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We are all terrorists now

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  • We are all terrorists now

    I heard about this on CBS radio this morning. It’s another “scare them all into snitching on your neighbors” thing, this time by a Colorado organization called CIAC.

    What is disturbing for us prototype modelers is the way they describe some of the “terrorist” activities:

    Someone who is drawing diagrams and making notes or is often asking for information; or studying unusual details (they show a person studying a tram in detail), shows signs of being a terrorist. How often have you been doing this to get a sketch of that bridge, building, or whatever along the track? Well, I guess we can forget about that from now on if this video falls in the wrong hands.

  • #2
    OK, I'll bite, even though political and such topics are 'taboo', so I'll try and keep it as unpolitical and realistic as posible.....

    This has been going on since 9/11 (actually before but not as prominently), and rightly so, it just highlights common sense which should already be there. So lets respond to some of your points.

    "Snitching on your neighbors" Maybe if Charlie Mansons neighbors had said something, or any of the other neighbors of 'bad people' who say "he/she was so quiet and such a good neighbor, but, I always 'knew' something was wrong...." well maybe a few more lives would have been saved. True 99/1000 innocent people who just like to be quiet and keep to themselves may have been asked a question or two but whats the price of a life.

    I dont know why a proto modeller should be disturbed, if you are closely inspecting someone elses property they have every right to ask you what you are doing and why, just as you do if you find someone measuring and scrutinising your house/home or your car. If you looked out the window and someone was crouched down apparently measuring the wheels on your truck/car what would you do?? Just go back to the TV or model desk? I doubt it. All you need (and should do) is ask permission.

    As you quote "shows 'signs' of being a terrorist" which it does, it also shows signs of being a tram enthusiast, or signs of a curious person, it doesnt say "you 'are' a terrorist" so whats the problem. Someone walking down the street staggering shows signs of being drunk, doesnt mean they are drunk, they could have a medical condition, they may be 'dizzy' from another cause, they may have just been mugged around the corner and suffered a blow to the head and be disorientated, or they may be drunk, until you ask/investigate you dont know.

    It is better to check and be sure than to turn away and be sorry later IMO.

    Who's hands exactly are the 'wrong hands'? Besides seeing as it is on youtube with worldwide exposure I dont know how much further it could fall.

    I'll admit I only just watched the first 3-4 minutes, but, they always said 'may' indicate terrorism, 'may' indicate terrorist activity, 'may' this.... 'may' that.... at no point did they say that it 'did'.

    They are pointing out a few 'posibly' suspicious activities, which in reality they are, and also 'may' be legitimate, so, stay within the law, ask permission around private property and if questioned be honest, polite and simply explain what you are doing, whats changed ? whats to be 'disturbed about? why do you need to forget about doing something if its legal and legitimate?

    It's the world we all live in and the 'percieved' threat we deal with, better safe than sorry.



    • #3
      Karl, that is a well stated position. In my prior life of a law enforcement officer it was my job to "hassle and harass" "innocent" people doing things that were, upon outward appearances very suspicious. 999 times out of a thousand examination showed there was nothing nefarious going on, a sensible explanation was made and that was that. It was the 1 time out of a thousand that something was found amiss that made up for the momentary discomfort for folks in the first group. Lives saved, property protected, suicides, assaults or other crimes prevented or stopped before more damage was inflicted or someone unencumbered with common sense redirected before they got themselves into a harmful situation. Such examples as the 'just a drunk' in the depth of a diabetic crisis or stroke and a million other situations that if someone didn't feel it was out of the ordinary or uncomfortable or embarrassing to intervene might have led to tragic results. Life is not without its interruptions or inconveniences, and town complainers and over reactors. We all have to be aware and dependent upon each other to keep them to a minimum.

