OK, so Utah won’t annex the Sudatenland

We got word today that one of the new Utah laws that went into effect yesterday is a name change for the Utah Office of Homeland Security.

It is now the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

Isn’t that friendlier? Sure sounds that way to me.

All this “homeland” stuff started up around 9-11. The very oddly named Patriot Act (Would Thomas Paine have gone along with electronic surveillance without warrants? One suspects not) gave us the national Division of Homeland Security, which I found odd even then.

What’s this “guarding the homeland” stuff? Used to be, we just had the “Department of Defense” and wasn’t it the job of the Department of Defense to defend us?

Apparently not, or it wasn’t up to the job, so we needed a separate department, on the national level, to defend the Homeland while the Department of Defense was defending whatever it is it defends — Iraq, as it turns out, through the clever strategem of invading it first. Ditto Afghanistan, which we have now been defending for 10 years from who exactly? No clue. Afghanis, I think. Bad Afghanis, we are told, as opposed to the good Afghanis, whoever they are. It’s confusing.

Anyway, Utah, as did other states, figured out that there was federal funding for stuff to be gotten if you could label it “homeland defense related,” so Utah set up a Utah Department of Homeland Defense to defend the Utah Homeland and started applying for funds.

We’d pretty well milked the the funding possibilities of the 2002 Olympic Games, so this was timely. Notice how every police department in the area now has a huge mobile crime response van to send to crime scenes? This is to make you more secure in your home, which is on land, so there you are, homeland security!

The whole “homeland” thing raises the image of barbed wire fences around the state, defending us from Idaho, or Nevada. Germany, during World War II, talked a lot about defending the “Heimatland” or homeland, otherwise known as the “Vaterland” and comparisons would have been really ugly if someone had named our own bunch the “Division of fatherland security,” I think we can agree, so let us give thanks nobody thought of that.

How Homeland Security was to handle the current flooding thing, which involves water, not land, is a mystery. Maybe that’s why the name change.

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21 Responses to OK, so Utah won’t annex the Sudatenland

  1. Bob Becker says:

    I recall being a little uneasy about the name “Homeland” security when the agency was created. Like you, “homeland” had vague overtones of “fatherland” I thought, which was something I’d never heard Americans use to describe the US.

    Republicans are good at dreaming up wildly inaccurate names for laws they favor. You mentioned one, the Patriot Act. The law that would have ended federal farm subsidies [a Newt Gingrich special] they called the Freedom To Farm Act [subsequently hastily repealed by Republicans before it actually cut farm subsidies]. I’d add DOMA to the list — the Defense of Marriage Act whose main purpose was to tell a few million Americans that, as far as the Congress was concerned, they couldn’t get married.

  2. Owain says:

    “Republicans are good at dreaming up wildly inaccurate names for laws they favor.”

    C’mon Bob. Admit it. Republicans aren’t even in the same class as Democrats when it comes to double speak and euphemisms, who in just the last couple of years have given us these examples:

    Janet Napolitalo renamed changed “terrorism” to “Man-caused disasters” because the word Terrorism is just too damn inflammatory.

    Even though he was following the EXACT SAME policies as President Bush, Obama decided that “The Global War on Terror” was old and busted, but the new hotness was “Overseas Contingency Operations”.

    Further, Obama has called his actions in Libya a “Kinetic Military Action” because God knows libs don’t want their Nobel Peace Prize winning President to be accused of starting a good old fashioned “War” in the middle east like that cowboy, President Bush!

    And you want to quibble about “Homeland Security”?

    • Bob Becker says:

      The topic was naming laws. None of your examples involved that. Nice try.

      And I don’t think you can make much of a case in favor of politicians of any particular stripe with respect to their re-naming things they find it politically inconvenient to call by their right names.

      Remember President Reagan’s “revenue enhancements?” Which of course were not taxes, heaven forfend!

  3. Owain says:

    “And I don’t think you can make much of a case in favor of politicians of any particular stripe with respect to their re-naming things they find it politically inconvenient to call by their right names.”

    Hey, this is fun. Let’s trade euphemisms.

    Liberals call it the “Independent Payment Advisory Board” (IPAB). Conservatives call it the “Death Panel”.

    I do think Death Panel better describes the function of the body…

  4. Charles Trentelman says:

    i’d love to have the actuarial committees of health insurance companies, those guys who set rates and determine whether someone’s liver transplant is covered, called, by law, “Death Panels.” When you’ve had one tell you “no,” that’s what it amounts to.

    • Owain says:

      Fair enough, Charles. At least when insurance companies refuse to provide the coverage you paid for when you bought your policy, you can sue them (I just saw The Rainmaker on DVD recently on this subject, starring Matt Damon. Good movie).

      When the IPAB refuses your treatment, I don’t think you’ll have that option.

      • Charles Trentelman says:

        the ipab wasn’t a refusal agency, just a counseling agency, slight difference.

        sue an insurance company? yeah, right ……. the cases in which insurance companies find reasons to refuse the service you really did pay for are legion. Having had my share of run-ins with insurance company customer “service,” I find your belief that the legal system will protect you, well, quaint.

