Tag Archives: Freedom

America

Land Of The Free—Home of the Brainwashed?

While researching a post I chanced upon comment posted by a reader responding to an editorial published in a British newspaper.

Despite its sarcastic conclusion, this comment is, in my view, worthy of sober consideration:

The average American is subject to endless brainwashing from many self-serving and contradictory sources, through their local newspapers, local TV and radio.

Their use of social media simply confirms their beliefs and prejudices.

They hear endless extreme religious propaganda from profit driven “churches”, advertising from companies desperate to make them addicted to fast food and the latest pointless products, political propaganda that’s way more extreme then anything experienced in the UK. This unregulated onslaught leaves them divorced from reality.

If  the “American way of life” were a coin, this comment might well describe the tail.

Capitalism (4th)

As a general principle of American law, people own their personal facts the same way they own their personal shirtsno one may make unauthorized use of either.

Enter surveillance capitalism—making money by selling our personal facts to advertisers, thus destroying our privacy.

One definition of privacy—the ability to control who knows what about us.

This must always be a qualified, not an absolute, right.

Public welfare sometimes demands intrusions, which, in my opinion, should always be strictly regulated by search warrant.

Another definition of privacy—self-selected aloneness—is essential for psychological health, and for cultivating a spiritual life.

Even regarding marriage an Arab poet once wrote, “…let there be a little apartness in your togetherness…”

Off by ourselves we can rest, refresh, become aware of inner guidance helping to solve our problems.

At such times, “heaven speaks.”

Heaven, (however you understand that term), never intended us to live lives devoid of privacy, locked into a technological fishbowl, constantly spied upon by plutocrat capitalists greedy to accumulate ever more money by selling our every discoverable personal fact to interested parties.

Add to this the government’s snooping and it’s plain we need to rethink our understanding of fourth amendment protection from “unreasonable search and seizure.”

It’s would seem that, to many in business and government, our precious the Bill of Rights has become rather inconvenient.

Regarding business, the profit motive does not justify literally anything.

Regarding government, The Constitution is not to be sidelined.

 

“I am a non-participant in social media. I’m not much attracted to anything that involves the willing forfeiture of privacy and the foregrounding of insignificance.”

—Billy Collins

“Facebook says ‘Privacy is theft’ because they’re selling your lack of privacy to the advertisers who might show up one day.”

—Jaron Lanier

“Saying you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

—Jean-Michel Jarre

“Once you’ve lost your privacy you realize you’ve lost an extremely valuable thing.”

—Billy Graham

Taxes (1st)

Property taxes pay for public school systems.

Nobody argues that.

However, a coworker observed that “by enacting property taxes, the government essentially eliminated private property, because one never comes to the point of full ownership of ones property.

There’s always another payment due.

One basically ‘rents’ from the government.  Failure to pay results in eviction. 

Property taxation thus enabled the government to ‘land-grab’ the whole country.”

This argument holds water logically.  And we all know politicians can be pretty tricky.

But I’m wary of jumping to conclusions.

Your comments in support or rebuttal, are welcome.

We All Save String.

A Partial List of Strings, With Commentary.

Authorities, the facts of life, duties, obligations, common sense, the powers that be, scientific truth, tradition, loyalty, allegiance, oaths, superstitions, nationality, political party, race, religion, tribe, our status as human beings, our sexual polarity, our family, social rank, job, system of etiquette, environment, ancestors—-we all acknowledge some combination of these things every day of our lives, mostly by paying our respects, doing our duty, discharging our obligations, and, unthinkingly, by accepting the limitations imposed on our freedom of thought, word, and deed by the same.

So, from one point of view, we live life with many such “strings attached”.  Lots of us wouldn’t feel comfortable if all the strings were suddenly cut away.  We literally wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves.  Is it only because we have come to define ourselves as being merely the sum total of our strings?

Is it realistic to want to live life with “no strings attached?”  Is it sane or insane to ask that question?  Aren’t some strings at least somewhat beneficial some of the time?

What are we without our strings?

What were we before we had strings attached?  What were our capabilities?

Have you ever thought about yourself in this way?