Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Friday - August 18, 2006

Judges On A Plane

First things first ... Judge Taylor was appointed to the federal bench in 1979 by ... Mr. Peanut, Jimmah Carter. Her biography reveals a liberal education in Massachusetts and law school at Yale. According to the Chicago Tribune, “in 1964 she spent a summer in Mississippi as part of the National Lawyers Guild’s civil rights program and was in Philadelphia, Miss., when three civil rights activists turned up missing. She and others faced down an angry crowd outside a sheriff’s office.”

The Tribune goes on to say, “Taylor became active in politics, helping Coleman Young in his 1973 campaign and Jimmy Carter in his 1976 victory. After Young’s election, Taylor was named special counsel to the City of Detroit and then in 1975 accepted the full time position as assistant corporation counsel for the city. She successfully defended new city policies that established affirmative action hiring practices and outlawed discrimination in two private yacht clubs located on city-owned Belle Isle. Taylor, the first African-American woman to serve as a federal judge in Michigan, handled issues such as Eminem’s lawsuit against Apple Computer and MTV over the use of a song, banned Nativity scenes on city property in Birmingham and Dearborn, Mich., and ordered former automaker John DeLorean to pay back millions of dollars.”

Are you starting to get the picture of the judge who just threw a monkey-wrench into national security? It doesn’t matter if Al-Qaeda kills every last American - as long as President Bush is stymied in his efforts to protect the country and forced to fight a war on terror without being able to monitor the enemy’s phone calls and communications ... in effect, making it a losing effort. Democrats and Liberals like Judge Taylor have only one goal - to get rid of the current administration and nothing will turn them aside from that goal ... not even the deaths of countless more Americans.

imageimageJudge Rules Against Wiretaps
NSA Program Called Unconstitutional
(WASHINGTON POST) - Friday, August 18, 2006

A federal judge in Detroit ruled yesterday that the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional, delivering the first decision that the Bush administration’s effort to monitor communications without court oversight runs afoul of the Bill of Rights and federal law.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor (pictured at right) ordered a halt to the wiretap program, secretly authorized by President Bush in 2001, but both sides in the lawsuit agreed to delay that action until a Sept. 7 hearing. Legal scholars said Taylor’s decision is likely to receive heavy scrutiny from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit when the Justice Department appeals, and some criticized her ruling as poorly reasoned.

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups in the Eastern District of Michigan, Taylor said that the NSA wiretapping program, aimed at communications by potential terrorists, violates privacy and free speech rights and the constitutional separation of powers among the three branches of government. She also found that the wiretaps violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law instituted to provide judicial oversight of clandestine surveillance within the United States.

“It was never the intent of the framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights,” Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion. “. . . There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all ‘inherent powers’ must derive from that Constitution.”

- More judicial idiocy at the WAPO ...


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/18/2006 at 12:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-SecurityJudges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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calendar   Sunday - July 16, 2006

Newt Hawk

Well, at least someone agrees with The Skipper. Yesterday, I called it and now Newt agrees. The storm clouds are brewing and it’s time to start planning where we want to be and what we want to do when the fertilizer hits the ventilator. Several of our readers here made comments yesterday about possible consequences and scenarios as this plays out.

All I know is it’s going to get real ugly real quick. As someone here noted, even the other Arab nations are staying awfully quiet on this. They are meeting in Egypt this weekend but so far they have not strongly condemned Israel - just made a few remarks to the press, probably just to keep their base happy. It’s beginning to look like Syria and Iran may be on their own here, in spite of what Ahmawhackjob says. Even Al-Jizz is quiet.

If there is an innocent victim in all this it is Lebanon. The government there has absolutely no control whatsoever over the large Hezbullah “refugee” camps in the southern part of that country. The Lebanese military and police don’t even bother to try to police the radical terrorists on Israel’s border. Syria is interfering by supplying arms to these asshats and Iran is now funneling arms and soldiers into the conflict.

Israel issued a 72-hour ultimatum to Syria yesterday evening and I expect that to be the tripwire. Syria will not back down because Assad is just as insane as the Mad Mullahs in Iran. Prediction: Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike into Syria and then the war will escalate, Damascus will be bombed and Iran will attempt to jump in on Syria’s side. If North Korea has sneaked nuclear weapons into Iran this could get really ugly. The first mushroom cloud will not be the last. Count on it.

