Monday, September 25, 2006

Government Fingerprinting - Robert Schmid - MN Green Party discussion clip

> this kind of problems. I think that only people with
> law problems would have a problem with being finger
> printed but maybe I'm wrong.

You are, indeed, wrong. This comes to a basic question - Do you
trust your government? If you do, then you will have a difficult
time understanding my concerns. However, the logic that "Only people
with law problems would have a problem with..." is rhetoric that is
used repeatedly by governments to infringe on our civil rights.

If you ask me the more abstract question "Can you trust ANY
government?" I will emphatically answer no. Governments, like
corporations can not be trusted. *Individuals* can be trusted but
governments and corporations (including non-profits and NGOs) change
their leadership every so often and you have little control over who
will be next and what abuses they will commit.

The Magna Carta was written with this fact in mind. The US
Constitution took it a bit further and the Bill of Rights went
further still. These documents are premised on the basic assumption
that government must be restrained because its resources are so vast
that any given individual is virtually powerless against it.

Every aspect of the Bill of Rights is designed to restrain the
government and empower the people against their own government.

The rhetoric that "only people with something to hide should fear the
government" is often accompanied by a lack of understanding that an
accused person is "innocent until proven guilty." I particularly
remember this problem in my Criminal Constitutional Procedure
course. Some people are virtually incapable of understanding why
some evidence must be rejected by the court. Their logic is "but
he's guilty, so why can't we show this evidence?" We can't show that
evidence because the government broke its own rules to get it and if
we allow the Government to go over that line "because he's guilty" we
open the gate to secret evidence, anonymous accusers and,
ultimately, manufactured evidence.

Yet, still, people are willing to sacrifice "a little bit of liberty"
for "a little bit more security." The problem with this is that ALL
SECURITY IS A FACADE. Benjamin Franklin understood this when he said
"Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security
deserve neither liberty nor security." Yet, when that sacrifice is
made two things inevitably occur - first, we realize that we are not
as secure as we want to be and second that we never restore that lost

Thus, inch by inch we sacrifice our liberty until we fear the
criminals, the terrorists and our own government. We can trust no
one and we fear everyone.

Our real choice is simple and hard - Our choice is to

Live WITH fear or IN fear.

FDR Lied. Freedom from fear is no more a basic freedom than freedom
from going to the bathroom. Sometimes you just have to deal with it.

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