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Greg Maresca | Remnant Columnist

Many headlines can tell a story that no novel can and in one concise phrase. 

“House bill 6666 to track everyone with COVID-19.”

House Democrats have put forward legislation that will track anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and require them to quarantine.  What stood out was the bill’s number: 6666 and the legislation’s ensuing acronym (TRACE) meaning “Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone Act.” 

Shakespearian in scope is the everlasting question, what’s in a name?

The $100 billion legislation would “award grants to eligible entities to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID–19, to trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts.”

You want some semblance of normalcy, welcome to everlasting contact tracing. 

Smelling opportunity, Silicon Valley through the auspices of Apple and Google are developing their own tracing apps. Facebook is harnessing “precise data” that “will help governments and public health officials make decisions.” 

Such methods and the technology it employs are nothing new as Russia uses facial recognition software for quarantining, while China operates thermal scanners. 

Healthcare is just another blunt instrument of control that totalitarian societies use to track their citizens. It is no coincidence why Democrats lap praise upon Cuba’s healthcare system and in so doing reveal how authoritarian they really. 

There is no life without liberty.

Here's what it looks when the police come knocking (Click "Full Screen" and go to 1:55:51) 

As we sink deeper into the abyss of administrative bureaucracy, the growth of commercial surveillance will only magnify government surveillance.  

In a recent white paper, even the left leaning Brookings Institution has questioned the benefits of contact tracing through apps, whose accuracy remains debatable and is susceptible to hacking. 

How much do we really value privacy? We surrender it habitually to friends, doctors, and companies with whom we wish to do business.  Who among us reads the fine print and comprehends how our data is mined, evaluated and allocated? 

Today’s pandemic raises uneasy decisions about information collection, distribution and consumption.  Security breaches in supposedly protected platforms will seemingly produce long-lasting harm.  These current surveillance measures could end up becoming permanent, much like what happened post-9/11.  

The youngest among us are accustomed to having their personal information posted throughout social media and are seemingly indifferent to the monitoring of their private data by the government. 

Perhaps what we value more is the freedom to choose.    

The historical origins of privacy extends to the English practice of general warrants that authorized the British in pre-revolutionary America to search whomever, whenever and wherever they wished.

Sound familiar?

Our nation’s own documented origins of privacy have been identified by the Supreme Court and found throughout our Constitution, not the least of which is the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits searches and seizures without warrants based on probable cause of criminal behavior.  In the landmark Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut argued in 1965, the Court found that there was a right to privacy imbedded in the Constitution. 

Founding Father, Ben Franklin schooled a young republic well over two centuries ago when he said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  The most important word in Franklin’s reference is “temporary” modifying “safety.” 

black and white campaign ad icon

Any benefit from increased safety is always temporary. 

The price we pay in the loss of liberty will be permanent.

Far too many Americans think it could never happen here. 

However, it is and right in front of their lying eyes.  Judging by what we are learning about the FBI and others in the previous presidential administration and state governors who continue to extend lockdowns, why should anyone trust government? 

When Big Government marries Big Tech their offspring is tyranny, oppression and coercion.  The left have systematically been exploiting every crisis for decades in order to overthrow the rule of law, faith, and reason.

Americans acquiesce too easily to government overreach, especially in a crisis. Perhaps most do not understand that constitutional rights are not optional.  

Privacy should not require trade-offs.  We can both prioritize personal privacy, and accept flawed security, or we can prioritize security and accept flawed privacy.

What we cannot do is empower the decision to the tech billionaires of Silicon Valley and Uncle Sam’s unelected army of bureaucrats.

YouTube is the most visited website in the world.  It is a cybernetic Areopagus, where every viewpoint can be found – except for those that don’t jive with their political agenda under the pretext of “community standards and terms of service.” Such criteria compels censorship of any nonconforming perspectives that challenge the leftist zeitgeist.   

Painful truths must be banned, just ask Prager University who has had plenty of videos barred, but continues to fight the internet behemoth in court. Across the conservative ideological continuum, Prager’s case is certainly not unique. 

After the horrific attack on 9/11 a generation ago, New York City found itself grossly short of medical supplies once COVID-19 made the Big Apple our nation’s disaster epicenter for the second time in less than 20 years.  

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio ignored warnings from health officials, while objecting to President Trump’s travel ban.  As New York was receiving three flights a day from Wuhan, China (where the virus originated), it only underscored just how woefully unprepared Cuomo’s state was figuratively, materially and psychologically.     

Is testing every single American the way to go?

