Wednesday May 22, 2013
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An elderly man was being driven from Nogales to Tucson on Arizona Highway 19. While passing through a Border Patrol checkpoint, the vehicle triggered a radiation sensor.
The three occupants of the vehicle, and elderly man, his elderly wife, and the female driver of the driver of the car were questioned as the car was inspected for possible nuclear material.
The questioning was done in an inspection area shaded from the sun by a tent fly which was provided with an operating fan. As verified by border patrol documents, the questioning took ten minutes, from 11:42 a.m. to 11:52 a.m. on June 12, 2012, at which time all three individuals, and the car, were released after documents were signed.
The driver of the car has filed a complaint, saying that it was improper to keep the elderly man out of his vehicle for such a long time (which she erroneously claims to have been 45 minutes). She claims that once that man was identified he should have been waved on. In regard to the search of the car, she says, "I feel less safe knowing that time and money is being wasted by agents who must check a box or file a paper knowing full well that there is no threat."
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials confirmed in an e-mail that they had indeed stopped the elderly man and his driver and wife for "a possible trace of radiation." They added that policy requires agents to "identify and resolve all sources of radiation regardless of the circumstances," which officials did in this case.
Okay, lets stop here and ask the obvious question.
Do you see anything wrong with this stop?
Well? Anything wrong with this border patrol stop of a car which gave activated a sensor ste to check for nuclear radiation?
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this stop. Unless you count the ignorant woman getting outraged because Border Patrol Agents were doing their job.
It likely was uncomfortable for the elderly couple being out of their car, however, according to the report, they were only out of their car for 10 minutes or so. The Border Patrol Agents work out there, and not under the sunshade and fans, all day, protecting us and our safety and way of life.
Furthermore, no mention was made as to the identity and/or ethnicity of the elderly couple. Which leads me to the conclusion that they were most likely not hispanic, otherwise, people and the aclu would be screaming about racial profiling and protests would have already been launched.
Bottom line: if the radiation sensors went off, a search was mandated, no matter who was in the car.
They were hispanic. The elderly gentlman was Arizonas first hispanic govener. His name is Raul Castro. But Tom why do you say her claim of 45 minutes was erroneous? I would like to see security video evidence one way or the other before I call either party liars. (Obviously one of them is.) And you cann't tell me that there isn't video to back up what happened. Big brother has cameras everywhere now days. And please don't tell me that the border patrol is above lying. The ex govener had had his pacemaker worked on the day before, thus the small amount of radiation picked up. You state elderly, if I read correctly he is in his mid ninetys. Now that is elderly. But Tom, I, in my mid 50's feel that 70's are where the elderly lable starts. So mid ninetys would be VERY elderly. Tom you left a lot of facts out of your scenerio, I would say pertenent facts at that.
Why does everything have to come down to race and age?
I have a pacemaker and it doesn't set off any alarms. Have had it since Jan. of 2011. I am 75.
I was given a card to show when going thru any checking stations where there might be something that would stop the pacemaker.
Your way of life changes a whole lot in things you can and cannot do.
You don't have a pacemaker worked on. It is checked with a machine and if there is something wrong or the battery is going dead it is replaced. Surgery! Get on the internet and read about them.
If Mr. Castro's pacemaker was replaced the day before and he is 90 years old he shouldn't have been out traveling in the first place.
Just because he was once governor doesn't make a bit of difference. Politicians and ex politicians need to live by the same rules as the rest of us.
I still stand by what I said, even with all of the additional information. However, now I have some questions and caveats.
As Pat asked, if he had just had surgery on his pacemaker, why was he traveling? Were they traveling from mexico? Why did he go to mexico to have his surgery? Is he not an American citizen? If the medical care is so much better in mexico, at his advanced age and health condition, why doesn't he just live there? As the first hispanic and former Governor of Arizona, why was he traveling with only his wife and one younger woman? No security?
The report that Tom quoted was pretty precise in the times noted, 11:42am to 11:52am. As for, "And please don't tell me that the border patrol is above lying." Wow, really?? The entire squad? All of them out to harass a 90+ year old man? The Border Patrol agents were doing their job. I myself would prefer to have them err on the side of caution.
