Big Brother’s Border Blindness

After 15 years and billions of dollars, the virtual border fence is still just a mirage.

In America today, an expanding network of surveillance cameras tracks our bank deposits, our shopping expeditions, and our workplace trysts in the supply closet. When we venture online, hundreds of companies diligently note the websites we consume, the files we download, and the comments we make. Our smartphones are even worse stool pigeons than our computers, constantly keeping tabs on our precise geographic coordinates. If you grow weary of such oppressive attention, if you long for a little Waldenesque solitude outside the crosshairs of our panoptic culture, there is still one place you can go to get away from it all: the borderlands of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. 

That situation is ironic, of course. Long before Google Street View existed, long before we started sending out alerts every time we breached the perimeter of Starbucks, the U.S. government embarked on an epic quest to establish a “virtual” fence along the Mexican border. The year was 1997. And while the U.S. Border Patrol’s surveillance technology then consisted primarily of sunglasses, border hawks and bureaucrats dreamed of a thin technological line of motion sensors, infrared cameras, and video-driven command centers producing the same sort of omniscience we now exert over 7-Eleven parking lots. To realize this bold but improbable vision, Congress approved funds for a pilot project called the Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System, or ISIS. 

Thus began a long stretch of failure: cameras that wilted from the heat when thermometers hit a relatively temperate 70 degrees, ground sensors that could not tell a native cactus from an illegal intruder, inept project management, insinuations of fraud and corruption. Periodically, the quest would be canceled and then revived under a different brand name. ISIS begat America’s Shield Initiative, which begat the Secure Border Initiative Network, or SBINet. In January 2011, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano officially pulled the plug on this latest incarnation, thereby ushering in what arguably has been the project’s most successful two-year run. Zero functionality was added during this time, but at least spending came to a standstill too.

Now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is ready to give the virtual fence still another go. According to the trade publication Defense News, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), a division of DHS, has earmarked $91.8 million in its fiscal 2013 budget for the construction of what it calls “integrated fixed towers.” In April 2012, CBP issued a request for proposal to build a single tower near Nogales, Arizona, and more than 100 companies, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics, expressed interest in pursuing the project. CBP was scheduled to choose a vendor in the fall of 2012.

If the federal government and its various contractors have learned anything during the last 15 years, it’s that building a fence, especially a virtual one, over terrain that spans desolate mountains, wind-swept deserts, and meandering rivers, is no easy task. According to Robert Lee Maril, an East Carolina University sociologist who has written two books about the border, much of the equipment that was installed during the ISIS era is now “rotting in the West Texas wind.” SBINet fared similarly. While initial plans called for a series of 1,800 towers deployed across the entire length of the southern border, Boeing, the project’s primary contractor, built just 28 of them in a 53-mile section of Arizona, at a total cost of approximately $1 billion.

After these experiences, CBP is proceeding with the sort of plaintive foreboding more commonly seen in a gun-shy Match.com veteran than a major federal agency. “In all cases, CBP will seek strong confirmation that each offeror’s system is truly non-developmental,” its request for proposal advised. “Offerors must provide strong assurance that the proposed system is now ready, deployable and will not require additional engineering development if they hope to receive favorable consideration.” Translation: It doesn’t need all the latest bells and whistles. In fact, the agency will totally settle for a balding, nondescript, not particularly sexy surveillance system, just as long as it actually works. 

The CBP (which was itself rebranded as part of DHS in 2003, uniting functions from two divisions of the Justice Department) wants to take things very slowly. If whatever vendor it chooses can deliver one tower whose associated cameras, radar, and sensors are capable of detecting a “single, walking, average-sized adult” within a range of 7.5 miles, and then transmitting this information in real time to a command post staffed by Border Patrol agents, then maybe, just maybe, it will think about building up to five more of them.

While CBP is terrified of another crushing disappointment, what is perhaps even scarier is the prospect of success. The agency’s failure to construct a viable surveillance system has had at least one tactical advantage: It has kept people from questioning the value of a functional virtual fence. Any attention the project has attracted has focused mainly on diagnosing its immediate shortcomings rather than assessing its long-term utility as a means of deterring illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and terrorists seeking entrée to the U.S. 

Building dozens of towers that don’t really work as advertised has been somewhat costly, but how much would it cost if we had hundreds or even thousands of towers that do work as advertised? In the wake of 9/11, the Border Patrol has grown tremendously. In fiscal year 2000, it had 9,212 agents and an annual budget of $1 billion. Ten years later, the Border Patrol boasted 21,444 agents and a budget of $3.5 billion. A virtual fence, and the monitoring and maintenance it would require, will no doubt ensure a well-staffed, well-budgeted future for the CBP. But what impact would it have on the security of America? 

“The main problem the Border Patrol faces isn’t just seeing drugs or illegal aliens coming through,” says Maril, the East Carolina University sociologist. “It’s getting to wherever that’s happening before the people are gone.” While a more functional system may cut down on calls prompted by suspicious agaves, it won’t help agents traverse harsh and often inaccessible terrain any faster. “You can’t just get in a squad car and be there in 10 minutes,” Maril notes.

In any case, there is no guarantee this iteration of a virtual fence will work any better than earlier ones. Tom Barry, a senior analyst at the Center for International Policy who focuses on border issues, notes that a retired Air Force major general testifying at a 2010 congressional hearing confessed that 12 out of 15 sensor activations are caused by wind. “They’re spending many millions of dollars responding to weather events,” Barry exclaims. 

Yet the virtual fence continues to attract bipartisan support. The Obama administration has funded it for 2013. Mitt Romney’s official campaign website promises to “complete a high-tech fence to enhance border security.”

Such consensus derives at least partly from the virtual nature of the fence. In its earliest days, it was so ethereal, so magical, that its creators chose fantastical, almost child-like names to describe it (ISIS, America’s Shield.) Now, after 15 years of costly growing pains, its latest moniker is the more pedestrian Arizona Border Technology Plan. 

But even with the more utilitarian name and the new emphasis on humble pragmatism, longtime border watchers like Maril and Barry suggest that the ultimate costs and benefits of a virtual fence remain largely undefined, a hazy, constantly shifting mirage of heightened security glimmering in the farthest reaches of the Arizona desert.  

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  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    While a more functional system may cut down on calls prompted by suspicious agaves, it won’t help agents traverse harsh and often inaccessible terrain any faster. “You can’t just get in a squad car and be there in 10 minutes,” Maril notes.

    Apparently they don't teach about helicopters in sociology courses.

    This is actually not a hard problem, it's just that the feds have every reason to give the appearance that it is. And it's going to be way easier to deal with when we have more surveillance drones. It's not even a hard pattern recognition problem, since all the sentry program has to do is forward a suspicious image to a human BP agent for verification.

  • ||

    Having traveled the borderlands in Arizona,I agree you can't get a squad car there in 10 minutes.
    The irony is that all the new dirt roads BP has built in the middle of nowhere has actually made it easier to smuggle things north. Thet build them but can't patrol them 24/7.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Not a problem in the surveillance drone era.

  • ||

    They DO run border drones out of Fort Huachuca. They also fly an aerostat there. It's one thing to spot someone with remote surveillance, apprehending them is a whole different issue.

    Do you propose arming the drones?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    No. Why can't they have the drones follow the people they spot until an agent can catch up with them, or send in a helicopter?

  • ||

    Please visit the area in question. Desolate and larger than a few of the northeastern states.

    Helicopter? Do you propose using them like a wolf eradication program and shooting on sight from the air?

  • ||

    Tulpa likes talking out his ass. Don't forget that.

  • ||

    I've been lurkink here for many years. I pretty much only chime in when I KNOW what I'm talking about. I forget not everyone does that.

  • ||

    Lurkink sounds...kinky. Are you coming on to me?!?

  • ||

    Not your type. I don't worship at the altar of Mr. Bay.

  • Ted S.||

    What kind of pizza do you like?

  • ||

    only chime in when I KNOW what I'm talking about.

    What would you see done?

  • ||

    What would you see done?

    Define the problem. I was replying to Tulpa and his simplistic solutions without ever having seen the area in question.

    I'll give it a shot though.
    End the drug war.Legalize them. Large part of the problem solved.
    Provide a reasonable guest worker program. My experience has been that most of the illegals that come here to work don't really want to stay here. Most didn't stay until it became too difficult to travel back and forth. And if they want to stay, I say "enjoy the American dream"

  • ||

    I tend to agree. I go back and forth on whether Illegal Immigration is even a problem. And for me, it boils down to whether their presence here is actually harming anyone. I can't point to anything that leads me to believe it is.

  • ||

    The main harm that I've seen first hand is the tons and tons of garbage that is left in remote parts of my beloved sonoran desert. For that reason alone, I want any workers coming here to be able to legally walk through the Nogales port of entry.

  • ||

    Yes, TeamBarstool does know what ought to be done, but won't unless the GOP somehow gets an FN clue about the rising percentage of Latino voters over the next few decades, and what continuing to piss them off will do to their chances.

  • Homple||

    Indeed the percentage of Latino voters is rising, and 71% of them voted Democrat in the last election. So Republicans should do what, exactly, to stop pissing them off? Open the borders wider and let more in so 71% of another few million can vote Democrat?

