Bomb Throwing Pacifist

If you took that happy, smiling guy from the box of Quaker Oats, handed him a bottle of gin and a rifle, and pissed him off to a point where he decided he wasn't going to take it anymore, you'd get a little something like this.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The (counter-)Revolution Will Be Televised!

News from the Front!

In a suspiciously under-reported news item that popped up (on my radar anyway) yesterday, it turns out that the Partiot act is worse than we thought. "How is that possible," you ask? I mean it's not like the Federal government has a whole lot of restrictions nowadays.

Is it prohibited from snooping on your library records, your medical records, and your phone calls, your snail mail, your e-mail, your financial records, your property and your physical person without a warrant? Nope.

It's not like there isn't a Department of Homeland Security to watch our every move and a National Security Agency to monitor and record every phone conversation and e-mail anywhere in the country, right? Hmmm.

Well, at least it's not like there's a Transportation Security Administration monitoring no-fly lists and regularly barring suspicious people from travelling where they please, correct? Nuh-huh.

Well, in case you were under the misguided view that having someone watching you over your shoulder was ok because, let's face it, you have nothing to be afraid of, well, here's a little something to whet your pallets.

Under H.R. 3119- the so-called "Patriot Improvment and Reauthorization Act of 2005," certain congressmen have proposed the creation of a national police force. Yes, you read that right, a NATIONAL POLICE FORCE. Details of this plan are sketchy so far, but here's what we do know:

1) The agency would probably be created under the auspices of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division and use that group as its core membership.

2) This force would be at the disposal of the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who is at this point in time Michael Chertoff.

3) Should the need arise, the secretary of DHL can comandeer local police forces and put them under the authority of this new federal police force. It's right there in black and white: “In carrying out the functions pursuant to paragraphs (7) and (9) of subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security may utilize, with their consent, on a reimbursable basis, the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of State and local government.”

So now, as other bloggers have so adeptly noted, the only thing missing from this equation is the ability development of the policy of what the Nazis and Communists used to reer to euphamistically as "protective custody." Picture this. You're a fairly vocal, anti-war liberal living in a suburb or someplace-anyplace- USA. It turns out the president's motorcade is scheduled to run through your town in order to hilight some great new "town hall" debate or another PR-type stunt. Next thing you know, men in suits are knocking at your door, asking to speak to you. You sit them down, maybe put on a pot of coffee, and they start asking you questions.

As the conversation develops, it becomes fairly clear that they know a lot about you. They know your e-mail address. They know the web address of your website and/or blog. They know which sites you visit and which forums you post on. They know who you've recieved letters from. They know all your credit card numbers and can give you a detailed report of your spending habits. They know your ex-girlfriend's name and address. They know where you work and what you do for a living. They know who your boss and co-workers are. And, while they don't come out and actually say it, you strongly suspect they know a whole lot more about you and have been monitoring you for several months.

Eventually, after a cup of coffee or two, they ask if you wouldn't mind coming down to the station to answer a few questions for them. Just routine business. They're sure you understand why these precautions are necessary. Of course, they assure you, they don't suspect you of anything, not at all. They chuckle with some embarassment. Politics, ya know? Those administration bigwigs in Washington can get so paranoid and...well...the local cops arene't always the most helpful.

You get in their car, and that's the last anyone ever hears from you. Your friends and loved ones get worried and call the police. No, they don't know anything about it. They don't know anything about Secret Service guys coming by your house. You call the USSSUD's help line, and are told that you were brought down to the station house and after answering a few quetions and making a statement, were released. Upon further questioning, the local police admit that you might have been at the station briefly, but that it was a federal matter, and in any case you were released. In any case, it's irrelevant, they inform you, because the any records which might have existed have long since been purged from the files, due to routine data maintenance. Your friends keep asking, but after a while they just give up. Noone's getting any answers and it's become clear that some of them are getting a little uncomfortable asking all these questions. Eventually, your relatives have you declared legally dead and take posession of your house and property.

All the while, you spend the next 20 years at a secret detention camp somewhere in Idaho or Nebraska, sewing leather covers on Gideon bibles, until you escape or are executed. Shucks, and tv critics used to say that the major flaw in the X-Files was that it was too implausible.
Marc with a C, 2:04 PM


Add a comment