Saturday, February 7, 2009

DHS's Border Surveillance Program: Does it Work? Is it Big Brother? Or are we again allowing a Contractor to serve as Big Brother?

Recent news reports suggest the US Border Patrol has secured new technology that has the ability to "see" for up to 10 miles away and scan 180 degrees in about 10 seconds." The hype says "the system detected about 40,000 potential undocumented immigrants in the last three months of 2008." The key word here is "potential." In reality, the system has many bugs. Reports indicate it cannot tell the difference between a human vs a prairie dog. For $500,000 a tower, you would think the technology would better serve the Department of Homeland Security.
On the other hand, many on the ANTI side are opposing the new technology, especially the unmanned drones. They are saying this type of technology is one step away from "Big Brother." Who is to stop DHS from spying on good ole US neighborhoods they wonder.
I am a bit torn on the subject.
I agree that in this age of potential terroristic threats, we do need security on all borders, ports and terminals. I say ALL because we should not focus on just the southern border, but all borders, ports and terminals!
I also agree that we should use technology vs a 2000 mile border fence. I don't believe we should give our civil liberties away, however. So, who is to say what is the right answer?
The other down side of the story is that we are allowing one vendor, Boeing - as SBInet, to manage the project. This raises the question, are we contracting away our nation's security to the highest bidding contractor? Remember the bad experiences we've had with Blackwater and Halliburton.
My only hope is the new DHS, under Janet Napolitano, will be open enough to let us every day Americans know what is going on and have the ability to provide our input on whether policies are working or not working. Additionally, she should prevent this program from turning into "Big Brother."
Since it appears this program is well underway, all we can do at this point is wait and see.
References:
SBInet , Boeing wikipedia

19 comments:

Vicente Duque said...

Dee :

There is a Universal Foolishness around the World : The Belief that Big Problems are solved only with technology while at the same time the Human Heart and the Intelligence of Common People is ignored.

We have seen that many times. Adolf Hitler was always proposing a New Weapon, the V1, the V2, The Tiger Tank, the Panzerfaust, etc ... Winning the War was at the turn of the corner.

The most effective weapon in the "War against Drugs" is the machete. Once you have persuaded the poor peasants that they can have a "clean" source of money, a subsidy or another crop that lets them eat and avoid starvation.

The Berlin Wall was defeated because Human Beings were not fools and they listened to the Radio ( an old invention by the 1960s. )

The Vietnam War was fought with Stone Age Technology. And the Napalm was defeated by bamboo.

The Tortilla Wall assumes that Mexicans are idiots. Poor Acrobats, that they have never heard of dynamite. Or that they are poor at excavations, or that there are not vandals at both sides of the border. The Tortilla Wall also asssumes lazyness of Mexicans or Latinos.

If there is someone that has technology and money that is the Mafia Capos and the Big Drug Operations.

It is a Great Foolishness to thik that Wars are Won only with technology while the Human Heart is enraged and angry with the Killing and Maiming of Relatives and Friends.

Prophesizing.com

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

Dee said...

Vicente,
The Berlin Wall is a good analogy. We cannot build a 2000 mile, mile high wall to close out our neighbors to the south.

Germany thought a wall could be used to keep out what they termed was the enemy. But neighbors are not enemies.

While we do need to keep out terrorists in all borders, ports and terminals, we need to find a better way to keep our country secure yet open to tourists and visitors.

Dee said...

Anon,
You continue to post your evil taunts. Just an an fyi to you, my eblogger reports went down 5% after I changed my policy, but after the 1st week, they have increased each week. Now, my eblogger reports say my viewship is 25% increased vs my 1st week after the change. Quite a success I would say!
Thank you and all those abusers who finally left.

My viewers appreciate your absence, although I know you still visit me every day!

Vicente Duque said...

The league of American Wild Animals writes a letter to the President of the United States, Mr Barack Obama

They complain about the "Tortilla" Wall or Border Fence and the loss of Quality of Life. Not to mention 40 species in danger of extinction.


