THP Boat

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texasemt13

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I was driving down I-35S this morning and at I-35 and Loop 1604 (north of San Antonio) I ran in to the Texas Highway Patrol vessel. I say vessel because this "boat" is a 36' long, triple Mercury outboard (3 x 300hp = 900 hp) engine, gunboat. This dude is awesome, and would seem imposing when barrelling down on you on the Rio Grande or Falcon Lake.

I took a horrible video as I drove past it at 65 mph. The pictures in this forum's thread are much better. With multiple twin M249s mounted on the sides, it could do some harm. There is a decent walkaround video here, second one down. There are some other pics from the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show that show this bad boy.

I guess this is the first watercraft to join the Texas DPS Marine Division? We first heard of the intention of a maritime division about last Septemberish, and this is the first I've seen of the boats.

The boat had two real typical marine fold down antennas above the roof of the navigation console (which are shown in the up position in the pics linked above). Evidently the dude who took those pictures isn't a radio enthusiast because he got no pictures of the antennas or the radios. It was being hauled by a 4 door white F350 duallie which didn't have any antennas that I could see. None of the pics I found really had any good console pictures.

For you folks near the border, be listening for these guys. I'd love to know the callsign/unit number/ whatever they choose to call this thing.
 

loumaag

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Hmm, I did a little looking and found this news story on why they need that monster and what they are going to use it for.
 

radioman2001

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I've seen some of the splash down videos before, I don't know why the DPS doesn't just start shooting at them. They obviously have no regard for the safety of U.S. citizens, (multiple car accidents with injuries in the video I saw ) and are an invading army in my opinion. Better yet bring out some armed Blackhawks, create a free fire zone on the water, and if fired upon from the other side go after them and return fire.
 
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I've seen some of the splash down videos before, I don't know why the DPS doesn't just start shooting at them. They obviously have no regard for the safety of U.S. citizens, (multiple car accidents with injuries in the video I saw ) and are an invading army in my opinion. Better yet bring out some armed Blackhawks, create a free fire zone on the water, and if fired upon from the other side go after them and return fire.
Absolutely brother, For years I have wondered why the US hasn't declared a free fire zone around 100 yards wide on our side of the border with fencing and mine fields. The heck with the Blackhawks, use apache and cobra gunships.Post signs in Spanish that warn people that if they enter this area the will be shot on sight. We send our troop all over the world to police other nations, it is time we started defending our own borders.
 
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It's a slippery slope using Federal troops on U.S. soil. I believe Texas tried it 20 years ago, and after a Guardsman shot a 13 year old boy it was shut down.
You're correct it is a slippery slope, but I can't help but feel that something needs to be done along the border and probably in the near future will have to be for the safty of Texas citizens.
 

radioman2001

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You have an armed police force, just give them more tools to do the job. This boat is a start, but do the personel that man it have the power and the will to use it as an opposing force, or will they be limited by local law. There is also "posse comitatus", which prohibits the use of U.S. troops (Army and Air Force) on American soil (I am not for repealing that law). National Guard is OK, if approved by Congress, which is what was used in that unfortunate incident (maybe the returning U.S. forces might be better trained rather than a weekend warrior which I was one). The U.S. Coast Guard is not limited in that area, since they are under Homeland Security and would be a great asset on the river.
I am for Congress finally getting some balls and going after these drug runners and smugglers, and stop leaving a national policy enforcement up of a local authority. If the Mexican authorities cannot police their side of the border, then invading to clear lets say a 20 mile buffer zone might work, but that will never happen now with NAFTA.
I saw an article some years back that predicts the re-intergration of about 4 southern states back to Mexico as the Mexican political power base (U.S. citizens by birth) moves in to those states and wants to suceed back.
I hope this boat does make a difference, but I foresee an escalation in violence, more against civilians living in the area than against the police.
 

procopper7005

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Go tour the border areas of south Texas. The cartels already control this territory, funnel BILLION in illegal dope money through front companies down there, dig tunnels using professional mining engineers, etc etc etc.
Its far worse that the US media reports.

The reason you cant just shoot at drug smugglers is becuase as soon as ANYONE enters the USA, they are fully protected by the constitution. The bill of rights applies to anyone in the US, regardless of citizenship.

