Third Party & Independents Archives

August 21, 2007

Big Brother or Uncle Sam: Look Alikes

The face of George Orwell’s Big Brother and that of the bearded Uncle Sam are morphing into each other at an accelerated rate. Soon, we can take the composite of both as the new face of America, and plaster it on high technology high definition digital Ad Displays from Times Square to the Golden Gate with the caption, “Uncle Sam is Watching You”.

Big BrotherAs Democrats and some Republicans alike in Congress struggle to obtain memos from V.P. Dick Cheney's office regarding unwarranted (illegal) wiretaps enacted by President Bush's authorization, another step was just taken to authorize cutting edge NSA spy satellites to be turned on the American people by local law enforcement agencies to spy on work places, homes, back yards, persons, and vehicles en route, all in the name of upholding the law.

Uncle SamThe Wash. Post report states the Bush Administration has approved a plan to give "law enforcement officials and others the ability to view data obtained from satellite and aircraft sensors that can see through cloud cover and even penetrate buildings and underground bunkers." This makes the movies on this topic appear ancient as this kind of technological advance wasn't even dreamed up by fiction screen writers of Enemy of the State. There is no question that observing and recording the actions of every person in the borders of the U.S. 24 hours a day would radically reduce crime, eliminate terrorist actions underway, and insure the absence of groups of Americans assembling for the purpose of influencing and altering the actions of government.

The question is: Do we want Uncle Sam watching our every move in the name of protecting us even from ourselves? If the answer is no, then it is prudent for Americans to halt this giant step in that direction by the Bush Administration. America fought a Cold War against the communist Soviet Union which, if it had this technology, would without question have used it to protect the government from its own people. There would have been no rebellion by Chechnyans. The KGB would have known of Gorbachev's moves before he made them. Glasnost and Peristroika would never have entered into the English language or news pages around the world. The people would have been completely suppressed from supporting Gorbachev or Yeltsin's bold initiatives.

Power seeks to protect itself and endure. This is no less true of power in America than in Communist Russia or China. And America upon embarking on the justification of this technology in the name of Good, will have no more hope of preventing the spread of this technology to Russia and China than it had of preventing nuclear weapon proliferation. If Pres. Bush is successful in enacting this use of power, there will be no moral, legal, or international basis upon which the United States can argue against tyrannical regimes from employing it as well for total population suppression purposes. This technology turned upon its own people by government is the enemy of freedom and liberty. For there can be no freedom of action if one's actions are monitored and intersected when they appear suspicious to those controlling the technology.

George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and a host of lesser known writers have warned the people's of the world that this day was coming. But, who would have guessed that it would be the United States that would set this precedent for tyranny to flourish throughout the nations of the world, 50 years ago? Then, we would have said: "It could never happen here". Yet, here it is.

Bush Big BrotherThe day has arrived, and the face of Uncle Sam and Big Brother are morphing into a composite of a new face of the future. A future where liberty and freedom absolutely must be redefined to mean security. It is Benjamin Franklin's nightmare come true: "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither". America and Americans are being tested at this very moment on whether or not they are capable of freedom and liberty. If the Bush administration proceeds without the people rising up in condemnation, America and Americans will have failed this historical test.

Posted by David R. Remer at August 21, 2007 11:03 PM
Comment #230240

Is there any detail/background on both the Bush administration’s plan and the skyward system that you speak of?

Every citizen should be up-in-arms over the state of our democracy. Plans like these spit on the graves of those who lost their lives in the name of this country and the ideals that this nation was founded.

With other surveillance systems (link) already patrolling our skies what’s another system?

Posted by: john trevisani at August 22, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #230242

Be afraid, be very very afraid and don’t worry be happy, go shopping.

I hope I am wrong but I think the people will accept if not embrace this Orwellian/SiFi turned reality concept. Some have already accepted it. I have heard more than one Bushie say that they don’t mind if the government watches them because they have nothing to hide.

Perhaps DiCaprio (sp) can make a block buster movie. Surveillance, year one, year five, year ten. It may be the best way to expose this plot to the American people in a way that will show them the ultimate outcome of accepting this technology out of fear.

Posted by: jlw at August 22, 2007 12:12 PM
Comment #230246

John, I provided a link to the WaPo article on that topic.

jlw, the media is covering it, but, it does appear few are understanding or listening.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2007 12:31 PM
Comment #230257

Surveillance? Did I hear someone say “Surveillance”?

