Department of [Your Name Here] Security


The results are in! The ever vigilant Department of Fear conducted a poll last month on the right new name for the Department of Homeland Security. More than 3,000 votes were tallied. Here are the final standings:


The winner was "Name After Buyer" -- for instance, Department of Haliburton Security, or Department of Saudi Binladen Group Security. My favorite, Scaredycatland Security, was a respectable second. Many other write-in suggestions are shown at the site, for instance: "BENDOVER: Bureau of Ending National Debate Over Violation of Everyone's Rights."

Thanks to all who voted. And you have to admit that even though the results aren't binding and no official change will be made, the odious term "Homeland" is already pretty close to the spirit of the suggested new names.
UPDATE: I had missed the video below, produced by the authorities at Glacier Park International Airport, Montana, to make fun of security-theater excesses while still getting across the requisite info. In combination with the cheesecake-ishly campy but highly effective Cebu Pacific safety video mentioned recently, it does make you wonder why there has to be such a humorless/fearful tone to so much of the modern airline/airport experience these days. But I suppose the Department of Fear approves of the current approach. Thanks to David King.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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