It seems that a drone operated by an intoxicated geopolitical intelligence expert accidentally wandered into the Temp Emp's personal space and had a great fall. All the Secret Service tech geeks and all the Secret Service men had no way of either detecting it or stopping it. And obviously they couldn't put it together again, because it was a crappy piece of junk purchased in a Radio Shack.
But be afraid. Be very afraid. Barack surely is, though he hides it very well. Two years after telling the nation that he planned to rein in the drones, he finally means business. Well, sort of:
"You know that there are companies like Amazon that are talking about using small drones to deliver packages... There are incredibly useful functions that these drones can play in terms of farmers who are managing crops and conservationists who want to take stock of wildlife." Obama said. "But we don't really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it....These technologies that we're developing have the capacity to empower individuals in ways that we couldn't even imagine 10-15 years ago," Obama said, pledging to work to create a framework that "ensures that we get the good and minimize the bad."It's the balanced approach for which Obama is so famous. Ban oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, but approve it in the Atlantic. Ban drone use by drunks and idiots, but allow it for oligarchs and corporations and presidents and CIA dudes drunk on power. Differentiate between frivolous drone use and serious drone use. Suggest even the merest possibility of regulations, then sit back and smirkingly wait for the political donations and lobbying junkets to start flowing and flying in. If a drone bearing bribery cash crashes in the thicket of Congress, it's not that people might not hear it. It's that nobody actually gives a shit. Corruption is now perfectly legal.
Americans also don't care much about drone crashes that occur in other people's yards in other people's countries, or even about the maimed and dead human beings (militants) or victims (extremists) having the poor taste to live in a "tribal area" or who've made the poor choice of being born to the wrong parents.
Meanwhile, everybody in Amerika is either guffawing or freaking out about the Great White House Drone Incident. Gail Collins wrote her usual lighthearted column on the subject of drones in general, envisioning such hilarity as drone-borne pizza deliveries creating pie in the sky over Brooklyn. But seriously, folks:
The public conversation instantly turned to terrorism and whether a maniac could use a recreational drone to drop a bomb, or start a chemical attack. This is a terrible worry. But at least we have multitudes of dedicated, vigilant public servants, virtually all of them totally sober, working night and day to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen.
OK, so now I get it. The problem is not with drones per se, but with the idiots who operate drones. We've come back full circle to the all-American dogma of Personal Responsibility. Here's my comment to Collins:However, we’re not giving enough attention to the threat of normal American idiots. The kind of people who think it’s fun to sit in the backyard and point laser lights at the cockpits of incoming planes, or participate in a YouTube challenge that involves trying to snort a condom up one’s nose. The folks for whose benefit countless utility companies have written tips that include “don’t look for a gas leak with a candle or lighted match.”
Could a maniac use a recreational drone to drop a bomb, or start a chemical attack?
NIMBY! Those drones are called Predators and Reapers, and they're way out of the price range of the average intelligence agency drunk. And forget those tribal people out in the middle of nowhere. They're pretty much permanently hunkered down, because the constant sound of drones over their heads makes the kids too afraid to leave the house and go to school, let alone go wild in a drone toy store.
To soberly operate a weaponized drone joystick, you always, always wait for the official Kill List. If the horror of what you actually do ever hits home and the PTSD hits, then you can hit the bottle -- because it's still a long wait to see a VA shrink.
See, there are times when mistakes are made and collateral damage happens, when even whole wedding parties get droned instead of "militants" (defined by responsible leaders as any male in the age range of pre-puberty through senility). There was that one stray Hellfire missile that only last week rendered an 11-year-old boy into "bugsplat" (how droners describe a direct hit on a dehumanized person). Of course, he'd exhibited bad judgment by living too near his dad in the Disposition Matrix.
And since the Senate passed a bill last year absolving the president from having to divulge names of drone victims, we can all rest easy and pretend that the only drones that matter are the irresponsible ones landing in the White House veggie garden.Maybe the drunk drone operator mistook his drone for a salad shredder. But true American patriot that he is, he "self-reported" his little mishap (not to be confused with self-deported, needless to say, since there apparently will be no banishment to Kochistan or elsewhere in the prison-surveillance complex.)
The New York Times described the incident as a "drunken lark." That is just so Gray Lady-stuffy; I personally prefer "tipsy ode to a nightingale," given that it occurred around 3 in the a.m.
Hear the word of the lord. No drones for wacky immature revelers:
They need to grow up to become responsible drone operators, who love and respect their drones as much as the technocrats who govern them. Let the wholesome, benumbed, all-American, well-balanced bluebirds of happiness drone on... and on... and on.