$Texas, Journalism, Me Myself and Ty, Politics

On the fence no more: Texas rejects Trump, wall

Border state officials ask for personnel; not wall

The Republican presidential primary blew through Texas last week, where Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) got a much-needed win in his home state.

The freshman senator received an endorsement from Gov. Greg Abbott one week before the Texas primary and went on to win all but five of the state’s 254 counties, earning half a million votes more than runner-up Donald Trump, who has suggested he’ll build a $12 billion wall along the state’s southern border.

Ty Johnson

Supporters in Myrtle Beach, S.C. cheered Donald Trump’s plan to build his ever-growing border wall, but Trump won just five counties in Texas, the only border state to have its primary so far.

The rebuff from the Lone Star State, while not unexpected because of Cruz’s popularity there, served to show that voters in a state with a third of the Mexican border running alongside it don’t want to see a wall running along it.

Abbott, still one of Cruz’s biggest endorsements as the March 15 primaries draw near, last year signed into law a first-of-its-kind $800,000 border security package and has made border relations a touchstone of his administration, even naming Mexican native Carlos Cascos as his Secretary of State.

Abbott’s election came months after the Rio Grande Valley saw the summer arrival of some 50,000 refugees, mostly women and children escaping violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The crisis reached such fever pitch that in summer 2014 the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security scheduled a field hearing in McAllen, Texas; the city where each day refugees were turning up.

Throughout testimony from then Gov. Rick Perry and state and federal officials, there was never discussion about continuing the Southern Fencing Strategy, the national plan to wall off the border from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Besides the cost of the fence and its inability to deter illegal crossings — there is testimony that it saves Border Patrol agents just 15 seconds — the fence has disrupted migratory patterns for a plethora of native wildlife and in some cases cut off citizens from their property.

border

The Texas Department of Public Safety “border surge” concentrated troopers in an area already bound on the north and south by U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints.

Perry sent the National Guard, militarizing further a region already bound on the north and south by border checkpoints.

The deployment was viewed more as a political stunt after Perry slinked toward another failed White House run, but the border continued to stay in the news long after hope for the Gang of Eight bill had faded.

When Abbott took office, he asked Washington for 250 additional U.S. Border Patrol agents to handle the influx of immigrants. When it didn’t happen, he sent 250 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers into Deep South Texas to support federal agents along the state’s border.

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$Texas, Me Myself and Ty

Being typecast

wpid-img_20140422_225126.jpg“No beer this time?” she asked the man carrying a gallon of milk and a package of Birthday Cake Oreos.

That man, of course, was me.

And she was the security associate at HEB, whose ear gauges were roughly the same size as the pennies I was fumbling with in my pocket.

We had always exchanged knowing glances as I made my six to eight weekly trips to the grocery store across the street from my apartment and I was obtusely aware that she noted my comings and goings.

I’m sure it’s impossible not to give someone a once-over as they pass by, especially since her job is to make sure no one shoplifts, so she has seen me shuttle back and forth — sometimes twice in one day — usually with beer tucked under my arm.

I stepped over to make idle conversation about running out of milk and cookies and happened upon her nametag.

Now she’s no longer anonymous and neither am I.

The inventory she’ll take of my every purchase will grow in detail now that I have stepped out from behind the curtain of anonymity.

We know each other’s secrets now.

 

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$Texas, Journalism, Me Myself and Ty

The price of activism

So the recent Anonymous-led Internet blackout of websites on April 22 was a mixed bag.

Not as many websites joined the movement as last year’s resistance to PIPPA/CISPA, but, at the same time, the Legislation did get knocked back a bit, so it could be considered a pseudo-success.

I took my website offline for 24 hours in support of the blackout by setting all of my posts to “Private” for the entirety of the day. When the day was over, I switched them all back to public, leading a few posts that were assignments from the class that originally inspired this blog to be published as public, as well.

I was contacted by a few of my more loyal followers (those of you subscribed on the email list) that the posts popped up as new posts. For this, I apologize.

Next time I take my site offline, I’ll find a better way and make sure to not inconvenience my subscribers (I love you all!)

For more on CISPA, and why I felt it warranted my attention, see below, but to make up for the errant emails (someone said they received eight overnight only to find no new posts) I have made public some posts that were originally password protected.

Please accept this as my apology, and thanks for continuing to follow Me, Myself and Ty!

The newly public posts are:
Braves New World
Fear and Loathing at the Daffodil Festival
Crime and Punishment Part I
Crime and Punishment Part II
Crime and Punishment Part III

Love,

Me, Myself and Ty Continue reading

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