Friday, May 13, 2005

Paranoia

I have a few irrational fears; first of all, I can't stand birds of any type. They freak me out.

This post isn't about birds, though. Rather, it is about another passing paranoia I have; that the federal government will be able to track me down somehow when I've done something wrong. You know what I mean; using cash instead of credit or debit cards, not leaving fingerprints in government buildings, avoiding police interaction, and avoiding registration with government agencies. This is perhaps what makes me such an ardent libertarian.

It isn't over the top, of course. The feeling is fleeting and I realize that it is irrational, so I dismiss it as quickly as it comes. For instance, I have a library card, I've registered with selective service, I have a driver's license, I pay taxes, and I even use my bank card occasionally. Still, when I needed to get fingerprinted in order to observe in public schools this semester I thought twice before letting the government know what the ridges on my digits looked like.

This passing paranoia is certainly not helped by the (somewhat inconspicuous) breaking of this news. For some reason, the government assumes that by slapping more "identification" on us, it will save us from terrorists (terrorists who don't even need to do anything to get us to run screaming). Instead of actually taking steps to avoid terrorism, like ceasing to occupy nations on the other side of the world, the government has simply decided that it makes much more sense to put the US population even more strongly under its thumb.

Besides the egregious violation of state's rights in terms of the federal government now dictating what type of ID a state must distribute, how are we supposed to fight a violation of personal liberty and privacy like this? Furthermore, how are we supposed to simply sit back and watch as our every movement slowly becomes followed by big brother, watching from an RFID reading satellite in the sky?

People don't seem to realize the value of anonymity. When no one knows you, you are free to do and be whatever you want. When the government has you pinned down, leashed like a dog, and watched like a criminal, you soon realize how much freedom anonymity really provides.

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