Beyond the Cusp

June 29, 2015

How to Kill the Next Flotilla

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We reported earlier this week in our article How Does Europe Define NGO in Israel and More? where we examined the funding for much of the costs of the ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ being funded largely through a French NGO using funding provided by the government of France. We had mentioned how so many European NGOs are more government agencies than non-governmental agencies and there are even a fair number of Israeli NGOs financed by funds from European nations and the European Union, some directly and some through other go-between NGOs, levels of separation and deniability. The ‘Freedom Flotilla III’ should be reaching Israel after they drum up enough media coverage stopping at port after port all across the southern ports of Europe along the Mediterranean Sea. Some of those on the flotilla are paid instigators which must be rough duty to sail around the Mediterranean between ports watching those chosen to be the most telegenic and sympathetic looking and sounding giving interviews to an eager press giving coverage about the plight their supplies will alleviate. If only that were true. The provisions on former flotillas consisted of spoiled food stuffs and outdated medical provisions which were not even bothered to be picked up after being transferred across the border into Gaza the day after being unloaded at an Israeli port.

 

The one question I have heard that got me to thinking (yes, I actually do think at times) was why Israel would go to such extremes to prevent a flotilla from reaching Gaza if it was known they normally did not carry any contraband such as weapons, explosives or dual use materials? Great question was my reaction and I attempted to point out that once you make one exception and then that blockade is breached, then the entire reason for the blockade can be challenged in the international courts which might lead to the blockade being determined to no longer be required and then Iran and others could ship any and all weapons into Gaza making their next war with Israel far more dangerous. Still, what if Israel began their own news blitz and each time the flotilla spokesperson gives their spiel about the mean Israeli blockade and how they are carrying only humanitarian supplies and still the Israelis are likely to answer their purely good intentions with excessive violence. Of course they will leave out the part about their having specialists who will instigate the confrontation with violent attacks on the Israeli units in attempts to throw them overboard, kidnap one or two and injure or otherwise prevent any diversion of the ship hoping to either get pictures of IDF violence or forcing the final and last ditch measure of sinking one of the vessels. The person who asked why not allow the flotilla pass is a dangerous precedent as this would permit for Israel to be relying that some other nation making a determination that there is no contraband (contraband includes weapons, explosives, certain fertilizers, and numerous dual use items some of which are less obvious than others) aboard replacing Israel actually checking themselves and also the potential for contraband to be transferred at sea after any inspection thus defeating the blockade through simple deceit. Still, there might be a way of prolonging the gamesmanship of this flotilla and use it to Israel’s advantage. Make it known that if the flotilla were to get their cargo inspected by three nations certifying their cargo, any three stops they desire, and add one last inspection made by Egyptian military authorities at the port of Alexandria and then come straight to Gaza once cleared by the Egyptian military, they would be given free escorted entry to Gaza. Israel should then arrange for the Egyptians to escort the flotilla to their maritime border where an Israeli naval vessel to escort and assure that no other transfers are made at sea and then allow them to continue unhindered further to Gaza port. The Israelis should encourage media live television coverage of the arrival and unloading of the flotilla ships if they can spirit up any actual media excitement for such a momentous occasion. Whether there will be live coverage or not, Israel should place a few drones at high enough altitude to make them difficult to see and beyond any possible audible detection with sufficiently capable to televise the unloading live even using night vision technology if the unload is done at night. When the flotilla arrives and Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their other friends refuse to unload the flotilla and simply send them back from whence they came, then the world will see the falsehood of the flotilla racket and hopefully such shame will end the flotilla farce once and for all.

 

