City of Covina, CA Passes Plan to Spy on All its Residents

The so-called “War on Drugs” continues today as a pervasive assault on the lives of for the most-part law-abiding citizens at a staggering cost to society for the sole reason that it is a billion-dollar industry that profits off the misery it creates. From private drug-testing entities to law enforcement agencies to private prison companies, the profits made and the power it has created are self-perpetuating and expanding, despite large segments of society that have come to realize that the recreational and medicinal uses of many proscribed drugs far outweigh the cost and pain created solely by virtue of their being designated as illegal.

Now, new campaigns of fear perpetrated by big business and their partners in government have commenced a new “war”, one that promises to be just as profitable, and even more invasive on the private lives of average, law-abiding citizens. Billion dollar corporations such as Microsoft and IBM and others have sold a bill of goods to federal agencies, in particular Homeland Security, and to local governments, convincing them that mere

monitoring of telephone calls and emails as has been done by NSA is a minor first step, and the lack of more of an outcry from the general public translates into acquiescence, the pubic having been thoroughly brainwashed into believing that there is a terrorist behind every bush, and the first amendment must give way to a police state for the protection of the masses.

Thus, we now have police cars and private companies driving around 24/7, recording the location of every vehicle's license plate, we have an IBM system in New York

City where license plate readers are linked to criminal databases, radiation sensors and terror “suspect” lists, and we have cities like Oakland, CA making ill-advised attempts to use drones to monitor the activities of its residents and visitors.

And, now, we have the city of Covina, CA., next door to my home of West Covina, that is now about to create a surveillance system to continually monitor the activities of everyone on the cities’ streets and in public areas. The City Council a few days ago, totally under the radar of the community, considered and passed virtually without comment, approval of a

plan "to have police officers watch for crime throughout the city using cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom-in on anything of interest." ("Covina to get 24-hour surveillance in downtown, public parks")

Covina's police chief is quoted as saying that the cameras are not intrusive and that there are no privacy issues involved. What a load of crap. And, the studies of such programs show that such surveillance camera set-ups do
more harm than good. The article linked above also quotes Peter Bibring, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, as saying that studies have shown that such programs have little if any effect on preventing crime, but are subject to abuse, which outways any benefit:

“At the end of the day, if somebody’s job is to sit in a room and watch cameras, they’re going to try to find things that are interesting to them and relatively few of those things are going to be criminal activity.”

“Camera operators tend to target people based on race and ethnicity and as many as 1 in 10 women were targeted for voyeuristic reasons.”

He went on to state that courts have recognized a difference between on one hand, a person walking down the street in view of passersby, and on the other hand, being subjected to constant electronic surveillance.

I find this thoroughly, unequivocally, and overwhelmingly disgusting. I am shocked that it passed so quickly and easily, and with so little awareness of the public.

As a resident of the adjoining community of West Covina, I frequent many Covina businesses, and spend a fair amount of money in Covina. Or, should I say that I USED TO frequent their businesses and spend money there. As is the case with our neighboring state of
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Arizona, we used to travel there regularly, especially to visit the Grand Canyon and other natural and man-made wonders, but since that state was taken over by its fascist government, we have not been back and would never spend a dime there. I now have that same feeling about Covina.

I pity Covina business owners who will suffer because of this, but I have little desire to be among the lemmings subservient to the surveillance state. It’s time for Covina residents to stand up and be heard. Everyone of you who is upset about this needs to attend the next Covina City Council meeting, next Tuesday evening.

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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