Democrats & Liberals Archives

It's a Bird!.. It's a Plane!... It's Big Brother!

On Wednesday a House of Representatives panel heard testimony on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). UAVs have been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan to track terrorists. Now UAVs may be coming to a sky near you.

That's right the government wants to deploy UAVs here in the United States to keep and eye on the borders and ports. However, they don't stop there. In fact, the vehicles have already taken to the unfriendly skies over a North Carolina county to keep tabs on citizens, including a biker gathering at the Gaston County fairgrounds.

I don't mind the thought of UAVs patrolling the borders and ports, but do we really want big brother flying over our backyards?

Posted by JayJay Snow at March 30, 2006 11:51 PM
Comments
Comment #137028

Jay,

They’ve been in use for years at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. This is the home to the US Army Intelligence Center and School.

They have done experiments with unmanned drones to survail the boarder areas of southern Arizona.

Posted by: Rocky at March 31, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #137033

The FBI spent thousands of dollars spying on a Quaker Anti-War Demostration.

Maybe there’s a hippie convention and they need the help?

Posted by: Aldous at March 31, 2006 1:54 AM
Comment #137037

JayJay,
Maned or unmaned flyovers by Law Enforcement Agencies have been going on for years so why now all the fuss? True abuse can happen; however, it seems that Our Local and State Elders and Powers-that-Be have kept a good lid on it. FYI; If you are really worried about it, find a Main Libary in your state and check out your Highway Patrol Sky Program. However, you might want to ask the persom at the reference desk what the political correct name of it is.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 31, 2006 3:28 AM
Comment #137044

Sounds like many Americans who believe their right to bear arms is a defense against an oppressive government should start investing in surface to air missiles along with their Sharp’s buffalo black powder rifles. That, or invent anti-drone rifle dispensed taser rounds. Nothing like a little well placed voltage to fry a drone’s circuits and ruin some drone operator’s day.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 31, 2006 5:00 AM
Comment #137046

Forget the taser rounds, American companies would just buy up the patents and market them to Iran, Taiwan, and Pakistan (Pakistan being are truly worst potential threat in the world, a nation with nuclear weapons and one bullet away from al-Queda control. Musharaaf is not sleeping well these days.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 31, 2006 5:03 AM
Comment #137061

JayJay:

You point out that UAV’s can be put to good use, such as monitoring ports or borders. You also show concern about what you would consider abuse of privacy with regard to UAV’s.

What kind of restrictions would you suggest?

We have all kinds of surveillance these days. Many places have cameras monitoring intersections that will catch those who run red lights. Security cameras caught Joseph Smith abducting Carly Bruscia, though unfortunately not in time to save her life. EZ pass toll road equipment can be used by police to determine when a suspect enters and leaves a toll road, thereby verifying alibis etc.

All of these things can be used for good or can be abused for bad.

What kind of limits do you suggest that can reduce the possibility of abuse? And just as importantly, what level of this kind of technology do you consider too invasive of privacy? Are we already past the limit?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at March 31, 2006 8:04 AM
Comment #137074

Jay Jay,

Pandoras box is open. The technology is there. It’s being used. Therefore, it will be abused in ways we can and can’t predict. And, there will be argumetns pointing to the good it can do.
This is the same argument surrounding Bush’es illegal wiretapping. We either forego our temporary security and make it easier for Big brother to control us, or not.
I vote for not; Warranted Constitutional surveillance only. Private surveillance in semipublic facilities like malls are a different story.

Posted by: Dave at March 31, 2006 9:39 AM
Comment #137086

Are we outsourceing the monitor jobs to Calcutta?If I pee in my backyard is there a photo somewhere? So many questions.

Posted by: BillS at March 31, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #137102

BillS…..I think that one’s already been realeased on the net…… ;)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 31, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #137106

jayjay why not do away with police departments highway patrol national gaurd army navy airforce marines?we will give you the job of sitting at your computer and protecting the whole united states.

Posted by: john counts at March 31, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #137114

If you recall i did a piece on this about a month and half ago.

When we govern through fear, we lose our democracy.

