Uncle Sam, Big Brother

By Kyle Williams

There are two worlds we have been concerned about in recent history. One is the world that George Orwell created in his novel, “1984.” A world where the government knows and controls everything, everyone worships Big Brother and the government has successfully brainwashed all citizens.

The other world is our own. A world where ignorance was always a weakness, where freedom means you are free and war is a terrible thing. Granted, we are not heading into a full-blown “1984,” and that reality is an impossibility. Yet, many of the aspects in Orwell’s novel are becoming reality. These two worlds are merging.

Everything you do, everything you buy, every website you visit, every magazine you buy, every time you travel on a plane, every time you buy a car, every time you make a money transaction, every single thing you buy electronically and the recordable actions you make will be tracked by the government. Even every e-mail you send and receive. This is not from “1984,” but from 2002.

As reported in William Safire’s recent New York Times column, the Homeland Security legislation has an amendment that creates a department in the Pentagon. The “Information Awareness Office” would track the personal actions of Americans in a massive electronic database – in the name of “security,” of course.

This isn’t the America I know. We are truly entering a brave new world. No, we’re not in any danger right now, but what happens when we trip and fall off the deep end, to elect another Bill Clinton, a world where the presidential administration’s goal is only to gain more power?

I have written in opposition against the Homeland Security Legislation before, but not from a security standpoint. I was writing on the bureaucracy the department would create. However, there is another reason to oppose this department. The government has absolutely no right to know what magazine I subscribe to or the e-mails I send and receive or the personal and innocent actions of Americans.

There is some good news. The homeland security legislation hasn’t been passed yet. There is still hope, however slim. I’d like to call on senators with any common sense to take action for freedom.

The motto of the department is “knowledge is power.” It would create a power of government over citizens. That’s not the way it is supposed to work; the power rests in the hands of the people.

Additionally, the department would be unconstitutional in its current form. I’m still at a loss of the ignorance regarding the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution clearly states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

It’s a dangerous mix when the commercial snooping of the private sector merges with the grasp for power of the government. It’s not only immoral and unethical, but it goes against the very principles upon which this nation was founded.

Americans have always suspected the government of snooping on us this way, through the secret agencies of national defense, but this is bold. It’s radical, and it’s dangerous. It must be stopped, but stopping it likely is impossible without some sort of divine miracle. My generation is going to someday wake up and wonder why on earth our parents let such a thing happen.

In the post-9-11 world, our legislators are using pretty names on legislation and taking advantage of fear to make this government bigger. Anytime government becomes bigger, freedom becomes smaller. We have the USA Patriot Act, this Homeland Security legislation and a general advancement of power for the government.

This truly indicates a government that is heading off a cliff of destruction. I urge you to take note of your representatives’ votes on this legislation and remember it when election time rolls around.