As a side note, a couple of years ago, I had the great fortune to see Former United States Secretary of State General Colin Powell speak. He mentioned the experience he had preparing to fly out to Arizona. He stated that upon entrance to the airport terminal, he was immediately recognized and greeted by several people, including security and TSA agents. Upon going through security, the position he was in in line was randomly selected for a more comprehensive security check. He was admittedly bemused, as surely they knew who he was. However, he graciously aceded to the request, recognizing that there are systems in place that must be adhered to. Had he been "given a pass" through security, that would have violated all of the rules and systems in place to ensure fairness and equity.
Gary, did you notice that little [more later] comment at the end of my post?
I put it there I was in possession of all the facts about the stop, including the man's ethnicity and the fact that he was the former government of Arizona, and withheld that information as immaterial. I didn't want people to make a judgment based only on those two facts. And the results showed that I made a good call.
In any event, the original story stated that the written record of the stop was from "11:42 a.m. to 11:52 a.m. on June 12, 2012." I would doubt that anyone would trouble to go back and change those numbers, at least not someone who was straight up enough to stick with the regulations even when a former state governor was involved. On top of that, the article first said that the woman was making a complaint that the time had been "more than half an hour," and then later quoted the ex-governor as saying it was "40 to 45 minutes." Weighing such subjective comments against a written record, I'd have to come down on the side of the record.
I, too, think the stop was reasonable. In fact, I heartily admire the agents who did their jobs despite the pressure that was being brought on them by the driver of the car.
The ex-governor told the Arizona Republic that he was not thrilled by the way he was treated, but did not file a complaint. He added that he understands that Border Patrol agents are "there to do a job."
The fascinating thing, and a point I intended to bring up was the fact that having said that he understood that Border patrol agents were there to do a job, he did exactly what people always do: He showed that he did NOT understand by adding that they need a better system for dealing with elderly people.
That's human nature, isn't it? "I understand that they are there do a their job...but not when it comes to me, because I am an exception."
"I have a pacemaker and it doesn't set off any alarms."
That's because you aren't trying to sneak 67 pounds of uranium 235 into the country one gram at a time. :-)
"If Mr. Castro's pacemaker was replaced the day before and he is 90 years old he shouldn't have been out traveling in the first place."
I would think that would be the case, but I don't think Gary meant that the pacemaker had been replaced when he said "worked on" The article said that it had been "tested" by the hospital the "previous day." As far as I gather that is not a big deal, especially a day later.
However, in another part of the article I noted that the ACLU somehow or other got into the act by being notified by someone. And as usual, what they had to say was far removed from rational.
I'll quote for you. The Republic said, "Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties of Arizona, said Castro's experience with agents was not unique."
And Soler is quoted as saying, "This happens all the time in terms of these types of indiscriminate stops of individuals not suspected of any wrongdoing."
Analyze that comment just a bit. Take the term "indiscriminate" which means, "done at random or without careful judgment." There is nothing random about stopping a car which sets off a radiation detector. Nor was the stop made without "careful judgment." It was, in fact mandated by federal laws that any sensible person in this country agrees with.
And take this phrase, "...not suspected of any wrongdoing." Not suspected of any wrongdoing? Are you kidding? If you set off a radiation sensor you are definitely "suspected" of wrongdoing at that moment. That's why you are stopped.
And listen to this other comment she made. "I think most people would agree that subjecting a 96-year-old man to secondary screening does little to secure our borders and a man who had just informed them that he had undergone this medical procedure," she said.
Take the words "...that he had undergone this medical procedure..." Had "just" undergone? It was done the day before. "medical procedure?" As far as I am able to determine it is no more "stressful," and probably considerably less stressful than having an EKG.
Furthermore, if I were going to try to slip through a check point a 96-year-old ex-governor under some kind of duress would be a perfect front. What if, for example, he had been told that his sons were taped to high explosives that would be set off if he didn't lie his head off?
That is the reason that there are NO exceptions made for certain types of inspections, and nuclear material is precisely one of them.
Kim, your comments about Colin Powell make the point perfectly. Thanks!
And I wondered about the Mexico thing too, but checking as closely as I could it appears that the checkpoint is well within the U. S. and Mister Castro could have been coming from somewhere within the country.
My point was, Pacemakers are tested, but not worked on. If there is something wrong or the batteries are low they are replaced with a new Pacemaker device, not repaired.
When it is tested an instrument is laid over your shoulder that is hooked to a machine while you are sitting in a chair. You don't even feel it laying there. Takes about 15 minutes.
I know, Pat. I've not been there when a test was done, but as I said, as far I knew there was nothing at all stressful about it. The woman doing the complaining and the ACLU representative were guilt of wild exaggeration.
