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A Surveillance Camera On Every Chicago Street Corner? 311

Mike writes "Chicago Mayor Daley has stated that if his Olympic dreams come true, by 2016 there will be a surveillance camera on 'every street corner in Chicago.' Just like in London, elected officials all over America appear to be happily advancing a 'surveillance society' without regard for civil rights or privacy concerns. Ray Orozco, executive director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications is quoted as saying, 'We're going to grow the system until we eventually cover one end of the city to the other.'" Chicago has been developing its surveillance network for some time, but it seems they plan to continue increasing the scale.
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A Surveillance Camera On Every Chicago Street Corner?

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  • by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:20AM (#26940229)

    Christ, they put those cameras in several years ago in the most high crime parts of Chicago. And you know what? They're still the most high crime parts of Chicago.

    If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang. And if you really want to increase enforcement, then stick a cop, not a camera, on every corner.

    This is nothing more than "security theater" on a city-wide scale.

    • by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:39AM (#26940313) Journal

      A cop on every corner? Yeah, because cops are reliable witnesses who never lie or 'accidentally' not notice a little crime going on.

      What about a cop with a camera on every corner?

    • Christ, they put those cameras in several years ago in the most high crime parts of Chicago. And you know what? They're still the most high crime parts of Chicago.

      Any technology can be used effectively or not, it can be used for good or bad. Would you also say that they used armed officers in police cars with radios in the high crime parts of Chicago, so they should now use only unarmed cops on foot without radios in those areas?

      If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and de

      • Are you saying that you think people will actually use these cameras responsibly? Do I need to even start to point to examples about how unlikely that is?

        Law enforcement is not the entire solution, but it is the brunt of the problem, agreed.

      • If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang.

        That's a different dimension. You should do that *AND* have effective law enforcement.

        If you do those things, the bar for "effective law enforcement" is much lower, because they have less crime to fight.

      • That's a different dimension. You should do that *AND* have effective law enforcement.

        Well, it is not a different dimension. Doing both costs money. America already has the highest incarceration rate. Our education leaves something to be desired. Therefore, you get more bang for your buck in education.

      • Why not a cop watching ten cameras, one on each corner? Less expense, same results. Or perhaps better results, depending on the cops. A cop watching video screens cannot shoot first and ask questions later.

        Less expense, yes. Same results, no. The physical presence of cops deters crime. They can respond to problems immediately, and problems are less likely to occur. This is not true if they are stuck in a control centre on the other side of the city.

        We've had this CCTV debate in Britain. Common sense lost, a

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:38AM (#26940611)

      I've lived in London, the most camera carpeted place in the world, even more camera covered than anywhere in the old Soviet bloc.

      They don't stop terrorism: the terrorists look just like the rest of London's multi-ethnic society. They don't stop muggers, because the muggers wear hoods and know where the cameras are, and the police *cannot be bothered* to investigate anything less than a huge crime, because they're swamped with standing useless guard duty and filling out paperwork. They don't stop drunken yobs, they don't stop shoplifting because they're limited and the police never can be bothered to pull the records or show them to the people who've been robbed.

      No, they're useful for political monitoring. Getting pictures of protesters for monitoring. Hey, look kids in T-shirts insulting Gordon Brown near his speech? Send a squad over to disperse them. You're meeting with people from Greenpeace near the nuclear sub launching? Oh, my, we can't have that! Better check their Oyster card (subway pass) records and see where they live.

      1984 was writting by a British man for very, very good reasons.

      • by Bazman ( 4849 )

        The one good thing that has come out of our surveillance society - Sheriff John Burnell (and his amazing hair). Oh, all the other Cops With Cameras-style TV shows too. I'm not sure those shows would work on radio...

      • by onceuponatime ( 821046 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:13PM (#26942143)

        I was hit by an uninsured driver that did an illegal U turn in front of my motorcycle in South London. After flying over the vehicle the driver took off around the corner and disappeared. The police were called immediately. There was a camera looking right at the place of the accident. The police could have followed where the driver went to, they didn't. Not that that was important anyway as before the driver got around the corner, I got the license plate number and called it in.

