Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 3, 2015

DHS budget theater: still not very funny.

Filed under: Budgets and Spending — by Christopher Bellavita on March 3, 2015

As you can see from the random selection of cartoons below, even otherwise reliable political cartoonists can’t come up with anything amusing, insightful, ironic or even nasty about the continuing congressional stage play over homeland security funding.

It’s as if – like congress – cartoonists are just going through the motions.  There’s no creativity, innovation, or leadership.  They seem to simply be waiting for the next deadline to turn something in.

Just like the cartoonists.

Judge for yourself.

Dhs 10 2015 03 01 22 27 25

Dhs 9 2015 03 01 21 44 53

DHS 8 2015 03 01 21 43 50

Dhs 7 2015 03 01 21 42 38

Dhs 6 2015 03 01 21 39 14

Dhs 5

Dhs 12 2015 03 01 22 39 51

Dhs 11 2015 03 01 22 38 50

Dhs 2 2015 03 01 21 34 09

Dhs 3 2015 03 01 21 35 16

Homeland security 1 2015 03 01 21 31 26

Dhs 14 2015 03 01 22 42 15

Dhs 13 2015 03 01 22 41 07

Dhs 4 2015 03 01 21 37 46

Yep. See you next week. Right after the second act.

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Comment by Dan OConnor

March 3, 2015 @ 5:21 am

This reminds me of a joke that used to float around about Marines.

The two things you never want to hear is a 2nd Lieutenant say, “…based on my experience…” or a Lance Corporal say, “…hey, watch this…”

I am not sure the message could be any clearer.

In both cases, bad judgment is imminent.

The Department of Homeland Security is irrelevant otherwise it would have been funded.

The Department of Homeland Security is a hostage to the whims and machinations of “elected officials” just trying to make a point.

In either case, no good comes from either.

When the administration trotted out Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff along with Mr. Johnson, to lobby for funding (which in and of itself was patently absurd) I wondered where Ms. Napolitano was…too busy, too disinterested, or simply uninvited? Her absence was obvious, to me anyway.

In any case, what we see in these “games” is a lot of inexperience and show offs…

So we will have great showmanship in a few days as we move forward with funding…then we will raise our debt ceiling again, over commit our military to unwinnable actions, talk ad infinitum about how the security of America is at the precipice and wonder how we got here…well, based on my experience it was a lot of hey, watch this.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 3, 2015 @ 7:50 am


Respectfully disagree with this following sentence in your comment:

“The Department of Homeland Security is irrelevant otherwise it would have been funded.”

Why? As currently managed as a political dumping ground for this Administration–MAYBE!

But based on the three critical missions and goals originally designed-NO!

Hopefully don’t need to repeat the critical missions.

And of course CONTROL OF BORDERS and appropriate IMMIGRATION policies may well determine the status of the USA as a nation-state in the 22nd Century or even earlier.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 3, 2015 @ 7:52 am

Thanks Chris! Economists study OPPORTUNITY COSTS! Wondering about Congressional leadership?

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 3, 2015 @ 8:09 am

And perhaps a relevant blast from the past:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Heirarchy of EM needs–Parroting A. Maslow

Abraham Maslow is famous for his writings and study of the so-called heirarchy of Human Needs that underpin our humanity.

Increasinly I am supportive of the notion that Emergency Management is not a contrived subject or profession but in fact underlies much of organizational process that leads to various forms of governance. Some wit, perhaps Winston Churchill, once stated that “democracy is the worst form of government, except all others”! Well IMO [in my opinion] EM is the worst form of organizational response to crisis management and resilience (that includes elements of preparedness, planning, prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery) except all others. What alternative choices are there? Well one big one is a “military command and control” system that actually can prevent effective collaboration and cooperation, whether among individuals, NGO’s, governments, or other spontaneously developing post-disaster organizations. Since over 90% of the nation-states have vested their EM function in their military-organizationally designed to inflict maximum organized violence on some other group or nation-state–I find that this approach is largely vested in a leaderships desire for control and resurrecting the status quo ante. These factors are not absent from EM but seem more likely not to dominate when the civil sector is dominate.

And always remember that I find it remarkable that the underlying good sense and American inventivness is what in reality caused EM to develop. The term of course goes back even institutionally to the FDR era when the Executive Offices of the WH had an EM section. None-the-less the term got its remarkable rebirth when the STATES in an unsuccessful effort to restructure the federal civil defense program operated from 1951-1994 under Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress as amended started to develop a new paradigm for disaster efforts. Just as the crucial failure of the STATES and their local governments had failed to see the need for civil defense and development and knowledge of radiological defense as part of their existing public safety sector, the clear and always present danger of natural hazards was driving the need for both enhanced effort and efficiency in the Public Safety arena and others. Thus it might well have been either the policing profession or the Fire Service which became the leader in EM and either or both still might given the numbers of personnel involved. But the incrased complexity of organizing for crisis management and response, and in particular recovery meant that the traditions and paradigms of those professions could not truly encompass EM adequately.

Now of course after 4 decades, given the developments both nationally and internationally in EM the increasing expertise and standards of the EM profession and its academic community indicates to me that over this century it will in fact become a wholly new field of human endeavor and likely to be adopted among many of the nation-states that now utilize a military model.

And tracking back to A. Maslov, exactly what is the pyramid or building block of EM that might be agreed upon. As always I can offer only a suggestion but others will decide and argue over its merits. I deliberately don’t use the Maslow Heirarchy of needs but do recognize their relevance to this discussion.

So here is my approach.

