Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Under Suspicion – Government Agencies through the Looking Glass - The Heroics of Youth – An Essay on the Factor of Stupidity, Incompetence and Sheer Lunacy.

The old novel - suddenly of interest - it is a good fictional read - image tompaine.com

Understanding that one might feel a tad jitterish that “Big Brother” is watching, listening, reading, and predicting every move one makes, every hour of the day can, indeed be creepy. The fact that we understand, that anytime one posts something to an internet website, it becomes public, if one passes a photograph around via cell phone, chances are that photo will be seen by everyone – social websites offer little to know privacy – unless it is specifically requested – or so everyone though.

There is little in the way of “ownership”, especially online, and that is expected – but when one is stalked, for no apparent reason, then it becomes an invasion of privacy. That is what, for good or ill intent, the government has been up to lately. Looking at ever tying that is posted, noted, photographed, video graphed, and said, online and one one’s cell phone. Understanding the need to protect the nation, the original concept was to listen for key words and then go and check lines going to and fro places that held terrorists and those about to kill us. Yet, this program has morphed into a behemoth of information gathering on just grandma or grandpa. The reasoning behind this is as clear as the nose on ones face – the government, in it’s never ending growth, and the dwindling job market, has created these jobs and spent tax payers dollars on programs that on surface, might have merit, but overall, are fairly useless – unless one thinks hat Grandma is going to blow up a strategic government building – or her 10 year old grandson or granddaughter.

Government waste is more to the point, along with intrusion.

Therefore, there’s been a lack of trust over the Administration with one scandal after the next hitting the airwaves every other day – from the IRS targeting individuals that have a different view than the President, to Benghazi and the fact that our nation told marines hours away to stand down while our Ambassador and other American’s were murdered, to the newest – spying on everyone – it’s become increasingly clear that trust is dwindling.

Now, journalist are looking under rocks – as these items are front page news, and since the rose is off the bloom, so to speak, the administrating has become an obvious target, along with any various government agencies – the latest is the IRS (again), which has apparently been spending money or is about to on spy equipment. According to CNS news, the agency has a contract request out for all types of goodies one would think might fit better with Maxwell Smart, than an actual actuary, but to use an old adage, boys love their toys. The list includes some of the following items:

four “Covert Coffee tray(s) with Camera concealment,” and four “Remote surveillance system(s)” with “Built-in DVD Burner and 2 Internal HDDs, cameras.”

The IRS also is buying four cameras to hide in plants: “(QTY 4) Plant Concealment Color 700 Lines Color IP Camera Concealment with Single Channel Network Server, supports dual video stream, Poe [Power over Ethernet], software included, case included, router included.”

Finishing out the order are four “Color IP Camera Concealment with single channel network server, supports dual video stream, poe, webviewer and cms software included, audio,” and two “Concealed clock radio.”

Seriously, one has got to be joking – placing cameras in a plant, dvd burner or coffee tray, may have advantages if one is trying to catch someone who is fudging their taxes, but one would think with today’s electronic world, that task might not be too difficult, nor require any extra effort on the parts of the individual IRS Agent.

Although there is that Obama Care oversight that is pending – and that may have IRS Health Police agents need more “high-Tech equipment in order to found up those who would not have insurance. Either way, it’s ridiculous – especially for an agency that perhaps, more than any other is feared by the average citizen. If one makes a mistake on a tax return, one can anticipate an audit, and if one is audited, one has to lug all their records, etc., to an office and go over everything with a fine tooth comb – when found not in errors, one has wasted a day – but the relief that one is no longer in the building, innocence aside is palpable.

Now they want spy equipment, why not? Every other agency spends gazillions of U.S. taxpayer’s dollars on - to put it bluntly stupid things – this would most likely fall under the category of the IRS with an abundant budget and a need to spend it immediately – looking for something tangible that may someday come in handy.

Perhaps, just perhaps, if the administration had come out and explained exactly what was going on – admitted that they knew about (name a problem) and then just noted their abject sorrow over name a problem, and that they would fix it post haste and demote (not promote) those who were responsible for making (name a mistake) – this would not be an issue.

1984, for those who may not be aware, is a fictional novel – the reality of the situations are much more benign, - more Larry, Moe and Curly, more Get Smart – more ridiculous than nefarious – some with consequences that are serious indeed, however, it is nothing more than those that don’t what to do, doing it badly.

That’s what elections are for, followed by housekeeping and common sense approach to the U.S. budget – and we can keep on dreaming that any of that will take place.

As to the young man who blew the whistle on the massive invasion of privacy – with youth and passion and a sense of liberty and justice, he is, in a word, heroic. Although one might find his actions brash in the face of “terrorism” – the manner, in which the government was going about collecting data, would make any red blooded, young liberty minded individual speak out – especially if they had read 1984.

Give the kid a break –he caught a giant expenditure, and invasion of privacy – to whit, he feared out administration so much he fled the country, but, point being, it’s one which should take the tactic – good job uncovering this mess – were ‘pulling it and going back to the original doctrine of hunting just for terrorist – you just save use gazillions of dollars – want to take a look at the budget?!!!

In a perfect world.

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