  • ||

    So Republicans should do what, exactly, to stop pissing them off? Open the borders wider and let more in so 71% of another few million can vote Democrat?

    Bush got 44% or so of the Latino vote. That 71% number is not set in stone, just as the South used to be solidly Democratic in the Electoral College, and is now heavily Republican.

    Imagine if Latinos were the majority of the population, and you were white (I have no idea, just a hypothetical) a political party composed mostly of Latinos espoused anti-white laws where primarily whites were subjected to being pulled over and having to produce papers proving their citizenship or else being deported, and your white relatives couldn't legally immigrate to the U.S. and look for work, much less become citizens, and the Latino leader of that anti-white party talked about whites "self-deporting".

    Now imagine if that majority party got a clue and renounced those practices and tried to treat everyone equally, regardless of race.

    Think that policy changes would not sway voting patterns?

    It's a wonder that the Latino vote wasn't worse for Republicans and Romney.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Damn, we white people are getting screwed. Here Latinos can strongarm the govt into absolving their lawbreaking fellows, while we keep electing people who prosecute our fellow white people who embezzle and defraud.

    I guess we're unclear on how democracy works.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    a political party composed mostly of Latinos espoused anti-white laws where primarily whites were subjected to being pulled over and having to produce papers proving their citizenship or else being deported

    Sorry but that's BS. How many Hispanic US citizens have been deported because they couldn't produce papers at a traffic stop?

    and your white relatives couldn't legally immigrate to the U.S. and look for work, much less become citizens,

    Uh, dude? That's the reality now. My Irish relatives can't just come here and hang around looking for work, and it would be illegal for anyone to employ them.

    And the biggest bust under one of these state laws was of a German auto executive, not a Mexican day laborer. So keep telling me how horribly racist they are.

    But by all means, keep conflating a desire for sovereignty with racism. It worked pretty well for your leftist allies.

  • Homple||

    "Now imagine if that majority party got a clue and renounced those practices and tried to treat everyone equally, regardless of race."

    Give me a better argument than "imagine...."

  • American||

    "Bush got 44% or so of the Latino vote."
    No he didn't.
    "being pulled over and having to produce papers proving their citizenship or else being deported,"
    Except that those white people shouldn't be in the country. It would be their(the latinos country). No I wouldn't ask them to give it up.
    "your white relatives couldn't legally immigrate to the U.S."
    Many white people from Russia would want to immigrate but can't. No one cares. If I was a immigrant I would accept that its NOT MY COUNTRY.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Any other groups we should bend over backwards to please by looking past their lawbreaking friends?

    Maybe we should stop prosecuting fraud by banks to get the banker vote, too.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Any other groups we should bend over backwards to please by looking past their lawbreaking friends?

    Hell yes.

    How about drug dealers, drug users, drug producers, hookers, online gamblers, online gambling site owners, people who sell large sodas in NYC, people who carry pistols in NYC, restauranteurs that allow smoking, people who drink unprocessed milk, people who produce unprocessed dairy products...

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I would agree with your proposals re: the drug war and guest workers.

    However, that doesn't solve the problem of border security. There are going to be some nasties who aren't interested in the drug trade and aren't going to be approved for any guest worker program.

  • ||

    Why would your hypothetical "nasties" travel through the desert? I think the nasties that you are so worried about would just come over on a student visa instead of risking death in the desert.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I thought you didn't talk about things you didn't know about?

    Student visas are extremely difficult to get nowadays if you're from a Muslim country.

  • Lewisite||

    "End the drug war" -Absolutely.

    "Legalize them" -Once they go through the motions, just like everyone else.

    "My experience has been that most of the illegals that come here to work don't really want to stay here" -That’s a big part of the problem, isn’t it.

    "enjoy the American dream" –Absolutely, right after they become legalized/naturalized/visa-ed.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Exactly. It is always stunning when a frequently proferred "solution" to the situation is "pathway to citizenship." I agree that many of the folks here are coming for the work, not to live here. Provide a means for the work and easy legal back-and-forth across the border, and many will just come for seasonal work and then return home to families the rest of the year.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Great. That doesn't solve the border security problem though.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Please visit the area in question. Desolate and larger than a few of the northeastern states.

    So? What does that have to do with drones and helicopters?

    Helicopter? Do you propose using them like a wolf eradication program and shooting on sight from the air?

    Uh, no, I propose using the helicopters to move agents to the places where illegal crossers have been detected more quickly. You seem to want to believe I want to shoot people for some reason.

    Lots of people, both here at Reason and in the White House, have ideological reasons for pretending this is harder than it is. This administration is like watching a Stepin Fetchit routine.

  • ||

    You seem to want to believe I want to shoot people for some reason.

    Because that's the only thing that will work with the "drones and helicopters" plan. Hell, they come across the Barry Goldwater bombing range.You really don't understand how remote and rugged the area is. How about we just give them a work visa. Or is it the whole "brown horde" the issue?

  • Lewisite||

    "Or is it the whole "brown horde" the issue?"

    Isn’t that tired old mantra just a little played out?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You really don't understand how remote and rugged the area is.

    It's just as remote and rugged for the illegales as it is for the BP.

    If they're on foot, it shouldn't be hard to keep track of their location with drones until agents can reach the area.

    If they're in a vehicle, then they must not be on very rugged terrain; BP vehicles can go wherever they go.

  • Lewisite||

    "Helicopter? Do you propose using them like a wolf eradication program and shooting on sight from the air?"

    That statement is a little on the obtuse side, isn’t it?

    "I propose using the helicopters to move agents to the places where illegal crossers have been detected more quickly"

    The Vietnam and Afghanistan campaigns were both largely predicated on precision massing of troops via helicopters into remote locations, so it’s certainly plausible, if not impractical for day to day border policing.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    No, it's hard to keep control over our border, so we should just give up. Or something.

    It's amazing to see people with such massive faith in technology in other areas saying there's no solution.

  • ||

    Just how long do you think it takes to get a helicopter from "cold and dark" to skids up? It ain't like firing up your Camry.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    A much shorter time than it takes illegales on foot to outrun a drone on rugged terrain!

    And if they're in a vehicle than BP vehicles can go wherever they can.

  • JBinMO||

    I thought Tulpa was a she.

  • tarran||

    I thought Tulpa was a she.

    Don't stereotype. Men can have hysterical anxiety attacks about weird shit too. They can also get peevish when their emotional demands don't get catered to.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I thought Tulpa was a she.

    You start on that girl's name thing, I'm a show you good 'n all I got man parts.

  • ||

    No junk shots, please. This is, if not a family site, at least not THAT kind of site.

  • Generic Stranger||

    You start on that girl's name thing, I'm a show you good 'n all I got man parts.

    My days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

  • Ted S.||

    I thought Tulpa was an it.

  • ||

    there is still one place you can go to get away from it all: the borderlands of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas

    This is true. A group of us drove the El Camino Del Diablo a few years ago. Saw no one for 3 days except a couple of BP patrols.

  • 0x90||

    El Camino, El-El Camino. El Camino, El-El Camino. The front is a car, the back is a truck. The front is where you drive, the back is where you -- El Camino, El-El Camino...

  • Ted S.||

    The front is where you drive, the back is where you

    swive?

  • Almanian.||

    Hive?

  • C. Anacreon||

    Jive?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Upchuck, you unpoetic morons.

  • ||

    Meanwhile, I have an acquaintance that is a wildlife biologist at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. the place is a superhighway of smuggling complete with the sound of ultralight aircraft flying north at night.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And you can rest assured that BO administration will never allow effective border enforcement.

  • ||

    They upgraded the border fence.

    http://tinyurl.com/bm46uaq

    It was 3 strand barbwire 5 or 6 years ago

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Shhh! They still have a Bush buzz here. Tulpa is a GOP man hell of low water.

  • Redmanfms||

    Weren't all of the Shriek muppets howling about the GOP's border fence rhetoric only a few years ago? How has this suddenly become a Obama "accomplishment?"

  • Generic Stranger||

    Since Shriek started sucking TEAM BLUE cock.

  • ||

    Started?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Not sure if you're joking, but that looks like a wooden guardrail, not a fence. My grandmother could get past it.

  • ||

    Not joking. That is the fence. And it's metal.There's miles and miles of it on the Arizona border

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If you're not joking, that's a joke. That thing isn't stopping anyone.

  • ||

    not a joke. It's the border fence

  • SIV||

    In SW Texas an immigrant would still have to hoof it a long ways to clear all the interior checkpoints/enforcement.

    I was going through that shit 2 and 3 times a day east and north of Del Rio.

  • JBinMO||

    This seems like an Onion story.

  • ||

    Building dozens of towers that don’t really work as advertised has been somewhat costly, but how much would it cost if we had hundreds or even thousands of towers that do work as advertised?

    This is followed by some numerical guesses, which misses the larger point -- what is the cost in FREEDOM if the goverment can build, in effect, workable prison walls at the borders to keep fleeing citizens in, in addition to the medium-security prisons that the TSA have established at airport checkpoints?

  • American||

    "workable prison walls at the borders to keep fleeing citizens in"
    You really think that when socialism comes to America people will want to flee to Mexico? Mexico? Japan and Britain have workable prison walls, they're called oceans. Doesn't lead them to have a socialist government.

  • ||

    Wacha mean when?

    Oops. Too late.

  • ||

    When I was young ( a very long time ago) my father was a metallurgical engineer at the christmas mine in southern arizona. He, my brother, and I would wander out into the desert and shoot quail, jackrabbits ( try quick-drawing on a bolting jackrabbit....it is quite a challenge ) , and rattlesnakes. More than a few times we wandered over the border into mexico. Nobody cared. There was never a single sign of human beings anywhere, even if we walked all day. I dont think I would enjoy going back there now.

    Before anyone says anything....I dont shoot critters anymore and I do regret having such a nonchalant attitude about it so long ago.

    On another note, the roadkilltshirts girl has a build that is ....uh....stunning.

  • ||

    On a few recent trips along the border, We may or may not have hopped the fence to look at the other side of a border monument. My memory is a little hazy...

  • General Butt Naked||

    What the hell did we do to the Reason Gawdz?

    They left us a whole weekend with with only a Lance Armstrong(booooring) and a border thread to survive upon.

    Jesus.

  • 0x90||

    I think parents should receive refundable tax credits for each child, but only if the child is circumcised. Uncircumcised children should be aborted, ex post facto.

    What do you think?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Only if the parents aren't gay married.

  • 0x90||

    What if a gay man is married to a lesbian woman, and they have adopted children?

  • Clano'6||

    It makes it hard to abort the uncircumcised ones if they're adopted.

  • Clano'6||

    Oops, I see the the ex post facto now, my bad.

  • ||

    Uncut males are unclean.

    I could never support a subsidy for anyone brandishing an uncut penis.

  • mnarayan||

    What NFL lines should I bet on future man?

  • JeremyR||

    Sure, Bush got got 44% of the Latino vote, but he ran as a big government guy. Compassionate Conservatism, and promoted by David Brooks David Frum, and their ilk.

    Latinos like big government. Opening the borders to them is just going to result in more big government, regardless of the party.

    I dunno why Reason (or Libertarians) have fallen into this moral relativism stuff. Where are the great philosophers of liberty in Latino or Spanish culture? There aren't any. That's why Latin America was such a mess compared to the US or Canada. Read up on Simon Bolivar, who tried to establish a US style democracy - he couldn't, because the people weren't interested in that sort of thing.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Where are the great philosophers of liberty in Latino or Spanish culture? There aren't any.

    I guess you've never heard of Hernando de Soto. There is also the fact that Costa Rica is the only country that has elected Libertarians to national office.

  • American||

    It also happens to be 40% white, 40% Crizzo(mostly white).[1] That explains how a party managed to get a whopping 9% support.

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....Costa_Rica

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You're not suggesting there is a genetic component to liberty, are you?

  • Sevo||

    Pretty sure it's a flat-out racist hoping to sell a POV.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You're painting racists with a broad brush there.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa (LAOL-PA)| 11.17.12 @ 10:57PM |#
    "You're painting racists with a broad brush there."

    Regarding "American"? Sorry, that brush is exactly as wide and s/he is.

  • Cut out the crap||

    I have no problem with racists. Especially when they have the better end of the argument.

    Racist is not a synonym for wrong.

  • tarran||

    Why stop at keeping out people who are likely to love big-government at borders?

    What about the people likely to support big-government who enter through maternity wards in hospitals throughout the country...

    Should we prevent women who support big government from having babies too? Because immigrant babies are a drop in the bucket compared to the gallons of native big government lovers' babies.

  • American||

    There is a difference here. By having a border, our government doing what the founders granted it the power to do in the constitution. It is keeping people it has no respnsibilty for, non-citizens, who want to do harm to citizens, out. A government has a responsibilty to defend the rights and property of its citizens. If Mexicans want a capitalist government, they can create one themselves. I do not believe that there exists a right to live in this country.

  • Sevo||

    American| 11.17.12 @ 8:17PM |#
    ..."I do not believe that there exists a right to live in this country."

    Yeah, well, you're not real bright, so your bleefs can be ignored.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep, all 5 billion people on earth have a god given right to live in the USA.

  • C. Anacreon||

    That's 7 billion to you pal.

  • Bam!||

    "Should we prevent women who support big government from having babies too?"

    No. But we should stop subsidizing them.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What about the people likely to support big-government who enter through maternity wards in hospitals throughout the country...

    Should we prevent women who support big government from having babies too?

    No but we should end birth right citizenship and make it dependent on passing a test, or something.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    So you want to create an underclass of stateless individuals?

  • Sevo||

    Anyone around this evening?
    "S.F. to cover sex-change surgeries"
    Yep, people would be dying in the streets if any benefits were cut! We're only providing the absolute minimum!
    http://blog.sfgate.com/cityins.....residents/

  • Clano'6||

    Didn't they decide to cover sex changes for prisoners a while back?

