27/01/2017

Donald and the Wall



“If you build it, they won’t come
I had a vision the other day (and I imagine President Trump says this regularly) that for some reason the specifications of the famed wall to keep out Mexico were incorrect and when it was finished the thing turned out to be only two foot tall! Or perhaps the ground is not really suitable for the construction of a wall (isn’t it semi desert?) meaning that a decent push would send part of it falling over. Will this wall – or as it’s now called “large physical barrier” -be the symbol of Trump’s Presidency? 
A wall, yesterday
 Does he know how long it will take to build? What sort of earth they’ll be building it in? What if it’s not finished when he is? They’d end up with half a wall which people could just walk around. And is the problem that this wall is supposed to solve really big enough to justify the expense? What if Mexico refuses to pay? I’m sure these and many other questions have been asked but not by Trump. He seems to believe that the same sort of We Can Do It approach that probably works in business works in politics.
No television script writer could ever conceive such notions as those currently flying about the White House. No tv series would ever invent a President so clearly ill equipped to become “the most powerful man in the world”. Trump started as he means to go on by insulting several of his predecessors at his inauguration even though they were sitting right there behind him. It’s a shame the oft seen playful side of Barack Obama wasn’t present otherwise he might have simply stood up and walked off in the middle of Trump’s speech.
And what a speech it was! While not really being lifted from Bee Movie or any other movie (that really was fake news) it nonetheless had the grandstanding brio of a movie President. It was littered with promises to do this and that and the other and revealed- though not a lot of people picked up on this- the alternative fact about the new Mr T. He is going to be a Tax and Spend President. His programme of infrastructure projects and all round making America great again will involve huge spending and that will mean higher taxes. No not just for the rich because that would mean he’d be putting his own taxes up. It’s easy to see why millions will be wowed by his patriotism but he doesn’t seem to have noticed or imagined that other countries may respond in kind. Unless the US can produce everything it needs then the same tariffs they impose will be imposed on them elsewhere. In a global world we live in isolationism is not an option.
Larry Sanders
Some of his early executive orders have been mean spirited culls of Obama’s policies, some have shown his Bible bashing mentality the sort of thing that anyone outside of religion simply labels as discrimination. It is actually worrying to see a new leader acting with such abandon because he can’t be really thinking about any implications while his attitude seems to be encouraging other politicians to say more radical things in what might soon resemble a race to the bottom. At this speed he’ll have finished his entire program of policies in a year. Perhaps that’s his idea- get all the politics out of the way ad spend the rest of the term just going about being important. It’s a puzzle how he’ll interact with other world leaders; maybe he won’t leave the shores of his own country and they’ll all have to travel there.
One thing we have learned is that behind the bluff exterior lies someone who feeds on praise so however difficult it might be other leaders might try a little Farage style flattery. Trumps is already apparently disappointed at the wider public reaction to his Presidency (after only a week!) - didn’t he realise that’s part of the job too. His bizarre response to clear photographic evidence regarding numbers at his Inauguration as compared to Obama’s show what will likely be a signature of his term- a refusal to accept facts that do not fit with his agenda. It’s being called `alternative facts` but the real word is Propaganda. It smells of the sort of stuff that dictators spit out and suggests a stand -off with the media.
No sitting leader gets an easy ride from the press or public and Trump who has been in the public eye for decades ought to know better. If he carries on like this there is no way he will win a second term if indeed he wants one. There will come a time when even his loyal followers realise his administration is basically lying about things that are as plain as day. It’s so childish- the political equivalent of sticking your hands over your ears and shouting “I’m not listening, I’m not listening!” I suspect Trump may even do this at a press conference one day.
A wall? Really? Look how long that border is!
Still I suppose the Trump Presidency will never be dull.  Only 1,377 days left to the next election…
Finally for DT’s benefit because I’m sure he hasn’t thought about this, I’ve found some principles about how to build a wall
1.      Lay out the site.  
2.      Lay foundations for a wall.  
3.      Mark out the wall's position.  
4.      Take time to get the first course of brick or block work right because it will affect the entire wall if you get it wrong.  
5.      Cut blocks or bricks to fit.  
6.      Finish the pointing.
7.      Send the bill to your next door neighbour

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