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Monday, 17 September 2012

GOP wants 100 mile "no mans land!"

Share Dear Readers, the Republicans are playing the fear game for all it’s worth, but what makes this article REALLY hilarious is that BOTH sides think it’s meant to keep the other out! Terrorists out of the States, and Americans out of Canada! ———————————————————– Posted by Brian_Merchant on Friday, Jun 22, 2012 More Sharing ServicesAdd This In the far-off Middle East, drones kill terrorists and people who happen to be standing next to terrorists. Here, they’re on the rise as plane-shaped all-seeing eyes. So this should creep plenty of folks out: the GOP is proposing a bill that would allow the Department of Homeland Security the right to waive dozens of environmental regulations and land management laws on public land in a 100 mile zone around any U.S. border. It would let DHS build roads, fences, airstrips, and buildings anywhere in the zone. It would also, possibly, allow DHS to fly drones anywhere within that 100-mile boundary; it’s big brother border patrol. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives, and now it’s headed to the Senate. True to our bizarro-world moment in national politics, not even the Department of Homeland Security backs this bill—Janet Napolitano has called it “bad policy.” Ranchers, farmers, and environmentalists are uniting to fight it. But that hasn’t stopped Tea Party-propelled Republicans, who evidently think our borders don’t yet bear enough of a resemblance to the DMZ. Supporters say it’s an effort clamp down on immigration and, ostensibly, drug trafficking. But it’s mostly just crazy. Here’s what it looks like. The map comes from the Democrats’ Natural Resource Committee, which has taken to calling the would-be militarized and deregulated are the Drone Zone: And here’s how those Democrats feel about it: This unprecedented overreach on America’s public lands would impact families living in 36 states. The bill overrides dozens of public safety and environmental protections on over 118 million acres of land (an area the size of California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire combined), extending deep into major metropolitan areas. H.R. 1505 would essentially turn these communities into “drone zones,” enabling the Department of Homeland Security to seize control of federal forests, hunting grounds, tribal lands, monuments, and parks where families gather for picnics. It really is border security overkill. For example here’s, hilariously, the portion of Maine that would fall under the Drone Zone: Like, 98% of it. Now, ‘Drone’ is officially a loaded freak-you-out buzzword, at least on the left and in civil libertarian circles. They disturb most everyone else, too. So it makes sense that Democrats would hone in on that aspect in their effort to thwart the bill—but it’s probably one of the lesser concerns in what is a truly terrible, far-overreaching bill. As Phil Bump notes, there are a whopping 36 environmental protections that stand to be wiped out; they prevent agencies from trashing forests, developing wilderness, and dumping waste wherever they want. And the push to militarize our border regions, to set up a massive apparatus to spy on happenings on our own side of the border, would set an ugly precedent indeed. The Drone Zone sucks, least of all because of the drones themselves.–2 0 comments »