Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

FEMA: Understanding Katrina boondoggle

[This is the second in a series exploring Katrina. The first is here; the third is here.]

DHS doesn't actually do any sophisticated analysis. They hire contractors like Lockheed Martin to do System Engineering Technical Analysis [SETA].

Guess who was a Lockheed Martin lobbyist, and guess who is linked to the "big contract" to clean up after Katrina?

This is a partial answer to where the money went.

While you in the blogosphere dig into the DHS contracts, take a big view of things. Your goal is to find out:

  • Which contractor created the system engineering analysis "plan" to demonstrate how the proposed DHS/FEMA process would work; and

  • Who in DHS signed off on the FEMA system engineering analysis.

    There is a contract, a contract number, and a contract deliverable called a contract data requirements list, CDRL.

    The key is to know what assumptions DHS was using to evaluate the SETA deliverable; and what role, if any the General Counsel's office had in reviewing this document; and the relationship between the DHS General Counsel and the OMB hiring standards.

    Guess what: Cheney's son in law, Philip J. Perry is in the middle of this.

    Also, take a look at the DHS and Lockheed Martin contract deliverable lists to find out what role Latham had in developing these system engineering plans. Perry was a partner with Latham; and Perry was also assigned to OMB, then was with Latham to act as a Lockheed Martin Lobbyist.

    There's a plan out there that someone or some company created. DHS signed off on this and Brown subsequently identified Louisiana as a "model" city.

    God help us if this SETA contract deliverable was actually the model used nationwide, not just for disasters, but also the WMD and terror plans.

    DoD may also be involved in that the same SETA contractor could have been the same one that created the plans for DoD in re WMD.

    The real issue: After personnel left DoD and DHS, did they go work for corporations like Lockheed Martin, and were these former government employees "the best" this nation can pay for when hiring contractors?

    If so, we're simply paying alot of money for crappy products which, self-evidently get approved but don't work when there's a real problem: Katrina.

    A list of potential conflicts.

    SETA contractors can be real toads, incompetent, and not all that bright, especially when they get paid alot of money, and the people they're working for in the government are clueless.

    Mind you, there's a difference between the SETA contractor [that helps out the government] and the actual contractor who does the contract work to write the report.

    DHS may have a SETA contract with contractor 1; and contractor 1 may have been awarded the oversight responsibility to manage the actual "DHS contractor" which bid on the contract to write this FEMA plan.

    This looks like a classic story of: The clueless government, managing a clueless SETA, who signed off on a plan from a clueless contractor.

  • Where are the simulations done on this plan

  • What program reviews were done on the contractor deliverable before the final plan was approved by DHS

  • Who in DHS was the program manager for this FEMA plan

    If the guy who signed off on all this is Brown, you have your answer: FEMA hired clueless people to oversee contract deliverables that had holes in them.

    The same type of "contracting effort" that costs alot, is the same "wonderful system" that the Government is using when it hires contractors to do planning and work in Iraq.

    This is a cost of downsizing government and outsourcing contract effort. Things are not more efficient when the final plan or product doesn't work. All the government has done is shifted the expenses/obligations from the government to a private contractor.

    It's a shell game for accounting purposes. "We don't have enough time or money to pay for it now, but always enough time and money to do it over, again, and later.

    How many lives is this non-sense worth? Zero.

    But the idiots in DC look at the US population as expendable. Look at how much the Senior Executive Service paid itself for the "performance awards" related to this "fine FEMA product."

    Between 2002 and 2005 they told everyone things were great.

    It's time that money gets returned to the treasury, or to those who have been harmed by their stupidity.

    Yes, civil litigation is on the way, you assholes.

    "Perry, you can go fuck yourself."

    Wait for it . . . And now you want to know [Thanks to Ethan Butterfield ]

    Guess who the SETA contractor is for DHS? That's right, the same ones who are in the middle of the Iraq-mess:

    Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc.

