Big Government Mind-Readers
Growing up as the daughter of a small-town evangelical Christian preacher, in an era where children quietly sat with their parents through hours of services that were often of the fire-and-brimstone variety, I learned basic yet critical truths that I will never forget -- about both God and Satan.
I loved hearing about God's three "omni" qualities, described succinctly by Pastor Greg Laurie: "God is omnipotent: He is all-powerful. God is omniscient: He is all-knowing. God is omnipresent: He is present everywhere."
A healthy fear of the Lord, though, in my young, imaginative mind, was sometimes overshadowed by an awful fear of Satan and his minions -- until the day I learned of the Devil's limitations: he yearns for God's omni-attributes, yet shares none of them.
Omniscient God can read my mind. But Satan cannot.
Of course, the Devil can poke, prod, suggest, tempt, and test. And he can always guess. However, my unspoken thoughts are ultimately and only between God and me.
Throughout history, tyrants have attempted to replicate God's power and presence. But the inability to know and control the thoughts of the populace, even with the assistance of Evil in one form or another, ultimately ended their reign.
In the fictional dystopia of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, a tyrannical Big Brother ruled the country of Oceania with a futuristic technology that rendered him virtually omnipotent and omnipresent. However, Big Brother was not omniscient. He compensated with a form of political correctness on steroids: by controlling the language, rewriting history, brainwashing, and persecuting perceived "thoughtcrimes."
Although the prescient Orwell recognized the evil place where progressive ideology would ultimately lead, he couldn't have imagined the real technological capabilities of the Big Government of today.
Like Big Brother, Big Government cannot read minds. But he can read your emails (at least, the IRS can, and apparently without a warrant) and your social media. He can obtain your Google history and data.
He knows which candidates you voted for and how much you contributed to political campaigns.
Big Government can calculate how much you're worth, what you earn, spend, and owe, whether you pay bills on time, and how much you dropped in the offering plate at church.
He knows what kind of car you drive, where you drive it, and how quickly it guzzles gas. If you use public transportation, he can see what you packed for the trip and then pat you down.
Common Core standards in schools will give Big Government your child's "health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status and even blood types and homework completion."
With the ACA he will have your health records, know your weight, BMI, and prescriptions, and even whether you exercise, have a happy family life, smoke, have been sexually abused, and wear your seat belt.
The data compiled by customer reward cards could help him evaluate the nutritional contents of your grocery lists, assess your fashion tastes, and analyze your shopping habits.
Big Government can know who's on the other end of your phone line, what shows you watch and books you read.
He has cameras to catch you speeding, satellites to monitor and measure and tax your homesteads, and drones to spy on you.
With Universal background checks, he'll know about your guns.
Big Government even has, by virtue of the last Census, the exact GPS coordinates of your front porch.
All this speculation may seem like the stuff of fiction, but apparently Big Government will soon have a shiny new facility capable of amassing, housing, and analyzing five zettabytes of that very stuff. A massive new NSA data center in Utah is under construction, which will be awfully handy for Big Government or anyone else who seeks the power that comes with control over information and the gateways to the networks it uses -- all in one convenient, central location.
So far, many questions about NSA's "spy center" have gone unanswered as "classified" and "secret." According to Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge:
Fellow NSA whistleblower Bill Binney, who worked at the NSA for nearly four decades, says it's about the possibility that the government's stunning new capacity to collect, store and analyze data could be abused.
"It's really a -- turnkey situation, where it could be turned quickly and become a totalitarian state pretty quickly," he said. "The capacities to do that is being set up. Now it's a question of if we get the wrong person in office, or if certain people set up their network internally in government, they could make that happen quickly."
I wrote recently about the controversy over Obama's "Organizing for Action," and posited that its power lies not in the White House access granted to big-dollar contributors, but the other way around -- the ability of the White House (or other OFA designates) to access the data gathered and maintained by the OFA. Many analysts have attributed OFA's "list," described as "the most sophisticated voter database in history," as the primary force behind Obama's second win. "[I]ntraparty squabbles over who gets access" began immediately after the election -- to a massive database, driven by a cutting-edge technology that attempts to forecast the voting intentions inside voter's minds.
Man's desire to be all-knowing has existed from the beginning of time, when the serpent in the Garden of Eden lured Adam and Eve to taste of the fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil: "Ye shall be as God."
Today, the hiss of the serpent has evolved into the hum of computer technology. Mountains of information, like tempting fruit dangling from a digital tree of knowledge, seduces with the promise of power never before imagined or obtainable.
America's Big Government, aided by the Democrat-media complex, a vast web of bureaucracies and a multitude of regulations, is beginning to look a lot like Big Brother as it gains in both power and presence. The ability to speculate on the thoughts inside our heads -- with a technology that can amass and then evaluate the data we produce as we go about our daily lives -- may be only a few clicks away from becoming a tyrannical, new form of omniscience.
Big Government is watching you -- and trying to read your mind.