This Sunday, 2 days before the Times Square bomb, The Simpsons had one of their better episodes, which was also brilliantly prescient: To Surveil with Love”

A bomb scare gets Springfield to overreact and decide to install cameras everywhere

In a vote reminding us of the Democratic convention roll call,

Mayor Quimby, trying to get the surveillance system approved at a town meeting, instructs the crowd, “All those opposed, say, ‘I hate America.’

Once the city is covered with cameras, it’s up to Ned Flanders to volunteer his services ‘in gently nudging with love” the citizens of Springfield into obeying the law. He has a field day chiding lovers on park benches and just about everyone not up to his snuff. In the end, just as he thinks he succeeded, he finds out all the bad activities simply concentrated in the blind spot of the cameras and agrees they need to go.

Two days later, the inane car bomb is discovered and cameras play a role. A distracting one as the Big Pink wisely notes

the cameras did nothing to help. The cameras actually hindered the investigation.The cameras put the eye of suspicion, wildly applauded by the Nutroots, on a 40 year old white guy whose only crime was to remove his shirt in hot weather. So the answer by Mayor Bloomberg is: more cameras. Something is very wrong with this picture. Logic would tell us we need more African-American disabled Vietnam Veterans who although nearly discarded by society did more than those, expensive to purchase and maintain and monitor, gizmos and gadgets.

I have been watching one headline after another whipping up paranoia

Like yesterday’s Metro

Hey, here’s an equally good idea: maybe we should listen to Andy Borowitz and expand Twitter instead

authorities today said that they were following Mr. Shahzad, “but only on Twitter.”A spokesman for the surveillance team following the suspected terrorist said that they were closely monitoring Mr. Shahzad’s tweets, “but he must have figured something out because all of a sudden he blocked us.”

And, unlike Springfield, we won’t even get to vote on it. Not even by saying “I hate America”  (or in case of term limits, the Quimby-esque option of “I have sex with animals”)

Benjamin Franklin said”Those who would trade their liberties for their security deserve neither”

I would include here those who voted for Obama, Bloomberg (or stayed home last November)

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