Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column pondering a day in the life of Homeland Security.Homeland Security. Sounds like an alarm company to us. But since we haven’t received our free home security system at a post office near us since terrorism/war/”Sex and the City” debuted, we are still baffled about the raison d’etre (loose translation: “Extra Raisins”) for the existence of Homeland Security.Alas, our inquiring minds have learned. Today, June 24, which is actually June 23 because we write this column a day in advance, Customs and Border Protection agents will do a bunch of good stuff: seize 5,511 pounds of mari-hoochee, $23,083 in arms and ammunition and rescue three people who are dying of thirst in the Arizona desert as they try to sneak into the United States.But we’re not usually all about blowing the horns for people and the agencies they represent. No, here at Summit Up, we are all about making fun of people and the agencies they represent. And we have questions. We always have questions. So, here goes.Today, June 23 or 24, Customs and Border Protection agents will:-) deploy 350,000 vehicles, 108 aircraft, 118 horses and 480 all-terrain vehicles. ATVs? Horses? What is this? Camp Copasetic?*) Use 238 remote video surveillance systems, each system using one to four cameras to transmit images to a central location. We want to know from where? To where? Is the government watching our buying habits in Costco? Or do we have cameras hidden in saguaro cacti watching people smuggle stuff across our borders?) Make 217 immigration apprehensions and remove 407 criminal aliens and other illegal aliens. OK. We must confess we didn’t get the highest math SAT scores, but if the border cops are apprehending 217 people each day and removing 407 aliens each day, shouldn’t our population be decreasing? Is this another of those “interesting” statistics tossed around, like $429 toilet seat lids?Well, we asked. They answered. We’re still baffled.***We all know the U.S. Air Force Academy has had its share of coverups, shakedowns and rubdowns lately. So it’s nice to report a bit of good news.Hear ye! Hear ye!We have it here that Cadet Third Class Adam E. Wasinger of Breckenridge has earned the U.S. Air Force Academy Most Valuable … Men’s Golfer Award?CTC Wasinger will complete his second year at the academy next year and looks forward to “continuing his pursuit with the class of 2005, to earn a bachelor of science degree and a commission as an Air Force second lieutenant.”We congratulate CTC Wasinger. Ten-hut! At ease! Fore!***We have a touching memorial of sadness to bring to you on this sunny Tuesday morning. From Leo Causland of Silverthorne:”Hello friends at the Daily.”It was from your newspaper 13 years ago I first met this wonderful Alaskan malamute. Ipaid her way out of the Summit County Animal Shelter and named her Jesse. No one knew anything about her; she was an outlaw down to her final days.”For everyone who knew her, she said goodbye yesterday (June 22) with one final howl. People come and go around here; Jesse deserves a tribute for sticking it out here for 13 winters, usually outside sleeping under a foot of snow.”She will be sorely missed, no one could ask for any better High Country companion. As you vocallydid for us every day, Jesse, we howl for you one last time.”We howl, too, Leo. And thanks for calling us your friend.
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