Friday, December 3, 2010

Smile! You're on Big Brother TV!

The City of Houston is installing 250 to 300 video cameras throughout downtown to (pause) fight terrorism. Apparently those mean-spirited terrorists like to conduct dry runs of their dastardly acts, and the presence of cameras at downtown intersections will deter them from doing so. Of course I'm not thinking the baddies were planning on walking up and down the streets carrying signs or wearing shirts that say "I'm a Terrorist!"

The cameras have helped the police nab a few folks breaking into cars parked downtown -- which, I will readily admit, is a bigger risk for those of us living in Houston than baddies with bombs.

The problem, as I see it, is the further expansion of governmental power. Now I understand that many Republicans and Tea Partiers and the like all say they're for limited government - and I'm fairly certain that they mean limited government when it comes to los federales telling people or businesses how to spend their money. They certainly aren't for limited government when it comes to funding the war machine, increasing the numbers of Americans behind bars or under court supervision or civil liberties.

The same folks who claim the government cannot be trusted to be in charge of health care (can't say I disagree too much with that) have no qualms about giving the government carte blanche to do what it thinks is best to combat terrorism.

How much intrusion is enough?

How paranoid do we have to be?

The world was a dangerous place long before 9/11. It just so happened that terrorism was something that happened to "those folks" over there. Well, except for the Oklahoma City bombing. Of course that didn't occur on live television in the glitz and glam of New York City.

Those who are fighting the war on terrorism are fighting the last war. Every new "security" measure is designed to prevent something that has already happened. Unfortunately, those who wish to do harm will find a way to do it. Tougher laws and longer sentences certainly haven't stopped folks from breaking the law.

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