Titles give so much, and I have so much to give to you today that even a title seems lacking in the proper impact. My venom is omnipresent. I spend five minutes chasing one story and I end up ass-ending into half-a dozen acts of insane and thoroughly illegal breaches of the Constitution, all of them "justified" by the current political climate. That in mind, I offer you my blotter for the first day of August. I'll develop them in the near future, but here's the rough idea.
First off, take a look at your printer. Odds are, your printer has been designed to fingerprint you. That's right: your printer works for the FBI. In an effort to combat counterfeiters and anyone else they don't like, the Justice Department, working with printer manufacturers, have redesgined printers so that they print out a pattern of distinct yellow and/or off-white dots that create a fingerprint for your computer. What does this mean? Print out 100 copies of this article. If one is found and you are arrested, they will be able to prove that it was YOU who printed it out. It basically destroys the anonymity of those who freely distribute questioned material, which yes can include illegal material. But the uses for those purposes are token, and the real use is to destroy your civil rights.
And that brings us to the law.
18 USC 2257 is an anti-pornography statute, forced into new authority under the Bush Administration. Basically, the law dates back to the Clinton Era and requires all pornographers to keep detailed dossiers of featured models that certify that they are of legal age. There was a court case in said era which stated that the original publication was responsible for these documents. Not anymore. Now anyone who wishes to post it must keep detailed information about any model appearing on their site, all legal age-verrification data. This is, in short, impossible. What it amounts to is a right-wing atempt to push porn off the internet. And since porn is risque by its very nature, no one of consequence will defend it.
I, for my part, do not care if their titties or horror pictures of the children's wing at Abu Ghraib. This is an attempt to remove undesirable content from a public forum. While not of catastrophic significance, it is ultimately further evidence of the underhanded and Gestapoesque techniques this administration uses.
And for the record, I know of at least one underaged porn star who was outed, Tracy Lords. In an article published on AVN, what is essentially the Porn News, it was clearly stated that the false documents she provided, along with the four other known child porn stars, would have fooled even the tests imposed under this law. It is, in effect, as misdirected as the baggage checks on the NYC subways.
And last but certainly not least, I give you the VeriChip. Big Brother is here, and people are welcoming him with open arms. Brace yourself. They're already being used in emergency rooms. The basic device is a microchip implanted in your arm that allows you to be tracked and barcoded. A scan of it can reveal your number, which is then used in conjunction with the database to access your entire medical records. Unfortunately, it's also being used for security purposes. See for yourself. The selling point is a cashless, more secure society. The reality is an invasive, branded society where you have no safety and you're laid bare before anyone who can subscribe to the database. The selling point is tagging children to prevent kidnapping. The reality is tagging people to keep them in line.
It's voluntary at the moment, but so were cell phones once. Now they're all-but-mandatory for some professions now. A situation where it is mandatory for you to be "chipped" for security purposes or for health purposes is not that far off and it is far from an outside chance. We do have companies now firing smokers so they don't have to pay their health benefits, after all (Weyco, in case you're wondering). Don't delude yourself into thinking this extreme won't be met. Do us all a favor, don't get chipped, no matter how strong the allure.
There's the blotter. More on this later, especially the VeriChip.