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Belmont Club

We Are Living in an Informational World

December 13th, 2012 - 10:57 am

And you’re an informational girl. Or boy. Or something in between.

Maybe it’s just coincidence. But just as “the Obama Administration has approved a request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require “black boxes” on all new cars sold in the U.S” it has requested approval to allow the “National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.”

The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes.

“It’s breathtaking” in its scope, said a former senior administration official familiar with the White House debate.

The black boxes, according to the NBC report which will track the driver’s every move. “If you’re guilty of something it’s going to hurt you.” Perhaps. But Horace Cooper, an analyst with the National Center for Public Policy Research says they’re going to have to pass it to find out what’s in it.

once the law goes into effect, the DOT will then act to tell us exactly what data the EDRs will collect and what devices can be used to access the data … The EDRs, if made mandatory, will provide a wide open door to the comings and goings of every American.

But so what, you don’t have anything to hide, do you?

That is more than the administration can comfortably claim. “Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R- UT) told Breitbart News on Wednesday that he has been ‘thwarted’ by the State Department from seeing any Americans who survived the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Many people forget that there were Americans who survived the Benghazi attack, some of whom were badly injured and are still recovering.” Rep. Chaffetz said:

My understanding is that we still have some people in the hospital. I’d like to visit with them and wish them nothing but the best but the State Department has seen it unfit for me to know who those people are—or even how many there are. I don’t know who they are. I don’t know where they live. I don’t know what state they’re from. I don’t even know how many there are. It doesn’t seem right to me.

This is so patently different than any other experience I’ve had.

Maybe because this is administration is so patently different from any that preceded it. They’re still investigating Benghazi, trying to figure out which video caused the attack on it. But this administration can’t be judged by the obsolete yardsticks of the past. For one, it is far more transparent than any administration in history. Everywhere you look one is told there is nothing to see. It has nearly abolished war by declaring the War on Terror to be nearly over and never using the word “war” anywhere it can substitute the phrase “kinetic military action”.

There’s not even a named enemy. Just groups of bad guys who have ‘betrayed a religion of peace’.

Yet despite the end of the War and the continuously trumpeted defeat of al-Qaeda (Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!) the requirements for more more information seem to grow. Everyone’s got to show his birth certificate and school records, except those of course, who don’t. And why not, the more data they have the more accurate their determinations. And because they’re careful they need a heck of lot of data to figure out who attacked the Benghazi consulate.

In order to advance the common welfare, the government wants to know who you spoke to (unless you are in the EPA and can use fake email accounts); where and how you drove; what and how much you paid for everything. Though they are doing it, as in the case of the “black box” data recorder to increase public safety and improve its driving habits. The unanswered question is where will it stop?

Since the desire for improvement is unlimited, there’s no natural shelf on which the process should rest, no point beyond feasibility, at which it is compelled to stop. Maybe it won’t. But that’s all right. They mean well.

Well they’re from the government and they are there to help you.


The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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