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WHEN YOU’VE LOST CHRIS WALLACE …   Chris Wallace compares Facebook, Twitter to ‘Big Brother’.

Remember he’s certified “fair” and “non-partisan.” Right?


The role of the citizen in the Covid dystopia is to applaud the state, not question it. Every Thursday night, on your doorsteps or your balconies, you must clap for the benevolent state and its gracious health service. Big Brother loves you and you must love it back. Vast propaganda billboards remind us of this duty. From Wembley Stadium to motorway hoardings to the front windows of the most respectable citizens’ houses, the same three words loom, like an omnipresent reminder to the masses of the only opinion you’re allowed to hold in Covid Britain: ‘Thank you NHS.’

The despotic instinct runs riot. We have seen police officers telling people to get out of their own front gardens, to stop walking in the Peak District, to get off park benches and return to their house arrest. Snitching is the only thriving business. By the end of April, British police forces had received 214,000 calls from Covid Britain’s willing army of spies. ‘Always the eyes watching you’, as Winston Smith put it.

New rituals ensure order and obedience. A face mask, like a burqa in Afghanistan, signifies your fealty to the new religion: social distancing. ‘Stay two metres apart’, the relentless propaganda instructs, even though the medical benefits of such distance are far from clear. People do the awkward pavement dance to avoid getting too close to passing strangers, and take their place in long, silent, fractured queues outside supermarkets, keen not to displease any lockdown fanatic who might be watching.

Not only is work strictly regulated in this one-ideology nation – so is play. There will be no hugging of people from outside your household until autumn at the earliest, says Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for human touch. A survey found that some people (possibly as high as one in five) are breaking lockdown to have sexual intercourse. Sex is an illicit activity in Covid Britain, as in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Hancock is our one-man Junior Anti-Sex League keeping a watchful eye over citizens and their wandering hands. In Orwell’s dystopia, ‘the sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion’. Same here. Just ask Neil Ferguson. He lost his job for having sex (when it should have been for his dodgy models).

According to Wired magazine’s UK Website, England won’t complete its easing procedures until (ironically enough) the Fourth of July:

Alongside the alerts are three steps the government is introducing to ease the lockdown. The first of these steps commences on May 13 – when some restrictions on who can go to work are being eased, as well as the ability to meet one person from another household and the allowance of unlimited exercise.

There are no confirmed dates for steps two and three of easing the lockdown but the government has set out its ideal timings. Step two could being from June 1. This step would allow a phased return for schools, with pupils from reception, year one and year six being allowed back into classrooms. “The government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review,” the government says.

Also in step two could be the reopening of “non-essential retail”. The government has not outlined the types of businesses that it considered to be non-essential retailers in any detail but it is not thought to include pubs and similar firms.

Step three, which may happen from July 4, would see the reopening of some of the hospitality industry and other public places. When this point is reached, many of the remaining lockdown measures would be eased. This may include the reopening of hairdressers, beauty salons, pubs, hotels, and leisure facilities such as cinemas.

Still More Evidence That Lockdowns Were A Massive Waste Of Time, Money, And Lives,” Issues & Insights, a spin-off from Investor’s Business Daily, argues: “This isn’t to say that no action was needed to cope with this uncharted virus. That’s not the argument any of these researchers are making. What they are saying is that the lockdowns weren’t based on sound science, and that far less intrusive measures would likely have been just as effective, if not more so, without destroying the economy. To be sure, there are studies claiming that the lockdowns reduced infections and saved lives. But as JP Morgan’s Kolanovic noted, ‘Unlike rigorous testing of potential new drugs, lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself.’ Where’s the ‘party of science’ when you need it?”

BIG BROTHER WAS ALWAYS A LEFTIST: Progressive group used phone data to track protesters at anti-lockdown rallies. But as I noted earlier, this shows that the right can now draw on people from a wide area to converge and protest in particular places. It used to be that only the left routinely did that. No wonder “progressive groups” are worried.

OH TO BE IN ENGLAND, AIRSTRIP ONE: We need Big Brother to beat this virus.

Orwell’s 1984: A warning for the rest of us; a user’s guide to…past speechwriters for Boris Johnson and David Cameron?

PRIVACY: Big Brother in the Sky: New Jersey Police Use Chinese Drones to Enforce Social Distancing.

BIG BROTHER IN THE SKY: Police Use Chinese Drones to Enforce Social Distancing. “DHS warned that Chinese-made drones may be sending sensitive flight data back to their manufacturers in China, where the Communist Party-dominated government can access it. The DHS sent an alert last May warning about the drones, almost a year before American mayors decided to use DJI drones to enforce social distancing measures to fight the coronavirus.”

SKYNET SMILES: Say Hello to Your 1.23-Ounce Big Brother: Fitbits Could Be Used to Track Viruses Like Covid-19.

THE LITTLE SISTERS TAKE ON BIG BROTHER: Count on this: The bigger and more complex government becomes, the more conflicts we can expect between religious conscience and the duty to comply with the law.

As if to illustrate my point, the Supreme Court recently agreed to decide two cases—including one brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor—that bear on religious objections to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. (Yes, if you are experiencing déjà vu, the Little Sisters of the Poor have been to the Supreme Court on this issue before.) This time the focus is expected to be on the Trump Administration’s efforts to grant religious exemptions to employers like the Sisters.

I won’t weigh in on the legal issues presented. I’m not smart enough to do them justice in this short space. My point is more political or maybe strategic. Bloomberg quotes an evidently anxious expert as saying that if the Trump Administration’s efforts are upheld, it “could open the door to federal agencies issuing many more [rules granting religious accommodation].”

For good or ill, that’s obviously true. I have mixed feelings about it. To me at least, for conservatives to rely too readily on religious accommodations to deal with governmental expansions seems like a loser’s game.

In a report issued a few years ago by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on “Peaceful Co-Existence” between government and religion, I wrote this:

While the targeted religious accommodations approach may sometimes be a good idea, it is not always the best strategy for people of faith. Targeted religious accommodations make it possible for ever-expanding government bureaucracies to divide and conquer. They remove the faith-based objections to their expansive ambitions, thus allowing them to ignore objections that are not based on faith. The bureaucratic juggernaut thus rolls on. People of faith should not allow themselves to become just another special interest that needs to be appeased before the next government expansion is allowed to proceed. They have an interest in ensuring the health of the many institutions of civil society that act as counterweights to the state—including not just the Church itself, but also the family, the press, small business and others. They also have an interest in ordered liberty in all its manifestations. A nation in which religious liberty is the only protected freedom is a nation that soon will be without religious liberty too.

The other side of the coin is this: The Commission report that quote appeared in got a lot of attention when it was released, because the Chairman’s Statement (which I discuss at length in my Statement) was essentially a screed against Christianity. It was astonishing. To this day, I can’t imagine what got into him. But it served to remind me that Christians (and no doubt people of other faiths too) really do have opponents in high places.

JOEL KOTKIN: Big Tech’s Hypocritical Wokeness Might Soon Backfire.

Not long ago, in our very same galaxy, the high-tech elite seemed somewhat like the Jedis of the modern era. Sure, they were making gobs of money, but they were also “changing the world” for the better.

Even demonstrators against capitalism revered them; when Steve Jobs died in 2011, the protesters at Occupied Wall Street mourned his passing.

Increasingly, Americans no longer regard our tech oligarchs as modern folk heroes; today companies including Google, Apple and Facebook are suffering huge drops in their reputations among the public.

The tech oligarchs make a big show of their social “wokeness.” They play up on gender issues, despite a wicked record of sexual harassment at companies like Google and across the “bro culture” of the male-dominated valley.

Worse still are issues of class. The Bay Area, as CityLab put it, has devolved into “a region of segregated innovation” where the rich wax, the middle class declines and the poor suffer increasingly unshakeable poverty. Over the past decades wages for African Americans and Latinos in Silicon Valley have fallen during the boom while much of the work, up to 40 percent, has gone to temporary immigrant workers, the modern-day equivalent of indentured servants.

Of course, the oligarchs rely on immigrants to work as low-wage janitors, dog walkers and restaurant workers essential to their high-amenity economy. Not surprisingly they have been among the fiercest critics of President Trump’s immigration policies. This fits into their image, cultivated, for example, by Jeff Bezos mouthpiece The Washington Post, as principled defenders of democracy and human rights against the would-be dictator in the White House.

Yet these pronouncements obscure remarkable hypocrisy. Time, owned by oligarch Marc Benioff, rejected its own readers’ poll, which favored making the Hong Kong protesters “person of the year,” and instead gave the honor to Greta Thunberg. This will bolster the founder’s green bona fides but also protects the company’s growing presence in China. It seems there’s no conflict between advocating wokeness in America while supporting repression in China. If tech-rich Taiwan, which just voted strongly against pro-mainland candidates, ever thought it could look to Silicon Valley for support, they should look again.

Then there’s the assistance with Chinese spying, and their effort to create some sort of similar surveillance apparatus here at home.

Flashback: Silicon Valley has gone from liberating to creepy. Next stop, government regulation. “Silicon Valley seemed to have gone from the hammer-wielding woman in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial, to the Big Brother figure up on the screen in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial.”

Plus: “Digital Maoism.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE. Mashable: 2010s = 1984: The decade we finally understood Orwell.

To be a totalitarian, he knew from his contemporary totalitarians, you had to seize control of truth itself. You had to redefine truth as “whatever we say it is.” You had to falsify memories and photos and rewrite documents. Your people could be aware that all this was going on, so long as they kept that awareness to themselves and carried on (which is what doublethink is all about).

The upshot is, Winston Smith is gaslit to hell and back. He spends the entire novel wondering exactly what the truth is. Is it even 1984? He isn’t sure. Does Big Brother actually physically exist somewhere in Oceania, or is he just a symbol? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Winston is what passes for well-educated in his world; he still remembers the name “Shakespeare.” He’s smart enough not to believe the obvious propaganda accepted by the vast majority, but it doesn’t matter. The novel is about him being worn down, metaphorically and physically, until he’s just too tired and jaded to hold back the tide of screaming nonsense.

