Monday, April 30, 2012

The Growing Police State - Interior Edition

H/T Drudge Report

From Iraq and Afghanistan, to the US/Mexico Border, to the London Olympics, we are slowly being desensitized to the ubiquitous "drone," or "UAV."  For all the good of which they're capable, they are also available for much mischief, as described by this article.

So now, beyond National Defense, or specific surveillance of major events, States, counties, and even municipalities are trying to get in on the act.  They claim the additional surveillance is for the good of the people, and allows them to project a presence farther with less man-power. 

And, indeed, that's true.  The question, though, is whether that's good.  Every day, it seems, the police have more effective means to snoop on citizens.  From infra-red cameras to find "grow houses" and meth labs, to red-light cameras to catch traffic violations, it seems that fewer and fewer police are needed to do the work of keeping the public in line.

Wait.  Did I just say that?  Why, yes, yes I did.  The fact is that so many of our laws are more about keeping the public in line, and assuring our compliance, rather than promote the peace and protect us from actual criminals.  Look into any city's pet ordinances, and you'll likely find a mishmash of leash laws, leash-zone/no-leash-zones, and downright contradictory statues on how stray animals are to be handled.  Look into their trash collection policies (trash collection!) and you'll find all sorts of rules about what can be left on the curb, what has to be taken for special processing, what can't be picked up at all, and so forth.

One cannot pretend that these laws help the public order at all.  Not seriously, at any rate.  If there are certain behaviors which threaten public peace and order, then those should be addressed, but this continuous litany of statutes- often contradictory- does nothing other than make people unsure of the law.  Indeed, there are those who suggest that such confusion is part of the point- a populace unsure of the law is actually easier to control.

This is where I normally say "Contact your congressman."  But that won't work here- instead, flood your city councils.  Make known that you want nothing to do with an ever-increasing police state where citizens are constantly under surveillance simply because someone, somewhere, might be committing a crime.

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