To be fair, I would have rathered if Obama used poison.
Drone Strikes qualify as targeted killings which is a policy the US developed in the 80s when we were tired of our no-assassinations policy.
The story goes, we tried one too many times to assassinate Fidel Castro and decided after the blowback that we weren't going to target individuals anymore.
But that lead us to the slightly different policy of targeting them anyway, only instead of one skilled guy with a mean rifle, we'd send an airstrike. It didn't work then. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi survived the strike on his house (though he lost family and personal employees), but Reagan thought it was funny, and it became unofficial policy... until it became official policy.
The problem with assassination is that it becomes too tempting to use it for personal enemies, or for enemies of the current administration. This is how Putin uses assassination. (Then he uses crazy poisons like fucking polonium-210 which left a radioactive trail from Litvinenko to the Port of London, and also exposed assassins Lugovoy and Kovtun to dangerous levels of radiation. But I digress.)
Assassination is a great tool to clear military targets or belligerent commanders when war is imminent, but it shouldn't be used to resolve personal vendettas, and maybe that's the problem is it's too tempting.
But then we shouldn't be resorting to targeted killings and pretending that they're anything but super-messy assassinations.
Hmmm... maybe you guys can be more specific. When I think of horrifying, I think of things like the Extrajudicial Detention and Torture Program (which was started by Bush and continued by Obama) or the Drone Strike program that massacres entire villages of civilians (started by Obama. Bush sent in private security contractors, aka mercenaries do do his massacring).
There's also the NSA mass surveillance thing, which was going in 2003 (Bush) became fully operational on Obama's watch and hasn't really slowed down even after the Snowden revelations. I'd have thought Obama would have restricted or dismantled it, but he dug too deep and too greedily, I guess.
The thing is, Trump isn't slowing any of these things down and in fact has expressed eagerness to step these policies up.
(Actually Trump hasn't talked about -- and may not yet be fully aware of -- the massive NSA intelligence-gathering complex. I'm quaking in my boots terrified of the day Trump realizes he can use this agency to start identifying and mass-disappearing dissenters, and there will be nothing we can do to stop him.)
In the meantime, Trump's agenda seems to be to dismantle some pretty important federal programs: environmental protection and conservation, clean air and water, education, labor and consumer affairs, social security, welfare, foreign aid...
In fact, he seems to want to dismantle everything except the police and military. If this wasn't the United States of America, our nation being categorically exceptional and above such things, I'd say he's prepping for a coup d'état.
Trump is also ratcheting up persecution of immigrants, including many who are here with legal documentation. Also including many non-whites that look too immigranty (since we citizens are not required to carry or own proof of citizenship). Also poor people that CBP or ICE just doesn't like very much. Right now, despite the suspension of the travel ban, we're still seeing an increase of detentions at the borders. Also raids on families who (to Trump, and possibly only to Trump) qualify as bad hombres.
Trump is also halting asset forfeiture reform, so that law enforcement can continue to rob Americans at will at a rate higher than all the burglaries in the US.
I'll give the benefit of the doubt that thermonuclear holocaust may be an improbable horror, despite that Trump has expressed specific interest in modernizing and utilizing the US thermonuclear stockpiles. But, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, who moved their doomsday clock up by thirty seconds on account of one man in power (to 2:30 to midnight) are less optimistic than I am.
So in comparison to these, I'm curious what horrors Democrats have recently (since 1990) unleashed upon the unsuspecting population of the US?
You know, considering how Mirtazapine and Quetiapine both made it through the FDA approval process to ruin some lives and, result in class-action lawsuits, yet cannabis cannot, Plan B took decades and a few other advanced contraceptives (that are legal throughout the industrialized world) can't even be reviewed, I've come to suspect that the FDA approval process is some kind of racket that involves either greasing the palms of some inside bureaucrats, or considers only products produced within a select cartel.
With every year stings look more and more like entrapment.
It seems the only thing accomplished by hiking the federal drinking age to 21 has been to delay booze-related incidents back three years. So we have drunk driving incidents happening at 22 instead of 19.
In the 70s, many states allowed 18-year-olds to drink three-proof as a training-wheels beer before gaining access to the whole bar.
And then there's sting operations which look more and more like entrapment, especially when the FBI fishes for (literal) retards to commit a terror act by purchasing $20 of hardware supplies.
Maybe this is the nadir before we get sick of it and ban stings as an over-abused law-enforcement tool.
Also someone should inform these teens that in working as undercover complicitors to law enforcement they make themselves targets. Mobs and street gangs alike regard informants with the same magnitude of grace that the Kremlin handles uncovered moles. It's a good way to get fed into industrial machinery. Somehow I bet these teens volunteered without having been fully informed regarding risks to life and limb.
By reaffirming law enforcement as a caste above the law (and in doing so, affirming that impoverished and marginalized groups will be beneath the law) Sessions is creating a situation in which peaceful protest will become impossible, and more and more people will find themselves with nothing left to lose.
Maybe within the next year or so we'll reach the threshold where police are regarded not as a necessity of civilization but as a tool of oppression, and the United States will lose its identity as a nation of laws.
A state guilty of overreach in prosecution of a heinous crime...
...is still guilty of overreach. That the crime is particularly heinous should serve as addition impetus to stay within the confines of law, and assure that all protections against state overreach are in place.
If the state isn't playing by the rules then there are no rules.
In the 1990s and aughts, children who played violent video games couldn't determine fantasy from reality. And they were fueling our epidemic of rampage killings.
Also kids watching violent cartoons in the late 20th century (e.g. Drip-along Daffy or all of the Wile E. Coyote / Road-Runner series) couldn't tell fantasy from reality either. All that violence by children involving guns and explosives was probably suppressed by a conspiracy of news agencies.
Nor could women reading saucy romance novels in the 18th century, which spurned a plague of barnyard adultery. I'm not sure on what previous centuries chose to blame their wayward women and debauched societies. But apparently enough women could read at all, that it was epidemic.
Pointing fingers is going to get us nowhere. If we're all in agreement that a) the system is broken, and b) the system can't be fixed within the system, then that means we need to start a campaign to fix it outside the system.
But then we're talking taking up arms, or sabotage, or really massive life-threatening protests.
If no one is willing to do that, then yeah, we're going to stay with the same shit system until things break even more. And we'll keep sucking it up until someone does take up that mantle, and enough people follow.
I do sometimes have fantasies about sabotage campaigns.
When the police departments were being coy about cellphone spoofing technology, I thought it would be interesting to topple their fake towers, since they couldn't say publicly what they were and why they were needed.
Still, one has to be super careful to avoid causing injury.
You know, I wonder if that's just a matter of messaging. If a judge campaigned with messaging that better reflects the current legal system, he might get votes.
You are Fucked Hard once the law puts its eye on you. Think innocence or ironclad evidence is going to vindicate you? Think again...unless I happen to be your judge. Vote for me and but Justice back in the Justice System.
I'd think enough people have been ground through the system that almost everyone knows someone who's been screwed over by illegal searches, impacted public defenders or false testimony by the DoJ.
Certainly the incidents of failure to indict in cases of police brutality and overreach continue to increase and reach ears of the public.
Of course, according to Donald Trump, the police are paragons of virtue and all the United States is worse than Gotham. But I think he just secretly wishes he was Batman.
Heh. While this started as merely a way for kids to entertain each other, the article that discussed the presence of these videos pointed out these kids may have war- or hazard-correspondent careers in their futures.
I'm not so sure of that. One of the YouTube phenomena of recent years is teachers behaving badly captured on camera phone. Much like many other places where there's been authority without limited accountability, teacher-to-student abuse is a problem within US and UK schools.
We can probably infer this to be the case most places schools exist, and we can probably infer this to have been a problem throughout the 20th century and before.
While bodycams are not necessarily the solution to the problem, I think it could be a step forward, especially if neither faculty nor administrators nor someone closely allied with administrators have control of the footage.
This is not the first place I've seen this suggested.
The game No Pineapple Left Behind is a satirical take on this very premise, that the measures we use to determine the success of our schools are better geared to pump out servile test-taking machines rather than functional adults.
Whether or not this is meant to undermine the public education system or shape our children as we imagine we want them to be, some of our officials do like it this way.
(Curiously and alarmingly, Logic and Critical Thinking curricula are shunned by some Republican parties -- Texas for one -- on the premise that it leads to students who might challenge authority and be driven to disobey. They seem to have no awareness that those kids will someday need to function as adults, for whom critical thought is essential.)