Dear Senator Durbin

At the end of March, 2019 I sent an E-mail to my Senators Dick Durbin, and Tammy Duckworth asking that they fund President Trump’s request to build a wall at our southern border. I knew I’d get an answer from Durbin because his term expires in 2020, and he needs votes. He didn’t disappoint me he wrote the following:

Dear Grumpa Joe:

          Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for a new border wall.  I appreciate hearing from you.

          At midnight, on December 22, 2018, President Trump shut down the government because funding for a new border wall was not included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriation bills.  On January 25, 2019, President Trump signed a temporary spending bill passed by Congress, which funded government agencies through February 15, and brought the longest government shutdown in history, and the third government shutdown of President Trump’s term, to an end.

          On January 30, 2019, the first public meeting of the FY 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Committee, of which I was a part, took place.  I called on Democratic and Republican conferees to focus on smart and effective border security measures instead of the President’s threats to shut down the government again without border wall funding.

          On February 16, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 116-6), which provides funding for the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of FY 2019.  This bipartisan package rejected President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall and makes responsible investments in border security.

          I support strong and effective border security.  The type of border security that Democrats have long-supported, including increased funding for technology, is what experts have said is needed and actually works.  What doesn’t work is an ineffective, expensive medieval wall.  While the President claims he wants to build this wall to stop the flow of drugs, his own Administration has stated that the vast majority of lethal narcotics that cross our southern border come through legal ports of entry.  That is why our bipartisan agreement to fund the government provides additional funding for technology and Customs personnel—real solutions that will help stop the narcotics that are killing our children. This is real border security to address a real threat to America—the opioid epidemic.

          Second, we insisted on humanitarian assistance such as medical care to ensure those who come to our border are treated in a humane way.  Sadly, two small children came to our border and died before they could receive the medical assistance they needed. I do not ever want to see that happen again.

          Finally, we rejected the Administration’s demand for changes in our asylum laws that would undermine our legal and moral obligations to provide safe haven to families and children fleeing persecution.

          We must turn away from President Trump’s fear-mongering approach to those who come to our border, many of whom are just seeking a better life as many of our ancestors did.  The President’s approach is not representative of the best of America.  It represents the kind of division that does not recognize the heritage, that makes us who we are as a nation.

Thank you again for contacting me.  I will keep your concerns in mind as the Senate continues to discuss effective border security.  Please feel free to keep in touch.<span “=””>

 

Sincerely,
 
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
RJD/mt

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Here is my response to his response.

Dear Senator Durbin:

Thank you for answering my e-mail in which I directed you to vote in favor of funding the wall along the southern border with Mexico.

I understand the trauma you suffered at the hands of President Trump as he took the desperate move to spur Congress into action by shutting down the government. By the way, I totally agree with President Trump’s actions and policies. I totally disagree with the ineffective moves you have made.

President Trump has done more in the past two years to secure the border by action than 100 senators and some four hundred plus congressmen have in the last thirty years. Trump is a true patriot, and you my dear Senator are merely a minion in the world of Progressive Socialism.

Your attitude toward directing billions of dollars into Star Wars like technology to secure the border over simple solid common sense solutions like a “medieval” border wall only proves to me that you are incapable of successfully accomplishing the job the people of Illinois sent you to Washington to do.

As Medieval and unprogressive as walls may seem to you they do work. The Great Wall of China separating Mongolia from China, Hadrian’s wall separating England from Scotland, or more recently the Iron Curtain Separating East from West Germany, or the Berlin Wall splitting a  great city in half are all examples of walls that work. More recently look at the wall Hungary erected in the last two years to keep illegal Mid-Easterners from invading. Walls work! and they are more durable than any modern technology system you will spend billions on, and which will be obsolete by the time of implementation like all things electronic.

You claim experts say technology is a more effective means to secure the border, just who are these experts? Our own department of Homeland Security experts working on the border claim the opposite. I challenge you to set up a debate between your experts and the lowly people from HS. This would make great entertainment and would be educational for you and me both.

You proudly write that you insist on humanitarian assistance to care for sick children coming across. Then you blame Trump for the death of two kids who were moments from death when they arrived. I don’t blame Trump for not performing a miracle nor do I believe any democrat can perform miracles. I do believe the parents of these children should take full responsibility for dragging a deathly sick child hundreds of miles across dangerous territory.

