Furcht Bildet Mich Nicht Hornig

DCup
DCup In Her Tinfoil BraSome days I don’t write about the big political issues because I fear that the left wing blogosphere is just one big echo chamber. I’m not clever enough to add anything of consequence to what so many other more talented and more intelligent writers have already written.

But sometimes I read a story and I can’t ignore it. I have to write about it. For instance, this morning, as I was scrolling through my RSS feeds, this one from Alternet caught my eye.

Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does — and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law. InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.

InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats.

“Then the FBI cloned it,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.

InfraGard itself is still an FBI operation, with FBI agents in each state overseeing the local InfraGard chapters. (There are now eighty-six of them.) The alliance is a nonprofit organization of private sector InfraGard members.

Throughout the day, I attempted to read the full article. I opened up InfraGard’s website and searched it to find out more about them. I started to write a post about it and then put it aside for a bit. Sometimes I get weary of feeling like a left wing nutcase conspiracy theorist. But then, as I went back to my RSS feeds, I saw that the story had gotten the attention of some of my favorite bloggers. There was this one by my blog-partner-in-rant-at-Jonestown Suzi Riot. Linking to the article, Suzi writes:

I feel like an idiot for not knowing about this sooner. Anybody out there who thinks that the progressive liberals are crazy conspiracy-theorists when we voice our concerns about conservative fascism, please explain to me how InfraGard is a good thing. Security at any cost? The American public never authorized these “business people” to be militarized or deputized. While the program originated under the Clinton Administration, it was originally designed to monitor and prevent cyber-terrorism. It did not become what it is today until after 9/11 and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. The foundation has been laid for exactly what so many of us so-called lefty conspiracy nuts are almost certain will happen: a terrorist event either will occur or come very close to occurring on American soil, Bush will declare martial law, and King George will be allowed to continue and expand his regime.

In that last line, Suzi encapsulates my greatest worry about the time in which we live. Just how safe are we from our own government? Whenever I mention that I suspect that BushCo might engineer some terror event in order to declare martial law and suspend the 2008 elections, I feel shamed for being paranoid. I feel silly, like some sort of drama queen who’s just looking for things to worry about.

But it makes you think, does it not? How easy is it really to lull us into some sort of complacence, some dopey haze of unpaid bills, debt, and celebrity pablum disguised as news? Collectively, we care more about who’s going to win American Idol than who will be the next president. Just like the Jews who refused to believe what fate awaited them behind the gates of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, we’ll drape ourselves across our faux leather sofas and shovel in Doritos, eyes glued to the television as our neighbors are spirited away to unknown places.

Some of will be those neighbors.

I Want You To StopThe very idea of an InfraGard is so brownshirt. Private entities are being deputized by the FBI to keep watch over us and to inform the Bureau. According to the article, some have been given the quasi-governmental authority to use deadly force without fear of consequences. I can’t help but wonder what little connections are tucked into the FISA bill that Bush is so fired up to get passed.

The irony, of course, is that you and I are paying for this organization and others like it who are spying on us. At first, I figured that InfraGard was some sort of not-for-profit membership organization, but after looking through their information, I realize that it’s not like the organizations I work for. It’s a taxpayer funded organization administered through the offices of the FBI in Chicago, Atlanta, etc.

In comments at Suzi Riot’s blog, I asked how will we know if it’s too late? I’ve written about this before and voiced my concern and still I don’t have a passport. I fret and worry about it and then I remind myself that I’m just a nobody. I raise my kids, I pay my taxes, I recycle. I don’t do anything to draw attention to myself in the MeatWorld. I keep my head down and go along because I don’t trust my neighbors to not point me out to the authorities when the shit does start to fly.

Frankly, I suppose that were the shit to fly, for real, I, like many of you, may already be flagged. As I peruse InfraGard’s website, it’s apparent that they’re very much interested in cyber security. I wonder if, by visiting their website, I’ve already created some tracking cookie on my computer that will allow the FBI to track my internet travels.
In the past, when I’ve suggested that I don’t think Bush will leave office voluntarily, people have been quick to point out that BushCo must leave office because it’s in the Constitution..

Well, there’s a gaping flaw in that argument. BushCo is a criminal entity. They have lied, cheated, stolen and degraded their way through the last seven years in power. They care not at all about the Constitution or silly laws. They don’t consider themselves subject to our laws or customs. Do I need to list the ways in which they’ve manipulated or ignored the Constitution to suit their agenda?

