Monday, February 23, 2009

Somebody's Watching Your Every Move

In his Friday and Saturday Blogs, The Curmudgeon at the Second Effort Blog wrote about the proposed VMT (vehicle miles traveled) Tax. This would replace the gasoline tax. Fortunately President Obama quashed this proposal made by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (I wonder why his parents didn’t name him Robin – I would have).

The Curmudgeon brings up some interesting ramifications involved with adopting a VMT Tax:
“The system would require all cars and trucks be equipped with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder, a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was driven, whether it was driven on highways or secondary roads, and even whether it was driven during peak traffic periods or off-peak hours.”

Now this is a real scary thought.

I have a good friend that lives in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. Some our mutual friends will say that he is extremely paranoid.

He says that the Government is gradually usurping our right to privacy.

Some years ago he bought a Cell Phone. The only time that he used it was when he went on his annual August fishing trip in the back woods of northern Minnesota (to keep in contact with his elderly parents). He’d buy minutes at the Walgreens. Then he saw a NCIS episode where they could track a person by his cell phone; even if it was not in use.

He now gives the phone to friends and asks them to keep it in their cars for several days. Then he takes it back and passes it to another. His friends humor him. He still uses it in Minnesota.

He will no longer buy a GM made car (for 30 years he only bought Buicks) because of the ONSTAR system. Even if you don’t subscribe to the service, he says that it’s there and can track your movements. He doesn't own a GPS for the same reason ("what kind of dummy cannot read a road map".)

Many years ago he said that the government was trying to turn us into a cashless society. Credit and Debit Cards could then be used to track our spending habits. Like my Dad did, he only uses cash for his purchases and has never had a credit card. He hopes that he dies before this happens.

Our mutual friends also say that he must have a cloaking or jamming device in his house; their Cell Phones only work 15 feet or more away from the building.

Perhaps we should all be getting a bit paranoid, as my friend is, about our rights to privacy.

The Beach Bum

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Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

Many believe that the fight against Roe V Wade was actually about the right to privacy. It cited Griswold Vs Connecticut where they said that the government has no right to pry into our private sex lives(reproductive rights). the Griswold case was about the use of contraceptives for family planning (Marital Privacy).

Every Supreme court nominee of Republican presidents have stated there is no right (explicit or implicit) to privacy in our constitution, although the Douglas Court said there was an implicit right to privacy.

In the past few years they found a way around privacy laws by ignoring them and then citing national security reasons when people complain.

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