Don’t Suspect a Friend, Report Him!
As most of us know, Kansas City, Missouri is a haven for international and domestic terrorists. Pakistan and Afghanistan are small potatoes compared to this insurgency stomping ground. The kooks who tend to flourish in Missouri are young, law-abiding liberty-seekers who advocate Ron Paul’s limited-government ideas; third-party proponents who supported Bob Barr’s presidential bid; and constitutionalists who stand behind Chuck Baldwin’s push to inform the masses of the menace posed by our unconstitutional government.
Recently, a Freeman in Missouri pointed out a website to me that he saw advertised on the local tube: PrepareMetro KC. The purpose of the website-courtesy of the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee-is to convince the comfortably numb among the masses that they can “help detect and prevent terrorism.” The website reports:
Terrorist operations begin with extensive planning. You can help prevent and detect terrorism—and other types of crime—by watching out for suspicious activities and reporting them to the proper authorities. Watch for the Seven Signs of Terrorism:
* Seeking Information
* Testing Security
* Acquiring Supplies
* Suspicious Behavior
* Trial Runs
* Getting into Position
The Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee is kind enough to include a video version of “Identifying Terrorists for Dummies.” In the video, actors play out the seven signs so you can learn what a terrorist looks like. Accordingly, “anything out of the ordinary” is deemed a “possible terrorist plot or threat,” and it is stressed that such abnormal behavior must be seriously assessed and investigated. At 3:55 of the propaganda production, a jogger runs by a man on a park bench writing in his notepad. I looked for signs of grenades, big ole bombs ‘neath the bench, or an assemblage of scary-looking darkies toting box cutters in the background, but no such thing is apparent. However, since spending time alone to write in a notepad outdoors is a highly suspicious, deviant, and subversive activity, the jogger, disturbed by the sinister notebook, stops to pull out her cell phone and call the police. She’s being a good girl, executing the kind of response the chief fearmongers desire from a model citizen. This stuff is like chicken soup for the loyalist soul. We’re all Soviet snitches now.
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Whenever my father would see this sort of thing cropping up, on TV, in ads, or in the general attitude of the populace, he would remark, in a tone of repugnance, “We are a nation of helpless idiots.” Thus I developed the ability to discern the sensible from the absurd while growing up.
The propagandists who dream up these lame security alerts circulate the idea that none of us are ever safe because there are terrorists everywhere, and thus we, the loyal citizenry, must be aptly trained so that we may detect the telltale signs of the guerrillas among us. And the perception that these propaganda campaigns attempt to implant is that our greatest threat is domestic terrorism. They may be our friends, neighbors, the plumber-a lone guy on a park bench-or the church member who insists on homeschooling his kids. Either way, we need to learn how to ferret out those seditious types and report them to the Proper Authorities.
Among my favorite disinformation campaigns are the interminable announcements that blare from the foghorns in government airport terminals. “REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS PERSONS OR ACTIVITY…REPORT ANY UNATTENDED BAGS…REPORT ANY STARBUCKS CUP OR SLICE OF PIZZA CRUST LEFT UNATTENDED…” Report, report, report. Tell, tell, tell.
So why airports? Since airplanes have become flying Greyhound buses, and airports have become ground zero for the dumbed-down lumpen proletariat, the listenership at airports is ripe for inane propaganda. In a place where people are herded like cattle and searched like criminals, it’s not hard to break down their already unenlightened state and further melt their mindset toward a helpless condition. Similar to the military recipe for breaking down individuality, Homeland Security’s TSA aims to break down any resistance they may face from any individual. Because you have to be somewhere and have little or no alternative to flying on a quasi-governmental Greyhound bus, and because you must pass Go before you collect your $200, you have no choice but to enter through the TSA’s turnstiles of terror. At this point, people are intimidated and uncertain, which leads them to look for something that provides comfort. So the TSA goons ensure you they are working to help you, protect you, and keep you safe. They scare you, make small talk with you, and then pretend to secure you. So suddenly, people feel better and the feelings move from being intimidated to granting approval and thanks. The psychology of the process is quite simple and rather perverted, but it works on the majority of the herd.
The government’s anti-terrorist propaganda seeks not to dumb down the populace, but to convince people that they are already dumb, helpless, and uninformed, and so its purpose to “pull them up” through its awareness campaigns that enlighten one from the level of boob to educated informant. Moving to such heights does wonders for the self-esteem of idiots.
As much as the state perpetuates this nonsense and the scaremongering in order to keep the masses in favor of its “protection” (thus paving the way for the funding and expansion of government), remember that whenever the government-either federal, state, or local-plants the ideas of “everywhere and always there are terrorists,” there are willing citizens who voluntarily latch on to these ideas and take great pleasure in promoting and spreading that mentality. Behind the federalized Homeland Security operation there lies an abundance of state, county, and local autocrats who are more than happy to adopt and spread the message of fear and the necessity of state security. Their rewards are power, position, and monetary gain. On top of that, the majority of the masses who are being sold the security message are willingly-and often enthusiastically-buying the government’s prescription.
The tyranny of the masses is, and has been, a significant apparatus for serving the government in its crusade toward a totalitarian agenda. As long as the majority of the people are so passive as to welcome the government’s false sense of security, it will have an audience to which it can market its duplicitous spin. And when those same people accept the propaganda as meaningful and necessary, they grant it legitimacy and engender its growth.
This essay is dedicated to my father (1926-2008), whose powers of discernment and evaluation were second to none. My Dad, an inventor who refused to ever use the patent system, chose not to trademark his very original expression.