Tag Archives: Drones

Eric Schmidt Wants To Protect You From Your Neighbor’s Drone. But What About Barack Obama’s?

Here is another C4ss article. They are left leaning but are freedom loving nonetheless. I tend to lean a bit more right but am open and am exploring, reading and praying. Meanwhile this Schmidt dude sounds like a real elitist puppet. Take all rights away from the people because only government can be trusted with new technologies.

People can regulate themselves. They do not need drones (government officials) attempting to decide what is right and wrong for everyone in every situation.

Apart from certain things like theft, murder and the like most issues are not a matter of right or wrong but preference. Since this is true it should be left up to locals as to what works best in their area. As for those things that are definitely wrong, even here each community or locale must decide how best to handle these types of violations.

Of course that will present a problem since if you are traveling and kill someone it may be considered a murder in one place and accidental in another. In which case everything from being let go to a death sentence could occur. But do we truly want freedom or do we want some government that tells everyone what they can and cannot do? It seems worth the risk of freedom to me.  

I say this as a felon who could have been killed if some folks had had their choice, while others even the victim of my crime would have had me have no record whatsoever. (E)

Posted by  on Apr 15, 2013 in Commentary

As reported by the BBC, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt expresses grave misgivings about civilian acquisition of drones during an interview with the Guardian (available only to that paper’s subscribers). Curiously, Schmidt voices little skepticism of government use of drones for surveillance and targeted killing. He has this to say about his fear of drone proliferation:

“ You’re having a dispute with your neighbour … How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?” Schmidt also cited the possibility that terrorists could acquire drone technology as another danger. To make sure that drones don’t fall into the wrong hands, Schmidt said, “It’s got to be regulated … It’s one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they’re doing, but have other people doing it … it’s not going to happen.”

Schmidt’s assumption that drone deployment by governments has “some legitimacy” is debatable given the available evidence. For instance, a report from McClatchy raises serious questions about whom the US Government targets with its drones. The Obama administration claims that drone strikes “are authorized only against ‘specific senior operational leaders of al Qaida and associated forces’ involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks who are plotting ‘imminent’ violent attacks on Americans.” But according to McClatchy reporter Jonathan S. Landay,

Copies of the top-secret U.S. intelligence reports … show that drone strikes in Pakistan over a four-year period didn’t adhere to those standards.

The intelligence reports list killings of alleged Afghan insurgents whose organization wasn’t on the U.S. list of terrorist groups at the time of the 9/11 strikes; of suspected members of a Pakistani extremist group that didn’t exist at the time of 9/11; and of unidentified individuals described as “other militants” and “foreign fighters.”

These revelations led Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald to state bluntly, “The Obama Administration often has no idea who they are killing.” So why would Eric Schmidt be so unconcerned about the drones deployed by the US government?

Maybe it has something to do with Schmidt’s cozy relationship with President Obama. The administration reportedly offered Schmidt a cabinet post after the president’s 2012 re-election. According to  the Telegraph, Schmidt oversaw “Google’s $700,000 donation” to the Obama campaign and has been close to the president since the 2008 presidential campaign.

Or perhaps Schmidt is just a bourgeois liberal who thinks more highly of state and corporate officials than he does of “the rabble.” Schmidt also said, “ I’m not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratise the ability to fight war to every single human being.” This statement displays a frustrating, but common, naivete about the nature of governments. If Schmidt was truly aware of the state’s capacity for mass killing and organized violence, he might become less wary of the local yokels. Schmidt’s error is similar to those who demand further restrictions on private firearm ownership even as US government at all levels becomes more militarized.

But what about Schmidt’s neighborhood squabble scenario?

If my neighbor had his drone buzzing over my residence, I suspect that I — probably accompanied by sympathetic and irritated neighbors — would pay Mr. Drone Fetish a visit. I would ask him to behave in a more neighborly fashion if he ever wanted to see his drone again. If he persisted, the best shot in the neighborhood might just blow his precious drone out of the sky. Emerging anti-drone technology and community pressure might also be used to harsh his UAV mellow.

Come to think of it, since domestic law enforcement is now in the drone game, drone shooting may become a hot new sport for freedom-loving US rifle owners. After all, clay pigeons pose no threat to you or your civil liberties. The same cannot be said of government drones, no matter what Eric Schmidt thinks.

C4SS Fellow Dave Hummels is a libertarian socialist writer from Central Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Dave has over a decade of experience in the healthcare security field and is a licensed emergency medical technician.
 

Immigration ‘Reform’ Will Turn the U.S. into a Police State

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2013

Whenever the federal government decides to reform something we can be fairly sure that the problem is about to get worse, especially if they call the plan bi-partisan. The bi-partisan immigration reform proposal launched last week in the US Senate will be no different.

The new plan, introduced by Sens. McCain and Schumer, would provide a path to citizenship for many of those in the United States illegally. This would only begin after the borders are deemed secure and applicants have paid fees for their illegal entry. They must also pay back taxes on their earnings while working here without government permission. Those on a path to citizenship would be subject to background checks and would be monitored while in the US.

The devil is in the details, and the details of the McCain plan are deeply disturbing. To secure the borders he is calling for a massive increase in drones flying over US territory, spying on US citizens along the border – and presumably within the 100 mile “border zone” over which Department of Homeland Security claims jurisdiction. What if these drones detect suspicious activity unrelated to illegal immigration? Imagine the implications for the federal government’s disastrous war on drugs. Imagine what’s left of the Fourth Amendment completely tossed into the trashcan. The “privatized” prison system in the US that now benefits from the war on drugs and illegal immigration will no doubt look forward to booming business thanks to the army of drones overhead.

Additionally, the McCain/Schumer plan calls for a nationwide, mandatory E-Verify program, which forces employers to act as federal immigration agents, and forces American citizens to prove to the government that they are allowed to work. E-Verify is an East Germany-like program that creates a massive federal database of every American citizen and notes whether or not they are permitted to work.

As Cato Institute privacy expert Jim Harper noted of E-Verify, potentially tens of thousands of American citizens would come up as a false positive for illegal status, denying them the right to work and forcing them to prove to the government that they are not here illegally. He writes, “If E-Verify goes national, get used to hearing that Orwellian term: ‘non-confirmation.’ ”

Harper rightly notes that E-Verify is in fact a national ID card, writing last week that, “the system must biometrically identify everyone who works—you, me, and every working American you know. There is no way to do internal enforcement of immigration law without a biometric national identity system.”

Much of the most recent immigration problem of the 2000s was actually created by the federal government. The easy money policy of the Federal Reserve blew up the housing bubble and created enormous demand for labor. This artificial demand was filled largely by workers who crossed into the US illegally. Within a year of the housing market crash in 2008, an estimated one million illegal workers left the United States for Mexico and beyond. Net illegal immigration into the United States last year had fallen to zero.

As I noted in my most recent book, Liberty Defined, much of our immigration problems would be eliminated were the federal government to simply return to sound money practices and end the welfare incentive for individuals to come to the US illegally. Afterward, what remains of the problem would mostly be solved with a far more generous and flexible guest worker program. Whatever the case, turning the US into a police state in order to fight a hyped up illegal immigration “crisis” is a bad deal for us all.

Ron Paul

 

 


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