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Dan_Lyons's avatar

Do you think that America is making itself a police state for no good reason other than it can?

Asked by Dan_Lyons (5452points) July 21st, 2014

What with the unconstitutionality of Arizona’s citizenship laws and the TSA’s unconstitutionally requiring that we show ID every twenty minutes inside the airport, is America becoming a Police State?
And does this bother you in the least?
Do you really think there are so many terrorists nipping at our American heels as it were?

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44 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I think it is happening out of fear—the same fear that has been with us since the days of tribalism.

jca's avatar

That link you provided was from 2008. That’s 6 years ago. I’m sure the ID requirement has either been changed or is no longer in existence, as it’s not something we hear people complaining about on a regular basis. I also don’t see any thing in that blog about showing ID every 20 minutes.

Instead of relying on some blog post from 2008, I would prefer to get my info directly from the TSA documents (primary sources rather than secondary sources).

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ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Terrorists are not hiding around every corner, conspiracy theorists are and our Gov’t is rightfully fearful of them. This gives validity to some of the theories which makes them more dangerous. this makes gov’t more fearful….

Times are different now and Gov’t needs to be taking serious precautions. It’s up to us to stand our ground and protest nonviolently when they go too far.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I’m sorry @ARE_you_kidding_me but, are you kidding me!??! You think the govt is afraid of conspiracy theorists?

Yes @jca the link is from 2008 which does indeed make it 6 whole years ago. Are you saying that the TSA no longer makes us show ID as we line up in those ridiculous lines so they can search our shoes and undies?

And what makes you think you could believe a word those criminally insane alleged human beings have to say?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Dan_Lyons Of course they are, remember it was anti-gov’t conspiracy nuts who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma city. They have good reason to keep tabs on militant groups and they do.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Wow, you have really bought into the government lies.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dan_Lyons You have bought into irrational crackpot lies. I won’t defend the government, but I also won’t listen to idiotic theories. Blog posts are less credible than Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

So the US has overreacted to the threat of terrorism, and overarmed the police to the point where more innocent people are killed by police than were killed by terrorists. That I acknowledge. Yet there is a terrorist threat, but we could approach it a bit more rationally.

By the way, I travel a lot and other than when checking a bag, I only have to show my ID once when going through security. And it is not unconstitutional to ask for ID. But you can go through security without a government ID , it just takes longer and involves more inspection. I’ve done it, both in San Francisco and at La Guardia airport.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

My dear Zen, do you remember The Waco Siege. we (the public) were told by them (Janet Reno & the govt) that they (/the Waco bad guys) had set a fire and burned themselves to death.

But right there on the TV in front of our very eyes during the live broadcast we got to see a government tank crash into the building where all the (innocent) bad guys were and we watched the tank use some sort of flame thrower device to start the fire they (Janet Reno) later claimed was started by the bad guys in a suicide burn.

What!?! Lied to by the government? No way dude.

How about 1963 – 64 when the Earl Warren (Chief Justice SCOTUS) Report came out claiming there had only been one bullet fired by a lone assassin killing JFJ when it was clearly shown in the Zapruder Film that Kennedy was hit more than once and the governor was hit too.
And notwithstanding the Film, it was obvious by the TV (live broadcast) that the governor was hit too late after one of the JK hits to have been hot by the same lone bullet.

What!?! Lied to by the government? No way dude.

The Twin Towers were hit by jetliners and the fuel burned so dang hot. But it surely did not burn in such a regular fashion as to bring the Towers straight down as if they were scientifically imploded.
AND why then was there thermite residue found in the melted steel later?

What!?! Lied to by the government? No way dude.

I don’t listen to Beck or Limbaugh or any of those other morons (apparently though you do). I think for myself and using the available facts come to my own conclusions.

