Wednesday, March 29, 2006

UAVs

I read today on Slashdot that CNET has an article about the fate of the
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles we have been using in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are now being considered by the US government for dometic use. A quote from the article:

"...one North Carolina county is using a UAV equipped with low-light and infrared cameras to keep watch on its citizens. The aircraft has been dispatched to monitor gatherings of motorcycle riders at the Gaston County fairgrounds from just a few hundred feet in the air--close enough to identify faces--and many more uses, such as the aerial detection of marijuana fields, are planned.. "

I take pause at the idea of this. Technology is inherently neutral, and therefore it rests on the tempermant, ideology, and worldview of the individual. This administration has never had my trust when it comes to the good of the people and i can't see these UAVs as a net positive for society. This government has served an elite few, drove more Americans into poverty, is responsible for tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths, pushed through deals with the logging and mining industries to open up land in national forests, and let's not forget a colossal debt, to name a few. This administration, and more importantly the think tanks in Washington that, for all intents and purposes, write the policy of the current administration is toxic for America. The Project For The New American Century, for example:

From their Statement of Principles:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

• we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.


Extend an "international order " friendly to "our principles" ? The world is not ours to mold, and empire building in this age, or any other is foolish. History will again repeat itself and the American empire will go the way of the Roman, Aztec, British, French, and Dutch empires. The question is, when will this be realized, so we can stop spending so much of our taxes on defense contracts and focus on preparing ourselves for peak oil. Globalism and 1st world modern industrial societies work and continue to grow beacuse of cheap, plentiful oil. Will we be ready for the inevitable changes that will have to be made to our current lifestyle? Or will we still be fighting the War on Terror?

Picture show!

Maree and I decided to make a rotating display of our photgraphs in our living room. Here is my contribution.

Self-portrait at Newberry Volcanic Monument.

Metal bench on Washington State Ferry

On the loop road around Crater Lake

Colin Meloy at the "Plug" Fir

Salmon St fountain downtown. Older brother grabbed his sister and carried her into the fountain.

A new adventure begins...

Well, I decided to take down my old blog and start a new one. As time went by, I had less and less to write about my experiences with work as I got more efficient and familiar with it, such that I stopped writing about it completely. Hopefully things will be different this time. I gave this blog a broader scope, basically unlimited in nature. I want it to be a place where I can prattle on about whatever is on my mind, post some pictures, and pass on cool links and info I find during my forays into the internet. Sounds like everyone else's blog, right?