RON SCHALOW: The Congressman With The Chain-Link Head

When I was a youngster, chain-link fencing started to pop up on a few yards on south hill in Minot. I remember thinking, “Gosh, I hope no kids get trapped in there.” Then I saw the gate. They all had gates. What a relief. Easy egress. These were a noncage fences.

Now, when I was at the zoo in Roosevelt Park, I was happy that most of the animals were behind bars and magical metal wires woven together like fine linen. These animals were in what I like to call cages. The critters weren’t free to leave — or make long-distance calls.

They were cool about it, except for one bonobo named Arnie, with a species bias that really got him going. He kneeled every time they played the national anthem, which was played every time there was a ballgame across the street at Corbett Field. He didn’t like humans, Minot or the cage. Arnie also called it a cage. Everybody did.

The chain-link fences were ugly, but lawns and dogs need confinement. I guess the wood picket fences weren’t doing the job. Or maybe they were trying to keep me out. I will be posthumously outraged.

Most parents in the day preferred free-range children versus the caged ones. Wandering age varied, but I remember lots of little people like me, relishing their freedom on the mean sidewalks of 1960s North Dakota. Most little dudes were pushed outside after the first step.

Toddlers were on a short leash — or kept in one of those compact mobile jails with 17 toys. Infants spent nights confined to a bed brig with wood bars and only a nominal chance of escape without the proper tools.

Full disclosure: I purchased chain-link fencing about 35 years ago, but I did not incarcerate man nor beast with the steel wire. I’m neither proud or ashamed. And I had no personal affection for the product, which will be going up in price due to Trump tariffs.

Now for the horror. The ongoing imprisonment of brown children is a national disgrace.

Some pundits have suggested that this shameful episode is Trump’s Katrina. No. 4,600 Americans have died in the decimation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria because the jackass chose to limit the government response. Puerto Ricans got a small fraction of the resources dedicated to Texas for recovery from Hurricane Harvey. All on DT’s watch.

Caging children is in a despicable category of its own. Some of these kids will never see their parents again. They’ll be scarred for life. The parents will live this nightmare, over and over. That’s fine with the Trump cult, including sycophant prince Kevin Cramer.

King Nitwit and his administration have offered over a dozen reasons why these kids were being shipped here and there without their parents. They blamed everyone but the racist in chief, the dumb one when Eric isn’t present. They lied and lied. Then lied some more.

And Kevin Cramer parroted the horse shit because he has staked his entire political future on the sex offending blowhard, who has no clue on how to do his job. So, Kev has morphed into the silhouette of the bloated Bronx dung beetle. Cramer knowingly told the same lies as the pompous pork loin and then made up some baloney of his own.

Cramer doesn’t care about the human misery. He only cares about Trump. He is concerned about Trump more than the people of North Dakota.

Furthermore, Congressman Kevin Cramer is not a bright person, I say with no due respect. He makes it impossible not to write about his silly antics.

Oddly as it turns out, no one in the history of time has more fondness for the steel chain-link fence, than Kevin Cramer.

Fencing, and calling it a cage, because the little ones were locked in … Is that Cramer’s major takeaway from the cluster-eff the country is witnessing? Afraid so.

Does the cruelty register? Cries of beautiful dark-haired littles? Nope. Just the use of an accurate word, and the snowflake is offended.

I was surprised about something, though. Somebody is actually listening to Scott Hennen and Rob Port. Port doubles as the teddy bear that Kevin weeps into at night.

This nuttiness has gone national, but Cramer’s comments bear repeating. He also has a fundamental misunderstanding of chain-link fencing, and fences in general. He thinks, among other things, that calling the fencing “cages,” is overblown rhetoric. That was also worth repeating.

Keep in mind that this master of gibberish once said the following:

“But by the way, did you notice how poorly several of them were dressed as well? It is a syndrome. There is no question, there is a disease associated with the notion that a bunch of women would wear bad-looking white pantsuits in solidarity with Hillary Clinton to celebrate her loss. You cannot get that weird.”

Actually, some Democratic women wore white as a homage to suffragettes and as a silent protest against “Donald the misogynist” during the state of the union speech So, Cramer, also a sexist, got offended by women not getting locked away and uses words like disease, syndrome and weird.

White pantsuits drive him nuts, but putting children in cages is normal to the Trump toady. He just doesn’t like all of the “hoopla” surrounding the inhumane imprisonment of children. Now that’s weird. Sickening, actually.

