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Why Are You Watching Us?

Date: 15 January, 2004

By: Chief

Imageechnology can be a wonderful thing. More times than not the exact opposite is true. Technology as used by companies, corporations and, let us not forget, government, has made technology a true beast. A beast which consumes everything in its path.

The primo example of this beast is the camera. Developed for taking pictures as a visible mark of and for history. Whether that history is a family outing or the war between the states. It leaves a mark which cannot be forgotten — as long as the photograph is not lost or destroyed.

Times have changed since the invention of the camera. Boy howdy, have the times changed. Now cameras are everywhere. My photograph and yours are taken God knows how many times per day and we do not even know these 'photo ops' are taking place. Smile, you are on candid camera.

Yeah, now there are cameras so small that you could actually be looking right straight at one and not even know it is there. Plus there are cameras in some cell phones now — making an utterly vile device even worse. Lastly there are surveillance video cameras that are sprouting up like weeds most everywhere. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'you are on TV'. I truly despise those God Damned things.

If you live in a town that has a WalMart (I call 'em 'Wally World') store you are being watched. Watched by an 'eye in the sky'. Actually you are being watched by surveillance video cameras both outside the store and inside the store. How long the tapes are held I have no idea. What the surveillance is for, I assume, is to reduce — maybe — the amount of shoplifting or other forms of theft that might be transpiring at any given moment in a Wally World store. To some folks, I am sure that is all well and good, catch the bad guys, etc. But to me, it says something else. Having those cameras keeping an eye on me while I am shopping tells me quite clearly and plainly that the owners and shareholders of Wally World consider me not to be a customer, but to be a thief. A criminal. By the way, I do not shop at Wally World.

But isn't that just a lovely state of affairs? You, me, anybody that frequents a store which has surveillance cameras in place, the owners of said store want us to spend our hard earned money at their store, yet at the same time we are no longer considered to be customers. We are factually, by means of the cameras, considered to be criminals until — we — prove ourselves otherwise. And even then they still watch us. Hence we can never prove ourselves to be anything other than criminals. At least in mechanical eyes and the minds of shop owners who have the infernal things in operation.

Now nobody has to shop at Wally World or any store that employs surveillance cameras. So my suggestion is to simply stop shopping at any store which uses the damned things. Once a store's profit starts heading south maybe the store owner will reconsider the whole point of surveillance cameras and get rid of them. Then we could patronize them again. Then again, maybe not.

The worst of the lot, however, is government.

Have you noticed the number of video surveillance cameras that are either installed on buildings, lamp posts, etc, in various cities throughout our country or are in the process being installed? It is a huge number. It is also a huge cost. The cost is in terms of freedom and, of course, in tax dollars. Hell, from what I have read, some police departments have video cameras installed in their vehicles.

I have also heard and read various "necessary" reasons for this phenomenon of mechanical eyes being installed all over hell's half acre.

But the piece de resistance is —

All those necessary reasons from various goober-ment officials are a crock of shit.

Crimes still occur in the towns and cities where these eyesores are eyeing us. Just take a look at the FBI crime statistics. Cowards still plant bombs and kill innocent people. Back in July of last year, with over 2,500 surveillance video cameras in operation around London, at least four cowards planted bombs which later detonated killing a bunch of people and injuring a few hundred more. So much for the highly touted theory that surveillance cameras will make our cities safer from cowardly attacks.

Thus, with all the necessary reasons laid out by goober-ment officials being debunked, the question in my mind then is: why is government watching us? What is the point? Crime has not been reduced. Cowards are in abundance and committing heinous acts. So, why are you and I being watched by the government?

There is only one logical explanation. The government, in its purported all-knowing wisdom, considers We the People, we the citizens who employ them, pay their salaries, benefits and perks to be criminals. Each and everyone of us stand accused, without benefit of a grand jury or the benefit of trial or even the benefit of 'innocent until proven guilty' of being criminals. We are lumped into the same category and with the same type of person as Osama bin Laden. Or Jack the Ripper. Or a rapist. That is what our governmental employees think about us — their employer. And that sucks.

I would be remiss if I did not mention one other factor. Trust. The omnipresent government does not trust, in anyway, We the People. And trust as we all know is the most important factor of all. For without trust there is nothing but a void.

Why doesn't the government trust us? In one word — power. Government, any government, loves power. The more the merrier. Once power in any amount is granted to any government official most will thirst for more. Most will try to acquire more power to the complete detriment of freedom. Unfortunately, our government is succeeding at acquiring power that is not contained within the Constitution. Pertaining to video surveillance of we citizens, show me specifically in the Constitution where is there an express power granted to the government to commit espionage on We the People. You can't find it? Well guess what? I couldn't either. Probably because there is no power granted to the government to spy on us.

There are several methods available to us with which to remedy this sordid situation. It is incumbent upon us as individual citizens to find the best tool for the job and use it.

Only then will government learn.

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