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Washington, our no-spine zone
By George F. Smith
Suppose one day you meet with a security specialist to safeguard your business. They're called "For Everyone's Defense" -- FED. Fed tells you what bad things could happen and how they'll protect you from them. You say okay and sign up.
Your contract provides you with two well-trained and armed agents, who stay mostly out of sight but within easy reach. You also get a detective you never see but who scouts the area looking for threats.
Time passes and everything's peaceful. Then your bill goes up. "What gives?" you ask. They tell you they're doing more than security work, they're into helping others and need additional money to pay for it. You start to object, but feel a twinge of guilt and go along with it.
Your monthly bill continues to rise. And one of the armed agents is missing.
"He's not missing, he's protecting you from a different location," Fed assures you.
"Where?" you ask.
You grumble, but gosh, they've taken the trouble to include a brochure with your bill explaining all the many ways they're helping people, including aliens.
Next time you talk to them it's from a pay phone across from the smoldering ruins of your once-prosperous business, as rescue workers dig through rubble searching for your employees.
"This is no time to be pointing fingers!" they sneer. "Our detective's chasing down a lead but he needs help. We'll need more money."
"You're fired," you tell them.
"We're also going to run random checks on your bank account, audit your tax returns, fuse an ID chip to your brain, confiscate your luggage--"
You hang up, steady yourself, then put the phone to your ear to call another security firm. You're still connected.
"--and savage your stock portfolio--"
You slam the phone down. This can't be happening. You wait a long minute and pick it up again. Now there's a chorus on the other end, singing:
". . . 'From the mountains, to the prairies'--"
You drop the phone and run screaming down the street.
And in the real world, many Americans are singing to keep from screaming.
"Trust us," the government says. "We'll find the ones responsible for these egregious acts and bring them to justice, along with the states who sponsor them."
Most of us can't wait.
So we watch our strategy unfold. Licking the boots of the likes of Iran and Sudan? Iran, which hosts the biggest terrorist conventions in the world, and Sudan, known for exterminating Christians and fostering slave trade?
"The president has surrounded himself with the wisest foreign policy advisers available," David Limbaugh explained recently, in an attempt to comfort the doubting.
"Trust us," our government tells us. "Get on planes again," they encourage.
Flight attendants still don't feel safe. You might want to practice your spinning mule kick before taking off, just in case, since none of the flight crew will be legally armed. Either that or wait for a government fighter jet to blow you out of the sky.
"Go back to your normal lives," we're told.
The government has snatched the lead here. Predictably, they're spending money like they had it, throwing billions at every problem that makes the front page. They've even created a new bureaucracy for homeland defense and placed Gary Condit on the House subcommittee for Homeland Security.
Why not use those 5,000 U.S. troops stationed in Saudi Arabia?
"[Our] armed forces are no longer in the business of protecting Americans," columnist Doug Bandow observes. "This is why terrorists want to pick on us here."
The Feds discovered that 15 of the 19 suicide bombers of Sept. 11 were carrying legal visas issued from our consulates and embassies in Saudi Arabia, who hand them out like Halloween candy. They'll get around to changing this sometime. Meanwhile, visa-carrying terrorists can still use the Saudi express to come over here legally.
The permanent solution to unwanted visitors, the government suggests, is a national ID card. No permanent police state can exist without one. This is their Infinite Justice, treating terrorists and soccer moms alike, indefinitely. If anyone should carry an ID card it should be our elected officials -- and Larry Ellison.
"Trust us," they tell us, as we see President Bush paying respects to anti-American Islamic leaders here in the U.S.
"Trust us." That first anthrax case in Florida was only an "isolated incident," according to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
Then we see them running like rats when anthrax hits D.C.
Pols who lead by polls, who cold-shoulder friends and glad-hand the enemy, who discourage criticism and want to tie us down with an ID card, surrender their right to be trusted. Instead of Cipro, they should look into getting a spine.
George Smith is full-time freelance writer with a special interest in liberty issues and screenwriting. His articles have appeared on Ether Zone, and in the Gwinnett Daily Post, Writer's Yearbook, Creative Loafing, and Goal Magazine. He has a web site for screenwriters and other writers at http://personal.atl.bellsouth.net/atl/g/f/gfs543/
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