A free thinker in the Heartland...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Indiana has the most terror targets

Homeland Security is feeling the heat for naming Indiana as the state with the most targets for terror. From the New York Times:

It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.”

But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list was not child’s play: all these “unusual or out-of-place” sites “whose criticality is not readily apparent” are inexplicably included in the federal antiterrorism database.

The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation.

I don't know how to take this... New York is a big target, but the report is right that we do have a lot of outdoor places with little security... we are Indiana of course.

Here is the graph of the states, rank in risk, and number of terror sites:

One thing I did not like about the article was the joke at the end... why is it other states like to act like we are stupid?

One business owner who learned from a reporter that a company named Amish Country Popcorn was on the list was at first puzzled. The businessman, Brian Lehman, said he owned the only operation in the country with that name.

“I am out in the middle of nowhere,” said Mr. Lehman, whose business in Berne, Ind., has five employees and grows and distributes popcorn. “We are nothing but a bunch of Amish buggies and tractors out here. No one would care.”

But on second thought, he came up with an explanation: “Maybe because popcorn explodes?”

Har har har. As I last recall, we only get back about .80 cents of every federal tax dollar that goes to Washington DC. I am all for getting back what we pay in, why should other states get our tax dollars?