Friday, August 03, 2007

Bridges to Nowhere

Hurtling through space in confusion is not the experience one expects to have while crossing a bridge on the way home. Alas as events in Minneapolis have shown such things might become more common. Those with existing bridge phobias, and there are many, feel a little less crazy at the moment.

The reaction of the media, congress, and the general public is a bit puzzling since the problems with the infrastructure of the United States have been remarked upon many times in the past 30 years or so. What is the surprise? For many years the bridges in major American cities have been the subject of concern and derision. As an example Manhattan's 59th Street Bridge was falling apart in the mid-1980s as were other spans around the country. Some bridges had maintenance stepped up or resumed. Many cities has postponed the work to save money, or rather apply the funds to vote getting projects like welfare.

Maintenance is not glamorous or interesting, even though it does require workers thereby creating jobs; something one would imagine even politicians would notice. The preference is to build new bridges like the new Ted Stevens bridge in Alaska. This 250 million dollar project connects an obscure island to the mainland allowing its 50 residents access during the summer. In winter they cross over the frozen lake so it is only a part time bridge. It's possible that the money could have been spent more wisely elsewhere but Stevens called in favors and got his way. Now it seems he might be on the way to prison so perhaps the bridge won't get built after all.

The public has the right to expect that structures paid for with tax dollars should stand the test of time. In Europe there are bridges and tunnels that have been in constant use for more than 2000 years, why can't the US build them to last at least 200 years? Corruption in public works is endemic of course, so much so that it has become a joke. It's hard to laugh when someone is killed because someone else wants to get rich.

What can be expected in the after math of the I-35 bridge collapse? Most likely there will be hearings, blame assignment, promises, outrage, and then a return to the status quo until the next disintegration; which will probably sooner than one expects.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Hilarity Continues

The new "Hawkish Dove" Barack Obama has left his nest and squawked out his intentions. Apparently stung by Mrs. Bill Clinton's comments which pointed out his naivete and lack of "gravitas", Obama outlined his new strategy for peace. This daring plan calls for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and their reassignment as invaders of Pakistan.

Of course the left leaning NPR media embraced his remarks as "strong" and predicted that Mrs. Bill Clinton will have to say something similar as the Democrats are known to be weak on national defense. Being weak on national defense is one thing but the call for an invasion of an ally on the simple basis that that ally is not capable of controlling its own territory is something else and something quite new for the United States.

Further the children now in charge of the Democrat Party and the US Congress are playing romper room with the nation's ability to detect terror plots against the homeland and other places. The Bush administration has been begging for a FISA court procedural streamlining for months. The Democrats have been foot dragging at the behest of the ACLU, MoveOn.Org, and others whose whining complaints border on the ludicrous. Now, on the verge of their aptly named summer recess, the Democrat leadership is willing to work on passing the necessary changes. Work, not promise to change. The impetus for this course correction is the fear that an attack might occur during their recess period and the blame would fall on them for failing to make intelligence gathering and sharing less difficult.

There is a fly in the ointment though. The sticking point is Alberto Gonzales and his role as attorney general in obtaining future wiretap warrants. Apparently the caveat is the Mr. Gonzales may not do his constitutional job if the Democrats are to fix the existing system. The Kindergarten Cops of the Democrat Party are going to take their ball and go home if they can't have their way. These people can not be trusted to protect the nation.

The ultra (loony) left actually believe that if Islam should succeed in its goal of world domination they would be spared. This collection of infidels which includes adulterers, atheists, pedophiles, drunks, drug users, and the rest will be the first to go. There will be no love only convert or die.

Barack Obama now has no chance of being nominated as the Democrat Party presidential candidate. He had only a slim one to begin with. Charges of US racism have been leveled at the Republican electorate, but only Democrats can nominate for their party. Does this mean that if they fail to nominate Barack that Democrats are racists?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Light Begins To Dawn

The controversy over Iraq is beginning to resemble a Kafka novel. One may fairly imagine the members of the looney left wondering just what their lives mean. After basking in the election results, unreasonably, they flexed their muscles and bullied the Democrat Party leadership into heading for the precipice. Yesterday a notable shift began.

The main allies of the uber liberals is the print media and some television outlets. These friends have begun to shift away from defeat by proxy in Iraq and now realize the imminent danger to the Democrat Party such a result would present. Of course Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi don't get it because they need the money provided by the slobbering masses of MoveOn.Org and the Daily Kos. The brilliant people on the left are apparently self diagnosed as their is no evidence that they are able to communicate their ideas and emotions in any civil fashion. Their behavior continues to resemble toddlers. One can only hope that they will hold their breath and turn blue.

So now with the "surge" succeeding the howls of pain are related to the politic situation. This is of course natural and reasonable. The Iraqi Shia want revenge, a time honored behavior in Islam, and will string out reconciliation as long as possible. Apparently the Sunnis are waking up to the fact that if the US leaves they will be exterminated by their peace loving Islamic brethren. So cooperation with allied forces and rejection of Al Qeada has become a worthy strategy. Some of the more mature left wingers realize this too and want to avoid being blamed for the genocide that will follow their recommended course of action.

The middle and right wing of American politics must not deride this return to rationality by some members of the left. Rather it must be welcomed as a unifying act on the part of fellow citizens and a hopeful sign that the United States will preserve its interests without further damaging its influence.