Saturday, January 27, 2007
Whatever Happened to Privacy???
(This Post first Ran
In April of 2005!)
What Ever happened to Privacy in this Country?
Whatever happened to privacy? You remember, the condition human beings used to crave... just to be let alone, not prejudged, to take care of their own business without the interference of others, or the intrusions of others.
The simply fact is… we gave it away. In the name of security, we gave it away. One of the most precious possessions we had, privacy, we gave away. We gave it to the government. We gave it away to the retailers, insurance companies, the Internal Revenue Service, the Census Bureau, and even the gas station. (Next time you fill-up look overhead. Chances are you will see a mini-camera pointed in your direction. Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!)
I’m from the old school. I believe that what is mine… is mine… and that includes my business. If I want you in I will invite you. Else wise, stay the hell out!
It really bugs me, no end, to have my picture taken without my knowledge or permission. I have left a number of stores with merchandise still in the checkout lane, or on the checkout counter, because they were going to take my photograph as I wrote them a check, or used my credit card. I consider that an insult of the highest order. It pre-supposes that I am a criminal bent on stealing something or writing them a bad check (which is the same thing.). It is demeaning, and belittling, and I think, frankly, (as the kids say): “It sucks!”
Not long ago, I stood in a parking lot of the local “Big Box Super Store” and counted 22 cameras aimed at the parking lot. No movement in that parking lot would go unnoticed, or unrecorded. I have no idea how many cameras there are in the store. They take some pain in concealing them, but they are in there by the dozens. I can only wonder how many are in the restrooms!
Now, to really make it worse, to twist the knife, so to speak, are the stores which have the sign on the front door telling you the store uses “cameras for your protection”. You’ve seen them, I’m sure. Look, they have just lied to you before you even enter the store … and you still want to go in there and give them your hard earned money??? Are you sick?
Don’t even get me started on Red Light Cameras! Well, now that you have, I’ll go ahead and vent. I hate ‘em! Used to, we had to contend with cops sitting behind billboards and ambushing speedsters. That was about as dishonorable as it gets, here in the Southland. Even the cops hated it. So they came out from behind those billboards and the city’s revenue dropped. The answer? Install cameras at intersections to snap pictures of unsuspecting motorists as they breeze through red lights. The take is split with the municipality. The owners of the cameras get the largest portion.
Anyway you slice it... red light cameras are a dishonorable way to earn money for municipality. It is an electronic ambush. The honorable solution … put traffic cops back on the beat.
You know, the South fought a war in this country because we wanted to be “let alone”! You can tell we lost.