Wednesday, December 24, 2008, the cameras are watching

Shushing over the dark asphalt like octopus ink, thundering on hooves of rubber our car rides into the night; streetlights flashing bars of stereo-glow through the windows like a fan over an interrogation lamp.

“Here it comes,” I say.

And Kazz, smiles, the tinge of starlight making his teeth steely white in the dim flicker. He reaches up to the windshield and displays his middle finger.

It follows a small machine set along the side of the street like a heliotrope following the sun. A giant “SCREW YOU!” memorized by the traffic camera’s CCD, shot down wires in digital pulses, and stored somewhere for a muzzy eyed, blowsy faced political tech to scan it over while looking through reams of footage of the street.

These are the speed cameras of Phoenix, set out along the 101.

A terrible fraud meted out upon the city without vote, without democratic decision, and without ethical worth. These have been discussed before as a revenue source for the city—their blinding flashes chitterling scintilla bright against the dark as they photograph cars—and that they supposedly decrease crashes and make the roads safer (an effect not shown in any evidence.)

Instead, they defraud the public, produce a surveillance society, and slowly line the pockets of the Redflex Corporation.

Most of the time the tickets delivered from their cameras aren’t even legal and you can just throw them away; sometimes the process servers are corrupt and lazy, appear at the doors of people who aren’t home, or lie about the delivery, or pass them onto children who then forget.

Fight back with or at inform yourself on the subject. These cameras are not our friends, neither is Skynet or Terminators or whatever other machine masters purloining the public good for their own corporate greed.

We really need to stand up to these pathetic attempts to lie to the public, defraud the community, and generally make us less safe in an attempt to chew through extra money at the expense of civil rights.

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