Terrorism

"The United States is fighting terrorism—one snow cone at a time."

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Your tax dollars—the national security ones that are actually part of the federal government's explicit duties in the Constitution!—at work!

The United States is fighting terrorism — one snow cone at a time.

Montcalm County recently received a $900 Arctic Blast Sno-Cone machine.

The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) is a federal- and state-designated agency responsible for managing and administrating the homeland security program in Montcalm County and 12 other counties.

The WMSRDC recently purchased and transferred homeland security equipment to these counties — including 13 snow cone machines at a total cost of $11,700.

Whole story here, courtesy of the Greenville Daily News (hat tip: Drudge!).

But before you go getting all huffy, do note that Arctic Blast gets rave reviews (4.5 stars out a possible 5!) on Amazon. Suck on that, al Qaeda!

Frequent Reason contributor and presence John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State and a fellow at Cato who has written smartly on overreaction to fears of terrorism. He focuses on the creation of a self-perpetuating publicly funded industry devoted to doling out money, favors, and jobs that have no connection to the actual risks posed to people. From a 2006 conversation with him:

We shouldn't spend billions of dollars trying to protect tens of thousands of "potential targets." One target identified by the Department of Homeland Security was a water park in Florida called Weeki Wachee Springs, whose response was to suggest they get some federal funding. There are countless other examples: a small town in Washington state, for instance, that has decontamination suits no one knows how to use.

We should save the money and then if something happens, we should use it to fix things, and then go after the people who actually did the crime.

To the point of waste: Try to scope out the bottom line on the pic to the right. It's a K-9 unit SUV for Ohio's Miami Unversity that proudly boasts "Purchased with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security." Because Officer Smuckers (as I assume all police dogs are named) is desperately needed to keep the American heartland safe from the enemies without and within.

Mueller and coauthor Mark G. Stewart recently sat down with Reason to explain "Why We Should Fear Bathtubs More than Terrorists." Take a look:

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  1. Suck on that, al Qaeda!

    LOL

  2. Whole story here, courtesy of the Greenville Daily News (hat tip: Drudge!).

    Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Preempted, bitches!

    1. From the article…

      The purchase raised some questions at a recent Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting. Commissioners wondered about the machine and questioned its purpose.

      The Michigan Homeland Security Grant Program’s Allowable Cost Justification document, dated May 9, 2011, says the snow cone machines can make ice to prevent heat-related illnesses during emergencies, treat injuries and provide snow cones as an outreach at promotional events.

      WMSRDC Executive Director Sandeep Dey said one county requested a popcorn machine, but that request was denied. He said the snow cone machine request would not have been granted by itself, but was approved because it came with other homeland security equipment.

      1. “outreach” means bowing down to Islam!

        1. No effing way! My snow would fall out of the cone!

  3. Top. Men.

  4. And if King the Wonder Dog should just “happen” to sniff out three dollars’ worth of marijuana while patrolling for suitcase nukes, well, what the heck.
    Collars is collars.

  5. Your chance of dying in a bathtub is one in a million.

    This is totally unacceptable.

    1. And it’s like 1/900,000 if you are on DRUGS.

      1. Good Lord!

        What if there is also water in the tub?

        1. You’re right! Best fill it with gin for safety’s sake

    2. What about from incandescent light bulbs? What are the chances of dying from one of those evil, tricksy devices?

      1. And what about from infected paper cuts? That shit has got to stop!

        1. It never stops under the theory of endless funding.

      2. If your lamp with an incandescent bulb falls in the bathtub, pretty good.

    3. Hair dying is easier in a sink than a bathtub.

      1. Back hair, too?

  6. If a town wants to be viewed as in the “heartland” they should pick a better name than Miami.

    1. The town is Oxford, the uni is Miami, after a local tribe.

      1. Spent many a night of drunken debauchery in Oxford.

  7. Given that money is going to be wasted by Government, and Government will also exaggerate threats to create a self-perpetuating publicly funded industry devoted to doling out money, favors, and jobs that have no connection to the actual risks posed to people, surely we should be happy* that the money goes on snowcone machines and suits that do relatively little harm.

