Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 28, 2009

Who, what, when, where, and why

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on March 28, 2009

On Thursday I completed thirty days as an HLSwatch contributor.  Some preliminary observations:

Who are our readers?  This is really not knowable.  But from the data available we guess you are a combination of D.C. HS and related insiders and beyond-the-beltway HS practitioners. You seem to be largely male.  Compared to other blogs and webs with which I am involved, HLSwatch seems to be a rather closed set.  There is little evidence of current readers sharing what you read here.

What do you read?  In the last month the top-stories — by far — have been Chris Bellavita’s essay on 85% of what you know about homeland security is wrong and this Thursday’s piece on The Republic of Texas v. United States.  A  quick post on a terrorist training manual was close behind.

When do you read?  Mostly mornings starting about 8:20 (eastern).  Wednesday is usually our big day.  You are slow to get started on most Mondays and Fridays.  Weekend readership is half or less-than-half weekdays.  But the number of pageviews per reader tends to go up on the weekends.

Where are you? Mostly US-based, heavily entrenched in the Washington D.C. area, but about half are scattered across the country. We have concentrations of regular readers in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, New Mexico, California, and Washington state.  We have regular readers in Japan, China, Singapore, India, Dubai, Germany, France, UK, Sweden, and Canada.

Why?  Once again, this is not knowable.  But given what is read most and what generates the most comments or Email you seem to prefer a post that connects to a “big issue” but uses an obscure fact or angle to illustrate the big issue in a non-traditional way.

I try to commit about two hours per day to researching, filtering, and posting. Mostly I do this in the evening or early morning. If professional obligations allow I come back in around mid-day or early afternoon to do updates. I use a full range of online search tools; receive lots of federal government news releases; readers, friends, and others call or write with suggestions; and for reasons that are not related to the blog I have to read many dense documents related to homeland security.

Given the limited time invested, most posts will be informational.  When possible the information will be placed in a policy or strategy context.  With the contributions of Chris Bellavita and a few others I hope HLSwatch will eventually offer at least one cutting-edge and thought-leading piece per week.

I originally signed-on to contribute one post per week, but so-far have found the daily discipline of posting to be productive and meaningful for me… and, I hope, for some of you.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

March 28, 2009 @ 7:31 am

Thanks for your efforts.

Comment by christopher Tingus

March 28, 2009 @ 9:18 am

HLSwatch has become a very important informational outlet enlightening those of us professionally as well as those of us on the street who may not have the access to all such information, resulting in a comprehensive, informative and very important reading for all of us.

We greatly appreciated Jonah’s commitment in the past and now we convey our sincere appreciation to you, Chris and others as well as the highly respected contributor, William Cumming, who through his obvious compassion for fellow man, his experienced insight and willingness as a reader to share and ask perinent questions of those we entrust by vote to assure that DHS, FEMA and other agencies and officials are doing their utmost to formulate and adhere to appropriate policy decision-making and to assure fiscal responsibility in the distribution of financial support to our – first responders – the men and women we hold with such esteem seeing them daily in their prompt diligence in commitment to help us in time of desperate 911 plea.

While I (we) see the less than transparent Wall Street bailouts and central bankers printing “fiat dollars” at their whim, I see metro and local police and fire cutbacks and less than mnimum standards of public safety allowed which only enhances the necessity that we become better informed citizens and HLSwatch certainly keeps out attention!

Thank you to all who contribute and participate in HLSwatch. Readership seemingly continues to grow and the information herein is invaluable to making us a more prepared nation at the local level and strengthening us by allowing us to take a good look on the inside realizing that we must do our utmost to safeguard our great nation and our most charitable populace, our family, neighbors and friends.

While there are those who surely seek our demise, America continues to be the beacon of hope to so, so many and depicted by those who line up at consulates and embassies each day hoping to be granted a visa to feel from oppression and come to the United States.

We must read and share HLSwatch with others. We must be vigilant. We must be prepared to help one another and others who seek our help.

We must understand that the partisanship on both sides of the aisle and the lack of transparency and integrity in both government and business is unraveling our tight threads of unity.

We must muster courage to show strength in our governing and our global posture. Freedom does not come without a price against the tyranny of those who prefer their own self-righteousness!

We have already seen our quality of Life compromised as we see unemployment numbers increase, bankers hoarding “public” monies unwilling to distribute to the credit markets as mandated to nurture growth in an economy which continues to show a slowdown in growth as we become a third world country overnight….

As a good people willing to reach out across the sea, those who suffer ever so from hunger, hopelessness and despair will have no one to look to and every human will be jeopardized by those who seek their own agenda and are evil-doers who care little for the preciousness of Life as God blessed each of us.

If it were not for America and God’s Blessings, mankind would never have been able to thwart Germany and other nations from their evil ways. Democracy has allowed mankind to flourish and utilize human imagination, creativity, entrepreneurial pursuit to achieve much in technology and improve Life for so many in so many different ways.

Again in history, we are being challenged. We have the resources, however the question once again evolves as in the past as to whether we have the entrusted leadership and the inherent will to stand strong amidst all that threatens our existence from within to those who have other agenda.

HLSwatch should not only be read by those of us committed to the covenant of the Lord by helping our family, our friends and neighbors in our clasp of Love and compassion for one another and safeguarding the principles put forth by our founding Fathers, but HLSwatch should be read in our schools and by all who wish to serve in public service and the majority interests of our good people.

Thank you. We all appreciate your commitment.

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA USA

Comment by Shalon Shackelford

April 1, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

Trying to be informed. I appreciate your time and effort it helps us out! We really do not even know what all goes on in a day.
I am a Domestic Engineer of 5 wonderful childern and a hard working husband.
Thanks~ to you and to all the men and women who make it possible for me to sit here and type in the freedom of my home, with a light on, heat, food, hot shower if I would like!!! ~I am truly Blessed by GOD ~
and thankful for freedom

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