The drought in America is historic, affecting more than 30 percent of the United States and 37 percent of the lower 48 states. My friend, John Fleck , who used to write about nukes at the Albuquerque Journal, is the doyen of all things water in the west, and when we met last year in New Mexico, he put the fear of God in me. “This is unknown territory for all of us,” the National Park Service said this weekend of Lake Mead. The government drought portal maintained by the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Energy, and Commerce is a scary destination. The States are seized by the problem; no sizable precipitation is forecast through July.
When I received a copy of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report on the drought, written last month, my first cynical reaction was: Oh, ISIS is going to take advantage? It’s not so far-fetched: The Department, soon after it opened its doors in 2003 issued a report asking if terrorists might take advantage of a hurricane. But fear not, the new drought report – Drought Impacts to Critical Infrastructure – dated April 23, isn’t about ISIS or al Qaeda. It isn’t about anything! It’s worse than a high school debate brief. It’s 12 pages of sheer nothingness saying that the drought will have bad effects on “critical infrastructure” in America... no shit. And this report is paid for by my tax dollars, and, worse, intended to add to the drip, drip, drip of a more pernicious DHS message.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the conclusion:
In case you didn’t know.
I truly abhor the DHS. The Nazi Germany title, the 9/11 opportunism, the militarization of America, the turning of any problem into a security issue. A mishmash of agencies – from our efficient and admirable Coast Guard to the contemptible and ever-expanding Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – call DHS home, but it is the Washington headquarter that is most dangerous. They are a hungry bureaucracy with pencils nosing into everything. And for what? Under the banner of counter-terrorism, it pushes these concepts of cyber-security and continuity to not only scare the shit out of everyone, but also to get private citizens and industry to join forces with the federal government. They want us to open up our doors and our networks and comply with federal regulations and standards, subordinate ourselves to Washington, get cleared and vetted and join the fight.
Got a stupider and more redundant and empty government report? Send it my way. You get a Phase Zero t-shirt if you top this.
[Illustration by Jim Cooke.]
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