Suggestion For President Bush: you better deploy the Sixth Fleet to the Eastern Mediterranean and while you’re at it, you probably need to forward deploy some serious airpower in Iraq. Oh ... and you might want to ask “Pooty-Poot” if he wants in on this to help us or does he want to stay quiet on the sidelines. There is no other option.

imageimageGingrich Says It’s World War III
July 16, 2006 12:54 PM

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says America is in World War III and President Bush should say so. In an interview in Bellevue this morning Gingrich said Bush should call a joint session of Congress the first week of September and talk about global military conflicts in much starker terms than have been heard from the president.

“We need to have the militancy that says ‘We’re not going to lose a city,’ “ Gingrich said. He talks about the need to recognize World War III as important for military strategy and political strategy.

Gingrich said he is “very worried” about Republican’s facing fall elections and says the party must have the “nerve” to nationalize the elections and make the 2006 campaigns about a liberal Democratic agenda rather than about President Bush’s record. Gingrich says that as of now Republicans “are sailing into the wind” in congressional campaigns. He said that’s in part because of the Iraq war, adding, “Iraq is hard and painful and we do not explain it very well.”

But some of it is due to Republicans’ congressional agenda. He said House and Senate Republicans “forgot the core principle” of the party and embraced Congressional pork. “Some of the guys,” he said, have come down with a case of “incumbentitis.” Gingrich said in the coming days he plans to speak out publicly, and to the Administration, about the need to recognize that America is in World War III.

He lists wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, this week’s bomb attacks in India, North Korean nuclear threats, terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain, and violence in Israel and Lebanon as evidence of World War III. He said Bush needs to deliver a speech to Congress and “connect all the dots” for Americans.

He said the reluctance to put those pieces together and see one global conflict is hurting America’s interests. He said people, including some in the Bush Administration, who urge a restrained response from Israel are wrong “because they haven’t crossed the bridge of realizing this is a war.”

“This is World War III,” Gingrich said. And once that’s accepted, he said calls for restraint would fall away:

“Israel wouldn’t leave southern Lebanon as long as there was a single missile there. I would go in and clean them all out and I would announce that any Iranian airplane trying to bring missiles to re-supply them would be shot down. This idea that we have this one-sided war where the other team gets to plan how to kill us and we get to talk, is nuts.”

- More from Newt at the Seattle Times ...


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/16/2006 at 11:11 AM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-SecurityPatriotism •  
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calendar   Tuesday - May 23, 2006

Read All About It


John Trever—The Albuquerque Journal

- Washington Post: “Prosecution of Journalists Is Possible in NSA Leaks”

- NY Times: “Reporter Contempt Case May Soon Be Resolved”

- USA Today: “Pre-9/11 records help flag suspicious calling”


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/23/2006 at 10:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-SecurityMedia-Bias •  
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calendar   Wednesday - May 17, 2006

Calling Plan


Robert Ariail—The South Carolina State

Verizon Says It Did Not Give Call Records To NSA
May 16, 2006

(USA TODAY)—Verizon Communications this afternoon said that it “was not asked by the (National Security Agency) to provide, nor did Verizon provide, customer records” from any of its telephone businesses “or any call data from those records.” Any media reports that say it did those things “are simply false,” the company stated.

It is the second company to challenge a USA TODAY report Thursday that said three phone companies had assisted the NSA in collecting “call records of tens of millions of Americans.” Late Monday, BellSouth said it had not “provided bulk customer calling records” to the NSA. The third company named by USA TODAY, AT&T, has not commented on whether it assisted the NSA.

A fourth firm, Qwest, has said it was approached by the NSA to take part - but turned down the request. Steven Anderson, USA TODAY’s director of communications, issued a statement this afternoon saying that:

“USA TODAY reported last week that calling records from Bell South and Verizon are part of a National Security Agency database, according to sources with direct knowledge of the program. We’ve read the statements by Bell South and Verizon. We will continue to investigate and pursue the story aggressively.

