Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 30, 2015

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on October 30, 2015

William R. Cumming Forum

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Comment by William R. Cumming

October 30, 2015 @ 12:26 am

As we enter a new federal fiscal year’s second month how about a new mantra for FEMA and its employees:

So here is the new FEMA mantra: Prevent Disasters Don’t Promote them!

Did you know that PKEMRA 2006 added by statute the word PREVENTION to the EM paradigm of PREPAREDNESS, MITIGATION, RESPONSWE AND RECOVERY–the so called phases of EM.

And the Obama Administration lacking a statutory definition of PREVENTION defined that term in its first revision of HSPD-5&8 by issuance of PPD-8. And now of course RESILIENCE is the overarching PARADIGM for HS and EM.

What is the full meaning of all the semantics involved in these terms? Are they COMMANDMANTS

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 30, 2015 @ 12:27 am

As we enter a new federal fiscal year’s second month how about a new mantra for FEMA and its employees:

So here is the new FEMA mantra: Prevent Disasters Don’t Promote them!

Did you know that PKEMRA 2006 added by statute the word PREVENTION to the EM paradigm of PREPAREDNESS, MITIGATION, RESPONSWE AND RECOVERY–the so called phases of EM.

And the Obama Administration lacking a statutory definition of PREVENTION defined that term in its first revision of HSPD-5&8 by issuance of PPD-8. And now of course RESILIENCE is the overarching PARADIGM for HS and EM.

What is the full meaning of all the semantics involved in these terms? Are they COMMANDMANTS

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 30, 2015 @ 12:34 am


Homeland Security Presidential Directive


HSPD 1 Organization and Operation of the Homeland Security Council 29 Oct 01
HSPD 2 Combating Terrorism Through Immigration Policies 29 Oct 01
HSPD 3 Homeland Security Advisory System 11 March 02
HSPD 4 National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction (unclassified version) 11 December 02
HSPD 5 Management of Domestic Incidents [Initial National Response Plan, 30 September 03] 28 February 03
HSPD 6 Integration and Use of Screening Information to Protect Against Terrorism 16 September 03
HSPD 7 Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection 17 December 03
HSPD 8 National Preparedness 17 December 03
HSPD 9 Defense of United States Agriculture and Food 30 January 04
HSPD 10 Biodefense for the 21st Century 28 April 04
HSPD 11 Comprehensive Terrorist-Related Screening Procedures 27 August 04
HSPD 12 Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors 27 August 04
HSPD 13 Maritime Security Policy 21 December 2004
HSPD 14 Domestic Nuclear Detection 15 April 2005
HSPD 15 U.S. Strategy and Policy in the War on Terror (classified directive) 6 March 2006
HSPD 16 National Strategy for Aviation Security 22 June 2006
HSPD 17 Nuclear Materials Information Program 28 August 2006
HSPD 18 Medical Countermeasures Against Weapons of Mass Destruction 31 January 2007
HSPD 19 Combating Terrorist Use of Explosives in the United States 12 February 2007
HSPD 20 National Continuity Policy 4 April 2007
HSPD 21 Public Health and Medical Preparedness 18 October 2007
HSPD 22 Domestic Chemical Defense
HSPD 23 Cybersecurity Policy (via EPIC) 8 January 2008
HSPD 24 Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security 5 June 2008
HSPD 25 Arctic Region Policy 9 January 2009

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 30, 2015 @ 12:39 am


Presidential Policy Directive 8

March 30, 2011
SUBJECT: National Preparedness

This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. Our national preparedness is the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. Everyone can contribute to safeguarding the Nation from harm. As such, while this directive is intended to galvanize action by the Federal Government, it is also aimed at facilitating an integrated, all-of-Nation, capabilities-based approach to preparedness.

Therefore, I hereby direct the development of a national preparedness goal that identifies the core capabilities necessary for preparedness and a national preparedness system to guide activities that will enable the Nation to achieve the goal. The system will allow the Nation to track the progress of our ability to build and improve the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from those threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation.