Dear Mr Obama :

We, the Forgotten Wild Animals of America, manifest our discomfort.

This letter Mr President is not signed by pampered pets like cats, dogs and canaries that have a Good Easy Life and a Free Lunch, but by We, We We, The Wild American Animals, many in danger of extinction.

We the hard working wild animals that have to look for food and water, and that are suffering from dislodgement, dispossession, eviction from good animal places like rivers and creeks. We complain of the cutting of trees, and closing of our paths and ways, to build miserable human roads filled with Jeep Patrols.

This is like many foreclosures without Banks and signs on the lawns !!

Five thousands milles of foreclosures and evictions !

We are having trouble communicating with certain relatives, friends and lovers on the Mexican side.

We ocelots, jaguars and wolves are in grave danger of extinction.

We, Sonoran pronghorns, burrowing owls,indigo snake, malachite butterfly, bobcat, coyote, armadillo, long-tailed weasel and Mexican ground squirrel.

We are not able now to drink water in the "Rio Grande", the "Great River", because it is now in the Mexican Side.

Raccoons, rats, squirrels, coyotes, rabbits : We have lost our relatives in the Mexican Side. We can not migrate on vacation to visit our relatives, friends and lovers.

Our holes, caves and burrows are filled with soil. Our tunnels dug in the ground by we small animals, such as a rabbits or moles, Our habitations and refuges destroyed by construction workers.

The Rivers and Creeks have been given as a gift to our Mexican Relatives and Friends. But they also weep by the loss of our animal contact and warmth.

Many Rats that had burrows in America, are now left in the Mexican side, because the fence could not follow the contours and twists of the terrain.

What is in an American Rat that a Mexican Rat does not have ?


Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque said...

Hey Dee :

I want to tell kids why American Rats like to pass vacations in Mexico and what they do, eat and party, when they reach that country. Unfortunately the Fence is creating some trouble for the little rodents.

Here :

Milenials.com

Never forget children !

Vicente Duque

pcorn54 said...

Hear Hear! Good riddance

LMJ said...

pcorn54 said...
Hear Hear! Good riddance


I 2nd that

thepoetryman said...

Contractors would be much better than Big Brother, but then again, it depends on where they report to, eh?

I agree, Vicente. Assumptions will always make one out to be the ass. Always.

ultima said...

Your reference to Bad Neighbors shows how easy it is to smuggle stuff into the U.S. What if this truck had contained a dirty bomb? If they have been running drugs for some time, a terrorist could have used the same procedure. He would have had to go no farther than Dallas to have a major impact. Is there an awakening here of what we are really up against?

ultima said...

Duque wrote,"We have seen that many times. Adolf Hitler was always proposing a New Weapon, the V1, the V2, The Tiger Tank, the Panzerfaust, etc ... Winning the War was at the turn of the corner"

It would be foolish to underestimate how close the Nazis and the Japanese were to winning. What if Hitler had achieved nuclear weapons or had been able to produce jet fighters like the ME-262 in large numbers. It would have been slaughter in the skies over Germany far greater than that which occurred on Black Thursday over Schweinfurt.

Have you read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich"? It will give you some idea how Hitler managed to make the Brits and the French look like idiots as he took over Austria and Czechoslovakia. Who knows what else he might have been able to accomplish with only minor changes in the course of history.

The same with the Japanese. Had they sunk not only all our battleships but our carriers as well the story might have been different. How much longer would the American people stand for the steady flow of coffins and bad news?

ultima said...

Attributing the fall of the Berlin Wall to the radio is at best simplistic. The collapse of the USSR economy was the main factor. Before that the wall was largely impenetrable with few escaping the mines, barbed wire, machine gun towers, and the wall.

ultima said...

We, the Forgotten Wild Animals of America, manifest our discomfort.

We demand that the U.S. population of humans be stabilized so we can put an end to the extinction of species.

