You are browsing the archive for spocko.

by spocko

How Will Fox React to a Post-Snowden Terrorist Attack? Hint: Think Benghazi Not 9/11

9:49 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

After 9/11 I remember predicting another attack. Yet in the US it didn’t happen. (Of course we don’t count the anthrax attack because reasons. That also happened on the Bush/Cheney/Rice watch, but never mind.)

Suppose a third attack had happened under Bush/Cheney. How would Fox News have responded? They would rally around the President. It would be clear it wasn’t Bush/Cheney’s fault, even if it was. They would have a million excuses. Then they would shift the blame to anyone who got in the way of a “gloves off” torture program or the “we’ll surveil everyone” mindset. Anyone who wasn’t in favor of their new martial law was palling around with terrorists and responsible for the last attack.

Fox would target us, people who believe torture is wrong and ineffective, war is not the answer and who think maintaining our civil liberties make us stronger, not weaker. We would be blamed. Even if we could show that all the things that Bush/Cheney did that sacrificed our civil liberties still didn’t keep us safe. So let’s prepare now for this.

Imagine an attack under Obama. An attack where supposedly the NSA is now forced to ‘blind’ themselves and the CIA have had to “put the gloves back on” and not torture people. How will Fox News respond? Will they rally around the President? Will they point out that the NSA surveillance is still on but it still didn’t stop and the attack? Will they remind people that torture doesn’t work, is morally wrong and ‘enhanced interrogation’ still went on under Obama, and it still didn’t catch the terrorists? Don’t make me laugh, I have chapped lips.

Fox News will lose their minds! And they will try to take the country with them against us. Not the terrorists. Against the people who might have thought there was another way to deal with the threats, especially the threats that were created by the rights’ over reactions. I can hear Fox anchors screaming now:

Because of the Snowden revelations the NSA couldn’t do their job! The terrorists knew how to evade capture! The CIA couldn’t get good intelligence out of suspects because they wouldn’t use enhanced interrogation! Dick Cheney and George Bush kept us safe! Obama is soft on terrorism! 

All sorts of worthless and horrific programs and structures that “kept us safe” under Bush/Cheney/Obama/Biden will be given a bigger budget. Even if those programs could never have caught the perpetrators.

I though of all this while watching Person of Interest. It is one of the finest TV shows on network television. Don’t go slumming into 24 for your fighting terrorism fix, check out PoI.

At 18:16 into the show the person who is responsible for the AI program “Northern Lights” explains how it has kept us safe from terrorism in the PoI world. This is the speech that I’ll bet the NSA is still giving today if anyone dares to question how effective they are. As Kevin Gosztola and others have pointed out, their success are mostly an illusion. As a secret agency with no oversight, they can always play the,”We really DID save you, but it’s classified” card. 

In the video clip shown, I really like speech by Control talking about the terrorist plot they busted. I also wonder if, during all this back and forth about Northern Lights (the NSA-like surveillance AI program) a terrorist attack happens. The Fox News in their world would be all over it! “Obama shuts off machine protecting us! Anti-surveillance group has innocent blood on their hands!” The head of the NSA will be seen as a hero, and people whining about their “civil liberties’ are making America unsafe. “That attack could have been stopped.” Is what the head of the Northern Lights program will say, “But we were told to shut it down. If the American public wants to be safe again, they need to let us turn it back on. ”

So when the next attack happens, how will we respond? We already know how Fox News will. We are the real enemy to them. Obama is not their President. In a time of crisis I would like to think they would stand with the President of the United States like many of us did with Bush. But look at what they are doing with Benghazi, and ask. “What would Roger Ailes do?”

UPDATED.

We are seeing votes to ‘rein in the NSA‘ will future votes split on partisan lines?  Then when the next attack happens they can say, “I didn’t want to rein them in!”

by spocko

What to Tweet When You See a “Both Sides Do It” Story UPDATED

6:17 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

When I’m sick and tired of certain media conventions, I write a post about it. If you are like my friend Jimmy Dore you write a funny comedy bit about it. Stewart, Colbert and Oliver all mock the media, but is it making the media change? Is there something we can do besides point and laugh?

Today’s sick and tired media phrase is “Both sides do it.” This phrase is designed as a preemptive answer to the right wing’s screaming about a story and to help show that ”the liberal media doesn’t have a liberal bias.” The idea has become internalized by the MSM. My friend Eric Boehlert at Media Matters has written about this sliver in the heart of the MSM for years. Atrios makes a pithy comment about it every few months.

