- Politics and Social Issues
No insurance? No gas!
As I was driving down the road today, I decided to turn on the radio for company. The minute the music ended the D.J began to tell a story which he had come across while surfing the Internet just a few short days ago. It seems that the British government is getting ready to implement a new plan, using closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at gas stations that will automatically prevent uninsured drivers from filling up their gas tanks!
He then went on to say that Britain is not the only one which wants to implement this plan. If things go as planned, the United States will be bringing the cameras to a gas station near you! At first I thought to myself, surely this man is joking about his story. After he began going into further detail, I realized that this story was real, and this system is honestly being considered.
The D.J went off to a commercial break, and I started to think that perhaps this wouldn't be such a bad idea. Currently Britain has 1.4 million uninsured motorists. Those numbers are nothing compared to the estimated 13.8 percent of uninsured American motorists. Thoughts started to flood my mind of how wonderful it would be to see realistic gas prices once again once everyone was insured.
When the D.J returned to finish telling his story, I had a real rude awakening, and suddenly my "Reality" check bounced! This story had nothing to do with lowering gas prices, and everything to do with having more "Big Brother" in my face and up my skirt! Don't get me wrong, I am all for being insured while driving. What I'm not for, is the law makers finding new ways to run my life and get into my business. One of the main things delaying the decision for this plan is the high risk that it poses to the working cashier. Fuel companies fear that gas station cashiers could be in danger from angered motorists and with good reason. Staff cashiers are already getting more than their share of flak from motorists for high fuel prices. The average cashier, making measly minimum wages, cannot be expected to be law enforcers. It's already bad enough that when you go to local stores, customers are carded for idiotic things such as Claritin, Crazy glue and cough syrup! Cashiers are expected to handle cash, enforce laws and be big brother.
The new ANPR camera system is meant to quickly check whether or not a car getting gas is insured or taxed. If either of those is missing, the system will automatically shut down the pump – possibly leaving the vehicle’s owner stranded. There is no doubt in my mind that this will increase the potential for conflict between customer and cashier. This however would not be the only inconvenience with the system. Insured drivers will also be forced to have to wait for their information to be verified before they are allowed to fuel up too. This leads us to wonder how interesting a scenario this is going to be, especially if it happened in America.
I start to wonder how much is too much. What will it take before America finally says enough is enough? We have been called complacent. I have gone as far as hearing Americans called "sheeple". I have heard many say that there is nothing that can be done. The system cannot be fought. I strongly disagree! We always have a choice. As the band "Rush" so eloquently put it in their song "Freewill" "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice" Whether we choose to do anything about it is another matter.
Coming from a communist country, I feel a deep need to fight for as much freedom as possible. Our rights do not get taken away overnight, it happens slowly, quietly and over time. Suddenly one day you wake up and realize that you have no rights left because you never bothered to stand up for any. For anyone wanting to argue this point, I simply point out United Airlines Flight 93 September 11th, 2001. A 40 person passenger flight, hijacked by four terrorists with simple box cutters. Less than a handful of strong willed men had what it took to stand up and fight for their freedom. It amazes me how many people are not willing to protect themselves, or assist others these days. I can assure you that I would not have gone down without one heck of an attempt to fight for my freedom.
So I sit here and wait to see what happens. Will America allow this insanity further into its lives? How much further will gas prices soar before it finally gets out of hand? How many more times must we re- arrange our lives to suite big brother and government? I can't help but sit and watch this boil which has now become America. In the wonderful words of Willy Wonka "The suspense is terrible... I hope it lasts.
There's no earthly way of knowing/ which direction we are going /There's no knowing where we're rowing / or which way the river's flowing / is it raining? / Is it snowing? / Is a hurricane a-blowing? / Not a speck of light is showing / so the danger must be growing /Are the fires of hell a-glowing? / Is the grisly reaper mowing? / Yes, the danger must be growing / 'Cause the rowers keep on rowing / and they're certainly not showing / any signs that they are slowing!