COVID-19 snitches in St. Louis were in for a surprise
Here's something that ought to kill off the snitching programs set up around the country by local governments to finger local businesses still open in the name of combatting the coronavirus:
According to GatewayPundit:
Talk radio great Jamie Allman filed a Sunshine law request for the actual emails of St. Louis County residents who've snitched on local entrepreneurs trying to make a living. Most of the complaints were unfounded, involving people "turning in" companies that were deemed essential by the county.
Sure enough, he got them. Here. Apparently, some crummy little bureaucrat in the bowels of St. Louis's government went ahead and sent them to the clever shock jock — names, email addresses, complaints, and all. Every COVID-19 snitch in St. Louis has just been outed.
This undoubtedly would be embarrassing for the people who made those seemingly secret complaints, playing snitch in the same way as the ordinary snitches and their blotting-paper secret police controllers depicted in The Lives of Others, a brilliant film that won an Academy Award.
On his Facebook page, Allman notes that the snitches were notifed on the form that their complaints would be made public. But I suspect that it might have been done in fine print, or the people snitching just didn't read it.
Here ya go. The Gallery of snitches, busybodies, and employees who rat out their own neighbors and employers over the Panic-demic. A tiny few look like they have legit beefs. Most do not.
But it's all public record and you make the call.
This fishing expedition by the County resulted in at least 50 local businesses being notified by letter to close down or else.
This is a result of my Sunshine Law request initiated after the St. Louis County Government asked for info to enlist soldiers in its war on small business for lack of any other solution.
What"s shocking (or not so shocking) is that these people were notified ON THE FORM that their complaints would be made public.
A lot of you are asking to share this and if you can , do. But on FB you can only post a PDF to a "group" page.
GatewayPundit read through quite a few of them and posted its curation, noting:
The 900-page file of complaints is, ultimately, sad. What could be more depressing than a mother begging government officials to put her daughter out of work? Or women asking the county to shut down their fiancé's company?
That "Lives of Others" scent hangs heavy on this one.
It calls to mind that these people trusted the government to keep things all hunky-dory for them as they did the government's bidding, yet they undoubtedly ended up embarrassed with such a release. Because if they really knew that their names and emails would be released, would they have participated? Why not hold a televised snitch-a-thon telethon and see how many are willing to broadcast their names and emails in order to join the fun?
Leftist governments enjoy this sort of thing, and rat-out-your-neighbor programs have been put up all over. Los Angeles's mayor called its snitch-on-business program "snitches get rewards." Snitching to the government is a staple of socialist regimes everywhere, and Comrade Bill de Blasio, who has significant experience learning and admiring the ways of communist Cuba and Sandinista Nicaragua (that place where everyone lied to the pollsters in 1990), certainly has been upfront about the importance of snitching in New York City.
A culture of neighbor snitching on neighbor, as the Nicaraguan Sandinista example demonstrated, may be great for enforcing conformity on fealty to socialism, or social distancing, but it's a disaster for social capital.
In any culture where neighbor spies on neighbor, everyone is distrusted, and people clam up, isolating themselves socially as surely as social distancing does, everyone wary of even his friends and relatives.
Sometimes snitching is needed, as when the target is cartels or terrorists or spy rings. But in those cases, experienced police handlers protect their sources zealously and with force of law (right, Dick Armitage?) to ensure that they can have sources. Without that trust, snitching doesn't happen.
City officials are different, though. In their calls to make snitching a way of life in the name of public health, they have little interest in protecting their sources once they've obtained and used their information. Hence, no one sounded the alarm when the program was created in St. Louis that maybe this wouldn't be the best way to do things. The snitches themselves must have felt they'd never be revealed, given that they were all lonely nobodies no one would notice.
Well, it didn't happen that way. Now everyone knows them. This won't do much to win back their neighbors' trust in the post-coronavirus era. And it sure as heck should kill the snitch program in St. Louis. Allman should do another sunshine law filing to see how many will now snitch since his disclosures.