Thursday, September 10, 2009


A jump-on-the-grenade story is one in which a reporter at a small newspaper is sent out to cover a local event, one which is either of little importance or not something anyone is interested in other than the sponsors of the event.

The phrase's meaning is obvious -- a derivation of take-one-for-the-team. One of the more amusing uses of it in popular culture was in the movie The Stoned Age. On the search for female companionship, Joe and Hubbs wind up in an empty house with two girls, one too obviously beautiful, the other -- played by China Kantner, not so much. Hubbs advises Joe to altruistically do his manly duty, so he can get on with the action with the hot girl who won't put out if she feels her friend is neglected. In the movie, the grenade turns out not to really be a grenade.

But in Niagara Falls, the EMPAct America convention -- the exclusive property of the GOP fringe -- is a bona fide jump on the grenade event for journalism. Which explains why all the small local newspapers, the Tonawanda Gazzette, the Niagara Falls Forlorn Pooch, the Buffala Barbecue Wing, have afforded it the same manner of stenographic coverage.

The reporters are required to. It's local!

"For a country as utterly dependent on electronics and electricity as the United States, it’s a nightmarish scenario," reports the Buffalo News.

"Imagine a weapon that can disable our electrical grid, shutting down the telecommunications network and all other systems that need energy to run.

"Phones wouldn’t work. Computers wouldn’t function. People wouldn’t be able to withdraw money from an ATM. Water filtration and sewage treatment plants wouldn’t operate.

"'If electricity were suddenly to fail, we would be instantaneously transferred from the 21st century to the 19th century,' said Christopher A. Beck, senior adviser for science and technology to the House Homeland Security Committee."

Yes, it's back to the time of The Man Who Shot Libery Valance -- for the hundredth time or so -- when there was no hot running water, you used a shed for sh------ in, and bad men were removed from the commons with a good rifle blast.

Yesterday, healthcare reform was the big news. But a portion of the GOP, along with the standard collection of creationism believers, missile defense boosters and birthers like Frank Gaffney or Trent Franks, was in Niagara Falls to mull over the megathreat no one else cares about.

"I'm not worried. I have a tin foil beanie," posts one lonely commenter to the Buffalo News piece.

Whether or not Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, the man most reponsible for keeping the electromagnetic pulse doom iron in the fire in Washington for the past few years, regrets his issue has jumped into the gloppy refried bean plate of GOP extremist crazy is hard to know. But it has.

"At least one speaker, Beck, acknowledged that people who are passionate about the EMP issue are sometimes viewed as being a little off-kilter, but he said the good turnout at the conference shows that they are not alone," concluded the newspaper.

Yes, assuredly there's no shortage of off-kilter.


Blogger João o Ião said...

It seems there's a new trend in EMP, its the microwave ray gun, see it here at El Reg.
Money quote:
"There are those in the States who consider pulse attacks of various kinds to be a likely terrorist strategy, capable of knocking wired-up America back into the 19th century."

Ho well, just another argument for the FUD machine, nothing new here, carry on now!

Keep on rocking DD.


1:58 PM  
Blogger George Smith said...

And just be coincidence today.

3:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home