Dolphin Stampede Off Dana Point, Calif. (VIDEO) Huffington Post
Even brief interruptions spawn errors EureakAlert (Chuck L)
100% foolproof solution to stop TSA from stealing your valuables out of your carry-on bag YouTube (furzy mouse)
Africa can help feed Africa: Removing barriers to regional trade in food staples VoxEU
China and Japan step up race for airborne drones Guardian. Ugh.
Someone in comments had the bad taste to complain about Ian Fraser’s posts, which we sometimes run here. Probably a UK banker, given that none other than the BBC’s Robert Peston is singing his praises. And here is why: Charges brought in HBOS corruption case BBC (Richard Smith)
Euro joblessness hits new record high Guardian
Barroso, the existential threat to the euro is mass unemployment Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. Glad he went after Barroso.
Pennsylvania Man Attempts Suicide Twice On Way to Work, Ends Up at Work Gawker
Congress less popular than cockroaches and Genghis Khan Raw Story. Isn’t half the planet related to Genghis Khan? Liking cockroaches is more questionable although in extremis, they can probably be used as a source of protein more readily than your typical Congresscritter. Maybe that’s the next step when you can’t afford catfood…
Ronald Reagan: “Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.” MARKETWATCH 666 (yes I owe someone a hat tip….)
Social Security/Medicare vs Corporate Welfare Linda Beale
Republican Anti-Tax Pledge May Again Be What Protects Medicare and Social Security Jon Walker, Firedoglake (Carol B)
Interior Dept. Expedites Review of Arctic Drilling After Accidents New York Times
US oil imports to fall to lowest in 25 years Financial Times. So where are the defense budget cuts?
The Tribes at Unity Rally at the State House in Augusta, ME Corrente
A Real Shill: The Nation’s Ari Melber Rancid Honeytrap (Ned Ludd). This is how Corporate America
leashes and collars supports liberal medial. Ari Melber is an Obamabot except he quibbles on a few issues (like Guantanamo back in the day) to maintain plausible deniability.
Financial Dermatologists Adam Levitin, Credit Slips
Another Slap on the Wrist New York Times. Editorial on the foreclosure fraud settlement.
Secret Goldman Team Sidesteps Volcker After Blankfein Vow Bloomberg. This is so patently bad I’d normally post on it, but the story itself gives some good grist. First, you can pick up how stupidly the Volcker Rule was drafted (due to lobbyist influence?) The idea that a prop trade was defined as 60 days or less was absurd. Many (I’d hazard most, but since I don’t sit on a desk, it’s hard to be sure) last 3-4 months. And if you wanted to take profits sooner, I have a sneaking position you could do so via a hedge rather than selling out and thus also skirt the 60 day rule. Second, Goldman went about circumventing the rule in the crudest possible way. This amounts to a stick in the eye of the authorities.
Dimon Says Some JPMorgan Execs ‘Acted Like Children’ on Loss Bloomberg. Wish I also had time to post on this. This is the same Dimon who in his 2009 letter to shareholders wanted to compare his execs to the US military at Iwo Jima, but his PR firm said it would resign if he kept that in. Now they are children. Who is the child in this picture? Ina Drew was one of his top paid officers until he scapegoated her (as he continues to do now). And get this part:
Jes Staley, former CEO of the investment bank who was stripped of day-to-day management duties in July, announced his departure yesterday. Staley, a one-time contender for Dimon’s job, is joining BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, the $12 billion hedge fund that profited from the bank’s trading loss.
Did Staley read the handwriting on the wall, that Dimon was going to throw him under the bus along with Drew and Zubrow, and started getting friendly, as in really friendly, with the firm that was on the other side of the unwind of the Whale trade to make sure he’d land well? If so, he played Dimon for a fool. This is such an obvious surmise that the account in the FT contains a denial of sorts. So probably not but one can’t be sure.
A Financial Service for People Fed Up With Banks New York Times
Understanding risk aversion in financial markets James Hamilton. Not sure I buy the theory that broker-dealers are the locus of the sort of arbitrage he suggests; there are turf wars over which unit gets how much capital (Goldman works super hard at keeping politics out of the way of opportunity capture, so anything observed at Goldman is not necessarily generalizable to the rest of the industry). I’d see global macro, family offices, and other relatively unconstrained players as more likely actors.
