When I, your humble writer was a mere, wee little (early teenage) lad, a friend introduced me to what would become one of my all time favorite bands.
I just gotta say, Oingo Boingo’s lead singer/song writer Danny Elfman is BRILLIANT. Since the 1980’s he has composed the scores of countless movies and television shows. Truly a talented, talented man.
It’s the song “Wake Up (It’s 1984)” that I want to talk about today.
If you are not familiar with the song, here is a link to a Youtube video. (This isn’t the official music video.)
Imagine a young Danny dancing in his room wearing nothing but his red BVD’s to this song (to this day doing “Jazz hands” just makes me look gay).
Just for fun here is a list of some fairly recent headlines:
USA Today – “Tea Party Groups Detail ‘harassment’ by IRS”
The Hill – “Complaints of IRS Targeting by Religious Groups on the rise”
Huffington Post – “DOJ Seized Fox News Phone Records”
Mediaite – “AP CEO: Justice Department Seized ‘Thousands & Thousands’ Of Phone Call Records”
Washington Times – “IRS Sued for Seizing 60 Million Medical Records”
CBS DC – “Dept. of Homeland Security: Laptops, Phones Can Be Searched Based on Hunches”
And then, of course, the latest:
The Guardian – “NSA Collecting Phone Records of Millions of Verizon Customers Daily”
It has gotten to the point where even Al Gore is calling it obscene. Wake Up (It’s 1984).
I want to say this again. AL (Jazeera) GORE has a problem with this. Al Gore, a man who would, conceivably, drive over a corpse to get a better parking space has a problem with this.
Wake up (It’s 1984)!
What cracks me up is the left’s response to these latest “scandals” (or, if the allegations that some emails may be monitored by intelligence agencies is true, we can change the word “scandals” to “Felons”). With a few notable exceptions, like Al (Jazeera) Gore, most of the left is giving the president a pass, or they blame George Bush (honestly, how can anyone still blame George Bush for anything and keep a straight face?). Ron Fournier of the National Journal said, “Welcome to the era of Bush-Obama, a 16-year span of U.S. history that will be remembered for an unprecedented erosion of civil liberties and a disregard for transparency.”
Yeah, Ron, that is cute and everything. But I just ain’t totally buying it.
In the first place if Bush had collected every phone call from one of the largest cell providers in the nation, we would STILL be hearing the screams from the left and he would have been thrown out of office. Bush’s surveillance program was actually limited and only monitored foreign phone calls. But somehow Obama gets a pass because his surveillance is a “logical extension” of the Bush policy, when in reality it is a HUGE escalation. Does anyone remember the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth we endured when it was reported the Patriot Act gave the Department of Homeland Security the right to see what library books you checked out?
Library books. It’s kinda cute.
Now, I don’t think it’s the governments business what my kids or I check out from the library, but when you compare that to the Obama administration gathering information and monitoring traffic on major websites like Facebook and Google, it ain’t really the same thing. And yet he gets a pass.
The double standard here is staggering.
Take a minute to check out this video: (I can’t embed it for some reason)
Did you watch it? The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
And still I’m not living in fear … yet. Why? Well, my personal ratio of library to Google searches is about 1 to 10,000. Roughly 98% of all my Google searches are to help me “speeel wrods I don’t no.” You take me and times 300 million other Americans – and you’re talking about a lot of data. For the majority of Americans, I doubt anyone would ever really lay eyes on it. But there is that creepy guy I knew in high school who works for the NSA … hmmm?
I have two issues. The first is the definition of words. Words mean things. Depending on what side of the desk you’re on, you are either a freedom fighter, or a terrorist. I know what a terrorist is today, but what will it be tomorrow? The other issue is the “slippery slope” that this is. Where will this lead? We went from monitoring library books to monitoring Google and Facebook. That’s a big ass slippery slope. What’s next?
Gratefully, the American people are aware and the majority of them still get that freedom is a fragile thing. The ACLU is even suing the Obama administration over the NSA surveillance. That’s right. The ACLU is actually concerned over the erosion of our American Civil Liberties. That’s like the first three letters in their name. Hopefully with the outrage the American people have with the program it will be scaled back. If not, I guess if we don’t want the government listening to our calls we can exchange our phones for two big red Solo cups and a REALLLLLLLY LOOOOONG string.
I have to admit, with all the HUGE problems looming on the horizon – high unemployment, entitlement bankruptcy, the implosion of Obamacare, economic stagnation, and granting amnesty before closing the border – having a government computer looking for patterns in over a gazillion phone calls (if that is all it is) bugs me. But it’s not 1984.
LIFEZILLA: I never follow my own advise. What do I look like, an idiot?