The goal has been the same for over a decade: Total Information Awareness. The government seeks to have all the data it can possibly get, and keep tabs on every documented detail in your life. They will share this data with law enforcement agencies that have nothing to do with terrorism, which is itself a minuscule threat compared to what America faced during the Cold War.
The only way to stop this is a nationwide movement to restore the Fourth Amendment completely. No more warrantless searches—for any reason: drugs, guns, taxes, money laundering or terrorism. This system cannot be reformed, because the system, from top to bottom, is all aimed at abolishing every last bit of personal privacy.
We have been told it’s a balance between liberty and security, but look where that game has gotten us. The government wants total control. Only if we reject their entire agenda can we have any footing in restoring our liberties.
In George Orwell’s 1984, everything was monitored, except the protagonist Winston Smith did have a small corner he could hide in, where the cameras couldn’t see him. Where we’re heading, we won’t even have that corner.
- Anthony Gregory
If we had state regulation of the press, the BBC would be free to carry on recycling its establishment clichés. But newspapers would find themselves having to answer to the same sort of grandees that preside over the BBC. Is that really what we want to see?
- Douglas Carswell
There was a time — and it really wasn’t that long ago — when if you were a financial firm, you had to have an office in Lower Manhattan, when film studios had to have offices in Los Angeles, and high-tech firms really needed to be in Silicon Valley. If Travis Brown’s big data set shows us anything it is that those days are done. You can build very fine automobiles in the United States, but if you aren’t already in Detroit, you’d be a fool to set up shop there. For the feckless governors of high-tax, big-government states with Governor Perry and Governor Scott breathing down their necks, the only question is which Rick they’re going to get rolled by.
- Kevin Williamson
The BBC seem to have (by and large) ignored this case of another bomber Lib Dem – just as they did the other bomber Lib Dem.
I wonder if they would largely ignore the case of a UKIP councillor who planted bombs?
- Paul Marks
The House of Lords is also talking shale gas this morning. The Economic Affairs Committee is discussing the economic impacts and, like their colleagues in the lower house, decided that the right people to speak to are a group of people who oppose economic development on principle (they took evidence from the experts a couple of weeks ago).
I have no objection to their lordships listening to Swampy et al, but the point has to be made again and again: where is the voice of the taxpayer and the consumer, the voice of those campaigning for economic development and jobs? What is it that members of both houses of Parliament have against ordinary people?
- Bishop Hill
Enjoyable as it is to read Huhne’s opinions on law, order, liberty and privacy, funny he never felt so strongly about the activities of our security services while he was in power and could actually do something about it.
- Guido Fawkes
Politicians never accuse you of ‘greed’ for wanting other people’s money, only for wanting to keep your own money
- Joseph Sobran
There was no hope once the politicians and media were fully on board with the “default” meme. There was never any possibility of a debt default. The government has plenty of money to cover debt service, which requires less than 10% of average monthly tax revenues. It could also have rolled over any bonds which came due. The only thing it could not have done was issue new debt in excess of the limit. True default was never a risk (not that it would have been the end of the world, anyway; the US has defaulted before). But when even the Wall Street Journal adopted that language (their article today about the congressional deal on “reopening” the government and increasing the debt ceiling began with “A potentially crippling U.S. debt default was averted late Wednesday…” there was no hope left. We all knew that the Republicans would cave. They always do. But they were not able to extract a single concession from Obama and Reid. Truly pitiful.
Coincidentally, this afternoon I attended a speech given by Robert Guest, US editor for The Economist magazine. Before launching into what was actually a rather interesting talk he treated us to a diatribe about the pending “default”, comparing the Congress to a bunch of petulant teenagers (OK, that’s actually not too far off the mark). Nothing he said was correct. Quelle surprise.
- Samizdata commenter ‘Laird’
It’s not an energy crisis any more than our wrecked economies are the result of an actual economic crisis – these problems, and many more, are the intellectual and moral bankruptcies resulting from the fraudulent ponzi scheme the tranzi political class have been running for most of the last century. The progressive claim at end of the 19th century was that an expert ruling elite could manage the diverse elements of a modern society and construct a paradise of progress, equality, and freedom from want, both material and spiritual.
For the past century, we have endured one variation of “planned utopia” after another, and it has been a grotesque carnival of incompetence, corruption, repression, violence, and shattered dreams. We are now approaching the end game of this pathetic charade, and the desperation of the imploding elites is palpable, and ominous. They cannot admit, or accept any hint, that their ideas are irrational, their policies counter-productive, and that their promises are not only unfulfilled, but impossible to ever succeed.
Therefore, the venom and viciousness of their scapegoating and evasions of responsibility will only increase, and their urge to resort to extra-legal measures will become irresistible to them.
These are perilous times.
- Samizdata commenter ‘Very Retired’
What has happened in the real Czech Republic and Poland goes against the grain. It is a rare case of small countries confronting a big bully – the biggest of them all, the European Union (EU)…
The Czech Republic didn’t just denounce renewables. Like Poland, it declared that it would double its reliance upon the most vulgar, explicit word in energy – coal…
In 2011, the former president of Czech Republic addressed an audience in Sydney, Australia, where he drew parallels between communism and the global warming doctrine. Those who declare Poland and the Czech Republic’s respective decisions to revert to coal as sacrilege should remember two important points: first, no economy wins any prizes for poverty; second, these countries happen to know a totalitarian movement when they see one.
- Simon Lincoln
The message is clear – grovel and enjoy your genitals being groped or face arrest.
- Paul Joseph Watson
I am rather leery of many of the things on that site but just listen to the embedded video.
This lack of information, and therefore accountability, is a warning that the supervision of our intelligence services needs as much updating as their bugging techniques. The state should not feel itself entitled to know, see and memorise everything that the private citizen communicates. We cannot even rely on incompetence as a bulwark for our freedoms. The state increasingly has the capability to retain everything as the cost of computer memory collapses.
I have been shocked but also mystified by Snowden’s revelations. Throughout my time in parliament, the Home Office was trying to persuade politicians to invest in “upgrading” Britain’s capability to recover data showing who is emailing and phoning whom. Yet this seems to be exactly what GCHQ was already doing. Was the Home Office trying to mislead?
- Chris Huhne