Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Friday, October 02, 2015

Fifty-One Foot Ladders

Fifty-One Foot Ladders
©2015  Ross Williams
Janet "Big Sis" Napolitano was the Governess of Arizona when the illegal immigrant hydra-crisis came to one of its several heads.  The simple, indeed simplistic, solution offered by the simple, indeed simplistic, illegal alien crisis mongers in Big Government was to build a fifty-foot wall on our southern border.  Big Sis scoffed at the idea [primarily as it was a republican notion and she was a democrat], claiming that immigrants would only build a fifty-one foot ladder.  She, of course, was right, although not literally and only by coincidence.

The US-Mexican border lying in the urban sprawl between San Diego and Tijuana has walls, rows upon rows of chain link fence, and concrete barricades.  There are no fifty-one foot ladders there.  Instead, there are professionally constructed tunnels through which the Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Honduran illegals pay the Mexican gate-keepers a premium price to pass.  It's safer and significantly more convenient than trekking for a week through the bakery of the Sonoran Desert.

The Tijuana tunnels are lined with concrete for durability, plumbed, electrically lighted, and wide enough to bi-directionally zip golf carts and small warehouse forklifts through, as well.  The golf carts can carry illegals, but the forklifts each haul a few tons of illicitly-manufactured methamphetamine, courtesy of the Mexican drug cartels, for the ultimate destination of the illegal US drug market.

Satisfied with the improvement, are we?  The Big Government solution to illegal immigration failed to solve the problem and instead ushered in a slew of unintended consequences.  Go figure.

My lingering nag over our efforts to curb "The Meth Problem", is one such consequence.  I can't recall how many times I've scolded that the simple, indeed simplistic, method offered by the simple, indeed simplistic, drug crisis mongers in Big Government to reduce methamphetamine was doomed to failure.  Their solution: monitor all purchases of over-the-counter allergy medicine with police state apparatus and arrest anyone purchasing too much pseudoephedrine, because that's one of the few dozen ingredients used in home-cooked methamphetamine.

It's not even one of the ingredients you need a license to purchase, by the way … or it hadn't been.  In several states, pseudoephedrine now needs a prescription; in the rest, you are required to produce an ID card, to facilitate police state monitoring, prior to purchase.  The net effect on "The Meth Problem"?  Bupkus.

The home-cooked portion of "The Meth Problem" was miniscule at best, self-defeating at worst.  Slack-jawed peckerwoods in their rural trailers cannot pop enough of those infernal blister-paks of allergy pills into the pot on their Coleman campstove to make more meth than can be taken for personal use.  And the peckerwoods tend to blow themselves up anyway — "problem" solved.  "The Meth Problem" is and always has been the abuse of prescription methamphetamine [clinical uses: narcolepsy, obesity, and ADHD, one of which is epidemic in the US, and another of which is a faddish diagnosis], supplemented by trafficking of the prescription-grade product of the Mexican cartels.  Home-cooked meth, low-grade "crystal" meth, barely even constituted statistical noise in the matter.

Yet our Big Government solution was to target crystal meth and ignore the primary issue, now compounded by our "build a wall" Big Government solution to illegal immigration.  When asked, our Big Government problem-solvers will report that the allergy pill interdiction effort has reduced "The Meth Problem" by some massive figure, say, 50%.  Yes, crystal meth on our streets has been reduced, but it was only a single-digit  percentage of the problem in the first place.  What they won't tell you, and what you'll have to learn elsewhere, is that prescription abuse and Mexican product is up by around 20% each year for the past decade.

As a result, "The Meth Problem" is even bigger than it was.  In the meantime, Indiana grandmothers are serving 10 years in prison for buying too many sniffle pill packages in a 24-hour period when their entire family came down with a cold at once.  And isn't that a relief!

Are we happy yet?  Are we done having Big Government "solve" the "problem" of a few individuals doing stupid, sometimes legitimately illegal, things and inconveniencing the rest of us?  Are we done paving the way for large, institutional stupidities and illegalities?  Not even close.

