Ray Kelly: [Citizen] Privacy Issue Has Been Taken Off The Table

When you left your home today, did you feel like someone was watching you? Well, if you didn’t, Commissioner Ray Kelly thinks you should and he’s preaching the gospel of algorithmic smart cameras to watch you and everyone else in cities everywhere.

On today’s #TWiBRadio, we talk about our hopes for the Carla Hale Institute for Gifted Youngsters (who are lesbians), NYPD Commissioner Ray “Stop and Frisk” Kelly thinks we could use more eyes watching us, and are Hispanics the new Italians?

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And this morning on #amTWiB, #TheMorningCrew discusses the $20 billion lost on marijuana prohibition, Donald Trump race baiting — again, and Rep. Peter King wanting to cut the politically correct act and get back to racial profiling.

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103 replies
  1. 1
    Culture of Truth says:

    Dzokhar was mirandized after all, so we’ll have to panic about something else.

    Unless you’re a small government Republican, in which case feel free to completely freak out.

  2. 2
    Tonal Crow says:

    When you left your home today, did you feel like someone was watching you? Well, if you didn’t, Commissioner Ray Kelly and most of the Balloon Juice commentariat think[] you should and that you’re a “firebagger” if you don’t love it and he’s preaching the gospel of algorithmic smart cameras to watch you and everyone else in cities everywhere.

    Fixed.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Sorry to step on this thread but the great Richie Havens has died.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    most of the Balloon Juice commentariat think[] you should and that you’re a “firebagger” if you don’t love it

    Proof?

  5. 5
    Cacti says:

    When in public, assume that someone could watch and/or record anything you do. Public anonymity died with the advent of the cell phone camera.

    The upside to this change is that many are now able to capture video evidence of police misconduct.

  6. 6
    Suffern ACE says:

    Why doesn’t king just use “religious profiling” when that is what he wants to do? And why not ask what result he expects from that?

  7. 7
    Ben Franklin says:

    I for one, am elated at the prompt and efficient dispatch of Bros Anarchistic.

    As an Amercan who loves his freedoms, I am happy to have my community shut down any time the Authoritay says it’s in my best interest and safety.

    Facial recognition algorithms? Hah! I spit on your paranoia.

    If you’re not doing anything wrong, what’s to fear?

    I say let’s have Craft Hessians on every corner.It’s the only way to be sure.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Dzokhar was mirandized after all, so we’ll have to panic about something else.

    Naw. I think it’ll be only a few days before more than one congressional Republican calls for Obama to be impeached for this act.

  10. 10
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Baud: Just wait until this thread fills out.

  11. 11
    PeakVT says:

    I’m tired of being told to live in fear. Crime is down and continues to fall, and car accidents are down and continue to fall, so most of us actually have less to fear in our daily lives. But, yet, FEARDOM. Or something.

  12. 12
  13. 13

    In that Leonhardt NYT piece, the title is “Hispanics, the New Italians”. Throughout the article, he refers to Latinos (except when quoting another article). I found that odd.

  14. 14
    Keith G says:

    @Tonal Crow: Doesn’t happen….usually.

  15. 15
    Scamp Dog says:

    @ranchandsyrup: It’s rare for the writer of the article to choose the headline, and the editor who writes the headline typically has just a brief summary of the article to go on.

  16. 16
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @PeakVT:

    I wonder if, even though crime is down (and it is, like you said), larger incidents like this one are up? More bombings and mass shootings, but fewer break-ins and homicides? Maybe that’s what’s gotten people all het up. Of course, it would be hard to define what ‘larger’ is, given that the media overblows everything, but maybe there’s something there.

  17. 17

    @Scamp Dog: That’d explain it. Thanks for the reminder. A strange editing choice to me still.

  18. 18
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I have no idea why anyone would ever think ‘If you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide,’ is sound reasoning. Autocratic regimes throughout history have shown over and over again that they figure out who gets arrested first and figure out why at their leisure. I’m not comparing the US to such governments, but the thing about cameras and such is that you have to think how they’d be used under a worse government than we have now.

  19. 19
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @PeakVT: If we aren’t cowering in fear we might emerge from the cave, look around, and get really frelling pissed off.

