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Muro del vudú

"The Supreme Court’s ‘travel ban’ decision is what you’d expect if this were a normal presidency". so says Andrew Rudalevige from Bowdoin College* located in Brunswick, Maine (Hispanic 2.9% of the population) which is just about as far away from the US Southern Boarder as you can get and still be living in the lower 48 -  Hawaii is much further away. And it was the case Trump v. Hawaii on which the SCOTUS was handing down a ruling which found that, yes, the POTUS does have the constitutional authority to prohibit entry into the USA if he deems it necessary for whatever reason he dreams up. It's called the “imperial presidency” and professor Rudalevige is an expert on the subject which is causing so much discomfort on the Progressive "left" and #NeverTrump "right" who interpreted a "living Constitution" to re-form a government that demands a "normal presidency." Any honest reading of US history would raise a question as to weather it is normal or abnormal to have a bigot sitting in the oval office but for the purposes of this critique of the ruling it is considered an anomaly.

The court, then, sided with the institution of the presidency. Put another way, the Sotomayor dissent might have convinced even the majority that Donald Trump is bigoted — but not that President Trump lacked the authority to issue this particular proclamation. Congress had given it to him.

Put another way, President Trump had the Constitutional and Congressional authority to implement his temporary Travel Ban from day 1 (Jan. 20, 2017) and everyone with any legal training knew it, including the dissenters on this particular ruling, the legal experts on cable news, the editorialist at the newspapers. It was a frivolous, stupid injunction which resulted from the mind numbing shock of the Trump earthquake and the terrifying urgency to do something (anything!!!) to stop him, or at the very least slow him down. The law suite never should have been filed and the initial ruling never should have been upheld by the 9th circuit and the fact that it had to go all way to the SCOTUS and was dispatched in a 5-4 decision is an indictment of our legal system. The language of the law was so clear and obvious that the four Democrats on the court could only plead bigotry as justification for their opinion and, as the tenured academic points out, that's not good enough.

But the remedy for a decision driven by the language of the law(!!!) is not to plead. It is to change the law — or the elected officials who make and implement it.

Or? There's an "or"??? You've got to read between the lines - you've got to look closely and strip away the filler to get at the heart of the argument but it comes down to this: It's civics 101 but under our system of government the Congress writes the laws and the Executive enforces what’s been passed by our “representatives” - it’s called representative democracy and it’s a flawed but functioning system of self government. For decades the Congress has passed laws and counted on the Executive to NOT enforce (or selectively enforce based on whim) the laws they pass. Congressmen get to go "home" and claim they are passing laws to address their constituents concerns all the time knowing that their "law" will have no teeth and never get enforced. Andrew Rudalevige is okay with that arrangement and, in the larger scheme of things, he thinks it's a better "remedy" than doing the hard work of changing laws. For those wondering why DJT is POTUS it is no more complicated than frustration with the Folly Wall our sophists, like Andrew Rudalevige, have built over the past 30 years

But a question floats, ever so slowly, up from the unconscious to surface like a bobbing decoy on the sea of my conscious mind - Why is the travel ban so objectionable? What was it about this temporary ban on a select group of failed states (shithole countries) with known terrorist cells who's citizens could not be verified or vetted before emigrating to the USA that has our leaders, lawyers and layabouts all worked up? Desperate enough to throw the Santa Muerte deep ball to the Supremes and hope, against all odds, that they catch it. Let's turn to Hawaii's two US Senators for the answer. First the senior Senator Brian Schatz (Punahou School alum) who "ripped the Supreme Court's ruling that upheld President Trump's travel ban" thusly:

"What is legal is not always just," Schatz tweeted. "A narrow ruling on whether or not the president is in possession of statutory authority to implement this policy avoids the basic question of whether or not it’s the right thing to do."

Very good - very Rudalevigian in it's construction and proposed "remedy" to the problem, but still avoiding the heart of the matter. Perhaps Hawaii's junior Senator, being a woman and speaking from the heart, will give us an honest answer - and so she will:
Who's next? Well, it probably isn't Canada (I wish) but El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, being MS-13 strongholds, are excellent candidates for a temporary (7 years) travel ban - so is Mexico depending on how things shake out after this weekends elections south of the border (did you even know that Mexico is holding an election this weekend?) and that is the real problem the #WeObject mob had (have) with Trump's travel ban. It was never about protecting a Somalian's right to emigrate to the Land of the Free but was always about blocking Trump's options much closer to home and preventing him from building The Wall - and here I'm not talking about the physical wall (the Big, Beautiful Wall) stretching across the Gadsden Purchase, but the cosmic wall that lives in the minds of each citizen.

Building a Wall of Voodoo

I would be hard pressed to name a musical artist I admire more than Stan Ridgeway and, I know this is a bold statement and open to ridicule but..., I'm not sure there has ever been a more prescient record album than Wall of Voodoo's 1982 release titled "Call of the West." Before I write anything about the record I have to make one definitive proclamation which I will argue until they pull the guns from my cold dead hands and that is this: Wall of Voodoo is the GREATEST name for a Rock & Roll band ever!!! If they had done nothing but a cover of Johny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and created the "Dark Continent" album cover they would earn an eternal place in R&R lore with a name like Wall of Voodoo. As it happened, they also created a record which foreshadowed our current cultural and political environment by 35 years and speaks to us like some etherial sooth-saying voice from the past that we didn't understand at the time and can't believe today. So let's dive in:

Tomorrow: Appropriately enough the opening track points to the future and the pull of procrastination which became the modus operandi of our cultural elite and political class. The "tomorrow" they promised never materialized and the screws began to tighten.
Lost Weekend: This is "Leaving Las Vegas" for real - isolated, washed up Americans leaving the fake paradise in the rear view mirror to scrape it out in the hot sand west of eden. 
Factory: Holy shit - "then I go to sleep" this one captures the machine over man ethos we've accepted and it's imprisonment in all it's soul killing monotony.
Look At Their Way: Alien Nation and high anxiety put to music - looking for a place to hide.
Hands Of Love: "I taste the water and the water tastes hot" the modern multi-cult society is a hellish and isolated existence with dreams of escape to the open road filling the bedtime hours.
Mexican Radio: Do I really need to write anything about this tune? "no comprende, it's a riddle" - this was years before the Regan Amnesty of '86 but captured a California far, far in the future. 
Spy World: Wow! We're living this right now - We're living through a spy war and Stan Ridgeway saw it coming in the 80's.
They Don't Want Me: This could be the Trump theme song or the #MAGA anthem. "I used to belong, now I don't belong" and how can you ever get back into the garden once you've been cast out? Sad.
On Interstate 15: An instrumental ditty but for anyone who's ever driven this stretch of highway it resonates.
Call Of The West: Here we come, at last, to the mother load of gold which tells the story of gringos escaping their own country and traveling into the desert South West in search of freedom. I can't think of a song that captures American grit and fortitude with more authentic clarity an tells the story of how (and why) this nation was created. 
Just like the spokes of a wheel / Who'll spin 'round with the rest? / They'll hear the drums and the brush of steel /And I'll hear the call of the west / Call of the west
I'm not trying to claim that Stan Ridgeway is a Tea Party Trump supporter - he's not. I'm claiming that he's an artist and created a record in Ronald Regan's first term that prophesied the #MAGA movement in spite of his own personal politics. It is an irony, not easily dismissed, that some of the strongest "right wing" arguments are made, inadvertently, by men of the "left" who simply lay down the truth and let it play out. Another example of his is the Negativeland "Guns" EP released 10 years after "Call of the West" which makes a fantastic companion piece and serves as a bookend to the Regan/Bush presidencies - it's very NRA even though it was created with exactly the opposite intention. The world that Stan Ridgeway writes his songs about is real. It was real in 1982 during the Reagan Revolution and it was still real 30 years later in 2012 when BHO won his second presidential election. In the 80's these characters moved to San Bernadino and today they move to Victorville to find "their piece of the pie" and live free. In 2016 they decided to stop moving and build a fucking wall and to achieve that goal they elected a builder - not a "normal" politician.

Keeper of the Clown Bell - Muro del vudu blog post
That's Entertainment!

The reason they stopped moving - stopped shuffling around the country looking for a better, more authentic and "old time" place where they could live free All-American lives is because they realized there was no place left to move to. "Breaking Bad" is having a 10 year reunion with photo shoot to celebrate a show that glorified that collapsing topography - it was very popular - and it made a strong argument in favor of building a gigantic wall along the New Mexico boarder (and putting brutal tariffs on Germany). The moral argument that Walter White made "bad" choices and transformed from a good science teacher to a manipulative and evil drug dealer is mitigated by the overwhelming reality of cultural destruction that propels him, like fate, toward his doomed end. Just a TV show? False narrative? The tzompantli tradition runs deep in Mexican history and you can see it depicted in countless films and novels (which are make-believe but based in reality) and also in scientific journals which analyze this reality with ho-hum dispassion.

Human sacrifice occupied a particularly important place in Mesoamerica. Many of the region's cultures, including the Maya and the Mexica, believed that human sacrifice nourished the gods. Without it, the sun would cease to rise and the world would end. And sacrificial victims earned a special, honored place in the afterlife.