We’re talking about people who exposed a CIA agent, regardless of the fact that they were endangering her and the people she worked with. These are people who lied to us and the world about weapons of mass destruction so that they could invade and occupy another country. They’ve raided our national treasury for the enrichment of their friends and themselves. They’ve effectively dismantled our federal agencies and installed industry operatives in our regulatory agencies. They’ve packed the Supreme Court and lower courts with extremists. They’ve violated the laws separating church and state repeatedly.

If you’re still with me, I doubt that you need me to go on. You’ve got your own list of BushCo grievances running in your head, don’t you?

And so it goes. How long will we chuckle and poke each other in the ribs and roll our eyes and call ourselves conspiracy theorists? How many of us will have just ceased to blog or show up at PTA meetings or to work until someone takes notice?

Big BrotherBig BrotherThe most powerful weapon Bush and his cronies have is fear. Fear is almost effective as sex when it comes to controlling Big Brotherthe masses. Fear is the Conservatives’ message. It’s the threat of exposure of retribution or punishment that makes fear so powerful. In the 1930s, Germans didn’t stand by and watch their neighbors carted off because they hated their neighbors. They let it happened because they were afraid to speak up.

That’s the power of fear. You’ve got to watch your own back, protect your own family and if that means you keep your mouth shut when you see injustice or acts of aggression against your fellow citizens, well, so be it. It’s the law of the jungle, the most basic survival instinct we all share.

But we are supposed to be of a higher order, are we not? We have logic and language and reason. We have opposable thumbs. We are creative and capable of adapting to our surroundings and, sadly, forcing our surroundings to adapt to us. When does our sense of justice and reason kick in and overtake that survival instinct? When do we shrug off the fear and begin to take action?

I can’t rid myself of this nagging sense that something is going to happen between now and the upcoming elections that will as, Suzi said “Bush will declare martial law, and King George will be allowed to continue and expand his regime?”

Blackwater in NOLAWith an arsenal of fear and secrecy and private armies and citizen snitches, BushCo. has positioned itself to maintain power. For those who want to explain to me, yet again, that it would be unconstitutional, I reply “yeah, I get that, but how much more evidence do you need to show you that constitutionality is not at the top of BuchCo’s list of considerations when they develop a scheme?”

I don’t expect Congress to be much help. They’ve shown that they possess little stomach for confronting the President and his gang of thugs. For all the press conferences and trading of words, Congress has done little to reassert itself to the power grab of the Executive Branch.

Now we find ourselves potentially at the mercy of our neighbors and the corporations that have climbed on board the fascist express. It’s not a hopeful time no matter how you slice it.

As much as we all like to imagine we’re heroic figures, the vast majority of our fellow citizens will allow their survival instincts to kick in and they will operate from that place that says “better him than me.” What’s more, there are plenty of people who are willing to make that trade of civil liberties for security. Try arguing with one of them and they’ll hit you with the arguments they learn from rightwing talk radio.

“If you’re dead from a terrorist’s bomb, you have no civil liberties.”

And that, my friends, is why we are, in fact, Germany circa 1936. We just have better medicine more electronics and internet porn.

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~ by dcup on February 9, 2008.

40 Responses to “Furcht Bildet Mich Nicht Hornig”

  1. THE HURRICANE KATRINA JOKE. This may be offensive to Wingnuts but to normal people it’s a WAKE-UP CALL IN SUPPORT OF D-CUP’s post.

    The flood waters had risen to 9 feet or so and there was a Whtie Christian Fundamentalist clinging onto the top branch of a Live Oak. A National Guard helicopter descends from the sky, and the commander of the unit opens the door of the rescue helicopter and shouts at the Fundie through a bull-horn: “Sir, the pilot will come a little closer and I’ll toss you a rope with hand grips. Grab the grips and we’ll pull you to safety.”

    To which the Fundie replies: “Thanks anyway, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will take care of me…I don’t need your rope or your helicopter.”

    The helicopter flies away and soon a Coast Guard rescue boat arrives on the scene. The Captain shouts into the bullhorm “Sir, just jump down from the tree and we’ll catch you and take you to a safe, dry place…we have hot drinks and food on board. You must be hungry….”

