Closed Door

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Part 46


Dear Diary, 

I’m trying not to be upset.  I’m trying not to panic.  There really isn’t a need to panic, none at all, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.  But how did things go downhill so fast?!  I’m not ready!   

OK, anxiety attack under control and over with.  At least until the next flutter gets away from me and turns into a screaming osprey in my chest. 

Martial law is completely getting in the way of my plans.  No travel but essential travel.  They say they will let up on that in a few days, that this is basically just a calming down period for everyone.  Yeah right, I’ll believe it when I see it.  When people take power it is very hard for them to turn loose of it.   

And by people I don’t mean the cops or even the state government … I mean the feds that seem to have invaded the land.  DHS is particularly snobby about sharing their plans.  Cal says it is making it very difficult for their department to do their job because there are feds all over the place looming like hungry vultures.  They’ve got the 911 phone system so disrupted that you might as well be calling the non-emergency phone line.  Response times are way down because DHS wants to clear every call, send observers on certain types of calls, and even cop cars get stopped at the check points, even if they are running with lights and siren blasting. 

The FBI, DHS, and some of the other alphabet agencies have been making arrests on their own authority and then the people just kind of disappear and then reappear in odd locations like out of state with no formal notification to their family or area law enforcement.  As a matter of fact local law enforcement is slowly being cut completely out of the information loop on the off chance that “dissidents and/or activists fill the ranks of the various law enforcement agencies in the state.”  And yes, that was a direct quote from an interview some DHS honcho did on a talk show.  But something keeps niggling in the back of my mind that martial law is a military thing; it’s not supposed to be the way they are running it. 

But seriously, could they paint the bull’s eye on the backs of our guys and gals just a little bigger and brighter?!  At first people were so thankful that the administration had acted decisively and quickly – for the first time in who knows how long – but now that reality is setting in they aren’t quite so happy.  And who do they blame?  Themselves for voting in those yahoos that sit in power?  Of course not.  No, they blame the cops for “being such babies and running crying to the feds that someone was picking on them which everyone seems to know they deserved.”    And yeah, I’ve really heard a few people say it like that on network news as well out in the streets … when I get out at all.  The few people that still remain in the gated community there at the mouth of the river that haven’t barricaded themselves inside like agoraphobics are getting on my nerves more than a little with the way they act. 

Doesn’t matter how many times or ways they are told that the feds came in uninvited and against states’ rights, they want to blame who and what is closest at hand because it gives them a handy target and makes them feel better.  Doesn’t seem to matter that if someone will beat down on the cops they won’t even hesitate at beating on regular ol’ Joe Schmoe on the street.  Hardly anyone cackles when the feds haul someone away under cloak of darkness and silence but let the cops pull someone over for speeding or bust them during a domestic call and the rocks and bottles start. 

The National Guard is also getting targeted but to a lesser degree.  The fatigues, or maybe it is the large automatic rifles, make them a less desirable target apparently.  It could also be if you interfere with a National Guardsman’s ability to do his or her job it is a federal/military crime.  You can kill a cop and you’ll still only be prosecuted at the local and state level.  It is just really freaky to seeing this stuff going on in the 21st century in the USA; Daddy and Papa would be horrified.   

There is zero traffic on my little private road but I see the Coast Guard, boats from MacDill, and a couple that even say Department of Homeland Security emblazoned on them patrolling the bay and mouth of the river.  The Port Authority boats are also out in force.  I hear on the news that they are also out in the Gulf on the other side of Pinellas and further south along the coast. 

The foreign boats that dock at the Port of Tampa are subject to search and seizure.  Their crews are not allowed to leave their boats at all, not even when the Seaman’s Ministry said that they would house a few at a time to allow them to use their communications facility to call or email home to let their families know how they fare.  I have a feeling the powers that be would close the Port completely if it could be done without creating even more economic chaos for the unions.  Or maybe they are just afraid of looking like what they are - fascists. 

I think they are intentionally making Tampa, and to a lesser extent the entire state of Florida, into an example they can hold up to others.  Either play by our rules, do what we say, or we’ll bankrupt you into obedience.  I don’t want to think about that part too much because I start having trouble breathing.  I’ve read about this sort of stuff in history books but I never thought I would ever live to experience it.  Kings would travel their lands giving fiefs and land owners the “privilege” of hosting the monarch and his entire entourage.  The cost of the privilege could empty a family’s coffers and starve them making them dependent on the charity of the king.  I know it isn’t exactly the same thing going on here but it sure seems like some of the same tactics. 

Oh and don’t get the bickering going between the classes and ethnic groups; you’ll start world war III without even trying.  The blacks blame the whites, the whites blame a lot of the minorities.  The Hispanics blame the blacks and the rich whites.  The rich of all colors blame the poor of all colors and vice versa.  Everyone blames the illegal immigrants and the illegal immigrants are doing the best they can to escape but finding it difficult to travel with martial law in place.  In other words, everyone is nuts; and, they all want a piece of local law enforcement because they believe that’s who started this mess. 

Then in comes politics and it’s the democrats blaming the republicans, the republicans blaming the democrats, the conservatives blaming the liberal progressives and the liberal progressives blaming everyone – including their parents – for their financial and psychological misery … everyone but themselves naturally. 

On a more micro level things are just as bad.  Even if I was free to travel I can’t justify using the gas.  They’ve cut the amount of fuel you can buy at the pump to twenty dollars and even with price controls in place that isn’t much and for some people that means going to the pump every day just to have enough fuel to get to and from work.  Despite the price controls, or maybe because of them, the feds have levied a surcharge on the gas to pay for our own occupation. 

And yes, it feels like an occupation.  I can’t remember why Daddy and Papa were discussing it … and I can’t even remember what “it” was … but I remember the feel of the conversation.  I also remember the following statement:  “You can’t enjoy your freedoms if you are dead but you can’t enjoy living if you aren’t free.  The Constitution is supposed to provide a balanced solution to that conundrum by stating the explicit rights and laws of the land but men will manage to destroy that one of these days.” 

It makes me wonder if those days have arrived.

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