You go ahead and keep on supporting the criminally insane people running the world. It is after all your choice, no matter how wrong or stupid a choice you decide to make.

ragingloli's avatar

It is all about control. And the best way to establish control without the population resisting, is to have a bogeyman, a Hannibal ante Portas, to fool them into thinking that these measures are not only necessary, but good and just.
The Nazis had the Jews and the Bolshevist, the Colonies had the Soviet Union, and now terrorists. The latter being self-engineered, either intentionally or by simple ignorance of consequences.
Do not forget that the Colonies funded, trained, and equipped Osama and the Mujahedin when they were still useful to them in the fight against the Soviets.
That they, in partnership with their british lapdogs, toppled the democratically elected Government in Iran, and installed a pro-western oppressive dictator, that was later deposed in an internal islamic rebellion. They still remember that.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Dan_Lyons Oh they always give us a snowball to be a scapegoat for foreign policy. There is shady stuff that goes on but that’s par for the course. I just don’t happen to trust the conspiracy industry either. Sure the Gov’t lies and it’s usually obvious but jumping onboard the bullshit bandwagon is not going to help us solve our problems

canidmajor's avatar

Just a thing about the way the towers collapsed: super tall modern buildings (and by modern, I mean at least the last 50 years) were specifically designed to collapse like that in order to minimize collateral damage in case of earthquake or they needed to be demolished at some point, or some such. I don’t remember anything about thermite residue. Can you link to that? I am genuinely curious.

And about the Kennedy assassination: I have seen compelling documentation and reports from non-government sources that supported both the single-shooter and the multi-shooter theories.

I cannot link to sites that will support what I said, as the the info about tower collapse comes from a conversation with my friend who designs commercial buildings of that type, and the Kennedy stuff was stuff I read long before the internet existed. I’m sure such info could be found on line somewhere.

Oh, and how is it unconstitutional to require ID? I missed that part of the linked post. Does that mean it is also unconstitutional to require ID as proof of age when one orders a drink?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

The police began militarizing their forces as laws were gradually changed as a reaction to the domestic Civil Rights and anti-war street actions of the 1960’s. In the summer of 1967, over 100 American cities were on fire. It started there and since then any excuse to up the arms race against the citizenry has been used. The unconstitutional no-knock law was a direct reaction to the Black Panthers supposed serious attempt at revolution as portrayed by J. Edgar Hoover, and echoed by the media. This method of baiting the citizen with his own irrational fears has been effective since ancient Egypt and it still works today.

National Guard were used to quell “violence caused by demonstrators” in the early ‘60s and throughout that decade and the next against anti-war demonstrations. In California, Reagan used them liberally, probably the only thing he ever did, liberally. Before the 1960’s, using the Guard against it’s own people was extremely rare. Using any kind of military against the citizenry was popularly taboo after the 1932 Bonus March fiasco, but that all changed in the 1960’s. Then there was Kent State. Other than students themselves, hardly a murmur came from the public, cloistered in their homes behind their TV screens, reading Newsweek’s parasympathetic and inaccurate description of events. Times had changed radically.

The nature of government is to accrue more power, and it will do so, even in a democracy, if unhindered by the people. Non-resistance is interpreted as permission. There is no conspiracy theory required. It is the natural instinct of all governments. If the people are not vigilant, it will happen, and it has. I think our founding fathers had a lot to say about this, but we don’t listen anymore.

In the late ‘60s, we began seeing for the first time search and destroy squads on the local police forces known as SWAT teams. They even made a TV show about the lives and loves of a SWAT Team in order to sell the idea to an initially resistant public. The message was that SWAT Teams are human, too, just like you and I, not special forces commandos the likes of which that have never been seen on American soil against Americans.. The public bought it and shows of this ilk have been popular ever since—as have SWAT Teams—long after the original threats had passed. Nowadays, most often than not, news accounts of SWAT missions involve the murder of a single male with a gun and a vague notion of suicide who refuses to answer his own door. Deemed dangerous, he is given a chance to surrender, and when he rightly refuses, he is often destroyed and the building with him. Suicide by cop.

Resistance to this militarization died away with the end of the war, concessions to Civil Rights, and when the youth who took part in them got down to the business of careers and raising families. And it continued unhindered. A couple of years ago, a hicksville backwater like Pasco County, Florida bragged loudly that their Sherriff’s department had recently received their first two unmanned drones, but complained equally as loud that it didn’t have the budget to hire the operators. Drones. Grounded like a third world air force.

I remember reckless, even panicky, notices on convenience store entrances in Miami in 1980–81 when the Metro-Dade Police were on a slow-down strike during and after the Mariel Boat Lift and rather ragtag Haitian refugee incursion to the effect: “If you are a Vietnam War Veteran, the Metro-Dade Police Force needs you NOW.” The diaspora of a certain type of Cuban, over 80,000 of them into the city and environs, and another 60,000 starving, naked Haitian refugees impudently landing on sparkling South Beach, sent the city into panic and the LEOs got the budget they needed to get more choppers and field combat weaponry. Times change, as has justification for militarization of the police.

