San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fingerprint File

I was driving along the other day listening to a CD by the Rolling Stones.  It was the 1974 release entitled "It's Only Rock and Roll" and it has one of my favorite Stones songs on it.  The song is called Fingerprint File and it is about Mick's state of depression brought about by statism.  Mick keeps repeating the phrase in which he declares, "it brings me down," only stretching out the dooowwwnnnn for a while.   Conjure up your best Mick imitation and you can approximate it.  And why is Mick so down?  Because "there is some little girl in the FBI, keeping papers on me, six feet high, it brings me down."
Toward the end of the song Mick slips into a little rapping.  He pretends to be talking to a lady on the telephone and he informs here that, "these days it all secrecy and no privacy."  As  you might expect that brings him down as well.  As I was bopping along listening to the song, it has a very catchy tune in my estimation, I began to fixate upon the phrase "all secrecy and no privacy."  That got me to thinking.  What exactly does it mean to live in a world in which it is all secrecy and no privacy?
The point of the song is that the advent of government surveillance of its own citizens has brought about a state of affairs in which citizens have no privacy.  On the other hand, the state operates under an impenetrable veil of secrecy.  Nothing the state does can be seen by the citizens living in the land.  The Stones performed that song in 1974, long before 9/11 and the advent of Homeland Security.  Conditions today are inestimably worse than they were when Mick found himself so depressed.  As Edward Snowden has shown us, the all powerful spying apparatus of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika knows just about everything there is to know about each and every one of us.
How bad has it become?  The state knows your employment history.  The state knows your medical history.  The state knows your educational history. The state knows and has a record of every electronic message you have ever sent. The state knows and has a record of every telephone conversation you have ever made.  The state knows where you are and can construct a detailed summary of your daily movements for any day of the year.  The state knows how much money you make and how you spend your money.  The state probably has a better record of your spending habits than you do.  The state knows when you are driving your car, when you are talking on the phone and when you are working at your computer.  The state knows what your political beliefs are.  The state knows what your religious beliefs are.  The state has a dossier on your views and opinions about itself.  Depending upon your beliefs and opinions about the state you will find yourself on a variety of different lists, all of which contain the names of people who are deemed to be enemies of the state in one form or another.
On the other hand, what do we know about the state?  Precious little I am afraid. Go here to read a shocking article about the program of government secrets that operates in the SDA.  It is downright mind boggling to realize how much is kept from us every day.  Career politicians and government bureaucrats spend their entire careers engaging in activities that none of us ever will know anything about.  It is all done in the name of "national security," of course, but is that really the case?  According to this article, "Government workers classified over 15 million documents last year, more than twice the number classified in 2001. The cost? About $7 billion."   I am forced to conclude one of two things.  If the need for secrecy in the federal government has doubled in the last 15 years then either we are living in a world that is twice as dangerous as it was 15 years ago or the government is meddling in our private affairs twice as much as it used to.  I see no evidence that the world is any more dangerous than it was in the past, especially if I compare conditions today to conditions during the Cold War.  I conclude that the surveillance state has expanded greatly and we are all in danger because of the maleficent intentions of our own government.  As JFK once said, "There is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment."  We have arrived at the time JFK feared.  Welcome to the surveillance state.
A government that is operating according to the principles of the Constitution would find us under a very different set of conditions.  Mick's sorrow that today it is all secrecy and no privacy would turn to rejoicing as we all would live under a government that was totally transparent while our lives would be completely invisible to its prying eyes.  All secrecy and no privacy is a good thing when put in the right direction.  There should be no secrecy in government.  No government official should be able to claim the right to not answer a question of even the lowest citizen of the land.  That includes matters of "national security" and "military operations."  I know the argument.  If career politicians tell us what they know our brave men in uniform will be killed by the citizens of the lands they are occupying.  When they say this it never occurs to them that the imperial dreams of the SDA are the cause of the problem, not the need for transparency.  If the SDA were not prosecuting wars of imperial expansion there would be no conditions under which a need for secrecy would be derived.  So don't try using that argument.  
Hillary's emails should all be public.  So should King Obama's.  No person who works for the government should ever be able to classify any document related to his work, ever.  The operating principle would be "no privacy."
On the other hand, citizens would be totally free.  The government would know nothing about us except that we are citizens of the land and we pay our taxes.  The government has a right to know the information that is public about me.  I am not describing anarchy here.  Government has a legitimate function and a legitimate right to fund itself with ten percent of my annual income.  To that end the government should be able to know what my gross annual income was, as I report it.  If it contests my numbers it can take me to court to prove that I have lied.  The government also has the right to know that I am married since that is additional public information about me that can be used to protect my wife if I commit adultery. As to all of my private affairs the rule would be a simple one...."all secrecy." 

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