Surveillance, the Boston Marathon bombings and the real crime in America

The Boston Marathon bombing will most likely be solved by analyzing thousands of photos, video footage, and a lot of difficult police work. This morning the New York Times tells us that video gives us the first clues:

In the first major break in the hunt for the Boston Marathon bomber, F.B.I. personnel on Wednesday found security video clips that showed a man they believe may have played a role in planting the explosives that killed three people and injured more than 170 on Monday.The videos also showed at least a handful of others whom the authorities want to question, either because of what they appear to be doing in the video or their proximity to the blasts, a senior law enforcement official said.

The official said the authorities were trying to boil down the number of people of interest in the videos and would then decide whether to ask the public’s help in locating them.

via Suspicions in Boston Attack Turn to Man Seen in Videos – NYTimes.com.

Of course, it’s not like on the TV show 24 where they could find and track a car in real time from cameras all over LA, but, by reconstructing the scene over time, a clearer picture of who done it will emerge. Because of the high profile of the crime, the FBI will get their man.

Locally, 2 nights ago, someone tried to break into my neighbor Pat’s garage. They broke the glass, but didn’t get through the screen. Had they been successful, the door had a deadbolt, double keyed. It’s just a sign of the times. My own garage has plywood screwed to the inside of two windows that were broken repeatedly by thieves, I don’t like it, but the break ins have stopped. The next day, after Pat’s attempt, we all asked his neighbor, Larry, did his camera’s show anything? They have before. We’ve also found who did a hit-skip total of a car thanks to another camera, and saw a woman drive up, walk onto a porch and steal what UPS had left. Cameras aren’t the end-all panacea of solving crimes, but they do help.

Which brings us to the aerial surveillance program proposed in Dayton. There is a small vocal group that’s very opposed to an eye in the sky. Would they be against using surveillance footage of the Boston Marathon bombing to help solve the crime? Doubtful.

Criminals don’t stop doing crime because of fear of getting their picture taken, nor do they stop because they know they can go to jail. For the most part, crime happens because someone didn’t learn the difference between right and wrong, something is broken with their priorities in life, or, they don’t feel as if they have any other options. In this “land of opportunity” one opportunity is to be incarcerated. We have the highest incarceration rate on the planet. Something like one in 31 has spent time in prison. We spend a lot of money keeping people locked away for doing minor crimes, much of it related to drug addiction.

Catching criminals isn’t solving our problems quickly enough, just like having the biggest, baddest military isn’t scaring anyone away from waging terror on us, since a conventional war isn’t really a sane option. If we want to look at the real problems in our country, no surveillance cameras are needed- the real crime is the divisive nature of our economy. On one hand, we have the subsistence population (as Leona Hensley called them, “only the little people pay taxes”) and those who are pocketing, literally billions (without anyone making a connection between our economic mess and the cold hard fact that the giant sucking sound wasn’t Mexico – but Wall Street):

Certainly, plenty of hedge fund titans took home billion-dollar paydays last year despite the fact they lagged the big gains in stocks. For example, Steven A. Cohen, who controls $15 billion in assets at SAC Capital Advisors, which has been under intense scrutiny by government investigators, fell just short of the market’s returns for 2012. His take-home pay, however, was about $1.4 billion, earning him the No. 3 spot among the best-paid hedge fund managers.

via Hedge Fund Titans’ Pay Stretches to 10 Figures – NYTimes.com.

If you wonder who robbed your garage, or bombed the Boston Marathon, and want to point fingers- think about a $1.4 billion dollar paycheck, and where it came from? All those foreclosures, that devastated the value of your home? The medical bills and insurance that became too expensive for you to afford? The reason we don’t have cops on our streets and are resorting to spy cams in the sky? The reason we can afford to pay to put dopeheads in prison but not make college affordable- it’s that it’s legal to pay yourself $1.4 Billion a year by manipulating the financial system and screwing the entire county.

Of course, I want the marathon bomber caught and brought to justice, just as much as I want the people who stole my bike and my kids’ bikes to be arrested too- but, I think we often get confused about what crimes are most heinous. Losing faith in our society is the most dangerous possibility, and most of us feel powerless to change it.

Throughout history, when the gap between rich and poor becomes unbearable, usually, a revolution resets the system.

It’s not big brother that should scare you, it’s our brothers and sisters who are not paying attention.

And just for entertainment, here’s a partial report on how much Steven A. Cohen spent buying his freedom from prosecution:

Contributions to Political Committees

COHEN, STEVEN
GREENWICH, CT 06831
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   AYOTTE, KELLY A
VIA FRIENDS OF KELLY AYOTTE
08/27/2010 2400.00 10020821933
09/27/2010 2400.00 10020821923

COHEN, STEVEN
GREENWICH, CT 06831
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS, LP

   EVERY REPUBLICAN IS CRUCIAL (ERICPAC)
12/08/2009 5000.00 10990143759

COHEN, STEVEN
STAMFORD, CT 06902
S.A.C. CAPITAL ADVISORS

   LARSON, JOHN B
VIA LARSON FOR CONGRESS
10/31/2008 2300.00 29932513667
11/02/2012 2500.00 13960811624

COHEN, STEVEN
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC

   BAUCUS, MAX
VIA FRIENDS OF MAX BAUCUS
10/30/2008 2300.00 28020733244

COHEN, STEVEN
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL

   DODD, CHRISTOPHER J
VIA FRIENDS OF CHRIS DODD
09/08/2008 2300.00 28020563047

 

   LIEBERMAN, JOSEPH I
VIA FRIENDS OF JOE LIEBERMAN
06/29/2006 2100.00 26020431247
06/29/2006 2100.00 26020431247
08/03/2006 10000.00 26020770291
09/20/2006 10000.00 26020770291

COHEN, STEVEN
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   CAMP, DAVID LEE
VIA DAVE CAMP FOR CONGRESS
10/30/2008 2300.00 29991679919

 

   CANTOR, ERIC
VIA CANTOR FOR CONGRESS
11/04/2008 2300.00 28993356222

 

   DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
09/27/2006 26700.00 26020872167
06/07/2007 28500.00 27020281185

 

   KIRK, MARK STEVEN
VIA KIRK FOR SENATE
09/22/2009 2400.00 29020410060

 

   MCCONNELL, MITCH
VIA MCCONNELL SENATE COMMITTEE ’14
10/31/2008 2300.00 29020051570

 

   REID, HARRY
VIA FRIENDS FOR HARRY REID
10/28/2008 2300.00 29020061009

COHEN, STEVEN
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS LP

   PORTMAN, ROB
VIA PORTMAN FOR SENATE COMMITTEE
04/28/2010 2400.00 10020441720

COHEN, STEVEN
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SELF

   GRASSLEY, CHARLES E SENATOR
VIA GRASSLEY COMMITTEE INC
06/10/2008 2300.00 28020722889
06/10/2008 2300.00 28020722889

 

   SMITH, GORDON HAROLD
VIA FRIENDS OF GORDON SMITH
10/24/2008 2300.00 29020160119

 

   WYDEN, RONALD L
VIA WYDEN FOR SENATE
05/01/2009 2400.00 29020260602

COHEN, STEVEN
STAMFORD, CT 06906
CLAYTON HOLDINGS INC.

