Bacon & Sausage

Today is a law-enforcement related round up here at YPS. First off is the marvelous police chief of Houston, that fabulous metropolis just slightly to the west of YPS Manor. Chief Hurtt thinks that surveillance is a fabulous idea, as long as he can force somebody else to pay for the system. To quote the Chief:
''I know a lot of people are concerned about big brother, but my response to that is if you aren't doing anything wrong why worry about it,''
Hmm. Well, I can throw out a possibility here, just off the top of my head. How about somebody who does nothing ‘wrong’, but is filmed doing something embarrassing. I’ll say, just for argument, that some dog takes dump on the sidewalk and the next unfortunate passer-by slips and falls in it. I once spent an entertaining evening in New Orleans watching people doing exactly that, but I digress. Potentially amusing, but how much liability will the city face when that footage shows up on the internet?

I think if the Chief is so convinced that video surveillance is a good idea, he needs to prove it by demonstration. He should sign up to have an independent camera crew follow his dumb ass around 24-7 and post the footage to the internet. Failing that, here’s a challenge that I encourage all Houstonians with camcorders to act on. In fact, I’ll go one further. Every time you see a Houston police officer, videotape his ass. If he gives you any shit, quote his Chief back at him. I bet if we all started doing that, Chief Hurtt might back down from his statement real quick.

If not, we could get some gems like the ones from Florida. Apparently, asking about complaint procedures gets the cops mad at you. Yet people like this are the ones that want to put video cameras around to watch you. It just might be that power corrupts and giving the cops even more power is a bad idea.

All of these things together bring up an important point that Publicola addresses at some length. I encourage you to go and read it and visit his links. Go to Radley Balko’s blog and look up the amazing array of poor behavior by government officials who overstep their bounds.

At what point do we, as supposedly free citizens, say enough? I can’t answer for you, because I don’t have answers myself. I would venture to say that if it ain’t Wolfe time yet, it’s getting pretty close. Yet what good does it do you to realize that the state has little interest in or concern for your welfare and start shooting? You will end up a spot on the pavement and forever remembered as a marginalized kook. There aren't any easy answers to the dilemma of state encroachment on fundamental liberties.


Post a Comment

<< Home