« Strange fruit | Main | Christmas in Phoenix »

December 18, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The darker angels of our nature used to be the exception to the rule.

Tell it to the Native Americans.

"America" has always been an aspirational ideal, not an operational description.

That said, I agree that "homeland" is a blight and a linguistic tell for propaganda.

I have never liked the word "Homeland." Like it's siblings Fatherland and Motherland it's a term favored by the patrons of a totalitarian state.

Every time one of my friends or newsmen talk about "homeland" or that a majority of people are ok with torture,I think about my father ,uncles,and all the men who fought in WW2 and came home and told my generation that we were the good guys who defeated the Nazis and "Japs"
who used torture and words like homeland.They either lied to us or are surely turning over in their graves.

Homeland, now that made me upset the first time I heard that it was a possibility. I was opposed to its conception since day one. It has become exactly what i predicted. A big bloated out of control Orwellian cluster fuck. It's leaders were and are incompetent bureaucratic minions.
Thousands of un-vetted, un-polygraphed, un researched (backgrounds) and no psycho exams, employees were hired. The planet has become one big militarized police force, to keep all YOU commodities enslaved to the worlds financiers.

Regarding a previous comment by Emil about Obama and the CIA. I predict history will discover that the CIA locked Obama down the day he took office. Maybe in 50 years what ever that twist was will surface.

Hopefully if Hillary gets in the CIA will not have her compromised. The bad news is that if Jeb gets in, he and his dad and the CIA know where Pancho Villa's head rests.

Cal: do you mean Geronimo's head, as in Skull and Bones?

Pat, No I meant Villas stolen head and Bush and skull and bones

Homeland is too Orwellian. It's time to eliminate the CIA: there has been no darker stain on the USA than the actions of the CIA against communism, socialism, progressives, liberals, rival businesses, and innocents. They've never found a fascist they didn't like tho.

I am not familiar with 'Orwellian'.
To me, however, "homeland" is a fuzzy word, it implies 'anywhere we want it to be'. It seems to soften our boundaries, making it easier to extend our guns and our rule almost anywhere, like South America and/or Iraq.

While we're on the subject of words, I remember when the Human Resources department was called Personnel. A company's employees were referred to as people, but now they're "resources" that can be downsized, right-sized, and terminated without anyone feeling too bad.

I also think I remember from when I was a child that the word entrepreneur was a euphemism for two-bit thimble-rigging snake oil salesman. Now entrepreneurs are heroes, regardless of how much they invade our privacy.

Cal, I googled it, and sure enough, Skull and Bones has been rumored to have the skulls of both Geronimo and Pancho Villa! Nothing worse than rich boys all hopped up on a sense of entitlement. I guess it could be one of those urban myths, though.

Homeland does have a kind of Totalitarian ring to it, but after 9-11, I kind of felt like it had just been waiting for a chance to be birthed, and that those of us outside the Neo-con bubble were just allowed to tag along.

This article is behind a paywall. Its lead paragraph seems to point to a beltway birthplace of the term "Homeland Security" in the 1990s.
The Etymology of “Homeland Security” - Chronicles

The online etymology dictionary says

homeland (n.)
1660s, from home (n.) + land (n.). Old English hamland meant "enclosed pasture."

That says it all. A beautiful and peaceful garden where the people are grazing that needs to protected against the potentially menacing outside world.

In other news: We now officially have a black Nixon in the white house. China/Healthcare/EPA - can you even imagine a republican president doing that now?

the NEO-CON version of tag for U Pat,
your it!
And instantly You are Soylent Green food for the enslaved Coke laborers.

Homeland travels to the Americas.

Prior to 911 The US federal law enforcement agencies, the CIA, and the Military Intelligence units needed to pull together rather than trying to be the biggest dog in the Arena.
Peter Lance's work in this area is good stuff including his book Triple Cross. Interestingly the CIA has attacked Lance a five time award winner, in the same manner they attacked Gary Webb in Kill the Messenger.

