Send in the Drones

Anyone even remotely surprised by this needs to have their head examined:

Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.

Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.

He also called in a Predator B drone.

As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead the next morning, sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.

How long until we are dropping freedom bombs on our own population. Oh, wait. Been there done that.

One of the largest disappointments for me with this administration has been their unchecked use of drones pretty much anywhere they want in the world.

*** Update ***

Ohfercrissakes- I’m not making a connection between this admin and this use of a drone. The final sentence was just an aside about something that really bothers me, which is this administration’s reliance on drones all over the world. I should have known that the reflexive Obama defenders would think I was conflating the two.

As to those of you poo-pooing this and saying “how is this any different than a helicopter,” in five to ten years when unmanned drones are flying all over your neighborhood surveilling and storing info at random, you can think back to mocking us privacy hysterics. I’m sure very similar arguments were made in years past about police needing armored vehicles and .50 cals and every locale needing a SWAT team armed to the teeth. But hey, it’s much more fashionable to be too cool for school and just say “no big deal, shut up hippie.”

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288 replies
  1. 1
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Kinda makes you wish you had not scoffed at the black helicopter crowd.

  2. 2
    LittlePig says:

    Police state much?

    All those defense dollar toys have to go somewhere.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    Welcome ND! Pleased to have you join us Texans!

  4. 4
    Marci Kiser says:

    They hardly seem like an unabashed evil. In this instance, it looks like the drone served the same purpose as those little bomb-bots – surveying a potential danger. Far as I can tell, this Predator probably saved the lives of those three idiots.

    Even if I were something so retro as a cattle rustler (seriously, it’s 2011 and we still have cattle rustlers?), I think I’d prefer to be outed as weaponless by these flying Power Rangers than mowed down by a swarm of trigger-happy North Dakotans.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    The Green to Blue pipeline.

  6. 6
    Mino says:

    Toys! Let us at them. You knew that they would.

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    @Marci Kiser: Whoooosh!!

  8. 8
    El Tiburon says:

    As long as we have a chance at a half-way less evil healthcare system who really gives a rats ass?

    That Obama is worse than Bush on certain issues don’t mean shit now that the insurance companies might actually have pretend to do their jobs while still making millions in profits.

    Social security started out as a cottage industry so shall the drone program ultimately lead to the latest reality show.

  9. 9
    The Dangerman says:

    I gotta call “yawn” on this one; if it were LA, it would have been a helicopter in the air surveiling the situation. I presume in North Dakota, a drone is cheaper than a Helicopter.

    Now, if the drone had been armed with more than cameras, I would be in a different frame of mind; as it is described, doesn’t really raise any concerns.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Whoooosh!!

    Well could you explain it to me? Because it’s over my head as well why a manned helicopter would be ok in this situation, but an unmanned drone is not.

  11. 11
    Mino says:

    Are the land sharks ready for duty on the border? Gentech is on it.

  12. 12
    eemom says:

    I have to say I thought the headline about Iran “refusing to release” the captured US drone, together with the picture of the “captive”, was sorta funny.

    Maybe Amnesty International will intercede on its behalf….

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @The Dangerman: Same here. If there is something more sinester here, I don’t see it.

  14. 14
    henqiguai says:

    One of the largest disappointments for me with this administration has been their unchecked use of drones pretty much anywhere they want in the world.

    Really? It’s technology useful for law enforcement as well as military; non-destructive and non-lethal. It’s also useful for all sorts of nifty things like surveying and land use and environmental monitoring. So is your disappointment with the administration doing all sorts of currently non-banned things that make civil libertarians uncomfortable? Maybe a conversation with your Senator about writing some legislation to put legally (and Constitutionally) valid limits on what the CinC of the USA can do would be appropriate.

  15. 15
    henqiguai says:

    One of the largest disappointments for me with this administration has been their unchecked use of drones pretty much anywhere they want in the world.

    Really? It’s technology useful for law enforcement as well as military; non-destructive and non-lethal. It’s also useful for all sorts of nifty things like surveying and land use and environmental monitoring. So is your disappointment with the administration doing all sorts of currently non-banned things that make civil libertarians uncomfortable? Maybe a conversation with your Senator about writing some legislation to put legally (and Constitutionally) valid limits on what the CinC of the USA can do would be appropriate.

  16. 16
    dmbeaster says:

    Spy satellites can do the same thing, and have been around for years. Drones are cheaper and easier to use, and probably have better capabilities since they fly so much lower. Also, does it matter whether it is a drone or sheriffs in an airplane or helicopter doing the same thing? It is basic surveillance technology, of which there are many other variations also widely used that do not require warrants. The ones that get really tricky are sensitive equipment that can peer into your house either directly or indirectly. Some of this has been litigated and found to violate the fourth amendment when done without a warrant. The key analysis now is whether the search intruded into an area for which the subject had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Surveillance in a public place, no matter how accomplished, is generally OK. So is surveillance while the subject is on his own property but in a place readily visible from a public place (though that one can get tricky).
    Drones are just one technological tool, and you shouldn’t let the bad taste associated with their misuse as dumb bombers (as opposed to smart bombs) taint their legitimate use by law enforcement.

  17. 17
    ShadeTail says:

    I’m mostly with the “what’s the big deal” crowd, but I have to admit, I’m a little confused about why they didn’t just use a normal airplane or helicopter. If nothing else, it probably would have been cheaper.

    But as far as the size of the over-all force is concerned, I can’t see this as an over-reaction. As far as this guy knew, he had been threatened by armed men while in the course of his duties. When that happens, you scrounge up a force big enough to make sure they don’t screw with you a second time. That’s pretty basic law enforcement territory.

  18. 18
    hrprogressive says:

    While I actually have been concerned over the unfettered use of Drone warfare over the Middle East, I actually don’t find myself having any real problem with this.

    Dangerous situation with armed criminals, in a vast area where they probably would have had the element of guerrilla-style surprise (potentially anyway) so to prevent a firefight, they called in a Drone to provide recon.

    I mean, I can see the slippery slope argument to allowing law enforcement to use Drones for recon versus allowing them to eliminate a square mile of Anytown, USA with a Hellfire missile to eradicate a few thugs.

    But that doesn’t mean I think this particular instance is really a bad thing.

  19. 19
    ABL says:

    Who woud Obama bomb?

    Mumia.

    Who would Obama pardon?

    Mumia.

    This was a weird post, Cole. Really really weird.

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    I don’t see how this is worse than using a manned police helicopter.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    @ABL: He’s trolling. I’m certain of it.

  22. 22
    gelfling545 says:

    Meh. More that 10 (12? 13?)years ago the sheriff’s helicopter was circling our school looking for a kid (14) who was reported, essentially, a runaway. The fact that the kid was at school and the police knew to come to the school made us wonder just how “missing” he could be. The kid was thrilled, though. It gave him quite a reputation as a bad-ass.

  23. 23
    Lysana says:

    Are you trolling again, John?

  24. 24
    The Dangerman says:

    @Baud:

    If there is something more sinester here, I don’t see it.

    Seems to me that the only people that should be upset about this are the Helicopter pilots that are about to be out of a job; this technology not only applies to law enforcement, but also Search and Rescue and crop management. All those pilots are about to be replaced.

  25. 25
    MariedeGournay says:

    Boys and their toys.

  26. 26
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Ya lost me on this one Cole. Perhaps I’m having cognitive difficulties today, but I fail to see how unmanned surveillance craft compares to Wilson Goode ordering the bombing (and shooting up)which killed, among others, 5 children in the MOVE house in Philadelphia. Hell, here, Si Leis would send out a chopper to look for the bad guys; his tank just doesn’t have the range for that kind of surveillance.

  27. 27
    wrb says:

    Bound to be hunting pot patches before long.

    At least they are likely to be quieter than the black helicopters.

    Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve been harassed by a black helicopter since Obama has been president. Used to have one cruise over very low and slow every few months.

    I recall reading a New Yorker article in which black helicopters were used as an example of the unbelievable paranoid fantasies hicks have. There was a big black one hovering over me as I read it.

  28. 28
    El Tiburon says:

    And there you go. First they came with drones and nobody cared. Let’s just all agree that we don’t care about expansion of government power and loss of civil liberties as long as there is a wee bit of hope for access to insurance. Man do I ever need a abot of some greenwald.

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    @ShadeTail:

    I’m a little confused about why they didn’t just use a normal airplane or helicopter. If nothing else, it probably would have been cheaper.

    People have been known to shoot at police helicopters. And predators are very, very cheap to run. They’re slow and designed to burn fuel slowly and stay up in the air for long stretches. And if you need to swap pilots you don’t have to return to base.

  30. 30
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Is this an example of an “administration” use of drones, or are you free-associating between outrages?

  31. 31
    Anoniminous says:

    Militarization of the police has been going on since the Mid-60s.

    (Doffing my tin-foil hat)

    The techniques that have been used in the Developing World since forever are now being brought to US soil and used against US citizens. The police it seems are being equipped to act as a occupying force.

    What is true is when countries reach the massive dysfunctional distribution of wealth the US has reached either the wealth is re-allocated peacefully (a la the New Deal,) there is a revolution (a la France,) or an authoritarian state is imposed a la Latin and South America (a la various.)

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m not sure where we become uncomfortable? Red light cameras, cctv, thermal imaging, warrantless GPS, drones that can determine (somehow) that you are armed or unarmed.
    Calling in SWAT + everything short of SEALs seems to me a continuation of the militarization of our local “law enforcement”.
    At some point don’t we have to decide what things are worth to us?

  33. 33
    Argive says:

    How long until we are dropping freedom bombs on our own population. Oh, wait. Been there done that.

    MOVE was a special case. I think it wasn’t so much a matter of the encroaching police state as it was a confluence of Philly-specific problems. You had a spectacularly incompetent Mayor’s office (W. Wilson Goode never knew what the hell he was doing) and a racist, corrupt police force facing off against a black nationalist group who most definitely had guns in that compound. Things came to a head and the result was a major US city committing an act of war against its own citizens. Philadelphia has a very troubled history where race is concerned and MOVE was another example of that.

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Seems to me that the only people that should be upset about this are the Helicopter pilots that are about to be out of a job;

    Nope, they still have pilots. Somebody has to fly the plane, even if they aren’t in it.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Or Wilson Goode bombing MOVE but it somehow becoming an indictment of Reagan rather than Philly authorities.

  36. 36
    BD of MN says:

    @ShadeTail:

    I’m a little confused about why they didn’t just use a normal airplane or helicopter. If nothing else, it probably would have been cheaper.

    Nelson county is not very far (less than 50 miles) from Grand Forks Air Force Base, according to wiki, home to “United States Customs and Border Protection (operating RQ-1 Predators)”

  37. 37
    Arclite says:

    @hrprogressive:

    While I actually have been concerned over the unfettered use of Drone warfare over the Middle East, I actually don’t find myself having any real problem with this. Dangerous situation with armed criminals, in a vast area where they probably would have had the element of guerrilla-style surprise (potentially anyway) so to prevent a firefight, they called in a Drone to provide recon. I mean, I can see the slippery slope argument to allowing law enforcement to use Drones for recon versus allowing them to eliminate a square mile of Anytown, USA with a Hellfire missile to eradicate a few thugs. But that doesn’t mean I think this particular instance is really a bad thing.

    This is what I was going to say. Esp the part about the hellfire. THAT’s when things will be off the rails. But this example sounds like they used the technology in a responsible and effective way, and nobody got hurt. All’s well that ends well.

  38. 38
    Zandar says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I gotta call “yawn” on this one; if it were LA, it would have been a helicopter in the air surveiling the situation. I presume in North Dakota, a drone is cheaper than a Helicopter.

    This. Also, can’t have it both ways. If the story were “State police use unmanned drone to pinpoint lost hikers in Dakota badlands” would we still be muttering about President Obama about to turn Springfield USA into a parking lot?

    Ugly applications of drone tech, I’m not thrilled with. This isn’t one of them.

  39. 39
    The Dangerman says:

    @MikeJ:

    Nope, they still have pilots. Somebody has to fly the plane, even if they aren’t in it.

    OK, fair point, but the pilot “expertise” (read: how much they are paid) is, presumably, quite a lot different. I can go down to the local RF pilots association that could fly the drones for quite a bit less money.

    I guess the other people that should be pissed are the folks that collect life insurance on the police pilots.

