Saturday, January 24, 2009

Big Brother

I was just watching the world news on ABC. They had a segment on the peanut butter recall and said that Costco (or Sam's?) has instituted robo calls to those who have bought products that have been recalled between July of last year and January 20th of this year. They then played one of the calls... I froze. They can, with a click of a button, pull up every purchase you've made, have the computer search for items in question, and then call to notify you?

A couple months back I read an article in Sports Illustrated about how some college somewhere was having their athletes carry cards that they had to swipe everywhere they went on campus so that their whereabouts could be tracked. They also had to friend their coaches on facebook so that they could be checked for any references to drugs. Apparently, the athletes are viewed as an investment... or commodity, and therefore property of the college.

On Friday, my oldest daughter who just started school at our local community college showed me her student ID card. She then went on to tell me how she had to swipe it everywhere... the library, the computer lab, and all but one of the lounges. She's just a regular student... I will be asking my other daughter if her college does the same.

Over the years I've heard the religious people that are always hollering about this, that and the other. We all know how Y2K turned out. I tend to ignore what I consider to be extremism. However, listening to the robo call on the news and realizing the absolute enormity of such an endeavor really made me sit up! All of a sudden all the movies and tv shows where people are tracked instantly... everything all ready is in place.

I'm freaked out.


BLBeamer said...

Sorry, CB, but everything already is in place for what?

Two Dogs said...

Oddly enough, I agree with following the whereabouts of the college athletes. They are meat bought and paid for by the various universities. They are exactly a commodity. Same way with the military, they are property of the US gummint.

I also see no problem with demanding the same of all government employees, elected officials, or anyone that gets government subsidy. They should be forced to submit to drug testing every time they receive a check.

But, I draw the line with tracking individual citizens. I have no doubt that the fed already keeps a pretty close eye on everything, though. That is certainly compounded by ushering in this new administration that is already more corrupt than any we have seen in the past. And BLBeamer, that is not just rhetoric, I have yet to hear of one appointee in this administration that would not have had to remove his/her name from consideration in a Republican administration for the very same "crimes."

Coffee Bean, you are starting to see how much of your freedom that you have already lost. What do you propose to do about it?

Coffee Bean said...

For people to be tracked.

We live in the United States of America. We have laws... certain protections. Right?

Nearly every store has their cards that get swiped if you want to get the sale prices. My key ring is full of them. I shop regularly at Sam's club. Is every purchase I've made at these stores in a data base somewhere? And if so, how long is that information kept? Who has access to that information.

How many different areas have we given up our privacy on without a single thought? Each time we use a debit card, credit card, or rent movies at the local blockbuster.

What about blogs? e-mail?

Yes, I am fully aware I am sounding like some conspiracy theorist whack job. I've heard other people talk about this stuff before and I ignored them. I mean really, our government would never target a certain group of people because their beliefs go against what those in power want people to believe... right? That's just ludicrous... insanity. Never happen.

I'm just freaking out because I know how things started in Germany. I know how people just couldn't believe what was really happening. Many of the Jews didn't believe it until they were packed into cattle cars. That all did not happen overnight.

Am I inferring that conservative republicans are in danger? Am I inferring that Christians are in danger? Am I inferring that Obama is another Hitler? No.

I'm just saying that we are all being tracked in one way or another all the way down to what we purchase at the grocery store.

In a perfect world that wouldn't be a problem. Our world is far from perfect though.

I get stores trying to track purchasing trends. I'm sure it also useful information to track their losses through shop lifting or whatever. I just never believed that that information was being used for anything other than that. The fact that Costco can have a computer robo call all their customers that purchased product within the last six months. Some may think that is wonderful and a great public service.

It's not just that... it's the fact that I read that article a couple months ago about the college athletes. They are being tracked. It didn't bother me so much at the time because those athletes are an investment for the college.

I wouldn't have thought much about my daughter having to swipe her ID everywhere she goes at her college. I would have assumed it was more of a numbers thing... like following the heaviest traffic in the library or the computer lab so they could determine the need for staff... but, I read that article.

What if access to this type of information falls into the wrong hands... individuals or groups of people?

Of course there's also some eschatological parallels that could be made.

I'm just sayin'.

Coffee Bean said...

Hey Two Dogs,

I was writing my response to BLBeamer when you must have left your comment.

What can I do about it? I mean really. Tell other people? There've been people hollerin' about this stuff for years and years.

Sometimes I research survival stuff. You know, in case we need to run for the hills.

Two Dogs said...

CB, what IF it falls into the wrong hands? 75,000 people with BC/BS had their records accessed in 2007. I forget the number of military personnel and retired military that suffered the same thing.

Obama wants to create a national medical data base, that is one of the cost savings ideas in his plan on "healthcare." Your medical records would be stored by the US federal government. I still have yet to figure out how that saves one single penny, either. No clue. Any help from anyone on that?

Acknowledging a huge, glaring problem that is shredding your individual freedoms makes you sound like a "conspiracy theorist whack job?" No, you try to minimize something because you would like to think that it could never happen, while all the time ignoring that it IS happening. You saw them call the peanut purchasers, with your own eyes and still try to deny it. This is not because you are blind, but because you believe all people are your equals. Honestly, I think that was a good thing one hundred years ago, I do not think that is a good thing to believe any more.

What would you think if say, the First Lady was collecting FBI files on political opponents? Or donors? That just couldn't happen, huh? That was twelve years ago and brought about the impeachment of a very corrupt administration's leader. The key players are back in the White House now.

What if you saw a politician tell a potential voter that he was going to have to take money from one individual and give it someone that supported him, would that make you nervous? Does it not unnerve you to know that we just elected someone that you know beyond any doubt is the epitome of corrupt, elected by people that shall profit mightily from his election, then he turns around and says that he is going to spend one trillion dollars paying off his electorate, and finally telling those you support to shut up because he won? And while this is happening, other elected officials are in other government buildings talking about how NOT to give any of the money to white folks?

I fail to see how you even think that your statements sound wacky, because the wackiness is on television every day and is heralded as good. That is insane.

Now, if you purchase survival gear, did you go get enough for everyone in the country equally, or just enough for you and your family?

Who sounds wacky?

One Salient Oversight said...

Notice that this "Big Brother" has little to do with government. It's about businesses and corporations and other institutions.

All this suggests that there needs to be some limits to how much power private enterprise and other non-government organisations can have.

And who best to resist this trend than laws set up by a democratically elected government that are enforced?

Two Dogs said...

OSO, the United States is not a democracy, we are a REPUBLIC founded as a nation of laws, NOT MEN. This does allow for small mined people to elect a freedom hating person that changes the laws. However, there is no "democracy" in the philosophy behind the founding of our country.

We are a nation of fifty states, with vastly different views and completely different economies. HR1 might pass, but we shall never adopt the socialism that this administration is pushing. There shall be a revolt that crushes the economy of the planet because of Barry Obama and his minions.

BLBeamer said...

All this suggests that there needs to be some limits to how much power private enterprise and other non-government organisations can have.
The US system, with its different and often competing branches; its competitive, consumer-based free enterprise system; and constitutionally enumerated powers, was created by men with a profound distrust of large, centralized power.

My biggest complaint with the left is they do not believe that it is possible for the government to have too much power - as long as they are in charge. My biggest complaint with the right is they agree with the left.

It is obvious to me they are both gravely wrong.