  20. 20
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    but the thing about cameras and such is that you have to think how they’d be used under a worse government than we have now.

    What makes you think, we’re thinking?

  21. 21
    Keith G says:

    @PeakVT: There is a domestic policing off-shoot of the military industrial complex. Cops always want more cop goodies and more cop mojo. Kelly himself may be looking toward employment in the security consulting biz after his current gig. For him, communal fear is an important pre-req for a better retirement.

  22. 22
    quannlace says:

    If we aren’t cowering in fear we might emerge from the cave, look around, and get really frelling pissed off.

    I think that’s the plot of ‘The Croods.’

  23. 23
    Tonal Crow says:

    @PeakVT: I’m completely with you. We sing “land of the free and the home of the brave”, then eagerly let government up our anuses to “protect” us. Christ, we just locked down a major metropolitan area (and apparently searched the interiors of a large number of homes!) for hours because of two people with some guns and a few pounds of plain old explosive.

    Imagine what expert terrorists could make us do to ourselves.

  24. 24
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I have no idea why anyone would ever think ‘If you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide,’ is sound reasoning. Autocratic regimes throughout history have shown over and over again that they figure out who gets arrested first and figure out why at their leisure. I’m not comparing the US to such governments, but the thing about cameras and such is that you have to think how they’d be used under a worse government than we have now.

    Three words: Rubio/Ryan 2016. Or, how soon we forget.

  25. 25
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Three words: Rubio/Ryan 2016

    Heh. A distinction without an appreciable difference.

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    Mass. police are now probing a possible link between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and an unsolved triple murder http://boston.com/metrodesk/20.....story.html

  27. 27
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Eh, Ryan’s damaged goods. Has there ever been a vice presidential candidate who lost and then came back to win it years later? FDR is the last one I can think of.

    And the pig people are already in open revolt against Rubio: Amnesty Messican Hordes Skreech Skreech, that sort of thing. Same with Jeb and Christie and the other ‘early favorites’. I don’t know if I should be happy that the GOP is so dysfunctional or worried what would happen if they ever really got their act together.

  28. 28
    PeakVT says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: The number of terrorist incidents has been declining. The number of mass shootings may or may not be up, judging by a quick poke around the web. I’m fairly certain that the average death toll is up, though. But the chances of being killed by a mass murderer or terrorist are very small compared to a plain old murderer, or your average driver.

    ETA: @Tonal Crow: Something like the Mumbai attack would paralyze us.

  29. 29
    Eric U. says:

    when I hear something like “algorithmic smart cameras” I think of lying crooks that want government money. Maybe there are smarter people than me that know how to do something useful with such a thing, but it seems like a technology that is just asking for abuse.

  30. 30
    Poopyman says:

    @Keith G: A fair-sized chunk of the Homeland Security budget goes to state and local jurisdictions, and this is the result.

    @Ben Franklin:

    I say let’s have Craft Hessians on every corner.It’s the only way to be sure.

    If that’s not the name of a microbrew, it oughta be.

  31. 31
    PeakVT says:

    Instead of “algorithmic smart cameras” we need to do more to get the lead out, among other things. (The title of the post is kind of lame because all the suggestions will annoy conservatives, which I am fairly sure make up 100% of the NRA leadership.)

  32. 32
    Ben Franklin says:

    @PeakVT:

    we need to do more to get the lead out

    Is lead a significant issue at BJ? I mean, apart from Ammo?,

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Christ, we just locked down a major metropolitan area (and apparently searched the interiors of a large number of homes!) for hours because of two people with some guns and a few pounds of plain old explosive.

    Okay, I was with you up to this point. Now it’s horrible government intrusion to ask people to stay inside when there are guys outside their houses actively shooting and blowing things up? I’m guessing most people stayed inside out of sense of goddamned self-preservation after they heard the shots and explosions, but I guess everyone should have run outside to watch the action in the name of personal freedom.

  34. 34
    muddy says:

    @PeakVT: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, so let’s cling to that really tightly.

  35. 35
    Roger Moore says:

    @PeakVT:

    But, yet, FEARDOM.

    I’m totally stealing that.

  36. 36
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m totally stealing that.

    What is it selling for on Ebay?