Posted by: john trevisani at March 31, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #137117
When we govern through fear,…

Posted by: john trevisani at March 31, 2006 12:26 PM


Isn’t that Bush policy?
Posted by: Dave at March 31, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #137119

A party of sissies.Why is it that a lot not all liberal democrats are more worried about the rights of this country enemies than the safety of the american people?im convinced these liberals are more of a threat to this country than the enemies themselves.case and point no wire tapping the killers who wish to harm us.hearing are being held today to decide if the president is being too aggressive in fighting our enemy.the dems.put forth yesterday their plan to secure the u.s.a. its a good plan but the good part has been in effect since 9-11-01 its called the presidents plan.remember hunt bin-laden down win the war in iraq.the only thing thats differant is that the u.s.a.will fight untill we win.the dems want to throw in the towell.you cant win if you dont fight.this country will not let the democrats disgrace this country again.and if the sissies of this country will just take a nap for a short while we can and will be victorious.

Posted by: jcmasterblaster at March 31, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #137120

Hooray for David Remer’s answer! I’m with him. Our second amendment rights were custom made for just such a scenario! Yeah, let’s just start shooting these things out of the sky whenever we see them where we know they have no business being. Rifles will work well in rural areas. Tasers for the city folk. That’ll discourage Big Bro from his illegal monitoring of us in very short order!

Dave, John Trevisani, good posts.
Bill, Sandra, thanks for the chuckle!

Posted by: Adrienne at March 31, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #137124

The left called the right inbreed paranoid gun nut kook’s when they tried to tell you about black helicopter’s whats changed? you are much safer now that the dims are going to have a work shop on national security then get osama and impeach Bush and make spanish the national language and crown queen hillary and all will be gay again.I am shore you will feel far more secure then that you will not notice the uav’s.

Posted by: angry white man at March 31, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #137130

jcmasterblaster i agree with your sissy theory.the dems. only want a fight when theres no danger for them.its easy to fight george bush its easy to fight there own country.but to fight killers thats a differant story.i agree that they are worse than bin-laden because this country protects them no matter how anti america they are,they have the best of both worlds,the people they hate are the same people that keeps their freedom strong.the people they are trying to protect are the same people that would behead them in a heart beat.only in america.thats what makes this country so great.

Posted by: john counts at March 31, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #137136

I suspect that posters jcmasterblaster, angry white guy and john counts might all be the same person.
Why? Because all three sound exactly alike, make many spelling errors, and tend not to use capitalizations following punctuation.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 31, 2006 1:44 PM
Comment #137141

What is the benefit of being American if we can not do things without worrying about who is watching us? I know that there are cameras in place at intersections to catch people that run red lights (there are a lot of law suits out currently to determine if they are legal) and there are cameras in places like malls, stores and privately owned facilities to protect merchandise and or security of other customers. But when I go outside, like in my back yard, talk on the phone or to a bike rally, and have to worry if the government is watching me; I think my rights are taken away and that we live in a dictatorship that we will be punished if we do not agree or conform to what our leaders want us to do and think. I do not think we live in a more safe world because people are spying on us, I do not feel more safe because the government has a long file of my neighbor, including phone conversations and photos of his every move. I really do not feel more safe when undercover agents were able to sneak nuclear devices into the country though our ports, enough to make a small nuclear weapon (you know the type of thing that we have people dying for overseas that we could not find). But, the government is spying on a bike rally that has nothing to do with any political function, national security, or any threat at all, just a stereo-type against people that ride motorcycles. I do not know if any of you readers are bikers, or have ever been to a bike rally, the people are there to have a good time, and ride their motorcycles. I do not know about you, but I am glad we live in such a free and safe government.

Posted by: Jason at March 31, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #137143

“Where previously each wiretap had to be approved by a judge (at least on the surface), these hybrid wiretaps are more of a carte blanche authority of the courts to tap into any line that law enforcement agencies think even might be used by, or is in the immediate vicinity of, a suspect. And, of course, the definition of “suspect” is itself suspect—being whatever those agencies define at any given moment.”

The above paragraph was taken from a report on House Bill 3694, which Clinton signed into law in 1998. And this bill had its roots in an executive order issued by Ronald Reagan in 1981. Surveillance of American citizens is not new, nor is it partisan, it just gets more pervasive.

Posted by: slowthinker at March 31, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #137144

in responce to adrienne you got me im uneducated my punctuation and capitaliztions skills are nill.i have to correct you on the angry white guy thing i beleive that there is one race the human race that is why i think the iraq war is so important to win so people like me uneducated and bad spellers from iraq will have the same freedom that i have.you see i beleive all human beings are created equal i just think some see things a little clearer than others.i dont need two other names to voice my oppinions.in this country you can say what ever you want with one name.if it makes your day thinking there is only one man that thinks like john counts well thats up to you.thank you for pointing out the fact that my grammer isnt up to your standards.i for one defend your right to be a genios.

