It seems that the government's obsession with homeland security knows no bounds. What with warrantless wiretapping and cellphone tracking, launching malware against Iraq and (allegedly) the Tor network, and new revelations every week about NSA surveillance of US citizens it seems that the Man, at both federal and state leve,l is out to get as much control over security, dissent, and speech that is "unacceptable" as possible with complete disregard for the legality or effectiveness of many of their tactics.
A recent OMG moment in the increasingly large catalog of bureaucratic idiocy occurred in Nashville in June when a deputy director, one Sherwin Smith, deputy director of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation clearly stated to a meeting of Maury County residents:
We take water quality very seriously. Very, very seriously ... But you need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints you have a basis, because federally, if there's no water quality issues, that can be considered under Homeland Security an act of terrorism.
I'll give you a moment to pick your jaws up off the floor ...
Smith was subsequently reassigned but it's hard to imagine that he was solely responsible for the ridiculous assertion; I'd guess Smith was the "fall guy."
But that mess illustrates the warped thinking that the "gummint" has fallen into. I have a theory: Policy wonks sit down to address problems and come up with a few rational ideas and objectives then it gets to 5PM and someone breaks out the Tequila and by the next day, bleary-eyed and hungover policies emerge that are sociopathic, authoritarian, and often not just illegal but unconstitutional as well.
Ready for another jaw-dropper?
Justin Carter, a 19-year-old stands accused of making "terroristic threats" in a Facebook posting in February and could face ... grab your seats ... faces up to 8 years in prison.According to his father, Justin was playing a video game and:
"[S]omeone had said something to the effect of 'Oh you're insane, you're crazy, you're messed up in the head. To which [Justin] replied 'Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,' and the next two lines were 'lol and jk' [all sic]."
Some "adult" spotted Carter's obviously childish post and reported it to the police. A Texas grand jury, driven by the gods know what dark forces (then again this is in Texas so I guess he's lucky they didn't just execute him on the spot), decided to charge him with terrorism!
Carter was in jail for almost five months and wound up being put in solitary on a suicide watch. He was released on $500,000 bail in early July and the case goes to trial at the end of September. If you think this is the monstrous injustice that it is please sign the petition on Watchdog.net.
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