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Mark Drolette: Keeping Your Eye On Others

Homegrown terrorism: Keeping your eye on others isn't sneaky -- it's patriotic!

By Mark Drolette

Well, it's about time.

Sometime in the near future (if we're lucky), the Senate will pass the long-needed "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" (VRHTPA). Happily, the bill breezed through the House on a 404-06 vote and, once it clears Congress' upper chamber, will be signed into law by our brave president. (No, not Dick Cheney; the other guy.)

Vital to national security, VRHTPA will help eliminate terrorism from fomenting here in our hollowed homeland. How? By stopping domestic evil-doers right where terrorism begins: in the mind.

Predictably, rubber-spined liberals will cry this is George Orwell's "thought-crime" come true. Come on! Alarmist thinking like this is dangerous. Truth be told, it's downright criminal.

Please, dear reader: Ignore those who hysterically insist the terrorism threat to America is grossly overblown, that it's a cynical ploy by the military-industrial/energy/corporate media complex that truly runs our government to induce tattletale paranoia. Then?

Turn those suspicious bastards in.

Evocative of the days of super-patriot Joe McCarthy, VRHTPA provides America with an indispensable resource: a national investigating commission. (Sure, Joe ruined lives needlessly and died in disgrace but revisionist namby-pambies gloss over the effectiveness of infusing the citizenry with knee-shaking fear. Remember: a jumpy nation is a talkative nation.) This commission is authorized to gather data about domestic terrorist threats however it sees fit, including by scouring the country, left and right.

And the left is right where it should start, too, beginning with those six representatives who voted "no." Sorry, but this is no time for elitist politicians and their anti-American independent thinking.

We've known since 9/11, 9/11, 9/11 (my best Rudy Giuliani impersonation) that anyone could be a terrorist, demanding our ever-watchfulness. Take my neighbor (especially if you're from Homeland Security; leave the reward under the "Welcome: You're Under Surveillance" mat). I happen to know that Tim -- I mean, "Abdul" -- reads Howard Zinn and, most disturbing, watches Keith Olbermann, who's particularly insidious the way he brainwashes viewers with facts. As soon as that commission establishes a hotline for snitches, er, citizens, Abdul is toast, and then maybe that deadbeat'll think twice before stiffing me for another twenty bucks (not that that, you know, has anything to do with anything).

Chicken little leftists also wail that VRHTPA assaults free speech, asserting it's so broadly written it will stifle much-needed political debate for fear of being thrown into a Halliburton-constructed hoosegow. Hmph! You decide: VRHTPA defines "violent radicalization" as "the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change."

Really, now: how much clearer could it be?

I, too, believe in First Amendment rights, even for those whose stupid views I respectfully disagree with, but, jeez, can't they shut up about it already? These ingrates don't care that by using the civil liberties our brave soldiers and uncounted mercenaries are killing thousands in Iraq to protect, they're playing right into the terrorists' hands, the very ones who hate us for the freedoms we used to have.

Look, until the never-ending war on terrorism ends, it's every American's constitutional duty to unequivocally support our president's policies, no matter how hare-brained. To nitpickers who note the Constitution actually empowers Americans to do the opposite -- i.e., keep a tireless collective eye on their government -- I say: Who cares? Anymore, we can't afford to be hamstrung by a bunch of laws, especially ones that were, what, written years ago by some dead guys? (Although, in fairness, they were alive at the time, I think.)

It's obvious: We either fight them over there, or fight us over here. Since we're much closer to ourselves, we'll save billions in travel expenses alone. VRHTPA makes it easy for every American, young or old, to become personally involved in fighting the scourge of terrorism.

In other words, do try this at home.

Copyright © 2008 Mark Drolette. All rights reserved.

ENDS

**************

Mark Drolette is a Sacramento-based writer currently penning his first book: Why Costa Rica? Why the hell not? He can be reached at mdrolette_AT_comcast_DOT_net.

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