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The Military Idle Technology

Following FEMA's Zombie Preparedness Plan Could Land You On Terrorist List 527

Posted by samzenpus
from the fund-and-games dept.
colinneagle writes "As if warning a zombie apocalypse is imminent, FEMA hosted a webinar for its Citizen Corps encouraging emergency planners 'to use the threat of zombies — the flesh-hungry, walking dead — to encourage citizens to prepare for disasters.' The problem is many of those recommendations would have you do things that would flag you as a possible terrorist according to The DOJ's controversial 'Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities' guidelines. From the article: 'Don't be silly by thinking you must actually break the law before cops deem you a potential threat and report you. Paying with cash comes under numerous "you might be a terrorist if" lists. Whatever you do, stocking up on non-perishable food as the feds advise should not include buying "meals ready to eat" since that, too, is potentially suspicious and means you might be a terrorist. "Suspicious activity" at military surplus stores includes making "bulk purchases" of "weatherproofed ammunition or match containers and meals ready to eat, as does suspicious purchasing of "night vision devices include night flashlights and gas masks."'"
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Following FEMA's Zombie Preparedness Plan Could Land You On Terrorist List

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  • by magsol (1406749) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:47AM (#41288369) Journal
    So are terrorists. How convenient.
    • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:04PM (#41288623) Journal
      FEMA produced the zombie plan campaign because people weren't taking the real risks (disease, natural disaster etc) seriously.

      Terrorism works by making people overestimate the risks to get the desired behaviour.

      Much as I admire their sense of humour and proactive stance, FEMA appear to be the terrorists here, according to current government definitions of "terrorist" at least.
      • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:20PM (#41288867) Homepage Journal

        An eye opening moment on this subject was when CNN was doing some story and was talking to a single mother of two or three who wasn't well educated and living around Atlanta. This was two or three years after 911 and her life's biggest fear was terrorism. She lived in the outskirts of Atlanta and didn't work near any real target but thought the suicide bomber was coming at any minute.

        • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:32PM (#41289029) Journal
          Indeed. Things that (statistically) are more likely to kill an American than a terrorist attack:
          • Obesity
          • Cancer
          • Car accident
          • Non-terrorism based plane crash
          • Dogs
          • Cats
          • Somebody elses gun
          • Their own gun
          • Lack of healthcare
          • Peanuts
          • Alcohol
          • Stress

          What's more likely to kill you than a terrorist? Worrying about a terrorist.

          • by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:51PM (#41289293) Journal

            Let's remember that in the entire history of this country, we've been invaded once (by our Mother Country), attacked once (at Pearl Harbor), and been terrorized once (on 9/11). Moreover, we had really good intelligence in each case that these events were coming and simply screwed up managing that information (if you believe the official versions or allowed them to happen for one reason or another if you believe in conspiracies.)

            The whole point of terrorism is similar to an allergic reaction. The response outweighs the event so dramatically that it does infinitely more harm than the event itself. That isn't to say that blowing up the twin towers wasn't an affront to human dignity. It is to say that the number of innocent people that died as a result of that affront so outnumber the affront itself as to dwarf it to near invisibility, and worse, most of the people that died were innocent Iraqi bystanders who had no dog in the fight to begin with. In an allergic reaction your immune system can charge all the way up to anaphylaxis and death all over a few peanut molecules. We have to be very careful to teach people to weigh threats according to reality and when we catch politicians using the boogie man to scare the public into voting for abominations and the gutting of the Constitution, we need to drag these people out in public places and show the nation who the real terrorists are.

            • by a-zarkon! (1030790) on Monday September 10, 2012 @01:10PM (#41289591)

              How soon we forget:
              -War of 1812
              -Mexican American War
              -First World Trade Center
              -Oklahoma City
              -More bombings, assassinations, and other acts of terrorism too numerous to list.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                Oh yea the war of 1812. When those 'peaceful' cannucks were able to get as far as washington dc and burn the white house(wasn't called that before the war.)

            • by Nidi62 (1525137)

              Let's remember that in the entire history of this country, we've been invaded once (by our Mother Country), attacked once (at Pearl Harbor), and been terrorized once (on 9/11).

              Pancho Villa in the early 1900s. The Japanese actually landed infantry in the Aleutians during World War II (if you want to be pedantic, Alaska wasn't a US state at the time, but whatever). There are wrecked ships, both civilian cargo vessels and military craft, all up and down the eastern seaboard from when German naval vessels attacked US shipping right off the coastline. US territorial sovereignty has been threatened or violated a lot more often than you think.

