Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 29, 2013

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on March 29, 2013

Last Friday’s first foray into an open forum elicited considerable comment.   Mr. Grattan’s question — understood or misunderstood — initiated a lively exchange.  What’s your homeland security (or Homeland Security) related question, concern, or comment?

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Comment by William R. Cumming

March 29, 2013 @ 2:33 am

FEMA knows that often during disaster aftermath contractors and suppliers raise prices-some would say gouging consumers to make extraordinary profits.

As was typical in the 20 years I worked in FEMA from 1979-99 I often received calls from important officals outside FEMA directly often by accident. After briefing the General Counsel or sometimes even the Director they would say despite my wishes for the issue to be worked in detail elsewhere–Bill would you please help this person–others don’t want to or can’t. Because I was always fully engaged this additional assignments might be called additional duties.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 29, 2013 @ 2:40 am


One day I found myself assigned to help the AG of Texas where that often disaster prone state had suffered another disaster.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 29, 2013 @ 2:53 am

After brainstorming I suggested he write up an Executive Order for the Governor to issue. He agreed but asked for a draft that I did send him and eventually a version signed and issued by the Governor. That became a model for other Governors in other disasters.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 29, 2013 @ 2:59 am

Apolgies for the string!

The underlying issue of the free market and disasters always continued to itch under my non-economist skin.
Then in September 2007 and now translated into 28 languages came Naomi Klein’s THE SHOCK DOCTRINE and I wonder what others think of the problem I have identified and na

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 29, 2013 @ 3:06 am

and those identified by Ms. Klein?

Check Wikipedia for an extensive write up of Ms. Klein and discussion of the SHOCK DOCTRINE!

Comment by HGRATTAN

March 29, 2013 @ 7:34 am

The politics of disasters inclusive of Ms. Klein’s Oliver Stone-like conspiracy theories are chilling. I thank both Ms. Klein and Mr. Stone for their extreme positions and literary excesses (abuses?) for illuminating government inadequacies and in certain cases misdeeds. My higher education pedagogy and andragogy employs Klein and Stone-like extremists to holistically represent the homeland security landscape

IMHO, the combined elements of (1) a collective lack of a sense of civic responsibly (2) public mistrust and lack of faith in government [Phil, thanks for reminding me of this last week], and (3) un-civic opportunist who wantonly capitalize on disasters do much harm and could hazard the existence of the nation in its present form.

Qualifier: there is and the USG should promote a robust private-sector disaster response enterprise that could work with government at all levels collaboratively to respond to and help communities recover from disasters that do occur.

Disaster preparation is about thinking and talking about things that people don’t want to think or talk about or believe won’t happen. Asking people to spend money and prepare for those same things has and continues to plague humanity. This phenomenon creates opportunities for change agents –people who want to change the world or their part of the world for better or worse. Some see disaster situations as an opportunity to tear down communities and rebuild (for better or worse). Others see disasters as an opportunity to make huge sums of money. Others want to return to the status quo.

Semper Paratus

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 29, 2013 @ 7:42 am

If the suppliers and contractors of various WAR MACHINES in the 20th Century were Merchants of DEATH perhaps in the 21st Century the suppliers and contractors of HS and EM could become the Merchants of LIFE!

Comment by HGRATTAN

March 29, 2013 @ 8:38 am


Awesome term!

Request permission to use your term “merchants of LIFE.” Have you used it elsewhere. Dissertation committees don’t like blog citations.

Semper Paratus

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 29, 2013 @ 9:10 am

Permission granted. Never used by me before or seen elsewhere.

And note for the record all my writtens and positions are open source and on the record and no copyright!

And no attribution required.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

April 1, 2013 @ 7:34 am

Merchants of Life? Possibly, however given the politics from Madame Secretary down through all the political appointees and the overall dysfunctional nature of humanity as portrayed by lessons never learned in history and the evolving German-Vatican doctrine as its fast deployment army sets its focus in exporting military hardware and other to the Middle East in creating allies soon in the new Confederate of Middle East States and the German and Vatican effort as in the past to launch another crusade from Cyprus, the strategic island just three hundred miles from the Islamic Fundamentalists in Cairo….

…given the spiraling deficit led by this socialist, a depleted America in so many ways, faint in heart, NOW with the White House doors closed and other than promoting divisiveness and this half white man who not only has left Black America with double digit unemployment, but four brave Patriots at the “Benghazi Massacre” where this “Chicago city street slicker” and nothing more along with Hillary Clinton so willing to prostitute herself so in compromising her own integrity standing shoulder to shoulder in deceitful manner, blatant lies….all in the name of politics, certainly not in pledge to Constitution or the constituency or to our men and women in military….

“Merchants of Life” possibly for all the men and women of the department of Homeland Security are certainly Not political hacks and in fact, many are devoted and committed Americans willing to sacrifice themselves in every way towards the American spirit in support of Constitution and our proud Judeo-Christian values despite an obviously ignorant populace, at least 50% of it….and in the words of Samuel Adams (1775):

No People will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can they be easily subdued, when knowledge is wide spread and Virtue preserved. On the Contrary, when people are unwisely ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without Aid of foreign invaders” –

Wake up America! Stand forthright in support of the Constitution and ‘ol Glory!

“Merchants of Life” while a great reference by the astute William Cumming who we should all be attentive to in his brilliance, yet DHS for the most part beginning from top down through the political appointees, allowing criminals to walk the streets, politicizing and We the People should have some Respect or willingness to place some relevance in an agency who along with the others in the “Benghazi Massacre” charade played along and watched as our men were slaughtered….

We showed our hand to the “KGB Putinites” my reference and to the Chinese and so many others when we stated to the world that we could Not deploy an aircraft carrier because we could Not afford it….let’s get the White House Doors Opened Now for our kids deserve better and let’s stand tall against the illegalities and ways of the those from the WH down to DHS to State who believe they are above the law for We folks are in big trouble….When we close the doors of our valued history and most charitable People to our kids as US history Barry and Michelle Obama are not all about slavery other than today’s socialist ands marxist doctrine you hold in pledge to Hussein Obama and his Kenyan pals and the rev Wright who stated clearly in ’08 that as long as the “Zionists” had WMD, the ‘Brutes of Tehran” – my reference – could have same —

We are in big trouble and DHS is certainly Not in my book and those of us here on “Main Street USA” the “merchants of Life” – but in some instances as we saw recently, another agency of political hacks who have had millions and millions and still cannot get the job done….

We are in big trouble….wake up!

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
Harwich (Cape Cod)

Comment by mcm ???? ??

August 6, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

louis vuitton ?????

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