Monday, March 6, 2017
The Evil will not be put back in the Box!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING!
by Steve Fair
According to President Trump, Trump Tower phones were bugged- by the government- just before the election. The mainstream news media immediately said Trump’s claim was hyperbole and another in a long line of exaggerations. But it appears there was an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing some form of electronic surveillance related to Trump and his associates. Trump’s top lawyer- Donald McGahn – is working to get access to the document. If in fact the document exists, it would be unprecedented for a judge to allow that without proof that crimes were being committed by the person being bugged. If it was purely for political purposes, heads should roll. Four things to consider:
First, big brother is watching. In George Orwell’s novel, ‘1984,’ Big Brother is a fictional character who is the leader of Oceania, a totalitarian state where the citizens are under constant surveillance by the government. We are there in America, but without the telescreens (as of yet) that were described in the novel. When you post on social media, purchase goods and services with plastic, send an email or go to the doctor, all of that data is collected (mined) and becomes accessible to the government- and others. Much of the loss of our privacy happened under President Bush’s watch, immediately following 9/11. The Patriot Act, in the name of keeping Americans safe, sliced American liberties. As it has happened many times throughout our nation’s history, government took the opportunity after tragedy to expand their powers.
Second, we willingly gave much of the information big brother has about us. The government hasn’t mandated everyone join Facebook or Twitter, use Amazon Prime to ship products, get a loyalty card at a major retailer, or force you to get a credit card, but the vast majority of Americans willingly participate in the information gathering. Rest assured, not just the government is mining your data- political Parties, retailers, consumer goods companies, and service industries spend billions trying to find out what motivates you to spend your dollars. While the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of privacy-4th,5th, and 9th amendments- when we willingly give them information, where is the crime?
Third, big brother will only get bigger. Those who think we will be able to put the evils back in the jar will be about as successful as Pandora was getting them back in her jar. The government will continue to use electronic data gathering and surveillance with the citizens willingly participating. Americans love them mobile electronic toys. Trump may be able to slow down the speed, but the train will continue down the track. Some electronic data gathering- like your spending habits- can have a positive purpose if the retailer or manufacturer doesn’t sell your data to other retailers or to the government, but most do so be aware that loyalty cards are not exclusively for your benefit.
Fourth, many of those who decry the constant surveillance and data collection of government are the first to pull out their cell phone, video private meetings and post the video for the world to see- all in the name of protecting liberty. They violate the very privacy they claim they want to protect. They are constantly on social media attacking the overreach of government, seemingly oblivious they are helping big brother keep a watch on them.
In a Twitter post, President Trump called President Obama a ‘sick’ man because he tapped his phones. Yep, Obama is sick but that description fits any man. All mankind is born with a sin nature, but we aren’t sick- we are dead spiritually. Like Pandora, we only have hope left- and that hope is not in the integrity of government or electing more conservative leaders. The only hope of America is the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.