Seriously? Homeland Security–the New Cash Cow
New Jersey strikes again! Last year, practically in the darkness of night or while the N.J. Transportation Authority was hacking down all the native trees on the Garden State Parkway (a whopping $5.9 million-dollar project), the Homeland Security erected an 8-ft. high, anti-terrorist barbed wire fence.
While this scenario may appear to be plausible to you, to us who live in the area and are accustomed to viewing the beautiful bay and salt marshes when driving over this section of parkway, we find it aesthetically objectionable and perplexing for the reasons N.J.T.A. explained away yet another ridiculous and absurd ($7.1 million) expenditure.
First of all, the fencing is supposed to deter terrorists from getting onto the bridge with bombs–I guess. Homeland Security, whoever the eejit was, failed to realize that:
- a suicide bomber could easily walk onto the bridge and blow it up
- a car loaded with bombs could be left on the bridge
- a small boat or kayak loaded with bombs could be left under the bridge
- the bridge is so easily accessible and low from beneath, even a middle-schooler could attach a bomb to the underside
The fencing does not, in any way, deter anyone from causing harm to N.J. motorists. And why would terrorists target such small bridges where there are probably only twenty-four cars on it at any one time during peak season?
As another writer put it, Homeland Security has become “the new sacred cow.” Apparently, Sanzari, Inc., whose company contributed $100,000 in campaign dollars to PACs in the past, reaped the benefits of destroying our beautiful views.
Below is a sampling of Homeland Security spending by state:
- California – Madera County couldn’t produce for inspectors adequate paperwork proving how it spent $1.4 million. Placer County spent $47,000 on a computer software program for local police that wasn’t used. Another county attempted to buy a lawn mower with grant cash, and a university campus police department purchased a $2,300 plasma TV.
- Colorado – A 30-foot trailer costing $54,000 in Hinsdale County, Colo., “did not appear to have been used” four years after it was purchased with homeland security grants.
- Kansas – Kansas spent at least $342,000 on high-tech robots equipped to neutralize bombs.
- Missouri – According to the report by the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, authorities in Missouri used $5.2 million to buy 13,000 chem-bio warfare suits costing $400 each.
- Idaho – $3.4 million on vehicles listed as equipped to defeat or provide protection against CBRNE, a common acronym in preparedness circles for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive devices.
- Vermont – $5.7 million worth of federal bioterrorism grants
- Oklahoma – Blanchard, Okla., estimated population 8,000, acquired a $50,000 security system for its police and fire departments using homeland security grants, according to records.
- Homeland Security Grants by State
- What Determines Homeland Security Spending?
- N.J. could see increase in federal funding for homeland security (nj.com)
- Northeastern President Joseph Aoun named to Department of Homeland Security academic advisory council (boston.com)
- The Hampshire Companies Sell 58,500-Square-Foot Office/Flex Building in Montvale, N.J. (prweb.com)
- Report: Homeland Security Lied to Congress About Spying on US Citizens (scottystarnes.wordpress.com)
- Buzzwords that make Homeland Security’s ears tingle (holykaw.alltop.com)
- What Words Are Homeland Security Looking for When It Cyberstalks You On Social Media? (readwriteweb.com)
- I-5 project near Lewis-McChord wins $15 million federal grant (thenewstribune.com)
- Congressman warns U.S. faces possible cuts in counterterrorism funding (nj.com)
Daily Gratitude: signing the papers on my retirement packet
© Teresita Abad Doebley All rights reserved 2009-2012.