    Contract: NBCHA030008 DHS - SETA Support

    Funding: $250 million

    Award: Sept 2005

    Duration: 5 years

    POC: DHS, Science and Technology Directorate

    Responsibilities of Booz-Allen:

  • provide program and technical management,
  • program planning and oversight,
  • technical evaluation,
  • project analysis,
  • risk mitigation,
  • data development and management; and . . .
  • other financial, human resources, IT, security, general administrative and technical support to DHS technology programs.

    Management oversight: Undersecretary of homeland security for science and technology, "Science and Technology Directorate is the R&D arm of DHS"

    Sample Booz Allen summary from 2002 highlighting concerns with management training

    What, despite the 2002 findings, does DHS do in re FEMA? They hire a horse-dude, Brown:

    FEMA's American Federation of Government Employees representatives share the concerns of other unions at agencies destined for the Homeland Security Department about the possibility of losing bargaining rights. But FEMA employees generally like their work and find it rewarding, according to a recent study done by consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. FEMA commissioned the study as it prepared its five-year strategic plan. The one dark note was that FEMA employees in general felt that their managers hadn't had adequate training.

    Other contractors assisting Booz-Allen in this SETA Role [the other contractors who are working with Booz-Allen to put the plans together, these are the names on the budget documents, and are getting paid to provide the services to support Booz-Allen]:

  • Amron Corp.,

  • Bayfirst Solutions LLC, [Ken Nakata, once a Section 508 expert with DOJ, director of disability initiatives and government compliance; possibly reviewed by Shaw Pittman Potts & Trowbridge, J. Kenly Webster is a senior litigator. Also Colette M. Capretz had done follow-up, she is a communications attorney with Shaw Pittman. Note: Supreme Court Justice Roberts' wife, Jane, is with Smaw Pittman. 2nd from left ]

  • CACI International Inc.,
  • Camber Corp.,

  • Carrie-Brooks-Brown Consulting Services [Business Process Reengineering] to improve worklow efficiency [Possibly reviewed by IBM],

  • Central Point LLC,
  • Defense Group Inc.,
  • Missing Link,
  • Strategic Analysis Inc. and
  • Schafer Corp.

    The key will be to look at the relationship between the above contractors and Lockheed Martin.


    Joseph D. Szwarckop
    Deputy CIO for Strategic Programs

    Booz Hamilton: Names to put on the FOIA and subpoenas

    These are the people who may know more about the principals within Booz Hamilton about the DHS and SETA contract:

    Daniel Davies, Senior Associate
    Michael Gills, Associate
    V. L. McCrae, Server dbserver
    Ryan O'Connell
    Kimberly Owen, Senior Consultant
    James Saxe, Consultant
    Joe Sifer, Program Manager
    Dave Williams, Deputy Program Manager

    Keep in mind, the above names may have nothing to do with the FEMA disaster in New Orleans; but you can bet your bottom dollar they know the names of the SETA contracting personnel, and what kind of meetings the DHS-SETA were involved with.

    Here's a hint: All you have to do is subpoena the budgeting documents to get the name of the budgeting personnel, by name, and then find out which program office, program, and managers they work for.

    If DHS isn't cooperating, you can try the associated contractor lists with DoD; these names are on the contracting and budgeting lists that are given to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in something called the "Descriptive Summaries." Congress should already have this information.

    Conferences, trip reports

    10-11 March 2004
    at the Booz Allen Hamilton corporate conference facility in McLean, VA.

    Take a look at this: "Responding to Events: Meeting Challenges through Adoption of Intelligence Science and Technology Results"

    11 MARCH 2004 AGENDA 14:15

    Dr. Brooke Buddemeier
    Science and Technology Directorate
    Department of Homeland Security

    Science and Technology Directorate at DHS [Official page, watch out Big Brother]

    S&T Undersecretary is Charles E. McQueary. Maybe if the weather cooperates, he'll respond to some questions.

  • How was the confirmation process by the Senate in March 2003?

  • What types of interaction did McQueary have with George Bush when McQueary was at the University of Texas?

  • Is there anything in your background we should know about, or do you want us to find the really stinky stuff the hard way?

