Good fences make good neighbors

Given how many different cultures have versions of this proverb, it represents a very common sentiment among neighbors and countries everywhere around the world. The most notable use of the quote in English Literature belongs to Robert Frost who used the line in his poem “Mending Wall.”

This proverb poses the question: How can neighbors come together if they are divided by fences? This quote seems to be contradictory in nature but it actually ‘is not’. When boundaries are clear, relationships can better prosper.

The world of walls is changing. Sixty-five countries have erected fences on their borders as governments try to hold back the tide of migrants. That is four times as many as when the Berlin Wall was toppled in 1989. Every single one of these fences/walls is designed to restrict movement of people and vehicles coming into a country. Sections of the famous Berlin Wall are now scattered around the world including Roswell, NM (by the Iron Cross along Spring River).

The Great Wall of China was built to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe coming from the north. No longer needed, the wall has become one of China’s biggest tourist attraction and movie backdrop.

The next tangible wall that is getting a lot of attention is the Israeli-Gaza solid concrete wall that is being constructed tens of meters under and above ground along the border that divides Israel and the Gaza Strip. The purpose is to deter Hamas from tunneling into Israel at the same time still allow for trade to continue with the local merchants. I suggested that they need an In-N-Out Falafel at every entry/exit security check.

Fences or walls are used to prevent entrance, to confine, or to mark a boundary. If you look around Roswell and the County you will see fences everywhere. Most are used to control the movement of livestock and others are for people, whether law abiding or unlawful activity. There are many other uses of the word ‘fence’, such as the fence on my table saw. It is there for my protection just like any fence or wall – safety and protection.

We basically have two choices to protect our southern border with Mexico. We either build a beautiful Trump Brand wall or we fill the Rio Grande with robotic alligators and the land areas with robotic snakes. Hey, it might sound ridiculous but the technology is there. And the best part is more people fear alligators and snakes than security guards with AR-15’s. Deterrence can come in many shapes and sizes.

If we look just south of Roswell we will find WIPP, which has multiple cyclone fences around it, as well as sensors and cameras. Those fences are there to protect stupid people from wondering into a restricted area. WIPP is being a good neighbor by maintaining this protective fence with warning signage in English, Spanish and non-verbal symbols.

If you look to the north of Roswell you will find several solar farms with cyclone fences around them too. Again, those fences are there to define the boundary of the farms and to protect the animals from wondering in. In some cases, the animals are actually placed inside the fences to eat the vegetation under the solar panels.

One of the worst plagues that we are experiencing in the world today is unchecked migration. As you may recall in my previous article about the zika virus and others, the human is the host by which the virus moves around. Recently a man died in Salt Lake City from the Zika virus that he contracted in South America. There are no zika carrying mosquitoes in Utah. Also, the first Zika carrying mosquito has been ID’d in Florida and probably came into the country in someone’s backpack.

Another problem that is escalating from unchecked migration is the re-occurrence of diseases that we have already eradicated in the past through immigration practices that kept those diseases in check. When you have complete anarchy on the southern border with Mexico, you will never be able to keep the people of the United States safe and protected, whether it be from viruses or terrorist.

If Mexico were a good neighbor, they would help maintain a good wall between our two sovereign nations.


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