Why “Both Sides Do It” Short Circuits Brains

The magic phrase is destructive because it breaks down math and evidence in the heads of journalists. It converts a complex equation into 50-50!  For example, this magic phrase can take a $5 BILLION dollar multi-decade program and make it equal to a $5 Million five year program with the simple incantation, “Both sides do it.” Shazam!  The readers can now indulge in a “pox on both their houses” thought and move onto The Amazing Spider-man 2: Chock Full O’ Villains

  • $5,000,000,000 DOESN’T Equal $5,000,000 in real world math.
  • However, in “Both Sides Do It” math 5,000,000,000 = 5,000,000 because 50% = 50%

How do we, the non-very serious people, who don’t get invited to “nerd prom” force a break up of this destructive short hand?

What to Do: Read, Laugh then Point and Tweet.

I want to suggest to people that when you see these “both sides do it” pieces directly tweet to the reporters asking for metrics, ratios and names. This doesn’t have to be mean or rude, just persistent. That’s it.

They might engage you and have a 140 character “discussion,” but the point is to start fixing in their mind that the BSDI shorthand comes with a price.

Let me give you an example to practice on.

Today over a Gawker, Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) wrote this piece. “Conservative Money Front Is Behind Princeton’s “White Privilege“ About Tal Fortgang

“—the privileged white Princeton freshman who wrote so passionately about how he’s not a privileged white guy—no one, not even the New York Times, noted that his post was made possible by a conservative group that bankrolls and grooms college kids for right-wing leadership.”

It was a nice piece. He did research and asked questions other journalists didn’t. Like, “Who helped get Tal Fortgang’s message out there?” He pointed out that the piece was in the “Princeton Tory, an independent campus publication that’s just one of about 80 bankrolled by the Collegiate Network and its parent group, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.”

As part of his piece he said, ”to be fair” which is usually used after someone has listed a litany of offences from one side.

To be fair, the campus wars aren’t all one-sided: This is a game that liberals have learned to play recently, too. The Center for American Progress, through its Campus Progress and Generation Progress programs, similarly funds left-leaning independent campus publications and grooms fellow travelers for punditing and politics.

Since he felt obligated to check the “Both Sides Do It” box, I felt obligated to write this in the comments

Interesting piece, but could you please include a ratio of the money of one group to the other? As you know quantity, quality and type of support vary greatly between both sides.

Please provide data proving how this is ”similarly funded.” on the left.

He won’t easily be able to for two reasons: Read the rest of this entry →

by spocko

This Is How Gun Loving Radicals Shut Up Gun Using Moderates

8:25 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

How do you maintain message discipline in a group? Behold one method.

Recently a Maryland gun dealer, who was planning to sell a smart gun, got death threats from gun-rights activists. The threats worked! He dropped his plan to sell smart guns. This is why the government tippy toes around their activists at Bundy protests and locks up ours at Occupy events.

Here is the video, cued up to the point where he talks about the response he got from the gun loving radicals in charge of messaging: Warning Strong Fucking Language.

“Obviously I received numerous death threats today. I really fucking appreciate that. That’s fucking classy. That’s a great thing for gun rights when you threaten to shoot somebody. That was really splendid.

“If you’re going to kill somebody, shoot the politicians who make these fucking [gun violence prevention] laws. If that’s who you want to fucking go at, shoot the people who make these laws. Take ‘em out in the street, and gun ‘em the fuck down. There’s a goddamn reason why we got these fucking things [guns]. There’s a fucking reason why we got ‘em. And that’s to defend our fucking freedom. Don’t fucking come at me with this shit. That’s to the people who called up and threatened to fucking kill me.”
– Andy Raymond, owner of Engage Armament LLC in Rockville, Maryland

Here is a piece with some back story from the Washington Post. and here is a piece from the Chris Hayes show that should air this evening where they talk about how smart gun technology will have an impact in New Jersey. (I’ll link to it when the video is up.)

If you watch the whole video you can hear him explain how he was for smart guns as a way to bring people on the fence into the fold. He saw this as a way to make money, and convert some people. You see his anger at people he thought would be supporters.  He’s saying “Take the bulls eye off of me! Why not put it on the people who are the real threat? If you are so eager to threaten and kill, why not do it and see what that gets you?”