    Here are the functional areas in the directorate

    Identified by name in President's Homeland Security Directive 8

    You want to look at the names that are listed on the "Integrated Concept Team": This is where all the stuff was brought together. Wow, all those PhD, and we get this kind of crap in Louisiana:

    Note the S&T crossflows between the following teams in Directive 8:

    1. Balanced Investments Integrated Concept Team

    - CDR Lynn Sepski [Where have we heard that name before? LOL]

    2. Training, Exercises, and Lessons Learned Integrated Concept Team

    - Patty Kalla

    3. Assessment and Reporting Integrated Concept Team

    - Brooke Buddemeier DHS – S&T
    - Jennifer Green DHS – S&T

    What to do after the disaster

    Gosh, you don't think there are some conflicts between who was working on the SETA contract, the lobbyists, and who was actually awarded the cleanup for Louisiana?

    IEM is the contractor. . . and get this:

    IEM is also a Defense Department contractor and has contracts with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) along with team members Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed Martin.

    Which leads us back to Philip J. Perry, Cheney, and the lobbying job Perry had when he was working with Latham. Here's a detailed review of some of the Latham connections in the Bush Administration. Note, FEMA's boss is DHS Secretary. Guess who that is? Here's a hint, he's from the same law firm as Perry: Latham & Watkins; his name is Chertoff.

    Q.E.D.: Apparent conflict of interest warranting DHS IG and Congressional review:

    DHS General Counsel has to explain his role in inter alia:

  • how the SETA contract was overseen;
  • who signed off on the award fees for Booz Allen; and
  • what method, if any, was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the SETA contract when they reviewed the Booz Allen inputs on the contract.

    Duplicate findings

    Note the following DHS IG reports, similar to Katrina:

  • An Audit of FEMA's Acquisition Workforce, March 2004.

  • Survey of the Information Analysis And Infrastructure Protection Directorate, February 2004

    Also the following reports:

  • National Flood Insurance Program Management Letter
    A report summary of the management letter concerning FEMA's FY 2002 financial statements.

    Revolving Door

    Here is an Economist article that gives a brief overview of Booz Allen and DHS.

    FYI, there is also a management simulation center [Emergency Management Training, Analysis & Simulation Center (EMTASC)]in Suffolk, Virginia, with the following 17 contractors on the corporate board:

    Anteon Corporation,
    The Boeing Company,
    Booz Allen Hamilton,
    DDL Omni Engineering,
    Evidence Based Research, Inc.,

    General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, [GD linked to DHS S&T Director McQueary]

    Lockheed Martin, [Linked to Latham, Perry who was also DoJ Associate Attorney General]

    Loyola Enterprises Inc.,
    Northrop Grumman,

    Science Applications International Corporation [Yes, the same "SAIC" that gave DoJ a crappy information system]; and

    WernerAnderson, Inc.

    Looking for Descriptive Summary Data

    Here is a sample contract award announcement for Booz Allen. This information can be a good memory jogger for the toads in DHS/DOD IG in case they "forget" who Booz Allen is, or if you want to talk to the DoD plant representatives and can do no notice audits of Booz Allen's payroll, man-hours, and other contract information.

    If DHS or other organizations are not helpful, this is another way to find contract, pricing, fund cites, and other auditing data identifying by name who is receiving the funds and how the money is going from Defense Finance and Accounting Service to the contractor:

    Booz Allen & Hamilton Inc., McLean, Va., is being awarded a $9,628,449 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for technical, engineering, professional and management support services for the Special Communications Requirements Division, of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in support of the Department of Defense, Joint Service, and Federal Agencies programs. The estimated level of effort for this contract is 149,760 man-hours. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md. (50 percent) and St. Inigoes, Md. (50 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2006. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with 16 proposals solicited and one offer received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, St. Inigoes, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-06-C-0003).

    Black operations: Funding flows between DHS, DoD and the intelligence community

    It is possible funds have been siphoned off other DHS contract efforts to pay for cost overruns and management reserve in the simulation center. [God knows, given the Katrina legacy . . . the actual FEMA plan is worthless -- so, please give us some idea where the money actually went.

