[Homestead] 1984 revisited
lurine at softcom.net
Tue Sep 28 13:57:14 EDT 2004
For folks that think the Patriot Act I/II is all about safety and all because of 9/11, I'd suggest that you rethink what it is really all about. All of the actions below were begun/started long before 9/11. All of these are incorporated into or rephrased in the "un" patriot acts.
The Orwellian US
by Gail Jarvis
Journalists often compare contemporary society to the totalitarian social order described in George Orwell's disturbing novel 1984. Orwell portrayed the state as being all-powerful, controlling every aspect of citizens' lives. When the novel was first published in 1949, few people could conceive of such a society. Most felt that citizens simply wouldn't allow it. Of course, if the state had attempted to implement a totalitarian society overnight, angry citizens might have prevented it. But the state cautiously enacts its takeovers incrementally, so as to not arouse the public.
Of course, you already know how the state operates but I wanted to remind you again before discussing three invasive government proposals that will seriously encroach on our freedoms. In fact, these three, if they materialize, should make us turn off the TV, put down the remote control, get off the couch and take to the
The first has been reported on LRC by both Rep. Ron Paul and Wendy McElroy: the "New Freedom Commission on Mental Health" that proposes a
governmental mandate requiring mental-health screening for all Americans,
including public schoolchildren and even pre-school children, with or without parental
The second encroachment, still in the discussion stage, is for government to monitor homeschooling more aggressively.
Finally, there is the "American Community Survey," a new annual census report which has been described as "an attempt to invade every aspect of our lives." The questionnaire is a breathtaking 24 pages long and contains all-encompassing
questions dealing with such issues as "a person's job, income, physical and emotional health, family status, and intimate personal and private habits."
Questions demand to know how many days you were sick last year, whether you have trouble getting up the stairs, and, curiously, what time you leave for work each morning. You must give the names and addresses of your friends and relatives and answer inappropriate questions about them as well. If others live in your home, you are required to indicate how many years of school they completed; when they last worked at a job, what languages they speak, and their
physical and emotional problems.
So, what happens if you, like me, think these questions are none of the government's business and you don't want to become an informer on your friends and relatives? Your noncompliance will cost you big bucks."
Check the top of the Housing page (4) where it says that Housing information helps your community plan for police and fire protection. So, (see questions below) what, folks that see farm products are more violent or folks are going to start fires with their food stamps and mortgage papers?
Question 5-In the past 12 months, what were the actual sales of all
agricultural products from this property?
Question 15-At any time during the past 12 months, did anyone in this
household receive food stamps? If yes, what was the value of the food
stamps received during the past 12 months?
Question 23-Do you or any member of this household have a second
mortgage or a home equity loan on this property?
And that is just a SMALL section of VERY intrusive and nunya business type questions in there!
Below is some testimony regarding the census bureau's long form:
But the second major reason that individuals are sensitive about their
privacy is that over the past decade they have seen an unprecedented
increase in government meddling into their lives. Let's consider just a
The Census Bureau has not only asked citizens inappropriate questions.
It also has instructed its agents to engage in truly disturbing behavior
that even many census takers resist. When someone is not home to answer
questions or refuses to answer, census takers can ask neighbors what
they know about the absent or closed-mouthed folks next door. There are
also reports of census takers asking for and being given access to
housing applications and records of apartment tenants from rental
offices. This is not census taking; it's spying.
In 1998 the FDIC proposed that bank tellers ask customers about any
"suspiciously large" deposits or withdrawals. Banks would have to report
to the FDIC not only such transactions but also such appropriate
customer responses as "It's none of your damn business." (This
regulation has been put on hold, but banking officials seem poised to
push ahead with the policy in any case.)
The U.S. Postal Service promulgated regulations in March, 1999, for
commercial mail receiving agencies (CMRAs), such as Mail Boxes Etc.,
that required customers to supply two forms of identification, a home
address, and phone number that would be kept on file by the CMRA and the
local post office. Originally that information from customers using
their boxes for business purposes was to be made available to anyone for
the asking, for example, stalkers or abusive men tracking down ex-wives
or girlfriends. (The "release to everyone" regulation was changed to
"release only to government officials," an important but by no means
completely satisfactory change.)
The administration's misnamed medical privacy regulations, proposed in
November, 1999, would eliminate the need for the government to acquire
individuals' permission to use or distribute their medical records. I
observe that on the list of those to whom the government can give out
that information are undergraduates doing research. (They are not old
enough to drink but they are old enough to violate our privacy.)
One of the administration's proposals for a unique health identifier
would require a DNA sample from every American. (For those of you who
want to understand the implications of such a move, see the movie
Gattaca.) Even the alternatives would, in effect, bar Americans from
acquiring health care in their own country if they do not provide
government officials with whatever personal information they request.
The Kidcare program allows schools to offer health care services to
children. But these are not the traditional programs to make certain
that kids get shots for measles and other diseases. The program allows
health care workers to inquire into children's home lives and
psychological well-being. This potentially allows quacks spouting the
latest psycho-babble to act against parents who offer an "unhealthy"
home situation for kids.
Health care workers going into a home to administer services paid for
by Medicare are being required to record information not only about the
patient's physical health but about the patient's mental health as well.
Is the patient moody? Does the patient flirt with the nurse? This kind
of subjective information could be used to commit to mental institutions
elderly individuals who do not have politically correct attitudes.
The bill S.486, which was passed by the Senate, and H.R. 2987, now
before the House, would allow federal agents to enter a home, take
"intangible" items, for example, make photocopies of diaries or other
papers, and copy computer hard drives, but would not require the agents
to notify the citizen that his or her home had been searched, or to
provide an inventory of intangible items taken.
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