Friday, September 23, 2005

Gubmint is watching

So I was going about my daily chores and turned on the TV for noise and distraction, I usually switch to the Space channel (select channel 27 on Videotron in Gatineau), but this time my curiosity was peaked. My ear caught something about the internet and somebody getting into trouble.

I immediately rushed to the TV set, with great chagrin at having to postpone my chores. And there in a french newscast was the story of some twit in Verdun harassing an American.

To start from the beginning of the story, a young man was at a friends place for fun and games and, as it turns out, to make use of chat-rooms on his buddy’s computer. Innocently enough, I suppose, the chat degenerated into a name-calling fest with an unknown person, somewhere in the United States. Buddy, wanting to get the last word in, threatened his interlocutor.

As if one couldn’t see this coming, our hero typed words to the effect that he was Bin Laden’s lieutenant and that he was going to bomb the nasty American at his house.

Chalk one up for double-whammy racism.
Chalk another one up for terminal stupidity.

The news then goes on to interview the hapless father of our hero’s friend, owner of the premises, and I suspect, the computer as well. Remember, this is not his fault, nor that of his progeny, unless you count the boy’s serious lack of judgement in his choice of friends.

The RCMP, and I suspect CSIS might have been around as well, shows up 12 hours later at the house containing the offending computer. By this time our hero is long gone, safely back at home. It was quite unclear, from the news report, as to whether any defence was put up, or if any effort was expended to find who had committed the actual crime. The father, indeed the entire family, is now blacklisted from going into the United States. I don’t know about Buddy.

There is no moral to this story. When you are born stupid, there’s just nothing you can do about it.

What surprises me is that it took 12 hours for the fuzz to show up. I somehow figured that Homeland Security would be quicker on the trigger. I also suppose that communications take a little bit longer than an email imparting upon the RCMP to do something about this idiot in Verdun.

I’m not overly into conspiracy theories, although I hold the opinion that the government is always watching, regardless of how free we think we are. Or worse, we are suckered into thinking we are free. And so we are, within certain unknown limits and unwritten guidelines, which we cannot change, and unless we have an insane amount of power we cannot influence.

I will not condone threats upon human life. It is illegal and rightly so.

My issue is with blacklisting someone who as not been proven guilty of anything, not in any court of law. Innocent until assumed guilty by some all-empowered government entity!

Our hero deserves whatever he gets, for sure. But there is something inherently wrong about spraying accountability left, right and centre. Should the father have kept an eye on his boy’s friend? Should he have locked down the computer with parental controls? Should he disconnect the internet as soon as a non-family member enters the house?

I think not.

During my teenage years I had the opportunity of working with a guy who was, of his own volition, a dedicated troublemaker. I could not verify the audacity nor veracity of his claims, but I had no reason to doubt him. He was definitely a violent sort and had the physical attributes to back up what he claimed. He went on to explain how he’d destroyed school property, breaking and entering and general theft, torched cars, raped girls and assaulted guys. The list goes on.

I asked him once if he was afraid of getting caught. He replied deadpan that he didn’t care because he was under aged and that his record would essentially be expunged of all wrong doings upon turning 18. My jaw dropped.

Regardless whether any of this was true or not, here I faced a teenager, completely out of any control that could possibly be exercised by any of society’s tools. And we as a society believe, even for a moment, that holding his father, or worse, his friend’s father responsible for his actions would yield any results whatsoever? Fuck and ½.

Maybe the government should be watching these individuals, but they aren’t. It is much easier to watch the general populace and keep the masses under control, for this is what the government truly fears. So what if a few bad apples spoil everything for the general populace, the government’s business case is quite clear. I’m not angry with this per se, simply dismayed.

Government systematically exercising unchecked power leads to revolution. Like car size, there is a limit that people will put up with. Abuse of powers, be it knee jerk lawmaking that is so rampant today, or unilateral decrees bypassing due process, see the blacklisting example above, have been steadily eroding our human rights.

I am worried about where all this is going. Any revolution is a very long ways out, because the typical Canadian doesn’t see, nor believe what I am claiming here. Maybe I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist; time will tell if I’m right.

Alternately, if the federal fuzz shows up at my door tomorrow morning, then I’ll know for sure...


Blogger Martin said...

Dumb folks are everywhere. They're driving cars, buying grapefruit and raising other dumb childs. Everytime I play Texas Held 'em poker online - I am reminded that anyone, and I mean ANYONE can turn on a computer begin to show their dumbness.

I, too, have had an occasional bouts of dumbness. It doesn't last very long but long enough for me to show the world my lack of sharpness. For example - I have absolutely no idea what 'Gubmint' means? Can you please enlighten me.


September 26, 2005 12:36 a.m.  
Blogger Steve said...

Gubmint = redneck pronounciation of government...

September 28, 2005 11:20 a.m.  
Blogger Martin said...

Hah! Luv it.

September 28, 2005 12:39 p.m.  

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