CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Our Growing Surveillance State

Apr 14, 2020

More horror stories about the encroaching surveillance state:

It’s a new day. So I must write yet another piece documenting all the frightening cases of government overreach and overkill during the corona crisis. It is now quite easy to offer plenty more cases of much too zealous policing, and yet more draconian steps being taken to completely lockdown a population.

And we have more very worrying cases of not just a docile society of sheep, but worse yet, countless folks who are now so very happy to turn in their own neighbours for supposed and imagined violations of state regulations. That alone should shock every single one of us.

Let me very briefly mention a few more recent cases of all this, and then I will turn to some commentary by others who share my concerns about the sort of world we are becoming. I start with the scene in Australia:

A woman in Victoria says she was left feeling “heartbroken” and like a criminal after uniformed police officers carrying weapons interrupted her father’s funeral over the Easter long weekend to enforce social distancing rules. It comes as state police forces rapidly escalate the number of people fined for breaching public health orders despite falling infection rates, and amid concerns from law and justice experts the laws are being inconsistently and arbitrarily enforced. www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/14/totally-disrespectful-police-interrupt-funeral-while-enforcing-social-distancing-rules-over-easter-weekend

And all this is a terrific revenue-earner: “Australians are still ignoring COVID-19 restrictions, with more than $1 million worth of fines being handed out across the country in a strict coronavirus crackdown. Police officers are out in force this weekend to enforce social distancing laws, amid fears a busy Easter weekend could lead to a spike in cases.” australian-news.site/police-hands-out-more-than-1million-worth-of-fines-amid-coronavirus-crisis/

It is not any better overseas. Consider Canada: “In the name of combating the coronavirus, government officials from one of Canada’s largest provinces, Alberta, are planning to use people’s cell phones as a tool to track their whereabouts. This past Tuesday, the premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, stated that quarantine orders will be strongly enforced, ‘including using technology like smartphone apps’ to track those under orders to stay home.” www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-province-to-track-citizens-via-cell-phones-deal-with-those-who-break-quarantine

And the UK:

A police force in the UK has bragged that its officers may be ‘hiding in the shadows’ ready to catch people who have picnics in rural locations. The Central Community Team, which represents Bedfordshire Police, tweeted out an ominous message that sounds like it could have been ripped straight from the pages of George Orwell’s 1984. “If you think that by going for a picnic in a rural location no one will find you, don’t be surprised if an officer appears from the shadows! We are covering the whole county,” states the tweet. summit.news/2020/04/13/uk-police-force-brags-about-hiding-in-the-shadows-to-catch-picnic-goers/

Another UK case: “A 12-year-old girl was playing basketball alone on a court near her family’s home when city officials arrived and removed the hoop as part of ‘social distancing’ enforcement.” www.dailywire.com/news/young-girl-plays-basketball-alone-city-takes-hoop-as-part-of-social-distancing

One last horror story from the UK:

Police officers in the UK have broken down a man’s front door in order to “double-check” he wasn’t violating social distancing rules. The man, who recorded the incident on his phone, soon after uploaded the footage to social media which has since gone viral. . . . It’s believed the police officers and the person who complained mistook the man’s television for conversation. caldronpool.com/shocking-police-break-down-mans-front-door-to-double-check-he-wasnt-violating-social-distancing-rules/

OK, enough of these horror stories (and there are plenty more like them). Now for some commentary. Adam Creighton in the Australian begins his new piece this way:

Stay safe. Keep well. Perhaps a hysteria has gripped the nation, at extraordinary cost, when we’re telling each other to take special care over a disease that in three months has killed about 60, in the main quite unwell elderly people. Even in coronavirus hot spots in Europe and the US, there’s greater chance of being killed in a car accident than being harmed by COVID-19, according to research published last week by Stanford scientist John Ioannidis.

