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Thursday, December 06, 2007


For want of a nail...

...the kingdom was lost. That's the old version. The new version is: for want of a minute's worth of war spending, something that could save lives was lost.

I briefly mentioned the huge oil spill in San Francisco Bay, but one thing that has come out since then is this: this oil spill was triggered when a huge container ship grazed one of the pilings. If a similar container ship actually hit the support head-on, it could bring down the bridge. Which brings us to today's news:

Less than a month after the worst oil spill in San Francisco Bay in more than a decade, a high-tech system that ship captains and pilots use to reduce the risk of accidents is in danger of being shut down next summer for lack of money.
And what is the whopping expense which might cause that to happen?
The system requires about $250,000 a year to operate.
Which is actually, by my calculations, about 54 seconds worth of war spending. Or even less if you take into account future spending which is guaranteed to follow (medical care for wounded veterans, interest on the debt, etc.)

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