Op-ed column from my friend Norm

Worth the read. Every word.

CARRBORO - The news in recent weeks has been dominated by a series of accidents, disasters and other threats to public health and safety. Revelations about the safety of food and consumer product imports from China were quickly crowded out of the headlines by the bridge collapse in Minnesota, which, in turn was upstaged by the mine collapse in Utah and the stock market meltdown.

So quickly did these stories succeed one another in competing for the nation's attention that their common, underlying cause was obscured, creating the illusion that they were independent, unfortunate events. But their adverse consequences could have been prevented, or at least minimized, if the regulations governing these activities had been administered by a sufficient number of competent, qualified and politically disinterested personnel. No new laws are needed; rather, the existing ones need to be carried out.

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To compound the problems, these agencies are too often headed by political hacks and former lobbyists and officers of the very corporations and industries whose integrity they are duty-bound to ensure. I would, therefore, be reassured if our presidential candidates would suspend, if only briefly, their protracted audition for Legislator-in-Chief and present their qualifications and plans for the job the Constitution says they are running for: Chief Executive.

Most excellent.