A zombie mind is a terrible thing to waste

Here is your daily dose of “Republican congresspeople say the darndest things”

Sen. Tom Coburn blasts homeland security spending as wasteful in report citing zombie apocalypse training – NY Daily News.

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is taking aim at wasteful homeland security spending –and has zeroed in on a zombie apocalypse demonstration as one prime example.

In a 54-page report on homeland security spending released Wednesday, Coburn offered numerous cases of what he described as unnecessary spending at the Department of Homeland Security’’s Urban Area Security Initiative.

The 54-page report singled out a zombie training exercise using Hollywood-worthy special effects that took place during a recent five-day counterterrorism summit on an island outside San Diego.

First responders attended the summit with the support of government grant money.

This was a counterterrorism program. Get it? Oops, I guess he doesn’t because it looks like a slam dunk to bust on “zombies” because they are just so silly. Like those truthers and conspiracies and other stuff paranoid and ultra religious Congress people on the right love.

This is not quite as bad as Sarah Palin’s diss of fruit fly research. She looked like a COMPLETE idiot on that one. If you don’t know what you are talking about. Please don’t stand on a podium and act like you do.

The importance of Fruit Fly research

Meanwhile,

Discovery jumps on doomsday bandwagon with ‘Zombie Apocalypse’.

Milk the popularity while you can…

  7 comments for “A zombie mind is a terrible thing to waste

  1. Massachusetts
    December 6, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    The article does give the impression that he’s pretty much against all home land security disaster preparedness training since it will all “weaken the economy” regardless of how beneficial it might be as first responder training. Though I wonder if the wasteful spending issue might derive from the money spent on the “hollywood worthy special effects” which strictly speaking weren’t needed for the training (fun but not essential). I think though he would have been against the spending regardless of the zombie theme. If that’s the case, I wonder what his argument would be for basically not providing training for first responders would be? Do they get enough locally? Is it a local responsibility? Is there no longer a terrorist threat or the possibility of a natural disaster? To say that training is essentially unnecessary implies that the dangers aren’t real. Clearly the zombies aren’t real but clearly other dangers are. I find it hard to believe he doesn’t see that, but I know it’s Washington and cluelessness abounds.

  2. Mr. Shreck
    December 6, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    A politician goes for the low-hanging fruit to make his case. This is hardly uncommon and entirely non-partisan behavior. Come to think of it, pouncing on the story here strikes me as a bit of the same thing.

    If you are interested in consistent expert critique of our generally emotional, irrational, and wasteful approach to security that doesn’t carry the taint of partisan politics, I recommend Bruce Schneier on Security

    http://www.schneier.com/

    It is weighted heavily toward cryptography and computer security but physical and national security matters get good coverage too. Follow it for a while and you will learn that the view of many in the actual security analysis and policy business (the ones who aren’t just exploiting the public’s fear and largess to armor up and play zombie paintball anyway) is not all that different from Coburn’s. The ideology may be different, but the conclusions are similar.

  3. Walt B
    December 6, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Well said, Mr. Shreck. Coburn may have faults, but going after wasteful government spending in any way seems to be a reasonable thing to do. (Really, zombie training with special effects? A latrine on wheels?) If you think there is no wasteful government spending, you are living a sheltered life… or maybe just hate Republicans in general.

    • December 6, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      Sadly there will ALWAYS be an amount of waste. It’s not reasonable to think you can eliminate it all. Someone’s important project is another’s “pork barrel project”.

  4. Brewhogg
    December 6, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    More Republican bashing? This was NOT a counterterrorism training program. It was a sales conference at a luxury resort hosted by a private company looking to sell products and services to the government. Attendees were required to pay $1,000 just to attend the 5 day conference. This doesn’t include all the money our government spent on airfare, hotel, meals, etc. by sending people to the conference. Sounds like a nice vacation at a lovely resort in a beautiful city….on our dime.

  5. JM
    December 6, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    That is correct, his objection wasn’t to the zombie theme of the training but the $1,000 per attendee price tag. Moreover that was a 54 page report, of which the zombie incident was one item alongside many many others. I notice the report doesn’t lead with the headline “Republicans hate snowcones” although he dedicated about as much space to homeland securities use of thousands of tax dollars to purchase several snowcone machines.

  6. Mr. Shreck
    December 7, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Here is a more extensive treatment of the report:

    http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019840659_spending06.html

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