Are We Being Watched?

The question is a nod to the practices (recently leaked) and ethics (still mostly unknown) of the federal government agencies and bureaucracies (e.g. CIA, NSA, etc.) throughout Obama’s administration. The question of whether they can watch us is already answered. Even before wikileaks dropped “Vault 7” a lot of people have assumed the government can get into our shit without us wanting them to, and in the Bush era with the Patriot Act government agencies demonstrated they’re all to willing to assume and exercise that kind of power.

This is part of what started the erosion of my support for Obama (or any of the political ideas and causes he’s gotten behind). When he was running, the senator promised a sharp decrease of federal overreach into peoples private lives, railed against the Patriot Act, and promised to give us a transparent government. It became increasingly clear throughout his two terms that whatever intentions he had to do these things (if he had any) they were abandoned early on. At this point, post presidency, the leaks prove he didn’t just fail to deliver, he didn’t just abandon a promise, he went and did the exact reverse of what he promised.

And people call his successor a liar? Please. This motherfucker also promised affordable health care; he went way farther down the path of socialism than what was healthy for our economy, and even in going to those extremes in setting up the legislation – the new revenue and distribution mechanisms and standards, designed to (subtly) redistribute chunks of wealth through the insurance market – it’s turned out to be not just unsustainable but disastrous. All those people Obama bragged about covering? They’re either poor and being paid for by other customers, or they are those other customers, stuck with insurance policies they can’t afford to use.

They’re subsidizing all the newly insured. ACA advocates say those being subsidized need the coverage, and never mind all the people pay for over-priced plans that (due to deductibles also being higher than ever) they can’t use, despite that they’re the ones putting money into the ACA system. Those who make the asinine law functional are the ones that get little to no benefits.

They make it all possible, and they get nothing out of it for themselves.

And you know what? None of that even touches on the larger issue: every time we’re talking about “healthcare reform” we’re really talking about “insurance reform”. That bugs the shit out of me, ’cause the two are not the same and if more attention were paid to the actual health care industry and the insane gouging that goes on via hospital and doctor bills, maybe we could start to bring some sanity to it. The insurance companies are just a fucking distraction from the pricks that make insurance companies “necessary” with their artificially hiked up prices. They’re arbitrary, unnecessary middle men. To my way of thinking, you ought to be able to afford going to a doctor without paying hundreds or thousands to an insurance company “just in case” you need a doctor.

The actual health care industry, not the insurance companies, is the reason you can’t.

I’m wandering though, and to get back to the point, a surveillance state is not something I’m a fan of. Even public cameras every in a given city (or country) tends to irk me a little; the Patriot Act – and the possibilities of where it could lead – irked me a lot more. They tie into a big part of why I would have voted for Obama the 1st time (under 18 at the time) and why I did vote for him the 2nd time: more transparent government, accountable to the people.

And yet the shit wikileaks leaked about the CIA is exactly the kind of thing people thought they were voting to sweep away when they voted for him.

We didn’t get transparency though. Throughout mostof Obama’s 2nd term evidence has gradually and continuously mounted indicating his ’08 campaign promises were just hot air. All said and done, either he ran an administration that condoned and coordinated efforts at unlawful espionage (e.g. tapping Merkel/Germany, surveilling other allies, journalists, etc.) or he ran an administration too incompetent to keep those kind of subversive tactics in check. Whichever happens to be the case, both possibilities signify that in fulfilling his promise of government transparency and accountability, he failed miserably, and a far more capable “big brother” developed under his watch than what formed under Bush. To me, that’s pretty unsettling.


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