Report from America's militarized, constitution-free border-zone




It detained 96-year-old former Arizona governor Raul Castro and made him stand in 100-degree heat for more than 30 minutes because a dog detected the radiation from his pacemaker.

Uh, wha? As if we needed any more proof that police dogs alert on their handlers’ command. It doesn’t matter how good their noses are, they can’t smell radiation. I’d like to see the documentation on that training regimen.


Where *does all this insane hate come from? Has it always been this bad? Is it that I have been ignorant or is it in fact getting much worse. Did the election of our first Black President somehow unchain all the haters? Is it coming to pass because rightwing media has fueled the insanity? If it's been planned it's brilliant! People are ignoring the destruction of the middle class, the destruction of our rights. Instead the energy of hate has absorbed all the work that should be aimed at restoring a true democracy. Who are the people who are level headed anymore. I read and listen to Thom Hartmann and he makes sense. Who else sees what's going on and talks about it.


I have been saying, for decades (I know there is no way to test this assertion) that the strength of America is in the second and third generation immigrants.

My take on this hatred, and please note it's all IMO:

It's a weird, toxic mix of Watergate and the War On Drugs.

I have lived through the part of history where Watergate happened, and where the "War on Drugs" started. This doesn't make my opinion or observation "right" just one more data point.


Playing devil's advocate here: Dogs definitely can't smell radiation composed of photons (since photons aren't matter), but ionizing radiation does create ions (or rather ionizes various molecules depending on the energy of the radiation). There plausibly could be a distinct chemical signature for the low-level ionization of tissue where the standard location of a pacemaker is...

I'm not saying that in this case, or even in reality, that a dog could smell a nuclear powered pacemaker. I'm merely stating that there's a chain of logic (however unlikely to be true) that may possibly show that the presence of a specific type of radioactive substance is implanted in someone.

Occam's razor would suggest that the far more likely reason why the dog alerted was because he was told to though. We don't have to assume that dogs alert when their trainer tells them to, because we have numerous cases of this happening.


Starting with your well-considered conjecture and adding some thoughts of my own: I'd love to see someone video their way through police training (they may spend a significant part their time wearing video cameras anyway, and there's always smartphones for the rest), then post representative highlights as a public service, Snowden-style. It would be interesting to see how our police forces are being trained to act and to think, and it would be SO COOL to have video of an instructor saying "and here's how you get your dog to alert on command."


I've seen footage where a trainer had his dog searching the outside of a car. On the first pass the dog didn't pick up anything, so the trainer pointed out a specific place near the window by tapping on it, had the dog sniff that spot, tapped the spot again, had the dog sniff it a third time, then the dog alerted with excited barking.

I'm pretty sure the trainer just went the route of confusing the dog who reacted in the typical confused dog way.

The video was posted around here somewhere. I think about a year ago.


It's always been this bad. People with problems gravitate to jobs like this. That is why we have so many willing to torture and beat the life out of people. If it seems worse now it's because the checks that used to be in place--you know, Constitutional checks and so forth--have been obviated. These guys go to these jobs because hurting people is their idea of fun. It's the same the world over.


That’s why I alluded to the bizarrely nearsighted training regimen it would take to get a dog to recognize a specific cocktail of ionized molecules without taking into account the obvious fact that millions of pacemakers would emit the same signature. It would be like training a dog to alert to cocaine or cotton.

(This is all without even delving into the utter infeasibility of carrying an effective nuclear weapon or dirty bomb undetectable to cursory visual examination in a volume of ordinary baggage, much less on one’s person.)

The dog didn’t “alert” on any fucking ions, it “alerted” on the old man’s surname and skin color.


I'm pro-gun control, but this is the type of shit that makes me start to feel like everyone should be armed; so they can shoot these fascist fucks when they pull this shit.

If I were 50+ miles from a border and someone claiming to be a border patrol agent acted like these fuckers do, I would not believe they were legit at all. I'd absolutely believe that it was someone pretending to be an officer/agent attempting to rob and/or assault me, and would act accordingly.

This country is getting more and more to the position where an armed uprising is going to be the only recourse - we have documented proof of heinous crimes committed by the police/FBI/border patrol/other that would make the SS and KGB feel right at home, and the government does nothing. It closes ranks, it covers up, and it attempts to destroy anyone who points it out.

All this is being done in the name of the "War on Terror". A more accurate name would be the "War of Terror" - our government uses terror to justify and enable it's abuses. It passes unconstitutional laws and uses our fear of terrorists to justify it. It maintains these unconstitutional stances by making people too afraid to speak up when they're being violated by them - unaccountable sociopaths in uniforms see to that.