I need to point out something I didn't say, but meant to. Gary made a very good point about how old the ex-governor was. Ninety-four is OLD old. I really don't think they could have handled things any other way, but that's a valid point, and I meant to say that.
The other comment Gary made that I wanted to say something about is this one "(Obviously one of them is.) " [He means that someone is lying.]
I don't think that necessarily is so. I will admit that the woman was exaggerating, but there's a difference between subjective and objective time. Ever get asked to move up and wait for your something or other at a fast food window? Seems to take forever, doesn't it? But it's rarely more than three or four minutes. So the woman may have been exaggerating what she thought was fifteen minutes, first into 30 minutes, and then into 45.
On the other hand, the ACLU person, being fully aware that just checking a pacemaker is nothing, was deliberately exaggerating for effect. In my book, that IS lying.
If you detect a scornful attitude toward the ACLU in my posts you are correct. The ACLU has been involved in two or three cases that I look upon as very good for the country, but as I look at the cases they choose to accept I see the same destructive intent in those choices that has been there since the creation of the ACLU. Don't let the name fool you. The ACLU was founded by self-described, card carrying Socialists whose purpose was to change this nation from a republic into a Socialist nation, one where the government owns all property, including all means of production, and the people are under its full control. I see nothing to tell me that there has been a change in that goal.
I did overlook the [more later] I just felt you were leaving out quite a few facts. Now I understand why. I concede the point that the gentlemans ethnicity is inmaterial. I was just correcting Kims conclusion. I was in no way trying to say that I disagreed with how the situation was handled. But again I would want to see the security video to clear up the time discripancy. Anything can be written at any time. A video doesn't lie, (or exagerate). If I sound like I do not trust law enforcement, so be it. There are bad apples in every organization. It seems to me that there should be some kind of air conditioned area for people who find themselves waiting for secondary inspections to be completed. Lastly I did say the ex gov had his pace maker "worked on". With todays technology a pacemakers settings can be adjusted using computers. The heart rate, and I believe the force of contraction both can be controlled. While this is all non invasive, I do think it quaifies for being worked on. For some further story clarification, Gov. Castro does live in Mexico and was coming to AZ for a family function, if I remember correctly.
Please let me know where a pacmaker can be "worked on" or settings adjusted while still implanted.
I think my drs. would be interested to know. I sure would. There are medical machines I cannot go into the same room where they are located. MRI for one.
I have to have a tag on at all times that says I have a pacemaker to protect me if I am unconcious and can't tell anyone I have it.
I can't even lean over the motor of a running vehicle or carry a cell phone on the side of my body where the pacemaker is located. Old age is hell.
Thanking you ahead of time. Pat
Sorry Tom, off the subject again.
Pat, let me do some research, will e-amil what I find out.
You have no need to worry about the fact that you missed that comment. It's not important. Your contribution was well written, logical, and on target. Thanks!
And not being a great admirer of feds I don't blame you for wanting to see the security video. :-)
"It seems to me that there should be some kind of air conditioned area for people who find themselves waiting for secondary inspections to be completed."
I agree. That would be nice.
I did not know that the ex-governor was coming from Mexico. The AZ Republic article made it sound like he was coming from a house in Nogales, USA. If the agenda of the article was in part to drum up anger against the border patrol they may have done that deliberately, in order to avoid criticism of him for not living here.
I'll leave the details of pacemaker adjustments to you and Pat.
Pat, I can see that wearing a pacemaker would not be a piece of cake. Any piece of electronics as delicate as that, which cannot be shielded, and which is critical to life, is scary.
From the physics standpoint, everything that's electrical throws off some kind of magnetic field around itself. And we are constantly bathed in the magnetic field of the earth.
If anyone wants some fun, try this. Take an ordinary compass and walk up to--say--some cabinet in your house. If the hinges of the cabinet are made of iron (most are) put the compass near the top of one of them. Then move it to the bottom of the hinge. The needle on the compass will do a 180. It will do the same 180 with any piece of iron or steel in your house, even a knife sitting in a drawer. The Earth's magnetic field constantly fluctuates just enough so that every piece of iron or steel on the planet becomes a magnet. Get a compass and walk around trying. You'll be amazed. (Don't try stainless; some stainless steels are non-magnetic.)
For the same reason, floppy discs inevitably go bad after sitting in one position for a long time.
