Tag Archives: Big Government

‘1984’ has come true, but not in the way we thought it might

1984-john-hurt

George Orwell wrote a book that was published in 1949 that portrayed the world dominated by the ominous eye of “Big Brother.”

“1984,” which I read once in high school, told a chilling story of dominance, loss of individual freedom and civil liberty.

In the 66 years since the novel’s publication, its meaning has come to define the incursion of big, overarching, overreaching, overbearing government.

The thought occurred to me other morning: Big brother exists, all right, but it’s not necessarily in the form that Orwell envisioned.

Social media have morphed into our Big Brother.

Think about all the prying eyes that actually are the devices that millennials and generation-Xers are packing around with them. All those “smart phones” have cameras on them.

People take pictures of everything. Of everyone. At any time. In any place. For any reason.

The list of victims of this big brother incursion is seemingly endless.

All of this serves as a lesson on public behavior. Be wary — be very wary — of your surroundings. All those teenage girls you see with smart phones in their hands? Any one of them could point that camera at you at any moment and snap a picture of you doing something you don’t want seen by anyone.

It’s been said that you can measure one’s character by what they do when no one is looking. In this age of Big Brother, everyone is looking. It’s not necessarily government’s prying eyes, but it’s every bit as insidious.

Welcome to Oceania.

Big Brother must have blinked on this one

What? Cities can't decide these things?

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a law that bans cities from enacting municipal minimum-wage standards for businesses within the city.

That’s strange. I have thought Republicans, such as Fallin, were categorically opposed to what they call “government overreach,” that local control should trump bigger-government control whenever possible?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/15/oklahoma-minimum-wage_n_5152496.html

Oklahoma cities, like cities in all the other states, do have this thing called “home rule charter” form government. I believe that enables cities to set the rules inside their corporate limits. Do I have that wrong?

Gov. Fallin’s signature on the bill now disallows cities from making that call.

It reminds me a bit of the Texas statute that used to prohibit cities from deploying red-light cameras if city officials perceived a problem with people running red lights, causing accidents and putting local residents in danger. That law has been amended and some cities — such as Amarillo — are using the cameras to catch those who run through red lights.

Those who support the Oklahoma minimum-wage ban say it “levels the playing field” for all cities. A GOP state representative said, “An artificial raise in the minimum wage could derail local economies in a matter of months. This is a fair measure for consumers, workers and small business owners.”

Sure thing. But if business owners agree that the $7.25 hourly wage is too low and are willing to pay more, don’t they have the right to do so if the city where they operate grants them permission?

Local control, man. Local control.

I thought that was preferable to patronizing Big Government.