Barack Obama: Just another Sith?


Star Wars: Episode IV was subtitled as “A New Hope” as we saw the growing pains of a young Luke Skywalker searching for his identity and the answers to life. It would take two additional chapters of the book/movie before we would see the young Skywalker come into his own and fulfill his destiny in becoming a Jedi Knight and returning balance back to the force. At the end of that movie/chapter, many of us thirsty Star Wars geeks asked the poignant question, “We know how the book ended, but how did all of this begin?” What did Darth Vader look like before the mask? Was Yoda always that green? And where do Wookies hang when they are not running around with galactic smugglers playing freeze tag inside of carbon chambers? (courtesy of Jabba Corleone) The answers to these questions are just as important to me as the response I receive to “where are we eating?” The hunger, the crave, just like a White Castle treat we should never indulge in but still want, continued to coral my interest. Then “tadow!”, just like a magic trick from David Blaine, we learn that we will finally get our answers in the releases of Episode I-The Phantom Menace, Episode II-Attack of the Clones and Episode III-Revenge of the Sith. The elation could not be contained; that is until we learned that they were pretty much just a waste of film and lacked the transcending nature of Chapters 4, 5 and 6. But I did like the mesmerizing titles of the new movies: “The Phantom Menace” , Attack of The Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”. So I decided to morph and tweak their titles a bit and add new lead character. I call it “Barack’s Drone: The New Phantom Sith”.

“The Attack of The Drones”, perhaps not a title that J.J Abrams will entertain as the name for one of the up and coming new installments of the Star Wars series, but I figured that we will make an imaginary film instead of wasting our budget on props, actors and big name directors. What we will do for this epic tale is, I will write and you can insert the stick figures on the story boards wherever you deem necessary. Let me first preference by saying that I’m not big on politics. When the word is broken down, the word “poly” means many and the word “tic(k)s”mean blood suckers. I, for one, prefer a more virtual bite from Dracula and offer up very little blood in a debate of a Republican, Democrat or Liberal triad, as I have yet to see any politician do anything for the sake of humanity. Perhaps this is why I pledge my membership to an “unseen” higher power as opposed to high powered politicians that are routinely “seen” that do nothing to benefit the average person(s). As I move forward in this thought, I see the recent discussion in the news regarding the utilization of surveillance drones under the Barack Obama administration. The drone programs according to U.S. officials are designed to target militants outside the United States who are suspected of planning attacks, but they are said to also some data on certain Americans as well. We have learned that the F.B.I has utilized drones when Jimmy Lee Dykes abducted a young schoolboy in Alabama and held him hostage underground. The U.S has also used drones to protect the United States-Mexican border. I’m sure that in this capacity the drones could be thought of as a weapon of good purpose. We see a young boy trying to be saved by one and we see the eye in the sky helping to deter the influx of drugs and illegal immigrants. So in this case, the drones are our friends (Sarah Conner, lower your weapon, they come in peace). But when does “peace” turn into “grave danger”? The drone deployment we can conclude is for a good purpose indeed, however, the “grave danger” comes in whether it violates our rights to privacy. The fact that the F.B.I has yet to disclose information regarding the drone’s limitations, as well as, they have failed to assure the American public that their constitutional rights are not being violated, has caused many citizens to feel a certain imbalance regarding their civil liberties. There’s an imbalance/disturbance in the “force” that has the republic/people a bit uneasy. Is this the work of Barack Sidious? On this round, yes. But as you recall, Barack’s Drone: The New Phantom Menace is a new film I’m directing, but what about the prequel. If this a “new phantom menace” then there had to have been an old phantom menace; right? Yoda: “Patience you must have my young padawan”

As Episode I’s plot is revealed we learn that Siths come in twos, a Master and an Apprentice (Palpatine/Darth Maul). We can attach this same premise to the drone issues we are facing now. American citizens are up in arms about their privacy which they have every right in feeling that way. We pride ourselves on being both free and constitutional. It is our mantra; it is the “American Way”. But I’m going to challenge the so called “American Way”. We are challenging the visible eye in the sky in terms of our privacy, yet we have willingly given out private information long before a hovering drone. We have alway been attached to our social security numbers since birth. It has monitored our lifetime labor history and has been attached to any major purchases during that lifetime, whether its a mortgage for a house or a loan for a car. The government has alway been thoroughly aware as you will always pay taxes or file tax returns as it relates to those items. I know, that’s an easy one, everyone knows this right. It’s the American Way; this is what we do. Gotcha. Well we then move into setting up your first bank account so that FDIC can secure your funds from being stolen from under your mattress and the added bonus is that you can use our Federal Reserve Banking System to issue secure notes of paper that have what we call Routing Numbers on them so we can monitor and trace the transaction and assure both parties that the money is good. Not impressed yet? Ok, maybe my examples seem more petty then privacy violations. Maybe I’m too Old America as these examples don’t hit home enough yet. I’m going to have to go Gene Hackman (Brill) on this one (see Enemy of the State) and talk about convenience and fear becoming the greatest invitation for inviting institutions into our private life. I want you to examine your daily activity and you will find that you have been under drone surveillance far more than you are aware of. If you have used a cellular device during your daily routine, you have just activated a homing device that will show your location via the pings on the tower that you used to gain a signal from . If you have used your debit/credit card for misc purchases throughout your day (as we no longer carry money for fear of being robbed or not wanting to go to our bank for a withdrawal -fear/convenience) then they will know what you bought and where you bought it from. If you were perhaps lost and required a GPS device to find your way, you are now being tracked via satellite and they know where you are and where you are going. Have you accessed your wireless provider to get on the Internet or Facebook? Routers are connected to servers, they know when you are on the Internet, where you surf and how long you were on (no Norton Anti-Virus for that). And my favorite tool is our home security systems. There’s a code entered when you leave to signify that you are no longer home and a code entered to secure yourself inside when you are home. I almost forgot EZ Pass/tolls. You want to leave the state? Well just let us know when you are going to do that; oh and ill need some money when you decide to do so. Smile for the camera and say “cheese big brother!” Now that’s a Kodak moment.

So is Barack a Sith that wields a light saber while shooting bolts of lighting from his fingertips? Of course not. However, he is an apprentice of our government which has been a Sith Lord forever. We can fight against the enemy we know, but what about the hidden enemy or the “Phantom Menace”. Fear and convenience, along with us becoming more of a digital era, will result in less privacy and more monitoring. The drones are just a new way to an old tradition that dates back as far as the U.S. One Dollar Bill. On the back, there is a pyramid with the Eye of Providence lurking above it. The Eye of Providence means “all seeing”. You have alway been watched.

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