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Rand Paul Starts New Drone War In Congress

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the rand-paul-plus-aclu-what dept.

Government 272

SonicSpike (242293) writes with news that the ACLU and Rand Paul both think every Senator should read David Barron's legal memos justifying the use of drones against an American citizen before he is confirmed to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. From the article: "Paul, the junior Republican senator from Kentucky, has informed Reid he will object to David Barron's nomination to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals unless the Justice Department makes public the memos he authored justifying the killing of an American citizen in Yemen. The American Civil Liberties Union supports Paul's objection, giving some Democratic lawmakers extra incentive to support a delay to Barron's nomination, which could come to the floor in the next two weeks. Barron, formerly a lawyer in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, penned at least one secret legal memo approving the Sept. 2011 drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric whom intelligence officials accused of planning terrorist attacks against the United States."

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272 comments

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Shinzon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926689)

Did any senators survive?

Sadly, yes. (2)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46926697)

(n/t)

Re:Sadly, yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926703)

All of them.

Re:Sadly, yes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927899)

Hey bigmouth: You're being called out (why're you running, "forrest"?) http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

citizenship is irrelevant (5, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46926743)

The way drones are currently employed in extrajudicial killing (a.k.a. murder), typically inside sovereign nations not at war with the US, is just as illegal when it targets US citizen as it is when it targets anybody else.

Not to mention the vast majority of drone victims who are not even suspected of anything but being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is a pretty reliable method of creating new terrorists.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926785)

Hard to keep the war going without terrorists. Sounds like the plan is working well.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926841)

Hard to keep the war going without terrorists. Sounds like the plan is working well.

Sounds like conspiring to commit crime against peace, punishable by death; references: Nuremberg trials, Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926867)

Gotta disturb the peace to keep the peace. It's how all governments justify their continued existence.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (2)

aralin (107264) | about 3 months ago | (#46926871)

International Law, the thing that only applies to you if you are not American.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0, Troll)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 3 months ago | (#46926905)

International Law, the thing that only applies to you if you are not American.

That only holds water as long as US is top dog. You'll all be tripping over eachother to hunt down Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld when their extradition to Hague is the condition for food aid 15 years down the line.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926967)

LOL.
The US will need to fall pretty far if you expect them to run out of food in 15 years.
People will just start eating all that corn they feed to cows right now.
Florida isn't about to run out of oranges, and new Yorkers can start eating rats.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927443)

Food may be irrelevant, we are the planets "bread basket" exporting insane amounts of meat & grains (anything that can be mechanically planted & harvested). However we are HIGHLY dependent on financing from other nations (hence our national debt), without that our economy would crumble. And with no economy we would have difficulty FUELING those tractors which produce so much food.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 3 months ago | (#46927647)

Farm machinery runs on diesel, and diesel can be made from vegetable oil. It turns out that we also grow a giga-shitload of soybeans and canola.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 3 months ago | (#46927083)

International Law, the thing that only applies to you if you are not American.

And the thing that the US Government ignores when it doesn't agree with it.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927157)

Hard to keep the war going without terrorists. Sounds like the plan is working well.

We will soon stop having always been at war with the terrorists, when we all remember that we've always been at war with Russia.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

aralin (107264) | about 3 months ago | (#46926801)

You must not be american or you could not even utter such an obvious non-sense. Citizenship is the only thing that matters. It is the only thing that could potentially sway the Congress, any other consideration is irrelevant.

Is this state of affairs amoral? Yes. Should it be as you say? Yes. But it isn't and wishing so won't make it so.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926815)

Citizenship is the only thing that matters.

You might want to reconsider that.
There is an old saying that goes along the lines of "What goes around, comes around."

Killing citizens of another nation without trial will result in innocent Americans being killed without trial. When the government does it they put you at risk.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

aralin (107264) | about 3 months ago | (#46926857)

That won't happen. When it starts happening the US military will go in and sort out the place no matter where that is. That is how the tyranny of superior military power works. US is the world policeman, welcome to the police world. :D

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 months ago | (#46926895)

That won't happen. When it starts happening the US military will go in and sort out the place no matter where that is

You mean you'd do what you are telling Putin he should not do in Ukraine?

