Sunday, October 09, 2005

What Will It Take?

Washington Post, October 9, 2005:
In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the government changed a contract to hire federal airline passengers screeners in a way that cost taxpayers an additional $343 million. More than three years later, officials cannot explain exactly why.

Homeland security officials say they have no memos, e-mails or other paperwork to document the reason for the change, as required by federal contracting regulations. They have also offered accounts of the decision that conflict with internal government documents obtained by The Washington Post. ...

Michael P. Jackson, deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, said in a recent interview that the agency does not have paperwork to back up its account and that he cannot recall the details surrounding the decision.

"Honestly, I have no memory of it," said Jackson, who said he was ultimately responsible for the contract as second-in-command at the Transportation Department in 2002.
Hey, but don't worry, US taxpayer.
The contract is now the subject of an investigation by the homeland security department's inspector general.
Besides recalling OJ's on-going search for the "real killers", this robbery story reminds me of a recent Get Your War On panel:


Lone Primate said...

Whatever it'll take, it seems some people are really starting to look at it. First of all, you and Laura actually went to all the trouble to pull up stakes and move to another country.

Now it looks like there are some people in Vermont who'd like to do something like that without ever leaving home. Apparently there's a secessionist movement there. That's not news; I guess every state has some group of angry folks who advocate that. But what amazes me is that when I went to their website, I found out they're holding a convention just before Hallowe'en in the state legislature... (!!)

I really doubt anything will come of it, but I thought, given that their reasons seem so similar to yours and Laura's (see quote below), that you might find it worth a few minutes' read.

Essentially, the SVR’s desire to break away from the U.S. is a left-wing protest against George W. Bush and co. Naylor is content to call the SVR a movement and not a political party. There’s no intention at the moment to enter electoral politics.

“Two of the movements I admire most are the civil rights and the anti-war movements of the ‘60s, and they didn’t need political parties,” Naylor said.

Furthermore, the collapse of the American economy, predicted by Naylor as imminent, might have the effect of spurring secessionist tendencies across the U.S.

...But the SVR only got under way after Naylor suggested Vermont should secede at an anti-Iraq war rally in March 2003. A group of 40 like-minded people gave birth to the SVR the following October.

The movement should not be seen only as a protest against the Bush administration, Naylor said.

“First and foremost, we want out. If Kerry had been elected, we would have still wanted out. The reality is that we have a single political party in this country, called the Republican party, that is owned and operated and controlled by corporate America. So no, it’s not just a protest against Bush. It’s a protest against the Empire.”

L-girl said...

Ah, Mr Primate, you will find a comment of mine and a link to wmtc deep in the recesses of that Vermont secession site.

I am shocked and thrilled that they are actually before the state legislature! In all honesty, I didn't think it would come to anything. I thought it was more an exercise in venting than anything else.

First and foremost, we want out. If Kerry had been elected, we would have still wanted out.

Just like us! I'll go back to the site, I haven't been there in ages. Thanks for the tip.

L-girl said...

Correction! LP, I was thinking of this site:, which seeks to make Vermont Canada's 11th province. I posted in one of their forums long ago.

The Second Vermont Republic, which you linked to, seems much more serious and well organized. They've gotten some decent coverage, too. Thanks again for the tip.

Redsock, perhaps there's something you can do for them, as a native Vermonter.

Lone Primate said...

I don't want to give you guys the impression I'm eager to actually see the US break up. I do find cheer in this in that people are so dedicated that they're willing to at least consider this extreme to get the US back on the track it used to be on (at least, that's how I see it). If leaving the US is their reaction to how it's being run, then it seems to me that the remedy is for the US to be run better! That might be a little less work than seceding... or not. I don't know. But anyway, a Big Giant Canada version of the US is preferable to a huge broken mirror south of us.

L-girl said...

I think the US stands little chance of breaking up. But it stands a better chance of morphing into an all-out fascist dictatorship. If that's on the horizon, the more people who get out now, the better.