Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Today marks five weeks since the I-35 bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed. These five weeks have seen a colossal PR campaign where almost every story, interview or feature in the media has been spun to minimize the horror, protect the guilty and/or further political ends. With the notable exception of Minneapolis columnist Nick Coleman the media, indeed everyone in power has been trying to avoid placing responsibility for this incident. The Governor has had his hacks (including the already disgraced Dick Day) in all the media outlets shilling for him. The Lieutenant Governor, Carol Molnau (who is also the Commissioner of Transportation) has, after one petulant press conference, effectively disappeared. People I've spoken with who actually work for the City of Minneapolis state that the inspection program of the State Department of Transportation (responsible for the I-35 bridge) was extremely lax and the department was not run in a professional manner.

The last injured person will leave the hospital this week, facing years of therapy. All of the survivors are depicted as "lucky." And so the story will fade away. Without any expertise in the area whatsoever, I can just about guarantee that the final report on the collapse, which will be released after the 2008 election, will conclude that a combination of events led to the collapse, and no one is at fault.

Sickening. That these people are still in power, that they haven't been indicted, and, in the Governor's case, is using this sad affair to boost his own political fortunes, is revolting. This collapse was not an accident. It was the logical result of a political dogma that is child-like in its thinking: That the least amount of government is the best government. The world is a complicated place, and requires a complicated, co├Ârdinated, and, yes, an expensive approach to maintain a modern society.

I heard it was you
Talkin' 'bout a world
Where all is free
It just couldn't be
And only a fool would say that
And only a fool would say that
Only a fool...

- Walter Becker and Donald Fagen

By Professor Batty


Blogger Rose said...

Well said, Batty.

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