    To which the Fundie replies: “Thanks anyway, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will take care of me…I don’t need your boat or your food.”

    The boat speeds off and soon a large home-made raft of sticks and chicken wire carrying a Creolo family approaches. As they do a man shouts “Sah! Jes jemp in an swim a little to de raf.”

    To which the Fundie replies: “Thanks anyway, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will take care of me…I don’t need your raft.”

    The Creole family paddles off and the flood waters rise and drown the Fundie. As the Fundie approches the Pearly Gates, he’s stopped in his tracks by Jesus who says “where do you think you’re going?” The Fundie replies “I’m joining you in Heaven my Lord and Savior, but why oh why didn’t you save me….I went to church every Sunday; I trusted you as my Lord and Savior…I was a GOOD CHRISTIAN…why?”

    To which Jesus replies: “Man, how stupid could you be? I sent you a National Guard helicopter, a Coast Guard rescue boat and finally a simple Creole jerry-rigged raft…WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED? OH, SATAN…I got a good one here for you!”

    The writing’s on the wall now, D-CUP, si o no?

  2. Hi, Kelso. The writing on the wall is quite clear. You can “send” for us anytime.

  3. Dcup, this is an outstanding post. Thanks for linking to my own little fit of a post. I wanted to cross-post it over here, but I didn’t have time to expand on it the way I wanted to. You’ve expressed my own thoughts. I don’t want to feel like some crazy paranoid fool. But this shit is REAL. The suspension of habeas corpus was real. The war based on lies is real. Spying on American citizens is real. There is no theory, only the reality of what we’ve allowed to happen to our so-called democratic republic. Spartacus commented on my blog that he would stay and fight. I’m torn. On one hand I think that fighting is the right thing to do. On the other hand, I think that too many American citizens WANT InfraGard and the Patriot Act. They want security over freedom. Like you quoted, “If you’re dead from a terrorist’s bomb, you have no civil liberties.” THAT is the bullshit that has replaced “Give me liberty or give me death.” I don’t know, it’s just seems to be fucked beyond help. A very big part of me is screaming “Get the fuck out of here! Fuck these people with their fear and their hypocrisy and their bullshit priorities.” Bad times are coming and I don’t know if there is anything worth fighting for if The People are going to choose this future for themselves. If the worst happens, the best solution seems to be to find a place that is somewhat free of US control and to help others get of America. You’ll all be welcome at my mountain compound. Oh and InfraGard? Since I know you’re monitoring the blogs, I just want to say… FUCK YOU AND YOUR MOTHERFUCKING DREAMS OF A FASCIST UTOPIA! NOT EVERYONE WILL GO ALONG WITH YOUR FUCKING FEAR-MONGERING, YOU COCKSUCKERS.

  4. Totally enjoyed your blog post. Very well written, and thought provoking.

  5. Kelso…is there room for one more in that helicopter/boat/raft?

  6. Suzi – Your post really got me last night because I’ve been fighting this feeling of doom. See, even that sounds silly to my ears!

    But I agree with you, I don’t think I would stay and fight because we are outnumbered by the people who value a false sense of security of freedom. And they own most of the guns.

    Spartacus – Have you changed your mind about staying and fighting? Did Suzi convince you with her comments? She makes a lot of sense, doesn’t she?

    If so, get in line. Those of us who’ve claimed the mantel of surrender monkey were in line first. ;=)

  7. Germany, pre- and during-1936 (from wiki): One party state – other parties banned. Jews been banned from government jobs, the army, and the academy. “Genetic Health Courts” enforcing compulsory sterilization. “Night of the Long Knives”, 1934. Chancellor & President combined into one. Nuremberg Laws, no Jew-Gentile intermarriage. Jews deprived of their citizenship.

    United States, 2008: You don’t like George Bush so you seek out and read a lot of anti-Bush web articles, and complain, on your blog, about him a lot. Using your internet connection that you have. Bush makes you so scared! On websites.

    Yup – same thing. You’re just like someone suffering under Nazi Germany. Poor, poor you!

    You probably don’t remember that eight years ago it was crazy *right-wingers* saying this same stuff about Clinton, that he was going to ‘cancel the elections’. Probably this stuff is said about every President who leaves office, by people who don’t like him. The difference now is that there is an internet to spread these silly feverish self-dramatizing fantasies.

