Bits of homeland stupidity

Hm, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. So, because I’m running out of space on my Firefox tab bar, here are a few stupid stories I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with all week.

  • A group of health organizations in California want to raise the state cigarette tax by $2.60 per pack to fund, among other things, cancer screening and insurance for low-income children. The proposal is expected to raise over $2 billion a year if it passes. Yet another reason to leave California.
  • The Transportation Security Administration has been conducting a three-day test, through Friday, where air marshals will patrol bus, train, ferry and subway systems. Apparently they’re tired of all that flying and shooting people in airports and want to try their luck on the ground.
  • And for the dumbest thing I’ve heard all week, the federal government actually has a National Response Plan (PDF) for “Incidents of National Significance” such as major hurricanes, terrorist attacks, etc. But a biennial exercise conducted last April shows that not everybody’s following the plan. The review (PDF) of the TOPOFF 3 “exercise highlighted – at all levels of government – a fundamental lack of understanding for the principles and protocols” in the National Response Plan.

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