Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Art’s Inside Tips for Spotting TIPSTERS (Terrorism Information Prevention System Tattlers Engaged in Reconnaissance & Surveillance)


Art Radley’s Behind the Venetian Blinds

Do you remember the TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) program that was introduced in 2002 by the brainchild of the Patriot Act, John Ashcroft? (You know, the guy who lost a senatorial raced in Missouri to a dead guy, and was subsequently promoted to Attorney General. Go figure.) The program was supposed to piecemeal the Feds’ (Department of Justice, F.B.I., Homeland Security, Department of Labor, and FEMA) responsibilities to a voluntary Citizen Corp (e.g. truckers and ship captains) who would report suspicious, publicly observable activity that could be related to terrorism. Kind of like the Neighborhood Watch Program, which cluttered up decent neighborhoods all over the country with “Neighborhood Watch Area” signs, as a means of warding off would be predators and keeping “single, quiet men who live alone and keep to themselves” from moving into the neighborhood. (Note: the latter didn’t deter me. Besides, I seem to be the only one in the neighborhood who IS watching.)

Well, the TIPS program was apparently shelved, or that’s what THEY want you to think. Big Chief’s been heavily recruiting and training legions of TIPSTERS over the past four years, and they’ve been watching your every move, just waiting to report you for participating in terrorist-related activities (e.g. Leading a U.S.-sponsored coup in a non-democratic country or uncooperative despot). No worries, Art’s here, and I have some inside tips to help you spot some of the more notable TIPSTERS in a community near you.

To liven up your experience, it’s recommended you sing a parodied version of the theme song to “Cops” after each entry:

Jehovah’s Witnesses: This one is a no-brainer (granted, this appears to be a prerequisite for getting elected to high office in the good ‘ol U.S. of A.). Who better to spot potential terrorists than God’s witnesses? Besides, they make great witnesses in the courtroom. “Your honor, we would like to call God’s Witness to the stand.” How goddamn dramatic! You’d better hope you have O.J.’s “Dream Team” at your disposal, or your hand trumps God (Note: In the U.S., a Royal Flush and Full House always beats a Jehovah.). If some Jehovah Witnesses come knocking at your door, be wary of letting them into your home. Allah, beware: Jehovah’s in the house! Or do as I do and report them to the police, “I’m an active member of the Neighborhood Watch program, and I would like to report two suspicious people snooping around who appear to be armed with Watchtower Bibles.”

Bad boys, bad boys,
Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when God’s Peeps come for you?




Wal-Mart Greeters: Don’t let the disingenuous smiles and “Everyday Low Prices” fool you. These people are dangerous. Be aware of the flair, especially greeters with excessive flair pinned on their blue vests. What are they trying to hide from?

Bad boys, bad boys,
Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when they flash their flair at you?






Job Seekers who shamelessly promote themselves with “Will Work for Name Your Price Here” signs at major intersections or along off-ramps of interstate highways: Unlike truckers and ship captains, these people will work for anyone if the price is right. The latter is the key to spotting TIPSTERS. Anyone willing to work for top-secret secret information or informal gratitude is a force to reckon with indeed.


Bad boys, bad boys,
Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when they come work for you?







Rex, the Bomb-Sniffing Dog, and The Dogs of War: Typically speaking, steer clear from all German Shepherds, especially if they respond to “Here, Rex.” Veteran bomb-sniffing dogs from the theater of war have entered the Bomb-Sniffing Dog Relocation Program in exchange for sniffing out potential terrorists in unsuspecting communities.

Bad boys, bad boys,
Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when Rex comes sniffin’ you?

_______________________________________

When one man’s paranoia becomes Everyman’s reality, don’t forget: Art Radley told you so…

Art Radley’s Behind the Venetian Blinds is syndicated through Witsend Syndicate and, at the request of the author, appears sporadically in the Witsend Daily.

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