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

aralin (107264) | about 3 months ago | (#46926941)

*I* am not telling Putin not to do that. As far as I am concerned, US started the conflict in Ukraine by investing $5 billion over 10 years into training and arming the Ukrainian opposition parties and basically paid full salaries to people who took part int he coup to depose a legal government. So whatever Putin does in retaliation, it has been provoked and falls fully on the shoulders of the US state department, ie. John Kerry, who oversaw triggering the coup and Condoleezza Rice, who started the program. Either way he is not going to get to the pre-Maidan state so the US wins this no matter how you look at it or whatever Putin does.

As for the US government, didn't we just establish they are amoral hypocrites?

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927581)

*I* am not telling Putin not to do that. As far as I am concerned, US started the conflict in Ukraine by investing $5 billion over 10 years into training and arming the Ukrainian opposition parties and basically paid full salaries to people who took part int he coup to depose a legal government. So whatever Putin does in retaliation, it has been provoked and falls fully on the shoulders of the US state department, ie. John Kerry, who oversaw triggering the coup and Condoleezza Rice, who started the program. Either way he is not going to get to the pre-Maidan state so the US wins this no matter how you look at it or whatever Putin does.

As for the US government, didn't we just establish they are amoral hypocrites?

Yep. And even had senior US government officials saying "Fuck the EU" [theguardian.com] when the EU wouldn't support efforts to depose the Ukrainian government. An obviously provocative act that senior EU leaders knew would lead to a war with Russia, so they didn't support it. But Obama did.

So now, after provoking a war, the Obama administration is flooding Twitter with #UnitedForUkraine hashtags.

Whooop. Deee. Fucking. Doo.

Hooray for "smart power".

At least now we know what Obama meant when he claimed he'd reset the US relationship with Russia.

Reset it Obama did - right back to the worst moments of the Cold War.

Can we now lose the fallacy that Obama has EVER known what he was doing? How many "summers of recovery" with how many "pivots to jobs" are we going to have? How many "red lines" does Syria get to cross? How many times can he piss off BOTH Israel and Palestine? How many nations can Obama drop bombs on and claim there's "no conflict"?

Don't you now wish the press had put half as much effort into looking into Obama's lack of experience as they did in mocking Sarah Palin or subtlety backstabbing Hillary?

Oh, but Obumbles was the new shiny.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 months ago | (#46928055)

Obama sucks, to be sure. But you can't seriously think Caribou Barbie would have done any better. Good lord, the woman thought Africa was a single country. She was an absolute bimbo, and would have been one McCain heart attack away from the Presidency.

Hillary has been in on all this crap that the Obama administration has been involved in, so I have serious doubts she would have been much better too, but at least she isn't inexperienced, for what little that's worth.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

stoploss (2842505) | about 3 months ago | (#46926947)

That won't happen. When it starts happening the US military will go in and sort out the place no matter where that is

You mean you'd do what you are telling Putin he should not do in Ukraine?

You mean we'd do what we did in Kosovo in 1999? Crimea was *totally* different. For one, it's spelled with a C instead of a K...

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (3, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | about 3 months ago | (#46927179)

Actually, it's spelled with a K. A cyrillic K. No matter if ukrainian or russian. Or it is spelled with a Q, if you like the crimean tatar writing of Qirim (the actual spelling has the i without dots, but Slashdot doesn't use UTF).

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

jalopezp (2622345) | about 3 months ago | (#46927315)

For one, it's spelled with a C instead of a K...

Yes, the letters. Also, in Kosovo there were years of attempted diplomatic solutions, a UN resolution, and several NATO warnings to de-escalate before any military intervention.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927155)

Not comparable. What Putin is doing is a bonified bonafide land-grab. The US relinquished control of Iraq and Afghanistan after the war. Russia doesn't do this. They play for keeps.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#46927233)

The US relinquished control of Iraq and Afghanistan after the war. Russia doesn't do this.