        Some 4 weeks later I received a letter from the criminal investigation unit saying that they had written the address concerned and received a letter back stating that the person concerned didn't live there any more and so they were going to drop the case. I called the person from the criminal investigation unit and asked if they sent someone around to the place where the vechicle was registered. She said they didn't and said that they "never would" for a hit and run investigation unless someone was seriously injured. Then she repeated:

        "And I mean seriously injured..."

        So the cameras were not even consulted. But more to the point, the police wouldn't even investigate if they did, however I have been sent many a ticket in the post for trivial offences (Riding in a bus lane, after a radio advertising campaign started to encourage this for motorcycles).

        On another occasion whilst travelling on the eurostar I accidentally left a camera bag will cameras and lens at the security scanners. I realised this within 20 minutes and from the train called and confirmed that they had it and were holding it for me. When I got the bag back a 300 pound lens was missing. I reported this to the railways police and was called back by a friendly railways police man confirming that he was investigating and would review the tapes. I described very carefully what I was wearing and I was easily identifyable as I had a motorcycle topbox with me. I thought maybe he would have difficulty identifying the lens so I described it carefully. I provided a time frame within a 10 minute period of when I passed through the security scanner. I was stunned that he closed the case saying that he could not identify me on the cameras, forget about the lens!

        People who believe these cameras will help them out and reduce crime are deluding themselves, however they can be fairly sure they will be sent tickets for minor traffic offences (Not major ones) based on these cameras. Hey, I guess that's the crime they meant when they said that these cameras would help combat crime.

        Frankly I'm perhaps glad that they don't follow up on all crime they see on these cameras or everyone would be receiving multiple tickets a week for trival crime and society would be horrible to live in, but it does make a complete mockery of the excuse for why they are there. It's the camera equivalent of weapons of mass destruction.

    • by cyberguyd ( 50420 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:16AM (#26940851)

      It's not that people don't have the opportunity. You have to change the culture. For those in the 'hood, if you study, do your homework, work hard, etc., you are trying to be "white". Most want to be a rapper or ball player. The role models that they had until this time is Jesse and Al who continue to preach that they are being put down. Even though I may not agree with everything that Obama is doing, more role models like him are needed.

      On a note about surveillance, I am a civil engineer and every city and state building now you have to sign in, show ID, and/or go through a metal detector now. They do it slow, one building at a time. They put up "red light" and intersection cameras which may only have a limited resolution now, but all it would take is quiet change during the nights and then you have system in place. They need the backbone in place. Doing it in the name of public safety is the way they do it.

    • by ssintercept ( 843305 ) <> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:41AM (#26941023) Journal
      i have to disagree. i am just north of Chicago (Waukegan) and we are experiencing an influx of cameras both in public and private areas. they are trying to rebuild the downtown area, which has caused the street rats (read as homeless, crackheads etc) to migrate to my neighborhood. crime spiked and in came the cameras. the street rats left and crime went back down in my neighborhood. now, i do not know where they went and i don't care. i know that it has become another's problem and that does blow. i do agree with you that the money would be better spent on social/educational programs but i will not say that they do nothing- imho, they are a deterrent to the casual criminal.

      downside- my weed dealer no longer makes deliveries to my neighborhood....
    • Exhibit A; this happened yesterday: []

      I suppose if anything, the *two* cameras installed at that corner might make it easier to catch the guy who decided to gun down a 13, 15 and 17 year old with an assault rifle. But I would surprised if any public official still makes the claim of deterrence.

    • It is dominance and control. Not of crime, but of the population at large.
  • There is not a CCTV camera on every street in London.

    But, who am I to burst your hyperbole bubble.

    • by sa1lnr ( 669048 )

      Maybe I should read the whole summary before I post too. :D

    • by HEbGb ( 6544 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:23AM (#26940247)

      There is not a CCTV camera on every street in London.

