Thursday, July 9, 2009

FROM CNN: IS IT TIME TO BUILD A WALL BETWEEN THE US AND CANADA?

AND A CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION


"Authorities in Vancouver, just 30 miles from the border, are struggling to deal with the boom in the drug trade between the United States and Canada, along with the violence that has come with it.

Cocaine from Mexico -- and many of the guns that fuel the violence -- come north via the United States. Canadian smugglers then bring south high-quality marijuana known as "BC Bud" and synthetic drugs like methamphetamine. A recent U.N. drug report named Canada as the "primary" supplier of Ecstasy to the United States."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/07/09/vancouver.drug.violence/index.html?eref=rss_crime

This video shows a tunnel - what is really important is the part of the video which shows by simply crossing the street you are in the US from Canada - no river -nothing.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7543732.stm

When you consider that it is easier for a terrorist to enter Canada than Mexico, the drug trade coming from Canada, and the fact there is no real border barrier between Canada and the US, one must ask, why no border wall with Canada? Where are the Republicans on this one - no where to be found. Why?

In the eyes of the ignorant supporters of the Republican party, Canadians are white and speak English, and Mexicans are brown and speak Spanish. The reality is, neither country is so simple. They do speak French in large parts of Canada, and large English speaking communities exist all over Mexico. There are pristine white Mexicans of Eastern European heritage, with blond hair and blue eyes. There are Asians from every country in Asia. There are Russians - Mexico is a melting pot much like the US with people from all over the world. But in the end it is the perception of these racists who vote Republican driving the debate and not reality.

A wall will fix nothing. The new city commission needs to seriously question their authority to reopen the vote on the settlement agreement on the wall. It was a bad vote which never should have happened. As a matter of law putting the burden on some of the poorest people in the country to pay for the building of the wall if we want to move forward is racist and unacceptable. Every city commissioner who does not fight to stop this settlement agreement will be called to account for their silence on election day. It is a defining issue in Brownsville and failure to understand this is failure to understand the people of Brownsville.

A CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION

I am taking a medicine called gabapentin which I understand reduces the inflamation of the nerve endings thereby relieving the pain. The first night I took 300 mg and slept for 8 hours - it was amazing. After about a week I needed 600 mg to allow me to sleep through the night. I am now taking 900 mg 3 times a day with just mild relief at any given moment. Standing up to make a cup of coffee causes my legs to feel like they are being branded like a cow. Yesterday I fell when I stood up because my feet had become like sponges - that was weird.

My question - is my body adjusting to the medicine while the problem is getting worse, or is the medicine causing me to get worse? I am assuming a lot of people would just assume it is the medicine so they have something to blame. I have watched this problem get worse for 11 years with no help from the VA - until now.

The point of my question is to show why it is important to think things out instead of jumping to erroneous conclusions. I know for sure that just before starting on the medicine the disease was progressing really fast. Given this simple fact I must conclude the disease is continuing to progress even faster and that without the mild relief the gabapentin provides I would be in a lot of trouble.

On Monday while on business in SA I went by the new pain management clinic at the VA to find out about the status of me getting an appointment for the first epidural injections. I was told the clinic is nearly ready to go and that either today or tomorrow I will receive a call. If the injections do not work, the next step is to use some type technique to look for leakage of spinal fluid into the chamber which contains the nerves.

I did not know this but the lumbar puncture which I received after my first TIA in 1986 (they did not know much about TIA’s in 1986) may not have healed thereby allowing for leakage of spinal fluid. It is not a question of malpractice on anyone’s part it is a matter of how the body heals - it either heals or does not heal. We are all different.

Anyway I just wanted to add the critical thinking question to demonstrate that if you look to known facts instead of going off on some knee jerk reaction, you can get to a better understanding of any problem.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, the DEMOCRATS have been in charge of Congress for over 2.5 years. The DEMOCRAT controlled Senate just approved another $700 million to finish a real fence, not the virtual fence the Bush Administration wanted.
Face it, race based politics only get you in the building for the debate, but that's it.


The Canada/Mexico argument is not only an interesting one, but it is also one that is over 25 years old. BC bud trades kilo for kilo with cocaine in the South.

