The Obama administration plans a 50 percent cut in border surveillance along the U.S. Southwest boundary with Mexico even as the migrant surge from impoverished Central and South America worsens.
As reported by Texas Tribune, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo, have sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security pressing its director, Jeh Johnson, on why the agency plans to reduce aerial surveillance along the Tex-Mex border.
In the letter the pair noted that DHS’ planned cut to a requested 3,850 hours of aerial detection and monitoring this year was 50 percent less coverage than in recent years, and at a time when an increased number of migrants are flooding the border.
“Given the recent surge of migrants from Central America and Cuba along the southern border, we believe DHS should request more surveillance and security resources, not fewer,” they wrote.
Abbott and Cuellar also reminded Johnson that in September the governor’s office requested more aerial reconnaissance resources and U.S. Border Patrol agents but the request was ignored.
A spokesperson for DHS advised that someone would respond “directly” to the governor and the lawmaker.
[The] request comes as CBP is reporting a new surge in the number of undocumented immigrants crossing the Rio Grande. From October to December of 2015, about 10,560 unaccompanied minors entered Texas illegally through the Rio Grande Valley sector of the U.S. Border Patrol. That marks a 115 percent increase over the same time frame in 2014. The amount of family units, defined as at least one child and adult guardian or parent, has increased by 170 percent to 14,336 in the Rio Grande Valley.
In addition other sectors along the Texas-Mexico border have seen dramatic increases in migrant traffic.
Abbott noted in his letter than a significant number of Cuban migrants were also streaming towards and across the border.
Critics of the Obama administration say this is part of the president’s overall plan to create more chaos in the country, and they may be right; given Obama’s previous executive actions on immigrant, essentially delaying deportation (which has been found unconstitutional by lower federal courts) and this very conscious decision to cut border security, obviously the administration is attempting to do more than just bolster Democratic voter rolls.
What makes a story like this important to Americans who don’t live in Texas or a different border state is that migrants don’t stay in those border states – the “migrate” north and, with the administration’s help, are resettled in various communities around the country.
Given the very dire economic status of the country and the world, there is every reason to believe that at some point these migrants – who aren’t planning to assimilate and won’t be forced to do so – will become much more of a liability than simply being a drain on the welfare system.
Look for Obama to do what he can during his final months in office to
1) further destabilize the economy; and
2) weaken border security.
By Scott Bennett
The rancher Hammond yelled frantically to his son, “Hurry! For God’s sake the flames are gettin’ at the cattle…light the counter-fire, and throw that dynamite into it, now…it’s our only chance!”
And then an upward waterfall of yellow sparks and smoke arose as a roaring leviathan, terrifying the mooing cows as it chased after them, ferocious and devouring, their neck bells peeling wildly as the cattle stampeded into a dusty oblivion.
The next day, the black flat land smoldered its groans, stripped raw of life, with the half-charred bodies of dead cows on their backs, their straightened legs frozen high in the air in comically bizarre postures as the rigor mortis of death translated the rancher’s eyes, silently calculating his losses. It was a day not felt since the Dust Bowl of his grandfather’s Great Depression; but if Job could endure it, so could he.
Then as the rancher and his son returned home, exhaustively stumbling up the front porch steps, a curled white flyer nailed to the door caught his eye. Squinting and wrinkling his nose as if to smell its meaning, he approached it. Then his face fell and his blood ran cold as he read the large letters stamped boldly on the front: COURT SUBPOENA FOR CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TERRORIST ARSON AND DESTRUCTION OF FEDERAL NATURE PRESERVE.
By Tyler Durden
While US intervention in its various forms has likely been ongoing for decades, March 2011 is often cited as the start of foreign involvement in the Syrian Civil War (refering to political, military and operational support to parties involved in the ongoing conflict in Syria, as well as active foreign involvement).
Since then the nation has collapsed into chaos with an endless array of superlatives possible to describe the economic and civilian carnage that has ensued.
However, while a picture can paint a thousand words, these four shocking images describe a canvas of US foreign policy "success" that few in the mainstream media would be willing to expose...
How would you feel if this was your town? Savannah, Ga.
Everything just looked odd, and unhealthy, and of course sounded worse.
Gray and gaunt, masking sadness under a snarky smile that chuckled a passive-aggressive contempt, Obama shuffled down the carpet like a Bee-Gee singer with an agonizing hemeroid, trying to unwrinkle his clammy brow in a veneer of fake gladness to see his former democrats teetering over the aisle, reaching to shake his hand like giddy metrosexual boys and girls at a Justin Timberlake concert. And even old Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg blocking the President’s stroll up the carpet to force him into a deep hug with her, her black robe rising to reveal a glimpse of lascivious corruption.
The scowling, expressionless faces of mannequins dressed in military uniforms of the Joint Chiefs. When Obama looked at them, they kept smiling like military men with bottomless budgets and easy slush jobs and new wars to waste their time and spend the blood and souls of Americans on. And his husband Michelle, watching from the stands with its characteristic underbite, and dressed in the yellow uniform of the banana republic Oligarchy America has fattened into. The clapping millionaires assembled in standing ovation, the camera panning over the opulence of Oligarchy Hall of Congress, showing McCain, Bernie Sanders; Senator Mitch McConnell looking like an old cobbler without his false teeth; then a yellow-faced Al Franken looking like a freshly castrated Jack Handy; a couple of painfully stern nuns, somehow suggesting Obama is a religious man…or perhaps the demoniac from the tombs by the name of Legion?
What the Major Media is Afraid to Say!
When Starbucks announced that its stores are officially "Safe Places" for members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community did they set themselves up as a new, easy access soft target for radical Islam?
Corporations around the world need to realize that political stands can and probably will make them the target of terrorists.
