Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Back to the subject of totalitarians and control freaks,

we have the example of the PRC and the DC Police Chief. PRC first:
This week, rioting left scores dead in Urumqi, the capital of China's troubled Xinjiang region. The latest official death toll is 156, but that number undoubtedly understates the count of those killed. The disturbances are accurately portrayed as ethnic conflict--Turkic Uighurs against the dominant Hans--but they also say much about the general stability of the modern Chinese state.

That state says the Uighurs are "Chinese," but that's not true in any meaningful sense of the term. The Uighurs are, in fact, from different racial stock than the Han; they speak a different language, and they practice a religion few others in China follow. Of the 55 officially recognized minority groups in China, they stand out the most.

The Uighurs are a conquered people. In the 1940s, they had their own state, the East Turkestan Republic, for about half a decade. Mao Zedong, however, forcibly incorporated the short-lived nation into the People's Republic by sending the People's Liberation Army into Xinjiang
Which seems to be the way Chavez would like to 'help the people of Honduras', but unless we and/or the OAS really screw things up, he knows he can't pull it off. In any case, it's easy to lose track of the fact that there are disturbances like this fairly often in China; it's liable to get far more 'interesting' there in the future.

Now to the DC police chief:
Area drivers looking to outwit police speed traps and traffic cameras are using an iPhone application and other global positioning system devices that pinpoint the location of the cameras.

That has irked D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who promised her officers would pick up their game to counteract the devices, which can also help drivers dodge sobriety checkpoints.

"I think that's the whole point of this program," she told The Examiner. "It's designed to circumvent law enforcement -- law enforcement that is designed specifically to save lives."
The new technology streams to i-Phones and global positioning system devices, sounding off an alarm as drivers approach speed or red-light cameras.

Lanier said the technology is a "cowardly tactic" and "people who overly rely on those and break the law anyway are going to get caught" in one way or another.

'Cowardly'? To keep track of where you put these cameras and traps and pass it on? Bullcrap, Chief.
The greater D.C. area has 290 red-light and speed cameras -- comprising nearly 10 percent of all traffic cameras in the U.S., according to estimates by a camera-tracking database called the POI Factory.
"In a statement, a local group denounced the "Cowardice of putting cameras out to spy on people instead of having officers out acting like police." " How about that?

How's this: if you're really worried about slowing people down, this does it when they get word they're approaching the traps and cameras, so it works! Of course, it doesn't bring in ticket revenue, which is probably what the cameras are actually for. And it doesn't let you have a chart of tickets given to wave around and prove you're out doing something.

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