"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Robot Dogs On The Border And Ankle-Biters In Congress–Where Geeks And Race-Baiters Meet

The US Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday said it was deploying robot dogs to patrol the country’s southern border with Mexico to assist its Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel. The goal of the program, it said, was to leverage technology to increase the presence of CBP at the borders and to reduce “human exposure to life-threatening hazards”

“I absolutely, positively can assure you that our robot dogs cannot bite, nor engage with illegals’, said the Deputy Homeland Security Secretary For Border Affairs after the press had discovered them.  “The dogs”, the Secretary went on, “are our best bet to stop the influx of unwanted…”  Here the Secretary paused, looking for the mot juste. “…unwanted visitors”, he said, smiling.

An aide rushed up to the podium, and whispered into the Secretary’s ear.  He was going off message.  They are not ‘illegals’, the aide said, but ‘undocumented migrants’, ‘influx’ overstates the issue; and they are not ‘visitors’. America hopes they will stay.

“I must insist”, the Secretary continued, "that these dogs have been deployed for surveillance only, and have been equipped with the most advanced sensors, cameras, and high-spectrum telemeters. No illegal…”.  Here he paused and smiled again and slowly and carefully rephrased, “No undocumented migrant…will go undetected; and once they have been located by the dogs, the appropriate human authorities will be notified for actual detainment and arrest”.

Before he could go on, hands shot up from the press corps and reporters shouted out their questions.  “Dogs”, they yelled. “Dogs?  Don’t you remember Selma, Bull Connor, and George Wallace?  How can you defile the memory of the thousands of black Americans who suffered at the hands of racist overlords and their attack dogs?”

“Now, now”, replied the Secretary once the room had quieted, “let’s not get excited here.  These are robot dogs…RO-BOT dogs, not the real thing.  They don’t even have teeth”.  Boos, hollers, and catcalls from the press corps.  The White House phone lines lit up.

In all transparency, Homeland Security had indeed considered developing a much more dog-like apparatus, one with teeth and an aggressive algorithm programmed into its wiring.  What was the use of detection, technicians said, unless the illegals could be stopped on the spot until human support arrived?  

A number of prototypes were developed, but the rather spindly legs of the original which had been designed only for sensing could not withstand the tugging and pulling of attack.  It is only a question of equilibrium, engineers said, and once that is solved, we’re off and running.

There was then the question of jaw size, and shoulder ‘muscles’.  The best attack dogs had massive shoulders, withers, thighs, and hocks, and in order to recreate that in a robot would mean going back to the drawing board.

Image result for German Shepherd police dogs images

Even the most ardent advocates of a robot dog were quieted because of – and only because of – technical concerns.  Most of the engineers were hardcore conservatives recruited from high-tech labs in San Diego.  They had had enough of illegal Mexicans in Southern California, had been supporters of Donald Trump’s wall, and now were excited to be engaged in a high-tech solution to cross-border invasion.  However, although badly disappointed at the failure of the robotic attack dog, but realizing that hope and dreams do not a working robot make, they retired their opinions and set to work on a more benign version of the dog.

The brouhaha in the press room was such that the Secretary had to leave the podium and make a quick side exit, shuffled by his handlers into a waiting limousine, and shuttled back to his office.

The uproar in the liberal press was predictable.  ‘Racism Reigns at DHS’, ‘Rotten To The Core – Bull Connor Remembered Fondly By DHS’ were just two of the angriest.  The howling for heads was even louder and more persistent in Congress.  The Black Caucus was up in arms over the initiative.  ‘Foul’, they said, ‘stinking retrograde racism at its worst’.  

But the worst came from AOC, the young representative from the South Bronx, progressive hector and ankle-biter turned police dog.  She had already taken exception to every initiative proposed by the Biden Administration for its  ‘moderate’ capitulation to the Right; and now this.  She was unstoppable and her annoying voice was heard everywhere.

She had been outspoken about the urgency of a completely open southern border and the necessity of giving all poor, oppressed, violated, and humiliated brown-skinned people access to America.  She felt proud that in the early years of the Biden Administration the border had indeed been wide open, but because of the chaos, mismanagement, tomfoolery, and idiocy of the Border Patrol, the President had to rescind many of his Executive Orders and resort to control measures only thought possible under Donald Trump.

Now that it was clear that Biden had no intention of protecting and promoting ‘her people’ and that he had ipso facto removed ‘ethnicity’ from the progressive triad of Race-Gender-Ethnicity, she went on the warpath.  There was no stopping her outrage.  Her website was filled with the most savage pictures of dogs unleashed in Alabama, storm troopers in Mississippi, and Brown Shirts in Georgia. 

 If the government could release robot attack dogs on the Mexican border, than it would surely deploy them in Detroit, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  While insisting that she still supported the progressive agenda of the White House, she gave no quarter when it came to immigration policy. 

She was increasingly joined by the Reverend Al Sharpton, race-baiter and ambulance-chaser par excellence who made his living off of headlines like these.  Although he had always spoken generally when it came to ‘people of color’, now that AOC was stealing his thunder he resorted to his more familiar 'black thang'. 

However, he saw it in his interest to change his stripes once more, this time to oppressed Latinos, and quickly joined in solidarity with ‘the oppressed brown people clambering for liberty'.

Image result for caricature of al sharpton

CNN and MSNBC featured the robot dog story 24/7.  ‘Corruption in the Biden White House’, was one headline, an accusation no one thought they would ever hear on the network.  While reporters, like AOC, insisted support for Biden’s overall progressive vision, they said he had fallen off a very steep cliff with this dog venture.

The White House Press Secretary immediately issued a statement: 

While the President is aware of the criticisms by some members of the press concerning his high-tech border initiative, he is committed to a humane, respectful, generous treatment of all the poor, disadvantaged, and marginalized people of color who desire access to the United States.  The deployment of state-of-the-art independent technologically advanced, highly mobile surveillance units offers the best chance to assist those migrants who have been unable to regularize their immigration status.  President Biden feels that America should be as ever before, the home for the homeless, shelter for those without comfort, and the place of opportunity for all.  Thank you very much.

Image result for images robot dogs on border

This of course only maddened the President’s critics who now were even more energized and angry.  Epithets never before heard from presenters in the liberal press were now common.  ‘Foolish…insane….racist…’ were seen for the first time on the editorial pages of the New York Times and far more harsh and crude allusions made in The Nation, The Daily Coz, and Think Progress. 

Demonstrators dressed in 60’s throwback Southern police uniforms, carrying nightsticks and leading leashed German Shepherds, appeared before the White House.  Riot police with dogs of their own formed a perimeter around the already tightly secure Presidential residence.

Needless to say, the Robot Dog initiative was withdrawn, but the predictable, self-serving explanations and justifications did little to quiet the storm.  Critics demanded a presidential apology, but none was forthcoming.  The President demurred. “Dogged resistance” shouted one headline.  

He huddled with his advisors who told him to throw in the towel.  Admit at least an error in judgment; but the President who considered himself a principled man, refused.  No, he told his inner circle.  The dogs are a humane gesture and the best alternative to gulag walls, attack helicopters, and Humvees patrolling the border. 

“Will the dog issue sink the Biden presidency”, roundtable commentators asked each other. 

It eventually did, for in the midterm elections Republicans were anything but restrained now that they had their own Thomas Nash cartoons, Tom Toles savagery of Richard Nixon, and the endlessly scurrilous depictions of Donald Trump.  ‘Every dog will have its day’, said Breitbart.  No one knew exactly if the dog thing was real culprit or the list of other dramatic Biden failures, but it was enough.  Republicans were a shoo-in in 2022 and a certainty in 2024.

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