- More telco obstruction news here ...

This is utter crap. If you go to USA TODAY’S web site from the link above, they will record all kinds of information about you as soon as your browser opens the page. Now who’s spying on who? And while we’re at it, why don’t we just send Osama a Qwest or Verizon calling card? He probably already has one by now. Never mind.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/17/2006 at 01:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-Security •  
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calendar   Monday - May 15, 2006

Privacy - Part I

Privacy? What privacy? Who are you trying to kid? In today’s modern technological society, you have to be suffering from extreme delusions of isolation to actually believe that you have any privacy whatsoever ... and don’t blame the government. This started right in your own house and your neighborhood. Remember that card you filled out at your local Kroger/Winn-Dixie/Albertsons grocery store several years ago where they promised to give you 5-10% discounts on all future purchases in exchange for a little information about you? You present the card at checkout and get a break on prices. What you may not have realized is your purchases were recorded in a massive database back at corporate headquarters. Suddenly, you start getting spam in your snail-mail box asking you to try this or that product. Which is amazingly similar to something you bought at the grocery store last week. If it was tinfoil, you don’t need to make a hat out of it. Your grocery store has been doing data mining on your buying habits ... and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Credit card purchases, medical records, court records ... you name it. It’s all recorded electronically in databases somewhere. Data mining is nothing more than doing a little research into those records looking for trends and patterns. Those trends and patterns allow the researcher to literally get inside your head, boopsie. They practically know what you’re thinking and they tailor their marketing to your “preferences”. This has been going on for decades - at least as long as I can remember and I am an IT professional, having spent the last two decades doing database administration.

It’s called OLAP or On Line Analytical Processing. When you get right down to it, there are two fundamental types of database: OLAP and OLTP (On Line Transaction Processing). OLTP records transactions, i.e., purchases, history, records. This is the day to day database that allows companies to stay in business handling our interactions with vendors, government and each other. Everything that happens is recorded. This is nothing more than what has been going on since caveman days when the village holy man carved births, marriages and cave transfers in stone. Eventually, that created a large pile of stones so paper was invented. Eventually paper created too many file cabinets full of this information so it was all digitized and stored in computers electronically.

Then along came some genius who said, “hey, we have all this transactional data in our database - why don’t we examine the buying patterns to see if we can figure out how to sell more widgets.” That happened sometime during the Eisenhower administration. Over the decades since, databases have become larger and more efficent. OLAP engines and tools have also become more sophisticated. Believe me, the US government and the NSA are late players in the OLAP game. Wal-Mart was there long ago. Today, you or anyone, for that matter, can go on-line, pay $80 at LexisNexis and get all the information you want about anybody: residential history, friends, phone number, court records - you name it. And that’s just a start.

The internet has made it even more difficult to continue believing in privacy. Been surfing porn lately? Gotcha! Your browser is telling on you. In fact, when you surfed to this web site a record was created in the logs that shows: your IP address, your browser software and version, your operating system, your country of origin, your ISP, your screen size and display attributes and even the page you were at before you came here. That last is called a “referrer”. Does this mean the Ol’ Skipper is spying on you? Hell no! It’s a conspiracy between the Apache web server software at my end and your browser. The Apache web server just records whatever it is told about visitors ... and your browser is the biggest blabbermouth in existence.

For the most part, I ignore all of that and rarely look at the logs. There’s just too much data there to justify me wasting my time and besides, I really don’t care unless, for instance, I’m designing the web site and need to know what most visitors display size is so I can decide on a display size for this blog’s web pages. Or someone is harassing me and I need to find out who they really are. You need to be aware though that there are others out there who are perfectly willing to exploit this information for their own advantage - like “phishing schemes” and spam. Once again, they’re getting inside your head and no tinfoil hat in existence will protect you.

So why are you getting your nickers all in a wad because the NSA is looking at telephone records? Mind you, they’re not listening in to your calls. They can’t unless they get a warrant. However, your call records are in your telco’s database and are already being used for data mining by commercial companies - including your local telephone company and long distance provider. In other words, my fine feathered friends, you gave up all pretense of privacy long before the NSA started researching call records to find links to terrorists in order to protect your sorry butt. You have not surrendered your privacy to the government. The whole world knows all about you and has for decades. Now drink your Kool-Aid and try to stay calm. Part II of this series will be forthcoming later ....

imageimageYour Data, Naked on the Net
What’s jeopardizing your online privacy? Chalk it up to tech progress, site registrations, and the U.S. government.

