Friday, June 24, 2005

I don't get it.

Before I get into the meat of this post, two quick things. First, thank you's to those who replied to yesterday's post. I don't want to get into it again, in another post, so suffice it to say that I think I'm just not enjoying my path at the moment. Of course that's probably due to residual law school and would-be studying for the bars.

Second, sometimes it's difficult to find a post topic. I'm always loathe to write about recent legal items which I only know about from the news pieces since the news pieces are completely unreliable (in my opinion) for legal news. (Plus I don't want to write anything legally wrong here if I *am* to be a lawyer. That would ironic and bad. Mostly both.) I'd have no problem giving some random, useless entertainment bits like Tom Cruise arguing with Matt Lauer (yeah, Tom comes off a bit crazy these days) or Lohan being knocked around by Herbie (Score, Lohan: 0, Herbie: 1) except those topics are inherently vacuous. I don't want to make that the thrust of my post(s). Unless I want to.

Instead, today we have UConn offering master's degree in homeland security. (More informative report here and here.)
The University of Connecticut wants to launch a new, mostly online master's degree program in homeland security in which much of the learning would take place in a doomed city in cyberspace.

The interdisciplinary program would teach the finer points of guiding cities and companies through terrorist attacks, with many of the scenarios played out in a detailed virtual city called San Luis Rey, dubbed the city where "all bad things happen."

The city would be besieged by various calamities, such as suicide bombers and biochemical attacks, during the 20-month course to help teach students about various policies and strategies.

The city would have all the details of a real city, including an international airport, a water treatment plant, a police chief and even a specific number of citizens. The instructor could make a disaster happen in the city and have students respond and explain their decisions.
First, yay to UConn for being in the national news spotlight. Second, boo for offering a course that is, in my opinion, so pandering. I'm sorry but I just don't see homeland security as a legitimate focus of study.

Yes, we should be prepared for disasters and part of this preparation involves practice and response procedures. But this is enough, this training, to constitute the basis for a master's degree? That's just not right. If this were some special extra course, or maybe courses in college, that would be one thing. But to say, "Okay folks, for the next 20 months we will be studying disasters and how we respond to them. Oh yeah, at the end you'll have earned your Master's degree." How?

I'm picturing Tommy Lee Jones' character's job in the movie Volcano. You too can get an MBA to learn (intimately I assume) what he does.

Again, how?!?!?

And my favorite line...
"There is a big growing demand for people who understand what homeland security is." (CHDS)
Like our president does? If that's the case, 'homeland security' is a method by which one can attempt to ensure the safety of one's populace against unexpected, guerrilla-style attacks, such protection coming at the expense of various liberties, rights and privileges the populace formerly enjoyed.

Since I can accurately define the term, does that mean I'm now in high demand? Or does it simply mean I've made it on the watchlist? (And if the latter, please let me know now so I can budget an extra 6-72 hours for that trip to Italy in August.)