Posted by: john counts at March 31, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #137149

The 2nd Amendment was made for this purpose? Would that be the purpose of protecting ourselves against tyranny?
Interesting concept there. Just 2 problems with it:
(1) The govt now knows who owns guns, so they can track you down if you fired a shot at one of these things.
(2) UAV’s fly, so they wouldn’t be there to shoot down after you jumped through all the hoops of notifying the govt that you were buying a gun and went through your waiting period.

The 2nd Amendment is gone. Get used to it.

JayJay
Great post!
But I’m afraid this one falls into the “nothing we can do about it” way of thinking for most people.
Biker rallies today, political rallies tomorrow.

Posted by: kctim at March 31, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #137155

You know, I gave up on Yahoo message boards because of idiot trolls like johncounts and masterblaster. No debating skills, just grand proclamations about the opposition being insane, treasonous, hating america, all that nonsense.
I thought this forum was for more reasonable people who actually enjoyed thoughtfull debate with give and take. Guys like these NEVER change their minds, no matter how good your argument is. They just get more venemous when you point out their factual errors or prejudiced statements.
Worse part is there’s no “ignore” button to reduce the nonsense.
Too bad.

Posted by: Norby at March 31, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #137156

“(1) The govt now knows who owns guns, so they can track you down if you fired a shot at one of these things.”

Only if you buy them new through a gun shop.
Private party sales, and used sales through gun shows still allow anonymous gun purchases.
Not saying I’m for or against, just stating facts. 3 of my guns are registered, 2 aren’t.

Posted by: Norby at March 31, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #137164

If you have ever lived in an urban area in decline, the value of this sort of surveillance is obvious. With these tools, law enforcement can control street crime better and probably cheaper.

This country is not so free that you can conduct illegal activities on the street. I think that is a good thing. If you disagree, then I’m sure that you can get a crack franchise started on your corner.

Posted by: goodkingned at March 31, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #137178

kctim:
“The 2nd Amendment was made for this purpose?”

Yes, it was.

“Would that be the purpose of protecting ourselves against tyranny?”

You got it, hon.

“Interesting concept there.”

Indeed. Very American. Land of the Brave, Home of the Free.

“Just 2 problems with it:
(1) The govt now knows who owns guns, so they can track you down if you fired a shot at one of these things.
(2) UAV’s fly, so they wouldn’t be there to shoot down after you jumped through all the hoops of notifying the govt that you were buying a gun and went through your waiting period.”

Not if we were all doing it! They couldn’t possibly round us all up — besides they’re the ones in violation of the Constitution, not us.

“The 2nd Amendment is gone.”

Nonsense.

“Get used to it.”

No.

“I’m afraid this one falls into the “nothing we can do about it” way of thinking for most people.”

Now you’re just being defeatist. Chin up, Tim! There are way more of us than there are UAV’s, no? ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at March 31, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #137181

Unfortunately it is a truism for all governments for all time. You have as much freedom as you can get away with…period. It is getting rather slim around hear.

Posted by: BillS at March 31, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #137185

American citizens are being watched today in ways we can’t even imagine. I’m not oncerned about a UAV when a satellite hovering 22,000 miles over my head can read the license plate number on my car! For every piece of snooping technology we know about, there’s another we’ll never hear about being developed in one of the government’s secret labs. The Bush adminstration’s philosphy seems to be, to paraphrase an old 60’s anthem, let’s spy on everyone and let God sort ‘em out!

Posted by: Slowthinker at March 31, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #137188

Adrienne, good catch on john jblast and irritated dude being one and the same. Loved how the blaster version said his guy was going after bin laden. When did George start this back up? Oh right, can’t say anything, the enemy has this site on favorites. Sheesh.

Posted by: ray at March 31, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #137224

Ben Franklin’s words “Security in defense of
Liberty provides neither” applies to our law
enforcement community, ouNational Guard and the Bush Administratiom. It even applies to the Justice Department and Senators like John Cornyn (R) of Texas an Orrin Hatch(R) of Utah. Finally,
they all get their talking points from Karl Rove, the minister of Propoganda.

Posted by: Ken Spitz at April 1, 2006 2:55 AM
Comment #137244

John Counts,
cc: AWG, masterblaster, et al.

Adrienne’s, and for that matter most of the rest of the posters here, is not a “genios,” at least not in the context at hand — merely literate. You know, able to read AND write. You see, it’s more than just struggling through a Clive Cussler every couple of years; you actually have to string thoughts together in a coherent fashion, according to grammatical rules and other conventions that have long been established by those who actually have thoughts to impart. What you guys (?) do is akin to the idiosyncratic expression of a braying jackass. Work on bringing your vile thoughts up to the minimum standards of written expression and then perhaps the rest of us will bother to judge them on their merit.

