There comes a point in time when one really has to question our constitutional right of free speech for everybody in this country. Should there not also be a certain amount of responsibility associated with such ‘freedom’? While this might not be enforceable, we think, however, that when such “free speech or freedom of speech” becomes part of the public domain, there should be some responsibility associated with such action. Be it on television, on the radio airwaves or even in print in our multiple media publications. Is it perfectly all right for individuals or organizations to make statements that stop flirting with the borders of rationality and dive wholeheartedly into the deepest depths of the absurd?
Case in point is the recent Minnesota bridge collapse over the Mississippi. This tragedy was not even a few hours old when certain individuals and groups blamed the President for this totally unexpected event. Yes, it was President George W. Bush who was to blame for this. In their incredible logic they espoused that this could have been prevented were it not for the War in Iraq and other misguided policies of the Administration. Even the Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found it correct in his ‘great wisdom’ to blame publicly the lack of focus on infrastructure priorities on the part of President Bush’ and his administration for the Minnesota bridge collapse disaster. In other words, were it not for the war, America would have allocated more money for infrastructure. This is the absolute height of irresponsibility on Reid’s part and it is sad that such a person is the leader in the U.S. Senate.
Harry, why do you choose to relate every issue to President Bush?
Let’s visit the realities in this matter: This particular bridge over the Mississippi was built in the mid sixties (i.e. forty years ago) with Federal and Minnesota State funds. The Federal Funds came from the Highway Trust Fund created in 1956 by the Highway Revenue Act, its funding coming from tax revenues from excise taxes on highway motor fuels. It is generally known that the Interstate Highway system in the country is built with funds from the Federal government at approx. 80 percent of the costs, the other 20 percent coming from State funds together with assuming full responsibility for future maintenance (163.03) and repairs. In other words, once a highways or bridges are built, the States take full responsibility for its future and that includes the maintenance and possible repairs for such highways and bridges. This is not to exclude the possibility of potential cost sharing of such repairs by the States with the Federal government. The mechanism for this is a routinely passed Federal Transportation bill every five years or so and such bills are initiated by Congress. We cannot ignore mentioning the fact that this is for all lawmakers in Congress an opportunity to request and include funds for projects in their respective States. Unfortunately, it is many times misused for truly “porky” projects in amounts of many billions of dollars. Does anybody remember the bridge to nowhere in Alaska for 250 million dollars that was approved in the U.S. Senate by an overwhelming majority vote?
What is amazing since the bridge collapsed is the nearly total silence on the part of elected officials and public figures in Minnesota from the governor on down when it comes to finding fault for this tragedy. We think it is because they know the laws and know that if blame is to be found, it will be at the State level. While there are still efforts under way to retrieve victims from the disaster, investigations in to the causes of this event are being done and it will take reportedly months before the true causes of the bridge collapse will be fully known.
Now back to those who already know who is to blame for this disaster? These irresponsible people should be ashamed for having said and written what they did. Their hatred for the President is unbelievably numbing their brains to the point that one has to wonder if such a state of mind could be compared to self-inflicted lobotomies. What will these people do come late January, 2009 when no matter what happens, there will be another occupant in the White House, elected as President? They will most likely suffer from major withdrawal symptoms and will have a hard time ‘getting a life’, as the saying goes. The one major exception in this bunch, however, is Harry Reid, the Leader in the Senate. We have to ask: Are the Democrat Senators and the party membership at large content with his outrageous statements? Or will they consider reminding him that statements such as his on this tragedy are in the long run detrimental to their causes and political goals? Time will tell, we will keep watching.
This article and others on Back to Common Sense are designed to provoke further thought and investigation. It is not the intent for the articles to be politically biased. Sources are referenced in each article to encourage readers to delve into the supporting material. We welcome all readers to participate with their point of view either in support or contrary with additional information sources.