Category Archives: national security

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Does anyone know anything about wha the hell happened?!

Paul and my dad are trying to get downtown right now. I begged them not to go, the whole fucking city looks like it’s on fire. I would have sat on Paul if Dad wasnt’ with him. Dad’s very level headed.

The men in uniforms on the street say it’s just a fire, that they fire department is on it, but no fire eversounded like that, damnit. KABOOM! They are fucking bombing Boston! 

If you know what’s going on, please please call me. If you have heard from Gil, please call. The cells seem to be up, Paul calls every fifteen minutes. We can’t reach Gil, though. 

The news is coming in really garbled. NPR says that they are trying to get a man on the scene, something about Southie being a mad house. Gil’s at the convention center in Southie and I am terrified that Paul is going down there and going to try to get past all those angry old mobsters and those terrible old bridges. 

If you know anything, please CALL!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

As predicted, things have gone from bad to worse. My folks arrived last night with most of their possessions… but not all. Apparently they got charged “tolls” for entering the city and when they didn’t have the cash, the men with the guns took jewelry instead. Mom lost her pearls, her wedding ring, her emerald earrings, and some costume stuff she had in a box that was clearly visible from the street. They also took my dad’s wedding ring.

Her engagment ring, her mother’s pearls, my grandmother’s locket, and several gold chains were all in a pouch in her purse. She kept those. 

They arrived to find me hauling my self out to the kitchen for another night with The Shotgun Brigade. (That’s what the three of us with guns have started calling ourselves. Gallows humor.) My dad — he used to be a Ranger a very long time ago — heard what I was doing, reached into the trunk of his car, and pulled out his hunting rifle and then insisted on joining me. 

There was a very long line outside of the kitchen warehouse when we got there and people screamed some awful things at me for “cutting the line.” When I waved my gun and tried to explain that I worked there, they just got angrier. 

There were several attempts to rob the place and one partially succeeded. A large group of angry men rushed us at about midnight. I was angry enough and tired enough that I swear I think I was about to fire. My dad stopped me. He’s a rock.

They got away with several boxes of food. Mostly cereal and some canned veggies. 

If they were starving, if they were hungry people trying to feed their families, I wouldn’t be so livid. But they are just stupidly frightened (or maybe frightened stupid) and scrabbling food to hoarde. They probably have plenty of food still at home, but it’s like those bank runs this time last year — once people start to lose faith, it all comes down like a house of cards. 

And the thing is, I really feel like they raided us just to be doing something. They feel everything going to hell and instead of just hunkering down, they feel like they need to DO something. So they steal food. Which causes this whole cascade of mistrust. 

Dad and I arrived home just an hour ago. We’re going to sack out now that the rest of the folks are up and about. Good thing, too. There weren’t enough beds for all of us to sleep at once. Gil’s off to the convention — Paul says he’s frothing at the mouth about everything, about the betrayal of the people. We’re frankly a little worried about his heart. Or a stroke. 

I’m going to bed.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The house is quiet, the streets are desserted, there are no lights in the city. 

Over the summer, with clear skies and warm nights, the darkness didn’t seem so odd. I was raised in the country with no streetlights — I’m used to that absolute black. But fall blew in on a storm two days ago that knocked out all the electricity and had us all pulling out the wool sweaters. Between the heavy cloud cover and the fact that no one wants to put a light in the window, and the fact that dawn doesn’t come until 6:30….

I feel like it’s all coming apart at the seams.

I was awake to see the early morning dark because I got tapped to guard the kitchen warehouse last night. Apparently, I’m one of three people in the whold staff who can use a gun without blowing my foot off. With the General gone, things have gone from got to bad to HOLY FUCK pretty damned quick. We’ve got people from the outlying ‘burbs pouring into the cities on the rumour that it’s better here. We’ve got people from the city leaving for… I don’t know where. In the day time, it’s confusing but still normal. New-normal, but it was safe on the streets. The rumours were flying fast — the General’s daughter being held at Gitmo, troops on the Mass./R.I. border, spaceships at MIT (which really wasn’t the most ridiculous thing we’d heard, believe it or not) — and people we gathering at any public space to talk, natter, worry, debate, argue. 

Once the sun went down last night though, with no electricity, it got bad. There were roving gangs of looters and roving gangs of “neighborhood watch” types trying to defend their little chunck of city, and roving squads of military types who are trying to protect everyone but don’t have a command structure right now. 

I know all of this because I spent the night sitting at the warehouse with a loaded shotgun, some emergency flares, a bullhorn, and an extra-strong cup of the last coffee in the city. Happily, in Cabridge at least, guns are pretty damned rare among the general population and the Neighborhood Watch types and the looters were mostly unarmed. And there’s really nothing quite as frightening in the dark as the sound of a double-barreled shotgun being ratched. Most folks would give up. Things died out about midnight, happily.

