Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sauce For Pandora's Petard Guillotine

How's that for mixing metaphors? There's four of them right there and that's just the title!
  1. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
  2. Pandora's Box - Once opened, it releases evil upon the world without hope for returning the evil to the box.
  3. Hoisted by your own petard means to be ruined by a trap of your own making.
  4. The guillotine was originally built to kill enemies of the French Revolution, but it ended up devouring many of the revolutionaries themselves.
Professor Jacobsen over at Legal Insurrection has a good summary of the latest front being opened in American political wars - revealing personal information about one's enemies on the web.

It started with the Lower Hudson Journal News publishing the names and addresses of registered gun owners in their area. Retaliation occurred when Journal News employee information was released on a blog and spread far and wide. Professor Jacobsen is now in possession of personal information of far greater detail about Gannett Newspaper Chairwoman Marjorie Magner. The good professor has declined to publish the information, but it's actually irrelevant whether he does or not. If he doesn't, someone else will.

As far as I can tell, the opening shot in the war, the publication of gun owner names and addresses, was done out of spite and hatred. It's hard to conceive of another motivation despite claims of journalistic interest. It's an act of intimidation and shaming and the reaction isn't going to be uniform across a broad population. While some will take it with varying degrees of grace, there will be others who, incensed, will look for ways to retaliate. The web gives them the ability to respond in kind.

So here we are, with a new set of weapons to use against anyone who disagrees with us. Publishing each others' names, addresses, credit reports, kids' schools, school transcripts, love letters and God knows what else all in the name of political power.

Such are the fruits of an ever-growing government.

1 comment:

drozz said...

next thing you know a newspaper will report voting status. o wait...