That is another way of saying that life is cheap down Mexico way and it's kind of baked in to the Mesoculture of it's people. It's dark and primordial and well documented for anyone who takes the time to honestly explore it. Hernán Cortés wrote about it and conquered it in the 16th century setting in motion a cascade of events that created modern Mexico - Spanish elites ruling over indigenous natives consumed by superstition. The USA conquered Mexico in 1847 and, after taking the lands deemed desirable by President Polk, gave the country back to the Spanish. That's right, after marching into Mexico City and running Santa Anna out of town, the Americans took a look around and said "No thanks", turned on their heels and marched back over the Rio Grand. Didn't want it then and don't want it now - never wanted it. 

Cortez comes to America

The Wall of Voodoo is a bipartisan construction and a gigantic brick in the wall was placed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last Tuesday when she defeated Rep. Joe Crowley of Queens, NY

There were many articles on the subject of this "young woman" all asking the same question.

CNN - Who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
NPR - Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
Fox News - Who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
The Guardian - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: who is the new progressive star of the Democrats?

A better question - a more pertinent question is Who was Joe Crowley? Unless you're a political junkie or work on The Hill you probably knew no more about Joe Crowley than you did about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is symptomatic of everything that is wrong with Washington DC, #FakeNews and Corporate/Consumer mass entertainment society that the number 4 leader, big money funnel and presumptive next generation future of the Democrat Party was completely unknown to the American public. Now Joe's gone after 10 terms (20 years) in office where he played the game, raised lots of money to win influence and became a creature of The Swamp. He was vanquished by a "socialist" who grew up in Yorktown Heights (about as far away from The Bronx/Queens as is psychologically possible) with no money, no power, no influence, no experience but the right ethnicity. Do you think Joe Crowley is wishing he'd voted to fund a wall in his first term? I do. The Democrat party has played a dangerous (delusional) game which assumes the Hispanics in the USA will treat the Anglo party bosses with the same obsequious deference they treat their Spanish overlords back in their native land. They will not - Joe Crowley learned the hard way that even a worm will turn and when they do "The Party" is over.

Ocasio-Cortez will storm DC on behalf of her constituents and find herself placed on a back bench until she gets her mind right and evolves to a more effective way of thinking. That will take time and be very a disillusioning and painful process for her but something more important will be happening in her home town of Yorktown Heights among the pale suburban housewives who love illegal immigrants for yard work and housekeeping but don't want to answer to them (or one of their Representatives). These ladies will think long and hard about about their own congressional district and how it took innovative gerrymandering in the 90's to free themselves from Rep. José Serrano. They'll think about the future and their children and who will make their laws (and who will implement those laws) then they'll get together after yoga class or at their local Starbucks and decide, yeah, we probably need to build The Wall after all.

Why am I so confident that the Wall of Voodoo is under construction right now even before the Trump Wall is fully funded? Last week, Andrew Sullivan who only a month ago was in despair and comparing Trump to Richard III,  is now counseling Democrats to Build The Wall. "If We Want to End the Border Crisis, It’s Time to Give Trump His Wall" is not an article published in American Thinker or National Review but on the New York Magazine web site.

So give him his fucking wall. He won the election. He is owed this. It may never be completed; it may not work, as hoped. But it is now the only way to reassure a critical mass of Americans that mass immigration is under control, and the only way to make any progress under this president. And until the white working and middle classes are reassured, we will get nowhere.

That's the world's greatest blogger talking - Harvard, Oxford, LGBT, New Republic, #NeverTrump, Top of the food chain journalist - and he wrote it BEFORE Ocasio-Cortez pulled off her tribal sacrifice of the Democrat old bull named Crowley. Imagine what he'll be writing about after the November elections.

*In my youth I whooped it up at some of the biggest party schools in America - UVA, Boulder, USC, Boston, Vanderbilt, UNC, etc - and I can say that the mid-winters house party I wandered into at Bowdoin College in 1982 was the most insane bacchanalian bash I've ever experienced. And not by a little bit - by a lot!!! I've been to Easters at UVA, Halloween at Boulder, Head of the Charles in Boston and countless frat parties, Dead shows, and other festive gatherings and none of them hold a candle to what I experienced that cold winter night. Fun? Hell yes it was fun but it was also mind-boggling in it's relentless energy and uncertainty - Like I was waiting for the house to explode or some other cataclysmic event to happen at any minute. The winters are long in Brunswick and there was a kind of cabin fever that infected all the students that night - absolutely awesome. I salute the student body of Bowdoin College and will always hold the school in high regard - really, in a class by itself.


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