Saturday, February 03, 2007

Boston LIte-Brite Bomb Scare Thoughs

I'm sure everyone has heard about the bomb scare in Boston several days ago. It's amazing to me how reactions are split so widely. People either think it was a big over-reaction, or that it was perfectly justified. Few if any people I've met fall in the middle. Part of the problem is hindsight is 20-20 on both sides. So what is my opinion: Personally I think putting up the devices as they were was a really, really dumb idea.

First, I'm sure laws were broken in putting them up and there should be punishment for it. Piddly laws I'm sure having to do with unlawful placement of advertising, but broken none the less. Charge the youths (e.g., the scapegoats) who put them up with the appropriate misdemeanors, then go after TBS in a big way.

Second, TBS should have realized that these devices could be mistaken for bombs. Nothing I've read has indicated that there was anything on them that identifying them as coming from TBS. I think a simple "Property of Turner Broadcasting System" would have gone a long way to preventing an over-reaction. For this TBS should cover the state and city expenses for the bomb scare plus a penalty for idiocy. It was their design of the devices, their directions to place them, and their silence in notifying authorities before hand and slowness in doing so afterwards that caused the panic. I consider TBS to be at fault more than anyone else.

Third, we've come a long way from 9/11. There may have been some over-reaction on the part of Boston authorities but frankly I'd rather see that than no response. The division of opinion and the lack of response in any other city indicates that we generally have become complacent and lazy about security and terrorism. I'm disappointed there was not a more vigorous response elsewhere, or that there was any sharing of information between cities.

I predict that we will at some point regret this incident because of the hesitation in reaction that it will cause. I don't think it is a stretch to predict that some terrorist will someday create terror devices resembling some kind of guerrilla advertising device and we will miss them because we've been "burned" once. That's the saddest part of this fiasco, and that's the reason TBS needs to get hammered.

Stupidity kills.

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