Alice Jones Webb, Contributor
You might think that government watch lists are reserved for violent radical extremists. You might be wrong.
There is a very serious war taking place, a “war on terror“. Which should sound ludicrous to any rational, thinking human being. How can we wage a war on terror? Terror is a consequence of war itself. You can’t fight a war on something that war produces? Talk about a vicious cycle. And terror doesn’t only exist overseas. There are apparently very dangerous people here on domestic soil, too. Dangerous people that don’t follow the herd. Who don’t walk in orderly lines. Scary people that oppose corrupt systems.
Some people consider earning a spot on the government watch list as a badge of honor. Fortunately for them, it doesn’t seem too difficult to land yourself on one of these government watch lists (at least not if you’ve ever had a thought independent of the ones the media is constantly spoon feeding you… or if you’re a fairly normal and boring human being). Here is a short list of pretty non-terrifying and easy ways to land yourself on a government watch list.
1. Displaying Bumper Stickers on Your Vehicle
If you think the display of snarky bumper stickers all over the back of your minivan is just a form of self-expression, you’re wrong. It could be an act of terrorism. According to a training manual used in the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) program for law enforcement (and funded by the Department of Justice) some bumper stickers could be indications of terrorist activity. Some suspicious sticker subjects include pro-life, pro-freedom, anti-genetic engineering, anti-United Nations, and patriotism (because patriotism = terrorism… interesting). Got any of these on your bumper? You might be a terrorist… because, you know… terrorists always announce themselves with bumper stickers.
2. Shop at Costco or Sam’s Club
Purchasing food in bulk (at least enough to last more than 7 days) could be interpreted as suspicious activity. Even if you just like the convenience of fewer grocery store trips, or you have a large family, or maybe you only get paid monthly, or like to save money (that’s probably just a cover anyway), stocking up on mega amounts of peanut butter and toilet paper and ravioli could mean you’re a terrorist.
3. Pay With Cash
Suspicious, isn’t it? That you would pay cold hard cash for anything? Maybe because it’s harder for the powers that be to keep tabs on cash purchases than electronic ones. Think twice about pulling out a few ones to pay for your morning coffee. It’s probably even more terrifying if you pay for your bulk peanut butter, toilet paper, and ravioli with a few twenties.
4. Vote Third Party
Step outside the two-party political illusion and you might be considered a terrorist threat. A law enforcement report (2009) from the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) listed libertarians (and Ron Paul supporters) as potential terrorist threats. In 2011, Vice President Biden equated Tea Party supporters with terrorists. Heck, you probably don’t even have to vote with a third party, perhaps just thinking about voting for someone outside the two party system would be enough to get you in trouble with the “thought police”.
5. Fly the American Flag
According to that same MIAC report, people who fly the U.S. flag (or any of several historic American flags like the “Betsy Ross flag” or the “Gadsden flag”) could be equated with extremist hate groups and domestic terrorists. Be careful on Independence Day. Those potential terrorists are everywhere.
Unless you’re teaching your kids how to field strip a rifle in under a minute you probably think that you’re safe. All of those worksheets and museum trips and popsicle-stick art couldn’t possibly be a threat to national security. Yet the documentary film, 9/11: The Road To Tyranny, featured footage of a lecturer at a FEMA symposium for first responders stating that homeschoolers were terrorists and should be treated with the utmost suspicion and brutality in times of national emergency. Wow. Here I thought I was just providing a superior education.
7. Plant A Garden
If you want fresh vegetables or you just enjoy getting your hands dirty, you might be a domestic terrorist. According to an 18-year law enforcement veteran, the Department of Homeland Security is training local police to recognize potential domestic terrorists. On the list: self-sufficiency. And if you’re canning your extra tomatoes, that could be interpreted as “stock-piling food”, another item on their list of criteria. Buying fertilizer for your garden could also catch the FBI’s attention, especially if you asked too many questions at the farm supply store.
8. Take Pictures or Videos
Who doesn’t take pictures of symbolic monuments while on vacation? Showing too much interest in or snapping “inappropriate” photos of important landmarks could earn you some attention from the FBI. Think twice before capturing one more family memory in front of the Capitol Building next time you vacation in Washington D.C.
9. Believe in Conspiracy Theories
After reading this list, it’s easy to believe in some insane government conspiracy to land every American citizen on a government watch list. Beware: Believing in conspiracy theories… well, that’s reason enough to land your name on a government watch list.
About the Author
Alice Jones Webb is a writer, autodidact, and homeschooling mother to four children. She spends her days folding laundry, raising free-thinkers, and questioning everything. She can easily be found on Facebook, Twitter, and her website, Different Than Average, where she writes social commentary and chronicles a life that challenges the status quo.
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