By the way, you can shield things with aluminum.
And you ought to see what you can do with one of the huge magnets that are used in some types of industry (I'm talking of things eight feet high that have a gap into which you can insert something). Turn off the magnet, put a thick sheet of aluminum in the gap, and turn on the magnet.
The sheet will hover in the air. You cannot move it! It will not move in a strong magnetic field.
How about that for a nutty piece of information?
Sounds useless, doesn't it? But it isn't. That little chunk of odd knowledge is used.
Ever seen a very accurate lab balance? One of the problems with balances is that they have a tendency to bounce when you put something on them. To counteract that, if you look closely you'll see a plate of aluminum mounted vertically on the arm holding the plate. It runs between two strong magnets, thereby damping out the bouncing.
Now you can add all that to your store of things you didn't need to know. :-)
As for the border, let anyone who wants to go go. Let anyone who wants in prove they are not threat to America and it's citizens. Want to visit? How long? Two weeks? Get a two week pass!
After two weeks, if you havent's returned to the border or another border, you are in the Country illegally and therefore subject to arrest and removal.
What's wrong with that?
We have always welcomed the worlds weary traveler for a brief respit.
In the Harbour of Ellis Island stands the Lady Liberty, a gift from France who recognized the importance of a free, non government controlled nation.
Inscribed upon her tablets is the phrase:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breath free.
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me."
The words suggest a welcome handout but they do instead say clearly that they should come here and engage, work, invest and you will find the freedom to be all you can be.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door! Come work to become more than a slave.
When my husband and I went to San Carlos Mexico several yrs ago to see his brother, we were stopped on the American side going in and had to show all our papers, car insurane etc. and open our luggage. Coming out, nothing.
I think every car should be stopped coming into Arizona from Mexico.
Anyone remember checking stations between Ariz. Calif, Nevada and New Mexico?
Last time I was stopped going into Nevada was 1967. The checking station was in a stupid spot as it was about 5 miles out of Kingman going to Nevada. Wasn't sure they were going to let me go as my trunk lock was broken and my luggage was in the back seat. A scarey few minutes as I was alone going to Las Vegas to visit someone.
The odd thing about all this is that the people who believe otherwise have no arguments or any reason why we should not be a sovereign nation, allowed to decide who can be here and why, like any other nation in the world.
I've traveled over a good portion of the world: I've been in Iceland, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Spain, the Azores, Bermuda, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Italy, and France. And come to think of it, little old Luxembourg.
Every single one of those places required a passport and a visa. And if you didn't have them you were detained, held under arrest, and then deported.
Why should we be any different?
C'mon! Give me a reason.
Tom, the answer to your question is obvious. We shouldn't be any different in checking who is entering our country, period. And at 315 legal million USA population now, strict immigration quotas should be implemented. Now listen to what happened to me recently for a good laugh or not. Returning from a cruise vacation, our return flight was out of Boston. So as we approached TSA security check, off comes everything into the plastic tray as told. My friend was told to take of his pants belt also. He and I, and our wives were directed to the new full body scanner. He was told to raise his hands and turn around. As he did so, his pants fell to his ankles showing off his decorator boxer shorts. Caused quite a stir in the long line. Then my turn. I am wearing a T-Shirt, shorts, and socks only at this point. I do the slow scanner turn around and the lady agent tells me to exit and stand on the ground footprint decals. Then two male agents come immediately over to me. One is holding a clipboard. I heard him almost whisper to the other one "number 122" while pointing at his clipboard. Then he says to me, the scanner detected an "unidentifiable anomaly in my groin area!" They took me to a small side room, put on medical gloves, and gave a one minute verbal and physical disertation on how they were going to run their hands over my clothing and groin area. They asked if I wished to have a witness present and did I have any questions. I said I have one question only. I asked if the anomaly they say they saw on the scanner was a big or little anomaly? No sense of humor needless to say. They finished their physical search and I was out of there in about 4 min's. My opinion is that I came up number 122, and I was the next male caucasian tourist looking dude they had to check so as not to be accused of just profileing our Muslim brothers etc.
You are dead right, and about more than one thing.
The first one is that with 315 million people and growing we do not need, and do not want, more people. It's obvious that the wealth of any nation is a simple matter of dividing its resources by its population. Obviously, we'll have to make some exceptions, but by and large the policy should be, "Stay home and fix your own country."