  37. 37
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: well we don’t stop people from snowboarding when there could be an avalanche nor surfing during a hurricane? It was practically arbitrary to shut down 16 blocks if Boston so law enforcement could look for evidence in a minor crime. And then they had the nerve to shut down the streets after those miscreants had been spotted recently nearby and positively identified! It was all random and capricious.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    What is it selling for on Ebay?

    I’m taking it for the use value, not the resale value.

  39. 39
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, no one’s saying ‘have to’, obviously. But I think the idea of about a million people being forced inside because one terrorist is on the run is at least debatable. Yes, it probably helped him get caught faster, and yes, it kept people safe from being accidentally attacked by the cops (or each other) but…maybe a little overreaction, just a tiny bit? Honestly, I think both arguments here have some good points.

  40. 40
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    There are CCTV cameras everywhere precisely because people think that businesses like banks and convenience stores should be allowed to have them. If you don’t like it don’t visit those stores. Hell even my local Thrift Stores have CCTV these days.

  41. 41
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am not arguing against police holding people behind lines *during* a gunfight. I *am* arguing against locking down for hours an area housing over a million people because a pair of nuts are rattling around. Also, you are deliberately conflating the liberty to engage in an act without government penalty, with the wisdom of engaging in it. You really need better talking points than that.

  42. 42
    beltane says:

    @Mnemosyne: If they hadn’t shut down the city and more innocent civilians were maimed and killed, we’d be talking about gross incompetence on the part of the police.

  43. 43
    4tehlulz says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I find it interesting that the ACLU has been dead silent about this.

  44. 44
    Calouste says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    From what I’ve read, most Bostonians just treated it as a snow day, it just happens.

    It made sense to shut down public transport, because if there is a known terrorist on the loose with guns and explosives, it’s probably not the best idea to give him juicy targets like busses and trains.

  45. 45
    hamletta says:

    @Mnemosyne: Duh!

    @Tonal Crow: You’re responsible for the safety of a huge, densely populated city where there’s a desperate guy loose with Lord-knows-what kind of hardware made for killing, and he’s already shown he doesn’t care who he uses it on. What do you do?

    I really don’t understand this line of so-called logic. There was no curfew. The guy with the boat could have gone out for a smoke whenever he wanted to, but I’d imagine he didn’t really feel like it when there was a murderous nutbar in the neighborhood.

  46. 46
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, I agree with shutting down the perimeter, but the rest of Boston was overkill. If the guy was hiding, he’d keep hiding through the shelter in place – which he did. It served no purpose.

  47. 47
    beltane says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: The thing is, if those people hadn’t been forced inside they’d have been forced outside on account of being required to go to work or school.

  48. 48
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Calouste:

    a snow day

    See? Now that’s the responsible response.

  49. 49
    Tonal Crow says:

    @hamletta:

    …There was no curfew.

    If not, fine. I have no problem with authorities informing the public that there’s a murderous nutbar on the loose, and suggesting that they remain indoors. My impression from our ever-informative media was that the lockdown was not a suggestion, but an order.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Hell even my local Thrift Stores have CCTV these days.

    So do a lot of private residences. Networked security cams have come way down in price. So has the ability to store all the pictures they take, not just from the general decrease in storage costs, but also from more efficient compression algorithms and the ability to turn off recording when nothing is happening. And that’s before stuff like Google Glass.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I am not arguing against police holding people behind lines *during* a gunfight. I *am* arguing against locking down for hours an area housing over a million people because a pair of nuts are rattling around.

    A pair of nuts who, less than 12 hours before, were setting off bombs and exchanging gunfire with police. It’s not like the entire metro area was on lockdown starting on Monday. It only happened after the MIT security guard was shot and killed late Thursday night.

    But, hey, we should have made it easier for Dzohkhar Tsarnaev to blend in with the neighborhood and escape because FREEDOM! It’s not like he was armed and dangerous or anything, or that he had already tried to carjack someone for a getaway car, amirite?

    Also, you are deliberately conflating the liberty to engage in an act without government penalty, with the wisdom of engaging in it.

    The “lockdown” was voluntary, not martial law. If you know of anyone who was arrested and charged specifically with breaking the lockdown (as opposed to being temporarily detained on suspicion of being involved), please link to those cases.

