1984 all over again.

I just got this email:

I wanted to share a website with you that is a good idea to visit. It is www.familywatchdog.us

When you visit this site, you can enter your address and a map will pop up with your house as the small icon with red, blue and green dots surrounding your entire neighborhood.

When you click on these dots, a picture of a person will appear with an address and the description of the crime he or she had committed.

I was really shocked at how many of these people were in my neighborhood and our town.

This is scary to me, but not for the reasons above. Now, I understand the reason behind this- parents want to keep kids safe. I get that. But this just seems like it’s going too far. How long before this extends to other crimes? When anyone can look up all the violations of all their neighbors? What happened to serving one’s time and then being able to live freely? This means that these people will never really be free, even after they are out of jail.

I have some questions that I need to research like – what types of offenses will get you on here? I saw a few on the map that were pretty vague, like “sexual misconduct” – what does that mean? How long does one stay on the list? I’m mad at myself for being woefully uninformed about this.

This week at UNL they are having a symposium on the theme of Orwell’s “1984″. We keep thinking “nah, that won’t happen” – but I see stuff like this and I wonder. The wiretapping, the ability of the government to detain “suspected terrorists” without due process, the list goes on. And the horrible thing is, it’s hard to argue against it! If you speak out on the sexual offender database, you get accused of being on the side of the child molesters. If you speak out about torture or unwarranted detention, you’re accused of being on the side of the terrorists. But it always starts this way- erode the rights first of the people that society at large won’t care about, and then slowly expand the circle to everyone else, all the while make the people think “it couldn’t happen to me.”

Until it does. I have to admit, I’m somewhat influenced right now from reading “Maus” – which is about the holocaust. This only adds to my fear. It is unbelievable to me that the holocaust happened, and that people just stood by and let it happen.

What do we do? How do we stop this? We need real candidates who will do all they can to reverse these erosions on rights, but no one will step up to the plate. What politician will say “you know, I think keeping a publicly accessible database of sex offenders is going a step too far?” And even if one did have the guts to say it, would they have a chance in hell in being elected? Probably not. But maybe, just maybe if one came along that was eloquent enough to explain their position, to educate as to WHY this is wrong, regardless of the offense.

The problem is, in this age of quick sound bites, no one will hear the reason. All they’ll get is “oh, that’s the guy that sides with the sex offenders.”

I’m scared. I’ve been scared, but it’s really starting to dawn on me. This is the beginning. We have loopholes, and they’re creating more. At the very least, we need a government in place that is not likely to widen the loopholes that have already been created, but there’s probably no way to get rid of the ones already there. And I don’t know what to do.

Please, please everyone, at the very least, vote. It’s a small thing, but just do it. Even if you feel useless, just do it. I’m trying to think of other ways to help, to try to stop this. I think, as a nation, we need to get over our feeling of uselessness.

A quote from V for Vendetta:

“people should not be scared of their government, governments should be scared of their people.”

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One Response to 1984 all over again.

  1. Mr. T says:

    Yeah, its pretty much over. The country is basically just one big billboard now.