Posted by: JimC. at April 1, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #137248

The sad fact is, there is just no such thing as privacy anymore. Technology has made privacy a thing of the past. In some cases that’s good (i.e. finding serial killers, child abductors, real terrorists, and felled hunting partners who get shot in the face….lol!, etc, etc.) In some cases it’s bad…
wasting time tracking granola hippies and little old ladies who grow pot for their arthritis.

Abuse happens wherever people gather. There’s no way around it. The thing to do is resist abuses. Speak out. Be vigiliant. And make those who commit abuses responsible. It’s not easy, and some people bury their heads in the sand like ostritches and pretend that everything is fine. The truth is, it’s not fine. I could be worse, but it’s not fine.

Posted by: black Cherry at April 1, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #137252

Adrienne
“Now you’re just being defeatist. Chin up, Tim! There are way more of us than there are UAV’s, no?”

I worded that badly huh. I wasn’t saying that was how i thought.
What I meant was that most people will just write this off as a “sign of the times,” “technology” or “just the way it is.”
You know I’m a much bigger kook and would rather take the fight back road.

Btw Adrienne. I’m going to be spending a few weeks at the Univ. of Cal Irvine later this year.
Nice area?

Posted by: kctim at April 1, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #137254

Norby
Thanks for making my point understandable. My sad attempt obviously didn’t work. Case of the “Fridays” I guess.

As of right now, those means of obtaining a gun are available, but if anti-gun people keep it up, those too will require govt intrusion into our personal lives and we will all be considered “guilty until innocent” when buying a gun in private as we are now when buying one in public.

And Adrienne
The 2nd Amendment as it was intended to be, is now gone.
What we have now is an amendment that people believe, gives us the right to hunt or protect ourselves from “each other,” not from tyranny.

Posted by: kctim at April 1, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #137272

jimc i would love to debate you face to face on any issue you would like.you mongloyds are very brave when yor hiding behind a key board.my e mail adress is arsappliance@sbcglobal.net lets see how good a you debate .chump

Posted by: john counts at April 1, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #137276

“When we govern through fear”

I believe it was John Adams that said “if we give up our rights for security, we often have neither”

Posted by: big tom at April 1, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #137289

kctim:
“Btw Adrienne. I’m going to be spending a few weeks at the Univ. of Cal Irvine later this year.
Nice area?”

I don’t know too much about Orange County, Tim. Never had a reason to go there. I do have a friend who came from Huntington Beach which isn’t too far away, but he claims he didn’t like it there, (which is why he moved to San Francisco when he was still in his twenties) but I don’t know whether that was because of the town, or because he felt he just didn’t fit in there. It is a pretty conservative place from what I understand — so maybe you’ll like it more than he did!
If you think you’ll find a reason to come up north, let me know (we can trade email’s through the Watchblog manager). I’d be interesting to meet for a beer and an argument in person! ;^)

“What we have now is an amendment that people believe, gives us the right to hunt or protect ourselves from “each other,” not from tyranny.”

I disagree. They’re the ones violating our Constitutional rights to spy on us without a reason. The fourth amendment tells us they have no right to conduct unreasonable searches without warrants — and that amendment was actually a direct reaction to something called “writs of assistance” (generalized warrantless searches for any reason at all) that the British once conducted in the American Colonies.
Freedom from that kind of tyranny is the major reason we fought and died during our American Revolution, and it’s a reason to take matters into our own hands now. Besides, it would harm absolutely no one if we all started blasting these devices out of the sky — though it would be a good reminder to them that we are an armed populace who are ready and willing to protect our rights when necessary.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 1, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #137326

s’matter john, truth hurt? must have hit a nerve, eh?

Posted by: JimC. at April 1, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #137351

big tom

It was Benjamin Franklin. The exact quote was:

“They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.”

And he was right.

Posted by: slowthinker at April 1, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #137374

Adrienne, Tim, David R. and Joe:

Wellwellwell - something we can all agree upon! (Although, David, I think the buffalo-rifle might just have a better chance of downing a drone than a “taser” round would do. Have you ever sen “Tom Horn?” Some of the best marksmen could hit a target at over a mile distant!)

I have always maintained that the Second Amendment was not second for no reason: without the First, it has no merit; without the Second, the First has no guarantor.