    You really need better talking points than that.

    Yes, please tell people in Cambridge that they were cowards for going along with the lockdown, and a brave man like you would totally have gone out walking the streets just to show the cops that they weren’t the boss of him. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

  52. 52
    hamletta says:

    @beltane: Exactly. It may have been extra-cautious, but I don’t think it was unreasonable, considering what they didn’t know.

    When my neighborhood went through a huge tornado, the police established a perimeter, and I had to show ID to get back to my house. I didn’t mind, because we didn’t have electricity or phones. I didn’t see it as a huge police-state restriction on my right to move about the country.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    My impression from our ever-informative media was that the lockdown was not a suggestion, but an order.

    Again, please show me the arrests and arraignments of people who broke the lockdown. Otherwise, I call bullshit on your claims that this was some kind of martial law that people were punished for breaking.

  54. 54
    beltane says:

    @Mnemosyne: Tsarnaev did carjack someone for a getaway car. All evidence points in the direction of him carjacking another getaway car had the opportunity presented itself.

  55. 55
    Roger Moore says:

    @hamletta:

    There was no curfew.

    As I understand it, the shelter in place order was mostly about giving people an official excuse to miss work. If you don’t officially state that it’s OK to stay home, many people will feel compelled to go to work out of fear of losing their jobs, which isn’t what we want. It might have been better to have limited the order to a smaller area- just Watertown and the adjacent areas- rather than the whole of metro Boston, though.

  56. 56
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: So was there a mandatory lockdown or not? On the one hand you argue that there was, and that that’s a good thing, and on the other that there wasn’t. Which is it?

    Yes, please tell people in Cambridge that they were cowards for going along with the lockdown, and a brave man like you would totally have gone out walking the streets just to show the cops that they weren’t the boss of him. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

    Where did you learn to argue? The Karl Rove School of Winger Rhetoric? What’s next? “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”?

  57. 57
    beltane says:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah, that’s exactly the point I was trying to get at. Without the lockdown order people would have been compelled to take mass transit and be out and about while a heavily armed, cop killing, car hijacking psychopathic bomber was on the loose.

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Tonal Crow: there was a lockdown, but that was in the vicinity of where the guy’s car was found to points where he reasonably could have gone in foot. Turns out they were a block short.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    And here’s where I’m coming from — I was here in Los Angeles during the LA riots, and we did have a real, genuine curfew that people could be (and were) arrested for breaking.

    I have seen no one claim that anyone was arrested just for breaking the lockdown, except for a few hysterics on Info Wars, who also claim they heard announcements at the marathon that the explosions were “just a drill,” so I don’t think I’m going to take their information as truth.

  60. 60
    Tonal Crow says:

    @beltane:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah, that’s exactly the point I was trying to get at. Without the lockdown order people would have been compelled to take mass transit and be out and about while a heavily armed, cop killing, car hijacking psychopathic bomber was on the loose.

    There’s something to that, but most of the effect could have been accomplished by shutting down mass transit, rather than by ordering everyone indoors (but some people here now say it was only a suggestion).

  61. 61
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I know this will piss people off here but if you aren’t doing anything wrong then why should you be worried. This is almost like shoplifters bitching that the store CCTV cameras filmed them stealing stuff WTF?

  62. 62
    hamletta says:

    @Roger Moore: Hindsight is 20/20. How did they know he wasn’t going to head back toward town?

    If everything had been open, he could have slipped onto a train or bus, or worse, bombed one. It was not unreasonable to assume he was carrying more explosives, and he still had a gun.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    My impression from our ever-informative media was that the lockdown was not a suggestion, but an order.

    But the exact meaning of that order is different from what you might naively think. It means that the police are moving through the area looking for somebody armed and dangerous, so they’re going to treat any unidentified person who’s out and about as potentially armed and dangerous. It’s not actually illegal to go out in those circumstances, just a really, really bad idea.

    This is somewhat similar to the “mandatory” evacuation orders given during natural disasters. Mandatory evacuation doesn’t mean the authorities are going to go door to door rounding everyone up and forcibly removing them. It just means that the authorities are declaring that they aren’t going to waste their time trying to rescue anyone in the affected area, so you’re on your own if you choose to stay behind.

