Gerard Depardieu

Monday Mess: Moar Dronz, Gen Killz, (Horse)Meatz, and Clownz

Photo: AR Drone 2.0 being tested near Kuwait Towers (by Cajie via Flickr)

Photo: AR Drone 2.0 being tested near Kuwait Towers (by Cajie via Flickr)

Happy Monday. Insert a picture of that cat here–you know which one. I resemblez it.

•  Good gravy, people. When National Geographic Magazine covers drones, it’s way past time for a national dialog about their use domestically. Crop dusting, my backside; there’s nothing except for the subhead in this article to genuinely suggest the designers, manufacturers, and potential buyers of drones are thinking about non-surveillance, non-policing applications for these unmanned aerial devices.

•  Of course it hasn’t helped our current condition that not one but at least two generations of military were shaped into the “Generation Kill” mold, about which Foreign Affairs learns from retired General Stanley McCrystal.

“People hear most about the targeting cycle, which we called F3EA — “find, fix, finish, exploit, and analyze.” You understand who or what is a target, you locate it, you capture or kill it, you take what intelligence you can from people or equipment or documents, you analyze that, and then you go back and do the cycle again, smarter.”

Color me skeptical, but this doesn’t sound like appropriate training future civilians–those now serving in our military–will use for guiding crop dusting or weather monitoring drones.

•  “Generation Kill” has a shadow identity, as well; the legitimately uniformed forces have dark counterparts in crime, which is likely shaped by the same attitudes as the military and police who chase them. Thwarted in illegal weapons sales, the supply chain arms traffickers use may be put to use in purveying goods of a different kind of kill. The horsemeat contamination scandal in Europe appears to be built upon the infrastructure of criminal arms dealer Viktor Bout. Where once illegal weapons might have been hidden in dog food, now illegal dog food is hidden in, well, our food.

•  Of course, when this all gets too serious and we need to be distracted, somebody offers up a clown since bread and circuses always work to appease the masses. Today’s fool is Gérard Depardieu, savaged for his luxe lifestyle and his exile from his mother country. France’s current “supertax” policy–75 percent assessed against all income above one million euros, intended as a short-term fix to a national budget deficit–ostensibly drove Depardieu into the arms of the ever-execrable Russia. The actor whose work is synonymous with modern French cinema is now reviled as minable, pathetic. What seems incredibly pathetic to me is the strident ignorance of both policy makers and the French; only 3000 countrymen were subject to the tax, and it is too easily escaped. Was the problem really with these 3000 that the budget suffered, or were other structural problems at fault that might not yet be repaired? One can see readily how a similarly simplistic law enacted in the States could have similarly ridiculous and ineffective results. But Depardieu is an easy, large, and slow-moving target, not unlike the French royals who could not outrun the guillotine. Minable, indeed; how readily the populace is distracted by redirection to a clown.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @billmon1 In both cases, should be able to make same kind of competitive args RTWers make on jobs. They haven't so far, though.
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emptywheel @billmon1 Given how generally poorly Dems have used selective Medicaid expansion to their advantage, skeptical they'd use this.
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bmaz @JennyMehlow Was gonna say, this better not be a picture of @randiego2
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bmaz @seanpaulkelley Heh, I'm sure. But you cracked me up.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @DuffelBlog: Trending: After Petraeus Scandal, Tampa Strip Clubs Look For More Biographers http://t.co/NL0zF2BpFC http://t.co/1BR1L2xuBw
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bmaz @seanpaulkelley Everybody's a critic.....
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bmaz @dorothyofisrael What a sick piece of rotting humanity you are little miss "Basketball Princess" @ZaidJilani
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emptywheel @jamisonfoser Yeah, I'm like that: Enough of a red head they can't put enough pain killer/sedation in me to actually work.
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bmaz RT @MsEntropy: On issues of global justice, I'll just leave this right here as a reminder. #Gaza #Detroit. Share as you see fit. http://t.c…
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bmaz RT @LibyaLiberty: An alien landscape. RT @AFP: Gazans dig dead from rubble in scenes of war devastation as toll passes 1,000 http://t.co/Aq
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bmaz RT @haaretzcom: The rocket which disrupted Ben-Gurion flights: An Israel Air Force mistake http://t.co/K8urmymj4y
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emptywheel @jamisonfoser You've already missed the OTHER worst aspect of wisdom teeth extraction in my case: waking up in the middle of procedure.
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July 2014
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