And that, in turn, means that we have to root out and send home everyone who is not here legally so that we have room for the exceptions we have to make. We have no choice.
The truth is, the world is ignoring the primary reason for most of our environmental problems, which is overpopulation. One thing that is going to drive the environmentalists crazy is the fact that the national forests, and the animals in them, are going to have to go to make room for more humans. Since they are so dead set on letting anyone come here, whether legal or not, and also dead set on keeping the forests as they are, they are going to be forced to make a choice.
I won't be here to see that, but it is as plain as the nose on your face that it is coming.
I like the little screening story, and I do not have the slightest doubt that you hit the nail right on the head--political correctness. What else could it have been? A gold plated f--t?
Come to think of it, you should have seen Pakistani customs. One thing that you cannot import into Pakistan and India is gold. They are known as the "gold sink of the world." People go around wearing their savings.
I used to get to Karachi International once in a while, although my primary base of operations was PAF Mauripur. The customs people often worked on tips. If they had a tip that someone was coming in with gold secreted in his rectum they had simple way of telling. They just took the guy aside, hauled his drawers down, and gave him one great belt in the stomach. Bloop! Clunk! Out came the gold! I've seen it happen twice. Very effective. My brother-in-law, who worked out there, saw a piece of gold doggone near the size of a doorknob extracted that way once. He worked here at Sky Harbor before he retired (head of Terminal Four), but I don't think they used that method. :-)
And come to think of it, you should see the Pakistani method of questioning. One time, out at Mauripur, one of my sweepers was accused of having stolen some cigarettes off one of our aircraft. I thoughtlessly allowed my assistant, Hasan, to turn him in. I walked over to the Pakistani military police office with the two of them, thinking nothing of it. But when I was standing outside the door of the room they took him into and heard the thump!-thump!-thump! of someone being punched around the room I told Hasan to rescue him out of there.
Now get this!
Hasan turned and told me, "No, Sahib. We must not do that. Let him be questioned here. Otherwise they will turn him over to the regular police and he may get hurt."
Ok, first: Gary, "I was just correcting Kims conclusion" is a tad presumptuous. I arrived at my conclusion based on the information that was provided. Tom freely admitted that he did not include all of the information in the original post. And, each and every one of us is well aware that with very few exceptions, if a person being written about in a news report is other than white, their ethnicity is definitely listed; and the ACLU or Jesse Jackson have jumped on the bandwagon before the newsprint is dry. Therefore my (albeit, erroneous) conclusion was based on insufficient information and statistical probabilities.
Furthermore, as many of you are aware, my husband is one of those evil "Feds" that many of you are maligning. They are just doing their job. They don't get up every morning and try to determine who they are going to "get" that day. My husband is not TSA, or a Border Patrol Agent, however, he is intrinsically linked to the aviation industry and his life, and his job, like all the rest of ours, was drastically changed on 9-11. Most of the people charged with protecting our borders don't take delight in embarassing others; and they certainly do not enjoy groping the sweaty, smelly, pissed off people who walk in to a security line at the airport or at our borders with an attitude. They have rules to follow and a fine line to walk with regard to avoiding the appearance of impropriety or racial profiling. At airport security, unless the scanner goes off mandating a more comprehensive search, the selection of persons for detailed searches is dictated by an entirely random means.
With regard to the discussion at hand, I will concede that at 90+ years old, Mr. Castro is OLD old and I am sorry that he may have been made uncomfortable for a short time. However, I still maintain, that OUR Border Patrol Agents are out there in the heat, the sun, the cold, the rain, all of the elements, for hours at a time, doing their job to protect US. They are not provided fans or air conditioning. If, for whatever reason, Mr. Castro's vehicle set off a radiation meter, then my feeling is that I don't care who was in the vehicle, a comprehensive inspection was mandated. The persons in that vehicle may have had no idea that something was stuck to the undercarriage or snuck in the trunk. Furthermore, if a radiation meter was activated, why on Earth would Agents allow the person or persons in that suspect vehicle to enter a building on site, thereby possibly further jeopardizing many more lives, as well as property?
A hypothetical question if I may? Same situation, the radiation meter is activated as the vehicle goes through the check point, the occupants of said vehicle are 4 young dark skinned men, appearing to be of middle east descent, speaking an arabic language. Their papers are all in order and they claim to be students at a seminary in Phoenix who have made a day trip down to Nogales. Do they get a "pass" because they seem to be nice young men whose vehicle erroneously set off a nasty malfunctioning meter? Do they get invited in to the building and offered a cold drink, to get them out of the heat while the mean Border Patrol Agents have the delightful experience of sticking their hands in to every nook and cranny in somebody elses nasty car, all the while having no idea what they may turn up? No need to answer, I think I have a pretty good impression of what most of you will say.
