In 2002, the Bush administration issued a formal proposal outlining the reasoning for the creation a new, cabinet-level bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
"The changing nature of the threats facing America requires a new government structure to protect against invisible enemies that can strike with a wide variety of weapons," the proposal explained. "America needs a single, unified homeland security structure that will improve protection against today's threats and be flexible enough to help meet the unknown threats of the future." Without DHS, America would never be safe.
Flash forward to 2014. The Department of Homeland Security has a $39 billion annual budget. It is fighting the fight against our invisible enemies, and taking on the unknown threats of the future.
By confiscating baseball-themed women's underwear from enthusiastic local retailers.
The Kansas City Star reports on Peregrine Honig, who created the design for "Lucky Royals" women's boyshorts, featuring the words "take the crown" and a "KC" logo emblazoned on the rear, in honor of the Kansas City Royals baseball team making it to the World Series.
Honig was going to sell the boyshorts in her store, Honig's Birdies Panties. Then a pair of DHS agents stopped by:
Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.
"They came in and there were two guys" Honig said. "I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws."
She thought that since the underwear featured her hand-drawn design that she was safe. But the officers explained that by connecting the "K" and the "C," she infringed on major league baseball copyright. (The officials involved could not be immediately reached for comment.)
They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn't use the logo.
Don't you feel safer now?
The Royals won their first World Series game in decades last night. We all lose when overfunded, unnecessary bureaucracies expand their poorly defined missions into doing dumb stuff like this.
(Link via Radley Balko's Twitter feed.)
Here's ReasonTV with three reasons to scrap DHS now: