Majia here: Governments by nature must evaluate risks and plan for contingencies. That is what responsible government does.
So, given the abysmal US responses to Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil crisis, and the ongoing sink hole crisis in LA, among other crises, I do not find it strange or objectionable that the US government is trying to coordinate "homeland security" through federal partnerships with local and state agencies and organizations. SEE ORDER BELOW
I feel that the US LACKS adequate emergency planning and crisis management.
See my essay here on the dangers of place and the failure of modernity: http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Dangers-of-Place-and-t-by-majia-nadesan-120221-592.html
I am waiting to see how this order is actually implemented.
Problems, if they occur, are most likely to derive from greedy and corrupt government contractors and/or partners, and from government bureaucracies that take scenario planning to absurd or fascistic extremes.
So, I reserve judgment on concerns that this new executive order intrinsically signals ominous centralizing intents.
One can optimistically hope that local and state partnerships will enable speedy and appropriate responses aimed at helping people in times of crises.
I still hold out some hope....
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ESTABLISHING THE WHITE HOUSE
HOMELAND SECURITY PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to advance the Federal Government's use of local partnerships to address homeland security challenges, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government's ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined. Collaboration enables the Federal Government and its partners to use resources more efficiently, build on one another's expertise, drive innovation, engage in collective action, broaden investments to achieve shared goals, and improve performance. Partnerships enhance our ability to address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.
The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe "we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing." This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States....
b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof;
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or
(iii) the functions of the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties, and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 26, 2012.