The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism shall coordinate the interagency development of an implementation plan for completing the national preparedness goal and national preparedness system. The implementation plan shall be submitted to me within 60 days from the date of this directive, and shall assign departmental responsibilities and delivery timelines for the development of the national planning frameworks and associated interagency operational plans described below.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 30, 2015 @ 12:42 am



Comment by Joe Citizen

October 31, 2015 @ 8:08 am

A yet to be determined “Main Street USA Reward” from – Independents on Main Street USA” – to the cyber hackers, to the intel folks of other nations who hold all of good ‘ol Ms. Hillary’s emails as they are very much pertinent to Homeland Security and again, the outright lies from this present administration who promised back in ’08 to be the most transparent administration and quite the contrary and folks in Homeland Security and those of us here on “Main Street USA'” never have we as a nation been so compromised from within –

Headlines today state:

The White House has decided it will not release any emails between President Obama and Hillary Clinton until after he leaves office, a senior administration official confirmed to Fox News – a development that came as the State Department released another massive tranche of Clinton documents.

The department released 7,000 pages of Clinton emails on Friday in the agency’s largest release since it began posting the records in May.

But as with prior releases, any communication between Obama and his then-secretary of state was absent.

The administration official told Fox News there was a “small number” of emails between the two, described as “mostly non-substantive” because the two leaders conducted most their discussions in person or by phone.

But, as first reported by Reuters, the White House does not plan to release them until after Obama leaves office in 2017. The White House position is that the president’s communications are not subject to public record requests under the Freedom of Information Act and can be withheld while he’s in office. The George W. Bush White House likewise held that his correspondence would not be released until he left office – though the Clinton campaign has pledged to make her records public.

“There is a long history of presidential records being kept confidential while the president is in office,” the senior administration official said in a statement. “With regard to the president’s email, as we have previously acknowledged, the president did on occasion trade emails with Secretary Clinton, and we presume those communications will ultimately be made public, along with the rest of the president’s records, after he leaves office.”

If in fact this administration is to finally come clean with the American people as well as the Democratic party so that we can trust the Democrats or the Republicans as well, it is time for all emails so that we can read what the bad guys have already read spanning the continents and We must know what has been said to better prepare our nation for it is obvious that the majority of us – independent voters whose pledge to our Judeo-Christian principles, the Constitution and to hold everyone to the laws of our country and as I have reiterated so often from day one, place good ‘ol Ms. Hillary under arrest for suspicion in breach of faith, treason for Ms. Hillary and no one else are above the law and just yesterday, we see 200 emails reported as classified never mind others previously —

Our nation and our Homeland Security is so compromised and while we thank the patriots at NSA and others on the intel side who risk their lives daily for those of us here on “Main Street USA” enough is enough!

“The system will allow the Nation to track the progress of our ability to build and improve the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from those threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation”


National Preparedness – Really?

Our own “entrusted” officials and let us be clear, we don’t give a damn whether Democrat, Republican blue or green, WE are truly jeopardized by this biased and divisive White House and Justice Department and by a Congress, a Senate who have taken pledge to protect our nation and both parties have demonstrated they, too could give a damn about facts and truth and this ongoing “Chicago-Hollywood-Washington charade” continues and We gentlemen and ladies, We are in much jeopardy and we are construed as idiots by so, so many….

American history, a study in the past — shirtless Vladimir has been given a pass to reestablish the Soviet Union and this evolving Russian-Chinese-Indian alliance will result in a ten nation EU which will be led by a strong German leadership by none other than Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg and while Tehran will be dealt a serious blow by the Germans, East Jerusalem as well is now in very serious jeopardy…

A majority of fellow Americans do not believe this administration and we don’t give a damn about this self-serving politics, we care about our nation and the well being of Americans here on “Main Street USA” so fed up with these political parties – all so arrogant as we have seen from the Clintons and so many others “elected” to office to serve We the People and NOT the Clinton foundation —