He starts the video explaining “I’ve been drinking” and says he doesn’t know how to edit the video. That’s bad for him, but insightful for us. Who knows how this will hurt him, but it is helpful to us to see the kind of pressure moderates are in in the gun culture. Remember when we heard RW radio and TV hosts complaining that the moderate Muslims should “reign in” the radical Muslims?  Maybe people who are moderates have more stories to tell but afraid. I don’t blame them.

It’s too bad that he didn’t capture some of the death threat calls with phone numbers or identifying IP information. I suppose ‘ratting out’ those people is seen as less honorable than shooting yourself in the foot on video before the nation.  Besides, who would he turn the information over too? The FBI? Local law enforcement? What would they do to them? Take away their guns?

Each and every step he might take would repudiate what these people stand for. Sometimes I envy the hierarchical right with their “everything is on the table” discipline options for people who don’t toe the party line. But most of the time I don’t. I’m not a death threat kind of guy. I think it’s illegal, but don’t quote me.

Oh and by the way, if you want to help out the people who are trying to deescalate the violence? Take these actions suggested by my friends at the Center to Prevent Gun Violence.   But I won’t threaten you if you don’t.  That’s not how I roll.

by spocko

Breaking: NBA Bans Clippers Owner Donald Sterling for Life

10:56 am in Uncategorized by spocko

NBA commissioner Adam Silver today held a news conference to discuss Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the racist comments he allegedly made in a recorded conversation. Silver announced the league is banning Sterling for life from the NBA. The league is also handing down the maximum fine of $2.5 million. –David Cohen, WWL “NBA bans Clippers owner for life”


After watching how the rich get out of crimes and Crisis Management PR people are engaged right along with high-powered defense lawyers, I’m sure that Sterling will be able to come back from this. It will just take enough money and the right strategy of whitewashing his racist rep.

Of course the LA NAACP did cancel his 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, but will they rescind his 2008 NAACP Presidents Award?

I’m also wondering, are there rehab facilities for racists? Who would run them? Oprah? Rev. Al Sharpton? How long would it take to rehab Bundy or Donald Sterling?

In America these days money solves everything, so how much will Donald Sterling need to spend now to whitewash his racist rep? Will the proceeds of a Clippers sale donated to groups other than the NAACP be enough? Which PR firm will pick him up as a client?

Let’s all keep an eye out for the various ways that people like Bundy and Sterling work to rehabilitate their reps. It will be instructive.

Will he apologize? Or will he simply get in trouble for not being media trained? I was going to write a long post about media training and the right wings’ belief in it but I think Andy Borowitz said it best with this story.

Republicans Blast Nevada Rancher for Failing to Use Commonly Accepted Racial Code Words.”

by spocko

Let’s Stop Letting Bundy Supporters Off the Hook

2:34 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Today Joan Walsh and David Atkins have talked about how politicians and others are distancing themselves from Bundy.

Roger Ailes owns Cliven Bundy now: How dumb opportunism became a right-wing nightmare. – Salon, Walsh

Republicans lie down with racist welfare rancher Bundy, wake up with racist fleas – Hullabaloo, Atkins

Chompers by drainhookHere is something I’d like everyone to notice, and I want you to think about different ways to handle this in the future.

When someone that the Right or the Left has embraced is caught doing or saying something bad the MSM go to the supporters and ask, “So, is he still your guy?” Depending on the offense, and the skill of the people being asked the question, the MSM often let them off the hook. For example, “Here is the statement from their office, saying they deplore racism.” Story over.

Now, if the person who made or said the offensive thing is on the Left, the MSM will give their supporters an opportunity to distance themselves. However, the RW media keep using that offense as a club… forever.  They don’t care if the supporters distanced themselves, the offense wasn’t even that offensive, or was a lie like how they framed Shirley Sherrod.

The few left wing media outlets that actually exists, also often accept the statements and let them off the hook. We use reason and logic and treat them fairly, although we might question the seriousness of the statement. Eventually we say, “They denounced the statement, no need to keep bringing it up.”

Fine. Good for us! But the activist in me wonders:

  • Is a simple denouncement statement good enough?
  • How else can we use their earlier uncritical embracing of the person to drag them down?
  • Do they secretly still get credit from their base if they “dog whistle” the denouncement?
  • Can we go to the people who still are embracing Bundy in his racism and ask them about the denouncements? Example:

Nevada Sen. Heller’s office has immediately condemned the ‘appalling and racist statements’ and have distanced themselves from Bundy, how do you feel about Heller now? Was it a cowardly thing to do, to throw Bundy under the bus?

