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
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
“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.
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.