            • by manaway (53637) on Monday September 10, 2012 @03:02PM (#41291357)

              Let's remember that in the entire history of this country, we've been invaded ...

              Your "entire history" starts a little late. The Native Americans know the facts are different. Their land is still occupied by terrorist religious zealots.

          • by jandrese (485)
            You forgot to add Meteors, Lightning, Sharks, etc... to that list. The chances of dying to a terrorist attack in the US are vanishingly small, slightly more if your office space is in a national landmark or government facility, but substantially less for everybody else.

            If that lady were living in Israel or Helmand Province then I could understand her worry, but she was clearly crazy as you noted.
            • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 10, 2012 @01:52PM (#41290291)

              Even in Israel the chances of dying to a terrorist attack are 1-2 orders of magnitude smaller than the chances of dying by, say, car crash.
              http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Terrorism/victims.html
              125 dead since December 2005.
              this is around 19 deaths/year average for this period.
              car crashes kill around ~400/year average for this period.
              Israel's population is ~7M.

              and just like in the US, people are more afraid of terrorism than car crashes.

              Disclaimer: I live in Israel.

        • by Jawnn (445279)

          An eye opening moment on this subject was when CNN was doing some story and was talking to a single mother of two or three who wasn't well educated and living around Atlanta. This was two or three years after 911 and her life's biggest fear was terrorism. She lived in the outskirts of Atlanta and didn't work near any real target but thought the suicide bomber was coming at any minute.

          So the terrorists have won. Or is it "the people who would use your ignorance and fear to manipulate you into doing things that you wouldn't normally do" who have won? Either way, we're fucked, so stop being ignorant and stupid, already. Tall order, I know. It's so easy to let Fox News tell us what to fear and how to think.

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:51PM (#41289295) Journal

          Actually the scary thing is journalists like this one [youtube.com] are on the watchlist. Her crime? talking about the constitution and what we need to do to protect it.

          When talking about the founding document of our country is enough to get you labeled as a possible "wrecker" then i think we can all agree the country has gone to shit. Kinda sad how we survived the USSR only to have those in power try to turn us into the USSA. I urge everyone to watch that video, she lays everything out with facts to back them up about how many of the "war on terrorism" plays were used before, even the language identical, by those that wanted to close free societies.

          The fact that doing what you are told will put you on a list frankly doesn't surprise me, the more people hassled and afraid the better the chilling effect.

          • by Urza9814 (883915) on Monday September 10, 2012 @01:43PM (#41290125)

            When talking about the founding document of our country is enough to get you labeled as a possible "wrecker" then i think we can all agree the country has gone to shit.

            Hate to tell you this, but that's not anything new. Unfortunately I can't recall the exact title of the book this story is from (something about the history of the First Amendment) -- it is from a published book with sources, but you'll just have to take my word on that. Or not, whatever.

            Anyway, back during the height of the 'Red Scare', there was an IWW member (Industrial Workers of the World for anyone unfamiliar -- aka "wobblies") standing on a street corner doing nothing but publicly reading our own Declaration of Independence. After a few minutes, a police officer comes by and arrests him -- for doing nothing but publicly reading the US Declaration of Independence. Now, it just happened that he was doing this outside of an office building where the US Forest Service (IIRC) had some offices, and one of those workers happened to have his window open since it was a nice day out. This guy doesn't really sympathize with the IWW, but he sees this happening and is so outraged that he goes outside and picks up the reading where the other guy left off. And he got hauled off to jail as well.

            So yea, reading the founding documents of our nation has been enough to get even government officials hauled off to jail for quite some time now, unfortunately....

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by PDF (2433640)

              there was an IWW member (Industrial Workers of the World for anyone unfamiliar -- aka "wobblies") standing on a street corner doing nothing but publicly reading our own Declaration of Independence. After a few minutes, a police officer comes by and arrests him

              That was Frank Little [wikipedia.org].

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)
      I don't think it's quite that extreme. However, I pay cash as much as possible because many companies that handle credit card transactions are a bunch of assholes (admittedly, they've gotten better in the past few years). I just don't want to give them money. Oh, I see, not paying the corporate overlord tax. I see how that makes me a terrorist. Nevermind. I'll make sure to wear a ski mask next time I pay in cash, so nobody is confused.
  • by trout007 (975317) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:48AM (#41288389)

    Just rip off Foxworthy's act and replace redneck with terrorist.