“The risk of dying from coronavirus for a person under 65 years old is equivalent to the risk of dying driving a distance of nine to 415 miles by car each day during the COVID-19 fatality season,” he concluded. Yet many of those under-65s have had their lives pulled apart, including loss of 195 million jobs around the world this quarter, according to the International Labour Organisation.

In Australia at the very least, with so few deaths and infections, the response to the virus is starting to appear to be a damaging over-reaction. Last month’s draconian response by officials — inducing a recession, destroying millions of jobs and businesses, and locking us all up — was at least politically understandable. The hankering for total lockdown, cheered on largely by those who would be relatively unaffected by it, was irresistible.

Yet as more real data rolls in — as opposed to the wildly inaccurate epidemiological forecasts of millions of deaths globally and many thousands locally — justifications for massive interventions, fiscal and civil, are dwindling. www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/we-may-be-overreacting-to-an-unremarkable-coronavirus/news-story/3d78be873fac364af49f5fc949e3eaeb

Scott Morefield examines seven arguments put forward by the COVID-shamers. Here is the seventh one:

“If one life is saved it’s all worth it.”

This is another commonly used phrase, but it’s also one of the most absurd. If “one life saved” is worth any action, why not stop driving to ‘save’ the 1.25 million car accident deaths worldwide each year? Sure, flying is the safest form of transportation statistics-wise, but if we had stopped it in 1970 we’d have ‘saved’ the 84,000 people who have died in the past 50 years from aviation accidents. Or how about the 2.3 million who die every year from occupational accidents and work-related diseases? If those lives ‘saved’ aren’t worth stopping work entirely, I don’t know what is. I mean, we’d all exist in soul-crushing poverty and die from starvation or some third-world disease but hey, ‘one life,’ right? Of course, life is precious, but when the heavy hand of government takes historic, unprecedented measures to put one victim group over all others, creating additional victim groups in the process, that “one life” saved ultimately comes at the cost of many, many others. townhall.com/columnists/scottmorefield/2020/04/13/covidshamers-and-seven-of-their-most-ridiculous-arguments-n2566777

John Zmirak puts it this way:

There’s a virus in the air, all right, alongside the Wuhan Flu. It’s potentially more deadly. It breeds in the souls of our elites and spreads via the schemes of our politicians. The “Tyrannovirus” is not a new disease. We’ve endured it since the Fall of man. But like a biological virus, it mutates and takes different forms to overcome our defenses. And in time of crisis, such as a pandemic, we’re open to opportunistic infections….

Politicians like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and oligarchs like Bill Gates have tipped their hands. They promise us that the “new normal” we face after the virus has peaked might include:

-Mandatory testing.
-Government agencies tracking us by our phones.
-Government virus immunity passes permitting travel.

Will we let the architects of so many fraudulent political power grabs exploit a very real disease? Their goal remains the same as it has for decades: the “fundamental transformation” of America.

We should support and respect reasonable laws protecting the public. But we must be fiercely alert to the countless ways that the Tyrannovirus is trying to infect us. We need to push back hard against any unequal treatment of the institutions we care about, which the left despises. We shouldn’t be as unreasonable as the LGBT lobby was when it fought to keep gay bath houses open through the AIDS crisis. But we can learn something from them: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In politics, chutzpah pays off. And moderate, reasonable people get shoved aside.

We know how the Tyrannovirus operates. And its target isn’t the body. It’s our soul. stream.org/theres-no-vaccine-for-the-tyrannovirus/

Finally, Rod Dreher offers some realism about how easily we are allowing a surveillance state to emerge. He shares part of an ominous NYT report: “In one of the most far-ranging attempts to halt the spread of the coronavirus, Apple and Google said they were building software into smartphones that would tell people if they were recently in contact with someone who was infected with it. The technology giants said they were teaming up to release the tool within several months, building it into the operating systems of the billions of iPhones and Android devices around the world.”

