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Thursday, September 21, 2006

So much for the world's longest undefended border

When I was in grade school, one of the things I was most proud to learn was that the Canada/US border was "the longest undefended border in the world." I put this in quotes because I remember it quite distinctly. It wasn't just one teacher. Every teacher who discussed the subject used the same phrase: "the longest undefended border in the world." Let's say it again, because it's so important to me...

"The longest undefended border in the world."

I've always felt that this wide-open border, thousands of kilometres long, was a symbol of hope, and trust, and honesty, and all the good things in our world. Sure, there will always be people who try to abuse the system, but generally, the more good we try to make, the more freedom we foster, the better things, and people, will be.

Well, it's not going to be like that any more. Today, the U.S. Homeland Security Department announced they will be spending billions of dollars to build electronic surveillance towers along both the Southern and Northern borders. In other words, Mexico and Canada. Sure, people might say that it's just for watching, not defending. Of course, people will split hairs. It's hard to split hairs over this statement, though, from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff:

"What we are looking to build is a 21st century virtual fence."

That's right, a fence (as in keep-people-out, keep-people-in). That's pretty cut-and-dried. When the head guy describes it as a fence, you can't argue with that. (Well, okay, you can, but not very well, and you'll look stupid trying.)

This bums me out. Big time. What's next, no more CFL?



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