Via Matt Welch and some other shadowy operatives working the margins of all that is good and decent and red, white, and blue comes news that the Department of Homeland Security is wisely taking a page from Cuban and East German secret police handbooks.
How? By enlisting kids to "educate" their parents about terrorist threats to Mother America. Reports USA Today:
Starting next month, children in grades 4 though 8 and employers nationwide will be asked to help get families and companies better prepared to respond to a crisis.
In schools, on the Internet and in TV and radio ads, youngsters will be introduced to a new Homeland Security mascot: a dog (an American shepherd) that will be named in a contest. The campaign, using the dog and a set of Ad Council advertisements, will encourage families to develop an emergency plan and talk about where kids should go, who will pick them up and how they will make contact.
Whole story here.
As more proof that Tom Ridge is actually a caveman who has been shaved and squeezed into a suit, there exists some real questions as to whether there is in fact an "American shepherd" breed of dog. There is something called the American Tundra Shepherd, a mix of the Alaskan Tundra Wolf and German Shepherds (those German Shepherds have ways of making you talk).
Apparently, the nation's most famous crime-fighting pooch, McGruff, is not allowed to engage in espionage, so he can't simply lend his talents to this needed effort. Worse yet, the J. Edgar Hoover of the canine world apparently can't even share information with this new Homeland Security counterpart. Wasn't the PATRIOT Act supposed to break down these sorts of bureaucratic problems and promote sharing of intelligence among cartoon symbols? When we ever learn?
Anyhoo, the name for the new DHS dog mascot will be selected via a contest. It's just a shame that Phevos and Athena are taken.
Please suggest names–and exsiting breeds–for this new position.