First: I entered activism through the lens of animal rights. I believe that all sentient beings deserve the best treatment possible, while I also acknowledge that there is such a thing as the “food chain.” I am also a fierce individualist who demands the right to do as I please while not harming others, and in so demanding will not force my will upon others – even those with whom I disagree philosophically and morally.
Enter the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). I actually have had personal experience with this organization and I have found it to be exemplary of all major bureaucratic organizations … with the added evil of purveying an extremist ideology that is the very same as all top-down control freak nannyisms.
I offer this disclaimer only because it is central to the following story. PETA is the de facto tip of the spear in the war for animal rights and “animal activism.” Their stunts and antics are quite legendary and, I believe, have done more to push away fence straddlers than to convince them. Therefore, I am aggravated as an activist to see them framed as such. And now they have employed drones to force their agenda.
Under the very same banner of totalitarian government that claims “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” or, more succinctly: “If you see something, say something;” PETA drones have taken to the sky with their Orwellian fleet called Air Angels. I mean, you don’t hate angels, do you?
Yes, I do hate angels.
At least when they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Or hawks in dove’s clothing, as it were.
Perhaps it was inevitable that as the police state trickles down from on high, there would be temptation to employ surveillance for some supposed good.
Listen to the rationale for surveillance asserted by PETA’s director of animal law, Jared Goodman:
“The intention is simply to monitor what hunters are actually doing,” Goodman says, “and whether they’re engaged in any illegal activity, such as drinking in possession of a firearm or illegally using spotlights or feedlures.” If they spot any illegal activity, PETA members are advised to report it to a local game warden and not take any further action themselves. (emphasis added) [Source]
But that is, of course, what the government has claimed all along that it is doing. All of the NSA surveillance; all the drones – all to simply catalog illegal activity anywhere it occurs, at any time.
That’s why the U.S. Constitution – and the documents and rules upon which it was based – recognize fundamental rights and due process: to protect the individual from the State, as well as other individuals, no matter their stated benevolent intentions.
Following that reasoning, Illinois is not buying the “drones are flying angels” theory. The program has been made illegal. And a salute to Illinois – not for protecting animal thrill-killers, but for understanding that only in a nation of principles can we take the longer road of debate, education, and hopefully consensual reform. The short track to tyranny is the paved path upon which all good intentions might lead us in our age of high-tech surveillance and control.
I fully support using technology for good, but is this the best way? What do you think?
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