You will remember the continuous keening about warrantless wiretapping and Echelon under President Bush the Younger, and you’ll perhaps recall that some on the left who were actually committed to privacy issues, rather than wielding them as a cudgel for Bush, felt disillusioned by the Obama administration’s decision to keep many of the Bush rules in place. But the invasions of privacy being enacted by the administration and Congress are far greater than anything even contemplated by Bush.
Obama’s plan all along, as I’ve mentioned in several posts, has been to enact Health Care Reform as applying only to American citizens, who have for the most part been paying into the (broke) system, but then to confer citizenship on the illegals now residing in this country. As we’ve seen from the mouth of SEIU, this reclassification of people who’ve abused our country’s laws is meant to provide an electoral advantage to the Democrats and Progressives who’ve been so generous with citizens’ money already—in the name of “charity” and “fairness.” Indeed, the prospect penalizes those who’ve bothered (foolishly, in retrospect) to go about seeking US citizenship in the lawful way, at considerable expense in time, money and trouble. In short, they want to make more voting clients of the welfare state, and it’s pointless to suggest to them that this might somehow negatively affect the security and well-being of the citizens to whom, theoretically, they are already supposed to answer.
To make this chicken-fried crapburger go down more easily, they are dangling the prospect of biometric identification for all citizens—after amnesty, of course. That is to say, the same people who feel that it is too great a burden for people to have to show official photo identification at the polls want to make use of verifiable ID mandatory, presumably, for virtually any sort of economic transaction. Not only that, but President Obama has expressed his support for taking DNA samples from anyone arrested for whatever reason, charged or not charged, much less convicted. Whether such steps fit your conception of totalitarian, I will leave you to decide.
At the same time, it will now be necessary for the IRS to hire 16,500 shovel-ready agents (at a cost of $10 billion, for starters) to make sure that everyone is paying their fair share of the HCR bill costs, so that health care records can be properly screened by government bean-counters, who would never under any circumstances leak information for political gain, such as the health records that Obama declined to supply the electorate during the campaign. Congresspeople, who seem to have some trouble paying their taxes in some instances, and their senior staff, will fortunately be exempt from the provisions that they are putting in place for us, presumably because this health care is so yummy they want their constituents to enjoy every delicious bite. You can be sure that practitioners of various kinds of holistic hooey will be compensated under this scheme, in the name of diversity, now that Obama has restored science to its rightful place in society; except that the practitioners will not be burdened by the same standards of care that, y’know, real physicians will . . . assuming one can find one.
And, as you know, Cass Sunstein would like to make it criminal to peddle any but government-approved conspiracy theories. That is to say that the government shall be free to libel you, but not you the government, and as in the UK the burden of proof and its expense shall fall on the accused. There are certainly many ridiculous conspiracy theories on the web and in print, but until there are no such thing as conspiracies, it would be fascistic to squelch them through means more heavy-handed than ridicule. In fact, there is nothing to prevent a government agency from designating a conspiracy theory any inference they don’t like. And whereas I personally have considered the outright ban on federal student loans for young idiots convicted of drug offenses too draconian, wait till the government has a monopoly and people are excluded from higher education on the basis of thoughtcrime. Naturally, no administration would abuse the process, but still . . . the potential exists, at least in a parallel dimension where dissent is viewed as cognitive dysfunction.
At the same time, the government will control a large swath of youth employment via AmeriCorps, where it will be necessary to be “committed to the mission,” which will be “progressive” though “non-partisan.” Party membership must have its privileges. And although the administration abhors the idea of private citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights, they advocate installing a kind of Carabinieri force of cultural revolutionaries, as numerous as those in the armed forces, to police the country internally. As Elvis Costello sang, “Have you got yourself an occupation?” (Though I agree with Jules that Enoch’s image is a little overtly gun-jumpy.)
If you believe this is paranoid, contemplate the concerted subversion of checks and balances. “Progressivism” is totalitarianism.
Via Jules, Sowell on the Total Information Government.
If the current legislation does not entail the transmission of all our individual medical records to Washington, it will take only an administrative regulation or, at most, an Executive Order of the President, to do that.
With politicians now having not only access to our most confidential records, and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?
Good morning, Amerika! At last we have achieved freedom from the tyranny of choice!
Via Bob Owens:
Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.
And a list of grievances. Speaking of grievances, does anyone recall Bob Herbert squealing about Holder dissing the human rights hero Bartle Bull who denounced the New Black Panthers episode? Either Clyburn lied, or the Capitol Police did, or the journalists, it would seem. He seems also to have a strange appraisal of Joe Biden, and not to have read the Valukas Report. Not that it’s a big f*cking deal.