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Please begin with an informative title:

Many Americans were surprised to learn that the US government was collecting and storing massive amounts of data on every citizen as part of the “War on Terrorism.”

One can assume that this data consists of telephone numbers dialed, as well as emails, social networking comments, personal web pages, travel plans, credit card purchases and more.

One frequent comment from NSA supporters goes something like this,  “Well, if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”

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There is no good reason to collect data on obviously innocent American citizens. There are plenty of bad reasons, however. One of the most important and probably almost unsolvable reasons is the privatization  of  national security. Most citizens were unaware that private companies are primarily in charge of collecting  your data.

According to sources, 75% of persons holding security clearances today are not public employees, but private. Since these corporations are almost certainly being paid by the gigabyte, they have every incentive to collect unlimited amounts of data, and collect funds for storing it as well.

Let’s  save the taxpayers some money by paring down the list of likely suspects. It’s simply a waste of the taxpayer’s time and money to collect data generated by every American citizen. And, it is really easy to identify  those Americans whose data can be safely ignored by removing them from the Watch List and thus, saving the taxpayers millions of dollars.  

Since this is supposed to be an anti-terror program, we could exempt folks like World War 2 veterans, little old ladies who are active in their local garden clubs, Fox News employees, children under twelve, any teenagers who belong to Future Farmers of America, librarians and school teachers, past and present Presidents of the United States, (better keep an eye on vice presidents, though) Federal law enforcement officials, US Army officers,  Medal of Honor winners, VFW members, Chamber of Commerce employees, any man who is a member of  a prestigious country club like Augusta National, their wives and mistresses, (best to keep an eye on their spoiled children, though, remember Patty Hearst and  Bill Ayres) plus, their caddies and tennis instructors,  and even grounds keepers are good , (but keep an eye on the wait staff and kitchen employees,  Ho Chi Minh was a a waiter in a Paris bistro and we all know how that came out.) You know what, I estimate we just knocked 50 million Americans off the watch list.

More Americans who can safely be eliminated from the Watch List include country music performers, and oh, what the heck, also country music fans, farmers who own a full size tractor, anyone who owns a racing bicycle, NASCAR fans, anyone who paints their face or torso for  a NFL or college football game, bank tellers and small town bank presidents, locksmiths, local, state and Federal elected officials, private investigators, any citizen  over 80 years old, people living in retirement homes, people who don’t own phones, prison wardens and guards, professional jazz musicians, all of my face book friends, and nudists, they obviously have nothing to hide. That eliminates another 100 million by my calculations.

Also, certified public accountants, pro choice and pro life advocates, airline pilots, registered gun sellers, million dollar real estate agents, local state and federal judges and their staffs, Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders, Eagle scouts, proctologists, health inspectors, bail bondsmen, barbecue restaurant owners and employees, barbers and hair dressers, stay at home Moms, barn builders, tree surgeons, baseball batting cage owners, bowling alley owners and employees, cowboy boot sellers, brake service technicians, crane operators, burglar alarm technicians, and caterers. That takes care of another 50 million.

Other Americans who should be removed from the Watch List include cheerleaders and cheer instructors, morticians, chimney cleaners, Christmas tree growers, cleaning ladies and janitors, yacht club members, yacht builders, bartenders, comic book collectors, orphanage employees, consignment store owners, trauma counselors, credit union employees, pizza deliverers, dentists, dog trainers, drug testers, line dance instructors, fire extinguisher inspectors, first aid instructors, American flag manufacturers, fishing tackle sellers, oil drillers, golf cart sellers, health food sellers, interior decorators, horse trainers and breeders, ski resort owners and employees, skating rink operators, midwives, EMT’s, volunteer firefighters, professional firefighters, bridal consultants, museum guides, nurses, opticians, pest control  technicians, pet groomers,  pharmacists, plumbers, piano tuners, and psychics.

This list of exemptions is not meant to be comprehensive. I’m sure other concerned citizens could suggest dozens more Americans who should be removed from the Watch List, especially themselves.  

Some might quibble with several of the exemptions from the Watch List but for the most part, most of these people are either regulated, licensed and vetted by the state or federal governments, or long term residents who are trusted by their neighbors, or people with vested interest in the long term prosperity of the U.S.

People who should be on the list include the hundred thousand or so people  on the No Fly list, religious fanatics of every belief system, known violent criminals and clowns.

Some Americans who may or may not be automatically removed from the Watch List, mainly because they annoy me, are D.J.s, Hollywood lifestyle reporters, insurance sales people, used car salesmen, anyone who works for Wall Street or an international bank, investment advisers, public relations experts and telemarketing and robo callers.  

The existence of this surveillance state is driven by the for-profit corporations that have been given the opportunity to write themselves a blank check. It is certainly naive to think that a for-profit corporation would  gather valuable data and not sell it to the highest bidder, or not allow another division of their parent company access to this valuable data.

Every qualifying American citizen should have the right to opt in or out of the Security State, and be able to exercise that right. If some for-profit corporation wants my data, they should pay me for it, and not steal it, under the rubric of National Security.

National Security should not be a boondoggle for corporations and politicians.

Jim McMeans
Danielsville, GA

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