I can hear the sceptics with their claims that such bad media won’t prevent the next flotilla as they will simply keep coming and refusing to allow anybody, especially the Egyptians from inspecting their cargos. The main part of the plan is the Egyptian inspection using the Egyptian military overseen by officers picked by President Sisi for their honor and dedication to the new government and the desires of the President and who will do a thorough inspection as they have no love lost for Hamas and friends thus Israel can reliably expect the Egyptians to perform the cargo inspections. The demand for three European nations to perform some kind and unspecified inspection will be to provide evidence should the Egyptians find contraband that the Europeans either missed or intentionally overlooked, then the Europeans will share in any disgrace. This could lead to another manner of checking shipments headed for Gaza but sufficiently onerous demanding three inspections in different nation’s ports and then for the final and most important inspection at Alexandria by the Egyptian military. This may sound like a ponderous set of demands but one must remember that there is another alternative of docking and unloading at an Israeli port and permitting an Israeli inspection and then their delivering your approved goods as quickly as possible by overland in the earliest available trucks as part of the many tens of tractor-trailer loads delivered daily with food, medical and other non-military provisions each day except the Sabbath. Each delivery should be given this choice to every ship intending to make a delivery to Gaza and let them know that after the Egyptian inspection clears their deliveries then they must be escorted to international waters by an Egyptian military vessel which will turn the ship over to Israeli escort to the maritime border of Gaza from which they are on their own. This should be a fair alternative and those who wish to take advantage of such an offer may find some surprises should they also believe that they could get some contraband past the Israelis by using the alternative method. Even the Europeans would be inclined to make an honest inspection should they ever, intentionally or through error or misunderstanding of definitions for contraband, something Israel would be glad to provide a list to any nation requesting such, permit things to pass which they know should be prevented to pass once they have been disgraced when the Egyptians find the contraband and alert the Israelis while confiscating the contraband turning it over to the Israelis when they pass the now inspected cargo without the contraband to continue on to Gaza. There is no reason Israel should be forced to appear brutish when they can offer an alternative to docking in an Israel port so they might be able to take wonderful and generously offered alternative method by which they would be granted full permission to dock at Gaza and even take all the celebratory pictures and videos with their friends in Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the people of Gaza.

 

Israel has no real desire to add to the suffering for the citizens of Gaza. The proof is that the Israelis removed every last Israeli from Gaza on August of 2005 while even took the trouble of exhuming the graves of every Jew and moved them to a new location to keep their graves from being desecrated by any Palestinians desire to act on their vengeful hatreds and bulldozed the synagogue building after removing every last religious items so as to prevent its desecration. Then all of Gaza, every last millimeter was given to the Arab Palestinian Authority who lost their control over Gaza in the Fatah and Hamas with Islamic Jihad in the civil war for the control of Gaza which had been building in intensity but exploded into its final violence filled conflagration from June 10, 2007 to June 15, 2007 setting up the situation of steady rising of violence out of Gaza largely firing rockets on Israel targeting almost exclusively Israeli civilians and other provocations. Now Israel has all of that to thank for the flotillas testing their resolve but perhaps the time has come to use brains over brawn, intelligence as resolve and finally using the flotilla be the ones choosing which venue they prefer. If they choose to force a confrontation with Israel rather than receive merely four inspections with three from potentially friendly European co-conspirators plus an inspection from the Arab state of Egypt and after passing these small requirements then they preferred to force a confrontation, not Israel. By forcing Israel to divert them to an Israeli port instead of, what Israel in their magnanimity had offered to the flotilla coordinators, financiers, political activists and other members and crews, to have inspections at three of their European ports of call plus have them make their next to the last port call in Alexandria for an Egyptian Military run inspection permitting them to achieve direct access to the Port in Gaza. The monies of their arrival at the Gaza City port should prove interesting as will any unloading of goods from flotilla ships which have little or no cargo. The light of truth can be a wonderful light to use to reveal the reality of such farcical attempts to put the IDF, and in turn all Israel, in the worst light possible and refusing to circumvent the unfair Israeli inspections and instead take an alternative method of inspection where the first three are of their choice and one of Israeli origin. Simply offer an alternative and then allow nature and absurdity take their selected path.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 26, 2015

