A Video I would like to make.

Political Mythbusters. (Thanks to Pindar for the idea!)

(Exterior, Day. A man stands next to a large collection of metal plates)

Detroit:

Hi! I'm Detroit, and I'm here to do essentially what the president does every day. I'm going to make pronouncements. The only difference is that after every single one of them, I'm going to show you why this idea will or will not work. I'm going to put the theories into practice on the basic, practical level.

Recently, the President has drawn up a diagram of his proposed border wall. He claims that this undefeatable barrier will prevent desperate masses from entering this country. He's claimed that these people are dangerous criminals, who thrive on defeating American police and killing American citizens.

I will give the president the benefit of the doubt on this pronouncement. Instead, I will assume that his conjecture is correct. Assuming that, there' is no way his border wall as proposed will solve the problem, as I, a Law-abiding citizen will demonstrate.

(Cut to pictures created by Trump of wall proposals.)

Every single one of these follows the same standard template. Angled steel meant to deter passage. Each is secured by insertion into the ground, and I'm assuming an anchor, probably of concrete.

First of all, let's go with the wall itself. The current pictures involve steel slats angled at a 90 Degree angle, with the vertex pointing into Mexico. At the top of the wall is a larger steel piece, meant to secure the individual slats.

Well, thanks for giving anybody with a cutting torch access to the EASY side to cut through. Cutting torches cost 198 Dollars by the way. Easily able to make the cuts necessary. But for argument's sake, let's demonstrate with some of the BEST steel I can find. Carbon Steel. Cost approximately 807 Dollars A ton. You'll need a LOT of it.

(Demonstration Of Oxy-Fuel Cutting torch on steel slat. Should Take less than five minutes with a lot of sparks. Torches can cut through 4 inches of steel.)

But that's NOT FAIR, I hear the Trump fans Cry. The Border Patrol will be watching for that! They can easily spot the sparks from a distance. Yes, that would be true. Assuming that the people wanting to go through the wall only have access to a hardware store. Add in a Fabric store, and we have people who might think to cover up a torch with a blanket.

Now, remember, these are HARD CORE CRIMINALS we're talking about. Trump has made that very clear. These are the people who are awful and are being sent here as an invasion force. Our greatest countermeasure can be defeated with a trip to Home Depot.

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Comments

Hawkfish's picture

Politics and explosions - America ‘s favourite entertainments. Sign me up!

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8 users have voted.

We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

detroitmechworks's picture

@Hawkfish scrapyard... and find somebody who can teach me how to use it in a quick lesson. Smile

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5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks

There are a lot of references for cutting. The torch will have 3 valves, 2 to set the preheat flame, and a big lever to cut in the oxygen. The tip will have a set of small holes for the preheat flame, and a big one in the middle for the O. The main thing is to get the right size tip for the thickness. You ignite the preheat flame, hold a corner of the stock in the blue flame until it glows, then hit the O. All it takes is a little practice and steady hands.

The pop of a lighting torch would make a good closeup, turn up the sound.

I mention the HF portable kit because it would be easy to tote thru terrain. Others are available. Full size gas bottles are NOT portable. HF offers the pdf manual with instructions online. https://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/65000-65999/65818.pdf
Incidental tools are striker, chipping hammer, bottle wrench. The kit probably has those.

Safety: Secure the bottles _with chain_ at all times. Acetylene bottles MUST remain upright. The O is under VERY high pressure, handle the bottle carefully. Blowback (or was it flashback?), where the flame goes up the hose to the bottle, is a hazard. And above all, protect your self from flying sparks, hot dripping slag, VERY high temperatures. Wear a flame resistant hat or hood, hair burns. Use good eye protection; I favored a full face green shield. I wore leather vest and chaps with full face shield, and still got a face full of hot slag once. Protect your feet very well - if some slag goes down your boot you won't have time to react before you're damaged. And I've still probably forgotten something, I'm rusty. Just be careful. Get somebody experienced to take you thru it.

AND I HOPE IT'S FUN!

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

mhagle's picture

I have a few of these skills. Video editing. Writing the musical score would be the most fun.

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10 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

QMS's picture

@mhagle
woof woof

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7 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

detroitmechworks's picture

@QMS Still in that wonderful flat broke state where I have enough to live on... but that's it. Smile

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6 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks

You could get somebody in a fab or ornamental iron shop to help. I bet even a car repair shop would have the stuff. Ask around. Unless you have an outdoor secure place, you don't want the bottles in your house.

