August 17, 2007

Because It's Friday, And Nick's An Idiot

Nick "All Bridge, All The Time" Coleman IS BACK ONCE AGAIN! And, really, how can I NOT make fun of him?

After the Twin Towers were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, and as the recovery of the victims stretched from days and weeks into months, New York City built four platforms to allow the public to see the site.

Yeah, go figure. After nutjobs hijacked airplanes and flew them into buildings, resulting in thousands of lives lost, NYC built platforms to allow people to ponder the unbelievability of it.

The platforms, each of which could hold up to 400 people, were open for five months, and hundreds of thousands came to pay respects and make a pilgrimage. It was important to let the people get close.

In Minneapolis, where a bridge has collapsed into a river, killing and maiming people and embarrassing the officials on whose watch it happened, we are not allowed to see.

Oh, jeezum crow. Is he fucking serious? Not allowed to see? You can stroll on over to the river's edge and see to your heart's content. You can go gawk at the bridge all you want. Leave it to Nick Coleman to equate an accidental bridge collapse to a premeditated terrorist attack on America's financial and military pulse points.

It's easy to figure out why.

Yeah, it was a freakin' accident, you douche-nozzle. You want to erect gazing platforms for every accident that happens? Maybe we should install a reflecting pool to acknowlege the woman who failed to THROW A CAN OF GAS OUT A WINDOW?

When bureaucrats are busy congratulating themselves for how fast they acted and how swell they did their job, there is always something they had rather we not look at.

See, now, this is the beauty of Nick Coleman "logic." After spending the last couple weeks repeatedy, REPEATEDLY, REPEATEDLY, whining about how increased taxes could have somehow magically pre-empted a bridge collapse--even though THERE WAS MONEY ENOUGH TO ADDRESS IT--now he thinks tax dollars should pay for gazing platforms so people can gaze at an accident that hasn't even been explained yet. Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. Maybe I should just give Nick Coleman my wallet so he can pay to erect a monument to immortalize the spot where his son scraped his knee that one time.

For two weeks now, Minnesotans by the thousands have come down to the river to try to comprehend the magnitude and the meaning of the bridge collapse. They have come to the grassy knoll in Gold Medal Park. They have come to the Stone Arch Bridge and they have come to any and every vantage point that offers a glimpse, however far off, of a disaster that used to be unimaginable: A public project, in ruins, allowed to fall.

In other words, Nick Coleman just went and completely invalidated practically the whole premise of yet another shitty column. Remember, just paragraphs earlier, he wrote In Minneapolis, where a bridge has collapsed into a river, killing and maiming people and embarrassing the officials on whose watch it happened, we are not allowed to see. So, what then, those thousands of Minnesotans who have come to see, from various vantage points, were a mirage? A hologram?

Two developments Wednesday showed how hard some officials will work to keep us away from the bridge:

Oh, this ought to be good.

A federal judge refused to let lawyers for some victims have expert bridge inspectors examine the wreckage.

Gee, a federal judge acted to pre-empt ambulance chasing opportunists to capitalize on a tragedy still fresh and bleeding? Go figure. Oh, and how many lawyers have a cadre of "expert bridge inspectors" on tap? Seriously, is Nick THAT fucking stupid? Oh. . . wait.

And the city shut down a brief attempt to open a bicycle bridge -- 1,000 feet from the ruins -- to let the people pay respects to the dead.

Honest to God, what's this guy's pre-occupation with proximity? Do you have to stand on a crushed car to pay adequate respect?

The stated reason for the reversal was the need to protect the dignity of those who lost their lives (two persons are still missing).

Oh, and who stated that reason? THE RECOVERY WORKERS! That's right, the people who are digging and diving and sifting through the remains, the people probably most familiar with the delicate, grim and somber task at hand, they'd prefer not to be gawked at by rubber-necking bicyclists as they go about their third week sifting for body parts. Gosh, what an unreasonable request. Of course, in Nick's little "mind," it's all about administrator's attempting to "hide" their mistake. Hey, Nick. Don some rubber gloves, dive into the wreckage, recover a femur, bag it up, then look up at gawkers 1,000 feet away and ask yourself whether recovery efforts are acts of public theater. Mmkay?

But the victims lost more than their dignity when a freeway bridge collapsed, and you may be forgiven if you wonder who is being protected now.

Seriously. At this point, I don't think Nick could possibly go fuck off hard enough.

