Recently Don and I had a conversation in the kitchen. This is nothing unusual; our kitchen, as in many homes, is a family gathering place and many conversations take place in it.
But this conversation concerned how much more intrusive our government is becoming. I told him, "Do you realize how much more carefully I guard my tongue now that I know spying is everywhere?"
It's true. Five years ago I never gave a second thought to who might be listening in to our phone calls, monitoring our email, photographing our mail, watching us from drones, or otherwise delving into our private business. I naively assumed we had privacy in our lives.
The reason I mention the kitchen is because, in theory, our private conversation could have been monitored by two potential sources near that room: our cell phones, and my computer. I don't have a camera on my computer and our cell phones (seldom used) were turned off, but these days I wonder if that makes a difference. Maybe we should start having conversations in the barn instead.
A few months ago I had a phone call with a dearly loved friend who now lives across the country. She began discussing something to do with the government and how she found it disturbing... and I found myself clamming up because I feared her words might "trigger" some spying device and cause us trouble.
And if that doesn't sound paranoid, I don't know what does. But as the old adage goes, Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're wrong.
The mere fact that there are certain things I don't mention on the phone or via email means, in a way, that "they" are winning. It means my First Amendment rights are being clamped down. It means that I am fearful of my government.
Want proof? A few months ago an innocent family had their door kicked in during a pre-dawn raid by government thugs simply because the husband and wife happened to independently google "backpacks" (for their kids' schoolbooks) and "pressure cookers" (for improved kitchen efficiency). You probably remember this raid. I'd provide a link, but in order to do so I'd have to input "backpack" and "pressure cooker" into my computer's search engine, and doing so apparently triggers pre-dawn raids by government thugs. If you're interested in finding the news article online, I suggest you be careful.
Data are by no means private, as Target customers or Obamacare website users can testify. Hackers are smart people and can grab data at the drop of a hat.
But government spying is worrisome and indicative of the cracking foundation of our nation's stability. When the people become the enemy -- who must be spied upon -- I see it as the beginning of the end.
And it's not just spying on emails and cell phones. People who seek the advice of a counselor are on their way to having their rights to own firearms revoked. My husband was mentioning a radio ad he's been hearing for a "natural stress relief" product in which "the first month is FREE!" In this Brave New World, if you're foolish enough to admit you might be experiencing stress, how long before that disqualifies you to keep your firearms? After all, you might "lose it" and start shooting up a mall!
There are endless things in the news lately that make me mistrustful and further my desire to spend my life hunkering down. Recently a bank in England refused -- refused! -- to allow its customers to make large cash withdrawals of their own money unless they provided a "good reason." Due to the outcry, they hastily reversed this policy... but do you suppose that made customers feel warm and fuzzy about the availability and accessibility of their savings accounts? And how long before a similarly invasive process is instigated here?
Last fall, Poland confiscated half of private pension funds to reduce government debt. And how can we forget how Cyprus confiscated up to 15% of bank accounts overnight (as well as imposing a $500 limit on withdrawals and a ban on online transfers)?
As Michael Snyder notes, "Now that "bail-ins" have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again. In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world."
And now we learn President Obama "will unveil a new retirement savings plan tonight that allows first-time savers to buy US Treasury bonds tax-deferred for retirement." Yeah right. And how safe would those retirement funds would be from government confiscation?
Public schools are no better. The national dumbed down curriculum Common Core will ensure that all kids learn to toe the official government line. It's no wonder I'm mistrustful of public schools. Anything the government runs must, by definition, conform with the government's opinion. Therefore public school students can hardly be encouraged to view government interference as bad. Students are also cultivated not to question government actions, laws, regulations, or "official" news.
Interestingly the tinfoil hat conspiracy theories are now showing up as news headlines on Drudge almost every day. It seems those who are suspicious have every justification to be suspicious.
Just some thoughts as we prepare to split some firewood in the face of an incoming snowstorm.