When the Meter Feeds on You

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You used to feed the meter. Soon, the meter will feed on you. It will also know exactly who you are and where you are – as well as where you’re going and how long you stayed there and also when you left.

Naturally, so will the government.

Which will also be informed that your inspection stickers are out of date the moment they become out of date – in order to more efficiently (immediately) ticket you. For that and any other “violation.” And even if no violation. The Mobile Sentry has cameras – and they aren’t just watching you. They watch – and record – everyone.

Welcome to the Brave New World (it’s styled New Vision) of smart parking meters.

They scan your license plate – that’s how they know it’s you – and an app (the Sentry Mobile Consumer) loaded on your cell phone automatically debits your card for the parking fee – along with a small service charge per transaction that’s remitted to the private company – Municipal Parking Services –  that owns the meters and uses them to mulct you and spy on you, pocketing the former and “sharing” the latter with the government – which also pays the a fee to the company for the “service” thus provided. (Bracketed in quotes to emphasize that it’s not a “service” when you’re forced to accept it; viz Internal Revenue “Service.”)

It’s a cozy arrangement – for MPS.

And the government.

Very much of a piece with the arrangement the insurance mafia has with the government, which uses the force of government to make us pay them. But this smart meter business is a ratcheting up of that deal, because – for now, at least – all the insurance mafia has been able to do is force us to pay. The mafia hasn’t yet got the power-via-government to monitor and mulct us in real time.

These smart meters already do.

The combination of automated plate readers every 10 yards or so (the distance between one meter and the next) with always-on cameras that feed into an always-watching (and recording) nexus of “private-public”  surveillance is bleak, depressing and scary.

Worse, it’s real.

Several states – including New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Florida have bought in and installed these things in some of their cities. Expect more to follow as the opportunity to take money (everything done by the government is done by force hence the italics) and increase control – things as irresistible to government (and crony capitalist operations such as MPS) as soft wet wood is to termites.

Naturally, it is being done for Our Safety. And “the environment.”

The MPS web site says: “Our meters can be plugged in to your (i.e., the city/county’s) security infrastructure . . .” and then asks: “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a virtual police officer every forty feet on your sidewalks”?

Actually, no. It would not be “nice.”

It is the definition of a police state to have police everywhere – and constantly surveilling the populace. There were “police officers every forty feet” in places such as the former East Germany – and currently in North Korea.

America was once characterized by not having “police officers every forty feet.” Or a “security infrastructure,” for that matter.

But there is a difference between East Germany and North Korea and what is happening in America today. The mulcting – and monitoring – is being done for profit and by private companies such as MPS.

It’s not the first or only example of this twisted variant of capitalism. Actually, it’s a form fascism – the merger of the government’s violence with the private sector’s lust for profit via violence, but most people refuse to see this because they have been taught – conditioned to think – that “fascism” necessarily and only means Nazism. If there’s no “is we not dasoopah man? Aryan pure soopahman?” they don’t see the fascism. Which is perhaps exactly what’s wanted – but that’s another rant.

MPS snuggles up to government by offering to install its fleece ’em and watch-’em smart meters for “free.” Once the government sees the cash rolling in – and the new opportunities to Panopticon the populace – it can sign up for a contract by which they both profit, monetarily and otherwise.

The public is soothed with talk of more “efficient” allocation of parking “resources.” The app your phone (and you) are now hag-ridden with lets you know when a spot is free, so “no more driving around in search of a spot.

This will also “save gas” and “reduce emissions.” So Green!

And it’s so much easier to have the parking fee – plus the service charge – automatically debited from your account than it is to put coins in a “dumb” meter.

No mention on the MPS web site about the data collected – and sent (which you “consent” to by downloading the app). No mention of the app tracking you, of the possibility that they now have access to your phone and everything on it.

No worries about the totalitarian plate readers that document where you’ve been and how long you’ve been there as well as scan your DMV records while you’re there, to make sure there are no actionable “violations.” Nothing about the creepy all-seeing cameras – which are probably also capable of recording sound, such as your conversations.

