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Suspiciously yours Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Aug 27 2011 12:00 PM

I like sitting at Spanish Landing in San Diego. I like sitting at Spanish Landing and watching the planes arrive and depart Lindbergh Field across the street.

When the wind blows in lightly off the harbor and the sailboats make their way back at the end of the day, it's a tranquil place to daydream.

And now I have to worry about some pea-brained do-gooder reporting me to authorities for my suspicious behavior.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, recently kicked off a terrorist awareness program in advance of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Towers. It's called "If you see something, say something."

Thanks, but I'll just refer to it as the Tattletale Telegraph.

The county and the feds have posted a near six-minute video advising people of the "Eight Signs of Terrorism."

In the video not only do they reveal the eight habits of every successful terrorist but they also exhort citizens to report any suspicious activity they observe.

Yeah, that's what we need: more busybody conspiracy theorists performing their patriotic duty by ratting out their neighbors who appear to be acting suspiciously by just going about their daily routine.

So what denotes suspicious activity? Well that's the thing. The definition is so nebulous and malleable that innocent, absent-minded or even stupid behavior could be construed as terrorist activity.

Like to people watch at the airport, mall or major tourist attractions? You may be a terrorist. Doing some research and need access to public records? You might be a terrorist.

Are you absent-minded, scatter brained or just downright irresponsible, with a tendency to forget your purse or backpack whenever you go to dinner or a movie? Sorry to break this to you, but you just might be an American freedoms-hating terrorist.

Now while reasonable people might counter that common sense dictates what suspicious activity is, reality and recent events suggest that common sense and reason are tossed out the window when people are scared and paranoid.

The Associated Press recently reported that the New York Police Department, in conjunction with the CIA, has been secretly engaged in monitoring people in an effort to gather information about suspected terrorist activity.

Common sense, decency and reason tell you that spying on people who have done nothing illegal is wrong.

But in this post-9/11 world, it appears there's no room for common sense, decency or reason.

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