You must be American, cause this level of ignorance is rarely seen elsewhere. You probably are completely unaware of the Afghan wars before this one, and how the Soviet Union withdrew completely from Afghanistan in 1989, relinquishing control.
And even signing a paper with the US promising that neither would in any way interfere or intervene in Afghanistan. Which the US promptly disregarded, supplying weapons and training to those who later used it against them.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927595)

Wow. The ignorance of Americans never cease to amaze.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46928345)

Yes. Because one American is "ignorant", all Americans are ignorant. Very good!

Honestly, you're no better than he is. Possibly worse, as he's simply ignorant of historical facts, while you're deliberately condemning ~313 million people based on the statement of a single person.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927627)

Please do not confuse Obama with America or the American People. The USA has plenty of citizens that came out of the Ukraine. A real president (not the girlie man president) would not have yielded to Putin years ago and would have already installed the missile shield in the former Eastern Block countries. Don't ever mistake our president to be us.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927677)

The girlie-man president? Grow, up, you sad, insecure, inbred, fuck-stain.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 3 months ago | (#46927661)

Yeah, because that would definitely be the first case of "do as I say, not as I do" that the US Government would be responsible for.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927003)

That won't happen. When it starts happening the US military will go in and sort out the place no matter where that is.

They will go in, yes. They won't sort out the problem. If military intervention actually had that result 9/11 wouldn't have happened.
If someone is willing to give his life to kill civilians there is no military in the world that can prevent that from happening.

You can kill people without a proper trial all you want, but if you think that it can come without consequences you are delusional.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#46927101)

You can kill people without a proper trial all you want, but if you think that it can come without consequences you are delusional.

A majority of the US population are delusional [pewforum.org] .

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927599)

Let's see. Who did the first killings? Not the good ole USA. It was those people over there who killed us first. (Go all the way back to the Barbary Pirates and follow the history.) Our killing is a reaction/response.
So, your threat is both bogus and poorly conceived. Nice try. Hopefully, you will end up on the hit list. (NSA, you reading this joker?)

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46926865)

You must not be american or you could not even utter such an obvious non-sense.

Because not only are Americans the only ones capable of making sense, they are also unable to utter non-sense?

Is this state of affairs amoral? Yes. Should it be as you say? Yes. But it isn't and wishing so won't make it so.

So.. You basically agree but believe it should not be pointed out? I am honestly not sure what your point is.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (2)

aralin (107264) | about 3 months ago | (#46926889)

Oh, it absolutely should be pointed out. Everything possible should be done about bringing light to drone strikes and every attempt made at ending it.

You should not be naive though, about what and how can end it. US government is the only one who can end the program. Saying it is amoral does not matter to US government. Saying it creates more terrorists does not matter to the US government. Collateral damage does not matter to the US government. The only thing that could potentially matter to them is the US citizenship. Everything else falls into the totally justifiable grey area.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 3 months ago | (#46928253)

Oh, it absolutely should be pointed out. Everything possible should be done about bringing light to drone strikes and every attempt made at ending it.

You should not be naive though, about what and how can end it. US government is the only one who can end the program. Saying it is amoral does not matter to US government. Saying it creates more terrorists does not matter to the US government. Collateral damage does not matter to the US government. The only thing that could potentially matter to them is the US citizenship. Everything else falls into the totally justifiable grey area.

They understand blowback. See also: Snowden. It has become more costly to do business as an American company since the leaks. What the US government understands is US "interests", meaning mainly the interests of US corporations. In the near term, through the courts, citizenship and the circumvention of due process can make some difference, but long term what matters is the cost/benefit to the machine.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926903)

No, the nonsense he referred to is the idea that US Senators would care about killing random people in another country if they don't even care about killing US citizens. Your point about the ideal state of moral behavior is irrelevant because the Overton Window is so far displaced from what you propose that it is nigh pointless to advocate. Get the US government to stop authorizing the killing of its pwn citizens, on moral grounds, and *then* perhaps it will make sense to advocate not killing random people.

This doesn't really seem that difficult to understand. Does your home country care about everyone in the world equally, or do they attempt to protect the interests of their citizens first and foremost? If your country is in the former camp (which I doubt can be true in practice), then excellent for you. The meek shall inherit the Earth, once the strong are finished taking everything they want.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 3 months ago | (#46927717)

No, I think he's just referring to the 920,149,600 acres of farmland [farmlandinfo.org] actively being cultivated in the United States.

