Friday, October 26, 2012

Droning on and on and on

It's always amusing when a right wing-nut suddenly becomes a champion of privacy and the citizenry's right to be left alone by the government. They have no problem with the government telling folks with whom they can sleep. They have no problem with the government telling folks who they can and cannot marry. They have no problem sticking their noses up a woman's uterus and telling her what medical procedures she can and cannot have. They have no problem with the steady erosion of the Fourth Amendment.

But now Ted Poe's a believer. He is up in arms about the possibility of unmanned drones patrolling the skies over Houston.
"There will be some more changes in that it will be specific about law enforcement use, civilian use, and commercial use, and the overriding concern about constitutional protection of the Fourth Amendment and the right of privacy," Poe said of the legislation, which he did not expect to be considered until next year. "So were going to get everybody involved in that situation before we see more drones in the air."
Of course as long as the drones are flying over the Middle East and dropping bombs on dark-skinned folks Mr. Poe hasn't a problem.

But I'm more than happy to welcome Mr. Poe to our side in the fight against government intrusion in our lives. I'm more than happy to have him push for the restoration of our Fourth Amendment rights against unwarranted government search and seizure.

I share Mr. Poe's concerns about the dangers of unmanned drones over Houston. With their eyes in the sky, the police will be able to see things they could never see without a search warrant. They will be able to see things they would never be able to see absent a showing of probable cause.

And, if the test to determine the reasonableness of a search then unmanned drones will all but do away with any reasonable expectation of privacy we might have outside our homes. If the owner of a piece of land also is considered to be the owner of the earth beneath him, maybe the answer is to extend that "ownership" to the space above as well. Just a thought.

The unmanned drone lobby (yes, there is such a beast) argues that the more drones, the merrier.
Gretchen West, executive vice president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems, said the introduction of drones into the nation's airspace could add 23,000 new jobs by 2025. Her group of 6,300 members includes 225 in Texas, including BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.
Well, there you go. You do have a choice. You can choose between your right to privacy or jobs. In these economic times it would be just plain unpatriotic to sacrifice jobs for the Fourth Amendment.

It couldn't be that BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and the other members of the drone lobby make their profits off the threat of continual war, could it? These companies have sat down at the public trough and taken our tax dollars to produce items whose sole purpose is to kill. These companies pump massive amounts of dollars into political campaigns in order to prevent the bloated defense budget from being cut down to size.

So, Ted, I'm with you, man. Let's work together to get the government out of our private lives. Let's work together to strengthen the Fourth Amendment. Let's work together to end the military-industrial complex.

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