I heard him coming a mile away. John Hammer is not a small man, and from the sounds of the stomp-stomp-stomp I was hearing, he was in a hurry, on a mission . . . or both.
If you don’t know the man they call Hammer, he’s as big as a battleship and has enough common sense to fill one. His neck is red, his hands calloused and he doesn’t suffer fools well. It’s one reason why the elected folks get under his skin so quickly.
“Timmons, did you hear the different mayors and even our speaker of the House telling illegal aliens how to avoid arrest?” he boomed, shattering the peace and quiet of an early Saturday morning in a (mostly) empty office.
“Now hold on, John,” I started. “They weren’t exactly trying to-”
“Bull puckey!” he shouted. “That’s exactly what they were doing and these people are elected representatives of our government. I don’t give a damn if they are municipal, state, federal or dog catchers!”
The man was on a roll.
“John, I think this whole immigration issue is pretty complex and-”
“Of course it is, Timmons! No one’s saying it’s not. I know you media guys aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box so I’ll spell it out for you. It has turned into an excuse for politics!”
Isn’t everything, was the snappy reply I wanted to say. But Hammer doesn’t throw things out lightly and I really wasn’t sure where he was going.
“Do you have any idea how many people who came into this country were arrested when President Obama was in office?”
I didn’t.
“More than 3 million!” Hammer shouted. “That was more than Clinton or Bush before him, and it’s more than Trump is on track to do. Yet no one says anything about that!
“You know what else, Timmons?”
Hammer wasn’t slowing one iota.
“The lamebrains in Washington have turned this into a political problem! A damn political problem! I’ll tell you what. I don’t believe for one second any of those politicians (he almost spit the word out) who visited border camps gave a hoot about the conditions. They just wanted their camera time so they could start running for either re-election or their next office. Hell, I saw a group of pastors who visited the same facility and said they didn’t see anything like what they was hearing on TV!
“You idiots in the media aren’t any better!”
Here we go.
“If I watch one channel it’s all Trump’s fault. If I watch another channel it’s not Trump’s fault at all. And then Trump – who can’t keep his damn fingers off the telephone – had to go and tweet something stupid and made all this crap a hundred times worse!”
Hammer paused. I tried to jump in.
“But John, don’t you think-”
“I’ll tell you something Timmons. My grandparents are from Ireland. I thought about maybe applying for a dual citizenship a few years ago, you know, just for grins and giggles. Do you know how to become an Irish citizen? It’s a long process and basically, you can’t just show up and ask for it. You have to meet their requirements. A lot of requirements.
“You know what? I’m fine with that. It’s their country and they should be able to do as they please. I like ours better, because we have always said that people are welcome to come here, so long as they are willing to abide by our rules and regulations. Now, because of (and here I thought Hammer was going to have a stroke because his face got all contorted) politics, we want to let everyone in . . . or we want to build a wall and keep everyone out . . . or we just want to point our fingers at Trump and blame him.
“It’s all crap! I am so sick of this I can’t stand it! How in the hell did we lose our way this much!”
Hammer turned and stormed away as quickly as he came. I sat there, thinking about what he said. I don’t pretend to know John Hammer well. Not sure anyone outside his family does. But I truly believe the man wouldn’t turn away anyone in need from his door or his country. If he could only deport the folks in Washington he might avoid that stroke.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.