Quick Question

Anyone want to call me a dudebro or paranoid freak again for vocally stating that letting police departments have drones (that they would inevitably arm) is a really fucking bad idea?

58 replies
  1. 1
    Botsplainer says:

    Wasn’t that the Rand Paul plan?

  2. 2

    Anyone want to call me a dudebro or paranoid freak again for vocally stating that letting police departments have drones (that they would inevitably arm) is a really fucking bad idea?

    Never did call you that. I agree. I’m becoming increasingly in favor of making local Barney Fifes of the country go to pepper spray and batons.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Let the police have drones and, I mean, what’s next, police helicopters?

    ETA: But, on the larger point, yes, cops have too many deadly toys. I just don’t see what’s MORE dystopian about drones than the tanks and helicopters and machine guns they already have.

  5. 5
    Botsplainer says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I do want them to have six shooters, but the rookies and the dumbs have to keep their single bullet in a pocket.

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    Do you all think this is the beginning of the end of militarization of our police departments?

    It should be. Policing and the military are different functions.

    Homeland security fanaticism is turning on the homeland.

  7. 7
    Halteclere says:

    I’m pissed at the assholes who vandalized the convenience store in Ferguson, for they have provided the “definition” of what is happening in the national media. I was reading a collection of tweets from reporters, and had a gallows laugh at some of the statements the police had made. When I started to explain to a coworker what I laughed at, she said “do you mean where they are rioting?”

    The die was already set – I cannot bring her mind to what is really happening in Ferguson.

  8. 8
    Culture of Truth says:

    GG is one of those who likes to conflate the big armed drones of the US military with tiny surveillance drones. Perhaps law enforcement should have neither. But a camera is not a gun. As defenders of protestors ought to be the first to point out.

  9. 9
    Ruckus says:



  10. 10
    Tone In DC says:

    Anyone want to call me a dudebro or paranoid freak again for vocally stating that letting police departments have drones (that they would inevitably arm) is a really fucking bad idea?

    Around here, unarmed mothers with post partum depression are gunned down in front of their young kids for fleeing the scene of an accident. You have a pretty good idea where I stand on your question, I figure.

    As for Ferguson, MO… I hope the Feds have a handle on that situation. More than a few ammosexuals out there who’d love to channel their inner Zimmerman right now.

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    “drone” is such a BS fear-mongering term.

    it’s a fuckin remote controlled vehicle with a camera on it. they’ve been around forever.

  12. 12
    different-church-lady says:

    Point taken, but I’m much more concerned about the attitudes on display than the toys.

    As I tried to point out yesterday, Brown was killed murdered with a perfectly conventional weapon.

    I don’t like tear gas and tanks, but if they had dogs and fire hoses we’d be going, “Oh, yeah, that’s okay then”?

  13. 13
    smintheus says:

    I have no problem with the police having drones. I would draw the line at tactical nukes.

  14. 14
    different-church-lady says:


    it’s a fuckin remote controlled vehicle with a camera something on it.

    A drone is a tool. Tool can be used for innocent things and evil things. Some drones have cameras. Some drones have weapons. Taking the position they’re inherently innocent is just as stupid as taking the position they’re inherently evil.

  15. 15
    Tim F. says:

    I can get the arguments for and against, but I completely miss how ‘dudebro’ remotely fits either side of the debate. Has it become a general pejorative now?

  16. 16
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @different-church-lady: …and you could put a Minigun on an MD500/OH6A, an arial platform the local police already have.

  17. 17

    @Tim F.: Seems that way, although I don’t exactly know who or what a dudebro.

  18. 18
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Tim F.: it’s a pejorative for “panicky white libertarian.”

  19. 19

    BTW are rude passengers, common on flights from California back to the east coast? I encountered the two rudest passengers in my many years of traveling, both domestically and overseas.

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: well, the “drone” part just means it flies by remote control. No one says they’re concerned about “trucks” because some trucks have guns attached to them.

  21. 21
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I think there’s a dose of tech geek thrown in there as well.

    Whatever the recipe, it’s intellectually lazy debate shortcut. I eschew it.

  22. 22
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The northeast is full of abrasive, loudmouthed people. I know because I’m from there. And as is customary among my tribe, fuck you. But also, yeah, I know, we’re terrible.