We did let one group of armed types with uniforms take some food. Not a lot, but we weren’t sure that they weren’t actually the military types. I miss the General.

Today is going to be tough. Tonight is going to be tougher. If I wasn’t so wired and tired, I’d be panicking.

My folks called on the cell last night. They and their dogs are on their way up today. They are putting as much food in the car as my dad can manage. I asked them to bring dad’s hunting rifles, too. And I told them to come in the daylight only and on backroads only. It’s going to be a tight fit with them and Gil. Not that we’ve seen Gil in three days, what with the “convention” going into overdrive. 

Avery was a little white around the eyes this morning as she took over guard duties, talkinga bout her relatives in Kansas. She’s sort of the driving force that holds this little kitchen together and if she bugs out… 

I’m so tired.

Friday, Sept. 11, 2009

I didn’t even realize the date until I sat down to write this. Now that I think on it, it’s dreadfully appropriate.

I spent the day today dealing with setting up a refugee camp.

Not for the hurricane mess. Other folks have that task well in hand. I had been running around doing extra stuff for that but yesterday morning Avery tapped me on the shoulder and then she discretely walked me into a small room to ask me to handle a delicate situation.

At first I figured one of the guys in the kitchen — a real handsy playboy — had gotten too frisky with one of the college students one too many times. I was dreading the talk because he has fantastic knife skills and takes most of the prep off my shoulders for dinner.

No, this was way worse. 

Turns out that the U.S.A. had finally and trully enacted the Muslim Registration Act, which, oh God I’m just figuring it out now, I’m so stupid, went into effect today. Of course it did. Fucking politicians and their god damned symbolism. Anyway….

Since a lot of Muslim communities in the U.S.A. have noticed a very very high “disappeared” rate in the past year or so, the registration act had a lot of them truly and deeply terrified. And so, suddenly, a number of large groups apparently picked up stakes and made for the border — the U.S.N.E. border. They arrived at the Vermont border just after dawn yesterday with plenty of stuff and, they thought, enough money for a decent grubstake. 

They were leaving houses, property, buisinesses behind. But they were willing. And I got tapped to try and get a handful settled into Cambridge. Apparently, the fact that I know what “halal” means makes me a multicultural whizz. (Note to self — is that why there are no Muslims in the community kitchens? Can we start a halal kitchen so I don’t get stuck with this job again. ‘Cause it’s going to happen again…)

This seemed like a fairly easy job — find landlords willing to rent to the families, show them around, explain the T, basically give a freshman orientation. There were other places where the job wasn’t so easy — some of the refugees were showing up with no money, not nearly enough stuff, some were sick, some spoke little to no English. Apparently, someone has a sick fuck sense of humor and sent a whole bunch of very angry, very fundamentalist Muslims up to the northern end of New Hampshire to work on a farm up there. Hee. I’d pay to see that. But the smallish group they sent on to Cambridge (who is “they”? Do we even have an immigration office? A policy?) were all very well-educated, had good cash reserves, good job skills, good language skills. No chadors, anyway.

And then, this morning, their bank accounts got frozen. Apparently they didn’t make the transfers fast enough or something, I don’t know. Paul tried to explain it but I’m just too tired to grasp the complexities of interegnum international banking. 

Suddenly the whole thing became much more complicated. Made even more complicated by the phone call in the middle of the day saying that I should prepare for a whole lot more over the weekend. Apparently some violence happened in Kansas City, of all places, right around lunchtime, and suddenly more Muslims are streaming east. I should start looking into ways to house and feed and clothe whole bunches more. 

The thing is, I am mildly ashamed to admit that I really don’t understand what halal means. I mean, no pork, no booze, no blood, I get that. But I’m sure there’s more than that. And if they really want halal, meaning meat slaughted by a religious guy with the right paraphanalia, they are probably scrod. Can they eat scrod

I have a lot of wiki-ing to do tonight. And reading books. And logistics. 

And I have to talk Avery out of her brilliant idea to put this new group in Brookline. Sigh.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Okay, so I’m one of those moms. I bake my own bread, I can my own food, I sew quilts. I wore April in a sling and she only plays with wooden toys and eats organic food. Despite all fo this, I haven’t gone to far as some other Cantabridgian moms have. I admit it — I still watch TV.

April doesn’t. The only Nick she’s ever seen was at the doctor’s office, she doesn’t know who Elmo or Dora is, she’s avoided all the Disney stuff. But I still like my TV. I watch House and Mythbusters and The Daily Show back before the gov’t pulled it off the air. I like some cooking shows and I love The Closer.