It appears the racist views in Bundy are integrated into his world view. It’s not something easily carved out. But the statements condemning him make it appear the comments and the person live in separate worlds. (This is actually a feature of the RW authoritarian mindset, the ability to never “merge the files” as Bob Altemeyers says in The Authoritarians.

If we don’t want to hold their feet to the fire, because we are rational and compassionate, who can we get to do it for us?  I suggest we set up the right to do it for us.

Read the rest of this entry →

by spocko

How They Use Dog Whistle Politics Against Liberals

8:11 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

I know other folks have talked about this but I just heard most of the interview with the author of Dog Whistle Politics on the Bill Moyer’s show.

Two things struck me, This:

And, it’s important, because dog whistling is not about bigotry. It’s about the manipulation of bigotry. It’s about the manipulation of stereotypes.

And this:

The triumph of the civil rights movement is to teach us, to teach Americans that we’re all human, we’re all in this together.

It occurred to me that today’s conservative might not believe that we’re all human (I am only half after all.) But they clearly don’t believe we’re all in this together. Reagan, Rush, Ryan and the Randians keep saying that we are NOT all in this together.

The right can attack liberals 24/7, and they do. They don’t even have to dog whistle! I’ve read a couple of stories in Salon about people who felt they lost their parent to Fox News. That the parent attacked them for their ‘liberal values’ 

The author Ian Haney López points out how Reagan and his followers coupled the government with helping lazy black people. With dog whistle politics people vote against government because they are voting against racial stereotypes.  Fox News watchers get to hate stereotypes of liberals in place of racial stereotypes and they can say they aren’t racist. If those liberals happen to be their own children, well too bad for them.

Right wing media is divisive. It is one of their main selling points. As the kids say “Haters gonna hate.”

What’s the opposite of “Haters gonna hate?” or the conservative “I’ve got mine, pull up the ladder?” Check out this video.

One of the things we have found out recently is that overt racism is still a career killer. The good news is that homophobia might be bad for your career too. Sexism is still okay, unless you get caught. But luckily for the racists, homophobes and sexists the progressives and liberals are there to fill the void.

One of my big triumphs in life was helping corporate advertisers see that they should not associate with right wing radio and TV hosts, that their violent rhetoric, bigotry, homophobia and sexism tainted their brand.  I had to point out to advertisers that just because the bile was directed at liberals didn’t make it okay. We sent a message to the corporations and to the syndicaters of these shows that it isn’t profitable for consumer goods sellers to get behind that kind of invective. Did the bile go underground? No, but they had to go to other sources of funding. To people who were fine with the attacks. The same kind of groups that like to send dog whistles.

Right now I’m trying to figure out a way to get corporations and trade groups to see that we’re all human, we’re all in this together, and that no matter what your race, religion, gender or political view we all have to eat safe food, drink safe water and breath clean air. How do I convince the humans inside the corporation that a corporate persons’ desires should not trump human life and health?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ian Haney López was here for Book Salon.

by spocko

Working at a Big 8 Peace Firm, a Look Back

8:31 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

War activists, like peace activists, push for an agenda.  We don’t think of them as activists because they rotate in and out of government positions, receive huge amounts of funding, have access to big media, and get meetings with top officials just by asking — without having to generate a protest first.

War Activists by Dave Swanson

I remember after graduating from Star Fleet I took a job with one of the Big 8 Peace firms in San Francisco.

I was a junior analyst working on developing pro-peace material. Part of my job was booking our leading peace advocates on the Sunday morning talk shows. If it seemed like every Sunday you saw the same peace advocates ganging up in a four to one “discussion” with one war monger there was a reason. Unlike them, our people were well trained, articulate and buddies with all the producers and hosts. The media loved our men and women as guests. We booked everyone, from the red white and blue wearing men to the serious, hard-hitting realist female experts.

You know all those op-ed pro-peace articles you read in the editorial sections of the major media editorial sections? That was us. The firm I worked for was funded by a company that made farming equipment from recycled weapons. 

Other firms got their multimillion dollar budgets from agribusiness, pharma and tech. Sometimes it seemed crazy how much money they threw at us, but their premise was, “You can sell more equipment, food, drugs and tech to live people than dead ones.” Made sense to me.  People with two hands can do more work than those whose arms were blown off. One scientist working for Big Pharma said, ”It is more logical to heal than kill.

When I started a group of  war activists out there were whining about how nobody was funding their blood-lust. Their leaders said the glory of war was a noble thing and they expected people who believed the same to do the work for free. Because of that, only the most dedicated (or those subsidized by a crazy billionaire) would end up in the media pushing war.

