Book artist Richard Minsky tracked down the original printing of this famous quotation, usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin.
How did we get here again? Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering tells us how:
[T]he people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.It's time to dust off those old copies of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four; or, if you don't have one, Wikipedia has some links to electronic versions downloadable from sites in countries where the copyright has expired. Of course, Big Brother's media company friends might not like you using those links. And as we now know, more than ever before, through the technological marvel that is ECHELON and the directives of our current President and his henchmen. . .
What's next? Take a look at England's latest initiative:
Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.And after that?
Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.
The new national surveillance network for tracking car journeys, which has taken more than 25 years to develop, is only the beginning of plans to monitor the movements of all British citizens. The Home Office Scientific Development Branch in Hertfordshire is already working on ways of automatically recognising human faces by computer, which many people would see as truly introducing the prospect of Orwellian street surveillance, where our every move is recorded and stored by machines.Wait, there's more!
[British Prime Minister] Tony Blair is preparing to scrap a 40-year ban on tapping MPs' [Members of Parliament's] telephones, despite fierce Cabinet opposition. . . .Some people are not comfortable with our President ordering pervasive snooping without a warrant, on our own citizens inside this country, and his assertion of vast power as Commander-in-Chief during a "war on terror" that has no end. A Pulitzer Prize-winning former executive editor of The New York Times, Howell Raines, has used his institutional memory and knowledge of history to give us a backgrounder on the role of the Bush family in American politics. The Times itself just editorialized on Vice President Cheney's motivations and huge role in this administration's interventionism and expansion of Presidential power. Former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle used his institutional memory in a Washington Post column, saying that the Congress explicitly rejected legislative wording in the "use of force" resolution pushed by the White House that would have authorized those same expansive Presidential powers to be exercised inside the United States. Even arch-conservative columnist George Will has wondered, "Why didn't he ask Congress?" for expanded domestic surveillance powers.
The President has asked us to trust him not to abuse his newly alleged powers; but in a similar context regarding the Alien and Sedition Acts, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
[I]t would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism — free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go. . . .UPDATE: Al Gore, Jr., weighed in on this matter with the best speech of his life and one of the best in American history. Read it here, listen to it here, and see excerpts of it here. Jefferson would be proud. Read an earlier Gore speech here.
In questions of powers, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
UPDATE: Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites.
Comrades, we need not worry with these weighty matters. Just remember that Big Brother is watching out for you; and remember the Party's truths: