Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bridge Watch Detroit

I know it's past the submission deadline - but did anybody else know about this blog? Just happened to stumble across it. Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nato Thompson: Curating The New Geography

Nato Thompson is the Chief Curator at Creative Time.

Since January 2007, Nato has organized major projects for Creative Time such as Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008), Paul ChanÂ’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007) and Mike NelsonÂ’s A Psychic Vacuum. Previous to Creative Time, he worked as Curator at MASS MoCA where he completed numerous large-scale exhibitions such as The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere (2004), a survey of political art of the 1990s with a catalogue distributed by MIT Press. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including BookForum, Art Journal, tema celeste, Parkett, Cabinet and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.

Creative Time strives to commission, produce and present the most important, ground-breaking, challenging and exceptional art of our times; art that infiltrates the public realm and engages millions of people in New York City and across the globe. We are guided by a passionate belief in the power of art to create inspiring personal experiences as well as foster social progress. We are thrilled when art breaks into the public realm in surprising ways, reaching people beyond traditional limitations of class, age, race and education. Above all, we privilege artists¹ ideas.

-Creative Time

In an interview by Rhizome Nato was interviewed about his role in the "Experimental Geography" exhibit.

The term "Experimental Geography" was coined by artist Trevor Paglen in 2002 and has become an umbrella term for a diverse and quickly multiplying range of art practices. Fittingly, Experimental Geography was selected as the title for a new exhibition, curated by Nato Thompson, that explores "the distinctions between geographical study and artistic experience of the earth, as well as the juncture where the two realms collide (and possibly make a new field altogether)." The traveling show, supported by the organization Independent Curators International, features an international group of artists, all of whom have made important strides in this new field. I interviewed Nato Thompson over email about the show. -- Lauren Cornell

LC: Your recent show "Experimental Geography" seems to me like an informal survey of artists working with mapping. It includes artists/ collectives that have been engaged with alternate cartographies for a long time, as well as new approaches. Certainly, it captures the energy and activity in this area. My first question for you is- why do you think there is so much work being done with "experimental geography" now?

NT: Actually, it isn't only artists working with cartography although there is plenty of that. The exhibition is more about a broad sense of geography ranging from the geologic to the urban, from the didactic to the poetic. I agree we live in a bizarre but compelling cartography zeitgeist. Maps seem to be everywhere! Chicago just had a festival of maps and museums all over the city have cartographic exhibitions. This project is certainly related but I am hoping to push the category beyond visualizing of information and space. Artist Yin Xiuzhen produces these sewn cities that emerge from a suitcase. Artist Ilana Halperin boils milk in the steam of a hot spring. There are more, but the idea is that the field of experimental geography (a phrase coined by one of the artists in the exhibition, Trevor Paglen) is more about the interpretation of space in a variety of forms.

Ilana Halperin, Boiling Milk (Solfataras), 2000

In terms of why the field itself seems to be growing (in particular cartography), I would hazard to say that inter-disciplinary practices are still finding their feet. Artistic production, as it wades its way through a variety of disciplines, is best at discovering new forms for conveying ideas or impulses. Not only in the field of two-dimensional imagery but also in walking tours, sound art, video installation, lectures. The ability to play with a form allows those that produce knowledge to bring information to a viewer in a more compelling manner, and also to interrogate the possibility that ambiguity is a productive intellectual tool. Ambiguity (that favorite tool of art) often feels antithetical to a practice of empiricism, but in fields where the post-modern turn has truly sunk in its teeth (like geography), ambiguity becomes a productive tool for engaging a variety of perspectives. Because geography has taken on the broad understanding that the world creates us, and we (people) create the world, it has been more susceptible to complicated forms of knowledge presentation.


In an article entitled International Geographic: Interview with Nato Thompson, Nato was interviewed by the Art21 Blog.

Daniel Quiles: How did the idea for the Experimental Geography exhibition come about?

Nato Tompson: ...Looking around the contemporary art world today, we find numerous practices interested in experimental methods for understanding space itself—from the important work of the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Culver City, California, to the experimental walking tours ofFrancis Alÿs in Mexico City, to poetic interpretations confounding body and place such as with artist Ilana Halperin. The practices are out there and it felt as though the often used lens of art history was simply clunky in interpreting this work. So the exhibition is an opportunity to construct a new lens from an emerging form.