      But, who am I to burst your hyperbole bubble.

      London has the highest density of CCTV cameras of any city in the world, and it's ridiculous overkill. Technically they may not be on EVERY street, but damn near close.

      But more importantly, it's been shown as completely ineffective. Chicago is going to make the same mistake. Security theater..

      • by thermian ( 1267986 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:57AM (#26940401)

        London has the highest density of CCTV cameras of any city in the world, and it's ridiculous overkill. Technically they may not be on EVERY street, but damn near close.

        But more importantly, it's been shown as completely ineffective. Chicago is going to make the same mistake. Security theater..

        It hasn't managed to stop a single crime in London either.

        I live in a UK town so small that the total population is less than a minor London borough, and we have camera's throughout the town centre, and along all major roads into and out of the town.

        Most aren't watched, and the police have had zero luck using them to catch criminals, even when they rob several shops in a row at night.

        Muggings? Hasn't stopped one.

        There was a murder along one of these monitored streets, and the culprit has never been caught. All we got was wooden placards from the police asking if anyone had seen something.

        The take home from this is that in the UK, cameras are put up to 'fit the mood' of the political times, but few councils have the money, or the will, to employ them on a day to day basis.

        The government, in typical UK style, decreed that cameras would make use safer, but declined to provide sufficient funding. Any council that did nothing would have been deemed to be putting its people at risk, but if cameras were put up, but mostly unused, the blame could be placed on the governemtn again, for failing to provide the funding.

        Its a farce. The loss to our freedom? negligable, barely noticable, if it exists at all. The loss to our pocket through wasted taxes? Millions, and thats far worse.

        • I think you have a point.. if they're watching "everybody" then they're really watching nobody.. because the caliber of the people they can afford for the task can't do that job.

          The problem is that is RECORDED footage... meaning one day somebody WILL figure out how to enforce the law with them.. and it will be retroactive.

        • It hasn't managed to stop every single crime in London either.

          Fixed that for you.

          • Has it stopped many? The point is that cameras don't necessarily do any good, they just make some people feel good.
            • No doubt you'll point me to the crime figures for London with cameras and the exactly identical London (apart from the cameras) and they'll be exactly the same.
        • by FridgeFreezer ( 1352537 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:35AM (#26940965)
          I also live in a small UK town with lots of CCTV cameras. However, I have worked on those cameras and in control rooms and have seen how they do work and can work, if they're allowed to.

          Sure, if no-one's watching (or there aren't enough people to watch effectively) then they're useless. If the video is so bad you can't see what's going on, they're useless.

          BUT when the CCTV guys have a direct radio link to the police (and even better, local businesses too), when they have the staff to watch the cameras and catch people committing crime on video which conclusively shows them doing it, then the criminals are f**ed. The best lawyer in the world can't get you off when the police have video of you committing the crime. It also means the police don't even have to catch you doing it - they can walk past you an hour later in the street and slap the cuffs on before you know what's going on.

          I would be wary of saying I'm pro-cctv, but with an effective police organisation behind it it's a very effective tool in the fight.

          Case in point: The control guys spotted a gang of kids going into a shop, so they radio the shop security and tell them to stand back and just watch. Shop security backs off and watches them stealing stuff. CCTV tracks them out of that shop and into the next, same deal, kids are now getting well pleased with their haul, repeat for a few more shops then off to the bus station to catch the bus home with all their swag. As the bus pulls up, cops stroll out from three different directions and grab them, and all their gear, before they've even realised. No running, no chasing, no throwing the stash away, no arguing. In court, on video, case closed.

          London's cameras have a good deal going on with car number plate recognition software, as soon as you drive a stolen/dodgy car into London it's just ticking down the minutes till a police car happens to appear from a side street and pull you over for a chat. No high-speed pursuit required.

          • when they have the staff to watch the cameras and catch people committing crime on video which conclusively shows them doing it, then the criminals are f**ed. The best lawyer in the world can't get you off when the police have video of you committing the crime.

