On The Border w/Kung Li
In July and August 2013, Kung Li will be driving along the entire length of the US-Mexico border, from Friendship Park in San Diego, Calif. to Brownsville, Texas. A lifelong southerner, this is Kung Li’s first trip through the border region.
July 29: ”Border Patrol Overkill”
SAN DIEGO — San Diego is a town surrounded by military might. To the north is Camp Pendleton and its 37,000 active duty Marines. To the west, Naval Base Coronado is the command center for the Navy SEALS. To the east, the military trains its elite special forces in the Mountain Warfare Training Facility.
And then to the south, there’s the border and Tijuana.
July 31: “For CCA and Country”
ELOY, ARIZ — Visitors to Eloy Detention Center are greeted by a mural of three flags. They are, from left to right, the stars & stripes of the United States, the rising sun of Arizona, and the maroon corporate logo of CCA. The three flags are painted as if they are being flown on the same level, with the Corrections Corporation of America’s flag flying to the right of the flag of the United States of America. This is, as any cub scout knows, a terrible violation of decorum, and highly disrespectful of the U.S. flag.
August 2: 108 Degrees and Rising
by Kung Li
We’ve all played Would you rather? Would you rather have a third eye or a second nose? Would you rather smell like a wet dog every third day, or a ham omelette every day? Would you rather wake up one morning to discover you’re married to a hipster, or that you are a hipster?
August 5: Operation Streamline
by Kung Li
To understand Operation Streamline, it helps to visit the Judge Roy Bean Saloon & Museum, 60 miles north of Del Rio. This corner of Texas needed a local justice of the peace in the 1880s and Roy Bean took the job. Bean deemed his saloon a courthouse and dispensed what the state’s tourism department now describes as “his own brand of justice … with strange, but expedient decisions.”
August 8: Fence, Camera, Drone
by Kung Li
Back in March, a few weeks before the Senate’s Gang of Eight filed their bill, Senator John McCain invited three of the other Senators to join him for a visit to the border. This sub-Gang of four was admiring the border fence separating Nogales, Arizona from Nogales, Sonora when a woman clamored over the top and made a run for it. Sen. McCain sent out a tweet about the exciting international event.
The reactions to the woman climbing up and over the 18-foot high galvanized steel fence varied. They were:
1. That danged fence isn’t high enough. We need to invest more money, on a double fence patrolled by megalodons.
2. See? Fences don’t work. Stop wasting money on a border fence that’s nothing more than a symbol.
3. I really need to get back to the gym.
August 12: “Carlos Danger”
by Kung Li
When disgraced ex-Congressman turned mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner needed an alias to carry on his explicit online chats, he needed something that said: OK, so I’m a cartoon…but I’m a bad boycartoon. And so was born, Carlos Danger.
Last week, Univision’s Satcho Pretto had the unrepentant Weiner on her Despierta América morning show. Ten minutes into the interview, she finally asked what her viewers really wanted to know. “You picked the pseudo name Carlos Danger,” she said. “Why did you pick a Hispanic name?”
Then, working hard to keep from laughing, Pretto continued, “…and how dangerous were you really?”
It’s a question that’s asked regularly of the U.S.-Mexico border. Just how dangerous is it really?