By Josh Ely
Are iris scanners on school buses really necessary?
Cheryl Chumley, author of "Police State USA: How Orwell's Nightmare is Becoming Our Reality," appeared on CSPAN's Book TV After Words program to address the idea.
She discussed with Theresa Payton, former White House chief information officer, the roles of data and technology as applied to the American consumer and, more importantly, the American family.
That "any school would think iris scanners on buses were necessary" shocked Chumley.
She was also disturbed by the erosion of parental authority over the deployment of security technology.
Even when consent is sought, she said, "You can always use a worst case argument to justify any action by the government."
Chumley's "Police State" tracks a historical reliance by government on worst-case scenarios, which recently has been the terrorist threat.
Chumley, a full-time reporter for the Washington Times, writes about politics and government for various newspapers, Internet news sites and think tanks. She is a journalism fellow with the Phillips Foundation, a prestigious organization in Washington, D.C., where she spent a year researching and writing about private property rights.
Even while security remains a top priority for local and federal government, Chumley found it astounding that at the "same time that we are collecting big data from American citizens, our borders are porous."
"If I were a terrorist right now, the ideal place for me to be is on the southern border," she said.
Chumley said common sense security was being overlooked, with technology such as drones being favored. Asked for her thoughts, Chumley provided her "must have" list for any future legislation on privacy and data collection.
She recommended that the American "right to know" should be put first.
Consumers, for example, should be aware of store dummies that are being used as cameras and microphones. Counter-terrorism legislation should be accompanied with clearly stated goals.
Parents, she said, should be able to opt out of biometric collection offered at schools.
Chumley also wants future readers of her book to be aware that the cases in her book are real, and recent. She remains a strong advocate of the notion that Americans' rights come from God, not government. If citizens recall this and become aware, then reasonable regulation can begin to take hold.
Her "Police State USA" marshals the terrifying evidence to show the world of Big Brother is much closer than Americans want to admit.
From traffic light cameras to phone tapping, from militarized police forces to huge purchase orders by departments of the federal government for billions of rounds of ammunition, the government is increasing its control over individual lives.
"Police State USA" chronicles how, in Chumley's estimation, America got to the point of being a de facto police state, what led to it and how citizens might overcome it and recapture the freedoms envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
In the foreword, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, writes: "'What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.' This was Solomon's observation as the wisest of all kings. How does it apply here? Cheryl Chumley lays out clearly what is happening in this country now has happened to countries in the past, and the consequences are clear.
"People have liberty; people take liberty for granted; people become apathetic; people lose their liberty. We are on that track, but detouring back to the freedom road is still possible.
"Though there has never been a country in world history whose citizens have enjoyed the individual liberties found in the United States today, there have been countries whose citizens went from enjoying individual liberties to being oppressed by increasingly totalitarian rulers. Drawing from available information around us, Cheryl points out the shocking usurpations of our freedoms," he said.
Media wishing to interview author Cheryl Chumley may contact email@example.com.
See the trailer: