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Drone Demonology: Flying Robots, Cop Mustaches & Resistance in the End Times

12 Jul

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by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

The first time I ever saw a drone I was sweating my ass off, hiking jugs of water through a cactus forest to drop in remote canyons for famished migrants making the deadly trek through the Sonoran desert. U.S. Customs and Border Protection surveillance drones patrol the skies along the border with Mexico on the daily. Like any good activist I gave the drone the bird and then quickly ducked beneath a cholla, which I don’t advise doing, as it is a cactus with a reputation.

Two 10,000-pound Predator-B border patrol drones.

Two 10,000-pound Predator-B border patrol drones. These are the fellas that patrol the borderlands, from Yuma, Ariz., to Brownsville, Tex.

Since his inauguration, noble peace prize winning president Barack Obama has increased the U.S. military’s use of drones and rewritten the rules of engagement in over a dozen countries around the world. Hundreds of civilians, including swaths of children and several dozen Al Qaeda operatives have been eviscerated by remote. Even four U.S. citizens have been assassinated by drones, violating due process and habeas corpus protections in the U.S. constitution. Reports put the ratio of civilians to “suspected terrorists” killed by drone strikes at about 50 to 1, meaning roughly 98% of the deaths are “collateral damage.”     Continue reading

‘Nintendo Medal’ for Military Drone Pilots

6 Mar

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

[The text of this work is free to share and distribute under the following Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND 3.0]

Department of Defense

Department of Defense

The U.S. has a growing corps of cyber-warriors and drone pilots who target human populations with bomb strapped drones. Now  the Pentagon is commending their all-too-real virtual combat with a new medal.

Last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approved the military’s first new combat medal in nearly a century. The Distinguished Warfare Medal is bestowed to  individuals in recognition of “extraordinary contributions” to combat operations conducted from afar.

In the military hierarchy of honor, the new ‘lethal gamer’ medal is the eighth highest award behind the Medal of Honor.

Some are calling it the “Chair-borne Medal,” “the Nintendo Medal,” “the Purple Buttocks,” and the “Distant Warfare Medal,” demeaning the computer-based iWarriors because they are not exposed to imminent mortal danger like traditional combat soldiers. A growing alliance of veterans groups and politicians are lobbying the Pentagon and President Obama to downgrade the award, which is ahead of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart in terms of distinction.

Regardless of the kerfuffle over the proper accolades for the military’s deadly computer nerd-core, little argument has been put forward questioning the ethics of bestowing an honorary trinket on a group of techno-assassins that spy on and bomb suspected terrorists, American citizens, wedding parties and children from the comfort of a computer screen.

Read more on techno-monstrosities in McSpadden’s “The Early History of the Robot Wars” Part 1 and Part 2

Drones Over Disney World

14 Jan

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

[The text of this work is free to share and distribute under the following Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND 3.0]

Sleeper cells, domestic terrorists and the Seven Dwarfs had better beware: Florida’s Orange County Sherriff’s office is getting hyped to unleash unmanned drones over Orlando skies this summer.

Disney will now be more exciting once blood thirsty drones patrol the skies.

Disney will now be more exciting once blood thirsty drones patrol the skies.

Two drones, similar to those which fly over tribal regions of Central Asia to bomb suspected terrorists, unlucky wedding parties, children and even American citizens, are currently being tested.

However, according to Sheriff’s spokesman Jeff Williamson, Orlando’s drones will not be armed.  The office still needs approval from county officials and the FAA.

Drones are already being used all over the United States, have been recommended for use by wildlife officials to shoot “problem” wolves in the West and are a daily site along the U.S. Mexico border. The Miami-Dade Police Department is also considering their use.

Predator drones used by the military and CIA cost roughly $4 million a pop and are about the size of a two-seater Cessna. Orlando’s drones are a bit smaller and, according to Williams, cost roughly $25,000 apiece.

A map of the rugged Jungle Cruise terrain, home to a  bunch of scary but fake shit.

A map of Disney’s rugged Jungle Cruise terrain, a region known for lawless tribes sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Williams did not comment in any depth as to exactly how the remote-controlled planes would be used but in an email he noted that they might be deployed to look for explosives, barricaded suspects and to inspect “hostile/inaccessible terrain,” which may refer to Orlando traffic, the regions dwindling swamps, or Disneyland’s sanitized version of a wild Jungle Cruise.

Will the Orange County Sheriff’s drones hunt down Dopey’s dope and Grumpy’s anti-American manifesto before its too late?

The Bioethics of Twitter Controlled Cyborg Roaches

7 Jan

The Early History of the Robot Wars, Part II

In which is discussed the preposterously true details of a  cyborg cockroach enslaved by crowdsourced social media; the computer program that you are living in right now; and Smartphones that can see, smell, fart and someday screw.

by Russ McSpadden / Carbon-based humanoid correspondent for the King Ludd & John Connor Institute of Anti-Technology

[The text of this work is free to share and distribute under the following Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND 3.0]

La Cucaracha Roboticatwitter-roach

Philosophers, science-fiction writers, and doctors have long pondered the cyborg dilemma–that blurred boundary where biology and machine are fast becoming one. And while most arguments tend to focus on two key questions — 1) Is it morally legitimate to use robotics to upgrade the human form and 2) Is it morally legitimate to neglect cyborg technology in the treatment of disease and disability — there are other very important questions that have yet to be raised.

For example: 3) Did you really just fit a cockroach with cyborg technology and control it with an IPhone and Twitter? Continue reading

The Early History of the Robot Wars, Part 1

13 Dec

IN THIS EPISODE: WTF In the Eyeball, Sexy Surveillance Mannequins and Other Shit Escaping the Constraints of Biology

by Russ McSpadden / Carbon-based humanoid Science and Technology correspondent

[The text of this work is free to share and distribute under the following Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND 3.0]

WTF In The Eyeball?wtf_int_the_eyeball

Researchers at Ghent University in England have developed a new break through technology that promises to make your near future far more annoying — and especially more boring — than any dystopic science-fiction novel you’ve read. In one giant stupid leap in cyborg technology the team created a curved LCD contact lens that can display text messages. Let’s hope they developed new eye drops to ease the discomfort from all those winking emoticons and raunchy sexts, too.  But I guess this’ll solve that 21st century dilemma of needing to maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to while also texting someone else.

According to chief researcher, Herbert De Smet, at the university’s Centre of Microsystems Technology, it’s “not science-fiction” but the first step towards “fully pixilated contact lens displays,” which will one day, with any luck, allow you to watch Gangnam Style in the comfort of your own, um, pupil.

Continue reading