2015: In reference to supporting their stand on Gay Marriage and the LGBT lifestyle, Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz on Gay Marriage: we want to embrace diversity. Of all kinds.”
Police departments around the country are using high-powered analytics software (SureView Analytics by Raytheon) to comb social media and calculate threat levels for individual suspects before they are arrested, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the news.
The program, called “Beware or RIOT,” uses addresses awaiting police response, finds the names of individuals who lives there, and checks their name against social media and other publicly available sources of information like property records and prior arrests to determine if they may pose a threat to responding officers. In one example cited by the software’s manufacturer, Intrado, an individual who is a military veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and posted troubling comments on social media would raise a red flag.
Beware is part of a wide-ranging information gathering push that allows police to collect and analyze data from a number of sources in real time. One police department visited by WaPo in Fresno, California, combined social media information with a database of vehicle locations, audio from microphones listening for gunshots, and surveillance footage from over 200 video cameras around the city, with plans to add footage from police officers’ body cameras as well.
Predictably critics say the program violates privacy, but supporters emphasize that all the information is publicly available, including social media posts left visible by individuals’ security settings.
This level of social media surveillance is actually fairly tame compared to what other systems are capable of. Back in 2013 Raytheon, the global defense contractor with close ties to the U.S. government, developed software that can track an individual’s physical location using information from social media including data embedded in photographs. The program, called Rapid Information Overlay Technology, also draws on information in social media posts to determine location and activities, to create a precise daily itinerary for an individual.
According to Arthur C. Clarke, Ringworld author Larry Niven famously said that “The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program.” Technically, that’s true. If Tyrannosaurs with short-sleeved white dress shirts and Triceratops in moon boots were tracking, cataloging, and making strategies for the trillions of space rocks that may one day head our way, they could still be around.
NASA knows the value of tracking civilization-killers like the one that obliterated the dinos, andtoday have announced the formal creation of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO). How cool does that sound?
While no Armageddon-like threats are or the horizon (as far as we know), incidents like the meteor that blew up over Chelyabinsk, Russia, which injured thousands, proved that our eyes need to be on the skies. (If that meteor hit the ground directly, Chelyabinsk would be gone.) The most pressing objects are the ones that drift close to Earth’s orbits, so-called “Near-Earth Objects” (NEOs). NASA has identified 13,500 NEOs so far — sizes range from harmless to civilization-ending — but there must be thousands upon thousands more. Do they pose a risk? We won’t know until we find them.
According to the press release, the PDCO “will be responsible for supervision of all NASA-funded projects to find and characterize asteroids and comets that pass near Earth’s orbit around the sun.” And if the office does find something worthy of Bruce Willis, it will be responsible for coordinating the appropriate national or international response.
Right now, that response is….well, it depends. We haven’t really tested asteroid redirect techniques, though NASA is set to test a tractor beam method in the next decade where theAsteroid Redirect Mission will use a spacecraft’s tiny gravitational tug to change the course of a space rock.
And if there is no way to deflect a dino-killer, the PDCO will at least provide data on impact timing, location, and effects to disaster agencies like FEMA.
Going forward, NASA will be focused on finding NEOs larger than a football field with ground-based telescopes. The most recent NASA budget devotes $50 million to planetary defense, so hopefully the agency can meet its goal of finding 90 percent of these rocks by 2020.
We can categorically say that our space program is better than the dinosaurs’. Let’s hope that when it comes time to test that assertion, we’ll be ready.
Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer for the program, said: "The formal establishment of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office makes it evident that the agency is committed to perform a leadership role in national and international efforts for detection of these natural impact hazards, and to be engaged in planning if there is a need for planetary defense."
One of NASA's main goals is finding objects that are 140 metres wide or larger while the long-term aim is to develop technologies that could deflect this matter if it is on a collision course with Earth.
If an intervention is not possible, the space agency will work with the U.S.' emergency response team -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -- to work out impact timing and locations.
According to the agency's statement, the same courtesies will given to "international counterparts."
In the UK, Brian May joined hands with scientists around the country and launched Asteroid Day on June 30, to amplify asteroid-detection efforts.
"One day it (Asteroid Day) may save the world."
But do you really think this program is just about Rocks????
Black holes have long been known for “destroying” matter, with scientists usually referring to them as “eating” gas and stars. This reputation may be about to change.
Astronomers noticed two gigantic waves of gas being “burped” by the massive black hole at the center of NGC 5195, a small galaxy 26 million light years from Earth. It’s one of the closest “supermassive” black holes to our planet to be showing such activity.
The team believes the outburst is a consequence of the interaction of NGC 5195 with a nearby, larger galaxy. The energy generated by the sudden inflow of gas towards the black hole caused the outburst, which, according to the team, amassed enough material to prompt the formation of new stars.
“Apparently, black holes can also burp after their meal,” the University of Texas’s Eric Schlegel, who led the study, told NASA. “Our observation is important because this behavior would likely happen very often in the early universe, altering the evolution of galaxies. It is common for big black holes to expel gas outward, but rare to have such a close, resolved view of these events.”
Using X-ray images from NASA’s Chandra Observatory and optical images from the Kitt Peak National Observatory, Schlegel and his team spotted the two arcs of gas, preceded by a thin layer of cooler hydrogen gas. This suggests that the hotter gas snatched the hydrogen gas from the heart of the galaxy.
This outburst is an example of “feedback” between a supermassive black hole and the host galaxy.
“We think that feedback keeps galaxies from becoming too large,” said Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CFA)’s Marie Machacek, a co-author of the study. “But at the same time, it can be responsible for how some stars form. This shows that black holes can create, not just destroy.”
According to the team, who presented the study at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, the burp happened a few million years ago: The inner wave of gas took about three million years to reach its current position, and the outer twice as much.
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