  • Sevo||

    Haven't seen that, but somehow my surprise would be lacking.

  • Clano'6||

    I have decided that my outward appearance does not reflect the hottie inside. It is in my best interests for a long, healthy and productive life to have plastic surgery and a boob job courtesy of the taxpayers.

  • Sevo||

    Clano'6, you take up residence in SF, I'd bet you'll get to elect your own representative who'll back you 100%.

  • American||

    The reason there is no border fence is that there was never going to be a border fence. Imagine if it had actually progressed, what all the left-wingers and Nick Gillespe would have said. If we spent just a tenth of the money we spent on imperialism on protecting our own border, it would be secure. But Reasonites wouldn't like that. Apparently it never occurs to them to wonder why capitlaism and prosperity aren't found in Latin American countries. They never wonder why Mexico is such a hellhole, they might try to blame the lack of a free market, but then, the question comes up, why isn't there a free market? The truth is that the AVERAGE IQ for hispanics is between 85 and 90. The truth is that hispanic culture IN GENERAL promotes socialism and therefore hispanics are MORE LIKELY to support it. Hispanics are also much more likely to use welfare, commit crimes, and vote Democrat. For Reasonites, the question s simple: are we going to have a little bit of government and our liberties preserved, or a big government and our liberties taken from us.

  • Lewisite||

    [citations required]

  • Sevo||

    "The truth is that the AVERAGE IQ for hispanics is between 85 and 90."

    For "American", the question is simple: Are you an ignoramus or a liar?

  • ||

    I wouldn't have thought there was this much variation.

    Average IQ by country

  • Clano'6||

    So much for Polack jokes- they apparently have a higher average IQ

  • Sevo||

    I was poking around the site; some of the comments seem reasonable and then I noticed:
    "IQ estimate"
    While it certainly doesn't show "American's" claim, I'm also not real happy about 'estimates' for such a contentious metric.

  • ||

  • Sevo||

    Different graphics, same data. No mention there that the IQ metrics are "esitmates".

  • Sevo||

    Oops. Checked the second link this time.
    "America's" claim is still not shown, but this one puts Venezuela at the bottom. Reckon Chavez wrecked the curve?
    Anyhow, it looks like IQ data are somewhat elastic.

  • Sevo||

    Re: link #2.
    Mongolia is rated 9th out of, what, 50?
    I'd sure like to see the Mongolian sample size and a reverse translation of the SB IQ test given to the Mongols.
    I'm not saying Mongols aren't bright; I'm just questioning the data shown.

  • C. Anacreon||

    USA was tied with the Mongoloids in 2002, but fell behind in 2006. Whoa.

    The list also makes one wonder why Ethiopians act so smug to other sub-Saharan Africans.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and:
    "50% of IQ scores fall between 90 and 110"
    http://liberiansown.com/iq-score.php
    Which suggests the 20-point range is statistically 'normal'.

  • Cut out the crap||

    Ok, if you don't like IQ as a metric, how about pointing out how many significant inventions that ever came from south of the Rio Grande? Nobel Prize winners in a hard science? How about the track record of Hispanic academic and economic performance?

    The IQ scores only tell us the same thing anyone half-way honest can see with their own lyin' eyes.

  • American||

    Here we have another libertarian acting like a liberal. Oh joy. Because the definition of "liar" is "someone who doesn't agree with my worldview. Read The Bell Curve by Charles Murray. See Wikipedia. Educate yourself

  • Sevo||

    American| 11.17.12 @ 9:37PM |#
    "Here we have another libertarian acting like a liberal. Oh joy. Because the definition of "liar" is "someone who doesn't agree with my worldview."

    I notice that you've yet to offer a citation for your claim, nor have you provided any hint of causation for any correlation for that claim which you haven't yet proven and now that you've been called on your bullshit, you're throwing accusations around.
    I'm saying liar, racist and asshole, all wrapped in one.

  • American||

    And your an idiot. As for racist, yes, by you definition, I'm a racist. Now you must explain what's wrong with that. I don't need to offer a citation because i know you know I'm right, read on wikipeida about it. Fuck you.

  • Calidissident||

    Even if we assumed government had a right to keep low IQ people out of the country, what proof do you have that low IQ people are less likely to prefer liberty than high IQ people? Asians have higher IQs that whites, and they voted for Obama at a higher rate than Latinos

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    That's because they're only book smart.

  • Calidissident||

    Is this a serious comment? From most people besides you, I would assume it's a joke, but I'm not sure

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Gun Store Owner Refuses to Sell to Obama Voters, Butt Hurt Ensues

    so to prove a point this fella's going to ruin his business to the by turning possible sales away. good business strategy.

