You're on Candid Camera!

CCTV mural

A few years ago, a woman I knew who lived and worked in Sydney, Australia, said something about getting a ticket and losing her license. She said she'd had too many tickets and was now in trouble for it. So they took her license to drive away for some period of time.

I remember at the time wondering if she just drove fast a lot or was frequently distracted while she drove or just what was going on that she had enough tickets to lose her license. But she was a highly intelligent person and I thought well of her, so I didn't push the subject. I would periodically joke with her that I was going to have my big-assed 4x4 shipped over and drive her wherever she wanted to go as a special favor, but I never asked her any specifics about what it was like to drive in Sydney or why someone might be likely to lose their license in the first place.

Tony Blair is watching you

A few years later, Electro-Kevin blogged about the CCTV cameras all over the UK that make life miserable for the citizens who are perpetually monitored by a giant Big Brother government that seems more afraid of its citizens than of terrorists or enemy nations. I remember thinking how horrible it would feel to live in a nation like that, where every move you make is monitored by your fat, corrupt politically-correct politicians and you have no freedom. Any time I considered leaving the United States to visit another country, I always eliminated the UK from my list based partly on the damn cameras everywhere. To me, cameras mean a corrupt tyrannical government and I want nothing to do with that.

More and more American cities are putting up cameras at every red light, or along highways, and randomly ticketing people, many of whom don't even know they've done anything wrong until the postman arrives with a citation for them to pay or appear in court to explain to a judge. We have more cops than ever before in our nation's history, yet we feel less safe, partly because of the cops themselves. And in addition to the army of armed government agents swarming us in traffic each day, we now have these fucking cameras popping up everywhere.

And then, just last week, I learned that Australian cities all have the cameras, too, and that this is almost certainly how my old friend lost her license while simply driving to work each day on the busy streets of Sydney.

Let's be honest here, if you had a fucking government camera following you down every single street, every single day, as you drove to and from work, to and from the store, to and from anywhere and everywhere you went, how many tickets would you accumulate?

I'd get 50 within the first month, most of them for taking photos of other idiot drivers while behind the wheel of my own moving vehicle. But many of them would be for driving 1 or 2 miles per hour over the posted limit. I do occasionally fail to see the nearest speed limit sign and thus pick my own speed at random based on how heavy my foot feels on that particular day. And there would be more than a few for going 10 or 20 mph over the limit. I'd probably get a few for tailgating. And throw in a couple for passing in a no passing zone. A few more for driving in the passing lane without passing anyone. Before long I'd be a wanted felon.

What about you? How would you feel living in a city surrounded by fucking government cameras invading your privacy and tracking your every move?

Do you already live in a city like that? How does it feel?

Do you think constant monitoring of innocent people makes them more or less likely to grow resentful and wish to commit actual crimes? I mean, how good would it feel to whip out a big gun and start shooting at the cameras, do you think? Or to toss grenades and blow them up? Or to ram them with a big truck? Don't you think you would be bothered by them if they followed you everywhere you went?

Do you think this trend of Big Government micromanaging our daily lives is going to get worse, or fade away as The People grow tired of it and demand more freedom and less Government intrusion?

Land of the free?

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