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| Jennifer Baker | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

September 3, 2019

Stand Up For Freedom!

Hayden Duke

Recently I went to see “Angel Has Fallen” at the Westview Cinemas. I go to the movies about as often as a coherent sentence sallies forth from the mouths of AOC or Steve King, which is to say I rarely go.


I was told that I had to choose my seat from the screen in front of me. I froze, then I chose and I chose poorly. I picked seat I-45, as if this were a life sized version of bingo. I-45 was on the far left in the nosebleed section. For the record, I-45 confirmed that nothing good comes from the far left.


I had asked if I could move since it was a matinee and few people were there. I wasn’t given a straight answer, so I moved anyway. I’ll also admit to occasionally using single use straws with non-caffeinated beverages. While these may be James Dean-like acts of rebellion, in China they might well put me at cross ways with the Orwellian night terror known as the Social Credit System.


This system – that the Stasi would fangirl over – will eventually employ 600,000,000 cameras, in a nation of 1.4 billion, will roll out officially in 2020. It has as its stated goal the aim of eradicating “bad behavior.” According to the official blueprint, as quoted by the South China Morning Post, Social Credit will “allow the trustworthy to benefit wherever they go while making it difficult for the discredited to take a single step.”


You might ask: “What would make me discredited?” Some of the following actions will send you to the blacklist: walking your dog without a leash; driving poorly; sorting your garbage incorrectly; criticizing the government; playing your music too loud; being “disruptive” on the train; or jaywalking. There is current discussion of losing social credit for changing jobs “too often.”


It gets better. You can also “suffer” a downgrade in social credit by playing video games too long. How long is too long? Ask the government, they seem to have all the answers. You might also find yourself blacklisted if you spend your own money “frivolously.”


Let’s say you decide to emulate some of the worst human beings in history, and you also want to engage in video game playing, or jaywalking. What penalties await? Ask the 26,000,000 people who were deemed unworthy to travel on either planes or public transport and had their ticket sales stopped mid-purchase.


Your kids will be kept from the best schools. You will be kept from the best jobs. You might lose your dog. This isn’t a country song, folks, this is the reality of social credit. You could even have your picture posted in your town to be publicly shamed.


A June 19, 2019, article from Bloomberg will tell you that “in practice, such programs are often disorganized and unthreatening.” If the above is disorganized and unthreatening, I shudder to think of what this thing would look like if it were organized.


This fits in with a totalitarian regime that seeks to eliminate the Uighurs and the government that literally crushed the Tiananmen Square protests with tanks. This is also a government of which Bernie Sanders once said “…they have done a lot of things for their people.”


Without a doubt the greatest gift given to humanity is that of freedom – to succeed or fail; to win or lose; to live free as God intended. Such a country of ancient wisdom and history most certainly deserves better. They also deserve the freedom to say it without being discredited.


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