Don Williams
Photo by Justin Williams

Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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Just In Time, Bush Discovers Mexico
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   05/19/2006)

Surprise. Dubya has discovered our southern boarder. Never mind that citizens from places like Morristown, Tennessee—an agriculture town--have been complaining about the Mexican border for years in ever more angry emails. Now Bush is complaining too.

Nice timing, Dubya. Maybe this'll draw attention away as you waltz us three steps closer to an imperial presidency (dictatorship?) by putting a general in charge of the CIA, assimilating our personal records, and issuing 750 signing orders suggesting which parts of all those Congressional laws you MIGHT deign to obey.

Or maybe by turning your attention to Mexico, you'll distract us from the latest leap in the federal deficit, construction of a billion-dollar-plus embassy (wink-wink) in Iraq, and the recent deal to supply nuclear materials to India—which could ignite new arms races in Asia. After all, who needs Tom Cruise or the Duke lacrosse team when you have colorful immigrants to siphon off attention?

Before going further, I should acknowledge that I skipped our so-called president's speech on immigration. I knew all too well what to expect. Most everything he utters falls under about five headings:

* The misleading: “The United States is not going to militarize the southern border.”

* The simplistic: “Stay the course.”

* The divisive: “You're either with us or against us.”

* The untrue. “I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”

* The embarrassing: “Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again.”

* The obvious: “We're addicted to oil.”

* The big lie: “We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents.”

OK, you're right, those are rather more than five headings. Some points bear repeating. Visit for dozens of other well-documented examples.

Mainly I don't often watch Bush because it's such a painful reminder that we might've had a real president. Not someone born on third base and subsequently bunted home by Supreme Court justices appointed by his daddy and his daddy's late boss.

Rather, we might've had a reasonably truthful, balanced and insightful leader. One who likes to read. One who embraces science. One who wouldn't wait until every bad trend becomes a horrendous crisis before taking action. Witness 9/11, the quagmire in Iraq, the drowning of New Orleans, global warming generally, the Dubai Ports deal, the oil crisis, so much more.…

We might've had a president who wouldn't tackle every problem by awarding gigantic contracts to corporations.

Yes, true to form, Bush offered up a Big Government / Big Military solution to the border problem—I did go back and brush up. Basically, it boils down to:

* Placing 6,000 National Guard troops on our Southern border. These would rotate in and out, so that within a few years hundreds of thousands of guardsmen might see duty there. If Bush is not militarizing the Southern border, then what is he doing?

* For one thing he's granting amnesty to 10 million immigrants.

* For another, he's allowing new immigration. According an article current on the conservative Heritage Foundation website his plan might lead to more than 100 million new immigrants over the next 20 years.

* And Bush is proposing billions of dollars for high-tech military solutions. Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and many other entities are ga-ga over the potential for satellites, aerial drones, high-tech blimps, an assortment of automated cameras, listening devices, independent energy units to power them, eye scanners and much more. Bush plans to spend at least $2 billion over the next three years on such proposals. What do you bet that price tag will double? Triple? And what do you bet it will become a perpetual line-item in the federal budget? What do you bet it grows year by year, keeping the oligarchy now running so much of American life in pocket change, plugged in and potentially dangerous?

It's not that I'm against securing our Southern border, it's just that this approach sounds an awfully lot like many another Bush proposal to defend America. Bloated, scary, expensive, superficially high tech, self-serving, ineffective and never-ending.

So what would I do? For starters, I'd focus on cutting demand by fining or arresting illegal American employers of illegal aliens. Laws of supply and demand often work as advertised. Someone should tell the president.