First, underlying EM should be competence and technical knowledge and experience.

Second, should be organizational and governmental relationships that facilitate resilience (including planning, preparedness, prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery).

Third, would be public education of individuals and families to clearly give all an accurate vision of capability and systems that can be brought to bear in a crisis or disaster and what the limitations are on those capabilities and systems without further dedication of resources.

Fourth, a basic mobilization structure incuding personnel and logistics and other systems that will be necessarily employed when the planning basis or basic capabilities of the existing organizations and systems are proved inadquate to the tasks necessarily expanded by the incident or event beyond the planning basis and day to day capability and system.

Fifth, a way to integrate technical and scientific and engineering knowledge into EM on both an on-going basis and in an emergency with facilitation of the expertise of various professions and those with training and experience that might be of assistance. The medical profession should not be stove-piped for example but deliberate mechanisms created and operated so that that profession can operate comfortably in the EM realm, both independently and as advisors to political decision makers so that protective action recommendations and decisions are able to prevent the larger catastrophe possible by misinformation or lack of knowledge.

In summary perhaps, the system of EM must promote collaboration and cooperation so that the system is supportive of the best rsilience and while individual brilliance will from time to time appear and needs to be utilized, systems and processes must reflect the collective wisdom of those involved with the EM process in any crisis or disaster.

It is this last concept that shows that we have a long way to go. Just as Maslov recognized a heirarchy of needs I open debate here I hope on exactly what is necessary to establish priorities and systems and processes that reflect on the reality that the crisis or disaster does not end when food, water, shelter, emergency medical assistance, and even public safety has provided a secure environment. It is the totality of the effort and judgement needed based on all factors that makes EM so exciting and worthy an endeavor.

And to focus more closely on the real goals of Homeland Security not EM it is necessary that basic civil security is the mission of Homeland Security. This is a far different mission than the EM discipline and profession and organizations I have attempted to describe above. HS reflects only one of Maslov’s needs–safety–and absolutely none of the others. EM represents all his higher order needs.

Check out Wikipedia.com for a detailed discussion of Maslov and his writings and teachings.

Posted by The Vacation Lane Group at 9:09 AM

Labels: Emergency Management

Comment by Dan OConnor

March 3, 2015 @ 8:20 am


That wasn’t my personal feeling but an attempt to demonstrate the dismissal of it vis-à-vis funding.

That is why I followed with; In either case, no good comes from either.

Perhaps a poor construction, but an observation of exploitation on behalf of Congress.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 3, 2015 @ 12:51 pm

DAN! I understand but unfortunately many do believe DHS irrelevant!

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 3, 2015 @ 3:53 pm

NO SECOND ACT! House has passed bill extending DHS funding through September 30th, and Senate expected to do the same before current 7 day extension runs out.

Comment by Dan OConnor

March 3, 2015 @ 5:41 pm

And really what was accomplished?

Comment by Sally Chapman

March 4, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

Frankly, I think DHS is just the punching bag. We’ve seen healthcare, and other issues get the same treatment. Until the people elect Congressional members who can negotiate, compromise and govern for the good of the country, we’re stuck with this. My kids learned that when they were three. Who parented these people?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 4, 2015 @ 2:14 pm

While the politicians play their charade, many very dedicated folks are DHS personnel quite committed to our principles and values and espousing the strength that this beloved Republic needs to challenge the many who see our demise.

I am not at all interested in these political parties and their self-serving “entrusted” politicians who choose to use personal email or tell us that emails are lost or administration which spew intentional deception by shouting how open and in communication to We the People on “Main Street USA” and all we see is that despite every attempt by this Justice Department Eric Holder to I guess look in every corner to persecute a police officer who was only protecting himself against a bandit who robbed a store and intentionally disrupted traffic flow and disregarded the order of a police officer sworn to uphold public safety, the travesty of this divisiveness we see from the highest offices do not bode well for a Homeland’s security while at the same time, an enemy threatens our security….

I was thinking of all those wonderful people as passengers this morning who were at the Trade Center, at the Pentagon and in the fields of Pennsylvania, young and old, we weep for those jumping from the Trade Center and for the brave firefighters who folks met on their way down and they were walking up to their deaths in their sworn commitment to the public…

…and we cannot even get transparency from those who are demanding respect and they could give a damn about those at Benghazi, or the taxpayers or anyone other than their own self-interests and tout themselves as men and women of the people as they lose count of the balances in their checking accounts…what a travesty, what outright corruption and no one goes to jail!

There is nothing funny about having porous border or an immigration department which requires application, medical certificate and waiting and waiting outside embassies for days, week and sometimes years while others are promised a $25k bonus check for breaking the law and our border guards are shot at and killed and who really cares….

Folks, we are losing America and we are doing so as we are purposely divided by the politicians and these elitists to their benefit!

DHS when it is Not releasing known convicts into our crowds and so many are committed to protecting our nation and good people, yes, DHS is important…and yes, it is vital to our security and yes, the many political appointees should be booted out of the office, however there are many, many genuine American Patriots who protect us and We here on “Main Street USA” thank each and every one of them and we are pleased to see add’l funding for DHS, yet I have not a dime to give to illegal immigrants as far too many folks have had to follow the law and the lawlessness that we see among politicians and some illegals, boot them all out of the country for we are fed up!

Thank God we have the folks at NSA and other agencies and our military who does give a damn about ‘ol Glory and our Judeo-Christian principles and values and our friend and ally, Israel!

Great speech Bibi! Let ’em have it….

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus


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