Feds under pressure to open US skies to drones. Last week, the FAA released a fact sheet, which states in part that “one of the most promising potential uses for small UASs is in law enforcement.” They’ve already allowed the Border Patrol to use Predator drones as a “key force multiplier” along the Mexican border. Local law enforcement wants in on the game. Britons, you’re next – or first?
The FAA is most concerned about collisions with manned aircraft, but much research has already been done by the military and private industry. Nevertheless, the FAA recently signed a contract with a Boeing subsidiary to conduct its own research.
The surveillance aspect of this is just the window-dressing. What the Police really want, what they are really envious of, is the ability to “neutralize threats” via Hellfire missile.
Can’t happen here, you say? Could never happen here, you say? It goes against everything we, stand for, you say?
Well I could have said the same thing about indefinite detention and suspension of Habeas Corpus back in 2006 or so.
We have already reached a point in our civilization where civilian deaths (as a result of our high-altitude assassinations) are justified because “the bad guys were hiding among innocent civilians. We can’t be responsible for that.” Even our Great Liberal Hope Obama has increased the use of our flying assassin droids (even joking that he would use drones to murder the Jonas Brothers if they tried to seduce his daughters).
All it would really take is a concerted PR campaign on behalf of America’s police forces: pointing out that a Predator Drone strike is nothing more than a “regular extension of already existing lethal force” (much in the same way that many in this thread are arguing that drone surveillance is nothing more than an extension of police helicopter duties), and that the ability to neutralize suspects from the air is vital to the safety of our families and children.
Of course, there will be rules. No missile strike unless lethal force is “obviously” warranted. Perhaps the first test-case will be some deranged cop killer flying down the interstate at 120mph in a stolen car. We’ll wait until traffic is mostly cleared and then — SWOOSH — a fireball, shrapnel and then silence. What right-thinking American could be against such a scenario? What cop-hating ghetto dweller would not quake in fear at the thought of instant death from the skies?
You think I’m mad. That this last decade has finally gotten to me, driven me over the edge. Maybe so. I won’t deny that.
But mark my words for future reference: this is where we are heading.
We, as a culture, have just become too comfy with the idea of Police State and extra-judicial killings in the same of Safety to ever truly oppose this en mass. The die, I think, has already been cast.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup opened last Friday in South Africa, after years of preparation, with an Opening Ceremony at Soccer City Stadium – the first matches taking place over the weekend. Thousands attended the opening concerts and matches in person, while tens of millions watched events unfold on screens large and small across the world. Collected here are some scenes from the opening ceremonies, the first several matches, and fans young and old around the world riding emotional rollercoasters while watching the 2010 World Cup. (42 photos total)
Photographers are led onto the field before the 2010 World Cup opening match between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 11, 2010. (REUTERS/David Gray) #
It was made in the same way many artists seem to do it these days:
And of course, use helvetica.
According to Unicef, only two countries have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits the use of soldiers younger than 15: the United States and Somalia.
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.
‘s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.
Not every warrant results in an arrest, but in Minnesota many debtors spend up to 48 hours in cells with criminals. Consumer attorneys say such arrests are increasing in many states, including Arkansas, Arizona and Washington, driven by a bad economy, high consumer debt and a growing industry that buys bad debts and employs every means available to collect.
Whether a debtor is locked up depends largely on where the person lives, because enforcement is inconsistent from state to state, and even county to county.
In Illinois and southwest Indiana, some judges jail debtors for missing court-ordered debt payments. In extreme cases, people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment. In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Ill., man "to indefinite incarceration" until he came up with $300 toward a lumber yard debt.