HOMELAND SECURITY (brought to you by Chicken Little)

Apparently, the Chicago Fire Department is taking cues from John Ashcroft. Instead of initiating a massive terror response training regimen, instead of supplying the rank and file with new mass casualty supplies, they sent the following dispatch over the alarm terminal:

What do they expect us to do differently? Are we supposed to start carrying firearms? Is Mayor Daley going to pay Blackwater to send over some ‘security contractors’?

Okay, so maybe the city government has to play along in order to keep getting the federal dollars (such as they are). However, I’d feel a lot better if the top brass of our fine department didn’t participate in the Feds’ ridiculous fearmongering campaign.

This reminds me of something I saw shortly after the Bushies invaded Iraq last year (I’m mentally kicking myself now for not snatching it and making a copy of it then). Local 2 (the Chicago firefighter’s union) regularly sends out a ‘rehire’ list. This is simply a list of who got the most recent overtime gigs, and it lists people in order of when they last received the opportunity for overtime. This is not important to the story. What is important is that at the bottom of the first page of every rehire list is some sort of pithy saying or slogan written by the union office person(s) who compile the list. It is usually something related to the closest holiday, or just a generic “be safe” message. This time, however, the saying was related to an apparent obfuscation of already convoluted Bush foreign policy. Written in large, bold type was something to the effect of “SADDAM IS GONE, BUT WE STILL HAVE TO BE AWARE.”

Apparently, our union representatives (at least the ones who made the rehire list) were among the alleged majority of U.S. citizens polled who believed Saddam Hussein was not only the possessor of the world’s largest WMD arsenal outside of the U.S., but that the erstwhile dictator was also behind the 9/11 attacks. I wonder if they are even paying attention to the news from Iraq anymore, or if they’ve moved on to cheering for the Cubs/White Sox without even blinking.

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