More people died last year in Mexico due to drug violence than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. More people are kidnapped in Mexico than Iraq or Afghanistan combined. Yet we never hear anything on the news about the murder capitol of the world.

Borderland Beat is the best source of what is going on in the narco terrorist war in Mexico.
 

radioman2001

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Well then I guess that's the problem, shoot them before they get over here. I can asure you that the U.S. Gov response will be delayed and too weak to prevent much, history has shown that. Time to vote in a very progressive hawk Governor who will call up the National Guard that just got back from Iraq and take them on. If need be change the rules of engagement, make them the same as approaching a Nuke plant or Military base.
 

garys

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Well then I guess that's the problem, shoot them before they get over here. I can asure you that the U.S. Gov response will be delayed and too weak to prevent much, history has shown that. Time to vote in a very progressive hawk Governor who will call up the National Guard that just got back from Iraq and take them on. If need be change the rules of engagement, make them the same as approaching a Nuke plant or Military base.
Or we could just stop the charade and legalize Marijuana. That would give farmers a new crop, knock the foundation out from under the cartels, open up a new stream of tax revenue, and allow cops to concentrate on crimes against property and people, which is what they should be doing.

Oh, and it would allow prison space to be opened up for violent criminals.

Then again, it would cut federal grant money to state and local agencies, pretty much end civil forfeiture of property owned by people who have committed no provable crime, free up courts and prosecutors to try serious crime, and not allow for very dramatic press conferences.

Can't have any of that now, can we?
 

loumaag

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Or we could just stop the charade and legalize Marijuana....
Well, maybe, except that I suspect that the majority of what is coming across the border isn't marijuana. We grow enough of that locally already. Do you propose that legalizing cocaine (other than the already accepted medical uses) is the next step? What else would you like to see legalized?

Please note that the cartels control just about all of the border south of the Rio Grand and that they do not care one bit about any of the "niceties" that we follow on the north bank of the river. Their response to incursion is to shoot first and don't bother with the questions.
 

garys

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Well, maybe, except that I suspect that the majority of what is coming across the border isn't marijuana. We grow enough of that locally already. Do you propose that legalizing cocaine (other than the already accepted medical uses) is the next step? What else would you like to see legalized?

Please note that the cartels control just about all of the border south of the Rio Grand and that they do not care one bit about any of the "niceties" that we follow on the north bank of the river. Their response to incursion is to shoot first and don't bother with the questions.
Did you watch the video Lou? Those were marijuana bales, not Cocaine or Heroin. What's coming in through the tunnels is mostly marijuana.

Personally, I would legalize most drugs. Destroy the mystique and you undermine the market.

Other people are more concerned with telling people how to live and the police, courts, and prosecutors have a lot invested in the War on (some) Drugs.
 

Gator596

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Or we could just stop the charade and legalize Marijuana.
That was how we put the mob(s) who were getting rich supplying alcohol out of business during the First Prohibition. It also brought about sensible controls like age of majority, licenced points of sale, advertising regulations and production quality controls.
 
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garys

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That was how we put the mob(s) who were getting rich supplying alcohol out of business during the First Prohibition. It also brought about sensible controls like age of majority, licenced points of sale, advertising regulations and production quality controls.
Stop making sense, it doesn't play well. We never learn. Liquor was legal, then came prohibition which spawned the mobs that active to this day, then they legalized alcohol and a lot of the problems went away.

Prohibition of THINGS never works.
 

loumaag

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Did you watch the video Lou? Those were marijuana bales, not Cocaine or Heroin. What's coming in through the tunnels is mostly marijuana.
:lol: Did I watch the video? I am the one who posted the link.

Yes, that video was dealing with marijuana, but that was one incident used for illustrative purposes about splashdowns. Suppose you provide a link to support you assertion about marijuana being the bulk of what is coming across the TX border. See, the US Government seems to think that most of the foreign marijuana comes into the US via the New Mexico and Arizona borders; whereas California and South Texas provide the crossings for the bulk of the cocaine coming into the US.

