Sunday, March 10, 2013

Attack of the Drone

First, let’s stop calling them drones. A drone is lazy male honey bee with one purpose, to mate with the queen bee. A drone can’t even make honey. The term drone has been misapplied in the world of unmanned aviation for one reason. In the early days a drone was an unmanned target that simply buzzed monotonously through the air with no real purpose other than to be shot down. In addition, the term “drone-on” is a direct reference to the monotonous buzzing of a drone bee, which will statistically never have any real use. With 200 drones in any given hive the chance of any single drone mating with the queen bee is low...the rest drone monotonously around the hive without purpose. Remotely Piloted Vehicles, or RPAs as the United States Air Force calls them, are the furthest thing from monotonous flying objects with no real purpose. RPAs continue to prove their military worth overseas on a daily basis and, as with a significant about of technology that the military develops, will find its way into commercial, domestic, and other government use. 

Apparently, it’s the potential for “other government use” that sparked fear in the hearts of libertarians and caused Rand Paul to step before Congress, and ironically drone-on in a 12 hour filibuster. His concern seems to be that the government could use this new technology to spy on US citizens and then, if found wanting, to assassinate them. His grandstand use of the filibuster was either an act of supreme genius to gain publicity for himself or the single most stupid act ever perpetrated by a member of Congress. If it was a publicity stunt the issue dies immediately. All that’s left then is to figure out how much money to bill him for wasting the Country’s time for his own personal notoriety. If he really believes that somehow this unmanned technology is better than wiretaps and arrest warrants for neutralizing dissidents he’s been asleep for about 50 years which, coincidentally, is about same amount of time he’s been alive. But first, let’s dispense with the idea that the US Government would ever target dissidents in our country for assassination. If they were, RPAs wouldn't be their tool of choice. The very idea that a member of Congress would think this way is disturbing. Trying to find bastards with treason in their hearts and the over-throw of US Government in their mind, however, is exactly the job of our Government and they should use every legally sanctioned tool at their disposal to up-root these scumbags and bring them to justice. 

Now back to shaking Rand Paul awake. The first spy satellites the US launched were in the early 1960’s. Spy satellites are unmanned vehicles with big cameras and big ears that can and do, unlike unmanned aircraft today, orbit over the United States every hour of everyday. And have been doing so for more than 50 years. If you were not drawing your window shades over the past 50 years why should you consider drawing your window shades any time soon? Big Brother launched with the advent of the space age and with it the laws that govern what intelligence can be collected with these systems on US Citizens both at home and abroad. Nothing has changed with regard to the technology to spy on US citizens. And most of us agree that this technology has been, and must continue to be, kept in check. What’s fascinating to me is that if you can do it with a “drone” you could already do it with a satellite, or better yet, a light aircraft or helicopter. It’s almost as if Rand Paul doesn’t know about such things…I wonder if he knows about computers and computer hacking…and how unsafe he is on the internet? All that being said the best way to spy on Rand Paul might just be through his computer, if he has one, and if he knows how to turn it on…

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