Be afraid…be VERY afraid…to pee!

Posted by: Jim T. at August 22, 2007 01:08 PM
Comment #230267

David: I think that many Americans seem convinced that the 1984 senario could never happen in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave even though it is already happening. How many of us depend on spy ware for their computer. Big Business is watching you now. Business software that is being used to psychoanalyze the American consumers could be very helpful to the government. This one is a sheep, this one needs to be watched more closely and this one needs to be brought in immediately for reprograming.

If anyone would like to get a partial idea of what the future America will be like if we allow this to happen, they can put a piece of duct tape over their mouth for a day.

Posted by: jlw at August 22, 2007 01:51 PM
Comment #230281

No question… David is correct that when the government begins an unwarrented spy program on its own citizens… well… so much for our way of life.

I would like to point out that Franklin is mis-quoted above, and his actual quote leaves open some room for debate:

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

The words “essential” and “temporary” can put this quote into a completely different context.

Still… everything else David points out above rings true…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 22, 2007 03:01 PM
Comment #230283

Doug, you are right about the exact quotation. But, the implication of both phrases are the same. When you give up liberty for safety, you are likely never to get that liberty back, - without a revolution or civil war the likes of which our forefathers had to fight.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2007 03:24 PM
Comment #230287

So true, jlw. It has been a continuous and steady and persistent and unrelenting absconding of individual liberty through every administration since LBJ’s. The Civil Rights movement combined with the anti-Viet Nam war protests, put this country on a destination course for Orwell’s 1984, and nearly every politician fears the kind of demonstrations and rebellion which occurred in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Hence, the continuous erosion of liberty and freedom to go about our lives outside of the potential view or earshot of government.

Pres. Bush established the new policy of segregating his supporters in camera view of media from his dissenters out of view of media cameras wherever his transportation arrives at airports or avenues of travel in public view. It is a very short step from this discrimination toward American citizens and their forced segregation, to actually surveilling the dissenters. A very short step indeed, which, in the future, we likely discover Bush has already implemented. This is why it is imperative that the people rescind a good deal of the executive power and authority that has become a threat to American citizens exercising their Bill of Rights of assembly, demonstration, and protest.

If we don’t do it peacefully through the political and legal system today, there will be a tomorrow in which the only means to rescind such abusive power will be civil war or violent revolution.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2007 03:35 PM
Comment #230288

David… you and I agree on what the implication of the quote is… I was simply playing devil’s advocate and pointing out that the true quotation could be taken to mean something different.

What is “essential” liberty? What is “temporary” safety? Those points could be argued by someone who thinks “if we’re doing nothing wrong then why should it matter?” (I’m kind of surprised they haven’t already jumped all over this)

And besides, whether Franklin said it, or David Remer, or Talib Kweli (a rapper who says something very similar in one of his songs) said it… it still rings true.

Those who would trade in their freedom for their protection deserve niether.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 22, 2007 03:40 PM
Comment #230290

Jim T., your reference to new technology that helps focus Constitutional law enforcement efforts as your link reports is not the problem being discussed here. There is nothing unconstitutional in:

Researchers have figured out how to give an entire community a drug test using just a teaspoon of wastewater from a city’s sewer plant.

There is something basically unconstitutional about government targeting and curtailing efforts by law abiding American citizens exercising their Bill of Rights.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2007 03:42 PM
Comment #230292

Doug, thanks for the explanation, and yes, I see your point, and agree with it about the potentially debatable aspects of ‘temporary’ and ‘essential’.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2007 03:45 PM
Comment #230306

Hopefully in the future someone will challange the way information is gathered. Here in Oregon about 4-5 years ago a person growing Pot got the whole case thrown out of court because the police used thermal imaging to see into his garage. The corst ruled that without a warent to do so they effectivly illegially searched and seazed the pot. Case dismissed. But we shouldn’t have to wait for these things to make their way to court. I think in the very near future the R’s are going to be very scared of the president that Jr. has set being chief executive.

Posted by: timesend at August 22, 2007 04:41 PM
Comment #230335

If ya aint up to no good then why are ya getting upset by this slight intrusion on your privacy?