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5 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@QMS
Exodus?
Also Sprach Zarathustra?

Nah, mhagle's probly right, original for licensing reasons. Unless you can call it a parody.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

detroitmechworks's picture

@pindar's revenge Plus it has the proper feel for, "I'm messing up your plans, and Love it."

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@detroitmechworks

All I see is white space. Would that be Night On Bald Mountain?

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

detroitmechworks's picture

@pindar's revenge Which I always enjoy. I find classical covers done by metal artists tend to have an energy I love.

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2 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Home Depot." Love it. Go for it!

Harbor Freight sells the whole portable kit, including carrier and small bottles, for 329.

I think we're talking viral, here.

edit: last week or so Wapo did a cost analysis based on TheRump's cartoonish doodle, but they didn't mention how easy it would be to cut it.

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8 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

detroitmechworks's picture

@pindar's revenge Home depot is close and there's a scrapyard within walking distance. Just need to figure out a space and somebody with a camera. Smile

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3 users have voted.

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@detroitmechworks @detroitmechworks
for basic video, I think. Edit on computer, mhagle offered help.

I think you would love to have a whole torch and welding kit. I've watched old guys weld sheet metal with a welding torch, the dance of their hands was like ballet. Takes years to get good. I've used a cutting torch for forging heat (no cutting oxygen cut in). Hmm. I always meant to get the equipment again, just for fun, talking myself into it now. Metal work is fun and satisfying, but it's a rough way to live. It's a wonder (knock on wood) I'm still fairly healthy, lungs full of soot, asbestos, solvents. Burn scars. Shoulder, back and knee damage. You don't see so many old weldors; if you do, they walk funny. I've known 2 people who died on the job.

Home Despot might have the torch, but you'd still need the bottles and wrenches and safety gear and stuff. Full size bottles are usually rented from gas supply companies, they exchange 'em like propane bottles. I suggest offering someone in a metal shop or car shop a few bucks or some labor to use their stuff, just to get a feel for it first and shoot the vid. Somebody might be offering vocational welding classes, for access to tools. I know some maker spaces have welding/cutting equipment available. When you can afford it, check out the range of welding equipment in places like Harbor Freight and Sears. I never checked Homies. The next step up from there can be VERY expensive, but durable.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

secure a space without considering the full nature of the barrier.

i was recently watching a TV series of some sort in which Our Hero goes up to the heavily reinforced steel door behind which the second-rate semi-pro drug dealer lurks, rings the bell to get the guy to come suspiciously to the door, steps to the side, and blindly shoots him at an angle through the wall. (in a nod to plausibility, IIRC, the writers made him take two shots to obtain the satisfying scream of pain.) having thus disabled the nincompoop, he walked around to the back of the building and cut his way in with some sort of tools of destruction.

similarly, a friend of mine who is a contractor once pointed out to me that many homes built in the last 30 years, including some pretty expensive ones, the ones outfitted with cool security systems on the doors and windows and stuff, are built with an outer wall system of interior drywall over 2x4 studs spaced at 12 or 16 inches, and the exterior sheathed in various flimsy materials -- styrofoam, vinyl, maybe a thin layer of OSB -- that can fairly easily be cut through using a decent Victorinox pocket knife. a thief can literally cut into the house in a matter of minutes -- or in some cases, 30 or 40 seconds, since the drywall can just be punched out of the way.

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8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

detroitmechworks's picture

@UntimelyRippd almost 30 years ago playing against AIs in computer games. They always go where you don't think to defend if they're at all designed well...

And I loathe those houses. See them going in everywhere and I note that pressed wood and fiberglass insulation EVERYWHERE.

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5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@UntimelyRippd

Modern construction is quick, cheap, and crap, no matter how expensive. Image.

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6 users have voted.

If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Bwhahahahahahahaaa.

I knew a guy who used to work Border Patrol and while he indeed was a Repugnant I would bet he has nothing good to say about this stupid wall. He made the very good point that a true terrorist would not attempt to climb a wall or present themselves at a border checkpoint but would most likely come over in places that are geographically challenging to put a wall in, mountain ranges say, because they would be well financed to get through just such inaccessible areas. Kind of shoots that whole terrorist thing right in the ass but hey, far too many Americans simply are no longer cognizant enough to think that kind of thing through. Too bad, so sad! s/

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@lizzyh7 @lizzyh7

There are 6000 miles of border on Chesapeake Bay alone*. Include Atlantic, Gulf, Canadian, Pacific borders. Then count the airports. And islands.
for most of our history the only real border security the US had was the Atlantic and Pacific.

