What's Wrong With This Picture: Surveillance In The Age Of Taurus Edition

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
what s wrong with this picture surveillance in the age of taurus edition

Like the song says, I always feel like… somebody’s watching me. But rarely are they as obvious as this old Taurus I spotted north of Columbus, Ohio over the weekend.

What’s going on here, B&B?

Are these radar guns? Automated number plate readers? Illuminati mind-control devices? And what are they doing on a decade-old Taurus with rust on the rear quarter-panels, driven by some indifferent-looking twenty-something in the traditional Ohio white-trash uniform of sunglasses and backwards ballcap?

Honestly, they don’t look like any radar guns or plate readers I’ve ever seen. But I expect that a TTAC reader will know what’s going on here. Is this being done for profit? It seems unlikely that a municipality would sell a vehicle with the mystery devices still attached.

So let’s hear your theories, B&B — and I’ll keep researching the topic myself to find out more. I’d have found out something from the driver of the Taurus, but once he realized I was photographing him he managed to make an unexpected left turn and quit the scene.

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2 of 71 comments
  • Redapple Redapple on Nov 17, 2015

    I go with the repo man idea. I give 2 weeks before they get spray painted.

  • VolandoBajo VolandoBajo on Dec 03, 2015

    They might be private detectives hired by the soon to be ex-husbands of some of those women from 2012, Jack, trying to find out where you are hanging out these days, in order to serve you to appear as a witness. From their perspective, you'd be perfect: she was an unfit mother, she was out screwing around while her children were at home. If it were me, I would have immediately gone into Mike Ehrmantraut tail-evasion maneuvers, just in case... Hope I'm wrong, but I got the willies enough times just from hanging with separated or recently-divorced women in another life, long ago and in a distant universe. And I can never get the picture out of my mind of a local biker in my college town who took a liking to a married woman. Seems her husband was a good ole boy who didn't take kindly to that sort of thing. The biker met his fate as he was walking out of an all night greasy spoon one weekend night at about three or four am. The other guy never gave him his "three steps, mister"...he bought the farm from a double blast of 12 gauge buckshot. After that, I always understood why the floors, counters, etc, in those kinds of restaurants were usually made of tile...you could just hose them down and re-open. More than one guy I knew in that town started looking for a new love interest the next week after that happened. Stuff like that tends to make the front pages, even in a large college town. I wasn't what you'd consider a very moral person back on those days, but I tended to consider "thou shalt not commit adultery" more as a survival strategy than as a joy-buster rule. Probably those ALPR's are used for any and all of the reasons people have put forth: my narrow category, the revenue-raising applications by parking lots, hungry municipalities and greedy insurance companies wishing to enforce universal participation in their oligopolistic industry. But when I see someone interested in surveilling, I instinctively want to drive around the block to see if the surveilling they are doing might involve me in particular. And not because I have knowingly done anything particularly wrong, just because of the adage "just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that no one is after you." But even if I did have reasons to be paranoid, I wouldn't admit it, out of solidarity with the Fifth Amendment, and anyway it would have been a long time ago, and I didn't do it anyway. That's it, that's the ticket! And they will not go away unless the public pushes for legislation to strictly regulate their use and/or the distribution of data that is collected. Which I hope might be the case, but have no reason to suppose will actually occur, unfortunately. Creeping 1984... What happens when they figure out that they can record conversation inside of homes from the street? Will the argument be that if it could be heard (even with acoustical aids) from the street, then it was "public speech". If it comes to that, how will it differ in any way from what life was like in East Germany before the fall of the wall, or from what life is like today in North Korea? And who will be able to stop it, once it is in place on a large scale, if it is used to be sure to find something on anyone who opposes it. A classic strategy for tyrannies is to make sure that there are so many laws that virtually everyone is guilty of something. Then anyone who opposes the regime in power can simply be rounded up and prosecuted. But wait, this is America! This could NEVER happen here...most likely because in large part, it already has. All that remains is to continue extending it to its logical conclusion, just a little bit at a time, like boiling a frog in gradually heated water. Time for me to go to bed now, now that I have given myself ample material for nightmares. I am, however, encouraged by the comment that their over-under on the camera lens being spray painted was a week. Footnote: as to the comment accusing you of humblebragging, I believe it was Dizzy Dean who used to say that if you could do it, it wasn't bragging. On the one hand, I could help you with your Spanish. On the other hand, it doesn't sound like you need much help with your Spanish. On further reflection, you might even be able to expand the horizons of my Spanish. Spiciness is the spice of life. And life is meant to be enjoyed. Just try to dodge the dodgy situations. I don't want you to become a best-selling author because you met an early end. You can get there anyway, without checking out early. So don't do anything I wouldn't do. It won't hinder you that much, I'm sure. ;-)

  • El scotto My iPhone gets too hot while using the wireless charging in my BMW. One more line on why someone is a dumbazz list?
  • Buickman yeah, get Ron Fellows each time I get a Vette. screw Caddy.
  • Dusterdude The Detroit 2.5 did a big disservice by paying their CEO’s so generously ( overpaying them ) It is a valid talking point for for the union ) However , the bottom line - The percentage of workers in the private sector who have a defined benefit pension plan is almost non existent - and the reason being is it’s unaffordable ! . This is a a huge sticking point as to have lower tier workers join would be prohibitive ( aside from other high price demands being requested - ie >30% wage gain request ) . Do the math - can a company afford to pay employees for 35 years , followed by funding a pension for a further 30 years ?
  • El scotto Human safety driver? Some on here need a human safety thinker.
  • Carlson Fan Stupid vehicle, that can't do any of the things a truck should be able to do. If I want something fast/quick and sporty I'll get a corvette or a 4 dr sport sedan. Taking a truck & neutering it to try and make it into something it's not is just pointless. But maybe that's the point of this road disaster