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America Celebrates Fourth of July in Police State

…seven, eight, nine, ten… yup, all fingers and toes still attached. Head, too!

America celebrated the Fourth of July with increased security. There was no specific plot, and no ISIS attacks happened here on our greatest national holiday. (Why strain yourselves, ISIS? We do more damage to ourselves with our fireworks with about 7,000 holiday fireworks injuries? The highest rate of emergency-room-treated fireworks injuries is among children ages 5 to 9—oh, the horror!) Yet we will soldier on with our SWAT teams at the ready: in the capital of the free world, “We operate… like there’s an elevated threat level at all times.”

The Displaced Plainsman seems to share my distaste for mingling security theater with Independence Day:

If the land of free is disconcerted, the home of the brave is also suffering a bit of an identity crisis. A nation that once had nothing to fear but fear itself now tells its citizens to be very afraid and live under the motto “see something say something.” A government created, media led effort to create a panopticon of citizen informants who tell the state about any activity that might indicate one’s neighbor has become a “radicalized lone wolf” has more than a little similarity to the East German Stasi [Leo Kallis, “Some Sardonic Musings or Independence Day,” The Displaced Plainsman, 2015.07.04].

Living our lives in constant fear—that means the terrorists have won, right?


  1. larry kurtz 2015-07-05 09:16

    Leo is good people: he knows domestic terrorists are the Confederate soldiers of today driving civil rights into the dirt while GOP AGs like Marty Jackley, Tim Fox and Hector Balderas rake in campaign dollars to ratchet up that fear.

    We are truly screwed unless we turn out Republicans in every police state.

  2. bearcreekbat 2015-07-05 12:17

    Like our Governor who allows sick South Dakotans to needlessly suffer year after year because he “fears” the feds will not continue to fund the Medicaid expansion if we accept it.

  3. leslie 2015-07-05 14:18

    like the custer county commissioners and newspaper assn that torpedoed the name change stirring up made-up fear. many custerites were watching fireworks from “their” needles turnout, but the better show was on hinhan kaga thru the still fireflies as the moon rose orange behind a lightnening storm over the badlands country. absolutely still, shirtsleeves night. not another soul that i saw.

  4. leslie 2015-07-05 14:55

    oh, except for 10 rapid fire semiauto reports from their side of the mountain between 11pm to midnight. i wondered if lead would rain down on me. the fear from carrying or concealed red neck patriots in a public place.

    sometime ago i had a harshly republican, EAFB vet, biker, trucker, and regular hiking partner from the south who LOVED the hills but always packed a .357 handgun cause “yah never know”. hiking here all my life, the only danger there is from armed hikers. back in the day, stoned, armed hikers.

    f**king political idiots.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2015-07-05 14:57

    CNN was pushing the terrorist fear all week long there was even a headline that said this would be the deadliest 4th ever, what a waste of time. The problem is that the public is so tired of hearing wolf, they won’t respond or respond slowly if there is a terrorist attack.
    Ask to good people about their terrorist fears, Black Christian leaders can probably define domestic racist terrorism quite well.
    It is just a matter of time before we see more domestic terrorism in response to the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, the little bastard nut jobs are probably practicing already.
    Fear needs to be placed where it belongs, with real threat of domestic terrorism.

  6. MD 2015-07-05 16:23

    Seems more and more like 1984.
    What was once the Communist Scare is now the Terrorist Scare. Our media is done set on making sure we keep the fear going, whether they realize it or not.

  7. Roger Cornelius 2015-07-05 17:10

    In Chicago there were 47 shootings so far this holiday and the holiday is not yet over.
    There were not any reports that ISIS was in the city or that they were responsible for these shootings.

  8. mike from iowa 2015-07-05 18:11

    and of course the NRA will lobby for more armed citizens in Chicago to fight the bad guys with guns. An armed society is a deadly society.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-05 22:16

    Roger, Michael Moore would tell us that CNN keeps hyping the terror threat because fear keeps people’s eyes on the screen. Perhaps CNN does not hype the much greater threat to life and limb in Chicago because those numerous separate crimes don’t offer them a chance for live breaking-news coverage. Telling the story of 47 different murders and trying to create a story of public interest would require more serious, possibly tedious journalism.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2015-07-05 22:25

    The Chicago shooting were 40 wounded and 7 murdered, can you imagine what the news hype would be if ISIS killed and wounded Chicago residents. We’d be hearing about it for the next two weeks in prime time.

    Michael Moore is right as usual, CNN and other media outlets are playing right into the hands of terrorist by concentrating on perpetuating false fears.

  11. Kurt Evans 2015-07-05 22:44

    Great post, Cory. Thanks.

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