Ve bring ze world new order

Ah, technology. The thing which was supposed to liberate us increasingly chains us – and charges us, to boot.

 . . .

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps a well aimed can of spray paint would send a message to these parasites; of course you’d have to keep yourself off camera while doing it. Something to look forward to at Halloween when wearing a mask won’t attract attention 😆

  2. EZPass is a scam. The government managed to make it cheaper to have toll booth attendants collect money instead of a computer system.

    I looked into EZPass, but told them to f off when I found out they charge monthly fees…

  3. So, what else is new? We’re living in a police state that is in the process of tying up all the loose ends and using high technology to achieve total control of all citizens, and make it impossible to opt-out or fly under the radar; a level of control people like Hitler or Stalin probably couldn’t even imagine.

    A megalithic high-tech police state doesn’t just appear overnight. It has been in the process of building for a long time. We’ve all seen it coming, and now the finishing touches are being put on it. Most people don’t care because they’ve been effectively brainwashed by the government schools; the corrupted institutions of society, and the media.

    We see, because we’ve managed to somehow have the good fortune to have either avoided the effects of the brainwashing, or have been able to undo them. We are not going to change this megalithic police state with it’s millions of obedient Nazis who are willing to do whatever in service to the state in exchange for a paycheck; and the hundreds of millions of brainwashed peons who just go along, and who ultimately have like dumb sheep, been led to believe that it is their “duty” to side with their captors, and pay their taxes, etc. etc.

    There are only three options:
    a)Go along with it. [Not an option]
    b)Resist [and end up in the gulag/dead/”re-educated”]
    or
    c)Go to a part of the world where they do not have the resources nor population density, nor generations of indoctrination to have implemented this garbage.

    “C” is the only viable option. Any other option is essentially just giving up, and waiting your turn for the time to come when they will take everything you have; your liberty, and probably your life.

    What is the benefit of having been able to see what we see and know what we know, if we don’t use that knowledge? What should be warning us to flee from imminent danger, then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Are you going to see how close you can get to the flames, and then try and crawl out of the burning house below the choking smoke and hope that you somehow make it before a flaming timber falls on you- or will you realize that the fire can only increase, and the house is definitely going to burn to the ground, and every delay in getting out is a lost opportunity which might not exist tomorrow, but which could have easily been yours today? How sweet the daylight seems when you can no longer see it for the smoke and flames, and realize that you will not be seeing it again, and that you would gladly now give up all the things you went back in to save, if you could only just step into that daylight again as you once so easily did.

  4. The only way you could get anybody in AmeriKa to get worked up over this is to tell them MPS sends its data right to Trump’s phone.

    • Hi AF,

      This whole “safety” thing is both insufferable and incomprehensible to me. What is the appeal? I just don’t get the mentality.

      But then, I ride motorcycles. Sometimes without a helmet, too. “The law” be damned.

    • Facebook is collecting their meter data and sending ads based on your shopping habits.
      That’ll get peoples tits in a twist.

      • I don’t have a problem with facebook or ad agencies advertising to me. Presumably, they are trying to sell goods and services which I can freely buy. The issue I have is when government is keeping tabs on my location and reporting data to insurance companies or other entities that I am forced to buy. The bullshit conversations tend to concentrate on the former rather than the latter. We are becoming one nation under coercion.

  5. Those of us who have shed the scales from our eyes can only now sit powerless and watch everyone else get put into the shredder. Even worse there are people who have sold their organic selves for fully automated smart phone integrated life styles who are championing the coming tech slavery (my car pool friend being one of them). He opines for the day when all cars are automated and moving at the same speed that drones can deliver coke or food to your car. He already drives a subaru that has the saaaaaaafety braking feature and lane assist. He knows this. So he intentionally tail gates people at high speeds to get it to activate and ride their ass until he changes lanes or they move. The auto brake feature has saved his rear several times and he knows it and still uses it as a safety net. Some people cannot be saved and unfortunately they are legion.

