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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Learning to Live with Big Brother

    We are being watched. Surveillance cameras are all around us. They are installed on traffic lights, toll booths, homes, commercial buildings, utility poles, and police officers. They are inside stores, banks, schools, churches, courthouses, elevators, stadiums, hospitals, buses, trains and home computers. And there are almost as many cellphone cameras around as people. Google is watching us from above, and our daily activities can be surveilled and recorded by drones. There is nowhere to hide from the eyes of big tech, commerce, and big government. Even George Orwell couldn't have foreseen the modern surveillance state. The year 2020 might be remembered as the year 20-20 (surveillance vision).

     On March 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ordered people in public places to stop gathering and to stay at home.

     The mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey, on April 7, 2020, launched a fleet of drones to enforce the governor's order. While flying above parks and other places where people normally congregate, the flying cameras blast a recorded message telling citizens to stop gathering. They are ordered to go home and stay there. (Unless they have to go for groceries or for drugs. Those who still have jobs can go to work.)

     Citizen who are caught by drone surveillance violating the governor's social distancing order can be fined up to $1,000. This at a time when the people in violation of the COVID-19 inspired order are unemployed and have no money because the government has closed down their places of employment.

     For people who lust for massive, personally invasive all-controlling government, pandemics are a gift from heaven.

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