Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Today's Post

This is sort of a two-parter. Part I is at another blog. If you've read The Smallest Minority for any length of time, you know I tend toward the long-winded, and I'm not afraid to quote others in full, either. But this time, I'd like you to read a really excellent piece over at Circa Bellum. I'd read it somewhere before, but he has the piece in its entirety, and everyone ought to read it: Davy Crockett vs. Welfare. Go read.

I'm serious.

Finished? Excellent. Now, read this email I recently received from Congressman Kolbe's office, in its entirety:
Dear Mr. Baker:

I am writing to let you know about some important recent developments in Congress related to border security in southern Arizona.

Last week, the Homeland Security Appropriations House-Senate conference committee, of which I was a part, met and finalized the nation's border security appropriations for fiscal year 2006. I am pleased the final resolution provides the resources needed to secure our border, including more than $56 million that I specifically designated for the Border Patrol Tucson Sector. In addition to the $21 million requested by the Border Patrol for patrol stations, fencing, lighting, vehicle barriers, and roads, the final agreement includes an additional $35 million specifically for the Tucson Sector to help them protect the border. This money can be used at the Border Patrol's discretion to ensure it has the resources it needs to do its job. The conference report has been adopted by the House and Senate and has been sent to the President's to be signed into law.

We must secure the border. From additional agents, detention space, airplanes, helicopters and UAVs, to better technology for securing and facilitating travel into the US by land, air and sea, this bill has everything that is needed to protect our homeland. I am especially pleased to almost triple the construction funding for the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. Border Patrol will now have increased financial resources to protect our borders beyond their original plans. The additional $35 million provides the Border Patrol the flexibility to use the money as it sees fit either on new projects or to expedite current projects.

Funding benefiting southern Arizona includes:

Construction Projects ($12.7 million total)
* Willcox Border Patrol Station -- $10 million for a new 120 agent station
* Sonoita Border Patrol Station -- $2.7 million for a new 150 agent station

Tactical Infrastructure ($8.5 million total)
* Douglas Roadway Project -- $975,000 for 16 miles of all weather patrol roads with associated pedestrian fence and vehicle barriers to improve Border Patrol access and restrict cross border access.
* Douglas Fencing Project -- $2 million for international ditch reconstruction in an earth channel parallel to the border that is failing and allowing erosion to undermine border fence.
* Naco Roadway Project -- $543,000 to build all weather patrol road beginning from a location from 2.5 miles west of the Naco Port of Entry and continuing 6 miles west; and beginning from a location 2.5 miles east of the Port of Entry and continuing 4 miles east.
* Tucson/Yuma Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge Vehicle Barrier Project -- $5 million to provide all environmental documentation, engineering, and construction of vehicle barriers and patrol roads in the Cabeza Prieta NWR and Barry M. Goldwater Range.

Overall, the bill provides $30.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes $19.1 billion for border protection and immigration enforcement. That is a $1.2 billion increase over last year.

Other highlights of the bill include:

* $1.8 billion for border security and control, funding an additional 1,000 Border Patrol Agents. When combined with the fiscal year 2005 Supplemental, 1,500 new agents will be hired in fiscal year 2006;
* $3.4 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, funding an additional 250 criminal investigators and 100 Immigration Enforcement agents; when combined with the fiscal year 2005 Supplemental, 568 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and officers will be hired in fiscal year 2006;
* $41 million for border security technology, including surveillance and unmanned aerial vehicles;
* $562 million for Customs and Border Patrol Air and Marine Operations for border and airspace security;
* $45 million for increased intelligence and targeting for cargo and passengers;
* $138.8 million for the Container Security Initiative, supporting efforts in 48 foreign ports;
* $21 million for FAST/SENTRI/NEXUS to maintain security & facilitate travel on our land borders;
* $2.9 billion for the Coast Guard's homeland security missions;
* $4 million to continue and expand an immigration security pilot project at foreign airports;
* $1 billion for immigration detention custody operations;
* $135 million for transportation and removal of illegal immigrants;
* $94 million for the Institutional Removal Program,
including an additional 100 agents;
* $40 million for implementation of the REAL ID Act;
* A requirement that DHS submit a comprehensive immigration enforcement strategy that reduces the number of undocumented aliens by 10 percent per year and a requirement that DHS and ICE develop a national detention plan for undocumented aliens;
* $3.3 billion for first responders, including grants to high threat areas, firefighters; and emergency management;
* $2.5 billion for passenger and baggage screeners;
* $88 million for the training of airport screeners;
* $443 million to procure, install, maintain and integrate in-line explosive detection systems;
* $1 billion for aviation direction and enforcement activities;
* $85 million for air cargo security, including 100 new inspectors, funding to fast track pending air cargo regulations; and research and development of next generation technologies;
* $8 million for rail security inspectors and explosive detection canines;
* $5 million for trucking security and $4 million for HAZMAT truck tracking and training;
* $686 million for Federal Air Marshals, ensuring mission coverage on both domestic and international flights, including $2 million for secure communications;
* A requirement to develop and implement improved air cargo security standards and protocols, as well as the use of EDS equipment to screen air cargo at airports;
* $538 million to develop radiological, nuclear, chemical, biological, and high explosives countermeasures;
* $35 million for rapid prototyping of homeland security technologies;
* $110 million for research, development, and testing of antimissile devices for commercial aircraft;
* $20 million for container security research;
* $318 million to start-up the new Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and its help coordinate global nuclear detection and tracking;
* $63 million for university-based centers of excellence and fellowships;
* $180 million for critical infrastructure identification and evaluation, and outreach and partnerships with industry;
* $14 million to identify and characterize potential bio-terrorist attacks;
* $39.6 million for U.S. Secret Service's Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs), including an additional 50 people devoted to combating electronic crime and identity theft;
* $93.3 million for cyber-security;
* $255 million for enhancing secure communications with State and local governments;
* $2.6 billion for traditional Coast Guard operating activities, including maritime safety, drug interdiction, and fisheries, environmental, and humanitarian missions;
* $487 million for the Federal Protective Service to protect over 8,800 federal facilities nationwide;
* $25 million to enforce laws related to forced child labor, intellectual property rights, and textile transshipment;
* $7.9 million to support investigations related to missing and exploited children; and
* $1.9 billion for citizenship and immigration services.

I am pleased to see that Congress is acting so broadly to secure our nation's borders, and I hope that we will also vote on a comprehensive border security and immigration reform bill in the coming months. I will continue to keep you informed as legislation is considered, or other events occur that effect border security.


Jim Kolbe
Member of Congress
Yep, that's our Congress at work. When the only tool you have on your belt is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

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