That was my planned enthusiastic title before I decided to Boycott TSA and the Airlines.
Instead here’s Day 6 with amended title: Fringe Folly and Gleeful Gamping! (NOT)
We’d been planning days and evenings at the Fringe Festival, but had also agreed on a spot of Glamping. That’s the new rage—glamorous camping. Sounds like just my kind of thing! We’d planned a road-trip to the Highlands stopping at a few organic farms, touring a castle or two, and making sure to leave time for the requisite distillery excursion.
I’ve disappointed her and myself. On purpose. Of course I feel bad, of course I have moments of regret and guilt and disappointment. And now another very well-meaning friend has said I’m scaring people. I’M scaring people.
And being the solutions-oriented person I always try to be, I think, well, how could I wake people up to this issue without scaring them. After all, it’s been the pink rhinoceros in the bathtub for every one of us all of our lives. We followed drills starting in third grade on how to scurry under our desks when the nuclear attack siren rang. For some of us that became the best part of the school year. They’re protecting us, don’t worry, that’s their job!
FEMA as part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
The sprawling department, created nearly 10 years ago in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, combined 22 federal departments and agencies into one. Its 240,000 employees include members of the Coast Guard, Secret Service, FEMA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
But let’s stop shoveling fear at fearful people and ask simply: What did it actually look like and feel like for the victims of Hurricane Katrina to have this level of military force at work in our city.
“It was like everybody was operating independently, and the police are not comfortable doing that. The state police is a very orderly, disciplined operation, and the city [police departments] are exactly the same under most conditions, so I think they were going through a real sense of destabilization. They were on their own and without a sense of direction in a disaster zone that felt like a war zone in the end.”
It was perfectly legal to force residents from their homes at gun point. I wonder if they were afraid? They were arrested if even suspected of looting, no proof necessary. They were strip searched. They were held without phone call for weeks in outdoor cages without beds, with minimal food, and without contacting any of their family. I wonder if they were scared? I wonder if their families were scared? These were innocent people. Their existence was denied when pushed by individuals or the press. That’s legal though, because they were considered terrorists for staying in their homes.
The current Law of The Land is that if “the President declares a national emergency, for any reason (from major earthquakes to increased international tensions or economic /financial crisis of any stripe), FEMA can then, at their discretion, implement Executive Orders 10995 through 11005. These Executive Orders permit a takeover by FEMA of local, state, and national governments and the suspension of constitutional guarantees. FEMA will have the authority to exert any sort of control that it deems necessary upon the American public.”
That means the surely well-intentioned but highly ineffective Department of Homeland Security will take over your city, your town, your house. But don’t be afraid, because they’re the ones creating the Terrorist Watch list and they know exactly what they are doing. They don’t make mistakes.
Now you so want to believe I’m crazy. Or that I would just stop trying to scare you.
The F.B.I.’s Terrorist Screening Center shares the data with other federal agencies for screening aircraft passengers, people who are crossing the border and people who apply for visas. The data is also used by local police officers to check names during traffic stops.
The December memorandum lays out procedures for police officers to follow when they encounter people who are listed. For example, officers are never to tell the suspects that they might be on the watch list, and they must immediately call the federal government for instructions.
In 2008 a statement about The List from the FBI:
Today, the list is updated daily and maintained in a state-of-the art database. TSC’s annual budget has increased significantly to accommodate the growing need-watch list records (which may include multiple aliases) increased from about 158,000 in 2004 to about 755,000 last year. http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2008/september/tsc_092908
That was in 2008. Notice the increase from 2004. Terrorism is really running rampant in the world these days!
How safe are you feeling now? Are you wondering who’s on that list? And why? Do you think we might need some transparency around why the government suspects so many people of terrorism? According to the law, these people are considered guilty before having being convicted of any crime.
That’s the purpose of the extra screening! And if you complain about this or refuse the TSA has the following orders from DHS:
The memo, according to Doug Hagmann, “officially addresses those who are opposed to, or engaged in the disruption of the implementation of the enhanced airport screening procedures as ‘domestic extremists’.”
Lucky for US senator Ted Kennedy who was mistakenly put on the list it took him only a few well-placed phone calls to get the mistake corrected.
I wonder how long it will take me. Or you.
I’m not asking you to Boycott TSA with me, I know how so many of us depend on air travel. I’m only asking that you follow this blog for the next 18 days and really consider if all this Terrorist Watching is making you feel any safer.
If you think there might be something rotting in OUR House that needs our attention, simply write in the comments section write:
Not in my House!