Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Collins’ decision to give Maine’s support to border wall disheartening

Susan Collins' decision to give Maine’s support to the border wall is disheartening and seems yet another sign of democracies escalating erosion under the autocratic bullying of the Trump administration. I spent years working along the vastly beautiful Texas/Mexico border and there is a reason Representatives from this region are against an environmentally devastating divide that will not serve its own purpose. This includes Will Hurd, a Republican and former CIA operations officer in Afghanistan who represents 820 miles of border communities from El Paso to San Antonio. Hurd has referred to walls as the most expensive and least effective way to secure the border. We need 5.7 billion dollars for infrastructure that will actually keep us safer; new roads, new bridges, updated water systems, and better schools, not a massive dysfunctional symbol of presidential ego fueled by racism.

Sarah Loftus
Farmington, Maine

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  1. @ Scott Erb - part two

    I agree about punishing businesses looking only at the bottom line. However, it’s the responsibility of Congress to establish the rules through legislation. Good luck convincing Pingree and Golden to go against their leaders - using the term very loosely - who are counting every vote they can get in the horde crossing the border.

  2. Scott, I didn't mention " emergency ", I questioned you saying " there is no danger "

  3. Scott Erb, it is beyond absurd for you to say that there is "no danger". Maybe you could go tell that to the wife and 6 month old boy of officer Ronil Singh who was shot and killed the day after Christmas by criminal illegal alien Gustavo Perez Arriaga after Singh pulled him over for drunk driving. So to break that down for you, he comes here ILLEGALLY, is driving drunk, and shoots/kills a police officer. His wife and little boy are now permanently separated from their husband and father but somehow you way too many others think there is no danger. Sadly, this is just one story of thousands that happen every year in this country but we usually never hear about it because it doesn't fit the PC narrative. Unbelievable.

  4. RRJ, life has danger everywhere - in large cities, in desolate areas. But there is no emergency or danger due to the lack fo a wall. It is weak, feeble thinking to look at any crime committed by someone who entered the country and go crazy. The crime rate is LOWER for illegal aliens than American citizens, so you have just as much danger from your fellow countryfolk as from the southern border. Your approach reminds me of how Nazis would tell stories about Jewish criminals in order to prove that Germans should fear Jews. Yours has the same morality.

    Yes, Jews in Germany often committed crimes. So did Germans. When the Nazis would point to Jewish crimes they'd say "this proves Jews are a danger!"

  5. Scott, sometimes I just have to shake my head at your comments.
    RRJ gives an example of an illegal immigrant taking a life, that could have possibly been prevented by a security wall. Maybe not, but we don't know for certain.
    You turn around and call this commenter " weak and feeble thinking " and compare building a security wall to rounding up millions of Jews and murdering them.

  6. Scott, you’re right, we’ve already got enough criminals in our country. Even more reason to have stronger border security (which should include physical barriers where it makes sense) to help prevent even more criminals from entering illegally. I’m all for immigration, it just needs to be done legally and we need to make sure we are properly vetting the people coming in.

    BTW, your Nazi talk is ridiculous and you should know better. They were putting Jews into ovens. All we’re asking is for people to follow the legal process of entering our country and not break our laws. That’s not too much to ask and a far cry from a concentration camp and being burned to death.

  7. Funny how lots of the same people who say illegal immigrants killing American citizens is a small problem not worthy of laws targeting it will also support restrictions on gun owners because" even if they only save one life it's worth it"

  8. Bashing Trump makes money for journalism. De-vice warrior histrionics attempt to indoctrinate folks with False Evidence Appearing Real. i.e. FEAR
    The Al & Erb Show has been privileged to enjoy frequent flying for our amusement. TEE HEE

  9. Back to the letter that started this ... a couple questions for Ms. Loftus:

    Obama built 134 miles of wall. Was that also a massive dysfunctional symbol of presidential ego fueled by racism?

    Pelosi now says a wall is immoral, although she was sort-of OK with it just a couple months agp. If she really believes that, where is the House bill to tear down Obama’s immoral wall?

  10. That’s a great question Frostproof. I would also like to know the answer to that and while at it maybe tell us what happened to the rest of the billions of dollars they had to use. That kind of money should have done the entire border not just 134 miles.
    BY the way Eddie you also make a GREAT point. It’s called hypocrisy.

  11. if you all want a wall so desperately, get Mexico to pay for it. Trump promised this hundreds of times as well.

