New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd really wants a national security system that looks really nice and has lots of fancy bells and whistles, but is, beneath the shiny exterior, quite mediocre and extremely expensive.
Dowd implied as much when she asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a New Years Eve interview, "Why is it so hard for those charged with keeping us safe to be as imaginative and innovative as filmmakers like James Cameron?"
Yes, Cameron is so imaginative that he managed to spend $400 million on what amounts to a visually dazzling remake of Disney's Pocahontas (see plot summary below the fold - h/t Big Hollywood).
Disney's James Cameron's
In 1607 2154, a ship carrying Johnake Smithully arrives in the lush "new world" of North America Pandora. The settlers are mining for gold unobtanium, under supervision of Governor Ratcliffe Colonel Quaritch. John Smith Jake Sully begins exploring the new territory, and encounters Pocahontas Neytiri. Initially she is distrustful of him, but a message from Grandmother Willow the Tree of Souls helps her overcome her trepidation. The two begin spending time together. Pocahontas Neytiri helps John Jake understand that all life is valuable, and how all nature is a connected circle of life. Furthermore she teaches him how to hunt, grow crops tame dragons, and of her culture. We find that her father is Chief Powhatan Eytukan, and that she is set to me barried to Kocoum Tsu'tey, a great warrior, but a serious man, whom Pocahontas Neytiri does not desire. Over time, John Jake and Pocahontas Neytiri find they have a love for each other. Back at the settlement, the men, who believe the natives are savages, plan to attack the natives for their gold unobtanium; Kocoum Tsu'tey tries to kill John Jake out of jealousy, but he is later killed by the settlers. As the settlers prepare to attack, John Jake is blamed by the Indians Na'vi, and is sentanced to death. Just before they kill him, the settlers arrive. Chief Powhatan Eytukan is nearly killed and John Jake sustains injuries from Governor Ratcliffe Colonel Quartich, who is then brought to justice shot with arrows. Pocahontas Neytiri risks her life to save John Jake. John Jake and Pocahontas Neytiri finally have each other, and the two cultures resolve their differences.
If DHS spent an ungodly sum of money on a security system that looked all fancy and high-tech but was really just the same old (dysfunctional) system we had had for years--the same way Avatar is the same old batch of Hollywood's hate-the-white-man cliches--would we really be better off? Dowd seems to think so. I am not so sure.