There are many throughout government who believe that testing is the key in combating Covid-19.  Provided employers test their workers for Covid, then why not test for the flu, HIV, strep throat, TB, or the common cold?  

Such a proposal is unrealistic medically and financially and would infect many struggling businesses that are attempting to reestablish their footing with additional fiscal trials.  

What an incredible opportunity to demonstrate to the world how the power of freedom, democracy, capitalism, and private ownership vs. communism, socialism, totalitarianism, and control of the many by the few is not lost.

YOU DON’T MISS water until the well runs dry, the same can be said for penicillin.  The last American company to produce penicillin closed up shop in 2004.

If Bloomberg still feels compelled to apologize, please let him do so for wasting so much money on such a futile attempt at presidential cred, and for squandering the nation’s time while doing it. 

THE PUBLIC MEA CULPA has become a mainstay of today’s political landscape.  Every perceived mistake, gaffe and slight results in demands for rebuke, reprimand and retribution.  

The public apology has become that pound of flesh that activists demand as part of the leftist outrage cycle.  

But to what end?

President Barack Obama began his first term with an unprecedented apology tour that still rings loudly today throughout Democrat politics.

On April 3, 2009, in Strasbourg, France, Obama told the French “celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times when America has shown arrogance and been dismissive – even derisive.”

Three days later, in a speech to the Turkish Parliament, Obama doubled down saying America was still “working through” some of our “darker periods.  These would be just two of many apologies Obama would make for America. 

Obama even wanted to apologize to Japan for the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the Japanese were having none of it.  After all, it would also call to light how Japan never apologized for Pearl Harbor, or for their death march at Corregidor.

sad obama

There exists a huge chasm between expressing regret and apologizing. One apologizes for something one did and takes responsibility.  The Emperor Hirohito could plausibly apologize for Pearl Harbor, while the Japanese people could only express regret over Pearl Harbor. 

The contemporary presidential debate cycle has devolved into a forum filled with gotcha questions, moral preening and virtue signaling. 

But apologies?

It is over-the-top and pitiful to apologize, like Mike Bloomberg has done, for realizing the American dream while becoming a leading job creator.  Bloomberg either could not help himself, or received some poor advice. when he went on apologizing for fighting crime by following the policies of Rudy Giuliani as mayor of New York City. 

Under Giuliani, the city underwent a metamorphosis like never before. Times Square was cleaned up and crime throughout the five boroughs, including the city’s notorious murder rate, was noticeably reduced.  No one would have predicted back in the wild days of the 70s and 80s (when the city was infamously called “ungovernable”) that New York would become the nation’s safest city.

Rather than taking some pride in how successfully the NYPD used “stop, question and frisk”, Bloomberg turned it into a point of contentious apology. 

Bloomberg should have embraced his record, not run from it.

Bloomberg is just one insincere apology away from earning his master’s degree in Clintonology.

There is something profoundly wrong from sea to shining sea when any successful entrepreneur feels compelled to apologize for creating a billion dollar company that provides jobs for thousands of Americans.

The collective apologies, usually offered for historic offences, are either derided or caricatured. Should the Yankees apologize to major league baseball for having won by far the most World Series titles?  Moreover, should we apologize to the rest of the world for calling it the World Series, when in fact, it is anything, but a world event?  

Ben Franklin said, “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”

The problem is all too often the apology is the excuse.  Once the apology is made, I am no longer accountable and doing any kind of penance – forget it.  Perhaps we should be apologizing for saying or writing too much, or for apologizing sooner, or apologizing for all the wrong reasons.  After all, public apologies—from the secular confessionals of our talk show high priestesses like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres—are all the rage in 21st century America.

oprah ellen

The plague of the Bloomberg campaign ads is now history as the former New York City mayor has conceded.  The cost, according to the Wall Street Journal, was $620 million in a campaign that employed more than 2,400 people across the country, that blanketed the airwaves and digital spectrum, and that bought Bloomberg 53 delegates, which has to be some kind of dubious, all-time, primary record.  

If Bloomberg still feels compelled to apologize, please let him do so for wasting so much money on such a futile attempt at presidential cred, and for squandering the nation’s time while doing it. 

Now that would be one apology worth cashing in on. 

Everyone knows an Amy Klobuchar. Perhaps she is your neighbor, cousin, sister, or pseudo Facebook bestie. You certainly are acquainted with a co-worker like her; the one who will praise you in public, but as soon as you leave the room, she flays you quicker than a freshly caught fish.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal featured a couple of editorials on this rising Democratic presidential contender.  One of them juxtaposed her to the party’s last presidential standard bearer, Hillary Clinton.  She is “Hillary Clinton without the snark and baggage” claiming that Klobuchar could very well headline the 2020 Democratic ticket, or at least round it out as the vice presidential nominee.  