Their ideas were outrageously wrong and and their views were so morally repugnant they were usually marginalized by the journalists and media hosts. Who can forget the show where the country’s most powerful journalist made it clear how factually wrong one of the war activist’s was and then ended by pointing out just what an immoral blood-thirsty freak he was.  

I remember one time a smiling ghoul named Bill Redglass was shut down by one of our staff members from the Peace College A few years after Redglass was on TV I ran into a former Senator who called out Redglass as monstrous, bloodthirsty fraud.  

What I don’t understand is why folks like Redglass kept going. Surely they knew that pushing war was a lost cause? Everyone knew war was stupid and destructive and rarely got countries what they wanted. But they kept pushing it. I kind of felt sorry for them.  Many couldn’t hold a job. When people found out how much they loved death they were quietly let go from sensible firms   Some lived in their parent’s basement because they were the only ones who believed their crazy ideas–like wishing for a disaster to happen on US soil as an excuse to start a war. Some would write on “weblogs” trying to sound tough.

I sometimes wonder about a parallel universe where people listened to them. Hundreds of thousands of innocents would be dead. If their pimply, adolescent Zeus fantasy’s came true, the whole world would be a worse place–even for the “winners.”

If the war activists had been successful, how would they feel about what they did? How could people look at them, knowing they cheerlead and promoted death for so many? Historically were the people who promoted war for Pol Pot, Stalin or Colonel Green feted?  Would people invite them on their TV shows and treat them like rational beings and not the PR men for monsters?  Thank god nobody took them seriously. Can you imagine? what kind of world that would be?

I don’t think we would be out in the galaxy among the stars today if we hadn’t figured out how to stop the mental illness and errors in thinking that lead to the wars of the past. I’m just glad that the people who promote war  aren’t rich and happy but are shunned by people. I’m so happy companies that make money by selling things to people understand dead customers are bad for business. And companies that make weapons are bad for humans. 

 

Photo by Trey Ratcliff under creative commons license

by spocko

Fred Phelps Sr. Dead at 84, Here Is Something Good About Him

11:36 am in Uncategorized by spocko

You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good . . . Joan Crawford is dead. Good. — Bette Davis

Westboro Baptist founder Fred Phelps Sr. dead at 84.  Good.

David Feldman the comedy writer, podcaster and host of the new Ralph Nader Radio Hour on KPFK, looks at Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church a bit differently.

He thinks that Westboro gave people a way to focus on an issue as a counter protest. For example, sending out a notice that “The Westboro church are going to protest ‘X’ so let’s all line up to protest their protest” was useful because it gave the media something to see. TV cameras love interesting visuals and conflict. Westboro provided both.

One friend of mine used Phelps and Westboro as a villain to raise money when he came to campus to protest. Others used him to get the press to show up with cameras at an event that might otherwise been ignored.

Showing the views of nutballs like Phelps helped normalize the things he was protesting.

Because the media always does X vs. Y stories, Phelps and his clan provided the worst possible “Gays are bad” spokesperson. I know there are people who agreed with his anti-gay views who thought, “Stop being on our side!” They wanted to be “reasonable” anti-gay religious people and Phelps made those views seem crazy.

Back in the 1990′s I was talking with a friend studying at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley about the Catholic Church’s views on homosexuals. He said it’s basically, “You can be a dog, but don’t bark.”

Next I asked him to show me the parts in the bible that condemned it and what the context was. Four hours later I stumbled out of his house more intellectually informed but not emotionally transformed. That took more time and exposure to actual gay people. Then when I saw Phelps’ anti-gay protests I got to see the cartoonishness of those views from the Old Testament.

As Katie McDonough said in Salon, Phelps’ “rabid homophobia inflicted a lot of pain and anguish on a lot of people.”

So if there is something good that can be said of Fred Phelps, it is he provided a useful focal point for the media when covering an event or an issue for their standard “X vs. Y” stories. It’s too bad he added pain to other’s lives in the process.

UPDATE: I’ve been informed that by lordgoogoo  ”that quote is actually from Charles Pierce imitating Bette Davis and was never spoken by Davis herself.” I also corrected the spelling of her name. I regret the error. I blame the ghost of Joan Crawford and the Internet.

by spocko

Heritage Foundation To Launch Freedom To Read and Freedom Food Programs

12:19 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Don’t have time to read and dog ear the corners of books but want your friends to think you have?

Introducing the Heritage Foundation’s Freedom to Read  program.