    I smell offshore accounts, management reserve pools, and strange trips to Virginia: Money taken out of DHS programs to cover black operations and CIA/NSA satellite bills; the original money could have been hidden in DoD O&M and production contracts but was siphoned off to cover the Iraq war costs for the contractors. That means you can forget about the funding for the armor for the vehicles/troops.]

    There is a cost to cost cutting

    The war in Iraq was a war of choice. Combat operations were not sufficiently supported in Iraq, neither was the planning for post-war Iraq. There is no reason to believe the FEMA SETA contractor had the requisite planners in place; we were at war, and personnel were most likely transferred from the "low priority of FEMA" and transferred, albeit ignored, for Iraq support.

    It looks like DoD contractors robbed personnel from all over, but still failed to adequately plan, as evidenced by the abysmal results in both Iraq and Katrina.

    GAO Investigation


  • How many contractor personnel working on the various FEMA SETA efforts were reactivated, and sent into Iraq for combat support?

  • What kind of delays did the SETA have in developing the FEMA contract plans because of other requirements in Iraq?

  • After the original DHS FEMA-SETA contract was awarded, did the SETA contractor find it more difficult than anticipated in finding qualified planners and personnel to create the FEMA plan?

  • How did the manning challenges affect the quality of the work products?

  • How far below cost and profit targets did the SETA contractor fall because the requisite/expected workforce was below what was needed to do the complete planning, simulation, review, and other contract performance requirements in the SETA contract?

  • How many planners, cost estimators, or logistics personnel expected to be available for the contract bid in 2002, we transferred off the SETA contract because they were activated for combat operations, pilot duty, or other military requirements when the President ordered the Iraq invasion?

  • How was the operational planning in Iraq supported if no SETA contractors were transferred from "low priority FEMA" and redirected to the "higher priority in DoD and Iraq"?

    DHS IG

    IG Staff of 60 is finding problems with Katrina contracts.
    More than 80% of the $1.5bn (£850m) in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) were awarded without bidding or with only limited competition


    Relief of Katrina

    There appear to be some major disconnects in the Katrina planning. First, although the region was identified as a possible category 5, there wasn't an actual plan that would mobilize against the scope of the disaster that would accompany that disaster.

    Further, it appears as though the contingency planning assumed a quick recovery of electricity. Meaning: The very region that was without power was assumed to have power in order for the planners on the ground to operate as the recovery effort unfolded.

    I also sense that there was a poor system of communication prior to, during, and after the disaster. This is troubling in that the very combat/relief national guard units in other states had to wait on confirmation for action. This could have been preplanned.

    I also sense that there was little actual full scale planning which relief workers could quickly pick up and run with. There doesn't appear to be a central list of steps, checklists, or recovery objective for this particular region.

    It appears as though first responders who may know the local area have been deployed.

    Also, those personnel in the contractors working on the detailed planning appear to have been transferred to higher DoD-related efforts, or in some cases have been deployed to direct combat support missions in Iraq.

    GAO: Ref [Summary]

    I'm not clear that this would be a normal unfunded mandate: It's one thing to have a mandate without funding; it's another to fund the mandate, but have that money diverted to other programs.

    It remains to be understood to what extent both DHS and DoD Acquisition programs have been raided to fund the war in Iraq.

    It looks as though the real issues with Katrina in terms of funding, are systemic issues compounded by the Iraq war. The issue is not new.

    The real issue

    This is legitimacy, responsiveness issue of the American government, not just with a particular party or branch.

    Despite the catalyst of 9-11, how does a core problem of communication, planning, oversight, and preparedness escape the American leadership?

    The problem is systemic with how the US government operates. There have been plenty of people who have addressed these issues well before both 9-11 and Katrina. The problem is much larger than 9-11, FEMA, Congress, and how the US operates. There appears to be a breakdown in the "simple" process of "assessing risks, and being proactive."