Don’t call him Winston Smith. Call him Mr. 2019. Because it’s looking increasingly like we live in Oceania. That fictional state was basically the British Isles, North America, and South America. Now the leaders of the largest countries in each of those regions — Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro — are men who have learned to flood the zone with obvious lies, because their opponents simply don’t have the time or energy to deal them all.

As Tom Wolfe famously wrote about the far left versus the center-left LBJ administration in “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide to America,” as collated in his 1982 anthology of his nonfiction, The Purple Decades:

“For the past hour I have my eyes fixed on the doors here,” [Gunter Grass] said. “You talk about fascism and police repression. In Germany when I was a student, they come through those doors long ago. Here they must be very slow.”

Grass was enjoying himself for the first time all evening. He was not simply saying, “You really don’t have so much to worry about.” He was indulging his sense of the absurd. He was saying: “You American intellectuals—you want so desperately to feel besieged and persecuted!”

He sounded like Jean-François Revel, a French socialist writer who talks about one of the great unexplained phenomena of modern astronomy: namely, that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.

* * * * * * * *

By 1967 Lyndon Johnson may have been the very generalissimo of American imperialism in Southeast Asia—but back here in the U.S. the citizens were enjoying freedom of expression and freedom of dissent to a rather astonishing degree. For example, the only major Western country that allowed public showings of MacBird—a play that had Lyndon Johnson murdering John F. Kennedy in order to become President—was the United States (Lyndon Johnson, President). The citizens of this fascist bastion, the United States, unaccountably had, and exercised, the most extraordinary political freedom and civil rights in all history. In fact, the government, under the same Johnson, had begun the novel experiment of sending organizers into the slums—in the Community Action phase of the poverty program—to mobilize minority groups to rise up against the government and demand a bigger slice of the pie. (They obliged.)

And, speaking of community organizers, socialism, and Mashable’s aforementioned “obvious lies,” Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” for 2013 goes entirely unreferenced in their look back at the 2010s, which apparently started less than three years ago:

As Michael Barone noted in 2013, “More than all past presidents, Obama uses 1917 Espionage Act to go after reporters.” And yet, in Mashable’s article on the past decade, CTRL-F, “Obama” brings up zero returns.

BIG BROTHER: ACLU sues FBI, DOJ over facial-recognition technology, criticizing ‘unprecedented’ surveillance and secrecy. “The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday sued the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI for records detailing their use of facial-recognition software, arguing that the agencies have secretly implemented a nationwide surveillance technology that threatens Americans’ privacy and civil rights.”

PRIVACY: A proposed Denver law would ban police from using facial recognition technology.

Connor Swatling doesn’t want Big Brother watching you.

The Denver resident has introduced a ballot measure banning the Denver Police Department and every other city entity from using facial recognition technology for law enforcement purposes.

DPD does not currently use the technology, department spokesperson Sonny Jackson said. He added that the department does not use local or national databases that use the tech. Denver Police does operate more than 250 “HALO” cameras, but Jackson said those don’t have facial recognition capabilities.

Swatling’s initiated ordinance will need to receive more than 8,000 valid signatures to have the question appear before voters for the 2020 election.

He’s already launched a website for his campaign:

The site is still under construction, but if you’re a Denver resident, it might be worth looking into.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Libs, Including Chris Cuomo, Are Okay with Using ‘Fredo’ as an Insult.

There are a lot of ways you can respond when you think somebody has insulted you, but of course Chris Cuomo responded in Chris Cuomo fashion: aggressively hostile and hilariously stupid. He really was about to throw down with this dude, just for calling him “Fredo.”

What better way to shatter stereotypes about Italians than to yell and scream and threaten to beat up a guy in a public place over a harmless slight?

There’s a lot about this that’s funny, but perhaps the most amusing part is Cuomo’s assertion that the name “Fredo” is somehow “like the N-word for Italians.” We know this isn’t true right off the bat, because Cuomo himself keeps saying “Fredo” and not “the F-word.”

Besides that, how many times have people used the Fredo-word on CNN or MSNBC? More than once!

Heck, even Cuomo has called himself “the F-word:”

Cuomo was interviewed by Curtis Sliwa on his AM 970 radio show in January 2010 about whether his brother Andrew might seek the Democratic nomination for governor.

Sliwa said he dubbed the Cuomo family “la Cuomo Nostra.”

“There is a group of people — politicos — who always hint they might run, but not necessarily plunge all the way, and they are members of la Cuomo.”

“Who am I, then, Fredo?” Cuomo asked in response.

“Yes, exactly,” Sliwa said. “So you better be careful that your brother Andrew doesn’t kiss you on both cheeks and then all of a sudden they take you out on the middle of the lake and where’s Chris?”

“He kisses me plenty because he’s a great big brother,” Cuomo said.

As Treacher writes, “If CNN had responded to the release of that video by saying, ‘The guy was with his family, just leave him alone,’ I’d agree. But instead, they’re going to the mattresses. They’re doubling down on Cuomo’s ridiculous claim of racism, so they deserve whatever they get.”

It wouldn’t have come to this point if the true Don, Guy Caballero, was still alive to bring peace to the five network families.


PAULA BOLYARD: Pinterest Blacklists PJ Media, Other Conservative Sites and This Is Just the Tip of the Censorship Iceberg. “Worse, when I tried to add an image to the pin and clicked ‘save from site,’ which ordinarily brings up images from the website you’re linking to, I got this message:”

Of course, we don’t allow nudity on PJM—in fact, it is our editorial policy to blur it out when it appears in an image that is necessary to explain a story. We are not a po*rn site either, although we do write about it from time to time, most often in the context of pointing out its deleterious effects on the culture and on the relationships between men and women. That doesn’t stop the Big Brothers of Big Tech from categorizing us that way in order to shut us up.

PJM reached out to Pinterest for an explanation but received no reply.

Related: Tech Billionaire to Joe Rogan: ‘The Left Has Won the Culture Wars. Now They’re Just Driving Around Shooting Survivors.’

More: Stacy McCain On Corporate Censorship: A Short History Of The Social Media Thought Police Regime.


PAULA BOLYARD: Pinterest Blacklists PJ Media, Other Conservative Sites and This Is Just the Tip of the Censorship Iceberg. “Worse, when I tried to add an image to the pin and clicked ‘save from site,’ which ordinarily brings up images from the website you’re linking to, I got this message:”

Of course, we don’t allow nudity on PJM—in fact, it is our editorial policy to blur it out when it appears in an image that is necessary to explain a story. We are not a po*rn site either, although we do write about it from time to time, most often in the context of pointing out its deleterious effects on the culture and on the relationships between men and women. That doesn’t stop the Big Brothers of Big Tech from categorizing us that way in order to shut us up.

PJM reached out to Pinterest for an explanation but received no reply.

Related: Tech Billionaire to Joe Rogan: ‘The Left Has Won the Culture Wars. Now They’re Just Driving Around Shooting Survivors.’

BIG TECH AS BIG BROTHER: SalesForce Bans Its Customers From Selling Firearms.

CHILLING: A District Court judge in England has allowed a private prosecution of Boris Johnson for the medieval crime of “misconduct in public office” to go forward, on the allegation that he lied during the Brexit Referendum.

Obviously, all political statements henceforth should be cleared with a competent body empowered to make determinations on matters of truth or falsehood. We could call it the Ministry of Truth. Nor should any mere politician head such a body. No sir! It should be headed by someone anyone could feel comfortable with, or love, like a family member. A big brother if you will.

Seriously, if you want a run-down of the English law involved in this case, click here.

EFF: Massive Database Leak Gives Us a Window into China’s Digital Surveillance State.

Earlier this month, Gevers discovered an insecure MongoDB database filled with records tracking the location and personal information of 2.6 million people located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The records include individuals’ national ID number, ethnicity, nationality, phone number, date of birth, home address, employer, and photos.

Over a period of 24 hours, 6.7 million individual GPS coordinates were streamed to and collected by the database, linking individuals to various public camera streams and identification checkpoints associated with location tags such as “hotel,” “mosque,” and “police station.” The GPS coordinates were all located within Xinjiang.

This database is owned by the company SenseNets, a private AI company advertising facial recognition and crowd analysis technologies.

A couple of days later, Gevers reported a second open database tracking the movement of millions of cars and pedestrians. Violations like jaywalking, speeding, and going through a red-light are detected, trigger the camera to take a photo, and ping a WeChat API, presumably to try and tie the event to an identity.

China may have a working surveillance program in Xinjiang, but it’s a shockingly insecure security state. Anyone with an Internet connection had access to this massive honeypot of information.

I wonder if this leak might have been intentional — an electronic version of 1984′s every-present “Big Brother Is Watching You” warnings.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): A massively intrusive surveillance apparatus with inadequate security seems like a great opportunity for opponents — say, the US — to sow discord and unrest in the event of conflict.

ASPIRING NOVELIST LEARNS TO LOVE BIG BROTHER: SJW mob shames debut Young Adult novelist Amelie Zhao into withdrawing her novel, surrendering her dream.

The book, which had positive buzz (Barnes & Noble called it one of the most anticipate YA releases of the year), has been the subject of a massive Social Justice Warrior pile-on on social media, as Jesse Singal discussed in a tweetstorm. Very few people have even read the novel, but the mob attacked it as racist for a variety of reasons, one of them being that Zhao created a fantasy world where “oppression is blind to skin color” (this, from the press release). It’s a fantasy world, and people haven’t even read the book, but the mob was certain that Blood Heir is racist, and that its author — a young woman raised in Beijing, but now living in New York City — ought to be shut down.

Today, they got their wish.

Read the whole thing. In the 50th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury wrote,  “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.”