  40. 40
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m all for indictments of Reagan, regardless. An underappreciated destroyer of American government and freedom. But MOVE really was a unique situation – and likely still in litigation given the complicated backstory.

  41. 41
    srv says:

    This will just be like SWAT teams. As they shrink in size and cost to operate, every municipality and county will be offered DHS/federal funds to get their own drones and will go to your backyard with them. Some will argue it as a cost-control item, easier/safer to have a drone than eleventy billion LAPD units or choppers chasing a suspect. Will make the afternoon news breaks boring.

    Eventually they’ll be armed, under the argument that it will limit exposure to cops. Robocop was pretty prescient on this one, been 24 years since that came out.

  42. 42
    vernon says:

    The significance of this isn’t too hard to see, and it’s anything but yawn-inducing.

    The ruling class rules us impersonally. They’re several degrees removed from us in every area of life; in the marketplace, for instance, we can never penetrate their barrier of low-wage reps, call centers, and gatekeepers—in other words, they’ll never have to live in the world they’ve created with mass layoffs and their post-80s dedication to shit customer service; they’ll never even have to hear about it.

    In the area of law enforcement, this has always meant that the police served the rich’s interests first. But at least the police had to get their hands dirty, had to look the petty thief in the eye as they arrested him while letting the Blankfeins, Sanduskys, Cheneys et al go free. There is human interaction there, and a tacit acknowledgement of what’s really going on.

    The use of drones obliterates that. It places our overlords one further remove from us, makes the wall of their gated community one layer thicker. This enables—actually it ensures—still more exploitation and degradation. It should not pass unopposed, let alone unnoticed.

  43. 43
    Formica says:

    I’m a bit surprised that no one has pointed out what is to me the most important part of this story:

    The sheriff had a warrant.

    If law enforcement wants to use drones instead of helicopters to conduct warranted, lawful searches, I’m okay with that. As Marci said in post #4, the use of the drone in this case potentially prevented loss of life, in a way that is actually legal, as opposed to justified.

    Is the propagation of the dronist mentality disturbing? To me, kinda. I’m somewhat surprised it took this long for them to become so prevalent. The technology is nothing new, and it’s a damned sight cheaper (in both blood and treasure) than piloted aircraft.

    The actions these drones are used for abroad are really no different from U2 overflights of the Soviet Union or Nixon’s “secret” bombings in Cambodia: violations of sovereign airspace to conduct reconnaissance or cause damage. I think the difference is, again, the lower cost, which can be seen as enabling.

    The fact is, the US is a unipolar superpower, and it’s acting like it. If we didn’t have drone technology, we’d have assassins in Yemen and Sudan knocking off Al Qaeda #2s and SR-71s flying over Iran. But we have RQ-170s and Predators with Hellfires, which are cheaper in all measures, so that’s what we use.

    Domestically, I am far more concerned with the erosion of the rule of law (warrantless anything, domestic “enemy” profiling, PATRIOT, SOPA, etc) than I am with the technology used. The drone makes a fine rhetorical target, but it’s a symptom, not a cause. The question I often find myself asking is whether we ever actually had respect for the rule of law in this country, or if it’s another glittering generality that I hoped was true when I was younger.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    The people saying “yawn” on this thread don’t surprise me in the least.
    If Bush were president right now they’d be pissing themselves to scream about it.

  45. 45
    Lojasmo says:

    I this was wise use of border patrol tech. Kept the LEO out of danger, minimized potential danger to the pilot, and, as noted above, probably saved these yahoos’ lives.

    I also am on the “Cole is trolling” bandwagon. Gladly, corner stone took the bait…perhaps on the assumption that Cole is black?

  46. 46
    AxelFoley says:

    @Yutsano:

    @ABL: He’s trolling. I’m certain of it.

    Trolling his own blog? That’s a new low for Cole.

  47. 47
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    If Bush were president right now they’d be pissing themselves to scream about it.

    Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn.

  48. 48
    Adolphus says:

    @Arclite:

    I have to agree. According to this story they did have a warrant. Assuming the warrant was valid and all that part was done right, the police in this instance would have been within bounds to send the SWAT team in right after the “normal” police were chased off with shotguns.

    Maybe some are worried about a slippery slope, and I guess that’s valid. But considering they had a warrant, had tried to serve it peacefully but were rebuffed with guns, though not fired I presume, only brandished, I am not sure what people would suggest the next step would be, but I am willing to listen.

    What should the police have done in this instance instead of the unmanned drone?

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @srv:

    Eventually they’ll be armed, under the argument that it will limit exposure to cops.

    I just wanted to highlight this as it is inevitable incountry.

  50. 50
    David Fud says:

    @Corner Stone: Not so much. Bush’s crimes were so vast that drones were just a flyspeck. Drones are sometimes bothersome, but nothing like the wholesale surveillance of the internet, for instance. There are many other example of where Bush was much worse, and for valid reasons not as a reflexive reaction.

    How’s your Obama derangement syndrome coming along?

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: Yeah, no surprise.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @David Fud: Yes, people who care about actual things are deranged.
    Thanks Fud.

  53. 53
    wrb says:

    The people saying “yawn” on this thread don’t surprise me in the least.
    If Bush were president right now they’d be pissing themselves to scream about it.

    Naw. Everyone screamed themselves hoarse when Reagan sent forth the black helicopters. “US Out of Humbolt County!” etc. Didn’t do any good. There seemed to be even more about under Clinton.

    Haven’t seen any the last few years though.

  54. 54
    boss bitch says:

    Try another story John. One where the drone didn’t keep three unarmed U.S. citizens from being shot up by possible overzealous police.

    liberals really need to work on their fear mongering.

  55. 55

    @Corner Stone:

    “If Bush were president right now they’d be pissing themselves to scream about it.”

    If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, then every day would be Firebagger/ODS Christmas!

    Search warrant, dude. They had a search warrant.

  56. 56
    srv says:

    Yeah, not trolling. John has always had something up his butt about invasive use of tech.

    ah – I see he’s updated.

  57. 57
    Peter says:

    I’m also gonna give this a big yawn. I’m suspicious of drone warfare but if there was ever a legitimate application of the technology, this is it. Especially what with them having a warrant and all that.

    The complaints made against it really do seem like tinfoil hat stuff. Call me if they start putting bombs on it or using it for random unwarranted sweeps. Until then, this is a whole lotta nothing.

  58. 58
    PIGL says:

    @hrprogressive: It’s more the overwhelming application of force, calling the whole Guards Armoured, that is a little worrisome. Since when is an overwhelming display of force the response? Why not just dispatch a tactical nuke, that would really be on the safe side.

    It’s not the drone as such, but the implied threat, the total militarisation of civilan police forces, ongoing for decades, but seemingly supported by this administration.

  59. 59
    Gustopher says:

    This is way less creepy than no-knock warrants by SWAT teams at 3am shooting dogs.

    I don’t see the difference between this and a helicopter. Scarier name, sure.

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    So apparently Drones Today = RoboCop tomorrow.

    I hate slippery slope arguments because they all eventually lead to Ron Paul’s world view.

    ETA: I mean, how is this different from the tea partiers screaming bloody murder about death panels?

  61. 61
    The Dangerman says:

    …in five to ten years when unmanned drones are flying all over your neighborhood surveilling and storing info at random…

    I gotta yawn again; I can go to Google Earth and see what a drone could see.

  62. 62
    Marc says:

    For those who are yawning, the difference is that a Predator (or similar drone) is capable of loitering overhead for 12+ hours at upwards of 20,000 ft. They carry sophisticated visual and infrared sensors capable of quite detailed views of activities on the ground from those altitudes, day or night. Unlike a police helicopter or airplane, those on the ground (you and I) will normally be completely unaware of their presence. And, unlike a police helicopter, eventually drones will be sufficiently inexpensive to operate that even the most bankrupt of cities will be able to keep them overhead 24/7. There needs to be some discussion of the implications, in particular, just who will be allowed to operate them over our cities and under what circumstances (the police, DHS, FBI, CIA, DIA, military, news media, your peeping tom neighbor?). So far, no such public discussion has taken place.

    If you don’t mind being watched every time you step outdoors, and having the police or DHS knock on the door (or more likely kick it in, if you live in a poorer neighborhood), stop your car, or accost you on the street, just because they saw something with a drone that “concerns” them, then I guess you have nothing to worry about.

    As for arming drones, a number of manufacturers looking to make a buck in the police and homeland security industries have already demonstrated drones armed with “nonlethal” weapons, as well as rifles and shotguns. If your local SWAT team has found a need for armored personnel carriers, it’s only a matter of time before they start shopping for armed drones.

  63. 63
    MikeJ says:

    What’s wrong with using drones all over the world? We’re going to spy on other countries, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m glad that the plane that went down in Iran didn’t have another Gary Powers on board.

    If you want to complain about bombing, complain about bombing. Keeping service people safe while they conduct missions isn’t the problem.

  64. 64
    Feudalism Now! says:

    I think this is a lot different than the militarization of our police forces. Drones are darn useful. They are a lot cheaper to maintain than a helicopter for surveillance and search and rescue. We start arming them to remove domestic threats and I will join the American Intifada. But using them for surveillance? Good for them.
    Plus, we arm ourselves with Tea Party Drones for Freedumbs!

  65. 65

    What is with the freakout every time the word ‘drone’ is used? The technology used is meaningless. Only what it’s being used to do matters. In this case, overhead tracking with a warrant of dangerous criminals.

    If you’re bombing someone, you’re bombing them, whether you use a Sopwith Camel, a predator drone, or three guys carrying it to its destination. It’s about the bombing, and the mechanism of delivery is only a practical matter. If you’re taking pictures, it matters not a damn thing whether it’s a helicopter or a guy with a camera or a drone. What MATTERS is stuff like ‘Do you have reasonable suspicion? Is this inside or outside a home? Inside or outside private property? Did a judge approve this?’ Just because it’s done with a new technology does not magically mean those questions no longer matter. They are still the only important questions.

  66. 66
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The SWATtishness bothers me more than the drone, because I imagine that in days of yore, cops in ND would use Cessnas in the way that city cops use choppers. (In Western Australia, where there’s a huge amount of fuckall, there’s a Police Air Wing that include small planes as well as helicopters.)

    But clearly, they get a hard-on about being able to call on the latest and greatest military tech, and it’s not a slippery-slope argument to say that mil-tech eventually ends up in civvy hands, especially for surveillance.

  67. 67
    wrb says:

    Cole:

    As to those of you poo-pooing this and saying “how is this any different than a helicopter,” in five to ten years when unmanned drones are flying all over your neighborhood surveilling and storing info at random, you can think back to mocking us privacy hysterics.

    Well, how is it different? Helicopters do that now. I don’t like it.
    Doesn’t faze the ‘copters.

    Edit: Mark makes some good points about their economy and invisibility making them worse than copters.

  68. 68
    Kola Noscopy says:

    It’s good to see all the Good Germans fall into line on this one too…

    Let Us All Support Dear Leader Obama. He knows what is best.

    And watch what you say, Cole. Watch what you do.

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    So what’s the saying? 2 is something and 3 is a trend?

  70. 70
    boss bitch says:

    in five to ten years when unmanned drones are flying all over your neighborhood surveilling and storing info at random, you can think back to mocking us privacy hysterics.

    this will happen because liberals will continue to buy into the “Same as Bush” lie, stay home and allow the uninformed to elect Republican president after Republican president along with an increasingly conservative Congress. Nah this is totally out of our control.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The technology used is meaningless.

    The technology does matter.
    Did the Sopwith have thermal imaging? Or the ability to be on station for 18 hours?

  72. 72
    The Moar You Know says:

    Got a programmable GPS unit and some off the shelf hardware and cameras and made my own drone. Spy on my neighborhood all the time.

    What, you don’t like it? Go fuck yourself, hippie.

  73. 73
    Peter says:

    @Marc: Nope, still yawning. Like I said: Come back when those are things that are actually happening. This use of drone tech is hells of fine by me.

    Or, if you actually want to start a conversation on the potential implications, don’t lead in with fearmongering Black Helicopter bullshit like Cole did here.

  74. 74
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I should have specified more – my view is largely influenced by the warrant that was issued in this case. It’s warrantless shit that invades privacy. And frivolous use of no knocks that create the needless potential for violence against the unarmed and/or misidentified.* Here. the search was pursuant to a warrant, so can’t get so wound up about the tech used to perform it. Sorry; very lawyerly of me, I know.

