Monday, September 06, 2004

Report Suspicious Activity

I live in the Washington DC metro area. There are various message boards that give drivers "real-time" traffic information to prepare them for traffic jams or stop and go traffic ahead. When there are no traffic snarls or snafus these boards advertise "Report Suspicious Activity Call 1-800-942-TIPS." Call me un-American if you will but these signs are the most anti-American thing I've ever seen.

"Report Suspicious Activity." It's not a request. It's a demand. What's suspicious anymore? People cannot video their vacation without being suspicious. People cannot take pictures in front of national monuments without being suspicious. You cannot park near a public building without being suspicious. What is suspicious activity? We don't know our neighbors anymore, so how do we define "suspicious?" Is it suspicious that our neighbor has set out several boxes marked "for charity" in front of his/her house? Is it suspicious that they have begun sweeping their stoop only on odd numbered days? What is suspicious? What about the neighbor that pulls her shades during the day and comes out seldomly? Is that suspicious?

"Report Suspicious Activity." This makes me think of a wonderful tale by George Orwell. This makes me think of some sort of governmental police that can spy on private citizens, questioning them, sequestering them, and ultimately detaining them for no other reason than suspicion. Wasn't there a governmental machine that did that before? Oh yeah they called it the KGB. Or maybe I studied this in my history class, but then they called it "un-American" activities and they were headed by some guy named McCarthy. Now they call it "Homeland Security."

Homeland Security and "Suspicious Activity." So now we have the greenlight to point fingers at anyone we do not like, anyone we do not agree with, anyone we deem "unacceptable" by our own skewed standards. The government can listen to our phone conversations without providing search warrants. The government can detain us for no reason, for an indefinite period of time. This is your government folks, a government that would restrict your freedoms because they deem them "suspicious." Don't speak Arabic, certainly not in jest. God forbid you say the word "jihad" on the phone. God help you if you say it on a cell phone, or should I say "Allah" help you?

Our freedom is at stake. You see, the terrorists have already won. They won because we have signs up that tell us to "Report Suspicious Activity." They won because our congressmen were debating the torture of prisoners who were and are named "enemy combatants." They won because we shut ourselves inside our four walls and a roof expecting freedom to be won by the rhetoric and vitriol of the politicians. The terrorists won because we don't respect each other anymore. They won because we forgot what the "U" in U.S.A represents. They have won because we worry more about the football season than we do the war in Sudan. The terrorists have won and all we can do now is "Report Suspicious Activity."

Now some of you will say that I am being negative, that these signs give us someone to call, giving us an alternative to hindsight. Think what you will, say what you will; I am right. Give this government the ability to usurp the Bill of Rights and you can kiss your Freedom of Speech and your Freedom of the Press goodbye. This isn't the prohibition era people, this is real-time, this is real life, this is reality here and we're kicking back watching them take away the rights of the accused, all the while shaking our fists in the air and goading our government agencies into dehumanizing these people more. But we're not thinking what would happen if that was us, or one of our loved ones being falsely accused. No, we're not thinking about what the real agenda comes down to.

I hate Bush. I hate Kerry more. I'd rather have a man of action, even if I don't agree with his actions, in the White House, than have a man who vacillates and wavers and in the end accomoplishes nothing but the waste of valuable time. If it were up to me, I'd rid the Senate and the House of all career politicians and start over. But I cannot say that without arousing "suspicion." If you feel the need to report me, here is the number again: 1-800-942-TIPS.


Anonymous said...

Look a little harder at Kerry. Bush stands for nothing as far as I can tell. His "actions" seem to me to be all about politics, nothing more.

Edster said...

Kerry doesn't stand for anything other than flip-flops. He betrayed his fellow fighting men in Vietnam, which is just a precursor to his actions as a politician. Look at Kerry's history and tell me one thing that he has been consistent on in the past. And as far as Bush goes, he's a bit of a "jumping the gun" type of President. I support Badnarik. I will continue to support the Libertarian Party, as they have interests which are akin to mine.

Edster said...

From one of my friends:

Hey , you must run for jackpot Ed , because this was well predicted ! Im from Europe and the idea of US government is worst than a nazi or a dictator. And the fault is from the people but that's happen a bit to around the world where the rich are richer and pass above the laws ... another lesson that an civilization is learning it is strange that like 1000 years ago things were a bit similar.

Taxes for everything , boss make the rules , banks do what the wish , countries invaded with the lowest excuses that we can see etc etc etc etc ... words for what what is actions