Sent in by a reader, this great commentary from a blog simply called Another Day in the Empire, we can see that connecting the dots between current events across the nation in regards to the police state is not hard. Between Houston’s “shortage of police officers” and Chicago’s “proper next step” in public safety we will soon meet our friendly digital camera police anywhere and everywhere, ‘monitoring’ us for all of our public ‘safety’. Scary…to say the least…
Surveillance: Obedient Slaves Have Nothing to Fear
Sunday February 19th 2006, 3:43 pm
As posted at Another Day in the Empire
It has nothing to do with the Bill of Rights or the right to be left alone in peace, unmolested and free from harassment, but rather it has to do with suspicion, with guilt before innocence, with mistrust and intrusion, and the roving eye of Big Brother.
“If you’re not doing anything wrong, what do you have to worry about,” Chicago Alderman Ray Suarez told USA Today when asked about a plan by Mayor Richard Daley to install surveillance cameras in “corner taverns and swanky nightclubs” in addition to those already “aimed at government buildings, train platforms and intersections.”
Suarez, like far too many Americans, does not understand that the government has no right to tell people what to do except in areas specifically authorized in the Constitution, as spelled out by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” in other words the government has no right to put a camera on a pole in my neighborhood, a bad idea “paid for in part by federal homeland security funds.”
On July 4, 1776, John Hancock, Sam and John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and a handful of others signed something entitled the Declaration of Independence, stating “that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”
Of course, in 2006, if you were actually to attempt to abolish the government, you would be considered a terrorist and, at best, arrested and incarcerated, and at worst barbequed like the babies of Waco. Most Americans, entirely ignorant of the Constitution and what it declares the government can or cannot do, don’t have a problem with surveillance cameras and microphones in their neighborhoods because if they’re “not doing anything wrong” there is nothing to “worry about.”
Get used to surveillance gadgets mounted above every intersection or inside every store. Soon enough, surveillance cameras will be “on downtown streets and in apartment complexes, shopping malls and even private homes to fight crime during a shortage of police officers,” as presaged by Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt.
The eventual idea—divorced from crime or security—is as Orwell envisioned it some sixty years ago:
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
Our government is less concerned with terrorism, which it creates after all, than constructing a global Panopticon, a high-tech prison where every sound and motion is not only heard and observed but recorded, a terrible and fearsome place where all memory of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Thomas Jefferson, and all the others who signed the Declaration of Independence are relegated to Orwell’s memory hole.