Department of Homeland Security honcho Janet Napolitano has been appointed to head the multicampus University of California system, despite little experience with academia, California (she attended the private U. of Santa Clara in the 1970s, but that’s about it), or much of anything of seeming relevance.
Maybe she’s got some files? But that raises the question: Does DHS get access to the Panopticon’s good stuff, or are they treated like the dim stepbrothers of the Surveillance State, getting stuck just with lists of weird metal objects that people were carrying in their pockets while attempting to board airliners?
Hey, here’s the premise for a thriller about blackmail in the halls of power and finance: Assume DHS inherited from the INS the list of all the illegal aliens caught coming over the Mexican border for the last 40 years. If you had access to that list, just think about all the major players in New York, Washington, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood whom an unscrupulous high government official could blackmail by threatening to expose their darkest secrets: that they’re actually Mexican illegal aliens!
|Not an undocumented worker
(not Janet Napolitano, either)
There’s like … well, no … uhhhmmm … okay, it’s taking a little longer to think of anybody powerful in America who might actually be a Mexican illegal alien than I figured, so I’ll just get back to you on this. It must be because of all that living in the shadows … Wait a minute — the guy who made the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots movie! Oh … looks like Guillermo del Toro didn’t permanently move to America until his dad, the owner of an automobile factory, got kidnapped in 1998 and held for a giant ransom, which James Cameron helped raise.
But now that I think about it, James Cameron doesn’t have anything to do with the topic of this post. Perhaps Napolitano’s being rewarded for her famous physics breakthrough in 2005:
Probably of more relevance is that Napolitano’s career in high office is an offshoot of The Year of the Woman. From Wikipedia:
“You show me a 50-foot wall and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border. That’s the way the border works.”
In 1991, while a partner at Lewis and Roca LLP, Napolitano served as an attorney for Anita Hill. Anita Hill testified in the U.S. Senate that then U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her ten years earlier when she was his subordinate at the federal EEOC.
In 1993, Napolitano was appointed by President Bill Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Arizona. …
Napolitano is an avid basketball fan and regularly plays tennis and softball.
Napolitano has never married or had children; as a result, there has been speculation about her sexual orientation. … She is not gay, she has said, “just a straight, single workaholic”. …
In July 2012, Napolitano was accused of allowing discrimination against male staffers within the Department of Homeland Security. The federal discrimination lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, was filled by James Hayes Jr. who is presently a special agent of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in New York City. The suit alleges that Dora Schriro and Suzanne Barr mistreated male staffers and promotions were given to women who were friends of Napolitano, and when the abuse was reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity office, that Napolitano launched a series of misconduct investigations against the reporting party, Hayes. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s spokesman stated that he would not comment on “unfounded claims”.
Suzanne Barr, who was one of Napolitano’s first appointments after she became secretary in 2009, went on leave after Hayes filed his lawsuit and then resigned on September 1, 2012. Although she called the allegations in the lawsuit “unfounded”, others suggested that her resignation raised serious concerns regarding personnel and management practices at the Department of Homeland Security.
Here’s some forgotten history: The University of California system had a series of financial scandals in the 2000s focusing on successive female chancellors (i.e., presidents) of UC Santa Cruz and $192,000 per year jobs for their special lady friends. When Santa Cruz chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood was promoted to the #2 job in the whole statewide system, provost, she was succeeded as chancellor by Denice Denton (who briefly became nationally celebrated for claiming to “speak truth to power” in the Larry Summers brouhaha).
A local Santa Cruz newspaper columnist noted that for years people in the know whispered about how “a powerful coterie of lesbians has gained power and influence within the UC system.” He was immediately disciplined for mentioning something so uninteresting.
Another boring aspect of this nonstory that got deservedly little attention is that on June 24, 2006, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice Denton, age 46, climbed to the roof of her lesbian lover’s luxury 42-story apartment building in San Francisco and leapt to her death.
Of course you didn’t hear much about it when it happened, much less been reminded of it since then. It was just a dog bites man story. College presidents jump off skyscrapers all the time. It’s not a world-historical news story like Trayvon Martin. And it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Janet Napolitano’s new job.