    Let’s put your fears to the test: I’ll give you 2-1 odds that Bush will, indeed, leave office as scheduled. You pay me $1000 if he leaves, I’ll pay you $2000 if he stays. No? 2-1 not enough? Ok, 3-1. 5-1. 10-1. You name the odds you’d need, and we’d see how much you really believe in this stuff.

    About the “business executive” who showed someone his InfraGard “card” and claimed to have “permission” to “shoot to kill”, all I can say is, sounds like someone doesn’t know when his leg is being pulled. Sounds like a line some guys might use to try to impress a chick in a bar…or an incredulous “Alternet” writer.

    Oh, and you’re absolutely right that the government is monitoring you. Your blog and internet browsing is such a threat to the government, how could they not? Anyway, keep up the good fight!

  8. I felt like this at Y2K. Aw shit, the shit’s hitting the fan and I don’t have my underground bunker with a year’s supply of food and water for my family ready. When will I ever learn? And… my passport just expired. (-not to mention I was the only one in my immediate family who had one.)

  9. Oh, nice bra btw. In an emergency, I see you are prepared with full frontal support, complete with built in deflection. Bras should be bullet-proof, don’t you think?

  10. I read the article too and it was the most shocking one of the week but you might enjoy being further enraged by this. The idea of customs agents searching people’s laptops, i-pods and cell phones is sickening. Sometimes I feel like Alex’s 2 friends at the end of Clockwork Orange really have been put in charge. When you empower thugs there’s not much depth left before you hit rock bottom.

    I keep reading about ‘hope’ and that things will be different when the democrats retake the government but you’re right that if a couple of yahoos are ‘caught’ (or posthumously identified) trying to destroy a national monument all bets are off.

  11. Sonic Charmer,

    I agree with your assessment of the odds. I’d lay 2/1 all day and night that Bush leaves office without delay. It’s not Bush they should be worried about. It’s McCain or Obama and all that follow.

    It’s not really my problem. I am a resident of a democratic republic with no extradition treaty with the USA.

    This is NOTHING like wingnut conspiracy theory. I can’t argue that the Clinton DOJ totally fucked up Waco and Ruby Ridge. Is that comparable with the wastage that rained down because of the lie that “9/11 changed everything”?

    What else were the wingnuts upset about? He tried to provide universal health care and he raised income taxes to stabilize the bond market. Did he or did he not subsquently CUT capital gains taxes?

    But as someone who knows what these religious freaks are capable of, I don’t think there’s too much alarmism in the post or the comments at all.

    And in case you get any funny ideas…PLEASE I INVITE YOU TO TRY!

  12. Oh, Sonic Charmer, Stalin didn’t need to kill ALL dissenters or send them ALL to Siberia or torture them ALL in Lyubyanka. All he needed to do was to take care of mabye 3% of them in a real, real bad way to keep everyone else in line and COOPERATIVE.

    Yeah, Sonic Charmer, it’s all a big joke until it happens to you for no goddmaned good reason. Take it from someone who knows. And I was a great citizen. I paid my taxes. I served jury duty. I did volunteer work. I’m Jewish for crying out loud! All I needed to hear was that my particular career which you actually employ as a rhetorical device in your comment made me the functional equivalent of an Al-Qaida sympathizer. Who said that. Everyone who testified before the Goodlatte subcommittee on internet gambling: GONZALES, MUELLER, KYL, McCAIN…and every dumbass Fundie and dumbass Black Baptist community “organizer” they could drag out.

    Who held firm? The Congressional Black Caucus (of which Obama is very much NOT a member) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. It still wasn’t enough. And this wasn’t paranoia that made me leave. It was all three name partners of the Wall Street law firm that represents me.

    So, until you KNOW, don’t write. Since you don’t know, it’s best you don’t write.

  13. Maybe I’m a bit paranoid, but I know I’ll breathe a sigh of relief once the Shrubbies are out.

  14. Kelso: Respuesta excelente, compañero. Está claro que eso chingado sabe nada de lo que él está hablando. Él debe pensar antes de que él comience mierda.

  15. Wordofme – Thanks for your complimentary words!

  16. DCup, excellent post, and very concerning. I share your apprehension about whether BushCo will really leave when the time comes.

  17. Sonic Charmer – Thanks for stopping by and commenting on this post. I found your comments interesting.

    I’m sorry that you missed my larger point that as we watch our society become more comfortable with surveillence, we’re apt to be complacent and ignorant of possible trouble ahead.

