Dudes, I’m done with this. I’m leaving the United States today, and won’t be back for a while. I recently visited my childhood hometown and noticed a whole bunch of brand new surveillance cameras at nearly every intersection and street corner; this is just a town, mind you, not some city of national or international significance.
After doing some research, it turns out the cameras are “high-definition” 24/7 surveillance cameras, manufactured and operated by Sprint Nextel Corp, and paid for through federal Department of Homeland Security grants to the town’s local police department.
In fact, the number of these cameras in my hometown has reportedly tripled over the past couple years. There are as many as six of them at each intersection, they aren’t red light traffic cameras (topic for another article altogether, though). Here’s a photo I took of the cameras.
Do you really think these are there to make your 10 minute drive to the Applebee’s safe from terrorists? Do you?
On another note, I was recently at a ball game: they now ask you to rise twice to sing the national anthem and pledge your allegiance. As a child, I only remember this occurring once, normally at the start of the game.
It was recently revealed that the NSA, according to a former high-ranking official there, is building “dossiers” on MILLIONS of American citizens and may be routinely spying on countless Americans on U.S. soil, in clear violation of our laws and principles as a nation.
Moving on… The New York Times recently claimed: “Cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.”
That’s just last year. And that number is quite conservative, as it does not include shadow wiretapping programs such as the NSA’s project(s).
Is it paranoid to think you’re being watched…. when you are actually being watched?
America has turned into a full-blown police state. Our economy is sick, and politicians refuse to fix it, choosing instead to fund outrageous, scary, illegal programs which violate our rights and our privacy. Ironically, one of the few sectors where recent grads are finding work is in law enforcement and government-sponsored surveillance.
All of these things would be bad, but I would still have hope if Americans were getting outraged — if they were demanding answers and asking for a rollback of the new surveillance cameras, the warrantless wiretapping programs, the new invasive TSA procedures, etc.
But they aren’t. Most people I talk to just don’t care, and they think I’m some kind of weirdo for interrupting them from their reality TV and 40-ounce high-fructose corn syrup soda. It’s the apathy and indifference that scares me more than any headline about the government watching us.
I don’t see a bright future for us unless we begin to care, and begin to demand accountability. In the history of the world, the combination of a) totalitarian police state b) rapid rollback of civil rights c) blind nationalistic pride and d) a public that doesn’t care has NEVER led to improvements in the quality of life. Instead, it normally leads to mass injustice and misery.
I hope people begin to speak up. I hope they email and call their Senators. I hope they share articles like this one with their friends, since the establishment broadcast media refuses to cover the police state’s rapid growth — maybe they are in on it, or maybe (more likely) they realize that viewers want Kim Kardashian segments, not NSA whistleblowers like William Binney.
Sad, but true.