Every day I'm becoming more convinced that I'm more likely to be killed by agents of my own government, by many orders of magnitude, than by any other terrorist organization.


Okay, I'm definitely crossing the US off my bucket list.


Curious. The Democrats control the Presidency and 1/2 of the Congress, and yet you manage to try to blame this on "rightwing" media. It sounds to me that to find the "hate" you just have to look into the mirror.

Sorry but this is the "hope and change" that you voted for. This does present an interesting paradox, however. This woman, a US citizen, was treated very poorly (criminal, IMHO, and DHS people need to be fired or put in jail). However, if she had just crossed the border illegally, she would have been treated much, much better. The lesson? Don't obey the law -- it just gets you into trouble.


I understand your anger and frustration. But I would like to point out that this is the reason that the 2nd Amendment exists in the first place. The founding fathers of this country believed in checks and balances, hence three branches of government, congress split into two houses, etc. Keeping citizens armed is sort of the ultimate "check and balance" on government. This helps make sure that the government cannot go too much against the will of the people.


I don't see how the second amendment acts as a check and balance anymore. Can you convince me that any attempt to overthrow the US government, regardless of the politics of the revolution, wouldn't end like Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968?

The only way I could see it working is if people from the 0.1% started buying modern tanks and aircraft and training people to use them, and the status quo is too profitable for them to really want to do that (considering what I think of the politics of the 0.1%, that is probably a good thing).


It sounds to me that to find the "hate" you just have to look into the mirror.

Thanks, that helps me feel like I have an opportunity to engage in an exchange of thoughts.
I posed the question "Is it coming to pass because rightwing media has fueled the insanity?" Is that the same as blaming them? When you say this is "the hope and change I voted for" you are in error. I did want hope and change to be sure and I did vote for Obama x2. I underestimated the intensity of hate and obstruction he would face. When Mitch McConnell and other elected republicans met and voted to deny Obama any success it represented a reality I thought was part of the past. When Americans citizens stand in the way of refugee children fleeing from oppressive homelands we have lost our dignity. I had hoped to find a dialog or fresh thoughts, instead I got your response.


Well, the people in Iraq and Afghanistan have mostly access to only rifles and improvised explosives. Look how well things are going over there.

I am not saying that an actual overthrow of the government is likely, or even possible. What I AM saying is that if the government really pisses enough people off, life could become complete hell for the government. Even if a civil war was doomed, the possibility of one is a deterrent.


That comparison fails on many levels--it doesn't even get to the proverbial sniff test. The governmental infrastructure in both Iraq and Afghanistan hardly exists--it's primarily tribal factions or an exceptionally brutal strongman in charge--so it doesn't take much for people in those areas to make things tough for any sort of national or even local governance.
And I'll echo @iquitos46 in saying that your reference to the voted for "hope and change" is a quick way to get ignored. And your paradox isn't really anything of the sort. Cross the border legally and never be allowed in, or get traumatized by nutbag right-wing protesters to the point that you're happy to be deported. Cross the border illegally, and get your head stove in or be thrown in jail...where your head will likely get stove in anyway (or hey, maybe you make it in, but we'll deny you even the most basic necessities, like ensuring that you can't get water or rent a home). The lesson? Anyone willing to attempt a bypass of those awful situations is clearly trying to escape a horrible situation of their own.

Just an incredibly poorly reference to an article: (from the linked article)
They arrived at the checkpoint near Tubac a little before noon, and the agent immediately raised the medical question, Doan said. As it happened, Castro had received a medical procedure at Tucson Heart Hospital the previous day.
Apparently, the procedure involved radiation, Castro said, because the agent had detected radiation coming from the vehicle Doan was driving. In a brief phone interview, Castro said the procedure followed up an earlier pacemaker procedure he had in March.
Agents wear small radiation-detection devices on their belts, said Elyse Golob, executive director of the National Center for Border Security and Immigration at the University of Arizona.
"It has a very limited range, so it goes off at the car" where radiation is detected, Golob said.

The word "dog" doesn't even appear in the referenced article.
Also, it wasn't a nuclear, plutonium, pacemaker -- he had a nuclear medicine procedure (probably thallium) as a follow-up to a pacemaker operation.


You haven't seen the latest K-9 units.


Zoom your browser in. Their shoulder patches clearly say "US Border Patrol"