Thursday, May 18, 2006

US Border Patrol

Just came back from the border towns of McAllen and Brownsville. I saw several of our beleaguered US Border Patrol Agents. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Southern border is about 2000 miles long and there certainly isn't enough patrol agents. Of course, beefing up the number of agents does not get to the root of the problem. This blog is mainly about running so I'll just say that the Border Patrol Agents are doing a heck of a job with all that has been allocated to them. So lets all say a little prayer of appreciation for them. For the atheist readers, please send a note of thanks to the agents by sending a letter or email to Dubya. Some folks have been demanding that we build an impenetrable wall across the whole Southern border. Even though history and geopolitics tends to repeat itself, most Americans are sadly very ignorant of it. Back couple of thousand years ago, when China was the place to be, their emperor of the time also felt the same pressure. They felt a great need to keep the "barbarians" out of their outgoing, culturally and monetarily rich kingdom. The Great Wall is about as long as the American one will need to be and is a source of huge tourist attraction nowadays. But we must remember that it is a legacy of a huge public policy failure. The Mongolians still invaded China, and if you've watched Disney's Mulan zillions of times as all parents have, you know that the bad guy tells Mulan that he is invading simply because the emperor tempted him to do so with the wall.

I don't know what the solution to this problem is, but I do know that the issue has been festering for the past 30 years and ignoring it as we have for so long (just like we are ignoring the Social Security's financial problem) is not going to make it go away. Halfway measures such as granting citizenship is not a solution either. That measure is unfair to folks trying to get in the legal way and encourages more from skipping across the border. So Senator Kennedy, thanks for the thought but that does not solve the problem.

OK, I'm coming down from the pulpit. By the way, the picture of me on the Great Wall was taken in 2002, well before my running days. You can kind of make out my pot belly....

All things running:

7.55 Mile Fun Run:

Time: 1:09:32
Pace: 9:12/mile pace
Shoes: 42.5 miles (Asics GT-2110)
Temp: 57 deg. F

What a great run. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous this morning. I hope all runners are enjoying these cool mornings.

Tiggs, welcome to the gellin' club!

5 comments: said...


Well thought out comments. I think anybody, regardless of their position on the subject, can enjoy a intellectual analysis of the topic that is willing to examine all sides.

And as far as the picture goes, Wow! I was trying to figure out who it was. I never who have guessed without reading further down. Incredible and congratulations!

elf said...

Interesting post on the border--thanks for sharing your thoughts on such a sensitive topic.

I have been wearing the Asics 2000 series since the 2030 or so. I tried on the 2110's and they didn't feel right, so I bought a pair of Brooks. Not crazy about those, either. Just found another pair of 2100's, so I snapped them up.


Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic, but for a really good article on the Great Wall of China Marathon see


Dave Smart said...

Holden - Thanks for your insight into the "great wall." I would be interested getting your opinion about how the Asian cultures preserve their culture through immigration and border control today. I've heard the Japanese are tough on immigration but their school dropout rates are very low....but they don't have Mexico on their doorstep. Sometimes I wonder why some Americans aren't more concerned about preserving American culture. Maybe we can share opinions over a fun run or a cold one sometime.

jamoosh said...


Good stuff. And some good comments afterward. To dave's point, Asian cultures have been around for thousands of years. American culture, if you can call it that, is made up of many different cultures and no one culture has really (if you think about it) established a "strong" foothold along the landscape that is our country. In fact, I would "ad"venture to guess that the US is the one country where you can experience a wealth of cultures, in and out of our major cities.