File in the “This Would Be Funny If…” folder as examples of those stories that would have us laughing our asses off if they weren’t taking place on the North American continent in a couple of the supposedly most developed countries in the world. Guess we can blame it all on the Mexicans, like we do everything else, eh?
The first story comes from Canada and the sad part of it is that I used to think of Canada as a really cool place… kind of a saner and nicer United States without the blithering and blathering of uneducated, ill informed rednecks, but obviously, right wing induced and wholly manufactured paranoia now grips our northern neighbors to much the same degree as it does us.
Sourced from The Daily Mail Online:
A Moroccan-born Canadian businessman says he became a terror suspect because of a text message he sent to sales staffers saying he was going to ‘blow away’ the competition.According to a religious association, Saad Allami, who is Muslim, sent the message last month and was detained for more than a day while police searched his Quebec home.
He filed a lawsuit against the Quebec provincial police force and seeks $100,000 in damages.
Mr Allami claims he was simply trying to give his co-workers a pep talk before an upcoming New York City trade show.
Meanwhile, here in the southern half of the State of Paranoia…
At Superbowl XLVI, hot dog vendors are also serving up a helping of ‘intel’ about potential terrorist attacks.The Transportation Security Administration has trained 8,000 parking lot attendants, shuttle bus drivers volunteers — and yes, hot dog vendors — to spot suspicious activity at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis under its ‘First Observer’ program.
This is just the latest attempt by the Department of Homeland Security to recruit millions of informants across the country, who officials say can help spot potential terrorist activity.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said the the hog dog informants and others are key to her ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign, that encourages Americans to be vigilant about potential terrorist threats.
But others, like talk radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, say many of the things trainees are taught to look out for in the ‘First Observer’ program are mundane activities that many normal people do on a regular basis.
These include: Wearing a hooded sweatshirt, using a video camera, driving a van and using recording software on cell phones.
And finally we have this bit wherein we learn exactly what we can expect from Ms. Napolitano’s efforts to set us all to spying on each other in a fashion reminiscent of the most repressive era of the old Soviet Union… provided the Terrorists have a Twitter account and are stupid enough to tweet their intentions before embarking on their nefarious activities:
Two British tourists were barred from entering America after joking on Twitter that they were going to ‘destroy America’ and ‘dig up Marilyn Monroe’.Leigh Van Bryan, 26, was handcuffed and kept under armed guard in a cell with Mexican drug dealers for 12 hours after landing in Los Angeles with pal Emily Bunting.
The Department of Homeland Security flagged him as a potential threat when he posted an excited tweet to his pals about his forthcoming trip to Hollywood which read: ‘Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?’
After making their way through passport control at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last Monday afternoon the pair were detained by armed guards.
Despite telling officials the term ‘destroy’ was British slang for ‘party’, they were held on suspicion of planning to ‘commit crimes’ and had their passports confiscated.
Leigh was also quizzed about another tweet which quoted hit US comedy Family Guy which read: ‘3 weeks today, we’re totally in LA p****** people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!
Online privacy group, the Electronic Privacy Information Centre requested information on the DHS’s scans, which it says the agency announced in February last year.
The group claims that a request under the Freedom of Information Act to access the documentation has gone unanswered.
Federal agents even searched his suitcase looking for spades and shovels, claiming Emily was planning to act as Leigh’s ‘look out’ while he raided Marilyn’s tomb.
Bar manager Leigh, from Coventry, and Emily, 24, from Birmingham, were then quizzed for five hours at LAX before they were handcuffed and put into a van with illegal immigrants and locked up overnight.
They spent 12 hours in separate holding cells before being driven back to the airport where they were put on a plane home via Paris
The Department of Homeland Security was recently criticised over false accounts it set up on Twitter.
These are then used to scan networks for ‘sensitive’ words and then for tracking the people who use them.
The words deemed as being sensitive by the DHS include:
Human to animal
Actually I think “Santorum” was on the original list also but removed when the DHS determined that the definition found on Google was indeed a prank. I have no way of knowing for certain of course, but I’m pretty sure that virtually all of those words are used regularly by thousands of people on Twitter so… what’s next? Will we see the Trojan condom company finally brought to justice for inflicting those horrendous “blow your hair back” commercials on an unsuspecting populace? One can only hope.