The extent of our government's scrutiny of its own citizens has increased geometrically especially since 9/ll. Only one US Senator (Russ Feingold, D-Wis) voted against the so-ca1led Patriot Act. Even I was in favor of it in a more moderate form. We are now in the early stages of what may turn out to be a global war, the goal being to control men's minds.
I read (mainly Washington Post via the New Yorker) that two billion daily e-mails and telephone communications are monitored and stored by the National Security Agency. Also, approximately one person in a hundred around you has a top security clearance. (There's one in your neighborhood!) But this is exaggerated. This is big business, in fact, but it feeds on itself and cannot sustain the economy. It is non-productive work.
Also, it's not as Orwellian as you might think. When Ronald Reagan was in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, some bare-breasted young women had signs that said "Mr. Reagan, can you see these?" He answered the next day, farther down the route, "No, but I'd sure like to." That's still about the way it remains for now.
Yes, things have become somewhat more Orwellian. No, you do not need to be afraid to fart for fear of offending someone in the administration.
In any case we are always in the divine presence, and he knows us (and love us as we are) far more than any worldly government can or would. That's been true all along.
There are more constraints during this time. But I have not had my free speech or freedom of religion (or the lack of it) impeached in this country yet - although I believe the fourth amendment prohibition against unwarranted search and seizure (ie., privacy) may occasionally go by the wayside.
The question is (as it was during Vietnam) when do we say "Resist!"? Because there is currently no forced draft, I'm not quite ready to say "Resist!" yet - although I may later.
We'll see how it goes.
Make love not war!
Live and let live!
Ave Maria! Hail Mary!