Our 'Federal Family'?
A few days ago, Kathleen Sebelius, our Secretary of Health and Human Services issued a press release urging everyone to be mindful of potential terror attacks, natural disasters, and pandemics. This was because Sebelius was recognizing that September is National Preparedness Month.
Exactly why she conflated preparedness for terror attacks, natural disasters and pandemics in a single sentence must indicate that she never checked in with Janet Napolitano, for whom there are no such things as a terror attacks, merely man-caused disasters.
Sebelius continued in the press release to say:
"While our federal family is becoming better prepared to support the nation, we know that being truly resilient requires the whole community coming together ... Simply put: bystanders can't stand by. We've seen countless times that bystanders are truly the first responders. They save lives. Each of us must be ready to help others when every minute counts." [emphasis supplied] (h/t to Susan Jones at CNSNews)
Some might simply assume that the phrase "federal family" was a poetic effort to create a warm, welcoming feeling while asking people to concentrate and plan on how to react to terrorists, earthquakes and hurricanes, as well as massive pandemics such as bird flu or a re-run of the plague. Those subjects always generate warm and fuzzy emotions, don't they?
Unfortunately, the administration's propaganda department thought it was such a great phrase that they have been using it all over the place.
A few weeks before the Secretary of HHS uttered the phrase, B. Todd Jones, used it when he was being sworn in as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In his remarks he spoke about the ATF agents who pitched in to help local law enforcement in Aurora, Newtown, Boston, and West Texas: "It's as close as you're going to get to blue-collar law enforcement in the federal family."
The "pitched in" phrase goes so well with the whole "family" image. He tried to make it sound as if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives" wouldn't have acted except for those members of the federal family who selflessly volunteered to pitch in to help in incidents that involved the use of firearms which resulted in the deaths of many family members.
Just a week before Jones was waxing poetic about "out Federal Family", one of Janet Napolitano's minions, David Heyman, an assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, on August 22nd told a Washington think tank how the town of Joplin, Missouri had recovered from a devastating tornado "in partnership with the federal family."
And on July 10, barely a month before that, Richard Serino, the deputy administrator of FEMA, told a Senate panel that the Boston Marathon bombing "was determined to be a high risk event. This determination resulted in enhanced attention to the event across the federal family..."
Gee, an event, not a terrorist attack but merely an event (like stubbing your toe?), was determined to be a high risk event. And our federal family thought they might want to pay a bit more attention to this event. Yes, that sounds like the reaction of most families, don't you think? Just a typical family's reaction to the death of three of its members and the injuring and maiming of scores more.
Bill Clinton used a similar verbal tactic whenever he mouthed the phrase, "I feel your pain." It harkens back to the old say "This will hurt me more than it will hurt you." Sure it will, Daddy.
Governments have always tried to picture themselves as benevolent parents. All wise, all knowing and always prepared to care for their children. Of course there have been some parents that are actually guilty of child abuse.
The Soviet Union always referred to their nation as "Mother Russia." After all, you just have to love your mother, even as she is killing off millions of your brothers and sisters.
Nazi Germany always called for their citizen's loyalty to the "Fatherland." Make your daddy proud, go kill a Jew.
Any time a government tries selling the idea that we're all one big family, its citizens should prepare for something utterly horrific in the offing.
It's funny that in Sebelius' press release, she never mentioned that particular eventuality while warning us all to get prepared for disasters.
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller, a two-tour Vietnam veteran and writes frequently about political idiocy, business and economic idiocy and American cultural idiocy. Jim also blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com/, and can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org