Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Politicians caught on Internet candid cameras

Political campaigns for the Nov. 7 congressional elections have sent out mass e-mails with links to videos of opponents in unscripted, often embarrassing, situations. Some campaigns have even dispatched young staffers known as "trackers" armed with video cameras. Their sole job is to track a rival candidate's every move.

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And people wonder why it's so hard to find qualified candidates to run for elected office?

We are stuck with the bozos we have because no sane person would ever subject themselves & their families to this sort of intrusive nonsense. Political campaigns should be about actual issues, not whether somebody talks trash, picks his/her nose, trips occasionally when walking downstairs, or uses naughty words.

Next time you wonder why we are stuck with drawling, intolerant, illiterate, arrogant leaders instead of well-spoken, intelligent, logical, confident leaders, just turn to YouTube. If big corporate shareholders subjected their CEOs to as much scrutiny as we do the leaders who run our governmental bodies, nobody would ever do anything useful.

Similarly, the Houston Chronicle's Geek Speak blog notes that some wag has started a Web site to chase down any compromising video of Houston's police chief, who advocates using video surveillance because "if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?"

I don't object to video surveillance catching naughty people doing naughty things, but I don't believe the Houston Police department (or any other agency) has adequate privacy protections to prevent employees or contractors from using such videos to hold someone up for public ridicule. I do object stridently to publicly embarrassing people doing things people do: scratching their butts, checking out a hottie, tripping over something, stepping in a dog poop, etc. That seems to be what YouTube is all about. It's all funny until it's your butt.


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