Like most wars, this one was started by the Bush administration. First their dough-faced inarticulate functionary from the Homeland Security Department cut our anti-terror funding by 40% because they don’t think we have any national monuments or icons or big banks here, and then the usually rational Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided to cut our bioterror funds by 15%. And when we kicked up a fuss about it, Mayor Mike Fahey of Omaha said we should “stop whining.” Hahahahahahaha. I think Mayor Mike Fahey should come over here and say that.
Omaha got a 38.2% increase in funding because they have a major national icon, Offutt Air Force Base. Maybe nobody told Homeland Security that “air force base”
means it’s a military installation and presumably can take care of itself. Offutt Air
Force Base is where Bush and his goat book wound up after being flown back and forth on 9/11, so I guess somebody thought it was pretty safe back then. But now they need our Homeland Security money.
So now we have to hate Omaha and some other little dinky cities, all of which happen to be in districts where Republicans are facing hotly contested elections this fall.
I have not yet finished my FEMA online disaster management course so I don’t know, but it seems to me, having lived here through both attacks on the World Trade Center, that New York is kind of a major target. The National Guard soldiers with the big automatic rifles full of live ammunition standing around my train station every morning when I go to work sort of make me think, you know, that somebody, somewhere, might be gunning for us. But maybe not. Maybe the Evil Ones really have targeted Jacksonville, Florida, home of that major national landmark and icon, Alltel Stadium, where the Jacksonville Jaguars play whatever sport it is they do, and so that’s why they’re getting a 26% increase in Homeland Security funds.
And I have to admit I’m actually kind of relieved that the funding cuts apparently mean that the NYPD won’t be able to carry out their “Ring of Steel” Lower Manhattan Security Plan, installing hundreds of spy cameras and computerized license-plate readers all over downtown. The Ring of Steel was supposed to have been modeled on the same no-privacy-ever program that allowed London cops to identify pictures of last year’s London Underground bombers just a week or two after they blew everything up, long after their blown-up dead bodies had been recovered and their identities were already known. I don’t quite understand why a system like that would make me more, you know, secure, since it seems like it just lets the Authorities spy on you and doesn’t seem to actually prevent any Bad Thing. But, like I said, I haven’t finished my FEMA course yet.
And the other good thing about Homeland Security saying we don’t need that money any more is that it must mean we aren’t on Code Orange alert--where we’ve been NON-STOP for THE LAST FIVE DAMNED YEARS—anymore. Right? I’m sure Homeland Security will put New York on Code Green any day now, maybe even before I finish my FEMA course, maybe even today.