We, the forgotten unhyphenated American Citizens manifest our discomfort with immigrations unarmed invasion and its deadly consequences for us and for wild life. Please assure the passage of enlightened tax and immigration policies so that man and beast can breathe a sign of relief.

Dee said...

Ultima,
All of the what ifs should be asked for all borders, all ports, all terminals. Your side only targets the southern border, and that is the problem.



ultima said...
Your reference to Bad Neighbors shows how easy it is to smuggle stuff into the U.S. What if

ultima said...

Dee wrote,"the Intelligence of Common People is ignored."

I guess most American citizens know what that is like when it comes to illegal aliens and excessive legal immigration.

ultima said...

El Duque wrote, "Once you have persuaded the poor peasants that they can have a "clean" source of money, a subsidy or another crop that lets them eat and avoid starvation."

Then they will just proliferate until they have outgrown their arable land and will be starving again. Let's give them free vasectomies or tubal ligations so they can free their smaller number of children from starvation. Let's ask the Pope for a new encyclical that takes a more enlightened view of birth control and family planning so that countries dominated by catholics can move ahead and help the peasants to do the right thing.

ultima said...

ElDuque wrote, "The Tortilla Wall assumes that Mexicans are idiots. Poor Acrobats, that they have never heard of dynamite. Or that they are poor at excavations, or that there are not vandals at both sides of the border. The Tortilla Wall also asssumes lazyness of Mexicans or Latinos."

The Tortilla Wall and the American people make no such assumption. We know that most illegal aliens whereever they come from are hard working folks who are willing to make an arduous journey and brave certain dangers to come here. That is why the fence is needed along with significant other improvements in border infrastructure, staffing, and rules of engagement. But this is not sufficient for the reasons you outlined. Therefore secure borders require continous and vigorous internal enforcement using E-verification to identify those who are employed illegally using fraudulent documents. Expeditious repatriation will then convince those who are apprehended that their journey was for naught. The illegal trafficking in both directions cannot be stopped without significant discentives. One of these should be that those who are apprehended must serve 6 months working on border infrastructure before they are fingerprinted, DNAed, photographed and admonished that if they return they will do hard time. Let them dig their tunnels and use their dynamite. They will soon learn that crime does not pay.

ultima said...

Dee wrote, "All of the what ifs should be asked for all borders, all ports, all terminals. Your side only targets the southern border, and that is the problem."

Not a problem at all. I try to remember to say "borders" rather than "border" but as we all know the vast majority of illegals enter through the southern border. My nephew worked weekends on the Canadian border as a National Guardsman trying to stem the flow there.

I am certain we need a lot of attention at all points of entry and we need the cooperation of all citizens to help and remain vigilant for illegals and terrorists.

Notes from America
The Obama Watch
Pictures at an Exhibition

Dee said...

Ultima,
The sad thing is you have such contempt for change and anyone who has a different perspective than you do. That is clear in your "Pictures at an Exhibition." There you have listed a number of very loyal, patriotic Americans that have a different perspective than you do and you malign them. For President Obama, you show him as the Ace of Spades. A touch racism, don't you think?

We are in times of change my friend. It is time for CIR. Our nation is evolving. As the Jim Crow laws changed, so will the bad Immigration Policies, Detention Centers and the entire way raids are approached.

You wish to go back to the times of typewriters and racism. Sorry. We are not going there anymore!

This is a new age where we are ALL Equal! The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, multi-ethnic, multi-racial!

God Bless America!

Dee said...

The way to economic improvement is not to wall ourselves off and to Mass Deport the 12M here.

The way to improve is to stimulate the economy and to understand we have evolved to a Global Economy. We should invite spending and productivity within and across boundaries.

You remind me of the 1950s, and the underground bomb shelters. Did you stop, drop and roll during the atom bomb drills? Most on your side are still rolled up in their fetal positions fearing anyone they believe is different than they are.

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