Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 26, 2016

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Arnold Bogis on May 26, 2016

William R. Cumming Forum

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Comment by William R. Cumming

May 27, 2016 @ 3:49 am

Disaster Recovery: FEMA Needs to Assess Its Effectiveness in Implementing the National Disaster Recovery Framework. GAO-16-476: Published: May 26, 2016.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 27, 2016 @ 4:01 am

Again is FEMA a corrordinative, cooperative entity or a fully operational agency that does it on its own or both or neither?

Does FEMA have a broad gauge staff that know cold the legal authority and skills of those OFAs on which response is built?

Does FEMA have highly technically qualified staff with national reputations for their expertise?

When the WH calls does FEMA respond How can we help? Or does it respond It’s some one else’s job?

Does FEMA illegally supplement the budgets of OFAs who should have adequate budget authority for catastrophe situations?

If you consider Annual Average Disaster Outlays including NFIP claims on an Annual Average basis where does FEMA rank in the DHS hierarchy of financial significanxce?

When DHS was formed FEMA had 11 PAS slots and 65 Career and Non-career SES jobs! How about right now?

In 1979 FEMA had over 500 people with advanced degrees including PhDs! How about now?

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 27, 2016 @ 4:07 am

What is a FRAMEWORK and how many is FEMA responsible for?


Comment by claire rubin

May 27, 2016 @ 6:18 am

FEMA has been using the Recovery Framework since 2011, and it appears that the process is not getting better.

It may even be getting worse, judging from comments I hear from Reservists working in Lousiana presently.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 27, 2016 @ 10:50 am

As previously stated here is my choice for the VP nominee and running mate for HRC, the Bernie, or whomever gets the DEMS nomination to be the next President:

Wiki Extract:

Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown Jr. (born April 7, 1938) is an American politician and lawyer, who has been serving as the 39th Governor of California since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, Brown previously served as the 34th Governor from 1975 to 1983, and is the longest-serving governor in California history. Prior to and following his first governorship, Brown served in numerous state, local and party positions, including three times a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

As the only son of Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, Sr., the 32nd Governor of California (1959–1967), Jerry Brown began his political career as a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees (1969–1971), before serving as Secretary of State of California (1971–1975). Elected Governor in 1974 at age 36, Brown was the youngest California governor in 111 years.

Brown ran for his Party’s nomination in the 1976 Presidential election, finishing second in the popular vote, and a distant third in the convention vote, which was won by Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia. Brown was re-elected Governor in 1978, and ran against fellow Democrat and incumbent President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 primaries. While challengers to incumbent Presidents seldom gain traction, the challenge by Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts did, leaving Brown without any significant support.

Brown declined to run for a third term in 1982, instead running for the United States Senate in 1982. However, Brown was defeated by Republican Mayor Pete Wilson (who would later become governor), and many considered his political career to be over. After travelling abroad, Brown returned to California and served as Chairman of the California Democratic Party (1989–1991), choosing to resign to run for the Senate again in 1992. Changing his mind, Brown ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 1992, once again finishing second in the popular vote, carrying six states and coming second in the convention, though substantially behind Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas.

After six years out of politics, Brown returned to public life, serving as Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007), and then Attorney General of California (2007–2011). Brown decided to run for another term as Governor, and was able to do so due to a grandfather clause in a term-limit law passed in 1990 for State Office. The law limited a Governor to two terms; however, the four living Governors when the law was passed (which consisted of himself, Brown’s father Pat, his predecessor Ronald Reagan, and his successor George Deukmejian, who was in office when the law was enacted) were still eligible for the election.

Running against Meg Whitman in 2010, Brown became the 39th Governor in 2011; on October 7, 2013, he became the longest-serving governor in California history, surpassing Earl Warren. Brown was re-elected in 2014, with sixty percent of the vote. As a consequence of the 28-year gap between his second and third terms, Brown has been both the sixth-youngest California governor (the youngest since 1863), and the oldest California governor in history.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 1:53 am

Can HRC and Trump make it through their respective conventions?

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 1:55 am

Some MSM reporting TSA short 10,000 security screeners> Confirmation?

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 1:57 am

Sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote THE POWER ELITE in 1955.

Wondering how that effort holds up?

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 2:05 am

One review of THE POWER ELITE extracted from Amazon books:

