From the really pisses me off department - OK, this is really just too much. The NYPD says it costs too much to follow up on citizen warnings of air quality problems, and that knowledge of air quality problems without the express permission of the government leads to public panic.
And it was suggested by the Department of -- you guessed it -- Homeland Security. I'm still reacting to this emotionally and haven't had the chance to build up a full head of vitriolic steam, but it's this kind of crap that really will make America the third-world nation its leaders aspire to govern. I'm not kidding.
Knowing that it's a stupid notion on the face of it, the NYPD tried to fast-track the ruling so it wouldn't be subject to public scrutiny. That's the kind of tactic used by authoritarians everywhere -- the democratic process is too slow, they say, the threat too imminent, to wait for all you whiny-ass pansies to finish talking about things while we real men take the fight to the enemy. In this case, of course, the enemy being "people who check the official party line for truth" -- because the purpose of Homeland Security is to make people feel secure. Whether they actually are secure or not is immaterial.