DQ: Many of the practices featured in Experimental Geography owe a clear debt to theSituationists, the radical pan-European group that explored artistic and political interventions in the city throughout the late 1950s and 1960s. In what ways would you say that they break with the Situationists? One convention that strikes me as somewhat un-Situationist is the guided tour that is utilized by groups such as the Center for Land Use Interpretation and e-Xplo. If the dériveprovides an open-ended discovery of capitalism’s effects on the wandering urban subject, the guided tour hints at something far less spontaneous, however poetic its readings of the city may be.

NT: You are absolutely correct that the Situationists are highly influential in numerous of the practices discussed. It is an interesting question to see where the breaks can be located. I must first say that there is so much of what I like to think of as Situationist-lite work out there. Lots ofpsychogeographic practices, which consist of tagging on billboards and uninteresting walking tours or pointless interventions in space, are in line with the practices put forth by the Situationists. Of course, they typically lack a reasonable class analysis and ultimately use the Situationists as a sort of fad to draw upon.

But enough with being a hater; the question you ask is much more interesting. What are the breaks? I would like to think that there is a healthy skepticism of avant-garde movements now. More and more, the type of declarative bombastic language so espoused by the post-’68 radical communities just do not appeal to activists today. They sound like white men leading the charge and well, many folks have productively moved past that. I think that is why people get confused about where the leaders are today. People are skeptical of leaders. I guess we are inherently more anarchist today (which the Situationists liked in theory but were too snide to question their own male power). I also think there is a healthy pragmatism working today. I never felt like the Situationists were really trying to build alternatives so much as they were in love with some of their poetic revolutionary language.

-Art21 Blog

You can read some other writings by Nato on The Huffington Post, like the articleIncreasing Public Space with Ice Cream, Karaoke and Magic.

Below you can watch a video of Nato Thopmson's Day Two Opening Remarks at the Creative Time Summit: Revolutions In Public Practice.



WINDSOR, Ont. — Windsor police Deputy Chief Jerome Brannagan says increased co-operation with U.S. authorities means Windsor cops will allow suspects to cross the border to be arrested in Michigan, where sentences are harsher.

He said police would allow a border crossing if there is limited risk of losing a suspect or illegal contraband and the public and police officers are not placed in danger. A recent case involving a 46-year-old Windsor man accused of trying to lure a 14-year-old girl for sex highlights the trend.

Such increased cross-border policing has faced some criticism.

"I have a concern with it, but I'm not surprised by it," said John Deukmedjian, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Windsor.

"This is consistent with the trend in policing in Canada and the United States. The two countries are aligning themselves with one another around security and intelligence, rather than justice and rights."

Read more:

Pretty interesting, harsher sentences in the States gives Windsor police a reason to send suspects over the border? I don't know how the legalities of that works, but it doesn't seem right. "Collaboration" with Detroit police seems like a big move. More problems to worry about when crossing the border.

Read more:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Airport Security?

About 24 million Americans spent part of their Thanksgiving weekend standing in line at airports, waiting for either a body scan or pat-down.

And despite their growing outrage over these zealous new security measures, few of them put up a fight. They knew arguing wouldn't get them a free pass, but it could see them unceremoniously ushered out the terminal door.

Still, travellers going through U.S. air space have good reason to be annoyed, especially those who have to submit to invasive physical examinations. Even if someone decides a body scan is the lesser of all evils, not every airport has the technology. That means there's no choice but to surrender to a pat-down.

The process has revealed all kinds of unacceptable situations, from young children being stripped to their briefs to breast cancer survivors being forced to hand over their prosthetics for inspection.

We agree it's a difficult issue. But it's also a fact that a determined, resourceful enemy will always find a way. The real challenge is weighing the procedures against the outcomes. Will invading the privacy of millions of everyday travellers stop terrorism? We believe it won't.

No country has better airport security than Israel -- and no country needs it more, since Israel is the most hated target of Islamic extremist terrorists.

Yet, somehow, Israeli airport security people don't have to strip passengers naked electronically or have strangers feeling their private parts.

Does anyone seriously believe that we have better airport security than Israel? Is our security record better than theirs?

"Security" may be the excuse being offered for the outrageous things being done to American air travellers, but the heavy-handed arrogance and contempt for ordinary people that is the hallmark of this administration in other areas is all too painfully apparent in these new and invasive airport procedures.

Read more:

Know your rights.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. and Canadian travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. It is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA).