  12. Yes I agree…Lets go back to the Letter!

    The President, El Trumpster, wants $5.7 Billion (haven't checked on the latest figures, etc., I could be off by a few mil), for the “Wall” Hmm? The Patriots are scheduled to play the Super Bowl in a freshly built state of the art, with an amazing sky view SUUper-SUUper Stadium for…? Wait for it! —-a cost to build, a Kool 1.7 to 2.5 Billion, (depending on who you ask with all the add ins and contributions/ funding from others, not just the out-of-pocket money from Mr. Home Depot). So, others have argued already, to put in perspective what the cost for the Wall relative to the National budget is, and realized cost/benefits from having a first line of defense barrier/the "WALL", so I wont dwell on that tiny fraction/cost. Again, wait for it! Lets see...Obby “The One” Cannobee’s, Grand plan to save the Country was to spend $832 billion in the infamous “esssstimulus package” which after many trials and tribulations, “Fun-da-mentally” did not amount to much, in other words all cost/spending and no reciepts. Ok, some roads and bridges were built and a few jobs were saved, (BTW, thanks to his own parties’ failures and “Job-Lock”, the record high-unemployment needing saving). OH…and his other famous savior moment, that of the, resurrection of GM! So in the end, as I stated not much of a cost/benefit was achieved. Continuing with rising unemployment, increased SNAP/Welfare costs and lost homes from failed government programs , etc. just to name a few of the losses which when you add all these factoids in a real-life balance sheet, yielded miner gains, in fact losses. However, this great lack of achievement is rarely opined or referred to on any mainstream source as historical facts.

    Oh, “The Mexico is Goin To Pay for it”. You mean like…? The, “Russia…find Hillary’s, emails, please?” Hillarious, just like any ordinary Cat…point the laser and the Cat will follow the Dot! Brilliant…

    Nuff Said...

  13. JL,
    You seem to have ignored a few facts in your slam of Obama. He inherited the largest recession since the Great Depression, caused once again, by a Republican. Once he took over the economy slowly, and steadily, recovered. He took criticism for this slow, steady recovery, but if you look at the graphs it's apparent the present economy is a linear, or nearly linear, graph which trended upward after Bush "Crashed the ambulance" to borrow a Mark Knopfler line. Tax cuts for the rich, the battle cry of Republicans, didn't work for Reagan, or either Bush, and they won't work for Trump, who took an economy cruising along at a positive rate, and blew up the deficit, which happened in every tax cut for the rich in the past. Your kids and grandchildren will love trying to pay for his record deficit, and don't spend that promised tax cut until you get your refund! It's all going to the rich, while our taxes won't go down, and may even go up.
    Yes, when someone says they are going to make something happen, I fully expect them to do it. Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall, so why did he increase his demand from 5.2 million in December, to 5.7 million and shut down the government? It was all to try to fulfill a campaign boast. I call it that and not a promise, as a promise is only given by an honest person, which nobody can claim Trump is. He's lied like he always does: unfortunately you seem to have drunk his cool aid and ignore his blatant lies. A laser, really? Why do you think Trump says and does all these crazy things? He just keeps pointing your laser at something even more ridiculous, and we tend to forget about the other lies while we explore his latest claim. Tariffs are paid by foreign companies? No way, they're a tax on us, not foreigners. ISIS is dead, we won? I remember GW saying that on the deck of an aircraft carrier many years ago while we are still fighting over there now. I also find it ironic, but completely in character, that he claims a bunch of people seeking refuge and sanctuary are a threat to our democracy, while ever single expert testified that they are not a threat to our country. I tend to believe the experts who have been on the front lines, and behind enemy lines, when it comes to security, rather than someone who claimed his personal Vietnam was chasing skirts. What an insult to our veterans who fought over there, while he, like GW, dodged the draft.
    Obama wasn't perfect, and I disagreed with many of his policies, but at least he had policies instead of tweets designed to distract people from focusing on the past lies he's fed us. He also turned the economy around and got many back to work. I do want to point out that the GM deal was actually started by GW, so he gets a point for that, but fixing something you broke isn't really that great an accomplishment.

  14. A wall should be built to keep ME out. Have you seen or heard me lately. Scary!

  15. I love how alot of you people know so much about the southern border i got one question for you all and especially Scott Erb, when was the last time you was at the border, i use to go there every other week, i have see the problems there, amd it's mess up and that's putting it mildly so until you been there how can you commit on this

  16. Sorry "Me" the arrogance of saying "I saw the border so only I can comment" is an example of fallacious and dishonest reasoning. No one sees the whole issue just getting glimpses of the border. Indeed, it is more likely you get a warped view only seeing and interpreting what you see through your own beliefs. The way to understand it is to examine evidence, and look at information that goes far beyond what any one person can see. Sure, you can use your experience to explain your position, but if you're so arrogant as to think that gives you the answer and everyone else has to shut up - well, I'll laugh in your face at that!

