Local government fail

Things I don’t like my (or anybody’s) tax dollars being wasted on:

1) Picking up a dog wearing a collar with a tag 1/4 mile from its home and not even making at attempt to bring dog home/contact owner before taking to an animal shelter 20 miles away.  (Said dog is in the metaphorical dog house for jumping the fence after never showing any previous inclination).

2) Animal shelter immediately spending significant resources with a full vet exam, rabies shots, and heartworm medication for a dog entirely in need of none of the above.  Which could have been easily learned if they had managed to search through the fur around his neck and find his collar with contact information.  He’s now at risk for an Ivermectin overdose.

3) Failing to find contact information and putting the pet on adoptable pets webpage (admittedly, with the “not yet available” line) without even trying to contact the owner or the contact information listed on the microchip!

4) (Not government fail, but still annoying as hell…)  Microchip company failing to update proper ownership information after more than 5 weeks.  It’s not hard!  Relatedly, the shelter certainly could have called Saving Grace (still the owner on the microchip) and their information would have led them straight to us.

Fine that they want to make money off of us for our dog getting out of our yard.  I can accept that.  But a 40 mile round trip to an animal shelter?  A bunch of unnecessary vet treatment?  Inexcusable.  Some people will be hearing from me.

Here’s the mug shot:

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Photo of the day

Well, if National Geographic deems something a photo of the month, I suppose that means it’s worth sharing here:

Photograph by Paul Nicklen

The Florida manatee is thriving in Kings Bay, and so is tourism.
paulnicklen.com

School bus speed limits and child-safety fetishization

So, I got in the middle of an interesting discussion on FB the other night where it was mostly me against liberals.  Why?  A Republican NC legislator has proposed increasing the top speed for school buses to 55 from the current 45.  He was attacked as a child-endangering lunatic.   You know what is dangerous?  Having any vehicle travelling at 45 on the interstate while all the other vehicles are going 65 and above.  That’s dangerous.  Now, I’m absolutely sure that this legislator didn’t really research this and think it all the way through (he is an NC Republican already), but that doesn’t mean he’s not right.  Obviously, higher speeds can lead to more serious accidents but speed differentials are also more likely to lead to accidents– importantly, not just for the bus.  I’ve often seen dangerous driving on the highway because a single school bus is so much under the limit.

Anyway, I think this is part of a larger issue of the fetishization of school-kid safety.   I hate stopping behind buses at railroad crossings– yes, the bill from “I’m just a bill”!.  If my kids are safe for me to go through in my minivan, I assume they should be safe in a school bus.  I’m not aware of a rash of accidents because the lights didn’t flash and the crossarms didn’t come down.  Either these intersections are dangerous or they’re not.  There’s nothing inherently more dangerous about a school bus crossing railroad tracks.  Furthermore, your average left turn onto a moderately busy road without a traffic signal is surely substantially more dangerous than many a right on red would be.  Yet, the latter happens essentially all the time, while many a perfectly safe right on red is forbade by law.  God forbid we should change any of these things and endanger the children.

All that said, hey, I’m a data-driven guy and I do love the laboratory of federalism.  Neighboring states have higher speed limits for school buses.  Any evidence for more accidents and injuries from buses travelling at the top speed?  Or not?

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