Thursday, June 02, 2005
Who Do You Fear?
Paranoia, Phones and Phobias

I firmly believe that paranoia is not always a bad trait; in fact it may be good in some instances.

Some people fear nothing, some fear everything. There are people who cannot function in the normal world because of their fear and paranoia. There must be a reasonable middle ground.

If you didn’t have some paranoia and fear wash over your conscience, midmorning of Sept. 11, 2001, you had to have been one of those that was born on the wrong side of the womb. No human being could watch a live television newcast showing fellow humans jumping from the burning inferno of a high-rise building, and not have fear and paranoia creep into their soul. Of course this is exactly what the terrorist’s wanted. But today I am thankful that time has brought some paranoia into these same brutes life. Good, I hope every time they see a soldier involved in fighting the war on terror, they tremble in their sandals.

I don’t want to talk about that horrible day, but what I do want to talk about is related in many ways.

Some people claim that when walking through a high-crime area, it is best to look relaxed and unafraid. I disagree. I can only tell you that our brave soldiers in harms way don’t patrol the streets of Baghdad, relaxed and unafraid. Having talked with many of our countries warriors, they all acknowledge that they are scared to some degree while in a war zone. I see no merit in the plan of being relaxed and unafraid when in harms way. I think perhaps that theory was put forth by the thieves and thugs who wish to prey on other citizens. If I am paranoid about my surroundings I am looking closer and paying attention to what is happening around me. So in my opinion cautious paranoia can be useful.

Some neocons and libertarians, display considerable paranoia about the government. I contend that this paranoia is good in most cases, but bordering on the ridiculous in a lot of other scenarios.

To prove my point I will share one danger many people fear, in fact believe will doom us all, and then calmly I will blow holes in this theory.

I have heard many people complaining about the Justice Department, and particularly about the now departed John Ashcroft, bemoaning that there were plans to expand the government’s ability to listen to and monitor or even tape our phone conversations. They always used the argument that went something like this: “Would you want the government listening to all of your conversations? Would you want the government to know everything you say on the phone?

I would always try to reason with these people that were so concerned, explaining that law-abiding citizens would have nothing to fear. After a snicker and even a laugh, the person would usually say something like. “That is too much power for the government to have, they don’t have the right to know everything about everyone.”

I argue that the government and law enforcement agencies DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW ONE BASIC THING ABOUT YOU; ARE YOU THE ONE WHO COMMITTED A CRIME THEY WANT TO SOLVE? or ARE YOU PLOTTING ANOTHER 9-11 TYPE ATTACK?

Sadly, we as citizens give very little help to our law enforcement agents; in fact we hinder more than we help. Oh, but let a crime touch our life, and wow do we ever complain and grip that the police are not doing enough to catch the ‘perps.’

But back to the Justice Dept. wanting more legal right to listen and record phone conversations.

This will be a simple exercise in reality. The math will prove that we are a little too paranoid in this instance.

Here is the problem spelled out for you, we fear the government will listen to all of our conversations on the phone, be it landline or cellular. Rather than take weeks to research the actual figures, I will estimate the facts I use for my argument so conservatively, that you will see the point.

Let’s start out with a conservative estimate of the population of America. Instead of the 280+ million, (not counting illegal immigrants, our univited guests) let’s use 250 million, 250,000,000 people in the USA.

Now how many of that number will spend time on a phone of some type on any given day?

Let us use a low estimate of 60%.

We now have a figure of 150 million people who use telephones.

The next assumption is the hardest to get a true and accurate grip on; I want to guess how many hours the average telephone user will talk on the phone in ONE DAY.

Judging by what I see, it is entirely too much. I often wonder why I don’t spend more time on the phone, am I abnormal in some way? Go look around at a shopping mall, and every other teenager is talking on a cell phone while walking or shopping. Even in the parking lot, you see people leaving their cars with a cell phone to their ear. I drive truck and I notice that way too many people are yapping on the phone while driving, (If only they knew that I am not a ditch diver. Mess up in a 4 wheeler in front of my 18 wheeler and you are on your own). When I go to the grocery store, almost every aisle has a shopper stopped, blocking my progress while talking on a cell phone. Go to a concert, and every other person will have a cell phone.

