Ship of State

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What with Leviathan’s nationalizing medical insurance, ginning up charges against nine Midwesterners capable of defending themselves against State-enforced "healthcare," and generally completing the conversion of a republic-turned-democracy into a totalitarian empire, you might ask why we should bother with the tale of a traveling salesman. After all, if the problems of three little people didn’t amount to a hill of beans during a previous war, how much less those of one man now? Yet we often more easily discern history’s mighty tides in the grains of sand they grind.

Ibrahim Khalil Zarou is a 31-year-old American citizen who sells heating and air-conditioning equipment in Leesburg, Virginia. He took a vacation last week: three days aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Sensation. This ten-deck monstrosity sails the Caribbean, in this case to the Bahamas.

At the end of the voyage, when the Sensation was a few hours away from its dock at Cape Canaveral, Florida, Mr. Zarou imbibed, perhaps even heavily — "not an unusual thing on the Carnival fun ships, particularly early in the morning [i.e., about 4:30 AM] when the incident was reported" as attorney Jim Walker put it at cruiselawnews.com. The inebriated Mr. Zarou supposedly joked, "We are jihad. Come to the top deck and watch the bomb. The bomb is going to blow."

That’s according to the Coast Guard, which, yes indeedy, came running to save us from this crisis in national security after another passenger snitched on the soused Zarou.

Picking on drunks is about what we should expect from "The United States Coast Guard," with its "Proud History" and "Powerful Future" — or so it claims. I buy the "Powerful Future"; indeed, should Our Rulers’ war on us and the Constitution continue at its breathtaking pace, I daresay not even the Guard itself suspects how very powerful that future will be. But what’s with the "Proud History"? Congress legitimized these glorified pirates in 1790 by "authoriz[ing] the construction of ten vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling," i.e., the freedom to buy and sell as one pleases — precisely the rights for which Americans fought their Revolution. "Proud" might be one word to describe undoing what patriots like George Washington and Nathan Hale fought and died for, but I can think of several others far more appropriate.

The Guard’s activities since have been equally, utterly evil; they include many murderous attempts to drown refugees fleeing Castro’s hell. A man has to shuck all honor, integrity, and even the simplest decency to sign on with these thugs and brigands. Poor Mr. Zarou could not have stumbled into clutches more vicious.

And the Guard was only one of the eight, count ‘em, eight brutal bureaucracies steaming to the Sensation’s relief: "Agencies represented in the incident command post," the Guard’s press release burbles in jargon so thick it’s nigh incomprehensible, "who engineered to [sic] facilities [sic] security plan in response to the bomb threat were: The Coast Guard, FBI, Transportation Security Administration, Port Canaveral Police Department, Canaveral Fire and Rescue, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Air Marshall’s Service and Carnival Cruise Lines."

Hard to believe this many leeches had nothing better to do of a Sunday morning than twist a silly, drunken jest into a threat — a jest, we might add, made aboard a ship whose customers are known to hoist a few. ("Certainly, Carnival Cruise Lines has a reputation for less-than-classy cruising," writes MSNBC’s "Cruise Columnist." “u2018Booze cruise!’ laughed one friend when I said I was heading out on a four-day Carnival cruise to the Bahamas.") No matter: our valiant public servants sallied forth to pester the ship’s 3,740 passengers and crew. "The Coast Guard, FBI and Brevard County Sheriff’s Office boarded the Sensation at approximately 9:30 a.m.," the press release blusters — though it somehow neglects to mention that this was 5-1/2 hours after the snitch tattled, long enough that any bomb could have long since blown.

Nonetheless, assorted goons searched the ship for the figment of a partying passenger’s imagination. "…[A]uthorities refused to allow [the ship] to dock until the matter was deemed a hoax," which delay forced many folks to re-book their flights home. The Guard’s Petty (oh, indeed) Officer 1st Class Christopher Evanson dismissed the hassles and expense his agency’s antics caused: “You can’t put a time [limit] on safety and security,” he smugly opined. Especially when other folks pay for it.

Of course, Leviathan’s hysteria is Mr. Zarou’s fault; so is its overstaffing of needless departments, with Ninjas so bored they pretend a guy who’s over his limit endangers something other than the nearest john. And so the thronging bureaucrats arrested him on charges of falsely reporting a bomb. Conviction carries a 15-year sentence; contrast that with the eight years one drunk driver drew for killing a ten-year-old girl. Then note that the scapegoat boasts a clean record: the Sheriff’s Office in his hometown testifies, “He’s not a prior offender and we have no record of complaints.”

We have no motive, either; in fact, we don’t even have a crime — at least by Mr. Zarou. But police states seldom allow such details to rattle them when destroying a serf’s life.

Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.

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