Cyber world, intel folks all know the Russians, the Iranians and everyone else know full well that Clinton’s server has been read along the way and experts know that Clintons emails have been hacked from day one so folks, enough is enough, a reward by We the People on “Main Street USA” to any and every nation to release what you have known from long ago and embarrass the obviously failed American political parties as we deserve better – much better so release all these emails and let us read everything which YOU have read in the emails from Clinton’s server for after all, they are our nation’s supposed classified emails which we, too would like to read given that you in the cyber world have been reading all along —

To the White House, State Department and this obviously tainted Justice Department as identified by so many Americans who distrust those from within and who pledged to abide by the laws of this nation?

How dare you?

I remind you that ” the limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress” – Frederick Douglass

Joe Citizen
“Main Street USA”

Comment by Citizen Joe

October 31, 2015 @ 9:34 am

When it comes to Halloween and trick or treat, what I find appalling is the fact that as an American – natural born citizen – w/no loyalty to any political party and loyal to only our Judeo-Christian principles, the Constitution and adhering to the laws set forth….

….as well as standing forthright so often in unselfish manner on behalf of fellow neighbor and friends even to my own detriment, what I truly detest is the fact that I must submit my concerns about politicians as well as the White House, State and Justice Department much like those on the local level…

….that I must use Joe Citizen to voice my concerns about our well being as a nation, a country so disrespected and so weakened by none other than Barry Obama and a tainted media which are for the most part wet behind the ears and has no clue how this once great nation was built – not by government – but by enterprising and real entrepreneurial zeal, hard working and more failures than imaginable to gain successes – tenacity….

….so on this Halloween when our nation has been so compromised by the Clintons, prostituting our beloved Republic for the good of the Clinton Foundation and for the false legacy of good ‘ol Ms. Hillary who at State not only so willing to keep secrets from We the People to bolster herself, Billy Boy and Chelsea who we see speak out herself….

Well, isn’t it a shame that this HLS Watch chooses to dismiss my comments o easily and refer to my comments as unacceptable and block my comments as I must revert to using Joe Citizen, another computer and another email to convey my true Love for a nation which has been the beacon of hope to the oppressed and now seeing the shelves of the local food banks struggling to keep enough food on the shelves and food stamps are rampant because folks we have been so duped and so many corrupt from within, never mind looking across the pond at the Europeans and Russians and Chinese and others…..

The trick of the politicians led by the failures of Barry Obama and good ‘ol Ms. Hillary and this tainted Justice Department and even this outrageous deal with our adversaries, Tehran who will ultimately be dealt with by the Germans, a Germany as in history who has duped the world more than once…well, here is another comment which I could not present under my own name and it blocked three times from my submission and all the while, more illegal immigrants being allowed to cross our borders breaking the law, yet I cannot express my opinion as to a failed White House and both the Congress and Senate and both parties for this continued political charade while our enemies, the old Soviet Union is revived and the Balkans are now terrified of what just might be shirtless Vladimir and his 25 bosses real intention to take advantage of a failed America and We here on “Main Street USA” who thank all those standing night and day to protect us and so often have no names, but true love as we do for our nation….thank you –

So I shall now post what I could not in my own name and as an American citizen who sees no one above the law and We here on “Main Street USA’ no matter how contrary some may perceive, our Right to speak for let’s not kid ourselves, War looms ahead and contrary to good ‘ol Ms. Hillary and Barry Obama and anyone else who perceives my comments as somehow derogatory or so easy to dismiss, unless We repent and unless we demand clarity, transparency and uphold the laws of our nation and our borders and all to be documented as in other nations, we will go to War!