The goal of WHTI is to facilitate entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors, while strengthening U.S. border security. Standard documents will enable the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The U.S. Extradition of a Canadian Citizen

In 2007, CBC's The Lens did a documentary on Canadian marijuana activist, Marc Emery. The documentary goes into depth about Marc's seed selling business, which included the smuggling and illegal sales of marijuana seeds in the United States. Essentially, the U.S. government arrested him for this and wished to extradite him and have him serve an American jail sentence [10 years to life in prison, with no parole]. The documentary is called Prince of Pot: the US vs. Marc Emery.

There is a lot of controversy over this issue, as we see in Canada, the sale of seeds is seemingly no big deal. However, the U.S. government and the
DEA feel very differently. Marc Emery's charges are for drug trafficking, which is a very serious offence in the U.S. The prosecutors, as portrayed in the documentary, were almost treating his case as if he were a murderer. It seems like the DEA is blind to the multitude of studies on the actual danger of marijuana - which is very minimal. It is, to most Canadians, common knowledge that alcohol and tobacco - two legal drugs - are far more dangerous than marijuana. In fact, marijuana alone has killed zero people, in all of history. As stated in the documentary, "show me the bodies".

Over the last 3 years, there has been an explosion of political and activist debate and action related to this case. With much less harsh marijuana laws in Canada, Canadians sought to have Marc sentenced here and perhaps saved. There have been many "free Marc" initiatives and campaigns, reaching out to Canadian marijuana-smokers or sympathizers, to help Marc, his wife Jodie, and the 2 employees who were arrested with him.

Attempts at saving Marc, or having his sentence served in Canada have failed, though compromises were made. His sentence was reduced to 5 years in an American prison, with a plea of guilty.

The documentary can be viewed here: [part 1 or 5]

Updates on this case can be seen in many places, including Marc Emery's myspace and facebook accounts, Cannabis Culture Magazine, which Marc owns, as well as several news sources. For those of you interested in following up with this case, the following links will be helpful.,0

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Border App for iPhone

I just purchased an iPhone and I discovered a pretty cool application that has to do with borders. It's called Bordertimes and its a free application for the iPhone made by This app lets you access U.S/ Canadian land border wait times from your iPhone. Offers both Northbound and Southbound views that lists all the land border's around you with a green, yellow, or red button which tells you approximatley how long the wait time at the each border is, as well as how many lanes are open. Pretty legitimate!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Caught this in my inbox:


Motor Show

For the last ten years Ingo Vetter has visited Detroit regularly to take extended photo series. MOTOR SHOW brings together a number of these series, from the early "Detroit Industry - Jax Carwash", realized in 2000, to the brand new "Resource and Nostalgia".

Detroit is shaped by the automobile and its industry, and mobility seems to be the keyword for this city. The car has come to represent everything from progress and desire to climate change and urban collapse. It is omnipresent but has lost its progressive potential. Instead, mobility is symbolized by people overcoming obstacles.

In 2005 Ingo Vetter, Annette Weisser and Mitch Cope founded the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop, which works exclusively with wood processed from the Tree of Heaven, a resource unfailing in Detroit. Also known as ghetto palm, this plant (lat. Ailanthus altissima) populates abandoned lots and deserted factory sites all over Detroit. The Woodshop is set up as a loosely organized network of local specialists and develops art works and commissions for international art institutions. All frames, as well as other sculptural works in the exhibition, were specially produced by the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop.

The exhibition is realized in collaboration with IASPIS and Umeå Academy of Fine Arts.


Umeå university

901 87 Umeå

+46 (0)90 - 786 52 27

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Exploit Detroit on TV

I recently caught wind of a new fictional murder investigation TV show that debuted September 21, 2010 on ABC called Detroit 1 8 7.
According to wikipedia, the pilot episode was shot in Atlanta, but all other episodes to date were shot in Detroit. Right off the bat, the opening segment of the pilot (which doesn't appear in any other episode) has a view of Windsor behind a zoom of the ren-cen, with a voiceover saying "Detroit Michigan: birthplace of Motown, and once the heart of the automobile industry. Now, it has one of the highest murder rates in the country."

I won't give away much of the plot, but spectacle and exploitation of the city and the 'type of people' that live there seem to be at the heart of this TV show.

I can't help but think about the recent media uproar over the filming of A&E's The First 48 in Detroit. The film crew had been following Detroit homicide police for several months when they witnessed and caught on tape the killing of a 7 year old girl.

