Resort of the Living Dead

Our guest columnist is Senator Tom Coburn, criticizing what we think is an excellent use of government funds.

One notable training-related event that was deemed an allowable expense by DHS was the HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit 2012. Held at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa on an island outside San Diego, the 5-day summit was deemed an allowable expense by DHS, permitting first responders to use grant funds for the $1,000 entrance fee. Event organizers described the location for the training event as an island paradise: “the exotic beauty and lush grandeur of this unique island setting that creates a perfect backdrop for the HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit. This luxury resort features over 460 guestrooms, five pools, three fantastic restaurants overlooking the bay, a world-class spa and state-of-the-art fitness center. Paradise awaits…”

The marquee event over the summit, however, was its highly-promoted “zombie apocalypse” demonstration. Strategic Operations, a tactical training firm, was hired to put on a “zombie-driven show” designed to simulate a real-life terrorism event. The firm performed two shows on Halloween, which featured 40 actors dressed as zombies getting gunned down by a military tactical unit. Conference attendees were invited to watch the shows as part of their education in emergency response training. [HALO President Brad] Barker explained that, “the idea is to challenge authorities as they respond to extreme medical situations where people become crazed and violent, creating widespread fear and disorder.”

According to the firm’s public relations manager, the exercise was brought about “utilizing Hollywood magic,” and setup in a “parking lot-sized movie set [with] state-of-the-art structures, pyrotechnic battlefield effects, medical special effects, vehicles and blank-firing weapons.” Barker added, however, “This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume party.”

Safety At Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities [Tom Coburn, via Daily Caller]

13 comments:

5:11 pm • Wednesday • December 5, 2012

Every time I see one of these worthless GOP shills whinging about “waste”, I want to staple a summary of the BILLIONS in subsidies we’ve given to Big Oil while it’s been drawing record profits. Until they’re willing to talk about that, everything else is just pandering to the “gubmint don’t do nuttin good, now hand me my Social Security check” Dumbfuckistan crowd.

5:24 pm • Wednesday • December 5, 2012

Probably thought it was a video game.

5:38 pm • Wednesday • December 5, 2012

@al2o3cr: I love the word “whinging”. Doesn’t get used enough. In America, anyway.

6:26 pm • Wednesday • December 5, 2012

@nojo:

I blame Frisky Dingo for it sneaking into my posts. :)

1:05 am • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@nojo: An island outside of San Diego? What island would that be? Hawaii?

3:56 am • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@Dodgerblue: The “island” is the stretch of Ingraham between two bridges on Mission Bay, near Sea World. I’ve only frequently driven that stretch over ten years on the way to PB, and “island” never crossed my mind. But, technically, true.

Also true: One of those bridges lands on the intersection where Kony 2012 dude whacked off.

7:22 am • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@nojo: My lovely wife used to hang out in PB when she was in college at UCSD.

2:16 pm • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@nojo: Does the old PB Brewhouse still exist in some fashion.

3:06 pm • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@Dodgerblue: I thought the same thing. Island? I used to live in Crown Point (lived in SD for about 20 years, relocated to TX in 2004 then to MO in 2012), and THAT is no island. It is a nice little hangout, though. The bar there is pretty big.
I used to jog from Crown Point to PB and sit at Lahaina’s til sundown.
Good times.
I’ve been trying to get back since 2005…. *sigh*

3:11 pm • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@Targa: Don’t know. I used to camp out at a PB coffeehouse, but in recent years the Stinque Remote Office has switched to University Heights, a few miles up the road from the Zoo. (For which I seem to provide directions every week or two: “Head straight that way.”) Easier drive.

5:37 pm • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@nojo: Is that near an area called Hillcrest? One time I wandered around that neighborhood poking into book stores until it hit me that they generally only carried a narrowly focused set of topics, so to speak. Pretty funny experience for me.

6:01 pm • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@DElurker: Yup. Hillcrest is between me and coffee.

I’ve never figured out which neighborhood I live in — given the borders, I have my choice of three, all of which are misleading.

a narrowly focused set of topics, so to speak

Yes, Hillcrest is what passes for the Castro in these parts…

9:55 pm • Thursday • December 6, 2012

@nojo: Hillcrest is where the Religious Right where assigned their hotel accommodations during the Repug convention. That was even funnier than my experience. I wish I had been there then sitting in a lawn chair watching the goings on. Some heads must have exploded

During my little visit there I saw a crew at the bar kitty-corner to the Starbucks that were dress like the Village People.

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