“AFTER THE FALL” New Yorker (furzy mouse)
Shared sacrifice – except for CEOs Matt Stoller, Reuters
Antidote du jour (Scott). For e-mail subscribers, this is a video of adult ducks swimming for the first time, be sure to come have a look:
A worthy update of Nick Ut’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, with Obama’s grinning visage superimposed on the napalm smoke:
In drones we trust.
With drones taking over the skies
It’s time to give out the next prize
His bombs may be loud
But there’s peace in that cloud
Right after the last person dies
The Limerick King
I thought the title was “I Have a Drone”. I am sure people can come up with an appropriate speech to go with that.
One day in the future, people can buy them easily and cheaply at Drones ‘R Us.
Lots of selections and many convenient locations.
I am sure, as we speak now, details are being worked out in an MBA thesis somewhere.
You can buy them cheaply now at Costco and Amazon. Go look.
Or build your own. Think of a drone as a flying smartphone.
That’s why there were long lines there just before Christmas.
Check Thingyverse online, maybe they have one for your 3-D printer.
From “I HAVE A DREAM” to “I HAVE A DRONE.”
Thus is President Obama carrying the torch lit by Martin Luther King. Nice work, Mr. President.
What is “FTW”?
Take your pick, Mrs.G—
My favorites–“Free The Wookies” and “Free the Weed”
But I’m guessing–“For The Win” ;-)
welp, Ms G, I somehow doubt that it means:
can’t we Fix that severe decimating of all The Words (entire paragraphs almost) issue that is wasting so many person’s time attempting to figure out, let alone having them unnecessarily feel: cruelly out of the speshul kid’s loop.
It certainly strikes me as every bit as bad, if not much worse, as bad spelling, punctuation and grammar, etcetera, etcetera.
(very sorry if I’ve offended anyone, but enough of all the shorthand that so many are left feeling odd person out on, let alone the, also highly significant fact that it leads to totally wrong definitions being relied on.)
adding to my last comment, it is truly disgusting enough that Congress does this every time they put out something with a Horrendous Stench to it, such as, The JOBS Act ™:
HR 3606 The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act
(See, for just one:
04/12/12 Yes, Virginia, this is Obama’s JOBS Act
I have a drone:
(from about a year ago…admittedly the 5D is a little useless offensively, but we’ll have to wait for Scalia to go nuts on the 2nd to upgrade…)
o yeah – cine-8 (now called “SKYJIB”)
I really hope that some TSA agent decides Mike Adams is trying to smuggle something in all those locked bags and takes him to the little room for an “examination”. He so deserves it.
How much stuff actually “disappears” through the TSA? Do they deserve this much maligning?
It’s hard to say. Theft certainly occurs in airports, and a number of people will handle your bag after it leaves you hands. Theft by baggage handlers, customs agents, etc., was a problem in the pre-TSA days as well. Since many bags now come with TSA-accessible locks, one presumes TSA agents have the easiest access. I don’t travel by air very often, but I always take my camera and similar items in my carry-on. But Mike Adams is a professional fruitcake, so I think you are safe skipping his advice.
How much is enough?
Well, within my circle of friends, the few who “bash the TSA” don’t object to much outside relatively narrow areas of interest (such as making sure anyone can continue to buy an assault rifle). Our endless wars and killing innocent civilians doesn’t seem to bother them. But, the TSA?? Wow! When they think something might start to affect them personally, they start showing some passion — more than seems warranted to me, in the grand scheme of things.
I really hope youre delayed and miss teh only flight out of town flight by some mouthbreather TSA agent at Podunk Airport becasue the Back Scatter Cancer Machine is down…
You are an Idiot
The video is for carry-on bags, not checked bags. Whenever I fly, I watch my bags being searched, even when they’ve chosen them for a more thorough search. Are bags searched outside of view at some airports, or under some circumstances?
The zip tie could have been slipped off the I-pad without too much difficulty, ISTM…… but is a bit large to slip out of bag without being observed when in full view of passengers.
Where are you supposed to get the knife to cut off the zip tie? Out of your checked bags?
If you twist a beverage can, it will tear apart, sharp as a razor.. Sadly itn the end its all just institutionalized security kubuki theather.
I love those ducks and recently watched a nature show on ducks. For those of you who need a stronger Antidote du jour than NC generously provides, I suggest long walks in nature and watching nature shows on television.
I agree with the long walks in nature suggestion, even if it might cost jobs when we do that instead of watching football/movies.
