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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Questions of Security and Freedom

About a week ago, I read this report at CNN.com about a recent poll that shows that about a fifth of all Americans think their calls have been monitored in the wake of revelations about the Bush administrations's use of wiretapping. My first thought was that too many Americans were hard-core X-Files fans and were way too paranoid. I have generally been of the opinion that most people have little to fear about being spied upon, not because there isn't a desire by some but because I rarely have faith in the federal government to get their act together enough to be able to efficiently monitor others. I also believe that Americans simply will not stand being monitored by the government.

I then read another story that makes me question some of my presuppositions. Houston's police chief has suggested the use of surveillance cameras in private homes. Yes, you read that correctly: private homes. Even though the ACLU is often the bogeyman of conservatives and Christians, they are completely right on when they say that this suggestion is "radical and extreme".
"I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?" Chief Harold Hurtt told reporters Wednesday at a regular briefing.
Memo to Chief Hurtt: Why not just put ankle bracelets and monitoring devices on the entire population? I'm sure that would decrease crime. Or maybe mandatory curfews at dusk? I'm sure we could learn a lot about crime prevention from North Korea or Burma.

I'm not sure if the police chief is an elected official. If so, this man needs to be run out of office immediately.

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