West Ignoring Fatah Naqba Day Message

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As has become customary in this new age, the messages by Mahmoud Abbas headed Fatah Party including its militant wing the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and the Arab Palestinians from within and outside the governing Palestinian Authority were united in their message during their fulfillment of their most cherished and important ideals this recently passed Naqba Day observances, the destruction of all of Israel by violent actions presumably conquering by force that which was stolen by force. Probably the most efficient way to convey their intended message would be to quote a direct translation made on the Fatah ‘official’ Facebook pages for May 14, 2015, which is Naqba Day (Day of the Catastrophe) where it was translated by PMW (Palestinian Media Watch) where the entry read, “What was taken by force can only be regained by force, the 67th anniversary of the Nakba.” This post was accompanied by a poster remembering that this was presumably the 67th anniversary of Naqba Day seen below. It should be noted that one of the numerical figures has been constructed using a AK-47 assault rifle attached as the blade of an ornate and old key presumably to the home lost in 1948 during the formation of Israel and the ensuing Arab war to destroy Israel at birth and map showing all of Israel including all of the areas within the Green Line, the boundaries marking the frontline positions at the end of hostilities in 1949 which were the results of the two years of assault by seven Arab armies to destroy the nascent nations of Israel immediately after it was established on May 14, 1947, and all of Judea and Samaria, renamed West Bank by Jordan while they held those lands under occupation which were finally liberated after Jordan joined the forces of Syria and Egypt, then jointly referred to as the UAR (United Arab Republic) on the second day of the Six Day War in June of 1967, which matches the popular chant even repeated on the campuses of colleges and universities throughout the Western World which states, “From the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea, Palestine must be free.”

 

 

PMW Naqba Day 67 Anniversary poster for the conquest of all of Israel by force replacing Israel with Palestine after removal of the Jews by any means necessary, an old and resurgent theme in Arab-Palestinian society directly resulting from government efforts through the media, schools and celebratory remembrances of the martyrs of the revolution naming streets, parks, schools, sporting events among other events and area after these martyrs.

PMW Naqba Day 67 Anniversary poster for the conquest of all of Israel by force replacing Israel with Palestine after removal of the Jews by any means necessary, an old and resurgent theme in Arab-Palestinian society directly resulting from government efforts through the media, schools and celebratory remembrances of the martyrs of the revolution naming streets, parks, schools, sporting events among other events and area after these martyrs.

 

 

The representation on the post puts to lie the claims made by Arab-Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in English when speaking to the Western leaders and media that all he seeks is the return of the lands liberated from Jordanian occupation resulting from the June 1967 Six Day War. Abbas often uses an obscure and easily misinterpreted claim to only desiring the 22% of the lands for the state of Palestine without defining what exactly he means by the 22% of the lands. Often this is interpreted by the Western media and political leaders to mean the areas of Gaza and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) which makes up just short of 23% of the total lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea which is quite close to the mentioned and implied 22% of the lands. There is another reference for 22% of the lands and that is the division of the British Mandate Lands dividing them along the Jordan River establishing what today is Jordan on the lands east of the Jordan River and bordering Iraq in the eastern border which constitutes exactly 78% of the lands of the British Mandate which the lands west of the Jordan River were promised to be totally used for the establishment of the Jewish State and never to be divided by guarantee of the British and allied powers at the time of the forming of Jordan after World War I, lands which equal exactly 22% of the British Mandate lands and the actual 22% Mahmoud Abbas claims for the making of Palestine. This demand that the 22% actually is meant to describe 22% of the British Mandate and equates exactly to the claims and decrees issued by Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah Party he heads, the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) which he cofounded in 1964 with Yasser Arafat for the purpose of destroying Israel replacing it with an Arab state freed of all Jewish presence three years before there was any occupation as the Western leaders define such meaning Gaza and Judea and Samaria, and the borders Abbas has demanded even before the United Nations, the lands constituting all of Israel both within the Green Line and the disputed and mislabeled occupied territories.

 

Another post was presumably made by the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in commemoration of Naqba Day stated, “When the al-Asifa (the storm) roars and the nation applauds the eternal Fatah, the world’s dwarfs should remain in their burrows.” The mention of “world’s dwarfs” in a reference which has two meanings in this declaration, the Israelis and particularly the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and on a more general level to mean all the Western nations, their militaries and their peoples and is, obviously, meant in a very derogatory and demeaning reference implying their fear and submission before the all-powerful forces of Islam in general and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades specifically. See depiction of the posting made by the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades depicting one of their terrorist members with his AK-47 holding a decorative headdress pointing towards the Fatah logo with two rifles clenched in fists placed over a map depicting the entirety of Israel, the actual target for the establishment of Palestine replacing Israel, not living side by side in peace as is often the claim allowed to stand by the silence of Abbas to its mention. His silence does not mean agreement as it is oft taken to mean, it merely means he prefers to allow you your mistaken beliefs as there is no need to correct a fool who is deaf to the words spoken by Abbas to the Arab-Palestinians in Arabic as to the Western media and leadership Arabic is a language which cannot, or must not, be translated into any Western language as then those words would need to be explained away, much easier to pretend the fool.

