A post-holiday bulletin: government fear-mongering makes us less prepared!

Summary:  We’ve survived yet another brush with death from terror, although we disregarded the barrage of warnings on cable news to wet our pants on command of the FBI. There are lessons from this, if we wish to learn. Fear-mongering makes us less prepared for the eventual attack.  This is a post-holiday follow-up to Prepare for terror on the 4th of July!  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

“Tell the world. Tell this to everybody, wherever they are. Watch the skies everywhere. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies.”
— Last line in The Thing from Another World (1951)

"Earth vs the flying saucers"
Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1956).

While waiting for ISIS to attack the San Francisco Bay Area, our household held a festival of 1950’s science fiction films. In them generals often ordered “If you see a UFO, shoot it down!” (without knowing why they came). For breaks we switched from 1950’s government-manufactured fear to cable news — to see 21st century government manufactured fear.

The different is that this time we have learned, through repetition, to ignore these warnings. Yet we have not learned sufficiently to see that we pay for the vast apparatus that creates these warnings. We pay for the endless stream of fake terror cells — recruited, trained, sponsored, and busted by the FBI — for the legions of clerks who write the bogus analysis and press releases — and for the suits who solemnly recite evidence-less warnings to “be vigilant.”

Covering their asses, desensitizing us to real warnings

It’s the principal-agent conflict at work. it’s in the best interest of the government security officials to give countless warnings, so that the eventual real attack (large or small) will be covered. This means that their warnings become disregarded but expensive-to-produce noise. Only adult supervision from the White House and Congress can help, and they show no interest in doing so.

Equally derelict in their responsibility are the government stenographers pretending to be journalists who uncritically publish the government’s fear-mongering. Read these about these sad reports…

Zero for 40 at Predicting Attacks: Why Do Media Still Take FBI Terror Warnings Seriously?” by Adam Johnson at Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting.

Our media’s Isis threat hype machine: government stenography at its worst” by Trevor Timm in The Guardian — “Islamic fundamentalists probably aren’t going to kill us all, but watching TV news will convince you otherwise.”

Say "no" to fearmongering

What we can do?

On a small scale, we can complain. Fire off emails to our Congresspeoples. These are low-cost, low-impact actions, but might spark them to do what they do best: posture in front of the TV cameras while roasting Federal bureaucrats.

On a larger scale this should remind us that the Deep State has slipped its leash, serving interests of America’s stakeholders who are not us. There are no easy solutions for that, but the first step on the road to reform is the most difficult. If you have not yet done so, take it today.

For More Information

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A last warning

Last scene in The Thing from Another World (1951).



3 thoughts on “A post-holiday bulletin: government fear-mongering makes us less prepared!”

    1. Lisa,

      Thanks for the pointer! However that is a quite different perspective. The author points to journalists relying government warnings then concludes …

      “We now live in a tyranny of fear. We are a fearful nation. The United States: afraid of everything.”

      That is a non sequitur. It doesn’t even show that the government officials or journalists take these warnings seriously, let alone that much of the public does. And in fact we don’t appear to be: polls (limited as they are) show relatively stable levels of fear during the past 2 decades. Gallup Poll and other polls.

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