And now we have a whole generation of children who have come of age under the Patriot Act. A whole generation which is inured to the fact that, upon the opinion of a mere mid-level desk jockey, they can be jailed indefinitely on ICE without charges not informed of their whereabouts, without a defense lawyer, and even relocated abroad and tortured. It will never happen to the good guys, of course. But whether or not you are a good guy is determined by the government, not you. This can be a problem, but these kids don’t see it.

Things were coming along fine since the 1960’s, the government was able to overreach constitutionally at will and continues to do so. There was no reason for a false flag op on 911. It helped move things along nicely, but civil rights were going that way anyway. No reason to blow the hell out of the Twin Towers.

And now with the advent of social networking like Facebook and Twitter, hell, the NSA could probably retire half their domestic surveillance staff, the way people give every detail of their private lives away.

The truth of how this evolved and continues to do so under the naivete and stupidity of the average citizen, is much more disastrous to our freedoms than any conspiracy theory. These conspiracy theories are mere half truths and sideshows that are detracting people away from the real problem, which is the constant active erosion of our civil rights through mandate and the courts, as in cases such as Citizens United v. FEC..

@Dan_Lyons I have a conspiracy for you: What if there is a team of very creative NSA trolls whose job it is to create and virally disseminate thousands of conspiracy theories onto the net to further fracture the American public in order to hinder any real unity among the citizens, any consolidation of popular resistance to the civil rights abuses the government is be perpetrated? Even create confusion as to who he real boogeyman is: Is it runaway government that is causing all our problems? Or is it their corporate masters?

What if, along with an apathetic public—who uses their free hours absorbed by their favorite TV shows—this cadre of government trolls strategically plants stories to sidetrack into thousands of directions those members of the citizenry who are more apt toward political—and thereby paralyze them in confusion and infighting? That sounds more believable, would be easy to do, and would also explain a lot.

So, if it were true that NSA trolls were pouring these theories blatantly onto the net on sites such as InfoWars, and more subtly into the comments sections of legitimate news sites and on threads in social sites like Answerbag, YahooAnswers, SodaHead, Fluther, etc., etc.—even Quora—in order to divide and confuse, it would mean that the dupes who buy into these theories are part of the problem, unknowing active members in the conspiracy., working against the very problems they wish to solve.. Even more sinister is that they are further perpetrating the confusion by spreading it as fact.

Inevitably, the people who buy into these theories realize that there will never be cohesion, that fractured America doesn’t care or is too confused to identify the true boogieman, and these potentially politically active radicals are neutralized into their own state of apathy. They realize that, without the unity of purpose and focus found in organized anti-government policy groups of the past, they can do nothing. Nothing can be done without unity.

It’s just a theory, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the more believable ones.

Anyway, there’s no conspiracy. Hell, it would be nice if we could blame this on someone or something else, Nope. The sad, ugly truth is that our government, pressured by insatiable corporate power, is incrementally accruing more power at our expense. And we stand by apathetically and let it happen because, we think, we have better things to do.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Spot on as usual. F’ing great answer, could not have said it better myself.

And for the record: yes, fire does weaken steel. Even to the point of failure in the twin towers. You can prove this to yourself with a coat hanger and a propane torch. No bombs, thermite or directed energy weapons needed.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I’m sorry my friend but the NSA can troll all it wants. The more intelligent of us think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions regarding these conspiracies. We don’t even read that claptrap.
@ARE_you_kidding_me Fire does of course weaken steal. But it weakens it exactly proportional to the intensity of the blaze.
As many of us saw who were watching the scene unfold live on the telly, it was quite obvious that the fire(s) was/were burning far more intensely on one side than on the other.
The Towers should have toppled like a felled tree, towards the side of the more intense burning. This seems evident even to a school child.
However, the Towers did not fall like a felled tree, but rather came straight down like an imploded building.
And of course the thermite residue was the key to understanding hiow the Towers were really felled.
@canidmajor As to Kennedy, did you watch it live when he was shot? If you had you would have seen JFK react quite visibly to being hit 2 and possibly 3 different times.
Big buildings may be built to fall straight down in case of an earthquake, and they are also built with locations built in for where to place the charges for bringing down the big building.

and interesting point to note is that when many scientists clamored for investigating the thermite dust, the government turned a deaf ear to them.

