Friday, October 26, 2007

Another Government Loser - 700 MHz PS Band

If you don't like editorial comments then pass this puppy by. But I just can't sit back and let this one go any further. The opinions below are my own. Blame me and the first amendment if you don't like the message.

When the United States Government has a problem they have three things they can do to solve it.

1. Conduct more training of their employees.

2. Reorganize the organizational chart or create an entirely new organization from several others.

3. Throw lots of taxpayer money at the problem and hope that the problem goes away.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Congress decided to do all three to fix some of the perceived problems resulting from that terrorist attack. But what was the Congressional "big fix" as a result of the 9/11 attack? Why nothing short of the biggest boondoggle in the history of this country (next to Congress)...the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Yes, you know who the Department of Homeland Security is. This is the government agency that wants every American home to put up plastic sheeting with duck tape to protect our population from a chemical, nuclear or biological attack.

These are the same folks who invented the elegant and most useful color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System.

And these are the same folks who disbursed $36,300 in taxpayer money in the form of a grant to the state of Kentucky to keep terrorists from playing bingo or running a charitable game to raise large amounts of cash.

Nope I am not kidding. I honestly couldn't make stuff like this up but they can. And their love for spending the taxpayer dollar does not stop with this insanity.

Where else on the planet would you find a government agency that has spent taxpayer money to design, print and distribute a 20 page coloring book for children on...can I have a drum roll please.....public safety communications interoperability?

Are you hearing me folks? I said a kids coloring book on interop. Bravo, just bravo DHS. You have given the children of the world such a great gift. Why I think there should be one of these waiting under the christmas tree this year for every choild in America.

So how well received has this DHS publication been in the public safety community? Here is Steve Jones' take on this DHS publication posted on the First Response Coalition blog:

"Now, I know what you must be thinking: 'first our tax dollars get spent on a ridiculous color-coded Threat Advisory System, and now a coloring book?'

"But hold on. SAFECOM (part of DHS-LVH) has actually produced what I think is a very useful document, especially for those not up to speed on the communications challenges first responders face."

Hey Steve. When was the last time you where drug tested my man. Just damn! Where are my crayons? I want to get started on this puppy right away.

So what morons thought this project up. Probably the same DHS employees who have wasted $2.1 billion dollars of taxpayer money on Public Safety interoperability spending, uh, oh yea, they call it investments these days.

Well, I officially award the DHS and the entire bunch at Safecom a golden fleece award. You have proven without a doubt that you can waste the tapayers money on absolutely nothing worthwhile.

But wait. Yes you guessed it. There is even more from the wonderful folks at DHS and Safecom.

They along with Congress are promoting the one thing that will help prevent the next attack and save the lives of our first responders. So what is this great savior of all of mankind that the buffoons in Congress and DHS/Safecom constantly push in the media. What is truly the Holy Grail of interoperability?

It is the 700 MHz public safety interoperability band.

But can DHS, the politically corrupt commissioners at the FCC, and the bunch in Safecom get this one right? Yep, you guessed it - no!

The Washington Post reports the 700 MHz public service radio network, designed to deliver interoperability for the nation’s law enforcement agencies, is at “high risk of failure,” according to the Justice Department’s Inspector General (pdf report). DHS has distributed $2.15 billion since 9/11, encouraging state and local agencies to use the federal funding to purchase Project 25 radios for interoperability, the GAO said. But the effectiveness of those standards in making systems more interoperable has not been proven, according to the GAO.

“Ambiguities in the standards have led to incompatibilities among products made by different vendors, and no compliance testing (by our government agencies-lvh) has been conducted to determine if those products are interoperable,” the GAO said.

The reason why the government hasn't conducted any compliance testing is that they are to busy designing and creating kids coloring books to help them describe their jobs.

If you would like to read an interesting speech that shows the depth of how much DHS just doesn't get the interop problem then look no further than a speech made by then DHS department head Tom Ridge in New Orleans a little less than one year before Katrina hit the city. You can read it at

So I think it is time for the taxpayers in this country to demand more from these idiots in Washington DC. DHS is a total waste of the taxpayer dollar, a huge waste of skin, and an agency that should have never been established in the first place by the losers in Congress. I say scrap the whole mess and let's start all over. Let's get it right this time. It is time to fire the deadwood in Washington and put some common sense in its place. So now can I take down my duck taped plastic sheeting?

Oh, one more thing dear reader. Did I mention that the pictures in the interop coloring book are already colored? Guess they had nothing better to do at Safecom.

Our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves.