Intrusions on Our Liberties Cannot End Soon Enough

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had a message for people who gathered in groups over the weekend at beaches and parks.

“We know who you are,” he said.


What does that mean? Is the city conducting surveillance of residents by capturing the location data from cell phones? Is the mayor demanding records from phone companies?

On March 12, my own cell phone received a text informing me that Mayor Garcetti “shared updates about the City’s actions to help protect the public and slow the spread of COVID-19.” The text included handwashing instructions and a link to the mayor’s video.

Because I never signed up for such messages and wondered how the service had my phone number, I unsubscribed. “You have been opted out and will receive no further messages from Everbridge Alerts,” the message read.


Everbridge is a company that markets “Mass Notification with Incident Communications” services to cities, companies and government agencies. It can send messages that “target the individual and not the device” and “broadcast to virtually any communications device including desktop alerts.” According to the company’s website, it can “reach anyone, on any device, anywhere, at any time.”

With Everbridge’s ability to “specify target locations,” perhaps the company could collect the cell phone numbers of people at a beach or a park. Maybe the city obtained cell phone location data from another source, or used facial recognition technology. Regardless of the method, this is surveillance. City officials should explain the precise meaning of “We know who you are.”

And we’d better put some state constitutional limits on government “emergency” powers before we’re living in East Germany on the Pacific.

Consider a statement made by L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva on Monday.

“We will be closing them, they are not an essential function,” Villanueva said, speaking about stores that lawfully sell firearms.

The sheriff explained that he has decided to shut down gun stores because people have been buying guns. “Now you have the mixture of people that are not formerly gun owners and you have a lot more people at home and anytime you introduce a firearm in a home, from what I understand from CDC studies, it increases fourfold the chance that someone is gonna get shot.”

Villanueva added that he personally is a gun owner and a supporter of the Second Amendment.

Someone should send him a copy of it. There’s no exception for CDC studies.

Villanueva also announced that he’s adding 1,300 deputies to patrol the county during the coronavirus stay-at-home lockdown, and he criticized the county supervisors for not including him in their press conferences about the COVID-19 quarantine orders. “They should have used authority figures the community recognizes that would be the enforcers of it to deliver the message with far greater impact,” he said.

If you’re not sure where this leads, you won’t have to wait long to find out, at the rate it’s galloping.

The good news is that we may soon see the end of coronavirus restrictions, and just in time.

Like the first green sprout of spring, the cheerful sign popped up over the weekend when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw a monkey wrench into Senate negotiations over an emergency stimulus bill, and then on Monday released a ridiculous House version full of cartoonish political wish-list items.

That’s not how our politicians act when they’ve just heard a dire projection of national doom. When they emerge from one of those briefings, they’re ashen-faced and they vote as fast as they can on whatever anybody puts in front of them.

The resurgence of partisan politics is an indication that the briefings are much less ominous than before.

Sure enough, at the White House news briefing Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx read some statistics from other countries and said, “That mortality data that I gave you should be very reassuring to all of you.” President Trump predicted that we will be reopening the country “soon.”

Let’s hope so. We’ve lost freedom of assembly, the liberty to travel freely, the right to buy a firearm, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and now the courts are closed. We’d better end this emergency before the Bill of Rights is carried out on a gurney.

Originally published in the Los Angeles Daily News

Susan Shelley is a columnist and member of the editorial board of the Southern California News Group, and the author of the book, “How Trump Won.”


  1. So where can we get a Faraday cage for our cell phones to use when we venture outside?

  2. “When they emerge from one of those briefings, they’re ashen-faced and they vote as fast as they can on whatever anybody puts in front of them” NO! they call their stock broker.

    And think about Data Brokers. Everybody you deal with on line can sell your data unless your are attentive. I can Google up my name, find out where I live, my age, my cell # and the married name of my daughter and where she lives. Everybody sells their data: Everybody. Try it on yourself, better yet, on someone you don’t like

    Are you the one that won’t drive without your cell ‘phone, just in case? At least turn the darn thing off. People talking or texting while they drive, they are drawing their map. This has been a long time coming. We did it to ourselves and it is not too late (maybe)

    “The resurgence of partisan politics is an indication that the briefings are much less ominous than before.” Not really, study super ordinate goals & conflict resolution. i would provide a link but most people don’t look that far into the manual.

  3. IMHO—This may be the first jab before the left hook of the ol one two punch. This is the test to see how much resistance that the government will get when they are ready for the second and final knock out punch that leaves us with NO rights and only the ORDER TO OBEY OR ELSE to live by . They DID NOT BUILD FEMA CAMPS FOR NO REASON ! We are nearly there now. I keep checking the stats on this ” virus ” that seems to be able to target the weakest groups among us and then infect whole Senior communities , an ability without reason for a Virus .The figures don’t make sense to make this a pandemic. Check for yourself before that information is blocked by the internet Nazi’s . You will see the numbers for deaths by ” FLU ” are much greater than those who have died from the Corona Virus. No talk of Martial Law for the spread of these other sicknesses that have proven to be even more dangerous. We are in the beginning of the New World Order takeover that Obuttma and George Bush used to brag about was coming. In this New world , we will be nothing more than fodder for the Elite’s whims.
    Look the information up and see that our country is being overthrown from within by Traitors that we helped put in power. Our rights have been cancelled due to illness.
    From the Sword of —–

  4. I am literally AFRAID you are right, Damocles. It all does NOT add up.
    What to do at this point!!

    When it is a global pandemic and it is the NEW WORLD ORDER with CHINA, who wants to be the next global power, who now basically owns us from within, where can we even go?

  5. TheRandyGuy says

    Ever since police went from “peace officers” to “law enforcement officers”, we have seen the rise of the likes of L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who would be much more at home serving as a Stasi Chief, rather than a Sheriff. The combative, aggressive tone and actions are a reflection of the change from keeping the peace, to forcing people to comply. We equip them like infantry troops, dress them like infantry troops, and sit back when they employ military equipment and tactics against the citizens and do nothing. Cop shootings are “investigated” by DA’s that need cop testimony to make their cases – that’s an incestuous relationship, and when those killings are routinely labeled “justified”, we have no recourse. No, Sheriff, we don’t need a thug with a badge and a gun lend weight to health pronouncements.

  6. The Captive says

    It is not what the media wants it to be and it is not what the Lib-LEFT want it to be either! CA is controlled by FAKERS and LIARS and why would I believe them in the first place. The HOMELESS are allowed to roam and this is the time for CONGRESS AND PRESIDENT TRUMP TO step up and use COMMON SENSE! Now this is what CHINA AND their ilk want –but we do not need to be lead into this world of COMPLETE CONTROL. The nazi-islamists love it because they have a political ideology that CONTROLS every ity-bitty bit of their life—
    Time to change back – Today is unhappy April Fools Day!

  7. Skeptical says

    “We know who you are,” -LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

    Millions of firearms owners know who and what you are too, Mr. Garcetti.

    How’s that comfort zone working for you?

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