He says:

It’s a brilliant idea, and it will work. We may soon find ourselves in a situation where, in order to re-enter the workforce, one has to accept the app and use it. If the other option is more lockdowns, more shutdowns of the economy, which do you think people will prefer? Apple and Google are saying that this will naturally come with privacy provisions in place. I’m sure they will — and I also expect that they will be worthless. Here’s the thing, though: data companies already track us now. They’ve been doing it for years….

Once we have established that it is necessary to track people’s associations systematically for the sake of defeating disease, it will be easier, in the near future, to justify tracking people’s associations systematically for the sake of defeating “bigotry,” which threatens the health and safety of official victims.

He concludes:

We should be very, very vigilant about how we talk about health and safety, so that we guard against bad actors making malicious political use of proper concern for health and hygiene. This pandemic is going to cause tremendous social changes, especially changes in the way we all regard the power of the state, the role of technology in our lives, and the limits of liberty. I am a pessimist. I think the oppression of traditional religious believers and social conservatives is coming, and that “contact tracing” of those carrying “unhealthy” ideas is on its way in America — as it already exists in China. It is unlikely to be stopped, because of the rapidly growing secularization and social liberalization of Millennials and younger generations. I believe we have to fight it when we can, but we should absolutely prepare ourselves to live as dissidents, including living some aspects of our lives underground. www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/contact-tracing-coronavirus-political-religious-dissidents/

As I have said before, the only thing that bothers me more than all of the above is the number of subservient sheeple who still believe “My government right or wrong” and who look at folks like me as the real problem, and not out-of-control statism.

[1727 words]

18 Responses to Our Growing Surveillance State

  • Bill, you rightly mention that we [Australia] have one of the lowest rates of infection and death than most other countries, but maybe that’s because of the so called ‘draconian’ restrictions that the Government has put in place? If it’s saved one life wouldn’t it be worth it? I think it’s probably saved many, so my question is, what price do you put on a life? I see no underlying agenda that all this is done to turn Australia into a ‘Police State’, it’s what needs to be done at this point in time, hopefully, because of it, we will get back to normal a lot quicker than the likes of New York or London?

  • Thanks Girvan, but since I have already addressed the concerns you raised countless times now, it is foolish to keep having to repeat myself, just as it is all rather foolish to keep raising these rather lame objections. If you think the government can do no wrong here, that is up to you. And if you had actually bothered to read this article instead of offering a kneejerk reaction, you would have seen that I already addressed the ‘if it saves one life” foolishness. Go back and have a read thanks. And I already said in an earlier article that there is more than one way to look at the situation in Australia:

    When this crisis passes, Australia may – at current rates – have had well under 10,000 cases of the virus, and perhaps 100 deaths. Time will tell. But if this is more or less how things will pan out, there will be at least two views on this:
    -The government will say, “See, we told you these draconian lockdown and shutdown measures were needed – it worked!”
    -Others will say, “See, it was nowhere near as bad, so all these draconian lockdown and shutdown measures really were not needed.”
    The truth may never be fully known, but might lie somewhere between the two. However, as we seek to be wise about proper health and safety measures, we also need to be wise – very wise – about Statism and Big Brother in action.
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2020/04/06/police-states-and-the-corona-clampdown/

    Sorry, but I will keep sounding the alarm when it is needed. If that gets you all bent out of joint, no one is forcing you to come here of course.

  • Totally agree with you Bill. It seems an uphill battle (for me anyways) calling on work colleagues, friends and family to not be afraid to think critically, not to be afraid to ask the hard questions.

  • I used to laugh at the US for its gun culture. The older I get, the wiser I believe those gentlemen were when they wrote the 2nd Amendment. I’ve seen the cops driving around where I live 3 days in a row. I never see them normally. Everyone knows what they’re doing.

    Given the cops in Victoria are after Pell again, I now see that we’ve given way too much power to the state and federal governments. The Snowden Revelations were massive, and the response from us (citizens) was worse. We are indeed sheep, Bill.

