The impasse over Trump's ‘mad’ wall that has forced 800,000 people out of work – Zella Compton

The border fence between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, as seen from Mexico
The border fence between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, as seen from Mexico
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It’s fascinating to watch the American government’s machinations about the wall which Trump promised to build in concrete, to be funded by the Mexicans, and to span the width of America.

As we all know, the government is now in shut-down (well, it still was when I wrote this) as the factions argue it out – whether the US government should pay five billion dollars for its creation or not, given that the Mexicans said ‘no’ (and who was surprised about that?).

 What I find so fascinating is the reframing of the argument to try to end the impasse.

Trump’s office reframes every factual inaccuracy and loss of argument it’s had, saying that the wall’s now to be a steel (slatted) fence, apparently in a concession that they’re no longer building a ‘wall’.

 We’re told they’ve moved position to meet the opposing political party half way, and not because the building of a concrete wall is too hard.

This reminds me of many an argument I witnessed when my children were younger.

The moment when they weren’t going to get their way and found themselves in an impossible jam, and so changed their demands while pretending that it was their choice all along.

It’s all pretty darn pathetic that about 800,000 people should be forced out of work, forced into un-paid leave, while Trump tries to assert his authority against a political system designed with checks and measures to keep the maddest policies at bay.

I met the staff at the Joshua Tree National Park in southern California, one of the affected places, a few years ago.

We were there camping. They were normal people, like us.

They were not like the millionaires in power who play with peoples’ lives in a way which shows complete disregard for the reality of living week to week, or month to month.

They have no bearing or relation to how most of us have to survive without inherited wealth or pots of cash made by the elite few at the top of big business.

While the change of language and tactics is utterly fascinating it’s certainly not fun for those affected.

‘Reframing’ – it’s the new euphemism for fake news

Proving that a book is always better than the screen is YOU, one of Netflix’s latest series. It’s about a man stalking a woman, worming his way into her affections by being super creepy disguised as super helpful. 

In the book the stalker mentions he’s seen many rom-coms where the man tricks the woman he’s infatuated with and gets forgiven and then we get to gross-out on his grimness.

Yet on Netflix we laugh at his rom-com joke and then are made to like him as we see him get into scrapes, but care for his neighbour’s son, do a bit of stalking but fold laundry. Our sympathies are wrung, hard, never mind he’s a psycho. And that is where it all starts. Reframing.

Drive too close to cyclists and you’’ll see your name in lights

A businessman has reportedly taken a billboard for a year – at a cost of £20,000 – to highlight how shockingly bad his bank is. 

There’s  quite a lot more to the story than that, but I’m rather taken with the idea of having the cash to spend on grudge billboards.

That woman who cut me up in the supermarket and swept in front of me to the nearly clear checkout, you’d be on my billboard. The alarm clock manufacturer who seduced me with loads of buttons and a big screen but didn’t warn me the alarm was klaxon enough to wake everyone on the Isle of Wight – you’d be on there too. And finally, anyone who drives too close to cyclists. That’s it, I’m starting saving today.