I attended Catholic grade school throughout the 1960s. I saw a lot of changes just during those eight years. But during the early ones, we were consistently taught about the evils of Communism, and of how our Faith and the Marxist philosophy were incompatible. We listened as the good nuns told us of priests tortured and killed in socialist regimes. But they also told us of how children would be taught in schools, to report their parents to the authorities if they found them engaging in questionable activities. Snitching on your mom and dad, the two people who gave you birth, who nursed you and fed you and cleaned up your messes and all that. Can you imagine?
It all seemed pretty outlandish to me, and remained the stuff of half-forgotten memories -- and as I came of age, the stuff of futuristic novels.
Then I read this on the White House website:
Let me see if I understand this correctly. If you publish a newsletter or a political blog, that begs to disagree with the current administration about health care policy, they want me as a dutiful private citizen to rat you out!
Excuse me, someone's knocking at the door.
[THIS JUST IN: A report from The Hill blog: "Sen John Cornyn (R-TX) is worried that the White House will use a new media outreach program to collect the personal data of its political opponents." Gee, who woulda thought...?]