A day working in NYC: Why you are a frog in a hot pot of waterSubmitted by CorporateSellout on Fri, 09/28/2012 - 21:01
The tale of the frog in the boiling water is often used to illustrate the difference between gradual and drastic change. The story goes that if a frog is placed in a pot of cool water which is being heated on your stove over a very low flame. He will not jump out of the pot as the water's temperature slowly rises, eventually killing him. If that same frog is placed into that pot after the water has already been heated, he will immediately jump out. American citizens have been been in the pot since the 60's and the water is getting warmer every day.
On my way into the subway this morning I walked past three police officers carrying Colt M4 automatic rifles . They were wearing full body armor while holding a large distempered German Shepherd. As I went through the turnstiles, the dog lunged at a young women on her way to work. Luckily she managed to jump out of the way and narrowly avoided being bitten. She hadn't noticed the officers until she looked up, no doubt intending to give a stern word to whomever owned the dog. When she saw the machine guns the blood drained from her face. Obviously shaken she immediately looked down and walked away, quickly. I felt bad for her but at least they didn't have the folding table in front of them today so they weren't conducting a random bad search, I was late enough already. Those bag searches always cause a backup at the turnstiles.
Upon exiting the subway the New York Police Department passed by me conducting one of their drills, where fifty or so police cruisers show up in a very long single file line. Today they were quiet, no lights, no sirens. I appreciated that as I don't like all the loud noise and flashing lights before I've had a cup of coffee. I've seen this drill more then a few times in the past. They drill in different ares of the city so you never can predict where you'll see them. Usually they park diagonally on both sides of the street, spaced inches apart, half pulled up on the curb, half on the street for the length of a block or two. Sometimes all of the officers get out of the cars, get into police buses or vans and just drive off leaving their cars. Sometimes they all get out in full body armor and just stand there. Today they mundanely sat in their cars as I walked by, nothing new really.
Later, on my way home from work I was passed by several fire trucks driving by in a hurry. As I drew closer to the center of all the commotion I saw about twenty fire trucks surrounding the Port Authority building on all sides. Effectively cordoning off an area of about four square city blocks. In the past, say pre-911 you'd expect that this would maybe be caused by say... a fire. It wasn't of course. I've seen this same scene unfold at the Port Authority a dozen times over the last few years. As I crossed through the blockade of trucks I approached a laughing group of fire fighters in full gear and asked half seriously if I was going to get blown up today. You can't be too careful these days, better to ask than be sorry. They laughed and let me know it was just a false alarm, nothing to worry about. Relieved, I continued on my way, smiled at the three unmarked soldiers in full camouflage with the MP5 machine guns that always stand in front of the escalator bank and went on home to my family.
This could be another whole note for another day, but I've been trying to find out who these unmarked folks are for about a year and all I know for sure is that they are not NYPD (per the NYPD officer I asked while we were looking at them). Several times I've asked them directly about it as well. Mostly they just ignore me. Once I complimented the gentlemen's M4 and asked if it was a semi or full auto. I could actually buy the semi automatic version at a dealer, then purchase a kit that easily converts it to a fully auto after all. He took the bait and proudly stated it was full auto from the colt factory and then bragged about all the upgrades his model had. I tried to casually bring up who he worked for by commenting that it must be nice to have the people you work for pay for it and then asked who he was with. For a second I thought he was actually going to tell me.. but the other officer with him changed the topic before I got an answer. Are we being policed by someone other then the police? The constitution is pretty clear on the legality of being policed by the military, Yet no one seems to notice. Those who do notice rationalize that it must be necessary to protect us.
I make a point of mentioning things like this to everyone I know.. to the point of making them all a little annoyed I'm sure. I refuse to become the kind of person who stops mentioning it, because that will mean that I've been conditioned to accept all of this as common place. It is not common place.
I wonder what would happen if you took an American from 17, 18 or1950 and had them experience this same, very average, day in my life?
This is just a little day dreaming on my part, but I'd imagine that the 1750's American from our founding generation would immediately begin planning to overthrow the government, after all, you had a rifle, they had a rifle. Iit was a fair fight. The 1850's American would begin trying to quietly organize supporters politically for a cessation from the union(forcefully if need be), after all, they still had states rights then. A state could stand up to the federal government. The 1950's American would begin organizing a peaceful but steadfast system of protests designed to expose the governments oppressiveness to their countrymen through the media, after all, the media was there to protect them.
-In Eisenhower's farewell address he warned that he feared future Presidents with less knowledge of the military then himself would not be able to prevent the "Military Industrial Complex" from taking over the country.
- The succeeding president(JFK) was assassinated after having some very public quarrels with the military. Most notably the bay of pigs.
- Eisenhower's vice president (Nixon) was disgraced and forced to resign
-The patriot act allows the police to search my home without a search warrant.
-The NSA is tapping American citizen's phone lines without warrants.
-I see the police training in military like drills.
-The police are equipped like the military.
-Camouflaged heavily armed people are policing me and refusing to identify themselves.
-Most of the media I see (print, TV, movies, video games, ads, etc) are owned by 5 companies. Companies like GE, who no longer make dish washers, but who do make a lot of weapons for the military.
With my generation there is a preconceived notion, a "no brainer" that there can be no revolution in the United States, period. Mention trying to organize any sort of anti-government movement to someone of any political persuasion and you'll hear stories of people who disappear, satellites that can spy on you, phone taping, losing your job, and of course the overwhelming force of the American military that could crush any armed uprising. Protests are rarely well organized, and have a clear message even less often. The media seems to pick the most irrational person they can find and put them in front of the camera with the protest behind them as if they speak for the crowd. Notice how they never talk to the person on the stage/ soap box.
What will my generation do? Can we defend the constitution, or will it slip away? One freedom at a time.
UPDATE: Found this on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSI6kpKDdUg
UPDATE: It would appear the soldiers are national guard.
"Headquartered at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, teams of JTF Empire Shield Airmen and Soldiers stand guard at key locations throughout the city, including Grand Central Terminal, Pennsylvania Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and entrances to a number of tunnels and bridges."