October 10, 2008
While the markets are in free fall and the economy in turmoil, we read that AIG, which received a couple of big federal checks, is throwing parties. And then there is this story: 20 officials from the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Division are in Hawaii this week at a cost to taxpayers of $44,000. The announced purpose is to discuss future technologies for preventing terrorism with international partners.
The delegation is led by Undersecretary Jay Cohen, who can be seen wearing a beaded lei in a live stream of his speech.
I am all for conferences with international partners to combat terrorism, but in these days of economic challenges and people getting their IRA quarterly statements, is Hawaii really the best place to hold such an event? What about an Internet chat room with video? That would cost nothing and everybody could be just as connected. The excuse will be that this was planned long before the financial turmoil. Maybe so. But it’s our money and $44,000 of it is too much to spend. See Thursday’s Washington Times for more details.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.