November 2011 Archives

The sheriff thinks that adding mobile speed cameras in outlying parts of Polk County could be good for safety, according to a Des Moines Register story. County Supervisor EJ Giovanetti has (reasonably) thrown up a red flag, citing the concern that those cameras are really used for raising revenue rather than improving safety. Supervisor John Mauro counters with the tired old excuse that (in essence) if you aren't doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide. That excuse, however, overlooks the fact that Americans have every right to expect that we aren't going to be under constant surveillance, whether by human eyes or those of a robotic camera system.

The argument that people doing nothing wrong have nothing to hide is easily demolished by a single counter-argument: If so, then why do people put curtains on their windows? We have a reasonable expectation that we aren't being watched by Big Brother at all times -- whether or not we're obeying the law. Mobile speed cameras (and other forms of automated law enforcement) disrespect that right to privacy.
According to the USDA, virtually all of Iowa's corn has been harvested. Good thing, too: Last night's snowfall is going to make things slushy and messy in the fields. A completed harvest means fewer combines on the road and safer driving for the rest of us when we're on highways outside of town. Coincidentally, it also makes the deer easier to spot.
A dozen stores, that is...according to the Des Moines Register.

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