    *There are some limited specific circumstances in which no knocks are appropriate. Most of the uses don’t meet those criteria, IMHO.

  75. 75

    @Corner Stone:

    Did the Sopwith have thermal imaging? Or the ability to be on station for 18 hours?

    Did Matt Dillon drive a New Yorker?

  76. 76
    John Cole says:

    @Gustopher:

    This is way less creepy than no-knock warrants by SWAT teams at 3am shooting dogs.

    So anything less creepy than shooting dogs in no-knock raids is ok. That there is some solid thinking you’ve done.

    We start arming them to remove domestic threats and I will join the American Intifada.

    I’m amazed that some of you can be this hopelessly naive. I thought that was my job around here.

    Listen to me: If the use of predator drones by LEO’s around the country becomes an accepted practice, it is not a matter of “if” they will become armed, it is a matter of when and where it will happen first. My guess is the foot in the door will be some sort of “non-lethal” armament.

    What is with the freakout every time the word ‘drone’ is used?

    Really? You’re gonna come in my house and insult me by stating that what I’m reacting to is a scary name. GFY.

  77. 77
    Lojasmo says:

    @Marc:

    Who cares about overhead surveillance? Criminals, that’s who. There is ZERO expectation of privacy walking around on the street or driving in a car. Those who hold such expectations are fools.

    There is nothing unconstitutional about visual surveillance. NOTHING.

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): There’s nothing surprising about an authoritarian going along to get along with this.
    You somehow seem to be able to consider it will always by your guy running the shop. And maybe that’s true. You probably don’t give a damn who’s in charge, really.

  79. 79
    Chris says:

    @ Formica,

    Glittering generality, I think. Between J. Edgar Hoover, Kent State and all the police departments tied to the Mafia or the Klan, the Liberal Consensus years had them some incredibly fucked up law enforcement, and I kinda doubt things were better before.

  80. 80
    wrb says:

    @Lojasmo:

    Who cares about overhead surveillance? Criminals, that’s who. There is ZERO expectation of privacy walking around on the street or driving in a car.

    How about in your yard or courtyard?

    Some people like to get nekkid.

    Have sex. Smoke a joint.

  81. 81
    Chet says:

    It should not pass unopposed, let alone unnoticed.

    That’s right! That’s why I’m calling my Senator to ask for his support for the “Sanctimonious Philosophical Horseshit Act of 2011.”

  82. 82
    Sly says:

    Sometimes technologies developed for military applications at first find their way into other sectors, both public and private, simply because they create efficiencies in those sectors that did not exist before. This does not mean that those sectors have been militarized. Does the use of nightvision by modern police units mean that domestic law enforcement has been militarized? Does the widespread use of the internet in commercial transactions mean that commerce has been militarized because the Pentagon developed the first network that utilized packet switching technology?

    Of course not.

    When police surveillance drones are armed with military-grade ordinance, this may mean something. Militarization has to do with non-military applications of military-grade force. Otherwise its just a remote controlled camera that was used in a manner comporting with long established legal mechanisms. Three men with firearms chased after a cop while she was legally performing her duties. She called for backup. You’d have an easier time pointing to the SWAT team as an example of police militarization than the drone.

  83. 83

    @Corner Stone:

    Shaddup. You’re crying about the technology. You’d arm modern cops with muzzle-loaders.

    Warrantless CCTV spying on us as we walk down thye street? Illegal, immoral and unethical as all fuck, imo. Flying above property for which the police have a search warrant? I don’t care if it’s the Montgolfier brothers in their balloon or Darth Vader in his TIE fighter- I don’t see the problem.

  84. 84
    henqiguai says:

    Cole, dude

    in five to ten years when unmanned drones are flying all over your neighborhood surveilling

    Don’t know about your youth, but for me, police (manned) choppers were routinely hovering over my neighborhood so low, and long, in the middle of the night windows were rattled and no-one slept. They lingered so long they were obviously using sketch artists to capture the scenes under surveillance rather than cameras. So, you’re a few decades too late on your warning.

  85. 85
    The Moar You Know says:

    Drones are already armed. The people on this thread who think there’s going to be some kind of miracle where that doesn’t get unleashed on the populace are not living in denial; rather you are willfully insane. Of course they will be.

    I was not kidding with my comment above about having my own drone, by the way. The only reason I haven’t armed mine is because of the weight factor, and guess what? There’s currently no law against me doing so as long as the weapon is legal! Maybe now you idiots can figure why this would be a problem.

  86. 86
    Adolphus says:

    Speaking only for myself I don’t want the hippies or anyone else to shut up. I want to hear more. What would have been a more acceptable next step after local law enforcement, bearing a valid search warrant, were met with armed resistance.

    Normally the next step would be to gun down the three armed men and search the ranch at a more leisurely pace. Or maybe a long term standoff with a bloody and fiery storming of the compound.

    What would you have done?

  87. 87
    Scott Supak says:

    Never heard of the 1985 bombing before. Thanks for that. I was drunk, in college, and not paying attention then. But I do know about what I think is the only case of the US military actually dropping bombs on US citizens, and that was at the battle of Blair Mountain, just down the road from you, John.

    The main reason I worried about Bush’s trouncing of Civil Liberties is because I knew that the next president, no matter which party, would expand that executive authority. Now the unitary executive is a bipartisan clusterfuck.

    I will, of course, vote strategically for, and even give money to, Obama, if for no other reason than to keep this power to eliminate our privacy out of the hands of the evil fucks running for the GOP nomination. But at some point, some lefties and righties who are rightly worried about this 1984/Brave New World BS are going to have to get together and draw up some control over this nightmare.

    Next up on the headline agenda: a drone is going to kill someone’s dog.

  88. 88
    feebog says:

    Let me pose a scenario. Last Thursday burglers hit four homes in a matter of a couple hours in our neighborhood. If a drone could have been put up after the first hit, and the thiefs detected and captured, would that be a good thing, or an enroachment on our privacy? Helicopters don’t work in this scenario, because the noise alerts the bad guys.

  89. 89
    wrb says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Warrantless CCTV spying on us as we walk down thye street? Illegal, immoral and unethical as all fuck, imo. Flying above property for which the police have a search warrant?

    I have no problem with the example that started this, and it is because of the warrant.

    However the problem is that they already spy on us without warrants, with the helicopters they have (and they flagrantly disregard the law about the altitude at which they may fly). The blackhawks in question probably have pretty good sensors too.

    So what is to keep them from having you under surveillance any time you are outdoors, without your knowledge?

    I’d consider that a significant blow to quality of life.

  90. 90
    Peter says:

    @The Moar You Know: That is indeed a problem, and one caused by the US’ ridiculously lax gun laws. Every politician is too afraid of the shadow of the gun lobby to do much as suggest any piece of legislation that restricts any weapons, ever.

    I’m really not sure how that relates to police use of surveillance drones with a warrant though.

  91. 91
    eemom says:

    and just say “no big deal, shut up hippie.”

    you are a “hippie” now, Cole? That is eleventy kinds of awesome.

  92. 92
    smelter rat says:

    What’s the big deal, some of you say??? This is all about 6 fucking cows and 3 morons!

  93. 93
    some guy says:

    the Center-Right Balloon Juice crowd cheering on a more militarized surveillance state? who would have thunk?

  94. 94
    jwb says:

    @feebog: So we now know the extent to which you are willing to bargain away your freedom in the name of “protecting” your neighborhood. It reveals a lot about you, actually.

  95. 95
    Linnaeus says:

    One doesn’t have to go into tin-foil hat territory to think that it’s a good idea to have some conversation about the appropriate uses of technology such as this. Preferably before any serious abuses happen.

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    @Sly:

    Does the use of nightvision by modern police units mean that domestic law enforcement has been militarized?

    Is an armored P carrier “militarized” ?

  97. 97
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Corner Stone: CS, you forget how many of us here supported the war in Afghanistan.

  98. 98
    NR says:

    @Lojasmo: “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.”

    Gee, where have I heard this before? Oh, that’s right. Every surveillance state that has ever existed.

  99. 99
    MikeJ says:

    @smelter rat: If they were your six cows stolen by three morons you would want those morons arrested.

  100. 100
    The Moar You Know says:

    Does the use of nightvision by modern police units mean that domestic law enforcement has been militarized?

    When the only difference between law enforcement and the military is that I pray that I should be so lucky as to have our far more professional military be the guys who kick down my door at 4pm, I’d say that the militarization of the civilian police is “mission accomplished”.

  101. 101
    cckids says:

    @Marci Kiser:

    (seriously, it’s 2011 and we still have cattle rustlers?

    Yeah, I know. Its right up there with the pirate attacks that started Pres. Obama’s term. You kind of feel you’re being punked in some way.

  102. 102
    Corner Stone says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I forget nothing.

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @Linnaeus:

    One doesn’t have to go into tin-foil hat territory to think that it’s a good idea to have some conversation about the appropriate uses of technology such as this.

    I agree with that. I frankly haven’t heard anyone make a convincing case that this use of drone technology is inappropriate. The criticisms seem to be all about what it might lead to, rather what the rules should be to prevent abuses.

  104. 104
    carpeduum says:

    Just stfu already with your drone paranoid obsession bs.

    Stick to whining about drones shooting bad guys in Pakistan. Surprised you didn’t whine about the malfunctioning drone that Iran got a hold of. Or maybe you did but I missed it.

  105. 105
    wrb says:

    @Marci Kiser: @Marci Kiser:

    Warrantless CCTV spying on us as we walk down thye street? Illegal, immoral and unethical as all fuck, imo. Flying above property for which the police have a search warrant?

    Shit yea. A steer can easily be worth $2,000 just in meat (much more if a prize breeder) and they allowed to wander around on their lonesome. Big temptation, especially when people are unemployed and hungry

  106. 106
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: Isn’t that where the conversation starts? The actual perceived infraction?
    Who the hell would’ve gone to their HOA 12 months ago and complained about drone surveillance use in the community?
    This post is about this use. The people yawning are the ones who are putting the conversation onto what potentially comes next.

  107. 107
    Lojasmo says:

    @NR:

    Not what i said, you prevaricating nitwit.

    How about in your yard or courtyard?

    Nope.

    Some people like to get nekkid….Have sex. Smoke a joint.

    There are places to do those things where a person would reasonably have an expectation of privacy. Those places are indoors.

  108. 108
    carpeduum says:

    as for the rest of the black helicopter crowd so easily drawn out of the woodwork…enjoy your red meat.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    I’ve heard of some squatters in a dilapidated 3rd floor walk up in Old Philly Town. The owner and local PD can’t evict them because they think some of the squaddies may have brandished something.
    Send in the drones!

  110. 110
    Feudalism Now! says:

    @The Moar You Know: So the problem is that everybody can have an armed drone as long as the weapon is legal? Darn, the Union has fallen apart with that whole 2nd amendment thing, hasn’t it? The drone is not the problem, the warrantless surveillance would be a problem or the use of a weapon on citizens from the platform. How is this different than a SWAT sniper in a copter or a roof? I know that you are all quivering that Jane Reno and her army of jack booted thugs are going to Waco bako you in the middle of the night for being a sovereign citizen tax dodger, but get a frigging grip. The government has many more direct ways to grease you with plausible deniability than using a drone.
    So when you see that John Cole has died in a bizarre fracking accident, it was the Black Helicopters that done it.

  111. 111
    Nerull says:

    @Corner Stone:

    ” drones that can determine (somehow) that you are armed or unarmed.”

    There are these things called “cameras”. I hear they were invented recently. You should check them out.

  112. 112
    The Raven says:

    @henqiguai, @FlipYrWhig, etc., etc:

    The king can do no wrong.

    @PIGL: Just so. The USA is on track for becoming a police state, and a long way down that track.

    The citizens of the USA would be much better off if a warrant were required for deployment of drones and SWAT teams

  113. 113
    wrb says:

    clipboard error @ 105

    the quoted text was supposed to be that about still having rustling

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nerull: I have a CHL. Determine that.

  115. 115
    khead says:

    in five to ten years when unmanned drones are flying all over your neighborhood surveilling and storing info at random, you can think back to mocking us privacy hysterics.

    Actually, when unmanned drones start flying over the neighborhood randomly collecting info, someone should sue and cite this case.

    It’s a lot more similar to the current situation than armored vehicles, .50 cal guns and SWAT teams.

  116. 116
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    This post is about this use.

