Texas oil refineries, a White Van, and Al Qaeda

ken bbrow07 at students.bbk.ac.uk
Thu Aug 5 06:17:31 PDT 2004

An Metet wrote:

>>The person in question was just somebody with a weakness for
>> industrial architecture.

*I've* taken pictures of oil-company installations in Houston and 
Galveston and points between. Who do I turn myself in to?

I also walk or cycle all over London & take photos of just about 
everything from bridges to canals to private houses (aren't 
digital cameras wonderful?). No-one's bothered me ever. Though 
sometimes I've felt I was being a bit stupid wandering alone at 
night through large public housing projects openly carrying 800 
quids worth of video camera.

> The "no cameras" signs were very popular in east block countries. It
> was forbidden to take pictures of bridges, government buildings,
> airports, railway stations, industrial installations, water dams etc.

Back in the 1970s I was on a camping holiday in what was then 
Yugoslavia with a friend. We arrived in Rijeka in Croatia by bus, 
started walking off to see if we could find a camp sight, and by 
the time we realised we were walking out of town the wrong way it 
was too late & too dark to do anything about it. So we slept on a 
small mound just off the road we were on.

Next morning we saw that we were on what was basically a rubbish 
dump, overlooking the naval harbour, with a great view of all 
sorts of military activities. No-one seemed to be taking any 
notice of us though.


> In a depressingly predictable manner US of A is sliding into the same
> mode of operation. And, depressingly, it works. Expect more
> manufactured everyday threats, more citizen-informants, the works.
> Contracting or subcontracting airborne demolition artists is not
> practical on ongoing basis ... we need a terrorist threat everywhere, every day.

In 1990 I and some colleagues were visiting a Texaco office in 
Houston for a work-related meeting. In the carpark we began to 
take some pictures of each other with the office building as 
background. The carpark attendant came up and demanded we stop 
insisting that there no photographs could be taken of the building.

Not even an industrial location, just a high-rise office building 
in a Houston suburb (Bellaire), in full & close view of the 
street, some other commercial buildings,  and dozens, if not 
hundreds, of private homes, and distantly visible to thousands - 
possibly hundreds of thousands - of people every day.

Crazy authoritarianism. Rules for the sake of rules. They exist to 
show who is boss. Like school uniforms or corporate dress codes - 
the rule is made not to enforce any desirable behaviour but to 
show who is where in the the hierarchy, who is able to make rules 
and who has to obey them.

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