  64. 64
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: The question isn’t whether anyone was arrested for breaking the lockdown that isn’t a lockdown but is again but isn’t, but whether it was mandatory or only suggestive.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    So was there a mandatory lockdown or not? On the one hand you argue that there was, and that that’s a good thing, and on the other that there wasn’t. Which is it?

    Define “mandatory.” My definition of “mandatory” is that someone can be arrested and charged simply for breaking the lockdown. What’s your definition?

    Where did you learn to argue? The Karl Rove School of Winger Rhetoric? What’s next? “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”?

    More like, “Really, tough guy, you’re going to scold people for staying indoors when there’s gunfire outside their window?”

  66. 66
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I know this will piss people off here but if you aren’t doing anything wrong then why should you be worried

    i’m guessing it will piss off 5-10 % so carry on….

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Personally, I’d rather not have video footage of me picking my nose immortalized forever on some store’s security camera (because you KNOW they keep the “funny” moments captured on camera to laugh at later) but YMMV.

  68. 68
    hamletta says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    (but some people here now say it was only a suggestion).

    No, dear. It’s a verifiable fact. Like Mnemosyne says, no one was arrested for venturing outside; they just used the brains the Good Lord gave them to assess the situation and get out the board games and make trainwreck stew from whatever was in the pantry.

  69. 69
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Define “mandatory.” My definition of “mandatory” is that someone can be arrested and charged simply for breaking the lockdown. What’s your definition?

    That’s a good definition, much better than your previous one, under which it’s not mandatory unless people actually *are* charged for breaking the lockdown.

    More like, “Really, tough guy, you’re going to scold people for staying indoors when there’s gunfire outside their window?”

    Who’s scolding? You wanna step out into a firefight, be my guest. You wanna stay in? Fine by me. I completely support your right to choose to go out — or to stay in. But you don’t support mine.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Exactly. “Mandatory” evacuation means “you can stay if you want, but if anything happens, it’s on your own head.” Same thing with lockdowns. We had one here at work last year because a couple of failed home invaders were hiding in someone’s garage, but if I had insisted that I really, really had to leave, I would not have been arrested for doing so, nor would I have been charged with a crime for leaving during the lockdown.

    This is as opposed to a curfew like the one after the LA riots, where people were arrested and charged solely for breaking curfew. Not the same thing.

  71. 71
    Tonal Crow says:

    @hamletta: So dear, it’s a “fact” that if you violate an order but no one is arrested and charged for it, it’s not an “order”? Really?

  72. 72
    Ben Franklin says:

    @hamletta:

    they just used the brains the Good Lord gave them to assess the situation and get out the board games and make trainwreck stew from whatever was in the pantry.

    God bless you.

  73. 73
    beltane says:

    Many years ago, my husband was in Venezuela during a time of intense rioting. Martial law was declared, and a curfew put into place. Anyone caught violating that curfew was shot on sight, and my husband still has vivid memories of the sound of gunfire coming from all over Caracas. Though this will come as a disappointment to some, what happened in Boston was nothing like this.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Define “mandatory.” My definition of “mandatory” is that someone can be arrested and charged simply for breaking the lockdown. What’s your definition?

    That’s a good definition, much better than your previous one, under which it’s not mandatory unless people actually *are* charged for breaking the lockdown.

    Okay. You are now officially hurting my head. So you agree with my definition and agree that my definition is not what they did in Boston, so … what’s the problem, again?

    You wanna step out into a firefight, be my guest. You wanna stay in? Fine by me. I completely support your right to choose to go out — or to stay in. But you don’t support mine.

    I fully support your right to go outside and demand that the bombers outside your house stop shooting at police so you can get some sleep. Happy now?

  75. 75
    Baud says:

    Was Boston Actually on Lockdown?

    By early Friday morning, the streets of Watertown and Cambridge were deserted, and life in Boston, a major American city, had ground to a standstill. Throughout the day, the media described residents complying with a “lockdown order,” but in reality the governor’s security measure was a request.