    That’s fine. And my view is that the discrete use of a drone by police who have a warrant is an appropriate use of that technology, where the alternative would put lives at risk. I agree, however, with those who argue that more widespread surveillance (whether using drones or traffic cameras or other technology) used on a routine basis is troubling and should be debated publicly.

  117. 117
    wrb says:

    @Lojasmo:

    There are places to do those things where a person would reasonably have an expectation of privacy. Those places are indoors.

    If that is they way it is to be, we will have suffered an enormous diminishment in quality of life, imo.

  118. 118
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I’m seeing a lot of things that went right because of the drone: Because it saw that the men were unarmed, they didn’t having to go in guns blazing to try to capture them. It meant the police didn’t have to go in worried about getting shot. Imaging the number of stray bullets that didn’t have to be fired because the police weren’t worried about getting shot at while walking through the property.

    This makes me think of the little cameras you slide under doors to see what is happening on the other side of the door.

    What will need to happen is that judges will need to take into account the use of drones when approving a warrant.

    Is this any worse than the police adopting any other technology? Is there any technology invented in the last 50 years that they should have been able to adopt? The last 200? Is there any real way to keep them from adopting it? The idea of drones is out there. If they don’t use predator drones, I guarantee you there will be 5 companies that start building police specific drones. There probably will be anyway, since a predator drone is actually overkill for a lot of police work.

    As for the police becoming militarized, once again, the public has allowed this to happen through their inverse fear to the actual level of crime and violence in this country. The bigger question is how to stop people from being afraid of their own shadow.

  119. 119
    Nerull says:

    And the police have had thermal imaging for decades. You can buy IR cameras online.

  120. 120
    wrb says:

    @khead:

    Actually, when unmanned drones start flying over the neighborhood randomly collecting info, someone should sue and cite this case.

    That case seems to only apply to using heat-sensing devices to see what is going on Inside a house.

    Wouldn’t seem to apply spying on what you do on your property outdoors.

  121. 121
    The Raven says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): “What will need to happen is that judges will need to take into account the use of drones when approving a warrant.”

    So long as that is required. But currently, no warrant is required at all for air surveillance.

  122. 122
    MikeJ says:

    @The Raven: No warrant is required to just follow somebody around while they’re out in public. Doing it from the air is just a better way of staying three cars back.

  123. 123
    Roy G says:

    I seem to recall a lot of the same arguments around AUMF and giving the Bush cabal the power to unilaterally make war. The all-knowing Solons were fine with it at the time, because they ‘knew’ it made sense in that situation. Apparently, all these Solons, past and present, think the ‘slippery slope’ is just a conspiracy theory by those tinfoil hat wankers who still believe in Santa Claus – and the Constitution.

  124. 124
    Chet says:

    Of course they will be.

    I don’t follow, I guess. Predator drones are hardly the only flying platform from which to launch an air-to-ground missile. A police helicopter could easily be mounted with the launch assembly.

    The question you don’t answer is – why would they want to do so? And if they want to do so so bad, why haven’t they already? What’s the obstacle to police using air-to-ground ordinance that an unmanned drone somehow eliminates?

    A flying robot with a camera isn’t a weapon, it’s a platform for weapons. I certainly think we should have concerns about what weapons police are able to use against civilians. I’ve not seen any evidence that police are desperate for air-to-ground missiles, and I don’t see how flying robot-cameras somehow opens the door to that.

  125. 125
    wrb says:

    People are talking about this as if there is some expansion of federal power required to put us under drone surveillance, and it is Obama who would be responsible.

    State and local jurisdictions are free to buy drones and watch us, and they inevitably will, unless congress passes a law restricting the use of drones.

  126. 126
    khead says:

    @wrb:

    In this case there was a warrant. The argument being made by many folks – and in the part I quoted – is about random use.

    In Kyllo, there is already a 10 year old USSC case where the USSC says the cops can’t randomly aim sensors at your house without a warrant – yet here we have a thread full of folks worried about it anyway.

    If you are standing in your front yard doing something illegal – or growing herb there – in plain view, the sensor (or camera) isn’t needed anyway. Go hide in the house.

  127. 127
    MikeInSewickley says:

    If this isn’t like something out of “Minority Report” and “Blue Thunder”, I don’t know what is.

    I’m sorry but those saying this is just an up-to-date use of police helicopters or tailing a car are ostriches with their heads in the sand.

    My son worked on development of some of the technology in unmanned aerial vehicles about 8 years ago. You ain’t seen nothing yet when it comes to remote sensing.

    Welcome to 1984 on steroids… and sorry for all the movie and book cliches – it just amazes me how often art precedes reality.

  128. 128
    wrb says:

    If you are standing in your front yard doing something illegal – or growing herb there – in plain view, the sensor (or camera) isn’t needed anyway. Go hide in the house.

    There are many things people do outdoors, on their property, behind walls or fences that aren’t illegal but could be embarrassing or humiliating to have photographed.

  129. 129
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @The Raven: Well, then. My IANAL (lack of) knowledge is showing. Are you not required to get a helicopter approved? If not, then I really don’t see a difference here so I guess my assumption goes away.

    In this particular story, we could argue about how much force is necessary when tracking three people down who previously brandished guns at someone with a warrant, but it seems that it was a fairly effective use.

    But I’m imagining the argument back in the late 1800s: “Police should not be allowed to use automatic weapons as they represent a much more militarized police force.” Which seems to me that the better argument to me is about how useful it is to fire that many bullets at once.

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    In probably the greatest recent commercial involving an athlete, I absolutely love the way the woman pats Aaron Rodgers’ shoulder as she passes him in the “Discount Double Check” insurance commercial.

  131. 131
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @MikeInSewickley: The ONLY thing that keeps us from the police state you talk about is the requirement to have a warrant or probable cause to do anything. There used to be this other requirement called “expectations of the people” but that has always been shaky and generally only meets resistance when the police go too far all at once.

    We have never been very far away from a police state. It’s all about the judges. Make sure the right ones get into office.

  132. 132
    NR says:

    @Lojasmo:

    Not what i said, you prevaricating nitwit.

    Bullshit.

    Who cares about overhead surveillance? Criminals, that’s who.

    Own what you said. Don’t try to run away from it.

  133. 133
    PIGL says:

    @wrb:

    There are many things people do outdoors, on their property, behind walls or fences that aren’t illegal but could be embarrassing or humiliating to have photographed.

    Why are your lights dimmed?

    Why are your curtains drawn?

    Why have you moved your desk so far away from the telescreen?

    “It was behind the painting.”

    The nitwit to whom you were responding seems to forget that our phones can be tapped, that our packets can be sniffed, that I/R can see us through our walls, and specialised microphones can pick up the merest whisper by focussing on our windows.

    But why would anyone be concerned by that? Only hippies and pot growers have *that kind* of sex.

  134. 134
    Chet says:

    There are many things people do outdoors, on their property, behind walls or fences that aren’t illegal but could be embarrassing or humiliating to have photographed.

    Come on. If you’re doing something like that outdoors it’s exactly because you want someone to see.

  135. 135
    Marci Kiser says:

    Re: the update

    I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s hippie-punching to be able to distinguish between a worrisome technology and the worrisome use of that technology. Not only is there a big difference between a helicopter and a drone, there’s a big difference between surveilling someone with a warrant and without (add snarky FISA comments here).

    We can talk ourselves in circles about the implications and slippery slopes and the inevitable panopticon, but if we take a step back, this is a piece of technology helping a sheriff arrest three gun-toting morons without a drop of blood being spilled. Given that riot cops are cracking skulls and using pepper spray like those cologne ninjas in the mall, that’s a pretty damn awesome outcome in my book.

    I get the creepiness factor, but something to consider: yeah, people have gone into hysterics over privacy in the past. Most common reason they weren’t listened to, even when they were right? Because they had no sense of proportion. To them, all roads led to Skynet.

  136. 136
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: I hope you change clothes in your closet.

  137. 137
    wrb says:

    @Chet:

    Come on. If you’re doing something like that outdoors it’s exactly because you want someone to see.

    Nonsense. My sweetie and I often sleep under the stars when the weather is nice. We usually dine outdoors. Others like to sunbathe nude. I’ve known a couple of women who inexplicably like to garden nude. There are actual nudists still on the hoof too.

    Should you not be able to have an outdoor party at which how much people drink or with whom they dance is not recorded by government?

    A world in which none of those things were still comfortable to do would be horribly diminished imo.

    It is half a mile from our gate to our house. I think we should have a reasonable expectation of privacy for ourselves and our guests.

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @Marci Kiser:

    this is a piece of technology helping a sheriff arrest three gun-toting morons

    Well, to me, that is an interesting point.
    He called in the reinforcements because these yahoos were “brandishing” or threatening or something. Not clear on that.
    Then the drone determined they were “unarmed”. So, where did their arms go? Did they ditch the weapons while still trying to rustle cattle on someone else’s land?
    Where they armed to start with and then ditched?

  139. 139
    khead says:

    @wrb:

    And as long as you aren’t arrested for any of those things great. I will come to your defense if you are.

    If you might be embarrassed by your non-illegal activies, maybe you simply shouldn’t do them. Or grow some stones. Or a lack of shame.

  140. 140
    PIGL says:

    @Corner Stone: in a lead-lined closet with a hot-water bath surrounding it, and that in a Faraday chamber.

    Otherwise, he clearly wantsto be admired.

  141. 141
    Sly says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Is an armored P carrier “militarized” ?

    An APC by itself is just a VW bus with armor plating. The most ubiquitous APC, the M113, is used for everything from emergency repairs to cargo transport to command/control to combat transport. If a government buys an M113 variant and sticks a winch on it to pull heavy loads like trucks out of steep ravines, have they militarized their search and rescue services?

    Maybe if they stuck a .50 caliber machine gun on the fucker, or a TOW missile launcher, but other than that its just a utility vehicle with a thicker skin. Militarization has to do with the application of force. When the police are flying remote drones equipped with Hellfire missiles, we can start talking about end-runs around the Posse Comitatus Act.

  142. 142
    khead says:

    @PIGL:

    No, I just know the difference between what I’ll allow with a warrant involved and what is off limits if there isn’t a warrant.

    Last I checked, no one has a right to not be embarrassed for being laughed at by neighbors because they are standing naked in the front yard and howling at the moon.

  143. 143
    henqiguai says:

    @The Raven (#112):

    The king can do no wrong.

    The king ain’t necessarily doing anything wrong if it ain’t illegal. Arguments of “but is it right?” are value judgements and your mileage definitely does vary.

  144. 144
    wrb says:

    @khead:

    If you might be embarrassed by your non-illegal activies, maybe you simply shouldn’t do them. Or grow some stones. Or a lack of shame.

    You would seriously welcome government cameras and microphones in your dining room and bed room?

  145. 145
    wrb says:

    @khead: @khead:

    Last I checked, no one has a right to not be embarrassed for being laughed at by neighbors for standing naked in the front yard.

    But does the neighbor have the right to use a periscope to peer into their walled courtyard?

  146. 146
    wrb says:

    @khead: @khead:

    Last I checked, no one has a right to not be embarrassed for being laughed at by neighbors for standing naked in the front yard.

    But does the neighbor have the right to use a periscope to peer into their walled courtyard?

  147. 147
    NR says:

    @khead:

    Last I checked, no one has a right to not be embarrassed for being laughed at by neighbors because they are standing naked in the front yard and howling at the moon.

    There’s a big difference between “neighbors” and “government spy drones.”

  148. 148
    Cassidy says:

    I haven’t read all the thread, but my biggest concern is where did the police get this Predator drone? Did they just happen to have one because of WOYN funds, or did they link up with the ANG? If the latter is the case, is that legal?

  149. 149
    Corner Stone says:

    @Sly:

    When the police are flying remote drones equipped with Hellfire missiles, we can start talking about end-runs around the Posse Comitatus Act.

    The whole point of the post is because people like yourself will excuse away any discussion of same until this exact outcome is realized.
    And yes, if my community PD takes DHS money to buy an APC I want to know wtf they think it’s needed to accomplish.

  150. 150
    henqiguai says:

    @PIGL (#133):

    and specia1ised microphones can pick up the merest whisper by focussing on our windows.

    I know the laser trick to monitor sounds behind a window; to what, beyond just damned sensitive shot-gun mics, are you referring? Just curious.

    Edited to try to get out of purdah.