  • Easy (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:49AM (#41288403) Journal

    I buy all of my MREs at the Commissary on military bases. Nobody gives you a second look, just like nobody looks twice if you are wearing camouflage, carrying a gun and large rucksack, or running at 6 am on a Saturday.

    • Re:Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Entropius (188861) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:54AM (#41288463)

      Thing is these are all things that civilians ought to be able to do without arousing suspicion, too.

      • Re:Easy (Score:5, Funny)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:59AM (#41288537) Journal
        I, for one, don't want to live in a society where being awake at 6am on a Saturday is not regarded as suspicious...
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jellomizer (103300)

        We have the right to bare arms, not the right to bare food.

        We can get guns without arousing suspicion, but food, that you are opening up a new can of worms

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by maroberts (15852)

          We have the right to bare arms, not the right to bare food.

          We can get guns without arousing suspicion, but food, that you are opening up a new can of worms

          As long as the rest of you isn't bare, I won't complain if you wear short sleeved shirts,
          Bare food is dangerous and should be cooked thoroughly
          I just hope that the tin I open isn't full of worms.

      • Re:Easy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by firewrought (36952) on Monday September 10, 2012 @01:51PM (#41290271)

        Thing is these are all things that civilians ought to be able to do without arousing suspicion, too.

        On the other hand, as soon as anyone goes full crazy, the media and internet forums are full of people breathlessly pouring over their purchase history, indignantly putting hands on hips and saying that somebody should have none such-and-such individual was up to no good because he purchased X thousands rounds of ammunition or what not. We saw it with the Aurora shooter, and the Virginia Tech guy, and doubtless several others.

        If you're a bureaucrat making a public safety decision, it's nearly always better to err on the side of heavy-handness (and let your city/school/department/whatever get sued by the ACLU several years down the road) then to err on the side of civil liberties (and loose your job because some whack decides he needs to murder people for an idea/political philosophy/religion/voice in his head).

        So how do we reconcile these things and remain a free and just society? I don't have the answer... and I doubt there's any one answer that is suitable for all times and places. Personally, I think it's legitimate/necessary for law enforcement to watch for suspicious activity and to have watch lists. But this can turn cancerous when such lists become a catch-all, when they are used to deprive people of rights without due process, or when they are used for systematic harassment (as revenge or "false positive" on an individual, or as a proxy for racism, for instance).

        The good thing about this particular situation is that the DOJ is distributing specific, objective criteria to law enforcement; this helps temper the over-paranoid and clue-in the relaxed. The bad thing is that it conflicts with the sensible emergency-preparedness activities that FEMA has been encouraging. (As an aside: too bad we don't take EP more seriously. It would save a lot of lives if it did, and it'd be a good, concrete exercise in the quintessential spirit of American self-reliance.)

        The list also seems a little on the paranoid side; I suspect this is because DHS is scared shitless of the lone wolf [wikipedia.org] terrorist. They can track cells/groups, but (according to this one guy in the 'biz) they've only been catching lone wolfs "by accident"... e.g., members of the public noticing something a little funny and reporting it. I don't approve of making "candles and boltcutters" a cause for suspicion, and yet I don't know how you re-design the system to be more... measured... in its approaches when people's careers depend on them finding needles in the haystack.

    • Re:Easy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:04PM (#41288625) Homepage

      According to TFA, the Military are terrorists -

      - Purchasing large quantities of ammunition, hydrogen peroxide (check the infirmaries), model aircraft fuel, compressed fuels.
      - Unusually large quantities of fertilizer (well, not so sure about that one, but maybe they are teaming up with the Department of Agriculture).
      - Large quantities of watches, electronic items - have you seen all the electronic gizmos that the DOD orders?
      - A combination of unusual items - describes every military base I've ever seen
      - Firearms and ammunition out of season - ditto.
      - Night vision and camouflage equipment - double ditto; they have the very best night vision stuff, totally jealous.
      - Pipe - I'll bet that the average military base orders thousands of feet of pipe (and pipe nipples) every year; do they tell you what they are going to use it for?

      We'd better alert the Department of Homeland Security!

  • I suggest everyone ask to be added to the list.

  • Um, yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:53AM (#41288451)

    *Actually* preparing for a zombie apocalypse should get you placed an some other lists as well.

