Not too long ago, an Illinois-based newsletter carried a story that calls to mind a book that I read years and years ago: George Orwell's Brave New World.
CHICAGO -- Monday, July 19, 2004 This week, a series of public forums on a program requiring all pregnant women and children through age 18 years to be tested for mental health needs is being held this week in five different locations statewide.—The Leader Chicago Bureau, Illinois launches compulsory mental health screening: for children and pregnant women © 2004 Illinois Leader
Should this program concern those of us who don't live in Illinois? I believe it should. To my mind, this is another step in a program designed to give Big Brother total control over the lives of folks living in America. An earlier step was when the Government made it mandatory that newborns be assigned Social Security numbers. Since then, there other identify check programs suggested, planned and implemented. How many of the folks reading this have been entered into or scanned by biometrics programs that check your voices, face-shape and DNA against a master compilation? A couple of years ago, I read that, on the average, every person living in America is listed on 16 databases.
Haven't we become accustomed to being under the watchful eyes of security cameras in stores, workplaces and even, I suspect, in public restrooms? I'm certain that at least some of our readers have noticed those street light-mounted cameras that monitor streets and sidewalks. Just last week, Cable TV news informed me that citizens of Great Britain are learning to accept living with the 42,000 surveillance cameras watching over their streets. Here in San Antonio, I have been noticing more and more surveillance cameras mounted on poles at street and highway intersections. We are told that these "traffic cameras" are intended to help speed the flow of rush hour traffic. One can but wonder why they are plugged into a large Federal facility located near a major roadway intersection.
How about those suggestions we occasionally read in the newspapers? I'm referring to those that arguments for implanting recognition chips in the flesh of newborn babies or tattooing children with permanent ID numbers. This reminds me of Hitler's record-keeping methods in the World War II death camps.
From my days in the military intelligence business, I recall learning about methods to make a telephone into a voice monitor, even when hung up. And how about those private security programs that install live microphones inside our homes and workplaces?
Should we be concerned about this development in Illinois? One commentator offers a number of reasons why in an article that begins with these words:
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church certainly is government. As the controlling authority in the eyes of the billion members it claims to rule over, the Whore on the Tiber creates and/or re-defines rules (laws) that Catholic faithful are bound to conform to or risk losing the Beatific Vision that Catholicism dangles over their heads. In the Catholic Church, as in the rest of the world, "the majority of new laws and policies being implemented are sold on fear," as Dawn Lewis wrote.
It cannot be denied that we are living in dangerous times. If we are to have a reasonable expectation of safety our government must protect us from the actions of terrorists and criminals. How much privacy are we willing to surrender in order to feel secure? Are we ready to live our lives in an Orwellian Brave New World with identification chips installed under our skin to tell us when it is time to report to the Sleepshop for destruction, as in Nolan and Johnson's Logan's Run? Are we ready to sacrifice our hopes for eternity on the Catholic altar of Mary?
Come quickly, Lord
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