   OBAMA, BARACK
VIA OBAMA FOR AMERICA
09/04/2008 250.00 11972481476

COHEN, STEVEN
STAMFORD, CT 06906
SAC CAPITAL

   LIEBERMAN, JOSEPH I
VIA FRIENDS OF JOE LIEBERMAN
08/07/2006 250.00 26020770502

COHEN, STEVEN
WESTPORT, CT 06880
ADVANCED RADIOLOGY CONSULTANTS

   AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGY ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
04/21/2012 250.00 12971231222

COHEN, STEVEN
WESTPORT, CT 06880
SRA PC

   JOHNSON, NANCY L.
VIA JOHNSON FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
03/05/2004 2000.00 25980354365
10/23/2006 2000.00 27930468046

COHEN, STEVEN A
GREENWICH, CT 06831
S A C CAPITAL ADVISORS LLC

   BENNETT, ROBERT F
VIA BENNETT ELECTION COMMITTEE
05/05/2004 2000.00 24020542925

COHEN, STEVEN A
STAMFORD, CT 06902
S.A.C. CAPITAL ADVISORS, LLC

   MANAGED FUNDS ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
04/27/2007 5000.00 28991310128

COHEN, STEVEN A
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL

   DODD, CHRISTOPHER J
VIA CHRIS DODD FOR PRESIDENT INC
03/31/2007 2300.00 13961167632
03/31/2007 2300.00 13961167632

 

   HATCH, ORRIN G
VIA HATCH ELECTION COMMITTEE INC
10/06/2010 2400.00 11020050260

COHEN, STEVEN A
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   ALL AMERICA PAC
11/07/2006 5000.00 27940122910

 

   BAYH, EVAN
VIA EVAN BAYH COMMITTEE
11/07/2006 2100.00 27020042338

 

   GRAYSON, C M ‘TREY’
VIA FRIENDS OF TREY GRAYSON
09/25/2009 2400.00 29020403781

 

   SUNUNU, JOHN E
VIA TEAM SUNUNU
03/23/2007 2000.00 27020144274
11/30/2007 300.00 28020041233
11/30/2007 2300.00 28020041234

COHEN, STEVEN A
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS LLC

   THUNE, JOHN R
VIA FRIENDS OF JOHN THUNE
04/24/2009 2000.00 29020251131

COHEN, STEVEN A
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS, LLC

   FORD, HAROLD E JR
VIA HAROLD FORD JR FOR TENNESSEE
08/03/2006 2100.00 27020030600
08/03/2006 2100.00 27020030600

COHEN, STEVEN A MR
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   ENSIGN, JOHN E
VIA ENSIGN FOR SENATE
05/07/2009 -2400.00 10020014007
05/07/2009 2400.00 10020014007
05/07/2009 4800.00 10020014007

 

   NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE
10/17/2007 28500.00 28020111672
07/07/2009 30400.00 29020304603
10/31/2012 30800.00 12021110536

COHEN, STEVEN A MR.
GREENWICH, CT 06831
S.A.C. CAPITAL

   BUSH, GEORGE W
VIA BUSH-CHENEY ’04 (PRIMARY) INC
02/03/2004 2000.00 24962770813

COHEN, STEVEN A.
GREENWICH, CT 06831
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   TRUTH ACCOUNTABILITY AND COURAGE POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (TACPAC)
12/16/2009 5000.00 10930278718

COHEN, STEVEN A.
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   BONO MACK, MARY
VIA MARY BONO MACK COMMITTEE
12/15/2009 2400.00 10990214333

COHEN, STEVEN A. MR.
GREENWICH, CT 06831
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   ALTSCHULER, RANDOLPH MR.
VIA RANDY ALTSCHULER FOR CONGRESS
11/12/2010 2400.00 10992489248

COHEN, STEVEN DR.
WESTPORT, CT 06880
ADVANCED RADIOLOGY CONSULTANTS

   AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGY ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
05/20/2008 250.00 28932487551
05/21/2010 250.00 10990781432
05/23/2011 250.00 11931687310

COHEN, STEVEN E.
BRIDGEPORT, CT 06605
NORWALK COMMUNITY COLLEGE–STATE

   DONOVAN, CHRISTOPHER G
VIA DONOVAN FOR CONGRESS
10/04/2011 200.00 12950416897

COHEN, STEVEN E.
BRIDGEPORT, CT 06605
NORWALK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

