By Warren Pease
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Oct 8, 2007, 01:02
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." --George W. Bush, Aug. 5, 2004, in a rare moment of unscripted candor.
Mass media is fond of creating labels and lumping people of certain philosophical or political persuasions into groups of designated societal misfits, all carrying some pejorative nickname intended to clearly define the borders between "them" and "us."
This helps the citizenry distinguish between the members of certain marginalized -- and therefore untrustworthy -- groups who take a somewhat jaundiced view of the actions and motivations of authoritarian institutions, and the great American mainstream that can always be counted upon to internalize and recite the most preposterous nonsense as long as it carries the official stamp of institutional authority and mass media approval.
A recent case in point: a group based in Portland called the Oregon Truth Alliance aired their concerns and objections regarding a series of upcoming anti-terrorism/national security drills scheduled to take place in their city this month. They were rewarded for their efforts in an October 2 editorial in The Oregonian, the local daily, that snickered:
It's hard to know what's scarier: the idea of responding to a terrorist attack in Portland or the idea that the government is using a drill as a pretext to seize power, declare martial law and, possibly, attack Iran. The average Portlander doesn't give much thought to either notion, but a feverish fringe sees a disaster drill as evidence of a future police state . . . Read more.