    As evidence, the local, state, and federal agencies reviewed these matters before the Congress numerous times:

    Unfunded Mandates: 21 April 2005 Review

    Here are the names of people who reviewed with the Congressional Committee on Government Oversight the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs:

    Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia concluded an oversight hearing to examine a review of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, focusing on the impact the Act has had on Federal, state, and local governments and explore if changes are necessary to strengthen the law's procedures, definitions, and exclusions, after receiving testimony from

    * Orice M. Williams, Director, Strategic Issues, Government Accountability Office;

    * John D. Graham, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget;

    * Elizabeth Robinson, Deputy Director, Congressional Budget Office;

    * Maryland Delegate John Hurson, Annapolis, on behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures;

    * Colleen Landkamer, Blue Earth County, Mankato, Minnesota, on behalf of the National Association of Counties; and

    * Nick Licata, City of Seattle, Washington, on behalf of the National League of Cities.

    Subcommittee on Management, Integration, and Oversight
    02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    The Need to Strengthen Information Security at the Department of Homeland Security

    (Panel I) Mr. Gregory C. Wilshusen, Director, Information Security Issues, Government Accountability Office;

    (Panel II)
    Mr. Mark MacCarthy, Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Visa U.S.A.;
    Mr. Marc J. Zwillinger, Partner, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP

    Where: 210 Cannon House Office Building.

    First Responders Markup

    Apr 21, 05 Homeland Security: Thursday, 10:00AM - Full committee Markup of H.R. 1544, the Faster and Smarter Funding for First Responders Act of 2005.
    Where: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building

    Apr 14, 05 Homeland Security: Thursday, 11:00AM - Grant Reform: The Faster and Smarter Funding for First Responders Act of 2005
    Witnesses: (Panel I) The Honorable Lee. H. Hamilton, Vice Chair, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; (Panel II) Ms. Mary Fetchet, Founding Director, Voices of September 11; Inspector Louis P. Cannon, Testifying on Behalf of: National Fraternal Order of Police; Chief Greg Lord, Director, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, Division Chief - EMS, Cherokee County Fire-Emergency Services; Mr. Kevin O’Connor, Associate to the General President, International Association of Fire Fighters
    Where: 210 Cannon House Office Building


    Apr 20, 05 Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity: Wednesday, 11:00AM - H.R. 285: The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2005.
    Where: 210 Cannon House Office Building.
    Witness Testimony
    Mr. Amit Yoran

    Management Integration

    Apr 20, 05 Subcommittee on Management, Integration, and Oversight: Wednesday, 10:00AM - Management Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security

    - Former DHS Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson;
    - Former DHS Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin;
    - Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore;
    - Acting DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner;
    - Managing Director Homeland Security and Justice Government Accountability Office Norman Rabkin

    Where: 2261 Rayburn House Office Building

    Apr 14, 05 Subcommittee on Management, Integration, and Oversight: Thursday, 2:00PM - The Need to Strengthen Information Security at the Department of Homeland Security
    Witnesses: (Panel I) Mr. Gregory C. Wilshusen, Director, Information Security Issues, Government Accountability Office; (Panel II) Mr. Mark MacCarthy, Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Visa U.S.A.; Mr. Marc J. Zwillinger, Partner, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
    Where: 210 Cannon House Office Building.

    Mar 09, 05 Subcommittee on Management, Integration, and Oversight: Wednesday, 10:00AM - CBP and ICE: Does the Current Organizational Structure Best Serve U.S. Homeland Security Interests?
    Witnesses: Dr. James Carafano, Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation; Mr. Michael Cutler, Former Senior Special Agent, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; Mr. David Venturella, Former Director, Office of Detention and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security; Mr. T.J. Bonner, President, National Border Patrol Council; Mr. Randy Allen Callahan, Executive Vice President, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO; Mr. Kenneth C. Klug, Former Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security
    Where: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

    Emergency Preparedness

    Apr 19, 05 Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology: Tuesday, 2:00PM - Subcommittee Markup of H.R. 1544, the Faster and Smarter Funding for First Responders Act of 2005.
    Where: 210 Cannon House Office Building

