Friday, October 23, 2009

The LAPD Wants You To Think About That.

The Los Angeles Police Department is encouraging the use of an iPhone app called iWatch, which it's marketing as a "neighborhood watch for the whole city."  Supposedly, good, upstanding citizens like you and me are being asked to get on iWatch and report any terrorist activity that might be happening in the city, so the LAPD can jump on that and get those dirty terrorist bastards, and we can all sleep safer in our beds at night.

The PSA it has put together to woo you into using iWatch is one of the sickest, most horrifying things I've seen in a while -- and I just saw an interview with Dick Cheney a couple of weeks ago:

"Think about that."

And while you're thinking about that, think about this. In 1934, Heinrich Himmler was charged with the responsibility of creating a department that handled all of the Third Reich's security issues. The domestic arm of that department was called the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (loosely translated as "Reich Main Security Office"). The enforcement of the department's policies was left to a militia called the Geheime Staatspolizei. But Himmler had a better idea. One of his first policies was to use propaganda and fear to encourage good, upstanding citizens - like you and me - to do it's spying for them. By sowing seeds of fear and doubt, by invoking the memories of their families, their country and their way of life, the citizens of Germany were coaxed to report any "suspicious activity" to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. The department would take it from there, using their enforcement muscle to apprehend, question, often torture and falsely imprison people it deemed as "enemies" of the Reich.  And all because some disgruntled neighbor made a report about activity deemed to be "suspicous". We've come to know the enforcement militia of Himmler's security department by the abbreviation of their name -- the Gestapo.

So think about that.  And while you're at it, think about this: Hitler's Germany didn't thrive because a bunch losers were able to use the memory of a disastrous war, together with a woefully badly drafted piece of legislation to take political and military control of Germany.  The Third Reich thrived because good, upstanding people, like you and  me, didn't see that they were being manipulated and undermined by a government that would stop at nothing to dominate and control them, any way it could.

And, just as an "aside" -- given the LAPD's history of corruption, brutality and racism, I'm not sure it ought to be so anxious to have ordinary folks being mindful of illegal activity in their vicinity.

Just saying....


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