We are told that our soldiers die for our freedom… what is freedom?

OK, so I understand that this is an American story and SO FAR and American issue… but since Canadian politicians/law enforcement and other authoritarians tend to follow the example of our American Big Brother, this kind of worries me a little… Read through this article and let me know your thoughts on the direction North American FREEDOM is taking…

Long Beach Police on Lookout for Photos with “No Apparent Esthetic Value”

  • Michael Zhang · Aug 15, 2011

What do you think of this photo of a refinery by photographer Sander Roscoe Wolff? Apparently Long Beach police don’t think very highly of it. Wolff was detained after capturing it last month, and now the police chief is saying that stopping photographers for photos with “no apparent

esthetic value” is part of department policy. The Long Beach Post writes,

“If an officer sees someone taking pictures of something like a refinery,” says [Police Chief Jim McDonnell], “it is incumbent upon the officer to make contact with the individual.” McDonnell went on to say that whether said contact becomes detainment depends on the circumstances the officer encounters.

McDonnell says that while there is no police training specific to determining whether a photographer’s subject has “apparent esthetic value,” officers make such judgments “based on their overall training and experience” and will generally approach photographers not engaging in “regular tourist behavior.”

Telling police officers to be the judge in determining whether a photograph has any artistic value doesn’t seem like a very good way of catching the bad guys… What if some terrorist is an awesome photographer?

(via Long Beach Post via Pixiq)


Image credit: Photograph by Sander Roscoe Wolff

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One thought on “We are told that our soldiers die for our freedom… what is freedom?

  1. So who gets to decide what is pleasing to the eye? What if one police officer sees you taking a photo of your rotund Aunt May and thinks its absolutely revolting to see someone of that size risking tax dollars by eating carbs, fat and calories when she is already obese, but another officer near buy thinks that she is an absolute Goddess the way her cheeks glisten with anticipation of the taste of the double bacon cheeseburger that she is about to savoir and absorb into every curve and fold of her soft and squeezable body…
    What if a 50 something officer compliments my keen eye for capturing a picture of an abandoned steel plant that parallels how America was one a shining symbol of strength and power, growing stronger and more powerful by the day, but now is only strong in her stubbornness and will to remain a power house despite the rust, corrosion and weakening joints that attempt to look invincible all the while trying not to crumble under her own weight, then another officer in his 20s comes by and decides the picture has no esthetic value since it merely an abandoned rusting heap of metal waiting for the scrap yard like everything else over 40 years old… I guess it’s time to retire the age old saying ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ and wait for the government issued pamphlet called ‘Beauty is what we tell you it is!’.
    I guess what we can take from this is: if your going to take a picture of something, make sure it’s beautiful, don’t have pictures on your camera that you don’t want seen by officials, and if your not sure if it’s beautiful, it’s probably best not to chance it…

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