  151. 151
    Corner Stone says:

    @PIGL: Well, yes. Chet doesn’t mind at all when we scan his pc and post “personal” pics of himself naked but in a set of fluffy ears and tail eating dog food for his mistress.

  152. 152
    henqiguai says:

    @Cassidy (#148):

    I haven’t read all the thread, but my biggest concern is where did the police get this Predator drone?

    From the local Air Force Base; from the linked LA Times article

    Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said.

  153. 153
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): UAV’s are already being built and sold to search and rescue units, although they are not nearly as expensive and sophisticated as the Predator. I was talking last summer to some S & R guys in WA who had one crash and had a hell of a time finding it again. The technology is not going away so I agree that laws will need to be in place regarding use.

  154. 154
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Yes, it sure was unfair to assume you were connecting this episode to Obama when the post ended with a specific complaint about the administration’s use of drones. Whose knee is jerking to what now?

  155. 155
    Greyjoy says:

    Part of the problem here is that it would’ve been very difficult and risky to pull off the search of 3000 wild acres for 3 men and/or 6 cows just through the use of officers searching on the ground. Even a helicopter wouldn’t necessarily be terribly useful. So in addition to asking, “Why are we now using predator drones on our own citizens who may or may not be breaking the law,” we need to ask, “How can we pull off searches of large land masses to detect a threat (or a non-threat) so that we may assess the appropriate use of force, while still adhering to the 4th amendment?”

    I mean, yeah, everyone has a right to not have a Predator drone in their yard figuring out if anybody’s doing something bad. Everyone also has a right to not touch off another Waco over 6 cows, which could potentially have happened here. And everyone has a right to pasture their cows without the neighbors walking off with them, because we can’t really forget that while the gunmen have rights, so do the people whose cows were stolen, as well as a reasonable expectation that the law be enforced.

    I don’t see a good solution except to cross my fingers and hope nobody decides it’s a good idea to start using the drones as the Thought Police and start surveilling people in their homes without warrants. And since we already have a precedent for surveilling email, Internet usage, phones, spending accounts and library usage without warrants, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for that, especially in a climate where a significant amount of people actually WANT their neighbors surveilled and monitored and preferably kept from expressing themselves freely as guaranteed by the Constitution. And now the idea of using drones at home is out there, for the wrong people to come up with their next brilliant Constitution-shredding idea. Great.

  156. 156
    Chet says:

    Should you not be able to have an outdoor party at which how much people drink or with whom they dance is not recorded by government?

    I think you overestimate the degree to which that much data can be sifted through. Do you know why you’re usually anonymous on a city street? (Your face is visible to everyone and everything! Anybody who recognizes your face can identify you! And you can’t leave it at home!) Because there’s 50,000 other people there. Your signal gets swamped by the noise.

    The time to be worried about having a drink and a dance at somebody’s party is when you’re the only one in the country who is doing that. I don’t give a crap about the government recording an enormous amount of data on its citizens because the idea that any human being could ever sift through more than a minuscule fraction of it is ridiculous. Let the government record everything. The more they’re swamped by the data, the more truly anonymous and free we are. The best privacy is a million other people just like you.

  157. 157
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet:

    The time to be worried about having a drink and a dance at somebody’s party is when you’re the only one in the country who is doing that.

    Is doing what? Protesting govt abuse? Over reach?
    Should we start being worried then?

  158. 158
    Chet says:

    Chet doesn’t mind at all when we scan his pc and post “personal” pics of himself naked but in a set of fluffy ears and tail eating dog food for his mistress.

    Funny, but amazingly I don’t care. I seriously don’t give a shit because a million other people are doing the same thing and there’s absolutely no way for me to stand out in any way in that kind of data deluge.

    Great, so you hack my PC and get a bunch of pictures of my dick. Now you have an encylopedia about a penis that is absolutely indistinguishable from a billion penises that are already on the internet. Why should I give a fuck?

    Oh, no, I occasionally use it to have sex! Like, you know, 4.5 billion other human beings. Who cares? Don’t flatter yourself that you and your completely normal proclivities are of any interest to anybody.

  159. 159
    Chet says:

    Is doing what?

    Having a drink and a dance at a party. People are worried about privacy because they don’t want their friends to know what they do. Why should anybody care if someone at Langley knows how long my dick is and can count the hairs on their ass? You’re nobody at all to that guy; he doesn’t know you from Adam. His knowledge about your private proclivities – which are just the same as everybody else’s – can’t affect you in any way.

    You want to keep human eyes off what you do? Then deluge the watchers with too much data to watch. If you want to be anonymous, create too much data about your life to sift through.

  160. 160
    wrb says:

    @Chet:

    I think you overestimate the degree to which that much data can be sifted through

    That seems sensible when the overwhelming size of the country is contemplated, but not when you break it down to localities. Would our
    local sheriff set up over the people he thought were not his sort or were associated with those with his political opponents? Damned right he would. The department has a long history of abuses.

    Damaging photos recordings would find there way to wherever they could do the most harm too.

  161. 161
    Feudalism Now! says:

    So what are we talking about? The drone or our surveillance laws and their enforcement?
    The drone is, like any piece of technology, able to be used for good and ill. Shut up about the drone then.
    The lack of oversight and the low threshold to obtaining a warrantless wire tap is a problem that needed to be addressed in Jan 2009, but the President decided the ease and power were too good to give up. I don’t see anyone really asking candidates where they stand on police state tactics and improving legislation to protect citizens rights. I see a lot of slippery slope arguments about objects though. Either satellites, HD signals or drones capture the imagination that boring old laws don’t. So if you are concerned focus on the usage of these toys not the toys themselves because there are worse toys out there that we don’t know about for the Jack booted thugs to use against us. WOLVERINES!!!!!1111!!ELEVEN!!

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: This may be the most disturbing authoritarian viewpoint espoused on this thread.

  163. 163
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    You should also bei concerned about the privatization of the military. Mercs or mercenaries are market reactions to the plethora of sociopaths who get trained at taxpayer expense, then peddle their loyalty to the highest bidder.

    Remember Katrina, Halliburton and KBR? They aren’t going away when cash is still king;

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroo.....more-66157

  164. 164
    RAM says:

    If we should have learned anything during the past 12 years, it’s that authority can never be trusted to do the right thing, because it is simply incapable of it. Absolute power does corrupt absolutely and right now, the courts, the congress and the administration–all those mechanisms that were designed to check each other–simply are not interested in reining in any sort of authority.

  165. 165
    Chet says:

    I guess what I’m saying is – privacy is for olds, nobody my age gives a shit (just look at Facebook) and nobody’s ever explained why it’s more important to indulge the paranoid delusions of narcissists than to address the fact that what is commonly referred to as “privacy” enables an incredible number of truly harmful criminal acts.

  166. 166
    Corner Stone says:

    @Feudalism Now!:

    I don’t see anyone really asking candidates where they stand on police state tactics and improving legislation to protect citizens rights.

    But if President Obama spoke to this issue he could lose votes from the mushy middle. It’s best to take this fight off the table ahead of a tough election.

  167. 167
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: Facebook is a choice. Even if it’s a deceptive or misguided one. People sign up for that account.

  168. 168
    Chet says:

    This may be the most disturbing authoritarian viewpoint espoused on this thread.

    100% wrong. I’m completely anti-authoritarian. Nothing scuttles a surveillance society faster than giving them everything they want. By the end of the Cold War, 40% of the East German workforce was involved in spying and categorizing the activities of the other 60%. It was absolutely unsustainable and their government collapsed under the weight of it.

    If you don’t want people interested in your activities, make them as transparent as possible. Generate so much data about yourself that sifting anything meaningful out of it is impossible.

  169. 169
    PIGL says:

    @khead: OK. So you’d be fine with the police, or a local paper, or any random dirt ball taking surveillance photos, and posting in a quasi-legal capacity to warn the neighbours about the possible danger to their children posed by Ms. Blackthorn¯ that strange lady who likes to garden nude. Put it in the papers, put it on facebook, what the hell, nobody is being arrested. And someone, after all, is clearly thinking of the children.

    If our colleagues you seek to reassure are to await your rescue once they are arrested under some pretext, I hope they won’t be holding their breath.

  170. 170
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: I don’t want the authorities and potential employers to know I like to stick my dick in a bowl of mashed taters on the 3rd day of every month down by my bird pond.
    Am I wrong in the head? Maybe. But that’s between me and my Priestess Yukon Gold.

  171. 171
    wrb says:

    @Chet:

    If you don’t want people interested in your activities, make them as transparent as possible. Generate so much data about yourself that sifting anything meaningful out of it is impossible.

    More dreamy, and I’m afraid, childish abstraction.

    If someone focuses on you, as will happen if you do anything meaningful, they can assemble a meaningful pattern of data no matter how much you generate. It may be a political opponent, a business competitor, a Brietbart, a litigator or someone who just doesn’t like your kind. They regularly use such information to harm.

    And they

  172. 172
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Chet:

    Old saying; Knowledge is Power. The more data compiled on you personal habits, viewpoints, credit history, the more you can be painted into a corner.

    Do you want some sociopath mind-fucking you?

    Privacy, is your friend, my friend.

  173. 173
    Chet says:

    So you’d be fine with the police, or a local paper, or any random dirt ball taking surveillance photos, and posting in a quasi-legal capacity to warn the neighbours about the possible danger to their children posed by Ms. Blackthorn¯ that strange lady who likes to garden nude.

    Ms. Blackthorn’s problems, as a result of this, stem not from the fact that her nude gardening photos are in the paper; but from the fact that only her nude gardening photos are in the paper. In a world where there’s just too much data on everybody’s salacious, boring secrets, nobody cares where or with what Ms. Blackthorn works her garden.

    People just don’t give a shit. And when the nosy neighbor’s diaper-sex photos hit newstands the next day, what position is he going to be in to demand her resignation from the school board? Surveillance states only give you power over your neighbors when you’re the only one not being surveilled. The best way to neutralize the surveillance state is to universalize it.

  174. 174
    PIGL says:

    @Chet: Cause I always win my fights to the death against a deadly and impacable enemy by cutting my own throat and handing him knife.

    We have computers nowdays, you annoying little poseur, that obviate the need to have 40% of the society checking up. The DDR did not have those, you moron. The “olds” you so casually dismiss created a whole new world between your mothers regrettable lapse and the present day, and you apparently were too busy playing with your xbox to notice.

  175. 175
    khead says:

    @PIGL:

    Actually, the sheer number of stupid scenarios and slippery slope arguments is what’s alarming. I noticed you didn’t mention she was arrested. What the fuck is “posting in a quasi-legal capacity”?

    Anyone who is stupid enough to garden in the nude should recognize the possible consequences. If she doesn’t want to end up naked on Facebook, put some damn clothes on. As long as she isn’t arrested while not violating any laws I don’t give a shit – I just don’t have any sympathy for her being embarrassed about it.

  176. 176
    Chet says:

    The more data compiled on you personal habits, viewpoints, credit history, the more you can be painted into a corner.

    The leverage comes from the asymmetry. If everybody knows everybody’s personal habits and credit history, then nobody has any leverage as a result.

    Somebody wants to use the surveillance state to blackmail me? That’s a double-edged sword. I’ll just drop off the videos of them blackmailing their victims to the police.

  177. 177
    Chet says:

    Cause I always win my fights to the death against a deadly and impacable enemy by cutting my own throat and handing him knife.

    My suspicion is that you don’t see too many fights to the death where the combatants know they’re equally matched. The power of the surveillance state comes only when not everyone gets to see the footage.

  178. 178
    Feudalism Now! says:

    The GOP candidates will be slavering to attach tasers to drones and divebomb ‘teh illegals’ on the border. It will get a bunch of laughs and move on.
    The drones aren’t the problem. A camera on a stick poses the same problems.
    Most U.S citizens don’t see a problem with our Government spying and recording their conversations and movements. There has not been a major impact to change their way of life. Until there is, there will not be any movement to restrict governmental power this way.

  179. 179
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: Do you live in Rio? Or South France?
    Because I live in the real world where people control their image by controlling the aspects of their privacy left to them.

    The fox does chase down the rabbit with many holes, btw.

  180. 180
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    If everybody knows everybody’s personal habits and credit history, then nobody has any leverage as a result.

    That’s a pretty risky and glib assumption.

    Don’t you wonder if it is a little naive?

  181. 181
    Corner Stone says:

    Alright, so Chet is m_c in another guise.

