how big a threat is this?

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Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress - Washington Times

Armed drones? Yep - coming soon to an airspace over your head.

About a week or so ago I posted that the big fuss over guns made me wonder what things were being "hidden" by misdirection. Could this be one of those things?

This allows armed drones in the tens of thousands - to be put in service by 2020. If that doesn't chill you, I don't know what would.
Sounds like a control mechanism for protests, doesn't it? But under the guise of "security" of course.

Yes, there are some great uses for drones - but not in those numbers. There is no criteria in this bill for what drones are allowed to do, what info they are allowed to collect or what imagined scenarios would require them to be armed.
  • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
    I didn't read anything about them being armed. Maybe I missed it?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      The "armed" bit was from two news station discussions I saw this morning. I can't vouch for that - but the claim was that many drones are being armed and there is no prohibition against arming these planned drones.

      I'm sure more will come out. I'm not one who sees threats everywhere but this bothered me for several reasons. The constant surveillance is one reason but also the lack of discussion or public release of this new bill bothers me.

      I can see many uses for drones - finding lost people in woods or mountains - traffic monitoring minute by minute - overview of holiday or other crowded situations where crime or injury is likely to occur.
      But we already have drones available for these things - they can be quickly sent out.

      There are some big companies that will get very rich from this new law - but to me its another example of spending out of control and a wish to have the public under control.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Originally, the drones were supposed to be for purposes of survellience. With the leak that our Admin now has claimed the right to kill US citizens on our own soil without trial - they also found that the drones are being armed. I'm not sure how many mainstream news centers have released that news - but a few have. It's a result of part of some of the investigations of our admin and the NDAA that are taking place right now. "We're cooked" might take on a very new meaning pretty soon. Oh well. People were well warned and preferred to scream about tinfoil than to keep a vigilant watch over a government that they knew damned well was becoming more corrupt by the minute and grabbing rights that our constitution did not give them.

    Court proceedings are being held today in a lawsuit being waged against the NDAA in NY. There has been a campaign to flood the courts with citizens against the government's ability to grab our own citizens on our own soil and hold them indefinitely without trial - and even execute them with no evidence against them. Here's the info about the address and times of the proceedings. Don't ditch the source - everyone knows about this case so I just pulled up the time and address off the first site on google instead of worrying about the most authoritative sources which will give the same damned info.

    Call to Pack the Court – Take a Stand Against NDAA | NYC General Assembly # Occupy Wall Street
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Sal - I think part of the problem is the widening gap in the public that mirrors the partisanship we see in D.C. in recent years. In part, this is well oiled by the internet.

      Most regular people I know are NOT going to pay any attention to calls for action from Occupy Wall Street or any other organization or person well known due to a reputation for "protesting".

      The folks I know are normal, working people with kids to raise and houses to take care of and bills to pay. They are disgusted by OWS folks who are often on the dole, don't work but only complain without offering solutions that make sense.

      The big risk is that the majority of the public will not worry about this new bill - because they don't trust those who make dire predictions.

      I hope some big news agencies and respected public figures start questioning this bill - and asking how it was put through so quickly and quietly.
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      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Sal - I think part of the problem is the widening gap in the public that mirrors the partisanship we see in D.C. in recent years. In part, this is well oiled by the internet.

        Most regular people I know are NOT going to pay any attention to calls for action from Occupy Wall Street or any other organization or person well known due to a reputation for "protesting".

        The folks I know are normal, working people with kids to raise and houses to take care of and bills to pay. They are disgusted by OWS folks who are often on the dole, don't work but only complain without offering solutions that make sense.

        The big risk is that the majority of the public will not worry about this new bill - because they don't trust those who make dire predictions.

        I hope some big news agencies and respected public figures start questioning this bill - and asking how it was put through so quickly and quietly.
        Kay - this has also been reported by a few MSM channels - NY Times, I can't remember for sure but something like NBC - one of em with an N in it anyway, etc. I just couldn't remember the date of the court so pulled up the first one I saw on google that had the address - as I already said in my post above.