Personally, I would legalize most drugs. Destroy the mystique and you undermine the market.
This is a couple of statements from a very narrow, and I would guess youthful, perspective. First of all, what do you mean by legalize? I will stick with the two drugs that seem to have the biggest impact on US society right now, cocaine (and its derivative, crack) and methamphetamine. Both of those are "legal" drugs right now. You can get a prescription for methamphetamine, and cocaine is used medically for certain specific reasons. Even marijuana seems to have medical uses, although the federal government doesn't recognize them. I am not sure what you mean by "legalize", do you mean that most prescription drugs should be OTC? I am pretty sure you need to re-evaluate your stand on that statement.

Now as for the market; whereas, destroying the mystique probably would undermine some of the illicit market, it would not undermine the market as a whole. Do you imagine the per capita consumption of alcohol is higher or lower right now than it was 80 years ago? My estimation is that it is higher. The most current figures show that the annual per capita consumption is just under 2.3 gallons of pure alcohol (in other words just the alcoholic content of liquor and wine) and almost 20.5 gallons of beer. I could not find a figure for beer consumption in the years leading to prohibition but apparently alcohol/wine consumption was at around 2 gallons (just the alcohol) per capita.
 

texasemt13

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I didn't want this thread to digress into a politically motivated discussion, I was more hoping that Texas members in the border area would realize the new DPS asset was around so they could start listening for it on the radio, and could report it's unit number/callsign.
 

garys

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Yes, that video was dealing with marijuana, but that was one incident used for illustrative purposes about splashdowns. Suppose you provide a link to support you assertion about marijuana being the bulk of what is coming across the TX border. See, the US Government seems to think that most of the foreign marijuana comes into the US via the New Mexico and Arizona borders; whereas California and South Texas provide the crossings for the bulk of the cocaine coming into the US.
So these videos were a fluke and for the most part big bales of Cocaine and Meth are what we expect in Texas? I don't think so.

This is a couple of statements from a very narrow, and I would guess youthful, perspective. First of all, what do you mean by legalize?
Pharmaceutical grade Cocaine is pretty rare. I think I've seen it used once in 33 years in emergency medicine, but that was a long time ago. It was once used for stopping persistent nose bleeds, but there are other, better methods now. Legal Methamphetamine is extremely rare, it's hardly ever used in medicine. For the most part it seems to be made domestically, but some is no doubt imported.

I am not sure what you mean by "legalize", do you mean that most prescription drugs should be OTC? I am pretty sure you need to re-evaluate your stand on that statement.
You seem confused. I meant, and mean, that especially marijuana should be legalized for recreational use. Other drugs could also be legalized as far as I'm concerned.

Now as for the market; whereas, destroying the mystique probably would undermine some of the illicit market, it would not undermine the market as a whole. Do you imagine the per capita consumption of alcohol is higher or lower right now than it was 80 years ago? My estimation is that it is higher. The most current figures show that the annual per capita consumption is just under 2.3 gallons of pure alcohol (in other words just the alcoholic content of liquor and wine) and almost 20.5 gallons of beer. I could not find a figure for beer consumption in the years leading to prohibition but apparently alcohol/wine consumption was at around 2 gallons (just the alcohol) per capita.
And your point is? I don't know what alcohol consumption was prior to or during Prohibition. I do know that during Prohibition organized crime rose dramatically it's much the same with drugs. Drug prohibition drives every violent gang in this country. Take away the profit, and they become much less powerful and wealthy.
 

radioman2001

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Obviously we are talking about multiple problems at the same time. While it may be interesting to try and listen to this new asset, I doubt it, most if not all transmissions will be encrypted, for a good reason, the drug runners and illegal smugglers know how to monitor too.
As far as stopping their entry into the U.S., I spent a good amount of time thinking about this over the weekend. If Cuban exiles don't receive the benefits of U.S. protection until they hit the beach, then there is no reason why you would expect drug runners to get those protections if they are in the water. Also a strong message to the Mexican government should be either you clean it up, or we will close the border crossings and invade to create a DMZ along the border, 20 miles should be enough. Again I doubt it will ever come to that, too many payoffs, and too much political power in the hands of manufacturers ensuring that the border stay open for any reason for cheap goods and services. Motorola is one of them.
 
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