    You'd think a proglodyte would praise one of these evil business owners for putting principle ahead of profit. Or is that only for principles they agree with?

    I classify assault weapons as a weapon to ASSAULT someone with that has the ability to either be Full Auto or can be made that way easily and has the capacity to match.

    And I classify an "assault weapon" as anything someone chooses to ASSAULT me with.

    I own several and love them, but I do see a reasonable need to not have 15, 20, 30 and 50 round magazines since there is no need for them except convenience or the need to spray a lot of bullets really fast for a longer period of time than a 10 round magazine will allow you.

    So you see no "reasonable" need for a magazine with how ever many rounds except convenience and the ability to fire rounds quickly which is the REASON such magazines exist in the first place?

  • Lewisite||

    "So you see no "reasonable" need for a magazine with how ever many rounds except convenience and the ability to fire rounds quickly which is the REASON such magazines exist in the first place?"

    Don't you see? These devices of mass-destruction were never intended for the little people (like you). The police, FBI, ATF, and DHS are highly trained professionals, and have the discipline than we common folk sadly lack. Your intellectual superiors have spoken; so ‘you cannot have'...fuck you...that’s why!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    30-50 rounds is a bit beyond reasonable self-defense and/or hunting needs outside a war zone.

    Not that they should be banned, any more than potato chips should be banned for being an unreasonable food, but let's not stretch the limits of credulity.

  • ||

    Why would the presumption be that one would own a firearm for hunting or self defense?

    2A exists so the population can protect itself from a tyrannical government. The more rounds the better.

  • Lewisite||

    "30-50 rounds is a bit beyond reasonable"

    30rnd magazines are widely available on the surplus market, they are cheaper, more reliable, more durable, and more plentiful than aftermarket alternative magazines, especially in the milsurp markets. I had a bit of effort finding a decent 5rnd mag for my AR, and paid 2.5X more than a 30rnd surplus mag to get it. That's just the way it is. 5rnders for my maadi come from china, and are not particularly worth a shit ..so; 30 rounders it is then.

  • sloopyinca||

    Please Reason, for the love of God, sign my White House petition. It may be the smartest one you will ever see on there.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    damn sloopy I just watched episode 1 again
    how did you do that

  • sloopyinca||

    Because I'm a motherfucking witch!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    It must star Captain Canada!

  • ||

    A noble cause. I am #2.

  • sloopyinca||

    We're almost there. If we can get to double-digits, I'll be pleased.

    If I could get it on FB, my dumbass friends would all sign it. For some reason, the stupid FB "promote this Petition" thingy isn't working for me. Thanks, Government fuckheads.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Also one episode must be Jewel Staite eating nothing but strawberries.

  • sloopyinca||

    Agreed. But they better film it soon. She's not getting any thinner or younger.

  • Sevo||

    Not until Brisco County Jr. is replayed.

  • sloopyinca||

    Wow, Sevo. I figured you would have demanded they bring back the Schlitz Playhouse Of Stars.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, I know, anything pre-2K is, well, suspect at least.
    Hey, deal with it...

  • sloopyinca||

    By the way, people, it's only 6 days 14 hours and 5 minutes until The Ohio State Buckeyes play that school up north.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    McGill, the birthplace of football?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    sloopy, since you're around, can you use your commissioner powers to skip Week 10 in our FF league?

  • sloopyinca||

    Shit, I wish we could have skipped several weeks. I know several of my players have.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    seconded. Rapeslithberger is out and my backup QB is on a bye.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Luckily for you, your opponent forgot to get Tannehill out of his lineup before Thursday.

  • sloopyinca||

    Baylor is gonna beat KSU. Will the pollsters try to put Bama back in at #1? I mean, they beat a 1-10 1-AA team today.*

    *I think that was the order of the day for all of the SEC schools.

  • Almanian.||

    Fuck - now it's 52-24! Ass raping in progress!

    To quote Flounder, "Boy, this is GREAT!"

  • sloopyinca||

    To quote Flounder, "Boy, this is GREAT!"

    You ignorant choad. He said, "Oh boy, is this GREAT!"

  • mr simple||

    Damn, they are getting stomped.

    I don't think they'll put them at number one, but I think the winner of the SEC title game has a much better shot at the national title game.

  • sloopyinca||

    They don't deserve it. Their top teams have played shit OOC opposition all season and not a single one of them has a signature win...except against each other.

  • mr simple||

    I'm not saying what they deserve. I'm not saying it will definitely happen. I'm saying it gives them something to point to when they jump the winner of the #3/#4 game, the last game of the season, into second place to play in the championship and maybe a reason is all that is needed.