        Conversely - MSM that is corporate owned does not report what is really going on - they are not ALLOWED to, so people better learn to start paying attention elsewhere and quit yelling about tinfoil. That reaction is getting us into deep crap. Corrupt leaders don't go around advertizing they are corrupt. Much of our legislation now takes place behind closed doors and MSM retains very few investigators, and they are gagged. When something is so dire to our sefety that even a few MSM stations break the gag - people better damned well start listening.

        When someone can post something on a website with the actual document that it came from or court dockett number and time and place - it can be researched and there is not one logical reason for someone to scream "tinfoil" about it unless they look and see it's not real. That's just like this damned ACA bill. 7 million more people are losing their health insurance this month -- before that bill was voted on people were screaming "tinfoil" at everyone on the net who spoke against it - but those with their mouths open the widest never READ the damned thing. Now people are finding the costs, the regulations, the inclusion of human microchipping, and how many will go without yet have to pay fines for not having it........and NOW they are mad. Too freaking bad. Should have thought of reading it in the first place instead of shooting any and every messenger out there just because it was easier to believe a lie than to do a little clicking and reading.

        I have NO sympathy for people who just ignore these types of issues because they don't like the messenger. That type of thinking has us in one huge load of trouble right now, so **** them and their "tinfoil" air raid siren mouths. Sorry - but I've been called everything but white over this stuff and now it's about too late for us. I'm done.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
        An excellent video from Nova.

        Video: Rise of the Drones | Watch NOVA Online | PBS Video

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        • Profile picture of the author Jeff Williams
          Well, I agree that armed drones overhead are a threat. Especially tens of thousands of them. (As if air traffic control didn't have enough to contend with already.:rolleyes

          The question I have is ... why so many? What nationwide crisis could warrant the use of 30k armed drones on the public? And I doubt it's drought, gun confiscation, or terrorism alone.

          Maybe we're finally losing the dollar as the world's standard currency? Who knows ...

          All I know is that although drones overhead is worrisome, I'm more concerned with the regime in control of them. The Posse Comitatus Act is gone. We now have HR 5122, which basically gives POTUS the power to use the military on the public and declare martial law for any reason.

          That's far scarier if you ask me.

          P.S. - For those who may be worried about the drones though, you should know that both the Predator MQ-1 and the MQ-9 Reaper are usually only armed with Hellfire and Stingray missiles. So, the strikes on American citizens can be somewhat surgical and controlled. And it could be weeks, should they decide to strap-on nuclear ordinance.

          Have a nice day.


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  • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
    I also heard something on the news about armed drones. Frankly, I don't want them surveilling either.

    I vote that shooting down drones become a new national pastime.
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by John Rogers View Post

      I also heard something on the news about armed drones. Frankly, I don't want them surveilling either.

      I vote that shooting down drones become a new national pastime.

      If they get their way you'll have to use a crossbow to do that.

      Edit - that video has to be old - the new drones are being equipped with laser weapons.

      And lets not forget these little guys:
      http://rt.com/news/us-drones-swarms-274/
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    These are not the mentalities we want armed with drones:
    White House: Killing American Citizens is "Legal" and "Ethical"
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    They recently made a toy like device. It can probably carry a good payload. It responds to voice, can follow a target, and record everything. It can hover out of site while doing all that and almost fits in the palm of your hand. And it is pretty cheap, as I recall. software is Opensource, and parts are generic!

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      They recently made a toy like device. It can probably carry a good payload. It responds to voice, can follow a target, and record everything. It can hover out of site while doing all that and almost fits in the palm of your hand. And it is pretty cheap, as I recall. software is Opensource, and parts are generic!

      Steve
      Any links?
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      • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        Any links?
        Tiny Drone Camera Hovers Over Your Shoulder And Records Your Life | The Creators Project

        A US$49 personal autonomous micro UAV?