- BUSINESS WEEK - February 6, 2006

The U.S. Justice Dept.’s demand for data on how Web surfers use Google and other search engines raises a disturbing question: Just how much do the Web sites you visit know about you? In general, they know a great deal about the aggregate behavior of visitors, and nothing about individuals unless they have chosen to identify themselves. But there are exceptions.

Operators of even the most modest Web sites can learn a lot about visitors, short of pinpointing their actual identities. I manage a site for a small nonprofit. The hosting service, Homestead Technologies, throws in analytical tools from Media Highway International’s RealTracker. I can tell the order in which visitors viewed pages, what Web sites they came from, and what search terms they used, among many other things. This information is invaluable for designing effective Web sites.

We don’t ask visitors to register, and the only identifying information recorded in the data is a 12-digit Internet address. This normally only links the visitor to a large organization, such as their Internet service provider, employer, or school, and provides no clue to individual identity.

DIFFERING POLICIES.  The situation is somewhat different on sites where you have registered. These can link your activity to whatever identifying information you have supplied, anything from a made-up user name and possibly fake e-mail address to your real name, address, and credit-card information if you have divulged them. Once you give out that data, your life can be an open book. You can block the collection of personal information by setting your browser to reject files called “cookies,” but this will cause many Web sites to work badly or not at all.

The extent to which Web sites use the data they collect is limited by their privacy policies, which the Federal Trade Commission can force sites to honor. If you live in the European Union, the EU Privacy Directive gives you much stronger legal protections than you get as a U.S. resident.

Privacy policies vary greatly. Google (GOOG) promises not to share any personally identifiable data with third parties without explicit consent. But BusinessWeek Online, like many commercial sites, reserves the right to share information (other than credit-card data) with “selected outside companies whose products or services we feel may be of interest to you” unless an individual explicitly opts out.

WASHINGTON EYE.  There are, unfortunately, two factors that could put your privacy at much greater risk than you would anticipate. One is advanced technology, the other a growing government appetite for information. Progress in mathematics and computer science is making it possible to assemble tiny, disparate bits of information into a comprehensive picture of an individual. For example, studies have shown that 87% of the U.S. population can be uniquely identified via only a date of birth, sex, and five-digit residential zip code. Someday you may be identifiable just from your tastes in books, movies, and sports, as revealed by your Web browsing.

Government inquisitiveness is a much more immediate risk to privacy. The request that Google is fighting seeks only search terms, but the Justice Dept. could have asked for the Internet addresses that went with them. Then it could ask Internet service providers and other network operators to identify the people those addresses were assigned to, pinpointing the source of the request. And it’s not just the government: The music industry has used similar techniques to identify the users of illegal download services.

There’s not a whole lot you can do to prevent this data from being collected. You can use an anonymous proxy service, such as Anonymizer, but it can interfere with your use of the Web and can’t guarantee to hide your identity in all circumstances. Or you can live with the fact that what you do on the Web cannot be regarded as truly private.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/15/2006 at 10:41 AM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-Security •  
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Data Mining


Dan Wasserman—The Boston Globe

- Christian Science Monitor: “Mining data to nab terrorists: fair?”

Many Americans see giving up some of their civil liberties or privacy as necessary to help aid the war on terror. Opinion polls show Americans are split over an NSA program the president has acknowledged authorizing - one that permits the agency to eavesdrop, without getting warrants, on communications from abroad.

In a poll released Saturday, Newsweek found that a 53 percent of Americans say the NSA’s surveillance program “goes too far in invading people’s privacy.” Forty-one percent, the poll showed, see it as a vital tool for combatting terrorism.

Last week’s revelation “makes me feel terrible, like my privacy is being invaded,” says Brandi Dawson, a receptionist from Somerville, Mass. “The fact they have access to all these records, even in the fight on terror, that’s going too far.”

But some say giving up calling records - and some privacy - may be sad but worth it, even if computers misidentify them and they end up being investigated by the government.

“It doesn’t really bother me because I have nothing to hide,” says Dale Wyman, a computer network engineer eating lunch in the mall at the foot of the Prudential Tower in Boston’s Back Bay.

“I personally would rather have a false-positive come at me than be sitting here and having a building come down on me because of a terrorist.”


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/15/2006 at 04:17 AM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-Security •  
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calendar   Friday - March 31, 2006

Airport Security Thiefs

It’s bad enough we have to endure politically correct security checks at our nation’s airports with embaressing disrobing, poking and prodding by minimally intelligent goobers but now we find out they’ve been robbing us blind to boot.

This is the price we pay for letting the Democrats force DHS into making screeners federal employees instead of using private firms. I say we just get rid of the screeners and give every passenger a .45 automatic when they board. Fly the friendly skies fer sure ....

imageimageTSA Screeners Plead Guilty to Theft
March 31, 2006, 12:47 AM EST


Two security screeners at the Honolulu International Airport pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of yen from the luggage of Japanese tourists.

Christopher J. Cadorna, 25, and Benny S. Arcano, 27, admitted being among a group of Transportation Security Administration screeners who stole at least $20,000 from international travelers, prosecutors said.

The yen was exchanged for dollars and divvied up by the screeners, prosecutors said. Both men have agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation into thefts by other screeners. Each faces a maximum 10 years in prison when they are sentenced July 17.

“This has given us a black eye, but it is not indicative of what we have,” said TSA Honolulu director Sidney Hayakawa in defending his 600 screeners. The TSA plans to install cameras to monitor the screeners, he said.

Separately, TSA officer Michael Gomes, 32, was charged Wednesday with stealing $16,000 from a bag he screened at Molokai Airport. He admitted the theft and surrendered $13,500 to police, officials said.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/31/2006 at 03:48 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeHomeland-Security •  
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calendar   Monday - February 20, 2006

Follow-Up On Spy Story

Reference Earlier Post: Another Spy Story (Posted: November 16, 2005).

Reader Charles Liu sends us this update on the spy story ....

Original charges against Chi Mak et al have been dropped. Government’s demand to withhold bail has been denied. It seems the prosecution lied on so many things, it’s beginning to smell like another Wen Ho Lee or James Yee:

- no classified document; not about weapons at all
- data was not encripted or hidden in music file; It’s zipped for size
- no such list from China asking for data
- map of Knolls Atomic Lab turned out to be a hotel map from an old visit
- wiretap showed Chi Mak had no interest in the broken down Mak ancestrial home in Hong Kong

With no charge to nail the sister in-law, the prosecution has trumped up a “fake marriage” charge, insinuating she whored herself out. Shame on us America:,0,6387915.story

Are we indeed seeing Chinese spies under every bed nowadays?


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 02/20/2006 at 03:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-Security •  
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calendar   Friday - December 16, 2005

Patriot Act Shot Down

Well, there goes the ballgame, boys and girls. The Senate in it’s infinite wisdom has voted to block renewal of the Patriot Act. As usual, the Dummycraps stuck together to oppose anything President Bush proposes. This time though, several Republicans caved in and voted against renewal. Now we’re practically back to square one - September 10, 2001. In case no one noticed, we still haven’t managed to find Osama Bin Laden, Al Zarqawhri is still on the loose and radical Muslim terrorists are rampaging across the globe from Singapore to Australia to London to France.

Our law enforcement agencies are back to having to guess to stay ahead of the terrorists and we’re back to the rules of a civilized nation where warrants and all the necessary paperwork to protect the rights of those who would kill us are impeccably protected. That’s the good news. The bad news is the terrorists read the newspapers too and I would hazard a guess that word of this is already spreading through their networks. Just remember ... your Congressman and Senators are really looking out for you. Or so they say ...

imageimageSenate Rejects Extension of Patriot Act

The Senate on Friday refused to reauthorize major portions of the USA Patriot Act after critics complained they infringed too much on Americans’ privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders. In a crucial vote early Friday, the bill’s Senate supporters were not able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and their allies. The final vote was 52-47.

President Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Republicans congressional leaders had lobbied fiercely to make most of the expiring Patriot Act provisions permanent. They also supported new safeguards and expiration dates to the act’s two most controversial parts: authorization for roving wiretaps, which allow investigators to monitor multiple devices to keep a target from evading detection by switching phones or computers; and secret warrants for books, records and other items from businesses, hospitals and organizations such as libraries.

Feingold, Craig and other critics said those efforts weren’t enough, and have called for the law to be extended in its present form so they can continue to try and add more civil liberties safeguards. But Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert have said they won’t accept a short-term extension of the law.

If a compromise is not reached, the 16 Patriot Act provisions expire on Dec. 31, but the expirations have enormous exceptions. Investigators will still be able to use those powers to complete any investigation that began before the expiration date and to initiate new investigations of any alleged crime that began before Dec. 31, according to a provision in the original law. There are ongoing investigations of every known terrorist group, including al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic Jihad and the Zarqawi group in Iraq, and all the Patriot Act tools could continue to be used in those investigations.

- Read more on this breaking story here ...


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/16/2005 at 02:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-SecurityPolitics •  
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calendar   Sunday - November 27, 2005

Adding Insult To Injury

If you ever wanted an example of “Your Government At Work”, this is it. I don’t blame the Border Patrol agents who are livid over this latest FUBAR from Uncle Sam, forcing them to wear uniforms that are made in Mexico. I know things are tight in the federal budget with only a few trillion dollars to spend each year but this boggles the mind. Why not go whole hog and arm the agents with pistols made by Taurus** while you’re at it ....

** Made In Brazil

imageimage‘Made in Mexico’ Uniforms Miff Border Cops
November 27, 2005, 11:49 AM EST

The labels inside the U.S. Border Patrol uniforms have been making many federal agents feel uneasy. It’s not the fit or feel of the olive-green shirts and pants, but what their labels read: “Made in Mexico.” “It’s embarrassing to be protecting the U.S.-Mexico border and be wearing a uniform made in Mexico,” says T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a 6,500-member union.

Agents and lawmakers are concerned about the consequences if the uniforms for agents charged with combating illegal immigration fall into the hands of criminals or terrorists. “If we’re manufacturing uniforms in Mexico, what’s to stop someone from walking across the border in a Border Patrol uniform?” asked Rep. John Carter, a Republican from Round Rock. “How do you know who are our guys and who are their guys?”

For more than a year, the shirts and pants worn by agents and inspectors with U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been made in Mexico. The uniforms are supplied by VF Solutions of Nashville, Tenn., which subcontracts its work to plants in the United States, Mexico, Canada and the Dominican Republican. “The principle of it seems almost like an oxymoron,” said James Stack, the National Border Patrol Council’s vice president for the region that includes Texas and New Mexico. “Most agents don’t like it.”

Customs officials say they haven’t detected any security breaches or misuse of the uniforms. Strict security measures are in place, including on-site inspections at the Mexican plant. U.S. officials conducted a review in August, a statement from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection released Wednesday said. “Based on this review, a report will be submitted to the CBP commissioner for determination on the made-in-Mexico issue, and no decisions have been made at this point,” the statement said.

House members are expected to consider new immigration and border security measures after the Thanksgiving congressional break. Carter and Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz. say they plan to press a measure that would require the uniforms be made in the United States. Renzi said he wants Republican House leaders to include the requirement as part of an immigration enforcement measure expected to be introduced in early December.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/27/2005 at 04:33 PM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-SecurityIllegal-Aliens and Immigration •  
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calendar   Thursday - June 16, 2005

Congress Votes To Protect Libraries From Evil FBI Intrusion

Our wonderful CongressCritters just voted to dop a provision in the Patriot Act that allows the FBI to search library records without a court-ordered search warrant. The FBI has only used this provision of the Act 35 times over the last four years. What’s going on here? Are we tying the hands of the FBI again so they will miss key informtaion like what happened prior to 9/11? Where do we draw the line ....?

The House handed President Bush the first defeat in his effort to preserve the broad powers of the USA Patriot Act, voting yesterday to curtail the FBI’s ability to seize library and bookstore records for terrorism investigations.