    People do care you moron. I live in wingnutville. Think they would help me with my policy suggestions if they knew I liked to stick my dick in the taters?
    Oh, I outed Old Man Rightie who likes to stroke fresh corn at midnight! Yes, my situation just got better somehow.

  182. 182
    Lojasmo says:

    @wrb:

    You seem to labor under the impression that doing illegal things in plain sight is somehow an integral component to living a fulfilling life.

    So knock yourself out smoking pot while naked out of doors. It’s damned unlikely that drones flying around your neighborhood will change anything about your ability to do that without consequence.

  183. 183
    Chet says:

    Don’t you wonder if it is a little naive?

    Don’t you wonder if its a little naive not to realize that the same protection given to your completely boring and consensual activities also protects your child’s rapist?

    But, hey, if it’s somehow more important to prevent your neighbors from being able to chart your menstrual cycle – as though they wanted to – than to intervene in the enormous number of extremely harmful criminal acts occurring every hour behind closed doors, I’m sure that argument can be presented. I’m aware that its widely thought that the trade-off is worth it. That doesn’t mean it is. Maybe the reason that people so willingly offer up their privacy to Facebook is because privacy isn’t actually all that important?

  184. 184
    Chet says:

    Think they would help me with my policy suggestions if they knew I liked to stick my dick in the taters?

    If they knew you knew the same thing about them, why would they give a shit? You’re still not understanding the issue here.

  185. 185
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Lojasmo:

    So knock yourself out smoking pot while naked out of doors. It’s damned unlikely that drones flying around your neighborhood will change anything about your ability to do that without consequence.

    Where do you people come from?

    Stop infecting us.

  186. 186
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet:

    You’re still not understanding the issue here.

    That I don’t want them to know I like to stick my dick in the mashed taters? Or that I pray to Mecca 5 times a day?
    What part of privacy do you not fucking understand you god damned moron?

  187. 187
    Sly says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The whole point of the post is because people like yourself will excuse away any discussion of same until this exact outcome is realized.

    And my whole point is that the use of technology created by the military by other organizations for non-military purposes does not constitute, in and of itself, the “militarization” of said organization and one more step on the path of turning the United States into the most cleverly disguised (and inevitable) autocracy on the planet. Forget the logical contortions of relying on slippery slope arguments; bitching and moaning about theoretical violations of, or end-runs around, Posse Comitatus based on the use of unarmed remote-controlled planes amounts to crafting a slippery slope argument when the slope isn’t even there.

    And yes, if my community PD takes DHS money to buy an APC I want to know wtf they think it’s needed to accomplish.

    If your community PD buys an APC, it won’t be with DHS money. They’ll buy two decommissioned, 40 year-old M113s from DoD surplus at a discount and use one for spare parts. If you find this to be the vanguard of jackbooted fascism, take it up with your local elected officials. DHS and Emperor Obama will have nothing to do with it.

  188. 188
    The Raven says:

    Obviously the police have never blackmailed anyone. Aren’t even tempted. Police files are always secure. Drones can’t be hacked. A chief executive will never order surveillance illegally. Nope, never happen. Oh, wait.

    This type of surveillance may or may not reduce crime; my impression is not much, because actually reducing crime involves actual pavement-pounding on the part of police. For surveillance to be effective in reducing crime the police have still got to apprehend the criminals their surveillance may have identified, and they aren’t doing that now. But universal surveillance is part and parcel of a totalitarian state, and the USA is stepping closer and closer to that state.

  189. 189
    henqiguai says:

    @Chet (#176):

    If everybody knows everybody’s personal habits and credit history, then nobody has any leverage as a result.

    Dude; just how virginal to the world are you? I mean, you’ve admitted that you’re fairly young, but such naivety (innocence is just too forgiving) will get you in trouble which will cost you tons. Your argument is silly; heck, I don’t really want anyone posting my wild&wooly weekend activities, and that’s even given that my wild&wooly is limited to a pile of books, a pot of tea, good light, and everybody leave me the f*ck alone! Boundaries, lad, boundaries.

  190. 190
    Corner Stone says:

    @Sly: Are you stupid? There are news accounts in the public discourse with small town PDs buying APC’s with DHS grants.
    What do you think the Green to Blue pipeline is? Or do you deny its existence?

  191. 191
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Hypothetical question. If someone developed a forcefield that covered a single person, would it have been a better choice than the drone?

  192. 192
    Chet says:

    What part of privacy do you not fucking understand you god damned moron?

    Why it’s more important than people being raped and killed.

  193. 193
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    the same protection given to your completely boring and consensual activities also protects your child’s rapist?

    Ok. i see where you’re coming from…Sir Thomas More (warrantless wire-tapping”)

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

    The point Sir Thomas was making is applicable today.

    Eg. Allowing the rule of law to protect the innocent by allowing a few guilty persons to escape justice. It’s not a perfect system, but it is the only way to protect you and I from the sociopaths who would abuse the Law to get a poliitcal opponent or a social enemy, without habeus corpus.

  194. 194
    Chet says:

    Your argument is silly; heck, I don’t really want anyone posting my wild&wooly weekend activities, and that’s even given that my wild&wooly is limited to a pile of books, a pot of tea, good light, and everybody leave me the f*ck alone!

    I just don’t understand why your goofy obsession with pointless secrecy is more important, for instance, than being able to see if Jerry Sandusky is raping a child.

  195. 195
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet:

    Why it’s more important than people being raped and killed.

    Alrighty.

  196. 196
    Chet says:

    The point Sir Thomas was making is applicable today.

    Did he make a point? Seems like he just dodged the question by making an unrelated point about wind. But thanks for posting a classic in the genre of “poetic evasions.” Its like a slippery-slope that doesn’t even have a slope. “Oo, if you use police drones the devil might get you!

    Compelling.

  197. 197
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Chet:

    Your keen analytical powers just took a dump.

    Fuck off

  198. 198
    Chet says:

    It’s not a perfect system, but it is the only way to protect you and I from the sociopaths who would abuse the Law to get a poliitcal opponent or a social enemy, without habeus corpus.

    I don’t see that the system has ever protected anybody from that. For one thing, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t protect you from your neighbors spying on you. Until 2002 it wasn’t even illegal in any state to install secret cameras in your neighbor’s house, as long as you didn’t trespass onto the premises to do so. Even now there’s only nine states that have a law against it.

    On the other hand, it’s always been a crime to blackmail someone, even if you obtained the information completely legally.

  199. 199
    PIGL says:

    @khead: I mean the deputy sherriff or constable Joe, or the head of the local Police Benevolent society posting things on a lamp post or a web page or the newspaper, with an indication of some sort of official sanction.

    I would have thought that would be plane to the meanest intelligence.

    But no, no peace officer or self-appointed Block Watch captain would ever do anything like that, would they. Not without a warrant.

  200. 200
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: Does the Blessed Quran only exist outside of spacetime?

  201. 201
    Feudalism Now! says:

    @Chet:
    No. The point he makes is that the law protects the innocent. The guilty can hide in an imperfect system for the greater good but if you strike down all laws just to get the ‘devil’, you may protect the populace from the one but left them unprotected from everything else.
    Your argument of throwing up enough chaff to screen your warm blended starch fetish with the banality of modern life is an anachronism. If you get to the point of harvesting information on everyone, you better have enough Wolfram Alpha, Beta and Gamma working on separating the wheat from the chaff. The thought that the government in our future dystopian dictatorship will care about a little kink in the kitchen is small. Now a spying federal network trying to find Occupy Wall Street organizers/sympathizers, pretty easy to pick out phrases and locations.
    All said stronger laws and better enforcement/ punishment to keep the scum from turning the US of A more fascist liberal.

  202. 202
    khead says:

    @PIGL:

    Actually, plenty of block captains would do it. And they would get in deep shit. But if the block captain put it on his personal Facebook page along with the rest of his his neighbors? Not so much.

    Plainly, no one here grew up in a small town where everyone in town knew when you farted 5 minutes after it happened. Y’all would’ve thought that was a travesty of justice that was a threat to the Republic too I’d guess.

  203. 203
    Sly says:

    @Corner Stone:
    The “Green to Blue pipeline” has been in existence long before DHS was an idea in Joe Lieberman’s head, and it passes through the DoD’s Excess Property Program. Not the DHS.

    Unless you’re referring to local PDs buying civilian-model Lenco BearCats with DHS grants, which is a different issue as those were never designed for military combat use in the first place.

  204. 204
    Corner Stone says:

    @Sly: So you have no idea what you’re talking about then?

    “This comes on top of grants from the Department of Homeland Security that enable police departments to buy vehicles such as “BearCats” — 16,000-pound bulletproof trucks equipped with battering rams, gun ports, tear-gas dispensers and radiation detectors. To date, more than 500 of these tanklike vehicles have been sold by Lenco, its Massacusetts-based manufacturer, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. ”

    ““They’re the ones who verify for us that the ‘West-wherever Police Department’ is, in fact, a police department, and yes, in fact, it has five sworn officers,” said Kenneth Macnevins of the Defense Logistics Agency, which oversees the 1033 program.

    “Some of that factors into how much stuff they could receive. If a police department with 12 officers wanted to acquire 85 sets of snow shoes and they were in Arizona, you might say, wait a second, tell us more.”

    Some skeptics say acquiring military hardware can lead to a desire to use it, even when it’s not needed.

    “It’s kind of had a corrupting influence on the culture of policing in America,” the Cato Institute’s Lynch told The Daily. “The dynamic is that you have some officer go to the chief and say, people in next county have [military equipment], if we don’t take it some other city will. Then they acquire the equipment, they create a paramilitary unit, and everything seems fine.

    “But then one or two years pass. They say, look we’ve got this equipment, this training and we haven’t been using it. That’s where it starts to creep into routine policing.”

    BATTLEFIELD MAIN STREET link

  205. 205
    Corner Stone says:

    @khead: People like who? Little Suzy the florist? Or Big Jim the butcher?
    They knew I liked to pray to Mecca 5 times a day?
    Hmmm…what about Uncle Sugar? Did he know?

  206. 206
    khead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Uncle Sugar was the very jackass who used to call my parents and tell on me the most. I hated that bastard. But – and this is the important part – I didn’t expect him to not call my parents because I was too stupid to do something that he could see in plain view.

    Suzy the Florist was pretty cool ’cause I bought a lot of stuff from her. Chicks dig flowers.

  207. 207
    henqiguai says:

    @Chet (#194):

    I just don’t understand why your goofy obsession with pointless secrecy is more important, for instance, than being able to see if Jerry Sandusky is raping a child.

    You keep saying that. You do realize, right, that our privacy laws, in various manifestations, have been around forever, and yet we’re still catching these predators on a regular basis. Right? And by the way, even if we had something even more functionally intrusive than what you’re jonesing for, it would not prevent the sorts of crimes you’re noting. Even our computers can’t analyze and report on the concurrent activities of 300,000,000 people spread out over 3+ million square miles (and that’s even if we allow the science fictiony ability to monitor and analyze in an effective way).

    Actually, you seem to be channeling a lot of the my favorite pony fairy tale world that was popular back in the 1960′; that whole Age of Aquarius blather (someone, find the 5th Dimensions).

  208. 208

    @Corner Stone:

    This may be the most disturbing authoritarian viewpoint espoused on this thread.

    I don’t think that word (“authoritarian”) means what you think it means.

  209. 209
    The Raven says:

    4 in 10 rapes take place at the victim’s home. 2 in 10 rapes take place at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative. 1 in 12 rapes take place in a parking garage. Some 73% of sexual assaults are due to someone known to the victim, and most likely take place indoors, link. I have no idea what rape has to do with drones at all.

    On the other hand, there are criminals who get thrills from stalking a victim, and invading their privacy.

    I am so out of this discussion.

    Hominids.

  210. 210
    Sly says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I repeat myself:

    Unless you’re referring to local PDs buying civilian-model Lenco BearCats with DHS grants, which is a different issue as those were never designed for military combat use in the first place.

    In order for something to be used in the military and then used in the civilian sector, it first has to be… used in the military. Is that splitting hairs? I don’t think so. The BearCats that police departments are buying are not military-grade APCs. It’s basically an up-armored suburban.

    If you’re referring to events like this shitkicking hick of a sheriff buying an M113 and fitting it with a M2 machine gun, which is used to destroy vehicles and buildings, those things are done through the DoD’s Excess Property Program. Otherwise known as 1033.

