Uncle Sam/Peeping Tom

I had a conservative tell me he is worried that the government is conspiring with U.S. auto companies to install tracking devices in new automobiles in the near future. They probably can already use that GPS system you have to track you so the technology is already here. My first thought was that the auto companies wouldn’t have to conspire with our government since the government is owned by corporations including auto companies. My second thought was if auto companies can put something that sophisticated in an automobile when will they install electric windows that still work once a car is over six years old.

I am troubled by privacy issues with the use of drones to spy on people.  Drones are aircraft without a pilot and are  controlled from the ground. They are used for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes and some are armed with missiles and bombs. Fifty different companies are developing over 150 different systems of drones. This industry is predicting $6 billion in sales by 2016 mostly to law enforcement and public safety agencies. These companies are part of our Military-Industrial Complex and have lobbyist who have wide access our “representatives” ears and generally own the rest of him too.

I was thinking those parking meter cops in Cleveland Heights, Ohio could utilize it to fine you for having an expired parking meter within seconds instead of their usual two minutes. Cleveland Heights already makes a fortune on parking fines and with drones bringing in even more money on tickets the community would have so much revenue they could forego charging taxes to residents. Would the police be content to use this device for surveillance, safety and defense purposes? Well, while a suburb like Cleveland Heights would use them to further fatten their coffers in nearby Parma, Ohio it might be used for something else entirely. I say that because in November 2010, a police lieutenant from Parma, Ohio, asked Vanguard Defense Industries if the Texas-based drone manufacturer could mount a “grenade launcher and/or 12-gauge shotgun” on a drone for U.S. law enforcement agencies. The answer was yes. The ShadowHawk model Vanguard was showing the Parma lieutenant sells for $275,000. That is a lot of money but police departments could offset the cost by getting rid of police officers. Eliminating public sector workers we all know makes conservatives like Editor Robinson over at the Warren Tribune get huge smiles on their face.

U.S. drones equipped with weapons and used with the co-operation of intelligence gathering have been used in Afghanistan since GW Bush’s administration. They have killed innocent women and children and even our own soldiers. Is that something we want our police forces to utilize on our streets?  I heard a discussion about this on talk radio and I was alarmed at the complacency of some of the callers.  The fact that some people think it would be OK to use drones against our citizens scares me. They felt as long as people weren’t doing anything wrong they have nothing to fear from the government spying on them as they are not the bad guys. Well, who defines who the bad guys are? In the early to mid 1960’s the bad guys were people fighting for civil rights. During the Vietnam War it was anyone who opposed that war. Presently the corporate media is telling us the bad guys are environmentalist who are concerned about global warming or oppose fracking.

Our complacent citizens have not noticed that the Patriot Act left the door open for us to end up living in an Orwellian society. I am not willing to see America become a police state, all in the name of safety. I don’t want to be spied on by anyone and I have a constitutional right not to be under the 4th Amendment. It says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.If you want to you can give up your rights but don’t ask me to give up my rights.

I think the use of drones being used to spy on Americans is definitely an issue that should have united the right and left in a common fight. I am confused by the right because while they oppose the government’s intrusion into regulating corporations and protecting workers they also support the Patriot Act and GITMO. They can always be counted on to protect the rights of corporations and the rich over the common man. Now with them supporting torture, GITMO, the Patriot Act and drones they are supporting the government over the common man. I’ve often heard conservatives whine that we are leaving a debt for our children to pay off, but they don’t have any problem leaving a planet that is more polluted or a society that faces more personal intrusions.

Our own tax dollars are being used to spy on us. Taxpayer-funded voyeurism will make Uncle Sam into a “Peeping Tom.” The big winner in this deal is the drone contractors who are part of the Military-Industrial complex. If our tax dollars have already been spent on these drones put the drones to good use. Spy on our politicians and see what lobbyists they are meeting with. Find out how much money and free trips the lobbyist are giving these politicians. Find out which corporations own our politicians and make the information gathering available to all us taxpayers. I’ve seen theses reality TV shows where a restaurant or bar owner hires a team to come in and put in cameras to spy on his employees. It is done in an effort to make his business better by getting rid of problem employees. I want drones to film all of our politicians because they are our employees and someone needs to be fired because their job of representing their constituents (their employers) has been failing for decades.

The YSU Jazz Fest is July 7th at 5PM. Info here.

One of the performers will be Cleveland’s Laura Varcho: “I’m beginning to See the Light”

also Alton Merrell: “Get Yo Praise On”

See you there!

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.:” Benjamin Franklin.

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