Last week, WNYC's Leonard Lopate interviewed James Risen on scams and fraudsters making millions off of "homeland security". The good folks at Crooks and Liars are covering the same territory. Simply put, there were a shitton of grifters, many of them well-connected, but some of them just Walter Mitty types who could spout a line of bullshit that impressed the dunderheads in the Bush Maladministration. Besides being a creepily Orwellian bureaucracy, the "Department of Homeland Security" (can we dissolve it already) was a West-West wonderland for yahoos with power-trip fantasies and for straight-up crooks, and for a third class of creep that were a combination of the two. The DHS hires seem to be even worse than the horse-fancying horse's ass who was tapped to lead FEMA (and who CNN saw fit to bring on to comment on the current Ebola situation). WTF, CNN?
The most damaging legacy of the Reagan administration was the complete denigration of government competence. Somehow, in the past forty-odd years, the American public was sold the notion that the private sector was better able to deliver goods and services than the public sector. Throughout the course of these past few decades, the American people have been transformed from citizens to consumers... now, with the advent of the Sociopathocracy, we have made the final transition, from consumers to consumed, prey to cheats and frauds. The amount of taxpayer dollars that was funneled to lunatics, losers, and liars to keep up an ineffectual security-industrial complex is utterly appalling. In the absence of competent defense and security protocols, we are left with securitism, a self-perpetuating farrago of fear-mongering and empty gestures meant to overawe the true enemy of the DHS, which is the American taxpayer. Meanwhile, real safety falls by the wayside as dangerous industries are allowed to operate without regulation, infrastructure crumbles, and the day-to-day operations of well-meaning, competent public servants are underfunded.
Hopefully, the voting public will come to its senses in time to realize that "small government" advocacy really means "big heist" advocacy in time for the upcoming midterm elections. If we ever want to be able to afford nice things again, we need to stop shoveling millions into the coffers of thieves.