Monday, October 31, 2011

What Kind of Bird is That?

Hey, we thought those drone birds were just indigenous to the Ay-rab lands! We thought they was just gonna be used for taking out turr'sts!

Boy, I've heard of chickens coming home to roost ... but chickens are a little different from flying imperial deathbots, aren't they? Yeah, but weren't our supervisors supposed to reserve those Flying Fists-O-Fury for the camel jockeys? Weren't we just supposed to amuse ourselves on YouTube, watching drone snuff-porn clips? Why, having fought the terrorists there, are they getting ready to fight us here? Check it out:
CONROE, Texas -- A Houston area law enforcement agency is prepared to launch an unmanned drone that could someday carry weapons, Local 2 Investigates reported Friday.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Conroe paid $300,000 in federal homeland security grant money and Friday it received the ShadowHawk unmanned helicopter made by Vanguard Defense Industries of Spring.

A laptop computer is used to control the 50-pound unmanned chopper, and a game-like console is used to aim and zoom a powerful camera and infrared heat-seeking device mounted on the front.

"To be in on the ground floor of this is pretty exciting for us here in Montgomery County," Sheriff Tommy Gage said.
So, this high-ranking clown in the Army of Domestic Occupation is "pretty excited." I don't know about you, but when these overupholstered militarized skinheads start getting excited, I start getting more worried than usual. Wonder what the Shur'f finds so exciting?
Michael Buscher, chief executive officer of manufacturer Vanguard Defense Industries, said this is the first local law enforcement agency to buy one of his units.

He said they are designed to carry weapons for local law enforcement.

"The aircraft has the capability to have a number of different systems on board. Mostly, for law enforcement, we focus on what we call less lethal systems," he said, including Tazers that can send a jolt to a criminal on the ground or a gun that fires bean bags known as a "stun baton."

"You have a stun baton where you can actually engage somebody at altitude with the aircraft. A stun baton would essentially disable a suspect," he said.

Gage said he has no immediate plans to outfit his drone with weapons, and he also ruled out using the chopper for catching speeders.

"We're not going to use it for that," he said.
Now, there's an impressive collection of weasel words. Mostly, for law enforcement, they focus on what they call less lethal systems. And Shur'f Tommy has no immediate plans to weaponize his deathbot. But think of the possibilities ... some anonymous porker having the ability to tase you, bro, from the air, with no peasant having the slightest ability to individually identify the LEO who's serving and protecting him. But at least the Shur'f firmly denies any intention of using his remote warrior to catch speeders. I feel better already!

But, well, uh ... I mean, could anything ... you know ... go wrong?
In September 2008, the Government Accountability Office issued a 73-page report that raised issues about police drones endangering airspace for small planes or even commercial airliners.

The report's author, Gerald Dillingham, told Local 2 Investigates that 65 percent of the crashes of military drones on the battlefield were caused by mechanical failures.

He said a police UAV could lose its link to the ground controllers if wind knocks the aircraft out of range or the radio frequencies are disrupted.

"If you lose that communication link as the result of that turbulence or for any other reason, then you have an aircraft that is not in control and can in fact crash into something on the ground or another aircraft," said Dillingham.

Pilots of small planes expressed those concerns in the original 2007 Local 2 Investigates reporting on police drones, and the FAA reported then that police departments across the country were lining up to apply for their own drones.

At Montgomery County, Franklin said an onboard GPS system is designed to keep the UAV on target and connected with the ground controllers. He said coordinates are plotted in advance and a command is given for the UAV to fly directly to that spot, adjusting to turbulence and other factors. He said he and the other controller can alter "waypoints" quickly on the laptop to move the chopper to areas that had not previously been mapped out. He said the aircraft moves at a speed of 30 knots, which he said makes it unsuitable for police pursuits.

Small aircraft pilots have expressed concerns that drones cannot practice the "see and avoid" rule that keeps aircraft from colliding in mid-air. Since the camera may be aimed somewhere else, pilots said police controllers may not be able to see and avoid other aircraft in the area during a sudden police emergency.

Gage said he would take every concern into account as his UAV is deployed.

The only routine law enforcement flights inside the United States over the past four years have been the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Their border flights over Texas and Arizona have included one crash, where the drone lost its link to the ground controller.
Oh, well, then ... nothing can go wrong! (Even though it sometimes does, but ... never mind.) Franklin says so, and the Shur'f is taking every concern into account! It's kind of like those no-knock, dynamic entry SWAT raids, where the chair-moisteners with any sort of warrant to serve dress up in all-black costumes and throw some flash-bangs and shoot any dog within sight and bust in and ... I mean, they never do that at the wrong address, do they? It's not like anybody ever gets hurt or killed, do they? Well, in any case, don't worry about it ... if anything does go wrong with the deathbot, the Shur'f will do a rigorous five-minute investigation of himself, and will conclude: unfortunate isolated incident, department procedures followed throughout, officers not at fault, nothing to see here, move along, move along.

Folks, you wanted a military empire, and you got one, and now you're its subjects. For my part, I reserve the right to complain bitterly, because I didn't want one, but I got the one you ordered, and I'm its subject, too. The chickens, and other -- more exotic -- flying creatures, are coming home to roost. Snarling kickers of swarthy butts overseas, and respectful public servants in a constitutionally-limited republic at home? You might want that arrangement, but it can't be had. So enjoy what can be had.

