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 @jilliancyork @Dymaxion Here's my Israel refusenik post: http://t.co/N30PHuZ6ns Now onto the FBI.
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Anyone want to see the 50 posts I did on EO 12333 before Tye's op-ed, in response to which folks said I was paranoid? No? Ok then.
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emptywheel Unit 8200 Refuseniks Make Visible for Israel What Remains Invisible in the US http://t.co/N30PHuZ6ns US using SIGINT to get informants too.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @pwnallthethings Also tried to dodge on our spying while admitting it. Testimony was true, reporting was horrible.
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @BrentHalonen1 I don't do titles, sorry. @Salon
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bmaz @HanniFakhoury @elizabeth_joh @FedcourtJunkie It is WAY deeper than that. And it is rotten through and through from the jump.
36mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @HanniFakhoury @elizabeth_joh @FedcourtJunkie ...Diamondbacks pitcher Jason Grimsley. People focus only on Conte, Bonds+Clemens.
36mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @HanniFakhoury @elizabeth_joh @FedcourtJunkie Hey, this case was tainted bullshit going back to the way the goodish Novitsky went after...
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bmaz @SomeHack @onekade The one that understands actual law and facts, not the one of hacks.
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emptywheel @BrentHalonen1 Yes. And my point is that Congress has to stop Presidents of both parties from waging war via such findings. @Salon
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @pwnallthethings Well there was a hearing where it was strongly implied govt wasn't doing all that much. It was transparent spin at the time
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel It's not enough to find an AUMF that will actually authorize Iraq 3.0. We also need to stop war waged as covert op. http://t.co/a80oNLoWFy
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September 2014
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