This makes me think about the article we read in class, Vigilant Visualities. In this case, a TV crew made to exploit and produce a spectacle of the real tensions and crimes in Detroit is now called to produce video evidence of a crime committed by the police.

Hmmm....what do you think?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Some Book Cover Kitch For Y'all

Always white and heroic, (sometimes gay?), riding horses and shooting pistols, the Border Bandit is not Mexican or impoverished. Hmm....

Possible Research Topic for Someone?

While researching my topic for the Border Culture final project, I came across this great book which is available from the Leddy Library (HQ549 .T73 2008) that may serve as a starting point for anyone interested in researching issues involving women, family, immigration and social conditions around the U.S.-Mexico Border for their final project.

I thought I'd pass it along, as it doesn't fit with my research topic very well (Gendered spaces in Windsor)

Essays included in this book:

A demographic profile of children and families in the U.S.-Mexico border region / Yolanda C. Padilla and Ana Marie Argilagos

An overview of children and youth on the northern Mexican border / Catalina Palmer

The extended border: a case study of San Antonio as a transnational city / Harriett D. Romo

The complex picture of cities near the U.S.-Mexico border: the case of southern California / Belinda I. Reyes and Amanda G. Bailey

Maquiladora or cross-border commute: the employment of members of households in five Mexican border cities / Marie-Laure Coubes

Transborder interactions and transnational processes in the border community of Laredo, Texas / Raquel R. Marquez

Coming of age across borders: family, gender, and place in the lives of second-generation transnational Mexicanas / Patricia Sanchez

"I'm bien pocha": borderlands epistemologies and the teaching of english in Mexico / Mary A. Petron

The real and the symbolic: visualizing border spaces / Amelia Malagamba-Anstegui

Latina entrepreneurship in the borderlands: family well-being and poverty reduction policies / Barbara J. Robles

Public policy changes on the U.S.-Mexico border / Irasema Coronado.

Hope this helps!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Antarctica is the least populated continent but it is the cause of some very interesting geopolitics. It's vast territory has the possibility of great untapped natural reasources.

As Antarctica was an unclaimed territory, several nations decided to claim portions of the continent. This is certainly not a new concept, to divide up a territory that was uncharted and unowned, but what is unusual about borders in Antarctica is the fact that they all follow lines of longitude and are completely straight. Seven countries claim wedges of Antarctica. These straight boundaries lead about 60 degrees south to the South Pole divide up the continent, in some cases even overlapping but also leaving large sections of the continent unclaimed - and unclaimable:

The Antarctic Treaty - claims that " Antarctica is to be used for peaceful purposes only; no military activities of any kind are permitted, though military personnel and equipment may be (and are) used for scientific purposes. Freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation shall continue. Scientific program plans, personnel, observations, and results shall be freely exchanged. No prior territorial claim is recognized, disputed, or established, and no new claims may be made while the treaty is in force. Nuclear explosions and disposal of radioactive waste are prohibited. All land and ice shelves south of latitude 60°S are covered, but not the high seas of the area. Observers from treaty States have free access to any area and may inspect all stations, installations, and equipment.(549)"
The treaty makes no mention of travelling restrictions or the prohibtion of travellors. Without travel restrictions, thousands have visited and have endangered Antarctica's ecosystem.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Useful link for final project?

I was doing some research for the final project and found an interesting article that could be helpful for some students! Here is the link:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

heads up on travel delays!


Heres an interesting video regarding border patrol along the US/Mexico border. I thought it was especially funny to see the spots in the wall in which people tried to go through that had been patched up. I also thought the fact that although border violence is down, the actual threat towards the border patrol officers is increasing? I wondered to myself why this was, and noticed the increase in fencing.
Video Here

Friday, April 2, 2010

Canadian Dollar and Travel

With the increase of the Canadian dollars, its seems that shoppers will be flocking across the border for cheap goods. Normally it seems that Americans cross our border to take advantage of their strong dollar and to take in all the (sin) city has to offer, well now its our turn. Americans come over to take advantage of our lower drinking and gambling age, and not to mention the many forms of adult entertainment that Windsor seems to call home. At the same time, we Canadians cross the border to shop and maybe use the Detroit airport. We don't tend to eat, stay the night, or attend any cultural events, pretty much just shop. We enjoy the variety of shopping opportunities for our bargain hunters, while reinforcing the friendly, polite Canadian stereotype. I find it interesting, the difference between what those of us in our respective countries cross the border for. Canadians for good deals and Americans for good sins. However, soon the Canadian will fall like it inevitably does, so let's enjoy it while it lasts.

