Bruce Scneier posts another story in his series on the war on the unexpected. I’ve commented on this before, but I feel the need to once again raise the issue here on how paranoid and stupid our world is becoming.
When going to private residences, for example, they are told to be alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States; unusual chemicals or other materials that seem out of place; ammunition, firearms or weapons boxes; surveillance equipment; still and video cameras; night-vision goggles; maps, photos, blueprints; police manuals, training manuals, flight manuals; and little or no furniture other than a bed or mattress.
First off, most people are hostile and uncooperative when under duress, I doubt that firefighters encounter many people that aren’t when their houses are burning down. Second, what constitutes an ‘unusual chemical’? If I were into etching, I’d have a lot of acids lying around. As a brewer, I have a fair supply of chemicals sitting around the house for cleaning and sanitation purposes. As for the rest of that stuff, everyone has something off of that list. Some of us, have quite a bit. I collect surveillance equipment because I find it interesting, and it could always come in useful some day. I knew plenty of people in college who had plenty of guns. Training manuals is such a vague term, I don’t even know what to think about it.
Someone on Schneier’s blog left a comment about ‘thought crime’, and while I hate such a Bradburian reference, it’s almost relevant. As our government, and other governments, step up the ‘war on terror’, they chip away at our ability to learn and to think. As this continues, we as a people will begin to lose our competitive edge, falling deeper and deeper into the quagmire of entitlement that we already live in. Ultimately, this is our fault.
The American Dream is dead. People want to be lifted up, not pull themselves up. This attitude has become so predominant within our culture, that most people are gladly trading in freedom, and the ability to become more than they are today. My great fear is how much further will we slide? And will we, as a country, as a people, choose freedom soon enough that we can regain it?