        Those are available to the general public. You can pretty much bet that anything the military uses will be smaller, faster, less detectable, and far more lethal.
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        • Profile picture of the author Henry White
          Also worth noting is that Nazi Germany did a LOT of the R&D in the '30s.

          Now that the technology is "on-the-shelf" and readily available to anyone at an affordable price, how long do you think it will take the wrong people - individuals, groups and factions, as well as governments - to adapt it a major part of their arsenal?

          It seems it's getting more and more like Orwell's 1984 every day...
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          • Profile picture of the author Thomas
            Originally Posted by Henry White View Post

            Now that the technology is "on-the-shelf" and readily available to anyone at an affordable price, how long do you think it will the wrong people - individuals, groups and factions, as well as governments - to adapt it a major part of their arsenal
            Even small countries with limited military budgets are doing that right now.

            Small hovering UAVs are going to be very common on the battlefield in the immediate future. To illustrate their potential, a better name for them would be "intelligently-controlled flying grenades"

            Conventional military forces will inflate their cost (and size) because they'll want redundancy and lots of doo-hickeys. Unconventional forces, however, will jury rig one from a few ounces of explosives, a battery, and maybe a few bits and pieces from an old computer... and then slap on their Google Glasses to guide it to the target, which will probably never see it coming.

            And, unlike a gun, or even a regular grenade, a "kamikaze UAV" is extrememly unlikely to miss, for the simple reason that it will be guided all the way to the target by a human, who can easily take account of, for example, the wind, or the fact that the target itself may be moving... behind a wall... or through a window.

            So, if you thought being shot at would be a hair-raising experience, imagine being chased down the street, around the corner, and into a building by an intelligent flying bomb instead
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              t will be guided all the way to the target by a human
              That's one of the rationales used to support more drone use - the accuracy of targeting. In practice, it seems there's quite a bit of "collateral damage" in countries where drone attacks are commonly used.

              Maybe I'm odd - but there's something chilling to me about killing by remote control. I think it's necessary to see even the enemy as "human" rather than only a "moving target". I don't want war to become one huge real-life video game.

              Looking at history, it does seem the more physically removed from combat we can be...the more wars we are willing to start.
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              • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                The rational of using drones is that the alternative would be to send in troops on the ground and in the process lose American lives. At least in regards to going after Al Qaeda is concerned. Also, the collateral damage is less than weapons that were used in the past such as carpet bombing or missles. In Iraq over 100,000 civilians were killed. Of course that is an extreme modern day example and I don't like to see any civilians killed. Just pointing out one of the arguments the US gives in favor of using drones in war.
                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                That's one of the rationales used to support more drone use - the accuracy of targeting. In practice, it seems there's quite a bit of "collateral damage" in countries where drone attacks are commonly used.

                Maybe I'm odd - but there's something chilling to me about killing by remote control. I think it's necessary to see even the enemy as "human" rather than only a "moving target". I don't want war to become one huge real-life video game.

                Looking at history, it does seem the more physically removed from combat we can be...the more wars we are willing to start.
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                • Profile picture of the author Kurt
                  Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                  The rational of using drones is that the alternative would be to send in troops on the ground and in the process lose American lives. At least in regards to going after Al Qaeda is concerned. Also, the collateral damage is less than weapons that were used in the past such as carpet bombing or missles. In Iraq over 100,000 civilians were killed. Of course that is an extreme modern day example and I don't like to see any civilians killed. Just pointing out one of the arguments the US gives in favor of using drones in war.
                  People that think collateral damage is bad now really need to watch a few old clips of the bombing of London or the bombing of Berlin. There's much less collateral damage with drones than there has ever been previously in warfare.