      I watched the video, it makes many valid points, sorry I don't know who's 'wrong hands' this might get into, Per. If our activities fall into such as those described in the video, I would expect that I might be asked what I was up to. I would also be prepared to be sure I was in a place I was allowed to be and be wise enough to articulate it when challenged. Just as I appreciate it when a store clerk asks to check my id against a credit card I am using, I would appreciate the vigilance of my fellow citizen with the realization that someone's idea of impropriety is not necessarily the same as mine.
      Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

      Cedar Swamp
      SW of Manistique, MI

      Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022


      • #4
        Good points Karl! I agree. First of all, none of us can be too careful these days. Its the world we live in today. The price we pay for some of the 'liberties' or freedoms that we still enjoy are some of the limitations we must now face. Personally, I don't mind, simply because I have nothing to hide. To us, taking pictures of a bridge, drawing sketches, taking measurements, etc., are all good steps in researching a model we may want to build. As modelers, we all understand that and it makes perfectly good sense. However to someone walking down the street and seeing this, it may appear odd and cause suspicion. I guess it all depends on how you look at it, but if we are all a little more alert, and take actions when suspicions arise, we may prevent another 9/11!


        • #5
          All good points and I think, practically speaking, it comes down to how people (not just law enforcement personnel) respond to suspicious behavior. If they just ask politely and accept a reasonable explanation, then I think we can accept the new reality.

          But when you get verbally assaulted and threatened by the N&W cops for parking on a public road so you can watch trains while eating lunch -- that when I start thinking we've gone a bit too far.



          • #6
            I will keep this short.

            I get very sad and disappointed when I read comments like "It's the world we live in today" or "I have nothing to hide". The world is what we allow it to be, and we all have things to hide. It is just that those things are OK to hide today, but there may come a day when it isn't. Be careful what you wish for, it may come true. We seem to have drifted too far from the Boston Tea Party, George Washington and Ben Franklin.

            If we aren't careful we can all end up in a situation like Don describes, or like what happened to my daughter when she tried to take a picture of the Boeing building in Chicago from a public sidewalk. The Securitas rent-a-cop tried to confiscate the picture by claiming "security reasons".

            All a video like this will do is to clog down the 9-1-1 system with a bunch of false alarms.


            • #7
              I am still mad as hell about those that criticized that woman from Cambridge,MA

              who called the police about a possible house break.

              Even the president said the police acted stupidly.

              No credit was ever given to the woman for doing the right thing.

              She was even accused of being a racist.

              I spent 33 years in law enforcement and always welcomed the call from a concerned citizen.

              Now it's not PC.[:-irked]
              Dave Mason


              • #8
                I will try to keep it shorter....


                Originally posted by marthastrainyard

                All a video like this will do is to clog down the 9-1-1 system with a bunch of false alarms.


                Do you think nobody else in this country has got any common sense or intelligence, apart from you.??

                After watching the video did you immediately start calling 911 everytime you saw some-one with a camera or doing something 'suspicious'??

                Why would you assume everyone else who sees it will??

                These types of videos have been going for years and 911 is doing fine.


                Go google and watch Alex Jones-Police State ... that will clear it up for you.


                • #9
                  Karl said, "...whats the price of a life."

                  I'm not sure I can tell you what it is, but I can tell you what it ISN'T -

                  It isn't worth losing the right to live as I choose; losing the right to move freely about the country as I want, when I want; losing my right to say what I want about my government; losing my right to record events and things about me without hassle, whether via video camera, still camera, sketch pad, or what-have-you.

                  Someone may be... no, WILL BE... killed by a driver going 55 when they would not have been killed had the driver been going 35. Should we therefore restrict all vehicle to highway speeds of 35? Why not 30, or 25? Lives will be saved.

                  Some terrorist may be plotting dastardly deeds and building or stockpiling weapons in a house somewhere - anywhwere. A few lives may be saved if the government had the right to send troops into any building for any reason - or for no reason. They might find the guy before he commits his terrorist act. Should we therefore negate the constitutional limits on searches?

                  I say that, no, a life, or even several lives, is/are not worth losing those and similar things.

                  Even if that life is my"size4">id="maroon">


                  • #10
                    And so the threads downward spiral begins...........

                    Take care and be safe all.



                    • #11

                      Originally posted by UKGuy

                      And so the threads downward spiral begins...........

                      Take care and be safe all.




                      • #12
                        Some heady thoughts being expressed --- but nothing to do with modeling or model railroading.

                        I've said it before, but I guess it needs to be repeated. We come here because we have a common interest - modeling. On most other topics members are likely to have more divergent views. It is best that we keep the conversation to what we have in common. There are plenty of other discussion groups for the other topics.

                        So, I think I will lock the thread before it goes down hill.