The fine people at the Department of Homeland Security are building a database of “critical national infrastructure” that’s supposed to help them determine what needs to be paid special attention to as a potential target for terrorists. It was decided that the best way to go about doing this was to ask each State to send in info on its critical infrastructure to be included in this database and so they asked, twice, and they got plenty of submissions which was fantastic… until they took a closer look at what was being submitted. Seems that quite a few States are run by morons who believe that strip malls and casinos count as critical national infrastructure:
Among the critical assets in the database are Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, a Kangaroo Conservation Center, Jay’s Sporting Goods, several Wal-Mart stores, Amish Country Popcorn, and the Sweetwater Flea Market.
The DHS Office of Inspector General found the National Asset Database, being compiled to support a variety of infrastructure protection projects, full to overflowing with “poor quality” data, such as 4,055 malls, shopping centers, and retail outlets, 224 racetracks, 539 theme or amusement parks and 163 water parks, 514 religious meeting places and 1,305 casinos.
And some of those out of place items seem quite out of place on a critical infrastructure list, such as a Sears Auto Center, a Pepsi bottling plant, the Trees of Mystery, the 4 Cs Fuel and Lube, a truckstop, High Stakes Bingo, and the Mule Day Parade.
The state of Iowa, for instance, has several strange places on its critical infrastructure list, including a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop near Des Moines. And Florida counts two small tourist attractions, Weeki Wachee Springs and Dinosaur World, among critical assets for which it’s applied for homeland security grant money.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I would think that someone with a modicum of common sense would recognize that a lot of these places don’t qualify as “critical national infrastructure.” Sure, some of them might actually be good terrorist targets, but the country isn’t going to grind to a halt if a terrorist blows up the local Pepsi bottling plant or Krispy Kreme donut shop. Get a fucking clue, folks!