About a year ago, I was contacted by a broker interested in representing several conservative writers for consideration with an online news organization. He asked each of us to write a 1000 to 1500 word column on the subject of our choice so he could submit the columns for consideration. I got paid - rather nice for once - but apparently I didn't make the cut.
So this column, which I rather liked, has been languishing on my computer, doing nothing. I can't really submit it anywhere else because it was "timely," meaning it's now out of date.
So, for your reader edification, here it is.
Sowing the Seeds of Domestic Terrorism
A few weeks ago, I conducted an act of domestic terrorism. I ordered non-hybrid garden seeds.
Yes it’s true. We happen to be concerned about the future of our food sources in this country, and to us the most sensible solution is to grow, raise, or make our own vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy products. That, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s report on Rightwing Extremism, makes us potential domestic terrorists because we have a “fear and paranoia” of an “impending economic collapse.”
But my acts of defiance don’t end there. Did you know that we live in the country? Rural folks are automatically suspected of nefarious activities because we don’t like clustering in urban highrise apartments. Country transplants must have something to hide or we wouldn’t have bailed out of the cities, right? (Shhhh – don’t tell anyone, but I have a secret recipe for this incredibly subversive pesto….)
The DHS has a “thing” against folks who enjoy self-sufficiency and independence. Anyone who doesn’t fawn on the cradle-to-grave interference now in vogue is automatically suspected of domestic terrorism. Watch out or I’ll lob my heirloom tomatoes at you.
It’s so diverting – tra la la – to go down the list of things in the DHS report that qualify me for “special attention.” For example, did you know that our weekly neighborhood potlucks have moved into the realms of domestic terrorism because we “may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues”? You betcha. Radicals that we are, our dinnertime discussions often center around things like stockpiling food, seeds, fencing, canning jars, and building materials…and yes, our concerns and fears about the current administration and Congress as well.
Two of these neighbors are presently unemployed and are in danger of losing their home. They’re scared spitless and make no bones about it. I guess that makes them potential terrorists too, because “the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn – including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit – could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.” If only our neighbors would keep quiet about their fears.
My husband recently inventoried our ammunition supplies and determined that it never hurts to get more. Therefore we are guilty of “stockpiling of weapons and ammunition… in anticipation of restrictions and bans…” Damn straight. He even bought five raffle tickets for a sweet little .410 shotgun. Horrors!
Or how about this gem: “Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.” No duh.
The DHS – like much of the current administration – seems obsessed with skin color. Variations on the “historical nature” of “the first African-American president” are mentioned three times in their report, as if any of us give a diddly-doo about Obama’s race. I don’t think it’s occurred to the dimwits at the DHS that our concern isn’t about skin color, it’s about using the Constitution and Bill of Rights as toilet paper. Since when does our sincere wish for the government to adhere to the documents of our Founding Fathers constitute racism?
Even more interesting, the report mentions “white supremacists” eight times and only grudgingly draws distinctions between those of us with legitimate concerns about our economic, moral, and social decline…and those who can’t see past a person’s melanin content. Obviously the Feds don’t realize just how deeply hated white supremacists are in Flyover Country.
Naturally, vicious crime is attributed only to rightwing extremists. “A recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism may be found in the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburge, PA on 4 April 2009,” snarks the report. “The alleged gunman’s reaction reportedly was influenced by his racist ideology and belief in antigovernment conspiracy theories…” Uh, what about the deaths of FOUR non-black police officers in Oakland, CA in March of this year by a black parolee? Was this also an example of “rightwing” extremism? Or is it just an example of some jerk who went on a murder spree? Whatever the motives in the two sets of killings, seven police officers are dead. That’s tragic no matter what hue of skin color was involved.
As for the DHS flag to watch out for those who “are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” – well it makes sense, doesn’t it, to concentrate on a single issue and dedicate yourself to fighting it? We can’t battle everything or we’d be spread too thin. So if you happen to think babies have the right to be born, Janet Napolitano will nail you as dangerous.
And of course we all have issues with illegal immigration. I am the granddaughter of legal immigrants. I have three foreign-born, legally-immigrated sisters-in-law, all of whom learned English, obtained an education, and are contributing to the economy. Don’t tell me I’m xenophobic. Legal immigration has aided immeasurably in the growth of our country. Illegal immigration does little but drain resources and contribute to the crime rate. Of course I’m against it. Any sane person is.
The report also categorizes our returning soldiers as potential terrorists. What an interesting development. The DHS didn’t pick on police officers or border agents – they picked on soldiers. Could it be because these brave men and women have been on the front lines and have seen what the enemy is like? Could it be that they recognize the government’s recent tendency to pander to dictators and sweet-talk terrorists ain’t gonna work? Maybe. Or maybe soldiers just make socialists nervous.
For those of us in Flyover Country, our collective concern (more like fear) about the state of our economy makes us guilty of incorporating an “aspect of an impending economic collapse to intensify fear and paranoia among like-minded individuals and to attract recruits during times of economic uncertainty.” Yes it’s true – we’ve discussed our concerns about the economy with an ever-wider circle of friends and relatives, and they all agree it’s a problem. Do you see the conspiracy spreading?
Oh, and let’s not forget the government-sponsored slaughters that took place at Ruby Ridge, ID and Waco, TX. According to the DHS report, anyone who believes the government’s actions during these particular incidences were criminal – regardless of our opinions of Randy Weaver or David Koresh – is automatically classified as “rightwing extremist” and “hostile.” How nice to know the government can come in and shoot my thirteen-year-old daughter in the back because her parents don’t like socialism. Koresh and Weaver became isolationists because they were afraid the government was after them. The government came and killed a bunch of their people to prove Koresh and Weaver were wrong. Or does this make me sound hostile?
Then there’s always the happy notion of “mandatory registration of all firearms in the United States” for which “a correlation may exist between the potential passage of gun control legislation and increased hoarding of ammunition…” YA THINK?
Sheesh, folks, get a grip. The DHS is using a few loose screws to classify anyone who disagrees with the current administration as a domestic terrorist. Sounds to me like our government is doing its best to turn us all into criminals who can be picked up and charged whenever it suits the government’s needs. What a warm and fuzzy thought.
The DHS report concludes by urging “recipients of this document to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to DHS and the FBI…When available, each report submitted should include the date, time, location, type of activity, number of people and type of equipment used for the activity…”
Okay, then here’s the skinny: I ordered twenty-three different types of non-hybrid seeds at 1:52 pm on March 23 from a company in Oregon, which were delivered on April 10. The shotgun raffle drawing is on May 27. Our weekly neighborhood potlucks (type of equipment: propane stove) involve about ten people and take place on Thursdays at 6 pm, alternating homes. Bring a dessert.
I expect a knock on our door any day now. If they arrive over the weekend, they’ll be able to witness me sowing my domestic terrorism in the greenhouse. Don’t be late, boys, the onions have a 120-day maturity period and I need to sow them as soon as possible.