Preventing flight (and all other means of escape)

I can't think of a better reason not to fly than this (link from Radley Balko). Jet Blue shared "confidential" records on 5 million passengers with the federal government, which in turn fed them to private contractors, which then sifted and combed through personal data, including:

1. gender (they mean sex)
2. home specifics - Owner/Renter,...
3. years at residence
4. Economic status -- Income,....
5. Number of children
6. Social Security Number
7. Number of adults
8. Occupation
9. Vehicles
Hey, and that's only what I was able to download freely on the Internet.

Confidentiality is a joke. So is the right to travel. If you want privacy, drive. But don't buy a new car! Seriously; these now contain EDRs (Electronic Data Recorders; the automotive equivalent of the "Black Box" flight data recorder). We're already being photographed everywhere, monitored electronically at toll plazas, and on top of that, now this:

In the Matos case, a judge issued a search warrant allowing the prosecution to harvest the information.

Criminal court cases involving EDRs have been rare, but industry observers expect them more often as the number of vehicles with EDRs increases.

That may make many people unhappy. Fewer than half of the 38,000 surveyed by the Insurance Research Council favored the use of EDRs to investigate accidents and determine fault.

But the insurance industry maintains EDRs are a good idea because the information can help determine what really happened, said Sean McManamy, a spokesman for the American Insurance Association, a lobbying group.

I hate lawyers (even though I guess I am one) but more than lawyers I hate the Insurance industry. They've already ruined the practice of medicine, and it just figures that they're a primary impetus behind this fascistic EDR technology. Almost makes me want to go back to practicing law -- just to retaliate.

Here are a couple of more sites. And of course, unthinking parents are now being sold the idea as a way to keep track of their kids' driving.

While I am not an expert on the EDR issue, a cursory glance shows that GM is the biggest offender. So, if you are going to buy a new car, I would stay away from GM until they take the damned things out or at least allow you to disable them without voiding the warranty.

Speaking of driving, and lawyers, Tiger: Raggin' and Rantin' (who has a really cool, newly designed blogsite) just pointed me to a joke which combines driving, lawyers and religion all at once:

A truck driver was driving down the highway when he saw an elderly priest at the side of the road. He stopped to give him a ride. Further down the road the truck driver saw a lawyer along the side of the road and turned the truck on a direct course to hit him. Then he thought, "Wait, I have a priest in the truck, I can't run down that lawyer."

So at the last second the truck driver swerved to miss the lawyer. Although he thought he hadn't hit the lawyer, the truck driver still heard a thump outside of the truck. He looked in his mirror and saw the lawyer lying unconscious on the side of the road. Ashamed for what he had done, the truck driver turned to the priest and said, "I'm so sorry Father, I really tried to miss that lawyer."

The priest said, "Don't worry son, I got him with my door."

I don't know how to squeeze an insurance executive into that joke, so I left it as it was.

Anyway, I get so frustrated with the rapid growth of totalitarian corporate socialist fascism that I sympathize with this alternative-to-the-courts approach to malpractice under socialized medicine:

There are those who would say that this is why tort lawyers are necessary -- to sue the pants off hospitals and / or ambulance services like this one.

I have a slightly different take.

What's really needed is that we should kill all those inefficient bastards, torch their ambulances, and level the disgusting state-managed hospitals to ground-level, then salt the earth. (Link via Emperor Misha; bold in original!)

That's also called "going Roman" -- and it definitely works as a deterrent.

(How to deter this kind of stuff, though....)

posted by Eric on 09.17.03 at 07:43 PM


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Preventing flight (and all other means of escape):

» The Devil collects premiums? from Tiger: Raggin' & Rantin'
"I hate lawyers (even though I guess I am one) but more than lawyers I hate the Insurance industry. They've already ruined the practice of medicine ...." Eric, Classical Values... [Read More]
Tracked on September 18, 2003 7:33 AM

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