Skip to main content

The rise of killer drones abroad continues, as does the rise of fireworks-photographing, beer-delivering drones at home. With a huge variety of uses and a very politicized, lethal start, these robots in the sky promise to be one of the most difficult-to-regulate gadgets in the United States.

If you deliver a beer via drone to a friend, just for fun, that's legal. If someone pays you to deliver a beer via drone, that's illegal and dangerous. Lethal drones carrying missiles that can vaporize a human? Legal. (Although strictly for government use, at least until the NRA expands the Second Amendment further.)

A recent report warned of perpetual warfare thanks to drones. This was released at the same time drones are being put to a wide variety of uses here at homeā€”it seemed like the time for Blasty the Drone to revel in his newfound versatility. While burrito-delivering drones are banned, the Obama administration finally released a shaky, heavily-redacted legal justification for killing an American citizen(s) with a drone.

Seems like Blasty the Drone has a long and successful career ahead of him in the public and private sector. Personally, I wish we could recommission our lethal drones to focus on surveillance like this. Enjoy the cartoon, and keep your eye on the skies! (More links to the news behind the cartoon here.)

[Blasty theme song]


Wull, hi there, drone-lovers!

So, it's been about a year since Obama kinda' sorta' reined in drone-killings.

But thankfully, I don't feel very reined in!

I'm still free as a bird-- a bird that can immediately incinerate you, but still a bird!

If you're a suspected terrorist, an American working with terrorists or an, um, Pakistani wedding party . . . you're in my sights!

And for you worrywarts back home wondering about all that legal Constitutional mumbo jumbo-- don't!

The Most Transparent Administration ever has your legal justification for killing without due process right here!

See?  Plain as day!

I guess it's been a little over ten years since I've been blasting-- [blam!]

The government's not really in the business of analyzing whether it's working or not . . . I just blast away, and that works for me!  [blam! blam!]

But if you're in the business of taking pictures, checking crops, delivering burritos or beer-- whoa, buddy, that's dangerous!

And is banned until further notice.

You might just kill an American . . . accidentally, that is.

And there's just no telling how many people in Yemen would be incited to join Al Qaeda after hearing of an American drone . . . delivering beers to ice fishermen in Minnesota.  ["Allluah Akhbar!"]

So you better leave the droning to the real pros like me.  [Blam!]   (Oops, sorry 'bout that.)

It's high time you people understood the rules and laws of our wonderful Dronetopia . . .

. . .  or someone's liable to get hurt!  Hee hee!  [blam!]

Originally posted to Comics on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  since drones will very likely replace most of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk, JeffW, PSzymeczek

    manned airplanes in the US military, can I ask Blasty how he feels about putting all those pilots out of work and making them peel potatoes or something instead . . . ?


    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 07:03:13 AM PDT

  •  To Protect and Enserf. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, PSzymeczek, mrsfixit

    Just sayin'.

    "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

    by ogre on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 07:06:31 AM PDT

  •  I hate drones. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk, JML9999, PSzymeczek, mrsfixit

    and those clever domestic ones? I will keep my baseball bat handy.

    "Don't bring that horse in here!" -- Cassandra

    by tc59 on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 07:10:12 AM PDT

  •  Star Trek - We Don't Make War With Computers (0+ / 0-)

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 07:20:44 AM PDT

  •  if Boehner was smart... (0+ / 0-)

    ... he'd sue Obama over Obama's use of drones!

    Now that's a lawsuit we could all get behind, right?

    Yes, and if the Republican party was smart, they'd use that "Blasty the Drone" cartoon as a campaign advert: just append a little piece at the end, "Stop Obama.  Vote for (name)."

    Or just run the cartoon as it is, to encourage those pesky Democrats to stay home on Election day.

    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

    by G2geek on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 07:35:26 AM PDT

    •  I'd rather see us use targeted drones (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      than send armies to their deaths by machine guns and artillery, bring cites to their knees with seiges and  naval barrages, carpet bomb factories, and oil production facilities, drop white phosphorus incendiaries on farmers, fire nukes or other weapons of mass destruction in some kind of doomesday scenario.

