Big Brother

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The
socialist’s dream of constant observation as a means of people control
is arriving, albeit 17 years behind Orwellian schedule. Like Will
Smith, in "Enemy
of the State
," the g-men know where we are, and what we
are doing at all times. Well, not at all times, just when we’re
in “public”. So far Tampa and Virginia Beach are the only two cities
stupid enough to announce what they’re actually doing. No
doubt some cities with “traffic cameras” propped up all over the
place
have designs or have already linked similar software to
track specific vehicle or personal movements from camera to camera.
All to more safely design highways, and understand traffic patterns,
you see. We’re Government, and we want to serve you, our customer!

Finally,
people are starting to wake up. The apologists’ argument for this
system usually goes along the lines of “If you haven’t done anything
wrong, you don’t have any reason to object to it.” Sure. Why don’t
we let stalkers and Peeping Toms use the same argument in court?
Because it’s an invasion of privacy. The folks in the streets, the
ones who know Soviet-style thought control when they see it, understand
that this changes the dynamic completely. You aren’t considered
innocent until proven guilty under this system. You have no right
to privacy, not in public at least, and the
government is a master of making the steepest slippery slope arguments
look prophetic in hindsight.
They put radio bracelets on half-way
house prisoners to track where they go. If
pending cell-phone and car GPS legislation makes it through
,
what will be the difference between you and a collared criminal?
At least the criminal knows he’s not free. And the legislation will
make it through. Incremental control is the name of the game. The
lying scumbag politicos who voted for the Tampa system now claim
they didn’t know what they were voting for and would have voted
differently if only they had understood, but the system is still
in place. Ditto for the Georgia Driver’s License fingerprint program.

An
editorial in the Tampa Tribune is quoted as: "It is
all done for the purpose of crime prevention, crime solving and
law enforcement – not to create a Stalinist police state.”
Stalin didn’t promise a Stalinist police state either. Stalin promised
crime prevention, law enforcement, and a worker’s paradise. So it
always goes: government needs just a little more control. In the
USSR, after the revolution, control was used to “reform” the last
monarchists and capitalists into true comrades. As that failed,
it was used to crush political dissent. Can’t have the peasants
telling each other the Emperor has no clothes. In the USA, under
the Nanny state, control is used to make sure we’re all safe from
each other and ourselves. For now. As the welfare state inevitably
heads toward collapse, the last decent (?) politicos will be voted
out of office, and replaced with more ruthless ones. Stalin’s predecessors
laid the infrastructure of tyranny for him. Would Lenin have been
worse, had Stalin come first and given him the political and police
state foundations for the purges and gulags?

Soften
the Russians up by degree and they won’t complain when they can’t
criticize their leaders. Put cameras on every street corner of America,
and pretty soon the police can get a warrant to watch you over the
very x10 web cameras you’ve been
so busy installing all over the house. Then again, why bother with
a warrant, since your house is within 300 yards of public property.
We’ll just spy through the walls.

Just
to make it easy, here are a few ideas for the bricklayers of despotism:

Take
all those digital driver’s license photos you’ve got stored at the
DMV and run them through the recognition software. This will save
some time when you finally get around to watching everyone, instead
of just “known felons”.

Be
sure to keep the matching Social Security Number as the unique serf
identifier.

Add
DMV license plate numbers in to the mix, so you can track us while
we’re walking or driving.

Subpoena
the credit agencies for our credit records, matched against SSN.
You’ve already done it for banking, so the “know your customer”
precedent is set.

Subpoena
all our credit cards, airline, hotel, rental car, insurance and
grocery store records.

All
this subpoenaing is getting mighty inconvenient. Just get a blanket
writ to connect to the appropriate private industry databases in
real time. Make them pay for the cost of the connectivity, of course.
Aren’t relational databases connected via the Internet wonderful?

Match-up
the records for all GPS enabled devices with the appropriate SSN.
On second thought, why do all that work? Just require a SSN at time
of purchase for any GPS enabled device.

Match
up the medical records with the SSN. We need this since all those
graying baby boomers are straining Medicare with $Billions in potentially
fraudulent or unnecessary claims.

Now
that we’ve got all this wonderful technology in place, think of
the good we can do.

Create
criminal profiles based on behavior studies of felons. With a database
of who is buying what, where, and when, how they pay, where they
go, and who they do it with, a sociologist can get it right about
70% of the time. We’ll add in genetic profiling as that becomes
available.

Just
like DNA testing allowed forensic scientists to go back in the vault
and re-examine evidence, psychological profiling will allow us to
run all that video we’ve been archiving through our new behavior
profiling routines. We can round up potential trouble makers for
questioning, and prosecute or fine people we don’t like for crimes
committed years ago. Statute of Limitation, buh bye.

Heck,
why wait until some criminal commits a crime. Better lock them up
in advance, just to be safe. When we get genetics, maybe we can
eliminate potential future felons in the womb! We’ll use the remains
for stem cell research.

Since
the welfare state is involved in every aspect of the serfs’ lives,
why stop with criminal behavior. Let’s develop profiles for the
following and take preventative measures to curb behavior potentially
expensive to the strained finances of the socialist state: Reckless
drivers, overeaters, drug abusers, and school shooters. That way
we can instantly block purchases of certain items known to facilitate
these behaviors. Speeders get only a $10 per week gas allowance.
Overeaters, you’re on a diet; can’t have you clogging up the government
medical centers, now can we. And on and on.

Government
has a special treat for the aging baby boomers. As Medicare and
Medicaid strain the socialist economy for ever more resources, we’ll
have to follow the Dutch example
and just start weeding out
you oldies. Not sure you want to go yet? Stop being such a resource
using pig, you greedy old fart.

This
is the great ongoing political struggle of our time. The struggle
between a vision of government as the benevolent all-providing nanny,
and the reality of such experiments always descending into liberty
devouring despotism. The United States’ experiment with collectivism
has been underway full-scale since 1913, the year the awful 16th
(income tax) and 17th (direct election of Senators) amendments were
ratified. Perhaps the cracks are starting to show. The fact is that
millions of dollars were spent to catch a few deadbeat dads and
any felon stupid enough to walk through a posted “Smart CCTV” area.
They did it by violating everyone’s basic right to privacy. The
people in the streets know that surveillance and tracking make them
more akin to prisoners than free people. Even
some police are leery of the idea of unlimited power to spy. Gentlemen,
I applaud you.
Let’s turn back from the socialist policies
and all the police state tracking, numbering, surveillance, and
control that are used to enforce them. In the end, it’s not for
our own good.

August
2, 2001

John Keller
[send
him mail]
owns a Technology
Consulting
and a Real
Estate
business in Atlanta, GA.

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