And of course, why did bldg #7 collapse when it had not been hit by a jet? And it was felled in the exact same manner as the Twin Towers.

hominid's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus – Excellent answer. The existence of conspiracy theories serve a reactionary purpose. It neutralizes the public and is in no way threatening to the status quo. Imagine if the effort to find secret plots and motivations was redirected to actually look at the quite public non-conspiracy systemic problems we are surrounded by. How bored do we need to be to cook up conspiracy theories about the twin towers, when the public record of U.S. foreign policy is a nightmare, or when inequality and poverty in the U.S. is no secret, or while we all celebrate consumerism and fold our arms at the prospect of minimizing the effects of climate change?

If you have an urge to fight the good fight, there is plenty to do. So much. You don’t need to make up stuff. It’s all right here.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Dan_Lyons I would suggest doing very basic fact checking. Thermite is simply ironoxide and aluminum dust. Of course amounts of it were detectable in the building wreckage.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@hominid That’s utter nonsense. Do yourselves a favor and google Byzantine Plots.

I’m seriously surprised that your minds don’t function outside of the brainwashing under which you are obviously affected.

@ARE_you_kidding_me Then why didn’t the govt investigate when our scientists begged them to do so.

See above in re brainwashing.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Because they don’t have to investigate pseudoscientific bullshit. Sigh…. palm to face.

In the end the 911 truthers fall far short of proving there was a conspiracy. As far as I’m concerned the only conspiratorial element was a clear case of “don’t let any tragedy go to waste” as we used it to justify a series of wars.

canidmajor's avatar

Gosh, @Dan_Lyons, did you watch it live? Over 50 years ago? And remember to this day the exact details of the motion of the president’s body? And you know for sure that your memory hadn’t adjusted just a tad over the last half-century because the phrase “grassy knoll” stopped being used to describe a landscape feature and became, instead, the iconic rallying cry for conspiracy theorists? Like I said in my previous post, I have seen intelligent, compelling arguments for both scenarios.
Today it is simply an interesting conundrum to contemplate for me, I don’t actually care anymore whether JFK was killed by one or two or seven shooters.

I think maybe you are a conspiracy of one to debunk the conspiracies, as both your tone and approach are so exaggerated as to convince us of the opposite of your words.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Holy shit!

I’m going to McDonalds to get something to eat.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar


Nobody, except people in certain parts of Dealey Plaza, saw the killing of President Kennedy Live that day. There was no Live coverage of that part of the motorcade.

The Zapruder film was taken from a hand-held, high-end, Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series home movie camera with standard 8 mm Kadachrome color safety film. The film was developed the following day and one copy went immediately to the Secret Service and a second copy sold to the highest bidder, LIFE Magazine, for $150,000, who outbid all other media outlets for exclusive rights for a limited time.

Since LIFE was strictly a print outlet in those days, the American public didn’t get their first look at the contents of the film, and then only as a series of frame stills, until LIFE‘s November 29th issue hit the stands, one full week after the November 22nd assassination. 30 frames of the Zapruder film were published, in black and white. Also, Zapruder, out of respect for Mrs. Kennedy, refused to sell Frame #313 of the film to the media—the one frame showing the President’s head explode. Life published the same frames, in color, only on December 3rd, in their “President Kennedy Memorial Edition.” Again, #313 was omitted.

It wasn’t until more than FIVE YEARS LATER during the 1969 trial of New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw that the Zapruder film, several generations from the original, was shown to the public in film format in a courtroom.

The first broadcast of the Zapruder film was on the late-night television show “Underground News” with Chuck Collins, originating on WSNS-TV, Ch 44, Chicago in 1970,.

