Homeland Stupidity

Michael Chertoff, the sorry excuse for a Homeland Security chief, recently complained of “produce shortages” because “we’re enforcing the (immigration) law”. Well squeeze me Mr. Chertoff, but laws exist for a reason and not just for liesure reading.  If the laws had already been put into practice, the burgeoning criminal alien population wouldn’t be an issue. 

I don’t know where you shop, but I just went to the grocery store and the produce department was overflowing with a multitude of vegetables and fruit, and I bet not all of it was plucked by Pedro.  In response to Chertoff’s idiocy, Rep. Tom Tancredo had a special delivery for him:

Tancredo to Send Message to Chertoff
Lawmaker questions Homeland Security Secretary’s Ability to “Produce” Results

(Washington, D.C.)– Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) will send a head of lettuce and a fruit basket to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff today. Tancredo made the move after Chertoff told reporters earlier this week that enforcing the law is causing produce shortages. “The administration has taken hyperbole to a whole new level this time,” said Tancredo, “They are now trying to convince the public that without amnesty, the American people are going to starve?”

“The agriculture industry and the free market has managed to keep producing through floods, droughts, and $3.00 per gallon gas,” said Tancredo, “I doubt very seriously that a nominal increase in labor costs is going to be the end of lettuce as we know it.” According to National Journal’s Hotline this morning, Chertoff said in a conference call on 6/27 with reporters that, “We’re living in a world in which lettuce and fruit is not being picked because we are enforcing the law.”
A staffer from Congressman Tancredo’s office will deliver a head of lettuce and a small fruit basket from a local grocery store to Secretary Chertoff’s office at 3 PM ET today located at 3801 Nebraska Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20528.
Congressman Tancredo wrote in the card, “Much, much more where this comes from.”

http://tancredo.house.gov/press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1286

Chertoff’s office refused the basket due to “security concerns”.  This is the same agency that lacks security concerns over illegals and terrorists slithering around inside our country.

In other Homeland Stupidity news, they’ve decided to implement a 2.4 million dollar program called “Umbria” to–get this–“let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas”. 

Software Being Developed to Monitor Opinions of U.S.
Published: October 4, 2006

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — A consortium of major universities, using Homeland Security Department money, is developing software that would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas. Such a “sentiment analysis” is intended to identify potential threats to the nation, security officials said.

Researchers at institutions including Cornell, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Utah intend to test the system on hundreds of articles published in 2001 and 2002 on topics like President Bush’s use of the term “axis of evil,” the handling of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, the debate over global warming and the coup attempt against President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

A $2.4 million grant will finance the research over three years.

American officials have long relied on newspapers and other news sources to track events and opinions here and abroad, a goal that has included the routine translation of articles from many foreign publications and news services.

The new software would allow much more rapid and comprehensive monitoring of the global news media, as the Homeland Security Department and, perhaps, intelligence agencies look “to identify common patterns from numerous sources of information which might be indicative of potential threats to the nation,” a statement by the department said.

It could take several years for such a monitoring system to be in place, said Joe Kielman, coordinator of the research effort. The monitoring would not extend to United States news, Mr. Kielman said.

“We want to understand the rhetoric that is being published and how intense it is, such as the difference between dislike and excoriate,” he said.

Even the basic research has raised concern among journalism advocates and privacy groups, as well as representatives of the foreign news media.

“It is just creepy and Orwellian,” said Lucy Dalglish, a lawyer and former editor who is executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Andrei Sitov, Washington bureau chief of the Itar-Tass news agency of Russia, said he hoped that the objective did not go beyond simply identifying threats to efforts to stifle criticism about an American president or administration.

“This is what makes your country great, the open society where people can criticize their own government,” Mr. Sitov said.

The researchers, using an grant provided by a research group once affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency, have complied a database of hundreds of articles that it is being used to train a computer to recognize, rank and interpret statements.

…..Federal law prohibits the Homeland Security Department or other intelligence agencies from building such a database on American citizens, and no effort would be made to do that, a spokesman for the department, Christopher Kelly, said. But there would be no such restrictions on using foreign news media, Mr. Kelly said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/04/us/04monitor.html?ex=1183262400&en=005328c2c2641806&ei=5070

Let me get this straight: it will take 2.4 million dollars worth of new software to find anti-American asshats in the foreign press?  Apparently, the rabid moonbats of The Guardian, The Nation, Le Monde,  or most of the Arab newspapers, isn’t enough.  “Umbria” is a sickening waste of taxpayer money.

Hey Michael, just put your finger on the pulse of Americans who are fed up with our swiss-cheese borders and try monitoring the “sentiments” of the terrorist-recruiting jihadist websites, for a change.

Obliviot.

6 thoughts on “Homeland Stupidity”

  1. Michael Hampton,
    And so you did! I came across the information about the “umbria” project while surfing for DHS data. It’s outrageous to allocate millions of taxpayer dollars for something like that when it’s easy enough for the Intelligence agencies (or the average citizen, for that matter) to pick up on world-wide attitudes without it.

  2. Nick: The article explains that they are receiving the grant money from, and are developing the software for future use by the DHS.

  3. NOTE TO PEDRO: You left your comment (cartoon link) in the wrong section…You should have responded in the GWOT in Iraq.
    If you had a reasonable command of the English language, you’d have figured that out. And BTW: Get your nose out of the Washington Post and the other leftist rags for a change, and read about the successes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here, I’ll even provide the links, Vato:
    http://www.michaelyon-online.com/
    and
    http://billroggio.com/
    You see, sweetpea, these sites are maintained by boots-on-the-ground Soldiers and journalists who provide the information you won’t get in the MSM.
    Now, you can go back to playing with yourself.
    Cheers,
    SFCMAC

  4. What is the umbria part? I found the company’s website. Did they get 2.4m to develop this? I thought that was just to cornell and pitt university. How do you know this has to do with them?

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