                  I wonder if the troops that landed on Normandy were worried about winning the "hearts and minds" of the Germans?
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                  • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                    By the way, I still haven't seen anything about the drones being armed. From what I have read, there wasn't anything in the leaked memo about drones being armed and in that memo it was justifying the killing of Americans who were working with Al Qaeda in another country, not citizens on American soil. It's important to keep the facts straight in these issues, otherwise we might just be repeating heresay. The only thing I have found in regards to arming the drones was the possible use of them in the future by police to control demonstrations, armed with rubber bullets and tear gas. I would be against that.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                      Drones over US to get weaponized

                      ABC News reported: "Drones can carry facial recognition cameras, license plate scanners, thermal imaging cameras, open WiFi sniffers, and other sensors. And they can be armed."


                      "Among the most eager to fly domestic drones are America's police departments," the report stated. "In Texas, a Montgomery county sheriff's office recently said it would deploy a drone bought with money from a Department of Homeland Security grant and was contemplating arming the drone with non-lethal weapons like tear gas, rubber bullets or Taser-style rounds."
                      I don't think the plan is to launch thousands of armed drones over the country - but the drones being approved are capable of being armed. There doesn't appear to be any prohibition in the bill against armed drones...that's the concern.

                      On another level - the Federal Reserve was just accessed by hackers. How hard would it be to hack into the drones? Could hackers take over the drones and do their own surveillance? If the drones had some type of armament, could those be remotely activated by hackers? Is this the kind of system that can be remotely decoded or hacked? I don't know.

                      Pilots are not happy - they think people flying drones should be flight certified rather than the current 2 day training course required to fly a drone. They fear collisions on takeoff and landing.
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
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          Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

          Tiny Drone Camera Hovers Over Your Shoulder And Records Your Life | The Creators Project

          A US$49 personal autonomous micro UAV?

          Those are available to the general public. You can pretty much bet that anything the military uses will be smaller, faster, less detectable, and far more lethal.

          Thanks,

          I like this one here because of the controller.



          Back around 2005 I wrote a vb.net program that would drive a remote controlled car around the house from the direction arrows on my PC keyboard. The drone would be more fun.

          Not sure what the range is on these small drones? I would like to have one with at least a 1/4 mile radius, we have a few cows & they keep knocking down fences to get to the neighbors cows, would be nice to setup a parameter (fence line) with GPS coordinates then take photos in real time.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Orwell's 1984 was Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm compared to crap that's going on today.
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  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    On a somewhat related topic, I've just heard about what law enforcement officers are doing in and around our capital city of Canberra.

    They are using the same helicopters used to detect where bushfires and potential bushfires are occurring. They use heat seeking technology to pinpoint these hot-spots (pun intended).

    Now there is of course, nothing wrong with that, in fact it's a bloody good idea for a country that experiences severe bushfires every summer.

    However our "uniformed guardians" have figured out another use for it. They fly around the suburbs at night detecting, wait for it, people who grow pot indoors.

    Apparently houses in which pot is being grown cool down a lot slower than "normal" houses. So they fly around using heat-seeking technology looking for houses that still "glow" at night. Then they can send the "cavalry" to the houses in question and conduct arrests and confiscate the "goods".

    Still, not as bad as armed drones, however I feel it won't be too long before they start using drones for similar purposes.

    As I've stated on other threads, when I read Nineteen Eighty Four, I saw it as a cautionary parable about what can happen when you allow these bustards to have too much power. Obviously others see it as a blueprint.

    *Sigh*.
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post



      As I've stated on other threads, when I read Nineteen Eighty Four, I saw it as a cautionary parable about what can happen when you allow these bustards to have too much power. Obviously others see it as a blueprint.