            But assuming the little chavs don't get some liberal ponce of a judge who sentences them to three weeks in a holiday camp, there's always the ECHR.

            Conviction isn't really the problem, it's the lack of proper punishment.

        • I have a suggestion to both make those cameras cost effective and remove the Big Brother onus from them at the same time: make their use democratic rather than autocratic. Have you ever heard of Neighborhood Watch? Perhaps you don't have such efforts in the U.K.?

          The correct use of those cameras is to wire them up to the Internet, and make it so that ANY concerned citizen can monitor the cameras in a Web browser, or perhaps a dedicated app. Leave it up to concerned citizens watching a camera to call the p

        • by NekoXP ( 67564 )

          Agreed about the lack of loss of freedom. Agreed about the waste of tax money.

          The problem with montoring a street full of shops is the people involved are about [---] this big on the camera which is not enough to discern an actual individual. You could say, there are 4 people raiding the shops.. they're wearing black hoodies.. that's about it.

          However you could make a case that if they added more cameras the cross-referencing becomes easier. 4 guys in hoodies is useless in the UK as a decription of a small g

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        Its not overkill. The system was set up to track IRA tuck bombs.
        A ton of fertilizer-based explosives, in booby trapped trucks.
        Phone in a warning (great for PR) and clear a city center.
        As this now seems a distant memory for some, the push is still on to keep the network of cameras operational.
        From automatic number plates scans to audio gun fire triangulation , any reason is suggested to keep the system funded and updated.
        The CCTV system was never about 'you', just protecting corporate real estate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Every street corner? Nowhere near. Maybe in the City of London (the 1 square mile financial centre) but not the suburbs. The majority of CCTV cameras in London are privately owned.
      • But more importantly, it's been shown as completely ineffective.

        Yeah, tell that to Winston Smith.

      • It all depends on what the true intent is. And ill give you a hint: its not really about preventing crime.

  • Full city coverage, yet whenever there is evidence of wrongdoing by a city official, or complaints over police behaviour, the footage mysteriously becomes 'unavailable', or the cameras weren't working that particular day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by abigsmurf ( 919188 )

      and yet the police have much lower corruption that in the US. The Demenzies case got so much focus because it's so incredibly rare for police to shoot someone dead in the UK (happens maybe 2-3 times a year). The police have far more oversight here than in lots of countries.

      Of course that doesn't mean they're not given stupid powers through anti-terrorism laws

      • by N1AK ( 864906 )
        I don't think the number of people shot by police shows 'corruption' although I am very glad that the Police and population in the UK have resisted most attempts to expand the deployment of armed officers. Ultimately, there is going to be more people shot by the police in a country that has more people with guns and a much higher number of killings with guns in general.
        • Ultimately, there is going to be more people shot by the police in a country that has more people with guns and a much higher number of killings with guns in general.

          Like, say, in Myanmar? Oh, wait, they don't have more people with guns, do they?

    • I just have to point out that the obscene amount of video footage available didn't help Tupac []. (I'm not having much luck finding out what's happened since that bill was passed.)

  • Here's a neat idea. I really want to do the same with my license plate for the stupid redlight cameras in my city, but was thinking a few strong camera strobes with an IR filter set up as a slave flash would work better. []

    This IR hat hack is cool, but needs to be modified to regulate the current through the LEDs or they'll burn out quickly.
  • Waste of time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thermian ( 1267986 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:47AM (#26940347)

    A camara that watches people is worthless unless there is someone to watch the camara output. Citywide survelliance for somewhere like Chicago would need thousands of people if it were to work.

    That means an expensive workforce. This in turn means low wages, which means poor quality.

    This would of course then be something a tech company will say they can do more efficiently and cheaply. The provided system will suck (unless AI has developed beyond our current abilities, and if it has, I missed a paper somewhere). The company will claim IP protection for their tech, and try to hide the snake oil nature of the code.