Good comments and thanks, Jon, for the year of great columns. Cheers to all, and here's hoping for some trickle-down democracy in '15.

the word homeland is an extension of our paranoia. americans particularly conservatives feel a skiterring cracking of the thin ice that we felt a solid foundation to our security and superiority.

we had the bomb, we had the world currency we had an island so secure we'd have our thousand year reich...errr dominance.

getting a real grasp involves getting out of our comfort zone, a move fox fair and balanced has an interest in us not doing. nope, instead of progress we've got 'fair and balanced' and instead of unions and fair wages we've got walmart-starvation wages w red vests but we get the double-speak name 'associates'...

No doubt! Where is Al Sharpton when he is needed! He surely will solve our grammatical issues! Obviously .... some dastardly Republican came up with this term!!!

A little off topic –but not too far.

I am distressed by the abasement of words such as “home”. I’m not exactly sure how would define the word – but a chunk of real estate or lodging is not it. “Home” is more of a feeling than a tangible thing. It has been co-opted by commercial interests. “Home” has more emotional appeal than the word “house”. Hence the appearance of such things as “apartment homes for rent”, “home sites for sale”, “motor home”, “mobile home”, etc. Or how about “Home Depot”, which would logically be where motors homes gathered for the evening.

Can “out home”, “cat home” or “home boat” be far behind?

Similar rage for use of the word “family” for commercial interests. Here’s one you’ll hear this time or year: “From the XYZ Bank family to yours – season’s greetings.”

I won’t even get into the use of children for the main voice over in TV and radio ads.

Home is term used by nations such as United Kingdom, Canada and Australia! Home Department handles immigration, security and law and order!


OT, don't forget to check out the latest on Rogue's "vertical" on cities and downtowns:


The book "In Geronimo's Footsteps" by Corine Sombrun and Harlyn Geronimo gives the Apache perspective and their beliefs about the location of Geronimo's skull. They are suing the Bushes and the government about it. LO gets screwed once again.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Were Bill Safire alive, he would trace the exact origins" (of the term homeland in Homeland Security).

Because the term has been around for so long, etymological research is less relevant than details of its recent adoption by the national security state.

According to a 2002 New York Times article:

"Nazis favored the word ''heimat,'' or ''homeland,'' and homeland defense forces were known as Heimwehr or Heimatschutz in Austria and Germany from the late 1920's.

"...it is part of the political vocabulary in Israel. "One of the right-wing parties has chosen that name -- the Moledet, or Homeland, Party," (Israeli spokesman Mark) Regev said.

"For the United States, the political origins of homeland security go back to the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review mandated by Congress. While no one can remember who came up with the phrase, it shows up as part of a recommendation to put an "increased emphasis on homeland defense."

"...As early as 1999, the Pentagon had contemplated creating a commander in chief for the defense of the United States -- a "homeland defense command" -- but the idea was knocked down by civil rights groups that feared it would open the door to increased military influence in the country."


A few remarks: there is a pdf copy of Report of the Quadrennial Defense Review published under the byline of William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense and dated May 1997, available online. I scanned it but the way the term is used on three or four occasions reveals little or nothing.

According to the NYT the word was favored by the Nazis and by the right-wing Moledet party in Israel.

The slogan of the Moledet party is "Only transfer will bring peace", which refers to the removal of Arabs from Israel.

There is some controversy as to whether the "transfer" would be forcible or voluntary, but the idea of a "voluntary" exodus (if you'll excuse the expression) of the Arabs is just another example of euphemistic weasel words, since the motive for a genuinely voluntary transfer is difficult to conceive.

The rhetoric of Moledet leaders varies depending upon the audience at the time, but some have suggested that the "voluntary transfer" be effected by making life "sufficiently unpleasant" for Israeli Arabs. Others have said that if the voluntary transfer can't be achieved a resort to force will be necessary.

This is reminiscent of Nazi policy toward Jews prior to the confinement of Jews to ghettos and concentration camps, when the policy of "aryanization" was primarily implemented by "encouraging" Jewish emigration.

The description by cal lash of a bureaucratic absorption is accurate, since the U.S. Department of Homeland Security absorbed many previously independent cabinet level and other agencies and departments.

An organizational diagram demonstrating the extent of the interlocking web of the total "Homeland Defense and Security Structure" can be found here:


The bureaucratic reorganization and concentration that went into the creation of the Department of Homeland Security also reminds me of another Nazi creation, the RSHA, which in 1939 combined the various security services and law enforcement agencies (including the police) into a single department controlled by the SS. "Himmler's assumption of total control over all security and police forces in Germany was the crucial precondition for the establishment and growth of the SS state."

