Monday, February 6, 2012

America has gone shit-for-the-birds? Orwell 1984 is today's reality!

Has America gone shit-for-the-birds? Orwell 1984 is today's totalitarian reality!

The following is from a relatively conservative financial newsletter, which normally posts rather boring stock quotes and financial data.  When papers like this start posting how totalitarian the U.S. has gotten, you can bet there's something wrong.  First, you've got paranoid psychopaths who can't take a joke chasing people around with weapons and hauling them off to detention, and they're supposed to be the non-terrorists!

The Daily Reckoning Presents
Lost in Translation: An Important Note for International Reckoners
By Joel Bowman
First up, a quick public service announcement for our International Reckoners:

If you’re planning a vacation to the United States of America in the foreseeable future, you would do well to refrain from employing any confusing colloquialisms in your social media updates prior to departure. 

For Australians, that means no “cracking onto” members of the opposite getting “off one’s face” “tearing it up” “little rippers” and, we would think, no “barrakking” for anyone.

Our Irish friends will likewise wish to steer clear of referring to anything as “the gas,” from declaring intentions to “eat one’s head off” and from “throwing shapes,” “sucking diesel” or otherwise “effin’ and blindin’.”

We can only imagine to what extent our English Reckoners shall have to curb their delightfully colorful lingo to ensure a stateside journey (even relatively) free of let or hindrance at the gate, though we imagine no measure of self-censorship will be sufficient to guarantee a transit experience free of at least a touch of “Ye ol’ Liberty Grope.”

What’s all this caper then, eh? What’s the apple, the score, the bleedin’ apple core?

Apologies for the loose linguistics, weary reader. But a point begs its making; a point two British (would-be) tourists, Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting, discovered the hard way just last week.

Apparently rather chuffed at the upcoming prospect of a wee jaunt over the pond, Van Bryan and Bunting engaged in a bit of online banter before their big trip to the US. Mistake number one. The two were perhaps unaware that the Department of Homeland Security routinely trolls the global social media digital waves, setting up accounts to listen in on prospective threats “Homeland.”

We can only imagine the hysterical frenzy that whipped around the DHS H.Q. when they discovered what Van Bryan, 26, had posted.

“Free this week for a quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America x”

Not that it should matter, but “destroy” is popular English slang for “party” easily Googlable fact, one would think, for the highly skilled heroes manning the control tower at the Twitter and Facebook Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Unit for Liberty and Freedom of the Homeland... Patriot... Liberty... uh, never mind.

After making their way through passport control at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last week, the pair were promptly detained by armed guards/heroes/patriots. But the real trouble was still to come.

The two were then informed that the DHS was on to their scheme to “destroy” (read: party in) America and (Could it be? No! Sweet Mother of Mercy!) their sick and twisted plot to dig up the grave of Marilyn Monroe!

“3 weeks today, we’re totally in LA p****** people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”

The pair explained that the tweet, which the DHS had considered a grave matter of national security was, actually, a reference from Family Guy, a popular television showproduced in the Homeland itself...behind patriot lines!

“They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party,” explained Bunting. “I almost burst out laughing when they asked me if I was going to be Leigh’s lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe. I couldn’t believe it because it was a quote from the comedy Family Guy which is an American show.”

Department of Homeland Security staff, brave unwavering professionals as they are, were not deterred from their mission.

“It got even more ridiculous because the officials searched our suitcases and said they were looking for spades and shovels. They did a full body search on me too” explained Bunting.

Perhaps because grave-robbing spades and shovels have little to do with (most people’s idea of) partying, the DHS were unable to find any in the pair’s luggage or, strangely enough, on their person. Nevertheless, this was no time to take chances:

“I kept saying to them they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me ‘you’ve really f***** up with that tweet boy’.”

Van Bryan, apparently thought to be the leader of the non-existent operation, was then cuffed, thrown in a cage inside a van and whisked away to a location where he could not be of harm to Homeland citizens.

Recounted the suspect:

“When we arrived at the prison [ed.: prison!] I was shoved in a cell on my own but after an hour two huge Mexican men covered in tattoos came in and started asking me who I was... They told me they’d been arrested for taking cocaine over the border... When the food arrived on the tray they took it all and just left me with a carton of apple juice.”
After 12 hours in custody, the pair were returned to the airport where they were sent directly home...charge sheets in hand.

Emily “The Lookout” Bunting’s charge sheet stated: “It is believed that you are travelling with Leigh-Van Bryan who possibly has the intentions of coming to the United States to commit crimes.”

Possibly has the intentions”? We can almost hear Special Twitter Task Force Agent Johnston saying, “That’s as good as a thought crime to me!”

Added the charge sheet of one Leigh “Happy Birthday Mr. President” Van Bryan:

“He had posted on his Tweeter website account that he was coming to the United States to dig up the grave of Marilyn Monroe. Also on his tweeter account Mr. Bryan posted that he was coming to destroy America.”

We’re not quite sure what a “Tweeter account” is, but you can be sure the vigilant servicemen and women at the DHS are on the case. Thank goodness the pair didn’t use the “we were only taking the Mickey” defense. Could you imagine the costs and hassle involved in having to put Disneyland on high security lockdown? We shudder to think.

So, to our International Reckoners, remember to travel safely both to and from the Homeland. And please, feel free to pass our public service announcement on.

Joel Bowman
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. Below are a few of the responses left by our Fellow Reckoners. We’ve included them all, exactly as they appeared on the site, at the time of this issue’s publishing. If you’d like to leave a comment of your own, you can do so here.