    * by “happy” I of course mean “less rawly pissed off than usual”

  8. “….the national security ones that are actually part of the federal government’s explicit duties in the Constitution!”
    =========================
    And which provision “explicitly” announces such duty?

  9. My county bought a frontloader with their DHS funds. So if al Qaeda attacks with pallets, we’re good to take them down. Or up, depending on how we’re stacking the terror.

    1. Don’t underestimate their terrorist-fighting power

  10. From Wikipedia:
    As of the census of 2000, there were 61,266 people

    I actually live fairly close to Montcalm County. It’s a Michigan Wasteland – farms, farms and more farms. I have a hard time imagining Mohammed and gang leapfrogging from corn field to corn field, AK-47s blazing away as they liberate Greenville from tyranny of Christianity/Capitalism/Zionism.

    Of course the chances of a “Michigan Militia” type would be higher… but still…

  11. Better snow cone machines than amored personnel carriers….

  12. Guns vs. Butter– aw, fuck it, gotta have both

  13. “One target identified by the Department of Homeland Security was a water park in Florida called Weeki Wachee Springs…”

    If you’ve never seen the mermaids of Weeki Wachee, trust me, this is why Al Qaeda hates America: http://weekiwachee.com/mermaids/mermaid-shows.html

    1. Weeki Wachee’s a target? I don’t live all that far from there. Is it the mermaids they hate, the commercialism, or the manatees?

      1. First, how in the hell would Weeki Wachee end up on their radar? Next you’ll be telling me that the gator wrestling/gift shop tourist traps are targets, too.

  14. “We must condition the citizenry to accept every form of degradation. Public safety is paramount — not to mention a job creator.”

    “Watch your neighbors and report anything suspicious.”

  15. Forget snow cones, these will kill ya, even if you don’t swallow

    1. Yeah, they’ll be banning those soon. For the children.

  16. Not ONE penny!

  17. Weeki Wachee Springs isn’t really a water park. Buccaneer Bay is the water park which is co-located with Weeki Wachee. I don’t know how they tried to justify a need for DHS funds, but that place has been close to being bankrupt for years. Multiple times the owners have tried various methods of getting the county and local taxpayers to bail them out.

    I’ve personally donated to their fund raisers over the years, because I have a lot of fond childhood memories of that place, and I’d hate to see it shut down, but I don’t think there’s much of a threat of a terrorist attack.

    1. I don’t know how they tried to justify a need for DHS funds, but that place has been close to being bankrupt for years.

      *raised eyebrow*

  18. I don’t know how they tried to justify a need for DHS funds, but that place has been close to being bankrupt for years.

    If they go bankrupt, the terrorists will have won?

  19. Snow cones are the downright shittiest refreshments invented. Those snow cone machines get absolutely disgusting. I’m guessing they already have the cappuccino espresso machine and a popcorn cart.

    1. I like snow cones.

  20. I gotta tell ya man, a snow cone sounds really good right about now.

    http://www.ano-toolz.tk

  21. We should save the money and then if something happens, we should use it to fix things, and then go after the people who actually did the crime.

    BINGO!!!

    1. I don’t know man. Which would you rather have in your possession, a terrorist or a snow cone?

  22. They bought 13 for $11,700 when the going price is about $500. I’m sure someone’s cousin acted as middleman.

    I know, I own one and it rocks.

    1. Wait till we find out it was Snoopy Snow Cone machines they bought for $900 each…

  23. OK, I hate government overspending as much as anyone, and the snowcone machines are a pretty good example, but come on, a K9 unit paid for by DHS funds is actually not that bad. K9 units are commonly loaned out to other departments all over the area for use as bomb dogs, search and rescue, tracking fugitives etc. Duties that serve a law enforcement AND national security role. A pretty valid use of funds as government spending goes.

    A real rarity, I know…

  24. Having studied two years at the red brick & grey sky campus that is Miami University, I can vouch that they are not a likely terrorist target. Terrorists would have to have the secret knowledge of JCrew camoflague, fraternity handshakes, and roofie coladas in order to penetrate that den of frat boys. Hmmm, maybe we should offer Miami up to the terrorists after all?

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