The difference is that while Mexico stops public education at a certain level, Canada does not, they invest into their citizenry and immigrants equally. Not only does Mexico exclude immigrants from most social services and property ownership, the exportation of their citizens is the 2nd largest industry in Mexico. The monies that expatriate Mexicans funnel back to Mexico supplants the lack of tax based social services that the government does not provide because the tax revenues are so skimmed off of at every level, it doesn't make it back to the people that need it.

The Mexican government encourages and benefits from cross border illegal activity, until it came to rocket-propelled grenade street wars. By then, Pandora's box was already open.

In the end, until Mexico pulls itself out of 3rd world status, they will never be compared favorably to Canada and this has ZERO to do with race or ethinticity, nor domestic American politics.

BobbyWC said...

Thanks for adding another side to the discussion - this is when BV is at its best.

Remember my goal is to start it and hopefully have readers extend it - such has you have.

I basically agree with everything you have said with some important qualifiers.

Yes, Obama continued the policy with the support of the Democrats - yes the Democrats and Obama are spineless on the issue.

It became a matter of Obama needing conservative Democrats to get his agenda through (which appears to be going no where because of endless misteps) so he decided to just let the wall continue. this in the end will cost the democrats.

If the American people simply saw this as an immigration issue I would be 100% on board with your argument which is based in fact (thank you).

Remember this started after 911 - it is not only about immigration - it is also about terrorism and drugs.

Nothing is being done to address the issue on the Canadian border -nothing

so with these qualifiers I agree with what you are saying - we just need to put it into context and recognize it is not all about immigration

Oh, also, do you really believe that among some of the Republican voters (notice I never called them Republicans) there is no race motivation?

Do you really believe race has nothing to do with why we ignore the threat of terrorist entering the US through Canada and the drug trade?

a 3% swing in voting patterns can change an election. The 3-5% more or less of racisits who vote Republican (who are not republicans) can be the difference between winning an election or loosing an election.

Do not misread my statements (although maybe I was not clear) only a small % of people voting Republican are defining this debate - who are the racists.

It does not matter that the Republicans are appauled by these people and are not racists as a Party. What matters is they believe they need these voters to win.

If the Repubicans would simply denounce this very small and unfortunate part of their base a lot of independents would move towards Republicans and they would win without the support of the small amount of racists who help them win elections.

Again thanks for extending the discussion and providing my readers another perspective for their consideration.

And again thanks for using facts instead of emotions.

Bobby WC

Fred Drew said...

I take gabapentin as well for the same reasons but at the 100mg level. It is part of a pain management program that includes a fenadel patch no 50mcg per hr that was 100 mcg several months ago and is filled in with vicodin to smooth the high points.
I do experience flashes of prickly pain with some regularity but never the sense that my foot was like a sponge. My legs have healed to the point that I am now beginning to stand again with no branded feelings. This regimen has been with me for the last year plus.
My body most probably adjusted to the medication as it does with most things and now as I reduce the use, as the pain lessens, I still experience the desire for them. Perhaps your doctor might consider an overall pain management program. Best of luck with your health.

BobbyWC said...

Fred, I can pop 2 hydrocodone with zero impact - does nothing for the pain and I feel nothing - no high no low nothing.

after both carpal tunnel surgeries I took nothing - same for my bone graf in my jaw, hernia, sinus surgery you name it - I tolerate a lot of pain because as we all know I am a hearless bastard.

We shall see what happens.

Bobby WC

Fred Drew said...

Fortunately, 2 hydrocodone 500's takes the edge off, I had no bone grafs but I had 3 hernias, sinus surgery with a cold, reattached an ear after a car wreck and disentary in my last week in 'Nam but I guess I may be less heartless.. I still wish you well in keeping debate alive whether or not I like either side.

BobbyWC said...

Fred I am laughing because we have become two old men comparing ailments. I actually am enjoying get old - I am embracing it. For me it is a new adventure every day.

I am so grateful for the nude picture I took of myself when I was 20 - it allows me to put things back where they belong after my morning shower. Without the picture my body might look like a really bad Picasso

Bobby WC