No, My City is the Biggest Deathtrap!

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The Department of Homeland Security is revamping its anti-terrorism grant strategy, funneling more cash to mid-size cities and slashing budgets for some major ones. New York, D.C., and Phoenix will take cuts; big winners Jacksonville and Sacramento can go ahead and order kevlar vests for their dogs. Mayors from cities on the short end of the anti-terror stick, not surprisingly, want the decision reversed. The result? Each mayor insists that his city is the most vulnerable, terrorist-coddling, al Qaeda-baiting bull's eye in these United States. Phoenix mayor Phillip Gordon swears his city is chock-full of targets. And Mayor Bloomberg offers New Yorkers this bit of reassurance:

"When you stop a terrorist, they have a map of New York City in their pocket," he said. "They don't have a map of any of the other 45 places."

In Reason's March ish, Veronique de Rugy uncovered the sorry state and stunning waste of homeland security spending.

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  1. Yowzah, O-town got 9mil. The Mouse is safe.

  2. It makes sense to me, that is unless New York, DC and Phoenix already need to replace the equipment and systems they purchased with the massive amounts of funding they recieved after 9/11. At this point, if they used the money wisely, it should just be a matter of maintenance and personnel expenditures. Oh wait, I just realized what I said…

  3. Homeland Security subsidies = the new “base closing” farce.

    Politicians couldn’t be trusted to make intelligent decisions then — why should they be trusted to make intelligent decisions now.

  4. you know, when i lived back east, people would get into these type of silly one-upsmanship conversations. back then (early 90s) it was “my neighborhood is worse”. taking some sort of preverse pride in the preceived “badness” of the neighborhood. musta had something to do with street cred.

    Kip: but they’re too busy for intelligent decisions, for they are spending all their time on intelligent designs!

  5. “Jacksonville and Sacramento”

    What kind of loser terrorist outfit would you have to join to end up attacking Jacksonsville or Sacramento (to say nothing of Phoenix)? Even friggin’ Black Star wouldn’t waste a block of semtex on those places: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Star_(terrorist_group)

  6. Yowzah, O-town got 9mil. The Mouse is safe.

    Heh. Yeah, and Memphis gets four mil.!? What are terrorists going to attack in Memphis? Graceland?

  7. Am I the only one that supports giving kevlar vests to police dogs? It’s not like they volunteer for this dangerous job. Generally, all they get is food and shelter. Consider the vests payment for their employment. Also, it costs money to train them. Protecting them with vests seems economically sound to me.

    Most people are such speciesists.

  8. Economically sound is the dog in question is involved in a gunfight. But that could happen all the time, what do I know.

  9. Heh. Yeah, and Memphis gets four mil.!? What are terrorists going to attack in Memphis? Graceland?

    The Axis of Elvis hates our pelvis-swiveling freedoms.

  10. If I were a terrorist mastermind, I’d attack that frickin Archer Daniels Midland plant that can turn soybeans into hamburgers, gasoline, sterile syringe packaging, and whatnot. That would bring America to it’s knees.

  11. In defence of Phx, we do have a nuke plant here.

  12. If you were a terrorist and wanted to get on plane to do some damage would you try to do it at JFK or some small airport in some small city that probably doesn’t show up on Homeland Security’s radar as a target?

    If I remember correctly several of the 9/11 hijackers began their trip in Portland, ME.

  13. New Orleans got cut by $5 million. If terrorists bombed it, would we notice?

  14. you know, when i lived back east, people would get into these type of silly one-upsmanship conversations. back then (early 90s) it was “my neighborhood is worse”. taking some sort of preverse pride in the preceived “badness” of the neighborhood. musta had something to do with street cred.

    I used to talk to a surprising number of people who would assure me that their city was #1 on the Soviet nuke list. “After all, we’ve got [insert one: a military base, a nuclear plant, important factories, major interstate highway, water supplies].”

    I figured that if they’ve got thousands of missiles they can target a lot of major cities at once. So the whole “We’re number one to be nuked!” thing seemed kind of dumb. Yeah, you and a hundred other places.

  15. It’s 1990: “Tulsa?!?! Why would a terrorist ever want to attack Tulsa, Oklahoma?”

    The name is TERRORism. It’s all about the fear, only partly the actual damage.

    Despite proximity to Chechnya, I’m sure no one in Beslan thought that there would be a good reason to target their children. Or theater-goers in Moscow.

    Randomness of targets increases the fear.

    And if any terr’rist touches my house, I’m going to TCB ūüėČ

  16. Memphis is a major distribution hub. Ever heard of FedEx?

  17. On the one hand, Chertoff’s response – that they’ve already spent $500 million hardening New York, including an extra-large investment in last year’s budget, and are now able to move onto secondary targets, makes sense.

    On the other hand, ABCNews has as document online from Homeland Security ranking New York City as a terrorist target, which lists it as having no “Icons or National Monuments.”

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