Friday, July 28, 2006

Enchiladas and Innovation

Today I managed to get about an hour to lay out. It has been several days and I am starting to look like Casper again. I am reading Bremer’s book about his time in Iraq and so far it is pretty interesting. I am particularly interested in reading it because as a Captain I worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in the Directorate of Operations and Infrastructure and dealt with many of the people he mentions in his book.

While I was walking to the pool a rocket flew overhead and landed somewhere but didn’t explode. It was kind of creepy like it always is, but I went ahead and hit the pool anyway. It wasn’t really near me and if you hear it, you are generally safe.

While I was sitting at the pool I was thinking about the problems in Iraq and how to solve them. Don’t worry, I didn’t, so you will still be able to watch all the failures on TV and still be able to moan about what is not going so well. But what did strike me was how resilient and innovative the Iraqis are, and that makes me hopeful that whatever the setbacks, they will pull thru this.

Here is an example of innovation. The last company I worked for tasked me to have 2 rooms constructed on the roof of our villa. I hired a local construction company, gave them the general layout and specifications and they set off to build it. Well, Iraqi construction techniques are primitive to say the least and an OSHA worker would have a filed day here, but they still managed to build the room using sheer brute force and physical labor. At times I was thinking they were intentionally doing things the hard way just to take longer so they could earn more. It turns out that I was right and wrong about that. They were indeed doing it the hard way, but that is the way they are used to operating. Why buy a jack-hammer when you can employ 20 guys to beat the concrete with a pick axe for less. You get the job done and still employ 20 more people. Anyway, one morning as they were nearing completion I noticed a rather large bag of bottle caps. When I saw it I thought “damn, they have drank a lot of soda today” and pretty much left it at that. Well later in the day, on the roof of one of the rooms, I noticed some wire screens that had been attached to the roof so that they could apply the mortar. They had used the bottle caps as nails to hold the various sections of mesh together.

At the pool I saw this:

Very innovative. I am not sure who did it, but it still is pretty cool that someone made lanes where none existed using junk.

So tonight was apparently “Mexican Food” night at the embassy dining facility. I prefer the steak and lobster night and am particularly fond of the “Mongolian Stew” night, but I like Mexican food.

Anyway, I sat in the back part of the DFAC where they have TVs but unfortunately all they are playing now is Baseball which is the gayest sport on Earth. So I sat down and a young Army Specialist sat down across from me. His name was SPC Chavez. SPC Chavez was not a US citizen but would soon be getting his citizenship because of his service in the military. I think that is great, and it was nice to hear about how he managed to legally immigrate and join the Army. His older brother became naturalized the same way. Good on him.

And I am passionate about preventing illegal immigration of any sort. So when I sat there eating my enchilada and thought about the millions upon millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants as well as the enormous legally immigrated Hispanic population I began to wonder if the good old fashioned hot dog was in danger of being replaced by the taco and the enchilada.

I don’t blame the Mexicans that choose to flee to the US. I would do the exact same thing if I was in their position. I blame the useless, incompetent, cowardly, retarded, self-serving elected officials in office today and for the past 40 years or more. They should all be fired, every last corrupt one of them. And we should have a popular vote to decide what to do about the southern border.

We should have an absolutely impenetrable physical barrier along both borders set back 1 mile into our sovereign land and there needs to be measures that will ensure no living person can cross our borders illegally. We should employ mine fields, and the use of deadly force should be authorized if ANYONE approaches within 1 mile of our borders. The area should be well marked, lighted and heavily armed. If a person approaches at an unauthorized location, 1 warning shot should be fired and if they do not turn around, drop them and bury them where they land. We need to have radar along the borders to detect any tunneling and if tunneling is detected that location should be bombed with our most powerful weapons to destroy the tunnel and whatever is in it. We also need to have the same level of security on the East and West coasts. It must be impossible for any vessel above or below the sea to reach US soil without authorization and every single ship should be inspected. Every container on every ship that is, and it must be impossible for someone to exit a legal ship and enter illegally. We have enough unemployment, we can hire and train them and they can be inspectors.

Anyway. Those are my thoughts on illegal immigration.

Here are the partially completed rooms I was referring to:

Notice they just smashed the wall away to make room for the ladder.



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