March 2006


The Patriot Act is an insult and an affront to every American who believes in America as the cradle of freedom, liberty, and equal rights for all under the law. This becomes more and more clear every week as the Department of Homeland Security wages war on the human rights and dignity of the American citizen.

In our consumer-driven materialistic society, what is the best way to guarantee control over people? You control people through their money. The example of a Texas school teacher, as reported in Capital Hill Blue, who attempted to pay down his credit card debt and had his family's assets frozen by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) because their conduct was "questionable." Anyone who sends in a larger than "normal" payment to their creditors is reported to DHS by law and may look forward to the same consequences.

Do you have hay fever? Do you take anything for it? If so, very soon you will need to produce identification at your pharmacy to buy your medicine. Why? Because the DHS is using provisions in the Patriot Act to require your local druggist

  1. to demand proof of identity
  2. to record your identity and keep it on file
  3. to provide those records whenever the government asks for them

The reason why Homeland Security is requiring druggists to be their unpaid informants? Because drugs are a threat to the nation. I'm no fan of drugs, but I didn't know that the DHS was supposed to be keeping me "safe" from everything. What about the next time I want to go to Canada. If I get sick in Canada I might bring that disease home with me. Sounds like a good reason to keep citizens from going abroad. And if I decide to keep some money stuffed in a mattress, so that in the event that DHS freezes my assets for six months for no reason, my children can eat regularly - that's very suspicious behavior.

This is just exactly how the Nazis worked. They had a small elite force of counter-insurgency specialists, the Gestapo, but they relied on ordinary people to do most of their spying and leg work for them. Did I take a subversive book out of the library? The librarian doesn't want to get into trouble and the law says she must report these things. Does my neighbor do something unusual, something I don't know is ok? He might be doing something illegal and if I fail to inform on him I'll be in trouble, too.

If Heinrich Himler could have, he would have had a TV program like "Germany's Most Wanted" on in a heartbeat. As it was, they had patriotic posters on every street corner, reminding people to be good citizens. Complaining about the government interfering in private areas of ordinary peoples' lives made you an enemy of the state, because it questioned the right of the state to maintain security. The only thing missing from DHS PR hand outs are art decco eagles flanking idealized portraits of George W Bush.

Apart from the presumption that if we didn't have the Patriot Act many more terrorists acts would have been committed, I have yet to see any credible, tangible evidence that the things DHS does have any real effect on a determined terrorist adversary. They've made it a nightmare for the public to fly anywhere, but they haven't implemented a single restriction on corporate jets. Any self-respecting, moderately well-funded terrorist can still fly a plane load of who knows what into any one of hundreds of US airports from abroad, and face about the same scrutiny and security as the average foreign tourist could expect in 1955.

Why is this? Because wealthy, powerful and influential people fly on corporate jets, and they will get you fired from your cushy job with DHS if you piss them off.

By the time DHS has everybody carrying a federal electronic identity card, which must match your RFID identity chip and match the RFID chips in your clothes and personal effects (matching the list of your known purchases), it will probably be too late. By that time, we will have given away the structure of our nation to despots, thieves, and liars of every sort. We will then have no alternative to burning the structure down, and starting afresh from a solid foundation that begins with citizens who not only expect liberty and freedom, but demand it.

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