*edit: hey, the CBP considers it border, so they can exercise their authority 100 miles inland.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

detroitmechworks's picture

@lizzyh7 We want "peace and order" of a dictatorship, but we also want to be the good guys apparently.

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edg's picture

Israel's wall encircling Palestine has reduced border incursions by more than 99%. Why don't Palestinians just go to Home Depot to get a torch with which to cut through the Israeli wall?

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detroitmechworks's picture

@edg Under an Orwellian Totalitarian system where the slightest deviation from the security protocols results in summary execution.

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@detroitmechworks
to my knowledge, we're not planning to deploy snipers along the length of the fence, with orders to shoot anyone who approaches; nor are we expecting to respond to attempted incursions by raining death on either the maquiladoras, nor mexico city.

i would also be surprised to find a Home Depot in Gaza, and I would be unsurprised to find that welding torches are proscribed, or at the very least made very difficult to obtain, by the lawless authority that has imprisoned the population of Gaza and maintains an embargo controlling what goes in and what comes out.

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9 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@edg @edg

between enclosing a small area and excluding the world.

edit: or in other words, it's harder to break out of prison.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

edg's picture

@pindar's revenge

The Israeli wall surrounding Gaza and the West Bank is about 500 miles long. Admittedly, the US border with Mexico is about 4 times as long as that, but considering the GDP of the US is 55 times larger than that of Israel, cost is hardly a factor.

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CS in AZ's picture

@edg

I don’t know what to say.

Just, no.

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detroitmechworks's picture

@CS in AZ Convinced the entire rest of the world wants to destroy you and the only way to keep them out is to build a wall against them.

But if Trump wants to join the ranks of those like Hadrian, and build a wall to separate the Romans from the Barbarians...

At this point the Rich might as well just build their castles... Oh wait, they already are. The Rethugs like to scream about Nancy's wall around her house... Nearly every wealthy member of congress has a castle. Or at least a Versailles.

Because Most already think of the people as Barbarians. You can hear it in the language they use.

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5 users have voted.

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edg's picture

@CS in AZ

But people who claim that a wall CAN'T be built or would COST too much are hypocrites, because it obviously can be built, and because compared to the trillions we waste on Middle East wars, the cost is peanuts.

Using lies to try to stop the wall is self-defeating.

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detroitmechworks's picture

@edg Every single person will look at it and go, Yup. Ain't gettin in there.

Turn around and go home.

But, since the Border Patrol wants a free fire zone... I think we need to at least figure in the costs of ammunition... If we're just leaving the corpses to rot, we can forget about body removal. Because that's the ONLY way we're getting them to stay back. Going Full Israel. Border Patrol of course, is already paid for, so that doesn't count against the cost of the wall, UNLESS of course you have to expand them to cover it, which would be likely. Add in a bit more there. Watching for Mortar attacks... because that does tend to happen when you fortify an area...

Any Damage to the wall, long term maintanance... as people have mentioned untreated steel rusts pretty fast, so you need to figure in that cost. Perhaps we'll use slave labor like we do with other public works... Any Workers would be under guns anyway, so might as well...

Everything costs more and takes longer than a politician says. Everything. But, I'm sure that the people of Mexico will bedeck the wall with Flowers, thanking it for ensuring that refugees stay home.

Or maybe we'll use the Army with that great Peace Dividend. Hell, who needs Posse Comitatus, we've got a STATE OF EMERGENCY!

But Hey, I'm sure the Trump Line will Do everything it needs to do, since it will be perfectly designed by the best people to ensure that all things are thought of. I can trust the guy. He knows people. The Best people. And those people are going to take care of the problems. And all you Americans can just know that he's watching out for you...

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Big Al's picture

@edg why does Israel have a wall?

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10 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@Big Al Attack anything on the other side of the wall, and you're VIOLATING OUR TERRITORY. Which means we get to kill you.

Approach the wall, you're possibly VIOLATING OUR TERRITORY. Which means we get to kill you.

