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The Paranoid States of America
How fearful are you?
How fearful are you? As Steven Colbert said; "Lock your doors and board up your windows, because America is in a state of panic. I hope you're wearing a clean diaper". "Look to your left, look to your right, both those people could be terrorists. And what about that guy in the middle, he keeps looking around so much, what's he planning"? Tea Partiers, Communists, Liberals, Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, Muslims, Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Hindus, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Skin Heads, boys in hoodies, neighborhood watchers, militias and Neo-Nazis. Do I need to get a concealed gun license? That worked out well for Zimmerman, did it not? So many people belong to evil groups, out to destroy me or tear down America. It's hard to keep up with all the groups I should fear or hate. Except of course for the members of my group, we are the true patriots and we believe in the one true faith. All those other people need to be watched for any sign of subversiviness. America has embarked on a paroxysm of fear and we have a long history of paranoia.
It’s crazy pants
The NSA is tracking all of our communications, phone calls and emails are now in huge databases ready for Uncle Sam to search for patterns. Are you being lied to by the news media, the authorities, the corporate world? Is somebody -- or something --out to get you? Embassies across the Muslim world are closed until August 10, due to uncertain threats. The State Department announced a global travel alert, warning that al Qaeda or its allies might target either US government or private American interests. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: "This is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities."
Speaking about the blanket closures: "“It’s crazy pants – you can quote me,” said Will McCants, a former State Department adviser on counterterrorism who this month joins the Brookings Saban Center as the director of its project on U.S. relations with the Islamic world".
The US has interests around the globe so, we have all been instructed to be afraid, be very afraid. The terrorist threat is Code Brown; it's time to change your diaper! Panic and hyperbole have led us to become less American, more distrustful and more frightened than we should be. We now have secret courts and secret laws, Americans can be held in prison without charge and without lawyers and we respond by digging holes to hide in.
Natural Rights vs The Patriot Act" by Judge Andrew Napolitano
At one time Benjamin Franklin (or Thomas Jefferson) said:
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety".
That was okay for the founding fathers but today we face terrorists. All the founders of this country faced were Native Americans, a hostile frontier and a despotic English King. We're scared and willing to give up some freedoms as long as the government protects us from the bad guys.
How do we respond? If you are reading this, you must have come out from underneath the covers of your bed, at least as far as your computer to get online. Good for you! Are you ready to join the ranks of "Doomsday Preppers"? Get more guns, stock up on ammo and food and dig a hole to hide it, it's Armageddon I tell ya. During the height of the Cold War, people were busy digging holes to hide in called bomb shelters. Politicians responded with McCarthyism and black lists, trying to ferret out those dirty commies. Eventually reason prevailed and McCarthy died an alcoholic wreck. President Eisenhower, free of McCarthy's political intimidation, quipped to his Cabinet that McCarthyism was now "McCarthywasm".
Our government, either responding to public fears or manipulating fear continues to grab hitherto unconstitutional powers and we respond not by demanding freedom but by demanding security.
The USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act, stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. That certainly sounds patriotic.
Some choice nuggets from the Patriotic Act II
An American citizen suspected of being part of a terrorist conspiracy could be held by investigators without anyone being notified. He could simply disappear."" the government would no longer be required to disclose the identity of anyone, even an American citizen, detained in connection with a terror investigation - until criminal charges are filed, no matter how long that takes (sec 201).
Current court limits on local police spying on religious and political activity would be repealed (sec. 312).
Release of information about health/safety hazards posed by chemical and other plants would be restricted (sec. 202).
The reach of an already overbroad definition of terrorism would be expanded - individuals engaged in civil disobedience could risk losing their citizenship (sec. 501); their organization could be subject to wiretapping (secs. 120, 121) and asset seizure (secs. 428, 428).
How do the Patriot Act and the NSA sweeping up our communications compare with the Constitution?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Prepper food supply
Terrorism VS Guns
Safety Council notes
In the real world, as the National Safety Council notes :
-You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist
– You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack
– You are 12,571 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack
— You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane
— You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack
–You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack
— You are 87 times more likely to drown than die in a terrorist attack
– You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack
–You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack
–You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack
–You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist
–You are 8 times more likely to die from accidental electrocution than from a terrorist attack
– You are 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack
Secrets of the Patriot Act
Rising Sun Armchair
George Washington used this chair for nearly three months of the Federal Convention's continuous sessions. James Madison reported Benjamin Franklin saying, "I have often looked at that behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I... know that it is a rising...sun."
Is the sun still rising? Or, has the American experiment with freedom gone astray and it is now a setting sun? Old Ben must be rolling over in his grave.
Are we so frightened as a nation that we willingly give up the freedoms our ancestors fought and died for?
The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror
Are our legislators doing their jobs?
The house of Representatives busies itself by voting for 40 times to repeal Obamacare while the
Senate is tied up with Filibusters, thus nothing gets done.
President Obama offered Hope and Change but followed Republican policies. Radical Kenyan Socialist? He seems more like a closet Republican.
What do we do? Do we elect new blood? No, we dig holes to hide in and buy more guns.