Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Don't taser me bro! Don't touch my junk! Daily life in the Imperial Homeland
Don't taser me bro! Don't touch my junk! These pleas have become the emblematic slogans of life in the US Imperial "Homeland" and they are just the most publicized examples of a far bigger trend: the US is slowly turning into one giant prison.
I am not referring here to the fact that the USA has the highest per capita incarceration rate on the planet or to the fact that its prisons are amongst the worst on the planet. No, I am referring to what is going every day out outside the prison walls, in the daily life of Americans.
I have lived in the USA from 1986 to 1991 and again from 2002 to today and this gradual but unstoppable evolution towards a Fascist state is really quite obvious to me. There are three main layers of state intimidation which surround Americans 24/7.
First, private security companies are literally everywhere. At the mall, inside stores, public libraries or chiropractic clinics. Nevermind that crime has been in free fall since many years, these rent-a-cops are everywhere. Their agents feature cop-like uniforms and badges with names like "Internal Intelligence". The agents themselves are typically overweight, old, sleepy or borderline mentally restarted. Still, these minimal-wage rent-a-cops are here to send a simple message: we are watching you.
The second layer of intimidation is provided by the numerous police forces also seen everywhere: the city police, the sheriff departments, the state troopers, the park rangers - taser and gun toting coppers are also everywhere. Even in a small town, a banal traffic stop will result in 2-3 police cars with flashing lights surrounding the offending car. Vans with ominous "K9" signs often join in the action. Often, police helicopters overfly my little town, adding a "vertical" feeling to this constant parade of state power.
Lastly, mostly in bigger towns, other agencies can be seen, ranging from the Border Patrol (even if the nearest border is hundreds of miles away) to DOT police, to DEA, FBI, ATF and God only knows how many more 3 letter security agencies.
The general feeling from all this is "you better obey, NOW! And don't even think of talking back!".
The most significant development since 9/11 is that cop impunity has now reached quasi-official status. Cops can arrest you, throw you on the ground, handcuff you, taser you and, yes, even shoot you with something approaching 99.999% impunity. Sure, if some cop is dumb enough to shoot somebody for absolutely no reason at all, and do that on video, then he might get a slap on the wrist, even a minimal jail sentence (in extreme cases), but short of murdering somebody on camera cops can do anything they want.
This is what happened to the Russia Today reporters covering the anti-SOA protests yesterday. And, typically, the courts will fully support whatever the cops do.
This is why the latest outrage over the TSA's porno'scanners and genital-gropings is so important. It's not just a matter of Mr. Chertoff making money. Far more relevant is the fact that these TSA measures are really designed to make Americans loose any and all sense of personal freedom or dignity. Absolute and total subservience to the state is what is expected from everybody. And if you refuse, you ain't flying pal!
My bet is that tomorrow's "opt-out" action will be a failure. I just don't see Americans taking any collective action. Yes, there are hundreds and possibly even thousands of courageous and principled Americans out there, but that is a country of 300'000'000 people, most of whom are passive, frightened, depressed and brainwashed sheep, incapable of any meaningful reaction.
The TSA will probably end up make some minor, cosmetic, adjustments to its most crazy policies, but the policy of "submission through humiliation" is here to stay.