Many of us have been concerned for some time of the police-state mentality of our federal government and how, thanks to the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, that mentality has spread to state and local law enforcement agencies across the country. If this story is true (here, here, and here), it leads me to believe that same mind-set is spreading to the private sector, as well.
The story centers on a 28 year old Navy veteran by the name of Mark Paffrath, who until a few days ago worked for the Drury Hotel in Chesterfield, Missouri, about 30 miles from Ferguson. One morning he arrived to start his shift. He entered the hotel by passing through the parking garage. He was surprised to see several dozen DHS vehicles in the garage. Using his cell phone, he took some photos and a brief video recording the vehicles. Later he posted the photos and video on his Facebook with the following comment:
“Why are all these vehicles here,” he posted on Facebook. “I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson? #Ferguson, #No justice, no peace.”
The next day when arrived at work he was called to the office of the hotel’s Manager and was told the hotel had nearly lost a lucrative contract because of the photos and video he had posted and that he must remove them from his Facebook page immediately, which he did. Unfortunately, for our Navy vet, the story didn’t end there.
The next morning when Mark arrived for work he was again told to report to the Manager’s office where he was confronted by the hotel’s head of security. Mark’s rendition of what went down was as follows:
But soon after he arrived at work Saturday, Paffrath was fired by the director of security for Drury Hotels Company, LLC, because his posts almost cost the company a $150,000 contract with Homeland Security, Paffrath said.
“He called me a terrorist and said I dishonorably served my country for posting those pictures and the short video,” Paffrath said of security director Jim Bohnert. “He gave me a threat that if I were to repost the pictures that I would be locked up and have DHS knocking on my door and all that other stuff.”
Okay. We only have one side of the story here. But, if this firing of Mark Paffrath happened, as is being reported, I hope you find this as disturbing as I do. Before getting to my principle concern, let me make some points that seem obvious to me.
- The DHS obviously complained to the hotel manager about what Mark posted on his Facebook page.
- If the DHS contract with the hotel was supposed to be hush-hush, it doesn’t appear that the manager communicated this to his staff.
- If Mark broke some established hotel policy, why didn’t the manager fire him on Day 1?
- The hotel’s head of security is clearly a badass-cop (DHS) wannabe and the manager is an idiot for going along with him.
- Any hotel guest or visitor who passed through the parking garage could have done the same as Mark did, in which case, neither the DHS, the Deputy Dog, nor the Manager would have had any recourse.
But, all the above aside, what concerns me (if the story is true) is that the mind-set that the police-state is becoming the accepted norm in American society today. We saw it after the Boston Marathon bombing when, although martial law had not been declared, people were ordered out their homes and their homes searched without any warrants. There was no outrage to speak of which I am aware. More recently the people of an entire region of Pennsylvania were ordered to secure-in-place for six weeks, while hundreds of various law enforcement officers combed the are looking for a cop killer. Where was the outrage? Countless vicious killers have been hunted down in the past without resorting to such unconstitutional tactics. Now, if the Drury Hotel is indicative, the same mind-set is spreading to the private sector. I repeat: people are accepting the police-state mentality as the normal state of affairs. I find that very worrisome.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?