    • Re:Um, yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by OverlordQ (264228) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:08PM (#41288663) Journal

      *Actually* preparing for a zombie apocalypse should get you placed an some other lists as well.

      Out of the Zombie Preparedness groups, you *might* have a handful of people who are actually preparing for that. Zombies is to keep it humorous.

      From What is Zombie Squad? [zombiehunters.org]

      Our goal is to educate the public about the importance of personal preparedness and self reliance, to increase its readiness to respond to disasters such as Earthquakes, Floods, Terrorism or Zombie Outbreaks. We want to make sure you are prepared for any crisis situation that might come along in your daily life which may include having your face eaten by the formerly deceased.

    • Re:Um, yeah (Score:4, Funny)

      by Reasonable Facsimile (2478544) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:14PM (#41288769)

      *Actually* preparing for a zombie apocalypse should get you placed an some other lists as well.

      I'm not insane. My mother had me tested.

  • Home of the scared (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:54AM (#41288471) Journal

    A while back something mildly Kafkaesque happened to a friend of mine, who owned a light aircraft (a rather old tatty one).

    He bought a few items from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty - some paints for fabric-covered light planes, and a few items of hardware, to perform some general maintenance and tidy-up. They duly arrive by courier, and he picked them up from his apartment complex's management office. A couple of days later the FBI turn up at his apartment to check whether he's a terrorist! Apparently, the apartment manager saw a box from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, saw my friend pick it up (who's skin colour is not perfectly white, somewhere between white and hispanic) and called the FBI who came out and investigated him.

    • No? Then the system of checks and balances still works.

      People who talk about the gestapo never know what this truly means.

      The Gestapo doesn't ask if you are guilty. They decide, then torture you for information or just kill you. And if a second after they decided, they get proof from god that your innocent? No difference. THAT IS DICTATORSHIP.

      Everything else is freedom with a legal system. And if you thought your legal system doesn't mean things can happen like being arrested on a mere suspicion and questio

    • by Pieroxy (222434) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:04PM (#41288615) Homepage

      The DOJ came knocking to my door one morning because 3 weeks earlier (11-sept-2003) my dad rented a car and was in northern California taking pics of a landscape at a major tourist location. In the landscape, there was a dam. My father is perfectly white-skinned but doesn't speak much English.

      My wife answered the door (I was at work) and they kept her busy for a good 1h15m playing bad cop good cop and not telling her what it was all about. Only in the end did they reveal the purpose of their visit and we were able to piece it all together.

      • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:37PM (#41289099) Homepage Journal
        Best advice I can give: Never talk to cops. [youtube.com] Sounds like your wife got first hand experience on why.

        For future reference, if you ever have anyone claiming to be with law enforcement come to your door claiming they want to talk/look around, you tell them you want to see a warrant first. If they fail to produce a warrant, you can be assured that either A) they have no case and are on a phishing expedition, of which you are not required to hold the net, or B) they aren't really LEO's, but rather con artists trying to work you over.

        Either way, if they fail to produce a warrant ("we just want to talk" is a popular diversionary tactic to trick you into volunteering information you have no legal obligation to give), politely inform them they are trespassing and request they remove themselves from the property before you call the real cops.

        Oh, and this should all be done through a mail slot or chain-locked door - many LEO's are under the impression that if their entry into your home isn't physically barricaded, they can just waltz right in without explicit permission (they can't, unless you've got some blatantly illegal shit sitting out where they can see it).

        Better safe than sodomized.
        • by swb (14022)

          I agree with this, but I also wonder about this in an age where there's several lists kept by the Powers That Be. There's the "We Haven't Questioned You Yet" list, the "We Questioned You And Decided Your're a Moron and Not a Threat" list and then several levels of "You Are Suspicious" lists.

          Everybody seems to be on the "We Haven't Quesitoned You Yet" list -- I'd worry that being relatively aggressive with my assertion of rights might somehow get me moved to one of the "Keep an Eye on This One" lists. In t

        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          Best advice I can give: Never talk to cops. [youtube.com] Sounds like your wife got first hand experience on why.

          I'm sure that you think you're right, but if I ask for a warrant, then two things can happen:
          A/ They don't get one. They may however remember my name and address, but otherwise I'm safe.
          B/ They get a warrant. Then I'm sure I'm toast as hell. They'll put my house in such a mess it'll take a week to clean the place up.