When was the last time you went out to eat at a restaurant, and heard no cell phones ring? Or a movie?

I was at a George Strait concert recently and noticed that both ladies and men were waiting at the entrance walkway that George Strait would be taking to the stage. I witnessed a very strange happening: the lights in the large arena dimmed and everyone knew it was about time for the star to walk the 200 or so feet to the stage. There was naturally a fence to keep the fans from George, but alongside of that fence were several hundred fans, maybe as much as 400, all packed together. As the excitement mounted, I noticed that all of the people crowding at the walkway had cell phones, probably camera phones, and had them on. The small LCD displays of the phones made an eerie sight. It was dark and the LCD phone displays were dancing like stars in a cloudy sky.

Phones are everywhere, all the time. Have you ever had the opportunity to see the printout of a teenagers cell phone use for one month? The last one I saw was 24 pages of small type. Teenagers, boys and girls, spend a lot of time on the phone. A lot, yes in one month my daughter can talk over 60 hours. She also spends hours on the hardwired phone. I guess she does this to let the cell phone cool down.

I often think I am a hermit, when I consider my cell phone use, as compared to my teenage daughter’s. But I still find myself talking on the phone for over one hour a day.

For our exercise here I am going to use the figure of 90 minutes. Yes I think this is a conservative estimate, but let’s use it. Use it for what you may wonder? Well here’s my hypothesis; There is no way the government could monitor all of it’s citizens phone calls, no way. How many government employees would have to be hired to listen to the conversations of its citizens. 1,000, 5,000, or even 10,000?

OK, here we go, lets examine.

150,000,000 citizens talking 90 minutes a day would talk for 225,000,000 hours on the phone, a day.

Let’s be generous, as all ‘neocons’ are, and drop that number down to 200,000,000 hours of phone use a day.

These employees of the government that would be hired to eavesdrop would work 8 hours each day. Ha, ha, more like 4 hours if the taxpayers are lucky. But we’ll underassume the hours and say, each government worker, actually works 8 hours.

Just to listen to the phone calls of American’s citizens, would take 25,000,000 new government employees.

And these employees would have to spend every minute of every workday listening.

Oops……..forgot a few things……..

Someone would need to work the weekends……we would have to hire another 8,000,000 new employees to cover the weekend talk. That makes 33,000,000 new employees, But Wait, (like they say on the infomercials) we aren’t finished…….

Those 33,000,000 million government workers would need a lot of supervision, especially if we were to expect 8 hours of work for 8 hours pay.

The government ratio of supervisors to grunts is high. It is probably 1 supervisor for 5 grunts, but let’s be kind and use 1 supervisor for every 10 grunts. It would take another 3,000,000 supervisors to supervise the task of listening to all the phone calls of Americans. Our total number needed has now risen to 36,000,000.

Oh silly me, I have forgotten a very big part of the picture, it would take 36,000,000 new employees just to listen to the conversations. The analyzing of the conversations would take time too. Probably one half again as much.

So we have a new total, 54,000,000 new employees would have to be hired to listen to America’s phone talk.

We will forget about the sick days, vacation, and family leave. Oh, and what about the need for employees that could understand all of the different languages that Americans speak. And there would have to be those that interrupt all of the languages into English.

I am sure; now that I have pointed all of this out, the liberal portion of our great democracy will demand that the government listen to all phone talk, just to have 54,000,000 more union members, voting for the union backed candidates.

Perhaps I should never have raised this issue. Should you be concerned about government abuse of power? Why of course you should be, but why in the world would we want to deny our defenders the right to listen to the phone calls of the bad guys. You know the bad guys, as in the ones who plot to kill our citizens, disrupt our economy and bring down our country. The ACLU will take a different view than the average citizen, nothing new there; the ACLU has nothing to do about America or Civil Liberties. They are here to bring about the end of America as we enjoy it today. Look around, be paranoid, but paranoid of the real enemy……..Terrorists and The ACLU lawyers that defend them in our courts.

1 comments:

Blogger booklover9191 said...

he fears me...and he should...Lol...only if i drink too much...but I find it interesting that this is the thread that appears on Google....LOLOLOL!

Cosmic Nudge?
booklover9191

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