It’s one of the many things that are good for us but might cost jobs, but we should still do nevertheless.
If that was real-time, acceptable. Otherwise: it never occurred to any of the handlers to step into the water themselves? The handlers seem polite, but that’s the wrong kind of leadership. Paternalist. What happens to you will not happen to us.
That was a great antidote. Gotta love the ducks.
My sister rescued and raised a young white duck into his adolescent years. She then tried to turn him loose to join a mother duck with white baby ducks of similar age at a local pond. They rejected Oliver. Oliver was so hurt. About a week later, she returned to try again but this time there was a black mother duck with her very young babies. That mother duck accepted Oliver immediately when he joined in. No prejudice among ducks apparently, or at least black ducks anyways. Oliver looked so proud swimming in line after his new mom. Oliver the duck, a big white kid raised among little black baby duckling siblings, lived happily ever after. My sister lost track of him a few weeks later but if you’ve ever seen a biracial duck couple in St. Augustine, that would have been Oliver, breaking social duck barriers.
I was reading yesterday that some people who are allergic to hen eggs can eat duck eggs.
Decicious. Duck eggs are bigger and have a stronger taste. Just the other day, I had fresh homemade mayo at a friend’s house, made with olive oil and eggs from their duck.
I love runner ducks, the more upright sorts in that video. Once upon a time, I manufactured two tiny pinstripe jackets with hands sticking out of the sleeves. I slipped them over the heads of my friend’s runner ducks which startled and ran all over the yard. It was the funniest thing you’ve ever seen. We planned on releasing them inside the local B of A (this is before YouTube) and filming them, but we never got around to borrowing a camcorder.
Japan and China step up drone race as tension builds over disputed islands
Oops was already there
Everyone is going to be very sorry very soon that the US decided to unleash drones. They are inexpensive and easy to design and manufacture. Drone deployment has gained the US a few years head start, and it was inevitable that other nations would use this technology eventually. But we have moved the entire process forward.
It was inevitable.
If ever there was a technological imperative, it was drones, one way or another.
More specifically, think of drones as flying representatives/extensions of the Net. In swarms, as in this video link below, they can now construct large building-type structures, fly split-second trajectories in formation with an agility beyond that of birds or insects, jump through hoops, and playing real instruments in musical ensembles….
What better way to ensure there will be a future Forever War? It’s like money in the bank and compound interest, the miracle of war, the folly of princes.
lol, I’m gonna have to start using that phrase. It’s gotta ring to it.
Re: A financial service for people fed-up with banks-NYT
I’m not impressed. For one thing, Simple’s business model can never replace banks since their revenue stream is dependent on the interest they earn from the money deposited with them. Which, I assume, means that they’ve essentially got it in a bank account somewhere, or CDs or something, all of which presuppose the existence of the current banking system.
Their other revenue source comes from interchange fees, i.e. cutting into merchant’s bottom lines. This is not the sort of thing we need to be encouraging, imho.
From what I read here, my Credit Union seems highly superior to Simple. Not only do I get free checking, nearly free overdraft protection, plus all the other services Simple offers, I get all the things they don’t offer as well (ATMs, paper checks if I want them, real people to talk to, the ability to deal with cash). Also, unlike Simple’s customers, I can attend board meetings, pipe up at same, and even run for the board, if I so desire. Can Simple offer me the democracy of my Credit Union? I think not.
If you’re fed up with banks, don’t join Simple, join a Credit Union!
Agree. I’m using a Credit Union for my mortgage as well. I’d prefer not to go in debt, but what’re you gonna do? Better I have the mortgage with a credit union than Bank of America!
When I became a “member” of the credit union, the woman who opened my account called me to make sure all was going well! I love the old school aspect of it.
1) Interesting – and maybe a bit optimistic – essay on the demise of the neocons in regards to the Hagel nomination vis a vis the Gang of Four and political manuevering in 20th century China.
2) An article which highlights that while some may think that in the face of record unemployment in the EU and elsewhere the global austerity nonsense can’t get much worse, our masters are actually probably only near the beginning of their campaign:
“At the end of the year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested that when it came to determining the wages and social conditions of European workers, China was the bench mark. A huge army of unemployed living on the brink of destitution is being created in order to push down the wages of those still employed and achieve the levels of super-exploitation found in the free trade zones of China. The extremes of social devastation and poverty prevailing in Greece, Spain and Italy are to be exported across the entire continent.