  23. 23
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Drone is a woody sounding word: “drooooone.” Woody! Woody! “Droooooooooooooone.”Not like “truck”. Nasty tinny sounding word…

  24. 24

    I have no problems with “drones”. I built my first one – a simple RC plane with a cheap-ass video camera attached – several years ago. Don’t have a problem with cops having them either.

    Having them armed is another issue entirely. That’s fucking insane. And here’s the problem – police departments will arm them.

    The problem, Mr. Cole, is not the drones. It’s the cops.

  25. 25
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: To their credit, people like Greenwald have indeed been speaking out on Ferguson. I’m intensely meh (if that’s a thing?) on libertarianism, but at least some of the principled ones are showing up on this.

  26. 26
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It’ll be fine until the inevitable “Brown’s murder proves Snowden was right” essay.

    Yes, this is my marker and I’m putting it down.

  27. 27
    LAC says:

    @different-church-lady: amen! Did drones start shooting folks in ferguson? Did I miss that story?

    You know, being a dudebro is always making someone’s story your own: “you know, one time I was at the Starbucks and then some cops came in and I felt oppressed until they left with their coffee.”

  28. 28
    SatanicPanic says:

    I never called you either, though I reserve the right to call Glenn Greenwald names just because

  29. 29

    BTW are rude passengers, common on flights from California back to the east coast? I encountered the two rudest passengers in my many years of traveling, both domestically and overseas.

    @schrodinger’s cat: I fly about twice a year. The last two years have seen a sudden and tremendous change in the flying public, and it’s not for the better. My last flight there was a woman with an autistic son, the punching, kicking, and constantly rocking kind, who put her little sprog in the seat next to mine and then took a seat ten rows up the cabin. Thankfully, the flight attendant saw this as it happened and thirty seconds later moved the kid right back beside his mom, handled it like a pro “we’ll all be so much happier when families sit together!”. I would have given her a $100 tip if I’d had the money.

  30. 30

    @FlipYrWhig: I live in the northeast too but I encountered these guys while flying from SF back home. One in the TSA line, who picked a fight with me for no reason and one loud mouthed guy who was yelling at a black flight attendant while standing in the aisle and blocking the way to the restroom.

  31. 31
    Bruce K says:

    Ten years ago, you might have been called that with a bit of justification. Of course, ten years ago, you were a different person, and we were living in a different world.

  32. 32
    Belafon says:

    Only if you’re willing to restrict helicopters as well. Yes, the one thing they would possibly have going for them is being cheaper, though only a helicopter drone would be able to do what a regular helicopter can.

  33. 33
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Weekday passengers in my experience tend to be business travel and business travelers are rude as fuck.

  34. 34
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It’s funny, did my vacation this year in NY/NJ and everybody in the urban areas was really nice. I mean really nice. I grew up in Boston and actually expected a little rudeness.

    (The rurals in Lake Placid were unhappy FoxDrone/MRA freaks, though. Backing away slowly….)

  35. 35

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): Rude guy 1, was a college student traveling with his gf. Rude guy2 was a business traveler.

  36. 36
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: wtf, kid probably would have been happier on a train, anyway

    parents aren’t to blame for kids’ autism (duh) but sometimes they do have something to do with kids’ behaviors, the rocking is a self-soothing behavior and quelle surprise if you have a parent who’d rather not be

    of course parents of kids with severe disabilities don’t get enough education or community support, this can lead to neglect/abuse situations

  37. 37
    Eric U. says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I don’t travel much, always for business, and airports drive me to a state of rage. I try to hide it and not take it out on anyone, but damn it,why don’t people pay the $25 to put their bags in the baggage department and quit hitting me with their suitcases. The other thing that has changed over the last couple of decades is that planes are now almost always full and the airlines don’t provide good check in service any more. So there is a lot of stress, because if you do something wrong there are less flights to make up for it. It’s horrible, and I am pretty sure the airlines would make more money if they alleviated the situation. But they are a batch of greedheads.

  38. 38
    Omnissiah says:

    You could mount a gun on a police dog if you really wanted too. But just because that’s a bad idea doesn’t make police dogs a bad idea.