  211. 211
    Corner Stone says:

    @Sly: Let me ask you something. Just on the real. If you see an APC coming to a house near you, are you going to ask them if they bought that off the dock home from Afghanistan?

  212. 212
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Ummm, no. I’m 100% sure you are an authoritarian asshole.
    That’s pretty solid.

  213. 213

    @Corner Stone:

    That I don’t want them to know I like to stick my dick in the mashed taters? Or that I pray to Mecca 5 times a day?

    Which I find ironic, in a way…You go on and on calling other people authoritarian, but you just want to blend in to be perceived as someone who adheres with societal norms. But, to add to the irony, you want others to adhere to your own sense of right and wrong, and if anyone dares challenge you on this, they get called bad names- like “authoritarian”- as their punishment. You, Corner Stone, are a breathing contradiction.

    So stick your dick in those mashed potatoes while praying to Mecca, man! Who cares? Hell, why does it matter who cares? It isn’t illegal, it shouldn’t be illegal.

    BTW, congrats to the Texans and their fans, you included.

  214. 214
    NR says:

    I wish I could say that I’m surprised to see people arguing that if you obey the law, you don’t have anything to fear from ubiquitous surveillance, but sadly, ignorance of history is a common characteristic of many Americans today.

  215. 215
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): As usual, you have missed pretty much every thing about the comment you quote.

  216. 216
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    So stick your dick in those mashed potatoes while praying to Mecca, man! Who cares? Hell, why does it matter who cares? It isn’t illegal, it shouldn’t be illegal.

    Let me share with you a story. I have a friend who lives in Chicago but was born in Syria. He’s brown. He visited me recently and when we went out to eat he asked if I would mind asking the waitress a couple questions about the menu. Like if a certain meal had pork in it. Yes, he’s Muslim.
    He preferred not to ask even though he’s lived in the US for over 10 years.
    Let me have you and Chet talk to him for a bit. I’m sure he’ll feel much better.

  217. 217
    PIGL says:

    @khead: what is a threat is institutionalising small town gossip and surveillance so that it works everywhere all the time on everyone, and backing it up with unlimited lethal and unaccountable force….you ask?

    Just how many steps do you think are our societies from massive disappearances and death squads? When did those start to emerge in South America? When our governments backed the local elites against their people. They can do it here just as easy, and the same class of people will be cheering, and the same class will be falling out of helicopters after being raped and tortured.

    You think America (or Canada, for that matter) is so fcking special that we are immune to the depradations of a determined elite?

    So yes, total information awareness coupled with an almost all-powerful police force backed up by enormous secret intelligence services are a cause for concern.

  218. 218
    khead says:

    @NR:

    I’d like to say I’m surprised to say that people can’t tell the difference between arguing embarrassing legal acts vs. illegal acts and having warrants vs. not having warrants, but sadly, this is the Internet.

  219. 219
    John Cole says:

    Just wanted to make sure I’ve got this right at this point in the thread- we need drones to find child rapists?

  220. 220

    @Corner Stone:

    No, I got everything about it. You want your privacy protected from employers, would-be employers, newspapers, the government, the Gnomes of Zurich….everyone, because if they knew you had some weird habits behind closed doors, well, then, you’d be embarrassed and without a job…Never mind that the person who doesn’t hire you over this has a chicken-noodle-soup-enema fetish, or that the CIA agent who saw that photo of you sticking your dick in KFC side dishes is the same guy who dresses up like Shirley Temple and shoves a dildo up his ass.

    We’re all fucking weird in some way or another. There should be no shame in our weirdness (as long as it’s not so immoral as to involve children or doing bodily harm to others), but there should be shame on those who feel a need to collect data on our eccentricities and disseminate it in a manner intended to cause us to feel shame.

  221. 221
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    Just wanted to make sure I’ve got this right at this point in the thread- we need drones to find child rapists?

    And to detect when the casserole is done in Auntie Mae’s house if you listen to a few of these guys.

  222. 222

    @John Cole:

    Just wanted to make sure I’ve got this right at this point in the thread- we need drones to find child rapists?

    About as much as you need a rape kit to execute a warrant in a Ponzi scheme case.

  223. 223
    khead says:

    @PIGL:

    South America? Really? No, we’re not South America.

    Small town gossip is not illegal. It’s a real pain in the ass, I agree, but it’s not illegal. The application of actual force would be illegal.

    If the small town gossip is too unbearable for you I suggest a UHaul. It worked just fine for me. Try one with 4-wheel drive to take care of that slippery slope.

  224. 224
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): So you’re out of your mind then?
    Because this comment was straight up nutso.

  225. 225
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): And if I lived in wingnut evangelicala and was a Muslim?
    Do you not understand anything about the country you live in?

  226. 226

    @Corner Stone:

    Really? This was you, no?

    People do care you moron. I live in wingnutville. Think they would help me with my policy suggestions if they knew I liked to stick my dick in the taters?

    And those wingnuts are playacting as diapered babies with hookers. Address the hypocrisy.

  227. 227

    @Corner Stone:

    Do you not understand anything about the country you live in?

    Wait, you’re the one who makes one de jure this, slippery slope that statement after another. Fuck ’em if they mock you for your particular deviations from the norm when they’ve got their own. If you allow someone to do this to you, then you’re the fucking authoritarian.

  228. 228
    NR says:

    @khead: Yeah, it’s not like these surveillance powers would ever be abused by the government or anything. That’s never happened before in all of human history. No, the only thing people are concerned about is being embarrassed. What fools!

  229. 229
    NR says:

    @John Cole: Yes. And if you don’t want ubiquitous drone surveillance, you are objectively pro-child rape.

  230. 230
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @John Cole: Here’s a nightmare scenario: Chet and matoko reproduce together. Because there was too much privacy demanded by olds, and not enough child rapists got caught without drones.

  231. 231
    khead says:

    @NR:

    I’m sure there’s plenty of those 4 wheel drive UHauls available if you’re that concerned. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a UHaul – but I strongly suggest checking out 4 wheel drives.

  232. 232
    NR says:

    @khead: Yeah, because when the government collects surveillance data on its citizens, the only thing it’s going to use it for is to fuel small town gossip.

    God, you’re an idiot.

  233. 233
    khead says:

    @NR:

    I’d like to say I’m surprised to say that people can’t tell the difference between arguing embarrassing legal acts vs. illegal acts and having warrants vs. not having warrants, but sadly, this is the Internet.

    I think I’ve been pretty clear on both counts. (Legal vs. Illegal and warrants vs. without). I hope you at least ski since you love the slippery slope so much.

  234. 234
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Ok. So you’re a moron authoritarian.
    Good to know. Thanks.
    I read your posts. They read like someone who has no idea where they are, or in what country they live.
    If the “deviation” is praying to Mecca?
    You haven’t understood a single thing in this thread you fucking douche.

    I don’t give a shit if Mertyl sees me watering my peppers while I’m naked.
    But what happens if she sees me laying out the rug and praying to Allah?
    You’re an idiot.

  235. 235
    Corner Stone says:

    @khead: Do you not get this? Are you really this dense?

  236. 236
    Corner Stone says:

    @NR: Somehow people here think the info collected all gets used for the good side. Or should I say, “For their guy”.
    That shit doesn’t last forever.

  237. 237
    khead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’d like to say I’m surprised to say that people can’t tell the difference between arguing embarrassing legal acts vs. illegal acts and having warrants vs. not having warrants, but sadly, this is the Internet. I think I’ve been pretty clear on both counts. (Legal vs. Illegal and warrants vs. without).

    I hate to keep repeating myself but damn. Are you really that dense or do I have to call Uncle Sugar to have a talk with you?

    Half the people arguing with me are asking me why I’m not sympathetic to them for being embarrassed because they are so stupid they think they can stand naked in the front fucking yard without realizing they may catch hell from their neighbors for it….

    …. the other half are arguing that I don’t realize we are going to be South America soon because a police force with a legitimate warrant called in a better camera to find some asswipes that stole some cows.

    And I am the dense one? I don’t think so…..

  238. 238
    Corner Stone says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Are you really this stupid?
    Do you really think I could ask my wingnut neighbors to push policy if they knew I was a Muslim?
    Could I live here and make life better for myself and my family if they knew I prayed to Allah?
    What the fucking fuck fuck do you think fucking privacy actually is you fucking asshole?

  239. 239
    Corner Stone says:

    @khead: Yes, you are the fucking dense one you stupid motherfucker.
    Talk about privilege. Fuck you, you stupid asshole motherfucker. You think the info gathered will be separated neatly into “illegal” vs “embarrassing” ?
    No.
    Information has a way of being used.
    It’s the apex of stupidity to think there’s a mechanism to separate “useful” v “good to have”.
    Fuck you.

  240. 240
    Corner Stone says:

    Derp! Government is always correct!
    Derp! I have views that aren’t that different!
    Derp! Something, something else!

  241. 241
    khead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Given that response, I’ll put you in the “too stupid to know the difference between legal and illegal” category. Here’s a helpful hint:

    The neighbors aren’t doing anything illegal – they are just assholes.

    The cops aren’t randomly flying drones around to collect info yet – if they were doing that and aiming at your crib, I’m pretty sure that would be illegal.

  242. 242
    Corner Stone says:

    @khead: You’ve already placed yourself in the right category.
    Derp!

  243. 243
    Corner Stone says:

    @khead:

    The cops aren’t randomly flying drones around to collect info yet

    How do you know dumass?
    The drones have been in the Gulf of Mexico for 2+ years.
    Do you know what they are collecting?
    Then shut the fuck up.

  244. 244
    Corner Stone says:

    The cops aren’t randomly flying drones around to collect info yet

    Want to put a Romney on that?

  245. 245
    cynn says:

    @Corner Stone: Corner Stone: Do you stand in your yard and loudly oppose the government? Are you part of Occupy? Have you made a spectacle of yourself in any urban environment? Then you shut the fuck up, ignoramus.

  246. 246
    Corner Stone says:

    @cynn: No, you shut the fuck up.

    I mean, really you little child? Have you read this thread at all?

  247. 247
    Corner Stone says:

    @cynn: Derp! Unless you fit my exact expectations for protest then you have nothing to say!
    Derp!

  248. 248
    Corner Stone says:

    Make sure you’re on my terms!
    Derp!

  249. 249
    Chet says:

    The guilty can hide in an imperfect system for the greater good but if you strike down all laws just to get the ‘devil’, you may protect the populace from the one but left them unprotected from everything else.

    I don’t want to strike down all laws. In fact I’m not sure I want to strike down any. I’d rather have old people get with the program about privacy – it’s extremely overrated.

  250. 250
    Chet says:

    we need drones to find child rapists?

    What are you, 80 years old? Jesus.

  251. 251
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: Some people enjoy privacy.
    They aren’t texting their Facebook status at 2:30am while driving home from work.

  252. 252
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: You’re on the wrong blog amigo.
    Because Cole’s left hand is, in fact, 89 years old.

  253. 253
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh wait. I just realized I broke the FlipYrNick commenting rule.
    I meant to say something like, “Drones in place over the continental US are one thing. But what I think is more interesting to discuss is what should be monitored by drones.”
    And I shouldn’t say naughty words to anyone. My bad.

  254. 254
    Admiral_Komack says:

    Don’t have a cow, man…

  255. 255
    Chet says:

    Some people enjoy privacy.

    Some people enjoy kiddy-diddling. Societal expectations of privacy have real human costs. Real people get harmed by it. I’ve yet to hear what that’s all supposed to be in defense of, except “well, even though I would never, ever do anything weird I don’t want people to know about it.” I’m putting that up on the scale against all the harmful criminality happening behind closed doors and I don’t see that it stands up. I think it’s time for people to recognize that privacy is just another form of narcissism.

  256. 256
    NR says:

    @khead:

    I think I’ve been pretty clear on both counts.

    And history has been pretty clear on the fact that ubiquitous surveillance will be abused by the government.

    If you’re going to keep denying that incontrovertible fact, then there is nothing further to discuss.

  257. 257
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet: I’m sorry. What?

    I don’t deserve a right to privacy because some 0.0001% of the adult population may do the dirty?
    I should hang my nethers out on the string so you can sniff them?
    I suggest you get therapy as soon as you can.

  258. 258
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: It’s been awhile since we’ve all gotten to witness the unique gifts that made you a voice Anne Laurie enjoys.