    “The lockdown is really voluntary, to be honest with you,” says Scott Silliman, emeritus director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke Law School. “The governor said he wants to use sheltering in place. Sheltering in place is a practice normally used if you’re dealing with a pandemic, where you’re telling people, ‘You may have been exposed and we want you to stay exactly where you are so we can isolate everything and we’ll come to you.’”

    The “shelter in place” request is legally different from a state of emergency, which Patrick declared earlier this year as winter storm Nemo descended on the Bay State. Patrick imposed a travel ban, threatening a penalty of up to a year in prison and a large fine if people were found on the roads. Massachusetts suffered very few fatalities during the storm.

  76. 76
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Mnemosyne: I lived through the IRA bombings as far as I was concerned if cameras and security checks stopped me from getting my head blown off or stopped me from getting me shot on a train platform I was all for it. YMMV.

  77. 77
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Baud:

    “The lockdown is really voluntary, to be honest with you,”

    I can imagine what would happen…”Sir, I respectfully require you to stand down and go inside, motherfucker!”

  78. 78
    MikeJ says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I completely support your right to choose to go out — or to stay in. But you don’t support mine.

    Believe me, everybody supports your right to get shot and wishes you would just get on with it.

  79. 79
    scav says:

    @hamletta: trainwreck stew

    please tell me that is an official name for things pulled out of a cupboard, put in a casserole and baked at 350° for one hour. If not, what are the exact, non-random things involved? Sigh, stew probably rules out my hotdish vision. still.

  80. 80
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne: That plus ….1) Behavior that may be judged suspicious when taken out of context. 2) Collection of data that will be accessed and used by whomever has the best lobbyists. Among other issues.

  81. 81
    RaflW says:

    @Tonal Crow:
    I think it’ll be only a few days before more than one congressional Republican calls for Obama to be impeached for this act.

    These Republican jackasses are the type who would have burned the village to save it back in the ’64-’75 era. What’s the point of shouting “freedom!” at everything, and then rushing to trample over the things that make America rather unique in it’s application of freedom?

    Its as if the want all of the freedom with none of the risks. Come to think of it, that probably is what they want. Just like a young child would want. One that hasn’t yet understood that actions and choices have consequences and entail risk/benefit decisions.

    We can have a free society (well, free-ish) or we can have one that tries to tamp down and manage tons of risks, but we can’t really have both. I’ve been pretty pissed off at the “freedom!” bullshit ever since all those assholes passed the Patriot Act.

    In fact, I think we should blame Congress for failing to catch the older brother. They passed the Patriot Act, and clearly it didn’t work. So it’s Congress’s fault! And, since passing laws that have a chance of not working (ie: gun control) is such a bad idea, then the Patriot Act is a bad idea because it let those bomber brothers thru the secret Patriot-y net.

    /idiotic idea-spinning

  82. 82
    Chyron HR says:

    If we have universal health care security cameras everywhere, America will become a totalitarian hellhole like England. Who wants that?

  83. 83
    Cassidy says:

    @Tonal Crow: God, you’re fucking dense.

  84. 84
    Keith G says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I lived through the IRA bombings as far as I was concerned if cameras and security checks stopped me from getting my head blown off or stopped me from getting me shot on a train platform I was all for it. YMMV.

    The data that I recall seeing seemed to indicate that cameras didn’t prevent wrong-doing as much as it altered the time, place, and method. Committed bombers bomb.

    The questions always is trade-offs. Are we willing to do things now that make some feel better by giving in to a process that makes it easier to grow an obtrusive, omnipresent security state which ends up causing more problems than terrorists.

  85. 85
    Roger Moore says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I know this will piss people off here but if you aren’t doing anything wrong then why should you be worried.

    I think there are two things people are worried about:

    1) They might become a suspect just because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. Think about all the people who were declared suspects by the people on Redit or the New York Post because they were photographed near the marathon bombing. Just being a suspect can be dangerous if people start thinking about mob justice.

    2) Maybe we don’t trust the government to have the same idea of what’s wrong that we do. There is plenty of evidence that law enforcement has monitored and harassed people for exercising their legal right to peaceable protest because somebody in the government didn’t like their political views. There’s good reason to be suspicious of anything that makes it easier for them.