Bradbury didn’t appreciate how SJWs would speed up the destruction in the 21st century. Why burn books en masse when you can simply torch the galley copy?

CHINA: Bribing Big Brother.

In December, for the first time since February 2016, Chinese factory activity declined. That alone was enough to cause stock markets worldwide to continue their sharp declines because the factory slowdown was more evidence that the entire Chinese economy was hitting a rough patch. It was also confirmed that Chinese GDP growth in 2018 was 6.5 percent and many economic indicators continue declining while those in the United States are growing. This is a reminder that the current trade war with the United States favors the Americans for many reasons that Chinese leaders cannot ignore. China has hit economic slumps since the 1990s, usually the result of economic problems in the West. But now the cause is China because of a lot of bad decisions that are now catching up with the Chinese leadership that made all the mistakes in the first place. Years of tolerating corruption and ignoring the growth of bad loans (that were at the basis of much corruption) means that just borrowing more money to give the economy a boost will not work.

Scroll down for some interesting comments on Russia’s relationship with China and how “money talks in different dialects.”

COLLUSION: Amazon and Facebook Reportedly Had a Secret Data-Sharing Agreement, and It Explains So Much. This is creepy:

Back in 2015, a woman named Imy Santiago wrote an Amazon review of a novel that she had read and liked. Amazon immediately took the review down and told Santiago she had “violated its policies.” Santiago re-read her review, didn’t see anything objectionable about it, so she tried to post it again. “You’re not eligible to review this product,” an Amazon prompt informed her.

When she wrote to Amazon about it, the company told her that her “account activity indicates you know the author personally.” Santiago did not know the author, so she wrote an angry email to Amazon and blogged about Amazon’s “big brother” surveillance.

I reached out to both Santiago and Amazon at the time to try to figure out what the hell happened here. Santiago, who is an indie book writer herself, told me that she’d been in the same ballroom with the author in New York a few months before at a book signing event, but had not talked to her, and that she had followed the author on Twitter and Facebook after reading her books. Santiago had never connected her Facebook account to Amazon, she said.

Amazon wouldn’t tell me much back in 2015. Spokesperson Julie Law told me by email at the time that the company “didn’t comment on individual accounts” but said, “when we detect that elements of a reviewer’s Amazon account match elements of an author’s Amazon account, we conclude that there is too much risk of review bias. This can erode customer trust, and thus we remove the review. I can assure you that we investigate each case.”

“We have built mechanisms, both manual and automated over the years that detect, remove or prevent reviews which violate guidelines,” Law added.

A new report in the New York Times about Facebook’s surprising level of data-sharing with other technology companies may shed light on those mechanisms.

Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.

The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends, and it let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer, despite public statements that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier.

If Amazon was sucking up data from Facebook about who knew whom, it may explain why Santiago’s review was blocked. Because Santiago had followed the author on Facebook, Amazon or its algorithms would see her name and contact information as being connected to the author there, according to the Times. Facebook reportedly didn’t let users know this data-sharing was happening nor get their consent, so Santiago, as well as the author presumably, wouldn’t have known this had happened.

Who would have expected this kind of behavior from a company founded by a guy whose college blog was entitled “Zuck on it.”

Related: Why President Trump Should Channel Teddy Roosevelt And Bust Some Trusts.

Make Antitrust Great Again!

BIG BROTHER DEM IS WATCHING YOU:   Wallace Campaign Uses ‘Orwellian’ Door Hangers Noting Whether Constituents Vote is Public Record.



ANALYSIS: TRUE. The drive to sink Kavanaugh is liberal totalitarianism.

Sohrab Ahmari:

I don’t use the “T”-word lightly. I’ve spent years pushing back against those who fling it about in free societies like ours. But totalitarianism doesn’t require cartoonish, 1984-style secret police and Big Brother. The classical definition is a society where everything — ethical norms and moral principles and truth itself — is subjugated to political ends.

By that measure, the Democratic campaign to block Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, based on a hazy, uncorroborated, decades-old assault allegation, tends toward the totalitarian. Certainly, it has many of the elements of abusive politics that Americans normally associate with foreign lands untouched by the light of liberty and reason.

Read the whole thing, although to be fair, the Left’s totalitarian instincts go back at least as far as the French Revolution.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: SEVENTEEN YEARS LATER: “The world is now in the post-Obama phase of the response to 9/11 with no clear outcome in sight. What is clear is that immigration controversies are fueling what Anne Applebaum calls a rejection of Democracy across the West or a cold civil war depending on your point of view. Worse, surveillance technology has made Big Silicon, once the liberal bastion of the ‘digital frontier’, into Big Brother, the enforcer of hate speech rules and arbiter of truth which has added an element of paranoia to the mix. The video of Google employees vowing never to allow something like Hillary’s defeat to occur again illustrates shows the suddenness with which the civilization’s tools can be turned against it. The ease with which instruments of surveillance and censorship can be directed at the Deplorables instead of al-Qaeda was recently brought home by a video showing a senior Google official vowing to “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values”. The unspoken agreement on values at the Google all-hands meeting is a reminder of how easily groupthink can become what Scott Adams called the ‘casual evil’ of self-righteousness.”

END IT DON’T MEND IT: Obamacare Requirement Blamed For Doctor Burnout.

The report published in the American Journal of Medicine found that the electronic health records (EHR) is destroying the relationship between doctors and patients. The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom charges the Obamacare requirement that doctors use electronic health records has caused a surge of burnout in the medical profession, explains Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. “The EHR is causing doctors to leave their patients,” said Twila Brase, the president of CCHF and the author of “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records.”

“Congress forced doctors to buy and use computerized record systems to collect and report patient data to the government. And it’s wreaking havoc on their practices and their patients,” said Brase according to WND. Brase’s book is opening eyes to the problems of government interference in markets – especially the healthcare market.

More at the link.

I’M IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: When Digital Platforms Become Censors: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other tech giants say that they’re open forums. What happens when they start to shut down voices they consider beyond the pale?

Call 2018 the “Year of Deplatforming.” The internet was once celebrated for allowing fresh new voices to escape the control of gatekeepers. But this year, the internet giants decided to slam the gates on a number of people and ideas they don’t like. If you rely on someone else’s platform to express unpopular ideas, especially ideas on the right, you’re now at risk. This raises troubling questions, not only for free speech but for the future of American politics and media. . . .

Now these companies are trying to have it both ways. They take advantage of the fact that they are not publishers to escape responsibility for the endless amounts of problematic material on their sites, from libel to revenge porn. But at the same time, they are increasingly acting like publishers in deciding which views and people are permitted on their platforms and which are not. As a narrow matter of First Amendment law, what these companies are doing will probably pass muster, unless some federal court decides, as in Marsh v. Alabama (1946), that their platforms are functionally equivalent to “company towns,” where the public square is privately owned.

As a more general issue of free speech, however, the fact that a few corporations can play such a disproportionate role in deciding what subjects are open for debate is a problem. It is made more so by the pronounced leftward leanings of the big tech companies, which lately appear determined to live up to the right’s worst fears about them. Extremists and controversialists on the left have been relatively safe from deplatforming. . . .

The notion that Silicon Valley megabillionaires are actively limiting what ordinary Americans can talk and write about is likely to produce a backlash. The tech industry’s image has already suffered over revelations about Facebook’s experiments aimed at manipulating users’ newsfeeds to test their emotional states, as well as various cases of invasion of privacy and data mishandling. Twenty years ago, most Americans saw Silicon Valley as liberating; now it seems to have gone from the hammer-wielding woman in that famous “1984” Apple commercial to the Big Brother figure up on the screen.

And then there is the competition angle. Mr. Jones’s InfoWars is itself a media operation, in competition not only with Facebook and YouTube but with cable channels like CNN and MSNBC, which have made him a target. What happened to Mr. Jones could be described as “a conspiracy in restraint of trade,” in which one group of media companies gets another group of media companies to knock off a competitor.

One of the arguments for leaving tech industries unregulated has been that the industry is in constant ferment. But with a few companies now dominating the field, that ferment is less likely to continue. When giant companies combine to kick out their competitors and start interfering in politics, you can be sure that, even if they claim they are acting in the interests of decency, that’s not where it will end.

I think the Antitrust Division at Justice should be investigating the — admitted — collusion between these media companies as they shut out other media companies. It’s basically the blue-check media against the alternatives. (Bumped).



I won’t lose any sleep over the twin descents of Messrs. Cosby and Levine into the dark pit of disgrace. But there’s a difference—a huge one—between shunning such men and rewriting the history of which they are a prominent part. Not only was Mr. Cosby the first black man to star in a weekly dramatic TV series, “I Spy,” but “The Cosby Show,” for which he is now best remembered, was universally praised for portraying a middle-class black family in a way that appealed to viewers of all races. As for Mr. Levine, he was one of the half-dozen greatest opera conductors of the postwar era. Yet the Kennedy Center and Met Opera Radio seem to be trying to pretend that neither man ever existed.

Few of us like to admit it, but most human beings are impossibly complicated, none more so than artists. You can simultaneously be a great comedian and a sexual predator, a great musician and a pedophile. To argue otherwise is to falsify history, and to falsify history is to dynamite the foundations of reality.

I used the word “unperson” earlier in this piece. It was coined by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” his 1948 dystopian fantasy about a totalitarian society similar to the Soviet Union whose ruler, Big Brother, rewrites history every day to expunge his enemies from the record books. To this end, his Ministry of Truth prints new editions of books and newspapers from which the names of politically incorrect “unpersons” have been scissored out, even as the offenders themselves have been jailed and brainwashed. As a character explains, “If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death?”

Perhaps it doesn’t matter all that much that the Kennedy Center has hosed Mr. Cosby’s name off its increasingly trivial roll of pop-culture sycophancy. But Met Opera Radio did something far more consequential when it chucked Mr. Levine’s historic recordings into the memory hole, an act of suppression that bears a distant but nonetheless definite resemblance to book-burning. By doing so, it effectively declared that great musicians must also be good men—a position that can be defended only by the tone-deaf.

