George Orwell was born 110 years ago this past week - on June 25 to be exact. Orwell's prolific work "1984" was something we all read in high school, but didn't really believe could happen in the 20th century United States.
President Dwight David Eisenhower warned us in his farewell address on January 17, 1961. "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Now here we are in 2013, fifty-two years later. George Orwell's book written in 1949 was not wrong and was not a fantasy. It was a vision of a future that we have today. His only mistake was that he was off by 29 years.
The United States of America is the grandest country on Earth. Our principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the ideals that every nation on the Earth desired. The freedom and liberty for which 56 men risked their lives and in less than a week we remember was the foundation of this country. Millions of men and women fought and died to uphold the freedom we held so dear. And at what cost? We have allowed this government to shackle us under the pretense of security. My friends, security comes at the cost of liberty. This government has thrown our freedom and liberty under the bus by allowing socialist and communist influences to infest our country and destroy the spirit of self sufficiency and independence for which our forefathers fought and died.
We are shackled by over regulation, co-dependence on a government that has made itself necessary to us. Just look at what happened this week. President Barack Obama made no bones about his willingness to disregard the law and process and has decided to unilaterally declare war on the fossil fuel industry by calling on the EPA to create regulations making power plants almost impossible to operate. And at what cost? This man has no viable plan for replacing that energy with anything else. The bull about clean energy is a con. We are nowhere close to being able to replace fossil fuel with sun, wind or anything else. If we could have done that already, we would have done so.
He is lying to us. He lied to us three weeks ago when he told us no one is listening to our phone calls. The National Security Agency can and has been doing It for years. They admitted it when the Patriot Act was being debated. There was no secret. They told this country back then they could filter phone calls based on trigger words and alert officials to suspected terrorists.
The Patriot Act was a bad idea from its inception. It gave too much power to too few people who don't deserve it nor are honorable enough to be responsible with it. Politicians crave power. The Patriot Act is a blank check that is ripe for abuse and the longer it stands with its secret courts and tapping and data collections, the more of a threat it is to the very liberty it claims to want to protect. The dilemma is the idea behind the Patriot Act is not necessarily bad. The issue is that its ability to be abused is much too real and only a matter of time. It provides a mechanism for an amoral government to destroy debate, silence free thinkers and eliminate any fairness in this country's political process through the ability to provide extortion and blackmail. We are only human and unfortunately human nature is not beneficial without effort. This is a problem.
Of course the act of Edward Snowden was wrong as well. He is a traitor to this country by doing what he has done. His intentions may have been good, but we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The problem with Snowden is he has exposed the lack of credibility the United States has with its neighbors or in the world court. China and Russia both thumbed their noses at us this week by shuffling this traitor under our noses and telling Obama to shove it. We have not had this credibility problem since Jimmy Carter.
There is always the case of Michael Hastings who was killed in a fiery car crash on June 17.
The facts. Hastings was investigating drone surveillance. He was in fear of the government and his life hours before this early morning crash, so much so that he sent e-mails to all of his friends and colleagues warning them to get legal counsel. He crashed his Mercedes Benz in an explosive crash into a tree. Strange thing is this car crash somehow threw the engine several feet from the tree. Second, the car crashed at a high rate of speed and conveniently burst into flames. Most Mercedes are built to minimize this explosive possibility. What really happened? Maybe Mr. Hastings had the same freak luck a White House counsel had named Vince Foster who somehow committed suicide in the middle of a park with no footprints around him .
Sometimes the facts speak for themselves. Judge for yourself. Remember Adolf Hitler's infamous quote, "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it." The words come from the most heinous monster in the twentieth century, but unfortunately time and again they prove to be true. Think for yourselves, my friends.
This is a very dangerous cross roads. Do you want to honor our forefathers or not? If you want to hear our founding documents for yourself, come to the Freedom Readings at the Summit Hill Heritage Center on July 4th and listen to the words of our Founding Fathers starting at 11:30 a.m.
Til next time..