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I Feel You

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Message Linh Dinh
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It's no big deal that they strap people onto boards, then pour water onto their faces, drowning them, more or less, in our name, but we don't make a big fuss until they nudge our nuts.

It's OK that they incinerate countless alien bodies; some call it shock and awe, but we don't go berserk until they palm our inner thighs.

Go ahead and commit countless crimes, profit and murder with our tax money; destroy nations, including this one, be imperial, kick ass without mercy, kill into eternity with regular troops, part-timers or mercenaries, but don't mess with our junk!

Don't tinker with our jewels. Don't rearrange them. Unleash your frat boy or sadistic impulses on those you've detained through renditions. How polite are these verb -- to detain and to render? How artistic, even much better than to kidnap, lock up then torture without trial, if not kill in secret. May I render you?

Big Brother must probe our crotches because Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had 80 grams of PETN explosive in his underwear. Heading for Detroit, he could board an airliner in Amsterdam even without a passport. Unless there was intervention from higher up, from inside, this would not have been possible. Strange, but many 9/11 "terrorists" also managed to get into the U.S. without the proper paperwork. I didn't make that up; it's no conspiracy theory, but fact, as reported by National Review, of all places. Unless strings are pulled, there's simply no way you can get on a U.S. bound plane without a passport. No way, Abdul! More than month before this attempted attack, Abdulmutallab's father had also gone to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to express, according to CBS News, "deep concerns to a CIA officer about his son's ties to extremists in Yemen," but nothing was ever done about it. Of course not.

Umar lost his bloody trousers. Judging from his Facebook musings, the bloke wasn't terribly bright. With patsy burnt, literally, well toasted, seared, Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff lost no time in pushing the newfangled, see-through-your-and-your-mama's-clothes X-ray machines. These are made by Rapiscan, a client of -- guess who? -- the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm. In sum, Chertoff wanted American taxpayers to stuff beaucoup cash into his pockets. Open corruption has become a hallmark of our croaking empire. It doesn't matter, since hardly anyone is paying attention these days. Hardly anyone is capable of paying attention.

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Agence France Press quotes Dr. Michael Love as saying, "They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays." Dr. Love runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. Representing 12,000 pilots, the American Pilots Association is also warning its members against these airport scanners.

On the other hand, the successor to Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, reassures us, "IT machines are safe, efficient, and protect passenger privacy. They have been independently evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, who have all affirmed their safety." Wait a second, didn't a Dr. Love, of the same John Hopkins University, tell us that these machines aren't safe? Did Napolitano just lie? Would our government lie? Oh, come on, who would you trust, a French press agency, some know-nothing guy named "Love" and a (probably) Commie union, or the honorable Janet Napolitano, as published in USA Today?

But why this constant emphasis on airports? If I were a terrorist, I would hit "em where they ain't. Willie Keller must be in Al Qaeda. Dig him up and arrest him! Don't plant bombs where they're so guarded, wound up and uptight, they're groping all comers, whether co-eds or nuns. Hit "em where they ain't. That's the first rule of fighting, whether in boxing or war, hit "em where they ain't" defending. Manny Pacquiao must be a Taliban. Lock him up! This singular emphasis on airports makes little sense, unless nudie scanners are also destined for train and subway stations, shopping mall and church entrances. Don't think they haven't thought of it. Hey, I have an idea, why not require that each citizen be strapped to a portable scatter scanner, so Chertoff can really make a bundle, and Janet Napolitano and company can really get their rocks off?

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Linh Dinh's Postcards from the End of America has just been published by Seven Stories Press. Tracking our deteriorating socialscape, he maintains a photo blog.

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