By Jeffrey Leach

“C. Wright Mills’s examination on the inner workings of the ruling structures of America, “The Power Elite,” had an enormous influence on the development of the New Left during the 1960s. This book became the bible of choice amongst the founders of the Students for a Democratic Society in the early 1960s, serving as one of the key components Tom Hayden borrowed from when he wrote “The Port Huron Statement,” the first credo issued by that group. It could be safely argued that a student of Leftism in twentieth century America couldn’t even begin to grasp the ideology of that movement without looking at this book. C. Wright Mills died before seeing the effects the New Left would have on American society, but his book lives on in reprint after reprint.
“The Power Elite” begins its examination of the power structure in America by looking at local systems of elites. These microcosms of power, much more common in the earlier era of our country, constituted numerous bases of influence across the country. These people were the ones who owned the local mills, or worked as the local lawyer or doctor. They often owned land and saw themselves as the height of local society. But as America grew in size, these local elites gave way to a nationalized power structure that overrode the old, regional ruling constructions. In the process of showing how regional elites eventually formed a national system, Mills examines the old moneyed classes in the United States, how the powerful and wealthy set up networks of influence through elite schools, and how the power elites recruited new members through such institutions as corporations and government service. If I had to sum up the first few sections of this book, I would say that Mills is trying to show how scattered the power elite was in the earlier stages of this country’s history.
The first part of this book tends to move slowly, and isn’t nearly as interesting as the second half when Mills discusses the rise of the military, government, and corporate hierarchies. According to Mills, these three institutions now form a contiguous whole as far as managing the country goes. Moreover, people inhabiting any of these three structures often move between them with seeming ease. Isn’t it funny that Colin Powell, a lifelong military officer, suddenly finds himself in the political world as Secretary of State? Or how Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld move between the corporate and political worlds with such simplicity? I’m not picking on the current administration, as EVERY administration regardless of political stripe does this, but these specific examples are indicative of what Mills argues in this book: that the three hierarchies of power in the United States are interlocking, and that the people at the highest levels of these institutions look after one another and do each other favors because they share the same experiences, backgrounds, and aspirations. They all share the same attitudes, the same sense of “sound judgment” necessary to manage society.
As if this thesis isn’t chilling enough, Mills includes a couple of chapters about the role of society. In this section of the book, the author concerns himself with the concept of masses versus publics. A mass is essentially a population that receives opinions from elites through controlled communication systems instead of expressing their own ideas. In a mass society, the mass “has no autonomy from institutions,” which further inhibits opinion. A public, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of a mass. Opinions are not received through media systems, but arise from open debate through open communications systems. Institutions do not excessively restrict the autonomy of a public, either, because the public doesn’t need to rely heavily on institutions to lead them.
I think anyone with an iota of common sense knows where we stand today in terms of Mills’s definitions. The United States, that great, immutable bulwark of freedom, is instead a mass of some 260 million souls effectively controlled through the corporate media systems. Sure, one can argue that the people vote officials out of political office, but has that really changed anything? And sure, the Internet does allow nearly anyone with access to a computer a forum for virtually any topic, but it will take more than a few e-mails tacked on to the end of every news opinion program on the media outlets to convince me that we do not essentially receive our opinions. Besides, leaders tell us nearly every day that we are cattle: every time you hear the word “democracy” fall out of an elite’s mouth, just remember that democracy means “mob rule,” in this case, the American mob ruled by the power elites.
So what do we do? That’s one of the great failings in Mills’s analysis of the power hierarchies: he never provides any solutions to the problems of a managed society. There is a reference to the idea that bureaucracies ought to be run by individuals who rise through merit instead of through elite appointment, but that’s about the only recommendation the author makes. I am suspicious of bureaucracies anyway, so Mills’s idea on this topic fails to satisfy me. The New Left did try to use the information contained in “The Power Elite” to affect change, ultimately failing due to a clash of egos and a useless foray into communism. There is one word that may solve the problem, a word many will reject outright: revolution. Mills never calls for it, and that may be the biggest disappointment concerning his analysis. Anyway, this is an illuminating book for readers on both sides of the political spectrum. It is disappointing to see so few reviews for such an insightful book.”

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 2:07 am

Readers may well wonder why I follow politics so closely and certain kinds of analysis on this blog.

The reason is simple to my mind. It can be stated as a POSTULATE.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 2:24 am

POSTULATE defined:

“a hypothesis advanced as an essential presupposition, condition, or premise of a train of reasoning”

So my postulate: HS and EM are key efforts in governance and must be addressed appropriately in all governing structure and organizations and failure to do may well result in revolution in governing systems.

N.B. HS and EM are both composed of multidisciplinary efforts and systems and underlying the effectiveness and efficiency of these efforts and systems are cooperative and collaborative interdisciplinary knowledge and personal skills.

There may well be brilliant independent thinkers in bureaucracy but bureaucracy is designed to gain strength by group cooperation and collaboration. That is why Mary Parker Follette’s TEAM BUILDING so instrumental in success.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 2:57 am

Catching up: The Gilmore Commission produced 5 interesitng reports but most important might well be the post 9/11 fifth one:

Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of
Mass Destruction (The Gilmore Commission). Fifth Annual Report to the President and
the Congress: Forging America’s New Normalcy: Securing our Homeland, Preserving
our Liberty. Washington, D.C.: RAND, 15 December 2003. 337pp. Available from

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 3:01 am

A quicker Gilmore link:

NSRD-Gilmore Commission – Panel Reports
Fifth Panel Report: Final Forging America’s New Normalcy: Securing Our Homeland, Protecting Our Liberty: December 15, 2003 News Release Full Report Executive Summary Report Only Appendices Fourth Panel Report Implementing the National Strategy: December 15, 2002 Full Report Report Summary Third Panel Report …

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 3:06 am

Link to Executive Summary–Gilmore V:


Comment by William R. Cumming

May 28, 2016 @ 10:54 am

24 pp by Rand on Disaster Recovery:


Thanks Claire Rubin.

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 30, 2016 @ 2:46 am

Will corrupt Admirals sink the U.S. Navy? See WAPO series?

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 1, 2016 @ 1:58 am

Some said the greatest strength of George C. Marshall, the 5-star that led the .S.Army to victory in WWII was his character as reflected in his self-control. I agree.

Now strength of character as revealed by lifetimes of activities and current challenges reveals to me that candidates might well often be, as is 40% of the American public, on prescribed or un-prescribed psyhcotropic drugs.

What prescriptions are our political candidates on?

Should all HS and DHS appointees, officers, employees be subject to mandatory drug testing?

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 1, 2016 @ 2:02 am

Psychotropic drug: Any drug capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior. Some legal drugs, such as lithium for bipolar disorder, are psychotropic. Many illicit drugs, such as cocaine, are also psychotropic. Also known as psychodynamic drug.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 1, 2016 @ 2:08 am

Disclosure: 74 years old in early August, By the election Sanders, HRC, and the Donald all in their 70’s. Is there a generational issue in political life? Add 8 years of possible political life and is dementia and issue for US?

Comment by Poilligtrieria

June 9, 2016 @ 6:51 am

profit development opinie

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do wynajęcia
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gdynia nowe mieszkania


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