Glenn's Junk Chest

An assortment of Glenn's writings, photography, gaming resources, flash movies, and other creative output.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Politics: The Wisdom of Slashdot

So the NSA is indeed spying on us all by watching our phone traffic. Practically all that they can use this information for is abuse of our civil liberties, it has no other function. Yet, according to a recent phone poll by the Washington Post, 63% of Americans don't care. I'm aghast.

Reading the feedback to the poll news on Slashdot, there are several cogent observations. One reader (GigsVT) mentioned that he didn't think it likely that phone polls were a good way to get valid statistics about what people thought about phone privacy. Are the ones that value their privacy actually answering these polls?

Amusingly, Myrrh writes that this could be the solution to our nation's energy problems:
As more and more civil liberties are trampled upon, faster and faster will the Founding Fathers spin in their respective graves. If we attach magnets to each Founding Father, then wrap copper wire around each of them, we should have a potentially unlimited energy source.
More seriously, boldtbanan writes "The masses almost always value security over freedom until they have so little of either a revolution is born."

And again and again, as our civil liberties erode, I see the following two quotes in discussions of what's happening. Quotes that seem to me should enlighten anyone as to how deeply we're wounding the principles our country should be built on.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
            --Benjamin Franklin.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
            --Thomas Jefferson

Let's hope we can act on the truth of the former before we're forced into the harsh realities of the later. But still, that 63% of people, however they were surveyed, could say this is OK? I'm horrified, and if the citizenry at large doesn't know to fight this, I think we're in real trouble.

2 Comments:

At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a person who might have more to hide then some, I'm a bit bothered by the idea that the government can now tell just how many different people are calling me. That must look odd.

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger Bill D91 said...

I confess that I'm more mortified than horrified. I'm more embarassed that people think it's OK for the government to be so soft on protecting liberties, but I'm also not surprised.
It's sad, but the natural thing for a lot of Americans to say when government surveillance is critizied is "So what is it you have to hide?" Even in a country founded on reasonbly popular sovereignty and liberty like the US, the population is very accepting of authoritarianism.
I find that terribly unfortunate and terribly typical.

 

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