The story about the foiled attack on Ft. Dix by Islamo-Fascist terrorists has changed to focus on the "John Doe" who turned them in to the authorities. The poor soul now has to worry about being sued. In addition, Law Enforcement is now stressing that individuals should report any behavior that is out of the ordinary. This brings to mind images of the former Soviet Union, when "comrades" were more or less required to report anti-party activity to the local branch of the thought police. Children were encouraged to rat out their parents to their party steward, who in turn would ring the cherries at the KGB (and GRU). But I digress.
I recall an incident, which occurred about two years ago, when I reported some suspicious activity. I was driving our large SUV on I-81, nearing home in central VA, from a trip to Ohio with the family. Mrs. Polymath and I noticed three young men, who appeared to be of middle eastern descent, driving along in the same direction in a mid-size sedan. Only the sedan did not have any license plates, just a dealer placard stuck in the back window. A Kentucky dealership. We both found this set of circumstances odd, and decided to call the VA State Police.
The man who answered the phone told me in a very courteous way that the State Police could not track down every call they receive about suspicious activity.
Me: "But they don't even have a temporary tag!"
State Trooper: "Some states don't require it."
Me: "Does Kentucky require it?"
State Trooper: "I don't know."
Me: "You don't find this suspicious?"
State Trooper: "We would not be able to stop them unless the driver made a moving violation or if something is wrong with the car."
Perhaps I am a bit paranoid. But I think all Americans should be a bit paranoid. We have nearly
3,000 reasons to be paranoid about young men of middle eastern descent. Please report stuff like this, even if the response you may receive is similar to what I have described here.