Happy Halloween – trick or treat:

While tricking us here on “Main Street USA” and treating yourselves as elected officials from the White House down to the local cities and towns and the outright corruption, the self-serving ways and the outright arrogance and condescending ways towards the constituents who care to vote while so many others have their hand out seeking whatever they can grab from the hard working dwindling work force in the country and looking to the rich to share their bounty from what has been earned by failure and successes and motivation and persistence and some luck along the way, but no on this Halloween it is obvious that our elected politicians as never before in our nations history have tricked us and have treated themselves as clearly demonstrated by the Clintons and their lined coffers and the outrageous deception which both Congress and the Senate on both sides of the aisle have allowed….folks who pledged in oath from Barry Obama, to good ‘ol Ms. Hillary to those in the Justice Department and along the way to the local elected Town Meeting that the Constitution, that laws meant something and we see the IRS and State and so many of our government agencies and yes, even to the local school boards and administrators so tainted, so corrupt in so many ways and YOU truly believe that our Homeland Security is intact – really?

Let’s get a report to the nation (yesterday) about our well being when it comes to our vulnerability to the electric grid and you have again raised the debt limit, are you kidding? Really?

We folks here on “Main Street USA'” are in real compromise and while we thank God our patriots at the “Benghazi Massacre” and to our diminished army and navy and those on the intel side truly make every attempt to protect us, thank you for your service, however on the inside folks, we are in real jeopardy when our own elected officials can jeopardize our nation so and expose our nation without recall, without arrest for suspicion in breach of faith, treason so while so many shout “Arrest good ‘ol Ms. Hillary for breach of faith, treason” with so much evidence already discovered, we know that we are too a corrupted sovereignty like so many others and that the road will be quite arduous for so many and we are mustering and with much prayer as a Judeo-Christian nation willing to embrace others in freedom of choice, however all accountable to the law and certainly starting from the White House, to State to the Justice Department and so on and so forth –

This administration and it touting that it would be the most transparent of all administrations, well, you certainly have been and so many of those under your administration from you to good ‘ol Ms. Hillary to so many others, well, you have been quite transparent to our adversaries and it is obvious you all have communicated very clearly, not to us, but to the Muslim Brotherhood and to so many others —

What is this nonsense in patrolling the waters off of China, you have diminished the US Navy and Air Force so that the Chinese as well as shirtless Putin have little Respect as do so many others feeling the same disrespect towards America which is correctly construed a s a paper tiger and led by nothing more than a “Chicago city street slicker” who runs as an ambulance chaser to a Black White altercation, but has done little to help precious American youth killing one another on the streets of our cities – how dare you disrespect life so and by the way, All Life matters! Stop spewing the divisive and biased ways of this administrations theme which is the same theme you spewed standing atop the milk box at Harvard with Billy Ayers and other such radicals so anti-American!

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2015 @ 9:46 am

Perhaps because I find Citizen Joe’s comments to be ideologically driven but containing much substance hoping he continues to comment.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2015 @ 10:24 am

This comment could be accurately labeled a rant but submitting because based on my factual analysis of world events.

There are largely driven by the fact that the Bush-lite label for the Obama Administration now seems well confirmed as we close on the final full-year of the Obama Administration.

USING ACA primarily as rebuttal many who are not as much of a fuzzy headed liberal as me might well disagree.

But perhaps of interest I would argue that FP [foreign policy] and Trade Policy have largely driven U.S. Domestic Policy since 1945!

Yet this linkage seldom analyzed by academics or others. I had hoped that both FP and Trade Policies might be a driver in the 2016 campaign of President. But while I welcome the campaign by the THUMP and the DOC by no stretch of the imagination can either of these fellows make the link between FP and Trade Policy and domestic policy.

Let’s be honest given the context of 2015 the American Century that began with the Atomic Age in 1945 has ended.

With that as background I will attempt to demonstrate that HS and EM policies that dominated for the last 80 years [1945-2015] have failed for a number of reasons.

First, A SCOTUS continues to fail to read, comprehend, and understand U.S. history, FP, National Security, and Federalism. I don’t believe any explanation is necessary except to explain that a largely corrupted profession and Ivy League law schools dominate SCOTUS appointments and the Presidency.

