Drone Operator’s Dilemma

We all are aware of the death and destruction that our military drones can deliver on our many perceived ‘enemies’.

They are deadly and administer a punishment indiscriminately.

Since these drones are pilot-less has anyone considered the operators?

Probably not….but their actions are having a toll on the mental faculties.

Kevin Larson was a churchgoing Eagle Scout and honors student with dreams of becoming a fighter pilot. He received his officer’s commission in 2012, but by then, the Air Force didn’t need airplane pilots, it needed drone pilots. Larson was disappointed, according to a story in the New York Times by Dave Philipps, but he settled in and did his job, completing some 650 combat missions and launching 188 deadly airstrikes from 2013 to 2018. All the details of Larson’s missions are classified, and because drone pilots aren’t considered combat troops, he did not receive the psychiatric resources, recovery periods, and other benefits offered to deployed troops. Instead, per the Times, he was treated as an ordinary office worker.

What started as a “tightly controlled operation” in the wake of 9/11 has steadily expanded, especially after the Obama and Trump administrations loosened the rules of engagement. Times investigations show that “over time, the rules meant to protect civilians broke down … and the number of innocent people killed in America’s air wars grew to be far larger than the Pentagon would publicly admit,” writes Philipps. The USAF is working to provide more support for drone crews now, but for many—including Larson—it’s too late. After a breakdown and a bust for psychedelic drugs, which he used for self-medication, Larson was convicted in military court on multiple charges. Fearing a jail sentence, he fled into the wilderness, and—with police drones searching overhead—he shot himself. Per the Times, on Larson’s military file under “Combat Service” is the word “none.”

(Read the full story.)

I am sorry but what did they expect?

War is not some silly game like HALO or other such killing games…..you cannot hit the ‘restart’ button and make things right.

Drones kill….men, women and children it is indiscriminate….there is NO restart to bring them back from death.

Any thoughts?

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“lego ergo scribo”

More Bad News

It is always sad when a child dies…..and there are many different reasons for the demise….accidents, hunger, illness, suicide, etc….but for the first time in our history another category can be added…..death by gun.

Guns became the leading cause of death among children and teens in 2020, killing more people ages 1 to 19 in the U.S. than vehicle crashes, drugs overdoses or cancer.

More than 4,300 died of firearm-related injuries that year — a 29 percent increase from 2019 — according to a research letter published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The letter analyzed decades of mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In the last 40 years, and almost certainly before that, this is the first time that firearm injuries have surpassed motor vehicle crashes among kids,” said a co-author of the letter, Jason Goldstick, a research associate professor at the University of Michigan.

Goldstick said homicides, rather than suicides, made up the majority of firearm deaths among children and teens in 2020. Gun killings, which disproportionately affect younger Americans, went up by 33 percent from 2019 to 2020.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/guns-leading-cause-death-children-teens-rcna25443

Think about that stat for a moment.

Am I the only one that thinks this is a deplorable stat?

Every week we have at least one mass shootings…..and yet no one does anything but bitch about gun rights.

Words are doing NOTHING!

Thoughts and prayer are doing NOTHING!

And while we wait for some actions more people MUST die…..more children MUST die.

How sick is that?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Those Civilian Deaths

There is a growing problem in our many many wars and conflicts…..civilian deaths.

Our ever expanding use of drones to attack ‘enemy’ positions the number of civilian deaths has risen…..for every single ‘bad guy’ taken out by a drone strike there is the chance that innocent civilians will be killed as well.

With every report that gets out about these deaths the US pledges to investigate the deaths…..this is to placate critics and in the end nothing is actually accomplished and the killers go unpunished.

The question needs to be asked if the US Pentagon be a good and good faith investigator?

Some of us say no…..

U.S. Central Command reported late on Friday a U.S. drone strike in Idlib, Syria against a senior member of al-Qaida, rather than against a member of the self-described Islamic State  — the ostensible legal justification the United States is even in Syria. Even more interestingly, CENTCOM claimed it “immediately self-reported” one civilian casualty that it is investigating. 

