A funny thing happened on the way here this morning. The day started as usual, with me turning on my computer, checking emails, a quick peek at Facebook, a hurried glance over the day’s headlines, and logging into my site.
Well, imagine my surprise when, as I reached my log-in page, I bumped into a pimple-faced young man wearing thick, round spectacles, a sky blue button up shirt (pocket filled with an assortment of pens and mechanical pencils), faded jeans, and white sneakers. His pale complexion flushed when he turned and saw me behind him. Of course, I immediately asked what he was doing at the entrance to my website, pressing a juice glass against the door. Well, let me tell you, that nervous young fellow commenced to stuttering and stammering like his tongue and lips were completely out of synch. And, since his right ear was the color of over-ripe cherries, it was obvious that he’d had it pressed against the bottom of the glass, listening.
On the floor next to the geek’s feet were a dozen or papers, all laying at various angles, like he’d been shuffling through trying to find a particular page. Before the stranger could object, I reached down and grabbed a couple of the lined sheets, and I was startled by what I saw written in bold, blue ink—The Graveyard Shift. Past keywords…guns, ammunition, dead bodies, rigor mortis, police, bad guys, terrorists….
Well, being the clever detective that I am, I immediately figured out the guy was spying on my website. Another glance down the page and I discovered my Verizon cell number. And then I saw credit card activity, email addresses, passwords, and NSA… That’s the National Security Agency. The Feds. I had to look away because this was making me ill. Not only was the guy spying on my website, he’d been monitoring my every move, which explained the bump I heard on the front porch last night (he was probably outside our windows, peering in to count the number of blueberries I’d placed on top of my 8pm snack of yogurt and fresh fruit).
I knew I had nothing to hide, but the thought of government computer geek secret agents watching me as I go about my daily business is a bit troubling to say the least. I started to think…hard. Were they also monitoring my water usage. Are they counting my flushes? How about watching me in the shower? Do I use too much shampoo? Can they read my mind? Am I a soap-waster?
Do the NSA super-secret squirrels know about the piece of chocolate I ate yesterday. I know it’s against doctor’s orders, but it was calling my name. After all, it was that delicious dark chocolate from Trader Joes that I like so much.
You know, I’m all for keeping U.S. citizens safe, and I’m willing to go the extra mile to do so. But we already have TSA agents feeling up old ladies and pawing through our unmentionables. We’ve been forced to become the timid and submissive air traveler who cannot complain about crappy service out of fear of being booted off a flight or being placed on a no-fly list. We have cameras at every street corner, on nearly every telephone pole, spy drones that look like hummingbirds, and satellite photography that’s so powerful it can zoom in on the hair on a gnat’s rear end. We’re told what and how much to eat, and our favorite TV shows are interrupted so someone can tell us this is all for our own good.
Instead of watching hard-working, honest Americans, how about finding out why it is that we’re forced to pay crazy-high taxes so politicians and the IRS can spend the money on lavish parties, conventions, trips, and gifts for themselves. The government spends our money like there’s a never-ending supply of the stuff (Their philosophy…don’t worry, if we run out of cash we’ll simply raise taxes on the people who make less than we do).
And then there are things like this that really burn my biscuits…
– $30 million spent on catfish inspections by two separate agencies, while Homeland Security spent $66 million to do the same thing on the same catfish. Why not hire some of those noodlers we see on TV? Those folks make a weekend out of playing in muddy water, reaching their ham-hock size hands beneath stumps and logs to retrieve catfish the size of small rhino’s. And they do it for free, and I’ll bet they know just as much if not more about catfish than the average guv’ment man or woman.
– The military spends more than $1 billion each year on 159 contractors that translate foreign languages. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy assorted copies of Rosetta Stone and distribute them to some of the catfish-counters who might then have a real job?
– The National Technical Information Service sells reports to other federal agencies, 75% of which can be found online for FREE!
And, of course, there are the pocket change items, like the $90,000 spent to upgrade security at a spring training camp for professional baseball players.
So I have an excellent idea, U.S. government spy-on-me-folks, how about turning the camera lenses around and let the citizens watch you guys for a change. Then again, I don’t think I want to see what you guys do behind closed doors. It’s already bad enough seeing what’s made public.