The Paranoia State Gets Cranked Up Another Notch

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In the wake of the Boston bombings, the NFL has cracked down on what fans can bring into stadiums:

Shoulder bags, backpacks, briefcases, fanny packs, camera and binocular cases and even diaper bags are now forbidden. Coolers, thermoses and seat cushions with zippers are also banned. Blankets are still allowed, as are gloves, hats and other items that can be stuffed in pockets or worn.

“We are looking at this as a progressive and reasonable step in light of current events,” said Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the N.F.L. “Most people aren’t affected, and there’s a lot of room for everyone with a bag.”

….“The N.F.L. is on the cutting edge, a leader in the sports industry in terms of looking at policies and procedures,” said Lou Marciani, the director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi. “This way, for sure, you’re cutting down the risk and satisfying the demand of fans to get into the stadium faster.”

I’m not sure which is worse: the fact that our level of security paranoia gets cranked up a notch every time some lunatic kills a few people, or the smarmy Stepford Wives spin that everyone puts on it. “Progressive and reasonable.” “Cutting edge.” “Most people aren’t affected.”

I dunno. Is it reasonable? I react so viscerally to stuff like this that I feel like I’ve lost the ability to think rationally about it. Comments?

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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