    • Your friend reminds me of a scene I witnessed in 19&75. The 5mph bumpers had just become universal. It was an urban street with a speed limit of 25 and two lanes going each direction. An accident had occurred blocking the eastbound lanes. A new Buick went slowly into the westbound lane to get around the incident. Due to a parked car there was only one lane westbound. He slowly approached another new Buick of the same model. They slowly touched bumpers. Then…they started pushing each other with their bumpers. Neither car sustained damage and the eventually went on their way.

      Moral of the story? Any safety device will be defeated by a knucklehead.

  6. So where’s the debate over these meters? Where was the debate when the red light cameras were installed? Kind of strange that I’m only reading about these meters on EPautos.com.

    I keep hoping privacy will become an issue in an election, but then again the people who vote (my parents’ generation) are still suffering from cold war PTSD and think that Uncle is benevolent and only wants to keep them safe from Ivan. So any expenditure that might make them safer from the horrible pot smokers and tax dodgers is A-OK with them. And of course they believe that their shitty old flip phones are somehow keeping them from being tracked. Just look at what’s happening with facial recognition software and the explosion of networked security cameras to put that to rest.

    But just stand in line and don’t do anything wrong* and you have nothing to worry about.

    *like be black or have Colorado license plates in Nebraska.

  7. They want the affluent downtown, and consider a low income level as a “crime” Passive income is already popular with “internet jobs’, which involve no work, such as bitcoin mining, and other “virtual” endeavors that ad ZERO productivity to society. The govt. is just paying someone to mine our “bitcoin” right out of our pockets with no physical action required, assault and robbery without ever being touched. I wonder how well these things would operate with a pair of 4″ diameter speaker magnets slapped on each side? Better yet, STOP CARRYING THE ELECTRONIC TOYS AND SHIT THAT ARE LINKED TO YOUR FINANCES! Sorry, sometimes people ignore everything your are saying unless you have fireworks shooting out of your ass, and even then, it’s an opportunity to “film” it with their fucking PED.

    I’m sorry Eric, I’m all for the cause, but the general population has already become “smart-phone-zombies”. All this crap about live, flesh eating ones, won’t be necessary; the “brainless apocalypse” is already here!

  8. Hi Eric,

    Even more interesting is, when this sort of nonsense keeps people off the high street / town centres and they go into decline, the politicians are quick to blame Amazon, tax evasion, multinationals, etc for screwing the small shops in the town centres.

    We had an interesting case int he UK a few years ago where vandals trashed all the parking meters in the town. Because of this, people flocked back to the town centre and business started doing well again – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/11743186/Shoppers-flood-back-to-town-centre-after-vandals-smash-up-pay-and-display-machines.html

    • Morning, Nasir!

      Yes, indeed… I shun/avoid all this kind of stuff, to the extent I can. So – as a for-instance – I avoid airports and travel by air, because I cannot abide Obedience Training. I see red when I see blue (TSA geeks).

      For the same reasons, I won’t deal with a panopticon downtown, either.

      If more people would follow suit, this stuff would be much harder to implement…

      • eric, I have a real problem with anybody working for the TSA or anything similar. Don’t give me “I needed a job” when there are plenty jobs available….and are mainly being filled by Mexican nationals. The problem is you have to get your hands dirty….only there is no labor like it used to be.

        Hell, even shovels are barely used these days and I haven’t seen a hand pick in ages. Now there are tiny tracked machines that have a hand shovel sized shovel and tiny rock picks. They’re so small you don’t even need a real equipment trailer.

        About 10 years ago or so Microsoft laid off a lot of people, a nephew being one. So he goes to work for the TSA. I just shook my head and the wife(her family, my side works in the patch)tells me “Well, he needed a job”.

        There are plenty jobs if you can swing a hammer or run a piece of equipment(training is on the job….getting paid). I don’t think that boy has ever had a dirty hand, maybe changing the tray on a laser printer.

        The disconnect in this entire thing is the wife would laugh if I demurred from some work that required dirty hands….and she’s no stranger to it either. Somehow though, he’s a different story. His brother builds stage sets, movie sets and the like, no namby pamby work that stuff.