Heritage foundation president Edwin Feulner

Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner.
Photo by Medill DC under Creative Common’s License

Starting this April The Heritage Foundation has teamed with AEI, AFP, Cato, Hoover Institute and the EIEIO Institute to offer you pre-owned and distressed books for your home!

Includes all the classics you never had time to read, but want to say you have like:

  • The Fountainhead!
  • Atlas Shrugged!
  • Saul Alinsky’s, Rules for Radicals! (They’ve read it, why can’t you say you have?)

Hot current books like:

  • The complete, “Killing Somebody” series by Bill O’Reilly!

Books you didn’t read in college but said you did like:

  • Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations!

Bills the liberals have tried to ram down your throat like:

  • The Gay Agenda Bill and the “Give Homos Special Rights Bill”
  • The Affordable Care Act–all 906 pages!
    • The bill that inspired the “Read the Bill!” chant!

For a low monthly fee we also send you Heritage, AEI, Cato and Hoover Institute books our experts turn out each month that you only hear about on Fox, Hannity and Limbaugh.

The covers have been cracked, the pages have been turned and sections have been underlined! Just like you would if you had time.

For a limited time you will also receive pre-read copies of historical documents and books you haven’t read:

  • The Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights (numbers three through ten)
  • The King James Bible with the New Testament and the actual words of Jesus in red. All marked as if read!

You would expect to pay $1,700 a month for this. Thanks to a generous grant from an anonymous donor all these books and documents will arrive at your home for the price of a five dollar cup of coffee. These quality pre-read and distressed books will keep coming until our donor runs out of money. (Don’t hold your breath liberals!)

Act today. Our pre-readers and independent contractors from around the world are standing by to read and distress your books!

Coming soon, our Pre-Eaten Food Program™ We eat it so you don’t have to!
Comes with a complete set of Ginzo knives! But wait there’s more!

Also launching in April, the charity donation program that fulfills our 501 c 3 non-profit status making your subscription tax-deductible for income, gift, and estate taxes.

Freedom Food™* especially for inner city men.

*Heritage’s Freedom Food program consists of the results of the Pre-Eaten Food Program. It includes pre-digested food, Freedom to Read books and is part of this balanced budget. Not available in other first world countries.

 

AUTHOR NOTE: The Freedom To Read, Pre-Eaten Food and Freedom Food Programs are all made up programs that parody the intellectual laziness and moral cruelty of many right wing foundations and programs. Any resemblances to actual right wing foundations and right wing leaders’s comments and ideas are purely intentional. Pre-April Fool.
Cross posted to Spocko’s Brain

by spocko

VIDEO: Shock and Awe, Taser Drone Zaps Intern at #SXSW

10:20 am in Uncategorized by spocko

I love a good publicity stunt. At the South By Southwest festival (SXSW) festival, Chaotic Moon Studio used a drone to tase an intern.

)

What I love about this stunt is that it was designed and developed to be the perfect news story and that William “Whurley” Hurley, chief innovation officer, understood that it would be a conversation starter.

Because military drones are a hot topic and SXSW is a large global event, Hurley said they decided to bring to life the “fantasy of some people and nightmares of others.”

“We wanted to have an educated, well-informed discussion about how people feel about this as a society, or whether you’re a police officer or private citizen,” Hurley said.  - ABC News

So, maybe we should have that discussion.

If not now, then on April 5 at 2:00 pm Pacific when I will be holding a Book Salon at Firedoglake with Daniel Suarez on his book “Kill Decision.”
Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

This should give you time to get and read the book. Yes, it’s science fiction, but it raises a lot of questions and it is structured as a thriller, so it really moves.

The book shows us a near future where drones have proliferated and any discussion with a public that didn’t want them was ignored. As is often the case, the only conversations that matter are the the ones between the drone makers and the people funding them.

Yet the public’s views can make a difference. Last year Seattle dropped their federally funded drone program.

Other states are looking at laws to restrict them. But if I know ALEC and weapons makers, they will be creating model bills for states on the NEED for drones.

They will tell the story of how,  ”If only we had a drone for a search and rescue operation the little girl lost in the woods would have been found!”

Then they will use fear, “You can’t expect the police to be watching your house 24/7, but a drone in your area, armed with a taser could have stopped this robbery and home invasion!”

As usual, science fiction is there first exploring the issues, like in this episode of Almost Human.

So, what are your thoughts, fears or hopes?

 Cross Posted to Spocko’s Brain