    The result? an expensive but useless system kept in place to prevent the politicians who put them in from losing face (as in having to explain where those tens of millions of dollars went).

    • by chill ( 34294 )

      Except most of the cameras aren't going to be used for prevention of crime. They're there for two purposes.

      1. When a 911 call comes in, to recon the area in advance for the police.
      2. After the fact analysis and evidence.

      Hmmmm...if they're going to run cameras and cables to every street corner, how about attaching a wi-fi node at the same time? You already are running the power and cables. Might as well have a city-wide mesh network at the same time.

    • The primary purpose of the cameras is not for detection of crimes. It's to help investigate and prosecute reported crimes. For example, over the last several months there have been three women raped on their walk home from the el stop that my wife and I use. The victim accounts support the position that it's one guy, and the police have some grainy footage of him from a few security cameras, but they can't make out his face or figure out who he is.

      Were this system in place, the job of catching the guy is li

      • Did you wife start carrying a gun?
        • Don't be ridiculous - this is Chicago. The only people allowed to carry are cops, who never ever beat up a bartender because they're drunk and having a bad day.
        • by n0-0p ( 325773 )

          Could you please explain how the answer to that question has any bearing on this discussion?

          • by bobbuck ( 675253 )
            Wouldn't it be better if she prevented the rape instead catching the guy after it happens? The police are not your personal security service. Their function is to investigate crimes after they happen. Chicago is still the murder capital of the US, right?
            • you have apparently never been the victim of a violent crime.

              being in possession of a handgun does not equate to self defense unless you walk around everywhere pointing it straight ahead of you. any gun takes a second or two to unholster and draw, especially if it's concealed, and a LOT can happen in a second or two.

              when you feel the cold steel of somebody else's gun in your back, or when they pull their gun in front of you before you can pull yours, what are you going to do? ask them to be sportsmanlike,

            • by n0-0p ( 325773 )

              That is the most absurd suggestion I've heard in a long time. Given that handguns are banned inside the city limits, do you suggest she walk around with a rifle or shotgun slung over her shoulder? And since you apparently took the time to look up the spike in Chicago homicides last year, is there any reason why you didn't take the time to factor in the logistical impossibility of your proposal? Moreover, do you have even the slightest grasp of the nature of violent crime or the role of the police? Because I

  • there can be an upside to this, if they record the video:

    1. Somebody decides to payback a political enemy by releasing a video in the company of someone who is not their partner... (This is Chicago, after all)

    2. The video is used in a case where the city is sued

    The list could go on and on. Remember, every sword is dual edged.

  • Not About Crime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:04AM (#26940439)

    This is not about crime.

    This is a system for assisting in coordinating deployment of riot troops and other resources to control the population in an urban setting when things collapse. The government knows the path we are currently traveling will lead to societies' collapse and the revolt of the population against the government.

    Heck, the FBI is already training first-responders now in dealing with IEDs, although they say "terrorist-planted IEDs" to cover their butts. If a road is well-traveled by law-abiding citizens (and a well-traveled road is the type that would be the best target), terrorists would find it extremely hard to plant roadside bombs without getting reported. So who do you think the government thinks will be planting IEDs? []

    Get ready for super-happy-fun-times.


    • I read somewhere that some guys coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan who are a bit more morally flexible than your average Joe have been making and selling IEDs to gangs.

      Just saying I read it somewhere, not saying that its necessarily true.

  • To start, I'm not a fan of this surveillance society and I'd oppose this if it ever came to my town.

    Having said that, I'm somewhat puzzled by the claims that this would violate privacy. There is no privacy in public. The street corners and intersections are simply not private.

    There is a bizarre misuse of the word which seems to stem from the belief anything you do, regardless of where you do it, is private unless you want other people to know about it. It does not make any sense.

  • There is no expectation of privacy when one is walking down the street or driving on a public road.There is also no right not to be studied in close detail by either the government of private citizens.
              I'm certain that cameras will not stop abnormal criminals from committing crimes but criminals with somewhat normal minds that have any hope of a future will surely curtail their crimes when cameras dominate an area.

