But that didn't prevent
On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman and several members of her family and friends from being detained at a Canadian-US border while on the way home from a wedding. The story is all the more frightening as it details Sarah's inability to get any answers about policy from the Border Patrol, including the name of the officers who held her.
John Mueller and Mark Stewart may have found the one part of government we can afford to cut in their paper "Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security
" From the abstract "The cumulative increase in expenditures on US domestic homeland security over the decade since 9/11 exceeds one trillion dollars. It is clearly time to examine these massive expenditures applying risk assessment and cost-benefit approaches that have been standard for decades."
A little bit of security theater
will shut down in April as the Department of Homeland Security
will end the
color coded Homeland Security Advisory System. The terror alert has not changed from yellow
in over four years, unless you are on an international flight. The system has been criticized immensely
since its introduction. And don't forget the jokes
. [more inside]
The president of The University of Texas at Brownsville
has refused to sign a right of entry request granting access to surveyors planning the U.S./Mexico border fence. This comes shortly after Cameron County
landowners were forced to allow the government access
to their land. Meanwhile, landowners in Hidalgo
County are filing the next wave of lawsuits.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proposing new rules
regarding passenger pre-screening both domestically and internationally. Interestingly, this includes flights that overfly the continental US without ever touching the ground. [more inside]
Visitors to the US tagged with RFID chips?
They already use them on goods
, but soon also foreign visitors will be earmarked. Will it make the US a safer country?
Cat Stevens on NatSec watchlist.
"A London-to-Washington flight was diverted to Maine on Tuesday when it was discovered passenger Yusuf Islam
- formerly known as singer Cat Stevens
- was on a government watch list and barred from entering the country, federal officials said... Homeland Security Department spokesman Dennis Murphy identified the passenger as Islam. 'He was interviewed and denied admission to the United States on national security grounds,' Murphy said, and would be put on the first available flight out of the country Wednesday."
D.H.S. - The Series. "... a multimillion-dollar episodic series, will explore the inner workings of the Department of Homeland Security, teaming the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and National Security Administration (NSA) together with "first responders" such as local police, fire and safety administrators."
The series is being pitched to prospective networks today
and has the full support of President Bush and Tom Ridge. "They love it. They think it is fantastic," say the series' producers at Steeple Productions, located in the Seventh-Day Adventist
Community of Zillah, Washington
. Not familiar with Steeple Productions
? Well, perhaps you might find their four-episode "Creation Vs Evolution
" series enlightening.
Arizona may ignore the next Homeland Security Orange Alert
"It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional," said Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director. "It's not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive."
I've written before about the myth of the heartland--roughly speaking, the "red states," which voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election, as opposed to the "blue states," which voted for Al Gore. The nation's interior is supposedly a place of rugged individualists, unlike the spongers and whiners along the coasts. In reality, of course, rural states are heavily subsidized by urban states. New Jersey pays about $1.50 in federal taxes for every dollar it gets in return; Montana receives about $1.75 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in taxes.
Any sensible program of spending on homeland security would at least partly redress this balance. The most natural targets for terrorism lie in or near great metropolitan areas; surely protecting those areas is the highest priority, right?
Apparently not. Even in the first months after Sept. 11, Republican lawmakers made it clear that they would not support any major effort to rebuild or even secure New York. And now that anti-urban prejudice has taken statistical form: under the formula the Department of Homeland Security has adopted for handing out money, it spends 7 times as much protecting each resident of Wyoming as it does protecting each resident of New York.Paul Krugman
, cited by Eric Alterman
in regards to Jonathan Chait's The 9/10 President
, a story we all seemed to have missed. Not long ago, the Washington Post carried Begging, Borrowing for Security
Welcome to Trickle Down Homeland Security.
Oppose a National ID card
, this article tells the many reasons and abuses of freedom that will take place.