In addition to the real-life acts allegedly committed by Cosby and the Met conductor James Levine, there’s that massive amount of badthink on display throughout even the most left-leaning old television shows and movies, which the modern left insists be judged by the current standards of #MeToo.

The Great Purge of 20th Century Mass Culture will be astonishing to watch, a much more insidious version of the way the arrival of the Beatles to America completely pushed swing music, America’s pop music from the 1920s through the early 1960s, into the dustbin of history. With no past to draw upon, what happens next to pop culture won’t be pretty, as Mark Steyn warned in a piece titled “The Totalitarianism of the Now,” written in August of last year, when the left was transitioning from toppling statues to toppling real-life men in pop culture and the fine arts:

I’ve said many times that, when a people lose their future, they also lose their past: There will be no West End theatre in an Islamized London – no Oscar Wilde, no Bernard Shaw, no Noël Coward, and eventually no Shakespeare. There will be no Berlin Philharmonic in an Islamized Germany — no Brahms, Beethoven, Bruckner. There will be no classic rock on the radio dial in an Hispanic Florida — so no Motorhead, no Def Leppard, no Blue Oyster Cult. Such are the vicissitudes of demographic transformation.

But perhaps it won’t matter anyway. Our age not only disdains its inheritance, but actively reviles it, and wishes to destroy it. It is a totalitarian impulse. Nescire autem quid antequam natus sis acciderit id est semper esse puerum: To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child. To despise what happened before you were born is to remain forever a juvenile delinquent in the thuggish gang of the present tense.

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches,” Ray Bradbury wrote in the 50th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451.


Big Brother is dead and in a freezer, but his frozen brain sends out spasmodic thought-orders through the network of Marxists in the nation.  Today they go after racistsexisthomophobes, tomorrow they extend that to “Islamophobes” and prevent, say, the outlawing of female genital mutilation.

Read the whole thing. As Ross Douthat of the New York Times and National Review tweeted last year when Time-Warner-CNN-HBO employee Lena Dunham admitted she was prepared to dox airline stewardesses if they displayed insufficient wokeness, “Every great idealist begins as a rebel, becomes a square, and eventually degenerates into a narc.”

WE’VE WON, AND NOW WE’RE ASSHOLES: Jaron Lanier On The State Of The Tech Industry.

We used to be kind of rebels, like, if you go back to the origins of Silicon Valley culture, there were these big traditional companies like IBM that seemed to be impenetrable fortresses. And we had to create our own world. To us, we were the underdogs and we had to struggle. And we’ve won. I mean, we have just totally won. We run everything. We are the conduit of everything else happening in the world. We’ve disrupted absolutely everything. Politics, finance, education, media, relationships — family relationships, romantic relationships — we’ve put ourselves in the middle of everything, we’ve absolutely won. But we don’t act like it.

We have no sense of balance or modesty or graciousness having won. We’re still acting as if we’re in trouble and we have to defend ourselves, which is preposterous. And so in doing that we really kind of turn into assholes, you know?


One of the problems is that we’ve isolated ourselves through extreme wealth and success. Before, we might’ve been isolated because we were nerdy insurgents. But now we’ve found a new method to isolate ourselves, where we’re just so successful and so different from so many other people that our circumstances are different. And we have less in common with all the people whose lives we’ve disrupted. I’m just really struck by that. I’m struck with just how much better off we are financially, and I don’t like the feeling of it.

Personally, I would give up a lot of the wealth and elite status that we have in order to just live in a friendly, more connected world where it would be easier to move about and not feel like everything else is insecure and falling apart. People in the tech world, they’re all doing great, they all feel secure. I mean they might worry about a nuclear attack or something, but their personal lives are really secure.

And then when you move out of the tech world, everybody’s struggling. It’s a very strange thing.

Related: Was Social Media A Mistake?

Plus: Social Media As Social Disease.

Also: Data Misuse and the Weaponization of Emotion.

And: Silicon Valley has gone from liberating to creepy. Next stop, government regulation. “Silicon Valley seemed to have gone from the hammer-wielding woman in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial, to the Big Brother figure up on the screen in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial.”

I think Jaron Lanier is right that what we’re facing today is “Digital Maoism.”

UPDATE: I went back and read this piece on Lanier that I did for the WSJ in 2010, and in retrospect I think I may not have given him enough credit:

Predictably, Mr. Lanier’s Web 2.0 critique has stirred a furious online backlash—which has only helped to buttress his argument. When ran an unsympathetic pre-publication review of “You Are Not a Gadget,” the geek discussion site ran a brief summary of the review with a link. Hundreds of comments soon adhered to the Slashdot summary, most of them negative. Finally, one frustrated commenter wrote: “The irony here is that this thread is a perfect example of what Lanier’s been talking about. A group of people with self-reinforcing attitudes making pronouncements based not on the actual book, but on a review of the book. Actually, I bet most of these ‘opinions’—since who can be bothered to read an entire review, let alone the book—aren’t even informed by reading the review. I’m sure there are lots of valid criticisms to the book, but Lanier has you all dead to rights as far as the intellectual seriousness of this ‘debate’ goes.” Score one for Mr. Lanier’s warning about the demise of considered thought and the rising tyranny of first-impression reactions to complex ideas.

But what Mr. Lanier is missing is the sheer fun of a lot of social-media interaction and the way it has brought non-geeks into the computer world. As I look at the social Web that he finds sterile and overly corporatized, I see Tea Party activists, “caveman diet” enthusiasts and model-rocketry devotees—among countless others—coming together and finding ways to collaborate, organize and socialize as never before. I see individuals and small groups acquiring creative power and the sort of organizational reach that only large companies or governments once had. Ordinary Americans are experiencing the same kind of buzz and excitement that used to be known only to the “digerati” elite in the halcyon days of the early 1990s.

Mr. Lanier is nostalgic for that era and its homemade Web pages, the personalized outposts that have largely been replaced by the more standardized formats of Facebook and MySpace. The aesthetics of these newer options might be less than refined, but tens of millions of people are able to express themselves in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago. And let’s face it: Those personal Web pages of the 1990s are hardly worth reviving. It’ll be fine with me if I never see another blinking banner towed across the screen by a clip-art biplane.

Like a remote beach that has been discovered by the masses, the Internet is no longer the pristine preserve of the well-off few. But what it now lacks in exclusivity it has more than made up for in ease of access. And for all the problems that Mr. Lanier rightly worries about, the trend seems to be toward a Web of ever more striving human activity. Indeed, we are not gadgets. I’m scoring that a win.

I mean, you can still make that argument, but not as convincingly. And maybe he was ahead of me because he had a better idea of what Facebook, et al., had in mind.

BIG BROTHER’S LATEST SCHEME: You May Not Be Interested In Social Credit, But Social Credit Is Interested In You.

BIG BROTHER IS CENSORING YOU: Microsoft To Ban ‘Offensive Language’ From Skype: The updated rules are vague and come with big potential consequences for breaking them. Like I said, break up Big Tech.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Silicon Valley has gone from liberating to creepy. Next stop, government regulation. “Silicon Valley seemed to have gone from the hammer-wielding woman in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial, to the Big Brother figure up on the screen in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Silicon Valley has gone from liberating to creepy. Next stop, government regulation. “Silicon Valley seemed to have gone from the hammer-wielding woman in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial, to the Big Brother figure up on the screen in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Silicon Valley has gone from liberating to creepy. Next stop, government regulation. “Silicon Valley seemed to have gone from the hammer-wielding woman in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial, to the Big Brother figure up on the screen in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Silicon Valley has gone from liberating to creepy. Next stop, government regulation. “Silicon Valley seemed to have gone from the hammer-wielding woman in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial, to the Big Brother figure up on the screen in that famous ‘1984’ Apple commercial.”

I call for breakups.

SERIOUSLY?  Is Big Brother now in the dentist’s office?


Ben Shapiro tweets:

As they say at David Horowitz’s Front Page Website, “Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.” The DNC-MSM are really going out of their way to drop the mask this weekend.

Flashback to last year: “Following the lead of CNN’s Brian Stelter, Thursday’s Situation Room touted the spike of sales in the book 1984 and strongly hinted that Americans view the Trump administration as the real-life version of Big Brother portrayed in George Orwell’s classic.”

UPDATE: Speaking of Stelter, as Michael Malice, the author of Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il tweets, “Reminder that CNN was more hostile to an American citizen who made a wrestling gif than to a representative of the most evil government on earth.”

THE INDIA EFFECT: What Celebrity Big Brother Can Teach Us About Gender Politics. “The problem is that while you can perhaps legislate for speech and expression, you cannot legislate for conviction. In other words, you might be able to force people to say a certain thing, but you cannot force them to truly believe it. The contestants in the Big Brother house felt bound by enough social pressure to express a belief in Willoughby as female, (as I too feel bound by enough social pressure to concede, as a matter of courtesy, female pronouns to an individual I do not, in fact, believe to be female,) but their true feelings leaked fast out of every interaction they shared. Crucially, it was in this gap between expression and belief that so much of India’s distress seemed to lie.”

EVERYONE IS BIG BROTHER: Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking.

In 2014, the State Council, China’s governing cabinet, publicly called for the establishment of a nationwide tracking system to rate the reputations of individuals, businesses, and even government officials. The aim is for every Chinese citizen to be trailed by a file compiling data from public and private sources by 2020, and for those files to be searchable by fingerprints and other biometric characteristics. The State Council calls it a “credit system that covers the whole society.”

For the Chinese Communist Party, social credit is an attempt at a softer, more invisible authoritarianism. The goal is to nudge people toward behaviors ranging from energy conservation to obedience to the Party. Samantha Hoffman, a consultant with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London who is researching social credit, says that the government wants to preempt instability that might threaten the Party. “That’s why social credit ideally requires both coercive aspects and nicer aspects, like providing social services and solving real problems. It’s all under the same Orwellian umbrella.”

The evil genius behind “social credit” is that it gives the impression of turning users into electronically empowered Big Brothers, when in fact it turns users into willing Winston Smiths.

E-STASI: Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens. “The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents.”


The Chinese government is pitching the system as a desirable way to measure and enhance “trust” nationwide and to build a culture of “sincerity”. As the policy states, “It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility.”

Others are less sanguine about its wider purpose.

Ya think?

No matter what Beijing claims about “trust” or “sincerity,” by definition, a high-trust society can’t be built from the top down. However it is possible with modern tools to build a surveillance state where everyone is both Winston Smith and the telescreen.

HMM: Dear Democrats, Unless You Nominate Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump Will Win in 2020.

I don’t think I like the idea of President Big Brother. And I suspect the Dem leadership would find him — as the GOP leadership finds Trump — too hard to control for their own comfort.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: President Big Brother? Years ago, a Zuckerberg-like figure might have been able to run as a stainless nerd-knight, above the culture wars, but Silicon Valley’s enlistment on the liberal side leaves it looking like a creepy cyborg.

UPDATE: Yeah, there’s some kind of coding glitch so only the first paragraph shows. I blame Zuckerberg! Should be fixed in a few minutes.

AND HIS NAME IS LENA DUNHAM: Big Brother Is Listening to You. Even your thoughts aren’t safe.

INEZ STEPMAN: Google Fires Engineer For Noticing Men And Women Are Different: Google’s reaction, first condemning the memo and then firing its author, confirms in the most unfortunate terms fears about the company’s ideological ‘echo chamber.’

For years, I’ve thought that “Brave New World” was the clear winner in the dystopia prophesy contest, but the regressive left keeps reminding me to keep “1984” in the running. Like in other ideological purge cases, such as the firing of Mozilla CEO Brandan Eich and the browbeating of Harvard University president Larry Summers, leftists have urged Damore’s total banishment from the tech world until, in the words of one Twitter user, he learns “what it takes to actually be an engineer and a decent human.”

In other words, until Demore stops questioning Silicon Valley political groupthink and learns to love Big Brother, he will not be welcome in a technical profession that has nothing directly to do with politics.

The rigid politicization of everything and the drawing of ideological battle lines are bad for Google, as Demore’s memo points out, but they are even worse for America. While college students cry out for “safe spaces” from dissenting ideas, the real safe spaces Americans need are those in which to work, find friendship, and discuss opposing ideas without risking their livelihoods.

Silicon Valley turned into Mizzou so gradually I barely even noticed. But remember, your top priority can be shareholders, it can be diversity, or it can be technical excellence. But you can only have one top priority. Google’s seems pretty clearly to be diversity.

Related: Female Silicon Valley Engineer: Google Can’t Seem To Tolerate Diversity.

It’s fine to question Damore’s characterization of women. (As a female engineer in Silicon Valley, I endorse his suggestion to “treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group.”) It’s okay to disagree with the proposed solutions. But the backlash was egregiously swift and brutal. Google representatives issued multiple statements denouncing the document. Past and present colleagues chimed in over the weekend with calls for the engineer to be ousted. Media outlets like TechCrunch, Gizmodo and Motherboard jumped on board to declare the memo an “Anti-Diversity Manifesto.” It appears that the ideological echo chamber extends beyond Google’s campus.

Silicon Valley has a very peculiar definition of diversity that requires proportional representation from every gender and race, all of whom must think exactly alike. Given that Google has failed to reach this ideal despite nearly a decade of efforts, Damore might be right to suggest that it try a different tack. Google rejects 99.8 percent of job applicants, making it far more selective than any Ivy League university. It’s not unreasonable to posit that in this top 0.2 percent of the population, there may be various ways in which talent manifests differently between the sexes.

Suggesting that men and women are different, though, can be a perilous endeavor. In 2005, Harvard President Larry Summers speculated that the under-representation of women in top science and engineering positions might have something to do with the male tendency to exhibit extreme traits — to, say, have very high or low IQs. The remarks were widely condemned as an allegation that women have an innate disadvantage in science and math. Summers apologized profusely, but it was too late. The faculty convened and issued a no-confidence vote, and the president stepped down shortly thereafter.

Suppressing intellectual debate on college campuses is bad enough. Doing the same in Silicon Valley, which has essentially become a finishing school for elite universities, compounds the problem.

When an institution puts “social justice” ahead of its actual mission, decline is inevitable.

BIG BROTHER IS STALKING YOU: Creepy Canadian App Gives Citizens Points for Making Government-Approved Choices.

IN AIRSTRIP ONE, BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOUR COMMENTS: BBC Holds Personal Data, Threatens To Contact Employers If Users Leave ‘Offensive’ Comments On Articles.


PRIVACY: New App Lets You Find Strangers on Facebook Just by Taking Their Picture.

A new app developed by British entrepreneur Jack Kenyon called “Facezam” is seeking to become the Shazam of faces. While the latter lets you identify music you like through audio recognition, Facezam matches your photos of strangers with their Facebook accounts.

It works scanning billions of Facebook profile shots by second and can reportedly match up with the right out in just 10 seconds and with 70 percent accuracy.

It is an incredible testament to the efficacy of facial recognition technology, even if it destroys all public anonymity in the process. Likewise, the app is either totally creepy, or kind of intriguing, depending on whether you’re the one being messaged by a stranger who took your picture, or trying to break the ice with a hot stranger you randomly snapped a pic of.

“Facezam could be the end of our anonymous societies,” Kenyon told the London Telegraph. “Users will be able to identify anyone within a matter of seconds, which means privacy will no longer exist in public society.”

Big Brother never had it so easy.

BIG BROTHER: Vizio Caught Spying on Customers Through Their TVs.

The popular TV maker Vizio began in 2014 to incorporate software into its TV sets to collect information about our viewing habits on a second by second basis. Then, working with a data analytics company, they were able to associate that data with very detailed and specific personal information of the viewers. Yes, Vizio sold you a TV set and turned around and spied on you as a thank you for your business!

Vizio installed the software on 11 million TV sets without ever asking for permission or informing their owners that they were collecting the data. After a lawsuit was filed by the FTC and the State of New Jersey, Vizio settled and paid a fine of $2.2 million.

We have one of those so-called “smart” TVs, but Samsung is crazy if they think I’m ever going to give it the password to my WiFi.



A longtime admirer of Fidel Castro, Turner has called the former Cuban president “one hell of a guy.” In 2001 Turner told a class at Harvard Law School, “You’d like him [Castro]. He has been the leader of Cuba for 40 years. He’s the most senior leader in the world, and most of the people that are still in Cuba like him.”

Castro, in turn, holds Turner in high regard, so much so that the dictator was the inspiration behind the creation of CNN International. As CNN News Chief Executive Eason Jordan told his audience during a 1999 lecture at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism:

“… Let me also thank Fidel Castro. In the earliest days of CNN, when CNN was meant to be seen only in the United States, the enterprising Fidel Castro was pirating and watching CNN in Cuba. Fidel was intrigued by CNN. He wanted to meet the person responsible. So Ted Turner, who at that point had never traveled to a Communist country or knowingly met a Communist, [went to Havana]. It was big deal for Ted and during the discussions Castro suggested that CNN be made available to the entire world. In fact it was that seed, that idea that grew into CNN International.”

—David Horowitz’s “Discover the Networks” page on CNN founder Ted Turner, as quoted at Ed, in a 2010 post titled “The Mote in CNN’s Mini-Cam,” a round-up of some of the network’s zanier bootlicks of totalitarian dictators over the years, not least of which was this moment a decade ago:

Chaser: “Following the lead of CNN’s Brian Stelter, Thursday’s Situation Room touted the spike of sales in the book 1984 and strongly hinted that Americans view the Trump administration as the real-life version of Big Brother portrayed in George Orwell’s classic.”

NewsBusters yesterday.

Shades of clueless Walter Cronkite during run-up to the eponymous year depicted in Orwell’s book, as I wrote in my 2014 review of Cronkite’s biography by leftwing author Douglas Brinkley:

Similarly, in 1970, Brinkley writes that Cronkite believed that “the U.S. government needed to regulate polluting corporations and force them to prioritize environment over profit.” But Cronkite chose to commemorate the arrival of the year 1984 and its Orwellian implications by starring in a special for CBS and drafting a column for the New York Times in which he wrote, “The total absence of privacy the idea that the government is (or may be) always watching, means, most of us would agree, the ultimate loss of freedom.”

Without the implied method of force, how did Cronkite imagine government would regulate corporations “to prioritize environment over profit”?

It’s during this passage of Cronkite that Brinkley concocts a smear of his own, by writing:

Reading George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, published in 1949, had been a revelation for Cronkite. He was stunned by Orwell’s raw insights into both Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. To Cronkite, the dystopian 1984 was prescient in showing that America’s civil liberties were being gutted by a right-wing agenda.

Gee, wait ‘til Brinkley discovers what Orwell’s Ingsoc stood for, let alone where national socialist Germany and the international socialist Soviet Union were on the ideological spectrum.

And as Joseph Epstein wrote in his review of Brinkley’s book in the September 2012 issue of Commentary (subscription may be necessary to read), Cronkite himself wrote an introduction to a paperback edition of 1984, in which he seemed to think that modernism itself was Orwell’s chief concern:

I read a preface Cronkite wrote to a paperback edition of George Orwell’s 1984, and discovered he thought that the target of the novel was not the brutal devastation of life, private and public, under totalitarianism, but chiefly the danger posed by the technology of modernity. “1984 is an anguished lament and a warning that vibrates powerfully when we may not be strong enough nor wise enough nor moral enough to cope with the kind of power we have learned to amass,” Cronkite wrote. Throughout this preface, the Soviet Union and China, whose governments treated their respective populations as conquered nations, go unmentioned.

