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homeland security

Church and State

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Friday, November 11, 2011

I've been wanting to blog about this for the last few days. Here is the headline:

Atheists want God out of Ky. homeland security

I know, right? But this is totally serious. This is an Associated Press story.

You see there is a state anti-terrorism law that "requires Kentucky's Office of Homeland Security to acknowledge is can't keep the state safe without God's help." The 2002 law states that God is just as important as military, police and security leaders.

I've always been a person who is pretty tolerant of other people's religions as long as it doesn't infringe on my rights (to that woman you tried to give me "something comforting to read" while I stood in line at Starbucks, you crossed my line).

Hey, if you want to thank whomever for keeping you safe, that's great, enjoy. But I don't agree with requiring departments to "post a plaque that says the safety and security of the state 'cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon almighty God' and to stress that fact through training and educational purposes."

Does separation of church and state come into play here? Any legal experts out there?

This concludes my religious thoughts for the day.

New poll: Privacy sacrificed since 9/11 has made us safer

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08/31/2011

YARMOUTH, Maine–Nearly 79 percent of Americans feel they have less privacy now than they did before 9/11 and 62 percent said they have less personal freedom, according to a new public opinion poll from the Reason Foundation. However, 81 percent said that, while the increased security measures are inconvenient, they have made Americans safer overall.

SIA opposes proposed DHS cuts

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08/15/2011

The Security Industry Association today issued a statement opposing the House of Representatives’ proposed cuts in the fiscal year 2012 budget to Department of Homeland Security grant programs such as Urban Areas Security Initiative and the State Homeland Security Grant Program.

Ohio scraps its state-wide camera integration project

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's always disappointing when good ideas don't materialize. I was very excited to blog in October about Ohio's plans to integrate thousands of video cameras to provide law enforcement and other officials with improved ability to view cameras owned by public and private entities. Here's what I wrote in my blog about the Camera Integration Project:

And, it’s heartening to know that the government (local and federal) as well as private organizations have the ability to learn from past incidents, aim to change it, and actually receive the resources to do so.

Well, now I'm disheartened that the funding for this initiative was pulled. According to this article the primary reason was money. Obviously. It's always about money.

Ohio Homeland Security director Rob Glenn told the Associated Press that the state can use the $234,000 that was originally set aside for the integration project "to develop a capability that benefits everybody."

One consideration is implementing GPS and computer modeling systems that could provide more useful information to state agencies both before and after disasters such as tornadoes or flooding, he said.

Emergency management is obviously critical for all states (and our country as a whole), but so is making the video systems in place actually useful to a wider body of officials. And, it has an emergency management component. Can you imagine the situational awareness from being able to quickly pull up a camera, hundreds of miles away, and be able to determine what resources are needed?

What do you think? Was Ohio's decision a good one?

How to improve our nation’s response to catastrophe

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06/24/2010

WASHINGTON—There will be no shortage of future disasters and it’s critical that the nation be properly prepared to respond to those impending events, said Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, during an event hosted by the Homeland Security Policy Institute. “Events of a very large scale, that’s what keeps me up at night,” he said during a June 17 seminar, “Strengthening Unity of Effort: Challenges and New Directions.”

Just 'some guy's' opinion

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Former VP Dick Cheney is stirring up some controversy today. In an interview with Politico, he warned that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration’s policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.

Some choice quotes:
“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry."

Protecting the country’s security is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business. These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.”

Hey, I'm Switzerland here but according to a recent Security Director NewsPoll, 44 percent of of readers said they thought Obama's national security team choices were poor. On the flip side, 25 percent ranked them as OK and 30 percent opined that the choices were great.

I may be simple minded but all I want is for our country to be safe. Is it as dirty of a job as Cheney expresses? Do you think his views are valid? Or is he just spewing negativity?
—Rhianna Daniels

In the land of the bizarre

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Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm sure you've all heard this by now ... but CNN is reporting that a noose was found Wednesday on the desk of an African-American supervisor at the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The agency's director Mark Cooper, said "this type of behavior is 100 percent unacceptable." Well, I sure hope it isn't. In Louisiana it is actually a felony to display a noose in public and the act is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $5,000.
The news is a bit disheartening especially in light of President Obama's inauguration this week. It's amazing that we as a society can come so far but also fall so short at the same time.

Rock the vote

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Monday, November 3, 2008
Election Day is less than 24 hours away and we've all been subjected to a host of news reports about the campaigns. Today I figured why buck the trend.

We put together a short piece on the candidates homeland/national security views for last week's e-news blast and in case you missed it or need a refresher, you can review it here.

And in a much less serious note, here are their respective Saturday Night Live appearances.

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