Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Now that we know where we stand...

...let's talk a little bit more about yesterday's post. There seems to be a consensus (which includes me, now that my tongue is no longer poking into my cheek) that our government can't be trusted not to misuse technology that might otherwise be beneficial to us. Doesn't that just scare the pants off you?

Maybe I've been reading too many spy novels. A few months ago it was John Grisham's The Broker and David Baldacci's The Camel Club. In the next night or two I'll finish Baldacci's sequel, The Collectors. These books are fiction, I know, but they all involve governmental agencies spying on each other or on private citizens and eliminating anybody who gets in their way. That seems to me to be a rather extreme system of checks and balances.

Does anything like that happen in real life? I don't know. I look at the representatives of both major political parties battling it out with big words and distorted facts on TV and with legislative maneuvering and manipulation in Congress, and I wonder how far they'd be tempted to go in their efforts to achieve and maintain power. What lines are they willing to cross? Thinking about it gives me the creeps.

Here we sit in the land of the free, home of the brave, afraid that the government we voted into office might stick it to us, given the opportunity and the technology. I don't mean for this to be a political commentary, as I don't think our fear of Big Brother applies exclusively to the current administration. I think it's timeless and universal.

The truth is, I'd venture a guess that if there were suddenly a mandate to microchip the entire population of the world, we'd more willingly put our trust in our own government to administer the program than in that of any other country. Our government is flawed, but it's what we know.

So maybe our vigorous protests against the idea of microchipping and monitoring people aren't as much about distrusting our government as they are about protecting--not taking any chances with--our personal freedom. That's what we've all grown up with. Even if freedom isn't something we think about often, even if we sometimes take it for granted, we value it beyond measure. And it's what we know.

Things haven't looked too good lately, but they could be a lot worse.


  1. that micro chip things scares the pants off me,

  2. Hmmmmm again. There was a proposed move by the current government to microchip and/or tag in some fashion all animals, starting with livestock (including chickens Patsy) and then moving to horses and eventually household pets. As a horse owner, I would have had to report to a government agent anytime my horse left the property, even for a trailride. The purpose was to monitor the movement of potentially diseased animals. It was pretty amazing to see how quickly the horse community rose up in protest over this...government be damned! When it comes time to ride our horses, we want to do it in privacy. ;) The last I heard the program was recently dropped due to the massive protests and questionable constitutionality. Don't think people would feel much different about human microchipping. Carmon

  3. Patsy, I like it for my dogs, especially in light of what happened to so many pets during Hurricane Katrina. But that's about as far as I think it ought to go--and THAT should be voluntary.

    Carmon, I hadn't heard about the proposition to microchip all animals. I wonder who thought anybody would be willing to go along with that.

    Hmmm. Now I'm having visions of people beeping as they pass governmental checkpoints.

  4. Have you seen "Enemy of the State"? If you haven't, watch it-that is one scary movie!

  5. Don't you think the underworld, organized crime and just run of the mill joyriding hackers could counterfeit the chips and set up & frame anyone they choose? The whole thought makes me buggy. I can see voluntary chipping, not intrusive, though. Something, oh a chip put into a piece of jewelry - oh, maybe in a - hmmm - lampwork bracelet! Then Grandmaww could wear it when SHE and the fam want it and the GPS could be monitored by choice. I am not at all interested in more government intervention! We could not sit along the banks of a river and have troubadours seranade us the way they do in Paris at night. No fences! Someone could fall in and sue the city! I love our country, but too much regulation scares the hope out of me for a society filled with people of conscience making their own decisions. The missing and exploited, though, you have a valid point!

  6. Patsy thinks it will happen......Patsy thinks it will ALL happen.......

  7. I would not put my trust in ANY government to microchip me. I don't think such an idea would go down easily in this country - look at all the hoopla whenever they even mention a federal identity card.

    I'm sure there is a lot going on "behind the scenes" that is akin to what you've been reading in Grisham/Baldacci. It DOES scare the pants off me.

  8. Janet, I did see "Enemy of the State," but it's been several years ago. I remember the actors, the action and the tension, but, unfortunately, not very much about the plot. I'll have to check it out again.

    Christy, you made some very good points. And if you hurry, you might be the first on eBay to offer lampwork jewelry that comes with OnStar service.

    Annie, do you feel like you're in good company here? I think everybody feels the same way you do.

    4th Sister, even if Patsy turns out to be right, I don't expect either of us will be around by then to complain about it.

    Sunflower, I don't think they'd ever get people to go along with it either. Not in a million years. Hmmm. Does this tapwater taste funny to you?

  9. Yes, I think I'm in very good company!

  10. Oops.... I'm a day or two late and a sense of humor short. The tip of that tongue planted in that cheek sailed right by me. It mighta been that the tin foil I use to interfere with the alien and government thought probes also interfered with my correctly interpreting your blog! We do make these sacrifices at times....

    brrrrrrrrr..... it got cold!

    Three Cat

  11. Third-Cat, LOL, the tin-foil hat would certainly do it.


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