This week the Department of Homeland Security - by the way, hello to the low-level DHS drone who is reading this - relented to a Freedom of Information Act request and released hundreds of keywords it uses to monitor social media and websites for signs of threats against the United States. Because, you know, the next terrorist who attacks America will no doubt try to pick the perfect hash tag when he tweets his evil scheme.
The Department of Homeland Security’s scary word list is broken down into the categories Terrorism, Southwest Border Violence, Infrastructure Security, Health Concern + H1N1, HAZMAT and Nuclear, Domestic Security, Cyber Security and Weather/Disaster/Emergency.
Some of the words, such as “Biosurveillance Integration Center,” should maybe raise a few eyebrows. But many of the words on the list - for example, “pork,” “exercise,” “social media” and “watch” - are used every day by non-terrorists on Facebook, Twitter and on websites. They might also be used on Google+. No one knows.
The following, which takes place on an average blog, shows how easy it would be to become a Person of Interest in the eyes of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS keywords are in black.
I served the tacos with enriched corn tortillas and Bernie’s “nuclear salsa,” which is actually quite mild. Somehow I managed not to burn the meat, though some of the juice did leak into the grill, causing a fire plume. It was a lovely day—not a cloud in the sky—though we used the patio umbrella to minimize sun exposure (and keep from burning until we were radioactive.)
I ate three tacos in all, so it’s off to the gym later. I’m not smuggling all of these extra pounds AND my powder-white skin across the border on our trip to Colombia this summer. I have to be able to fit in that body scanner thing, right? Wish I could just take a drug, trade in my white skin for tan, get skinny and be done with it, right?
So, that was a happy way to end the week, after we got the bad news that our local Target is was going out of business without warning.
BLOG COMMENT SECTION
MarshaHan: Hi, Cheryl. Just wanted to say thank you for having us over to visit with La Familia.
ChefCheryl73: You’re welcome. I trust you and Bernie made it home safely without the cops busting you, LOL.
MarshaHan: No police. Unfortunately, Bernie got sick when we got home.
ChefCheryl73: Was it a virus? Bacteria? Flu?
MarshaHan: We think it was food poisoning, maybe salmonella, from dinner.
ChefCheryl73: That’s funny. Bill and I are fine. We’re still looting the fridge for leftovers.
MarshaHan: All I can say is, when we got home, Bernie ran for the bathroom and it was like a chemical spill. He infected the entire house. There might have even been toxic spillover into the neighborhood for all I know. The man dropped a dirty bomb.
ChefCheryl73: Is Bernie OK now?
BigBernieH: I’ve been better. Every five minutes it’s evacuation and explosion. I’ve been leaving various suspicious packages and pipe bombs in the can for about 11 hours now.
WildBillWatk: Hi, Bernie. Yeah, ladies, I’ve seen the violence Bernie can unleash on a bathroom. Bernie, remember the bathroom shootout we had in that hotel in Juarez the night we decapitated that kid’s piñata and kidnapped all those Coronas back to the room?
ChefCheryl73: This is strange.
ChefCheryl73: There’s a bunch of guys in black ski masks, like those guys from 24 who fight terrorism, out on the street.
MarshaHan: Really? What’s happening?
ChefCheryl73: They look like a military SWAT team or something.
MarshaHans: Weird. They’re on our street, too.
ChefCheryl73: They stopped in front of our house.
MarshaHans: There’s a knock at the door. Be right back.
ChefCheryl73: Someone’s here, too. BRB.