Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Freedom? What freedom?

Just finished reading more horror tales about the TSA. Rape victims being thrown to the floor when they recoil in terror from being groped by TSA agents, six-year-old little girls crying and begging "don't touch me there", in spite of the fact that John Pistole, the head of TSA, has publicly stated no children under twelve would be groped, er, be subjected to an "enhanced at-down".

Now I have read that the government is requiring the installation of "black boxes", data recorders, in every new vehicle sold starting tomorrow, June of 2011. Ostensibly, these devices are placed so that information can be obtained concerning the moments leading up to an accident, including speed, braking, seat belt use, etc. Similar to the data recorder in commercial aircraft. (Will they now be required in civilian aircraft as well?)

[Notice in this photo that the box appears to be marked for a 2004 GMC Envoy. I believe that means that many vehicles sold before June of 2011 already have the boxes, but the will begin to be mandatory starting tomorrow. And all of you folks who love your OnStar? You are already complete with all the equipment needed to track your movement and vehicle operation, but you have the added benefit of a remote operator being able to shut your vehicle off even while you are driving it.]

You can see where this is going, can't you? Weren't wearing your seat belt when someone crashes into you running a red light? You still get a ticket, and your insurance company refuses to pay for treatment of your injuries because you weren't being responsible for your own safety. Exceeding the speed limit when it happened? Another ticket, and perhaps your insurance company now refuses to pay for repairs to your vehicle (I did mention the other driver was an illegal alien without any insurance of his own, didn't I? Or an otherwise responsible citizen who let their insurance lap because they lost their job in this recession?)

Government has become so intrusive, it is possible to claim with strict veracity that we are as put upon as people who lived in Soviet-era Russia. Sure, we have a much better life-style, more comfort, but as far as movement within the country, surveillance by camera and tracking devices, etc. the Soviets couldn't hold a candle to our government.

How many of you realize that law enforcement has started seizing GPS units from vehicles they have stopped, to document the speeds the vehicle has been traveling at? Didn't know that data was stored on your unit, or just didn't think about having it removed from your vehicle without a warrant? Remember, there is no Fourth Amendment anymore. Post 9/11 TSA and the Supreme Court of Indiana and the Supreme Court of the United States have seen to that. May I make a recommendation? If you are stopped for speeding, or are involved in an accident where you were exceeding the speed limit just prior to the accident, know ahead of time how to wipe the memory on you device, especially if it is built into the vehicle, as so many are these days. I think you can do that with most units, currently at least. If not, and it is portable, consider destroying it. Replacement would be cheaper than any ticket you might receive, although you might lose in court and have to pay anyway. It's unlikely you'll slide if they have the data from your Tom Tom or Garmin. (Besides, I'd rather deprive the pr*cks
of the satisfaction of seizing my unit.)

If you have a vehicle that already has a data recorder, what can I say? Personally, I would rather pay a fine for tampering with, or removing, the unit (I wonder how draconian they will get with that bit of legislation?) than to suffer the consequences of the fines involved or loss of coverage should anything untoward happen.

I am probably being naive, though. Somehow I think the insurance companies will be quick to include new restrictions in our policies that negate coverage if we knowingly tamper with such a device, don't you? Law enforcement and the courts will most likely make such tampering presumptive evidence of guilt in any accident or traffic stop that occurs after disconnecting or destroying said device.

And you thought you were still "free", didn't you? You own guns, have permission from the government for concealed carry (unless you are lucky enough to live in one of the four states that recognizes the Second Amendment), can still drive your car from Point A to Point B without passing through a metal detector, skin-irradiating scanner, or sexual assault by TSA. You are still allowed - sometimes - to assemble peacefully (if you get a permit first), speak your mind (at least 1000 feet away from any mosque), and live where you want (until Pfizer, or Bechtel, or your local imam wants your property under eminent domain.) You can still vote for the socialist candidate of your choice, and vote for laws that protect your needs or desires (until the Federal Department of Justice decides it will not enforce those laws, like DOMA, or against AG Holder's "people".) You are still safe within your home, your castle (until SWAT decides they want to pay you a visit, or your local Sheriff decides to do "random house-to-house" searches.)

Yes, we are certainly passing on our long heritage of freedom to our children. If you accept our government's new definition of freedom. For the folks who continue to say, "Yes, but it's still the best place of any on earth", I must ask you: having become use to rape, isn't it swell that you haven't been sodomized? Yet. Could it be that it is getting awfully close to the time when it will be necessary (it is already desirable) to "tamper with or destroy" the mechanism of injustice?


  1. For what it's worth, back around 2001 a libertarian friend told me cars were coming with these installed. The insurance companies loved them. Saved money on litigation - people were less likely to go to trial if the "black box" showed they were speeding, or distracted (improper reaction times). At the time I had a '90 Jeep and laughed it off.

    A few years later I bought a newer car and I've always assumed it has one.

    I think the current push has a lot to do with that proposal to tax you per mile you drive, rather than just a gasoline tax. In addition to the gas tax.

  2. If that proposal passes, I'll have to spend more time on my motorized bicycle.
    Won't it be pleasant to be taxed more than once on the same activity? Remids me of friends who lived near Seattle. They were charged for the water they used and then charged an equivalent amount on the "sewage" based on their water usage, even though a large percentage of thew water used was applied to their lawn, and never made it down the sewer with the rest of their grey and black water.

    Panama and Costa Rico are starting to become a little more attractive.


Sorry, folks. I was completely ignorant about comment rules. Anyone can post, but I'd prefer a name, even if it is made up. Anonymous posts just seem cheap, if you know what I mean. Also, if you want to argue a point, that's fine. Cheap shots and name calling towards me or another person commenting (ad hominem) is rude and will get you banned. Other than that, I'd love to get some comments.