Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 30, 2013

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on August 30, 2013

On this date in 2005 many of us were surprised to awake to news that Katrina’s apparent glancing blow at New Orleans had cascaded through the engineered environment to become a real catastrophe.   The delta, Alabama and Mississippi took the harder hit, but it was the amplification of consequence through urban infrastructures that unveiled a strategic reality long-discussed, now undeniably demonstrated.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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Comment by Rubin, Claire

August 30, 2013 @ 7:51 am

I think you mean 8 years ago, in 2005 for Katrina.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

August 30, 2013 @ 8:09 am

Claire: Thanks for the catch. I have corrected it. I’m not sure now if it was a mind-failure or a finger-failure.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 30, 2013 @ 9:14 am

A really amazing hurricane season so far in the Atlantic! NONE if I understand correctly and none making landfall. I guess MOTHER NATURE waiting for departure of the current Secretary DHS.

We have scheduled the Big One in California for her arrival as head of the UC system.

California has an interesting statute [it may be a provision of the CA Constitution?] that mandates NO state funding for damages for natural disasters to private colleges or universities, whether or not nonprofit or profit making.

Leland Stanford University had significant damages to its campus in the Northridge Earthquake of January 1992. Including graduate student housing and the elimination of the GREEN LIBRARY. Nonprofits providing a community service became eligible for federal disaster relief in 1974 under Public Law 93-288!

But what does that mean since under the ground rules STATES contribute 25% of all federal outlays for disaster relief. So what happened? The answer will appear on this blog by me later this day. In the meantime WHAT SHOULD have happened? OKAY policy wonks get going?

And by the way PETE WILSON was the Governor. And he had been instrumental in ruling NO STATE BENEFITS for illegals. A

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 30, 2013 @ 9:27 am

Hint on Federal policy for disaster relief on discrimination:

Sec. 308. Nondiscrimination in Disaster Assistance (42 U.S.C. 5151)
(a) R Regulations for Equitable and Impartial Relief Ope rations – The President shall issue, and may alter and amend, such regulations as may be necessary for the guidance of personnel carrying out Federal assistance functions at the site of a major disaster or emergency. Such regulations shall include provisions for insuring that the distribution of supplies, the processing of applications, and other relief and assistance activities shall be accomplished in an equitable and impartial manner, without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status.
(b) C Compliance with Regulations as Prerequisite to Participation by Other Bodies in Relief Ope rations – As a condition of participation in the distribution of assistance or supplies under this Act or of receiving assistance under this Act, governmental bodies and other organizations shall be required to comply with regulations relating to nondiscrimination promulgated by the President, and such other regulations applicable to activities within an area affected by a major disaster or emergency as he deems necessary for the effective coordination of relief efforts.

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 30, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

ANSWER: Stanford fronted the 25% and FEMA funded the 75%!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 31, 2013 @ 7:36 am

Friday Free Forum – Homeland Security and Syria and far more importantly, Iran!

Syria: It’s not just about freedom

By Charles Krauthammer, February 02, 2012

Imperial regimes can crack when they are driven out of their major foreign outposts. The fall of the Berlin Wall did not only signal the liberation of Eastern Europe from Moscow. It prefigured the collapse of the Soviet Union itself just two years later.

The fall of Bashar al-Assad’s Syria could be similarly ominous for Iran. The alliance with Syria is the centerpiece of Iran’s expanding sphere of influence, a mini-Comintern that includes such clients as Iranian-armed and -directed Hezbollah, now the dominant power in Lebanon; and Hamas, which controls Gaza and threatens to take the rest of Palestine (the West Bank) from a feeble Fatah.

Additionally, Iran exerts growing pressure on Afghanistan to the east and growing influence in Iraq to the west. Tehran has even extended its horizon to Latin America, as symbolized by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s solidarity tour through Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Of all these clients, Syria is the most important. It’s the only Arab state openly allied with non-Arab Iran. This is significant because the Arabs see the Persians as having had centuries-old designs to dominate the Middle East. Indeed, Iranian arms and trainers, transshipped to Hezbollah through Syria, have given the Persians their first outpost on the Mediterranean in 2,300 years.

But the Arab-Iranian divide is not just national/ethnic. It is sectarian. The Arabs are overwhelmingly Sunni. Iran is Shiite. The Arab states fear Shiite Iran infiltrating the Sunni homeland through (apart from Iraq) Hezbollah in Lebanon, and through Syria, run by Assad’s Alawites, a heterodox offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Which is why the fate of the Assad regime is geopolitically crucial. It is, of course, highly significant for reasons of democracy and human rights as well. Syrian Baathism, while not as capricious and deranged as the Saddam Hussein variant, runs a ruthless police state that once killed 20,000 in Hama and has now killed more than 5,400 during the current uprising. Human rights — decency — is reason enough to do everything we can to bring down Assad.

But strategic opportunity compounds the urgency. With its archipelago of clients anchored by Syria, Iran is today the greatest regional threat — to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states terrified of Iranian nuclear hegemony; to traditional regimes menaced by Iranian jihadist subversion; to Israel, which the Islamic Republic has pledged to annihilate; to America and the West, whom the mullahs have vowed to drive from the region.

No surprise that the Arab League, many of whose members are no tenderhearted humanitarians, is pressing hard for Assad’s departure. His fall would deprive Iran of an intra-Arab staging area and sever its corridor to the Mediterranean. Syria would return to the Sunni fold. Hezbollah, Tehran’s agent in Lebanon, could be next, withering on the vine without Syrian support and Iranian materiel. And Hamas would revert to Egyptian patronage.

At the end of this causal chain, Iran, shorn of key allies and already reeling from economic sanctions over its nuclear program, would be thrown back on its heels. The mullahs are already shaky enough to be making near-suicidal threats of blocking the Strait of Hormuz. The population they put down in the 2009 Green Revolution is still seething. The regime is particularly reviled by the young. And its increasing attempts to shore up Assad financially and militarily have only compounded anti-Iranian feeling in the region.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

August 31, 2013 @ 7:42 am

Friday Free Forum: Hurricane Season 2013

Forecasters: Hurricane season 2013 is no bust
Jason Sickles, Yahoo! August 20, 2013

Atlantic tropical cyclone activity on Aug. 20, 2013. (NWS)
David Sinclair, who makes his living on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, has some words of advice for anyone taking solace in a seemingly slow start to the 2013 hurricane season.

“Don’t ever drop your guard until we’re through September,” says Sinclair, who owns the waterfront Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar in Carolina Beach, N.C. “Now through September is when the bigger ones really start flying off the hook.”

Since the season began June 1, the Atlantic has produced five named tropical storms but no hurricanes. On average, the first hurricane forms by Aug. 10 and the second by Aug. 28. As of Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center was reporting no activity on the radar, and “tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next five days.”

Tropical Storm Andrea reached the U.S. in June. (NWS)
“That’s cool.” Sinclair told Yahoo News. “We’re OK with that.”

According to weather records dating back to 1851, there are 48 other years when the first hurricane materialized after Aug. 20, and in 25 of those years, it was on or after Sept. 1. The all-time latest is Oct. 8, 1905. Hurricane season officially ends Nov. 30.

“It would be a very, very big mistake to think the season’s over,” says Dennis Feltgen, National Hurricane Center spokesman. “We’ve had some very bad years where we’ve waited until the first hurricane even showed up.”

Feltgen, a meteorologist who grew up in South Florida, said Hurricane Andrew on Aug. 24, 1992, is an example of a season’s first hurricane being a whopper. Andrew, a Category 5 storm, brought catastrophic damage to the Miami area.

Last year, Superstorm Sandy, which started as a hurricane, didn’t make landfall on the northeast Atlantic coast until Oct. 29. The massive storm caused an estimated 72 deaths and $65 billion in damage, according to The Weather Channel.

Despite no formation of a hurricane thus far in 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said Tuesday that its prediction for a 70 percent chance of an “above-normal” season still stands. Forecasters anticipate 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, six to nine could become hurricanes (winds 74 mph or higher) with three to five of those becoming major storms (Category 3, 4 or 5 with winds of at least 111 mph).

“Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized,” NOAA’s Gerry Bell said in a written statement. “Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.”

With Sept. 10, the traditional peak of hurricane season, still three weeks away, Feltgen urged the public not to be fooled by the period of inactivity.

“It’ll be strange if there isn’t something floating around by the Labor Day weekend,” he told Yahoo News. “It ain’t over till it’s over and it’s nowhere close to being over.”

Until it is, here are the remaining storm names to be assigned in 2013: Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

Traditional peak of hurricane season. (NWS)

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 1, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

Friday Free Forum:

Can we trust a Commander-In Chief who cannot even participate in honoring those who have fallen on behalf of our great Republic? Who is truly keeping an eye on Homeland Security?

Whether those left behind and the blatant lies shoulder to shoulder, Barry Obama and Hillary Clinton displayed their self-serving ways, however the following prompts much consternation:

Four times in 69 years!!




June 6, 2013, the 69th anniversary of “D-Day”, the largest invasion ever attempted, where 200,000 Americans stormed the beaches at Normandy to begin the final push to defeat Nazi Germany in WWII. D-Day marked the turning point in WWII in Europe, where the Nazis were engaged in mass murder of Jews and minorities by the thousands.
Today, European heads of state make it a point to recall and honor the sacrifices of those who landed in Normandy , as do our Presidents….
well, most of them….

