunt in her 80s who runs a small hotel showed us her motorcycle, and the two rattlesnakes that someone had caught earlier in the day. (She kicked the cage to make them sit up and rattle; I returned to the Twin Cities much impressed with the hardiness of my clan.)

To be honest, the split in sentiments described in that story sounds familiar out here in solidly-blue Rhode Island, too: I know plenty of suburbanites who would agree with the Trumpists in Wisconsin. Mostly they're white, with a good income, and "just want to get on with their lives" or some such. I work in higher education and even a lot of people in this business talk and think that way.

It's disheartening, and makes me suspect my friends who are mum about their politics -- which makes the division (because it's just a suspicion, and exists solely in my mind) even more common. *sigh*
posted by wenestvedt at 8:44 AM on January 24 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump’s Mexico border wall will be as high as 55 65 feet, according to Donald Trump
What we don't know, though, is the most important number: How high it will be? Trump's been vague about this and has a recent applause-grabbing habit of randomly increasing the height. So we did our best to figure out how big this thing was going to be.
Includes infographics with Trump for scale.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:08 AM on January 24 [6 favorites]


Trump's approval ratings holding steady at 30-something percent means that there are still 30-something percent of people who are still unflagging supporters of his, no matter what he says, because they love the idea of him and all of the embedded, symbolic racism, nativism, sexism, and so on

I think that there are approximately 30% of people anywhere who would support a pseudo-populist or racist/nativist/sexist administration if given a chance. That 30% figure is close to the percentage that stuck with the late Toronto mayor Rob Ford despite everything.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 9:08 AM on January 24 [13 favorites]


how secure does the border need to be?

To many, it's not important. But, to a large percentage of the population that elected 45, it's very important, regardless of how seriously the rest of us take that "threat".

When it turns out this was a very stupid idea, a wall will be much harder to get rid of than just repurposing a bunch of well used drones.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:12 AM on January 24


The scariest thing would be Trump pulling a Themistocles and declaring that the wall is actually his Trumpen-SS volunteer mercenary army of true-believer Nazis. It even looks feasible given the number of Nazis.
posted by runcifex at 9:15 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


In almost any movie imaginable about The World Gone to Hell, a reliable establishing shot reveals a gigantic wall, either (apparently) impenetrable, or in an alarming state of decay, or being actively breached.

Walls resonate, but strike different chords in different minds.

As for Trump, he is acting on 1) a notion that it will work on a practical level, and 2) the recognition that his best supporters love it. It has no value to him as a symbol, his mind doesn't work that way. He believes it will keep people he doesn't like out, and he knows it makes people he does like cheer for him.
posted by Caxton1476 at 9:16 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


27% of voters are crazy...the crazification factor
posted by kokaku at 9:18 AM on January 24 [6 favorites]


The cartel makes sandbag bridges to ford the Colorado River and sends buggies loaded with weed bouncing over the Imperial Sand Dunes into California. Michael Braun, the former chief of operations for the D.E.A., told me a story about the construction of a high-tech fence along a stretch of border in Arizona. “They erect this fence,” he said, “only to go out there a few days later and discover that these guys have a catapult, and they’re flinging hundred-pound bales of marijuana over to the other side.” He paused and looked at me for a second. “A catapult,” he repeated. “We’ve got the best fence money can buy, and they counter us with a 2,500-year-old technology.”
Cocaine Incorporated
posted by kirkaracha at 9:19 AM on January 24 [8 favorites]


The scariest thing would be Trump pulling a Themistocles and declaring that the wall is actually his Trumpen-SS volunteer mercenary army of true-believer Nazis. It even looks feasible given the number of Nazis.

Have you seen them, though ? They're not exactly men of action. You'd be better off building the wall out of wonderbread - it'd be just as white and fluffy, and wouldn't die of sunburn in 22 minutes of desert sun.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:20 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


Includes infographics with Trump for scale.

