Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Chase Bank: Did We Dodge a Patriot Act Missile?

Or maybe just a bullet? Now anybody stop me if I start displaying signs of paranoia disproportionate to my station in life.

At the bank a while back, I picked up some non-personalized deposit slips. When I went to use one for the first time, I noticed it asked for my "Social Security No./ Tax I.D. No." A new request for privileged information that threatened to treat it more than casually.
This seemed odd. Even I knew only whisper the last four of my sacred identity digits. When I next went in with a deposit, I mentioned to the teller that I hadn't filled it in but had ignored it on purpose, and I must say, she overreacted in quite a fluster, saying they were a misprint, she scratched the line out vigorously with her pen, and gave me a handful of replacements. Chase Bank

But I notice, the replacement slips aren't redesigned, they just removed the request for SS numbers and waste all the space in the line. This doesn't suggest a misprint to me, but rather a formal redesign took place necessitated by a policy change requesting the new information. The slips are dated with the revisions, the one requesting social security number says Rev. (01/05), with the newer version saying (Rev. 08/06)

I don't know why, but I have a feeling we barely dodged some fascist plot here. Maybe somebody who shall go nameless got a little bit ahead of himself in the reality creating business. Not wanting to think about it too much, what other changes would have to occur if as a matter of policy, our social security numbers became worthless for identity theft? We would need some other system, like iris recognition wouldn't we?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

To worship or defy God, as I understand him, is my birthright as a citizen of the United States. I was raised without an awareness, one way or the other, that I'm not a Bishop, or if I am a Prince. That's what an Iowa public education offered in the era, and I imagine they do the same today. I had to learn the truth of those matters the hard way, and it's too bad the American attitude of, "any boy can grow up to be President." will need to be seriously reexamined in the aftermath of the Bush Presidency--the one boy in 300 million that should have been spotted and steered to safe harbor long ago.

I remind myself, the people hurting most in America right now are the former fans and allies of George Bush, for whom everything has gone wrong. Especially those caught up in Iraq, in a near impossible dynamic. Bush could pull something satisfactory out of the hat. He would need to go to the Iraqi people and level with them. It's all about divvying up the oil money, and Bush will need to lose money on the deal, like he's lost on every deal he's ever made, and they knew it to begin with. So rather than surge, so plain and humdrum this time of year, I suggest Bush sticks with a tried winner, Dior's 1947, the New Look--by looking people in the eye, especially the Iraqi people, straight in the eye, and make a deal, it's not like he has ever paid the consequences before. Maybe that's what God wants.

Occasionally I share someone else's connection with their higher power, one that feels distinctly different than mine, sort of like when George Bush hugged James Brown. When I'm trying to be helpful, or be of service somehow, I'm provided with the perfect cover. God has trained me pretty well in these matters. He wants me out of doors everyday to experience what we've created together, alone from His other creations is a fine option, but I can't shirk opportunity to face outwards towards others, and he tasks me viciously to test my willingness. Am I willing to drive someone less fortunate to the hospital or the airport? If I say yes quickly enough, I often get an eleventh-hour reprieve. I can't divorce any part of me off, even for a Saturday night. He has to come along, wherever I go. He seems to enjoy himself as often as I do. I certainly wouldn't try to achieve some goal I thought He might like, by using a means I know He wouldn't. The world is a safe place, not an oyster exactly, but not filled with hungry sharks either. So I try not to judge. Some people are just pigs, and that's OK by me.