Thursday, July 5, 2012

Premature Ignition

Still trying to get my act together after my big Fourth of July extravaganza, which consisted of watching Twilight Zone reruns with one eye, and simultaneous bursts of natural lightning and cheesy fireworks through my open door with the other eye. Thanks for sharing all your medical and Independence Day adventures on the open thread yesterday. I am keeping it open because, lets face it -- the afterglow of the glorious Fourth is still wafting through the blogosphere.

Anyway, did you hear about the Big Bada Bing Boom in San Diego? For anyone who ever wondered what would happen it they accidentally shot off all the fireworks at once, this is it. Although I have to say the video is less than impressive, probably because it's just a video on my cheap computer screen. It kind of reminds me of that Jean Shepherd story about an old codger so drunk and befuddled that he blew up a whole neighborhood with about a ton of fireworks. Aided and abetted by the kids, of course. The San Diego fiasco will probably go down in the annals of Fourth of July legend, too. 

Here 's the link to the late great Shepherd reading "Ludlow Kissell and the Dago Bomb that Struck Back" on his old radio show. (complete with his mocking of the commercials. At the end of the spiel for the long-defunct Palisades Amusement Park, he says "Have fun, Serfs!")

I know, I know.... I'm a day late and a dollar short as usual. But, as the new T-shirts Barry is peddling on his site to make a buck off ObamaCare tell it: Still a BFD!

So let us therefore go in search of the healing bomb and the true meaning of Independence Day: a national shellshock and celebrated concussion to better honor our glorious American past.


Denis Neville said...

Bada Bing Boom!!!

“Man was matter, that was Snowden's secret. Drop him out a window, and he'll fall. Set fire to him and he'll burn. Bury him and he'll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret. Ripeness was all.” - Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Tom Engelhardt @ TomDispatch, “How to Set the Planet on Fire and Learn Nothing,”

Jim White @ Emptywheel, “NATO Supply Shipments Through Pakistan Resume With Payments to Afghan Taliban Instead of Pakistan,” asks:

“Did it ever occur to the US that perhaps those funds they pay to the Afghan Taliban are used to fund attacks on NATO personnel by the Afghan Taliban? It will be very interesting to see whether the Afghan Taliban is suddenly able to bring more weapons and IED’s into their attacks on NATO now that they have a renewed source of funding. If so, we will know how the Taliban came into the funding needed to procure those supplies. Of course, then NATO will need more supplies to put down the Afghan Taliban attacks, which will mean the Aghan Taliban will get more “protection” money, which means they can fund even more attacks…”

“That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed. “It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.” - Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Heller asks, “The frog is almost five hundred million years old. Could you really say with much certainty that America, with all its strength and prosperity, with its fighting man that is second to none, and with its standard of living that is highest in the world, will last as long as the frog? ” - Joseph Heller, Catch-22

The collapse of constitutional government, perpetual war, endemic lying and corruption, moral and financial bankruptcy…the spirit is gone, ripeness is all.

Bada Bing Boom!!!

Zee said...


I'm not sure that I understand the reference to "ripeness," but I agree with much of Englehardt’s analysis of our military efforts to “pacify” the Greater Middle East. Virtually none of our efforts have produced positive benefits, and have cost the United States dearly in both lives and money. Just as all our efforts to prevent the spread of communism in Viet Nam came to naught, we have accomplished nothing in the Greater Middle East other than to unify the region in it hatred for us and what we do to them, while further de-stabilizing large segments of the region. It’s time that we learned from hard past lessons instead of continuing with post-Viet Nam insanity.

I believe that it is time to abandon our open war in Afghanistan along with our “secret” wars in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. The killing of innocent civilians in order to get at suspected terrorists—whether by use of drones or Special Forces assassination teams—is morally indefensible and serves only to further inflame the locals against us. Can they hate us any more if we just leave?

And as far any future involvements go, well, if Iran attempts to close the Strait of Hormuz, let the rest of the world figure out to open up the sea (read: oil ) lanes there instead of looking to the United States, as it inevitably does. I can more easily live with much higher oil prices than see this country involved in yet another war without end. My guess is that with 20% of the world’s oil flowing through the Strait, the others will figure something out pretty damned quickly.

The only area in which I believe we should continue our involvement in the Middle East is with an ironclad guarantee—backed by military might, if necessary—that the nation of Israel has the right to exist within its pre-1967 borders, and that any overt attack on Israel should be regarded as an attack on the United States. Although Englehardt does not mention Israel in his analysis, I suspect that he would not agree with my position here.

Moreover, I support much greater efforts to secure our borders—if not outright “militarization" thereof—than Englehardt and other Progressives would.

The threat of a surreptitious nuclear or bioweapon attack remains a very real possibility in the U.S., even if we pull out of the Greater Middle East tomorrow. Of what possible positive interest is it to the United States to maintain what amounts to an “open borders” policy to our south, as well as to our north? Why should we not monitor our borders heavily to prevent possible terrorist attacks or the migration of drug cartel activity deeper into our country?

We lost 3,000 souls in the 9/11 attack. Why is a half-hearted defense of our borders worth the risk of 300,000 or 3,000,000 souls? And securing our borders has got to cost much less in both lives and money than our endless and feckless global war on terrorism.

Zee said...


As one who enjoys loud noises, the smell of gunpowder and the sight of things exploding in mid-flight, I would have enjoyed seeing the 15-second San Diego fireworks "display" firsthand.

Denis Neville said...

Premature Ignition: super-sized fires in western states; 100+ degree temperatures sucking the life out of everything; fears of a new dust bowl as this massive heat wave shrivels crops in Midwest…

I remember my mother’s stories of dust storms during the Dust Bowl era in South Dakota; the dust being red and everywhere despite stuffing cloth around windows to keep the dust out; red snow; a neighbor dying of dust pneumonia.

“On the 14th day of April of 1935 There struck the worst of dust storms that ever filled the sky. You could see that dust storm comin', the cloud looked deathlike black, And through our mighty nation, it left a dreadful track. From Oklahoma City to the Arizona line, Dakota and Nebraska to the lazy Rio Grande, It fell across our city like a curtain of black rolled down, We thought it was our judgement, we thought it was our doom.” - Woody Guthrie, the Dust Bowl Troubadour, “Great Dust Storm"

"This Is Just the Beginning": Forest Fires, Deadly Storms, Record Heat Reveal a Changed Climate,”

“Record-shattering heatwaves, wildfires and freak storms are a sampling of what is to come in 2012and a window to the future,”

Since our government cannot add 2+2 and get 4 and is doing nothing about this looming crisis, we may once again get those “dust bowl blues” Woody Guthrie sang about.

Claire Voyant said...

I guess they were ready when the moment was right...