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Dear U.S. Department of Homeland Security…

I hear you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately.  It’s tough trying to look like you can do something to actually solve the terrorist problem.  Especially since anyone can be a terrorist: white guys, Asian guys, or maybe Islamic guys.   Heck, you need a big list to keep track of whose who, and you need to update it daily…

But I have to tell you something…you know, for your own good and all.  You see, many of the things you are doing are, well, pretty stupid.  And forcing everyone to carry passports to go to and from countries you used to have open borders with…well, that’s really right near the top of the stupid list. 

You remember that one time when your country was struck by evil?  Remember that time?  I’m sure you do: how could you forget?  My heart broke for your people that day- the horror of it.  Well, those guys who did that…they all had perfectly valid passports and travel visas.  The people who want to hurt you can get those kinds of papers.  They aren’t stupid.  They’ll recruit people who are already American citizens…and I doubt they’ll find it that difficult to find crazies within your own borders.

And the rights and freedom’s you supposedly treasure? Yeah, those things in that beautiful constitution you have under glass there?  Well, it’s starting to look to me like what you’ve got now is becoming a police state.  Folks who visit you will have to register their day to day travel plans…how long will it be before you follow them around just to “make sure”?  And since that’s expensive, you’ll probably recruit ordinary citizens to keep an eye open for you…you know, to watch their neighbors to see who is visiting, to observe any unusual behavior.  Not spying, oh no!  No, just protecting good Americans from the terrorist threat.  Enemies in your midst and all that.  And you know all those foreigners…none of them have true American values, so you really have to watch those types.

Remember how your government and citizens used to make snide and sarcastic comments about the bad old Soviet Union…about how they trampled the rights and freedoms of their citizens and so forth?  Remember how you used to go on and on about how those Soviets needed papers to go from place to place, or to leave the country?  Could it be, just maybe, that those oppressive commie bastards were scared, fearful of foreigners in their midst, afraid of the massive ground forces and nuclear missile arrays mere miles across their borders?    Fear makes people do some pretty crazy things. 

Sound familiar at all?  Here’s my advice: you can’t live in fear.  You can take some precautions, be more observant, pay more attention to signs that the bad guys are massing, and take that seriously.  But all this stuff about not letting folks carry nail clippers on planes, or requiring passports for everyone crossing your borders: everyone knows this is a waste of time.  Worse yet, it is playing directly to the fears of the ignorant. 

Hope everyone there is fine, things are great here. 

Sincerely Yours,

Me

 

[tags]9/11, terrorists, passports, homeland security[/tags]

4 comments to Dear U.S. Department of Homeland Security…

  • Oblivions

    Well then. Anything in particular prompt that piece? Or just the general disgust we all sometimes feel when trying to deal with the paranoia next door?

  • I think it was perhaps one too many news stories about needing passports and having to file travel itineraries in order to visit the U.S. Every time I hear someone say something to the effect that these changes are somehow predicated based on the need to improve security post-9/11…I swear I feel my IQ drop another point.

  • It makes more sense if you look at it this way: they aren’t doing this to keep out terrorists. They are doing this to “protect” americans from dangerous foreign ideas. Things like gay marriage, multiculturalism, universal healthcare, world court and international agreements, tolerance for different cultures.

    Remember the people carrying this out are paranoid, that is what they do. But the people ultimately behind this are the religious right and the neo-cons of the republican right. The same people that want to “protect” Americans from things like learning about evolution in school, Al-Jazeera on cable, and off colour lyrics in songs.

    The people in charge of “homeland security” down south know exactly what they are doing. They are trying to keep Americans sheltered and ignorant and acquiescent. Sadly, I suspect they even think that is what is best for the average American.

  • You could be right, Chris. But I tend not to credit intelligent planning when simple stupidity can just as conclusively lead to the same thing 🙂

    I can imagine how stupid ideas start out sounding sort of smart- like the travel registry thing. After a while, they get some momentum going, and at about that point they develop the “…to protect us from terrorism” mystique*. As in “How can you not be for this? It is to protect us from terrorism!” Everyone who has to approve these plans can imagine scenarios where, under some circumstances, virtually *any* stupid idea might be the one that prevents the next catastrophe. And no one wants to be the guy who rejected the plan that was intended “…to protect us from terrorism”

    Basically, take any stupid idea you can possibly imagine. Tack on the the phrase “…to protect us from terrorism.” Then ask in a loud, whiny voice, preferably with flecks of spittle flying from your mouth while waving a placard saying “9/11: never forget!”. Alternately substitute “…for the children.”

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