  17. Also, "Me" even if your reasoning was right (it's not, as I just demonstrated), trying to claim personal expertise when using an alias is lame. Anyone can post that they've done anything under an alias.

    I stand by comparison. People who point out that immigrants, like any other population, have some criminals are making a point that is meaningless. It's an irrational effort at demonization and fear mongering, and when people use it they need to be called out on the carpet for such dishonest tactics. Unless you want to stop ALL immigration, you'll have some criminals enter, most enter legally. But most criminals are home grown.

  18. Scott, when I first saw " me's " comment I was almost certain your response was going to contain the word
    " data ". Thanks for being so unpredictable. :)

  19. As Mr. Erb has pointed out it is important when discussing topics like this that there be some factual information to work with. So, I’ve attached a couple of links that have some very serious arguments and reasoning to prove that “The Wall” is a mistake and a distraction. The first link is to an extremely well researched article (Immigration, Building a Wall, and Hispanic Crime) by Ron Unz, whose website publishes many articles that are on the very Right side of the picture. The difference between him and Donald Trump is he knows something and can prove it! The information to understand this topic cannot be disseminated in a few tweets.

    It’s long, a good read to help churn the discussion. And it’s not written by one of those evil libs!

    The second link is to an article about what two sheriffs who have been protecting the border for many years are seeing and their thoughts on the situation.

    No-one in these articles is anonymous, authors or subjects.

  20. In the military you learn about tactical advantage. If your enemy has to go over an obstacle, it slows them down. If they have to go around an obstacle it funnels them to where it's easier to confront and neutralize them. Either way an obstacle gives you a tactical advantage. Allowing you to focus resources into smaller areas and maximizing the effectiveness of a smaller force. How can any rational person dispute the effectiveness of a wall, fence or natural barrier? Use your heads people, it's not that hard to understand.

  21. The only ones I listen to concerning wall or no wall are the men and women who serve our country as Border Patrol Agents and they all say we need walls in certain areas. BUILD THE WALL!!

  22. @Michael Breault "As Mr. Erb has pointed out it is important when discussing topics like this that there be some factual information to work with. " Yes, and the only link Mr. Erb has posted to bolster his opinions was to his own blog. To me that seems a bit self-promoting.

  23. Thank you “Perspective” for wondering and searching for links that I mentioned. Please don’t blame Mr. Erb for the missing links. They were missing from my post. I am including them again. - Immigration Building a Wall and Hispanic Crime - Texas Border Sheriff's: There is no Crisis and we don't want Trump's Wall

  24. Well "Perspective", it would seem we should ask our esteemed Editor/Moderator why the links are missing.

  25. I've updated the last comment to add some words to the links so they'll appear.

    You need to highlight existing text before hitting the link button, otherwise it won't appear in the comment. Alternately, you can link to something, then add text in between the (/a) tags.

    An example.

  26. Thank you esteemed Editor!

  27. @Michael Breault - in my previous comment I was not referring to your post with missing links. I figured it would get straightened out; glad to see it did. I specifically meant Mr. Erb's many posts without a single link, other than to his own blog, to back up his opinions.
    Thank you for your time and effort to find links to useful information that we can all ponder.

  28. A number of posters have mentioned their knowledge of the US-Mexican border. It’s been more than 20 years since I was there, just in parts of Texas and California, so I wondered how to see what’s going there without being able to invest the time and money for a trip like that.

    USA Today recently created an interactive map so we could do just that. A simple way to get an idea of the magnitude of a Build the Wall project.


  29. That tour of the border shows exactly why we need more barriers. Imagine trying to patrol all those miles with such limited resources. More physical barriers (walls/fences) would cut down the response time and allow our dedicated law enforcement professionals to focus their efforts on a smaller area. Thank you for showing us this fact Michael

  30. Would the proposed border wall stop this?

    That wall would have to be even longer, deeper and taller than "the big beautiful wall" as proposed, don't you think? The situation of protecting our borders, reducing drug imports, improving public safety needs a more focused effort than another brick in a wall.....

    Have our border control folks get together, and decide how to host effectively invest another 5 billion a year for border security, in each of the next ten years...see how much they would suggest putting into new wall construction, compared to highly mobile enforcement agents, current high-tech sensors....etc, etc...

  31. The question is moot. The GOP does not want another shut down, and they've told the President they will not support declaring a national emergency. Democrats and Republicans will agree to a bill that will have fencing and technological improvements, and both sides will declare victory. The wall is dead. But the good news is that both parties agree on enhanced border security.