The nightmare world in which Winston Smith lived in George Orwell’s dystopia, 1984, was furnished with technology based on World War II-era know-how. Yet even with such primitive technology as envisioned when Orwell wrote his prescient novel in 1949, the government of Oceania was able to track almost every move its citizens made; similar to the transparent world imagined a century and a half earlier earlier by Jeremy Bentham in his Panopticon.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, moving to solidify his status as the nation’s Nanny-in-Chief, has shifted his focus from using the might of the federal government to outlaw texting while driving, to now require that commercial buses be outfitted with lap-shoulder safety belts. Never content to let the marketplace determine if consumers care sufficiently about a safety item to use their buying power to force manufacturers to incorporate those features in their products, Uncle Sam is once again forcing the marketplace to adhere to its dictates. In this instance, LaHood is cit
The summer months of 1967 are recalled by many middle-aged hippies as the "Summer of Love." The summer of 2010 may be remembered as the "Summer of Immigration Discontent." From Arizona to Nebraska, and in political contests from California to Georgia, immigration debates raged white-hot across the land.
In a decision with frightening ramifications for the protection of a person's most intimate medical records, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that a person's medical records are no longer considered "private papers" and thus are not protected from government search warrants. This ruling came despite language in Georgia law that exempts from the reach of a search warrant "the private papers of any person." Of course, a properly executed search warrant may always be used to reach any items, including medical records, that constitute "instrumentalities of a crime,
Even as the federal government moves to implement the massive health care "reform" President Obama signed into law earlier this year, and as the Census Bureau nears completion of the 2010 census, citizens’ trust in government’s ability to safeguard the privacy of the information it collects on them, remains at a distressingly low level. The lack of trust Americans have in the federal government is graphically illustrated in two surveys this year conducted by the non-partisan Ponemon Institute, headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan.