Posts Tagged ‘Homeland Security’

9-11 Urban Legacy: Cities of Bollards

September 13, 2021

9-11 Urban Legacy: Cities of Bollards

“It used to be that D.C. architecture consisted of graceful Georgetown mansions, neoclassical federal buildings — and, of course, the monuments. When the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts was founded in 1910 to guide Washington’s architectural development, it reviewed designs such as those of the Lincoln Memorial and the Federal Triangle. Over the seven years I’ve served on the commission, however, an increasing amount of time is spent discussing security-improvement projects: screening facilities, hardened gatehouses, Delta barriers, perimeter fences, and seemingly endless rows of bollards. We used to mock an earlier generation that peppered the U.S. capital with Civil War generals on horseback; now I wonder what future generations will make of our architectural legacy of crash-resistant walls and blast-proof glass.”

— Wittold Rybczynski, Meyerson professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more:

“The Blast-Proof City,” Wittold Rybczynski, Foreign Policy

“We Built DC Into an Urban Fortress After 9/11. And January 6 Proved It Was Penetrable.” Jane Recker, Washingtonian

“I Came, Eyesore, I Conquered,” Witold Rybczynski, Slate

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Trump Travel Ban Protects US From Terrorist Grannies

June 30, 2017

Trump Travel Ban Protects US From Terrorist Grannies

The U.S. Supreme Court, now with Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch on board, has ruled that a modified version of Donald Trump’s travel ban can go into effect for 90 days, as of yesterday evening. Travelers from six majority-muslim countries, none of whose citizens have committed terrorist acts on United States soil, must now document “bona fide relationships” with U.S. persons, companies, or institutions in order to travel to the USA.

The Trump administration has issued directives defining “bona fide relationships,” and the weirdest ones involve families of of U.S. citizens and legal residents. Some relatives may travel to the USA: Spouses, children and stepchildren, siblings and stepsiblings, parents and step-parents, father-in-laws and mother-in-laws, fiancées and fiancés. Who may not travel: Grandparents, grandchildren, sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, or cousins.

This is a pretty strange definition of “family” by any standards. Remember, little Donnie Trump grew up across the street from his own immigrant grandmother in Queens, NY.

Update:

At the last moment, fiancées/fiancés were added to the good-to-go list, perhaps after lobbying from the mail order bride industry or because the president likes to marry foreign models?), and text above has been updated. But how can these relationships be documented? The Bridal Registry at Crate & Barrel? Engagement ring receipts from Kay Jewelers?

More:

“Stepsister, Yes; Grandma, No: U.S. Sets Guidelines for Revised Travel Ban,” Gardiner Harris and Ron Nixon, New York Times

“Travel ban’s ‘bona fide relationship’ test could open legal floodgates,” Lauren Pearle and Connor Finnegan, ABC News

“The Supreme Court Partially Allowed Trump’s Travel Ban. Who Is Still Barred?” Alicia Parlapiano and Anjali Singhvi, New York Times

“The travel ban going into effect would have saved zero lives from terrorist attacks in the last 20 years,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

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Image: If Granny Clampett is Muslim, she can kiss Beverly Hills goodbye.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Mass Surveillance

April 27, 2016

Anti-terrorism mass surveillance practices examined by Kurzgesagt (German for “in short; in a nutshell”).

More:

“What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much,” Lauren Kirchner, Pro Publica

“Peekaboo, I See You: Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes,” Mark Jaycox, Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Nuts! The Threat to Our Nation’s Infrastructure

September 23, 2013

Nuts! The Threat to Our Nation's Infrastructure

For years now we’ve told you, and told you, and told you yet again about a persistent threat to America’s infrastructure. Now that the New York Times has caught up, maybe now you’ll listen.

This year there have been stealth attacks on the electric power grid in Virginia, Illinois, Delaware, Virginia, Oregon, Ohio, Maryland, and dozens of places across the country, and they continue. These attacks on electrical substations are predictable and avoidable, yet nothing is done to avert them. Perhaps if we claim they are caused by Iranian hackers we can get relief.