And ballparks are not cages. I observed or played baseball in hundreds of ballparks. Not once was I prevented from leaving. Did Kevin have different experiences? Where was this? Kenya?

Fences can be used to keep people or critters out — or keep kids in. It doesn’t matter that you can see through the cage. You can see through prison bars, too. Good gawd, dude.

And 67 percent of Americans find the whole mess repulsive. Not just liberals, as a grown man with a smartphone, and a staff should have known. But lying is more fun.

The kids aren’t crying because of the type of fencing that keeps them interned. It’s the separation from parents. Calling their situation as being in a cage is totally accurate. Is that too complicated for a U.S. congressman to understand? Evidently.

The president will be in Fargo next week. Trump will talk about Cramer, and his thoughts on cages, for about 30 seconds, when the cocaine kicks in. And it will be too stupid for words.

Likewise, I’m not even going to try to argue with the bizarre thoughts that run through the mind of the Cramer mastermind. You can read his exact words below.

Then, he goes on KFGO on Thursday and repeats the same nonsense. Kev didn’t get a different result, though, so that’s a red flag. And yes, you can see through his head. For safety reasons.

From Talking Points Memo

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., pushed back hard on the idea that keeping border-crossing children in chain-link cages was inhumane, defending the practice in two local radio shows on Wednesday.

Cramer, who’s running against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in a top-tier Senate race, called the facilities “humane” during a Wednesday appearance on KFGO, a local radio station that broadcasts in the Bakken oil fields.

“By the way, chain-link fences are around playgrounds all over America, all over North Dakota. And chain link fences allow line-of-sight visual connectivity with children and families,” he said as he discussed reversing President Trump’s policy to let families stay together at the border.

“You know, there’s nothing inhumane about a chain-link fence. If it is, then every ballpark in America is inhumane.”

Cramer then went on to say he supported changing the law to allow families to stay together when they enter the country illegally and supported House Republicans’ dueling pieces of immigration legislation that are expected to receive a vote this week that would address this issue.

The comments came before Trump announced he’d reverse his recently implemented strategy of separating children and parents at the border with an executive order, reversing his previously held false position that only Congress could act to stop it.

Cramer doubled down on his comments when asked about them later in the day on WDAY, another local radio station, calling the focus on the cages “hoopla.”

“I think [chain-] linked fences is irrelevant to the crying of children. My commentary is on the chain-link fence,” he said when asked about the comments and whether he’d heard the audio of children wailing after being separated from their parents. “There’s all this hoopla because I think there are people on the left that clearly want the country to fail at this. And they would like the chain-link fence, they called it ‘dog cages.’ Well, chain-link fences have been used to protect children from predators on playgrounds, baseball diamonds, all sorts of sports courts and what-not. To me it’s not the chain-link fence, that’s not the issue. That’s a ruse by some on the left to try to create an image that’s far worse in description than it is in reality,” he said.

“The actual value of the chain-link fence is you could see through it, that’s the value of the chain link. If they put up a Sheetrock wall between the children and the workers, the people there to protect them, to me that would be far worse,” Cramer continued. “The chain-link fence, let’s not use that as some sort of a weapon. There’s a broader conversation about the separation of families in general, but as I’ve said before, that happens throughout the country many times. Kris (his wife) and I have been foster parents. We know all about the separation of children from their parents who do the illegal things, it happens in every city of the country every day.”

Senate Republicans initially had opposed having Cramer, a close ally of Trump’s, as their candidate for Senate precisely because of his penchant for controversial comments. After failing to find a better alternative, they circled back to him. Cramer initially said he wouldn’t run but changed his mind after Trump pushed him to jump into the race.

Cramer has since stirred up some controversies, including comments that Trump wasn’t campaigning as hard against Heitkamp as some other vulnerable Senate Democrats because “she’s a woman,” and sought and received an endorsement from a virulently anti-gay group that compares transgender people to pedophiles.

This is the latest instance of a remark that may generate some backlash. — Talking Points Memo

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Ron Schalow

Ron Schalow is the owner of Iceberg Publishing, president of The Coalition for Bakken Crude Oil Stabilization and an amatuer agitator. Among Schalow's writings are two books: a nonfiction book about 9/11 and the movements of George W. Bush on that tragic day called "Bull$#!* Artist”; and a novel about an unlikely group of American suicide bombers who have been dropped into the tribal regions of Pakistan. It is named "Perfect Whackjobs." Schalow lives in Fargo.

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