But U.S. policymakers should not defer to the military’s investigatory promises given its history of covering up or not sufficiently accounting for civilian casualties. In fact, the Associated Press has since reported that the strike wounded a family of 6, including a 10-year-old child.

It’s no coincidence the CENTCOM appears to have proactively taken responsibility for this latest civilian casualty. This incident came at the end of a week of rightful public uproar after the New York Times revealed the U.S. military’s apparent cover up of an airstrike killing 80 civilians in eastern Syria in 2019. Rather than allowing more exhaustive investigative journalism to uncover its destructive and deadly actions in Syria, it appears CENTCOM is hoping that announcing an investigation will stave off an intense media frenzy like the one following its botched August 29  drone strike in Kabul during the withdrawal from Afghanistan that killed Zemari Ahmadi, a civilian electrical engineer, and his family. 

We can’t trust the US military to investigate civilian casualties

As I was writing this draft more news has popped up……

The Pentagon won’t discipline any US personnel involved in the mistaken drone strike that killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan in August. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin accepted recommendations on the issue that did not include punishment, press secretary John Kirby said Monday. The recommendations from two commanders were mostly procedural, the Hill reports, and Kirby said, “There was no overt recommendation made by either specific to accountability and any punishment for anyone.” An independent Pentagon review had come to a similar conclusion, saying there was no evidence of negligence. Seven of the 10 people killed were children.

The aid organization that one of the victims worked for immediately criticized the decision, per CNBC. Nutrition & Education International said the US hasn’t kept its promises to provide compensation to the victims’ families and get them out of the country. “How can our military wrongly take the lives of 10 precious Afghan people, and hold no one accountable in any way?” asked the group’s president, Dr. Steven Kwon. Zemerai Ahmadi, who was killed along with his family, worked for the organization for 15 years. US commanders mistakenly thought he was an ISIS-K operative when they ordered the strike in Kabul.

“What we saw here was a breakdown in process and execution in procedural events,” Kirby said Monday, “not the result of negligence, not the result of misconduct, not the result of poor leadership.” Austin previously had called the drone attack a “horrible mistake,” though the Defense Department at first called it a “righteous strike.” US operations have killed hundreds of civilians, at least, in war zones over the past 20 years, rarely holding an individual responsible, per the Hill.

Seriously?  Just how accurate and fair is the perp given control of a death investigation?

American exceptionalism is a self-forged permission slip to engage in the kind of malicious behavior that the US would condemn from any other nation.

No one cares about the deaths of civilians…..as long as we have our Gummi vitamins and social influencers then all is well with the world.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–02Dec21

As the police shootings and killings of civilians continues to spiral out of control….there comes a story that is just so disturbing on so many levels……it involves cops and a old fart in a wheelchair……

The Tucson Police Department has swiftly distanced itself from an officer who shot dead a man in a motorized wheelchair. Police Chief Chris Magnus said on Tuesday he was “deeply disturbed and troubled” by what transpired on Monday night: Officer Ryan Remington responded to a report of a man who was allegedly armed with a knife and stole a toolbox from a Walmart. An employee there said that upon asking 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards to show his receipt for the toolbox, he revealed his knife and said “Here’s your receipt.” Police bodycam video shows Remington later going after Richards as he drove his wheelchair toward the entrance of a Lowe’s across the street.

Remington yelled at Richards to keep out of the store, then fired nine shots, striking Richards in the back and side. The Arizona Republic reports Richards was pronounced dead a short time later. The New York Times reports surveillance video from Lowe’s shows Remington handcuffing Richards, who made no movements. “His use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use of force and training,” Magnus said in a press conference. “As a result, the department moved earlier today to terminate Officer Remington,” who has been a member of the Tucson police department for four years. KOLD reports it could take up to a week for the termination to be official.

 

Remington’s lawyer, Mike Storie, described the chain of events as “unbelievable circumstances,” saying, “This event happened roughly 24 hours ago, and we have a chief of police who has fired the officer and the mayor who is calling for his indictment,” per the Times. Storie told the AP that Remington felt he “had no nonlethal options. He did have a Taser, but in his mind, he couldn’t use it because he didn’t feel he had the proper spread to deploy it, with the wheelchair between him and Richards.”

