Friday, June 21, 2013

You Think It's Just The NSA?

So you think a little government spying on your private communications will be the extent of it? You don't think anyone with any authority at all doesn't see what the government is doing and won't feel free to exert more authority than they think they have already?

Extra-judicial management at NALS-owned Tierra Pointe Apts
Here at the soon to be fashionable Tierra Pointe Apartments on Los Volcanes, which is owned by Nevins Adams Lewbel Schell (NALS Apartment Homes) of Santa Barbara, CA, someone parked in a handicapped space Wednesday morning and their car was booted. No questions. No asking to see if they had a permit that might have been delayed or lost. No judge, no jury. They were just denied the use of their car, which is what theft is.

Have a medical emergency? Tough luck. Need to go to a job interview? Go to hell. Pay us 75 bucks and we'll see about finding who has the key after we get out of a meeting, unless of course it's after the office closes. Then it will be the next day.
I was driving back from Holbrook this week and actually heard a national public radio propaganda piece that chirped about how all this surveillance boosts the economy. Your stock portfolio is swollen because of it, buddy, by all the contracts all these private companies get to write spying software and install the millions, now, of cameras that follow you everywhere, and write the facial recognition software which means that they now track you from surveillance system to surveillance system. You have a 24 hour tail. But no problem. You're safe. You were never in danger, but you're safe.

The corporate media is a cheerful part of the government's propaganda campaign to put us back to sleep. Don't worry about giving up the civil liberties that made America America, the role model of the earth and the envy of everyone else. And if the government thinks it has leeway to do as it pleases, to err on the side of itself, and the media just cheers them on, do you think the Big Brother mentality won't spread? Do you think the authoritarian impulse that leads government to take powers unto itself won't lead everyone who has any kind of authority to do the same?

Here at the soon to be locked down Tierra Pointe apartments, the owners are already taking the law into their own hands, have already taken what authority they think they have and gone far beyond what it says in the law. If you do something management doen't like you get a notice on your door that you're in violation of your lease. This has happened to me twice. I work nights, sleep days. I bought a couple free standing air conditioners. There's a plastic panel that the hot air vent fits into. You close the sliding window on the panel. They saw that and put a notice on my door that I was in violation of my lease. There's nothing in my lease I'm remotely in violation of. I put some sheets up to block out the daylight, inside the venetian blinds, so that I could, you know, sleep. They put a notice on my door. You're in violation of your lease.  I was not. There's a clause in the lease, any new rules become part of the lease, but there's been no rules about sheets or air conditioners issued in the five years I've lived here, and there's no list of rules that we've been given or that you can view, except as it exists in the fetid authoritarian impulse that drives someone's sense of grandeur, that will only swell further now.

A guy in the office, a good guy, told me the owners come in now and then to do a "walkaround," and that's probably when I got my notices. He said to go ahead and use my air conditioners, and I've learned to sleep, after a fashion, without the sheets. These examples demonstrate the power a property owner has, and power is vested in all kinds of ways in our society. Civilization amounts to a set of rules by which we live together without resort to power. The power comes from our mutual agreement to the rules. But suddenly that agreement's been tossed out the window. If someone has power and abuses it, and gets away with it, what can you do now? What am I going to do, sue Nevins Adams Lewbel Schell, I, who works 13 hour days minimum, often several more, lives paycheck to paycheck, always pays his rent early, never asks them to come and fix anything, picks up litter, sweeps the sidewalk, whose rent payments entirely finance this investment and everyone's salary here? 

Their newest authority grab is, as I say, the use of "boots" to deny you the use of your personal vehicle when they judge it appropriate. No due process, no questions before it's put on. It's theft. I have a friend who repossesses heavy equipment over in Dallas for Clark Equipment Company. If a construction company gets behind on their payments for a front end loader, Eddie just breaks breaks into the company's equipment yard in the middle of the night and drives off with the front end loader or whatever it is. No due process. No asking if the check didn't get delivered, no asking if arrangements can be made until the construction company gets their money for the job they're working on.

Here in Albuquerque, if you look at a cop crosseyed he can take out his gun and kill you. Period. Nothing will ever happen to him. He will make up a story about seeing you reach for a gun, and the DA will assist him in the coverup. It's done all the time, in Albuquerque and everywhere.

You think it's just the NSA?

The founding fathers, despite their many flaws, knew the effects of government taking unto itself too much authority, knew how it starts and how it spreads. They had lived it. We haven't, but we're about to.


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