Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Fool and His Freedom Are Soon Parted

And Philadelphia is a city of fools.

Watching the evening news last night, I saw that something like 72% of Philadelphians voted "yes" on a ballot question asking whether the City should consider placing surveillance cameras to prevent crime. This is a boondoggle. It will not work. Indeed, it was demonstrated in yesterday's Daily News that surveillance doesn't work.

On Monday evening, I watched a report on the local CBS affiliate, KYW, about a foiled rape in the subway tunnel under City Hall Although not mentioned in the linked blurb, the broadcast reporter called specific attention to the fact that there are no surveillance cameras in that particular station, implicitly suggesting that had there been a camera the attempt would have been thwarted.

What happened the very next day? In my neighborhood, a man was shot to death at the 37th and Sansom trolley stop, in the heart of Penn campus, where a surveillance camera stares down at the passengers waiting for their ride. When I worked at the University, I would get off at this stop every day.

So much for surveilance, the great panacea. All this is going to do is make it easier for the corrupt GOP-controlled Philadelphia Parking Authority to issue more tickets (hey guys, are you EVER going to deliver on that promise of funding the schools?).


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