Why is the gun the first response?

Are you saying that the cops could not subdue an old fart in a wheelchair with a pocket knife without shooting him?

This is so disgusting on many levels for me….

Do you think the firing of this officer will change anything?

I do not!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Aubrey Vs Rittenhouse

More on the justice system ……

This time it is about the Aubrey case…..the latest trial of vigilante actions…..

After more than 10 hours of deliberations over two days, the jury has delivered its verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery case. Greg McMichael, 65 and his son Travis McMichael, 35, have been found guilty of murder in the 25-year-old Black man’s death, the New York Times reports. The McMichaels grabbed guns and chased Arbery in a pickup truck after they saw him running through their neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia last year. William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., a neighbor who joined the chase in his truck and recorded video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery, was also found guilty of murder.

Travis McMichael was found guilty on all nine counts, including felony murder and malice murder. His father was found guilty of felony murder and all other counts except malice murder. Bryan, 52, was also found guilty of felony murder but not malice murder. All three men will face minimum sentences of life in prison and it will be up to the judge the AP reports.

More thoughts on the trial and outcome…..

  • The verdict. Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery after he saw him running through his neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, in February last year, was found guilty of malice murder and felony murder. His father, Greg McMichael, and neighbor William Bryan Jr., who helped chase Arbery down in his truck, were found guilty of felony murder. All three were also convicted on charges including aggravated assault and false imprisonment, the Brunswick News reports. The overwhelmingly white jury rejected defense arguments that the men were trying to carry out a lawful citizen’s arrest and that the younger McMichael shot Arbery in self-defense. Prosecutors said the men hunted Arbery down and killed him while he was jogging on a public road.
  • “Careful deliberation.” Bryan and the elder McMichael were found not guilty of malice murder. Georgia criminal defense attorney Page Pate tells CNN the verdict shows there was “careful deliberation.” In Georgia, malice murder means “you have an intent to kill someone,” Pate says. “Felony murder is you don’t necessarily want to kill someone but you’re committing a felony offense and someone dies as a result of it.”
  • Sentencing. The three men were taken to the Glynn County jail, where they will remain until they are sentenced, the Times reports. No sentencing date has been set. All three defendants could face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
  • Appeals planned. Lawyers for the McMichaels and Bryan say they plan to appeal. “I can tell you honestly, these men are sorry for what happened to Ahmaud Arbery,” said McMicheal attorney Jason Sheffield, per the AP. “They are sorry he’s dead. They are sorry for the tragedy that happened because of the choices they made to go out there and try to stop him.” Bryan attorney Kevin Gough, who plans to file new motions after Thanksgiving, said the team is “disappointed with the verdict, but we respect it.”

I would not get too excited for this will happen again and again…..it is far from over…..period.

This is a justice for one but how many have gone without justice for their deaths?

Vigilantism will rise….that we can wager on.

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“lego ergo scribo

Another Milestone

According to the response that I get to my Covid reports the nation just does not seem to care anymore…..but there are some reports that deserve reporting…..like our latest milestone….

Hospitals in crisis mode are starting to see some relief as COVID case numbers driven by a summer surge of the delta variant start to decrease, but the US has reached its “latest heartbreaking pandemic milestone” nonetheless: more than 700,000 deaths, a number bigger than the population of Boston, reports the AP. That figure was exceeded on Friday, with the latest 100,000 deaths coming over the past three and a half months. The AP notes the frustration being felt by medical professionals and public health officials, as vaccines are now widely available to the American public and can help cut down on hospitalizations and deaths.

“Reaching 700,000 deaths is a tragic and completely avoidable milestone,” Boston Children’s Hospital epidemiologist John Brownstein tells ABC News, which notes that figure may even be a significant undercount, per some experts. “We had the knowledge and the tools to prevent this from happening, and unfortunately, politics, lack of urgency, and mistrust in science got us here.” The AP notes that about 117 million Americans have yet to be vaccinated, including 70 million who are now eligible to get the shot.

According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, individuals who haven’t been fully vaccinated are eight times more likely to be infected, 41 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 57 times more likely to die, per ABC. The unvaccinated population also serves as a sort of “kindling” for variants, the AP notes—and could eventually lead to a variant that’s significantly resistant to the vaccines.

