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Of eggs and country 

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I don't know if you guys have noticed or not, but we're kind of falling apart over here. We've got employees all over SLO County who are either furloughed or being forced to work without pay, which is bullshit. Who wants to work without pay because their elected representatives have no capacity to understand what it really means to go without a paycheck?

Our president is allegedly a "millionaire"—we really don't know because all he will say is that he's worth "a lot—like, A LOT—of money!" Our congressional representatives make upward of $170,000 a year. Two-fifths of them are millionaires.

Do you think U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) would be voluntarily forgoing his paycheck if he worried about making his mortgage payment or feeding his family??

The average salary for a Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) employee is $48,000 per year. Starting salary is $27,000. Yup, those are the people who are in charge of your safety at airports and on flights, and even the security of your nation. They deal with your angry ass when you're late for a flight and just really need to get through security, dammit! Why is that always when they decide to strip search you?

Several TSA employees are now working on week five without pay at the SLO County Regional Airport, according to county Director of Airports (Yes, that's a plural! SLO County actually has more than one airport!) Kevin Bumen. GQ reported that 1 in 10 TSA employees are calling in sick during the partial government shutdown, but Bumen happily reported that's not the case in SLO! We have healthy steadfast individuals working security at our airport!! No weaklings allowed.

Although, the SLO County Public Health Department did release information about a serious case of influenza that's making the rounds. I feel a case of nausea and body aches coming on.

Donald "I need a wall now" Trump is so worried about the hordes of migrants "attacking" our southern border that he's choosing to not pay the employees that we use to prevent terrorists from taking bombs on planes—and force a bunch of hapless, forgetful travelers to dump the contents of their water bottles in trash cans—that could crash into America's most iconic places.

Sick of pouring out your liquor in the security line? Want to take some sweet California cannabis to Indiana? Need to keep that 5-ounce bottle of concealer handy? Find an airport where half the TSA crew has called in sick and get crazy!

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for protecting about 90,000 miles of coastline from security threats and the Exclusive Economic Zone that extends 200 miles from shore. The starting salary? It's $20,000 a year plus benefits. Members of the Coast Guard are in the only branch of the military that's not getting paid during the Great Wall Debate of Doom. The 27-member station in Morro Bay runs about 300 miles of the California coast, saving people from themselves and others—finding abandoned panga boats full of dope and taking in that foggy air.

Cambria resident Jim Mang started a GoFundMe to help those guys out. It's already raised $3,500 of its $100,000 goal. Divide that between 27 people, and it's $129 per person for the month of January. Who needs the government?

But you know what? Let's not worry about those guys. They're not important. You know what is important? Border security. No, not our maritime borders. People don't flee their countries via boat, silly. It's those land borders that we should worry about. It's the almost 2,000 miles of hot desert border that sidles up to Mexico that we need to worry about.

It's not like drug czars (ahem, El Chapo Guzman) have their cartels build crazy intricate tunnels underneath the wall that's already there or anything.

Let's face it, people. It's not terrorists or drugs that a wall is going to stop. It's people with brown faces fleeing terrible situations. If you're going to hold a quarter of our federal government hostage over beefing up border security by building a stupidly expensive wall, at least be honest about what you're trying to keep out of this country.

And guess what? We're not paying our U.S. Border Patrol agents or Customs and Border Protection officers, either.

I don't understand!

How long do you think our borders will be "secure" if the people doing the protecting don't get paid? How long will you work without a paycheck?

And the E-verify system people, like our favorite immigration nut in Paso Robles, Michael Rivera (who did not get elected to serve on the City Council), push to make sure that the people in this country who are working are documented and legal? Yeah, umm. The funding for that is a no-go at the moment because of your favorite Negotiator in Chief.

I feel like we should just crack two eggs into a pan with the MAGA logo on the handle and put up a live video feed on YouTube.

"This is your country," an awkwardly deep-voiced man will mumble.

We can zoom in on the action and turn the volume up as the eggs cackle and bubble. Then a fork will prick both the yolks and the liquid will ooze out, destroying the perfect fried egg.

"This is your country on Trump. Any questions?" Δ

The Shredder likes eggs over easy at [email protected].


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