  • That’s an interesting opinion/prediction that technological “contact tracing” of “unhealthy ideas” is on its way in America as is already the case in China. Just this week I read that in China, authorities now have the ability to not only monitor what’s on private phone devices but also to [remotely] delete it! Christians in Wuhan discovered this in February when photos/videos on their phones were deleted before they’d had a chance to forward on to alert the outside world as to what was really happening in Wuhan.

    https://backtojerusalem.com/crisis-extreme-bible-shortage-in-china/

  • Dear Girvan,

    ” [Australia] have one of the lowest rates of infection and death than most other countries, but maybe that’s because of the so called ‘draconian’ restrictions that the Government has put in place.”

    That’s an assumption that you have made, that many Globalists love to hear. I’m not saying this isolation has not been beneficial to Australians but there could be a reason for low infection in Australia that is far more insidious, It’s called the 5G network. With faster speeds and lower latency, 5G could handle 1,000 times the volume of mobile data compared to 4G. It is only in it’s infancy across major cities in Australia. As this detail article attached explains the power of 5G is intense and the link to excessive radiation and dangerous health affects. The data confirms 5G is significantly more powerful than 4G and it affects the body’s electrical system and it’s immune system. Why is WHO endorsing this 5G system despite the anticipated health affects? Why is WHO’s CEO being so positive about China’s activities to prevent Coronavirus, yet the Chinese Government deliberately suppressed information in late December 2019 and failed to warn the rest of the World how bad this virus was ?

    Australia’s headlong embrace of 5G is deeply concerning. I strongly believe Covid 19 could well mutate into something far more dangerous next year. If this does occur there will be very strong Govt influence to force vaccinations en masse. With Bill Gates (Note -He has already publicly stated the importance of Population Control) talking compulsory vaccines with a compulsory nano chip linked to the 5G network we are really heading into a Brave and Dangerous New World.

    Bill Muhlenberg’s concerns about personal privacy and individual rights are well founded.

    It is foolish to think every Government is benign and has interest of our citizens at their heart. Scott Morrison is a Christian PM but he may not be fully aware of the agenda’s operating out of public view. Revelation 13 describes the Beast 666 control system. it is a not a fabricated joke. The word of God a true and prophetic. We don’t know the date when this commences but the technology is available now. When Powerful men start talking about compulsory Vaccinations with en masse microchipping and we see little opposition from Leaders it really is time to think carefully where we are heading.

    https://stop5g.cz/us/the-who-cover-up-that-is-costing-us-the-earth/

    God bless
    Phil
    NOTE – My family will not be receiving a microchip. We are not dogs. We will also stay with 4G as long as possible.

  • George Orwell only got the date wrong – the rest … spot on with the rest!

  • I admit I have been concerned even though I suspected car driving was more dangerous. My husband is male, over 80, has underlying risk factors and recently came close to death with a viral pneumonia. I am not dramatising. The admitting nurse said,”it is just as well you did not wait till morning to bring him in. Another medic told Stan when to come next time.
    I hope they can restart things for young and healthy soon. I also hope you are praying wisdom for Scomo. I would not like his job even if the pay is good. He will be wrong either way. If he tries to restart the economy and someone dies he will prove he is heartless. If we continue into a recession he will have been incompetent. And as has been mentioned the World Health Organization is showing just how dangerous it is to listen to it.