Second, there is no question that federal power grew out of the domestic collapse of the Thirties, but even more by the creation of the National Security State and Warfare. Why? The restraints on Presidential discretion in the U.S. Constitution are largely in absentia. Even to the point of being war criminals under traditional standards and those of the Nuremberg Trials a number of U.S. Presidents in the last 80 years are indictable war criminals.

Third, the STATES have largely failed to be laboratories of DEMOCRACY [the Jeffersonian vision]. Almost 40 million state and local employees and contracts exist as opposed to 4-6 million in 1939.

Fourth, the Higher-Ed world adopting not just business practices but business ethics as their business plan. Ask yourself how many endowed chairs by business exist in climatology, ecology, environmental science? The U.S. has led the way in poisoning the Planet Earth since 1945 and worse continues to do so. Some estimate 2-5 Trillion now needed to clean up the world’s bomb and arms complexes. Please walk the no-man’s land between the Swiss Border and North Sea to see the ravages of the Western Civ suicide zone of WWI.

Fifth, The Thump is largely correct that campaign financing is destroying our democracy. He does also understand the real estate tax provisions of the Tax Code? Why? They are largely
non-existant. Check out the taxation of REITs?

Sixth! The real property tax and sales tax is not adequate to
preserve the role of State governments.

Seventh! Using the military to subsidize full-employment is a stupid choice.

Eight! Failure to understand that technology is now the driver in undermining the Nation-State system. Ably supported of course by globalized finance, tax fraud, and failure of nation-states to protect the COMMONS.

Ninth! Most Economists fail to understand RISK ANALYSIS, RISK STRATEGY, AND RISK MANAGEMENT just as most lawyers fail to understand finance.

Tenth! Demographics is a key discipline in understanding the
last 80 years but even more important the rest of this Century.

Now on to HS and EM and the false chices adopted as policy!

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2015 @ 10:26 am

CORRECTION: 70 years.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2015 @ 10:32 am

Now on to the failed choices of HS and EM:

The First failed choice of HS is that physical security [other than controlling access to systems] was chosen over cyber security and CIP.

The First failed choice of EM was that funding was the key failing in STATES and their local governments EM efforts and even federal efforts at EM as opposed to science, engineering, and knowledge disciplines. Perhaps HS also.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2015 @ 10:36 am

The second failed choice of HS was to favor a Gun & Badge culture over a “thinking” and “learning” culture.

The second failed choice of EM was the almost complete failure to set standards and metrics for each part of the Paradigm of EM [specifically PREPAREDNESS, PREVENTION, MITIGATION, RESPONSE, RECOVERY AND THE OVERARCHING PARADIGM OF RESILIENCE.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2015 @ 10:39 am

The Third failed choice of both HS and EM was the concept of HRP [high-reliable organizations] and why the precepts and tenets of HRO’s were or were not adaptable to HS and EM programs, functions, and activities.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2015 @ 10:41 am

The fourth failed choice of HS and EM was the failure by specific delegation to make delegates accountable but with adequate authority for their assigned mission, goals, and tasks.

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2015 @ 10:45 am

Finally niceness should not be excluded from competence but niceness alone does not make for competence.


You know the kind you might want to have a beer with!

Comment by Philip J. Palin

November 1, 2015 @ 4:05 am

Bill: I probably agree with your set of failed choices. Would take a bit more discussion to be sure. Part of that discussion includes: you relate (conflate?) EM and HS. I certainly agree they are related. I am inclined to view EM as one of several preexisting professions and disciplines related to homeland security. Almost all of these pre-existing groups have become “first responders” and as such tend to focus on tactical competence in conceiving their roles, recruiting personnel, planning, budgeting, training/educating personnel, etc. I have seen homeland security as — potentially — contributing a more strategic perspective, especially when it comes to prevention, mitigation, and preparedness (especially preparedness for strategically significant events). In terms of Emergency Management is this a distinction that, in your judgment, has any utility?

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 1, 2015 @ 8:07 am

Thanks Phil! My concept is that HS and EM are separate sets as in the diagram will send to you!