    Poor, poor me? I found that a bit uncalled for, but I hope it made you feel better. Perhaps I was too creative in my comparison to Germany. For concrete thinkers, it might suggest that I think we’re exactly like Germany in 1936. Not at all. I understand that there are enormous differences between then and now.

    What I meant was that we’re turning into a society the readily turns a blind eye to threats to our overall freedoms. And that’s a path to potentially new horrors.

    Just because we aren’t suffering under the same policies here, does that make us any less suscpetible to other types of oppressive laws and invasions of privacy? All of those laws were not passed at one time in Germany. They saw a gradual slide into oppression and worse. Simply because we’re not tumbling in an avalanche of death and firebombings and government sponsored violence against its citizens doesn’t mean that it can’t happen here.

    Ask the people on the bridge in NOLA who had law enforcement guns aimed at them until they retreated back over the bridge. Ask the person who can’t get on a plane because his name is on a terror watch list. I suspect that for those people, the ugly side of our “secure” nation is already a bitter reality.

    I understand that you don’t agree with me and I’d love to take your bet because I do not believe that Bush will leave office voluntarily. He’s ammassed more executive power than any president in my memory. What human being would want to walk away from that power? I freely admit that I wouldn’t.

    Nevertheless, I’m not a betting person because I have no money with which to pay if I lose. And although I am certain that Bush won’t leave office voluntarily, I’m willing to concede that you may be right. In fact, I hope you are.

    Frankly, I’m quite tired of the whole “I’ll bet you” thing in order to prove one’s strength of beliefs. How’s this instead….. if you’re right and Bush leaves, you can live your whole life knowing that you are far smarter and have a better understanding of the world than some chick who blogs in Georgia. I can only imagine the pleasure derived from such superiority.

    If I’m right, well, I hope to enjoy some time with my friend Kelso in Panama. I might have a tee shirt made that reads “I should’ve taken that bet from Sonic Charmer. I could’ve used the two grand.”

    Since this is a group blog, I might be out of line to say this, but I hope that you’ll continue to visit Jonestown and my own blog PoliTits. If you’re looking for a fight, don’t bother. But if you want to provide some meaningful counterpoint to the echo chamber, please feel welcomed to comment. I’m not going to get bent out of shape with you for disagreeing with me. Hell, that will be like just another day with my three kids.

    Regards,
    DCup

  18. To the rest of you who share my concerns about BushCo – I’m like you, I worry about the worst and hope for the best.

    Like our new friend Sonic Charmer says “keep up the good fight.”

    Except, I don’t mean that in an Eddie Haskell kind of way.

  19. DCup- I’m not undercutting you, but I must interject.

    I have no problem with people disagreeing, hell, I disagree all the time. In fact, I find this story highly questionable.

    Disagreeing is not the issue.

    The issue is, Sonic’s blog is much like our common friend’s “No Slappz,” in that it’s a ghost town.

    I get the impression Sonic is trying to muster up a little traffic by trolling, and as one of my dear friends likes to say,

    “If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it.”

    You want to disagree, fine, disagree, but you’re not going to disrespect the visitors here or the other writers.

    This isn’t a “Say whatever the Fuck you want Zone,” unless you write here or you’re one of our friends.

    This post upsets you? That’s wonderful, but express yourself like an adult or hit the bricks.

    Oh, I disabled the link to your blog. Get traffic like everyone else, earn it.

    Maybe you could start by writing a post worth reading.

  20. FAIRLANE:

    I’m kind of torn between D-CUP’s view of “Sonic Charmer” and “No_slappz” and yours. On one hand, I am a free speech absolutist. I also really enjoy showing the Wingnuts — as I think we all do — that liberals, leftists, skeptics, libertarians, anarchists, whatever are not all sugar and spice and everything nice as Ann Coulter has led the Wingnuts to believe. Each of us in our own way are pretty tough customers.

    There’s also some perverse pleasure in toying with them the way an alley cat toys with a big cockroach, because they really are all chumps.

    On the other hand, I think your point of view wins the day for me for a couple of reasons (1) What you’ve done at Jonestown is to put the lie to the “sugar and spice” myth in a collective, systematic way (2) I feel like the “tough liberal” voice is so old it’s new again and Jonestown, being really on the cusp of joining the “well-knowns,” is a key soapbox for all of us, so as founder you have every right to run it your way (3) Idiots like “Sonic Charmer” should be ashamed of themselves for gaining any blogovia advantage off of what you’ve built.

