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Eye in the Sky
I was recently sent this news link and I was shocked. The story comes from a British news organization and I have seen very little of this in the US press.
I looked up Herington, KS. The population is based on the year 2000, so it is old data, but suffice it to say, it’s not a metropolis. What possible reason could that town have for having a drone?!
Look, we have always been under intermittent surveillance, so to speak. A cop can drive by any time. Your neighbors can report you. There are undercover detectives that could be watching your activities. It’s not like we can’t be busted for our misdeeds at any time because of timing and good police work, right?
But this seems as if we are heading much more towards the Big Brother scenario of Orwell’s 1984.
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
Looking over the maps and lists of places, I am highly disturbed. I don’t understand the justification for some of those places and/or organizations having military grade drones. And does anyone feel safer knowing that Otter Tail county has them? Or that UW-Madison, well known for medical and stem cell research but not so much for military related stuff (it’s not known as the Berkeley of the Midwest for nothin’) has a Certificate of Authorization?
For the past several years, we, as citizens, have been under a constant assault of surveillance for the good of the country. I was never a fan of the Patriot Act and, regardless of party affiliation, our government overlords have been playing fast and loose with making legislation allowing many erosions of our rights as free people. This is one more way to ensure that even “good” citizens remain wary and vigilant about what they say and do, even the smallest of transgressions against the law. I’m a bit of a speed demon. I’ve always kept an eye out for the lines on the cement and a high flying plane because I know it’s a way to watch me. But these drones…some of them can be ARMED. Do local police forces send out fully armed (and I mean heavily when I say “fully”) helicopters floating through the sky, just to keep an eye on things? No. It is overkill. But if they were able to do so in a fiscally easy way, would they? Would that feed into the Us vs Them mentality that already exists? The cattle below, to be monitored for missteps?
I become more and more alarmed, the older I get, as I see these tiny things slip past the American public. The unawareness of how we are increasingly under the scrutiny of “authorized persons” without any recourse. There have been many examples of abuse of power and this power of silent overwatch on the population will only widen the gulf and encourage those with malice in their hearts to use this power.
America, WAKE UP. I leave you with another 1984 quote. It is a warning, penned back oh-so-many-years-ago, and it should be heeded.
“Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain.”
**Author’s note: I stopped writing here a while ago, but since I’ve taken on Michael Yon myself on my own website, I figured hell, I might as well have my login credentials turned on and come back. It’s nice to write over here again.