  • sloopyinca||

    We'll see how the pollster react if Oregon loses at home in OT to the 13th ranked team. I'm curious if they treat them like they did Bama when they lost to the 15th ranked team at home in regulation.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    are you implying there's an east coast bias?

  • sloopyinca||

    No. I'm saying there is a completely unjustified SEC bias.

    BTW, Oregon just missed a FG in OT. Stanford wins if they score.

  • sloopyinca||

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Stanford wins.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Notre Dame is #1

  • sloopyinca||

    Looks like Stanford just tied it up too. Holy dog balls. The Buckeyes might be National Champs!

  • sloopyinca||

    Looks like Stanford just tied it up too. Holy dog balls. The Buckeyes might be National Champs!

  • C. Anacreon||

    October 5, 2013, sloop. We are playing your dOSU for our homecoming game. Just like every other school, we bring in a patsy to entertain the alumni.

    We might have to have a Reasonable wager between us.

    Go Cats.

  • sloopyinca||

    This stat is useless since people come out in droves to watch their great fundamentals.

    FTA: The one-handed dunk moved Griner past Tennessee's Candace Parker for the most slam dunks in women's NCAA history. Griner dunked four times as a freshman, once as a sophomore and twice in last season's NCAA tournament.

    Only five other players beside Griner and Parker have dunked in a women's game.

  • Almanian.||

    But, yeah, as you noted, that doesn't matter cause...fundamentals.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I thought it was fundaments

  • ||

    Homple| 11.17.12 @ 5:07PM |#

    Indeed the percentage of Latino voters is rising, and 71% of them voted Democrat in the last election.



    Uhhh!, if they're temporary workers, they can't vote and never will be able to.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    There's a reason the Dems fought like hell to keep the voter ID laws from taking effect.

  • Sidd Finch||

    No. I'm saying there is a completely unjustified SEC bias.

    As of 11/17/12, the AP has the top 6 SEC teams ranked 4,5,7,8,9,12.

    The BCS computers have the top 6 at 3,5,6,7,8,8.

    You B1G fanbois are delusional. Also ... 403!?

  • sloopyinca||

    We're not "Big Ten Fanbois. We're fans of our teams. SEC fans are the conference supporters.

    And so what. Collectively, to this point, here are Georgia, South Carolina and Florida's OOC opponents: Buffalo(347 yds given up), Georgia Southern (318 yds given up to a 1-AA team), Fla Atlantic (318 yds given up), East Carolina (403 yds given up, the same UAB team (267 yds), Wofford (330 yds to another 1-AA team), Bowling Green (327 yds given up in a 13 pt win), LA-Lafayette (267 yds given up in a game the Gators won on the last play) and Jacksonville State (242 yds to still another 1-AA team).

    All the SEC does is play with itself and tell everybody how good they are when they don't play a soul OOC. It's all smoke and mirrors.

  • sloopyinca||

    Want the SEC WEst's top three teams (Bama, LSU and aTm's OOC schedule? Here it is: SMU, South Carolina State (1-AA), LA Tech and Sam Houston State (a second 1-AA team for a single SEC school in one year), North Texas, Washington, Idaho, Towson (1-AA...again), Michigan, Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic and Western Carolina (another fine 1-AA tradition).

    Talk about your murderers row. the top half of the conference have played more teams from 1-AA schools (one of them has played half of their OOC games against 1-AA foes) than teams from BCS conferences to the tune of 7 1-AA games vs 2 BCS conf games. That will be a whopping 7-4 after the last week of the season.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    And how many OOC games are at home?

  • Sidd Finch||

    SEC teams schedule home-and-homes with BCS teams and pay the cupcakes to play at home -- just like all the other conferences.

  • Sidd Finch||

    All the SEC does is play with itself and tell everybody how good they are when they don't play a soul OOC. It's all smoke and mirrors.

    Smoke and mirrors that works better on computers than AP writers? Are you retarded?

  • sloopyinca||

    How does that slate of OOC opponents stack up against the average Big Ten team's?

    BTW, the SEC has a losing record OOC this year against teams from auto-qualifier conferences.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    So now you're against SEC teams miscegenating with 1-AA teams? Who are you to oppose their right to free association.

    Look at the true bigot on this thread.

  • Sidd Finch||

    According to Sagarain, Michigan St. has the toughest SOS (26th) in the B1G. The SEC has nine teams with the SOS stronger than 26th.

  • White Rabbit||

    We are told there is this RACE problem. We are told this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are more crowded than Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them."

    We are told the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to "assimilate," i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I'm not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn't object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  • Spoonman.||

    Based on my anecdotal evidence of who posts on H&R, I conclude that every racist is also a Grade-A moron.

  • cinsel chat||

    good thanks sohbet
    cinsel sohbet

  • cinsel chat||

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