Finally, until and unless, every single person, and that means Jose Hernandez, Susan Smith, Mohammed Karza, Chun Lee, Dawayne Suleya and yes, Raul Castro, is accorded the same treatment at our security checkpoints, then racial profiling exists, whether straight forward or in reverse. And I resent the suggestion that Mr. Castro, by mere mention of his name, former position, ethnicity or age should have been treated any differently than anybody else.
I think we agree again. Either check every car and person or none. You can not tell by looking at someone what kind of person they are.
Many yrs ago my husband put an ad in the Ariz. Republic to sell a farm tractor and cattle truck. A man came by and wanted to buy both. He was a very clean cut nice gentlemen. He came back later with his two sons, also very clean cut and polite.
I had a real estate license at the time and listed some of his property for sale.
He paid for the tractor and truck with $50.00 bills and drove away with them.
Two months later he and his sons were in the newspaper as money countifeiters in Camp Verde and also importers of cocaine from Europe.
I don't know if the money was good or not but no one ever said anything when we spent it.
Needless to say I cancelled the listing on the property.
As the saying goes, You can't tell a book by its cover.
Kim, first off I really did not mean to be insulting you in any way shape or form. I do not feel that I was presumptious. I knew you did not have all the facts, and I even went back to your original statement to see how you worded it. "Conclusion" was your word. I therefore utilized the same word. Please re read how I put that. "I was just correcting Kims conclusion." You had drawn the wrong conclusion, and I was just trying to point out the correct one. I was not meaning to be argumentitve, or degrading in any way. I then went on to say; "I was in no way trying to say that I disagreed with how the situation was handled." But again I would want to see the security video to clear up the time discripancy. Anything can be written at any time. A video doesn't lie, (or exagerate). If I sound like I do not trust law enforcement, so be it. There are bad apples in every organization. ” If you took this to mean I was maligning all boarder patrol agents or federal agents you are being to sensitive. I know the vast majority of them are good people, but again there is alway those few who tarnish any and all organizations with bad conduct. Again, please note that I in no way disagreed with how the situation was handled. Just one more thing. Since in the original story did mention Gov. Castros ethnicity, any guesses as to why the ACLU, Jesse Jackson were not all over it? I do tend to agree with you that it would be common practice. At least some Latino activist groups. Kind of strange that none of them did.
Gary, thanks for the explanation. I didn't take your reply to be argumentative. However, I came to the conclusion that I did, based on the information that I was given and drawing from my base of experience. My conclusion was not incorrect. It was correctly drawn, but based on incomplete information. Therefore, my conclusion did not need to be corrected. It was merely a matter of your conclusion being drawn and from more complete, and comprehensive information, and most important, separate.
I must say, as well, that it rather surprises me that you, as a firefighter, would automatically question the veracity of a Federal Agents word. Now, I am not saying that all Federal Agents, Border Patrol Agents, Police Officers, Firefighters, TSA, etc., are beyond reproach, however, for you to write, "Anything can be written at any time" implies that the Agents may have deliberately put down incorrect information on the report. I am certain that you, as a firefighter have been in situations where home or property owners have a skewed or exaggerated impression of how something went down at a fire scene, and for whatever reason, the report must be referred to. It would not feel good to have your report or word questioned. Especially in light of the fact that you were the one who risked life and limb to go into an unknown structure in an effort to save somebody else's property. Just as those Border Patrol Agents are well aware that at any given moment, some yahoo could decide to plow through the lines of vehicles and mow down those dastardly Patrol Agents that are in their way. Or a bullet from an assault rifle could blow one of the Border Patrol Agents head off. Or...a car carrying innocent people, but which has been sabotaged with a nice load of radiation goes through a checkpoint, thereby exposing those Agents to hazardous materials, as well as bringing a potentially deadly material in to the United States.
