I am not one for paranoid thoughts; I am focused on the now and I believe that worrying about all the things that could possibly take place would make my head explode, preventing me from accomplishing anything. The theory of 9/11 being an inside job doesn’t do much for me, global warming being a money making scheme by Al Gore makes me laugh, and knowing that people actually believe that Hitler was an agent of the UK, brought to power in order to give Jews and excuse to settle Israel makes me think we should more mental institutions. However, thoughts of the elections being suspended and martial law being declared after another terrorist attack have been running through my mind ever since reading the Presidential Directive that was issued last year by the White House, describing what would happen in the case of a ‘catastrophic emergency”. This information, combined with the knowledge that Halliburton (or KB&R; whatever they’re calling themselves nowadays) has built (and this is on their website, no conspiracy theory here) a number of private prisons throughout the country for “an emergency influx of immigrants into the US, or to support the rapid development of new programs” has made me just a wee bit paranoid. The“rapid development of new programs”? Are you kidding me? How can anyone read that and not be afraid? Bush and Cheney stole the election (with the help of the Supreme Court, which – if anything – has gotten more conservative in the past eight years) in 2000, and arguably in 2004, so what makes us think that they are not capable of pulling tricks out of their sleeves in 2008? Could the “catastrophic event” be Iranian terrorists attacking either inside the US or a US base overseas? Could it be Obama being assassinated? Whether these things happen or not, it is my belief that we all need to be prepared. It is not paranoid or crazy in the least bit to play a little game of ‘what if’ with a few friends. What if, in August or September of this year, martial law is declared and elections suspended? What if armed (Blackwater?) guards are roaming the streets of your town, enforcing curfews and anti-demonstration laws? What if you are paid a late night visit by well dressed police officers, and then a couple days later a few of your friends disappear? Would it really hurt you to take even an hour a week and sit with a few likeminded friends, discussing these scenarios? As Betsy Hartmann says in the article that sparked this recent bout of being afraid, this probably will not happen. November will probably come, we will go to the polls, and a few hours later, we will have new leadership. But, what if it does happen?