 

 

The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades commemoratory poster depicting one of their terrorist members with his AK-47 holding a decorative headdress in his hand and pointing towards the Fatah logo which bears two rifles clenched in fists and arms decorated in the declared colors representing the Arab-Palestinians all placed over a map depicting the entirety of Israel.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades commemoratory poster depicting one of their terrorist members with his AK-47 holding a decorative headdress in his hand and pointing towards the Fatah logo which bears two rifles clenched in fists and arms decorated in the declared colors representing the Arab-Palestinians all placed over a map depicting the entirety of Israel.

 

 

The theme of this year’s Naqba Day also is a complete farcical redefinition of the connotation for the term Naqba which means ‘catastrophe’ but originated long before there were Arab-Palestinians or the PLO or Palestinian Authority. ‘The Naqba’ was the term applied to the formation of the Mandates over the province of Greater Syria by the Allied Powers after World War I. In the Mandates the area of Greater Syrian Province was divided into two parts, the northern Mandate which was assigned to France and the southern Mandate which was assigned to the British. It was this division and the new requirement for those Arab Muslims residing under the British Mandate in the south to get permission from both the British and the French to travel to Damascus which had become the new destination for the Arab Muslims of the areas of Greater Syria to perform a version of making of the Hajj. The formal definition for the Hajj required travel to Mecca except during the times when Mecca was under separate Islamic rulers than the Muslims in the area of Greater Syria, such as under the Ottoman Empire, there was a ban on travel between Greater Syria and the Arabian Peninsula and thus their being cut-off from Mecca and making the actual required Hajj at least once in their lifetime so the powers ruling over Greater Syria invented reasons to turn Damascus into the objected destination for the Hajj standing in, so to speak, for Mecca. The new requirement, though most likely a formality in order to retain assigned populations and prevent excessive travel which might lead to the fomenting of an uprising, thus the regulating of such travel caused great distress for the residents of British Mandate lands as they feared being cut-off from Damascus and that was a great hardship, a catastrophe even, and thus was called the Great Naqba all the way back in 1922 thus far preceding the adopted, or should we say stolen, use for Naqba Day. Of course this too was stolen by the Arab-Palestinian movement just as they have stolen the entire historical legacy of the Jewish People and with some changes adopted it to establish their claims to all of Israel as it was presumably their ancestral lands from, if one is to believe even the most absurd of claims, over nine-thousand years ago when they first settled in the area now making up Israel. The small fly in the ointment, about a ten ton fly in five ounces of ointment, is that they have no historic leaders’ names. They claim Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and many of the other names of leaders from the Jewish Bible and writings. It is interesting that they claim Noah as the Jews do not claim Noah as having been Jewish as Abraham, the first Jew, followed years after Noah and the ark and great flood and thus the Jews define Noah as one who had a relationship with G0d and was a righteous man amongst barbarians of the most uncouth and perverted nature who had invoked the wrath of G0d and were to be destroyed to the last individual with the exception of those taken aboard the ark. As they stole the Jewish history they stole from their own history and redefined Naqba not to mean difficulty in travel to Damascus but instead to the formation of a state for the Jewish People in their ancestral lands which even the Quran states that the lands are to belong to the Jews rightfully and be observed and permitted by Islam, but why bother with any truths at this late stage.

 

The declaration by virtually every side this marking of the founding of Israel as per the Western calendar, Israelis use the traditional Jewish Calendar thus the date is different on the Western Calendar every year which is good as it permits the Israeli celebrations to be less disturbed by the Arab-Palestinians with it not coinciding with their Naqba Day. One wonders why the Arab-Palestinians use the Western Calendar and not the Islamic Calendar. The reason is obvious, they wish to remind the Western world of the calamity which presumably beset them by the founding of Israel on almost a whole one percent of land in the midst of the sea of Muslim lands stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the southern Philippines all the way across Asia, the Central and Middle East and along northern Africa to Morocco on the Atlantic Ocean and it is that less than one percent which must be destroyed for the formation of a new and never before heard of state called Palestine. Some of the lands under Islamic rule have open spaces where nary an individual treads each year, let alone resides in, and these Arabs insist on taking the most populated space for the establishment of their state and demand the removal of any residing there who are in any way different than they.

