Friday, October 06, 2006

Ranting Against the Machine

I can’t remember if it was the end of spring or the beginning of summer, but one night I looked out the window and I saw a man sitting in a black car smoking. He was parked across the street and one house down, a house that was recently vacated and put on the market. I had a weird feeling, so I kept monitoring his behavior. Yes, I get obsessive and paranoid. And I guess part of my likes to play the spy vs. spy bit. Unless he had night vision goggles, I’m pretty sure he couldn’t see me watching him. I’m careful like that.

Well, he sat out there until at least 11:00 at night. I ended up giving up and going to bed, but not before calling my mother and giving her the license plate # and general description of his vehicle. I felt somewhat comforted that the information had been passed on, in case anything came of it.

Ideas raced through my mind about why he was there and who he was exactly. I wondered if my neighbors were under surveillance for selling drugs or if the guy was indeed watching our house. But why? It did come to mind that earlier that day my husband had withdrawn $1,200 in cash from the bank , in order to purchase a motorcycle. So part of me considered that it might be a government spook.

Time passed and I pretty much forgot about the incident and gave up justifying the “visit,” until yesterday when I came upon the following article.

In the words of Kurt Cobain, “Just because you’re paranoid . . . don’t mean they’re not after you!”

Basically the banks are now in cahoots with the government. They are monitoring the financial activities of US citizens, so that if you use your money in any way that is atypical of your general behavior, you will be reported and possibly watched by the FBI.

Well, I hope they enjoyed their time “visiting” with us, because I can tell you we lead rather dull lives. [YAWN]

But think about the wasted resources. Think about the inappropriate surveillance. Think about what would happen if millions of US citizens decided to play unusual games with their money all of a sudden. Would they be more selective about the people they tracked or would they have to hire more goons? If they hired more goons, would the job market improve or would we just be increasing the national debt?

And in other matters, what is with all the telephone political surveys? I’m a firm believer that if someone wants me to answer a personal question for survey purposes that I will answer IF I remain an anonymous respondent. But when they call with a political survey they always ask for you by name. Since when are we supposed to share with anyone our voting preferences, not to mention a stranger over the phone? Do they expect our chests to puff up with pride as we announce the lesser-of-two-evils candidate we may have settled for? I understand the need to collect data, but that can be done in a manner that respects the privacy of the respondent. I have to wonder what sort of data bases exist out there with all of our collected information. Especially with the advent of the American Community Survey, which – surprise, surprise – recently had a lapse of security. Gee, I couldn’t see that one coming (NOT).

Once you fit into a box, you are easily crushed.


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