Let’s go buy some land mines

All right, Tom Mullins, which version of your loose-lips-sink-ships inanity would you like for the public to bruit about?

Republican Tom Mullins, who will face U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in the November general election, was on local radio station KNMX in May. Although he made the following quoted remarks about a month ago, before winning the recent primaries, the full impact of the statements appeared in the press only last week.

On immigration, Mullins said, “We could put land mines along the border. I know it sounds crazy. We could put up signs in 23 different languages if necessary. And we could put up some barbed wire and say, ‘If you want to cross the border, you cross legally.’”

Mullins suggested land mines as something “we could do.” Land mines, generally hidden, have the capability of maiming and killing people. Stepping on such a weapon virtually guarantees the victim loses a leg, as many a disabled veteran has learned from experience.

Now as for the “23 different languages”: Do people looking for a better life by fleeing from a violence-torn, drug-driven territory, always stop to read? What about the many children who can’t read?

That’s the solution Mullins says “we could do.” But pressed to explain, the winner of the recent Republican primary laid his faux pas on the altar of “Well, that’s what I heard.”

His excuse for the unbelievably insensitive “solution” was that it’s merely someone else’s suggestion, something he heard while out campaigning. Well, how many ways can we parse that? We ought not pass off others’ suggestions — however repulsive — as our own.

In the interview, Mullins tempered his suggestion by inserting “It sounds crazy, but …”

Crazy? The really crazy thing is that people still voted for Mullins rather than giving him the boot as a solid voter statement that he’s undeserving of the office he seeks.

Interestingly, in an op-ed piece in Sunday’s Journal, Mullins omitted any reference to land mines.

This criticism of Mullins’ remarks ought not necessarily be taken an an endorsement of his opponent in the general election.

• • •

“The trouble with the Internet is the difficulty in verifying the author of certain quotations.” — Ben Franklin

The same holds for the myriad inaccuracies, omissions and plagiarisms that appear on the net.

One source estimates that 10 out of seven people have trouble with math. I’m guilty by the way I invent mathematical terms.

Let me explain:

In my June 9 column, I wrote about people who secured  $90,000 state government jobs after chipping in $2,300, the maximum allowable, toward Gov. Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign.

The column also alluded to a $20,000 raise given by the West Las Vegas School Board, and I used the term “double five digits.” The morning those words appeared, two people, Jose C de Baca and John Burns, approached me to ask, “What’s double five digits”?

My attempt to explain sounded hollow, in retrospect. I said that if a $10,000 represents a five-digit raise, shouldn’t double five digits mean $20,000?

Double five digits could also mean 10 digits, but that would put the amount at one billion. That’s not what I meant either.

Jose told me my personal math score had slipped to 99. He’s way too generous. I would have accepted anything in the double digits, even 01.

2 thoughts on “Let’s go buy some land mines

  1. Ben Moffett

    Sounds like Mullins picks up ideas wherever he can. He’s a one-man research staff, always on the lookout for new information from voters. He probably knows already that Mexico has 65 indigenous languages (compared to a mere 14 for New Mexico) and will soon raise the number of language warnings along la frontera.

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