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Security United States News Idle

Help Rename the Department of Homeland Security 382

Hugh Pickens writes "James Fallows writes tongue in cheek that U.S. Department of Fear, led by Secretary of Fear Malcolm P. Stag III, is running a poll. To what should we re-name the Department of Homeland Security? 'Possibilities include Department of ScaredyCatLand Security, reflecting the prevailing mentality of an era, and Department of Fatherland Security, to make us sound strong,' writes Fallows. 'There are many more to choose from, plus you can write in your own nominees. But act now, because the polls close Tuesday.'"
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Help Rename the Department of Homeland Security

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  • Department of Fatherland Security

    I've always been wondering about this, and this line reminds me about it again. Why do countries have genders? Not every country is a man either - for example Russia, China and my country all view it as motherland. On the other hand, according to this, US and then several other countries view it as fatherland. Why?

  • Department of (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moheeheeko ( 1682914 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:49AM (#37973532)
    Wasting Taxpayer Money to oppress law abiding citizens
  • I have it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toxickitty ( 1758282 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:49AM (#37973534)
    Department of Unnecessary Services, I think it sums them up quite well.
  • SHIELD (Score:5, Funny)

    by DinDaddy ( 1168147 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:49AM (#37973538)

    Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division

    • by dintech ( 998802 )

      Cover Us from New Threatening Situations
      Department Of Upholding Contravallations against Hostile External Societies

  • Department of Homeland Insecurity which is what it actually is too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:53AM (#37973600)

    Seems like the obvious choice.

  • Gestapo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cgfsd ( 1238866 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:54AM (#37973606)
    Gestapo Much easier to say, and the groups seem to be getting more and more similar each day.
  • by sstamps ( 39313 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:54AM (#37973618) Homepage

    I always thought the "Ministry of Truth" had a nice uber-authoritarian ring to it.

    Unfortunately, we don't use "Ministry" in our governmental body names, so it would have to be "Department of Truth" or maybe "Department of Truthiness".

    Also could bookend the Department of Justice with the Department of the American Way.

  • by Bovius ( 1243040 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:54AM (#37973620)

    We already have a more appropriate name prepared for it.

  • by kiehlster ( 844523 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:55AM (#37973630) Homepage
    National Security Theatre Company. André de Lorde would be proud.
    • Well, many of it's activities are just for show, like airport pat-downs of children and the elderly or confiscating medicines if they're in liquid form.

      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

        Well, many of it's activities are just for show, like airport pat-downs of children and the elderly or confiscating medicines if they're in liquid form.

        Because nobody would ever smuggle weapons or explosives onto an aircraft by hiding them inside a child's clothing? Not even if they knew that children got a guaranteed free pass around screening at the airport, and therefore their chances of successfully getting contraband onto an airplane that way would be very high?

        • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

          OK, here's the problem.

          I know my kid is not carrying weapons or explosives. I don't need some Goverment Groper to feel them up to tell me that.

          There is practically a zero chance that any child (or adult, for that matter) is a terrorist, and they all know whether they're terrorists, so Government Gropers just piss off the 99.9999999% who aren't.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How about "Closed"?

  • Big brother monitor every move and revisionist history. 1984 a little late, but its here.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @11:57AM (#37973654)

    I say we just be honest and call it "KGB-lite". Gestapo has too many letters and STASI just sounds too unpleasant.
    Of course, over time, it will outgrow the "lite" part of the name. They all do.

  • How about "Dept of 500 Billion Dollars Wasted" []

    Seriously folks how hard would it be to get SAM's in the country when cartels brings tons of coke and dope over the border? How hard would it be to sit at the end of a runway and use a .50 incendiary round through the fuel tank of a plane about to lift off?

    Hard shot? These anti-material rifles can shoot humans from 1.5 miles away.

    Why hasn't it happened then? Because the

    • Didn't Mythbusters disprove the whole "bullet to the gas tank makes the car explode" thing? I would imagine it's the same with a jet, not sure if "incendiary" makes a difference or not. Pretty sure it wouldn't EXPLODE all at once though.