A Very Short History of Early Border Medicine and the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918

Beginning in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s a recognizable medical infrastructure was present in the cities of Windsor and Detroit. Albeit, this infrastructure still possessed many of the characteristics that one would associate with a eclectic frontier medical landscape in which regulations and institutions had yet to be consolidated. Nevertheless, the facilities and practitioners were in place to address the challenges to public health that the growth of industry and urbanization during the early 20th century would bring to the border cities. 

Between 1917 and 1935 their was a rapid increase in the number of health care workers in the border city region. This growth in the healthcare professions matched the significant population growth that both Windsor and Detroit were experiencing at that time as a result of a burgeoning automotive manufacturing sector. This increase in population and health care workers brought with it a realization that the existing health infrastructure was inadequate to meet either of their needs and that there was an urgent need to create an updated infrastructure of public administration and urban services.  

     A Red Cross unit at Detroit's Utley Library

However, the main impetus for improving existing medical infrastructures in both border cities was arguably the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. The epidemic took a heavy toll on both sides of the border and revealed the limitations of many of that periods public health institutions. In Windsor during the months of October and November 1918 influenza claimed at least 126 local residents. Newspapers reported that Hotel-Dieu hospital was overcrowded with patients and that at the peak of the crisis the areas medical institutions exhibited a “lack of uniformity in regulations governing the control of contagious disease.” 

In Detroit Red Cross workers made daily rounds picking up the dead. 

Detroit fared no better. In that same two month period the disease claimed 3,814 residents. Newspapers published long lists of the dead, quarantine signs became common, death wreaths and black bunting draped many homes. Funerals were hurried affairs with few mourners. Coffins stored near funeral homes were often stolen by impatient and fearful family members, while bodies were placed on porches for daily pickup. Hence, the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 jolted city officials awake and forced them to rethink the way public health was being delivered. The days of individual doctors treating individual patients was at its end. Health care on both sides of the border was now viewed as a public utility that needed to be regulated by government bodies and corporate concerns.


When the flu ravaged the world. By Vivian M. Baulch. The Detroit News, August 31, 1996.

Border City Medicine: Windsor’s History of Innovative Health Practice. Steven Palmer and Steve Malone. Cultures of Health: A Historical AnthologyOctober 7, 2009.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


All eyes on the border

The all-important Canada-U.S. economic partnership is in serious jeopardy, according to a new economic analysis by the Fraser Institute.

A malaise has developed following an avalanche of post-9-11 border restrictions, writes Simon Fraser University Prof. Alexander Moens, one that "will eventually frustrate the entrepreneurial spirit, and investment and trade will decline."

Moreover, pending U.S. climate change legislation, a stronger Canadian dollar and declining American consumer prosperity all are poised to further aggravate a troubled situation.

Moens, a specialist in American politics and foreign policy, notes that, while bilateral trade in the energy sector has been growing, "the once dynamic integrated supply chain in manufacturing, including automotive, appears to be stagnating (and) trade in manufactured goods ... has been declining since 2005."

Foreign Affairs figures show the U.S. accounted for 73.1 per cent of Canada's trade in 2004, but only 67.8 per cent by 2008. The outlook is bleak, writes Moens, given that financial and housing crises have caused a 20-per-cent drop in U.S. household net worth since 2007, and economists are projecting that Canada's dollar is expected to go slightly over par with the American greenback by next year.

The one trade sector that continues to boom is energy.

In 2008, crude oil exports to the U.S. accounted for half of Canada's total export earnings. Those crude exports, totalling $23.3 billion in 2001, were up to $72 billion by 2008.

This one bright spot, however, is going to be severely challenged as Americans move to enact climate change legislation, predicts Moens.

First, the Waxman-Markey bill, which would implement a cap-and-trade scheme stateside to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contains a provision prohibiting Washington, D.C., from using fuel extracted from the oilsands.

Second, the bill, approved by the House of Representatives last June and now in the Senate, could result in Congress moving to levy punitive tariffs on energy imports from Canada. It would do so under a pretext of protecting American energy producers from unfair competition from countries with less stringent greenhouse gas emission standards.

