Your cellphone. Small, handy, and practically necessary in your day-to-day life, this useful device is the technological friend of millions. But did you know that you favorite little gadget can be tracked by the government? According to the ACLU in this article, Sprint Nexel provided law enforcement agencies with the location of their customers over 8 million times using the GPS chip in their cellphone. Fortunately, the ACLU is pushing hard for privacy legislation to help protect Americans from the prying hands of an overbearing government. Only time will tell if Americans will be able to feel secure in having and accessing their cellphones on a daily basis.
Archive for the ‘Oceanic U.S.’ Category.
Ruben Navarrette, Jr. wrote a a very interesting article on the increasing nativist levels in America, an ironic turn as at one point, we were all immigrants. You can find the article here.
The article is very good, and around the tenth paragraph Navarrette, Jr. has a very nice description of the First Amendment and freedom of speech in terms of societal context. Overall, the article talks about the hatred towards immigrants, both public and private, sanctioned and unsanctioned.
I simply cannot fathom this hatred as immigrants and the acceptance of immigrants are the most crucial parts of what makes America great. It may sound a bit trite, but truly, it is this diversity that has allowed America to flourish and in turn, our acceptance of immigrants has (usually) led to subsequent freedoms that make America a better place to live than anywhere else in the world. America has gone through cycles of nativism against many different groups (i.e. the Polish, the Italians, the Jews, and now Mexicans). These periods are usually among the worst in American history in terms of freedom and they really do showcase the negative side of America. So, hopefully the current era of nativism that we are in now will end quickly so that America can move on to what it does best: freedom.
Of course someone will notice, but if the government is smart (and malicious) enough, they will be able to create a surveillance state driven by restrictions and a powerful and overbearing government.
Very few leaders and governments set out to ruin the lies of their citizens by enacting various forms of oppression on them, however it is sometimes the seemingly benign (and sometimes seemingly helpful) governmental actions that can lead to a dictatorship. And if these actions are implemented slowly, over a long period of time, citizens will become less and less aware of these repressive changes as they become more habituated to them.
Let’s take a common example that by now many of us take for granted. Speed cameras and speed trucks. They are irritating, yes, but very few people nowadays would go out and protest their presence. We have become used to their ubiquitous nuisance, and that is very dangerous because these cameras are part of increasing state surveillance.
This process of habituation can lead to negative, state-sponsored alterations in our society that normally the majority of the American populace would not be ok with, but because of these changes being broadcasted as safer and better for the country combined with the relatively low speed that they are implemented, many of us simply accept these Orwellian societal shifts as actions of trivial and innocuous importance.
This year on March 8th, the coolest videogame of all-time will appear in stores. It is called Homefront, and it is a first person shooter that puts the player in the shoes of an American guerrilla fighter who is resisting North Korean occupation. The setting is near-future America, where America has collapsed economically, and Korea has expanded and decides to invade the U.S. You can find the IGN preview here. The main site for the game is here. I cannot honestly think of a more awesome gaming idea than this one. I mean who doesn’t want to fight evil North Korean soldiers in suburban America? Not only will this game just be fun to play but also it will be eerily relevant as the future that the game foreshadows is one that is scarily plausible.
I cannot wait to see the myriad of North Korean totalitarian elements on American soil.
Oceania, cough cough, sorry, the United States of America is creating a vast intelligence system that will include “thousands of U.S. residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.” They are doing this in an effort to crack down on terrorism in America as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says in a rather scary quote, “The old view that ‘if we fight the terrorists abroad, we won’t have to fight them here’ is just that – the old view.” You can fin the whole Washington Post article here. This is very, very bad. Not only does this system infringe upon the civil rights of innocent people but also this system will cost taxpayers even more money to create something straight out of 1984. I really hope that this falls through somehow, but I am afraid my hopes will not be met. Once the U.S. government sets its eye on expansion and civil restriction, it is very good at following through (see Patriot Act). Just remember, your government is watching….