Come and Get Your Free Shit from Homeland Security

Come get your free shit

Free random bits of crap will help keep you safe.

We spend $75 billion a year on stupid shit, like giving DreamWorks an armored vehicle to protect its facility (I guess against a jihadist assault team that does not like well-crafted animated movies for all ages, because I don’t think the turret gun loaded on the back of that monster could prevent a car bomb.) In the same article, government agents officials responsible for the project brag about it being used on citizens when it, quite unsurprisingly, wasn’t used to thwart terrorist assaults. Read the LA Times article: Has Homeland Security spending paid off?

But that’s just one anecdotal bit. Surely if we’re spending that much, acts of violent terrorism must be rampant against Americans…

  • Globally, 8 Americans were killed in acts of terrorism last year, outside of war zones
  • 27 died of lightning strikes (So I expect to see $150 billion authorized to counter lightning attacks in next year’s budget)
  • You are just as likely to die in your bath tub than be killed by a Muslim terrorist.

“So if your chance of being killed by a terrorist in the United States is 1 in 3.5 million, the question is, how much do you want to spend to get that down to 1 in 4.5 million?” John Muller said.

The answer should be nothing more and less than that! It should be we’ve reached well beyond the rate we should be spending on homeland security. The only guarantee I will ever make to you is that there will never be a terrorist attack by al Qaeda in Nebraska, especially on one of its podunk dams. That’s not even to say it isn’t or shouldn’t be reasonably protected, but that it doesn’t need its own scuba defense squad with side-sonar fantasy vehicles.

The Homeland Security industry (what a fucked up term) has a very similar problem to earmarking, essentially that a small group of lobbyists and well-connected business interests create demand that the wider citizenry might not prefer, except the projects often run into the billions and not a couple thousand for figuring out why bees are dying at the local state university (which has larger security implications to our way of life than ensuring every town has assault vehicles).

Who Thought of This and How Many People Approved This Stupidity?

My favorite useless and incredibly ill-thought project is Boeing’s attempt to rig thousands of miles of Mexican border with surveillance cameras and radar. The only thing more impractical would be to construct a giant wall of ice to keep out the Mexicans like George RR Martin’s Night Watch keeps out ice zombies. Except they operate their wall under-staffed and starved of budget. (The American wall was developed by the Bush administration and wisely canceled by Janet Napolitano after it took way too long to figure out it was infeasible.)

Was this too impractical to have been seriously considered? How could it not be. There are too many smart people involved in government and our largest military-industrial companies for this to have been anything less than an insiders game for free money.

But the hard truth we have to accept

There’s no money to be spent on our citizen’s welfare and government spending on expanding the pool of health insurance nationally is impractical….

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