Even if Canada matches a U.S. cap-and-trade scheme -- as Environment Minister Jim Prentice is planning -- "small regulatory differences would still expose Canadian industry to American trade action," warns Moens. And, "given the history of Canada-U. S. trade, this is no idle threat."

Western Canada's oilsands industry stands to be particularly hard hit, he says, endorsing Prentice's go-slow approach on a Canadian plan to address climate change.

The last productive period in the Canada-U. S. relationship was under prime minister Brian Mulroney and president Ronald Reagan, when agreements were penned on free trade and acid rain.

While these days, "most American politicians are not focused on this problem," Canada should be pushing to get rid of all non-tariff barriers to trade through harmonization of regulations and product standards. In addition, urges Moens, it also should try to negotiate a full reciprocity accord on government procurement.

It's all well and good to develop strategies for trade diversification that would have Canada capitalize on growing economies in India, Brazil and China, writes Moens.

But "our history shows that diversification is difficult. It is more likely that Canada's long-term prosperity will depend, to a large extent, on renewed American prosperity."

Even so, the Harper government appears less focused on the Canada-U. S. trade dilemma than it did last year when a freshly elected, wildly popular Barack Obama visited Ottawa.

Alas, with the bloom off the Obama rose, Ottawa has appeared less interested in actively engaging the Americans.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Balloon Outrage

A company from the United States is testing a new, sky-high surveillance technology along the border of Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan. A 15 metre long balloon shaped like a plane’s wing was placed above Port Huron with a camera aimed at the St. Clair River, which flows past downtown Sarnia. Officially this balloon is called an Aerostat. This helium-filled craft floats more than 240 metres above the ground and zooms to survey the water and the two bridges the link Sarnia to Port Huron. It is controlled by a ground crew in a trailer at a launch site near the river. The company that owns it, Sierra Nevada Corporation, wants to see if it can be sold to U.S. Homeland security to help monitor the border and coastlines. The Aerostat has to follow Federal Aviation Administration flight rules and must be pulled down out of the sky each night at 11:30 p.m. It is permitted to go back up at 6:30 a.m.

Most of Sarnia residents are outraged saying that this technology is "going too far."

But Bradley Lott, the retired U.S. Marine who is running the Aerostat testing in Port Huron, said the company's plan is to see what the aircraft can do and how it can be used in a variety of situations -- including for use in rescue operations after natural disasters or airline accidents. He said the camera would not be capturing images of buildings or people along the Sarnia waterfront, and it would focus only on the waterway and bridge.

In April, the U.S. border patrol said it would erect video surveillance towers to monitor boats leaving the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair. The $20-million security project will involve the installation of 11 video surveillance towers along Michigan waterfronts.

Sarnia residents have already put up with surveillance from helicopters, boats, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other patrols along the Ontario-Michigan border. Not to mention the flying drones that will start patrolling the border next year. It goes beyond the issue of U.S. defence concerns for many Sarnia residents, who say they simply do not want to be spied upon. Having a camera peering into Sarnia is a violation of their privacy and our sovereignty.

The Mayor of Sarnia, Mike Bradley, is upset at this violation, and is additionally upset that no one in Sarnia was asked as to whether the city wanted the Aerostat flying over its horizon.

He's even written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, though Bradley said he has not yet received a response about the Aerostat issue.

On facebook, a group was made to "Moon the Balloon". Residence of formed a line, turned their backs to the U.S. border, drop their drawers, and point mooned Michigan.

Canada-U.S. border crossing faster than before 9/11: ambassador

Quicker today than before 9/11, Jacobson claims
Susan Delacourt Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA – Security may be tighter, but getting across the Canada-U.S. border today is faster than it was before the terrorist strikes of 2001, U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson says.

Jacobson, in his first major public remarks on Canada-U.S. border concerns, told an Ottawa audience Tuesday that for all the worries about “thickening” of the border between the two countries, the reality is that things are getting better.

“We’re already making progress. Border wait times today are, on the average, less than they were prior to Sept. 11,” Jacobson told a sold-out crowd of politicos, lobbyists and business people at the Chateau Laurier. “In fact, since 2007, average border wait times for passengers have been cut by almost a third and during that same period of time for goods, wait times have been cut in half.”

This progress has come despite concerns about all the extra security measures and passport requirements, Jacobson noted, as well as a perceived rise in U.S. protectionism since the economic crash of 2008. Some Canada-U.S. experts have suggested that wait times are down because overall trade traffic is also on the decline since the downturn.

Continued here