Friday, April 08, 2005

Issues Far and Wide, Plus The Minutemen

Well, despite a juicy, all-encompassing post that defined the meaning of life, the joy of seeing a piece of shit named Matthew Hale receive a 40-year sentence resulting from trademark arrogance, and the wind-down for the Pope's send-off, Blogspot wasn't having any of it.

So instead of these pearls of wisdom, coupled with my trademark irreverance, sarcasm and the occasional shout-out to my partner in crime (Kaia, you know who you are), Blogger was a little backed up and, apparently, wouldn't accept my post. Some fargin' nerve...and while it was out of my control and most assuredly the Big Man's way of telling me something (no, not Marlon Brando), I do apologize.

So rest assured, ye HoB faithful...this space will continue to be updated for as long as Blogspot is free and up and running. Once they start charging, I'll still be here -- I'll just start selling off my personal collection of used, unwashed boxer shorts. Incidentally, I'm not sure why when some 18-year-old twinkie from Sweden offers to sell her used panties they call it "sexy" and when I do the same they label it "laziness."

In any case, if you were wondering, I wasn't preoccupied with laundry, some 18-year-old twinkie's panties, or even Matthew Hale. But I was laughing a bit about the US Border Patrol's decision to empower civilians to keep watch over our borders. The "Minutemen" have been effective, but at what cost to us today and to us down the line? To wit, yesterday, Bryan Barton, one of those whose charge it is to protect our borders from illegal immigrants, was on patrol with two other Minutemen when they happened upon an illegal, and instead of simply detaining him or returning him to his country, they instead gave him food and water and took the photograph shown below.

The shirt's caption, for those who cannot make it out: "Bryan Barton caught me crossing the border and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

There are myriad questions and problems with the "Minutemen" as a solution to our problems. On the surface, it's sad and pathetic that we've outsourced the protection of our borders to civilians (whether or not you think the above photograph is a good example of a sense of humor or simply one human being degrading another is irrelevant). The notion of vigilante justice -- despite what Charles Bronson did to improve its cache while he was alive -- is not something to which we should aspire but something we need to avoid. In addition, the gentleman pictured above accused Mr. Barton and his colleagues of improperly detaining him.

The police in question reviewed the incident and it was determined that Mr. Barton and his colleagues did nothing wrong.

However, this raises another interesting question: when will the first incident occur in which policemen side with immigrants -- illegal immigrants -- against citizens of this nation? Legality aside, what happens when one or more of the "Minutemen" decide that an illegal immigrant (eg a female) is their "property" and commit one or more crimes against her or her companions? Crimes committed on US soil are crimes, regardless of the nationality or the citizenship of the victim(s). However, in these sue, finger-point and settle-out-of-court times, this is a can of worms that will only get worse, not better. This "Minutemen" idea doesn't even sound good on paper.

The overall concern is that it invites trouble not simply legally but morally as well. In addition, despite the notion that we as citizens have a right and a responsibility to protect our nation, it is pathetic that we as a nation must enlist the help of civilians to prevent our borders from being violated. The answer: hire more police and border guards who are trained professionals, not a bunch of assholes with t-shirts, video cameras and paintball combat awards. It's silly, it's ridiculous and it needs to stop, before something really bad happens. This idea, especially considering today's litigious society, is like a festering hemorrhoid oozing the collective stupidity that is government-sponsored vigilantism. All it will take is one "shoot first, ask questions later" episode to remind us that, given the opportunity, humans will degrade and defile their fellow man, whether they are in Japanese internment camps, the sights of a 30-06 hunting rifle near a US border, or in concentration camps, the ghosts of which litter Eastern Europe. We should know better. By now, we should know better.

Of course, by "we" I mean people who aren't members of our government.

Image Courtesy MSNBC

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