Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Border Patrol
August 8, 2017 5:00 PM - Season 4, Episode 20 - Subscribe

So, that week that just happened. What about it?
  • Another Trump dump. Now he's complained about the White House, insulted the state of New Hampshire, and his new Communications Director is an incredible asshole.
  • And Now: You Wish You Loved Anything As Much As Seattle Gardning Expert Ciscoe Morris Loves Everything.
  • Main story: The Border Patrol. They aren't from Immigration, and they're not customs officers. In fact, their function isn't to keep everyone out; one of their roles is to welcome migrants seeking asylum from Central America. An executive order from Trump directs the hiring of 5,000 more border agents, but it turns out it's not the first such hiring surge we've done, and the last one didn't go well. YouTube (20m). It's a tough and incredibly boring job, while their commercials make it seem exciting; LWT produced a new commercial for them to give viewers a more accurate impression of the position.

Donald Trump: "The 'Donald Trump Jr.' of American Presidents."
Donald Trump's taste in interior design: "A cross between C-3PO's colon and a museum where no one has ever learned anything."
New Hampshire: "...nothing more than 9,000 square miles of granite and Lyme Disease, and it is the only state so boring it can genuinely make you say, 'Thank god, we're in Maine now.'"
Steven Miller: "Policy advisor and Vitamin D-deficient Minion."

I'm actually envious of Ciscoe Morris' enthusiasm. I wish I could get so excited over things!

F.37 "Doucheus Maximus," MARTIN SHKRELI
posted by JHarris (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I grew up in Seattle and one of the few things Mom would allow on the family TV was Gardening With Ciscoe. Ooh la la! I love that man.
posted by duffell at 7:30 PM on August 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Steve Miller clip may be the most stereotype reinforcing thing I've seen, he's beats Martin Shkkreli as "Doucheus Maximus"
posted by Marky at 10:40 PM on August 8, 2017

You Wish You Loved Anything As Much As Seattle Gardening Expert Ciscoe Morris Loves Everything.

Yes. Yes, I do.

So, about the use of polygraph on the border patrol segment: I was thinking, WTF, polygraph is long-since discredited. Why would using it be a good thing? And then we hear about the confessions it provoked from patrol applicants. Holy shit.

Should we all just collectively keep quiet about polygraph being nonsense, with effects that have been duplicated by using a photocopier with a paper that says "LIE" on the platten, and an interrogator who just hits the copy button every time they think the person being questioned is fibbing?

Is polygraph efficacy a reasonable subject for security through obscurity? Should I be trying to get rich quick by selling, say, a uselessly-Bluetooth-enabled blood pressure cuff and accompanying smartphone "polygraph" app? The app I have in mind only requires "Hello, world" level coding skills, so this seems doable.
posted by asperity at 9:28 AM on August 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

Yes, I wondered about their use of polygraph tests myself. For me it was an off-note in the show. But I didn't think it was a huge issue, just, not the best point they could have used.
posted by JHarris at 2:08 PM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I dunno, if requiring polygraph tests, as flawed as they are, helps weed out some of the people that really should be weeded out, maybe that's not so bad. It's possible the sets "doesn't know polygraphs are bullshit" and "criminals of the type who should definitely not work in the border patrol" have a large overlap.

Still lets the smarter or less-ignorant malefactors in, but do many evil geniuses apply for entry-level border patrol jobs?
posted by asperity at 2:41 PM on August 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

how else do you infiltrate the bp and start sneaking over people so you can get cheap labor for your death laser skull island?
posted by numaner at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

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