Why Does Waterloo, Iowa, Need An Urban Assault Vehicle?


In the wake of the attack on America on September 11, 2001, many initiatives were started to prevent this from happening again.  The most sweeping legislation was the consolidation of many Federal agencies into the Department of Homeland Security.  With it, billions of dollars were spent to “harden” our country’s civil defenses against a repeat of the horrors of that day.

As with any similar legislation, state and local politicians demanded that their communities be fully protected as metropolitan areas like New York City, Washington, D.C., and other major urban centers.  Pork barrel politics quickly turned into a dilutions of these urgently needed funds to fully protect areas that simply just weren’t targets by any stretch of the imagination.

Waterloo, Iowa, is located in the American heartland with a population of just under 69,000.  It received Homeland Security money and applied it to arming up against the eventual terrorist attack.  This article is not meant to single out Waterloo, but to focus on whether Homeland Security money is being well-spent and on the effects of that largess on small town police departments.

National focus on the police response in Ferguson, Missouri, is belatedly addressing the increasingly militaristic evolution of police department, large and small.  This is something that we must urgently address in our national conversation, before we are faced with a real life dystopia.

Do we want even ordinary investigation to become heavy handed urban assaults, even when the putative targets are innocent grandmothers and children?

The problem is that when a local police force obtains Homeland Security largess, it becomes necessary to demonstrate those dollars are being put to good use.  Unfortunately, not all communities are the targets of terrorists foreign or domestic so they will use these skills for situations that might have otherwise called for a more modest approach.

I posted last year about how SWAT teams were used to defuse a situation with a 107 year-old malcontent.  Read the post here.

“…Against All Enemies, Foreign And Domestic…” — PLEASE SHARE


Dear Tea Party Member of Congress:

Each Member of Congress must take the following Oath of Office:

I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

What part of defending the Constitution (and us by derivation) against all enemies foreign and domestic did you not understand?

You are supposed to defend us against domestic enemies, not be them.

What is this, Opposite Day?

Something To Remember On November 6th

Which man do you want to lead our armed forces?  Someone who understands the value of retribution or someone who does a spreadsheet first to determine the return on investment for bringing the world’s most dangerous criminal to justice?

I think that a lot of families in America felt some degree of closure on the evening of May 1, 2011.  I know that I did since the attack on the World Trade Center was personal to me.

I worked on various floors above the 100th floor of Two World Trade Center for about six years in the eighties.  Two World Trade Center was struck by the terrorists between the 77th and 85th  floors, a crash that sealed the fate of everyone working above the 76th floor.  Although I moved out of Two World Trade long before the fateful day, it is still chilling to think what would have been if I were at my desk working on that bright, clear September morn.

Remembering September 11th – 11

This morning I vowed to spend this day in quiet contemplation of the tragedy that befell all of us on September 11, 2001.  The terrible loss we as a nation has suffered on that day and in the years that have followed are beyond belief for the families of the victims and the brave men and women who stepped up as first responders and as defenders of our precious freedoms.  I dedicated these songs to them and their families to let them know that their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

I hope that you have shared this day with me as I had hoped.  I wanted to end my day on an upbeat note.  What better way than to celebrate life with Beethoven’s beautiful and moving 6th Symphony, Pastoral.