Friday, August 17, 2012

The propaganda is full of images of good little citizens being radiated by smiling security professionals.

American Scofflaw

I’m writing this letter to you whilst throttling at a high rate of speed somewhere beneath the English Channel en route to Paris.

My ultimate destination is actually Tunisia, where I will spend the next few days on the ground checking out how the country has fared since its revolution last year.
Granted, having spent the last several days in London, it would have been much easier if I had simply flown from Heathrow airport to Tunis… yet I’ve deliberately taken this much slower route.

Why? Because the British government is doing its damnedest to outdo the US as the WORST place to travel in, out, and through in the entire world. And if you plan on traveling, this is important information to know.

In the UK, the government is in the process of installing body scanners at all airports. And unlike in the US and the rest of Europe, you cannot opt-out. If they tell you to go through the scanner, you have to go through the scanner… or else you don’t fly.

On the Heathrow airport’s FAQ page, in fact, they say:
“If selected for body scanning, you will not be offered an alternative method of screening. Refusal to be screened will result in you not being allowed to travel. We appreciate that this may appear harsh, but it is necessary in order to maintain security levels.”

That’s enough to make me never fly out of the country ever again. Hence, the Chunnel route. I opted to hop the train to Paris and spend a few extra hours traveling rather than be radiated by some sociopathic bureaucracy.

Let’s be honest– transportation security is not security. It’s not even a charade of security. It serves but one purpose: to make sure that all the little people out there know exactly who’s in charge: the government.
Even at the train station, British policemen were patrolling the arcade as if they were in downtown Kandahar, clad in all black commando uniforms, combat boots, and loaded automatic weapons at the ready.

Security staff was fondling travelers (you still have to go through metal detectors and pat downs), rifling through suitcases, and barking commands at the mass of passengers with a piercing shrillness that can only come with a false sense of superiority.

Again, this has nothing to do with security. It’s just programming… training people to submit to authority, desensitizing them to further erosions of freedom. Sometimes the tactics are blunt, sometimes far softer.
In the Netherlands, for example, the Dutch government’s efforts to program its population shows true mastery of subtle propaganda. At Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, they simply no longer use the term ‘body scanner.’ Body scanner has negative connotations; people think about radiation, and that’s bad for morale.

“Security scanner” on the other hand, is a neutral term. Nobody thinks about it hard enough to realize that a ‘security scanner’ is the exact same machine as a body scanner. It’s just clever marketing.

The propaganda is full of images of good little citizens being radiated by smiling security professionals… and parents happily looking on as their children enter the chamber.

The Dutch government has further published an amazing piece of work entitled “What is being done to counter terrorism… and what can you do?” which lists everyone from teachers to janitors to scientists as government spies who snoop and eavesdrop on citizens. Later in the Q&A section, the brochure asks, “Are we becoming a police state?” and then answers with “No. We must be vigilant for safety’s sake…” Well, there it is. The government says this isn’t a police state, it must be true. Crazy.

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