As the control over our government institutions and the levers of power by billionaires and corporatist cartels continues unmolested, their democracy-destroying agenda becomes more entrenched (and successful).
As a result, a couple of things are happening: the pillaging by Wall Street of pension funds and savings of average Americans continues; the moneyed elite, having bought off the political establishment, continues to hide their cash and evade paying the type of progressive taxes needed to sustain a decent society; as a result, "austerity" is being pushed down people's throats, causing actual death and mayhem, especially at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.
It is within this social context that today I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle which I find totally amusing: "Cameras to guard Piedmont proposed."
Residents and police in Piedmont, troubled by a rash of home-invasion robberies and fed up with what they describe as the runoff from Oakland's high crime rate, want to install video cameras to record the license plate of every vehicle that crosses the city limits.
Imagine that! These rich (and upper middle class) fucks have no idea about what's going on, do they?
They are the first ones to push for the dismantling of the progressive tax system, which is essential for the proper functioning of a democratic society. They back "austerity" measures which desproportinally affect the poor, the infirm/sick and the vulnerable.
And then, because of the ethos of greed and selfishness they have embraced and endorsed result in a "runoff from Oakland's high crime" areas, they cry "bloody murder" and demand the imposition of a surveillance police state for their protection.
Yet critics, who are in the minority in the hillside town surrounded by Oakland, say the video cameras raise questions about privacy and concerns that the city is erecting an "electronic border." If approved by the City Council in May, police will keep all license plate data on file for up to one year.And the increasingly militarized police forces around the country are happy to oblige, sometimes showing not only their "concerns" about crime, but their actual contempt towards people who live in "certain neighborhoods."
Police Chief Rikki Goede described the cameras as a tool that could help develop leads for crimes that occurred in Piedmont, but the technology would not be necessary right now if not for the town's location.Are you fucking kidding me? I thought a criminal was someone that has been convicted of a crime by a jury of their peers, and that everybody is innocent until proven guilty.
"We're going to know when criminals come in and when they leave," Goede told the committee. "There are probably a lot of criminals coming through Piedmont, given we are surrounded by Oakland."
Goede said suspects from Oakland, San Leandro and Hayward often drive through Piedmont to get to Highway 13.
How does Police Chief Rikki Goede knows that there are a lot of "criminals coming through Piedmont" just because drivers may happen to live in Oakland, Hayward or San Leandro?
I tell you what... If she were to use the term "suspects," that would be different. If you make an assumption that because of the draconian and brutal imposition of "austerity" measures on the population, and because of the relentless demonizing of poverty and poor people, those who live in poverty-stricken areas may resort to crime as a result, yes, I buy that.
That's common sense. Once the fabric of a country is torn apart on purpose by a callous, sadistic and greedy ruling class, plunging millions of people into abject poverty and despair, obviously the security situation will deteriorate.
But for these people, as long as the mayhem and killing and the undesirable results of the policies they support happen down there, away from the Oakland hills, that's fine.
So they want to set up an electronic fence, right? They want to set up cameras all over the place, collect licence plate numbers, and store them indefinitely...
Talk about chutzpah! They create the conditions for the tearing down of the proper functioning of government, plunging millions of people into poverty and despair, and de-funding the public sector and the proper functioning of government.
And then, they want to create these safe enclaves, these "green zones" protected by a militarized surveillance police state.
I have a better idea... Why don't we wait until these affluent communities, cowering in fear, put as many cameras as they want all over the fucking place, and then we start a campaign of taking the poorest people from the growing ghettos on field trips to the very heart of these communities. Hell, let's rent huge buses, let's ride-share, let's even take BART when available. Thousands of people from the poorest communities, as many as possible, White, Asian, dark-skinned, everybody. Let's go on a field-trip!
And about having some activists do kind of a guided tour of these neighborhoods, taking people to the very front of the higher-priced properties, and then talk about the effects of the atrocious income inequality in this country, of the policies typically supported by residents of those mansions, and on how it tears at the fabric of the country.
Imagine that... All those surveillance police state cameras going crazy, taking footage of thousands of cars from down the hill.
I would then ask the Piedmont Police Chief how many of them are registered to "criminals."