God help us – or send us Agent 86

I have been going to the same doctor for a decade. Dr. Nofry knows things about me that even Tim doesn’t know. My cholesterol count for one. My weight for another.

When I checked in this time, however, the receptionist asked for my driver’s license.

“Excuse me?” I said. “Don’t you all know who I am by now?”

“I know who you are,” she replied, sweetly. “I just need a record of it.” Then she took my driver’s license and ran it through some sort of body scanner for plastic cards and handed it back. “Now we have a photo of you on record.”

Hello.

If all she wanted was a photo, why didn’t she just friend me on Facebook?

Speaking of Facebook, have you noticed that the only people who have any semblance of privacy anymore are those pinched face employees known as the generic Facebook Team? Have you ever tried to actually get in touch with anyone at Facebook, for any reason?

In reviewing my credit card statement this week, I came across a $75 charge to Facebook. I had no idea what the charge was for and neither did my husband. So I called the credit card company and told them I was disputing the charge. They asked me if I had gotten ahold of the vendor first.

“Are you kidding me?” I asked. “Have you ever tried to get in touch with anyone who actually works at Facebook?”

“Can I put you on hold?” the nice fellow asked.

“Sure.”

Five minutes passed before he returned. Five minutes in which I was subjected to elevator music created by stoned construction workers.

“Ma’am?”

“Yes?”

“We will remove these charges from your account.”

“Great,” I said. “What did Facebook say about the charge?”

“Uh, I didn’t actually get in touch with anybody at Facebook,” said the sheepish boy. “Apparently you can’t call the people at Facebook unless you are in law enforcement.”

I laughed. Loudly. It was borderline rude. I couldn’t help myself. While nostalgic Americans throw open the doors of our lives and our Skype accounts to the unscrupulous creeps at the NSA, the one person who has made stalking a national past-time is as unapproachable and unreachable as the Wizard of Oz.

Oprah and God are easier to get in touch with than Mark Zuckerberg and his ever-elusive Facebook Team.

And, while I’m at it, please indulge me for a moment: The problem with Americans not knowing their First Amendment Rights is that they have no idea what all is being taken from then until it’s gone.

Allowing this administration and their friends unfettered access into our lives in the name of national security is like leaving the backdoor open so that the creeps assualting Lady Liberty are at least people we know. They are our neighbors. They are us.

It’s freaking scary.

And I voted for the guy twice.

Shame on me.

Shame on Obama.

Having a King pry into every aspect of a peasant’s life is exactly why people puked their way across the Atlantic to America.

They wanted freedom.

We apparently don’t give a hoot about freedom.

Or privacy – which was highly valued until it, like every other tradition we used to cherish, has been mocked and ridiculed and bullied to death.

As it turns out I didn’t even end up seeing the doctor, although my appointment had been scheduled for weeks in advance. He was running nearly an hour behind. It seems the more tools you give a man to do his job the longer it takes him to get the job done.

I wonder what that receptionist would have done if I had refused to give her my driver’s license?

Is it just me, or do you ever feel like you are living in the middle of a sit-com gone bad? It’s like we all waiting on Agent 86 to show up and fix everything.

Trust me, this invasion of privacy on behalf of this administration, and the one prior to it, is no laughing matter. For many, it’s a matter of life and death.

Just ask a Syrian what it’s like to live in their country.

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About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • John in PDX

    To all those who say that they have no problem with the intrusion because they have done nothing wrong. Is it ok if they watch you in bed with your spouse? Do you have curtains on the house because you are doing something wrong behind them? Is it ok if they track your checking account? Can they make up a crime because of who you called?
    It’s not paranoia. It’s my right not to have government not looking over my shoulder 24/7.

  • SimplyDarlene

    I’m wondering how a person’s credit card number gets into the FB system…

    As I signed-in for my last doctor appointment, the receptionist said, “Could you scoot to the left a bit, please?” As I did, and wondered why (I thought another patient needed to reach thru the super-duper window system), she said, “There. All done. I got your picture for our records.” Apparently the computer on the counter took my photograph. I was not pleased. She said that it’s all part of the new health care plan. (How crapTastic is that?)

    Even though we’ve pretty much agreed to disagree (I think. I hope?) on the Second Amendment rights, I see them intricately linked to one another; and all that you’ve said about the First, I could say about the Second.

    Also, I have a friend whose family fled to America after her father had been jailed and her family ripped apart because he refused to be quiet about his God. I reckon she’s having flashbacks to what they endured for so long.

    Blessings.

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      Darlene: We do adamantly disagree on this issue. And your argument above is a classic example of people who have misread the Second Amendment. People who see the entire world through long-range scope of a gun have misconstrued the amendment that allows for gun ownership into a belief that it entitles them to the right to own enough arsenal to kill every man, woman and child in Alabama. Or the local movie house. Or local high school. Or the local elementary school. How you can look at the photographs of those babies from Newtown and assume the stance you do is simply beyond reasoning. How many children have to die before you are moved to consider that such a stance is quite possibly part of the problem and not the solution?

      • SimplyDarlene

        Ma’am, I have never meant you, or any victims of senseless crime any disrespect. Please, if I have used a rude or condescending tone in my note above, forgive me.

  • AFRoger

    “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls…” –Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Our response to predicted and predictable things is too often the same: the sound of silence.
    “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?” –Joni Mitchell
    Little snippets of truth from the past, but perhaps the most comprehensive prophetic writing comes from the 1972 lyrics of the song “Monster” by John Kay and Jerry Edmonton. I can’t even excerpt a line or two, the whole song is spot on. So go ahead and find the lyrics online. Ironic that it often takes somebody like foreign-born Johann Krauledat (Anglicized to “John Kay”) who first had to survive WWII in Eastern Germany, then the Communists and later escape to the West with his widowed mother, to take seriously what our country says, or once said, on paper.
    Imagine the audacity of expecting that to actually be the case. Hard to read the lyrcis of Monster and not wince. MLK, Jr expected America to make good on its words. It cost him his life. Foreign wars may keep us safe from time to time (and may also bankrupt us), but only the exercise of freedom keeps us free.
    “American, where are you now?” –J. Kay, J. Edmonton

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Steve T

    Yep. The real danger to freedom is never truly from without but has always remained the way we give ourselves to fear. But the truth is not an arsenal of weaponry or the most elaborate security system will ever save us from such fear. Maybe only faith.