iWatch you

Why I do I find this public service announcement by the City of Los Angeles so very very creepy? They use phrases like:

“…if you smell something suspicious”

“…let the experts decide”

It just seems to me like this type of appeal is much more suited for futuristic television set, say, in a movie like V for Vendetta or 1984 something. There is a good mix of minorities thrown in for good measure so that you know racial profiling won’t even be an issue. Well, if minority actors say it is ok then it must be.

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Here is a Fox Opinion Channel story about iWatch which seems to endorse big brother. The hypocrisy is amazing:

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The ACLU is not happy:

“iWatch actively encourages people to report a variety of ordinary activities,” ACLU staff attorney Peter Bibring was quoted by Xinhua, “such as people wearing clothes that are too big, or who are drawing buildings, or who are doing something else that could be innocuous. That could lead to racial and religious profiling.”

Chief Bratton has dismissed such fears about the program, calling it a “Neighborhood Watch of the 21st century.” A few days ago he told NPR’s Neal Conan, “I can appreciate what the ACLU is trying to say in this case. But if we’re to follow that logic to its conclusion, then we would say to the American public, never report anything because it might be perceived as a bias, it might be perceived as a prejudice.” [Link]

19 thoughts on “iWatch you

  1. The bringing in of the desi aunty to say “my community” is just a slap in the face. If I see her on the streets of L.A. I’ll give her a piece of my mind for filming that infomercial.

    But on the plus side, thanks for posting it. I’m totally down to use it. I’m so going to use iWatch. to report activities that I find terrorist worthy. Of course what i find terrorist worthy is very different than what law enforcement will consider terrorist related. But they’ll have to be the judge of that.

  2. It doesn’t really matter what Fox News thinks about this. Napolitano can shut this down like she’s done with the Arizona sheriff targetting illegal immigrants. It is is interesting that no criticism is leveled at the current administration, Now w that Bush et al is gone, it must be hard to find government villians.

  3. “Napolitano can shut this down like she’s done with the Arizona sheriff targetting illegal immigrants.”

    She can deal with with sheriff in AZ because she/her department has jurisdiction; immigration law and enforcement is federal law. How can she shut this down?

  4. Why do they keep coming closer…and closer…and closer???!!!!????!!!!???!!!! It’s like they’re iwatching ME.

    Plus I like how Mona Auntie didn’t mention her last name.

  5. Really hope that this gets skewered on John Stewart and or Colbert.

    As discussed re: hypocrisy – Big Brother apparently equals big bad socialist government trying to reform healthcare but not torture, rendition, wiretapping, etc.

    Oh, and these same people don’t want the evil communists pushing evolution, climate change, sex ed or having the President they didn’t elect tell their kids to try hard in school, but hey, we should be able to tell women what they do with their reproductive system, teach kids nothing about sex and bring prayer back in schools. I love selective hypocrisy !

    Rant over. As you were.

  6. ‘Creepy’ doesn’t do this justice — it’s really horrifying, especially the mobilization of private citizens as agents of the state for the sake of depriving each other of the most basic of freedoms (movement, association, speech, etc), all the time spouting that very same rhetoric of ‘freedom’ as justification. 1984 is here, indeed. I am so very glad I don’t live in that crazy country.

  7. The bringing in of the desi aunty to say “my community” is just a slap in the face.

    since of course we desis are terrorists… the experts know better. oh wait, there hasn’t been a desi terrorist yet—but why wait? screw those job stealing macacas!!!!

    maybe i should turn this site in? i am sure the experts know better.. grrrr

  8. re hypocrisy: the problem with the hypocrisy charge is that it relies on a vaguely Mccarthyistic guilt by association logic. All large movements are susceptible to hypocrisy charges because they contain diversity. so for example, we could say feminists are hypocrites because they speak of freedom of speech yet simultaneously want to ban porn. the problem with that argument is that not all feminists want to ban porn, and those who do, say catherine mckinnon and andrea dworkin, often do not speak of free speech but rather mock opponents as free speech fundamentalists. in order to substantiate the argument you’d have to find an individual feminist who advocates both positions simultaneously, as oppossed to merely pointing out 2 contradictory positions within a diverse movement. I fail to see why fox news shouldn’t get the same consideration.