It is a fact that the Japanese High Command was originally dedicated to a Land Invasion and occupation of at least the Western United States as part of their attack strategy. However, the German Wehrmacht gave to them a study, conducted by Germany in the late 1930’s, which showed that an Invasion of the United States would only result in a long, protracted guerrilla-style war (“partisan war,” they said in those days) which would eventually end in defeat for the Invader. And this was because every farmboy and office clerk and mechanic and retiree was armed with something, and the constant sniping at the invader’s forces would destroy strategies, tactics, logistics, and morale simultaneously. Presented with the German report, the Japanese High Command gave over their plans for Occupation, and settled on a preemptive strike on U.S. Naval Forces and a protracted defensive war in the Islands instead. So, the American love of Guns (enshrined in the Bill Of Rights, ferheaven’ssake!) did prevent at least one foreign Invader from landing on the shores of California. (And imagine how heartening it was for Jack London, the first Socialist Mayor in America [Oakland], and the man who warned America about Japanese Imperial aggression the loudest and most consistently.)

However, as Adrienne points out, the Second Amendment is more designed with Thomas Jefferson’s prediction that, in order to keep the Liberties they had won at such great cost, the American People would need to be prepared for bloody Revolution every five to ten Years, as he wrote to his contemporaries. Jefferson said, in just this context, “The tree of Libery is watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants: it is its Natural Manure.” (He was a Farmer, and Manure was a valuable thing to have in those days, as Politicians had not yet the knack of spontaneously generating so much of it…) Therefore, spies-in-the-sky beware! The American Civil Militia is out - dhrunk out of their heads on Bud Light and Zima - with their saturday night specials, assault carbines, varmint guns, mallard guns, Buffalo Guns, and surface-to-air missiles - and they are hunting for You!

Which brings me to another thought: perhaps we can just get Dick Cheney to choke up on that shotgun of his and aim a bit Higher - given enough ammo, he’s bound to hit something.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 1, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #137481

I suspect that posters jcmasterblaster, angry white guy and john counts might all be the same person.
Why? Because all three sound exactly alike, make many .
$$$$—- I would like to let you in on a little secret we are not the same person a nother lib constipated conspiracy blowen all to hell.Your kind of people will be hearing more and more from Joe six-pack kind of guys like us we are the force to be reckoned with and why the left will keep on going down like bill clinton’s zipper.
spelling errors, and tend not to use capitalizations following punctuation don’t mean crap. Holyer than you my crap don’t stink I can spell you can’t bo hoo hoo. when the poopie hits the blender its the common man that will still be standing.

Posted by: angry white man at April 2, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #137589

Adrienne
“I’d be interesting to meet for a beer and an argument in person! ;^)”

Thank you for the info ma’am. I will check my schedule and the logistics and hopefully something can be worked out.

“I disagree. They’re the ones violating our Constitutional rights to spy on us without a reason”

Ah, but “they” to me is ALL of govt., at all times.

Posted by: kctim at April 3, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #137647

kctim:
“Thank you for the info ma’am.”

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. But no doubt you can check out websites on the net to learn a bit more about the place.

“I will check my schedule and the logistics and hopefully something can be worked out.”

Very good, Tim.

“Ah, but “they” to me is ALL of govt., at all times.”

I’m not quite that paranoid. But I do think that abuses of this sort tend to happen when the power of the executive branch is allowed to go unchecked. In the 1970’s when the Church Committee Hearings were conducted and we learned about the insane abuse of power that had taken place, our government acted to protect the people. This time, with this administration, the Congress is allowing it to go completely unchecked. This is very dangerous, and needs to be stopped if we still believe in upholding our Constitution and protecting our rights. But, if our government continues to sit idle and does nothing, they need to see that We the People are still capable of acting in our own best interests.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 3, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #137696

Its Big Brother
///
unfriendly skies over a North Carolina county to keep tabs on citizens, including a biker gathering at the Gaston County fairgrounds. Posted by JayJay Snowman at March 30, 2006 11:51 PM
Gaston County is strategically located just west of Charlotte (Mecklenburg County) in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina. We are approximately halfway between Atlanta and Washington DC and approximately halfway between New York and Miami.
From http://www.co.gaston.nc.us/CountyProfile.htm
I bet Gaston County is a nice place to pick up some good weed.

The war on drugs is the war on us. You would think GWBush would want to put a stop to it, but I guess he has forgotten his own past.
///

Posted by: ohrealy at April 3, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #137980

“I’m not quite that paranoid”

But I am. That is why I was able to see the harm done during the 90s and why I can see the harm happening today.

Posted by: kctim at April 4, 2006 3:35 PM
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