    Then again, it’s so funny to see these dorks show up with their foolishness thinking that some ersatz machismo will make any of us ashamed of our opinions. Look, sometimes we fight like the dickens with each other over shit like Michael Vick, Clinton v Obama, business finance and economics, and we really leave nothing in reserve but somehow we end up seeing things in a different way and it’s cool.

    If that’s how we get with each other over issues, how do these Wingnuts think that they have a shot at snowballing any of us on any issue?

    Great job, JonestownClan.

  21. Oh, I’m sorry, were you all talking about tin foil hattery? I was looking on Amazon for stuff to buy with my stimulus check.

    “Hey Unka Dick, it says here ‘do not go gently into that good night.’ That’s a good idea, heh, heh.”

    Something will happen. Hope I’m wrong. This isn’t something goes “gee whiz, Beav, I sure hope I’m right on this!”

  22. (o) this is a blogstone. I am leaving it here to let you know I have read your post but have nothing to say.

  23. Fairlane – Thanks for interjecting. If you knew me in person, you’d understand the self control it required for me to write such a measured calm response. In person, within striking distance, Sonic Charmer would have received a blow. It might not have really hurt him, but it would have made me feel significantly better.

    But I digress.

    I fully support your policy of not allowing trolls to visit your site to increase traffic at their own. I frankly, don’t relish the disagreement in comments, etc., so I typically just don’t respond. Some people, like Wyld, for example, doesn’t always agree with me, but he does so in a way that doesn’t belittle me personally. When he does disagree with me, he often gives me something to think about. I can appreciate that.

    For the record, if someone is going to be a dick to me, I do say aloud “Go fuck yourself” as I delet their comment on my own blog.

    It’s a tough balance between constructive anger and that desire for some sort of zenlike calm. Anger is in my nature and wallpapers my comfort zone.

    As for the alternet story, I’m going to contact someone here in ATL who might be able to give me some info about the program Infragard. If I can get any confirmation about things one way or another, I will blog about it.

    Kelso – You, too. Thanks for coming in earlier with your response to S.C. I love knowing I have a friend like you who will join the fray, but only when you see the wisdom in the “fight.”

    Randal – If you keep saying stimulus to me, I am going to get horny.

    Wyld – Noted. Thanks for the stone. I mean that.

  24. D, and Kman- As I said, disagreement is fine. Half of my posts, and I’m being “Conservative,” are oppositional rants.

    But-

    This is our house. We can walk around naked (Or wear Tin Foil Bras) if we want. We pay the rent.

    I worked hard to get people to participate. I’d rather have a blog where the posts get 50 views, and 25 comments than to have a blog that gets 3000 views, and 4 comments.

    Trolls discourage discussion, and encourage arguing, which is a pain in my white ass.

    This isn’t Little Green Footballs.

    Also, as I mentioned, it pisses me off when people try to use the success of other’s.

    This isn’t the Department of Health and Human Resources either, and we don’t hand out Foodstamps. You want charity? Go to the Salvation Army.

    Our friends, and new visitors who participate are more than welcome to leave links to their own blogs, articles, whatever (As I mentioned previously, if you want a link, just ask) However, shitheels who come here trying to stir up the Hornet’s Nest hoping people will follow them home can kindly Piss Off.

    The funny thing is, if Sonic were not such a pompous teenager, and stated his disagreement in another way, I’d have no problem adding a link to his blog on our blogroll. We link to Wingnuts, Hell, we have a Wingnut writing here.

    Wyld- I was wondering what I stubbed my toe on last night.

  25. Good post, DCup. Some of my non-profit friends and I often will pause in our phone conversations at work (in DC) to say hello to the FBI. I’ve thought for years they listen in to our conversations — maybe not every day, or every conversation, but I think we are on a “sweep” of groups they monitor.

    Maybe having lived in DC for the past 18 years makes what you’ve written all the more possible. I’ve met people who have gone up against the government, only to eventually pack it in and leave town when the threats came too close to home.

    The most frightening movie I’ve ever watched wasn’t “The Omen” or any of the “Freddie” flicks … it was “All The Presidents Men,” where you saw people fearing for their life simply because they wanted to tell the truth.

