August 3rd, 2010


Welcome to America, 2010

"It's really beyond dispute that one has virtually no privacy from the Government. That's not just true in theory, but in practice, as the Government seriously escalates the various ways it maintains dossiers on citizens. Many privacy advocates have long taken some comfort in the fact that this data is too vast for the Government to figure out how to use, but with the aid of private industry and these strangely well-funded and sophisticated groups, there are clearly efforts to make this snooping far more useful and manageable.

"Many people are indifferent to the disappearance of privacy - even with regard to government officials - because they don't perceive any real value to it. The ways in which the loss of privacy destroys a society are somewhat abstract and difficult to articulate, though very real. A society in which people know they are constantly being monitored is one that breeds conformism and submission, and which squashes innovation, deviation, and real dissent.

"The old cliché is often mocked though basically true: there's no reason to worry about surveillance if you have nothing to hide. That mindset creates the incentive to be as compliant and inconspicuous as possible: those who think that way decide it's in their best interests to provide authorities with as little reason as possible to care about them. That's accomplished by never stepping out of line. Those willing to live their lives that way will be indifferent to the loss of privacy because they feel that they lose nothing from it. Above all else, that's what a Surveillance State does: it breeds fear of doing anything out of the ordinary by creating a class of meek citizens who know they are being constantly watched."

(Read the rest of the article here.)



"You murder faith same way you murder love: one bruise at a time, with small, daily cuts, with grinding contempt, with neglect. You murder faith by exposing it to bullets inscribed with Bible verses that kill Afghan and Iraqi children. You murder it by separating an elderly lesbian couple in a hospital because their union is considered 'unnatural.' You murder it by linking it to greed, to the 'God wants you to be rich' movement which marinates in loathing for the poor and needy, in defiance of Christ's commission to care for them, then call it 'good for America.' You murder it by exposing it to any number of atrocities wrapped up in an inviolate nationalism that claims divine authority as its basis, with no room for dissent, and no mercy for dissenters. You murder it with self-righteous, violent militarism, with intolerance, with lack of compassion, with lack of humility and, most importantly, with lack of humanity. It dies a little bit more every time a gay or lesbian teenager commits suicide because they've been taught to hate themselves because God 'loves' them but hates what they are."