Club bouncers and FBI spies keep us safe from the terrorists


The post-9/11 hysteria over terrorist threats continues to the day, taking many forms. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is poised to give final approval tomorrow (Tues/20) to limitations on the SFPD's participation in the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, legislation that ever-vigilant Mayor Ed Lee may veto.

But it turns out there are already thousands of eyes on San Francisco's streets looking out for terrorists and their dreaded (and fabled) Weapons of Mass Destruction, something I learned today when the California Music and Culture Association announced a training it is sponsoring for nightclub security guards.

The training includes four hours of “power to arrest,” which makes sense. But it also includes another four hours of “WMDs & Terrorism Awareness,” which strikes me as paranoid to the point of lunacy. Are we seriously worried about a terrorist plot to destroy the godless heathens at the Makeout Room?

I didn't realize CMAC was so paranoid, so I contacted the organization and learned that this is actually a requirement under state law governing private security officers, passed in 2005 as legislation sponsored by Abel Maldonado, then a Republican Assembly member from Santa Maria. Yeah, that made a bit more sense. Right-wingers see terrorist plots everywhere.

So while the FBI (with or without SFPD's help) taps our phones and reads our mail, the bouncer at the club on the corner is keeping a watch out for suicide bombers disguised as ravers and dirty nukes hidden in DJ's record boxes. Gee, I feel so much safer now.