As Epstein notes, Cronkite’s preface to Orwell’s epoch-defining novel was written in 1983, “and by then Cronkite had entered that phase of liberalism that finds no country more dangerous than one’s own.”

Which has long been CNN’s view of the world looking out from the Thermopane windows atop their headquarters in Atlanta. But as I said before, if Trump really were half the strongman CNN is trying to depict him as, they’d be falling over themselves to worship him.

UPDATE: “Despite being on opposite sides, protesters on the right and left can end their fears the same way. If you’re afraid that the federal government will ruin your life, reduce the power of the federal government,” Jon Gabriel advises in his latest Arizona Republic column. Where shall we begin shrinking the leviathan, CNN?


If this were a just world, 13 facts would be etched on Castro’s tombstone and highlighted in every obituary, as bullet points — a fitting metaphor for someone who used firing squads to murder thousands of his own people.

●He turned Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union and nearly caused a nuclear holocaust.

●He sponsored terrorism wherever he could and allied himself with many of the worst dictators on earth.

●He was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon.

●He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.

●He condoned and encouraged torture and extrajudicial killings.

●He forced nearly 20 percent of his people into exile, and prompted thousands to meet their deaths at sea, unseen and uncounted, while fleeing from him in crude vessels.

●He claimed all property for himself and his henchmen, strangled food production and impoverished the vast majority of his people.

●He outlawed private enterprise and labor unions, wiped out Cuba’s large middle class and turned Cubans into slaves of the state.

●He persecuted gay people and tried to eradicate religion.

But he was a lefty, so it’s all okay. Just like with Venezuela.

THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING, THEY’LL PROBABLY BE USED TO MAKE YOU LOVE BIG BROTHER: Mind-controlled nanobots could release drugs inside your brain.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON THE GREAT REGRESSION: “Today, it seems that Orwell’s 1984 would better have been titled 2016,” VDH writes:

Orwell was wrong only on his dates. Had he entitled his novel 2016, we would immediately have recognized his parallels to the present “overseas contingency operations,” “violent extremism,” “undocumented immigrants,” and “man-caused disasters.” The campus diversity czar is our Big Brother. Imagining that all lives matter is a thought crime. Due process on a campus today is counter-revolutionary, and proper sexual congress among students is to be scripted as a politically correct act, as if we were all Orwell’s Winston Smith and Julia. Is the Junior Anti-Sex League with its red sashes far behind?

As the London Guardian lamented on Sunday, “Goodbye to sex: a short and heartfelt eulogy.”

Hey, the Washington Post wasn’t kidding when at the start of 2009, via their then-owned magazine Newsweek, they declared “We Are All Socialists Now” – evidently, they didn’t realize (or care) that the result would be something akin to East Germany, albeit with Justin Bieber and the Kardashians for entertainment, rather than ‘60s London with socialized medicine and the Beatles. (Or Sweden and Abba for that matter.)

WAS IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY AND IF BILL CLINTON IS A RAPIST, THAT DOESN’T ‘MAKE HIM A BAD FEMINIST,’ Wonkette editor Rebecca Schoenkopf exalts, learning to love both Big Brother – and Big Sister.


NOTHING CREEPY ABOUT THAT: Religious fundamentalism could soon be treated as mental illness. “Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.”

“Other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society.” They will cure you, and you will love Big Brother.

A MOTHER’S DAY REMINDER: A Little Mother Prevents Big Brother: “Motherhood is the first and last line of defense against totalitarianism. If you think this statement sounds over the top, you ought to ponder why the family has always been the ultimate target of tyrannical systems of government such as communism. Advocates of cultural Marxism tend to view families as akin to subversive cells that get in the way of centralized state power… That’s the best reason to celebrate Mother’s Day—perpetually.”

THE ANTI-SEX LEAGUE WANTS TO MAKE SURE YOU LOVE NO ONE BUT BIG BROTHER: Prepare to have your sex life regulated by government.

Adults may soon find their sex lives regulated to the point where nearly every sexual encounter is defined as rape unless neither party reports the activity.

The American Law Institute will vote in May on whether to adopt a model penal code that would make “affirmative consent” the official position of the organization. Affirmative consent — or “yes means yes” — policies have already been adopted by many colleges and universities, and have been passed as law in California and New York.

A source within ALI has confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the model penal code on sexual assault that was discussed at last year’s meeting will be voted on at their annual meeting this coming May. Last year, the draft proposal was met with opposition from ALI members, including a female former prosecutor who called the draft “really disturbing.”

A group of concerned members within ALI even circulated an opposition letter, signed by dozens of members, that detailed the dangers of pushing affirmative consent on the general public (not that it’s a good policy for college students, either).

Sure, this sounds impossible — but think of all the other things happening, legally, that seemed impossible not long ago. But the people pushing this stuff have no fear of consequences. If this passes, the American Law Institute should be shamed and shunned.

WELL, YES, THAT’S ABSOLUTELY THE GOAL: How a Cashless Society Could Embolden Big Brother: When money becomes information, it can inform on you.

I wrote on this a while back.

YOU DON’T SAY: North Korea to pursue nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea will pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile program in defiance of the United States and its allies, a top Pyongyang envoy said on Friday, adding that a state of “semi-war” now existed on the divided Korean peninsula.

So Se Pyong, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, denounced the huge joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises taking place which he said were aimed at “decapitation of the supreme leadership of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)” and conquering Pyongyang.

However, help in dealing with the Hermit Kingdom might be coming from a long-awaited place:

North Korea is now facing an unexpected financial crises as China not only enforces the new sanctions but also the older ones it ignored and adds some new sanctions. Thus North Korea was shocked when on March 1 st Chinese border guards refused to let shipments of coal or ores enter. These mineral exports are a major source of foreign currency and were not covered by sanctions. China is believed to be making a point; that it is fed up with North Korea ignoring demands to halt its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs and turn its attention to the internal economic crises. So far North Korean leaders are ignoring this additional sanction and telling subordinates that it is only temporary. But the rumors in China are that the blocking of mineral exports will last for a long time, perhaps indefinitely until the North Korean leaderships shows more respect towards China and heeds the advice from its “big brother.”


CBS ADMITS TO EPIC FAIL AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever.

Which is an amazing headline to find at CBS, considering its entire journalistic operation over the last 60 years has been to condition Americans to love Big Brother, and to destroy the reputations of the wreckers and subversives who would prevent them from doing so.

SO MUCH FOR PRIVACY: The New York Slimes Times editorial board laments that “Political Dark Money Just Got Darker.”  After (again) bashing the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, the NYT editors focus on the liberal/progressive campaign finance cause du jour: mandating disclosure of the identity of donors to 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, such as some tea party groups, the National Organization for Women, AARP, various ACLU chapters, right to life committees, kennel clubs, Rotary clubs, environmental groups, fan clubs, and voting rights organizations.

The rationale for such disclosure? So-called “dark” money. In the words of the NYT editors:

In the new budget bill, Republicans inserted a provision blocking the Internal Revenue Service from creating rules to curb the growing abuse of the tax law by thinly veiled political machines posing as “social welfare” organizations. These groups are financed by rich special-interest donors who do not have to reveal their identities under the tax law. So much for effective disclosure at the I.R.S.

In another move to keep the public blindfolded about who is writing big corporate checks for federal candidates, the Republicans barred the Securities and Exchange Commission from finalizing rules requiring corporations to disclose their campaign spending to investors. It was Citizens United that foolishly envisioned a world in which: “Shareholders can determine whether their corporation’s political speech advances the corporation’s interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are ‘in the pocket’ of so-called moneyed interests.”

In acting to seal that pocket and hobble the I.R.S., congressional Republicans are advancing what has become the dark age of plutocratic money in campaign spending. At every turn, they are veiling the truth about the special-interest ties they have with rich donors shopping for favors. Since the Citizens United decision in January 2010, politicians have collected more than $500 million in dark money from phantom donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, with hundreds of millions more expected in the current campaign.

Since the people’s elected representatives have so foolishly thwarted the liberals’/progressives’ attempt to invade individual privacy in the guise of “disclosure,” the NYT editors have this modest proposal:

Is there any ray of light in this moneyed darkness?

For two years, President Obama has dithered and withheld the one blow he could easily strike for greater political transparency: the signing of an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their campaign spending. This would not solve the overall problem, but in mandating new disclosures in time for the 2016 elections it would help affirm that democracy is about transparency. Mr. Obama should sign the order now. If Republicans want to make an issue of this, let them — and let them defend the scourge of dark money before the voters on the campaign trail.

That’s classic. An iconic liberal/progressive newspaper’s editorial board, frustrated by the “inaction” (i.e., disagreement) by Congress on its liberal/progressive agenda, is demanding that the President “go around” Congress to issue an executive order mandating disclosure of the identities of donors to 501(c)(4) organizations that have government contracts.

I guess liberals/progressives only value individual privacy when it comes in the form of de-identified metadata about cell phone calls and “democracy” only when it creates results with which it agrees. Big Brother wants to know to whom you are giving your money, so that it can bring you out of the “darkness” of privacy.  And if the people’s elected representatives won’t force you out of the “darkness,” one person–the President–should do it unilaterally. Nice.


LOVING BIG BROTHER: Occidental Professors Voting to Give Students Power to Report Them for Microaggressions.

REAPING WHAT PROGRESSIVISM HATH SOWN: Kevin Williamson on “Yale’s Idiot Children“:

On Friday, I was honored to be a guest of the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale, where I participated in a panel on freedom of speech with the wonderful writer Harry Stein and Professor Bradley A. Smith, a noted law scholar. The Yale kids did their screaming best to prevent us from having a conversation about free speech — the Yale kids are utterly immune to irony — but the event went much as planned. Coming and going, we were chanted at by idiot children screaming, “Genocide is not a joke!” . . .

