Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 16, 2015

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on January 16, 2015

William R. Cumming Forum

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19 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 16, 2015 @ 3:41 am

FEDERAL DISASTER RELIEF REFORM:

Federal Disaster Relief under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act [Public Law 100-707] as amended constitutes the major outlay funding source not just from FEMA but DHS generally. Only the Department of Agriculture’s disaster outlays often exceed Stafford Act outlays.

Within the Stafford Act is the following language:

Sec. 406. Repair, Restoration, and Replacement of Damaged Facilities (42 U.S.C. 5172)
(a) Contributions –
(1) In General -The President may make contributions –
(A)to a State or local government for the repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement of a public facility damaged or destroyed by a major disaster and for associated expenses incurred by the government; and
(B)subject to paragraph (3), to a person that owns or operates a private nonprofit facility damaged or destroyed by a major disaster for the repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement of the facility and for associated expenses incurred by the person.”

This poorly drafted language is the funding source for up to 75% of federal disaster outlays on an average annual basis. No one knows exact percentage of outlays since FEMA has no dedicated statistical unit and in fact seldom collects essential statistical data on its programs, functions, and activities.

In some years up to 40% of the so-called Public Assistance Program goes to replace or restore public water and sewer systems [often funded by EPA] that have been destroyed by the flood hazard. Since these systems are to some degree functionally dependent on location in flood plains this result can be expected.

But other facilities are also funded by FEMA. After 9/11 somewhere between $7-9B in disaster monies went to replace the transportation center beneath the WTC that was destroyed by that event. Like the Big Dig in Boston no one will ever know for sure. That “investment” was almost totally destroyed by Storm Sandy and now is in process of replacement for about $5B.

And Public Assistance outlays on an average annual basis continue to grow.

What could be done?

First, a system of block grants and federal reinsurance could be designed that IMO would reduce average annual outlays by $5-8B! There already is a requirement for States to buy insurance for their structures or Self-Insure but this provision is rarely policed resulting often in violation of the federal duplication of benefits prohibition.

With the American Society of Civil Engineers annually reporting on American Infrastructure [giving a failing grade routinely]perhaps disaster outlays should be better coordinated with an overall plan.

FEMA, however, rarely understands how OFA’s [other federal agencies work] nor their statutory mandates and limitations. FEMA, e.g. usually gives the USACOE the mission assignment for DEBRIS REMOVAL with a sweetener of allowance for huge overhead costs that should be more closely regulated. And the USACOE uses these mission assignments, especially for flood control projects, to under the vastly weakened Principles and Standards put in place by the Reagan Administration.

Perhaps most remarkable few public assistance efforts by FEMA are closely audited by the understaffed and underfunded DHS/OIG.

Nor are these programs studied closely by FEMA or anyone else since they are seldom the subject of accurate statistics.

ACTUALLY, THE NFIP DISCUSSED IN MY FFF COMMENT LAST WEEK WAS ENACTED AS A POTENTIAL REFORM OF FEDERAL DISASTER RELIEF. THE CONCEPT BEING THAT PREMIUMS BEING COLLECTED WOULD HELP REDUCE THE COSTS OF FREE DISASTER RELIEF.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 16, 2015 @ 3:45 am

What is blasphemy?

Comment by John Comiskey

January 16, 2015 @ 8:14 am

Readers,

FYI, as part of my graduate capstone course this semester (starts next week), 12 students will be required to post 10 posts to the Friday forum over the next 15 weeks that pertain to the future and/or technological innovations that they feel will help define the future HLS landscape.

Semper Paratus

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 16, 2015 @ 9:23 am

Jon! The last gasp of the Nation-State system IMO will be an attempt to control and censor the Internet in various ways.

IT WILL FAIL IMO!

Comment by John Comiskey

January 16, 2015 @ 9:43 am

The Internet of Things belongs to no nation.

21st ….22nd century nations and the international community will do their best to “manage” the internet of things.

A new civil order TBD?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 16, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

For I know my lawlessness, and my sin is always before me – sure sounds like a great depiction of this White House who now tells us that further sanctions placed upon Tehran will mean War….the blood of our youth is on the hands of these “Brutes of Tehran” and this administration since running to Cairo and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Not closing our borders and weakening this nation in every way possible, well. on this Friday, it is apparent that Tehran who has been afforded this additional time to spin and spin it way to WMD in hand is very much in line with the Rev Wright’s comments back in ’08 w/Barry and Michelle Obama in the pew hearing the same, “If the ‘Zionists’ have WMD in hand, then there is no reason Iran should not have same!”

God Bless us all!

Comment by Tom Russo

January 16, 2015 @ 3:30 pm

Currently reading Disaster Policy & Politics by R Sylves and the name William R. Cummings is referenced several times. I take our HLS Watch contributor and the WRC referenced by Sylves is one in the same?