More:

“Squirrel Power!” Jon Mooallem, New York Times

“Squirrels and electricity: A shocking problem,” Bruce Kennedy, MSN Money

“How squirrels are screwing with America’s power grid,” Katie Drummond, The Verge

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Tweets of Terror

January 6, 2012

Tweets of Terror

“Imagine you’re a human rights activist working for an NGO in Sri Lanka. After a hard day’s work in a humid office building, you walk into your apartment, fire up your laptop and fire off the following tweet:

 ‘Holding workshop with @LTTE and Sri Lankan govt. about easing roadblocks for medical supplies to be trucked in. Conf. going well, God-willing.’

 Congratulations, you’re now a terrorist.”

— “Terror Tweets,” John Winn, OhMyGov!

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Washington, City of Bollards

September 12, 2011

Washington, City of Bollards

“It used to be that D.C. architecture consisted of graceful Georgetown mansions, neoclassical federal buildings — and, of course, the monuments. When the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts was founded in 1910 to guide Washington’s architectural development, it reviewed designs such as those of the Lincoln Memorial and the Federal Triangle. Over the seven years I’ve served on the commission, however, an increasing amount of time is spent discussing security-improvement projects: screening facilities, hardened gatehouses, Delta barriers, perimeter fences, and seemingly endless rows of bollards. We used to mock an earlier generation that peppered the U.S. capital with Civil War generals on horseback; now I wonder what future generations will make of our architectural legacy of crash-resistant walls and blast-proof glass.”

Wittold Rybczynski, Meyerson professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more:

“The Blast-Proof City,” Wittold Rybczynski, Foreign Policy

“I Came, Eyesore, I Conquered,” Witold Rybczynski, Slate

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-b6L

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Big Border Bologna Bust!

May 20, 2011

Big Border Bologna Bust!

In a stunning security coup, agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service seized 385 pounds of bologna sausage at the New Mexico border last week. Officials bagged the bologna bandit as he sought to smuggle illicit lunchmeat into sleepy Santa Teresa, NM (population 2607).  The contraband cold cuts, with a street value of $2,700, were seized and destroyed before they reached the lunchboxes of innocent American schoolchildren.

Yet, for each bologna bagged at the border, surely six salamis slither across. Mr. President: where is our Border Wall?

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Proven: The Terror Baby Menace!

March 18, 2011

 Proven: The Terror Baby Menace!

At last, scientific vindication of the Terror Baby menace, the wave of pregnant terrorist tourists coming to our country and dropping their evil spawn amongst us to bomb us into oblivion. This threat to National Security was first brought to our attention by Congressman Louie Gohmert (R, TX-1) . Mr. Gohmert discovered this phenomenon through the actual chit-chat of an actual foreign woman during an actual overseas airline flight.

Now the Center for Immigration Studies, America’s most official-sounding xenophobic “think tank,” has released a scientific study, based on scientifically-selected editorials, which expresses Islamic Infant Terror Tourist Tactics in actual Arabic Numbers. It reveals that millions of fecund foreign females cross our borders to study and vacation in our fair land and, given their unAmerican high fertility rates, they undoubtedly eject infants before departing. Simple arithmatic shows that as many as 200,000 infant invaders can be be born here under the flimsy cover of legitimate tourist and student visas. These baby bombers can claim U.S. citizenship after a mere 21 years and dissappear amongst us to menace our precious malls and McDonald’s.

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Walls of Washington

January 14, 2011

Walls of Washington

“Security concerns have transformed Washington, taking a city envisioned as the physical embodiment of the openness of American democracy and turning it into a garrison town that is increasingly inaccessible to the general public.”

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Body Scanner Alternatives

November 20, 2010

Body Scanner Alternatives

Air travelers worldwide are protesting the use of full body scanners in airports, and they like TSA’s full-body pat-downs even less. Eternal vigilance is the price we pay in the battle against deadly exploding undergarments, and this public resistance doesn’t leave many alternatives. One of our readers suggested underwear check-in and compulsory use of security-compliant kilts by air travellers. We assume the airlines will charge extra for that.

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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