Back in the ’80s when, on a couple of occasions, I visited the Soviet Union, I always wondered what was it really like to live in that godforsaken place. But it didn’t much matter. For all the creepy spying that was going on, I realized I’d be out of there in a week or two.

Now I know what it was like. It’s come home.

I live in fear.

I don’t want to admit it, but it’s true. Every phone call I make, every email I send, every text I message, every article I write including this one, I imagine being bugged or recorded.

1984 is here and it’s not pretty.

It infects everything we do.

For example, I want to criticize the IRS with every breath I take, but in the back of my head I worry — what if they come after me? What if I’m audited and have to spend the next few years and untold dollars on accountants and attorneys? Is this fair to my family? Is this how I want to spend my life?

Just today I was going to follow up on some information about the wretched prevarications surrounding Benghazi and hesitated. Should I email the source? Telephone? Send a letter? Snail mail would take too long.

What about buying one of those throwaway phones at Radio Shack? But then I would be compromising the recipients of my calls. I would be implicating them.