In the 69 years since D-Day, there are four occasions when the President of the United Stateschose not to visit the D-DayMonument that honors the soldiers killed during the Invasion.

The occasions were:

1. Barack Obama, 2010

2. Barack Obama, 2011

3. Barack Obama, 2012

4. Barack Obama, 2013

For the past 69 years, every American President except Obama have taken the time to honor the memory and sacrifices of the 6,000 American soldiers killed on D-Day. …Except Obama!

June 6 2010, Obama had no events scheduled.

June 6, 2011, Obama met with the National Security team and was interviewed by WEWS Cleveland and WDIV in Detroit about the auto industry – FAR too busy to visit the D-Day memorial.

June 6, 2012, instead of honoring our fallen soldiers, Obama made a campaign trip to California on Air Force 1 (at our expense) to raise funds for (his) upcoming election.

June 6, 2013, Obama was doing ANOTHER fund raiser with the multimillionaires in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Palo Alto CA, once again at our expense.

America – Aren’t you proud?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 1, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

Friday Free Forum:

Well folks, we talk about Homeland Security and issues dear to the heart of this our beloved Republic and one must revisit the Rev Wright-Obama pulpit where the Rev Wright said quite clearly that Tehran had the right to WMD as long as the “Zionists” had same…of course Barry Obama has done nothing about Tehran which is the real issue, not Syria and finally he has found an out for his red line comment, thank goodness….this of course Congress! Barry Obama will Not get an approval to go forward and by the way, if he were truly concerned and this matter is as serious as so many suggest, he would not be off to the golf course, to Sweden and Russia, but we know he has not a clue and all this charade, given the green light to the “Brutes of Tehran” – these thugs to go forward and build and use the Rev Wright WMD! Fortunately, Germany is awakened and it will be Germany who fills the void of a weakened America at the intentional hand of Barry Obama and it will be our arch enemy, Germany who will crush Tehran, however in doing so, as in 1890, 1914, 1939 and presently, bring anguish and calamity to humanity once again as we are bring drawn into War!

Barry Obama and his pledge to Hussein Obama and his anti-Christian and anti-colonialist Kenyan pals pledged to them that he would weaken us in every way, and it is not only the $6.2 trillion increase in deficit, but so much more….

It is so unfortunate that this perverse and narrow minded perspective of the executive leadership has closed the doors to the White House open only to select invited guests as rappers, yet, whatever one’s political choice, best advice to you, watch and see what next happens for we are so, so weakened and unfortunately it is You who allowed such an incompetent to be elected not once, but twice…

God Help America! God Bless each and every one of us for we are in great peril from the Enemy from with and in the words of James Madison (1785):

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. But, in reality it will be an Enemy from within” –

Enough is enough! We have seen our brave left behind at the “Benghazi Massacre” where Ms. Hillary and Barry blatantly lied shoulder to shoulder, a breach of faith, treason and we have seen such scandals referred to as phony scandals by this “Chicago city street slicker” and nothing more who uses divisiveness and civil rights history of the past to carry on the “Chicago-Hollywood-Washington Charade” and best described by Frederick Douglass:

“Find out just what People will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these ill continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrant are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress” –

From his trip to Cairo to his intentional weakening of security in and around Benghazi to appease the locals and with no arrest….and continued failed policies and spending and spending monies we have as we are broke, yes, broke and it is You, Republican, Democrat, Independent and whomever else, it is You who have allowed this charade to play out far too long as Barry Obama and his Muslim Brotherhood relationships has played his car far too many times and shortly the whispers will grow to shouts of House arrest for breach of faith, treason of this Barry Obama who has shamed our nation in so, so many ways….

It is time that every elected official from top down be subjected to lie detector test and term limits, however with gas prices to soar, food prices the same and even food banks having difficulty keeping stocked, I join with many who are now sure that our Republic will become less and less influential and far more disrespected and again, global calamity and War looms ahead for a Democracy must have a strong arsenal and strong leadership and we are stunned by the failures which continue to weaken us ever so….

We are keeping a watchful eye on Germany for it will be the Germans who will take swift action against Tehran…that it certain and again, as in 1890, 1914, 1939 and today, Germany which is encircling tehran as we write, well, as history has taught us, German military strategy will bring turmoil and instability in the Middle East region and globally….

God Bless America!

By the way, if Kraft did not intend for “KGB Putin” to keep the ring, ask for it back! Give it up, who cares about a ring when so much is at peril!

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 4, 2013 @ 4:31 am

New book out investigating Katrina impact on Memorial Hospital during Katrina by Sherry Fink!

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