Thursday, May 27, 2010

Some Days our Government is Really Aggrevating

Most days, the machinations of the malignant imbeciles in Washington as just the backdrop of life in the US: an evil, to be sure, but a somewhat necessary evil to allow the country and society to continue its strained existence. You can usually write off the constant struggle between the people and their would-be rulers as the price of living in a country with some semblance of law and order, and just hope that there are enough people sacrificing their time and energy to keep the government in check to prevent the situation from deteriorating too much. Some days, though, enough abuses pile up that you can't help but feel a sense of profound anger and frustration, even if each individual abuse seems small compared to the sheer magnitude of vileness emanating from Washington, and today is one of those days for me.

See, this particular frustration starts (oddly enough) with looking at new cars. Now, I'm not really considering buying a new car, but I wanted to see what was new in that world; my car being over six years old now, and I wanted to explore. I quickly remembered, however, that I'm not going to buy a GM car (ever again): I just don't like the idea of GM or the government being able to listen into any conversations in range of my vehicle at any time without my knowledge or consent, and the idea of giving both arbitrary corporations and the entire government full access to remotely manipulate my vehicle doesn't really thrill me (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, please do yourself a favor and figure out what OnStar really does and has actually been used to do, if you're going to give the government that level of control over your life, at least don't be ignorant about it). Unfortunately for me, this malignancy is spreading: Government Motors is unlikely to remove it ever for obvious reasons, and other automobile companies are adopting it or similar systems.

But wait, it gets worse. Apparently the House of F-U to Freedom is working on passing legislation to require all vehicle manufacturers to include a mandatory government spy and back door devices in all new cars manufactured for sale in the US. So soon, you may not be able to buy a new vehicle which does not function as a mobile listening device for the government (or anyone allowed to use their systems), as well as subjecting yourself to remote control of your vehicle. Yeah, that's just what I wanted in a new car... my current car's looking better every day.

Add that to all the recent previous atrocities (warrant-less wiretaps, covert executions, terrorist designations to strip citizenship, etc.), and the country is looking pretty bleak today. Some days you gotta wonder which would be better for the United States: if Iran gave up their nuclear weapons, of if they somehow smuggled one into the US and nuked our government. I mean, I don't wish ill on anyone, but as a philosophical discussion, I really couldn't say for sure which of those two elements (Iran's government or our own) is worse for the United States, and I'd lean toward our own government: they have certainly done a lot more to actively and effectively destroy the principles of freedoms of the United States, at least as the free country it was conceived to be. If I were taking an oath to defend the country from all enemies, foreign and domestic, I'd have to take a long look toward Washington DC and do some soul searching to answer the question if I was ready to uphold that promise.


  1. Yeah, it started looking pretty bleak to me about eight years ago, which is why I emigrated to New Zealand. My situation was complicated by a particularly bleak encounter with US intelligence - they took exception to my political views. I have just published a memoir about it all (THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE)More at my website

  2. I have mixed feelings b/c I don't want a car company installing microphones in my car, but I don't think the gov't is pulling off a conspiracy either. If the gov't were smart enough to pull it off, the conspirators wouldn't come up with something like "let's listen to people's conversations in cars". But I completely agree it's unsavory and open to abuse.

    I suspect (but don't know) that most intellectuals in Iran would much prefer the US gov't to theirs. You certainly could take an oath to defend the US and its constitution, and that does mean working peacefully and legally to make gov't institutions live up to what the Constitution says. Only rightwing nutjobs say if you don't agree with the US gov't you should move to Iran. Americans petition the gov't to change.

    Democratic gov't is the exception to the rule, and it's hard to maintain. There are a lot of problems, but US hasn't cross the Rubicon yet.