Thursday, July 07, 2005

Who's watching?

This whole working days things is really cutting into my blogging time. My best rants and rambles generally come in the middle of the night, or they used to anyway.

If I could just figure out how to write blog posts in my sleep. They probably wouldn't make much sense, but does that even matter?

There are certainly some things I have no interest in doing in the name of blogging or attracting traffic to this site, like getting arrested. But one guy who has been in the news a lot here in the Northwest has been attracting a buttload of traffic and comments to his site, even though he hasn't made a post in over a month.

According to a
story on the Web site, a blog site that allegedly belongs to a man arrested for kidnapping a girl and who is a suspect in kidnapping the girl's brother and multiple murders has been drawing a lot of attention.

The site allegedly belongs to Joseph Duncan, who was arrested over the weekend when he was stopped at a diner with the girl who had been missing for more than a month. I won't link to the guy's blog here, but you can find the link on the story if you want to see his site, and people's reactions, for yourself.

The reactions, presumably from people who know a thing or two about blogs, stuck me as quite interesting. Some people seemed surprised that the government wasn't monitoring this guy's blog and could have possibly prevented the murders and kidnappings.

That strikes me as odd because do we really want the government monitoring everyone's blogs? I know, maybe we should all agree to put up Web cams too, so the government can watch what we do all day in the privacy of our homes and offices. Or are people no longer creeped out by the Orwellian implications of that now that 1984 has come and gone?

There is an odd thing about crime and law enforcement. Police generally can't arrest people for thinking about committing a crime. Most crimes aren't crimes until they are committed. And, yes this guy was a convicted sex offender, and yes many people think sex offenders should be locked up for life. Unfortunately, most of our jail space is used to house drug users and drug dealers, so we would have to change laws and society's priorities to affect that kind of change. Cops can't do that on their own.

I for one, don't want or need the thought police around, thank you very much. You can't have freedom of speech if there is no freedom of thought. The thoughts listed on the blog attributed to Duncan are dark and disturbing. But some of the comments people have been posting since his arrest are equally disturbing.

We do not live in a society without risks. Quite the contrary, a free society can, and should, have lots of risks. Parent want to protect our children, but how many of our and our children's freedoms are we willing to turn over to the state for some sort of false sense of security?

We have been reminded a lot since Sept. 11 that freedom is not free, but that is mostly mentioned in context with our military troops fighting in the "War Against Terror." Well, it is true. Freedom is not free. But we all pay a price for our freedoms. There are risks to living in America and being an American. There are risks to living, period. By living we risk pain. We risk death.

I'm willing to take those risks. I'm willing to let my daughter take those risks, and my family and my friends. I'm willing to do that, because I am not willing to let the government, or my neighbors, make those life decisions for me or my family. I want the freedom to choose. The atrocities committed by leaders in positions of government power are far more heinous than the acts of individuals bent on committing a crime.


Weary Hag said...

Yet another clearly thought out and well written post!
I'm very much enjoying my visit here. It's been a long while but I'm adding you to my ever-growing list of "must see" blogs.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I don't know, G-guy. Just think, if I had a webcam trained on me I could hold up a sign that says "Bring more beer!" If it worked, the loss of privacy would be worth it...

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