      And I'm sure they gotta keep good enough eyes on the airfield that people wandering around would be noticed and stopped by security... AFAIK all the big airports restrict who can actually go into the airfield, and if you hang around outside you're not likely to be able to

      • by koan ( 80826 )

        Well rather than commenting to me you should do the research, the fact is military around the World use the .50 for exactly that, and why does it have to explodes all at once?
        If a plane is lifting off it's going to fast to stop, if its wing fuel tank is shot with an incendiary round it is now a flaming plane taking off...what are you going to do at that point? Turn around?

        • by stiggle ( 649614 )

          Also, as the Air France Concorde showed - once you have a ruptured fuel tank the leaking fuel can be ignited from the back of the jet engines.

      • you'd probably still be noticed hanging around the fence or whatever.

        Last time I checked the sell gillie suits in the same place as they sell .50 cal rifles...

        You're missing the point though: If terrorists wanted to attack the USA they don't need to go through airport security to do it.

        Anybody who thinks they do need to get through security is an idiot. Anywhere people group together is a target - including the queue for the scanners (bag of explosives+ball bearings detonated in the queue...?)

        Even if they did feel like going through security there's still easy/unstoppable

      • Apparently they did try incendiary and that was the only way they got this to work (I haven't seen the episode myself, but according to TVTropes []).
    • Maybe something more politically correct? How about "Department of Toxic Waste Department?"
    • Re:In the red. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:38PM (#37974300) Homepage

      Why hasn't it happened then? Because there is no terrorist threat.

      This. Times a million.

      If terrorists wanted to attack the USA there's nothing stopping them. Everything they need can be bought inside US borders and there's no shortage of targets to choose from.

      The TSA is a magic tiger-scaring stone. A very, very expensive tiger scaring stone. Not just in the money sense but in the freedom sense and the inalienable rights sense.

      • Re:In the red. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:21PM (#37974990) Homepage Journal

        The TSA is a magic tiger-scaring stone. A very, very expensive tiger scaring stone. Not just in the money sense but in the freedom sense and the inalienable rights sense.

        One might also argue that the TSA is doing exactly what it was designed to do. By making all but the richest Americans (the ones who can afford private jets) go through these searches, they are gradually wearing down the public, conditioning them to accept regular intrusive searches and limitations on travel. This was one of the first things the Nazis did, too. It makes it harder for the peons to rise up and overthrow the government after they start doing the really bad stuff.

        Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that sort of thinking is happening (at least consciously) in the halls of Congress. What I'm saying is that the purpose for those freedoms that the DHS is pissing all over is precisely to minimize the chances of the really bad stuff happening later. As Thomas Jefferson put it, "A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!"

        The more we tear down those freedoms, the closer we come to being another autocratic or oligarchic hellhole instead of a democracy. It is precisely for that reason that every true, patriotic American has a duty to defend the Constitution against these attacks in whatever way he or she can, and to resist any government actions that go against its spirit to the maximum extent allowable by law and, if need be, with acts of peaceful civil disobedience that are not allowable by law as well.

        God bless the USA.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:00PM (#37973708)

    What about security threats that exist in dimensions prophesied by String Theory? These areas cannot ignored, or death shall await us, for sure, from dimension N + 1 . . . with huge pointy teeth . . .

  • Department of Steven Colbert.
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:02PM (#37973730)
    The Keystone Kops [].
  • DIRT (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MadCow42 ( 243108 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:02PM (#37973734) Homepage

    Department of Rights Termination.

  • The Nightwatch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:02PM (#37973742)

    Babylon 5 reference.

    BTW, if you like sci-fi and haven't watched B5, you're missing a pretty good story.

    • Re:The Nightwatch (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:04PM (#37974714)

      It is actually pretty scary how Babylon 5 predicted the DHS. In fact, the DHS basically is very, very much like the Nightwatch was shown. Reduce the Stasi-like use of "Informal Agents", but apart from that, you really have it.