There is some good news: As case numbers start sliding, hospitalizations are also on the decline: In early September, there were more than 93,000 people hospitalized with COVID. Now, there are about 75,000. Meanwhile, while Johns Hopkins figures still hover around 4.8 million, a Reuters tally says the planet as a whole reached its own grim milestone on Friday: more than 5 million dead. The outlet says it took more than a year for the death toll to reach the first 2.5 million, but just eight months to reach the second.

A milestone we could have done without since this was preventable…..and it was ignored.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Going Public

Closing Thought–10Sep21

As the Right attempts to turn a protester shot during the violent attack on the symbols of this country….something I tried to explain …….https://lobotero.com/2021/08/18/right-searches-for-a-martyr/

Now the cop that shot this slag is going public to answer to all the crap spread by Right wing news….

Now that he has been officially cleared by the Capitol Police, the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot wants the public to hear his side of the story. The officer, who has been denounced by Trump supporters and the former president himself, will reveal his identity in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt at 6pm Eastern on Thursday, reports CNBC. “The officer will share his perspective on the events of that day, including the aftermath of the deadly insurrection and the threats he has received,” NBC said. He will also discuss his exoneration by the Capitol force’s internal review.

The officer—who shot the 35-year-old Babbitt as she tried to climb through a broken part of a door to an area leading to the House chamber—was also cleared of wrongdoing by federal prosecutors. In a Fox interview last month, Trump described Babbitt as an “innocent, wonderful, incredible woman.” He also described the events of Jan. 6, in which around 150 officers were injured, as “a lovefest between the Capitol Police and the people who walked down to the Capitol” and claimed to have heard that the officer was part of a high-ranking Democrat’s security detail, per Vox.

The officer’s lawyer, Mark Schamel, said Monday that exonerating the officer was “the only correct conclusion.” “The bravery shown by the Lieutenant in organizing and coordinating the defense of the House and its members and staff was nothing short of heroic,” Schamel said in a statement, per NBC. “The Lieutenant’s conduct saved lives and helped to end the violent insurrection.” He also said his client had been forced from his home by “many credible death threats.”

Personally I think this person, the cop, has done nothing wrong in the execution of his mandate.

On a side note….would things have been different if the insurrectionists had been black/brown?

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Release The Damn Files On 9/11!

For years the families of those that died because of the attacks on 9/11 have wanted the files released to the public on those responsible for the deaths….

Back in August Pres. Biden asked permission of the families to speak at the 9/11 Memorial here is my post on their reaction…..

 
Biden has decided that the photo op was just too good to pass up and relented and released those files….
President Biden signed an executive order Friday directing the declassification of certain documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a supportive gesture to victims’ families who have long sought the records in hopes of implicating the Saudi government. The order, coming just before the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is a significant moment in a yearslong tussle between the government and the families over what classified information about the run-up to the attacks could be made public, the AP reports. Last month, some 1,800 relatives, survivors, and first responders opposed Biden’s participation in 9/11 events if the documents remained declassified.

“The significant events in question occurred two decades ago or longer, and they concern a tragic moment that continues to resonate in American history and in the lives of so many Americans,” the executive order states. “It is therefore critical to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, relying on classification only when narrowly tailored and necessary.” The order directs the Justice Department and other executive branch agencies to begin a declassification review and requires that declassified documents be released over the next six months.

The practical impact of any new documents was not immediately clear. Past investigations have outlined ties between Saudi nationals and some of the airplane hijackers but have not established the government was directly involved. The Justice Department revealed last month that the FBI had recently concluded an investigation that examined certain 9/11 hijackers and potential co-conspirators, and that it would now work to see if it could share information that it had previously determined could not be disclosed. But, the families said Thursday, “thus far, no additional substantive material has been produced, and the FBI has not agreed to make a further effort to find its missing documents.”

About damn time!

But my next question is will this be the entire report of will it be sanitized to protect the KSA?

Now that the report has been released(?) there will be three presidents at the 9/11 photo-op….

