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"I'm gonna do a Timothy McVeigh." *

By Bob Norson, written August, 2013

 "I'm gonna do a Timothy McVeigh." Those were words spoken to me at a camp ground I was at in the USA just a couple weeks ago. The speaker also admitted a criminal record in that brief but profound encounter. But that's' nothing in the country with one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. I felt no threat personally. I understood and even liked the guy. Except the criminal record (but for the grace of God....) we had a lot of background in common. I asked what his target would be? "Anywhere there is government people".

Would he? Will he? In my travels across America I sensed an anger. I wasn't looking for it; frankly I didn't expect it. I knew the US constitution, including those precious Bill of Rights were battered from the Bush years but imagined they were still largely intact. And besides, America now had Obama and so there was "hope". Bullshit. I join the crowd of embarrassed who were fooled in 08 when I supported Rudd for the same reasons people in the US supported Obama, we all thought we were getting rid of a dangerous right wing demagogue that was getting us into stupid wars and giving the country to the already rich. (slap head!)

There is already a revolution going on in America that the powerful started against a lower/middle class and the victims are too busy trying to pay the mortgage to fight or even understand. The bank bailout scheme was a massive shift of wealth to the already wealthy funded by the already strapped middle class tax payer. The print media that exposed this best in America was Rolling Stone. Yes, the music magazine. But there are differences. Americans are armed. My potential bomber buddy had few personal possessions beyond his old motor home and his arsenal of firearms. While I was there he was gone for a day and when back he said he and a mate had shot up $250 worth of ammo out in the bush. In America, that is a lot of rounds and for him that was a lot of money but there are millions of him.

Nobody wants to be first to a dance. That sense of critical mass hasn't occurred yet that would ignite the masses and the fuse is media. Leading up to the American revolution, Thomas Paine, a pamphleteer, the period equivalent of a modern blogger, published "Common Sense" advocating independence from Britain. This amateur publisher ignited the revolution. Famous American patriot, John Adams wrote of Paine; "Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain."

I'm no Thomas Paine but my position as troublemaker of the powerful goes back further and deeper than readers of The Coastal Passage will know about. Ask me someday and I will tell you my story.

Defamation suits are a common tool of intimidation in Australia, more so than the US. The US favours criminal court as a tool and in the new think of the Obama administration, everything is a crime if they don't like it but it is always an underling's doing while the boss says what voters want to hear, platitudes and assurances; "your phone calls aren't being listened to", etc. This is nothing new. Obama is drawing from the experts, Nixon and Reagan. Reagan was the pro at getting underlings to take the blame whilst he kept his shiny cloak. Everyone knows the term, "war on drugs", but how many know the source? Nixon. He exacerbated class warfare in a classic divide and rule scheme. The young voters were his enemy so he made what was popular with the young a crime and the law came down heavy, very heavy.

My bomber friend was one. His life was derailed permanently back in those days whilst I was thrown in jail for three days for the crime of looking like a Hippy. No charge, no record. I got off easy, the cops were beating people for what they looked like then or (logically) running from them and if they did it was proof you were resisting arrest. A mate of mine was present when the cops were beating his brother; he couldn't stand by. He punched a cop hard enough to remove him from his brother. When I talked to him lately he was still suffering from that day over 30 years ago. Anytime he is "contacted" by police for anything, even a traffic ticket, that day can come up on their screen and he is pushed hard - provoked. T he system never forgets and the technology has gotten better.

If you are a common thief in America, the courts are liberal to the point of ridiculous. I know, I owned a successful business there for many years and watched people that had broken into my store get little more that I did for looking like a Hippy. But if you stand up to authority, your life is in ruins. Crime as an occupation becomes default. The prisons in California are once again being purged due to massive and inhumane overcrowding. They haven't been able to build them fast enough. Many that will be released early will be born psychopaths, but many will be made criminals, people that couldn't stand by and see their brother beaten or that were brutalized by the system for possession of pot and were ridden hard ever sense. Never able to recover in an environment where any handicap at all is doom.

And then the Vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Lots of songs and speeches but when it comes to help from the Veterans Administration for disabilities, well, look up on Google, "screwed over by the VA" like I did. Over five million search results. The pattern was unmistakable. V ets are systematically being denied crucial benefits. My own daughter is one of them.

Those groups are the potential Timothy McVeighs. Millions of them and a lot more that are just marginalised by the unfairness of the trickle down economics of the Bush - Obama - give away of trillions to the rich while they try to figure out how to live in America at $8:50 an hour, impossible. My mate is a painter, when I talked to him he had just scored a job. His experience and skills paid off and he was making $15 an hour which might net him as much as $11 after taxes. Bare subsistence if that.

My mate hates "The New World Order" as he calls it but he is not connected to the web so he doesn't know a lot of detail but his instincts are razor sharp, he is not stupid. If things happened big enough to break into TV or radio, I think he would join in, in a heart beat. The anger is becoming overwhelming. If the young Americans that are tech savvy and know what is going on ally with the Boomers who have been marginalized, there could be open warfare. The Vets may be the swing group. They will have to decide who they are loyal too, the people OR the government as they discover the difference.

Oh come on! Is it really that dangerous? Perhaps. I could line up a lot more examples. The people in power must think so or why would THEY care. I wouldn't have thought so either.

The US is doing everything they can to suppress media by intimidation. Independent reporters covering the really grimy aspects of US government have been attacked by establishment media, jailed, committed suicide under pressure and in the case of Michael Hastings, possibly (some will say probably) assassinated.