So I’m really annoyed at the this whole delayed fall season. I get that the U.S.A. now has much more stringent rules about what can go on the air — they call it national security, we call it censorship. But the fact that the office of free speech or whatever they call it didn’t present these guidelines until now, two weeks before the first episode of House was supposed to go on the air! The fact that there’s talk of not letting the telecoms export the shows to the U.S.N.E. at all….

Damnit, I need my Hugh Laurie fix.I have to know what’s going to happen with House and Cutty! Is she or isn’t she? I’ve got a friend who is all kinds of twisted up over the delay in the Desperate Housewives premiere, too. The whole Bree plotline has her freaking out. And what about Lost? We’re all dying for more Lost!

I guess I can’t complain too much. I mean, we seceded. We don’t get a say in what the U.S.A. gov’t does any more. And while the U.S.N.E. gov’t would never censor any damned thing, Boston isn’t really a hopping center of film and television. I just wish California and New York would secede, too, so we could keep getting our shows.

I really miss John Stewart.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I don’t know if this has made the news in the rest of the US yet (or even if it will).  I’ve heard bits on the TV and more from former EPA colleague who heard it from a Coast Guard guy.

Apparently, when Gen. Carlson made his ultimatum to the military forces in New England to back him, disarm, or leave, most of the Navy vessels in New England ports put to sea.  There were a few destroyer exceptions (some up in Bath, ME on refits), but pretty much, we’re without a Navy (we still have our Coasties, God Bless ’em).  One of the ships (or in this case boat) that didn’t leave was the USS Alabama (SSBN 731).  The Alabama is an Ohio-class ballistic missile nuclear submarine.  She’d just been put in dry-dock at Electric Boat in Groton to be converted from a ballistic missile sub (SSBN) to a cruise-missile sub (SSGN).  Apparently she still had her nuclear-tipped Trident missiles on-board.

According to the Coastie who related the story, the captain and crew of the Alabama wanted to get her the hell out of New England.  The EB workers and managers said she wasn’t safe to sail.  So on Tuesday night, a chunk of the crew broke into the EB dry-dock, re-floated their boat and headed out into the Thames River.  Turns out, the EB mechanics knew what they were talking about.  The boat started taking on water as soon as it hit the river and lost power before they cleared Fisher’s Island.

A couple of Coast Guard cutters from the Academy went out and helped some tugboats pull her back up-river.  There was some ‘discussion’ between the Navy folks at the sub base, the Electric Boat people, and the Coasties.  Admiral Burhoe (Superintendent of the Academy) had the boat tied-up at the Academy’s docks.

Apparently there is now a commission from the UN and EU meeting in New London to oversee the transfer of remaining nukes from New England territory to the US ‘mainland’ without anymore hijinks.  The Europeans are understandably a little nervous about the threat of civil war in a country with 30,000 nuclear weapons (all except the Russians who must be loving this I imagine).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hey look, TV news is back.

I was never much for the local news even before the Halloween attacks, but one of our neighbors told us to tune in. Crank-up the bike-generator, and check-it out, there’s Governor Patrick having a news conference on the steps of the State House. More importantly, behind him are a bunch of Army folks and a newly shaven (his cheeks were pretty red) Colonel. Yeah, THAT Colonel…the one that’s been leading a leading running fights with the mercs for the past month.

After Deval finished his spiel, he handed-off the podium to one of the Army folks — looking the whole time like he was choking back some of my grandmother’s inedible tuna-noodle surprise. The Army guy, a general according to the network scroll, looked to be doing his best Morgan Freeman impression. And here’s where it got weird.

Major General Jebediah Carlson US Army (un-retired), announced that there was a “fundamental conflict” between serving and protecting the US Constitution and following the orders of of the current occupant of the White House in his role as Commander-in-Chief. He announced that Boston, and the surrounding six New England states, are no longer under the authority of the Federal Government as represented in Washington, DC. He made it clear that he will not require any of the National Guard or regular military folks still in the area to continue to serve. They are free to stand-down or to leave.

After this announcement, the TV camera was blocked for a moment by some out-of-focus pixel-cammo. When the TV guy got the camera up off the tripod and on his shoulder, it showed a swath of military folks, some in modern BDUs, some in the beat-up desert/urban cammo that the Colonel’s vets have been using, all standing at attention and saluting this General.

It was probably staged,,,I know that.  Still, the shot sent shivers down my spine eventhough I was pedalling away on the bike generator.

So now I guess this guy is in charge.  Is Patrick still governor then?  Is he part of a ruling council or something?  Are the Children of Liberty being invited into this semi-military junta?  Or are they behind the whole thing anyway?  Hell, what about the other governors and other states.  Carlson may claim to be speaking for all of New England, but how much does he really have command of…and for how long?

Wrapping this up, some sort of ruckus going on down the street…