        • Owain says:

          “the ipab wasn’t a refusal agency, just a counseling agency, slight difference.”

          Are we talking about the same IPAB, Charles? Wouldn’t be the first time you didn’t know what you were talking about. This is the IPAB I’m talking about:
          “Under the law, spending cuts recommended by the presidentially appointed panel would take effect automatically unless Congress voted to block or change them. In general, federal courts could not review actions to carry out the board’s recommendations.”
          Robert Pear, New York Times, 19 April 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/us/politics/20health.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

          That’s quite a ‘counseling agency’, don’t you think, Charles?

          “I find your belief that the legal system will protect you, well, quaint.”

          John Edwards made millions for clients (and himself) suing insurance companies. What did you do, rely on your brother in law, or did you try to represent yourself?

          You know what they say about people who represent themselves over legal matters, don’t you?

          • Charles Trentelman says:

            owain, you must have hit the wrong link — that’s a proposal to control costs of medicare, which is something a lot of Republicans say they want to do as well. The story doesn’t say anything about cutting people off from care, such as the Arizona decision to ration medical care on medicaid. You are right, if you limit costs, that’s the bottom line, though — unless you are proposing unlimited govt funding for all medical care, which I certainly am not.

            I was referring — and may have assumed you were too — to Gov/ S’s “Death Panel” name for the counseling on end-of-life issues that the health care reform bill was to contain and that would be paid for, although it was not done by a panel, and wasn’t mandatory, and wasn’t always about death.

            Hospice care is an excellent option, and i see nothing wrong with pointing out to someone that, if they throw $100,000 at their incurable medical problem, they’ll live a week long and be just as dead, but it’s up to them. Insurance companies are rarely that nice about it.

          • Charles Trentelman says:

            owain, I find this statement in the link you did send absolutely fascinating, and I am not sure why you are not outraged that they are fighting obama on this:

            “But not only do Republicans and some Democrats oppose increasing the power of the board, they also want to eliminate it altogether. Opponents fear that the panel, known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, would usurp Congressional spending power over one of the government’s most important and expensive social programs. ”

            So, we know that politicians simply must spend money — this is something I hear Orrin Hatch, Beohner and others, say constantly. They can’t help themselves, the MUST be restricted. This is why Hatch, et al, want a balanced budget amendment, among other things.

            So Obama proposes a panel that would make spending reductions mandatory and what do politicians of all stripe do? Yell that someone is taking away their ability to spend and spend and spend.


  5. Howard Ratcliffe says:

    Naz Germany propagandized National Socialism with the term “Fatherland”; Russia took the stage on Beltane May Day 1945 using the Communist term “Motherland”; their offspring was created in America using the Democracy term “Homeland”. FEMA was needed to get illegal weapons to the Contra Rebels; 9/11 was the False Flag used to get the Patriot Act and Dept of Homeland Security; strange how it was heaed by an Israeli dual citizen. The Homeland was raped and pillaged by Universal Health Care and the International Banking Mortgage Crisis. Now all that remains is to set fire to the house in accordance with tried and true Scorched Earth Policy.
    The Vikings would be proud of their little baby.

  6. Owain says:

    Re: Charles latest reply – there was no Reply link, possibly because your software limits the number of replies. Regardless…

    If you had followed the link provided, there was more than just what I quoted. For example:

    According to one legislator quoted in the article, Paul Ryan (R-Wis), the IPAB, according to expanded powers recommended by Pres. Obama, would “impose more price controls and more limitations on providers, which will end up cutting services to seniors.”

    Pete Stark (D-Cal) said, “…in its effort to limit the growth of Medicare spending, the board is likely to set inadequate payment rates for health care providers, which could endanger patient care.”

    AARP: “Relying on arbitrary spending targets is not a good way to make health policy, especially when decisions may be left to the unelected and unaccountable.”

    The article concludes, “Under the law, the board cannot make recommendations to “ration health care,” raise revenues or increase beneficiaries’ premiums, deductibles or co-payments. This increases the likelihood that the board will try to save money by trimming Medicare payments to health care providers.”

    So, if you are a senior who relies on Medicare, and you are refused treatment because hospitals and doctors no longer accept Medicare patients because IPAB slashed payments to health care providers, will you be greatly relieved because the IPAB didn’t act to ration specific health care procedures, but instead cut the program because your health care costs just too damn much in general? Don’t think that will happen? It’s happening NOW. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/04/12/us/physicians-refuse-medicare-patients.html If the IPAB slashed Medicare reimbursments, it will happen more.

    That’s how the Obamacare Death Panel (IPAB) will work. Welcome to Goverment Health Care.

  7. Owain says:

    “So, we know that politicians simply must spend money — this is something I hear Orrin Hatch, Beohner and others, say constantly. They can’t help themselves, the MUST be restricted. This is why Hatch, et al, want a balanced budget amendment, among other things.”

