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Safe and Secure

August 3, 2007

[UPDATE: Instead of this, go read Neil Shakespeare’s post on the same topic: FOUR AND A HALF DAYS IN IRAQ]

The roles government plays:

1. Safeguard and Protect: My thoughts are, of course, with the family and friends of the people killed in the Minnesota bridge collapse. But I am also struggling to wrap my thoughts around what I heard this morning: that the bridge had been classified as “structurally deficient” since the mid ’90s, and the incongruence of that with what I heard yesterday: that there were no weight restrictions in place for that bridge, and that there was a general lack of concern about the bridge structurally. (“I don’t think anyone anticipated breach of the levees.”) And this news article, inexplicably headlined: NTSB Chairman: Accident an ‘Anomaly’At least 73,533 of 607,363 bridges in the nation, or about 12 percent, were classified as “structurally deficient,” . . . according to 2006 statistics the Federal Highway Administration. — All of which reminds my thoughts of something else I read recently: When Infrastructure Attacks!

2. Discipline and Punish: Cops crack mystery of litter of loose changeThe driver was issued a citation for failure to prevent a leaking load. Lee said the situation merited some sort of penalty. — What hazardous material was the truck driver failing to prevent from leaking, and endangering a whole city of people? . . . Quarters. (Yes, the currency.) $8,000 worth. I’m sure the guy is in a boatload of shit at work over the incident, as they are a “security” company and concerned with “security” and all. But why must the police issue a citation for an honest mistake that harmed— as near as I can tell —no one? —

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