Over the past year, I have researching what I describe as the origins of homeland security, tracing it back to the National Security Act of 1947. My thesis is that policy and practices that evolved since 1947 became foundational practices to what gets adopted as homeland security…including civil defense and preparedness.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 16, 2015 @ 5:37 pm

If you are chuckling now when seeing Kerry bring James Taylor to play his guitar a week late to tell the French they have a friend, we, too here on “Main Street USA” are chuckling as well now for we have thrown up our hands in such frustration w/a blatantly failed US government led by this perverse White House for it is quite apparent that this administration has all intentions in not only affording Tehran the WMD as the Rev Wright proposed back in ’08 w/Barry and Michelle Obama listening attentively for years in the Rev Wright pew and this White House will never call your terrorist acts an Act of Terror and w/our chuckles here on “Main Street USA” we are not amused by this “Chicago-Hollywood-Washington charade in travesty and from our perspective, a breach in faith, treason and nothing less!

Oh, how the US Senate and Congress have prostituted themselves so to their self-serving agenda and so easily dismissing our Judeo-Christian values and respective oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America! How dare you?

To the US military, as an elder here on “Main Street USA” who have seen in these many decades many give their Life for good ‘ol Glory, how dare you permit along with elected Congressional official allow this White House to embarrass us so as the French and the Europeans and even those who seek our demise, they, too must be chuckling when seeing the duo John Kerry accompanying James Taylor in such foolhardy and disgraceful appearance before the world while the top cop, the illustrious AG, sat in the coffee shop in Paris watching 40 world leaders pass by…

How dare you?

God Bless America!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 16, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

….an interesting article from the Daily Caller whether true or not, only the experts can tell us:

Iran General: Our Ultimate Goal Is the
Destruction of America and Israel

The Daily Caller | January 5

The commander of Iran’s notorious Basij
forces declared Monday that the Islamic
Republic’s ultimate goal is the destruction of
America and Israel.
“Today there is no mandate to end our fight
because Iran’s greatness in the region and the
repeated losses by the Zionists and America are
the proof of our fight up to today,” Gen. Mohammad
Naghdi said, according to Fars News Agency.
“Our ideal is not [nuclear] centrifuges but the
destruction of the White House and the annihilation
of Zionism [Israel].”
The regime’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, has also called for the continuation of
the fight to destroy America, saying: “This battle
will only end when the society can get rid of the
oppressors’ front with America at the head of it,
which has expanded its claws on human mind,
body and thought. … This requires a difficult and
lengthy struggle and a need for great strides.” …
[Naghdi] has  previously threatened  to assassinate
American generals in retaliation for the
killings of Iranian nuclear scientists. …
“All promises of our great imam [Ayatollah
Khomeini] have come true,” Naghdi said. “We
have overcome all conspiracies of the enemies,
created new forces and soon, God willing, will do
our prayers in Beitol Moghadas [Jerusalem].” …

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 16, 2015 @ 7:53 pm

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testifies in a certain place, saying, “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the Son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor. And set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him. He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 16, 2015 @ 8:19 pm

Romans 2:1-29 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges.

For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. …

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 17, 2015 @ 7:00 am

Tom! YUP! One and the same!

You might find some items of interest at:
http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/index.html

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 17, 2015 @ 7:12 am

Homeland Security and our Judeo-Christian values dumped along the way with a White House which has done little to encourage family values and even an advocate of late term abortion and we now see some 71% of the Black American community having babies before marriage and 41% of American women having the same….a culture gone astray and now in jeopardy as you read the following sent by Liberty Action:

__________________________
The dismissal of respected Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran by Mayor Kasim Reed reveals a disturbing new movement, which wrongly asserts … In 2015 America, Gay “rights” trump religious rights.

Within this tectonic cultural shift … It is now ok that Christians are threatened or prohibited from expressing a religious viewpoint that homosexuality is sin, or that true, natural marriage is a God-ordained institution between one man and one woman. In some circles, those views are now considered discriminatory, bordering on “hate speech,” in the public square or workplace resulting in punitive action, including employment termination.

And, as is now being evidenced all across the nation, Christian business owners are being dragged into court and/or forced to close the doors of their businesses due to expressing a moral or conscientious objection toward participating in a same-sex “wedding” ceremony.

In response to the firing of Chief Cochran and other similar statewide events, Republican members of the Georgia State Legislature have proposed a religious freedom law.

Proponents of the law say it would give more legal sway to individuals who challenge state and local government policies that they believe to be discriminatory.

Opponents, on the other hand, say the law may give license to individuals and businesses to discriminate against homosexuals on religious grounds. There in lies the core of their problem, which mirrors the national issue.

The notion that terminating Christians for expressing a religious viewpoint is legal, and that people of faith have no recourse against the radical homosexual movement, is simply wrong.

It is a hugely misguided assertion and blatantly unconstitutional!

There are fundamental human rights to religious expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience. To fire someone because of his or her religious beliefs is outrageous and anti-American!

That is why we stand with Chief Cochran – and with any American who is facing discrimination and the destruction of their livelihoods.

Comment by Joe Citizen

January 18, 2015 @ 7:10 am

Friday Free Forum —

Homeland Security and Psalm 139.9: “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” God, the creator of the universe, created each of us in the womb. Family values and the glory of Life are the integral part of a strong nation!

