Saturday, May 21, 2016


I am scared. I mean really scared. A few weeks ago my wife and I got an offer to lower our automobile insurance by up to 30 percent. All we had to do was put a tracker under the dashboard in our car. The tracker would record our driving habits and send them to the insurance company. We soon learned that we both had a bad habit: Jack rabbit starts (me), hard braking (Janet). So we’re trying to rein in those habits. In the meantime someone told Janet that the tracker was another means of keeping us under surveillance.

That got me to thinking about the other ways that outsiders can look into our private affairs. The first thing that comes to mind is EZ Pass. With that device, the government can tell what time you went through each toll booth. They can even estimate your speed. A long time ago my father got a speeding ticket when he went from one toll booth to another in less time than he would have been able to if he didn’t go over the speed limit.

A few years ago I took some pictures of Janet in Maine with my cell phone. Those pictures are stamped with the date and place, so they show that Janet was in Freeport, Maine, on a certain date. There are still other ways to follow my movements. If I make a cell phone call, investigators can pinpoint my location through triangulating the cell phone towers that carry my call.

And then there is all that stuff on the internet. Google, Facebook, et al, know where I browsed, how long I stayed on particular sites, what I ordered over the internet. We have no privacy anymore.

I am not particularly paranoid, so why am I worried? I am worried that a year from now, Donald Trump could be President of the United States. What has that got to do with being tracked on the internet? Just this: I would not want to live in a country under President Trump. As Trump started pulling ahead of his rivals, I began speculating whether I could claim dual citizenship and move to Canada. (My parents were still Canadian citizens when I was born.) I realize, however, that at my age it would be a difficult adjustment for me to move to a country that is even colder than Maine in winter. I need a Plan B.

The prospect of the general election is frightening. The best thing you can say about a Hillary-Donald match-up is, “I admit my candidate isn’t very good, but at least he/she would not be as bad as yours.”

If The Donald becomes president, and it becomes too difficult for me to move to Canada, I would at least like to move to a cave somewhere where no one could find me. But with all that tracking, geopositioning, internet cookies, etc., there is no way I could I could disappear from view.

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