    Feb 10, 05 Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology: Thursday, 10:00AM - Committee on Homeland Security Hearing The 2006 Budget Proposal: Enhancing Terrorism Preparedness for First Responders
    Witnesses: The Honorable Penrose “Parney” Albright, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary, Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security; Mr. Matt A. Mayer, Acting Executive Director, Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, Department of Homeland Security; General Dennis Reimer (Ret.), Director, National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism
    Where: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

    Feb 10, 05 Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology: Thursday, 10:00AM - Hearing on The Proposed Fiscal Year 2006 Budget: Enhancing Terrorism Preparedness for First Responders. WITNESSES: The Honorable Penrose, “Parney” Albright, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary, Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security; Mr. Matt A. Mayer, Acting Executive Director,
    Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, Department of Homeland Security;
    General Dennis Reimer (Ret.), Director , National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.

    Human Resources

    NEW HUMAN RESOURCES SYSTEM: Thursday, February 10, 2005

    Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Subcommittee on
    Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of
    Columbia concluded a hearing to examine the new human resources system of the
    Department of Homeland Security, focusing on unlocking the potential of
    employees, pay and performance management, adverse actions and appeals, and
    labor-management relations, after receiving testimony from

    - David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, Government Accountability Office;
    - Ronald J. James, Chief Human Capital Officer, Department of Homeland Security;
    - Ronald P. Sanders, Associate Director for Strategic Human Resources Policy,
    Office of Personnel Management; and
    - Darryl A. Perkinson, Federal Managers Association,
    - Colleen M. Kelley, National Treasury Employees Union,
    - John Gage, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO,
    - Richard N. Brown, National Federation of Federal Employees, and Kim Mann, National Association of Agriculture Employees, all of Washington, D.C.

    In short, unlike 1941's Pearl Harbor, the country failed to mobilize. It went to war, but as evidenced by the "call for 40,000 Red Cross volunteers in 2005, there is a large disconnect between the clearly discussed requirements, the dedicated funding, and the actual manpower dedicated to those requirements.

    The catalyst of 9-11 was not enough to awaken the American system from its coma. Katrina shows America remains dormant, poorly focused, and not serious about preserving its way of life.

    Problems are not solved by kicking the can down the road. You not longer have time and money to do it over: It's time to start getting it right without pointing fingers.

    The entire American system of governance failed at all levels. But this problem isn't isolated to government, but spills into academia, corporations, and labor unions.

    Americans well discussed the risks before Katrina, and collectively failed. This is not impressive.

    Going forward, the credible leaders are those who are going to press for real solutions, and get results, not simply defer the tough decisions until the next committee meeting.

    If you want to "start doing things right," I suggest you engage with the new supreme Court justice nominee and ask him how he plans to engaged the American Bar Association and the State Judicial Counsels in "timely resolving issues within the committees."

    This is a management-leadership issue which could well be focused with some robust improvements to the Roberts Rules of Order; rather there need to be some "Roberts Roles of Resolution and Closure." Order is not as important as resolution and results. Supposedly the American model "does it better," than fascism and communism. Perhaps there is a new alternative awaiting the right time to germinate and hatch.

    I suspect it has something to do with thinking, being tough on your peers, and being truthful with the American public: We have a major manpower disconnect, and the time for a national mobilization has arrived. You can call it a draft, a volunteer system, or something else. But what we've done to date hasn't worked.

    Choose wisely. The "next big surprise" may be less forgiving. The country could choose to go its separate ways should it be self evident it's been the third attempt to swing at what all nations through the ages have dealt with: Reality.

    The American system can only be preserved if there are leaders willing to lead. Are you serious, yet?

    I don't think you are. And, as evidenced by the Katrina boon doggle, it's clear many didn't heed these words of warn: Read the full quote.

    Indeed, the quote was not actually written by Caesar. When you find who really wrote the quote, you will have your answer to your collective leadership problem.

    Choose: Do you want to preserve your constitution, or embrace the tyrannical stupidity?

    Sometimes you may have to fight for your constitution and be nasty, for to "go along with what isn't working" just invites more idiots to assert their version of absurdity. The results to date have been less than sterling and unacceptable.

    You need to press on, pick up the pace, and get serious. There are alternatives if you fail.