Friday, June 02, 2006

Nothing to See Here, People. Move On.

(From top, Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art, United Nations)

As many of you probably know, the Department of Homeland Security recently decreased New York's anti-terror funds by 40 percent. What you may not have known is that one reason for the cutback was that the department didn't feel New York had any "national monuments or icons" worth protecting. Indiana was given $12 million to protect the world's largest ball of paint in Alexandria (no joke), but the Empire State Building, the United Nations, the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, the New York Public Library, Yankee Stadium, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and any number of high-profile bodegas evidently don't qualify as iconic.

The DHS isn't all about ignoring us, though. The original ABC report says:
The formula did note a commuter population of more than 16 million around the city twice struck by fundamentalist terrorists and twice more targeted in plots halted in pre-operational stages. It noted the more than eight million residents and the largest rail ridership in the nation -- more than five million. It is those commuters and rail riders who are expected to suffer most from the cuts since mass transit is listed on most DHS alerts as the top terror target.
From one of sixteen million: thanks, guys.

Mayor Bloomberg dares to suggest this isn't about protecting the ball of paint:
I think the facts are clear. What they've really done is taken what was supposed to be threat-based and just started to distribute it as normal pork.
Or, as a commenter over at The Stranger put it:
using "homeland security" to dole out cash to battleground house and senate races. despicable.
(Via The Stranger, via Modern Art Notes, via Daily Kos (the link to follow for the ball of paint and other jaw-droppers))



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