Thursday, July 02, 2015

It was a dark and stormy night -- or actually not night at all. Happy 4th of July Weekend!


Photo by Mitch Waxman (click to enlarge)

"[S]ome jerk pulling the pin on a dud hand grenade while riding on the 7 train would be sufficient to shut the entire Subway system down for weeks while the Terror Warriors installed metal detectors and biometric sensors on every turnstile."
-- from Mitch's blogpost yesterday, "all signs"

by Ken

I don't know about you, but I need this weekend. I'm not a qualified dreamologist, but after escaping the office, I realized what I had on my mind was this photo my pal Mitch Waxman shared with readers of his Newtown Pentacle blog today. Well, that's not a dream in any case, but maybe waking fixation is even worse. It must mean something, I'm thinking.

Here's what Mitch had to say about the picture:
Recently, an excursion upon the fabled Newtwon Creek with the Anchor QEA folks (they’re the scientists studying the Creek for the Superfund process) and the Newtown Creek CAG Steering Committee (which I’m a member of) was cut short by threatening weather. Anchor has all sorts of frammistats onboard which warn them of the approach of lightning, and all the gizmos began to go off as a powerful thunderstorm was approaching. The shot above is from roughly 2.5 miles back from the East River, and depicts the DUGABO side of Brooklyn as the storm blew in. We made it back to dock, but not before the first curtain of rain and hail began to pummel the Creek.

[DUBAGO, by the way, is Mitch's Greenpoint Avenue Bridge (over Newtown Creek) extrapolation from the goofy real-estate acronym DUMBO that's come into actual use for the Brooklyn neighborhood that's Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Mitch has a bridgeload of 'em.]


As he explained yesterday in a blogpost called "all signs," he has found himself -- in his Astoria (Queens) neck of the woods -- in supposed security of the homeland variety, even though, as anyone knows who has trod any part of the industrial borderlands of western Queens and Brooklyn, actual everyday security in the area, the site of much vital NYC infrastructure, in alarmingly hit or miss.

[Click to enlarge.]

Like many Queensicans, when it was announced that this year’s July 4th fireworks would be taking place in the East River just off the coast of LIC, a humble narrator grew excited. Then one began to read about frozen zones (pretty much from 11th street to the East River) and homeland security. My enthusiasm for the event began to wane as the Terror Warriors descended from their Manhattan aeries, discussed throwing down cordons, announcing entry checkpoints, and throwing a cage over the entire neighborhood. One “gets it” of course, as our enemies from “east austral Asia” specifically target public events that draw media attention, which is the very definition of what the July 4th fireworks show is.

The thing is, and I’ve been pointing this out for years, is that there is very little actual “homeland security” going on the rest of the year around these parts, and the Terror Warriors spend most of their time in Manhattan offices dreaming up scenarios which could only be accomplished by Nation/States with vast combined weapon system resources and functionally unlimited budgets. If we were at war with the United States or the People’s Republic of China, for instance, I’d be pooping my pants.

One is not so irresponsible to point the actual vulnerabilities out in any detail, as some moron out there might decide to exploit them (do your own research), but if you see graffiti along a train track or in a subway tunnel – that’s called time and opportunity. It should be impossible, literally, to sneak into a train yard or even get close to a moving train nearly two decades into the Terror Wars.

Problem is that our security personnel tend to focus on the outlandish notion that non state actors, who are basically mafiosos, can not only maintain but deploy complicated weapons systems that most nation states cannot even hope to possess. Jackass sappers like the Boston Marathon bombers, whose presence and intentions are THE real threat, just don’t fire the imagination or finger the purse strings of Congress.

It’s all a show, ultimately, designed to assuage the nagging truth that some jerk pulling the pin on a dud hand grenade while riding on the 7 train would be sufficient to shut the entire Subway system down for weeks while the Terror Warriors installed metal detectors and biometric sensors on every turnstile.

[Click to enlarge.]

I think I’m just going to go up on my roof this year on the 4th of July, photographing the fireworks at a distance from almond eyed Astoria. One is not interested in being part of a compacted herd of spectators, who are all potential suspects, in LIC. I’ll be out and about on the 5th of July, and will wager that I won’t see a single cop or security contractor protecting the vital infrastructure found hereabouts. To me, that’s terrifying.

The big show will be over by then, and the Terror Warriors will be worrying about space based laser systems at BBQ’s on Long Island and in Westchester County. They’ll muse whether or not ISIL has perfected a tractor beam that can pull asteroids down on targets (that’s called a mass driver, btw.) or developed a neutron bomb.


Next weekend Mitch is doing his Glittering Realms Tour of Brooklyn's northernmost zone, Greenpoint ("a thriving neighborhood surrounded by environmental catastrophe which has been reborn in the 21st century") for the Newtown Creek Alliance (Sunday, July 12, 10am-12:30pm) -- tour and ticket info at the link.

I've probably already walked all this ground with Mitch, but that was then and now is now; I've already signed up for the Greenpoint walk. But for a schedule conflict I would do the same for the walk coming up in a few weeks: Modern Corridor: A Walking Tour of Long Island City's Hunters Point, for Brooklyn Brainery (Sunday, July 26, 11am-1:30pm).


As promised, GP weighs in from his current digs in Europe, and catches up on assorted pending matters -- and the sweltering heat. That's at 7am PT, 10am ET, and some other time on the other side of the pond.

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