  9. It’s one thing to be have differing views on levels of free speech based on feelings of exploitation - it’s another thing to be completely contradictory based solely on politics. Any cursory viewing of Fox news shows that they go back on their own previous statements all the time. Antiwar protestors ? Hooligans and hippies. Tea Partiers ? Patriots. Criticizing Bush ? Traitorous. Criticizing Obama ? Way ok. I could go on. They simply play with the facts, even posing their editorialism as scientific or historical fact – dangerously ‘educating’ people about unreal dangers and increasing cynicism on every positive note possible. Just MHO.

  10. it’s another thing to be completely contradictory based solely on politics. Any cursory viewing of Fox news shows that they go back on their own previous statements all the time.

    Still, saying “they go back on their own statements” is problematic since “they” don’t make statements. If two different individuals within the same organization make contradictory statements is the organization being hypocritical or just diverse?

    It’s one thing to be have differing views on levels of free speech based on feelings of exploitation

    Now you’re justifying the contradiction and that’s OK but I fail to see why Fox News shouldn’t get the same consideration. After all, national defense, even in liberal thought, is considered a legitimate reason to suspend civil liberties and last i checked the city of LA is run by liberals. Was Lincoln being hypocritical when he freed the slaves while simultaneously suspending habeas corpus?

  11. Not every liberal is ok with suspending civil liberties in the name of defense or security. Hell, even Franklin said: Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security

    And I am talking about specific talking points by specific anchors or pundits, who if you put side by side with past and present clips, completely contradict themselves based on who they support. And it is worse when they claim to be fair and balanced and also hold sway over many followers.

  12. Not every liberal is ok with suspending civil liberties in the name of defense or security.

    exactly, which is why you can’t call liberals hypocritical based on the actions of the liberal mayor of LA. Fox news should get the same consideration. Indeed, even if i were to accept your broad definition of hypocrisy, given that the vid was produced by the city of LA, its unclear to me why you’re so concerned about foxnews’ alleged hypocrisy but not the Democratic party’s…for condemning orwellian techniques while simultaneously deploying them.

    And I am talking about specific talking points by specific anchors or pundits

    actually, you’re not talking specifics. You provided no evidence to substantiate your allegations.

  13. I’m so going to use iWatch. to report activities that I find terrorist worthy. Of course what i find terrorist worthy is very different than what law enforcement will consider terrorist related. But they’ll have to be the judge of that.

    Hopefully you find this terrorist worthy. This only coming a month after that loser from Denver was arrested. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8318708.stm

  14. Bytewords,

    We live in an age of fear.

    Terrorism is a reality in South Asia be it from Hindu extremists, Sikh extremists, Christians in Nagaland, or Muslims in Pakistan striking at civilian shops, universities, and military posts in Rawalpindi.

    Terrorism has rocked India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

    If Afghanistan is included as being part of South Asia, terrorism in that country is also an issue.

    I do not think this is about racial profiling.

    I am a Muslim of Afghan ancestry, and even from Muslims, you have a right to freedom of speech and assembly, I have heard troubling statements made. However, their comments have not made me so uncomfortable that I would turn them over to the authorities.

    In America, I don’t think al Qaeda has a strong hold or appeal. However, there are people who certainly sympathize with the “Jihadi” gospel which is currently in vogue, one that denounces capitalism, democracy, feminism, and calls for a return to “Muslim empire” in the name of a Sunni caliphate and restrictions of human choice and agency.

    Sadly, the epicenter of the “war on terror” is not in Iran or the Arab Middle East and North Africa, it is in the subcontinent. The epicenter is in South Asia.