I heard this morning that the Governor of Minnesota has called for an emergency inspection of all bridges in the state with the same structure as the one that collapsed.
I may well be missing something here, but my understanding is that there is already a national bridge inspection database, which rated the collapsed bridge as unsafe in 1990. We don't need an emergency inspection sweep, we need to do something about the bridges which have already been inspected and rated unsafe.
It was said that the unsafe rating was not significant because there were 77,000 other bridges with the same rating in the country. To me, this seems like saying that DUI related deaths are not significant because there are hundreds of them every year. The fact that there are lots of a bad thing does not make the thing better. Maybe I'm just missing the logic here.
Michael Stackpole has refered to the relationship between authors and readers as an ongoing game of Name That Tune. That the reader is constantly thinking, "Oh, I know how this ends," and it is the author's responsibility to say "No, you don't." If the author is right, and the reader gets to the end thinking, "I see how we got here, and it makes perfect sense, but I never saw it coming," the author has succeeded. If the reader was right, they're unlikely to ever read that author again.
I'm inclined to think that Michael is right, at least most of the time. I know it's been true for the books I have enjoyed the most. There have been a couple of cases of books that were very predictable that I enjoyed immensely, but they have tended toward cliché books which are a literary equivalent of B-movies. Immensely fun, but not high art.
OK, I think it may be time to finally address this issue.
What do I think about illegal immigrants? I think they're here illegally and should be deported. Categorically. I think that they are not entitled to any benefits of our society such as public education and welfare. Instead, they need to be on the next bus, train, boat, plane, whatever, to send them back home.
I'm not against immigrants in the least. I'm just against illegal immigrants.
I've heard the argument that we need them to sustain our economy, as they will take the jobs that "American's" won't. I say we up the immigration quotas if that's true. I've no objection to them being here and working and living and playing etc. What I object to is the fact that they have effectively line-jumped those who are trying to come in legally. I object to the fact that they want the benefits of our society (i.e. medical care or education) without supporting it (e.g. paying taxes).
I've heard another argument that there are too many of them to deport. "Heck," they say, "look at the fact that we couldn't even effectively evacuate New Orleans. How are we going to transport all the illegal aliens?" To which I say, we're never going to do it if we don't start. It's not like I think we can round them all up simultaneously. If we transport them as we catch them, I have to believe that it's an achievable goal.
Personally, I'm more interested in addressing this aspect than in "tightening borders." I don't think we can practically close the borders. But in the current climate, the view for an alien is that once they're in, they're golden. If we change that to once you're in, you're a criminal fugitive, there's less incentive to enter illegally. Make it better to follow the rules than break them, and shockingly more people will follow those rules.
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