“Outside the euro zone, British Chancellor Cameron has made clear that the Westminster government intends to maintain its own program of “fiscal pain” until at least 2018. Not least among the cuts planned for this year by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government is the introduction of a ceiling for welfare payments, which will mean massive cuts to the incomes of the poorest layers of society.”
A look back at some more details of the British austerity “long game”.
From the NYT editorial on the Foreclosure settlement:
“In the face of widespread evidence of illegal foreclosure practices, federal regulators in 2011 told the big banks to investigate themselves.”
That, Lambert, is what I call a “stroke on the wrist” ;)
Well, let’s hope for a happy ending!
Are you looking at a long timeframe, LS, or in an especially optimistic mood tonight……. or partying with craazy?
Florida Sponsors Python Roundup http://www.livescience.com/26032-florida-burmese-python.html
Judge rejects California man’s argument that corporation is a passenger http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/08/16403757-judge-rejects-california-mans-argument-that-corporation-is-a-passenger?lite
Robots >>>> corporations.
Corporations can give money to politicians; so can robots.
Robots are passengers; corporations are not.
Final score: Robots 2, Corporations 1.
See robot cartoons below… it was really hard to get them posted! Has me wondering if there is some sort of anti-robot agenda here at NC ;)
OK – how does a robot give a money to a pol? Where does it get the money?
Related to your question, sort of, is this robot cartoon, which I hadn’t included before because it’s no longer campaign season.
Here we have a pol hoping to get support from robots http://www.wwrl1600.com/image/wwrl1/UserFiles/Image/cartoon%20romney%20talking%20to%20robot.jpeg
The origin of the word robot is pretty interesting too…
The First Robot http://www.wondersandmarvels.com/2012/09/the-first-robot.html
Čapek was a productive Czech writer with wide-ranging ideas. In R. U. R. he imagined a future in which humanity makes artificial creatures called “Robots” (always capitalized in the script and actually coined by Čapek’s brother Josef) after the Czech word “robota,” which means forced labor by a serf, or “robotnik,” meaning “worker.” Indeed, these synthetic beings are manufactured to carry out the drudgery that people do not want to. Unsurprisingly, they come to understand that they are being exploited and rise up with great violence, killing all humanity except for a single survivor.
So, unless we are in the .1%, we are all robots; “robotniks” is even better. Welcome, comrades.
I think it’s easy for the Japanese to confuse robata with robota.
Robata means to a type of grill, when I google for its definition.
One can imagine when Toyota first ordered some robata for their company picnic and recieved robota instead, some young, bright, eager-to-impress engineer said, ‘hey, I think we can use this to cut some assembly line jobs.’
“the drudgery that people do not want to.”
This is an assumption. Washing dishes by hand and polishing silver are great, grounded activities for the mind in flight or solving problems. It was well-known that Golda Meir polished her silver when she had to come to a difficult complex decision.
It is an error to avoid drudgery.
Corporations arguably ARE robots, in a very real sense if you consider them as cybernetic organisms.
Seriously. For one example, consider all those claims that banks/servicers offer that their software made them make those foreclosure mistakes. That’s quite real. For another, consider all the questionable assumptions built into corporate accounting software that us groundlings never get to pin down.
Above all, corporations often possess overall imperatives that cause employees to take on sociopathic mindsets in order to survive and thrive within them.
Corporations are Zombies – they feed off humans and can never die.
Re: Ari Melber
I saw him on a panel discussion a few years ago, forget exactly the subject, I remember how polished and smooth he was, I was impressed but at the same time I felt a level of mistrust; just a little to professional.
professional? Careerist. The term you were looking for is careerist.
The little voice in your head was right.
Yes, exactly Klassy!
Careerist is when POLISHED merges into UNCTUOUS.
Brindle, he fits the profile of the psychopath.
Salt Power: Norway Project Gives Osmotic Energy a Shake http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/01/130107-osmotic-energy-norway/
Who’s Watching? Privacy Concerns Persist as Smart Meters Roll Out http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/12/121212-smart-meter-privacy/
Is it profitable to be a ‘parking meter middleman’ by ‘squatting’ meters (with bamboo bicycles) and then ‘sub-letting’ out to later comers?
This is a test.
This is a test, part 2. Attempting to post robot cartoons.