Of course, the analogy is hardly perfect, but the centralization of lines of control is of potential interest. Certainly it lays the groundwork, deliberately or not, for a true concentration of power rather than the paper tiger the DHS currently exists as.

"But neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Brennan was eager to take on the C.I.A. too often. “The C.I.A. gets what it needs,” Mr. Obama declared at one early meeting, according to people there. “He didn’t want them to feel like he was an enemy,” said a former aide."


Note: some problems with this link freezing and closing windows.

"The CIA gets what it needs"
I repeat, Obama was on the CIA HOOK from the get go.
Not even Peter Pan could save him.
Obama, to Generals, Capture Osama
CIA to Seal Team, Do not take Osama alive.
Obama I want to not have feet on the ground in the Middle East.
CIA, no problem. Gives us blanket authority on Drones.

The CIA is the 'gestapo" of U.S. military forces.It is they who tortured,assassinated,and infiltrated.The fact that they have a
secret budget scares the hell out of me and should scare everybody who remembers how the German field marshalls were continually overuled and cowed by the Gestapo.The basic truths of life are always the best.If it has to be done in secret it is either illegal,morally wrong,or sinful.

La Tolteca.


lots of history

We always conceal our problems in orwellian terms.

It helps to keep the rubes from catching on.

Like supply side economics is really good for you, common man.

The really funny part is when people start believing in what they are told by management.

I kind of laugh now when they blather on, because it is always the same old shite.

Four thousand years ago, Pharaoh's ministers sold crap down the pyramid to those who built it.

Well, at least we get cheap bread and circuses for our masses.

The really important stuff is done behind closed doors.

Hence- "Homeland Insecurity", because if we solved our security problems, a giant bureaucracy would be shut down.

The part I really like is anyone who has signed up for "deferred action", now we know who you are, where you work, and where you can be found by our new friends in Homeland Security when we decide to once again exert control on illegal immigration.

Poor Dreamers- I refer to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

Brilliant, concise and tragically true writing, Jon.

It seems we have once again lost that strong emotional, intelligent voice of reason and wisdom, Soleri? Hopefully after the New Year floats in he will once again appear, maybe as Paul Atreides, and bring the planets a source of Melange that will quiet the violence that plagues Earth. In the meantime I look forward to retreating further into the Great Sonoran Desert, what’s left of it.

Oregon and Frank Herbert
After his novel The Dragon in the Sea was published in 1957, Herbert traveled to Florence, Oregon, at the north end of the Oregon Dunes.


No doubt soleri will be around...and around and around: my network of confidential informants tells me he took a traveling job as Baron Harkonnen's amanuensis, cal lash.

I'm afraid I never could get into the Dune series. Space opera that dotes on the perverse and the grotesque, "spiced" with a load of looney rubbish. Besides, once I discovered that Andy Rooney was the Kwisatz Haderach it kind of ruined the ending:


"In the meantime I look forward to retreating further into the Great Sonoran Desert, what’s left of it."

If you're not careful, you'll lose your wi-fi connection.

I am a fan of Looney Tunes and Rubbish.
It's a break from the cold unemotional world of Factoids.

cal lash wrote:

"...that strong emotional, intelligent voice of reason and wisdom, Soleri..."

But will he walk us uptown?


I suppose I should give cal lash a chance to poke fun at something I read. Recently, because I like mystery and detective novels, I tried If The Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr. It's also a "historical novel" so it straddles two genres.

It's set in Berlin in 1934 where the Nazis are just getting started, and (in the second half) in a Batista-run (1954) Cuba whose economy is dominated by gangsters but overshadowed by military repression and left-wing conspiracies.

The protagonist was formerly a detective in the Berlin police but resigned after the Nazis began restructuring it. His lineage makes him 1/8 Jewish which gives an interesting complication to the story.

Another word we use now that seems like propaganda is "warrior" in place of the words veteran or serviceman. Usually used as "wounded warrior" it just seems like something you would read in science fiction fantasy novel.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)