transparency in government

ok i’m pissed off about something. this (the link below) is not it per se, but it is an example of what it is that i am pissed off about, and it reminded me of that fact and snapped things into a clearer focus. it’s the panopticon that is our government. everyone bandies that term around when talking about the surveillance of google mail, or real player, or whatever is the hot-button corporate privacy infringement issue.

but you know who’s really the chief offender here? the u.s. government. at a time in which technology should be providing extensive transparency into the machinations and spending of the u.s. government, there is increasing obfuscation and hiding of the details behind what it does and why it does it. all this at the same time our government is pressuring other countries and foreign corporations into financial transparency.

why is this an issue? because it’s OUR money that’s being spent. and there is less accountability in government than ever before, at a time when there should be MORE accountability, by virtue of the technology available.

if there are large misappropriations of funds going on by government agencies, it is highly unlikely that we will find out, and then only when it is too late. who cares what al qaeda would do with information about financial misconduct in government…there would be serious rioting by the american people if people were aware of the scale of chicanery and theft going on at this moment in time. (keep an eye on the government-insured securitization of mortgages, fannie mae and freddie mac, to say nothing of defense spending).

then again, this may just be me being paranoid. because i don’t have all the facts. nobody does. it doesn’t stop me from being suspicious though. deeply suspicious. oooohhhh alanis is on the internet radio! huh what was i talking about?

Bush Administration’s Novel Secrecy Excuse
  • Center for Public Integrity: Foreign Lobbyist Database Could Vanish. The Justice Department claims merely copying its foreign agents database could destroy it.

  • This would be funny if it wasn’t such an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

    [Dan Gillmor’s eJournal]

    have i mentioned

    there have been gale warnings out on the bay all this weekend. i’m feeling a little grumpy about being landlocked.

    …GALE WARNING NORTH OF THE BAY BRIDGE THROUGH TUESDAY…

    .TODAY…SW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT…EXCEPT 20 TO 30 KT WITH GUSTS TO
    40 KT NORTH OF THE BAY BRIDGE. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.

    fahrenheit 9/11

    saw it last night with phil in downtown berkeley. local fixture slappy (bartender at club mallard) was at the front of the line. we were 5 people back. not going to add to the noise of everyone expressing an opinion about the movie except to say that i hope it has an effect on the election. because if bush is reelected there is a 90% chance that i will be adding “expatriated” to the string of adjectives i use to describe myself.
    i am pretty excited by 2 things from the mac worldwide developers conference today at moscone:

    from the wwdc today

    Tiger iChat will support the ability for up to 10 people to chat together in audio simultaneously. Up to three video users can chat, as well.

    The Tiger version of Safari, Apple’s own home-grown Web browser, will sport integrated RSS aggregation including a new RSS-based search feed, according to Jobs.