Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘border patrol’

Canadian scientist caught smuggling biomaterials into US

Posted by sanityinjection on May 13, 2009

Agence-France-Presse reports that Canadian scientist Konan Michel Yao was apprehended by US border authorities attempting to smuggle biological research materials into North Dakota.

The good news is that the materials Yao had with him proved to be harmless, and so far there is no evidence of involvement with terrorism. The better news is that if this had been a terrorist attempt to smuggle bioweapons, it would have been stopped. The Border Patrol should be commended for their vigilance in what is arguably the middle of nowhere.

Questions remain, however. If Yao’s materials were harmless, and if as he claims he was bringing them to his new lab in the US – why the bizarre method of transport – hidden in a glove in his trunk? Why not have them legally transported or simply acquire new stocks in Bethesda? Something doesn’t quite add up.

If this were an episode of the popular TV show “24”, it would turn out that Yao was attempting to swindle terrorists by selling them safe materials in the guise of bioagents, but then it would turn out that he’d made a mistake and the terrorists had actually obtained a real bioagent from him. The reality is likely to be far more mundane, and more idiotic. Probably Yao’s research would have been continued by someone else after he left, and he was unwilling to see someone else get the credit for whatever he’d worked on, so he decided to abscond with the materials.

Whatever happens to Yao, I hope that both US and Canadian authorities can agree that he should never be allowed to work on anything even remotely sensitive ever again.

Posted in Domestic News | Tagged: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Canadian to Border Patrol: Manners cost nothing

Posted by sanityinjection on March 4, 2009

The Canadian National Post brings us the tale of Desiderio Fortunato, who was pepper-sprayed by US border patrol agents for refusing to obey their orders unless they said “Please”:

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1351216

My first comment is that I see no reason why Border Patrol agents should not be polite and use words like “Please” and “Thank You”.  However, as some of the comments posted on that story stated, ultimately the Border Patrol is issuing orders, not requests. If you find fault with their manners, you can complain to their superiors, but you can’t refuse to do what they say.

Furthermore, I think America’s patience with folks like this self-admitted “stickler for courtesy and respect” has worn thin after terrorists rudely and discourteously murdered thousands of our citizens. Perhaps if Mr. Fortunato were a stickler for tough immigration controls in Canada itself, the US-Canadian border wouldn’t need to be as vigilantly guarded.

My final suggestion is that we make use of Mr. Fortunato’s expertise in the area of politeness and good manners by sending him on an all-expenses paid, one-way trip to Al Qaeda headquarters in Pakistan, so that he may educate the terrorists on how to more politely and respectfully blow sh*t up. But first, in order to prepare him for that, we should send him to French-speaking Canada so he can learn what real rudeness is like!

Posted in Foreign Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »