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the skunks of los feliz
Yesterday's blackout, which rattled nerves across L.A., and indeed, the nation (I inadvertantly left my cellphone in silent mode, and subsequently received a series of progressively more concerned voicemails from family back east), has turned out to have been caused not by jihadist knuckleheads, but garden-variety DWP knuckleheads.

It wasn't al Qaeda, this time. But, as the latest hokey threat tape, featuring an unconvincing Riverside County dude with his head wrapped in a turban, gesticulating wildly while spouting your typical OBL propaganda line (We love death! Blood in streets! Slice your throats!), made clear, L.A. has a big ass bullseye painted on its back (Sidebar: these tapes would be laughable if the lunatics making them weren't deadly serious. I mean, c'mon: That dialogue! Those production values! Fucking amateurs...).

City officials have sought to downplay the videotaped threat, saying they are aware of no specific intelligence pointing to an imminent attack. As far as we know, they are telling us the truth. However, as the successive attacks on the World Trade Center made clear, al Qaeda is nothing if not persistent. They will keep grinding, probing for weaknesses, biding their time. Knowing as we do that LAX was the target of a planned attack (prevented only by an observant border guard), we should fully expect that al Qaeda will attempt to attack us again.

That's not to say that we should all panic, cover our windows in duct tape, and stop living our lives. On the contrary: We should go on as usual, our middle fingers extended in a hearty "Fuck you" to those assholes. But we should be prepared, and in light of the failure of government (at all levels) to respond effectively to Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, it might be a good idea to go over those emergency response plans one more time.
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