Should freedom of mobility, privacy, commerce, and civil liberties, including assembly and religion, be put on hold or suspended in the name of public health, security?
1-Governors issuing “orders” requiring citizens stay home.
2-Governors determine a) there’s such a thing as essential and non-essential businesses, b) actually assigning businesses to these categories.
3-Absurdity of pet, marijuana, liquor stores, and abortion clinics considered essential while churches are non-essential.
4-Mayors threatening churchgoers with fines and directing police to record the vehicle licenses of anyone attending a drive-in church service.
5-County officials mandating churches not include singing in live stream programs.
6-Some state and local police monitoring and stopping drivers to “check their papers” vis-a-vis essential activities, while other state and local police refuse to enforce governors’ similar orders.
7-Police empowered to break up gatherings of more than three people.
8-Attorneys General, Mayors encouraging people to report neighbors to authorities if they’re seen working at non-essential businesses or violating stay at home orders, with some mayors offering rewards for “snitching,” and 911 lines being flooded with non-emergency calls.
9-County officials requiring people wear government-issued pink arm-bands indicating they’re local and have been quarantined 14 days in order to shop at grocery stores.
10-Some states trying to block people entering from other states, and some states saying their residents are prohibited from leaving.
11-Smart phone data analyzed (surveilled) to determine personal movements.
12-Big social media corporations providing (and mining) personal data, even if “anonymized,” in the name of “public service” while advancing their profit interests at the expense of privacy.
13-The US Department of Justice requesting Congress give it authority to allow judges to delay trials and detain people indefinitely during "emergencies."
All of these things are happening in the United States in the name of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Both Republicans and Democrats have participated in this overreach, unconstitutional, and unnecessary action. While a health crisis is important, it is short-term. Trading away civil liberties is a long-term, enormously significant concern.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020
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