For reference, that's a bit over 3 acres per person measured in the same year. This guy [farmlandlp.com] says that it only takes about 1 acre to feed a person per year, meaning that we'd still have 2 acres left per person for creation of diesel fuel (rape seed, canola oil, soybean oil, etc.) to power the farming implements.

Does this capture the whole story? Absolutely not. However, without having a 1930s style dustbowl in the midwest, it is practically inconceivable that US agricultural production could collapse to the point of needing "food aid" in 15 years time.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926883)

You must not be american or you could not even utter such an obvious non-sense. Citizenship is the only thing that matters. It is the only thing that could potentially sway the Congress, any other consideration is irrelevant.

Uh, yeah, speaking of foreign concepts, where did you come up with this bullshit? Since when has the US Congress been concerned about "Citizenship" status when constructing things like CALEA and the PATRIOT act? Do you think the Snowden files revealed neat little piles of data, separated by citizen and non-citizen?

They don't give a shit about you or your status. That much is clear when we're talking about the murder of an American by a drone, so you drop this obvious nonsense already. And you likely are American, as you don't even respect your own country enough to learn proper spelling and grammar of your own language.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 3 months ago | (#46927043)

And you likely are American, as you don't even respect your own country enough to learn proper spelling and grammar of your own language.

Why would I respect my country? I respect ideals. Ideals that we are not even trying to live up to.

Pointing out spelling and grammar mistakes is just trivial nonsense, though irrational people like to pretend they're perfect, and that these mistakes indicate that some deeper problem exists.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#46927035)

Being one of the People of the United States is important, being a Citizen of the United States has fewer perks. Need to read the fine print.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 months ago | (#46927333)

Thanks to our Supreme Court, the meaning of the word "People" has become, shall we say, somewhat fungible.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926805)

*Illegal*

Snerk. Cause the US Government, and any other government cares soooooo much about that.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

wiredog (43288) | about 3 months ago | (#46926961)

typically inside sovereign nations not at war with the US
In the case of Yemen, it's with the permission, and sometimes the assistance, of the host government, which doesn't control that area where the drones are used. In Pakistan there appears to be at least tacit permission. In Afghanistan, well, there's a war on.

In all cases, the law in the US (AUMF and others) allows it.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (3, Interesting)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 3 months ago | (#46927047)

typically inside sovereign nations not at war with the US In the case of Yemen, it's with the permission, and sometimes the assistance, of the host government, which doesn't control that area where the drones are used. In Pakistan there appears to be at least tacit permission. In Afghanistan, well, there's a war on.

In all cases, the law in the US (AUMF and others) allows it.

Claiming lawful action under German or puppet regime law didn't help the nazis, they got hung anyway. The US set the precedent on this one pretty solid.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927375)

The precedent set was: the winner does the judging.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

wiredog (43288) | about 3 months ago | (#46927607)

Just ou of curiosity, how is using a drone to attack an individual target somehow illegal, where carpet-bombing with a B-52 is not illegal? Or is your contention that any use of force against al-Qaeda illegal?

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (2)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 3 months ago | (#46928061)

Just ou of curiosity, how is using a drone to attack an individual target somehow illegal, where carpet-bombing with a B-52 is not illegal? Or is your contention that any use of force against al-Qaeda illegal?

Whats it again with the legality? What the Nazis did was perfectly legal under German law at the time - They were killed for what they did anyway.

If the target is actually an hostile combatant, then sure whatever, drop an anvil on the guy. But if you double tap a completely unrelated wedding party and then the rescuers, how is what US doing any different from what the Nazis and the Soviets were doing? If you willingly murder defenseless civilians and claim legal right to kill enemies of the state per law(and anyone else getting in the way, just to be sure), you deserve death penalty for war crimes, regardless whetever your victims official 'crime' was having a jewish mother or uploading US critical youtube videos.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#46927247)

The way drones are currently employed in extrajudicial killing (a.k.a. murder), typically inside sovereign nations not at war with the US, is just as illegal when it targets US citizen as it is when it targets anybody else.