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 1, 2015 @ 8:18 am


As shown on the WENN diagram I sent you [you are free to utilize in any way] ALMOST SEPARATE SETS!

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 1, 2015 @ 8:34 am

Phil! I have a write-up of the WENN diagram but at the moment lost!

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 1, 2015 @ 8:35 am



Comment by Vicki Campbell

November 2, 2015 @ 12:50 pm

From yesterday’s Washington Post, below is an op-ed by the former head of FEMA, David Paulson. Noting that $30 Billion of the almost $48 billion allocated for Sandy has yet to be spent (words fail me), and that even though we already well know that every dollar spent on pre-disaster mitigation saves 3-4 dollars on recovery costs, FEMA still spent 14 times more money on its post-disaster mitigation than it did on pre-disaster mitigation between 2011 and 2014 – Paulson strongly urges the re-prioritization of pre-disaster mitigation in American EM.

By R. David Paulison November 1 at 7:13 PM
R. David Paulison was FEMA administrator from 2005 to 2009.

Three years ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the United States, causing catastrophic losses up and down the East Coast. With families still struggling to get back on their feet, I’m shocked to report that — after all this time — billions of dollars in Sandy relief aid has yet to be spent.

To be exact, $30.06 billion of the $47.9?billion set aside for relief remains in the coffers of two federal agencies whose primary missions have nothing to do with responding to disasters — the Transportation Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development. This fact alone should cause all of us to stop and question our current approach to disaster recovery.

I’ve spent my 35-year career in emergency management responding to natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy. In 1992, I oversaw recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Andrew as fire chief of the Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Department. In 2005, I was appointed by President George W. Bush to oversee Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts as administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Not only do I hold a deeply personal appreciation for just how destructive these storms can be, but I’ve also witnessed first hand the scale of damage they can inflict on families and communities when proper precautions aren’t taken.

Looking back on the valuable lessons I’ve learned throughout my career, the one that stands out is the importance of preparing for and investing in the future. In my line of work, preparation is not an abstract principle. It can determine whether a family’s home remains standing or lies in ruin after a disaster. And after the widespread destruction Sandy caused, it is clear to me that our country has yet to fully grasp this lesson.

An honest assessment of the federal disaster preparedness system reveals deep and systemic problems that can only be addressed through major reform. In August, I wrote a New Orleans’s Times-Picayune op-ed outlining a framework for a new national mitigation investment strategy that would address many of these problems. In October, the BuildStrong Coalition — with whom I work closely as a senior adviser — released the full details of this plan at sandy.buildstrongamerica.com, giving me a new opportunity to speak out about the dire need for reform.

There is simply no question that our country needs to change how we plan for and respond to natural disasters. This report reveals the federal government’s overemphasis on post-disaster spending, despite overwhelming evidence that every $1 invested in preparation saves $3 to $4 in future costs. For example, between 2011 and 2014, FEMA spent 14 times more on its post-disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program than it did on its Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program. The reforms I propose would adjust this ratio by investing $500 million of unspent Hurricane Sandy disaster funding to the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program. Doing so would mean using this money as Congress intended: to fund important programs that would strengthen our communities, save lives and reduce damage.

Another shortcoming addressed in the report is the lack of attention given to mitigation for homeowners. Currently, the majority of federal mitigation programs focus on fortifying public buildings and infrastructure such as roads, bridges, levees, dams and power grids. While these are important, they are only part of the picture. Single- and multi-family homes are a major driver of disaster losses, and our strategy would provide incentives — not mandates — for states, communities, builders and homeowners to better protect their property.

In addition to enhancing FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program, our investment strategy creates incentives for states to adopt and enforce strong statewide building codes, provides tax credits for builders and homeowners who use cutting-edge techniques when constructing homes, and establishes a FEMA pilot program that would provide grants to states and localities to help defray enforcement costs for qualified building codes. Taken as a whole, these reforms would protect Americans in the place they should feel safest — their homes — while saving tax dollars.