(Thanks, Agitator, for the link.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Defies Credulity"

Well, credulity might not have been exactly the word that the distinguished "Iran specialist" was looking for. I won't quibble, though; I get the idea. No one with an IQ north of room temperature could swallow this fable, even if it hadn't been mouthed by that Father of Lies, Preznit Corporate Barry Peace Laureate:
The United States will apply the "toughest sanctions" to further isolate Iran over the alleged plan to murder the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Barack Obama said on Thursday, despite growing scepticism over the amateurish nature of the plot and the apparently shambolic background of the main suspect.

Obama insisted that the US had evidence to back up the allegations, as he said he would not take any options off the table in dealing with Iran - diplomatic code for the possibility of military action. Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement in the plot.

US authorities said on Tuesday they had evidence of a plot by two men linked to Iran's revolutionary guard to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, by setting off a bomb in a Washington restaurant.

Speaking at a joint press conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Obama said: "Now those facts are there for all to see. We would not be bringing forward a case unless we knew exactly how to support all the allegations that are contained in the indictment."

In addition to prosecutions, Obama said he would continue "to apply the sort of pressure that will have a direct impact on the Iranian government until it makes a better choice in how it interacts with the rest of the international community".

The State Department revealed on Thursday that the US had been in direct contact with Iran over the allegations. "We are not prepared at the moment to go any further on the question of who spoke to whom, and where, but just to confirm that we have had direct contact with Iran,'' said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Go ahead; click through and read the whole thing. It would be hilarious, except for all the murder and material destruction that Da Prez is lusting after, egged on by the brutal mouthbreathers that constitute a majority of my countrymen. I keep playing letter games with the names; surely "Manssor Arbabsiar" must be an anagram for "maximize GE profits" or something similar, no? Well, how about "Gholam Shakuri," then? Or "Victoria Nuland?"

Then there's Barry, with his Progressive Parent talk: those naughty Eye-ranians are going to be in the Big Timeout until they learn to make better choices. And never mind questioning whether there's any backup for all this crapola: "We would not be bringing forward a case unless we knew exactly how to support all the allegations ..." and blah blah blah. No, fellow Americans, "our" government is just a murderous gang of multiply-proven liars. And we must like it -- else, they wouldn't still be in place. The wind has long since been sown, and it's fall -- time to reap the whirlwind. No one deserves it more than we do.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Wicked Sensitive

Check out the latest scandal:
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain waded into a new controversy involving rival Rick Perry, saying it was “very insensitive” to have a racially offensive term painted in stone at the entrance to a hunting camp the Texas governor and his family had leased in West Texas.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the word “Niggerhead” had been painted in block letters on a rock at the gated entrance to the ranch, but that the word was now painted over and the rock was lying flat.

Cain, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” told moderator Chris Wallace that “that’s just very insensitive.”

There “isn’t a more vile, negative word than the ‘N word’ and for him to leave it there as long as he did, before I hear that they finally painted over it, it’s just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country,” he said.
Okay, sure, nigger's an ugly word, unless the speaker's a negro or an African-American or a person of color or black or whatever, and the context is cinematic, in which case it becomes both Authentic and really funny. I guess. Whatever. I suppose I must be developing some semi-Marxist leanings, because when I read that Rick Perry "and his family" lease a hunting camp in west Texas, that tells me what class the Guv is a member of, whether the camp's entrance is decorated by a rock with "niggerhead" painted on it, or "tax serf," or "taser target," or "Walmart peon," or whatever. People who lease hunting camps are members of the ruling class. I'm guessing the same is true of Herman Cain, the godfather of Godfather's Pizza (hmmmm, speaking of ethnic "insensitivity" ... Mr. Pot, may I introduce Mr. Kettle?). If Mr. Cain doesn't lease hunting property somewhere, it must be that he doesn't enjoy hunting, or boozing in a "hunting" milieu, or whatever. I bet I'm not welcome wherever it is he plays his golf, anyway.

The whole thing is grotesque beyond all possibility of parody. Here we are, in a country in which we're boasting about the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, who happens to be an American citizen of whom our wonderful somewhat-black president disapproves, which is enough to have him killed. I'm sure there's nothing new about that; I'm sure that, for most of American history, presidents have been able to have inconvenient people murdered. What's new is that all pretense of legal due process has been dropped; no one's bothering to pretend any more, and that complete lack of pretense really is pretty alarming. So, as I say, here we are, happy little consumer-subjects in the United States of Murder, Inc., and all the "realistic" candidates for Godfather (oh, man, now I'm insensitive, too!) are tossing feather pillows at each other over who's being more sensitive than whom.

Check out Candidate Cain's Official Website. O-bomb-a, early on, thought it necessary to lie to us about being a warhead, much as his predecessor, George the Stupid, did before achieving the office. But anyone who votes for or otherwise "supports" Cain won't even be able to claim to have been lied to: the Godfather's nothing if not up-front about "National Security" (the turr'rsts hate us 'cause we're so good, and want only to kill us all ... and, actually, he may have a point there -- if I pay much attention to contemporary American electoral politics, and what succeeds in that arena, I pretty much want to kill us all, too).

So, we can all be happy remote-control drone murderers together, but you don't want to say "nigger," because some things are just beyond the pale. They affront our exquisitely-refined sensibilities. Perhaps whoever the pathetic redneck was who just had to paint "niggerhead" on a rock out in west Texas should have polished up his act a little. He could've painted "sand-niggerhead," and that might have been perfectly okay. After all, they're THE ENEMY.