Beware of relentless wariness

My first thought upon reading this afternoon’s news alert from the NY Times that security cameras may have captured the Boston Marathon bomber’s image was, “Good, we’ll get the bastard(s).”

My next thought was more chilling and one that will be lasting: the coming ubiquity of security cameras.   As things have gone government-wise for the past more than half a century, we should expect a big push to install government (or “privatized”) security cameras covering every inch of every street 24/7, at least in major cities.  They already have this in England, and I wouldn’t be surprised if police don’t start also wanting it in smaller-town America.

This calls to mind Ben Franklin’s adage (paraphrased here)  that those who are willing to give up liberty in favor of security deserve neither.  Yet that has been the modus operandi of America’s security industry (which drinks from our government’s tap) since World War II.  So, I offer a corollary to Mr. Franklin’s great piece of wisdom:  Beware of relentless wariness, lest we imprison ourselves and lose our America.

And who was it that said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”?  Oh, yeah, our own four-time president, Franklin D. Roosevelt (and probably Sir Francis Bacon 400 years earlier)