      B5 ran 93 to 98, it only took half a decade where this horror-ministry was actually put into action.

      (The author added the armbands on purpose so every stupid idiot would what the Nightwatch was about. DHS should probably start getting some... might I suggest the colours red, white and black?)

  • by cpghost ( 719344 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:04PM (#37973756) Homepage
    There's only one reasonable name for it: Miniluv [].

    George W Bush Second Term Election Committee

  • by Zcar ( 756484 )

    "Committee for State Security", aka "Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti"?

  • FUD (Score:4, Funny)

    by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:05PM (#37973782) Journal

    I think they should call it the "The F.U.D" and have a multiple accepted expansions for the acronym.

    Fear and Uncertainty Department
    Fundamentally Unnecessary Department
    Federal Unchecked Discretion
    F**ked Up Department ...

  • I think Savak would work. Orrr Schutzstaffel.
  • the next stages... i mean, departments, will be announced shortly.
  • by Stirling Newberry ( 848268 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:08PM (#37973818) Homepage Journal
    The time to on about this was a decade ago when the DoHs was created. However, that's James Fallows. I remember clearly his 1987 series of articles on how the Japanese model of national economics was poised to overwhelm Anglo-Capitalism, and his weak questioning of the Iraq War in 2003, after the decision to go to war had already been made.

    The Department of Homeland Security is a mess, mind you, but that's as much implementation as anything else, it's designed to make it possible for Congress to monitor the security pork better, which had previously been scattered through the Federal Government, and therefore had no single cabinet secretary that could be brought in to testify and question, and no single budget bill to cut deals over. The problem is not the department, as much as it is that the United States has a pervasive fear in its population. For example, take a look at this gallup poll trend over the years on perceptions of crime: [] and then compare it to actual violent crime rates. Americans by a large margin believe that crime is getting worse, when, in fact, violent crime is going down. Note that the graph strongly corresponds to rhetoric on crime, and to personal economic, as opposed to physical, insecurity.

    It does not matter what the department is called, as long as Americans vastly over-rate the chances of dying in criminal or terrorist attacks, particularly in crimes committed by strangers or foreigners, as opposed to the far more likely case of being killed by someone they know. Statistically speaking, suicide is more common that homicide, and among homicide categories, being killed by a current or former romantic partner outweighs all other categories. But that's not what DoHs monitors by and large. Instead looked at in an unbiased fashion, for example this post at Reason magazine, [] terrorism is a lower risk that we run going out to drive, or consuming ordinary products.

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      Instead looked at in an unbiased fashion, for example this post at Reason magazine, [] terrorism is a lower risk that we run going out to drive, or consuming ordinary products.

      But any politician who scraps 'anti-terror' measures will be voted out if there's another major terrorist attack. This is why big government keeps getting bigger until it bankrupts the country and collapses.

  • Let's call them 'The Happiness Patrol'.

    Not only was it a great Dr Who episode (with good ol' Ace and the 7th doctor), but it paints a pretty grim picture that hits a little too close to the mark of how government works today.

    Win Win.

  • I propose (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:10PM (#37973848)
    In the true spirit of America, I propose a backcronym:

    RETARDED: REdundant Treasonous Americans Raping Democracy Every Day
  • In recognition of their excellence in, and the cultural importance of, the art of Security Theatre as well as the DHS' impressive work in broadening the appeal of the Theatre Arts beyond stereotypical culture snobs, theatre tech geeks, and effeminate thesbians and into the untapped domain of jackbooted authoritarians, we should really place the DHS under the National Endowment for the Arts...

    They might find it a bit difficult, at first, being under a department with a budget of less than $200 million, an
    • T.V. Interviewer: How do you account for the fact that the bombing campaign has been going on for thirteen years?
    • Mr. Helpmann: Beginners' luck.

    Dibs on working for Information Retrieval [].

