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Friday, April 12, 2013

When Republicans Don't Like Drones

Posted by on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM


At a Senate hearing on domestic drone use not too long ago, Iowa Republican Charles Grassley outlined the conservative opposition—which sounds a lot like the liberal opposition:

The thought of government drones buzzing overhead monitoring the activities of law-abiding citizens runs contrary to the notion of what it means to live in a free society.

Also, here are some guys in Texas shooting down a drone of exactly the kind that spied on Paul Constant the other day. They say they were inspired by Charles Krauthammer, who has declared: "The first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down that's been hovering over his house is going to be a folk hero in this country."


Comments (28) RSS

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"some guys"? More like Alex Jones!
Posted by crasher on April 12, 2013 at 7:15 AM · Report this
Big Sven 2
Why are drones any worse than 100,000 surveillance cameras, a la London?
Posted by Big Sven on April 12, 2013 at 7:39 AM · Report this
When republicans use the word "big brother," you know it's Friday.
Posted by GregBem on April 12, 2013 at 7:41 AM · Report this
Eli Sanders 4
@1: Can't tell if this is a positive or negative, but I am more familiar with Phoenix Jones.
Posted by Eli Sanders on April 12, 2013 at 7:43 AM · Report this
@2 I don't think either of them are very desirable.

Though I think a lot of the outrage (or whatever it is we're calling this emotion) is over the fact that they haven't figured out a way to arm cameras yet whereas armed drones are being used in some settings and the more conspiratorially-minded worry about the police starting to use drones in the US the same way the US military uses them in other countries.
Posted by die Giesthander on April 12, 2013 at 7:44 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 6
Love the weird semantic construction of "second amendment weapon."

Is it not ok to say "gun" anymore on Fox News? Do all mentions of firearms have to be swaddled in constitutional language?

Technically, wouldn't any weapon be a "second amendment weapon" considering how the amendment makes no specific distinction between switchblades and nuclear missles?

@2: My guess would be that at least with the cameras, they can not fly off the wall and follow you around. Deep down though, it is just a primal fear/mistrust of any new technology. Happens every time.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on April 12, 2013 at 7:49 AM · Report this
Zebes 7
A pretend shooting of a pretend surveillance drone! How masturbatory. But I'd imagine that the police drones aren't going to have targets painted on them or hold obligingly still so PROUD PATRIOTS can draw a bead on them.
Posted by Zebes on April 12, 2013 at 7:55 AM · Report this
Eli Sanders 8
@6: Yes, although one of the interesting wrinkles in this is that for now—for now—a small wall-mounted camera will certainly see more than a small-drone-mounted camera. That's because of the relatively short life for the batteries that power these small drones.

In other words, instead of shooting small drones out of the sky, you could just wait 10 minutes for them to run out of juice.

Of course, as battery technology improves this will change. But, for now, wall-mounted cameras see more. That's why I've tried to suggest that the SPD's waterfront camera network actually poses more of a privacy concern than the SPD's drone program ever did.
Posted by Eli Sanders on April 12, 2013 at 7:59 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 9
"2nd Amendment Weapon"? Fuck you, Krauthammer. Aren't you due to retire?
Posted by Max Solomon on April 12, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
WFM 10
You realize that the next time there is a big earthquake or natural disaster, outraged people are going to demand to know why the police and government agencies don't have any drones that can search for victims.…
Posted by WFM on April 12, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
They are so manly.
Posted by tshicks on April 12, 2013 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
@10 right, because dogs and pigs are only 10,000 times more effective than drones ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 12, 2013 at 8:57 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 13
@6 - My interpretation of the second amendment is that if I can think of a way to hurt a person with any given object, I have a constitutional right and/or duty to possess it.

Only slightly related: I like to think the appearance of surveillance drones in a city will soon be followed by the surprise popularity of long-handled cartoon-style butterfly nets.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 14
@10 - Then keep the drones on hand for emergency search and rescue. That's not what they're doing.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 12, 2013 at 9:03 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 15
@2 Who's OK with fixed cameras that can track you every second you're out of your house? I find that pretty creepy.

@13 Net guns! More Amurkin that way.…
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on April 12, 2013 at 9:08 AM · Report this
I reserve the right to use First Amendment weapons to ridicule anybody who brags on the internets about shooings down a kid's toy (maybe their own kid's toy).

And again when that pissed-off kid picks up his dad's loaded Second Amendment weapon and "plays" with it.

Posted by RonK, Seattle on April 12, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 17
@15 - I'd rather imagine Broadway populated by the usual hipsters, but about one out of every four of them also has an oversized butterfly net over their shoulder.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 12, 2013 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 18
What we really need is some kind of bounty program for drones and fixed cameras, so that we can have a well-trained and armed militia that preserves privacy.