The morning following the assassination, while our parents were desperately trying to sleep in, and while we were waiting for our weekly overdose of Saturday morning cartoons, many of us inadvertently saw Jack Ruby murder Lee Harvey Oswald live on TV from the basement of the Dallas Police Department. In low constrast black and white, Oswald was being led through the basement parking garage by a big mean looking guy in a white stetson when suddenly there was shouting and gunfire as a short man in a dark fedora lurch forward and pressed a gun against Oswald’s abdomen. Oswald grabbed his belly, let out a loud moan and went down. The man in the fedora disappeared under a dogpile of cops and newsmen. It happened lightening speed, we didn’t rally know what all the commotion was about, and it had to be explained to the public in slo-mo and stop-action for the rest of the day. At that time, it was declared to be the first killing of a human being on live TV. We never got our cartoons that day.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@canidmajor Yes, I watched it live from Dealy Plaza. I thought surely everyone was watching on TV, too. I was 9 years old.
I really don’t care either about the conspiracy of shooters who killed JFK. What bothers me is that our government covered it up. They did so using the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court along with others including a future president, Gerald Ford.
A coverup of this magnitude indicates a possibility of culpability (although not a certainty).
And then none of the adults of the time (in my little world) did or said a thing about it and just went about life as if it was all cut and dried, don’t rock the boat.

Sorry @Espiritus_Corvus You wasted a lot of time writing your tripe. I was there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But you didn’t SEE anything @Dan_Lyons. You were left with impressions, emotional impressions.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

What on earth do you know what I saw @Dutchess_III ?

Wow, you are incredible. hard to believe a little salt would sicken you. You should have known it was too salty before eating it, same as you seem to know what I have seen in my life.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, now you’re just being silly. Well, have fun with that.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s like some alternate universe in here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t remember the details of most everything I saw at 9. Granted, I would remember that event, but at 9 you don’t have the ability to really discern exactly what is going on, or to “analyze” what is going on. What ever you saw has been affected over time so that your “memory” probably isn’t even a real memory of what you really saw.

I remember running in to see JFK’s funeral. The casket is vivid in mind mind because A) I’ve seen it a million times since then, and B) I accidentally cut the tip of my sister’s finger off in the door side of the hinge when she came running in behind me. The whole event is one big jumble of screaming and blood and JFK’s casket.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Gee @Dutchess_III you are incredible. Now you are telling me that because you were a stupid nine year old with apparently no memory retention that everyone is like you! Haha.

I suppose you think everyone has no memory powers and those of with with eidetic imagery are in the same boat as you.
Eidetic imagery? Haha, of course you have to google it!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar


I’m actually not a jerk, just could not resist. I can’t remember details like that from age 9 and I have really good episodic memory. That said, my suspicion is that there really was more than one shooter. I’d love to know, that’s one conspiracy theory that’s probably got something behind it. Who knows though, without real evidence it’s just speculation.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Oh @ARE_you_kidding_me I see you are breaking ground on your new home. Nice!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was 5, actually. OK, so exactly what did you see @Dan_Lyons?

Dan_Lyons's avatar

We were on the grassy knoll. You can see me there in the pictures. I saw Kennedy’s body jerk around a couple of times, heard the gunshots and saw the smoke from across the way.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Across which way?

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Towards the train yard directly across from us, as opposed to down the street towards the railroad overpass where my brother claims to have actually seen a shooter take a shot and then duck out of sight.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So you have yet another theory, that there was a shooter at the train yard across the street from the grassy knoll? (if there even is a train yard across the street from there.) First time I heard that one. I thought the theory was the shooter was AT the grassy knoll.

And your brother saw a shooter at the overpass?

Lots of impressions made on little kids on that one.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

If you actually took the time to read about this you would learn that the shooters triangulated their positions for a sure kill. They were at the train overpass, across from the grassy knoll in the trees by the fence leading to the train yard where Howard Hunt was seen fleeing from the scene by boarding a freight train like some hobo. And behind jFK, possibly in the Texas Book Depository (although since this is where they set up the patsy Oswald, so perhaps the shooter was there or nearby.

I can’t believe everyone is not aware of these facts by now.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ah. I see. And you saw one and your brother actually saw the other. Astonishing.

And what did your parents see?

Dan_Lyons's avatar

They claim they saw nothing. Dad said that’s his story and he’s sticking to it. He then admonished us to tell no one ever what we saw.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it’s pretty important that you DO tell someone, don’t you think @Dan_Lyons?

jca's avatar

Now that he revealed the earth shattering revelation about the Kennedy assassination?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I just don’t know!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Maybe the Secret Service plucked him right off the keyboard after he revealed what he knew. He’s being waterboarded at this very moment.

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