        Recently the wife chastised me because the neighbor who’s about 34 or so was building a carport in damn cold weather, something she said I wouldn’t do and wouldn’t have at his age. I guess she doesn’t remember me doing power line work(so easy) and oilfield electrician work with the weather not even being a factor, out there in a blinding blizzard trying to work big cable when you had to leave the truck running just so the tape would unroll…..for a little while. Probably my frozen toes didn’t hurt her too much. She doesn’t recall me rebuilding engines in a 20 degree shop.

        The weather doesn’t make a damn when you’re loading or unloading a truck or working on it because things have frozen(plenty of that this winter). Days when the 1″ impact wouldn’t spin till it was warmed up and shot full of panther piss.

        Well, my point is it takes somebody who has become accustomed to that city sort of life and the never ending bs that comes from some “authoritah” jacking with you. I’m so allergic to “authoritah” I go the long way on roads that 10 mph is about the top speed….just to avoid the goddamn DOT.

        For the last few years, even though I live in the boonies, I’ve tried to find a place in really rough country I could hide a house(I’ve seen it done). I’m fine with only my own company when the alternative is “authoritah”.

        The reason I’m not running OTR is because of all the bs encountered in cities and inspection stations, truck stops and such. Up until 15 years ago or so, I’d never thought about what a blessing being toward the end of my life would be in this country….just because I was IN this country.

        • 8, I don’t want to die in this country. I don’t even want my rotting corpse to be planted here. I won’t give them the satisfaction! I used to think that being from a family was a blessing. Sadly, today it is a curse.

          One of my uncles is 88. He shuttles around people who are are a decade or two younger than himself to doctors appointments, and fixes stuff in their homes….but how the hell does someone live almost a century in NYC? All the store-front signs in his neighborhood are in Chinese, Korean or Arabic. When I tell him I’m leaving the country, he’ll probably say something like “How will you feel living among foreigners who don’t speak your language?”- with a straight face.

          I’m sure that it would feel a lot better being a foreigner in their country, than it does being a foreigner in your own.

          • No shit Nun, I feel the same way. I hate to use a real truck stop since I may have to actively look for someone who speaks English. I didn’t see that one coming way back and still find it amazing.

            A friend was telling me of stopping in Co. at one of the state scale stations and the DOT occifer there was gagging and took care of him before returning to what he’d been doing, trying to inspect an 18 wheeler with 4 passengers. They were wearing turbans and nobody spoke English.

            Being the professionals they were, they had removed the mattress from the sleeper, cut a hole in the bottom of the cab and had their own private outhouse. The guy doing the inspection could hardly get near it since from the hole to the rear of the trailer you can guess what the rig was covered with.

            Probably their logs(sic)were hard to decipher and no telling who had a license and who didn’t not withstanding hauling that many people is illegal to begin with. He probably just cut em loose to avoid touching the truck since when the drivers door was opened he nearly lost his lunch from the smell. You can’t make this shit up. I doubt you could find anyone with that crazy an imagination.

            As far as dying here, I don’t have the funds to leave much less the good health to move somewhere I don’t speak the language. The wife and I have a plot but it won’t be used for either of us. My entire generation on both sides of the family scatter ashes of the fallen where ever they wanted. I don’t need a plaque nor headstone or anything else. Billions are in unmarked graves or scattered to the winds so my ashes will be in a lot of company to say the least.

      • Airports – dont get me started Eric….. last week was in Zurich getting on a plane with family…. while I was doing the usual strip down, wallet, belt, watch, laptops, ipad, all other gizmos, my 6 year old went through the metal detector on her own with a toy in her hand…. set off the beeper.

        Patted her down, and checked the toy for explosives!! Im was like really dude…. in his heros voice he was like “sir this is just procedure if it rings, for everyones safety”…… personally im now used to the special welcome at airports because of where im from and my name and whatever, but never thought they would roll it out for a 6 year old as well!

