Boston continues to be a city run by belligerent asshats. Last week it shut down several major transporation routes in order to handle the Imminent Dire Threat of LEDs; now they’ve managed to bully Turner and its advertising agency into paying $2 million in restitution for Boston’s own overreaction to the battery-operated signs.
“Last week’s events caused a major disruption in the greater Boston area on many levels — crippling public transportation, causing serious traffic problems, negatively affecting local businesses and perhaps most significantly, costing Boston and surrounding communities thousands of dollars,” [MA AG Martha] Coakley said.
That’s nothing compared to the credibility lost by the Boston fuzz, but putting a dollar amount on that won’t be quite so easy. Half the settlement will go to defray agency costs; the other half is for future
Vaterland Homeland Security measures.
Over the weekend I had some time to think about what happened, and I’m still pretty solidly convinced that the authorities in Boston went way, way over the top. While it could be argued that a nonfunctioning device hanging in a public space (complete with wires and such) might be regarded as potentially threatening, once it had been collected and destroyed — pretty standard fare for bomb squads — even a cursory examination would have shown it to be harmless.
The point being, of course, that followup reports of other devices in similar locations shouldn’t result in the sorts of shrill hysteria we saw.
And suppose these things really were destructive in nature. How, exactly, was the Bostoninan reponse meant to be a civil defense measure? Fomenting panic for hours and shutting down major transportation routes is hardly conducive to maintaining civil order — nor to evacuating any affected areas, should it be necessary.
I’m aware that some of the 11 September ’01 hijackers left from Logan Airport, and for that reason Boston is possibly a little gunshy still; but New York City was a major target — and that city had also been spammed by the advertising campaign, and didn’t react in any way like Boston did.
Thus, with some of the dust settled, it seems pretty clear that a lot of the fierce screaming we’re still hearing echoes of really is a case of embarrassment — well-deserved — on the part of Massachusetts public officials: Trying to blame others for their own lack of sensibility or thoughtfulness.
Speaking of which, Il Duce is back in Fantasyland. He’s proposed a budget this year of $2.9 trillion dollars — with a straight face! — and suggests that the Fed will be deficit-free by 2012.
Yes, that’s right: Borrow-and-spend Bush is predicting, despite his runaway Iraq débâcle and insane tax cuts, that it will take just five years to neutralize a $413 billion debt. The one he sank this nation into in about the same amount of time.
His plan does not have fans.
“The president’s budget is filled with debt and deception, disconnected from reality and continues to move America in the wrong direction,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D. …
The federal deficit hit an all-time high under Bush of $413 billion in 2004. It has been declining since that time and the 2008 budget projects it will continue to decline and show a surplus in 2012, three years after Bush leaves office.
To accomplish those reductions, Bush would allow only modest growth in the government programs outside of defense and homeland security. He is proposing eliminations or sharp reductions in 141 government programs, for a savings over five years of $12 billion, although Congress has rejected many of the same proposals over the past two years.
In other words, by decreasing taxation at the rate of $160 billion a year, Bush plans to magic up the money needed to cover a $400 billion shortfall — and he’s not even looking at what’s going to happen to this nation in the next few years, when 78 million Boomers start retiring … and expecting benefits.
I’m not sure what the problem is here. I mean, I don’t know what Bush doesn’t seem to grasp. The only way his asininity could possibly work would be for Iraq and Afghanistan combined to cost only (“only”) $145 billion in 2008, $90 billion in 2009, and nothing at all thereafter. We’d have to have absolutely no other international crises of any sort,* no internal health or welfare failures — meaning that the H5N1 cases in the UK now must not spread to the US and certainly must not mutate into human-infectious form; and of course we’ll have to have no Katrinas.
He’s tossing dice, folks, and he’s betting us against a house that is absolutely crooked, in the sense that reality cheats, if you happen to live in an imaginary world.
And we’re in for some serious shit here. Exxon has begun looking into carbon-control technology — apparently voluntarily — and today in NW AZ we’re hitting 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is supposed to be the coldest time of the year, and it’s abundantly clear that environmental change is taking place and accelerating.
Yet this Textard thinks things will be perfectly smooth and predictable over the next half decade.
Just like he thought things would be back in 2000.
* Presumably Iran and North Korea will simply evaporate.
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