    BAC

  26. and the best movie I ever saw about 9/11 was Oliver Stone’s JFK. It may not have been ‘true’ but the internal logic about how conspiracies can work in the real world are undeniable.

  27. I have felt like a tin foil hat gal for some time now. It all started when the Supreme Court intervened in a recount in Florida and gave the “Presidency” to GWB. I say hi to the fuckwits listening in to my conversations on the phone all the time. Like BAC says, they aren’t listening all the time to every conversation, but they are there. I get really depressed thinking about all this shit too. I can’t leave my daughter and son or my grandchildren behind and go to some other country. I hope to the Goddess I am wrong about all of this. But it is history repeating itself very much like Germany back in the 1930s.

  28. FAIRLANE:

    They just don’t know whom they’re messing with. Sure you’ve got a “Wingnut” on staff, but he’s stone-cold bright and I find myself as a progressive/anarchist/libertarian/socialist/Democrat (that’s how my mother describes me!) agreeing with him at least half the time.

    You and I, Fairlane, suffer for our complexities of viewpoints and intemperate personalities!

    As in D-CUP’s comment, I don’t always agree with Wyld, either, but like all of us I’m thrilled to the bones that he has returned home and I always read his words carefully.

    And Dave…well gee whiz, Dave and I disagree on approximately ONE THING. And I’m always going to argue it with him to the end, but while I’m a fan of the BarryMax non-fiction serial novel; I think he’s got a literary career in him and I encourage him to explore that. I love reading the installments but maybe he shouldn’t be giving these gems away for free.

    You caught lightning in a bottle with Dashiell and D-CUP and how were you so smart as to draft SuziRiot from off the sandlots?

    I’m still waiting for the Dutchman’s magnum opus but I know it’s in him.

    I fuckin love this: “Trolls discourage discussion, and encourage arguing, which is a pain in my white ass.

    This isn’t Little Green Footballs.

    Also, as I mentioned, it pisses me off when people try to use the success of other’s.

    This isn’t the Department of Health and Human Resources either, and we don’t hand out Foodstamps. You want charity? Go to the Salvation Army.

    Our friends, and new visitors who participate are more than welcome to leave links to their own blogs, articles, whatever (As I mentioned previously, if you want a link, just ask) However, shitheels who come here trying to stir up the Hornet’s Nest hoping people will follow them home can kindly Piss Off.”

    To all my other friends who’ve participated in this thread, I assure you that there’s no tinfoil whatsoever in what any of you have written. I’ve had a front row seat for a lot of stuff, the SMALLEST of which was my own little “crisis.” My attorneys, for example, have a piece of USA v KPMG, et. al., which will be a landmark case in terms of pulverizing the “unitary executive” theory and may well lead to the disbarment of a number of Ashcroft’s AUSAs. I helped them prepare a defense in USA v “(can’t say)”. Trust me. It’s all as bad as D-CUP’s original post suggests.

  29. What a GREAT post. I feel a lot of anxiety in my stomach around this issue. It really scares me and not much scares me, ok?

    I will be brief, but I had to say something. Other commenters have said what needs to be said.

    I do have a passport.

  30. Damn girl! What a FINE piece of writing. I know it was great b/c it had me trembling.

    And stay outta my aluminum foil!

  31. I tell myself that if W declared martial law, the market would tank, foreigners would take their money out immediately and a lot of formerly rich people would be very unhappy (the super rich would be fine, naturally), so I think that is unlikely. That said, my passport expires in August, so I am going to renew it shortly. You know, just in case. Hey, at least we are paying attention. That should, one hopes, help.

  32. I’ll second what PissedinNYC wrote. That’s not to say that I disagree with what DCup or Kelso wrote.

    My passport is good for another year.

    Might not be a bad time to make use of the 2nd Amendment, the one that this administration seems to have left alone.

  33. Oh, forgot to add that, The Cunning Realist, a conservative, has made numerous comparisons over the last couple of years of 1930’s Germany to the current economic and political climate here at home. So it’s not just liberals who draw the comparisons of these two scary eras.

  34. A conspiracy is plot involving more than two people carried out unbeknownst to everyone else. Breaking the law is a necessary component.
    I worked for a major communications company. I know for a fact, anyone who has or had any type of security cleareance is tagged- forever.
    The rest of us enjoy a degree of privacy comparable to being naked in a car.