    And a drone isn’t some mystical Sith weapon, it’s a fucking remote controlled airplane. Y’all act like it’s Robocop or something.

  39. 39
    D58826 says:

    Giving police depts. drones is a very bad idea and a waste of taxpayer money. Why you ask?
    Not a large enough weapons payload. Anything less than an a-10 warthog is just coddling the criminal element and making it look like the liberal bleeding hearts care about real murkins

    yes SNARK in very large letters

  40. 40
    Keith G says:

    @Tim F.:

    Has it become a general pejorative now?

    Like all name-calling, it is used buy those who are lacking the ability or desire to voice a coherent argument.

  41. 41
    A Humble Lurker says:

    I didn’t think anybody here was ever in favor of giving drones to the police. But my memory could be failing me…

  42. 42
    Burnspbesq says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Rude is the new black.

  43. 43

    @Burnspbesq: Both the rageholics were white and men.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I believe that black was used in the fashion sense, not in a racial sense.

  45. 45
    Keith G says:

    There was a time when proactive policing meant going out into the community and heading off possible issues with person to person contact.

    Proactive policing seems now to mean having the latest technology and gadgets (and military armaments) to be able to confront people who you distrust and possibly dislike and overpower that with your overwhelming force.

    The more surveillance powers that police have the more likely they are to use those powers to survey those people who they feel might in the future be a problem. Notice how the New York City Police Department used surveillance against basically anybody that had an Islamic or Arabic sounding name.

    Give police departments surveillance drones, as many more will probably have in the near future, and they will have a whole lot more ability to identify “suspicious” individuals as they walk down the middle of the street.

  46. 46
    Berial says:

    Anyone have any sympathy for Eric son of Eric?

    From a local news/blog:

    @EWERickson is reaping #mssen – McDaniel wingnut calls Erick Erickson “Reince’s toady”

    Been telling them they and their fellow travelers are crazy for years now.

  47. 47
    Burnspbesq says:

    Wrong question, Cole.

    Testosterone-addled, irrationally fearful cops are going to run amuck, whether they have pea shooters and slingshots or better gear than the Marines had in Fallujah. Add race to the mix and you get Ferguson.

    Barring local police departments from having surveillance aircraft that have legitimate uses will do exactly what to solve the real problem?

    Dudebro? Naah. But you have an uncanny ability to propose the worst possible solution to the least important problem, and congratulate yourself on finding The Answer.

  48. 48
    Burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Thanks. I would have thought that obvious.

  49. 49
  50. 50

    @Burnspbesq: Normally yes, but not when I is jet lagged.

  51. 51
    Burnspbesq says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    No biggie.

  52. 52
    Burnspbesq says:

    With the benefit of hindsight, negotiating away (in collective bargaining beginning in the 1960s) the requirement that cops live in the communities where they work looks like A Really Dumb Idea. One would think that the Us vs. Them mentality that pervades contemporary policing would be harder to maintain when Us interact with Them on a daily basis in church, at Little League games, and at the local Dunkin.

  53. 53
    chopper says:

    Personally I’m more concerned with the cops having machine guns and APCs than some radio-controlled airplanes, but that’s just me.

  54. 54
    safeshark says:

    Once again wr0ng way Cole and Rand Paul agree.

  55. 55
    Gus says:

    One, I would never call you a dudebro. Two I would never call anyone a dudebro. The punishment for using that stupid word should be the bastinado.

  56. 56
    Nerull says:

    I’ve only seen dudebro used in the context of the resurgence of misogyny among young affluent men, referring to the typical sort of person promoting those views. See men’s rights activists on reddit.

    Why JC has a weird obsession with the term, I don’t know.

  57. 57
    Bob In Portland says:

    Like a little butterfly at your window.

  58. 58
    Reluctant Militant says:

    A question for John and the rest: What weapons do you think could possibly be employed on a local or even state police drone? Military RPAs(remotely piloted aircraft…because they are anything but unmanned) are incredibly complex and completely beyond the scope of even the best funded/equipped police force. As many have noted, a lot of police forces already have helicopters, many of which are the same basic airframes as the military version. Why haven’t these police forces installed heavy machine guns, rockets, and laser guided missiles on these assets? They already own and operate them. But I guess they’re waiting for drones….DRONES!!!!!

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