Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It would be interesting

If it weren't so sad and scary.

I mean, the current big big scandal, the one involving the place sometimes called no such agency, and the fact that they allegedly now know that I've called my dad on my cell phone while doing my taxes in order to have a bitch session about how awful the IRS instructions are, and how they should just get rid of it and replace it with a flat tax....

But if it weren't so scary, it would be interesting. I have friends from all sides of the political spectrum who are outraged about this, who are either aghast that their government would do something, or who knew it all along and this is just proof. And apparently the ACLU is involved. And some commentators are saying it's not such a big deal - and again, it's people on different sides of the spectrum.

(FWIW: I objected to warrantless surveillance under Bush and I still object to it today. It totally shreds the presumption of "innocent until proven guilty" and it could be construed as a violation of the fourth amendment)

And I know, some folks are arguing, "But we don't have an oppressive government, so if you're not breaking laws, you don't have to worry" but I would at a big YET to a couple points in that statement....we never know what the future holds, and who knows? If there's someone in the IRS who allegedly thinks it's a good idea to move slowly and keep asking for more and more intrusive information on particular groups asking for tax-exempt status, or perhaps even to reveal the names of certain political donors - well, surely there are other suck ups in other agencies who look at which way the wind is blowing (or their own personal hobby horses) and who decide to play fast and loose with the rules themselves.

Maybe, I don't know, there's someone in the Medicare office who looks at requests for treatment, and drags their feet for someone because, meh, they're old, or meh, they're fat, or meh, they belong to a certain political party? And while I'm sure most people who work for the government offices are reasonably ethical - it just takes one jerk to ruin your whole day.

I don't know. I will say I am increasingly wondering what's going on, and has this been going on since 2001, and is there anything we can do to decrease it?

I know of the argument that it is "keeping us safe." Well, you could also argue that locking every citizen up in a prison cell would end street crime, but there's a point where "safety" becomes so constricting that you cease to desire it....

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