   DONOVAN, CHRISTOPHER G
VIA DONOVAN FOR CONGRESS
06/29/2012 200.00 12940768914

COHEN, STEVEN M. M.D.
WESTPORT, CT 06880
ADVANCED RADIOLOGY

   MURPHY, CHRISTOPHER SCOTT MR.
VIA COMMITTEE TO ELECT CHRIS MURPHY
08/15/2008 250.00 29990942206

COHEN, STEVEN MR
GREENWICH, CT 06831
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   TOOMEY, PATRICK JOSEPH
VIA FRIENDS OF PAT TOOMEY
04/05/2010 -2400.00 11020120412
04/05/2010 2400.00 11020120412
04/05/2010 4800.00 11020120411

Total Contributions:    273450.00

Joint Fundraising Contributions

These are contributions to committees who are raising funds to be distributed to other committees. The breakdown of these contributions to their final recipients may appear below

COHEN, STEVEN A.
GREENWICH, CT 06831
SAC CAPITAL INVESTMENTS

   TAKE BACK THE HOUSE 2010
10/21/2010 15000.00 10992287101

Total Joint Fundraising:    15000.00

Recipient of Joint Fundraiser Contributions

These are the Final Recipients of Joint Fundraising Contributions

COHEN, STEVEN
GREENWICH, CT 06831
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS, LP

   EVERY REPUBLICAN IS CRUCIAL (ERICPAC)
10/21/2010 5000.00 10992275351

COHEN, STEVEN
GREENWICH, CT 06831
SAC CAPITAL INVESTMENTS

   CONTINUING A MAJORITY PARTY ACTION COMMITTEE (CAMPAC)
10/21/2010 5000.00 10992336354
   PROSPERITY ACTION INC.
10/25/2010 5000.00 11990320464

Recipient Total:    15000.00

TRY A: NEW QUERY
RETURN TO: FEC HOME PAGE

And note- he’s also entered under “Stephen” for a little kicker
Contributions to Political Committees

COHEN, STEPHEN
STAMFORD, CT 06902
SAC CAPITAL ADVISORS

   KANJORSKI, PAUL E.
VIA PENNSYLVANIANS FOR KANJORSKI
03/31/2008 2300.00 28932437233

COHEN, STEPHEN A
STAMFORD, CT 06903
ERNST & YOUNG LLP

   ERNST & YOUNG POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
06/12/1997 300.00 97032163373
05/12/1998 300.00 98033183936
05/05/1999 300.00 99034524474
04/07/2000 500.00 20035602569
03/22/2001 500.00 21990078827

 

   SCHUMER, CHARLES E
VIA FRIENDS OF SCHUMER
02/21/2001 1000.00 21020150168
06/28/2004 1000.00 24020452502

COHEN, STEPHEN MR.
STAMFORD, CT 06903
ERNST & YOUNG L.L.P.

   GIULIANI, RUDOLPH W
VIA RUDY GIULIANI PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE INC
12/23/2007 2300.00 28990602997

Total Contributions:    8500.00

TRY A: NEW QUERY
RETURN TO: FEC HOME PAGE

Whomever said “money is the root of all evil” never imagined it being reported this way on the FEC database. Buying your freedom when you are out of this world rich, is relatively cheap.

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1 Response

  1. Ice Bandit April 19, 2013 / 11:54 pm

     
    It’s not big brother that should scare you, it’s our brothers and sisters who are not paying attention. (David Esrati)
     
    … and this coming from a guy who was hauled into court five times for the crime of bad guerilla theatre? No dear David, on a bureaucrat’s whim the full force of the IRS could come pouncing on you, with the power to forfeiture, and bereft of presumption of innocence. Or declare your front yard a national park stripping you of ownership rights. Or perhaps declare your neighborhood blighted and give your property to somebody else with big money and big promises. And government has proven itself eager to starve it’s citizenry Kim Jung Il style, or torture them Saddam Hussein style or just crude executions in the manner of Pol Pot. Government, with its monopoly and license to engage in force, is always to be feared…

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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