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Congressman DeSaulnier to discuss federal shutdown at town hall Saturday

Original post made on Jan 17, 2019

With the partial government shutdown having officially become the longest in U.S. history, U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) has announced an "emergency town hall" to meet with his constituents on Saturday to give them updates and help provide relief to furloughed federal employees.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 17, 2019, 5:19 PM

Comments (11)

5 people like this
Posted by Malcolm Hex
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 17, 2019 at 9:44 pm

Is he flying commercial or military?

Like this comment
Posted by hamilton
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Jan 18, 2019 at 7:44 am

hamilton is a registered user.

I would love to hear what he has to say, but I have been sick for over a week. The doctor tells me this virus is very contagious. I hope there is a summary of his discussion published. The government shutdown will hurt our economy. it has already started to, and those poor people who work for the fed. government!

9 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2019 at 11:36 am

He should stay in Washington to work on solving the issue.

14 people like this
Posted by Long Term Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm

It will be interesting to see if he has anything constructive to offer or is this just a chance to show his face in public and criticize the administration?? Perhaps if he and others didn’t keep supporting sanctuary cities, states, and transit systems, there may not be so much angst over the undocumented immigrants issue. Of course, in California, they arne’t really undocumented as they can get a drivers license and are automatically registered to vote by having a license. Ever wonder why the caravan ended up on the relatively small California/Mexico border rather than the much bigger Texas/Mexico border??? I think we all know the answer.

9 people like this
Posted by bb
a resident of Danville
on Jan 19, 2019 at 9:54 am

bb is a registered user.

What is with all of these ugly, negative comments? He is a representative going to his district to hear what his constituents have to say so he can represent their views, just like congresspeople from other districts. He will fly the way every other congressperson flies. I am so tired of all the ugly comments by people, always projecting the worst. I think this is more a reflection of the writer's world view than the person they are commenting on....

11 people like this
Posted by Malcolm Hex
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 20, 2019 at 10:47 pm

bb inserts “negative comments” about DeSaulnier as smoke in an effort to avoid the simple fact that DeSaulnier and the rest of the Dems refuse to meet with the president.

11 people like this
Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Jan 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm

C. R. Mudgeon is a registered user.

I sent an e-mail to Rep. DeSaulnier's office, urging him to put his party affiliation aside, and to vote for the fairly minimal amount of "wall funding" that the President is asking for. Or, alternatively, to at least support having his party's leadership meeting with the President on a compromise (e.g., fund half of what the President wants).

The response I received was your basic "thanks for supporting me" form letter. I don't know how receptive DeSaulnier will be to "alternative viewpoints" at his town meeting, but my guess is that it will be packed with people who have been organized to support the Democratic Party position, which up until now has been for zero compromise.

The government shutdown has taken "two to tango", so to speak, and up until now the President has been more willing to discuss compromise solutions, compared to Pelosi and Schumer.

8 people like this
Posted by John E B Goode
a resident of Danville
on Jan 22, 2019 at 11:11 pm

If walls are "immoral" as Pelosi & other Democrats claim, why do they have them on their properties? If they don't work, why are the border patrol personnel asking for them?

3 people like this
Posted by What!
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 24, 2019 at 6:40 am

bb: He couldn't care LESS what his constituents have to say! Get your head out of the sand.

16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 24, 2019 at 12:40 pm

About 2 weeks ago, two separate residents of Gardnerville NV (South of Carson City) were murdered, then an elderly couple in Reno were murdered a week later. The murderer was caught, an Illegal alien murderer and burglar. If this Illegal alien was kept out of our country, four legal residents of NV would still be alive. Fund the wall and other border security enhancements; it is immoral not to do so.

The murderer was arrested initially for being in the country illegally; if the murders had taken place in the sanctuary state of CA, the murderer never would have been arrested. So much for "CA values". All of the above needs to be responded to be addressed by DeSaulnier.

2 people like this
Posted by dbrower
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 2, 2019 at 12:46 pm

DeSaulnier is overwhelming (re-)elected by the district, a fact not represented by a lot of commenters here.

The wall is stupid, and shouldn't be funded, especially not by blackmail by the President. The previous Congress had ample opportunity to do anything they wanted, and even under that leadership there wasn't willingness to go down that route.

The Republican representatives and Sheriffs along the affected border do not want it, and see no emergency.

For a discussion of why it's a bad idea, consider: Web Link

I'll quote here if you don't want to go to the link or it gets blocked.

"Let's say we give Trump the money and we build a wall 30 feet tall, 2000 miles long. Doesn't matter how, doesn't matter what it costs, don't worry about the details.

Build the wall, right?

No. No. Don't roll your eyes. It's not a trap. This isn't me doing that thing where I seem to ask a provocatively obnoxious question, but I'm REALLY fishing for something else entirely. Nope. Not that.

I'm saying: we build Trump's wall. 30 feet high, 2000 miles long.

Now, bear with me here:

The US/Mexico border is 1954 miles long. Currently, about 700 miles is fenced in some fashion.

Meaning a bit more than 1200 miles isn't.


Well, because most of the border is remote, away from urban development, in rugged territory, deserts, etc.

So, if you build this wall, 30 feet high, 2000 miles long, 1200+ miles of it would STILL traverse remote territory. Follow?

Now, people being people, it won't matter how high the wall is, or how thick, or whatever passive systems (such as spikes or concertina wire, etc) you include. Given enough time and resources, human ingenuity will find a way over, under, or through your wall in short order.