  • by macraig ( 621737 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [giarc.a.kram]> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:46AM (#26941049)

    The correct use of those cameras is to wire them up to the Internet, and make it so that ANY concerned citizen can monitor the cameras in a Web browser, or perhaps a dedicated app. Leave it up to concerned citizens watching a camera to call the police and report what they have observed. Best of all, give them a tool - Firefox extension? - that lets them record what they're viewing, so they have some form of evidence to give police, not just hearsay.

    In the United States we have Neighborhood Watch groups, many of which would no doubt find cameras on every street invaluable: they could sit home warm in their jammies and still help keep their neighborhood safe, instead of being out roaming the streets in the harsh cold with the crooks, risking being shot-at.

    That approach would incur no additional municipal cost for monitoring, and any misuse of the cameras would be the responsibility of individual citizens, not Big Brother. Would citizens actually do it? I think they would, in high-crime areas or areas where crime is rising. That approach would be democratic, rather than autocratic.

    • by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:33PM (#26941873) Homepage Journal

      so they have some form of evidence to give police, not just hearsay.

      So the police set up a system, the people record the system, then give the police their own feed? Instead, set the system up so that it records the previous five minutes. If someone is watching and sees a crime, they can hit a button on the website (which would use either AJAX or Java) that would start extra recording for that particular camera. After it's all gone down, they hit the stop button (or it stops after X minutes automatically) and they are given a video ID and a little form to fill out to explain what they just saw.

      When they submit the form, the information is sent to a rookie/veteran stuck in the office whose job it is to watch the feeds and read/respond to citizen alerts. (If it doesn't work out to have the same person behind the desk 24/7, just make it a rotating shift where each cop takes 6 hours a week at it.) If a lot of citizens suddenly flag a camera, an alert is sent to both the cop on duty, the police chief, and an SMS is sent to any cop in the immediate area of that camera. Cops hopefully have access in their vehicles to the cameras, so they have to check the feed before speeding off (to stop /b/-style raids or some gang using social engineering to move cops from another area).

      But getting the citizens interested might be a bit hard... so, instead of Neighborhood Watch, make it Neighborhood Survivor, or Neighborhood Real World, or Neighborhood Big Brother. Glitz the page up, and let people create accounts that can be tied to their successful report rate. (Make sure it has the ability to automatically downgrade reports from an abusive account or IP.) Have a weekly show on local cable about various incidents and those who reported them, along with the ability for people to "vote" on which camera area should get a make-over (regular city stuff, like re-paving a road, fixing fences/house sides, etc.) which will help to boost morale in an area.

      Also, some comment on Chicago trying to outdo China on more than just the Olympics.

      • by macraig ( 621737 )

        Your ideas are nice refinements. It really could work, but only if our leaders are are willing to do what we elected them to do: LEAD, rather than control.

    • First thing I do after this plan is executed is open a business in Chicago that correlates the GPS trackers parents give their kids to the public cameras.

    • Or how about a twitter + google local search + cameras correlation. "Follow me on twitter" can take on a whole new meaning.

  • Sunglasses 24 hours a day and large brimmed hats pulled down low.

  • privacy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jipn4 ( 1367823 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:56AM (#26941111)

    You have no expectation of privacy on a public street. Why should you?

    Trying to create such a right to privacy on public streets would be quite harmful to the interests of citizens in a democracy; we want to be able to record, document, and share what happens in public.

    The real problem with surveillance cameras is that they are not public, so the police can use them against you, but you may not be able to use them against the police or government. Video from surveillance cameras should be publicly accessible by everybody.

  • by Thumper_SVX ( 239525 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:07PM (#26941183) Homepage

    LOL... that's awesome. If his Olympic dreams come true...? Let's get real here shall we? Whether or not those Olympic dreams come true, Mayor Daley will implement the cameras anyway. That level of control is something he's always craved. It's only a matter of time before this surveillance is extended to microphones (at least) in every living room.

