A Department of Homeland Security for Arkansas. Really? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Department of Homeland Security for Arkansas. Really?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 10:21 AM

homeland.jpg

Lots of buzz in state government about Sen. Eddie Joe Williams' proposal to reorganize state government into 10 principal departments.

Many efficiencies are promised, as they usually are when government reorganization is kicked around. Not much discussion about it yet, though it's presumed it has at least some approval from the man who'd be at the top of these cabinet-style departments, Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

One note: the 10 would include a Department of Homeland Security, just like the U.S. government.

Good job for Jason Rapert, I'd say, to head this agency. He's the man we want in charge of our arsenal of bunker busters.

More seriously, since George W. Bush invented Homeland Security, there's been much discussion about the word, not used by previous presidents. Many have objected that "homeland" smacks off the motherland, Russia, and the fatherland, Germany. Critics say it connotes a shared place of birth, race, language and ethnicity. Sort of nativist phraseology. Security, too, strikes me as problematic. It also connotes threats from without. As yet, we seem to be perfectly capable of generating most of the damage to our well-being within our borders.

That screenshot at the top, taken from Russian television, refers to a government report that said in 2013 that the government was unable to define what "homeland security" meant, despite spending zillions on it. You think that might encourage little ol' Arkansas not to take on airs?

Arkansas tried Department of Public Safety once. That was a better terminology, seems to me. And have we really accomplished anything by putting State Police, emergency services, the fire marshal and sundry others under a Homeland Security chief? Oh, hell, let's call him a czar while we're at it.

Oh, and a reader notes we'd also now have a Department of Interior.

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