Another point is your statement that you “. . .rejected the Administration’s demand for changes in our asylum laws that would undermine our legal and moral obligations to provide safe haven to families and children fleeing persecution.” First I want you to tell me what persecution these people endured? Second, I want you to tell me how changing our asylum law would do so poorly?

Two weeks ago I watched a video interview with reporters in Honduras who flat-out claimed that the people were not leaving because of persecution, but to find work. The same interviewer uncovered facts that the caravans are highly organized by Left wing Progressive groups tied to the United States. In my view this makes the caravans armies recruited by treasonous enemies from within the US.

If we keep on doing the same thing over and over hoping to change the outcome, but we keep on getting the same outcome we are not being rational; Insanity is defined that way.  It is better to change laws that are not working than it is to leave them be. In other words do something. In my professional life I always mentored my engineers that “I would rather be criticized for doing something than for doing nothing.”

On the subject of controlling drugs coming into the country I recall an effort by the United States referred to as the War on Drugs which has spent well over a trillion dollars since inception. What have we gotten out of that? I think that war is old enough that you are probably one of those who voted for it.

Your attitude about President Trump’s fear mongering approach to those who come to our border is hilarious. Trump is merely trying to follow the rule of law and the system is clearly unable to handle the load. He is not trying to be inhumane, nor is he trying to exclude immigrants. He is trying to include them within the frame-work of the laws you have written to allow them in. Your belligerence toward changing the laws shows me that you don’t give a rat’s ass about these people. The best of America took place in the early twentieth century when the people of the United States welcomed millions of immigrants, but even then there was a limit and the government had to stop immigration to give them time to ASSIMILATE. Then there was a matter of welcoming millions of soldiers back from WWII to give them opportunity to work after fighting for five years for world freedom.

Understand that we the people of America are not as stupid as you believe we are. We understand situations and truly want to do the right thing, but sadly we have chosen the wrong people to carry out actions needed. You and all of your democrat senators as well as too many republicans should be ashamed of your performance about making America the greatest country in the Universe.

Senator Durbin you have served for over thirty years, you should know by now that a divided government does not stand. We have the most divided government we have had since the civil war. We are currently experiencing a second civil war. One half of the country refuses to recognize the President as our leader, and take only action to block his every move. The actions taken by the two political parties are in opposition to each other, and not united for the good of the country.

Listen to me SHOUT at you once again! FUND THE BORDER WALL, and SUPPORT  PRESIDENT TRUMP 100 PERCENT, it is the right thing to do.

As respectfully as an angry man can be.

Grumpa Joe

One Word Changed My Mind

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Today’s plan had us getting back to Interstate 70 to cross the Eastbound Vail Pass. We will have to climb from the town of Vail at 8120 feet elevation to the crest of Vail Mountain at 10,662 feet. The pass is twelve miles long, and half of that is uphill to reach the peak. My I-phone alarmed a travel advisory this morning. It said it snowed last night, is still snowing, and there will be snow showers most of the day on the pass. Packed ice covers the road, and there are gusting 40-50 mph winds making driving conditions dangerous and treacherous. The last word did it for me. So, Peg and I are sitting it out for another day watching all the adventurous drivers pass us by headed for the pass. At my age I take words like treacherous seriously. I no longer ache for the adventure of driving in hazardous conditions to get some where. Another day on the road will not hurt us at all, while one slip off a road above 8000 feet might hurt us real bad.

berthoud-plow-a1

This is the third time Peggy and I have experienced poor driving conditions while commuting to and from Arizona. The first time we followed a storm front across the west from Flagstaff, AZ to Albuquerque, NM. Each morning we awoke to a cloudless sunny day only to catch the storm in the early afternoon, and be shagged off the Interstate by the State police. The second time we met a snow storm in Oklahoma while driving west. We sat a day waiting for the storm to pass. The next morning we bravely got on the road to learn that the road was hard packed ice for one hundred and twenty miles. We holed up again for two more days to wait for the storm to pass, and for the ice to melt. Last year, our plan had us on this very same route, but a winter storm advisory (I didn’t know that late April thru early May is still considered winter in these parts, and they are serious about it.) caused me to detour back south going two hundred and fifty miles out-of-the-way to get away from the delivered twelve inches of snow dumped on Vail Pass to Denver. The third time is now.

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