 

This is interesting as how does one define the Arab-Palestinians who mostly arrived in the areas now under Israeli control within the past four or at most five generations, that equates to under a century. At the beginning and before the times the final decade and a half before the Twentieth Century saw the rebirth of the lands coinciding with the return of many Jews, the earliest Zionists returning to reclaim their homelands. These lands were mostly a collection of rocks, desert, swamps and ancient ruins with a few small pockets of barely populated cities with the greatest being Jericho, Akko, Tiberius, Jerusalem and a few other names familiar from the Old Testament. Probably one of the most famous descriptions of the lands of Israel, the Holy Lands, is the description from Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) writings across these lands in his worldly travels described in his writings titled, “Innocents Abroad” and specifically the parts described as “Mark Twain in the Holy Land.” Perhaps a few excerpts will give a flavor of his reports starting with his most astonishing comment on Jerusalem compared to the city as it stands today he wrote, “A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.” Describing the trip from at the Sea of Galilee in Chapter XLVII Twain wrote the following:

We traversed some miles of desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds — a silent, mournful expanse, wherein we saw only three persons — Arabs, with nothing on but a long coarse shirt like the “tow-linen” shirts which used to form the only summer garment of little negro boys on Southern plantations. Shepherds they were, and they charmed their flocks with the traditional shepherd’s pipe — a reed instrument that made music as exquisitely infernal as these same Arabs create when they sing.
In their pipes lingered no echo of the wonderful music the shepherd forefathers heard in the Plains of Bethlehem what time the angels sang “Peace on earth, good will to men.”
Part of the ground we came over was not ground at all, but rocks — cream-colored rocks, worn smooth, as if by water; with seldom an edge or a corner on them, but scooped out, honey-combed, bored out with eye-holes, and thus wrought into all manner of quaint shapes, among which the uncouth imitation of skulls was frequent. Over this part of the route were occasional remains of an old Roman road like the Appian Way, whose paving-stones still clung to their places with Roman tenacity.
Gray lizards, those heirs of ruin, of sepulchres and desolation, glided in and out among the rocks or lay still and sunned themselves. Where prosperity has reigned, and fallen; where glory has flamed, and gone out; where beauty has dwelt, and passed away; where gladness was, and sorrow is; where the pomp of life has been, and silence and death brood in its high places, there this reptile makes his home, and mocks at human vanity. His coat is the color of ashes: and ashes are the symbol of hopes that have perished, of aspirations that came to nought, of loves that are buried. If he could speak, he would say, Build temples: I will lord it in their ruins; build palaces: I will inhabit them; erect empires: I will inherit them; bury your beautiful: I will watch the worms at their work; and you, who stand here and moralize over me: I will crawl over your corpse at the last.

 

Such as that was the lands which today lie between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and produce a richness of life, agriculture, invention, production and vibrancy returning the lands to their exalted state of preeminence and stature in the world. No longer are these lands ignored by the world and actually have become an unfortunate obsession beyond description. Often there appears to be a driving impetus to force these lands back to their quiet ruin described so aptly by Mark Twain who traveled and wrote in an age before political correctness ruled the tongues and pens of even the mightiest of men and the agencies of their minds and hands. The scorn once reserved for the Jew and often only the Jew has now turned their nation out claiming it to be a pariah amongst nations deserving of scorn and denounced in the harshest of terms whether they actually apply or not. There are groups formed around the idea that the multi-cultural state where women have equal rights and every religion is practiced freely with free and open elections should be deemed a practice of Apartheid while the neighboring nations it is forbidden for a Jew to tread and selling lands to a Jew is punishable by death, where ISIS beheads Christians and Muslims alike for failing to answer questions in their peculiar way, where women are not permitted to drive a vehicle and may only leave the house accompanied by a male relative, places where courts will convict a woman victim of rape to a sentence of death by stoning for having sexual relations with her rapist, where barbarity rules and civility a sign of weakness and forgiveness as much a sin as the sin being forgiven, but Israel is the oppressive nation. This is the state of the world and if the leaders of Israel and the world do not awaken and view the horrors that are fast approaching then once again, and potentially for the final time for many millennia, mankind will gather their swords and shields, their bows and arrows, their aligns and spears and prepare to do battle. The problem is the new weapons do not require even facing one’s enemies to destroy them. Now one pressed the red button, flips a plastic switch, launches a deadly missile and an entire city is consumed in the blast leaving nothing standing, nothing breathing and a band of pain and eventual death at the edges of what was. Armies of steel beast shoot flames pushing projectiles with great speed and greater accuracy and the steel beasts from both sides burst into flames and roast their crews alive. Silver and black birds grace the skies dropping fiery eggs which streak to their target leaving twisted wreckage in its wake. These birds fire streaking spears aimed at the other’s signature locked by computers removing most chances for failure guaranteeing a defrocked bird falling, crashing in flames to the earth below. This war will not require the gathering of great armies for the new armies are automated destruction on scales never before imagined unless those who claim we were once greater than today and we destroyed it all and began again are correct and we are repeating an ancient calamity from which a few may restart and soon forget the higher math and nuclear physics and start by planting seeds and tending herds avoiding areas which nobody dares to tread as only death rules these desolate skeleton of once great metropolises. There will be a great forgetting as the necessity of assuring food will replace the need for education, especially education which produced the destruction because mankind has never invented weapons so powerful that he refused to use it and thermo-nuclear tipped missiles will be no exception. Especially as the next nuclear race will arm those who are largely oblivious to the horrors the use of such weapons are and will have little compunction towards utilizing such weapons as their preferred first-strike equalizer. The abhorrence will come far too late to save civilization from the least civil amongst us. Perhaps this is why mankind will never develop much past tribal affiliations ruled by clannish patriarchs whose minds are fueled by testosterone, not refined postulations and cost analysis, they desire only victory no matter how hollow so they may inherit the world, but this world will be the result of an End of Days scenario turning all into a world made largely of ashes.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 17, 2014