If we are to truly talk about Homeland Security, then the issue is not only closing our borders and documenting and tracking all who are here on visa as well as documenting the illegal just like most other sovereign countries, however to assure our Homeland Security, we must be a healthy society and we must stand forthright for our Judeo-Christian principles and our beloved Constitution and Republic so to me this includes addressing why 71% of Black American younger women are having babies outside of marriage and why some 41% overall of all younger women the same – where are our family values?

The facts are that Psalm 139:9 says, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” God, the creator of the universe, created each of us in the womb.

Without the right to life, no other right has any consequence. Yet each day in America, with the legal covering of the body of law that is anchored in the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973, over a thousand women will choose to deny the right to life to their pre-born children.

Over 57.5 million abortions have destroyed the lives of unborn children in the 42 years since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion in Roe v. Wade.

Yes, 57.5 million human beings killed and God witness to all such travesty and disregard for Life! God’s Blessing to us and especially to women who are truly miraculous as nurturers and caring for the young….

Planned Parenthood and other aggressive pro-abortion forces have successfully reengineered many Americans’ thoughts about the taking of pre-born human lives. For far too many women, abortion has simply become a type of “birth control.” Sadly, life has been devalued in many societies throughout history – including, lamentably, our own.

Four pro-life initiatives that Congress must pass in 2015…

1.) Pass the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”

On the first day of the 114th Congress, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) reintroduced the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” The bill prohibits abortions performed past 20 weeks, when science has proven that these unborn babies experience pain while being aborted. The bill allows for exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger. This bill may be the first to emerge from committee and onto the House floor during the week of January 19.

2.) Defund Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the nation. In their most recent annual report, the abortion mill reported executing 327,653 babies in 2013 while receiving $528 million in taxpayer funds – accounting for over 40% of their overall revenue.

Let’s take back America and again, not only close our borders, but assure that our Homeland is secure from the pirates among us who care little for Life and further promoting family values and a strong faith among our people….

Without family values, our nation and our Homeland is truly not secure and those from within will continue to erode our values and bringing us before the Lord pleading for forgiveness!

God Bless America!

Joe Citizen
“Main Street USA”

Family Values and Our Pledge to Protecting the Constitution will assure a strong Homeland Security —

Comment by Tom Russo

January 18, 2015 @ 11:34 am

WRC…most interesting and great references.

So in 1948, office of civil defense submitted a plan to Forrestal titled “Civil Defense for National Security.” As I browse this document, it suggests a, what I would call, primitive plan for homeland security. A most interesting document for its strategic approach but probably had to compete for funding with projects dedicated to the ramp up to the cold war. Too much leap here?

Comment by Joe Citizen

January 18, 2015 @ 2:58 pm

.and so we as citizens – at least here in good ‘ol Massachusetts – contrary to others who do not necessarily agree with us, well, we have a Right to speak out and even against those entrusted to lead who so blatantly fail:

PREAMBLE.

The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility their natural rights, and the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a constitution of government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation, and a faithful execution of them; that every man may, at all times, find his security in them.

We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 19, 2015 @ 1:36 pm

TOM! No in fact that report [memory lapses-the Hopley Report?] but it was seminal and broadly addressed HS and CIVIL DEFENSE issues. With the explosion of the Soviet A-bomb in 1949 all turned to radiological defense.

Send me your address and will mail you an interesting recent book [no need to return]!

It is odd that the House and Senate Armed Services largely abandoned interest in CIVIL DEFENSE when the FEMA appropriations became par ot the HUD_VA Independent Agencies bill in 1980 even though they continued with the authorization oversight role and always confirmed [Senate] at least one PAS position in FEMA until repeal of the Civil Defense Act in 1994 by Public Law 103-337.

DHS prepared a history of PREPAREDNESS PUBLISHED IN 2006 but it has many errors. I believe I did post it, however, on the FAS/FEMA page I cited to you.

The differences between heat, blast and shock from a NUDET and fallout from the dispersal of radionuclides from a core-melt power plant accident were a subject of vast confusion in the FEMA leadership and even NRC. The result two of the longest and most complicated ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS in US history, the Shoreham and Seabrook Nuclear Power Stations licensing proceedings.

My belief is nuclear power will grow worldwide over the next century but not much in the USA.

The Russians just agreed to fund and build and operate 8 new nuclear reactors in Iran over the next 25 years.

The US NRC has yet to fully digest the implications of Fukishima Da-Ichi!

Comment by Tom Russo

January 19, 2015 @ 5:32 pm

Yeah…the Fukishima Da-Ichi meltdown was a series of cascading catastrophes. Planning of this nature is feasible but what agency is going to support the manpower to train and exercise for an event of such infrequent occurrence or likelihood?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 20, 2015 @ 8:46 am

TOM! Certainly not FEMA or DHS!

The book I am sending has as much to do with proliferation policy and issues as CIVIL DEFENSE!

Among other conclusions I would argue it implication supports my thesis that the US is the world’s largest proliferator of both conventional and unconventional weapons.

BTW the Russians have signed an agreement with Iran to fund, build, and operate 8 new nuclear power reactors over the next 25 years.

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