fed up with the War on Terra and the dime-a-dozen Chicken
Littles, all constantly reminding us that the sky is falling.
On the other hand, we know it's a practical certainty there'll
be another terrorist attack in the United States, even if the
Chicken Littles have to do it themselves, just to show us. The
important question to ask is: how will we react when the inevitable
think that there will be a knee-jerk reaction toward martial law,
thus dragging us further toward a totalitarian state. Others think
that cooler heads will prevail and we will choose a path away
from the failed militarism that we've embraced since 9-11. Nah,
who are we kidding? Nobody believes that. It’ll definitely be
martial law, totalitarian state.
when the shit hits the fan and the clampdown begins, we know the
first question everyone will ask: “What happened to The Beast?”
Doesn't it stand to reason that this paper will be shut down?
Sure it does. Not because we really do anything important or dangerous.
We just annoy the hell out of enough people around here that,
in an era of unrestrained concessions to security concerns, there
would be little opposition to extinguishing our Beastly liberty.
So this got us thinking about who would be putting their boots
to our necks. We figure it will be Dicky Peterson.
Dickey Peterson, Cherub of Justice, played by Jim Carrey on “In
Living Color?” Carrey's dorky Guardian Angel reject was a hilarious
depiction of the sort of person that would gravitate toward right
wing vigilantism. The cruel joke is that the War on Terra and
the media’s constant warnings of terrorists lurking around every
corner is making the Dickey Petersons of the world take themselves
believe us? Then look no further than the Buffalo News for the
melodrama: “Boot camp for the war on terror marched into the Town
of Tonawanda on Saturday.” This was the opening sentence of an
article entitled “Citizens learn tips to spot terrorists” by Lou
Michel (the News’ terrorism expert, because he wrote about Timothy
McVeigh) on 2/26/2006. This article is a good example of how
silly this nonsense has become.
News' report tells of how the Peace Officer Training Academy,
a group whose only apparent credentials are that it has a website,
gave a free eight-hour course sanctioned and paid for by the Department
of Homeland Security to 55 people on spotting terrorists. A 15-year-old
who attended the course summed up what he learned about spotting
terrorists: "It's the way they carry themselves, acting odd."
Chief instructor said the “course gives them technical knowledge
of what to look for,” which his assistant described as things
like "buying bulk amounts of fertilizer,” “suspicious-looking
individuals taking pictures,” and “people wearing over-sized coats
or hooded sweat shirts on warm days.” Seems like they covered
all the bases, except for the infamous “I Blow Shit Up” T-shirt
typically worn by al Qaeda operatives.
course also provided “a better understanding of the importance
of being alert in a region filled with potential targets” such
as the “Niagara Power Project, Buffalo City Hall, the U.S.-Canadian
border, downtown Buffalo office buildings and Niagara Falls.”
members of a volunteer group called the Buffalo Special Police
attended because according to their chief “they want to be ready
if terrorism ever comes to Buffalo Niagara” and "we have
the waterfront and the border. If something happens, we'll know
what to do." Cherubs of Justice Unite!
really unsettling about the idea of this sort of citizen participation
is the algorithm of going from law enforcement wannabes to actual
sanctioned conduct. The father these citizens are from being police
professionals the more likely they are to be in it for the joy
of thuggery. In a climate of hyped war on terror we need to be
asking questions before the bomb or bombs go off. If we wait
until after it happens can we expect a fair hearing from a person
that will take great pleasure putting a boot to you for failing
to get in line in a properly subservient way?
is such a thing as being vigilant without being neurotic. We lived
through an era, (still live, actually) when the Soviet Union,
now Russia and various godforsaken war zones, had world-ending
missiles pointed in our direction. Back then (we don't think about
that particular very real danger today), we learned to hide under
our desks and kiss our asses goodbye in the event of an attack.
People otherwise went about their lives without much concern for
their impending doom. If you gave it too much thought you were
called nuts. If you suspected your neighbors, you were paranoid.
Today the paranoid nuts are not only respected, they are encouraged.
We need to recognize that these people are not only nuts, they
are dangerous, and a hell of a lot more common than terrorists.
The BEAST died of natural causes, that would be terrible enough.
But if some “benevolent” government entity euthanized us in the
name of freedom, that would be a very, very bad sign.
don't tell Dicky Peterson we said that, or he might use his “Death
Touch” on us.
1. Bass Probed & Waterfronted
2. Goldman Reporting from Alternate Universe