B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Archive for the ‘bridge’ tag

Icy River – Washington Bridge was uploaded to Flickr

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Chicago River

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/iZwnmL

I took Icy River – Washington Bridge on January 06, 2014 at 01:36PM

Chicago River

Written by eggplant

January 26th, 2014 at 11:09 am

Your Language Remains Unvarying

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Your Language Remains Unvarying
Your Language Remains Unvarying

Franklin/Orleans bridge over the Chicago River.

Hipstamatic Tinto 1948 lens, C-Type Plate film.

Written by Seth Anderson

August 9th, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , ,

Government Disaster Relief Should Be Automatic

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Sadly, the idea that government is a problem has consumed American politics to the point that it is ridiculous. Politicians decry the very job they are requesting, then once in office, continue the dismantling of the government from the inside, defunding agencies, reducing government income, and so on. This is often a right wing concept, unfortunately, not exclusively. The hypocrisy is more rank when natural disaster relief becomes a television talking point, such as when enemies of the civilized world like Senator Tom Coburn demand national spending cuts to offset Oklahoma disaster relief, but when this proved to be unpopular with his fellow Senators1, then there were mealy-mouthed phrases from co-conspirator Senator James Inhofe about how Hurricane Sandy relief was filled with pork, and relief for Oklahoma is totally, totally different. 

Remember a day when people became politicians to help their nation? Not line their pockets and their friends pockets?2

Talk about taking the country back, I’d like to take the government away from those who would destroy it. The entire point of having a civilization is to collectivize responsibility, ideally with consent of the governed. Disaster relief, maintaing sewage systems, roads, educating our kids, parks, and so on, paid for with voluntarily collected taxes from all of us. The government should be responsible for more than just fielding a military and monitoring women’s uteruses. 

I Doubt That Is True
I Doubt That Is True

David Sirota writes:

It all suggests that the anti-government zeitgeist in America has become so powerful that public officials now feel compelled to downplay the public sector for fear of being tarred and feathered as a socialist, a Marxist or an opportunist unduly “politicizing” a tragedy.

Of course, avoiding a discussion of the government’s role at times like these is, unto itself, a politicized decision — one promoting the illusion that we don’t need government. And no matter how much anti-government conservatives deny it, that is an illusion.

Think about it: When you find yourself riveted by disaster response coverage on television, what you are really watching underneath all the graphics and breathless punditry is footage of government in action.

Think about it: Whether dealing with a hurricane on the East Coast, a fertilizer plant explosion in Texas or a tornado in Oklahoma, government remains the best, most powerful and most reliable defender against and responder to large-scale emergencies.

Think about it: For every headline-grabbing story of a private citizen rescuing another individual, there are scores of never-told stories of police officers, firefighters, first responders, public school teachers, government-created warning systems, public hospitals and emergency management agencies saving hundreds of lives and/or rebuilding whole communities. Those stories, in fact, are rarely told because for all the petulant anti-government whining that dominates American politics, we’ve come to so expect such a strong public sector response that it’s barely even considered newsworthy.

That expectation, by the way, is not something to lament.

(click here to continue reading There’s no substitute for government disaster relief – Salon.com.)

Steve Benen adds:

It’s worth emphasizing that there may not be a fight over disaster relief because a congressional bill may ultimately be unnecessary — FEMA has not yet exhausted its reserves.

But if a funding bill is necessary, there appears to be little appetite for another political fight like the last one.

Here’s hoping we’ll see a return to traditional American norms when it comes to post-disaster aid. For generations, Congress didn’t fight over offsets in the wake of a crisis, it simply moved to help American communities in their time of need. That changed after Republicans took control of the House in 2010, but given GOP reactions yesterday, we may be seeing the first signs that the party is rethinking the utility of its posture.

(click here to continue reading Steering clear of another disaster-relief fight – The Maddow Blog.)

Division Street Bridge
Division Street Bridge

We’ve written for years about America’s politicians puzzling reluctance to invest in infrastructure repair. Instead of forcing ExxonMobil or General Electric or Apple to pay taxes, Washington diddles, and the infrastructure continues to decay. I guess if a bridge collapsed outside of Tulsa, perhaps some of our nation’s D grade bridges could get repaired. Well, at least those in that state. Maybe if the bridge that collapsed was in Virginia, the government might pay attention. Or not. 

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, Illinois’s Report Card Grade is a D+, although our bridges are a C+. 

  • 2,311 of the 26,514 bridges in Illinois (8.7%) are considered structurally deficient.
  • 1,976 of the 26,514 bridges in Illinois (7.5%) are considered functionally obsolete.
  • Illinois received $115.8 million from the Federal Highway Bridge Fund in FY2011.

How’s your state rank?

Footnotes:
  1. remember the Hurrican Sandy relief fiasco? The Republicans do []
  2. Ok, this probably rarely happened, even in the “ole” days []

Written by Seth Anderson

May 24th, 2013 at 9:41 am

I Forgot All The Rest was uploaded to Flickr

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Kinzie Street Bridge

embiggen by clicking http://flic.kr/p/dtd25H

I Forgot All The Rest was taken on September 22, 2012 at 04:52PM

Written by eggplant

November 24th, 2012 at 11:28 am

Lamar Street Bridge was uploaded to Flickr

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Lamar Street Bridge

Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: Watts
Film: Blanko Noir
Flash: Off

embiggen by clicking http://flic.kr/p/doZBSv

Lamar Street Bridge was taken on October 29, 2012 at 04:59PM

Written by eggplant

October 31st, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Lamar Bridge in B&W was uploaded to Flickr

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Lamar Bridge in B&W

Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: Watts
Film: BlacKeys SuperGrain
Flash: Off

embiggen by clicking http://flic.kr/p/dpdmVU

Lamar Bridge in B&W was taken on October 29, 2012 at 04:59PM

Written by eggplant

October 31st, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Promises That Might Come True After A While

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Promises That Might Come True After A While

Ogden

Click to embiggen: http://flic.kr/p/dk38y8

Written by eggplant

October 15th, 2012 at 4:02 pm