Not to mention the vast majority of drone victims who are not even suspected of anything but being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is a pretty reliable method of creating new terrorists.

Well, I don't want to defend the drone war. I don't think we should be involved in this at all. But to call this anything but war is a disservice to everyone involved. This is what war looks like. It IS murder. You can't be on an offensive military footing and not commit murder. Remember the children killed by hellfire missiles while attending a funeral the next time your congressman starts talking about defending this country. We voted to allow this. We've voted for Republicans and Democrats time and time again. They will keep doing this until we either throw them out of office or we make it clear they can't win elections anymore if they keep using war as a pretext to scare us into voting for them.

This is our fault. We need to take responsibility and stop blaming our inability to vote outside party lines on some mythical 1% or military industrial complex. If you don't like war, stop voting for the party of war. It's the one with D or R after the names on the ballot.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 3 months ago | (#46927465)

This is a pretty reliable method of creating new terrorists.

Don't know if you're an ignorant American or an EU pacifist, but we tried doing nothing before (see Jimmy Carter presidency). Didn't work so well. In fact it made the terrorists even more emboldened because they knew that nobody would ever come to get them. At least this way people know that they may have to pay for fighting America.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#46928035)

This has bothered me for a long time. What is "Radical Muslim Cleric"? They haven't given me anything to kill this man for; my parents are Radical Catholics and complain a lot about people saying "Happy Holidays" around Christmas time. I complain a lot about the egg lobby creating Easter.

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46928197)

"The way drones are currently employed in extrajudicial killing (a.k.a. murder), typically inside sovereign nations not at war with the US, is just as illegal when it targets US citizen as it is when it targets anybody else."

These sovereign nations may not be at war with the US, but there are groups of people Like Al Quada that are at war with the US (they have said so in their propaganda) And they do kill americans and are proud of it.
You can't fight those terror groups by using the Geneva Convention 'rules of war'

So what should we do?

Let them keep killing americans?

Invade the countries that are harboring them (Like we did Afghanistan

Or keep targeting their leaders with drones etc

Do you have any suggestions?

Re:citizenship is irrelevant (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 months ago | (#46928269)

Wars cannot be declared (in the congressional, send in the Marines way) against an entity which is not a sovereign nation. Congress can authorize "use of force" but can't declare "war". We didn't declare war on Afghanistan, we authorized the military to "use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups."

The vast majority of casualties in most wars are "not even suspected of anything but being in the wrong place at the wrong time," aka collateral damage.

I won't argue that killing people is a good way to get people mad enough at you to seek revenge. It's always been puzzling that when someone kills an American the response is all flags and guns and eye-for-an-eye, but when someone is killed as part of a military or int'l police exercise, Americans see that as justice and that somehow the people close to those we kill should just lay down their cards and shrug like they lost a hand at a game of poker.

His concern is touching (0, Troll)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 3 months ago | (#46926755)

It's so nice to see a Republican actually care about someone who does not reside in a uterus, provided they have a valid US passport.

Re:His concern is touching (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926851)

This is typical political pandering I'm not sure if he trying to set himself up for a higher office position or trying to paint the Republicans as the lesser of two party evils.What makes me laugh is to hear people on /. support this guy because "well he seems like he truly cares". I really don't pay attention to this but, I haven't heard the shit brain Republican party trying to throw him under a bus either, it would be nice if this spying and monitoring would be applied by citizens to politicians then people would see how they all are when their not hamming it up for the press/media.

Having said that I am open minded, and the other half is Paul may be tired of the sabotaging by both parties and isn't doing anything more then making a stand, the sad part of it the rest of his party continue to play the game.

Re:His concern is touching (3, Insightful)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 3 months ago | (#46927007)

If Rand Paul wanted a higher office, he would play the game like all the other members of congress. Enough people don't even pay attention to what their congressmen do that your best bet to move up is to play the game and be valuable to your party, so that they financially back you and prop you up.

Re:His concern is touching (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927061)

There IS only one party. The Repubmocrat party, a beast with two wings designed to provide the illusion of choice. It lulls its prey into believing there is a competition between two groups for the betterment of the people, while, in fact, it is a single entity designed to keep a criminal culture rich and powerful, harvesting the labor of the prey as collateral for more loans to keep the illusion of wealth and well-being alive until collapse.