Has the World Gone Crazy? Government Wants to Look and See

 

Thus far this week we have witnessed too many instances of violence from all across the globe with none of it making much sense. There was the taking of hostages in a small eatery in Australia with a wannabe ISIS crazy who amongst his demands insisted on talking to the Prime Minister of the country. There was a Taliban raid on a Pakistani school murdering innocent children with the count approaching one-hundred-fifty and nearly countless more reportedly in area hospitals, let’s pray it does not exceed that number. The United States did not miss out as a former Marine went on a killing spree in Philadelphia northwestern suburb in Pennsylvania murdering his ex-wife and her sister, mother, grandmother and two children of the sister as well as shooting and injuring the sister’s husband. These, as with too many murders reported unfortunately almost daily, are the actions of disturbed minds or people blinded beyond sanity by their cause will remain beyond our ability to understand. Where the twisted reasoning behind any murder may be beyond the ability of our ability to discern and understand, efforts should continue to see if any discerning and identifying character traits or other determining actions and indicators can be discovered such that in the future some of these grisly events can be prevented. We will probably never have the ability to prevent every time somebody goes beyond all societal norms and commits some act of violence tearing a hole in society as a whole.

 

The question we as societies will need to answer is how far are we to permit law enforcement to go both in their abilities to collect information and survey public or even private areas in order to prevent crimes and provide a higher level of safety in their efforts to circumvent crimes, especially crimes of violence. There are already increasing usages for cameras and sound detection equipment in cities throughout the world with London taking the lead as the most surveyed city with sound detectors and cameras placed throughout so that they can see virtually every area of the streets, river, shopping centers, service alleys and probably the darkest recesses and corners throughout the city. Surveillance carried out to such an extent combined with the advancing artificial intelligence advances in computer technology including facial recognition software, gait detection and profiling which will lead to computers monitoring the entirety of these cameras and potentially adding the microphones so that they can discern every spoken word and conversation using software collating the data in order to alert police to suspected criminal acts they determine are imminent. The police would be directed in the hope that their mere presence would prevent the crime and to interdict any criminal act as soon as it occurs or prevent any violent action intervening at the predicted moment such violence might occur. It would be a virtual future crime system used as deterrence and placing police exactly where they might be needed moments before any criminal act. For crimes such as theft or a holdup such a system would likely deter many criminals but then how far would such a system be empowered. Would they use such a system to determine the name of a person crossing a street in other than a designated crosswalk and send them a summons or ticket just as speed cameras and red light cameras do in many cities currently? Such a system would potentially provide a huge increase in revenue which could potentially completely finance the entire police department.

