Spinning economy, border militarization with a rosy afterburner

Greg Harman

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If (White, Christian) American is sick of anything more than (Brown, possibly Muslim) America, it's the bait-and-switch reports of the ever-coming economic recovery. Every trend daring to hint at improvement has an economic lens shoved so far up its backside that it offers up whatever conclusions the fund-hungry researcher requires.

Over in Houston, an influx of new residents and increase of homes going on the market are signs of the end (of the recession). Unanswered is how many of these new residents were fleeing BP's Gulf fires and the oil-industry obliteration of coastal livelihoods? That is: are they really refugees a la Katrina?

Texas Parks & Wildlife is boasting of the renewed popularity of camping workshops among Texas families without letting on how many of the more than 1,000 families trained in the rudiments of setting up camp and bagging perfect perch are the economy-crushed of the vanishing middle class. How many plan to use their new skills to survive hunter-gatherer style in parks across the state.

(One can't help but wonder how many of the kids lingering on Big Brothers Big Sisters' waiting list could one day wind up training subsistence-style in one of SA's city parks. At least the state has a program for them. Priced at $55 per family, it's a steal.)

Joining the rosy wallpaper club, the Express-News enjoyed a personal sit-down with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano but chose to keep things simple.

They spoke of how the just-passed border security bill will bring more drones and agents to la linea, about the right-left â??rassle over immigration reform, and mention exactly one dead Texas rancher. But, judging form the story out today, staff failed to pose the most pressing question: is the escalating policy of “prevention through deterrence” responsible for thousands of dead migrants along the border?

Instead of demanding, in spite of resistance from the rampant xenophobes of our New America, Dems have allowed themselves to be pushed into a “militarize-lite” version of what the Right would advocate. And we're not asking why.

From the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

As many as 8,000 migrant dead have been recovered on the U.S.-Mexico border since the U.S. government's current "prevention through deterrence" strategy was implemented in 1994. Human rights groups working to prevent migrant deaths and abuses on the border believe that for every migrant dead found at least ten others are missing in the desert.

Along with a record number of migrant deaths at the border, the U.S. under the Obama Administration is achieving a record number of deportations this fiscal year. The "Southwest Border Security Bill" is a reminder of what type of “CIR,” or immigration reform, is being offered: A piece-meal enforcement approach that continues gutting the rights of immigrants, with more jailings and deportations and promises of restrictive access to "legalization" and guest worker programs.

Of course, we could always choose to look at the bright side of our increasingly hardened border of biometric fingerprint scanners and UAV drones overseen by rifles behind every bush. If Iraq and Afghanistan are any guide, there are plenty of opportunities for private contractors in this conflict â?? possibly leading to the next misleading “end of the re/depression headline.”

I can hardly wait.

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