Prior to the New Hampshire primary, the seven Democratic candidates were thrown a surprisingly unorthodox question during the debate: “Is anyone on the stage concerned about having a democratic socialist on the top of ticket?”  Sheepishly Klobuchar raised her hand, followed by of all people, Bernie Sanders.  Perhaps this was Sander’s woeful attempt at humor. 

dem debateBernie and Amy at the Democratic primary

Sanders then pronounced all the delegates on stage were pro-abortion and no one disagreed.  Klobuchar can say anything she wants, especially after the fact, but she does not stand for life.  Moreover, she supports taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. It’s obvious she needs the votes but has no intention of respecting pro-life views.

Surely, Klobuchar saw it as her opportunity at establishing herself as a more moderate candidate, something that is sorely lacking within the present field. The Democratic power brokers know all too well that having a socialist like Bernie Sanders at the top of their ticket would be a 1972 rematch of George McGovern against Richard Nixon.

It was the first presidential election I can recall as it occurred the week of my 10th birthday.  I remember having to poll people as part of a social studies class and no one that I spoke with supported McGovern in our working class New York neighborhood.  Nixon would go on to a landslide victory winning 49 states. 

Despite her attempt at moderation, the approval numbers tell another story: American Conservative Union – 5%; Americans for Prosperity – 5%; Club for Growth – 5%; Americans for Tax Reform – 0%; Americans for Democratic Action – 90%; N.O.W. – 100%; NARL – 100%; National Right to Life Committee – 0%; NRA – “F.” 

Klobuchar’s reputation as another queen of mean is well documented. Her staff has the highest turnover rate on Capitol Hill. A “get off my White House lawn, you deplorable and take your little dog with you” disposition that is anything but forthcoming and certainly Clintonian.    

Also like Clinton, any semblance of authenticity is lost on Klobuchar and remains something that can’t be underestimated, especially in politics.  Say what you want about President Trump, but he possess that outer-boro New York City temperament that is real, straightforward and raw.  I spent my formative years surrounded by such talent.

In the summer of 2018, Klobuchar pulled no punches in attacking Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearings all the while knowing that it was pure politics demonstrating a complete void of ethics.  If that wasn’t enough, she also voted against Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation. 

Klobuchar preaches an unrealistic and unsustainable socialist nirvana that includes unrestricted abortion, elimination of the Electoral College, limited energy production through the auspices of The Green New Deal, and increased taxation. 

Moreover, she was an enthusiastic participant in the impeachment coup which attempted to overturn the will of 63 million voters without just cause.  She would love to eviscerate the 2nd Amendment, while providing free health care for illegals. 

Klobuchar has no executive experience all the while trying to pour herself into the liberal mold of her Minnesotan liberal predecessors: Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale.  Both of whom never obtained the White House, but did serve as vice presidents.

No matter how the media wants spin it, Klobuchar is another lefty who is only interested in power, and not the rule of law.  She would be a pawn in the hands of the D.C. bureaucratic swamp of lobbyists, lawyers and party advocates turning like a weather vane however the cash flow blows.

Klobuchar’s senate record is indistinguishable from Sanders’.

It’s not what you say; it’s what you do. 

FOR ANY PROBLEM within the American political landscape, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has a solution – albeit a costly one.  Warren’s plan to eliminate student loan debt, while liquidating the middle class was certainly foremost when she was recently questioned by a dad who bankrolled his daughter’s college education.    

Like Obama’s interlude with Joe “The plumber” Wurzelbacher, during his first run for the White House in 2008, his “spread the wealth” comment that quickly went viral revealing what he was really thinking, was off script.  Given the ubiquity of electronic recording devices, the Warren campaign had to know that a similar occasion was bound to occur.  

Within less than a week, America endured for only the third time in our storied history, the impeachment and acquittal of a president while witnessing for the first time a senator from the president’s own political party voting to convict him.  

During the same week, the Democratic Iowa Caucus results were delayed due a faulty app that failed to record the tallies begging the question: Where are the Russians when you need them? 

As the days shorten and 2019 draws to a close bringing with it another decade, the time for the annual Rearview Awards is upon us.   

Statistic of the year: According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the American birthrate is below replacement and for the first time ever, the number of dogs surpassed the number of children under eighteen.  The U.S. has 90 million dogs and 73 million children.

2020’s Wakeup call:  Social Security’s yearly expenses are expected to exceed its income in 2020, which will force the program to begin drawing down its trust funds.