Italian officials have opened an investigation to focus on different structures that collapsed after Wednesday’s powerful quake, devastating four towns in the mountainous heartland of the country and rattling the central agricultural regions. Regional public prosecutors say they will not only investigate why recently constructed public buildings, including a schoolhouse renovated in 2012, failed to withstand the quake’s force, but they are threatening also to file charges against private-property owners who may have altered their houses — most very ancient — in ways that breached current building codes and anti-seismic engineering regulations.If a public building was badly built, the government should be punishing itself for allowing it. With the private builders and remodelers, this is EXACTLY THE WRONG TIME to punish them. They were following existing DE FACTO rules, which included lots of winks and nods and money under the table. Instead you should start looking at OTHER "historically preserved" towns that haven't yet been destroyed. Check all structures. Give builders a time limit and a subsidy, and loosen up the lethal "historical" rules so the people can FUCKING DO IT.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.