Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 23, 2009



National Post, Canada
- Can someone please tell us how U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano got her job? She appears to be about as knowledgeable about border issues as a late-night radio call-in yahoo. In an interview broadcast on the CBC, Ms. Napolitano attempted to justify her call for stricter border security on the premise that "suspected or known terrorists" have entered the U. S. across the Canadian border, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack. All the 9/11 terrorists, of course, entered the United States directly from overseas. The notion that some arrived via Canada is a myth that briefly popped up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and was then quickly debunked. Informed of her error, Ms. Napolitano blustered: "I can't talk to that. I can talk about the future. And here's the future. The future is we have borders.". . . Just a few weeks ago, Ms. Napolitano equated Canada's border to Mexico's, suggesting they deserved the same treatment. Mexico is engulfed in a drug war that left more than 5,000 dead last year, and which is spawning a spillover kidnapping epidemic in Arizona. So many Mexicans enter the United States illegally that a multi-billion-dollar barrier has been built from Texas to California to keep them out. In Canada, on the other hand, the main problem is congestion resulting from cross-border trade. Not quite the same thing, is it?


- The Colorado Rockies, including the headwaters of the Colorado River and the Rio Grande, have experienced 11 serious dust storms this year, a record for the six years researchers have been tracking them. More important, an increasing amount of airborne dust is blanketing the region, affecting how fast the snowpack melts, when local plants bloom and what quality of air residents are breathing. The dust storms are a harbinger of a broader phenomenon, researchers say, as global warming translates into less precipitation and a population boom intensifies the activities that are disturbing the dust in the first place. Jayne Belnap, a research ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey who has studied the issue, predicts that by midcentury, the fragility of the region's soil "will be equal to that of the Dust Bowl days."



Progressive Review -
A hate crime bill is making its way through the House. The problem is that the Constitution does not permit the government to declare hate a crime. One is permitted to hate; one is not permitted to act in a criminal manner as a result. Passage of legislation that creates new penalties because of what a criminal is thinking seriously undermines the First Amendment. Crowd pleasing as it may be, such a measure leaves liberals on the wrong side of the Constitution.

Editor & Publisher - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Louisiana man who claims he was arrested for criticizing a police chief in an e-mail to a newspaper. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court accuses Mamou police chief Greg Dupuis and several of his officers of violating the civil rights of 52-year-old Bobby Felix Simmons. In an e-mail he sent to The Ville Platte Gazette last year, Simmons asked why the newspaper hadn't reported on allegations of improper conduct by Dupuis. Simmons was later arrested at his home in Franklin and charged with criminal defamation.

Marc Fisher, Washington Post -
Woozy from pain medication after a Caesarean section, swinging from joy over her newborn boy to exhaustion from the strain of delivering him, Karen Piper mentioned to her doctor that she'd been hoping for a girl. She would come to regret those words. . . When nurses finally told Piper she was free to leave, no discharge papers for her son were brought out. Instead, she faced a parade of inquisitive official visitors, including uniformed police, a social worker, a psychiatrist, and assorted doctors and nurses. Her baby had been placed on medical hold while government investigators considered whether Piper was fit to take Luke home to Prince George's County, the authorities said. She had failed to bond with her baby, a nurse told Piper.


Patriot Ledger, MA
- A man witnesses said was dressed like a ninja used a sword in an attempt to rob a dry cleaner on Main Street, police said. The man, wearing a ski mask and a sword in a sheath on his belt, walked into the Tedeschi convenience store at 1039 Main St. around 8 a.m. Monday, Sgt. Richard Fuller said. "All the witnesses said he was dressed like a ninja," Fuller said. "He was in all black including the black ski mask. And they said it was a 'ninja sword' (he was carrying)." A clerk, alarmed by the man's appearance, called police. When the man noticed her, he pulled his mask off and asked if she was calling about him, Fuller said. When she said she was, the man left the store and walked into nearby Galaxy Cleaners. There, Fuller said he pointed a sword at the register and asked a clerk to give him all of the money inside. She told him she couldn't open the drawer, and the man left the scene, Fuller said. Police are still searching for the man, who witnesses said appeared to be in his late 20s.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Canadian border and drug money must be the issue. Certainly not human trafficking, since Napolitano continued to "govern" in a state plagued by polygamy(Colorado City, AZ - Hildale, UT cross border traffic, etc.) and was rewarded with the DHS appointment.

April 24, 2009 10:52 AM  
Anonymous save the children said...

Re. the ninja robber, it's embarassingly obvious the corporate media hawks these stories constantly because one of their basic messages is that we are surrounded by bizarre violent people ergo we need to surrender our freedoms to facilitate gov't. protection. We should not notice that along with protection comes control... complete control, nor should we notice that available mental health care works a lot better on unbalanced citizens than swat teams.
I'm enclosing a link to an excellent article about the metamorphosis of public schools since Columbine. We need reasonable less sensational solutions than our nutcase gov't. is offering.
The Tragedy of Youth Deepens
Ten Years After Columbine


April 24, 2009 1:26 PM  

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