Friday, May 31, 2013

The price for a free, safe society

Is “Big Brother” the price of a free, safe society?

No, I am not comfortable with getting "Big Brother" as the price for a free, safe society. A "free" and "safe" society may soon become mutually exclusive. When you listen to a radio program with conservative Craig Parshall (General Counsel for National Religious Broadcasters) and liberal Barry Lynn (Executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church & State) discussing the Boston bombing, for example, and agreeing that we've got a problem with too many cameras and too little privacy we should have a light go on in our heads. Adding video surveillance to every square inch of the earth IS NOT the answer. It may be what we get, nevertheless.

"Person of Interest" is a current TV show on CBS that presents omnipresent surveillance in a positive light. The surveillance is used to predict future crimes and terrorist attacks. Anybody ever see or hear of "Minority Report," a movie where criminals are apprehended before they commit a crime, based on foreknowledge that they're going to commit it? Some things I hear discussed seem similar, even though we don't have any precogs to see into the future. Pity the honest citizens when the system turns on them. 

May we return to an old-fashioned republic that wants less government and more freedom. May we not trade our birthright for a mess of governmental pottage.

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