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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Obama's request to turn in citizens' emails/postings eerily reminiscent of WW2 era

History, Health care, President Obama, Government / Bureaucracy

While studying the WW2 era in our homeschool history class, I was surprised to learn how many Americans living on the east and west coasts were instructed to keep their eyes open for any enemy activity. In fact, South Carolina's Coast Guard Beach Patrol trained for possible German landings. The threat was real.

Since September 11th, Americans are called upon to be observant and report suspicious behavior or abandoned parcels/backpacks. These examples of vigilance are understandable.

But I cannot remember any president in my lifetime ever asking that people's emails or web postings* be reported if they are against their agenda. In this case, against Obama's ideal of Health Care reform. That seems awfully Big Brother-ish.

From the White House website via Redstate: (Their emphasis)
"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov."

President Obama's request to turn in citizens' "fishy" information seems eerily reminiscent of Germany's 1930s and WW2 years to me. Remember how Hitler encouraged the Hitler Youth to turn in anyone, including their parents, who did not support Hitler's agenda? From Military History Online:(My emphasis)

"An ominous new development within the HJ [Hitlerjugend or Hitler Youth] was the appearance of HJ-Streifendienst (Patrol Force) units functioning as internal political police, maintaining order at meetings, ferreting out disloyal members, and denouncing anyone who criticized Hitler or Nazism including, in a few cases, their own parents."

"Many of these same HJ became so infatuated by their Nazi education and work ethic, that they became hostile towards anyone who did not share the Nazi view of the world. Often, this included members of their own families. ...In one of the great ironies of history, parents suddenly became afraid of their own children, especially if their sons were HJ members. The adults found themselves living in fear that their son or daughter could report anti-Nazi talk or behavior to the Gestapo, whereby they would end up in a re-education or concentration camp."

As for President Obama's unprecedented request to turn in those who don't share his vision, most of us wondered, is this reporting legal? Doesn't this violate the Constitution's 1st amendment? Redstate thinks so:

"Given the near certainty that no one will be stripping from emails the names of the people forwarding on the information, the White House is most likely engaged in unlawful activity."

"According to 5 U.S.C. § 552a, United States agencies, including the Executive Office of the President shall, 'maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity.'"

The Heritage Foundation had an clever piece regarding just who should be turned in under the President's request in The People Spreading 'Disinformation' About Obmacare. They mention Rep. Jan Schalowsky, Rep. Barney Frank, Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein, and Noble Prize winner columnist Paul Krugman as those with an opposing view to what Obama promises. Heritage concludes, (My emphasis)

"Americans deserve an honest debate about health care. President Obama, Barney Frank, and Jan Schakowsky cannot all be right. Either the President is wrong when he says his plan will not lead to government-run health care, or Frank and Schakowsky are spreading disinformation when they tell their single payer advocate base that it will. So let’s help the White House out. Do email flag@whitehouse.gov and let the White House know you’ve seen something “fishy” on the web about health care reform."

I wonder how may citizens reported those fishy 4?


*Correspondence or letters to the editor in pre internet days

Links: 

counter hit xanga

Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, BetterBrookfield, Vicki McKenna, Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, Randy Melchert, Mark Levin, The Heritage Foundation, CNS News

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