I charted this in one place, for fun.
posted by odinsdream at 9:29 AM on January 24 [8 favorites]


Construction on the wall is beginning in the next few weeks in Calexico, CA. I'm told they're arranging for nearly 1000 police officers to keep protesters away from the construction site.
posted by EarBucket at 9:30 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


The Wall That Trump Actually Built (spoiler) The wall only exists in the peoples' minds.
posted by achrise at 9:32 AM on January 24


I'm currently re-reading Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The Nazis' absolute best performance in free elections was around 37-38%. It's a little uncanny when compared to the approval rating. Definitely adds credence to the idea that 30-40% of the population anywhere considers racism and other crazy ideas paramount over any other factor.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:37 AM on January 24 [15 favorites]


Anything short of this is moving the goalposts:

"On Day One, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful Southern border wall."
We will use the best technology, including above- and below-ground sensors--that's the tunnels. Remember that, above and below. Above- and below-ground sensors. Towers, aerial surveillance, and manpower to supplement the wall, find and dislocate tunnels, and keep out criminal cartels, and Mexico, you know that, will work with us, I really believe it.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:39 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Construction on the wall is beginning in the next few weeks in Calexico, CA. I'm told they're arranging for nearly 1000 police officers to keep protesters away from the construction site.

To be clear, in the way that Trump is wildly unclear, this isn't The Wall but rather the replacement of an already-existing border fence, built in the '90s, with new (and slightly redesigned) fencing.
The department said in a notice published in the Federal Register that the existing 14-foot fencing will be replaced with an 18-to-25-foot barrier “that employs a more operationally effective design.”

The Trump administration is waiving 28 federal laws, ranging from the Clean Air Act to the National Environmental Policy Act, to expedite the project.

The Sierra Club and two other conservation groups are suing to challenge the decision, as well as the Trump administration’s previous decision to waive laws for border wall construction near San Diego. The groups argue in their lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, that rolling back safeguards meant to protect the environment and public health is unconstitutional.
The replacement won't use any of the different models being tested for The Wall, so it's really more of a wall than the wall.

I think that distinction matters in terms of denying Trump the joy of being able to claim that 'construction has started,' and in terms of forcing him to come back to the table with a clearer picture on what the heck 'the wall' is even supposed to be, if not this, since it's not this -- this is emphatically not a 65-foot wall; it's a sub-thirty-foot fence.

(Not that the environmental waivers are okay, or that the fence that's being built is good.)
posted by cjelli at 9:42 AM on January 24 [6 favorites]


I'm currently re-reading Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The Nazis' absolute best performance in free elections was around 37-38%.

Two big tells that someone doesn't actually know much about this part of history: they 'll tell you Hitler came to power by being democratically elected (he became Chancellor through a deal with conservatives to make a coalition government) , and that this happened because of hyperinflation (which happened in the 20s, not the 30s).
posted by thelonius at 9:46 AM on January 24 [7 favorites]


The border wall would not only bisect private property and the Rio Grande, but also the indigenous homelands of the Tohono O’odham Nation, which is staunchly opposed to having Trump's wall built across their lands along the border.

I would add more thoughts, but I started seething too much.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:12 AM on January 24 [12 favorites]


The border wall would not only bisect private property and the Rio Grande, but also the indigenous homelands of the Tohono O’odham Nation, which is staunchly opposed to having Trump's wall built across their lands along the border.

Not just staunchly opposed: they are, like other federally-recognized tribes, a domestic sovereign nation, and I suspect that the battle over taking their property would go all the way to the Supreme Court. The government has a special trust responsibility to the tribes, which is not outweighed by temporary political designs ginned up in Washington.

