Saturday, May 06, 2006  

R and R (rant and rave, yo)

I am so not amused. This being lower SoCal with everything in the air (+ the fact my students are constantly coming down with something), I now have a Spring cold and the makings of a felon. I went to RiteAide today and got carded. Not for beer or smokes (neither of which I do, btw) but for cold medecine! Apparently an anti-drug law went into effect in April that makes purchasing anything with pseudoephedrine , something for which one is carded. And not just "oh, look at the birthdate!" kind of carding. Oh noooo, it's the run your id, cough it up for the government kind of carding. They got you flagged kind of carding.
When I asked what would happen to my info, the clerk cheerfully said they (the gov) would keep track of how much I buy and when. Oh, goody. File that one along with my phone records (sorry, no phone sex scheduled this month, but do keep a translator handy as I plan to make some non-English-speaking calls - but then you probably knew that), and my micro-chipped purchase and have a ball.

And then, here's the kicker- I took myself down to the Salvation Army Store on El Cajon Blvd and got followed by a cop who proceeded to hang out in the parking lot until I came out of the store, dutifully buckled up and pulled out the parking lot. Hmmm. I know my car looks a little ghetto at the moment (thank you anonymous B---- who dented my door and left no note...) and I imagine the keep on crossing sticker designed by Victor Payan and Perry Vazquez probably gets a second look this week (all those uppity immigrants and all). But, I ask you, is this a coincidence? Perhaps yes, perhaps no...
I so look forward to more suveillance since I go through cold medecine like candy, especially when a cold goes into my sinuses.
While I am all for curbing meth use, I am also for intelligent monitoring- sort of like intelligent design but based on fact. I've seen meth use up close and it ain't pretty- and I don't care what you think about Kate Moss- nasty, nasty shit.
Seriously, I do not look like a tweeker. I look (and sound) like someone with a miserable head cold- not Willie The Weeper.
AND I bought the kids version.

What I am concerned with (and you should be, too) is what else that little cardswipe has gotten me into. On the surface, it sounds relatively innocuous-and I can hear it now-"if you don't have anything to hide, blah, blah, blah." And I don't, not according to me, anyway. BUT, this is precisely the sort of reasoning that leads you down the velvet (yellow, if you like) path of martial law and totalitarianism. This clears the way for no-subpoena wiretapping, search and seizure while you are not at home, accessing your computer, your library records, what you rent and buy, who you frequent, where you go.(well, now, that's already happening!) And pretty soon all you darling, do it by the book people will find that the Bill of Rights does not protect you, that six degrees of separation don't separate you enough from the friend of a friend of a friend who just might, possibly, maybe, be part of an organization that they suspect might be gasp! a subversive group of brownie munching nutjobs who oppose (fill in the blank).

Don't believe me? Check it out. The ACLU has been getting all sorts of interesting info on whom our tax dollars have been spying. Got GPS? Goody for you. You will never go unfound or unheard. Check out what happened in San Diego to the city councilmen accused of accepting bribes. Good old GPS recorded their conversations in Vegas and they were not protected because of the type of technology.
Say something intelligent- your car is listening.
And then there's that microchipped product you just bought with your credit card. Wonder where all that junk mail and spam come from? Thank the chips because that's how Procter and Gamble and others figure out what you buy and how and when and how often and where...I think you get the idea.
And it is not just them. Government think tanks get ahold of this stuff and figure out how to sell things to you- like what, you might ask? Ponder this list:

- political candidates
- propositions
- up-coming legislation
- military recruitment
- war
- pre-emptive strikes
- a president whose ratings are tanking

It's all in how it's spun. Think the "morning in Reagan's America" commercial, think about the June primary commercials you have seen recently.

What buttons can the government push to make you buy in to something? It all starts with a chip and a little swipe of your id in the name of public safety. Go ahead- you have nothing to hide. But don't say I didn't warn you...

I hate the ban on ephederine... but if you take lots of metabolite or xenadrine.. u can still stay awake for hours... and feel happy without od'n.
Hi there!

Thanks for writing! I understand the ban- and SoCal has the oh so wonderful distinction of being the meth capital of California, and maybe the US. I get the ban but I am very skeptical of the efficacy of carding those who purchase cold medicine because a) tweekers have ways to get around it and b) who knows where this info goes once it gets sucks into the great black hole of US gov. paper pushers. Don't forget- the IRS is on a fund-raising kick that includes selling your info. And then HS is not know for being subtle- sometimes 2+2= 8 or 9 or even 666- and then you're off for a little chat.
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