President Biden will visit all three 9/11 memorial sites to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and pay his respects to the nearly 3,000 people killed that day. Biden will visit Ground Zero in New York City, the Pentagon, and the memorial outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Flight 93 was forced down, the White House said Saturday. He will be accompanied by first lady Jill Biden. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for a separate event before joining the president at the Pentagon, the White House said. Harris will travel with her spouse, Doug Emhoff, the AP reports.

Biden’s itinerary is similar to the one President Barack Obama followed in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Obama’s visit to New York City coincided with the opening of a memorial at the site where the iconic World Trade Center towers once stood. Along with former first lady Michelle Obama, the former president will attend the remembrance ceremony on the upcoming anniversary in New York, per CNN. Former President George Bush, who was in office when the terrorists attacked, plans to speak to families of the Shanksville victims at a ceremony there, accompanied by former first lady Laura Bush.

Photo-ops and speeches do not make us safe and will not prevent another attack possibility in the future….what we need as a country is a sure fire plan to prevent this type of tragedy…..and I am not sure this country has such a plan.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–19Aug21

I have never been one that puts much sanity to most conspiracy theories and those that push them…..and I have never seen the national necessity for a group like QAnon……but then I have retained my ability to rationally look at such insanity and find my own answer to complex questions.

And speaking of QAnon I read a story that is just disturbing how much ignorance there is out there….

A believer in the QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories killed his two young children, believing they had “serpent DNA,” according to federal authorities. Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, owner of the Lovewater Surf School in Santa Barbara, Calif., was detained by border agents—who allegedly found blood in his vehicle—while trying to return to the US from Mexico on Monday, hours after he allegedly killed his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter, per NBC News. A farmworker at a ranch near Rosarito in Baja California had found the children’s bodies Monday morning, according to Baja California’s attorney general Hiram Sanchez. He said the boy had been stabbed 17 times, and the girl stabbed 12 times, per the Ventura County Star. Authorities said video footage showed Coleman leaving a Rosarito hotel with the children before dawn, then returning alone.

The three had checked in on Saturday. That same day, Coleman’s wife contacted police, saying her husband had left without a car seat and without telling her where he was going. But she said she didn’t fear for the children, per the AP. A criminal complaint from the Justice Department claims Coleman confessed to killing them by “shooting a spear fishing gun into their chests.” The 2-year-old didn’t die right away so he had to “move the spear around,” Coleman allegedly said, per KABC. A bloody wooden stake was also found. Coleman allegedly claimed “he was enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving visions” revealing his wife “possessed serpent DNA and had passed it on to his children.” He allegedly said he had to kill the children to save the world from the “monsters.” He was charged with foreign murder of US nationals on Wednesday.

Killed children because he is a moron….

And this guy is NOT alone….there are more out there….probably more than I can imagine.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

All That Lizard DNA

Sickening news on this Saturday.

There is a wealth of conspiracies out there…but my favorite is tht of the reptilian aliens that are hiding amongst us.

One man took this silliness to a new low for humanity…he killed his kids…..

A California father took his two young children to Mexico and killed them with a spearfishing gun after he claimed he had been “enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories,” federal authorities say.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in California, Matthew Taylor Coleman reportedly told investigators he had been “receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife possessed serpent DNA and had passed it onto his children” and that by killing them he was “saving the world from monsters.

QAnon is a conspiracy popular among some on the far right that claims Democratic politicians operate a cabal that kidnaps and tortures children, using their blood in satanic rituals.

It wasn’t the first time authorities responded to a crime based on a conspiracy theory that originated on the internet.

In 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch entered a Washington, D.C., pizzeria and fired a rifle into a door, claiming he was investigating the debunked “Pizzagate” rumor. That conspiracy theory claimed that the Comet Ping Pong restaurant was the hub of a satanic child sex abuse ring associated with top Democratic politicians.

Welch was later sentenced to four years in prison.

(npr)

A spear gun?

What kind of moron does it take to kill his children on the back of some fucking silliness like ‘lizard DNA’?

I am sorry but I could care less about his mental state….I have NO use for anyone that would commit such a crime.

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“lego ergo scribo”