      *Sigh*.
      It definitely was intended as a warning. Orwell understood the psychosis of power. All of the fascist regimes looked good to people until those in power get positioned just right then explode in their faces. That's why Stalin called followers "useful idiots". People actually help create their own subjection to these sociopaths. They have charisma and are extremely good liars. If you study the psychology of cult leaders, they are the same breed.
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      • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
        Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

        They have charisma and are extremely good liars. If you study the psychology of cult leaders, they are the same breed.
        Those are common traits for all those that rise to the top in a lot of fields, be they priests, politicians, captains of industry or any other. They all exhibit a lust for power not as a a means to an end, but as the end itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    Very cheap drones for hobby use are already here. This quadcopter costs a few hundred dollars and comes equipped with FPV (first person view). That is as if you were siting in the aircraft and controlling it. You can easily use it to spy on your neighbor and attach some sort of weapon. There are of course larger and much more capable quadcopters costing thousands of dollars.

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    • Profile picture of the author LarryC
      Originally Posted by derekwong28 View Post

      Very cheap drones for hobby use are already here. This quadcopter costs a few hundred dollars and comes equipped with FPV (first person view). That is as if you were siting in the aircraft and controlling it. You can easily use it to spy on your neighbor and attach some sort of weapon. There are of course larger and much more capable quadcopters costing thousands of dollars.

      Walkera QR LadyBird V2 FPV 5805 Devo F7 Review - YouTube
      Technology is a double-edged sword. The internet was originally created for the military but now it gives everyone a way to communicate (though it also gives the government and corporations a way to keep track of people, of course). Another example is video technology. Sure, it's intrusive but it also allows ordinary people to videotape things like police abuse.

      Drones might end up being another type of technology that can be used in many ways. If this technology is readily available, it can be used against the system too. It can be used defensively as well as offensively. Hackers will find ways to disrupt drones.

      Sure, it's scary. But it's not all bad. As long as we have access to the same technology (even on a less sophisticated level), there are ways we can use it in the cause of freedom.
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      • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
        Originally Posted by LarryC View Post

        Technology is a double-edged sword. The internet was originally created for the military but now it gives everyone a way to communicate (though it also gives the government and corporations a way to keep track of people, of course). Another example is video technology. Sure, it's intrusive but it also allows ordinary people to videotape things like police abuse.

        Drones might end up being another type of technology that can be used in many ways. If this technology is readily available, it can be used against the system too. It can be used defensively as well as offensively. Hackers will find ways to disrupt drones.

        Sure, it's scary. But it's not all bad. As long as we have access to the same technology (even on a less sophisticated level), there are ways we can use it in the cause of freedom.
        There is a Chinese company that completely dominates the hobbyist market for FPV, aerial photography, quadcopters and drones. It is called DJI Innovations.

        DJI-Innovations | Flight Control Experts

        Its stranglehold is so complete that it does net even bother to have Western sounding names for its products. So you get names such as WooKong, NAZA and Flamewheel. It started off as a technology start up by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and has received massive backing from both the Hong Kong and Chinese governments.

        But it would never have gone this far if not the US government decided to allow the selling of some of the sensors used in its military drones. You could say that the US missed a chance to create a company such as DJI Innovations.

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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    I've heard about them flying like over 10,000 feet. With the size, they likely won't come up on radar. The idea of them getting ucked into a jet engine IS real. In theory, they COULD hurt the engines. Oh SURE, they are tested against flesh and bone birds, but they are NOT tested against some high tec plastics or metal like platinum or titanium.

    So are a few thousand(A plane filled with flyers, and possibly crashing into a busy city area) people possibly dying enough collateral? after all, 10-40 seem to make a difference on the other side.

    And THOMAS,

    What happens if a UAV with a sensitive explosive ends up failing, crashing, or dropping its payload? HEY, it HAPPENS!

    Interestingly, you will RARELY hear about it during war. OH? The enemy was blown up? And WHAT'S the news? But on domestic soil?

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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Thanks Kay - I didn't want to look it up again. I saw a scientific article (not a political one) about drones here being fitted with laser. That should scare the crap out of anyone no matter what kind of tinfoil they see people wearing. If you want to put these things together with the DHS terrorism suspect list - these things may be aimed at any one of us at any time.

