Kvick Tänkare (and coming attractions for TwShiloh)

Outward Bound and the Sierra Club have partnered to allow veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to partake in free expeditions.

China is talking about enacting legislation outlawing the eating of dogs (and cats, but who cares about them?)!

Finland is thinking about lower the voting age to 16 for local elections.  Before you poo-poo that, allow me to remind you that Alexander the Great became king at 20 and Augustus became heir to Caesar’s fortunes at 18.  Why shouldn’t 16 year olds get some exposure to the world they’re about to inherent?

I was reading through the latest issue of Homeland Security Affairs this weekend and there’s an article titled “Changing Homeland Security: Twelve Questions From 2009” (http://www.hsaj.org/pages/volume6/issue1/pdfs/6.1.1.pdf) that I was going to blog about but I really think it would benefit more from a hashing out of its ideas from multiple perspectives.  Therefore, I asked a number of others to participate in a virtual round table to hash out these questions over the months ahead.  So, beginning in February we’ll be highlighting one of Bellavita’s questions and discussing it from our various perspectives.

We’re not only in a new decade but fast approaching ten years since 9/11 and it seems as if we’re still operating under assumptions that were made in those early, hectic moments and days after the attacks.  At some point, we should take a moment and bring them out, dust them off and see if they make as much sense now as they did when we thought color coding our threats was a good idea.

So…please feel free to participate in any way you’d like:  comment on our blogs or post on your own.  The questions we’ll be discussing include:

1. Why is it so difficult to make risk-based decisions in homeland security?
2. Why are we unable to measure the relationship between homeland security expenditures and preparedness?
3. Why is illegal immigration a homeland security issue?
4. Why is FEMA still a part of the Department of Homeland Security?
5. What can the nation realistically expect from its intelligence apparatus?
6. How does technology contribute to homeland security, and how does it make us more vulnerable?
7. Are the direct and indirect costs of security – for example aviation security — worth the benefits?
8. How important is cyber security?
9. Can the values of security and privacy be complementary, or must they be
competitive?
10. Under what conditions will the United States torture people?
11. Is it necessary to understand Islam to develop an effective counterterrorism policy?
12. What can the homeland security enterprise learn from the apparent success managing the H1N1 pandemic?

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