If you’re wondering about the genocide thing, so were we.  . . . The idiot children were screaming about Lukianoff because he said they were overreacting to Christakis’s criticism that they tend to scream and overreact. Well played, idiot children.

Of course, these idiot children aren’t children. These are young adults who can serve in the military, get married, buy firearms, drink alcohol, etc. They are at the beginning years of adult life, but they are entirely unprepared for adult life. . . .

As for me, I think that they’re clowns, and worse than that, really: They’re bad citizens, and defective people from defective families. They aren’t motivated by good will, but by fear: of the dawning realization that they, as people, aren’t really all that important, despite having been told all their lives how important they are.

We’re all real sorry about your safe spaces and your pacifier and your stuffed puppy, Caitlyn. Really we are. Yet the perpetual revolution of configured stars continues in its indifference, and the lot of man is ceaseless labor, and though you may find the thought terrifying — and thinking itself terrifying — it may turn out to be the case that the screaming in the dark you do on campus is more or less the same screaming in the dark you did in the crib, the same howl for the same reason.

Christakis–the liberal Yale Professor who dared to question P.C. orthodoxy–has profusely apologized to the “offended” snowflakes who are now running the progressive asylums universities:

“I have disappointed you and I’m really sorry,” Nicholas Christakis told about 100 students gathered in his living room on Sunday for a meeting also attended by Jonathan Holloway, the dean of Yale College, and other university administrators. Christakis said his encounter on Thursday with students in the college’s courtyard, in which numerous black women upbraided him for being inattentive to them, broke his heart, according to a voice recording of the conversation provided to The Washington Post.

“I mean it just broke my heart,” Christakis said. “I thought that I had some credibility with you, you know? I care so much about the same issues you care about. I’ve spent my life taking care of these issues of injustice, of poverty, of racism. I have the same beliefs that you do … I’m genuinely sorry, and to have disappointed you. I’ve disappointed myself.”

James Taranto aptly noted the Orwellian tone of Christakis’s apology,  “But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” 

ARTHUR CHU WANTS TO BE YOUR BIG BROTHER: Arthur Chu’s Grand Vision of Repressive Tolerance.


If only Bezos had a publishing platform available to him with its own history of investigative journalism that would be willing to explore the strange labor practices at the Times

RELATED: Why would the socialists at Salon (who repeatedly express the desire to nationalize everything!) think that a comparison to 1984’s Big Brother is a bad thing?


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Sheltered Students Go to College, Avoid Education.

The new language of campus censorship cuts out the middleman and claims that merely hearing wrong, unpleasant or offensive ideas is so dangerous to the mental health of the listener that people need to be protected from the experience.

During the time when people are supposed to be learning to face an often hard world as adults, and going through the often uncomfortable process of building their intellectual foundations, they are demanding to be sheltered from anything that might challenge their beliefs or recall unpleasant facts to their mind. And increasingly, colleges are accommodating them. Everything at colleges is now supposed to be thoroughly sanitized to the point of inoffensiveness — not only the coursework, but even the comedians who are invited to entertain the students.

The obvious objection to this is that it is not possible to have a community of ideas in which no one is ever offended or upset . By the time you’re done excising the Victorian literature that offends feminists, the biology texts that offend young-earth creationists, and the history lessons that offend whichever group was on the losing side, there’s not much left of the curriculum . The less obvious, but even more important, objection is raised by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in this month’s Atlantic: It’s bad for the students themselves.

Students demanding that campus life be bowdlerized to preserve their peace of mind seem to believe that the best way to deal with trauma is to avoid any mention of it. But Lukianoff and Haidt argue that this is exactly backward; chronic avoidance breeds terror. The current climate on campus is a recipe for producing fearful adults who are going to have difficulty coping in an adult world. It’s as if we were trying to prepare the next generation of American citizens by keeping them in kindergarten until the age of 23.

Fearful, and looking for a big brother to protect them.

CHRISTOPHER NUTTALL, whom you may remember as the author of the Ark Royal books, etc., also has a blog. Here are some thoughts on David Cameron and Islamic Extremism:

Like so many other politicians, Cameron is infected with the virus of political correctness, a virus that weakens the host to the point where resistance against dangerous threats becomes impossible. This may seem absurd, but consider; if the mere act of identifying a threat is considered evil, how then is resistance to be organised? This is, of course, the precise reason why 1984 was (and remains) such an important novel. The newspeak of political correctness is just as dangerous as the cruder form practiced by Big Brother.

Cameron is correct, to be fair, that Islamic extremism is a deadly threat. It is a ruthless force that is just as dangerous to Muslims as it is to everyone else. Nor is there any denying the strange appeal of extremism to young men and women, even though the men will be used as cannon fodder and the women forced to breed the next generation of extremists. Nor, finally, is there any denying the spread of conspiracy theories through the Middle East and the Muslim Diaspora, an inevitable result of governments that – whatever veneer they wear – are blatantly hypocritical. Many of Cameron’s observations on why this extremism spreads are quite accurate. Far too many young Muslims in Britain – and non-Muslims too – simply feel no attachment to British society.

But this is caused by a simple failure to defend British society.

When you have a ruling class that doesn’t much like the country it rules, this is what happens.

MARK RIPPETOE: Big Brother Is Watching You Squat: State Licensure — What Coaches And Trainers Need To Know. Punch back twice as hard.

THEY’RE NOT JUST HERE, THEY’RE IN CHARGE: Tom Nichols at The Federalist: “The New Totalitarians are Here.

Totalitarians are a different breed. These are the people who have a plan, who think they see the future more clearly than you or who are convinced they grasp reality in a way that you do not. They don’t serve themselves—or, they don’t serve themselves exclusively—they serve History, or The People, or The Idea, or some other ideological totem that justifies their actions.

They want obedience, of course. But even more, they want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining. And the only way to achieve that is to create a new society of people who share those beliefs, even if it means bludgeoning every last citizen into enlightenment. That’s what makes totalitarians different and more dangerous: they are “totalistic” in the sense that they demand a complete reorientation of the individual to the State and its ideological ends. Every person who harbors a secret objection, or even so much as a doubt, is a danger to the future of the whole project, and so the regime compels its subjects not only to obey but to believe.

. . .

By attacking everyone in the public sphere from judges to writers, they’re sending a clear warning that there’s plenty of room in the bonfire. It is a vow that you will be held to account for your personal thoughts, even if you’ve already been defeated in a democratic or judicial contest.

No, even after losing, you will be forced to admit the error of your ways. You must accept that you’ve sinned. You must discard your own values and accept the ideas of your betters. You must denounce yourself for undermining the construction of a better world.

You, too, must love Big Brother.

Indeed.  That’s why process–which is another way of referring to the “rule of law”–is so utterly irrelevant to the political left, as it’s (at most) only an occasionally useful means to desired ends. And the end game isn’t just “winning” politically or legally, but choking all debate, such that disagreement isn’t disagreement, but bigotry.

BIG BROTHER IS TAXING YOU: Oregon Launches Program To Tax Drivers By The Mile. “According to a national usage fee alliance, 28 states are in various stages of following down the same road. However, there are also privacy concerns. Two of the three OReGO systems track and store a car’s every move.”

As I wrote on this a while back, Don’t Track Me, Bro.

IS THAT REALLY A SPIDER, OR ARE YOU BEING MONITORED?:   Today’s Wall Street Journal oped by a Harvard Law prof and a Brookings Institution fellow assert that we need a “new social contract” to handle the coming privacy and security threats:

You walk into your shower and see a spider. You don’t know whether it is venomous—or whether it is even a real spider. It could be a personal surveillance mini-drone set loose by your nosy next-door neighbor, who may be monitoring the tiny octopod robot from her iPhone 12. A more menacing possibility: Your business competitor has sent a robotic attack spider, bought from a bankrupt military contractor, to take you out. Your assassin, who is vacationing in Provence, will direct the spider to shoot an infinitesimal needle containing a lethal dose of poison into your left leg—and then self-destruct.

Meanwhile, across town, an anarchist molecular-biology graduate student is secretly working to re-create the smallpox virus, using ordinary laboratory tools and gene-splicing equipment available online. Not content to merely revive an extinct virus to which the general population has no immunity, he uses public-source academic research to make it more lethal. Then he infects himself and, just as his symptoms start, strolls around the airport to infect as many people as he can.

They’re undoubtedly right about the nature and extent of these threats, but their proffered solution is itself quite frightening:

All this challenges our security—and the way we think about the state itself. The liberal state was predicated on a social contract: We give up a certain amount of liberty to a government, which promises in turn to protect us. But that promise is becoming increasingly difficult to keep as more Big Brothers—and lots of Little Brothers too—come to command awesome technological powers.

For the state as we know it to endure, we’ll have to adapt some of the most basic organizing principles of governance, both domestic and international. . . . Still, today’s international legal order remains very much boundary-centered. It gives countries the power to legislate and enforce laws within their territories but allows relatively little latitude to regulate the conduct of foreign subjects abroad—and even less latitude to actually enforce their laws beyond their borders.

Threats that routinely span borders will force states to routinely reach across their borders through legislation that governs foreign conduct, surveillance of citizens in foreign countries, and even targeted killings. A growing number of states are already claiming that more of their laws should apply beyond their territories—for instance, by unilaterally defining cyberattacks or cybercrimes and by enforcing their domestic laws against foreign offenders acting overseas. To avoid turning the world into the Wild West, we must ensure that this increased unilateralism is checked by greater international cooperation: better governance for fragile states, more information-sharing among states and more effective means of enforcing laws where jurisdictions are unclear.

In other words, the liberal/progressive solution to this growing privacy/security threat is more government, more and greater transfer of power away to international bodies such as the U.N.  They seem to have something in mind like a beefed up International Criminal Court, in which the U.S. has thus far wisely declined participation. One World Government, anyone?