        • Hi Nasir,

          I have real difficulty maintaining composure when dealing with the Submission Training. I am certain the Geeks in Blue can feel the hate I radiate; I do my best to give them contemptuous looks and am not polite. I don’t pretend this is some kind of normal (in a civilized society) procedure; do not enable them to feel normal – if at all possible. I do all I can to make them feel like the low-rent creeps they are.

          If I ever have to fly again, I will do my best to get a hard-on before I get patted down. Without underwear on. Make the greasy prick feel my prick.

          But then, he would probably like that… sigh.

          • Eric,

            ROTFL!!!!!

            Just make sure the TSA goon isn’t giving you a “cavity search” while both of his hands are on your shoulders…..which seems to be their official job description.

            I went down to the “[in]justice center” T’other day to renew my permission to travel on the roads. It’s in the town of 1500 peopkle which is the county seat for this very rural county which has exactly one traffic light. Since moving to the new building, they have metal detectors and a couple of full time goons employed [albeit outwardly-appearing nice ones] to screen all supplicants who enter. It’s the only checkpoint/security I will subject myself to- and hopefully this was my last time- but anyhoo…

            After putting my keys and coins in the little tray (I now leave my knife in the truck) I walk through the metal detector, and the thing makes noise. The old “hero” hands me back my stuff, and says “It’s probably your boots, just go”.

            Ah, another terrorist attack prevented! And our tax money hard at work keeping *them* safe- because who knows what might happen in this sleepy little town, in a facility where every time I’ve gone, I’ve been the only non-employee in there! (On the positive side: Renewing the permission to travel in under 2 minutes, vs. the hours it would’ve taken in NY, is priceless!)

            They just hand you the new license. Lady tells me next time, they’ll have a new system, where they send all of the data to the state, and the state mails you your permission slip. The noose tightens yet again, as more local control is ceded. Hopefully I will be out of here by then.

    • Nasir, that article immediately brought to mind the image of Steve McQueen cutting meters off the pipes. He never quit, no matter, and while he had plenty of fans, nobody else had the guts to stand up to “boss”. I’ve had the courtroom version of “what we have here is a failure to communicate”. I couldn’t agree more…..and I still don’t…..communicate to that bs.

      • Hey Eight, one thing I really dont get in the west is why more people dont do stuff like that….. especially now that its getting to the point people really cant afford it anymore……. Its genuinely affecting peoples livelihoods……

  9. People will love the new meters–so convenient, high-techy and cool! Besides, the refrain will run, we have nothing to hide so why should we care who’s watching? Even the stink over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica is meaningless. The only reason there’s a furor at all is because Trump is linked to it. When Obama did the same thing Facebook said, oh, okay, it’s not really kosher but carry on anyway.

    The collusion between capitalism and government is why I think even the libertarian model would fail to protect our liberty. If people just don’t give a damn or worse, enthusiastically accept their chains, no form of governance will matter. As an aside, the more I see the stronger my impression is that businessmen typically make lousy politicians, from the viewpoint of conservatism. They’d screw their country and culture over for a buck.

    So much for Ayn Rand’s selfish supermen being the saviors of the West.

    • Morning, Ross –

      I agree. With tremendous sadness. The “revolution” – if it ever occurs – will have to be internal. People choosing to not live by violence, even when they could “get away with it.”

      So, it’s a moral question more so than an economic one.

      Rand failed in not emphasizing that; in casting things in a mechanistic, economic light almost exclusively.

    • I watched some of the big Zuckerberg show last week. Didn’t expect any answers or anything new, but again was taken aback by seemingly total lack of awareness of the congressmen. These are the people who are supposed to be regulating these companies, but yet they have no idea how anything in technology works. You’d think at least one of their staffers might have some background in computers or networking or even sociology and history that they might be able to provide a decent question.

      Yea, I know, they don’t want to ask any questions. Except maybe how they can get the same deal the Russians got for their next campaign.

      • I think that they know exactly what is going on. They are complicit in allowing these things to happen. All of it. I would love to see a conventional bomb destroy the whole place.

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