Pastor Terry Jones was recently sent a security bill of $180,000 by the local authorities for his “burn the Koran” uproar. Pastor Jones is clearly another religious hack pushing hatred and division instead of love and peace, but he is still an American citizen with the right to protest and burn whatever book he wishes. His stunt was divisive and an obvious attempt to stir the pot, but for the police to charge a tax-paying citizen for securing an event that never happened is just, well, mind-boggling.
Sure some people who may be disturbed by Jones’ prejudice and hate will say, “Right on, the public shouldn’t have to pay for protecting that idiot.” Much like they did when the Balloon Boy’s father was charged restitution for the turmoil he caused. Ultimately, both turned out to be fabricated non-events driven by ridiculous levels of media hype. If the public seeks compensation, it seems more appropriate to target the mainstream media’s advertising sales during their 24-hour media glorification of these non-events.
Charging private citizens seems to be a growing trend by public police forces, apparently to cover their budget shortfalls. Anchorage police have begun sending bills to people if officers have to make more than eight trips per year to their homes. In the UK, police sent a man a bill when their car was damaged pursuing the victim’s stolen vehicle. These are extreme cases but the precedents threaten to turn the police into a “private” security force.
Consequently, as police and sheriff departments face more cutbacks, they are also increasingly telling citizens (and criminals) what types of crimes they’ll respond to. In a recent article titled Third World America, Macleans reported:
In February, the board of commissioners of Ohio’s Ashtabula County faced a scene familiar to local governments across America: a budget shortfall. They began to cut spending and reduced the sheriff’s budget by 20 per cent. A law enforcement agency staff that only a few years ago numbered 112, and had subsequently been pared down to 70, was cut again to 49 people and just one squad car for a county of 1,900 sq. km along the shore of Lake Erie. The sheriff’s department adapted. “We have no patrol units. There is no one on the streets. We respond to only crimes in progress. We don’t respond to property crimes,” deputy sheriff Ron Fenton told Maclean’s. The county once had a “very proactive” detective division in narcotics. Now, there is no detective division. “We are down to one evidence officer and he just runs the evidence room in case someone wants to claim property,” said Fenton. “People are getting property stolen, their houses broken into, and there is no one investigating. We are basically just writing up a report for the insurance company.”
Coincidentally, governments are being forced into more cutbacks just as police units are introducing the idea of charging victims for their security services. In other words, as local and state economies worsen by design, we can expect to see more cutbacks and more “billing” for public security. Some experts have predicted ”IMF riots” to take place in America if the economic collapse continues.
We know that big corporations like Monsanto and Disney can afford private mercenaries such as Blackwater — fully equipped for high-level espionage, with a full-blown private air force, and even tactical weapons. But who will protect average American citizens against such corporate-government thuggery, let alone desperate petty thieves, if not the local public servants?
As America continues to implode, it appears that security will go to the highest bidder, leaving average citizens to fend for themselves. Perhaps we should have seen it coming with the start of the privatization boom of security and intelligence gathering since the War on Terror was declared, which resulted in a massive “Top Secret” Surveillance-Industrial Complex. The ramifications of this privatization are only now becoming clear, as it was reported that an Israeli-owned organization was in charge of tracking, tracing, and databasing peaceful American activists on behalf of the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania. It’s already obvious that property taxes are no longer sufficient to pay the security bills.
Paul Craig Roberts warned in his article “The Year America Dissolved” that local security will likely be controlled by warlord clans after the collapse. First, it seems be taking the form of local mafia gangs collecting “protection” money from businesses, churches, and citizens. Perhaps it is time we listen to Ohio Judge Alfred Mackey who, after deep cuts to the local sheriff’s department, advised citizens to carry guns for protection.