  35. All you gotta do is take a peek.

  36. PissedInNYC:

    You don’t need Bush to declare anything to have a fascist state. That one, you’ve already got, at least according to the formal definition of “fascism.” People throw around a lot of loose terms, so let’s be clear on this one. Fascism does not necessarily mean concentration camps (thought there is one at Gitmo) or ovens (none yet so far). All it means is that power is in the hands of a “unitary” executive, the clergy, and the LARGEST corporations.

    As in Italy between the wars, a lot of people who have nothing to do with government, church or control of the largest corporations LIKE fascism quite a bit, thank you. A lot of people don’t, mainly because of what Dave wrote about privacy and because in order to enforce a system which isn’t natural to mankind exactly, an intrusive law enforcement apparatus is necessary.

    The big question is whether the USA will devolve from functional fascism into something WORSE than National Socialism, meaning that the seizure of property, full police state and “cleansing” will begin WITHOUT the Nazi skepticism about religion and without the Nazi “green” fantasies as an article of faith.

    My guess is “NO” for just the reason that you cite. Things are bad enough up in Big Sammy with ONLY a fascist system. The imposition of a Nazi system would wreck the economy and blow up all small business and most capital markets in a hurry. Also, to impose a Nazi or for that matter Stalinist system, you need a Hitler or a Stalin and George W. Bush hardly measures up. You need what human resource management theorists call a “magic leader.” A Reagan. Sure, a McCain. Christ, a Kennedy or — yes Dave — an Obama, too, would work. I doubt Clinton’s the one because while she could certainly run a fascist state with some ease, she’s more of what the human resource management theorists call an “instrumental leader.”

    The classic examples from the business world of each type — though I doubt either would have the inclination to run either a fascist or a Nazi state — are Steve Jobs (Magic Leader) and Jack Welch (Instrumental Leader).

    Nevertheless, MOST of your constitutional stoppers have been removed. All I need to remind me of that is a story one of my attorneys told me about a client of his who was facing a minimum of 3 years in federal prison who HAD NOT COMMITTED A CRIME but had been so over-charged and had engaged in conduct that while legal could be seen as distateful by a jury, that the choice was 3 years or roll the dice for 15-to-life or nothing.
    ANY of the generally accepted federal prosecutorial practices before “9/11 changed everything” would have guaranteed that the fellow would never have been charged. The way I heard the story, my attorney was out to dinner with the guy and his wife and she was lamenting “how could this happen? I’ve always voted Republican. I thought that America was the free-est country on Earth.” To which, my attorney said “It sucks, but the truth is America is about the 35th free-est country on Earth.”

    Look, it might not be so bad. A lot of Germans enjoyed Nazism, as well.

  37. Great post, DCup. And the comments it generated are proof of its power.

    I often compare our situation not to Germany’s but to that of the Soviet Union. We already have the gulag archipelago, stretching out not over the country but over the whole world in the form of secret bases and torturing prisons. We already have a cult of personality surrounding Mr. “Great guy to have a beer with.” We already have him issuing signing statements that say the law and the Constitution don’t apply to him and his minions. Just because we’re not replacing the stars and stripes with a swastika or a hammer and sickle doesn’t mean we’re not already on the road to a totalitarian system. Who knows whether it’s too late or not, but I can feel it coming, and it scares the shit out of me.

  38. On a lighter note, I’m impressed that your tinfoil bra both lifts AND separates!

  39. Kelso: Yes, things are bad and what W has done to the constitution–which the democrats are enabling by not fighting his every step–is disgraceful. People seemingly accepting a lack of privacy is just filthy. But, will W declare martial law? I’m going with no. Yes, I agree that what we have now smacks of fascism, but I just don’t think that next step will be taken. That said, I’m not counting on hope and good wishes. I am going to renew my passport, I’ve been saving some cash and I am paying attention. Will that be enough? I don’t know. I hate what this country has become in the last seven years and I could kick myself for not moving abroad years ago. Still, while part of me thinks that the American experiment has failed, I want to believe that things can be turned around. I just don’t know.

  40. I did not realize that d-cup wrote this article. But it was awesome!! I had never heard about this infra guard thingy. And I want to start a blog called big brother watch! Lordy. Thanks sweetie!

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