  259. 259

    @Corner Stone:

    Do you really think I could ask my wingnut neighbors to push policy if they knew I was a Muslim?

    Bwahahahahahaha…You mean in real life you’re a blushing violet rather than a rude, demanding asshole?

  260. 260
    Tim I says:

    I’m glad you haven’t abandoned that old right-wing paranoia.

  261. 261
    vernon says:

    Jesus. Again, what a sad, sad show. Balloon Juicers have reached the point where they’re glad to sound like Dick Cheney if it keeps them from sounding like Firebaggers.

    Sorry you’ve had to do all the heavy lifting, Corner Stone; I’m just sick to death of trying to talk to ABL’s bobblehead doll collection. Now these clowns are saying, what, privacy rights are an anti-Donk scheme cooked up by Nader and Hamsher, and only total surveillance can prevent child rape? Beautiful…

  262. 262
    Paul in KY says:

    @The Dangerman: Is the Predator Drone military? If so, I have a big problem with using defense assets for law enforcement here in the U.S.

  263. 263
    Paul in KY says:

    @henqiguai: If those are owned by the USAF, instead of FBI/DEA, then that is illegal (IMO). The Posse Comitatus act prohibits using military personnel/assets for law enforcement (here in the U.S.).

  264. 264
    Paul in KY says:

    @Chet: I think you’re being a bit naive here.

  265. 265
    Paul in KY says:

    @Chet: You are quite funny.

  266. 266
    Paul in KY says:

    @Chet: How do you install ‘secret’ cameras in someone else’s house without trespassing?

    Unless they specifically invite you into their house cognizant that that is your purpose, you have to be trespassing!

  267. 267
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I hope the value of three cows was worth the effort. I kind of doubt it though.

  268. 268
    Chet says:

    I don’t deserve a right to privacy because some 0.0001% of the adult population may do the dirty?

    Uh, yeah, that’s basically right. I don’t see anything noble about your absurd obsession with keeping pointless secrets. Keeping innocent people out of jail? That’s certainly worth letting some number of guilty people go free. Dignifying your narcissistic delusions that people care about your bedroom activities? Doesn’t rise to the same level, sorry.

  269. 269
    Chet says:

    How do you install ‘secret’ cameras in someone else’s house without trespassing?

    In the specific case that prompted the passing of “video voyeur” laws in the nine states where it is illegal, Susan Wilson and her husband had extended a more or less open invitation to a trusted neighbor; they’d even given him keys so he could come in, feed the pets when they were away, collect the mail, that sort of thing. Not unknown in a small town, right?

    Glover, the peeping tom, ultimately pled guilty to “unauthorized entry” but there was no law on the books against sexually assaulting someone by means of cameras, and as a result he received a three year suspended sentence – nothing at all, in other words.

  270. 270
    Bruce Baugh says:

    The Transgender Day of Remembrance commemorates some of the lives lost each year, many of them because someone found out someone else was trans and reacted murderously. Some of those killings were premeditated, others done in the heat of the moment. But they are just one of the many millions of reasons that privacy matters, no matter how much someone as secure in his privilege as Chet (or the owners of Facebook and such) thinks otherwise.

  271. 271
    wrb says:

    Krugman must have been following this thread & reading Chet last night:
    __

    It’s time to start calling the current situation what it is: a depression. True, it’s not a full replay of the Great Depression, but that’s cold comfort. Unemployment in both America and Europe remains disastrously high. Leaders and institutions are increasingly discredited. And democratic values are under siege.

    __

    Nobody familiar with Europe’s history can look at this resurgence of hostility without feeling a shiver. Yet there may be worse things happening.
    __
    Right-wing populists are on the rise from Austria, where the Freedom Party (whose leader used to have neo-Nazi connections) runs neck-and-neck in the polls with established parties, to Finland, where the anti-immigrant True Finns party had a strong electoral showing last April. And these are rich countries whose economies have held up fairly well. Matters look even more ominous in the poorer nations of Central and Eastern Europe.
    __
    Last month the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development documented a sharp drop in public support for democracy in the “new E.U.” countries, the nations that joined the European Union after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Not surprisingly, the loss of faith in democracy has been greatest in the countries that suffered the deepest economic slumps.
    __
    And in at least one nation, Hungary, democratic institutions are being undermined as we speak.
    __
    One of Hungary’s major parties, Jobbik, is a nightmare out of the 1930s: it’s anti-Roma (Gypsy), it’s anti-Semitic, and it even had a paramilitary arm. But the immediate threat comes from Fidesz, the governing center-right party.

    __

    Taken together, all this amounts to the re-establishment of authoritarian rule, under a paper-thin veneer of democracy, in the heart of Europe. And it’s a sample of what may happen much more widely if this depression continues.
    __
    It’s not clear what can be done about Hungary’s authoritarian slide. The U.S. State Department, to its credit, has been very much on the case, but this is essentially a European matter. The European Union missed the chance to head off the power grab at the start — in part because the new Constitution was rammed through while Hungary held the Union’s rotating presidency. It will be much harder to reverse the slide now. Yet Europe’s leaders had better try, or risk losing everything they stand for.

    got a picture too
    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/i.....log480.jpg

    So we must give up waking up surrounded by bird song unless my sweetie decides to be a porn actress? Not gonna happen. The Quaker girls school taught modesty.

    All so that Chet can hunt for someone so stupid that they would rape a child outdoors knowing that there is overhead surveillance?

    Cet is just bizarrely virginal. Hopefully the world won’t learn him too painfully.

    But what a shrunken and darkened world his thinking would lead to.

  272. 272
    Chet says:

    But they are just one of the many millions of reasons that privacy matters, no matter how much someone as secure in his privilege as Chet (or the owners of Facebook and such) thinks otherwise.

    And yet it’s coming out of the closet that has resulted in such enormous gains for gays, lesbians, and the transgendered in our society. Certainly being the only one who gets their secrets exposed is embarrassing and potentially dangerous. But when all secrets are out, which is what I’m talking about, not only does “deviant” behavior become a lot less noteworthy, but its much easier to check other people’s behavior – like those people who want to kill the transgendered.

    But, just so we’re clear – your argument is that the police can’t use flying robot cameras because otherwise people will murder transgendered people?

  273. 273
    Chet says:

    The Quaker girls school taught modesty.

    Then fuck indoors, stupid! If you want to hear a bird, get a parakeet. Jesus Christ, what the hell is wrong with you?

  274. 274
    wrb says:

    @Chet:
    What is wrong with you?

    You would our private space and make it public.

    Why would you not then argue for cameras in the dining room and bedroom, using the same argument. Child rapers are a lot more likely to be active there.
    And anything someone wants private they can do in the bathroom.

    Nightmarish world you seek.

  275. 275
    wrb says:

    @Chet:

    But when all secrets are out, which is what I’m talking about, not only does “deviant” behavior become a lot less noteworthy, but its much easier to check other people’s behavior – like those people who want to kill the transgendered.

    Yep, that’s just how the sort of people in Krugman’s picture will use total information.

  276. 276
    Chet says:

    You would our private space and make it public.

    Your space isn’t private if birds can get in and out. The air – even over your house – is public. It’s a thoroughfare for air travel.

    You can’t be an exhibitionist and then get angry when people look.

  277. 277
    Chet says:

    Yep, that’s just how the sort of people in Krugman’s picture will use total information.

    Who cares what they use it for? If its important to you, you use it for that.

    Do you understand the concept, yet? I’m not talking about a society where only the police have total knowledge; I’m talking about a society where everybody has total knowledge, including of the police.

  278. 278
    wrb says:

    @Chet:

    Who cares what they use it for?

    Identifying and targeting those they hate, those of whom the gene pool needs to be cleansed?

    I’m talking about a society where everybody has total knowledge, including of the police.

    Extraordinarily naive.

  279. 279
    Paul in KY says:

    @Chet: The case wasn’t judicated properly. Giving a ‘trusted neighbor’ your key to feed pets, get mail in, etc. certainly would give him/her no express or implied OK to place cameras.

    Sounds like the prosecutors were lazy.

  280. 280
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole:

    As to those of you poo-pooing this and saying “how is this any different than a helicopter,” in five to ten years when unmanned drones are flying all over your neighborhood surveilling and storing info at random, you can think back to mocking us privacy hysterics.

    Man, this is funny. Corporations and the government are amassing a treasure trove of information on you from your cellphone.

    Have you people not been following the Carrier IQ debacle?

    Even funnier, there is a generation of young adults who willingly yield up every byte of data about themselves, their family and their friends just so they can have a cool Facebook page and access to the latest computer games.

  281. 281
    Paul in KY says:

    @Chet: There’s a great Jack Chalker book where the bad guy is about to take over & the heros have managed to place a magical device near him as he gives his victory speech. This device will grant wishes in a magical manner & is set up to grant one. During the speech, the bad guy mentions how much he wishes that everyone could see his plans for America. Well, thanks to the device, they sure do & thus his diabolical plans are thwarted.

    Chet, if everyone all of a sudden knew everything about everyone, then all Hell would break loose. That won’t happen (everybody knowing about everybody), what will happen is the bad guys will keep their baggage under wraps & use all they have found out on their enemies to further their quest for greed/power. The problem will be that there will be no magical device to show everyone how they are being deceived & we will all suffer for it.

    Most people over the age of 20 realize that.

  282. 282
    Name says:

    @Chet:

    I think it’s time for people to recognize that privacy is just another form of narcissism.

    This is one of the scariest ideas I’ve ever read. Let’s have a police officer give you a body cavity search every 20 minutes for the rest of your life, the way the Founding Fathers intended. If you find that objectionable, I hope you’ll learn to consider it a form of psychiatric treatment for your appalling narcissism.

  283. 283
    JR says:

    Mostly, we live in the rural WV hills, and in order to be protected against a neighbor installing a trainer park or feed lot next to our house, we own a lot of rural property, in eastern USAian terms. In Arizona, it takes hundreds of acres to pasture a single cow.

    We own enough property, that we were able to build our house in a cove in the middle of the place, so that everything we can see, we own. Wife calls this WV Zoning; there is no real zoning, so if you don’t want to live beside a junkyard, you need to know who the neighbors are. And own a lot of property.

    Our driveway is only about 1800 feet long, but it has a 90 degree curve, so no one can see the house when they start up the road. Once in a while a car drives into view, slowly, stops, and backs away, slowly. Once it was a police cruiser, but the type of home we have (modern, curved roof, white stucco, etc) evidently was suggestive to the officer that we weren’t of interest to him. At the time.

    Not too long ago there was a crime spree in the neighborhood. One neighbor had over $8,000 in stuff stolen, 4×4 ATV, tools, guns, etc. After a while, a theft was called in as they fled, and a state police helicopter IDed the vehicle, and the sheriff deputies boxed them in for arrest, no shots fired.

    We were all glad that the helcopter, white and blue with big state seals and all, not black, helped the local cops bust the sneak thieves, which are always a danger in rural areas.

    Rural life is all different, and people in town can misunderstand priorities.

  284. 284
    John Weiss says:

    Don’t like drones? I don’t. I figure the remedy is a 10ga shotgun loaded with single ought buck shot. Handy for bucks and those pesky kids on the lawn.

    In another twenty years or so, they’ll be so small you can’t see ’em. They’ll be small enough to fly up your nose. Then, what?

  285. 285
    RD says:

    @John Cole:

    Drones are a reasonable tactical advance for certain LEAs that can afford it. I just don’t see them ever becoming all that common.

    In any event, they will be useful in the future when isolated pockets of an increasingly violent Tea Party become more difficult to quell.

  286. 286
    Kola Noscopy says:

    Does anyone else suspect Chet is DougJ?

    If Chet is Doug, I stand in awe. Hats off to you…

  287. 287

    @Paul in KY:

    Chet, if everyone all of a sudden knew everything about everyone, then all Hell would break loose.

    Paul, you’re doing more to help Chet’s case rather than to hurt it. You’re making a case for the worldwide culture of shame.

    Before the LGBT community started coming out in large numbers, the State Department would fire anyone they found out was gay or bisexual. Someone who was gay or bi was assumed to be a security risk, someone who could be blackmailed into giving up state secrets. But when those LGBT people are out, they can’t be blackmailed over that part their sexuality, can they?

  288. 288
    Jason says:

    The policia state is here.

    Now what are we going to do about it?

    JJ The Fed

Comments are closed.