I love it.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI demanded Las Vegas hotels turn over their guest lists leading up to New Year's Eve to check against a U.S. master list of suspected terrorists, a law enforcement official said on Sunday.
This whole privacy thing is getting better and better all the time. It's hard for people to understand how 'liberty' is undermined when our privacy is undermined - it just doesn't seem to ring true for people. Everyone is so scared they just think screw privacy, i am not doing anything wrong, I don't have anything to hide. let Bush & Co. search away. i don't care. just don't let Sadaam bomb us again! I've actually gotten this response fairly consistently from the Fox-type folks at work. It's natural, I guess. I try to relate to them the seriousness of what is happening by asking them if they'd mind if it was Bill Clinton who was currently in power and wanted to grab all this personal information. The response is usually a slight-delayed, but brave sure, no problem., but it's obvious that their passion for unlimited search and seizure drops dramatically when someone not idealogically in-sync with themselves is holding the highest office in the land.
I can see the rational that these people are using, in a way, because even I have difficulty articulating to people why privacy is such an important issue. America is slowly getting transformed into a police state, but Americans don't have any experiece with totalitarian regimes - at home. We've been taught that totalitarianism==communism==osama==terrorism==saddaam==fidel==evil, but not too many of us can really explain why. It's like listening to the Mr. Mackey, the schoolteach, from SouthPark: Drugs are bad, mmmkay?
Over and over and over again. If you repeat something often enough, weak minds will fall in line. (WMD, anyone?)
In my not-so-humble opinion, most Americans are woefully uninformed about the basic tenets of democracy. If you asked someone on the street why communism was bad, here are some of the responses you'd get:
- I dunno. It's bad. It's like Hitler and stuff, and he killed a bunch of people and stuff.
- It doesn't work. Democracy works. America's the best. That's why we rule the world right now, because we're not a communist country.
- What the f*ck you think, dude? Are you a liberal?!
So, the point is, that American individual freedoms are being stripped away a little bit at a time - and this will ultimately lead to the crushing of political dissent - which leads to a totalitarian state - which yields, evil.
Still hoping to get Jim Bovard to eventually start a blog. He's the Che Guevara of privacy! We need someone with his purely anti-government approach to get more press. My favorite line of his:
Nothing happened on 9/11 that made our government (the government of the United States of America) more competent.
Niiiice. Very nice.