Thursday, August 2, 2007

Oregon government warns: do that again, and we'll warn you again!

Today must be good government posting day on Pregnant Cornbread. Fresh off my post about Jim Kunstler's latest screed against the oil-driven western way of life, I encountered a truly tragic story on one of my local (Portland, OR) news affiliates:

A 27-year-old man whose van struck and killed a pedestrian in downtown Salem has never had a driver's license, but does have an extensive record of traffic violations, state officials said. Since 1999, the state Department of Transportation has put 16 suspension orders against the record of Sean Hagen of Woodburn, a spokesman said.
Imagine that: this guy has had his license (which never even existed) suspended 16 times, yet, miraculously, he was still on the streets! Incredible! Gee, you think they would have figured out after the, oh, third or fourth time, that he clearly does not care much for the petty little rules of our state government. But, no, they apparently believed that he'd eventually stop if he was warned enough.

What a total and complete failure of government. From the bridge in Minnesota, which is government failure writ large (though not quite as large as the government failure that was Katrina), to this incident, which is government failture at the micro level, there is no shortage of examples of our civic institutions utterly failing to protect people, whether the threat is cracked and decaying bridges, massive hurricanes, or idiots driving around with suspended licenses. What an utter shame and waste.