January 5, 2007

Your Tax Dollars at Work

A child in New Brunswick types 'kids help line' into Google, and sends off a 'please help me' note over the internet. It's actually received in Australia, where it is promptly handed over to authorities. Determining its origin is North American, the FBI pick it up from there. It is quickly narrowed down to New Brunswick, and local police arrive and rescue the child from danger.

Now, these are the type of rescues I want to see vast resources used for. Rosie Dimanno banged on a sore point of mine in her column today (I've whined recently on it) regarding a missing sailor who is currently sucking up all manner of rescue dollars as coast guards keep looking for him. (He's been found, by the way. He should not only be presented with a bill, but he should leave a large tip, too.)

You have the right to do anything you like. Climb a mountain, handglide off a cliff, retrace the steps of famous explorers. Go crazy. But there is a huge difference between someone who calculates to put themselves in danger, and an innocent who who is subjected to it. And my heroes aren't those who stick a flag on a mountaintop - it's those who use technology and resources to protect the most vulnerable.


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