The Jersey Barrier


I mean, if we absolutely have to have plague-infested mice and vials of anthrax spores go missing, why not in New Jersey where they are least likely to do harm? Every living Garden State creature, sentient and Soprano alike, has been well-doused for decades leaving them prepared for yet another toxic assault. In fact, this seems something of a local pattern:

In September, a Newark health research lab lost track of three mice infected with the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague.

The mice were never located, and officials said the rodents might have been stolen, eaten by other lab animals or just misplaced in a paperwork error.

Ah, yes that is better. Either the people in charge of anthrax and plague cannot count to three or Jersey harbors creatures which eat plague mice. Might that be the plague python? The plague cat?

Meanwhile, Rutgers microbiologist Richard Ebright again makes the common-sense observation that a nation truly worried about another terror attack would not be doing what the U.S. has deliberately done since 9/11, which is to disperse ever-more deadly weapons and substances to ever-more locations across the country:

Ebright said the U.S. should store all its hazardous bio-agents at a single, secure location rather than having them scattered across the country.

"If an adversary of the United States, such as al-Qaida, wanted to obtain this material, the most effective, simple procedure to do so is to plant a person in one of those numerous institutions that the administration has put in place working with this material," he said. "Because the number of those institutions has increased and because it happened without an increase in effective security, the risk to the United States has dramatically increased."

Except New Jersey, which is protected by plague cats. I always knew being born in Camden would come in handy some day.