The Big Government solution to a few corporate farms slapping "organic" on their non-organic apples was to create an organic certification process so cumbersome and costly that organic farmers — small by nature and with gross revenues to match — cannot afford to legally call themselves "Certified Organic".  Any food you find in stores with the organic label is primarily the Ag-giant entities pawning off the same non-organic food [at a significant mark-up] as they always did.

Big Government abhors small business.  Big Government doesn't even understand how to deal with small business — primarily by leaving it alone — because Big Government isn't capable of leaving anything alone.  Big Government is big for the simple fact that it involves itself in all things.  Those things must then expand to accommodate the government intrusion.  A doctor could run a small, successful medical practice with a single nurse/receptionist/clerk forty years ago; twenty years ago, in order to comply with state insurance regulations, that same small, successful practice would have to hire two clerical staff — "medical billing specialists" — just to process insurance paperwork.

Ten years ago, in order to comply with HIPPA, it was required to hire three more clerks to process the rest of the paperwork ensuring that your medical information be given only to yourself … and the government, and anyone who could hack your doctor's computer to obtain all the information required by law to be permanently stored.  Obamacare requires photo identity verification of all people seeking medical care — the same identity verification that is called "racist" when it occurs at the voting booth — and even more paperwork and mandatory, permanent storage of data, as if it needs to be said.

Those medical billing specialists expanding the small medical practice into a major undertaking cannot get hired without the same "racist" photo identity verification due to another Big Government solution to illegal immigration.  eVerify is the RealID Act program created by the Department of Homeland Security which, a la Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and every tinpot totalitarianism of the industrial age, requires a citizen to justify his own existence to his own government before doing something as pesky and meddlesome as getting a job.  Instead of prohibiting illegal aliens from taking jobs away from Hard-Working Americans®, it creates a large false- and fraudulent-ID industry.  This, then, not only fails to bar illegal aliens from getting jobs, but also gives the enterprising American criminals-by-other-means a way of hiding in plain sight.

As if false and fraudulent IDs weren't enough of a problem now, thanks to the ministrations of Big Government inspiring Big Crime, Big Government is now attempting to address identity theft and with predictable results.  Big Retailers have stored credit card information in their computer systems unnecessarily for decades; it allows them to recognize repeat customers, track the types of purchases they make and otherwise serve a vacuous "personalized" advertising scheme.  Stored information can be stolen by hackers, and several Big Retailers have had their computers hacked resulting in ID thievery and credit card compromises.

But instead of ending the unnecessary practice of storing personal information and losing all that free, "personalized" advertising, Big Retailers threw up their hands and said they didn't know what to do about it.  So Big Government stepped in.  Instead of Big Government prohibiting the unnecessary storage of customer credit information, it devised a manner of simultaneously allowing all Big Retailers to continue to unnecessarily store credit card information, reduce the credit card fraud perpetrated by small-time hoods with low-tech abilities, AND guarantee that virtually all future ID thievery will be conducted by the criminal gangs in the Ukraine and warehouses full of hackers in Russia, China and North Korea who have access to their own Big Government hi-tech.

Such foreign hacking is a growth industry and results in the illegal theft of American citizens' money into the pockets of those foreign governments before anything can be done about it, none of which includes prosecution of the crimes committed.  This money can then be used to purchase American government debt to await the day in the foreseeable future when US sovereign debt exceeds our ability to repay it by merely cinching our belt for a few generations.  The US government will be penniless like Greece is today and the Soviet Union was three decades ago.  But unlike Greece, there is no Germany wealthy enough to fund us through our bankruptcy, and unlike the Soviet Union which had NATO warning off foreign claim-jumpers, no one will have the ability to stop US territory from being divvied up — by force or otherwise — among our creditors.  As I've advised before: better learn Mandarin or Spanish.

The fifty-one foot ladder our Big Government is inspiring among our enemies is the computer chip required to be embedded on our credit cards.  These chips make low-tech credit and ID thievery all but impossible, but doesn't even constitute a speed bump to hi-tech thieves, which are overseas criminal organizations and enemy governments.

Our Big Government not only loves Big Business and inhibits small business, it loves other Big Government, particularly those actively trying to destroy it.  I'd say it would serve our Big Government right not to mention the millions who want Big Government to get even bigger.  Unfortunately, it would also have a severe impact on … well … me.