Control Sucks, Or: Hey! FBI! Investigate me!
So I read that in Texas they’ve got a program where undercover officers hang around bars and arrest drunk people. The justification is that they might get into a car. One legislator said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that someone might not be driving at the moment but that could change and we need to prevent that. *Huh?*
Oh, it gets better. Oregon is the first state that I know of to announce that it’s investigating a program to put black boxes in everyone’s car. They’ll track your mileage and tax you for what you drove in Oregon so that they don’t have to raise the gas tax. Again, *huh?* Wouldn’t raising the gas tax be so much simpler?
I realize I’m simplifying things but I feel like the underlying theme is control. I won’t say that I’m worried about where this control is going because I know slippery slope arguments are crap and that no trend continues indefinitely. I’m just pissed off, is all. The justice department is giving itself a lot of power in the name of hunting down terrorists, the government is looking at putting black boxes in your cars to track you (it’s not just Oregon looking at this), I’ve heard the term “fat tax” too many times in the past year as a way to reduce health care costs… and I know most of you are with me on this. The government should be losing control over our lives, not gaining it.
So who’s supporting them, who’s doing all this? Well, most of us. We can all look in the mirror. A pregnant woman dies when a drunk driver hits her, so we demand our legislators protect pregnant women with a law that makes it illegal to harm a fetus. Which, by the way, is such a complete joke, because I’d like you to find me the drunk driver that thinks of the laws he’s going to be violating when he gets behind the wheel. We get our planes hijacked by terrorists, so we demand security that ends up with us all walking around shoeless in the airport and has children getting put on no-fly lists. We ask for more protection for the environment and the Army corps of engineers is unable to pursue a project to reinforce New Orlean’s levees.
We stress so damn much about our schools that we push for increased programming and watching and monitoring and security and then we wonder why our damn property tax bill is so high and why an 8 year-old gets sent home for sexual harassment. Or we whine about a double standard when a man rapes one of his students but a female teacher gets off light – let’s quit being PC and just be honest. The woman should get a lighter sentence than the guy. It has to do with the dynamics of sex. I’m sure Debra LaFavre seduced or manipulated the kid, but it just isn’t the same as an older man seducing a girl. Or worse, using physical threats and intimidation. Women are pretty incapable of rape, despite what PC-mania might have us believe.
It has to do with taking things too far. It has to do with applying rules blindly, all in the name of doing what kinda-sorta sounds right – or at least won’t get us sued. So government agencies, schoolboards, and the like blindly follow rules and laws when they can because they believe it’s the safest path. It’s not the right path, it’s the safest.
So come on, everyone! When you wake up tomorrow and you read the newspaper and you’re shocked that shit happened to someone somewhere, write to your legislators! Demand more laws, more oversight, more regulation! Give up your freedoms! Control the fat, the lazy, the misguided children, control the poor, control the middle class, control our cars, control our speeds, control our habits, control our sex, control the violence with more laughable hate crime laws – we’ll all be really, really safe.
I’m just pissed off.