    Remember Kay's statement about stocking food supplies? That activity actually would put her on the National Homeland Security Terror watch list. So no need for proof, for trial, etc needed now to be targeted? They just have to "suspect" you of something.

    Yeah technology is great. We just created a whole planet of slaves. How can we really effectively fight these thing? We can hope that we have civilians with the sharps to come up with foils against these things........but have to hope that they never decide to get freaky themselves.

    Time for Orwell to update the book to 2013.
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    • Profile picture of the author Thomas
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      That's one of the rationales used to support more drone use - the accuracy of targeting. In practice, it seems there's quite a bit of "collateral damage" in countries where drone attacks are commonly used.
      But, in the current context, it's inaccurate.

      Current combat drones are basically aircraft without pilots. They're as big as conventional aircraft and they use the same weapons. And, while they can see more than a pilot passing overhead at supersonic speeds, there is still the problem that, once they fire, it's too late to change your mind.

      A small, slow-moving, hovering 'kamikaze drone' doesn't carry any weapons - it is the weapon, which means you basically have until you see the 'whites of his eyes' to change your mind about killing someone.

      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I think it's necessary to see even the enemy as "human" rather than only a "moving target".
      The military (of any country) doesn't - seeing your enemy as being just like you makes it incredibly hard to kill him. Portraying the enemy of the day as uncivilised... evil... monstrous... sub-human is part of any conflict. The alternative (for the political and military authorities) is being faced with a line of thought from those charged with doing the killing that says, "Wait a minute... he's just some guy defending his family/home/country like I would do in his position. I don't want to kill him... in fact, I don't want to kill anyway. WTF am I even doing here?". A very human reaction, but not one desired of 'an instrument of foreign policy'.

      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I don't want war to become one huge real-life video game.
      Too late... and it's only going to get worse.

      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      What happens if a UAV with a sensitive explosive ends up failing, crashing, or dropping its payload? HEY, it HAPPENS!
      Same thing as with any similar weapon: you either get it back... or nobody ever finds it... or your enemy finds it (and either kills himself or back-engineers it)... or some kid finds it and blows himself up (sometimes years later).
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    Actually it doesn't matter if they start off armed.You know that is what they will eventually be.
    As far as killing by remote control? You can give it any rational you want,but it really just dehumanizes the process so they person at the end of the remote control will feel no guilt or remorse.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Sal -

      Having a good supply of food and being on a list could mean I get my own "watch her" drone? Wow - wait till they find out drones could crash from boredom watching my life every day
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    BTW Gary north wrote an article about how they phased out westerns in 1965 and they made cap pistols little more than water pistols because of kids pulling guns on cops. The article itself said that was RARE! There HAVE been kids killed because they were holding something else, or merely looked like they did. He closed with:

    I remember talking with James Arness about this change. This was probably sometime around 1983. I was lecturing at a conference, and he was in attendance. He had been the most famous cowboy television personality, because Gunsmoke ran for 20 years, 1955-1975, the longest-running dramatic series of the era. He said that when he first started out, he was allowed to shoot the bad guys. By the end, he said, “I was only allowed to threaten them with my special decoder ring.”
    SAD!!!!!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    BTW did you hear about the manhunt in southern california? A person with military survivalist training has declared war on the entire police department. He said that he will use the UNIFORMS as targets. Before to many say TYS, etc... I should mention that they think he is doing this because he was fired from the LAPD! He has killed several so far, and they are asking him to turn himself in saying it has gone on long enough. That from a guy that moments earlier said he would be hard to catch and it is scary.

    Ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner eludes police on mountain manhunt - CBS News

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Just another reason that we don't need cops having weapons of WAR. Look at all the cops that are doing things like wrongfully shooting people - or people's dogs - swat invasions of wrong homes leading to murder - tasing people to death that aren't even really much of a threat. They are going completely martial law mentality - and now suddenly will receive weapons of war? Anyone who doesn't see this as a threat is drinking too much fluoride and needs to dump off their psychotrophic drugs, too.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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