And it's hard times in the city,
Livin' down in New York town. - Bob Dylan
Remember, they only want you to think they're out of their heads.
And many people will be so inclined, and receive that lie's sad comfort, now the Department of Homeland Security has cut anti-terror funding to New York City and Washington DC by 40%, and slashed in half New Orleans' grants for security and disaster preparedness on the day that marked the beginning of hurricane season. (New York, according to the DHS risk assessment, boasts zero "national monuments and icons," and only four banking and finanacial assets.) Meanwhile, huge increases in DHS dollars were won by company towns such as Jacksonville, Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina and Omaha, Nebraska. (Omaha might be justified, if the money were to be spent to liberate Boys Town from black ops' sexual predation.)
Are these bizarre choices? Is it incompetence? We may think so, if we mistake Chertoff's Homeland for the United States. Even with holes punched in its skyline, New York City stubbornly retains its listing in the latter. To those tasked with securing the Homeland, which exists as a High Concept, self-regulating prison rather than as common real estate, New York and every high-value target with a disproportionate population of intellectuals, free thinkers and dark faces remain its greatest threat. So what's to be done with them?
Somewhere there are 10-year old photos of me atop the World Trade Center, looking scared shitless. I'm not making claims of premonition, but I had a horrible, irrational impression that the tower was insubstantial, almost like a ghost, and could collapse at any moment. I've never had such a feeling on any other structure, and I've been on taller. My then-girlfriend had to reassure me we were safe; that nothing bad was going to happen to us, and we weren't about to all fall down.
And now when so many of us feel as though everything's about to fall down, what are we to do with that? Especially now such impressions don't seem so irrational?
Americans should know by this late date that those allegedly charged with their security are meant to be their executioners, and that duck and cover won't be enough to save them. Such knowledge can be bracing.
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