Saturday, May 18, 2013

Suspicious package watch: discarded clothing, food donations and a Hitachi grill sow terror

Suspicious package watch continued this week in Arizona with no sign of letting up. 

Although perhaps a better description would be the continuing and constant freakout by the media, the police and the public that gives the cops unending opportunities to justify their bloated post-9/11 hardware budgets in terrifyingly boring high definition, real time broadcasts.  Bomb squad cops responded this past week to yet more perplexing packages, mostly duffel bags filled with clothes, but also a Hitachi grill which was eventually cleared of suspicion.  And in Lake Havasu, a curious  package next to a post office food donation collection site was reported to cops and revealed with expensive x-ray machinery to be filled with donated food.  Even charity can be deemed a terrorist threat these days, it seems.  Watch out, Good Samaritans!  Big Brother is watching you!


A common theme among many of the suspicious packages is their proximity to courthouses, raising the suspicion that we might be witnessing at least a partial case of projection and maybe the prodding of a collective courthouse guilty conscience.  After all, the relationship between the courts and justice are certainly dubious at best and who can count the number of potential disgruntled suspects unsatisfied with their experience in these dreary punishment factories?  It churns out more and more every day, after all.  That's what factories do.

Last week an unattended duffel bag left downtown shut down the area around Sheriff Joe's offices in the Wells Fargo office.  The Maricopa Kounty Klan Korps was probably a bit on edge after the recent May Day bomb threat at the construction site of Joe's new gulag hq.

Phoenix PD spokesman, Sgt. Steve Martos explained the disrupting of downtown business, saying, "We want people to call us and tell us [if they see something suspicious]," he said. "We would prefer to ensure that it was nothing rather than it be something and nobody called about it."

                                                                              

But just think: could normal life even happen in poor and working class neighborhoods if we called in every piece of curious cardboard along the street or in abandoned lots?  

                                                                              


So downtown, out of precaution, they're willing to shut down government to check out trash and bags discarded (or left temporarily unattended) by the homeless.  Daily life can be disrupted for common objects scattered about in public and they encourage you to report every possible curious thing to the police.  By the way, I hope you didn't take the day off or pay for a babysitter for your court date, because you're just going to have to do it again now.

Which begs the question: does this go for people in poor and working class parts of town as well?  Of course, for good reason we tend to be way more suspicious of the police than the items that crowd our daily surroundings.  In our neighborhoods we encounter all manner of discarded items on the way to the convenience store, to school and work every day.  It's not like the city's too keen on keeping our part of town clean.  But just think: could normal life even happen in poor and working class neighborhoods if we called in every piece of curious cardboard along the street or in abandoned lots?  

And how sympathetic are our bosses, the police and judges, various bureaucrats and other petty authorities in our lives to the excuse "there was a suspicious package at the bus stop"?  Not at all, most likely. 

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