You are currently browsing the daily archive for May 1, 2010.

Regarding the tiny, scenic, beautifully restored city park named Connors Park at Rush and Chestnut St., I recently strolled by with my wife in early evening, anticipating sitting for a few minutes under the stone trellis, only to find the benches there replaced by giant flower pots. Thanks Chicago for making the cute little park unusable by those of us who have enjoyed the area for many years.

In the following excerpt from Jamie Malanowski’s article on, we see  the “survelliance state,” — Great Britain — gone amuck. Before you program your I-Phone to tell all your friends where you are at any given moment, give this discussion a thought.

“Instead, the cameras catch people in the act of performing the kind of infraction that Gordon Brown committed—things that are embarrassing, things that should be ignored that instead cause tons of explanation, things that everybody does. Everyone in London seems to have heard a story like the one about the university security sweep that was aimed against car thieves but instead caught two faculty members snogging in the back seat of a sedan. That was an accidental discovery, but as it turns out, local governments, armed with souped-up surveillance capabilities invested in them with new anti-terror laws, have been targeting people suspected of littering, fishing illegally, dumping, and applying to a school outside their area of eligibility. Seeking al-qaeda, we found cow-tippers. Last January, documents were revealed that suggested that the South Coast partnership, a cooperative venture between the Kent Police and the Home Office, was planning to use unmanned spy drones of the type employed in Afghanistan, in policing the population. Hey, it’s not a black helicopter, but it’s close.

“And CCTV is just the beginning; British civil libertarians have been fighting other recent Labor Party initiatives include the institution of a biometric national ID card, the creation of a national DNA database, fitting all cars with tracking devices, and instituting systems for tracking all e-mails, phone calls and internet use. The glib line often cited to justify these measures is “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.’’ But everybody’s got something to hide. If you don’t believe me, ask Gordon Brown.”

via Gordon Brown’s Ironic Demise: Surveilled on His Own Petard – Jamie Malanowski – Topic A, Among Others – True/Slant.

May 2010

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