Believe me, if anybody has just cause to doubt the word of a law enforcement officer, it is I. (Which is not something that I will go into publicly or on this forum) However, I recognize that, for the most part, those men and women are just out there trying to do their job and make a living, and go home to their family at the end of the day. They are not looking to get rich, or decimate the entire mexican population, or wipe out all of the drug cartels, or lie, cheat or steal. The Border Patrol Agents recognize that they and they alone are not going to put a halt to terrorism. And the TSA Agents, for the most part, are not looking to jeopardize their career or ruin their life, by copping a feel from a passenger in a security line. There are very few breasts, penises, or butts that are enticing enough that a 2 second stroke is worth ones career. As you stated, and with which I am in complete agreement, "There are bad apples in every organization". However, I believe that they are very few and far between.
Of course we hear about the horror stories, but what about the millions of people who go through the border patrol checkpoints, and the airport security lines, who go through routine patrol stops and interactions with police and firefighters, with nary a negative interaction. Instead, they get a smile and a thank you, or a have a nice day. What about the millions who undergo a more comprehensive security check at the airport that is conducted with dignity and respect on both sides. What about the people who have already been on the road for hours and then have to sit even longer waiting for a Border Patrol checkpoint; who upon arrival at the holy grail, the Border Patrol Agent, standing there in the heat and the sun, or the cold and the rain, who still smiles and waves as millions of pissed off drivers glare at him or her.
Instead of focusing on the horror stories, we need to remember what a miniscule percentage those horror stories are; including this one about Raul Castro. I wonder how many dignitaries and/or important people sail through the checkpoints with nary a hitch?
How about all the bad guys that never get stopped? I think everyone should be checked.
Hot or cold weather don't matter !
"The persons in that vehicle may have had no idea that something was stuck to the undercarriage or snuck in the trunk."
That's the brightest comment I've ever heard on this kind of thing. You know what? That would be am almost foolproof way of sneaking something into the country if we were a politicized as some countries. I've seen it with my own eyes. Out of nowhere come armed police who shut down the intersection you were about to cross, they're weapons pointed right at your windshied. A few seconds later, flags waving, horns beeping, and lights blinking a stream of limos shoots by.
Now, if someone back at the ranch was a mole....
I know what I'm talking about. Lolly's father, who was an ordinary civilian, was blown out of the air along with the rest of the passengers and crew on a passenger plane that was carrying one of the ministers of Pakistan. Since all of the baggage, except that belonging to the bigshot, was minutely inspected, and the aircraft was triple checked and guarded night and day while it sat on the ramp, the conclusion was that someone on the inside had planted the bomb.
I can think of no better way to get something through a porous checkpoint with people who are overawed by political rank than to just reach underneath the car back where it started and attach a whatever you want to get through.
"the occupants of said vehicle are 4 young dark skinned men, appearing to be of middle east descent, speaking an arabic language. No need to answer, I think I have a pretty good impression of what most of you will say. "
I'd say, check them like anyone else.
"Furthermore, as many of you are aware, my husband is one of those evil “Feds” that many of you are maligning."
I do that too--castigate the "feds," that is, and I hadn't given it much thought, though I will from now on. I, of course, am always talking about Washington politicians and bureaucrats, but I can see where it might sting if you were a government employee working in one of those bureaus. I saw a lot of that during Vietnam, when the troops were blamed for what politicians were doing.
As for checkpoints, I haven't had to pass through one for a long time, but always in the past when I did I was thankful that they were there. Why not? Who are they there to protect?
"Kim, first off I really did not mean to be...."
I enjoy seeing reasonable people talking reasonably.
"Since in the original story did mention Gov. Castros ethnicity, any guesses as to why the ACLU, Jesse Jackson were not all over it?"
They were, actually. But I think they quit as soon as they got whatever mileage they could out of it.
"Of course we hear about the horror stories, but what about the millions of people who go through the border patrol checkpoints, and the airport security lines, who go through routine patrol stops and interactions with police and firefighters, with nary a negative interaction."
When I was in college I carried a back fiberglass case that had an aluminum band over the edges where the upper and lower pieces came together. One day I went to the beautiful library on campus, did a little a little research, and was on my way out through their portal, which was fitted with a swinging arm, when (a) an alarm bell went off, (b) light flashed, (c) the arm locked, and (d) I git the arm at full stride and sheered off the sheer pin in it,
My! My! What a lot of excitement. Turned out that my case would set it off every time I went through it. I used to ask the person at the desk each time I went out if they wanted to check the system. Sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn't. But here's the point. After a while they no longer checked my case when I handed it to them so the alarm wouldn't go off.
Can you see what that means?
"I think everyone should be checked. "
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