Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goldilocks, My Ass

An ass with a name -- well, a handle -- and he's probably late for a Bund meeting:

[In re "Getting Used To It Doesn't Make It Right"] "After reading your post and giving it thought I have this to say: You're a fool. You're a fool who believes that freedom has no price and no cost. You're a fool who believes that the ability to track or identify you will always be misused. You're a fool who has never suffered having their identity stolen, checks written in your name, your credit cards maxed out by someone else, or your life destroyed by massive loans in your name."

Freedom's worth is, in fact, immeasureable and all it costs is -- everything. But it is not "freedom" to be required to enter your name in a database, to be tracked by a number, to be misidentified and kept from travel, to be forced to carry papers at all times (see Hiibel and Joe Huffman's links about border finks). Ask the interned Japanese, ask all the men conscripted,* ask the women (and men!) hunted down by abusive exes via government databases, or ask any of the tens of thousands of people who have had their ID stolen thanks to carelessness on the part of petty bureaucrats. There are plenty of good ways for banks to verify their customers that do not rely on the heavy, halfwitted hand of government -- and unlike Big Brother, if I don't like the way one bank treats me, I can find another one more to my liking; to stay in business, they have to be responsive to the needs of their customers. Congress, not so much; the electorate will send back any half-baked alcoholic who can dress themselves four days in seven, or has a staff that will do it for them.

Government databases always get abused; only rarely in big ways, we can't all be dramatic anarchists, Gypsies, homosexuals and Jews headed for the death camps, brightly lit by the glaring light of hindsight, but the information is abused nevertheless. What's progressive income tax but a way to use a government database to punish the high-achieving?

And what did government do for you when your identity was stolen? Did they even say, "Sorry?" Did they give you a chance to beat the snot out of the person who did it -- or did they remand that individual to the courts, to gt a good scolding and spend some time being poorly housed and badly but regularly fed at your expense? Did they set the scamster to work to pay restitution? No? Well, hully gee, jimbo, it looks to me like the only thing government did for you was to be bigger and stankier than you, and that's small reason for admiration.


Meantime, one of my friends is all hot to start voting from the rooftops and wonders why I'm not. Well, gee, there's that whole "eating reg'lar" thing, not to mention not having to be on the run; there's those elections comin' up that promise to be a pretty interesting kicking-the-bums out; fianlly there's the fact that through the course of my life, the flame of freedom's been getting brighter -- oh, there's plenty more rats in and out of office trying to stomp it out, too; but we have think tanks and political parties and movements where all we used to ever get was the occasional small-government Republican candidate, usually mocked by his peers, and every once in a great while and usually at a lower level, a freedom-minded Democrat. The rest of 'em -- 99, 98% -- were bought and paid for before they ever got within smelling distance of a ballot and nearly everybody said that was how things ought to be.

They're not saying that any more. Why start shooting just when things are getting interesting?
* Look, if a country's not well-liked enough by those who live there that they can't maintain an armed force voluntarily, then they'd be better off getting out of the country business.


The Jack said...

"unlike Big Brother, if I don't like the way one bank treats me, I can find another one more to my liking; to stay in business, they have to be responsive to the needs of their customers. Congress, not so much;"

That's what always gets me about the "anti-big buisness crowd", they think that the solution to corporations with too much power is to shovel even more power into the one corporation that's a true monopoly and can throw you in jail for refusal to pay for their service.

And as for interesting... yeah.

It is ammusing to see the old tricks (race card for example) not work like they used to. And the narrative can't be controled like it used to be.

TotC said...

Perhaps Fenrir is looking for security rather than freedom. Of course those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither.

B said...

comments on your previous post and associated comments.......

I do not advocate war, nor violence against people.....Nor do I seek "blood in the streets: caused by "voting from the rooftops". But the threat to those leaders should always be there, to keep the representatives and other government folks away from the line of no return.

And I am glad you still think of me as your friend.

Eck! said...

Do I need a passport and visa to visit New Jersey?

Sounds like the next step is gates at the border crossings, that is between states.

I'm old enough to remember when all this was the kind of the thing that one would see in Outer Limits, or Twilight Zone. It's not speculative fiction anymore.


Roberta X said...

Mr. B: Of course I think of you as a friend. --I don't always agree with my friends (Og and I have had some serious arguments).

I do take action, you know; I do not, however, initiate force. It's a personal choice, just like my choice to respond overwhelmingly to force initiated against me.

Roberta X said...

Eck! To visit New Jersey, I think you'd need your head examined. But that's just my opinion.

The Jack said...

Speaking as someone that grew up in Jersey... yeah.

Not a fun place to visit, even worse to work in. Wend to high school there on the big ID card craze and the report any suspicious loners phase.

Bubblehead Les. said...

30 years ago, when I was in the Navy, I could travel around the World just using a Military I.D. card and my Ohio Driver's License ( if I wanted to rent a car), and just convert dollars into the local currency.

Today, I can't get a ticket to fly to Omaha w/o using a credit card, nor rent a hotel room or a car. If I want to take out more than $10,000 of mine own money to spend overseas, I need to fill out a Federal Form. I can be held at the U.S./Canadian Border if I don't have a Passport ( which costs well over a $100) to enter my own country.

Today, I have 3 forms of I.D. in my wallet, plus a copy of my Discharge Papers, just in case Customs and Border Protection Agents want to stop me, because I live within a 100 miles of the Canadian Border and I have to prove my Citizenship if I get stopped on the sidewalk in front of my house.

That's what America has become today. And I know that if you all just think a bit, you could probably come up with a dozen databases that you are on, starting with your Birth Certificate, then your Social Security Number which your parents must get for you when you turn 2 years old, and so on.

But there is one Database everyone needs to be on, and that is Registered Voter. If you want to stop this madness that has overtaken America, then get Registered and Vote in November, or be ready to find your personal "Line in the Sand". Remember, the Nazis were voted INTO Power in 1932, and they were never voted OUT. Let's learn from History and cut this crap out of the Republic before it's too late.

Roberta X said...

Amen. Les.

Stuart the Viking said...

"and the report any suspicious loners phase."

Man did I hate that time. Lucky for me, I managed to just miss the worst of it by graduating HS and running off to the Marines, but I remember those days as the time when even the school faculty were allowed to pick on those who were "differant" with impunity. Complete with (literally) being physically thrown against a wall by a few teachers. I was smart enough to know that fighting back wouldn't have gotten me anywere but branded as a troublemaker (and probably expelled).

A few years later, I talked to a friend about my experiences and she actually asked why I never went "all Columbine and shot up the school or tried to blow it up". Pretty sad when even your friends are swayed by the whole "differant=violent" naritive that was prevelant at that time.


Borepatch said...

The Internet is the best thing that's happened to the flame of freedom since the printing press. There are a lot of folks who'd like that toothpaste back in the tube, but that's not happening.

Montie said...


As one who works for the .Gov in an enforcement capacity, I agree with you: "government databases will always get abused"...seen it done time and time again.

While I am sometimes frustrated in having to go through the courts and judges for warrants to do certain things in an investigation, I would rather be frustrated and have to work a little harder than give up more freedom on an incremental basis, because that loss of freedom applies to everyone including me and those I care about, not just some scumbag I might be after.

All the incremental encroachments on individual freedoms in this country that are done because of a perceived need for the government to be able to "protect" us in the moment, are almost never reversed after the moment has passed, and cumulatively add up to ALL of us living in a much more repressive society.

As Ben Frankin so eloquently stated: "Those who can give p essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".

Montie said...

Oops left out the "u" in up, but you all get the gist of the quote ;-)