That should do it.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 12, 2013 at 9:49 AM · Report this
treacle 19
1. Did the Republicans drone on about this topic?

2. Alex Jones is probably an intentional plant to keep the opposition occupied. À la Lenin's observation: "The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves." Jones is a bit too fervent in his opinions, yet somehow allowed to have all this media exposure. You won't get people who have actual radical, yet practical opinions this much air time. Those people face Grand Juries regarding their politics...

3. @15 - This week's Stranger had an note about a presentation/class last night on how to create fashion styles that thwart face recognition cameras... CV Dazzle project. It's been found that a simple swish of dark hair angularly across the face is sufficient to fool the cameras.
Posted by treacle on April 12, 2013 at 10:06 AM · Report this
Big Sven 20
@15: my point. The issue is that we no longer have any expectation of even a shred of privacy when we leave our homes (if then.) Drones aren't any worse than any of the other dehumanizing technology.
Posted by Big Sven on April 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
more Kiley and Sanders please.
Posted by ry coolage on April 12, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
if you compare the amount of "terror" style violence thats happened in the last fifteen years compared to the prior 15 it should be clear to anyone that the proliferation of armed state drones is in our future. Cross that with a middleclass thats been consistently shrinking for 40 yrs straight and...
Posted by ry coolage on April 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
venomlash 23
Police can already fly a helicopter around for surveillance purposes. The principal difference of drone surveillance is that it's way cheaper than keeping a heli in the air. That's a lot of taxpayer dollars saved. You're welcome, lads.

@6: Exactly what I thought. All weapons are 2nd Amendment weapons!
Posted by venomlash on April 12, 2013 at 10:43 AM · Report this

Legally in a public space like a street or park you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy anyway.

the real question isn't, as one poster posits, fear of technology. It isn't necessarily whether the government can do something. It's whether the government ought to do that thing in this case. It's a matter of what kind of world we want to live in.

More than that, we were promised that red light cameras would only ever be used in issuing citations for running red lights, to allay privacy concerns. 2 years later the same people making that promise want to use those same cameras to investigate crimes. Even if I cede the utility of the cameras for such investigations (and I don't) the trustworthiness of those using them is already seriously in doubt.

So, for me, I'd rather the government not be given any new tools until they've shown they can handles those they already have.

For what it's worth, stopping over-reach of government authority, by force if necessary, is what the 2nd Amendment was written for. There never would have been any doubt that a man could protect his home or hunt for meat for his family. This was entirely about the states stopping the federal government if they got too big for their britches. Then the traitor FDR came along and dismantled any notion of states rights or individual ones. If you have a problem with government using drones or the Patriot Act you can thank that odious anti American scumbag for packing courts and forcing legislation to dismantle any pretense of personal freedom.
Posted by Seattleblues on April 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
Best part about shooting drones is that it would basically have the town's entire law enforcement descend upon your property and Waco the fuck out of you.
Posted by No Excuses on April 12, 2013 at 2:18 PM · Report this
venomlash 26
@24: Your post was just fine and logical until you started waxing poetic about the 2nd Amendment and government tyranny and FDR being some kind of evil mutant.
As I explained to Cascadian Bacon earlier, the 2nd Amendment explicitly states that the purpose of the right to bear arms is to ensure "the security of a free State"; that is, to protect people against bandits, Native American raids, and invasions by a foreign power. The Federal reactions to Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion should leave you no doubt as to the Founders' opinions on rebellion against one's duly-elected representatives.
Also, FDR is universally recognized as one of the top three presidents in American history. I'm still wondering why you think you know better than every qualified presidential historian ever.
Posted by venomlash on April 12, 2013 at 6:25 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 27

And to repeat what I said earlier Jeffersons statement about Shays rebellion of : "What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure."

This seems to be pretty clear about resisting tyranny, Jefferson was a founding father.

But I cant really expect understanding someone too stupid to leave Shitcago who has also been ruled too insane to own a firearm.

Posted by Cascadian Bacon on April 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM · Report this
venomlash 28
@27: Um, it's actually about the rebels not knowing any better, and that they should be treated gently, and that the fact that they're rebelling (even if it's over something stupid) shows that they value their liberties.
And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it's motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion. The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.
That's from right before your quote, dumbass.
I have been out of Chicago plenty. Hell, I've spent weeks in rural parts of Wyoming and Montana, and I can tell you it's a whole different kind of country. And nobody's ruled anything about my sanity with regard to owning a firearm.
Posted by venomlash on April 13, 2013 at 9:15 AM · Report this

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