Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Collecting Data from Children for the Common Good

By Douglas V. Gibbs

I was speaking with an acquaintance that works for the California Highway Patrol recently, and he told me that he was ashamed how little he knows about the United States Constitution.  As a member of law enforcement, he told me his primary concern while on duty was the 4th and 5th Amendments.  Even then, he wondered if he truly understood those articles of the Constitution, or if his viewpoint had been tainted by the whims of case law and the unconstitutional, and self-granted, judicial authority of interpreting the Constitution.  He wished he could come to my Constitution Classes, but his job required him to remain apolitical, and he was afraid that being a part of a Constitution Class would land him in trouble with his superiors.

His greatest fear, he told me, was the eventuality of being given unlawful orders.  He would not, he said, "follow orders that directly conflicted with his oath to protect and defend the United States Constitution."  The person I was talking to never clarified what he believed those unlawful orders may be, but I speculated to myself he was probably referring to the possibility of law enforcement being required to conduct a mass confiscation of firearms, arresting someone for speaking out against the political elite, or being ordered to conduct an unreasonable search and seizure - which would be a direct violation of the 4th Amendment.

The ruling elite that craves being able to conduct tyranny against the common people know that they cannot openly apply unconstitutional mandates for the public to see and notice without first training the citizenry to believe that the governmental violation of the rights of the people is not an affront against the Law of the Land in the first place.  The population must be so accepting of government intrusion into their lives that they won't even know to question the encroachment.  Society, from the point of view of the tyrants, must be conditioned to accept government in the form of an oligarchy (the rule of a powerful few over the many), with the working class gladly raising the red flag of socialism with their own hands in the name of personal security, and community safety.

Growing tyranny is done much like growing cultures in a petri dish.  Slowly and carefully, but with a designed purpose.  You may not see it happening, and the activity is so small that it doesn't seem like it is a big deal, but as it grows, and slowly becomes a normal part of life, eventually the reality of the presence of the tyranny is accepted because the culture knows no different.  As far as the younger generation that grows up into that system is concerned, it's always been that way.

Technology has opened many doors for government.  The populace doesn't need to be marked, or tagged.  The tyrants do not have to build walls to divide a city, or put up an iron curtain to keep their people in, or outsiders out.  Members of the public willfully broadcast their whereabouts online, and with their phones.  Smart devices are connecting us to a smart grid, and each of us welcome the government's involvement under the guise of keeping the evil corporations honest, and the people safe and secure.  No longer does a tyrannical government need to illegally search and seize one's papers, or possessions.  Electronically, government agencies can take a peek at will.  In fact, we have gotten to the point where we welcome the intrusion, and offer the information freely.

On occasion, however, the government steps a little too heavily, a little too quickly, and a few folks take notice and realize that the data collection is not for the common good as they were told, but for more sinister reasons that are determined to betray our liberties, our rights, and our daily lives.

The younger generation knows nothing about life without technology, and they have been indoctrinated by the education system, various media outlets, and their own peers, to have nothing to fear from the government.  It is through the children tyranny historically anchors itself.

Parental rights have been targeted since the dawn of every age.  Schools have thrown God out of the classroom, and without any obstructions teach scientific theory as fact, and sexual perversion as normal behavior.  Failed economic systems and trust in government when it is tyrannical is the lesson of the day.  The schools have been taken over by an agenda, and parents are often disallowed from interfering.  Now, as technology continues to rise in ways some of us could never have once dreamed, schools are collecting and using sensitive date on students, and are using that data to fuel political agendas, and without prior parental approval or knowledge.

As parents become concerned about schools gathering too much personal information about their children and families, asking questions about personal family activities or possessions, federal government critters are assure us that they are now considering various new laws on data privacy.

It used to be that schools were only concerned about attendance and grades.  Parents could pull their kids out of school for a day, or during the middle of the day, at will.  When my children were young, my wife and I often sat in class to observe what was going on behind those closed doors.  A parent in the City of Murrieta, California, recently told me that schools are now adopting policies limiting how often and how long parents can be an observer in a classroom, and the schools are becoming more strict about allowing students to miss school, actually questioning parents about the reason for absence before allowing the child to be taken off campus during the school day.

Teachers, and other school officials, are collecting data on health, fitness and sleeping habits, sexual activity, prescription drug use, alcohol use and disciplinary matters.  In some cases children are asked if parents have certain religious habits, if parents are members of any clubs or groups, and if the parents are gun owners.  Students are learning that the schools are an authoritarian system, and that to scholastically succeed, they need to play the game dictated by the schools.  While students become more and more careful to self-monitor their attitudes, sociability and even enthusiasm, because they know the schools are collecting data on them, the activity of data gathering by the schools are not only enabling a government entity to intrude on student, and family, privacy, but also threatens the personal freedom of the students.  When schools record and analyze a students’ every move and recorded thought, the child reduces the level of their expression and speech, ultimately stifling innovation and creativity.  Thanks to Michelle Obama's push of cafeteria nutritional standards, children are even losing their freedom regarding what to eat.  Free meals being offered by the schools even allows the school to insert itself into the financial data regarding a student’s family, including weekly income and alimony payments.

The data gathering is often performed through in-school surveys, beyond the watchful eyes of the parents.  While government promises the data collected is for educational purposes only, the idea of trusting government is not something most folks are ready to embrace.  Tyrannical systems, seeking to disarm a population, for example, once the data is collected, needs only to refer to those records of collected data in order to know what homes to visit in order to confiscate the firearms the children told their teachers their parents owned.

Historically, the last move before gun confiscation has always been mass registration programs, and mass surveys of the children.

While bureaucrats promise to act responsibly to protect the privacy of students, the assurances are really nothing more than lip service.  Government on a growth trend does not reduce their intrusion into the lives of individuals.  The intrusion of government into the personal lives of individuals increases.  That is the nature of expanding governments.  Governments become more tyrannical unless through a grassroots movement the people stop governmental expansion.  Central governments naturally become more powerful, and politicians naturally seek to become members of a ruling elite.  That is what statism in government does. . . just like a scorpion stings.  The scorpion stings because that is what scorpions do.  Governments growing unchecked by the people become tyrannies.  That is what they do.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Response to Smart Meters - Political Pistachio

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