When lawyers for some of the victims went to court Wednesday to ask that outside experts get access to the disaster site, a federal judge named Patrick Schiltz gave them the bum's rush. The hearing was over in less than an hour when Speedy Schiltz denied the request with a 10-page order. If he let some victims hire experts to examine the wreckage, he said, he would have to let other victims do the same.

Can you imagine the cacaphony of an army of lawyerly "inspectors" vying against recovery personnel? Honest to God, does Nick even think this kind of thing through, or does he pen such nonsense because he knows it's insanely flawed, and by being outrageous like this it ensures the Strib will sell a few extra copies just so readers can thumb through the pages and think "What the fuck is up with this Coleman guy?"

Can't have that. That would smack of fairness. Maybe the question deserved more than a moment's consideration.

Fairness? What does Nick consider fair? Oh, wait. . .

"The victims' lives will be spent paying the price for someone else's incompetence and neglect," says James Schwebel, president of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, the law firm barred by Schiltz from having experts visit the bridge. "It's important to have an objective, outside examination of what caused the bridge failure."

Okay, so we can expect an objective, outside examination from "experts" who have been brought in by a law firm that has already decided that "incompetence and neglect" are the primary suspects. I wonder if Nick giggles to himself when he pens this dreck. The level of mental disconnect required to string this kind of shit together makes even my mind swirl, and I'm the self-proclaimed king of mental disconnects.

The state says it will do that. The state also said it would get us across the river.

I think that's in the state constitution, actually. Now, prepare yourselves, folks, for an Iraq allusion. You know it was coming, right?

"These are the same kind of people who don't want us to see the coffins coming back from Iraq," Schwebel says. "But reality is good for us. People should go there and see it and feel it and get the goosebumps and say, 'What the hell went wrong?' They don't want the public to fully appreciate the consequences."

Wait, the bridge recovery workers don't want us to see coffins coming back from Iraq? That's some pretty lawyery lawyering going on there. I'm no law talking guy, but I'm pretty sure this Schwebel guy is on a professional footing alongside Lionel Hutz.

Apologies to LEARNEDFOOT and the good folks at POWERLINE for all the lawyer bashing. Nick Coleman does get my vapors up.

In New York, after 9/11, some worried that visitors to "ground zero" would create a spectacle or show disrespect to the victims, but New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said there were bigger concerns.

Yeah, like, say, a terrorist ideology bent on bringing down buildings and wiping out lives. Versus, say, a freaking accidental bridge collapse. How Nick can conflate the two makes the mind wobble.

Ground zero was a place of horror and bravery. We had to see it, and reflect upon it.


I can't believe I just wrote that.

The same is true for a fallen bridge in Minneapolis. Here, a terrible thing happened. People died, and people braved the dangers to help rescue and recover the victims.


What the hell is happening to me?

We have to see it. And decide what it means.

Not so much agree. We don't HAVE to see the collapsed bridge. It was an accident after all. If I HAD to see every accident that happens, I wouldn't get anything else done.

"You can't completely control human conduct, and you can't stop doing the things that are good things to do because some people will abuse it," Giuliani said as the 9/11 viewing platforms were opening. "To deny people access to the site would be like denying people access to other sites of historic significance, like Gettysburg or Normandy. I'm sure there are people that go to all those places for the wrong reasons, but most go for the right reasons."

Let's take a tip from Rudy Giuliani. Let the people see.

Again, Nick, people CAN SEE IT JUST FINE! To quote Chris Tucker from Friday: "Remember it! Write it down! Take a picture! I don't give a fuck!"

Just, you know. . . a respectful distance would be nice.

Posted by Ryan at August 17, 2007 10:16 AM | TrackBack

"When bureaucrats are busy congratulating themselves for how fast they acted and how swell they did their job, there is always something they had rather we not look at."
Ryan-Not that you don't have enough to rip on Coleman about, but where did this guy go to school? I'm not an English major (obviously) or a renowned journalist such as yourself, but I do recall I learned in 3rd grade to not end a sentence with a preposition.
As a side note, the quote from the Simpson's video, "If there's one thing America needs, it's more laywers," was the best quote in your blog!

Posted by: Autumn at August 17, 2007 11:18 AM

It's a tough day for my blog when the best quote comes from a YouTube Simpson's video. :-)

Good catch on the dangling preposition. My mother would give you an "A."

Posted by: Ryan at August 17, 2007 11:27 AM
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