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12th-Aug-2006 07:30 am
danthered posted about a comment he made in jawnbc's blog about fear and apprehension when coming to a border checkpoint. Go read it first, then continue reading this. It reminded me of something that occurred to me months ago at the Atlanta airport, I just forgot about it as there were other, more important things going on that day.

I felt this feeling he mentions upon arriving at the world's busiest airport, the ghastly Hartsfield Atlanta, to pick up my Grandmother earlier this year. It crept upon me whilst walking into the terminal from the parking structure and viewing the sign that essentially said "If you so much as say the word terrorist here, TSA will arrest your ass and throw you and your civil rights in Guantanamo Bay before you can say 'War on Terror'". This feeling quickly became disgust that we've been spun into this out-of-control climate of fear, the majority of which is unnecessary.

Sure, we could all stand to be more cautious - but the powers that be have created this atmosphere wherein a trip by plane turns from mere travel into OMG THAT MAN IS WEARING A TURBAN HE MUST HAVE WMDS UNDERNEATH IT WERE ALL GONNA DIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!! (at the ticket counter, no less) and really it's just a guy wiping his forehead with a handkerchief because it's ridiculously fucking hot these days and he's just sweating.

As for the borders, it's the same scenario the Neocon Republicans have thrown us into - start cranking out border hysteria, it detracts the people away from the Iraq nightmare and Bush's (again-all-time-low) 33% approval rating, and doesn't address the inherent racist slant that few will talk about - the outright lie that the illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Americans. Yes, that's another fucking load of crap from the conservatives in yet another lame attempt to disguise racism. A new study confirms as much. What will the terror alert look like when our borders get crossed by the biggest impending threat to Americans, Katrina II?

Want more on this terror alert horseshit? Here you go. Another thing to take into account, and here's the asskicker:
Bush Cutting Bomb Detection Budget - feel safer yet?
While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology.

Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of steps by the Homeland Security Department that has left lawmakers and some of the department's own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.
The department failed to spend $200 million in research and development money from past years, forcing lawmakers to rescind the money this summer.

The administration also was slow to start testing a new liquid explosives detector that the Japanese government provided to the United States earlier this year.
More here.
It's "No Child Left Behind" all over again, make a big stink and then cut funding to make it smell better, resulting in more noxious stink!

As far as I'm concerned, the only place we need to have terror alerts is in movie theaters, adding a special Pepto Bismol pink to the color code chart to denote that Paris Hilton is going to make a cameo in the movie. Because if that motherfucker doesn't scare the everliving shit out of you, nothing will.

Not that any of this matters, because knowing that "attacks are imminent" Bush has "no plans" to cut short his vacation. Hey, you gotta have priorities, and he sure as fuck needs MORE vacation time. What a fucking horror of a man.
(Deleted comment)
12th-Aug-2006 09:50 pm (UTC)
Given that the vast majority of people in this country who are lower middle class (some - many of whom live well below the poverty line), $6M is staggering. Add to that the fact that the current deficit is exponentially scary and the endless fusses over the 'War On Terra' and pork barrel spending, this is just anothe thorn in my ass.

I know what you mean totally though - it's just a sizeable chunk to take out at a time when these same folks are forever jabbering about defending ourselves against an enemy that wants to kill us. I personally don't think they want to kill us anymore, they want us to leave them the fuck alone and to stop breeding more al Qaeda factions & insurgents.
12th-Aug-2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
i no longer visit the US at all (even though a partner of mine lives in california) because i no longer trust the US to be sane in the way western democracies are generally sane. and since there is a tenuous connection to terrorism in my background (extremely tenuous, along the lines of "a friend of a friend who lived in a commune where somebody had a connection to terrorists"), which resulted in an interrogation/interview, which allowed me to learn that there actually was a dossier with my name on it and they had evidence of my participation in peace protests(!), i just don't like to risk it. i've seen what can happen to non-citizens who get on their shitlist; actual guilt or innocence doesn't even get assessed, due process doesn't apply to you, and you could disappear in a secret jail or be deported before your loved ones even found out what happened to you.

i probably would still go if my partner made some noise about it, because i don't assess the risk as really high, but since zie doesn't and comes visit me instead, i'll happily slap boycott on top of the fear and just don't go.

but this is the sort of thing i felt about the soviet union before the iron curtain started to go soft, and why i didn't travel there. i once considered the soviet union the greatest threat to world peace, now the US takes that place of dishonour. they're not making the world safer for democracy; they're making it safer for fascism, bit by bit.
12th-Aug-2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
"but this is the sort of thing i felt about the soviet union before the iron curtain started to go soft, and why i didn't travel there. i once considered the soviet union the greatest threat to world peace, now the US takes that place of dishonour. they're not making the world safer for democracy; they're making it safer for fascism, bit by bit."

I'm an American and even I feel exactly what you've stated, verbatim.
12th-Aug-2006 07:15 pm (UTC)

And all this because of the combination of religious-zealot tendencies and one man's penchant for fellatio.
12th-Aug-2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
If by the fellatio remark you're implying Clinton and by his indiscretions you mean fuel for this current reign of Christian terror, then yes - yes, I agree!
12th-Aug-2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
Precisely. I was thinking earlier this morning on my walk about what precipitated all the hardship being brought down on this country through the Right's agents at this period in time (I'm not so simple as to think all the present problems had their *roots* with Bush's appointment - that was just the spark to a finely-balanced tinderbox, so to speak). What does it say about the leading "Christians" in this country that many of our problems now are intertwined with their prurient Puritanism regarding dick-sucking back in 2000? (Well, and anti-gay marriage, which is what pretty much cinched the 2004 vote for the Repubs.)

BTW, my avatar isn't intended to be offensive to homosexual people. I'm annoyed with the "THERE'S NONE OF TEH GAY HERE!" sentiment which even seems to be creeping into my entertainment. I may have to just start watching "Doctor Who" more often instead.
12th-Aug-2006 11:17 pm (UTC)
Feel free to gank these icons:

As for my feelings on this matter, let me sum up:

12th-Aug-2006 11:39 pm (UTC)
Poor Tim! LOL, and thanks!

The Bush avatars I have of yours always get the most comments, by the by, all favorable (then again, considering the crowd I run with, I'd be worried if they were critical).
12th-Aug-2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
I think you'd be interested in listening to this interview with Maj. Gen. John Batiste. Since he has retired, he is free to call a spade a spade.
12th-Aug-2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
Spanks you!
12th-Aug-2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
are you referring to 'spade a spade'? Maybe I should change it to 'shovel a shovel' since that was my reference point, not the racial slur, if that's what you meant.
12th-Aug-2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
No, just a very juvenile way of saying "thank you", only with more funnin'.
12th-Aug-2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh good. I considered that possiblity and it made more sense but, in this day, one never quite knows what words mean what to whom.
12th-Aug-2006 10:32 pm (UTC)
I use that expression a lot, too ("spade a spade"). I see its intent and usage as very different than "black as the ace of spades."

From the Online Etymology Dictionary (if you care): To call a spade a spade "use blunt language" (1542) translates a Gk. proverb (known to the Romans), but Erasmus mistook Gk. skaphe "trough, bowl" for a derivative of the stem of skaptein "to dig," and the mistake has stuck. The original, then, is "to call a bowl a bowl."

(I'm a geek with an English degree. If I'm going to offend someone, I want it to be for the right reason, LOL.)
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