Suggest that the wall is a bad Idea. You hate OUR PEOPLE. Which means we get to charge you with a crime. Then Kill you.

Building a wall is just an article of faith. When it comes down, sometimes people start worshipping them.

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edg's picture

@Big Al

Israel has a wall because Israel is a rogue nation that has dispossessed millions of people, stolen thousands of square miles of land, and murders people with the support and blessing of the United States of America. Israel is the rabid dog of the Middle East.

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@edg The US isn't a rogue nation who steals land and resources right out from under the people who live there while bombing their country back to the Stone Age? Why are you so busy trying to either justify a wall in the US and debating cost and logistics if you think only a rogue criminal nation needs one? I guess we all know we are indeed a rogue criminal nation, instead of trying to change that we should just accept it and build that wall? I confess, I'm not getting the logic here?

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edg's picture

@lizzyh7

The US is a rogue nation with enough military and economic and propaganda power to do whatever it wants around the world. That's why Israel can also get away with it -- we set the example and then we protect them from the consequences of their actions.

As for the wall, I'm neither for nor against it in principle. What I'm against is lies being told to justify it and lies being told to discredit it. If and when somebody comes up with a credible and truthful explanation for how we can reduce the black poverty rate (20%) and the Native American poverty rate (22%) while simultaneously allowing in millions of people from other countries to compete for the same jobs and occupy the same economic stratum, then I will wholeheartedly endorse them and their plan.

And don't think I'll let anyone get away with the "they fill jobs Americans don't want" lie. There are only 760,000 agricultural jobs in the United States. There's no physical way that eleven million illegals are all farm workers.

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@edg will magically reduce American unemployment and raise American wages? As for the 11 million "illegals" in this country doing only farm work, yeah, no, although I would love to see you cite that 760K figure for Ag work but really, that's not necessary here and as you've stated, you'll "not allow" anyone to argue it anyway. Continuous free trade agreements, offshoring of jobs, and continuous corporate downsizing have a lot more to do with downward pressure on wages nationally than the 11 million illegals you site, not to mention an abject refusal to increase the minimum wage which is mostly voted down by far too many US citizens. Repeated calls and votes to reduce social safety nets, kill off Medicare and SS because of a debt driven by war and bank bailouts while massively cutting taxes on the uber wealthy and corporations that have offshored jobs have also contributed but let's don't go there....

The problem is one hell of a lot deeper than "11 million illegals" being in this country. And what IF you deport all those people? Think they contribute nothing to our economy? Think they're all here to "get something" from good old benevolent America? Hell, the net numbers coming IN to this country are down lower than maybe the 70s or 80s I read not long ago, but who in hell is going to mention that little fact instead of getting American's to put up a wall and some who'll pay for it themselves through Go Fund Me? The whole thing is an idiotic diversion from solutions that would help actual American un and under employment but that's what we do now in Idiot America and quite frankly have been doing for the last 40 years or so. Blame someone else for our country falling the fuck apart while the lunatics are allowed to take over. I guess that will Make America Great Again, right? Sure, never mind the reality, let's dream, shall we?

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edg's picture

@lizzyh7 @lizzyh7

But (and I apologize for the different 760K figure I cited earlier; that count was from a 2012 USDA report using different methodology) according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 856,300 agricultural workers as of July, 2016. Reference: BLS - Agricultural Workers

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edg's picture

@lizzyh7

Continuous free trade agreements, offshoring of jobs, and continuous corporate downsizing have a lot more to do with downward pressure on wages nationally

Yes, those things combined with a 350% increase in illegal immigrants from 1990 to 2008 contributed to downward wage pressure. However, since the Bush Recession in 2008, there's been a small decrease in the number of illegal immigrants in the US. And of course, Obama did his part by setting records for deportations.

References: Pew Research: 5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S. and Washington Post: Deportations under Trump are on the rise but still lower than Obama’s, ICE report shows

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Big Al's picture

@edg "I don't like walls. I'm a libertarian I don't want to wall people in and wall people out."
"I don’t want free, open borders either," he continued.
"I think you have to remove the incentives for people to come. They come because there's a welfare system here, there's easy access to citizenship its politicized one group wants them here because they think they can get the votes."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-08/ron-paul-we-dont-need-border-w...