Re:His concern is touching (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 3 months ago | (#46927111)

The reason the main parties are so similar is because that's what people want. Both sides are targeting the mainstream so they meet at a sort of equilibrium point that closely represents the strongest tactical position.

It's not in itself a problem. Ideally this would mean that both parties have chosen a centrist position largely representative of the majority. What is a problem is that this doesn't happen because this isn't the strongest position. Money is way too much of a factor, so that means the best position is somewhere between what the people want, and what generates the most revenue.

Re:His concern is touching (5, Insightful)

joelholdsworth (1095165) | about 3 months ago | (#46926989)

It's so nice to see a Republican actually care about someone who does not reside in a uterus, provided they have a valid US passport.

And you don't care about people in the uterus? If not, then why not?

Re:His concern is touching (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927123)

They're not legally people, like slaves in America prior to the emancipation proclamation. Democrats love to kill people (especially black people), so they put up a legal fiction that humans 1 second from crawling out of a womb are not people. Not outside yet? You're a tissue growth and we can use poisons, knives and vacuum cleaners to kill you. And if you survive the attempt and are born? We can still kill you because we're democrats and we like killing things.

Re:His concern is touching (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927137)

And you don't care about people in the uterus? If not, then why not?

Define a person. I don't know how to do that. I think a lot of people don't know how to do that, other than just to say, "I know a person when I see them". But a uterus does belong to a person, so I figure they have the rights to decide what happens inside of that uterus.

So yea, that might be wrong. History might judge that opinion harshly. But I think the thing that most people can agree on is that fewer abortions is better than more. But as people point out all the time about other issues here, making something illegal doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, that it doesn't have it's time or place.

So, shrug.

Re:His concern is touching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927601)

a uterus does belong to a person, so I figure they have the rights to decide what happens inside of that uterus

My mouth belongs to me. I have the rights to decide what happens inside my mouth. Am I allowed to bite you? Am I allowed to bite you if you voluntarily put part of your body in my mouth? Am I allowed to bite you if you have no choice of whether your body is in my mouth?

Re:His concern is touching (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#46927171)

And you don't care about people in the uterus? If not, then why not?

I'm not the GP, but I think you start out wrong by saying "people". To justify classification as people, I would think a certain amount of self-awareness is needed.
If someone cuts off a tip of his finger, you wouldn't call it "people", would you? How about a biopsy? Is that a person too? How about the sperm you lose pretty much every day?
What's so special about the zygote that it becomes a person? To me this seems to require magical thinking.

Re:His concern is touching (1, Insightful)

joelholdsworth (1095165) | about 3 months ago | (#46927417)

GP was talking about a person, and so am I. That's why we call them "unborn child", and "baby in the womb". Noone can discard a human life without being a murderer. Therefore to justify themselves - just like in any genocide, those in favour of killing unborn babies, have to label abortion as not killing, and the baby as not human.

What a stupid argument.

Let me ask you a question. Why are you not guilty of magical thinking when you put a living human adult in a different category to a zygote or a dishwasher? Why do you afford adult human cell collections moral rights that you don't afford zygotes or dishwashers. I'll tell you why: It's because your concience tells you that human life is special and must be preserved, and that murder is an outrageous crime, and yet you mock those who believe likewise for unborn children.

Stupid stupid stupid.

Word play. Redefining "person" to suit your own ends. All for a little convenience in your life. Toss the baby in the trash- who cares anyway.

Re:His concern is touching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927669)

A sperm or egg is only half of one human's DNA. A human zygote/fetus has complete human DNA, and unique compared to its mother. Maybe a two-cell zygote isn't a person (closer to your "fingertip" example, but what is the magical thinking that is required to claim a full term fetus is not a person but a one day born baby is?

Re:His concern is touching (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#46928049)

Maybe a two-cell zygote isn't a person (closer to your "fingertip" example, but what is the magical thinking that is required to claim a full term fetus is not a person but a one day born baby is?

Why would anyone think that? The magical thinking is that there is a given point that suddenly and magically makes someone a person.