No thanks.  The last thing the U.S. needs to do is relinquish sovereignty over privacy and security matters.

How about this alternative solution:  Beef up our military and national security surveillance, improve (voluntary) information sharing with our Allies, encourage the development of enhanced privacy and security devices for individual use, and enact tougher privacy laws to make sure that your nosy neighbor with that spider drone gets some time in the pokey.

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU: FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters.

WELL, GOOD: Archdeacon Slams George Galloway for ‘Israel-Free Zone’ Comments. Galloway’s shining moment was on Big Brother, as shown below.


He’s the one on the left.

BRYAN PRESTON: Why Would Someone in Colorado Keep Buying Weed Illegally? “Big brother is watching, dude.”

BIG BROTHER: Schumer Asks DOJ for GPS Devices for Autistic Children. If you like your autistic child, you can keep your autistic child.

But I don’t even want government GPS devices installed on my car.

JOEL KOTKIN ON Bipartisan Distrust Of The Beltway.

Much has been written and spoken about the deep divide between “red” and “blue” America, but the real chasm increasingly is between Washington and the rest of the country. This disconnect may increase as both conservatives and liberals outside the Beltway look with growing disdain upon their “leaders” inside the imperial capital. Indeed, according to Gallup, trust among Americans toward the federal government has sunk to historic lows, regarding both foreign and domestic policy. . . .

This chasm between the ruled and the rulers has both widened and deepened during the Obama years. Initially, Democrats supported the idea of a strong federal expansion to improve the economy. Yet, as it turned out, the stimulus and other administration steps did little to help the middle and working classes. The Obama economic policy has turned out to be at least as much – if not more – “trickle down” than that of his Republican predecessor.

Similarly embarrassing, the administration’s embrace of surveillance, as demonstrated by the National Security Agency revelations, has been no less, and maybe greater, than that of former vice president Dick Cheney and his crew of anti-civil libertarians. And it’s been the Left, notably, the British Guardian newspaper, that has led the fight against the mass abuse of privacy. Americans as a whole are more sympathetic to leaker Edward Snowden and increasingly concerned about government intrusions on their privacy. A July Washington Post-ABC News poll found fully 70 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans said the NSA’s phone and Internet surveillance programs intrude on some Americans’ privacy rights. Nearly six in 10 political independents who saw intrusions said they are unjustified.

The Right intrinsically opposes expansion of the civilian part of the federal government, but it supported the national security state both during the Cold War and after 9/11. This has now begun to change. The revelations about IRS targeting of Tea Party and other grass-roots groups likely have not reduced their fears of Big Brother. Yet, by better than 2-1, Democrats, according to a Quinnipiac survey, also supported appointing a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this scandal. . . .

Besides shared concerns over Syria, the NSA and IRS, grass-roots conservatives and liberals increasingly reject the conventional wisdom of their Washington betters. What increasingly matters here is not political “spin,” but the breadth of anti-Washington sentiment. After all, while most of the country continues to suffer low economic growth, the Washington area has benefitted from the expansion of federal power. The entire industry of consultants, think tanks, lawyers and related fields, no matter their supposed ideologies, has waxed while the rest of America has waned.

This has been a golden era for the nation’s capital, perhaps the one place that never really felt the recession. Of the nation’s 10 richest counties, seven are in the Washington area.

It’s like our own little version of The Hunger Games.

GOD BIG BROTHER IS MY CO-PILOT: EU plans to fit all cars with speed limiters, holding them under 70 mph.

MARK STEYN: Idiot Big Brother: The prospect of NSA abuse is now a reality. “The Egypt/Washington industrial-scale wrong number is almost too perfectly poignant a vignette at the end of a week in which hundreds are dead on the streets of Cairo. On the global scene, America has imploded: Its leaders have no grasp of its national interests, never mind any sense of how to achieve them. The assumption that we are in the early stages of ‘the post-American world’ is now shared by everyone from General Sisi to Vladimir Putin. General Sisi, I should add, is Egypt’s new strongman, not Putin’s characterization of Obama. Meanwhile, in contrast to its accelerating irrelevance overseas, at home Washington’s big bloated blundering bureaucratic security state expands daily. It’s easier to crack down on 47 Elm Street than Benghazi.”

SNOOPING: Move over NSA, here comes the Obamacare Big Brother database.

POLICE ENDORSE RECORDING: Wearing A Badge, And A Video Camera.

William A. Farrar, the police chief in Rialto, Calif., has been investigating whether officers’ use of video cameras can bring measurable benefits to relations between the police and civilians. Officers in Rialto, which has a population of about 100,000, already carry Taser weapons equipped with small video cameras that activate when the weapon is armed, and the officers have long worn digital audio recorders.

But when Mr. Farrar told his uniformed patrol officers of his plans to introduce the new, wearable video cameras, “it wasn’t the easiest sell,” he said, especially to some older officers who initially were “questioning why ‘big brother’ should see everything they do.”

He said he reminded them that civilians could use their cellphones to record interactions, “so instead of relying on somebody else’s partial picture of what occurred, why not have your own?” he asked. “In this way, you have the real one.”

Related thoughts from Chief Weems.

BIG BROTHER IS INVESTING IN YOU: Silicon Valley and Spy Agency Bound by Strengthening Web. “Silicon Valley has what the spy agency wants: vast amounts of private data and the most sophisticated software available to analyze it. The agency in turn is one of Silicon Valley’s largest customers for what is known as data analytics, one of the valley’s fastest-growing markets. To get their hands on the latest software technology to manipulate and take advantage of large volumes of data, United States intelligence agencies invest in Silicon Valley start-ups, award classified contracts and recruit technology experts like Mr. Kelly.”

This is also why it’s possible that know-how from NSA projects found its way into the Obama Campaign’s vaunted Big Data operation.

PRIVACY IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: WSJ: Big Brother also collecting credit-card transactions.

WALTER OLSON ON DNA TESTING: Big Brother Invades Your Genes.

WELL, CHRIS CHRISTIE CERTAINLY MAKES A BIG BIG BROTHER: A Mileage Tax Monitored By Big Brother For All N.J. Drivers? It Could Happen: Proposal Call For GPS Tracking Of Certain Vehicles, $50 Yearly Fee For Others.

I’ve written about this sort of thing before.

BIG BROTHER ONLY WANTS WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU: Feds rooting out ‘unwelcome speech’ on campus: But what is that?

TIM CARNEY ON BOSTON: Civil society, not Big Brother, is the American way. “As with every terrorist attack and high-profile killing, the Boston bombing has prompted calls for Americans to give up civil liberties for the sake of security. Rather than gun control or airport pat-downs, this time the call is for a Big Brother-like network of police cameras allowing authorities to more closely monitor people who move about the streets. But the story of the Boston bombers — the details of their crime and their capture — makes the opposite argument. We don’t need more government surveillance. We need to maintain robust civil society and public spiritedness.”

PUT IT IN PEOPLE, AND TURN IT ON WHENEVER THEY SEE A PICTURE OF BIG BROTHER: Tiny wireless injectable LED device shines light on mouse brain, generating reward. “Using a miniature electronic device implanted in the brain, scientists have tapped into the internal reward system of mice, prodding neurons to release dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure.”

I predicted this in the New York Times over a decade ago: “One nanotechnology expert, Glenn H. Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, said that someday it might even be used to make tiny robots that would lodge in people’s brains and make them truly love Big Brother.”

LAST CALL FOR ETHANOL? Is The End In Sight For America’s Biofuel Boondoggle?

Did we just hear the death knell for corn ethanol? Congress may finally be coming to its senses about one of the biggest green policy failures in America, as two bills were introduced yesterday to fix the corn ethanol mandate. . . .

To this point, US farmers have been diverting more and more of their corn crops towards ethanol refineries to satisfy EPA mandates stemming from the 2007 Renewable Fuels Standard. In 2006, before that standard went into place, just 23 percent of America’s corn crop went towards producing ethanol. That number rose to 43 percent last year.

Corn ethanol fails every test a biofuel could hope to pass. It doesn’t lower emissions; it raises them. It also raises the global price of corn, starving the world’s poor and possibly inciting riots. But EPA mandates are propping up this boondoggle. Producers are scrambling to snatch up biofuel credits to meet the federally-mandated quota this year because neither supply nor demand will be sufficient to produce the more than 13 billion barrels of ethanol required.

The bills working their way through Congress will also addresses the ill-conceived mandate for corn ethanol’s big brother: cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol is considered an “advanced” biofuel, and it actually passes most of the tests that corn ethanol fails so miserably. But cellulosic ethanol still isn’t ready for mass production: there has been virtually no commercial production of the fuel, despite EPA quotas requiring nearly 20 million gallons since 2010.

The federal government’s ability to force green technologies into the marketplace has failed pretty much everywhere.

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU DRIVE: Progressive’s ‘Snapshot’ driving device worries consumer advocacy group. But there’s no such thing as a “progressive” privacy violation.

BIG BROTHER IS READING YOUR TWEETS: Teenager arrested for tweeting rap lyric containing the word “homicide.” They weren’t there for the actual crime, but they’re hell on people who tweet about it.

THAT’S VICE-CHANCELLOR BIG BROTHER TO YOU: Harvard Search of E-mail Stuns Its Faculty Members. “Bewildered, and at times angry, faculty members at Harvard criticized the university on Sunday after revelations that administrators secretly searched the e-mail accounts of 16 resident deans in an effort to learn who leaked information about a student cheating scandal to the news media. Some predicted a confrontation between the faculty and the administration.”

ANDY KESSLER: In the Privacy Wars, It’s iSpy vs. gSpy. “Big Brother is watching us. But we are watching back. . . . I know the precise number of red-light cameras because a website ( crowdsources their locations and updates them daily for download to GPS devices. And 30 million surveillance cameras are a pittance compared with the 327 million cellphones in use across America, almost all of them with video cameras built in.”