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May 19, 2006

High Tech And Off The Wall

(click images for whole enchilada)
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No Administration defense plan would be complete without a way of shifting large chunks of taxpayer cash to the military-industrial complex.

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When it comes to immigration, the National Guard is simply a warm-up act.  Forget the walls and the fences.  Bush's so-called "Secure Border Initiative" intends to contract for a whole new generation of high-tech border surveillance.

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According to yesterday's NYT story, $100 million is now available for the program.  And even if most of the $425 million spend over the past ten years on border technology paid for gear that either wasn't implemented properly or didn't work, why should that stop anybody?

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This time around, companies like Lockheed Martin and Northrop are proposing various airborne surveillance systems.  One device getting attention is Lockheed's Tethered Aerostat Radar System.  This device -- which is twice the size of a Goodyear Blimp -- hangs radar from an anchored balloon.  (Just don't try and operate it in high wind.)

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If this technology really does take hold, The BAG could imagine any number of ways it might become part of the social and political landscape.

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(Bear with me, it's Friday.)

(images: fas.org; spot.colorado.edu; geomar.de: spyflight.co.uk; casca.ca)

Comments

I'm bear'n, this is f'n hilarious.
Have a nice weekend Bag and Baguettes.

Does anybody else see an opportunity for target practice?

I wonder how Americans would feel if Canadians decided to build a wall, fly surveillance planes and send troops to their border with the US to keep out Americans desperate for inexpensive prescription drugs and affordable health care. Wouldn't it feel like a slap in the face? Even if the Canadian prime minister went on TV and said "Americans are our friends"?

All the money for border "protection" will go to private contractors. The administration doesn't really want to beef up the Border Patrol because they begrudge having more government workers on the payroll who expect decent wages along with health and pension benefits--and the right to go on strike. Here's one more pretext for administration cronies to loot the public treasury.

that's beautiful!

What are we going to do when our new contractor-based border security force starts shooting (or just "disappearing") U.S. citizens by mistake?

It is a serious error to parcel out the core tasks of national defense to private business. History is so chock full of examples of what goes wrong that nobody can ignore it for long, not even an idiot like Bush. His military advisors probably know that it's all a bluff.

This plan is a mirage to lull the isolationists. It will continue to get press and happy talk until right after the coming election.

I wonder how Americans would feel if Canadians decided to build a wall, fly surveillance planes and send troops to their border with the US to keep out Americans desperate for inexpensive prescription drugs and affordable health care.
We'd just close the border to all the Canadians desperately fleeing south for adequate and timely medical care and the problem would fix itself.

If you got 'em, blow 'em.
I am one of the best balloon artists in the country, all of the really good balloon artists live in the city.
Lower the balloon a little higher.
If balloons falls to the ground -- We need to hold them a little farther off the floor
--George Walker Bush

I never could blow these little critters up right, but I sure can twist 'em up right!
No balloon leaves the area untested. That one popped just fine!
Must have been an airdale.
--Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney

I call what I do "Airigami". The art of folding air in special latex containers.
You need signed permission from your parents not to accept these balloons.
I think the balloons enjoy it a little too much when I do it orally
--Condoleezza Rice

Golly gee, if the balloons didn't like me, they could've just told me so!
You must learn to breathe before you can blow up balloons.
Well, congratulations, you've heckled the balloon artist. Quite an accomplishment. Why don't you go heckle the cook for a while - I understand he's quite the practical joker.
--Donald Henry Rumsfeld

With a little help from,
http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/twister_jokes.html#crowd

Annoying Old Guy
Norway was followed by Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Australia and the US
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2149799.stm
I think the US in terms of medical care ranks about 13, check out Harvard and other peer reviewed articles about universal health care before you start spouting off.
Fat cats like scrawny cats get to the front of the line in Canada depending on emergency.!!!
Actually the really rich ones who don't like to take their turn now fly to India where they receive immediate care and live in luxurious surroundings at half the cost. For even the wealthy really do want their moneys worth, and some of my fat cat friends say its easier to write off these expenses for tax purposes there than at the Mayo.

They have one of those aerostats on the south coast of Puerto Rico. Everybody knows how useful it is in stopping drug traffic *there*. (Hahahahahhaha! Morons.)

I used to live in southern New Mexico and it was not uncommon to see small blimps (much smaller than the ones pictured above) in the distance. This puzzled me and my dad for awhile, but then we learned that it was used for surveillance to find people crossing the border from MX. If the US decides to put giant balloons in the sky to detect illegal border crossers, won't it just be a big target for those crossing the border? Seems like it will be easy to shoot those down. Let's spend, spend, spend!!

How about one that says, "help wanted."

Seriously, tho, without people on the ground rounding up illigals, just how is this going to help? Some guy in a bunker videotaping illegals? For what? As we've found out, for both good and ill, large technical responses don't solve the "problem" of small group individual actors AKA terrorists, viet cong, etc. The bigger the technology used on small groups, the less effective it seems to be. We need outside-the-box thinking here and we're not getting any.

Correct me if I'm wrong but hasn't the DEA already sealed the Mexican border? What's that? The War on Drugs is over? Who won?

itwasntme > much of this "outside of the box thinking" would not be required if the US removed its occupation forces from those pesky little oil countries and in supporting undemocratic regimes in many parts of the globe. What ever happened to that Peace Dividend after the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, almost eighteen years ago ?

Bag: You out-did yourself with this one. Hilarious! I need time to recuperate from laughing myself into a stupor. But I will compose and post tomorrow.........

Just one more way for the Bush Buddies to scam the taxpayer for millions....

"Hey, we're stealin' BILLIONS from the 'Merkan people!"

Why not just ask Mexico t0 become the 51st. United state of America? Then , no one would have to worry about border problems anymore with mexico. Just a thought.

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