Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Listing To The Right

This week's winner in the "so not a surprise" department, is ...soo not a surprise. How could anyone have foreseen that landlords, car dealers, mortgage lenders and exercise equipment salesmen would use the Office of Foreign Asset Control's list (expanded by executive order) to screen applicants? And then deny honest Americans their services because something extremely ordinary and definitely arbitrary, matches something or someone on the list and they just want to be "safe"?
"The way in which the list is being used goes far beyond contexts in which it has a link to national security," said Shirin Sinnar, the report's author. "The government is effectively conscripting private businesses into the war on terrorism but doing so without making sure that businesses don't trample on individual rights."
Who the heck needs individual rights? This is America and she's scared. People must give up everything for safety, even liberty. Eek. the terrorists might prevent American Idol from being broadcast. Eek, eek. Your identification papers, please.

Americans are giving up everything that made us a country to be admired, to be emulated, to be a place where you can hope for a better life. We have operated with a might makes right approach to the rest of the world, while forgetting that the meek are supposed to inherit the earth. Not only do we not care for the least of us, we care not for ourselves. We are willing to believe that the government (that was supposed to be made small enough to drown in a bathtub, remember that line?) will make us safe from terrorists by making it difficult for suspicious people to conduct their lives legitimately. Sounds good until you realize that the definition of suspicious includes everyone not in the inner circle. Everyone. And the inner circle is secret.

This is the same government that was incompetent on September 11, incompetent in finding Osama bin Laden dead or alive, incompetent in planning for Iraq after they deposed Saddam Hussein, incompetent in helping the citizens of their own country who were stranded during Katrina, incompetent in rebuilding the Gulf Coast, incompetent in taking care of their wounded veterans, the list goes on.

This is the same government that the average person, terrorized by their government with colorful alerts and by the media with its concurrent blaring of the latest fear propaganda, is trusting to determine the ability of Americans to travel, own or rent property, purchase equipment, attend school and possibly buy food. We won't catch terrorists, but we will destroy lives and create a true underclass. Sort of like being an illegal alien from Mexico, except that it will consist of blackballed American citizens who have done nothing wrong, but part of their name matches someone who might be a problem or any other spurious excuse that can be spun at the moment.

All the lists, all the illegal spying, all the cameras, all of the sharing of information has nothing to do with combating terrorism and everything to do with controlling the populace, all of this is going to come back and haunt us.

We are so screwed and nobody notices. Until they show up on a list.

America, land of the free, I.D. cards please, and home of the brave scared.

Crossposted at Big Brass Blog


  1. I have a feeling that it's going to have to get much worse before the average man and woman decide not to take it any longer. By then, it may be too late. Let's hope not. If we keep talking, someone might listen.


  2. I would like to think that someone would listen, but they are so easily distracted by whatever news story is prominent at the moment.