    Your complaint seems to apply to Democrats, not Republicans, Charles. The Republican proposal would be to reform the expensive out of control Government program with a program similar to what Federal Employees have (including members of Congress). Means based vouchers for medical insurance coverage where people get to shop for the best health care deal available rather than the open ended system that encourges Medicare fraud as things now stand. People who are older, sicker, and poorer receive greater benefits than people who are younger, healthier, and wealthier, as I understand it.

    Democrats, I am sure, look on the IPAB with horror as you suggest, because it interferes with their penchant for Goverment spending. Republicans, based on recent proposals, object to yet another big government program that is designed to operate with minimal legislative oversight. Bipartisan objections, to be sure, but for different reasons.

    • Charles Trentelman says:

      only dems? Sorry, owain, you sent me a link that said people from both parties are opposed to the president’s plan because it limits their ability to spend. I simply read that — not sure what yu are reading. But Orrin Hatch has, in the past, been extremely clear that he, like all congresspeople, needs a balanced budget amendment to stop him from spending again, and I have to assume he is correct.

      • Owain says:

        I suppose that’s one interpretation, Charles, but what I took away from the article was the both Democrats and Republicans objected mostly that the IPAB function suggested by Obama would usurp legislative functions. Republicans, given recent proposals, are not against reducing Medicare spending as part of reforming the program, but just slashing Medicare reimbursements that would endanger the level of services available to seniors is NOT the way to go.

        That is what IPAB would do, so yes, Republicans oppose that. I’ve given up trying to figure out Democrat motivations, so I’ll leave that as an exercise for you.

        • ctrentelman says:

          and that IS my point owain — why should the gop be opposed to losing that power unless they plan to use it in the future despite what they way now.

          if you have a fox that takes too many chickens, should you really listen to the fox’s protest when you way that you are taking away his power to take chickens? So while I do see that the GOP are protecting power, per se, this is the same power they claim they would deny themselves — the power to spend willy nilly — with a balanced budget amendment.

          Which hints, you must agree, to their future plans to find ways around the balanced budget amendment as well — of which I am sure they will. After all, the Utah Legislature doesn’t really have a balanced budget either — not with all that bonding (borrowing — deficit spending) they do every year.

          • Owain says:

            “…why should the gop be opposed to losing that power?”

            Because it is power and authority misapplied by the IPAB, according to Republican lawmakers. You know the saying, “When all you have is a hammer, the entire world starts to look like a nail.” The IPAB is limited by law in what it can do. One of the things is can do is cut Medicare reimbursements to meet arbitrary budget goals. When that is pretty much all you can do, the temptation to do just that will become irresistable to the IPAB, if only to justify their own existance.

            Republicans want to reform Medicare, reducing spending through a voucher program. They don’t want to just slash reimbursments that would leave seniors at risk.

            And as far as your crack about Republicans needing a balanced budget amendment to “stop me before I spend again!”, that may get chuckles from all your lib buddies, but don’t get stupid on me here, Charles.

            Some lawmakers like Senator Hatch support a balanced budget amendment because to a couple of historical realities. First, because lawmakers, particularly Democrats (Roosevelt, Johnson, Obama, to name a few – ‘tax and spend liberal’ is a figure of speech for a reason), and some Republicans as well, are all politicians, and politicians love to give stuff away whether we can afford it or not. Second, once they have established a program giving stuff away, the public comes to expect free stuff, whether we can afford it or not, and it becomes political suicide to try to take away benefits that people have come to view as a “right”.

            So, to restrain free spenders in both parties, and to provide political cover for responsible legislators, a balanced budget amendment begins to make sense.

            You want to make fun of Senator Hatch, Charles, because you say he lacks to self control and discipline to cut spending without a balanced budget amendment, but I do seem to recall that every time Hatch or any other republican suggests cutting spending on a program liberals support, you respond with an immediate high pitched squealing that would shatter glass.

            So which is it? Are Republican just like all politicians who just want to spend money endlessly, or are they cruel misers who want to balance the budget on the backs of widows, orphans, the poor, minorities, illegals, THE CHILDREN (sob), etc.?

            Your story does seem to shift with the circumstances.

  8. rick stewart says:

    …. on the plus side, charlie, Utah Division of Emergency Management translates into a pretty catchy acronym of sorts:


  9. Howard Ratcliffe says:

    Guess the Fatherland, Motherland, Homeland inference was too out in the open; Emergency comes from Emerge; what will be born is hidden behind the Osama bin Laden charade dominating the news. DREAM Act and Charles Schumer’s S679 “Presidential Apointment Effeciency and Streamling Act” introduced on April Fool’s Day will allow the office of President to become the office of Dictator.
    Rome did this with gentleman farmer turned dictator Cincannatus; George Washington was offered the title of King but refused it in order to conceal the real goal in his Order of Cincinnati. American Royalty will soon come in the form of the sock puppet called Obama which means “He is with us” in Farsi (Zoroastrian Persian).

  10. James "K" Florence says:


    …”And All This Science I Don’t Understand, It’s just my
    Job Five Days A Week…Rocket Man” {Sir Elton John}
    Mars Path Finder on the “Hubble” Satalite Checking In,
    Check Point Charley. Be Good!!!

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