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    hamletta says:

    @Tonal Crow: Yes, really, Sir Shit-For-Brains.

  87. 87
    scav says:

    @Keith G: I’m with you — Just an arms race really, with minimal preventive value. All those smart cameras made me think of was faster and more reliable identification of decoy bombs to attract the bomb squads elsewhere. Cameras stopped all bad things in convience stores yet? Little stuff possibly, but not the serious ones.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    They might become a suspect just because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. Think about all the people who were declared suspects by the people on Redit or the New York Post because they were photographed near the marathon bombing. Just being a suspect can be dangerous if people start thinking about mob justice.

    Yep. Apparently one poor bastard (aside from the one reported in the Post) had his picture sent to the FBI because he was running away from the scene at top speed with his clothes on fire, which was apparently, y’know suspicious. Because most people who have just gotten hit with bomb shrapnel and whose clothes are on fire are completely calm about it and certainly don’t try to run away as fast as they can.

  89. 89
    hamletta says:

    @scav: Trainwreck Stew is a thing I learned in Girl Scouts. Everybody brings a can of something, and you rip the label off. If your troop is fun like mine was, you make a fake label that says something silly and gross, like “Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts.”

    Then you dump it all into a pot, heat it up, and eat it. Either it’s really good (like ours was), or you share the agony of eating slop. Either way, it’s a bonding experience.

  90. 90
    scav says:

    @hamletta: Many thanks. This (plus da google) is giving my brain something to run with.

  91. 91
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    Friday afternoon, there was an NPR reporter roaming the streets in Boston talking to people who were out despite the shelter in place order. One was an old man who complained that if no one was open, how could he get anything to eat? Another was a youngish woman who hadn’t heard about the order. No one arrested them or ordered them off the streets.

    It’s simple. Shutting down mass transit without shutting down the rest of the city would have been a nightmare.

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    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Keith G:

    I am currently not dead. I would like to think that every thing we did resulted in that.

  93. 93
    hamletta says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I know this will piss people off here but if you aren’t doing anything wrong then why should you be worried.

    It will piss us off, because we have a Constitution that has an amendment to explicitly protect us from “unlawful search and seizure.” Our law enforcement officials are (theoretically) bound by this and cannot search our homes, our cars, our persons without a compelling reason, preferably backed up with a judge’s orders.

    “If you aren’t doing anything wrong…” is anathema to American ears. It’s tantamount to a presumption of guilt just for venturing outdoors.

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I lived through the IRA bombings as far as I was concerned if cameras and security checks stopped me from getting my head blown off or stopped me from getting me shot on a train platform I was all for it. YMMV.

    Good sweet Christ. What side of the pond can we ship your monthly order of Depends?

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I know this will piss people off here but if you aren’t doing anything wrong then why should you be worried. This is almost like shoplifters bitching that the store CCTV cameras filmed them stealing stuff WTF?

    The fact that you see no issue between your first sentence and your second is enough to understand what a fucking wanker you are.

  96. 96
    scav says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: A lot of people prayed to the Virgin Mary, all the saints and were careful never to step on cracks or under ladders. Those must count as equally invaluable components of every thing done and with equal validity according to your logic. What you would like to think is neither here nor there, really. Gives you the illusion of control.

  97. 97
    Eve says:

    Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother is a nominally YA novel that I found to be a good read. I’m mentioning it here because it has some useful and interesting things to say about surveillance.

  98. 98
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Doesn’t piss me off at all. That’s exactly how I feel. What right to privacy do you have on a public street?

  99. 99
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Tonal Crow: I support your decision to go out into a gunfight. Go.

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    All this surveillance is not a problem if the people doing the surveillance are also subject to surveillance 24/7 by common citizens.

    If the watchers are watched, potential problems can be dealt with.

    However, the watchers very often don’t care much for this sort of transparency, because they don’t want to be held accountable for their actions.

    They crave the power. Funny, that.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Then you won’t mind if I follow you around with a camera and record everything you do?

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  103. 103

    Thomas Jefferson, when he observed that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” had in mind an entirely different sort of vigilance than do Bloomberg and Kelley and their ilk. Jefferson understood, as we should, that men like these are not meant to be the practitioners of that vigilance, but its objects

    More at:

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