Monday, February 20, 2006

Houston Police Chief Admits to Being a Moron

Houston police chief Harold Hurtt indirectly admitted to being a complete moron this month when discussing people's concerns about the use of video cameras to replace police officers.
"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?"
Now I am not specifically against video surveillance of any kind but the fact that there are cops, let alone police cheifs of major cities who are stupid enough to not be able to foresee potential abuses (does this guy even know the difference between doing something wrong-or something certain people think is wrong-and doing something illegal?) demonstrates the need for caution with this kind of surveillance. I would not trust Harold Hurtt with the keys to a police car let alone the responsibility of having access to wide-spread surveillance.

I hope that someone in the Houston law enforcement community uses video surveillance of someone doing something legal yet embarrassing (eg. premarital sex in a Baptist community) to get their friend a job at the expense of one of Hurtt's family members. Maybe that would teach him that just because you behave yourself perfectly does not mean that you can not be hurt by extortion. What if the extortion results in a factory going to another town or someone committing suicide. How much suffering is Hurtt prepared to accept before he gives a rat's ass.

If you think the idea of someone in law enforcement abusing their power, might I say that firstly you are a fool, secondly, you have a poor memory. During the creation verses evolution debates, certain local community officials used personal e-mails (legally obtained, though unethically used) against people who dared confront them. The desire to discredit one's opponents combined with the rapidly eroding personal privacy rights, the psychological weight of video (why, after all, would they be showing this clip if it was not a smoking gun piece of evidence?) and the simple ability to take events out of context makes for a potent tool for any self-serving, ethically challenge bureaucrat to manipulate people and their impressions.

When Hurtt admits to being ignorant of this, he admits to being a moron.


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