Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tools Every Guy Needs

Federal Air Marshal Service: 'The most needless, useless agency in the entire Federal Government'


Subject: OPINION / Federal Air Marshal Service: 'The most needless, useless
agency in the entire Federal Government'

This article - full of hyperbole and poor analysis - nevertheless highlights
a key challenge for law enforcement, counterterrorism, and
counterintelligence. "HOW DO YOU MEASURE DETERRENCE?" In a world of
limited resources, we must be able to articulate our mission needs. There
are always folks ready to take away our funding. - JHN

OPINION / Federal Air Marshal Service: 'The most needless, useless agency in
the entire Federal Government'
By Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-TN)
Published June 23rd, 2009

Rep. John Duncan Jr.
[Remarks delivered on the House floor on June 19, 2009.]

Probably the most needless, useless agency in the entire Federal Government
is the Air Marshal Service.

In the Homeland Security Appropriations bill we will take up next week, we
will appropriate $860 million for this needless, useless agency. This money
is a total waste: $860 million for people to sit on airplanes and simply fly
back and forth, back and forth. What a cushy, easy job.

And listen to this paragraph from a front-page story in the USA Today last
November: "Since 9/11, more than three dozen Federal air marshals have been
charged with crimes, and hundreds more have been accused of misconduct.
Cases range from drunken driving and domestic violence to aiding a
human-trafficking ring and trying to smuggle explosives from Afghanistan.''

Actually, there have been many more arrests of Federal air marshals than
that story reported, quite a few for felony offenses. In fact, more air
marshals have been arrested than the number of people arrested by air

We now have approximately 4,000 in the Federal Air Marshals Service, yet
they have made an average of just 4.2 arrests a year since 2001. This comes
out to an average of about one arrest a year per 1,000 employees.

Now, let me make that clear. Their thousands of employees are not making one
arrest per year each. They are averaging slightly over four arrests each
year by the entire agency. In other words, we are spending approximately
$200 million per arrest. Let me repeat that: we are spending approximately
$200 million per arrest.

Professor Ian Lustick of the University of Pennsylvania wrote last year
about the money feeding frenzy of the war on terror. And he wrote this:
``Nearly 7 years after September 11, 2001,'' he wrote this last year, "what
accounts for the vast discrepancy between the terrorist threat facing
America and the scale of our response? Why, absent any evidence of a serious
terror threat, is a war to on terror so enormous, so all-encompassing, and
still expanding?"

The fundamental answer is that al Qaeda's most important accomplishment was
not to hijack our planes but to hijack our political system.

"For a multitude of politicians, interest groups and professional
associations, corporations, media organizations, universities, local and
State governments and Federal agency officials, the war on terror is now a
major profit center, a funding bonanza, and a set of slogans and sound bites
to be inserted into budget project grant and contract proposals.''

And finally, Professor Lustick wrote: ``For the country as a whole, however,
it has become maelstrom of waste.'' And there is no agency for which those
words are more applicable than the Federal Air Marshal Service.

In case anyone is wondering, the Air Marshal Service has done nothing to me,
and I know none of its employees. But I do know with absolute certainty that
this $860 million we are about to give them could be better spent on
thousands of other things.

As far as I'm concerned, it is just money going down a drain for the little
good it will do. When we are so many trillions of dollars in debt, a
national debt of over $13 trillion, we simply cannot afford to waste money
in this way.

Copyright 2009 World Business Media, LLC

Monday, June 22, 2009

Watch This Video!!!

My little brother sent me this message:

This guy reminds me of you when he talks... and kinda how he looks... watch the video...

Call me crazy, but this is one of the most spectacular and moving videos I've ever seen. The music is incredible. What a great way to start off my day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mountain Vision

A few years ago I met Jeff Evans on a flight. He was on his way to entertain a few crowds with his amazing story-telling ability. Jeff and I had a lot of things in common. I admired him and was intrigued by the incredible things he did, most notability leading a blind man to the summit of Mount Everest. His book, Mountain Vision: Lessons Beyond the Summit, is a must read for all. I just sent two copies of the book to a couple of friends.

I've given away nearly a dozen of his books to date. The last person who I gave a copy of the book to said she was going to buy a copy to send to each of her children. Don't miss Mountain Vision. His videos are incredible too. By the way, he just teamed up with Franklin-Covey to offer terrific leadership anecdotes to many, many people.

Rep. Randy Forbes on our Nation's Judeo-Christian Foundations

Sunday, June 14, 2009