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View Diary: Two Horrific Explosions in One Week: Surveillance State Fail (100 comments)

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  •  Then she stated it poorly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, yella dawg, native, worldlotus

    She strongly implies that the amount we spend on security should be able to protect everyone at an event like the Boston Marathon, which of  course is nuts.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:00:08 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  you don't think trillions of dollars is enough to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack

      find some homemade bombs on the ground?

      it should protect us - it depends how you distribute it

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:14:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If a discussion is needed about (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yella dawg, UnionMade, worldlotus

        how "trillions" of dollars should be allocated to protect us then a diary should be written about that.

        But any major event that is stretched out over 26 miles with thousands attending in a major urban center is a bit of a security challenge, no?  And while now we have the benefit of hindsight and a myopic focus on Boston, security would have to be provided for every marathon in the US, every parade, every major event.  I don't think you're thinking through the scope of work that would need to be done.

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:48:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also, on the other side of the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yella dawg, worldlotus

          balance sheet, where are these "trillions of dollars" coming from.  The Homeland Security budget for 2012 was less than $50 billion.

          And what part of the budget would you divert to protecting people at large outdoor gatherings?

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:14:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's one year (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus

            how long have we had this abomination in operation?

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 10:33:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you check my link (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              worldlotus

              and scroll  to the top, you'll find an answer to your question.  

              The founding of DHS was mostly just a shuffling together of many already existing government organizations.  There may have been some practical benefits, but at least part of the reason was pure show - to develop the impression that our fearless leaders in the beltway were getting things done.

              I don't think the whole organization deserves a categorical condemnation when organizations like FEMA, the secret service, the US Coast Guard and customs are among them.

              I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

              by Satya1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 11:14:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then let's disband this sucker (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus

                and put the Coast Guard back in DOD, put the Secret Service back in Treasury, and put FEMA back on its own two feet as a cabinet-level agency. Time to cancel this show because its ratings suck.

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 11:31:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  here, from Satya1's own link (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  worldlotus

                  is the basis for my contention:
                  Excess, waste, and ineffectiveness

                  The Department of Homeland Security has been dogged by persistent criticism over excessive bureaucracy, waste, ineffectiveness and lack of transparency. A House of Representatives subcommittee estimated that as of September 2008 the department has wasted roughly $15 billion in failed contracts.[46] In 2003, the department came under fire after the media revealed that Laura Callahan, Deputy Chief Information Officer at DHS with responsibilities for sensitive national security databases, had obtained her advanced computer science degrees through a diploma mill in a small town in Wyoming. The department was blamed for up to $2 billion of waste and fraud after audits by the Government Accountability Office revealed widespread misuse of government credit cards by DHS employees, with purchases including beer brewing kits, $70,000 of plastic dog booties that were later deemed unusable, boats purchased at double the retail price (many of which later could not be found), and iPods ostensibly for use in "data storage".[47][48][49][50]

                  LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                  by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 12:15:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  by all means write a diary about (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    worldlotus

                    the waste incurred at DHS during the Bush administration.  This is becoming a little more absurd than I bargained for.  Perhaps we can exchange perspectives later on a more clearly defined issue.

                    Peace.

                    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                    by Satya1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:06:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, I'm saying the institutional CULTURE at DHS (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      worldlotus

                      is one of ... to be charitable ... ineptitude.

                      My personal leanings are toward waste, corruption, and harassment of innocents.

                      Are you convinced that there's been a grand total of $468 billion spent on DHS over the life of the agency?

                      That seems awfully low.

                      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:12:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  My interest in this thread started (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BlackSheep1, worldlotus

                        when eXtina seemed to imply that trillions of dollars could have been diverted from other sources and used to stop these kinds of incidents such as the Boston marathon.  I thought she didn't think through the amount of work involved, nor the mess of trying to divert the money from other budgets in these bizarre days of budget battles.

                        In theory at least there is more than one program that could be cancelled and diverted to any number of well deserving government programs that would save lives.  But that is pie in the sky talk - at least in these times.

                        Also, if a trillion dollars showed up I would rather most of it got spent on healthcare, education and foreign aid than on homeland security.  I also believe it would save more lives.

                        But as you and I are on to a new topic, here is how I would respond.  I think the waste that is highlighted in the DHS writeup has more to do with Bush than with the department itself.  There were bound to be some transition costs.  In addition, the Bush administration was well known for appointing people who didn't have the qualifications but mimicked the Bush ideology.  From Heckova Job Brownie, whose primary experience was in Arabian horses getting picked by Bush's former political associate to join FEMA, to the waste in Iraq as noted by Chandrasekeran in "The Emerald City", to the decimation caused to the Justice department morale when solid professionals resigned because they could not in good conscience work for Bush or Gonzales.  Republicans like Bush hate government and have no qualms about sabotaging it.

                        I don't know what the budget history of DHS is and I don't care that much.  Some of those agencies are pretty damned important to saving lives though.

                        My whole point in trotting out the DHS budget was in response to eXtina.  I just don't think that realistically there is a trillion dollars somewhere that we can use to make us all safe at every single major outdoor event in this country.

                        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                        by Satya1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 01:59:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  no amount of money would guarantee our safety (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          andalusi, worldlotus

                          everywhere all the time.

                          No government can do that, realistically or otherwise, and most governments that are famed for having tried to guarantee even their own and their adherents' safety (I'm thinking Ceaucescu) fail. Spectacularly.

                          What we need, IMO, is to prune the deadwood out of DHS.
                          Put the Coast Guard back in DoD.
                          Give the Secret Service back to Treasury.
                          (Me, I'd rather pay taxes for the Detail than ATF anyway, but that's my personal predjudice at work.)
                          Put FEMA back as a Cabinet-level agency all on its ownsome.
                          Ditch the TSA, and use the money to strengthen DOT and OSHA and EPA so we can have enough inspectors to have a rational hope of heading off disasters like the fertilizer plant in Texas or the grain elevator in Kansas exploding.

                          LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 03:07:03 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  Coast Guard was in Treasury not DoD. (0+ / 0-)

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