I don't completely agree with that, I think a bigger reason is to find work and a better life, not handouts. But I've always felt that internal controls should be much better enforced. If someone doesn't have a SS# or a green card, they need to get one to get social services, jobs, etc. There has to be humanitarian considerations and exceptions, but I do think there are better ways of doing this than building a creepy wall with all the police state accoutrements that go along with it.

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edg's picture

@Big Al

But Republicans don't want internal controls because that deprives businesses of cheap labor. And Democrats don't want internal controls because that deprives them of potential future voters and dilutes Democratic voting districts during Census counts.

That being the case, there is little support for real immigration reform and the wall is merely a political football being punted back and forth to show how "tough" Trump is and how "compassionate" Pelosi and Schumer are. But the debate about the wall has been good because once in a while, a tiny nugget of truth buried amongst the talking points slips out.

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Big Al's picture

@edg

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edg's picture

@lizzyh7

Think they're all here to "get something" from good old benevolent America?

If not, why are they here? Isn't it for better jobs, better living conditions, and personal safety? So, yes, they are here to "get something", something they apparently can't get at home.

On the other hand, by being here illegally, they're subjected to lower wages, subpar working conditions, lesser or no benefits, unsafe work conditions, and the constant threat of deportation by employers who want to keep them as near to slavery as possible. Do you really think those are good things?

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earthling1's picture

Like a logger scales a tree using a rope and cleats on the side of his boots, substituting magnets or a wedging device attached to boots one could scale that wall of bars in quick order. And then hand the devices through the iron fence to the next guy.
Also, from what I have seen in photos, the "Jaws of Life" rescue devices would bend those bars far enough apart for someone to squeeze through.
Of course, there's always a good pole vault or grappling hook for the more athletic among us. Or them.
The wall is stupid. It won't stop anybody.

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10 users have voted.

@earthling1

Thanks for the ideas.

None of TheRump's cartoons show any horizontal bars to stabilize it. You could probably bend it with a heavy bar, or if you get get a sturdy rope or chain on the top of it bend it over far enough to make a gap.

I can just picture loads of repair crews constantly patching. There's money in them walls, Bubba!

You're right, there are many ways to defeat a steel fence, but being an old weldor (like many thousands around the Rust Belt), that just popped into mind. You best believe the smugglers are already planning. A cheap $329 kit available in hundreds of stores that one man could carry, portable and cheap enough to abandon, to defeat a multibillion dollar boondoggle. .

gawds, what a cartoonish mind.

Plus it would make an entertaining video with minimal setup, lots of dramatic fountains of burning steel.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

travelerxxx's picture

So, it's steel is it?

All you need is saltwater and a little time. Rust never sleeps.

Saltwater is easy, but there are other ways.

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detroitmechworks's picture

@travelerxxx

Trump is still in stage one of Thulsa Doom... Smile

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2 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Well, the prototype steel barrier was tested and penetrated back in 2017.

Photos on NBC show a breached wall section. They look like hybrid concrete-filled steel tubes, aka "bollard", a better idea than "slats" because steel alone is so easy to cut. But the pickets were cut by a hand-held saw. I'm guessing the sawzall type; the blade would fit between the pickets to start the cut. But an abrasive disk would work just as well. A couple batteries and a $50 saw and yer through. Even cheaper and more portable than the torch. Noisy instead of sparky. D'oh!

Illustrations here:
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/test-steel-prototype-border...

Notice that the thin steel in these pieces would corrode through way faster than thick steel bars. The torch would still work; cut the steel and the concrete would break with a hammer. But this is even simpler and cheaper. I'm relieved that somebody actually noticed how flimsy this design is. Took 'em a while, I was beginning to worry about mental degradation. Or is it that only immigrants know how to work construction materials anymore? (snicker)

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

" CBP wants to clear 150 feet (45 meters) in front of any new construction for an "enforcement zone" of access roads, cameras, and lighting."
Berlin?
We loves 'em some iron curtains, don't we?

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

detroitmechworks's picture

@pindar's revenge That means that the costs gonna be a BIT higher than El Trumpo Supremo Is suggesting.

Big fucking surprise. Hell, I know how Trump can get the Dems on his side. Just tell them the money will be spent in their districts, and it's to prevent White Guy Terrorists who supposedly train in Mexico.

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1 user has voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks

are the meat, not the sauce.

Someone's gonna make major money off this crap. Our real estate mogul resident is drooling. Way simpler than buildings, no permits, big profit margin.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet