Deborah Davis vill be avested for disoveying ORDERZ!

From Papers Please,
Deborah Davis is a 50 year-old mother of four who lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Her kids are all grown-up: her middle son is a soldier fighting in Iraq. She leads an ordinary, middle class life. You probably never would have heard of Deb Davis if it weren't for her belief in the U.S. Constitution.
Federal Public Transportation Pass

One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.

On the 9th of December 2005, Deborah Davis will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in a case that will determine whether Deb and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show "papers" whenever a cop demands them.

You see, it's not illegal to be anonymous. It's not illegal to lack zee proper papers. But, if you lack the papers or refuse to produce them, that's the crime. This echoes of the only inkling of true crime in the homelessness issues: it's not illegal to be poor, or be asleep; but it is illegal to sleep outdoors-- therefore making the homeless into law breakers.

Our privacy is blown. I said this before. The problem today is that information is currency and we're being robbed. Saying that we want to retain our privacy is like saying we don't want to ingest car exhaust. Sure it can and should happen, but it's not going to happen.

My problem/solution is synonymous transparency. The government wants open-ended access to our lives. Well, fine. You're going to take it, take it. The government can get it via brute force. They can also get it through privacy invasions available through the private sector (like cellphone lookups and call records). The government is a government by and for the people; so theoretically, the thieving of our privacy is for our own good. Yeah, I don't really believe that either, but let's sip the kool-aid for a moment. The government is a government by the people, so everything in those buildings is ours. Every stick of furniture; every piece of paper; every bit on every one of their/our hard drives. That information should be openly available to us. The government does have freedom of information rules to emplore them to release information, but they usually use the legislation to block the freedom of information. That's where we're being robbed. Civil servants and our elected official are doing what they want and they are keeping us out of our own buildings.
They're not? Not keeping us out? Not our buildings? In the last provincial election, I had the option of voted for a candidate I hated, a candidate who annoyed me or one of several candidates who wouldn't get elected. I took option #2: NDP leader, Carole James. When the BCTF strike started to proliferate into other parts of the public sector, we called for our MLA who is also the NDP leader to voice our concerns over what she was doing to help the teachers and the general public. We got a form letter. When we asked another local MLA for him to take action or last placate us, we got a form letter. In a quiet and passive-agressive way, they're keeping us out of government. I know of people who have pursued freedom of information requests and they were blocked all the way. When I have put in Freedom of Information requests, I've been ignored half of the time. Shame. Shame on the government that wants me to surrender my privacy for the public good but they refuse to do the same. I have some every government and every business lacks: I have human rights. The government isn't allowed to behave this way. Or, more to the point, they aren't allowed, but we're letting them get away with it.
If you think this isn't our government: think again. According the to Canadian Taxpayers Federation, tax free day comes some time in June-- half of our income goes to prop up the government. If the $150,000+ that I've put into the government coffers so far in my lifetime hasn't bought me a glance at some of the paperwork, then something is really wrong.
If something is wrong, can I do something about it? It's going to be hard to make a change. My legislative representative isn't likely to help. Carole James made the mistake that I wanted to vote for her. I wanted to vote for most viable non-Liberal candidate. It was her and so far, she has done a LOUSY job. Her office has pumped out form letters. She voted for her own pay raise, then retracted it when she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. And she schilled for Ben Isitt; Victoria's least unviable non-Alan Lowe mayoralty candidate. Great track record.
The problem with the NDP: they're going to smack the Liberals with kid gloves for as long as they're in opposition. They committed huge abuses while they were in power. They hope to return to power. When they reassume their throne of power they want to have the castle just the way they left it: free of impediments like civil liberties, bereft of potent MLA recall and protection from citizen access to government dealings.
So, while the Deborah Davis case is an isolated incident, it's the beginning of a new era in servitude. We're all free. But, if we break the law, our freedom is curtailed. We're either imprisoned; or fined so that we have less financial freedom (the poor get much less financial freedom after a fine; the rich feel very little from a speeding ticket or a fine). If it is illegal to be anonymous, being quiet is soon to be a criminal offense. Once we're part of the criminal system, we have far fewer freedoms. That means we have to sit there and take it. In the last 100 years, the penal codes in the Western world have ballooned to epic proportions. That means that at some point, you're likely breaking the law. At some point, you'll get called on this and then you have to plead for mercy from the courts. What was legal for your grandfather to do, is now something that you will be punished for and now you have to beg to harmed less.
I have asked myself if I am currently breaking the law. It took a lot of work to be legal. I work from home as an employee and not a business. By not driving, I am not speeding or failing to signal. No porn in my house. No improperly licensed software. No drugs (well alcohol, yes, but that is only illegal some of the time-- like when I am transporting it to and from my home). I have not modified my home so I am not in violation of any building codes. I never raise my voice or my fists. I think I don't even spit outdoors. Am I law abiding enough that I won't end up in front of a judge? No, I am probably breaking some obscure law that lingers on some nearly forgotten page of something in the criminal code. Even if I am not-- given the imbalance of privacy and the mistaken self-assumption that the government and the Crown is correct-- I could end up in front of a judge because of a harmless misunderstanding.

Have your papers ready.


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