  • Phil Browne is spot on with his comments on 5G. Here is a recent quote from a Stop 5G Facebook page; –
    ‘Hello Everyone! Is anyone aware of this?
    They are rolling out 5G everywhere while we are in lock down. I heard from a friend in Launceston when she tried to find out where they were rolling it out, that the council didn’t even know while Telcos clearly under the Mobile Phone Base Deployment Code are required to and I quote:
    “Under this code they must:
    tell councils and the public about their plans and when they will install
    respond to submissions from councils during the comme…nt period
    The comment period is a minimum of 10 business days.
    We may direct telcos to follow the code. If they continue not to follow the code, they face penalties up to $250,000.” https://www.acma.gov.au/small-cells
    Acma, Amta and Communications Allinance Ltd are all clear on this same thing. What I would like to see to see is that councils around the nation would receive written letters from many concerned 5G activists with the question whether the Telcos have notified the council or not and where they are rolling out 5G at this very moment, as they are required to inform the Council and us residents.
    We can remind our council that public officers have a duty to act in the public’s interest and that it is therefore important to liaise with residents to ensure that their views and interests are being considered at the local level.
    By doing this we can show our councils their responsibility in all this and who knows, in the best scenario, get noticed in the news if Telcos are found to breach the code and fined $250.000.
    We also should write to the Telcos to remind them as well and I have the suspicion that they haven’t adhered to the Code.’
    I am trying to get my head around this in order to write to the council and the local paper. I always write to the local paper as it is too obvious to ignore. I am finding it difficult as this is not my area of expertise. I am not liking what I am discovering. I encourage all to listen to Dr Devra Davis of The Environmental Health Trust – https://ehtrust.org/

  • As Christians we should be used to living in a “parallel universe” in many ways.
    Perhaps our use of mobile phones is up for review in this matter.

  • I totally, agree with Bill and totally totally agree with Phil Browne! I believe that 5G is disastrous for our health and is heavily implicated in this “novel coronavirus”. However, even more concerning is that I believe it to be essential to the on-going roll-out of the “new world order” promoted by the UN, and already operating in “communist China” – a world order known as Technocracy. This has been working out on the world stage in full view for decades but most of us have totally missed it. I would love people’s input on an eye-opening video I saw recently on YouTube – Patrick Wood speaking on Technocracy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9LdAjWNOTc&feature=youtu.be), and on this article I read on Lifesite news (https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/liberal-elites-are-already-planning-a-post-corona-world-that-leaves-god-faith-far-behind?fbclid=IwAR2MpnVP69Up_l_cWDRNAWF3Cx7819N3-bMFiWH27mV2-581lqk8gKosX_U).

  • Thanks Yvonne. I watched the Patrick Wood you tube. He states that already 61% (in 2019) of the world’s population are already under the 5G surveillance/control system. The ‘standards’ of acceptable radiation is coming from WHO the body that just said that the Chinese wet markets are OK. Industry scientists deny the facts. He states that we could ‘wallpaper’ the world with the number of studies that prove 5G harm. We are at war, a silent war where the effects are not evident until we experience serious disease and effects. This is the main front to fight.

  • Another good 20 min video by Dr Olga Sheeann – https://stop5g.cz/us/the-who-cover-up-that-is-costing-us-the-earth/

  • Thank you Bill for highlighting the incident of the poor woman at her father’s funeral. Greek families are very close knit and it is disgusting that the police didn’t show more sensitivity. She will never forget that. However, can we really expect anything else from the Victorian police after the way they hounded Cardinal Pell?

  • A funeral???? Is nothing sacred??? Next they will be breaking in on newlyweds on their honeymoon night to arrest them for not practicing social distancing.

    Did anyone call out a swat team on an Easter bunny???

    (I’m a Churchill voice) We will find you at the picnics there’s will always be a nanny state.

    The big problem is I don’t think most churches in America are preparing people for what Ron speaks of in his conclusion it is all revival revival revival! No mention of judgment or hard times. Just revival and good times. Too much optimism not enough realism. Christianity will have to exist soon underground and many don’t know how to go about that!

  • Bill, last night on 730 Report, our PM talked about restrictions possibly being eased soon as long as we bring in ‘contract tracing’. Blackmail?

  • Thanks Terry – yes four more weeks, and he keeps changing the goal posts and the criteria for when things will ease up. He may do the same again in 4 weeks. And yes, if all this is conditional on us accepting certain measures (maybe mandatory vaccinations, or phone app monitoring and the like) we still have cause for worry.

Leave a Reply