    Sorry, I frequented Chicago as a tourist for years until Daley killed Meigs airport... then we saw the reality of the control freak he is. The only time I've been there since has been on business... I'll take my tourism dollars somewhere slightly less corrupt. Like Mexico... ;)

    Daley is the epitome of the corrupt politician, just like his father was. He's one of the primary reasons I never moved to Chicago.

    • by OSXCPA ( 805476 )

      I live in Chicago. I agree with your contention about Daley, however, if you are complaining about his midnight bulldozing of the Meigs field airport runway and subsequent conversion of same into a public park, it follows you were probably one of the rich .01% of the population enjoying a taxpayer-funded airport in a really nice downtown location that, once converted to a park, could be enjoyed by everyone. No sympathy on that, sorry.

      Are you really contending that Meigs field was the only thing that drew yo

      • by Thumper_SVX ( 239525 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:48PM (#26941493) Homepage

        Oh I'm not arguing that Meigs was a toy of the rich. I have a pilots license, but just mostly I did it to say I have it... I can't afford to own a plane any more than most technology people :D

        I just used Meigs as the most public and most easily "google-able" story showing just how much of an ignorant control freak he actually is. There are a number of stories about how these actions were (at the time) detrimental to the people of Chicago, visitors to Chicago and possibly the economy of Chicago.

        For those who don't want to Google it, Daley ordered the destruction of an active runway (over 100 flight ops a day on average at the time) at Meigs field, while aircraft sat at the airport with no consideration of getting those aircraft out, or consideration that people may be en-route to the airport at the time and may not have been able to see the huge holes in the ground or the heavy machinery sitting in the middle of the runway. I still think he's quite fortunate no-one was killed or injured because a pilot with "get-there-itis" might land at Meigs without runway lights because he/she had done it a million times before.

        The airport was closed without public knowledge, and opinion was sharply against him doing it. He had attempted to close the airport a number of times, and only by resorting to illegal, potentially dangerous actions did he finally succeed.

        I'm not saying Meigs was exactly a treasure of Chicago either. The few times I visited I found the surrounding area to be rather trashed and destroyed... I am merely using this as an example of how disconnected Daley is from reality, and why he'll continue to grind Chicago into the ground in his endless quest for more power and control. It's a shame because I LIKE Chicago... or at least I used to.

        There are many other examples of the corruption that Daley has wrought upon Chicago... Meigs was just one but there are plenty of other examples of how he's flaunting the law in order to advance only himself and his own agenda. He doesn't consider the people of Chicago at all, only his own advancement. The reason I use it as an example is because it opened my eyes enough that I began to research what Daley has done... and it was in researching those things that I found even more distasteful (though not as huge and visible) actions. Those are the things that turned me off Chicago, not Meigs.

        Sorry... should have been clearer :)

  • If you look around nearly every corner has one or ore camera pointed at it.

    They may be 'private' but they are still there, and the images can fall into government hands rather easily.

    Remember the tracking of that one 9/11 terrorist they showed on TV again and again.. from bank machine cameras, cameras at gas stations..etc? Its already there, just moves like this make it more public.

  • Screw you, Daley. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by porcupine8 ( 816071 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:54PM (#26941539) Journal
    We've got buses and train tracks falling apart, we have to beg the state and even federal government for money so that the public transit system doesn't completely shut down and the city with it - but hey! Clearly what the Olympic committee wants to see isn't a CTA that can actually handle the number of tourists required for this event - no no, I'm sure what they really want is a promise to pretend to prevent crime.

    I am so glad I'll only be living in this city for a couple more years. There are some really good things about it, but they're not anything that can't be found in any reasonably-sized city.
  • by GrantRobertson ( 973370 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:32PM (#26941863) Homepage Journal
    If they ever put up cameras wherever I live, then I will just start wearing a mask, everywhere I go, and then randomly switch them out and trade with other people at random points in my trip. That should keep them confused.

APL hackers do it in the quad.