A word from the Department of Homeland Security

September 3, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

“It’s been a number of years since 9/11, and people get complacent over time. Being prepared allows us to reduce the level of fear in this country, and we want to do that.”

That’s news today from Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security. Do you agree with what she says– that they want to reduce the level of fear in this country?  Do you think the best way to do that is by reminding everyone that we should always be afraid of a terrorist attack?  I mean, it’s not as though they are warning of specific attack or any credible threats that they’ve received.

Does anyone keep track of what the current threat level is?  It’s yellow, by the way.  Unless you go to an airport, which ostensibly will be at a permanent orange level.


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Category: Communication, Politics

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is a full-time wage slave and part-time philosopher, writing and living just outside Omaha with his lovely wife and two feline roommates.

Comments (6)

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    Brynn, it makes sense when you think of what the last eight years of fearmongering was all about.


    The Democrats aren't playing the fear card, the GOP lives and breathes by it.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Brynn: Why do politicians promote generalized fear? I've never heard it stated better than this:

    In the past, the power of politicians promised to create a better world. They had different ways of achieving this, but their power and authority came from the optimistic visions they offered their people . . . Politicians were seen simply as managers of public life. But now they have discovered a new role that restores their apparent authority. Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us . . . from nightmares.

    The above is the opening of a terrific BBC documentary, "The Power of Nightmares," which I review here. You can watch the entire three-part series by going to the above link.

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:


    The question was "Why do politicians promote generalized fear?".

    I have suddenly realized the answer is "Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy" (MSBP).

    MSBP is a severe psychological pathology where, typically, a parent takes action to cause an illness in a child, then casts himself/herself as going to heroic lengths to save the child from the mysterious ailment. boosting their ego, self image and sense of self importance in the process.

    However the relationship doesn't have to be a parent child relationship, buy can be any relationship between an authority and his subordinates. It can be the priest who seeks to exorcise the evil spirits he has discovered in an unruly teen. Or it can be those who instill xenophobia in the masses and offer to protect them from the outsiders

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Niklaus, "Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy" is an apt analogy. I'm going to add that to my arsenal. But it's only half the equation. The other half seems to be that we are in denial of dangerous conditions that do threaten us, such as pollution, soil loss, peak oil, and many other issues. Consider only the most recently publicized ecological disaster: that the bluefin tuna stock in the Mediterranean Sea is at serious risk of collapse. In the United States, we tend to fight windmills while we ignore real threats.

  4. Ben says:

    The blue and green terror level indicators are there solely to provide better color contrast.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    The color coded “terror alert” system has been replaced: http://www.dhs.gov/ntas-frequently-asked-questions#0

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