First we were told an encroaching police state will be required to save the precious children, now we are told it’s to save hurricane evacuees en masse, especially the “vulnerable,” that is to say the elderly, “disabled residents,” and of course more children.
“Texans seeking to escape the next hurricane or state emergency by evacuation bus will first be submitted to criminal background checks, the state’s emergency management director says,” reports the Houston Chronicle. “The idea, according to Jack Colley, is to keep sex offenders and others who may be wanted by police off the same buses used by the most vulnerable during an evacuation.”
How many sex offenders per million residents? Certainly the number must be infinitesimal. Of course, there will far more people behind in their child support payments or with unpaid parking tickets piled up, and a natural disaster provides the perfect excuse to ferret them out, never mind the overriding message sent to the poor beleaguered masses attempting to escape Mother Nature’s wrath — this here is a police state. If you want to get on the bus, be prepared to surrender any remaining vestige of liberty.
As Texas officials note, the process comes with “plenty of challenges” attached. “We’ll be able to do it,” admitted a confident Jack Colley. “We’re here to save lives,” that is after they submit to a little electronic humiliation of the sort cattle suffer, not that latter mind.
During hurricane Katrina, criminals of the sort Mr. Colley is worried about were left to flounder in a city jail as the water piled up around them, no doubt mostly drug addicts, property criminals, and others caught up in the “zero tolerance” (revenue producing) snare of the state. I’ll bet not a single sex offender was worried about drowning after the jailers evacuated for higher ground. After the hurricane, Human Rights Watch reported harrowing stories of dead prisoners floating in Templeman I, II, and III. That’ll teach ‘em to drink and drive.
Next time around, good old AT&T will be more than happy to help — for a handsome fee, of course.
Of course it will be “purely voluntary.” But what if the folks in line A with these handy-dandy little wristbands get preferential treatment over the folks in the non-wristband B line? People will naturally beg for a wristband and scanner as a deadly hurricane breathes down their necks.
Remember when Donald Kerr, principal deputy director of national intelligence, told his fellow citizens to forget about anonymity? Well, Kerr’s message is now a mantra.
Sort of the like “background checks” exercised at the local Gestapo zone, otherwise known as the metro airport? I’m not sure how many sex offenders and perverts are prevented from squeezing into ridiculously overpriced coach seats, but we know there is no shortage peace and antiwar activists singled out as threats to national security by the FBI.
“Since it’s a government record they’re checking you against, there is not the same invasion of privacy concerns that may come up in other contexts,” extolled prof Charles Rhodes, who teaches constitutional law at South Texas College of Law. “I think the need for it would outweigh any privacy concerns. This is a public safety issue.”
I guess not allowing peaceniks on airliners is a “public safety issue” that outweighs “any privacy concerns” as well, since you can never tell who travels with al-Qaeda (or who doesn’t think like the Bush neocons).
But never mind. A perfect storm is coming. Not the cyclonic sort, not exactly. But rather an economic one. Turn out the lights and water and allow the grocery stores to be stripped bare and after a few days people will be begging for their electronic wristbands just for a crust of bread and a glass of fluoridated water.
Come that day, it won’t be strictly sex offenders relegated to line B.
Obtained 12/17/2007 from http://www.truthnews.us/?p=1298.
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