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Help Rename the Department of Homeland Security

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the department-of-silly-claims dept.

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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382 comments

Gender of countries (2)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973500)

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?

Re:Gender of countries (5, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973592)

I think Ministry of Peace [wikipedia.org] would also be appropriate.

Re:Gender of countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973648)

Along those lines, how about:
Ministry of Privacy
Ministry of Freedom
Ministry of Truth

Re:Gender of countries (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973658)

That's effectively been done, when the War Department changed to the Defense Department.

Maybe Minfree (Ministry of Freedom)?

Re:Gender of countries (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973898)

I like this, it implies the reality of what the DHS advocates: "minimum freedoms".

Maybe the department of unconstitutional (homeland) searches? or "duhs" pronounced "douche"? That would also be accurate.

Re:Gender of countries (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973634)

Germany under the Nazis referred to their country as the fatherland.
This was a play on that use of the term, implying that the Department of Homeland Security is just a means for our government to gain excessive control over its citizens.
"Your papers, please."

Re:Gender of countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973980)

How about "The Department of Forced Anal Intrusion"

Re:Gender of countries (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37974042)

I'm pretty sure 'Homeland' was chosen to avoid 'Fatherland' because 'Fatherland' was used often in German Nazi propaganda.

SHIELD (5, Funny)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973538)

Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division

Re:SHIELD (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973882)

Maybe Strategic Homeland Intervention Taskforce would be more appropriate

Re:SHIELD (2)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973924)

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

Here's one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973562)

How about "State Security"?

Or, if you prefer not to change the original, "Staatssicherheit".

Call it get your IP-address registered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973586)

Call it get your IP-address registered, for once and for good

Gestapo (4, Insightful)

cgfsd (1238866) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973606)

Gestapo Much easier to say, and the groups seem to be getting more and more similar each day.

Re:Gestapo (1)

RicoX9 (558353) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973656)

Schutzstaffel would be more appropriate. The Gestapo was run by Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS till 1939 then under the various German "Police" forces after.

Nod to B5 (2)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973618)

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.

Minilove ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973628)

Is "Minilove" an acceptable name ? That sounds like a doubleplusgood idea to me.

Closed (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973640)

How about "Closed"?

Its a Trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973650)

Just a clever way for them to identify future terrorists and people who are too clever.

As a person whose uncle was sent to Siberia... (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Department of Paranoia and Overhyped Bullsh*t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973672)

Title pretty much sums it up.

Obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973682)

Updated for a new age...
Ministry of Peace, Love and Tolerance.

In the red. (2)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973688)

How about "Dept of 500 Billion Dollars Wasted"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/09/september-11-homeland-security-spending_n_953288.html [huffingtonpost.com]

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 there is no terrorist threat.

Clearly we wasted our tax money on these incompetents, unless you like getting molested at the TSA check point (coming to a mall near you soon).

Re:In the red. (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973834)

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 get off a good shot, plus you'd probably still be noticed hanging around the fence or whatever.

Re:In the red. (2)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973952)

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?

Inter-dimensional Secret Security Service (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 . . .

Re:Inter-dimensional Secret Security Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37974064)

. . . with huge pointy teeth . . .

It's just a rabbit!

DOOM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973714)

Department Of Orwellian Misrule

The Nightwatch (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (-1, Flamebait)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973962)

Missing a pretty good story? Hmmf. I thought it was too transparently obvious about exactly where it was going, and it all came across as a little facile.

You know what would have made it a better story? More moral ambiguity. You've got the next Gestapo forming but they're also reasonably effective at protecting people from a menacing threat (I don't recall that being the case in this story line). So if Sheridan or LaForge or whoever it was stands up to the one group of oppressors, he places real human lives on the line (who may not be happy about it). That would make for a good story, not a boring little rehash.

Re:The Nightwatch (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37974056)

I wasn't referring to the Nightwatch story thread per se in my claim that B5 is a good story. I was referring to the whole show overall. No argument that the Nightwatch story arc lacked nuance.

Re:The Nightwatch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37974040)

I thought B5 was great when I was 16. Now, it's just too obvious and too contrived. Plus, I happen to enjoy good acting these days. Almost all of the "human" characters were awful.

DAFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973774)

Department of American Fear-mongering

Don't be so modest. (1)

Boona (1795684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973778)

I like it the way it is. Department is a standard in the US, homeland has a very nazi feel to the name and you want people to believe that the massive overarching department that spies on it's own citizens is trying to do so for people's security. Don't be so modest DHS, I think you've succeeded with your name. Though I suppose you could call it the comity instead of department, much like the 'K' in KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti) State Security Committee. It may not match other department names but it would fit in with the new Russian theme you're going with such as having tzars.

FUD (3, Funny)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973782)

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 ...

James Fallows, consistently late (4, Interesting)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973818)

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: http://www.gallup.com/poll/150464/Americans-Believe-Crime-Worsening.aspx [gallup.com] 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, http://reason.com/archives/2006/08/11/dont-be-terrorized [reason.com] terrorism is a lower risk that we run going out to drive, or consuming ordinary products.

Re:James Fallows, consistently late (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973862)

Instead looked at in an unbiased fashion, for example this post at Reason magazine, http://reason.com/archives/2006/08/11/dont-be-terrorized [reason.com] 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.

Who knew Dr. Who had a name to call them... (1)

MrSenile (759314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973842)

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 (3, Interesting)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973848)

In the true spirit of America, I propose a backcronym:

RETARDED: REdundant Treasonous Americans Raping Democracy Every Day

I propose a new strategy... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973852)

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, and having cultural reactionaries hate your guts; but I'm sure that they would adjust. They might also find collaboration with some of the more opaque postmodern artistic movements useful in crafting future regulations. Imagine how resistant to the forces of government transparency and oversight they could be if future watch lists and legally murky policies were not only secret; but took the form of abstract expressionist paintings or heavily redacted found-object collage. Wikileaks and their ilk would be helpless!

Ministry of Truth, Tranquility, and Freedom (1)

caffinatedmouse (2492666) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973858)

It might as well be a 1984 reference, that's what they aspire to. WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH!!

Rename? (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973870)

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.

Department of Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973914)

I vote for Department of Security for a couple of reasons, first the initials DOS matches up well with Denial Of Service and second if reminds us of Franklin's saying about giving up Liberty for Security.

It doesn't need renaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973934)

Because it should not exist.

Your Government Is Too Large and Intrusive (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973938)

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 missed one.

The National Guard (2)

Khomar (529552) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973942)

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)?

Real nature of DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37973986)

Department for the safety of the state.
Hey torture is already institutionalised, you have military tribunals, you have torture camps.
Just copy the old KGB and you're good to go.

Department of Wastefull Spending. (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37973998)

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).

Rename the War on Terror (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37974008)

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

Virtual strip-searches, ball-fondling [boingboing.net], never-ending but ineffectual id checks [nypost.com], forcing women to drink their own breast-milk [usatoday.com], arbitrary rule enforcement [hotair.com], making everyone go bare-foot, singling-out people by the clothes they wear [nydailynews.com], forcing people to remove nipple rings with pliers [rackjite.com], torturing injured flyers [podiatry.com], making people piss on themselves [msn.com], 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.

Unicorns! (1)

dragonxtc (1344101) | more than 2 years ago | (#37974010)

I think they should rename it to "The Unicorn Society", i mean they are looking for non-existent things afterall

DGS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37974052)

Department of Gropeland Security

Baby + Bathwater (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37974076)

Okay, a lot of pretty fair slams on DHS here. Yeah, it's an impressively fascist name and it works like absolute shit at the department-level. Many of its agencies do good work, though. US Coast Guard, Customs, FEMA (when not run by Michael Brown), Secret Service. Any component of DHS that they moved in from other departments tend to work decently, while new ones they created, like TSA, work for shit. It's easy to condem the whole department but that's a superficial way to look at the problem.

The real problem was putting people who fundamentally don't believe government can work in charge of making government work.

Fews Things Disapoint Me More (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37974108)

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.

DAMNIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37974122)

Department of Absolutely Meaningless National Insecurity Theater

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