May 22, 2013
By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher
It seems like the more I read about government monitoring and surveillance, the more I see this slow, metastasizing trespass into our personal liberties.
Be aware of the state’s “intent to creep”: it’s turning the heat up under a slow cooking pot of frogs.
I live in a duplex and the property lots are not divided up with fencing. There is record of where the property lines are, and for the most part, people respect them. But, my landlord was telling me the other day that the next door neighbors have been planting shrubs and bulbs that are just a few inches into her property. One year it was a bush, and the next it was annuals, and the next it was bulbs… always just pushing the boundaries by an inch or so.
She didn’t protest the first time because it seemed petty and it was a nice plant. Then the landlord moved out, and wasn’t there to see the subsequent encroachments. Because she never protested, she allowed a certain squatters rights precedent to set in. It’s similar to the cooking frog analogy: if you put a frog in hot water, it will jump out; but if you put a frog in cool water and turn up the heat slowly, it will allow itself to be cooked.
This is how our government in the United States has been operating, and while I’m certainly not the first to point it out, and I could find a good chunk of folks to agree with me, what I can’t seem to garner from others is a true understanding of the government’s “intent to creep”. In the face of overwhelming evidence and documentation, people stop at the point of finding it disturbing. The two-party system and some battle cry for more voting is the end of the intellectual rope. They blame the leaders, but that seems like such a superficial observation. Okay, people are corrupt. But people are also corruptible. I’m not talking about just ANY people… I’m talking about people who specifically run for office, not realizing they are really seeking to rule others, because they convince themselves they are actually “serving” others. THOSE people, when left unsupervised, in a roomful of unchecked power, lose touch and lose sight of any noble intentions they once had.
So many children’s stories allude to this phenomenon. Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” talks about the Onceler who initially promised he would respect the Truffula Trees. Then he made ONE exception, “Maybe I could just cut ONE tree…” Next thing we see, the entire Truffula forest is decimated. Look at “Pan’s Labyrinth”: the little girl was told not to succumb to the temptations of the food on the table she passes. She thinks it would be harmless to take just ONE grape… so she does… and awakens a repulsive monster. Then there are the countless B movies where the teens left alone for a weekend decide to invite only a few friends over and it turns into some epic block party that burns down the house… or something to that effect.
Those are just fictions! The reality of American history is wrought with countless casualties who got caught in the crosshairs of unintended consequences. Medicare and Medicaid were meant to just help those who fell between the cracks. It wasn’t supposed to universalize our entire medical industry. It was supposed to be recourse for those who could not afford medical care. OPTIONAL. Now we are with the “Affordable Care Act”. It forces us to buy a good/service. It will take the existing problems in Medicare and Medicaid and spread them to everyone!
We currently have a shortage of general practitioners. There isn’t enough money in it to warrant pursuing the practice given the amount of debt incurred from simply getting a medical license. So more and more individuals who are getting medical degrees are NOT going into general practice, but specialty practices: cosmetic surgery, cardiovascular, neurology…
Within that short supply of general practitioners, there are many who REFUSE Medicare and Medicaid insurance. The amount of staff hours required to process the claims exceed the capped compensation those programs offer for services rendered. The fact that the doctor is forced to work for nothing is bad enough… but that he/she is then unable to pay the staff for their hours…
We have this shortage of doctors, and of those few doctors, some won’t take the government insurance plan. Inevitably, there are lines of people with insurance who don’t or can’t get care.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Social Security number was meant only to track our federal retirement benefits. It says on the older Social Security cards, “Not to be used as a form of identification”. Now, I can’t get electricity in my home without it. I can’t buy a home without it. I can’t get a bank account or a credit card without it. It’s now my barcode… or as I call it, my “slave number”.
So, in examining the surveillance programs employed by our federal and local governments, the effort seems to be more focused on how to get around the 4th Amendment, than it is to keep us safe or preserve our rights. We already have the IRS confiscating and sifting through our private information, more often than not without a warrant. We are using drones to patrol our borders already. Boston was the perfect crisis to put the drone lobby in full force, seeking to expand the drone program… domestically.
The DHS is also party to the biometric scanning tool camouflaged in the current immigration reform act going through congress. It’s only meant to be used for identity confirmation in employment situations. But it’s not uncommon for federal agencies to share resources either, considering the following story:
Remember I’d mentioned that 37 states were vying for the chance to be a pilot state in the domestic drone program? North Dakota is a huge contender. And it’s already underway! The livestock laws of North Dakota are rather convoluted and confusing (not a rare characteristic of most laws just about anywhere in the United States). Six cows from one guy’s farm roamed onto the neighboring farm. The cows’ owner approached the neighbor to ask for his cows back. The neighbor decided to be a jerk about it and claim that since they roamed onto his land, they now belonged to him. So the cows’ owner decided to call the police. The police attempted to compel the jerk-neighbor to return the cows. When he refused, the police proceeded to tase the man. After a 16 hour stand-off, involving tasing and threats to kill the cops if they trespassed on his land, DHS DRONES were called onto the scene to see if they could safely arrest the jerk-neighbor.
[US News & World Report] “Grand Forks SWAT team leader Bill Macki says their department has had an agreement with the DHS to use Predator drones for three years, and that it was called in to make the arrest safer for both Brossart [jerk-neighbor] and the force. He says that the department has ‘received training on the basic capabilities of the Predator’ and that they have specific guidelines for ‘when [they] can or cannot use a drone.’”
This is the first American drone arrest. The defense for the use of the drone is rather weak. Basically, they argue that since it wasn’t used in an investigatory manner, it’s okay. Because we’re only using the bio-metric scanners for employment scenarios, it’s okay. Drones and biometric scanners should, in general, bring up the concern level of folks at least a few notches. Considering what extreme measures both of them are for simply reconciling a “bovine dispute between farmers” and “confirming an individual’s identity at the point of employment”.
I don’t contend that we can vote this all away. In fact, I’ve long abandoned the idea that such an act could solve anything. Voting, in its most noble form, still relies on someone of good character to actually BE an option on the ballot in every election. The reality is – and I’m still giving it some credence here – folks are left to choose the lesser of evils. MY conclusion is: voting means choosing an evil, no matter how diluted its form is in contrast to the other option. My solution, then, has nothing to do with engaging a reckless system and reasoning with it through votes.
Imagine if you knew a natural disaster was coming toward your home, and you were in its direct line. You have the same choices as anyone: go into your basement and hope for the best, deny that it’s going to come for you because that house has stood there for generations and isn’t going anywhere, or evacuate you and your family to a safer location. The folks who take first option are playing within the system, hoping that the safeguards they believe are there will in fact work in their favor in the end. The folks in the second option are the Sheeple we are constantly referring to here in our various articles. The folks in the third option are the ones we at GWP can help. It’s the ones who see as we do that you can’t talk down the impending disaster; there is no negotiating with it. All there is, is to work around it and get out of its way.
You’re a frog in a pot. The pot is on a stove top. The heat is on. How much more heat can you take?