My view is that unless a clump of cells can demonstrate consciousness and self-awareness, it is not a person. Whether it's a foetus or a corpse on life support.

Unless one has a religious belief in a supreme being who at some point injects a "soul", consciousness and self-awareness comes slowly. At one point it might be similar to an apple. I have no qualms about killing apples or apple trees. At one point it might be similar to a jelly fish. I don't have much problem with killing jellyfish either. What about when it's at a level of a cow, or a pig? We kill those.
How about a dog? That's when it becomes a difficult ethical choice for me. But then we're talking about a child that's quite a few months past birth.

Re:His concern is touching (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#46927203)

It's so nice to see a Republican actually care about someone who does not reside in a uterus, provided they have a valid US passport.

While I object to your attempt to make some sort of distinction between republicans and democrats (because that was your goal) I still need to point out that Rand Paul is about the most un-republican out there. Granted, he could be lying, he is a politician after all.

Race (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 3 months ago | (#46926769)

It's not the "war on terrorism" anymore.
Instead, it is the "race against terrorism"
(to be the first to use drones against an American citizen.)

Re:Race (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46926809)

How about a "war on everything"
The American Empire needs to stand for something: why not omnicide

while we turn on our own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927029)

'supplying' 'providing' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLO3NmGJuHg WMD on credit cabal tentacles

Where's the ambiguity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927063)

I seriously don't understand what Congressmen have to gain by subverting the Constitution with no-trial executions. What kind of fucked up lobbyists are behind this? And if there are none, then we, the voters, are seriously stupid for continuing to vote in the wrong representatives.

Re:Where's the ambiguity? (1)

JRV31 (2962911) | about 3 months ago | (#46927135)

We don't have a choice, there are only two viable parties and they both support unrestrained capitalism. (The key word here is unrestrained.)

Re:Where's the ambiguity? (2)

Tridus (79566) | about 3 months ago | (#46927373)

Fun fact - there's only two "viable" parties because the voters believe that and go along with it.

You want things to change? Stop voting for the same BS while complaining that you "don't have a choice."

Wait.. (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#46927191)

Wait a minute... did a senator just object to a judicial nomination for an actually valid reason?

Re:Wait.. (-1, Troll)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#46927273)

Wait a minute... did a senator just object to a judicial nomination for an actually valid reason?

Make no mistake, he did it for ideological reasons having nothing to do with care for individual. In the view of the libertarian extreme right, what's the travesty here isn't the worth of the individuals being killed by drones, but the worth of the drones.

Re:Wait.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927663)

Calling a libertarian an "extreme right" shows that you have no concept of who the "extreme right" really are. Obama is more of a right winger than your average libertarian.

Re:Wait.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46928381)

That is true. LIbertarians are the most CONSERVATIVE group in america, but they are not the most RIGHT WING. Subtle but important difference.

Re:Wait.. (2)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 3 months ago | (#46927563)

Well, I think it might be more accurate to say that he *gave* a valid reason, but I hardly expect that was his primary motivation.

Still, the enemy of my enemy and all that..

Extra-judicial killings in the US (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927221)

It would be an interesting exercise to imagine what would happen if the Russians, Iranians or North Koreans started to perform 'extra-judicial' killings within the borders of the US. Would the American President, Congress or Public accept this?

Remember drones are pretty cheap technology, almost any country can afford those.

Re:Extra-judicial killings in the US (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 3 months ago | (#46927427)

The then-government of Afghanistan supported their favorite in-country guest/client organization's careful efforts to use aircraft to kill thousands of people in the US not very long ago. So you don't have to imagine what would happen.

Re:Extra-judicial killings in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927619)

The then-government of Saudi Arabia supported their favorite in-country

FTFY.

Re:Extra-judicial killings in the US (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 months ago | (#46928281)

No, Afghanistan is accurate. Saudi Arabia is where they were from, not where they were based.

Re:Extra-judicial killings in the US (1)

amosh (109566) | about 3 months ago | (#46927497)

Wow, yeah, the Russians have NEVER killed anyone extrajudicially outside of their borders. Those guys are the paragons of international virtue. (oh wait, what is this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Litvinenko)

Re:Extra-judicial killings in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927761)

So are you claiming that London, England is within the borders of the US? Or are you just incapable of reading?