I mean, I suspect the Tohono O'odham would lose in the Supreme Court, given its current makeup, but they would have the weight of all the federally-recognized tribes in the country behind them. The case would be likely to have adverse effects on tribal-government relationships for decades.
posted by suelac at 10:38 AM on January 24 [10 favorites]


As I listen to these discussions, I keep thinking of my mother's stories of growing up in Douglas, AZ during the 20s-40s. Her home was literally, 10 blocks from Mexico. Her best friend through high school (and the rest of her life) was from a ranching family in Mexico who walked across the border everyday to attend school--along with dozens of other kids. My grandfather's work crew at Southern Pacific railroad was made up of men with mostly Hispanic surnames--some lived in Mexico (in the town, Agua Prieta that was directly on the other side of the border from Douglas). The two cities were completely integrated and the border was completely porous. And both towns thrived. I just found an old Arizona Highways magazine from September, 1975 (.pdf, sorry) that has a great story about the symbiosis. Here's a bit of the story:
"We think of ourselves as one large city that just happens to have a fence running through it, says Gualberto Vindiola, Jr., Subdelegate for Tourism in Northeast Sonora,...The police departments work closely together, and the fire departments answer each other's calls. The power, water and sewer systems of the two cities are completely compatible, and can be linked up to provide back-up service in case of emergencies or shortages. Taxis are licensed in both Arizona and Sonora, and you can dial direct from one city to another."
posted by agatha_magatha at 10:54 AM on January 24 [35 favorites]


In almost any movie imaginable about The World Gone to Hell, a reliable establishing shot reveals a gigantic wall, either (apparently) impenetrable, or in an alarming state of decay, or being actively breached.

Have you seen the movie, Monsters?
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:18 AM on January 24 [4 favorites]


Trump's failure here is ironically to not be Trumpy enough. The Trumpiest plan ever might actually have worked:

The Trump Border Wall Casino and Resort.

Hear me out: create a tourist attraction that basically pays for itself. Use Mexican labor *legally* to have an international destination staffed by lower-wage employees. Who's hopping the border when good jobs exist at the border?

Granted, a 1000 mile casino/resort isn't feasible, but if you build 'em every 50 miles, there's always one relatively close. Something something taxes and funds build local communities and fight organized crime.

It's hardly fleshed out, but you'd think something like this would be the plan, not just "a wall."
posted by explosion at 11:19 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


But, explosion, if you give Mexicans real jobs, then you're not properly oppressing them. Those jobs should go to US citizens! Just like farming and construction jobs!

The goal isn't "prevent immigration;" it's "declare that white Americans are superior to everyone else," and that message won't work if they're actively cooperating with other nations for mutual benefit.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:24 AM on January 24 [6 favorites]


Besides, who wants 50 bankrupt Border Wall Casino and Resorts?
posted by mrgoat at 2:12 PM on January 24 [7 favorites]


Really liking the idea of a Potemkin Wall. Has a certain poetic perfection about it.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 2:38 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


So I saw those border wall samples this summer, while riding a greyhound bus home to Louisiana. Ironically it was labor day weekend...
This is all so very, very sad.
posted by polly_dactyl at 2:49 PM on January 24


Have you seen the movie, Monsters?

I think a better example is from Pacific Rim, where the kaiju goes right through they Sydney wall.
posted by mikelieman at 2:57 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I just started watching Attack on Titan and so far the walls haven't done much their either.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:40 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]



I just started watching Attack on Titan and so far the walls haven't done much their either.


Don't give Trump any ideas on construction materials... (for those that are up to date on the show).
posted by thefoxgod at 3:45 PM on January 24


The wall is simply never going to happen. In many ways it's more useful unbuilt; it gives the necessary cover to prattle on and on about Congress tying his hands, with appeals for more power. The Unbuilt Will can continue to be used as a cudgel against anyone not a blithering racist isolationist, calcifying Trump's base the longer it stays unbuilt. If it were ever completed, the whole facade would fall apart within days, of course, as people would still find ways in regardless. He might even know this. I don't think the wall was ever meant to be built, to be honest. I think it was always meant to be the banner under which his supporters march their leader to total autocracy.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:44 PM on January 24 [6 favorites]


Green With You: "Serious question: did they try ladders? I would have thought a tall ladder with some grappling would be pretty easy to get over the wall with. Throw some cushioning down on the other side and you can probably handle an 18ft drop."