Robo-pets, part 1 http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/blo/lowres/blon331l.jpg
Robo-pets, part 2 http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/dgr/lowres/dgrn41l.jpg
Human robot competition, part 1 http://www.kk.org/thetechnium//Screen%20Shot%202011-09-28%20at%2011.36.23%20PM.jpg
Human robot competition, part 2 http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/gra060623l.jpg
I think some robots can be more sophisicated than just simply feeling on or off.
These more sensitive robots can experience a wide range of emotions.
I started reading sc-fi when I was 9 or 10, so I feel like I grew up with robots, and with the idea that they could possibly have emotions or some type of sentience. Loved all of Asimov’s robot novels, but my favorites of his are the ones starring the brilliant and compassionate robot detective R. (for Robot) Daneel Olivaw – ‘The Caves of Steel’ and the sequel ‘The Naked Sun’. You can still buy the double book used here http://www.amazon.com/The-Robot-Novels-Caves-Steel/dp/B000PC46DU
I think R. Olivaw presents an interesting question.
Did our Creator (some people call our Creator the ‘One Mistake Creator’ instead of the Omnipotent Creator – the one mistake being creating us, but that’s a topic for another day) put too many programs in us resulting in us not all being compassionate or too few programs, assuming we are a mistake?
I am inclined to believe we have too many programs.
MLPB – check this out
An interview with the guy who wrote “The Mind’s I”
Thanks for that link.
He makes one’s brain seem very dangerous for one’s own wellbeing.
Maybe the rest of the body should rebel and declare independence, dissovlve that union (or prison as he said) and be their own sovereigns again.
Re: emotions and robots…
my studies (I used to be “in” A.I., back when I thought it was worth it, and before I discovered the funding is mainly military…what can I say, I was young and naive…) led me to the opinion that emotions are a necessary foundation for higher-level cognition (ie Spock is unlikely to evolve), and that both emotions and (subsequently) intelligence are built on a foundation of physical response/reaction….
…leading to the realization that A.I. in a robot will be far more alien to us than the natural intelligence of, say, a dolphin…and thus likely to go unrecognized…
Very little of A.I. research actually has ANYTHING to do with intelligence.
@subgenius, good points… except that Spock (who was only half Vulcan), and Vulcans in general are a very emotional race. http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Vulcan
I haven’t closely kept up with AI research, but last I heard they were big into neural nets. I knew a guy back in the late ’90s that was working on neural nets for controlling robotic arms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_network
yeah, early to mid 90s was my time in the field – and my primary interests were in neural nets and genetic algorithms.
Sounds really good, but neural nets are terrible – train them too little and they fail, just right and they sorta work, too much and they collapse.
See the problem? Last time I checked living intelligences don’t collapse when they do another bit of learning…
Actually the whole endeavour is run primarily by computer scientists with little idea how a biological brain functions (think: hormones, biophotons, all kinds of different – but interconnected – processes in action simultaneously…then of course there is the little issue of the immune system/nervous system interaction/interprocessing, and then the whole instantiation thing alluded to earlier)
What was that thing about it being impossible to convince somebody of the errors in their mindset when their income depends on it? Luckily (sadly?) I think first and try to get paid later…leading to very poor performance financially…
Then again, to be fair, nobody understands brain function…
…and never will…
Anybody unconvinced of this needs to spend a fair amount of time with my ol’ pal Kurt Gödel, think a LOT, and all will become clear…
I happen to agree with you but Ray Kurzweil, “leading futurist” (read: successful charlatan) believes he knows all about brain function, that it’s really quite simple, and that in 30 (+ or – 2) years computers and human brains will become melded. Your brain will become your computer and your computer will become your brain. See? Nothing to it, according to Ray. An inevitability.
In hopes of living long enough to see that glorious day (he is almost 65), he is popping a hundred vitamin pills a day. Reportedly, he hasn’t started stuffing his computer with them—yet.
I actually did quite a lot of research in the late 80s and early 90s and conclusively proved that popping pills is in fact far more effective in one’s youth.
AI is littered with recycled with “in x years we will have y” quotes. They usually get recycled once every x years.
I do think there are numerous useful tricks we can learn from what is labelled “AI” that will continue to lead to improvements in our interface technologies (so long as we maintain our complex supply chains). They just don’t really tell us anything useful about intelligence.
