The Constitution Isn't a Black Box

December 17, 2012

The federal Constitution, according to those who penned it, is a limited set of powers granted by the States and the People to our federal government.  Modern liberals disagree, thinking that the document is an unlimited grant of power for them to do whatever they want.  Our federal government, infested with do-gooder leftists, believes in this new, rewritten Law of the Land with a fervency that is so nauseating and destructive, that it has brought us to the edge of oblivion with deficits piled on deficits for the sake of funding whatever they want.  They treat government as some sort of “black box”, from which they can pull out any club that they choose and then bludgeon us with it.

Recently, the federal government, specifically Obama’s Department of Transportation, carried this “black box” attitude of government power to literally include a mandate for “black boxes” in cars traveling on the nation’s roads.  Of course, the common excuses are being issued by the loyal bureaucrats who are desperately seeking to justify their cushy salaries.  Salaries, of course, paid for by Americans so that these bureaucrats can interfere with the lives of Americans.

Those excuses include making the roads safer, helping accident investigation, etc.  Blah, blah, blah.  But the truth is that, even without government regulation requiring these devices, many cars already have a “black box” installed and more and more new vehicles are being equipped with them every year.  Why?  Because of the free markets.

“Black boxes” do serve a great number of important roles for automakers, insurance companies, and even us every day drivers.  First, they protect those of us who are not at fault when something bad happens.  If I step on my brakes and the brakes don’t work, the “black box” records that.  If the fault is with the car’s design then the automobile manufacturer can be held accountable for any damage due to a faulty product.  If the reason is because I didn’t maintain my car’s brakes, well, the “black box” lets us know that, too.  If there is an accident where a little old lady claims she hit her brakes, but witnesses say she actually sped up, the recorder can tell whether she hit the gas by mistake and solve that mystery.  What if cops stop a young punk barreling through a residential neighborhood at fifty miles per hour and he claims the officers were wrong, that he wasn’t speeding?  The “black box” tells the truth.

So, you see, there is no real reason for the government to get involved in this sort of thing.  People have already realized the usefulness of these devices on their own.  Automobile companies install them already and people already buy the cars with these devices on them.  But what Washington D.C. beltway bureaucrats want to do is make sure that they are installed and, furthermore, that the DOT has access to this data.  This is beyond anything our Constitution allows our federal government to do, no matter how much liberals claim that such a declaration is just “right wing” crazy talk.

Black boxes can be installed with RFD transmitters, meaning that someone would not even need to access the car’s cabin in order to collect the data.  Think about how creepy it would be for government vans to drive up and down your street, collecting data from every black box in every car people own.

Can’t happen?  How do you think utility companies measure electricity, gas, and water usage in many areas around the country?  Think about that before you simply let the federal government have carte blanche access to your driving data. 

What will they do with it?  The same thing government always does: bludgeon us over the head and make criminals of law-abiding citizens.  Liberals always claim they will do no such thing.  Their track record, however, puts the lie to such claims.

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Copyright ©2012 J.J. Jackson

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for  He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.