Bush has threatened to veto any measure that weakens those powers. The surprise 238 to 187 rebuke to the White House was produced when a handful of conservative Republicans, worried about government intrusion, joined with Democrats who are concerned about personal privacy.

One provision of the Patriot Act makes it possible for the FBI to obtain a wide variety of personal records about a suspected terrorist—including library transactions—with an order from a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, where the government must meet a lower threshold of proof than in criminal courts.

Under the House change, officials would have to get search warrants from a judge or subpoenas from a grand jury to seize records about a suspect’s reading habits.

Some libraries have said they are disposing of patrons’ records more quickly because of the provision, which opponents view as a license for fishing expeditions.

House Administration Committee Chairman Robert W. Ney (Ohio), one of three House Republicans who opposed the Patriot Act when it was enacted in 2001, voted yesterday to curtail agents’ power to seize the records.

“Everybody’s against terrorism, but there has to be reason in the way that we fight it,” Ney said. “The government doesn’t need to be sifting through library records. I talked to my libraries, and they felt very strongly about this.”

The Justice Department said in a letter to Congress this week that the provision has been used only 35 times and has never been used to obtain bookstore, library, medical or gun-sale records. It has been used to obtain records of hotel stays, driver’s licenses, apartment leases and credit cards, the letter said.

“Bookstores and libraries should not be carved out as safe havens for terrorists and spies, who have, in fact, used public libraries to do research and communicate with their co-conspirators,” Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella said in the letter.

OK, this is the hot topic du jour so weigh in, everyone. What do you think? Too much government intrusion or not enough security? Or maybe it’s just the “crack down the middle” as OCM says. Fire when ready. The comment machine awaits you ....

Note: Did you know the Patriot Act has nothing to do with patriots or patriotism? The name is actually an acronym and the full name of the USA Patriot Act is: ”Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.” I’d like to shoot the dumb sonofabitch who dreamed that name up. Carry on ....


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 06/16/2005 at 11:18 AM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-Security •  
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calendar   Saturday - June 11, 2005

Help Wanted: Massachusetts Minutemen

From the “No Shit, Sherlock” Department, we have this blindingly obvious story of total idiocy from the land of witch burnings, tea parties and midnight rides ....

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts lawmakers on Thursday called for a closer look at border security after customs officials allowed a man carrying a sword, a hatchet, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood to cross the U.S.-Canadian border.

Two days after being allowed into the United States in late April, Gregory Despres, 22, was arrested in Massachusetts in connection with the beheading of his elderly neighbor and the stabbing death of his wife in the New Brunswick town of Minto.

“a man carrying a sword, a hatchet, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with .. blood”? .... and no one thought to ask this nice man if he was arriving for business or pleasure? I give up. Go ahead, take me away to the insane asylum. There are more lunatics on the outside than there are on the inside. In fact, Massachusetts appears to be over its quota of deranged people in political office and guarding the borders, not to mention the occasional visiting barbarian.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 06/11/2005 at 08:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-SecurityStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Sunday - June 05, 2005

I Like This Idea


In a file photo Armen Derhohannesian, of Hampton, N.H., verifies his fingerprint at the American Airlines terminal at Logan Airport Monday, Aug. 9, 2004, in Boston during a 90-day pilot program allowing frequent fliers to cut down on their airplane boarding times. The passengers must agree to be fingerprinted, have their eyes scanned and submit to background checks first. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

Believe it or not, I like this idea. Why? Because I’m already two-thirds of the way there. Having served in the USAF in Strategic Air Command (SAC - now ACC) and worked for years as a DoD government contractor (both of which require a mimimum clearance of Secret) the FBI already has my fingerprints on file as well as the results of numerous background checks. All I need is a a retinal scan and I can breeze through airports just like O.J. Simpson used to do in those old Hertz commercials .... .... .... on second thought, scratch that analogy. You know what I mean. How about you? Would you be willing to get fingerprinted, retinal scanned and have a background check to avoid the long security lines, removing your shoes, belts and pocket change, etc.?


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 06/05/2005 at 09:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Homeland-Security •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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