Le Petomane said: I decided a few years ago never to visit the US again. It was an easy decision.

Bob said: You should see the difference between border crossings in Canada vs. the US. I wonder how we got so many little Hitlers drunk on power?

Yoshinori Kan said: America is losing it’s precious soul. So what is America’s soul? 

America’s soul is a conscience that resides in the heart of a reluctant hero. He has special powers that no-one else has but he rarely uses them. He minds his own business. But when push comes to shove, he holds his ground, gets the job done, doesn’t ask for a compensation, and goes back to minding his own business. The rest of the world looked up to him for his goodness, fortitude, and reluctance to take on the burdens of the world.

These days, rescuing every damsel in distress is not enough, he is now preempting the bad guys from doing bad things! This is no hero. There is no movie here.

Mr. Bowman’s article is very funny on the surface but the meaning behind it is so profoundly sad. It’s a damn shame how things are unraveling.

Mark said: ...what is there to say after reading this?

Frank K said: First it was border tightening. Then it was border security fence. Then it was border war. Then it was border security paranoia. And now, border security madness bordering on insanity.

Rusty Fish said: No “cracking onto” members... There are many historical artifacts for centuries or days...months...decades buried underground yearning for our archeologists to excavate. With thorough analysis, these artifacts serve as crucial elements that could be vital in breaking into much of the conundrum which has taken heavy toll of human life. Facts after all is facts, why shy away?

Leslie said: Governments have taken over the people. It is well past time for a change, the only time political parties seem to listen is when they want your vote, it appears to be like this everywhere now.

Agent Smith said: Note to self. One Joel Bowman aiding and abetting aliens with criminal intentions to enter homeland undetected. Anal probe on next entry.

Agent J said: Please, Mr. will, from now on, refer to our Glorious Land as Der Fatherland!

And it’s, “The Twitter and Facebook Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Unit for the Protection of the Most Special, Lord Obama”. Get it right!

Tony said: George Orwell’s 1984 was supposed to be a fiction book, not a blueprint.

Hannibal said: Unless you like to “experience” 1984, Don’t trouble yourselves to travel to the US, not worth it.

Max said: Living in the US I’d say things have gone crazy, buy many of us are just too complacent to realize what’s going on. Maybe we should start calling it Fatherland Security while clicking our heals together and saluting.


Bad, Worse and Everything in Between
Raiding the DR Reader Mail in Search of An Amusing Start to the New Week...

Joel Bowman
Joel Bowman
First up, Reckoner Raymond B. writes in to say...

While it’s good to see some people (belatedly) bemoaning the crash and burn into totalitarianism of the US (and Western Europe), how many are doing anything about it? Hint: if we don’t vote them back in, maybe we can get rid of them. Libertarians have been warning of this for 40 years now, why aren’t they getting these peoples’ support? 

I ran for the US Senate on the Libertarian ticket in Delaware in 2002 and got 0.4% of the vote, but at least I tried to warn them. 

I’ll keep this short by saying my words on the (unconstitutional and therefore illegal) Federal Reserve...if we don’t get rid of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve will get rid of us.

Sounds prophetic now. But I knew this as a teenager in 1964 when they started taking the silver out of the coinage. Folks, do you really need a Ph.D. in economics to know currency debasement has historically been one of the first steps toward national collapse?

If you continue to vote for them, you are part of the problem.

Here’s one, from Reckoner Steve...

Your article [on the Department of Homeland Security] makes my heart bleed and actually made me feel embarrassed for my country.

“Where oh where did any common sense, or just plain ol’, check the facts and compassion go? What are these people so afraid of?

“Unintended consequences! What they are trying to protect us from is the exact thing that will be their undoing. They, the State, are creating the future consequences that they are so desperately trying to avoid.”

Joel: Reminds us of this great skit by one of our favorite comedians, Steve Huges. “So, you’re having a war against the consequences of the actions you’re involved in?” Classic.

And then there’s this, from Reckoner Chris M. ...

The TSA is a joke, a very sick joke. Of course, its parent bureaucracy, Homeland Security, is even more sinister; but, remembering back to the winter of 1970/71 when I first came to America from Britain, even then it was a police state in my book & has only got worse.

My first real lesson about police power & lack of due process was getting handcuffed & thrown in one of nine long prison buses for drinking Boones Farm Strawberry wine at a private open air concert & party in north east Texas. There might have been a few underage drinkers, but I was 24. Overnight in jail was mandatory, as was paying a fine the next day to get out.

It speaks volumes to say that my backpack with ID & travelers checks was still at the site. Not one of the ‘criminals’ had thought to wear that label & steal anything from their fellow concert goers.

Not so the ‘justice system’ however, who wanted to recoup their losses for hiring three times as many cops as there were concert goers, along with armored cars, motorcycles, several helicopter’s & nine prison buses...

And finally, one from Reckoner Rick B. ...

So disappointed, Joel. I thought that your research had uncovered a positive service by the TSA. As you are aware, prostate cancer is one of the biggest killers of Caucasian males and I thought that from the title, “PSA and TSA”, that our Gestapo was now doing gratis digital rectal exams and cancer screening at the border. Think how many potential “killers” they could identify each day. Think of the budget increases they could get!

I figured as long as they were half way up my ass anyways, they could give the ol’ prostate a squeeze and use their full body scan, time machine, (zips you back to 1936 in Nazi Germany — papers pleeeze!), to confirm any nasty growths or lumps. I guess free medical exams smacks of socialized medicine and not national socialism. Their new logo could have been “assholes helping assholes”. 

A missed opportunity, quelle domage!

-- - Does exactly what it says on the tin

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