About Me

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Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.
EUREKA IDEAS UNLIMITED

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Freedoms

Hello Sal and Rachelle,
I think your concerns are important ones and I share them. It has been said that all politics are local. I think that is true, but it also presents a problem. Those in other areas just aren’t going to get too interested in who gets tracked on toll roads in Texas, nor do they make the connection between this particular abridgement of your rights and the eventual abridgement of theirs.

It is not just the application of a tag tracking device to our vehicles that we need to be concerned about. The truth is, we can all be quite easily tracked to a fairly precise geographic position because we carry cell-phones which emit an identifiable signal even when we are not using them actively. And it won’t be long before all vehicles will have satellite geopositional location devices.

Our trust in the government not to use these powers abusively is not well founded. In recent events we have lost habeas corpus, a very important protection indeed.

It IS important to find the terrorists who threaten our liberty and our lives. But now, the Executive branch can declare literally anyone they wish to be a terrorist suspect and detain them for an unlimited time. Of course the current Executive insists that this power will not be abused, even though no court oversight is currently required.

Abuses of such state powers are not new. Social Security numbers were originally promised to be kept entirely private. That evolved to the extent that they became a universal personal identity number to be used by banks, insurance companies, doctors, dentists, hospitals, schools, and employers as well as local, state and federal enforcement forces. A great many of us have these identity numbers prominently displayed on our checks and on our driver's licenses. Of course it is practical, but it is also a substantial abridgement of our rights to privacy and to be free of unreasonable government surveillance, searches and seizures.

Instances of abuse of such police powers are not few, they are many. And there is no end in sight, because the typical citizen is quite ignorant and apathetic about the loss of these rights, as long as it is happening to “those others.” (the terrorists, the illegal aliens, the pedophiles, the smut peddlers, the atheists, the communists, the fascists, the war resisters, the union organizers, the abortionists and anyone who could be accused of being in sympathy with them.

The very fact that I say these things puts me at potential risk, as soon as the government has time for me. As soon as the wrong bureaucrat notices me. Not because I am an enemy combatant. I am not. Not even because I am a partisan of the subversive philosophies of a hostile foriegn power.

Can or will the Supreme Court protect me? Perhaps. But should I be betting my life and liberty on it? Not at the moment. I don’t really have much choice though. Nor do any of us.

3 comments:

Adam said...

There is something strange about privacy. Many people seem content to make it public knowledge their birthdays, relationship pattens, hangouts, activities, residence, phone numbers, etc. I liken the loss of privacy and freedom to the story about the apple, the snake, and the first two humans. Or perhaps the blue apple, the prince, and the seven short people. At first, the apple seems quite enchanting, tasty, and safe.. not to mention convenient. In this instance the majority have not fallen ill... but the difference in the modern apple is that the poison may not have such a noticeable effect as sleep or mortality...yet that does not mean it is any less severe.

I am not saying that any making of personal information public knowledge is the actual bad action. The crux of the previous example is that the information was made public by choice rather than compulsion. What concerns me is how to draw the various lines between compulsion, freedom, and trickery.

In my opinion, the best course of action is to always hold the government in a critcal, mistrusting eye. It may not be the brightest outlook, but those holding such an outlook will not be the first to be misled into signing agreeably to their execution in return for security from terror and fear.

LOX said...

"...but those holding such an outlook will not be the first to be misled into signing agreeably to their execution in return for security from terror and fear." [excerpt from adam's comment]

Nicely put adam. One famous American founding father would also agree, since he is quoted as saying:

"Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither."
-Bejamin Franklin

anthropositor said...

Adam & Lox
Interesting comments. The aphorisms of Ben Franklin are almost always food for thought.

Remember Adam, check your spelling. If a letter is left out of a word or two I can't edit from here. I would have added two letters and smoothed out the syntax of one phrase, but my choices are limited to publish or reject. Of course it is the thought that counts, but we like to dress for company around here.

And a general comment to other folks. I am inclined to publish all reasoned comments, including those that diverge sharply from mine. Perhaps even especially those that oppose my perspectives.

And for others who feel moved to say something, I do have a certain prejudice against OMG or IMHO or w/ when "with" should be used. These things stop the reader in his tracks and the smooth flow of the idea is interrupted. I'm not asking perfection here. I accidentally leave a letter out now and then or sprinkle a comma where it is not required, or use their when I mean there. But I can fix it later.

At this point I don't even think there is a way of deleting the comment of another person, once it has been published. except by deleting the entire thread.

And some of you may have a worthwhile comment or inspiration that is not a response to what has already been said on the blog. Just put it in the thread;
What's The Big Idea?.
(Turns out that I can delete and replace the comment and then delete the deletion notice, but it takes a while. I think I’ll just be careful.)

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