"Fire — bad!"

(Photo Source: Chris Doolittle)

The other day I sat down to eat and decided to turn on the news. I
wanted to get an update on the raging fires in southern California.
Since CNN and MSNBC both had some sort of talking head type person
doing their own bit, the only actual up-to-the-minute news I could
find was on FOX.

I don't like FOX news. In fact, I often ask myself if they are really
even a news channel or just some sort of propaganda agency. But I
figured that for what I wanted — just a report on the California
fires — that I wouldn't have to worry much about politics.

Guess again. The first thing I heard when the news came on was the
reporter talking about the possibility that the fires had been the
product of arson — and perhaps had been works of terrorism.

"Oh jeez" I said to myself. I had been through a similar thing earlier
in the year here in the Pacific Northwest with our local fires. There,
the commentary on every single fire seemed to be that it may have
been started by "a cigarette smoker." I ask you how they could possibly
have any proof of that considering that most of the fires were spread
over thousands of acres and that there was no way they could have done
that kind of minute forensics since the fires began. But as the old
saying goes, "don't confuse me with the facts." It was a good opportunity
for the anti-tobacco people to get in another attack against smokers and

And now this. Now, assuming for a minute that there are terrorists that
want to attack our country, and I think that's a pretty safe assumption
given that some of them have actually stated such, I wonder what the
likelihood is that they would choose fire as the method of choice. Seems
a little "low tech" compared to their usual methods. Granted, I suppose
there could have been some extremists sitting around somewhere here in
the U.S., waiting for some sort of opportunity to present itself. Very
dedicated, they would do nothing but watch cable TV all day, including
the Weather Channel. Then, hearing about high winds and dry conditions
in southern California, they would hop on a plane, go to San Diego, buy
a half dozen cans of gasoline and go out and set fires here and there.

Is it possible? Maybe. Is is probable? I sincerely doubt it. My guess is
that if any of the fires were purposely set that it would be the work of
those types of people who normally do things like that — the nut-case
that lives a few doors down from us and moved in just about the time the
neighborhood cats started disappearing.

Blaming things like the California fires on terrorism would be like
blaming hurricane Katrina on terrorism. And there is really no doubt in
my mind that some people would have done that if it had been at all
possible. Hey, who knows, right? Maybe Osama Bin Laden has a secret group
of brilliant scientists in his employ who are controlling the worlds
weather and were able to manufacture Katrina from their secret base in
wherever the hell it is they're at.

You know, there's your solution to Global Warming right there. We
can ask Osama and his secret scientists to fix it all up for us.