One of my intellectual heroes, Douglas Hofstadter, on Kurzweil:
“It’s as if you took a lot of very good food and some dog excrement and blended it all up so that you can’t possibly figure out what’s good or bad. It’s an intimate mixture of rubbish and good ideas, and it’s very hard to disentangle the two, because these are smart people; they’re not stupid.”
Take 5 featuring Dave Brubeck http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faJE92phKzI
The future of robotics conferences http://tinyurl.com/a8jfdwz
I believe the best estimation is that somewhere around 200 million males in Asia and Europe carry Genghis Khan’s DNA around with them. (Or, more precisely, they are all descended from a single male who lived at the same time as Genghis Khan.) Female lineage can’t be trace the same way, but probably an equal number of females are also descended from him.
Genealogy is crazy! It was just discovered this Christmas that my mother’s 11th great-grandfather (William Brewster of Mayflower fame) is also my father’s 10th great uncle. My parents are cousins (multiple times removed)!
We’re all related, the whole species, one big incestuous family…
Middleton is one smart cookie IMO.
Obama Plans to Name Jacob J. Lew as Treasury Secretary, Officials Say
A couple of days ago, I saw a picture of Obama’s Economics team from December with Lew standing significantly beside Geithner. Given Obama’s record of nominating retreads, I think Lew has been the likely candidate for some time now.
Unlike congresscritters, roaches can be cute.
Some roach species make good pets.
And then there’s Archy, the cockroach poet – reputed to be an inspiration for e.e. cummings.
Jose Manuel Barroso is the Neville Chamberlain of our times. His statement that “the existential threat to the euro has essentially been overcome” echoes Chamberlain’s “Peace in our time.” Louis XV was more honest and direct in his “Après moi, le déluge.”
The Rude Pundit Talks to an Apache Helicopter Pilot:
The Apache helicopter pilot told the Rude Pundit that he lost count of how many people he had killed “once I got up to 40.” The pilot had dreamed for years about flying the tight little attack copter, and his dream came true when he trained and was certified to fly missions going after the enemy in Afghanistan. The pilot had done his time over there, and he was sure he wouldn’t be going back because the war would be over next year.
Although if you had been talking to the pilot, you would have known: he wanted to go back. When the Rude Pundit asked him if how it was to fly out over the American coast, expecting to hear how rapturous it was to be speeding above beaches. “It’s boring,” the pilot said. He was used to patrolling with multiple radios and audio, a constant barrage of information about where enemy combatants might be before heading out to take them out. Flying when you’re just flying? Just dull. Don’t even get him started about the tedium of driving a car.
The point of this is not to tell you about the daily life of an Apache helicopter pilot. The point of the conversation was not to argue. It was to hear what he had to say in that sleazy bar where they had met. And, yes, the Rude Pundit knows for sure that he was an actual pilot, an actual soldier, an actual warrior who had been in Afghanistan. No, the point is not even his belief, one that, actually, the Rude Pundit shares, that if you’re going to go to something you’re calling a “war,” you can’t do it without civilian casualties, that if you care so much about killing civilians, you shouldn’t bother with the war because sure as shooting, you’re going to kill them. And, no, he wasn’t saying that he killed civilians, and he wasn’t saying that he hadn’t.
The real point of bringing up this beer and greasy burger conversation is that the Apache pilot told the Rude Pundit something that he hadn’t heard before: the pilots who fly missions over Afghanistan hate the drones and they can’t stand the people who launch them. “I’ve had to take evasive action more than once to avoid getting hit by our own drones,” the pilot said. And when one goes down without hitting its target, somewhere in the mountains and plains, “we have to go out and retrieve them so that the other side doesn’t get their hands on them.” See, each drone contains a great deal of secret technology, secret information, things you wouldn’t want your enemy to learn about your abilities. “They fail a lot,” the pilot said.
He believes that the human element is crucial in the situation. And he also thinks it’s bullshit that people who sit at a computer in California and program the drones to hit their targets get some of the same combat pay that he gets. Maybe the drone programmers who are actually on a base in Afghanistan. But not the guys at desks in the states playing a video game.
There are other things the Apache pilot said. “Everyone knows” that the real problem is Pakistan. “Everyone knows” that the drones just piss off the locals and make it more dangerous for the military there, something that retired General Stanly McChrystal also commented on recently. And the Rude Pundit and the pilot agreed that Iraq was just a huge distraction and waste of lives and money. “We’d have been out of Afghanistan by 2005 if we had just stayed focused,” he said.
We’re about to have hearings on whether or not former Senator Chuck Hagel should be Secretary of Defense and whether or not John Brennan should be CIA director. While the media has been focused on Hagel saying something vaguely not nice about lobbyists for Israel and how he doesn’t want us to go to war in Iran for no good reason, Brennan has more or less gotten a pass, despite being one of the major advocates to President Obama on the use of drones. It bespeaks something awful and disheartening about America that we are told we should be more concerned that a nominee believes in peace than that one believes in endless attacks.
The Apache pilot will do what he’s told, of course. He’s in for a while longer, may even be a lifer, he doesn’t know. Sure, he believes war is hell, but it sure is a rush.
// posted by Rude One @ 11:11 AMShareThis
opti, it does seem that when people focus only on political representatives spin, they can ‘look’ involved…as opposed to focusing on the actions the political reps oversee.
curious, i went out on a thin branch (deviant art) to test the drone waters. im disappointed i didn’t get ‘called out’ on my usage of the gaming angle for dehumanization.
more than likely it was my poor attempt at creative weaving!
ive long condemned our financial hub for placing a target to our backside but it hardly compares to our droning
honestly, are we to expect mercy for the indiscriminate and clandestine killing of our global children?
i forgot to breath thru the reading
thats ‘boots on the ground’ writing / excellent!
copying it now…thank you
fast food drive thru
Florida Sponsors Python Roundup.
Another delightful result of “free enterprise” and FL Republicans: alligator-eating fifteen-foot snakes! There’s a message there if people pay attention!
In case anyone is nostalgic for all the 2012 doomsday predictions that have come and gone…
“Doomsday asteroid” Apophis flies by Earth tonight
Apophis is the Green name for the Egyptian deity of darkness and chaos, Apep http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apep
Ooops, that’s Greek name…
re: Antidote du jour
I’m with the cat!
Yves, please note. Are you chopped liver, or do I not understand?
Re: Staley’s jump from JPM to Blue Mountain. Is there something bigger going on here? A companion article seemed to indicate that the JPM-BM relationship was not entirely adversarial. A lot of money involved – possibly a win-win scenario masked by a public loss? After all, as Bill Black constantly reminds us, the best way to rob a bank is to own one. Especially if you have an obliging counterparty?
Re: Even brief interruptions spawn errors
It used to be common wisdom that distractions hindered concentration, and in that not so distant past, it likely would have evoked loud guffaws and suspicion, were a $tudy suggested to prove common knowledge.
Interesting how, in these times, it required a $tudy. Even more ‘interesting’ is how that common wisdom had all been obscured when the darker side of technology took total control and Multi-Tasking ™ was a requirement on every job qualification listing for any job that required human concentration and analysis, a MultiNationalCorp feature, not a bug.
Black Agenda Report, is back from a much deserved Holiday Break!
Topping off the list of reads, Bruce A. Dixon’s:
Obama’s Race To The Top Drives Nationwide Wave of School Closings, Teacher Firings
On a recent Links thread I referred to a blogger named High Arka’s wonderfully easy to read series, regarding the existent corrupted Tax Policies in operation, but I had lost the link. For anyone interested, I’ve found the link again (it’s in her latest post). It starts here (take all spaces out of the following html address, as the last time I tried to post her url a number of times, I couldn’t):
10/21/11 Tax theft
http : // higharka . blogspot . com / 2011 / 10 / tax-theft-1 . html
It’s the Way of Imperial .01%DNA in every era:
“THE MISSION” (1986) – Film Directed by Roland Joffre – Fernando Ghia, Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons (2-DVD set: © 2003 Warner Home Video).
Farewell to Inflation Targeting?
Mohamed A. El-Erian
Dec. 20, 2012
“”As much as Bernanke and others wish otherwise – and as much as bickering politicians seek to dump policy responsibilities on others – central banks do not have the proper tools to deal with the component of the unemployment crisis that results from insufficient investment in education, training, and physical capital. Likewise, they cannot fix debt overhangs, repair broken home financing, or address medium-term fiscal-reform challenges on their own.
The best that central banks can do is to buy time, albeit at an increasing cost, for other policymaking entities to get their act together. If this window closes, the monetary-policy paradigm shift now visible in the US, Britain, and Japan would risk a damaging loss of credibility and political independence for institutions that are critical to well-managed economies.””
Your readers may find this link amusing.