Re:Extra-judicial killings in the US (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 3 months ago | (#46928265)

It would be an interesting exercise to imagine what would happen if the Russians, Iranians or North Koreans started to perform 'extra-judicial' killings within the borders of the US. Would the American President, Congress or Public accept this?

That's why we don't let terrorists targeting foreign countries run around our country with impunity. (except for Republicans)

Re:Extra-judicial killings in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46928337)

One countries terrorists is the other countries freedom fighters. I am pretty certain that some of the political refugees who has been granted asylum are considered terrorists in their country of origin.

Co3k (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46927297)

MORE GRANDIOSE

Do your Job first! (0)

JoeDaddyZZZ (3543989) | about 3 months ago | (#46927325)

Change the law if you don't like it (at least he can)! Don't hold the judicial system hostage. Do your job!

Re:Do your Job first! (1)

RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) | about 3 months ago | (#46927781)

It is the Senate's job to vet judicial nominees, not just rubber-stamp every appointment. In this case, the nominee himself authored some or all of the legal "justification" the President used to execute an American citizen without a trial. Paul is doing his job.

Hidden (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#46927345)

I'm sorry but the Supreme Court should rule there is no such thing as a secret law or secret interpretation of a law.

While details of any particular case could be secret, of course, the law itself cannot be. To suggest otherwise should be considered treason against freedom itself.

Even a stopped clock is right... (2)

amosh (109566) | about 3 months ago | (#46927467)

Now, I will be the last person who believes that Rand Paul is doing something for any reason other than his own advancement and publicity, but... I've gotta say... This is actually a legitimate and valid reason for holding up a confirmation hearing. The guy being confirmed has some controversial viewpoints about American law? That's directly relevant to whether or not he should be on the bench. I assumed this was more stupid Republican hostage-taking, but it's actually relevant. Go stopped clocks!

Re:Even a stopped clock is right... (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 3 months ago | (#46927559)

The stopped-clock metaphor is rather apt in this case. Rand Paul's hands are stuck in one position ("the federal government is wrong"), and from time to time that position is correct.

Re:Even a stopped clock is right... (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#46928107)

That's all the fucking time.

Re:Even a stopped clock is right... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 months ago | (#46928313)

No, it's not. It's a perfect reason to block the funding bill for the department which operates and controls the drones. It's not a legitimate reason for stopping anything else, whether it be a judicial appointment, money for school lunches, or regulations regarding the Keystone XL pipeline.

Lets start with paul first (0)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#46928139)

The man abducted a woman and was forcing drugs on her. Likewise, he has been caught multiple times plagiarizing in politics and school. It is time for him to be a man and be honest about himself.

Rand paul is a true piece of white trash.

Re:Lets start with paul first (1)

Gryle (933382) | about 3 months ago | (#46928359)

Can you provide any evidence of this or do you just like spouting gossip?

Is this really about "drones?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46928371)

Someone please explain to me why I keep hearing about people talk about the legality of using drones here. Surely if you substitute a more general term such as "weapon" or "deadly force" all the legal issues are identical, aren't they? I can't believe people are talking about the constitutional limits laid down in the late 1700s and how they particularly apply to a certain fad-tech du jour. None of this mattered 15 years ago, when this sort of stuff was still done using a pilot in the aircraft? None of this will matter in 50 years when it's nanobots? Bullshit. Leave the fucking "drone" word out of it; it is an irrelevancy.

(OFF-TOPIC: I was reading the Dwarf Fortress subreddit and someone mentioned "baguettes," in the context of jewelry cuts (as opposed to bread). I clicked through to an article about diamonds cuts. Now on Slashdot I'm seeing ads for diamond rings. When my girlfriend sees our shared computer serving her this... *sigh* Time to clear the cookies. ("I don't know, honey. I guess you just need to log in again. Sometimes these 'remember me' settings just don't really work.") If anyone ever wonders why ad revenue keeps slipping, this kind of thing is why users see ads as something they need to actively defend against.)

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