Meet Janet Napolitano, new "Czar" of "Homeland Security" (How many oxymorons can they fit in one sentence?)
Miss Napolitano, we are told in this Washington Times story by Audrey Hudson, is going to be concentrating on the Canadian border and not the Rio Grande. Why? Well I have some thoughts on that, but why don't you read the relevant portion of the story yourself first? (A H/T to David Codrea for bringing this to my attention.)
Vulnerabilities along the Canadian border are one of more than a half-dozen priorities identified by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during her first week, along with cybersecurity and ensuring that federal officials are properly communicating with state and local officials.
"The northern border of the United States has become, since 9/11, important to our national security," Miss Napolitano wrote in an action directive issued Friday.
"As we have designed programs to afford greater protection against unlawful entry, members of Congress and homeland security experts have called for increased attention to the Canadian border," the directive said.
Miss Napolitano asked for an oral report by Feb. 10 on current vulnerabilities, the overall strategy to reduce such, a budget and time frame for improving security, and the level of risk that will remain once the programs are completed.
Right, well we knew that the southern border was no longer going to be of interest to DHS because of what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the Detroit Free Press back in November as reported in the Weekly Standard here:
Harry Reid told the Detroit Free Press that he expects comprehensive immigration reform to be passed relatively early in the next Congress:
Q. With more Democrats in the Senate and the House and a Democrat in the White House, how do you see congressional efforts playing out on such issues as health care and immigration?One senator who wields significant influence on the debate is Robert Menendez, and he seems to be pushing ahead on the issue as well. Menendez is no extremist among Senate Democrats, either; he's just been named head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. Expect Menendez to lead a push--apparently with Reid's blessing--to get comprehensive reform passed in the first half of 2009.
A: On immigration, there's been an agreement between (President-elect Barack) Obama and (Arizona Republican Sen. John) McCain to move forward on that. ... We'll do that. We have to get this economy stuff figured out first, so I think we'll have a shot at doing something on health care in the next Congress for sure.
Q: Will there be as much of a fight on immigration as last time?
A: We've got McCain and we've got a few others. I don't expect much of a fight at all. Now health care is going to be difficult. That's a very complicated issue. We debated at great length immigration. People understand the issues very well. We have not debated health care, so that's going to take a lot more time to do.
Proponents will argue that while the measure may be unpopular, it's better to swallow a bitter pill far in advance of the midterms. And if it seems that they lack the votes to pass it in the next few months, they'll bargain for a commitment for passage later in 2009.
Now, I am on record as saying that if the Obamanoids truly were interested in seizing power rather than playing by the old rules, they would go for early amnesty for illegals in order to generate the 15 million plus new loyal Democrat voters in time for the 2010 elections. I said it before Harry said the above. Think of those numbers. With those numbers Western states like Colorado and even Texas go reliably blue. No conservative (forget the GOP, they should go the way of the Whigs for getting us into this excrement)of any party will ever be elected in a national contest again. Their "majority rule" will collapse the Republic.
So we can see why the southern border is no longer a priority, but why is Napolitano so interested in the Canadian border? Well, maybe, just maybe, because of this:
or maybe, this?
As John Bystrom so cogently points out here:
Ammo Accountability, Taxes, Cigarettes And a New Class of Smuggling
On the ride home from camp, I tuned into "Steve Gruber's Wildlife" on WJR 760 AM. The conversation was about the proposed micro-etching of a unique identifier onto each and every projectile sold in a particular state, and the entire country, if Congress and the President should take it up. The conversation explored the idea that the technology to put a tag on each projectile was not available, and the costs would make ammo unavailable to the average gun owner.
Well back in the day, I remember hearing a professor from an Ivy League college say that the "right to bear arms" does not have a corresponding right to possess ammo. S0, here is the next threat to gun ownership. In addition, otherwise legal gun owners will become criminals, due to an arbitrary law designed to render useless, firearms possessed for legal purposes.
So what happens when a government, makes a legal product too hard or expensive for it's citizens to possess? Lets take a quick look at the Canada and the excessive cigarette taxes. In the Canadian cigarette case, a full 30% of the cigarettes in Canada in 1993 were contraband and untaxed. Political pressure caused the cigarette tax to be reduced, but the amount of contraband cigarette in Canada is still unknown.
Just as in the Canadian cigarette situation, cross border smuggling is likely to occur. Canadians have always supplied the United States with outlaw goods, such as whiskey during prohibititon, and Americans have cooperated with Canadians to smuggle cigarettes. Why would ammo be any different?
Native Americans and First Nation Canadians have an independence streak that should be admired by all. These native peoples do not always agree with the policy of the US or Canadian government, and often times are not willing to adhere to policy that they deem unecessarily obtrusive. In the case of cigarettes, the Candian brand cigarettes were shipped/exported to US Duty free shops, and then smuggled back into Canada by Native Americans and First Nation Canadians.
Exactly how it will work with ammunition. Natives will bring ammo manufactured in Canada, or exported into Canada, through border reservations making a nice profit. American shooting sports enthusiasts will have no problem acquiring ammo at a lower cost than the "tagged" ammo that can be acquired by commercial means.
The legislation will do nothing to work toward it's stated goal. The government will create a whole new class of criminal, out of law abiding gun owners if this legislation is ever passed.
"A whole new class of criminal." Yes, and some tactical alliances of benefit to all parties except the governments.
Take John's idea about the Canadian Indians, who already serve as the contact point for cigarettes smuggled into Canada might naturally become the distribution nexus for ammo coming back south in the same trucks. No wonder Janet is worried about the northern border.
But we can take it one step further. There are many Native American autonomous zones within the United States. Many generate revenues from casinos, which in the economic downturn will be suffering. Folks who have no money cannot get up the gas money to gamble, let alone place the bets. So, the reservations will be neediongd new sources of income.
Why not ammunition plants? Even firearms manufactories? If memory serves, the Lakota have a manufacturing plant at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, that makes camo netting and body armor for the U.S. mlitary and they get tax breaks and other incentives to do so. Why not use the system of "economic recovery" to facilitate our liberty rather than government power?
I'd like to see the US government tangle with the Apaches again. Anybody ever read the alternate history novel Apacheria?
From the inside flap of the book:
In this riveting, action-packed alternate history, the Apaches forge their own bold nation and enter the world of racketeering and politics--all the while maintaining their traditional ways--as a new neighbor to a United States that will never be the same again . . .
In 1884 only one thing stood in the way of United States expansion: the Apaches. The U.S. Army believed it could easily defeat this ragtag band of savages who viewed one another more as rivals than allies. But one of those "savages" was a military genius: Juh, "He Who Sees Ahead." It was Juh's vision that persuaded the various tribal leaders to set aside their differences and work together, thus turning the disconnected bands of warring Apaches into the most cohesive fighting force the West had ever seen--and crushing the invading army.
Thus was born Apacheria--the Apache Nation--and a world where Juh and his son, Little Spring, matched wits and weapons with a cast ranging from Teddy Roosevelt and Carrie Nation to Al Capone and J. Edgar Hoover. A world where it was best to stand with the Apaches, and never against them . . .
There is much food for thought in this novel, not the least of which is the military truth that, in the novel at least, actually wins the Apaches their independence: Find out what your enemy values most and take it from him. It's not always his life.
More on the strategic lessons of Apacheria in a future post, but for now start looking around for business opportunities in Native American and Canadian Indian autonomous zones. It wouldn't hurt to put a bumper sticker on your vehicle: "Custer Had It Coming."