The investment costs of these programs can be paid for by repurposing less than 5 percent of the $30 billion still sitting at DOT and HUD three years after Sandy. By reinvesting these dollars in a smart and strategic fashion, we can break the cycle of “rebuild and repair” and ensure that future generations are better prepared for the next disaster.

Comment by Vicki Campbell

November 2, 2015 @ 1:30 pm

Phil, when you say:

“I have seen homeland security as — potentially — contributing a more strategic perspective, especially when it comes to prevention, mitigation, and preparedness (especially preparedness for strategically significant events),”

I have no idea what you’re actually referring to here – especially because, IMHO, DHS has in no way offered a meaningful (or even discernible) focus on either mitigation or prevention (which are in no way separate for educated EMers), either in relation to normal EM functions – or I would argue in relation to terrorism for that matter (noting again, of course, the always annoying and utterly unnecessary and redundant addition of the separate “prevention” function, and “protection” function for that matter, for EM purposes). Again, what are you actually talking about and referring to here, beyond all the rhetoric.

Also, do you really think it was a good idea to demote FEMA to one of the “pre-existing groups have become ‘first responders’ and as such tend to focus on tactical competence in conceiving their roles, recruiting personnel, planning, budgeting, training/educating personnel, etc” – ie., to basically turn back the clock to the 80s and make FEMA nothing more than a preparedness/response agency again? I, for one, definitely do not – and I am in a helluva lot of good company about that…….

Comment by Vicki Campbell

November 2, 2015 @ 1:59 pm

I would also argue, in relation to the existence of HS, that the only reason it was able to come into being or exist at all is because, ever since the end of WWII, we have been developing ever more ridiculously imperialistic notions of “national security” (due only in part to the fact no country in their right mind would actually ever attack us again…). Any sane, normal notion of national security would certainly more readily include much of what has been dragged kicking and screaming into DHS, in terms of what didn’t already make more sense to be on its own (such as FEMA, amongst a few others i can think of – like the Secret Service perhaps).

With the formation of DHS, and the wholesale cramming of an unprecedented number of usually (not always) fairly distinct agencies into it (as well as the continued exclusion of others that would make much more sense to be included), I would argue that all we have, yet again – although to a wholly new degree – is the ever more cumbersome, convoluted, redundant bureaucratic animal that you get basically whenever you put people who don’t fundamentally believe in government in charge of government. The fact that this wasn’t fixed immediately by Obama (and Fugate) really is one of the major governmental failing of his administration, TMM.

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 3, 2015 @ 8:10 am

Vicki! Interesting comments with which I agree. Paulison should be noted for his comments even though MITIGATION pre- and post-disaster starved during his time in office in FEMA.

Building code and zoning enforcement unrelated to above the table or below the table revenues [CORRUPTION!] almost non-existant.

No big leaps required just tiny steps.

Comment by Tom Russo

November 3, 2015 @ 5:12 pm


Your homework assignment will be interesting reading for me given that in the recent historic flooding in SC and the breach of 19 dams, most of which are privately owned…I raised this question in my HLS intro course about using mitigation funds, in combination with state surplus funds to mitigate private sector dams.

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 4, 2015 @ 3:16 am

Tom! Am I correct that the failed dams did not occur in a concentrated area but more wide-spread?

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 4, 2015 @ 3:43 am

Perhaps wrong [imagine that?] but the 20th Anniversary of assassination of Rabin seems to also mark a two decade rise of anti-USA sentiment in MENA [middle-east N, Africa]!


Comment by William R. Cumming

November 4, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

Can you name the Adviser to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism?

Is that the correct title?

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 5, 2015 @ 7:40 am


The RAND link is to conference findings on the role of non-profits in disaster resilience and will be discussed in tomorrow’s FFF!

Comment by Philip J. Palin

November 5, 2015 @ 7:45 am

Bill: I think you are asking about the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 5, 2015 @ 1:57 pm

Phil! You are correct!

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