Warned in 1949 – Today it is a Reality
So, George Orwell was off by 64 years.
In 1949, Orwell’s masterpiece novel entitled “1984” wove a tale about a fictitious shadowy world in which government surveillance was ubiquitous, public mind control was an open secret and independent thinking was labeled and prosecuted as a “thought-crime.” The tyrant in control was the mysterious being called Big Brother.
Orwell’s prophecies didn’t materialize in the year 1984, of course, but they are on a fast track to reality today.
We’re all well aware of the millions of randomly situated video cameras all across the country – at banks, hotels, state and federal offices, schools, retail stores and other public buildings – capturing what we do 24/7. Facial recognition systems are in place at airports, casinos, some police departments and other places we can’t even fathom. [click to continue…]
Now What’s Available Here?
Imagine searching on-line for the name of a deceased family member and being hit in the face with gruesome crime scene photographs of his or her dead and decomposing body. For the loved ones of Suzette Trouten or Izabella Lewicka – two of at least 8 victims of Kansas-based serial killer John Robinson – this nightmare is a reality.
Grisly photos of the murdered women found stuffed and floating in the ooze of 55 gallon barrels now grace the pages of Facebook.
Facebook is also where you can find for sale a display of a notorious killer’s sexually offensive artwork. A psychopathic meth addict named Jeremy Bryan Jones, a confessed serial killer suspected of murdering at least 17 people, features Jesus Christ as the main player in pornographic drawings.
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A Cop With Death Fantasies
The “Cannibal Cop” Case was not really about free speech. But it raises the question: When Does Internet Fantasy Become Criminal?
In case you hadn’t heard about it – it was a bizarre criminal case sensationalized by both the media and the defense team. Slogans and spin were tossed about so fast and furiously that the real facts of the case were hard to determine. At the core of the federal case a very important issue: when do thoughts expressed in internet chat rooms become fodder for criminal prosecution? Could something you write on-line be used against you in a court of law?
From the get-go reporters branded the defendant in this case, New York Police officer Gilberto Valle, “The Cannibal Cop” – a man who used the internet to feed his vile fantasies and conspire with others to kidnap, cook and eat female victims.
Attorneys for Valle maintained federal prosecutors were trying to convict their client, “For his thoughts … his (written) fantasies,” and not for any bona fide criminal activity. [click to continue…]
Crime Rates Are Down But Hardly Low
Imagine a country where citizens collectively own more than 300 million guns. It is a place where more than 14,700 thousand people were murdered in 2010. And in this country, nearly 85-thousand people were forcibly raped during that same year.
More than 6 million people are in prison or on criminal supervision. In addition, people who live in this nation endure hundreds of thousands of burglaries, robberies, aggravated assaults and thefts of their vehicles every year.
Sounds like a pretty uncivilized country doesn’t it?
Well, this is America, folks. [click to continue…]
In Olden Times This Caught Criminals
Back in the Wild West days law enforcement officers like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson had few tools to keep the peace. Guile and a gun on their hip were about all they possessed in the face of trouble.
Today’s officers have many more ways of tracking down and capturing the bad guys. That makes their job much easier than in days of old but also more complicated. A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court may have just made modern day law enforcement more complex.
Bear with me a moment here and I’ll explain why.
First, you should know that the Supreme Court decision I speak of stems from the case of Antoine Jones, a nightclub owner in Washington, D.C. who was suspected of being a part of a massive cocaine selling ring. [click to continue…]
Shop On Line? Beware of Scams!
Okay, so the shopping days left until Christmas and Hanukkah are dwindling. You haven’t gotten half of what you need to get done finished yet! The malls are crammed, the weather turns lousy just at the time you want to go shopping and between the cost of gasoline and parking … well, it just seems easier to stay inside and hit the computer for some get-‘er-done time on the internet.
If you decide to do your holiday shopping on-line instead of standing in line at your local department store beware of the criminal element you might encounter.
Those designer sunglasses for 60% off? The NBA jerseys or golf equipment for half price? Popular Ugg brand boots, Louis Vuitton handbags or Hollywood movie box sets at deep discounts? Realize that they could very well be counterfeit or pirated products.
Besides your chance of getting a second-rate product, you might also plunk down your credit card and be charged for items you never receive. [click to continue…]
If the Supreme Court Says Its Constitutional...
aying, “I told you so,” is not becoming. So I won’t say it.
But I will remind folks of all those columns I wrote about the need for states to do something proactive about the problem of illegal immigration since members of the United States Congress have repeatedly fallen down on the job.
Frankly, I stopped writing about it because I figured anyone who was interested in the topic had already formed an opinion and nothing I would write would change any minds. Also, because there was the hate mail I got after I refused to call people who enter this country illegally “undocumented workers.” [click to continue…]