Friday, March 13, 2009

Armchair Race Warriors

Remember back in the day, when if you wanted to be a phony border-guarding vigilante Minuteman, you actually had to drag your fat ass down to the border and sit on an uncomfortable lawn chair drinking warm beer? How many of us would have gone down to play Border Patrol Agent, if not for the whole "actually patrolling the border" thing? Well, thanks to a new $2 million website funded by the state of Texas, we know the answer: 43,000. That's how many people have so far taken advantage of the opportunity to sit on their fat asses and patrol the border from the comfort of their own homes:

When her baby girl takes an afternoon nap, or on those nights when she just can't sleep, Sarah Andrews, 32, tosses off her identity as a suburban stay-at-home mom and becomes something more exotic: a "virtual deputy" patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border.

From her house in a suburb of Rochester, New York, Andrews spends at least four hours a day watching a site called

..."Today, there's a couple vehicles that are parked side by side next to each other," she said by phone, her 7-month-old cooing in the background, "but I can't tell what's going on, you know?"

... She said she hopes her work as "virtual deputy" will prevent so many drugs from working their way north from Mexico into New York. She also said the site draws her interest because she's nosy about what's going on along Texas' 1,250-mile international border.

"It's interesting. You see different things on there, but I just -- I don't know that it's doing any good," said Andrews, the stay-at-home mom. "I wonder if it's a waste of time."

A: Yes.

This has been another edition of Simple Answers to Stupid Questions.


Anonymous said...

Do you get paid for this? I have time to stare at a monitor for a few hours.


Anonymous said...

nah - take a look at their website - they want you to spend your time looking at their web cams and then snitch for free. they do offer you the opportunity to add webcams in your own neighborhood to their network so you can snitch off your neighbors too. on the other hand, it might be fun to see what your neighbors are up to...or not. Guess it would depend on whether your neighbors spend their time boxing roundish shaped things up in ice chests...or are enjoying spring break in their back yards with 150 drunk co-eds in g-strings

Anonymous said...

OK. I've got to get me a webcam,just to spy on my neighbors. What fun!!