  • Rename? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:11PM (#37973870) Homepage Journal

    I'd rename it to "the now defunct, disbanded Department of Homeland Security". The military is supposed to secure our borders, and in my mind "security" doesn't mean being secure against tornados and earthquakes. FEMA should exist, DHS should not.

  • ...since they handle more packages per day than those two combined, anyway.

  • The Department of Freedom and Privacy Why do the names of these things frequently say backwards of what they do (eg, DRM)?
  • I don't have a catchy acronym because its not funny.

    We are in the stages of being another Greece, we have grown our government beyond our means to support it. The real one percent is those in high paying government jobs. Yes I know that not all jobs are high paying in government but there are too many horror stories to just be a coincidence.

    Department of Homeland Security is Department of Jumped the Shark.... Time to start axing some Departments and this is a good place to start. Ron Paul seemed to have mi

  • by Khomar ( 529552 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:16PM (#37973942) Journal

    We have had an organization charged with the defense of our nation for 370 years. How about we let them do their job rather than fight in overseas wars (and get rid of the expensive and excessive DHP)?

  • The government estimates how much it costs to save one life for various activities and regulations.

    The EPA is willing to spend up to $9 million to save a single human life. And the GOP claims this is too much.

    The DOT (cars) and the FAA (plane construction) are willing to spend $6 million to save a single human life.

    The Department of Homeland Security is willing to spend $180 million to save a single life (as per the Federal Air Marshall's estimates).

    • The Department of Homeland Security is willing to spend $180 million to save a single life (as per the Federal Air Marshall's estimates).

      Fine. I'll take 1/2 of that and DHS can just bank the rest. If I'm blown up by a terrorist then it's on my head.

      We could balance the budget on this concept alone!

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:21PM (#37974008)

    Let's rename the war on terror to be more accurate too ...

    Virtual strip-searches, ball-fondling [], never-ending but ineffectual id checks [], forcing women to drink their own breast-milk [], arbitrary rule enforcement [], making everyone go bare-foot, singling-out people by the clothes they wear [], forcing people to remove nipple rings with pliers [], torturing injured flyers [], making people piss on themselves [], the list is practically endless.

    And yet the TSA hasn't caught a single terrorist.

    But they sure are doing a bang-up job of destroying human dignity. Therefore I say we rename the War on Terror to The War on Dignity.

  • Let's just call it defunct.

  • The DHS name has inspired cowardice, and when America needed its government department's help the most? It, and its thoughtless leader had better things to do. Hard? It's public record.
  • In German. Or Russian. Or maybe Chinese.

  • Seriously, it's going to grow as structured. Soon we will be enduring their crap on every form of transportation there is.

  • How about the Former Department of Homeland Security? Because it should be dismantled.
  • Internal Surveillance and Security Service

  • We've already got the rip tracks for all their actions done anyway.

  • short and sweet. of course, all the previous suggestions to name it "defunct" would be even better. for a more pointed suggestion: []

  • Retask it as the Department of Inverse Causality and Kabuki (DICK). Their motto can be "preventing yesterday's threats tomorrow." Anyone care to take a stab at translating that into Latin?

  • The Federal government should privatize it, retaining options at low strike prices. Then they can seek venture funding, have an IPO, sell into the general market, and reap enough profit to help make a dent in the national debt. The new, privatized TSA should be called Grope-on.

  • Well, "Department of Homeland Security," to me, implies a department that's responsible for keeping US territory (the fifty states) safe. You know, defending it. So I would propose that we call it the "Department of Defense." Oh, wait, there's a problem because we already have some other department called that. But that department isn't really concerned with defending US soil, and it hasn't been since 1945. So I would propose that we do the following:

    The thing currently called the Department of Homeland

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @05:03PM (#37977728)

    Seriously. Let's look at the stats.

    Damage done by terrorists vs. damage (cost) from DHS?

    Damage to freedom by terrorists vs. damage from DHS?

    Fear and uncertainty caused by terrorists vs. fear and uncertainty caused by DHS?

    the only thing the terrorists are still leading at is "people killed". But we're working on that.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.