Has President Barack Obama quietly given himself dictatorial powers over the weekend — new authority to nationalize much of the country’s national resources? To draft citizens into a non-military corps?

Obama puts his signature onto new law

That’s the buzz – particularly on Twitter over an Executive Order that Obama signed Friday afternoon.

“NYTFury” tweeted: “Obama signs Executive Order Allowing for Control Over All U.S. Resources. GOD HELP US.”

“WillF” tweeted: “ While many of my friends worry about a right-wing takeover of the US, did Obama just sign an Executive Order allowing dictatorship?”

“D_Seaman” commented: “REMINDER: an Executive Order from FDR allowed Japanese Americans to be detained without trial during WW II. Exec Orders can be powerful.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt's order to Japanese-Americans

Is all the alarm justified? What is going on?

“Twitter is buzzing with controversy over the new Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama on Friday, March 16, 2012,” writes blogger Kyle Merriam. “The order was posted on WhiteHouse.gov, but many people heard on Twitter, responding with outrage that Obama

may have signed an order that allows a dictatorship in the event of an emergency or war.

“Check it out. It’s a jawdropper. It calls for a draft, but not just a draft. A civilian draft, of ‘persons of outstanding experience or ability’ without compensation. If they think they need you, they can compel you to work for the government for nothing.

“They can, under this order, restrict civilian travel by any mode, including (probably) foot travel. They can ration food. They can restrict water usage, even from private wells. They can ration any and all drugs, including OTC and vitamins. They can collectivize farms. They can take over all energy production, including home solar units.

“It also allows for drafting civilians. If they have need of your skills, they can compel you to work for no compensation.”

Is that what the executive order really says?

World War II military draftees

In an article headlined “Conservatives Are Freaking Out Over An Executive Order That May Give Obama Complete Control Over The Economy,” Business Insider‘s Michael Brendan Dougherty quips that “no two news sources can agree on what it means.

Indeed, he points out, the Drudge Report linked to it under the title, “Martial Law? White House issues executive order: “National Defense Resources Preparedness …”