Tom Tomorrow's cartoon preceded the government's TIPS program. Now that it's out, Tom says:
Facism is a term thrown about too freely, and I don't believe we're at a point that its use is justified--but an oppressive and intrusive government, however you want to label it, does not ride into town wearing the uniforms and waving the flags of recognizable evil. It creeps in slowly, wrapped in the flag of your own country, and speaking the language of patriotism and duty, and at each step along the way, its actions seem plausible and defensible--until one morning you wake up and realize the gulf between the way things were and the way things are has grown so wide that there is no going back. Sinclair Lewis tried to point this out more than a half century ago, and given the current climate, It Can't Happen Here is well worth re-reading (or reading for the first time, if you've never come across it before).I found this over at Wil Wheaton's web site where people have a nice discussion going of over 100 messages.
Are we overreacting to a sensible measure or is the government going to far. You decide.
And what will people start reporting? When the Anthrax scare happened, people around here were overwhelming the Health Lab with moldy attic junk, which the staff had to waste their time analyzing.
Today's Boston Globe Editorial has this to say:
Ashcroft's informant corps is a vile idea not merely because it violates civil liberties in a narrow legal sense or because it will sabotage genuine efforts to prevent terrorism by overloading law enforcement officials with irrelevant reports about Americans who have nothing to do with terrorists.Look what happens today when people pass notes on airplanes.