Liberty, Security, Privacy, Big Brother, and the Concept of the Common Good (Guest Post)

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The outrage is palpable and the increasing realization by the average American that they really, truly are now living in an Orwellian surveillance state has been an eye-opening experience for many across the fruited plain. The once mocked conspiracy theory of the all-knowing Big Brother state has shown itself to be far more of an ugly reality than a silly fantasy. He who called the War on Terror basically over has now been forced to admit that his administration has vastly expanded the concept of the security state in the name of ‘public safety.’ The ‘trust us’ stance of government is no longer a working defense for such actions as this administration, and the federal agencies under its control, have shown that they simply cannot be trusted. Therein lies the true dilemma for the Obama administration as it seeks to calm the rising storm.

We already have proof that powerful agencies of the federal government deliberately, under orders from Washington, harassed and targeted specific people and groups that were ideological opponents of the current administration. The vast powers of the state were used as political weapons against its enemies on a wide scale and possibly affected the outcome of the last presidential election. Such things should not be taken lightly.

The fact that basically every phone call, Facebook post, internet search, website visit, email written, and picture posted online is being sucked up by Big Brother without regards to privacy concerns, constitutional protections, or the concept of personal liberty goes against everything America should stand for. It is state of affairs that should raise a cry of outrage in every throat and force a fundamental change in what we will tolerate from our government.
The fact that leading tech companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple were participating in a secret surveillance program on the citizenry known as PRISM should (but will not necessarily) lead to a complete collapse of public trust in the current administration and our current concept of government in general. What has not been explained away is why the administration has assembled the most powerful and intrusive systems of surveillance ever conceived. The Founding Fathers would not have stood for such things for one second and neither should we.

Such policies can have a chilling effect on political speech and free speech in general. There are those who argue that liberals have successfully seized the State just as they have academia, education, the media, the entertainment industry and increasingly the military. And this may be just another tool and tactic for those seeking to monitor, track, and eventually silence those who oppose their utopian, socialistic, nanny-state agenda.

Mr. Obama stated “I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.” But if it comes down to a choice between the two I choose privacy. We should always, always choose a free state over a police state even if the latter provides slightly more security from the random Boston bomber or occasional crazy.

As Americans we should not be forced to live with a camera on every pole, a bug in every phone, and an internal security officer on every corner. That illusion of safety in reality then merely becomes the mask for eventual tyranny and oppression in the name of the ‘common good’ and societal safety. For as Ben Franklin put it, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Liberty should be the goal of government, not the antithesis of it. The Republic exists to secure such liberties for its citizens, not to be the opponent of such. We’ve now traveled far down the wrong path and we may have to pay a high price to restore the Republic and regain true liberty for our children, and our children’s children.

And frankly, you are right Mr. President. The fact that we can’t trust you, your cronies, the agencies under your control, and the “oversight” of stacked secret courts or the Congress who has been complaining, but doing nothing, about such policies means we are going to have some serious problems.

8 Responses to “Liberty, Security, Privacy, Big Brother, and the Concept of the Common Good (Guest Post)”

  1. 2

    Nanny G

    It must be noted that all this spying on America is an after-the-fact way of looking at a bad actor….once he’s acted.
    Before his act (think Boston bombers) data is collected and stored.
    Meanwhile, if ANY American wants to run for any office (in opposition to Obama and Dems) he might find his data has been mined.
    IF he ever use a p0rn site or visited a masseuse or had given to a cause like traditional marriage or pro-life might find his up-until-now confidential past being aired like dirty laundry!
    Please recall how IRS had a memo stating that other groups (political ones) must create an alternate way of coming up with data they could not have legally obtained.
    Remember how Harry Reid simply lied about Mit Ronmey’s never paying taxes?
    Imagine how devastating it would be to have one’s late payments for their college loans or blog posts in an election cycle where time is of the essence.

  2. 3

    Nathan Blue

    @john: That’s the farce you’ve been fed — the Reps are Evil White Overlords who want to bug your house. We know.

    Except it’s been the Dems that have actually and verifiable broken the privacy of American Citizens . . . and bugged your house.

    You are stupid.

  3. 5

    FAITH7

    The demorats and liberal left socialist politicians will say one thing – to get the votes and pass policies that inventively will have a negative impact on everyone….in short, they LIE. I will include the RINO republ-o-rats in that mix as well.

    A good example directly from Ofraud, Pelosi and ‘others’ who parroted the same ‘line’ Lie. – “If you like your health plan/doctor you can keep your plan/doctor.”

    Yet, Ofraud declares:
    “We should always, always choose a free state over a police state even if the latter provides slightly more security from the random Boston bomber or occasional crazy.”

    We know by now Ofraud means exactly the OPPOSITE of what he says….in short, he LIES.

    The Nazi’s, without the aid of computers, gathered their ‘intelligence’ and kept a large size index card of everyone (especially Jews). There was tons of information about a person inclusive of family and friends on that ‘card.’ Much of their collected intelligence information was used primarily against ‘certain people’ to further their Nazi ’cause’.

    Think Government takeover of healthcare and ALL the information a American Citizen IS REQUIRED to supply….inclusive of what your doctor is required to REPORT, to the government.

    Think about our usage of the Internet: online banking, our cell phones, IRS filings, Political groups, our own social media, property ownership, ‘any’ criminal history and corporations that ‘follow’ us in order to know our shopping habits… now, our medical information siphoned to the Government, a requirements of Government healthcare…

    Which begs the question…why does our politicians and our Government continually ‘claim’ they cannot track and deport, purge ILLEGAL ALIENS, and ‘visitors’ /students who overstay their visa’s from this country?
    Why is this such an impossibility to them?

    How does the (law abiding/legal) Citizens who have lived here all their lives, their forefathers who DID BUILD this country, suddenly become their scapegoat?

    It’s TRUE! Ofraud the Democrats, RINOS and the socialist left radicals do indeed have a mental disease.

    DO NOT TRUST ANY OF THEM!!

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