Friday, December 09, 2011

Magic beans would have been easier to justify.

Like a steam-driven rights-violating machine whose boilers are fueled by sweating stokers shoveling the taxpayer-looted Bernanke Bucks by the bale, the Department of Homeland Security grinds on, producing nothing of value in return for all that stolen pelf except the occasional golden punchline.

Like the latest from Michigan, where taxpayers who grudgingly forked over their dough and were promised a little Homeland Security in exchange, instead found out that their hard-earned money had been used to buy sno-cone machines. At better than twice the going market rate.

While I'm sure that some explanation will be tendered pointing out that double redundant, milspec, EMP-hardened, flat black, radar absorbent sno-cone machines are obviously going to be more expensive than the kinds used by simple civilians, I think that a more likely hypothesis is that this is just the typical parsimony and thrift you see when people are allowed to spend other people's money.

Hey, hey, ho, ho! DHS has got to go!


TJIC said...

> the Department of Homeland Security grinds on, producing nothing of value in return for all that stolen pelf except the occasional golden punchline.


A woman I once debated, oh, it feels like YEARS ago (but perhaps it was more like 19 hours) once said


I'm not the one dealing in "always" and "never", when real life is composed of "sometimes" and "frequently".


Glad to see that you're using consistent metrics both for yourself v. others, and for real cops vs. underwear-cops.

rickn8or said...

Nothing adds to the price of an item like adding the modifiers "aviation", "marine" or"tactical".

Tam said...


Wookie, please.

Saying that the DHS needs to be abolished in inconsistent with anything I've ever said how exactly?

And I'm not talking about "underwear cops", I mean the DHS. The whole DHS. It needs to be broken up and the constituent parts returned to their previous agencies.

Anonymous said...

...and send the Patriot Act away with it!!

Tam said...

I think that pretty much goes without saying.

Bryan Reavis said...

DHS, Patriot Act (et al.), BATFEIEIO etc... Shred their documents, sell off their gear and make 'em get real jobs.

BTW, Nice alliteration there.

og said...

I will begin pulling magic beans out of my nose wrapped in tiny silk scarves hemmed with gold and silver thread twenty years before any of those alphabet agencies are discontinued. The obvious exception will be if they are replaced with something more onerous.

Aren't you glad I said "nose"

WV: Lastate. Will the lastate to use "Freedom" please put it back in it's shipping container and nail the lid back down?

Kip Condor said...

Oh man, I had almost forgotten how much I love the word "pelf".


It's fun to say.

Tom said...

Sno-Cone machines? I'd have sold them Venison Jerky Machines!

Borepatch said...

Glad we had a "Conservative Republican" administration to put DHS together.

The real problem is that DHS is no different from *any* department in that there's no feedback. So why should we expect anything other than $700 toilet seats or Cadillac driving welfare queens?

Oops, got to go. The dry cleaners is done with my Wookie Suit ...

TJIC said...

> Saying that the DHS needs to be abolished in inconsistent with anything I've ever said how exactly?

There are two inconsistencies:

1) you said on Twitter that you're somehow more nuanced than me, because I say "always" and "never" when the world is gray...despite the fact that in the thread you were referencing I had not said EITHER "always" or "never"

2) shortly thereafter you began indulging in "always" / "never" talk yourself.

I'm not attacking your broader point about DHS - I agree with that.

I'm attacking your rhetorical technique of painting me as a black white speaker when you're the one who's doing that.

Kristophr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristophr said...

Ermmm ... it's kinda hard to not consider someone who advocated political assassination as a social tool in the US as a shades-of-gray kinda guy.

Just sayin.

( if your original statement in this matter was over-reacted to hyperbole, I apologize and will retract this )

Matt G said...

"Terrorism remains a serious problem, but policymakers ought to be more candid with the American public. Instead of pandering to fear and overreacting to every potential threat, policymakers should keep the risk of terrorist attacks in perspective and focus public resources on cost-effective measures."
--David Rittgers, CATO Institute

I could give Mr. Rittgers a big ol' manly kiss for that summary.

Grayson said...

A suggestion, if I may:

Have your next incoming president turn the bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into a convenience store chain. If nothing else, doing so will increase the overall Homeland Security tremendously.

Also, it's kind of fun to contemplate what will happen to any goblin dumb enough to try and rob that kind of store.

Cincinnatus said...

TJIC, are we playing "Holier Wookie than thou" games? Come on, dude.

Old NFO said...

Well, the one that ordered the popcorn machine didn't get THAT one anyway...

Dr_Mike said...

But seriously...

Air force coffee machines on B-1 bombers are expensive for a reason. OK, that too, but another reason. The coffee machine will survive the crash so rescue teams can be refreshed easily. No, that's not it, it's that if it hits the fan, and the plane doesn't crash, the crew won't be scalded by hot coffee on top of everything else.

TSA has the same principle... their coffee machine may not have to _survive_ a crash, but it sure as heck gets them through their mindless day _allowing_ the crash by strip searching white grandmas and children, but not ex-pats from Durkadurkastan, because that would be racist.

Wait, that doesn't sound much better. I think I meant "Bend over, peasant!"

yeah, that's it. "Come see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed!"

A Critic said...

"because I say "always" and "never" when the world is gray"

The world is not gray. Nor is it shades of gray.

The world is filled with a huge spectrum of color, much of which is beyond the perception of our senses, and this huge spectrum is combined into infinite combinations.

It always pisses me off when people say "the world isn't black or white, it's shades of gray." Both of my parents say that. It might appear that way to some animals and to the colorblind, but it is such a ludicrously ignorant statement.

"I'm not the one dealing in "always" and "never", when real life is composed of "sometimes" and "frequently"."

Real life is to a large degree composed of absolutes. We are always all going to die. There will never be a time when anyone lives forever.

Tam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tam said...

People will always have straw men... ;)

Brad K. said...


*sigh* I don't support the DHS.

But the folk selling the Sno-Cone machines need some understanding.

It *costs money*, time, and effort to document, negotiate, and deliver to the Federal Government. The Federal Acquisition Requirements usually multiply the cost of the item(s) being procured. Double market rate seems like a very modest markup, more than justified by the cost of doing business with the US Government.

The "fair" and "accountable" regulations we have today began, I read, with then Sec'y of Defense Robert McNamara, under JFK. Before that America relied on contractors and suppliers dropping in on, say, an admiral or three, or a general and his staff, looking around, asking what was needed, sending over a prototype that worked, let the customer try it, and order a couple or couple thousand. You know, the procurement cycle responsible for winning WWII. McNamara (a bean counter) dismantled all that to encourage others to bid on contracts, and to assure government oversight to be sure that the best proposal was chosen.

Since McNamara's day, the FAR has been loaded with social engineering, graft, special interest pandering, and general career and empire building.

Perhaps more than DHS, the Federal Acquisition Requirements needs to go. Let the government get stuff at market rate with our tax dollars.

dave said...

Brad K.:

I'll grant you that the Federal Acquisition Requirements raise costs.

That granted, show me the part of either the Constitution or the Constitutionally-authorized job description that requires to buy Sno-Kone machines.

(Note: spoken by a man whose company owns several for use at company events...but you're not made to buy our products by force of arms. Not something you can say of the government.)

Firehand said...

And on top of that, the first time you feed just ONE tango into the machine, someone will object!

Larry said...

Shaved ice.
Damn, I love living in the South.
(why yes, I did check out the comments on the linked post, why do you ask?