Friday, May 12, 2006
You'll get your mail after I'm done with it.
Via Liberal Catnip, we learn that an astonishing percentage of Americans seem perfectly content to let the government rummage through their private data without a court order or search warrant. Apparently, these people have thoroughly embraced the philosophy of, "Hey, I have nothing to hide so it doesn't bother me."
It's not at all clear that you can even get through to these folks anymore so, rather than try to reason with them, let me suggest another course of action. If someone tells you that they don't mind the government logging their phone calls or going through their mail, ask them if it's all right if you can do it.
Ask them if they'd mind if, before they got home from work, you went out to their mailbox, collected their mail, sat down on their front steps and proceeded to go through it, letter by letter, opening what looked interesting, perusing personal correspondence and so on.
"No way," they'd howl, "that's different!" In fact, no, it's not. Because unless the government gets a court order or warrant of some kind, they have absolutely no more right to dig through your personal life than I do. And if you don't mind the government doing it, then by extension you should have no problem with me doing it, either. I'm betting you'd see a real change of attitude in a hurry.
We're not done with this.