A 32' rope ladder with some sort of hook to grab the top of the wall is all you need to quickly move hundreds of people over an 18' wall in a few minutes.

Rust Moranis: "Any stretch of wall that actually gets built will make for a great future public works project : pay a million people a living wage to destroy it with sledgehammers."

The remnants are going to be around for decades. At best one might get the political will to tear down the walls near populated areas and at some set distance for wild life but I can't see it ever going farther than that. Any exposed steel will be stolen but concrete isn't worth taking in most cases. Though precast panels might be.
posted by Mitheral at 7:47 PM on January 24


The remnants are going to be around for decades

We'll name them "Trump's Folly", designate the surrounding areas as national parks, hold citizenship ceremonies for DREAMers in their shadow.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:38 PM on January 24


I'm surprised they haven't suggested setting up a line of gun-turrets with webcams and charging Nazis to log in and 'patrol' for the hope of getting to shoot border-crossers online.
posted by The otter lady at 8:42 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


A 32' rope ladder with some sort of hook to grab the top of the wall

The tube at the top is there to repel hooks
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:01 PM on January 24


I'm surprised they haven't suggested setting up a line of gun-turrets with webcams and charging Nazis to log in and 'patrol' for the hope of getting to shoot border-crossers online.

They have. Paul Ryan's next primary challenger has proposed just that:

Paul Nehlen
@pnehlen
🇺🇸The wall must have machine gun turrets every thousand yards. There will be no ladders, no shovels, no entry. ☠️

posted by Rust Moranis at 9:19 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I submitted my application for the Community Board

I had to write essaya and I could share them
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Oh, it's possible to make a border wall work. It cost 6% of the land in the entire country, a substantial fraction of national GDP, and hundreds of lives of people who died trying to cross. But it did work. That's the scary outcome.
posted by miyabo at 6:13 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


This thread has gone in a kind of weird direction since there are articles in the post itself about how the wall effectively exists.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:30 AM on January 25


articles in the post itself about how the wall effectively exists.
There is already a border wall in some areas, which is why this idea is so insane. It is not complete, because much of the border is mountainous (essentially the foothills of the same range as the Rocky Mountains) where it is very difficult and expensive to build a wall or a river which has a variable flow rate (the Rio Grande) from basically a trickle to a flood, depending on conditions. The river portion is absolutely covered in border patrol agents, the mountainous areas less so, and those are mostly the areas that have been written about before about civilian patrols covering. Many of the tunnels and what not are built closer to populated areas, not out in BFE mountains.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:51 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Forgot to add: where there is a wall/fencing, it looks a lot more like your average Wal-Mart rainwater detention pond, with lots of bare concrete culverts, tall chainlink fences and some cement/metal fencing than it does like say the Great Wall of China or the Maginot Line.
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:52 AM on January 25


> Couldn't the border be secured much more effectively and much less expensively with a dense 24/7 drone network dynamically linked to a chain of small guard posts with 4wd vehicles?

Who's going to man those guard posts?

"Border patrol agencies have reported difficulties implementing President Donald Trump's plan to beef up security with thousands of additional agents along the US-Mexico border."

Last border hiring binge had some bad outcomes

A Border Patrol agent takes us deep inside his experience patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border.

It's a boring, dangerous and horrible job (the finding dead & dying migrants in the desert part).

Instead of surveillance drones and terrestrial enforcers, looks like you'd need armed drones or helicopters for the CBP. Yikes.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 12:13 PM on January 25


Monsters... Pacific Rim... Attack on Titan...Game of Thrones

Another example would be Call of Duty: Ghosts, where the US builds the "Liberty Wall" to keep out The Federation (i.e. a unified South and Central America), and the The Federation just goes around it, landing on the beach in Santa Monica.

Are there any examples from media of walls being actually effective?
posted by subocoyne at 5:12 PM on January 25


Pruitt-Igoe: "
The tube at the top is there to repel hooks
"

You just need a bigger hook.
posted by Mitheral at 7:31 PM on January 25


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