          All in all, my wife lost 1:15 of her morning and now we've got a story to tell. Plus we were on an H1b VISA and believe or not, the same laws don't apply to immigrants. Immigrants just get depor

  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:56AM (#41288491)
    By reading this article you're suspicious.
    By reading this comment you're even more suspicious.
    Want to admit something, terrorist?
  • Eh, seen it before (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TWX (665546) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:56AM (#41288497)
    Back in the nineties there was a group that called themselves "Viper Team". They were firearms enthusiasts, and among the things they did were to make a video on how to blow up buildings. They had no explosives, they and no intent, but they used public and government buildings in their video as to what parts of the buildings were structural and how those areas support the building.

    There was, of course, an infiltration investigation. The infiltrator apparently tried to incite the members into criminal acts, specifically, robbing a bank. By the end of the investigation, only one person spent time in prison, and that was because he had modified an AR-15 to full-auto. But, people who were friends with this man and others in the group probably had their phones tapped and all of the various groups around these people were nervous.

    Oh, by the way, did I mention that the convicted man and the others were also heavily involved in Fandom, so basically all Fandom around here was somewhat investigated? That's basically why I know about it, because there are still a lot of bitter people in local Fandom because of this.

    The media referred to the group as, "The Viper Militia". Having been acquainted with some of these people that's a bit of a stretch. Even using "Team" in their name was a stretch, they were about as organized as a clowder of cats, as most Fandom is.

    So, in my opinion, it's all a big friggin' joke.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:57AM (#41288505)

    So that has been my problem all along. I always have used my day flashlights at night, now I know what I was doing wrong.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:57AM (#41288513)

    There have been numerous reports of the Homeland inSecurity demanding customer lists from bulk supply stores/online merchants. Some stores say "no" but some other stores happily hand it over. Then the customers on the list get visits from the DHS officers requesting permission to search those homes.

  • Seriously? I can't think of a reason.

    Terrorism is usually something done in a very short time window. I don't think the hijackers on 9/11 took a coffee break to cook up some ramen in the middle of the flight.

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      Not to mention the fact that many of the acts of terrorism these days involve suicide bombers. Maybe the assumption is that terrorists all live in secluded bunkers in the middle of nowhere and don't have ready access to McDonald's?

      What I like is "buying firearms outside of season". Okay, hunting rifles, I can sort of see--except for the fact that many gun stores hold sales in the off season in order to keep customers coming in. But what about handguns? Is there a "handgun season" I don't know about? So

    • by jandrese (485)
      This isn't about middle eastern "crash planes into buildings" terrorists, they're looking for Timothy McVeigh type terrorists and Michigan Militia types. Basically far right rednecks that are not always completely with it mentally and sometimes go a bit too far.
  • by Nemesisghost (1720424) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:02PM (#41288589)

    Our church leaders have continually told us that we should have both a 72 hr kit and a year's food storage. Its not uncommon for a food storage order make its rounds at church every few months or for there to be classes taught during the week on canning and food storage meal prep. Tack on the fact that besides organizations like Walmart & the Red Cross, we have the largest food production & distribution network, all in house and mostly staffed by volunteers.

    I guess all of that make us one of the largest terrorist networks in the world. And here you thought that our missionaries were just there to annoy you with offers of Mormon Videos & a copy of the Book of Mormon. Never underestimate the clean white shirt, pressed dark pants, tie and the infamous black & white name tag.

    • A 72 hour kit is a fairly basic safety precaution. A years food storage is fairly reasonably especially for people that are growing a significant portion of there own food.

  • by Scutter (18425) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:06PM (#41288637) Journal

    Wouldn't it be easier to just add EVERYONE to the terror list? I was about to say "and drop off those who have been cleared", but I couldn't stop laughing long enough to add it.

  • Paying with cash comes under numerous "you might be a terrorist if" lists.

    Glad that cash is still widely used in Europe and in the rest of the world. It would be a sad day when you can't buy something without giving up your privacy or when you can't buy something with cash and immediately being flagged as a terrorist suspect. Frankly, wtf?

  • by Chatsubo (807023) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:09PM (#41288685)

    TFA's 2 points about over/under - interest in radio controlled aircraft, I can see it now: "Good morning sir, I'm somewhat interested in radio controlled aircraft and would like to purchase one. Now, don't get me wrong, I do have a interest that sits above just a casual interest, however I'm also not overly interested in them, in fact, I'd say I'm about just the right amount of interested in radio controlled aircraft to buy one, but not so interested that it'd be suspicious.... say, who are you calling?"

