About eighteen months after I started publishing articles about human rights issues and revealed that I have contacts inside some other news stories, something new arrived in my neighborhood: local police patrols.
Oooh, spooky. I live in a suburban cul-de-sac in the country, four miles from the nearest anyplace, and I have lived here for two-plus years. When there were teenagers in this neighborhood—and all teenagers are worth keeping an eye on, of course—we rarely saw a police cruiser here. I go ahead and publicly reveal on my teeny-tiny web site that I “know some people” and BOOM! we get a patrol car a few days later. It is a regular enough visitor that I wave at it.
Ah, well. Call me naive and I will never consider it an insult: that police patrol has nothing to do with me. I may desire the thrill of thinking that I live in the exciting fantasy life in which I am under police surveillance or protection, but I am not. I know people who are in fact under surveillance and are being harassed by various government authorities (in European countries and other regions), and this is how I know that I am not. I know journalists whose bank accounts have suddenly vanished, as if they never did business with the bank. (If something even remotely like that happens to me, all two or three of you who read this web site will be the first to know.)