Particularly in remote areas, outside of full time observation.

You don't need to take my word for this, you can research the effectiveness of such barriers from the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall, from Hadrian's Wall to the West Bank Barrier.

Oh, right. The West Bank Barrier, the wall which divides Israel from Palestine. It WORKS, you say.

It does. BUT it's not just a wall, it's a multi-layered defense system. Barbed wire, anti-sniper concrete wall, vehicle ditches, electronic systems, patrols.

The cost to Israel (and Palestine) is high. It works. It keeps people penned up, apart. As it was designed to do and a number of American conservatives look to the Israeli model as an example.

The American version would have to be 3 times as long and even more expensive.

That barrier was designed, rightly or wrongly, to separate nations and people at WAR.

And the ONLY way a such a barrier works is with constant monitoring, constant patrolling. Because otherwise, as I mentioned up above, all you need to defeat it is a ladder and some time.

This is true of the West Bank Barrier. And it was true of Hadrian's Wall. And the Great Wall of China. The Maginot Line, the Berlin Wall, Saddam's line. They ALL had to be monitored and patrolled. Or they were no more an impediment to migration than any natural barrier.

Up above, I mentioned the Maginot Line.

The French spent enormous resources to fortify their border. But once in place, those resources were fixed. They could not move or be used elsewhere.

When the Nazis did a rapid end run around the fortifications...
... all the enormous resources of the Line were immediately rendered moot, left behind in their fixed, immobile positions.

By its very nature, a wall is fixed in position. Meaning, the defenses and resources of a wall are only useful AT THE WALL.

Walls are good for small, limited, controlled areas where the wall is part of a larger system, and continuously monitored, protected, and maintained. Where those manning the wall have a SIGNIFICANT advantage over those the wall is designed to control.

Like a prison.

For Trump's wall, 2000 miles long, to work, you will HAVE to monitor it in real-time along every inch. You will have to install cameras and sensors, fly drones and aircraft, and put out daily patrols.

Any unattended section, any blind spot will be found, and exploited.

The people of the US and Central America are not at war.

Those seeking refuge in the US are unlikely to storm the border with a Blitzkrieg of tanks -- and if they were, WE WOULDN'T BUILD A WALL ANYWAY because the US military doesn't fight from fixed positions.

Those who build walls in the desert often die on them. As Saddam's army learned -- or didn't actually, given how the second war with the US went.

Those who build walls in the desert often die on them. As Saddam's army learned -- or didn't actually, given how the second war with the US went.

If you have to have eyes on the border ANYWAY

if you have to patrol the entire length in real time ANYWAY

if you have to monitor the cameras and sensors and drones ANYWAY

if you have to counter any breach anywhere anytime ANYWAY


For a wall to work, to DO what Trump promises, it CAN'T be a simple barrier.

It would have to be a complex system of technology and human beings where the physical wall itself is the LEAST part, its defenses fixed and inflexible, unable to adapt to changing circumstance.

Once you implement the supporting systems and personnel you need to secure the wall, YOU NO LONGER NEED THE WALL.

And without a wall, those systems become much more flexible, mobile, unpredictable, and adaptable.

And cheaper. Vastly cheaper.

History, our own military strategy, and our national security policies learned over two painful centuries, demonstrate just how useless and ill advised a fixed defense is.

A simple wall is a simple solution for simple minds and worthless for anything else.

But, that's the thing, isn't it?

THAT, right there, is the joker in the deck.

Build this wall, 2000 miles long, 30 feet high. Spend billions.

And it doesn't work. Or doesn't work ENOUGH. Because it won't.

People still get in.

People still get in. Because they will.

They'll go over your wall, under it, through it. To justify the money you spent, you'll have to spend MORE. More security people, more technology, more concrete, more barbed wire, more guns, more land.

And people will STILL get in.

They'll go around your wall, risking their lives on the ocean. So you'll have to patrol that, in force. You'll have to guard the coast, walk the beaches on foot, put up air patrols, more technology, build more walls.

And still, they'll get in.

They'll find a way, by land, by sea, by air, somehow they'll find a way. They'll get in, because humans are tenacious -- especially when they have nothing to lose.

They'll get in.

Even if they don't, you'll THINK that they are. They're STILL getting in, you'll believe.

Those who profit from fear need somebody to blame.

It's the easiest form of power, the simplest way to manipulate the rudest of minds. THEM. THEY'RE getting in. THEY'RE taking your jobs, raping, murdering, stealing YOUR democracy. THEM.

We gotta do more.

You built the walls, you patrol the beaches and the skies. But it's not enough, those in power tell you.

THEY are still getting in. THEY are here. Oh yes THEY are. Who else would be causing these problems?

We gotta do more.

We gotta be SAFE.

Don't you want to be safe? Don't you want your kids to be safe? Of course you do.

We gotta do MORE.

We've done everything to keep them out, but they're still HERE. So, we need some way to identify who belongs and who doesn't.

You need proper identification.

And then we'll need some sort of police force to check those papers...

We have to be safe, don't we?

Papers, please. Papers.

That's how this goes.

That's how this goes EVERY time. It's never enough. You can never be sure. You can never be safe. Those who thrive on this kind of power, the power of fear, they need you to be afraid. And so it will NEVER be enough. EVER.

Listen to me: You start building walls, you're building your own prison. "

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