Only subscribers may read this in its entirety. What follows is a free preview, truncated midway through.In post-9/11 America there has come to be what I think of as the Ministry of False Alarms. The Ministry of False Alarms constantly raises the level of fear inside the United States. I’m not sure what these various rainbow-colored alerts are supposed to do: How does one react when the alert goes from yellow to orange? What does one do to deal with orange danger that one would not do in dealing with yellow danger? How do you relax when the level drops? The only purpose of these alerts is to scare people. When you have a scared population, it becomes easier to do things on its behalf that it would not otherwise tolerate. That climate of fear, which is being deliberately maintained inside the United States, is something that needs to be fought.
One well-publicized manifestation of this is the USA PATRIOT Act, which enormously increases the power of the American government to enter into what should be private areas, such as what books people read, what thoughts people think. The idea that the libraries should become areas the American state feels it needs to control and that librarians could be dangerous outlaws is a disturbing one.