Fed bashing: Is it time for a time out?

Friday - 4/19/2013, 2:00am EDT

After three-plus years of attacks from politicians and portions of the media, it may be time for a time out in the war against bloated, overpaid, underworked and fireproof federal bureaucrats.

When I left town late last week, the long lines at the airport and the TSA security were a pain. But when I came back to D.C. Tuesday — after the Boston Marathon bombing — I was delighted by airport security. Didn't object to the pat-down. All the TSA folks were polite, but you could tell they were on their toes. Good.

I couldn't spot the sky marshal (or marshals) on the flight into DCA (Reagan National) but I sure hoped they were there on board.

Here at home, we have a stepped-up police presence. And those are just the ones we can see. Being in D.C. means living inside the Beltway bullseye. Has for a long time.

The ricin-laced letters sent to the White House and certain members of Congress were — as they have been for years — opened at remote centers a long way from downtown D.C. In the past, some of them got through, killing some postal workers. In situations like this, whether a poisoned letter or a package bomb, folks in unglamorous jobs — like postal clerk and letter carrier — are on the front line. Sometimes they are the canary in the coal mine.

We've been through this before. In D.C., Oklahoma City, New York and now Boston. The fertilizer-plant explosion in Texas, (which killed and injured more than the Boston attack), is being investigated — as of this writing — as if it were a crime scene. If it was, it's a good bet that it and other crimes will be solved by feds — whether ATF, FBI, postal inspectors or CBP. Maybe with a little help from the DEA, NSA and CIA.

There were plenty of local, non-fed heroes after the Boston Marathon attacks. There usually are. It's remarkable that ordinary, untrained people — as during the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center — do extraordinarily brave things.

But as often happens, when the going gets really tough, and it is a surprise, life-or-death situation, more often than not most of us taxpayers head for the hills. Often rightly so.

When there is a major disaster, man-made or natural, some people do unnatural things: Because it is part of their job description. Think of the 9/11 attacks on New York City. Hundreds of police and firefighters, on or off duty, rushed into the burning buildings. Some more than once. A lot of them never came out.

Not, as they say, bad for government work!

Some things never change. Which can be horrible, and also pretty wonderful, at times.

Maybe this is a good time to stop fed-bashing. At least until they finish their work and things return to what is considered normal. Then let the griping begin.

Again...


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

The common classroom term "syllabus" is derived from a misreading of the Greek word sittyba, meaning "table of contents."

(Source: Mental Floss)


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