Because it aint no business of ANY Government what I’m doing as a law abiding citizen. And I’m damn tired of them thinking they need to know my every move.
And how many ‘slight intrusions’ does it take before ya don’t have any privacy? Or freedom?
As it is right now if ya deposit more than $10,000 into your bank account the government finds out about it.
If ya buy more than $1,000 in money orders the government is told.
If ya spit out the window at a traffic light the government sees ya.
And with the technology available it’s most likely monitoring whit I’m writing right now.
All these are ‘just slight intrusions’ into your privacy.
And every bit of it does spit on the grave of those who die to give and preserve our freedoms.
When privacy is gone so is freedom.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 22, 2007 06:56 PM
Comment #230339


Hopefully in the future someone will challange the way information is gathered.

Why in the future? And why ‘Someone”?
We ALL need to be challanging it right now. The future will be to late.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 22, 2007 07:05 PM
Comment #230343

The chief spy for Bush announced today that free speech is no longer permitted. Congress cannot debate FISA. If they do, Americans will die. Reaffirm the fear factor often.

Posted by: jlw at August 22, 2007 07:39 PM
Comment #230345


seems the genie is out of the bottle, and putting him back will be a bitch if not down right impossible. this started along time ago though, with gun control, mandatory withholding of taxes, the patriot act, and any other scheme gov’t comes up with to get a tighter control over the governed ( and there are far to many to name them all). that old saying by ben franklin you mentioned. seems no one pays much attention to it when it applies to somthing they don’t care about, or feel doesn’t effect them. by the time they realize it does, it’s to late.

Posted by: dbs at August 22, 2007 08:02 PM
Comment #230346

Ron Brown, smack damn centered bullseye on target! Well said.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2007 08:21 PM
Comment #230347

dbs, I have to confess to being drawn toward your assessment as a very real possibility. I am so proud of my 16 year old daughter’s learning Spanish and Japanese. She may need that tri-lingualism in her future in finding a new home and job elsewhere, where freedom and liberty are still prized and permitted. An ounce of prevention can save mountains of suffering, is what I work diligently to teach her.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2007 08:25 PM
Comment #230357

Not to mention, dbs, the Bush 1 war on drugs that allowed the governemnt to search and seize money from anyone they chose without being charged with a crime.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 22, 2007 09:56 PM
Comment #230388


If researchers can now give an entire community a “drug test”, as the technology advances, what is to stop them from identifying individual DNA?

It’s MY DNA, and I DID NOT give them permission to collect it.

Imagine you smoking a doobie and then 2 days later DEA agents show up at your door with handcuffs. What if they show up at your workplace? What if they just simply send a letter to you and your employer stating that you tested positive for illegal drugs?

Of COURSE my link has EVERYTHING to do with individual rights.

Don’t EVEN begin to tell me that as technology advances that they WON’T be able to identify individual drug users through public waste water. Just like throwing out trash, urinating in your toilet will become fair game for law enforcement officials. They can pick up your trash and get DNA off of cigarette butts and use that DNA to cross match and convict you of whatever crime. They will also be able to identify your DNA and convict you of snorting cocaine…WITHOUT YOUR EXPLICIT PERMISSION.

Big Brother is taking away your individual legal rights…Political Correctness is taking away your freedom of speech…and now research (soon to be government controlled) is taking away your right to take a healthy piss without fear of legal reprisal.

Posted by: Jim T at August 23, 2007 11:07 AM
Comment #230415

JimT, it is hard to know what science is capable of in the distant future. But, there are practical reasons why you can rest easy on the waste water products. First, the entire population’s DNA is in the waste water. Second, DNA from human waste is not bonded with recreational or narcotic drugs. Third, they all mix together in a soup making tracking back to the individual residence or business source impossible without digging up the whole city and installing a brand new high tech and prohibitively expensive new waste drainage system that analyzes waste from each building BEFORE it is mixed with the waste of other buildings.

Your paranoia on this is unwarranted for obvious and practical reasons. Now, for new developments, perhaps, if the costs for such a waste tracking systems can be afforded and hidden, there may be cause for alarm in the future. But we also have Supreme Court rulings regarding DNA collection without consent or probable cause. The DNA sampling cannot, itself, constitute the probable cause for collecting it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 23, 2007 12:48 PM
Comment #230479


“Not to mention, dbs, the Bush 1 war on drugs that allowed the governemnt to search and seize money from anyone they chose without being charged with a crime.”

i thought it was reagan that started the war on drugs, which is a complete waste of time and money IMO. don’t kid yourself though, our rights are being attacked from both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: dbs at August 23, 2007 07:47 PM
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