  • by Lucas123 (935744)
    Why would I care if they think I'm a terrorist?
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:20PM (#41288869) Journal
    What should the DOJ do to prevent possible future terror attacks? Should they just be accepted as a cost of freedom? Rejected as a highly improbably occurrence? If not, what sort of indicators should they look for before investigating further?
    • by panda (10044) on Monday September 10, 2012 @01:01PM (#41289423) Homepage Journal

      They should just be accepted as a cost of freedom and rejected as a highly improbable occurrence.

      In addition, the U.S. gov't should stop oppressing people both at home and abroad. If they spent as much time looking after the interests of the average citizen and the common good of all Americans, and not just the wealthiest, most influential in the top one tenth of one percent of the population, we would not be the target of terrorist attacks.

  • With a list like that I'm surprised that the noise level isn't so high it makes the data pretty much useless.

    You might be a terrorist if you're buying freeze dried meals, survival equipment, ammo (especially out of season), camouflage gear and night vision equipment, etc (all from the list). Then again you might be preparing for a backpacking trip, a cost conscious hunter, prepping for unlikely events, or any number of things normal people are extremely likely to do.

  • PITA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clemdoc (624639) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:28PM (#41288957)
    'Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities' guidelines? PITA guidelines? Well done!
  • by sootman (158191) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:34PM (#41289051) Homepage Journal

    "... the LAPD adopted 15 of the DOJ's ridiculous lists regarding 'Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities.' "

    Yeah, because nothing ever goes wrong in L.A. that citizens would need to be prepared for.

    Except for riots. And earthquakes. And the whole place burning down every year. But other than that, it's just like you see on TV.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:53PM (#41289321) Homepage Journal
    Proposal: Everybody go out and spend as much time as possible taking pictures of dams, power plants, government buildings, and anything else that makes the Spooks paranoid.

    Also, let's agree to stop buying firearms, ammunition, fuels, adhesives, plumbing bits, et. al., with anything but cash.

    Dress in cammies. All. The. Time. This is especially important to do when taking photographs of infrastructure as mentioned above.

    Have a poker night with your buddies, or a member of a DnD club? Make your meetings (and communications regarding meetings) as cloak-and-dagger as possible, to give the impression that you're engaging in some sort of nefarious activity.


    In essence, let's poison the holy living FUCK out of this well - give them so many false positives, they'll be forced to scrap the whole project.
  • by cyberchondriac (456626) on Monday September 10, 2012 @12:57PM (#41289383) Journal
    I have belonged to several zombie fansites and zombie survival oriented forums over the years, where the members regularly do the things mentioned in this article. There are even threads where members post and compare photos of their massive weapons collections, many of which have AR15s, pistol grip combat shotties and other goodies not allowable in my state.
    No one has ever posted, at least to my knowledge, about being questioned, harassed or contacted by any official in the midst of their activities; and while that doesn't mean they aren't silently placed on some watchlist, I think it's unlikely; especially given the number of natural disasters the North American continent has seen in recent years. It just makes sense to stock up on some supplies. Not every government agency is the TSA. It's a losing argument for the feds because the CDC and FEMA promote survival saavy; if a serious terrorist attack occurs again, or a hurricane/flood/wildfire/earthquake/tornado strikes, victims in that area will need some of those survival skills and gear, and they know it.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday September 10, 2012 @01:09PM (#41289573)

    The premise is to prepare for a zombie attack, correct?

    "Suspicious activity" at military surplus stores includes making "bulk purchases" of "weatherproofed ammunition"

    There are two constants when it comes to zombies:

    1. You need to shoot them in the head, or it will be ineffective. The vast majority of people who buy ammunition simply aren't that good of a shot.
    2. Regardless, there are always more zombies than bullets. Always.

    "night vision devices"

    Aside from the specific problem of thermal imaging not working too well on the walking dead (who are likely ambient temperature), passive night-vision technologies are generally intended to be able to see in the dark without being seen yourself. I don't recall many examples of zombies being that reliant on their visual senses (assuming they even still have eyes).

    gas masks.

    A zombie hoard's main weapons are tenacity and numbers, not mustard gas and sarin. Zombie plagues tend to spread by fluid exchange (e. g. biting) rather than airborne agents.

    Homeland Security wants us to prepare for zombies. These items don't seem to prepare one for zombies very well.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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