In Australia, the demographics are different. The boomer generation was never brutalized like America's but for many the stripping of their wealth through artificially low interest rates for savings accounts, government regulation and fraud in the investment business where they were required to invest by law (superannuation) is starting to bite. People who thought they could at least retire in some dignity in Asia on their savings and pension or disability like previous generations have, were screwed by the Gillard labor government that limited how long one could be offshore without loosing benefits to 90 days. Voters know that a change of party changes nothing just as voters are now learning in America.

Meanwhile, the university educated young are often forced to accept lower wages than coal miners, much lower, but have to pay the new inflated prices that the government doesn't admit are inflated (Less than 3% inflation rate folks, nothing to see here). These people get their news from the web, they know they are being screwed. They know that Australian, so called popular media is largely rubbish and they may not be as apathetic as the boomers. They are idealistic and may become radicalized if they had the leadership, that critical mass. BUT; and this is a big but, what if I just don't know how bad it is out there? What if it's a lot closer to the edge than I realise? Than any of us do? Or is it just the government or whoever really runs it just playing it safe? Anyone who has a sufficiently incendiary history, that has been successful in curbing desired outcomes needs to be eliminated if possible?

Addressing the first point, how bad is it really? I was just about to launch my boat and go cruising and mingling. Whilst the project was under way, I was more or less isolated from large numbers of our readers. Of the few around me there was a general feeling of bitter disgust but helplessness. An example; the only cruisers, or should I say ex-cruisers, I ran into in Australia whilst staying at campgrounds had there life shattered by government. They had some business set backs that reduced their savings but they had enough to finance the build of a specialised boat. One designed around living aboard in Asia on the cheap with the most comfort they could build in for themselves. When their pension was put in peril by the rather capricious act of the Gillard government mentioned above, they were forced to give up on their dream. They reluctantly returned to Australia where they were limited to campgrounds to survive because of the high cost of living. Adding to the pain, their boat was savaged in a destructive "search" by Customs and AQIS (Quarantine) upon return. Nothing found of course. I've gotten a lot of heart break in feed back but still I may not have understood it's scope. And what of those other groups? The question stands, if there isn't any danger, why are independent and often web based journalists being targeted in the US? Why does TCP seem to be monitored? And are there others who have been victimised in Australia and I don't know about it? And even weirder, are there victims that don't know they are victims?

 Who is that frightened and why? What do they know that we/I don't? They are certainly in a position to have their ear to the ground, or rather have their ear on every bit of electronic communication in the world. This brings me to an important point. They have much better information than anyone else. They have been collecting emails in bulk, not targeting individuals. Few people think that their emails will be read and are seduced by the ease and spontaneity enjoyed by it's use. People think that theirs is safe because they don't matter, they aren't a terrorist but what is important is the aggregate. With those mails stored in bulk, technology exists that allows the possessor of the data to scan the lot for key words or phrases and then to examine individual mails as they choose. You know it exists, you use it often. Every time you "Google", their search engine looks over trillions of documents world wide and in a flash delivers a list by priority. The people that possess that data know what is going on out there. They know what people are talking about and how they feel; their 'secrets' and I suspect there are a lot of people talking about acts of defiance of some kind and possible large scale rioting or even violent revolution. Not specific or they would be in jail already but their attitude. Don't snicker at the notion. You are a fool if you do. I am old enough to remember it happening. I watched the Watts riots from a safe distance on TV. Those "race riots" of the sixties in America continued for years and shared the spot light with anti-draft demonstrations. The response from the government was (among others) Kent State University where they shot students, killing one and the infamous Democratic Convention in Chicago where the police went on a rampage that left thousands injured.

Australia has had it's moments too. Government has changed it's course on occasion in response to belligerent demonstration but those were different times; it's a far less humane mob in Canberra today.

If a large part of the general population of Australia and the US thought they had a shot at it, would they rise up? The people with the best answer to that are taking action to protect themselves. Their fear exposes weakness.

Australian government has many ways to influence media. Favours to supporting publications, (grants, gifts and frivolous advertising), pressure to discourage advertisers from non-supporting publications and malicious prosecution to name a few. TCP would go on anyway because it never was about the money and I was always careful with the law which I respect. I wish the enforcers had the same respect.

The ante is always moving up to cover what has already been done and the greed for power is insatiable. It makes me wonder where it will go or when it explodes.

What can you do about all this? Be vocal if nothing else. Speak out to your friends and workmates. Assure others who may think similarly that they are not alone and find out you aren't either.

Remember people like Edward Snowden. He gave up a lucrative career and his future freedom for YOU, YES, YOU!!!! You think he did this for a movie deal? Don't let government put words in your mouth by condemning and criminalizing whistle-blowers in your name! Object! Support Wikileaks, the party and ALL the people who fight for YOUR rights.

* For those of you who do not know who McVeigh was (From Wikipedia):
Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 - June 11, 2001) was an American domestic terrorist convicted and executed for the detonation of a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
Commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the attack killed 168 people and injured over 600. According to the United States Government, it was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11 attacks, and remains the most significant act of domestic terrorism in United States History.
McVeigh, a Gulf War veteran, sought revenge against the federal government for its handling of the Waco siege, which ended in the deaths of 76 people exactly two years before the bombing, as well as for the Ruby Ridge incident in 1992. McVeigh hoped to inspire a revolt against the federal government. He was convicted of eleven f
ederal offences and sentenced to death.