 

If placing cameras and listening devices all throughout our cities and towns is acceptable, then what if the government decides to go further? It would start with a program where the government would give people payment if they were permitted to add any monitoring cameras and sound devices people currently had in their homes and businesses. The program would begin innocently and be voluntary so what would be the harm, people could simply say they have no interest and such a program might make others who would be unable to afford an alarm system with cameras and twenty-four hour monitoring and such a program would be enabling more homes to be monitored and kept safe. What argument could be made that this was not a good thing and it is still voluntary, right? Then the government would eventually see this as now a right they could extend as were not most of the people who had systems voluntarily opting to join the government subsidy. Anyways, anybody now refusing the government mandated monitoring systems and the government including these systems in their extensive monitoring would be proof that you have something to hide. The thing is such a demand would not be instituted until the vast majority of the public had already agreed to this monitoring by the government and nobody had been adversely affected, so where is the harm in government placing monitoring in every home. Such monitoring would keep homes safe from burglaries while people were at work and where would be the harm? There was a time when people would only accept a ticket if it was written by an officer who had witnessed their exceeding the speed limit or running a red light. Nobody would accept a ticket from a camera radar trap and receiving one would result in their going to court and demanding to confront their accuser. Initially this defense was accepted by the courts and then the city council allowed for a regulation, or even passed a law in some instances, that made these tickets legal and no longer permitted the defense of demanding to confront your accuser and thus no judge would accept that defense. It has become common for camera evidence to be considered superior to an eye witness’s testimony. Add facial recognition and cameras can be utilized to identify people beyond any reasonable doubt in most courts. Where these automated law enforcement technologies will end is anybody’s guess. The camera and the microphones are just the tip of the coming iceberg as we can expect explosives detection systems placed in sensitive areas or places where large crowds are expected to form such as malls, ballparks, amusement parks, concerts, fairs and special events as well as whatever devices and data gathering system which have yet to be developed. Many of the larger ports and other commercial shipping and mass travel systems including trains, planes and ships have detection equipment which checks the luggage or shipping containers as well as magnetometers to check the people while visual checks are made of carryon luggage and bags. These detection devices are simply a computerized version of using a dog or other trained animal and currently almost as reliable and their evidence is acceptable in a court as sufficient evidence for permitting an officer to search and arrest any person refusing the search in order to search the person once in custody.

 

There are numerous types of surveillance equipment with abilities which would astound the average person readily available to police departments should they care to make the outlay funds to purchase such devices. There is equipment which can listen to a conversation simply by placing an invisible laser onto any window to the room which the conversation of interest is being held. This technology has progressed to the point that one would need to cover the window with sound dampening screens or external cover such as aluminum storm shutters. There are systems which can see through walls with amazing detail capability. There are systems being researched which will allow governments to monitor people in ways they likely never imagined. People can be tracked by tracking their cell phones. Using your cell phone a person can be located to within ten feet and their cell phone can be activated to listen to any noises or conversations within the ability of the microphone to detect. Even the cell phone camera can be activated though such is often not very revealing as if the phone is in a purse or pocket the video will not reveal much. There are ways to monitor people’s computer usage as long as their computer is linked to a network which has internet connection active or if the computer itself is connected to the internet. The invasions of our privacy which government can potentially utilize if they wish to monitor our lives covertly are astounding and place every individual potentially in a very compromised position even without their knowledge. These are simply implications of the modern world we all reside within. But then in a world where many of us post even intimate information about ourselves on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Vine and others, why would many of us complain or have any problem with the government monitoring our daily activities. Perhaps the government could start their own social media site and simply put videos of some of the craziest things they monitored and maybe also the top ten crimes of the day. The one prediction which can be made safely is that privacy is a quaint idea whose definition is growing ever smaller with every passing new technology. Perhaps any legal definition claiming that we have unalienable rights to privacy, that our homes are inviolable or that our papers, effects and private information are secure from search or seizure without a court order, summons or warrant are simply cute little ideas whose potential possibility is nil in our high-tech world where information rules and those who can best gather information rule. In simpler terms, if one wishes to have privacy they best be prepared to make a sizeable effort to assure that their desire has been attained. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Perhaps this could be adapted to modern times where we add that not only is eternal vigilance is the price of liberty but also the price for personal privacy from government. It could be argued that privacy is necessary to have liberty and to have real freedom. To be honest, it is rightly well worth the effort and allows one to sleep better each night.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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