      Think about it for a moment. Most of our wars are designed to bring "stability" to some situation in which one corporate power seeks to dominate or control a resource or market. They could care less how many people die, or how miserably.

      The enemy isn't Obama who pragmatically seeks to co-opt by executive order so that the technology shifts from building aircraft carriers and fighter jets and battleships to building drones. That downsizes the defense contractors more than a little bit.

      For one thing it does away with boots on the ground, armies of occuopation, huge contracts for small arms.

      Co-opting the defense industry into transitioning from killing by the millions to killing by the thousands is almost like being able to regulate it.

      Eventually we need to transition to where the enemy we fight is climate change. Battleships won't be much use in that fight. Drones that can do weather reconaissance, nuclear subs that can monitor the polar ice caps, are like beating swords into plow shares.

      "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

      by rktect on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 08:11:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Making killing easier by robot does the opposit... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrsfixit, GreatLakeSailor

        Making killing easier by robot does the opposite of this.

        •  It doesn't make killing easier (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It makes it less comprehensive.

          Now if you want to talk killing, talk ignoring climate change and rising sea levels, talk killing the oceans and the rain forests and exterminating the species that make the oxygen we breath.

          "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

          by rktect on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 10:54:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Except that they aren't actually "targeted" as (0+ / 0-)

        in many cases we don't even know who we are killing.  Ever hear of "signature strikes" which are now the most common type?  Oh, and we deliberately target ambulance crews and other first responders, it is called a "double tap".  Both would be impractical to do without drones.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 08:54:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are a heck of a lot more targeted than WMD's (0+ / 0-)

          The powers that be have never cared much about what happened to populations.

          In Braveheart we have king Edwards speech from the second Battle of Falkirk

          In the Civil War we developed technology for killing that continued into WWI and II, Korea, Vietnam right up through Iraq and Afghanistan.

          We bomb, we strafe, we drop iron rain and white phosphorus on civilians. We use assault weapons, killing people by the millions.

          What a drone is intended to do is disrupt an organization by taking out its key players.

          Suppose you could take out a large number of terrorists who were attempting to sabotage the Congress of the United States.

          Imagine you could fire a drone and it would take out a room in Washington DC, which held half the people present at the state of the Union address.

          Obviously there might be some collaborative damage depending on where you chose to make your attack. Good people might die when you went after the bad guys.

          That's what the modern world sees as a continuation of diplomacy/business by other means.

          "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

          by rktect on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:23:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Whoa, back the wagon up! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg, Simplify

        So exactly two options: carpet bomb or drone bugsplats?


        How about the US give up Empire: Making the World Safe for Humanity Profitable for Corporations.

        The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

        The Common Good, by Noam Chomsky, Odonian Press, 1998

        The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

        by GreatLakeSailor on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 12:58:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how bout give up consumerism. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Every dollar spent is a vote cast.

          Anyone who shops at Walmart or wastes gasoline or etc. etc. etc. is casting multiple votes every day, for empire.

          We demand, empire supplies.

          We stop demanding, empire crumbles.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 08:07:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm for that, have been for years (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Don't go to stores that sell things in packages, make your own, grow your own, cut back on the consumption of fossil fuels.

            In my neck of the woods its normal to garden and forage as well. I grow apples, they come in their own packages. You take the skin off you lose most of the pests, rusts and molds. Occasionally there is an apple worm. worms are good protein. Meanwhile by not spraying maybe a few more bees get to live

            I can empathize with people who think they have no alternative to shopping at Walmart or Home Depot or Lowes or franchises generally, buying gasoline to get to work, taking any job at any rate of pay as preferable to no job and starving, but some people do manage to live off the grid and it doesn't have to be a humble farmer type existence.

            just don't build it on an island where rising sea levels will wash it away

            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

            by rktect on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 07:51:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Works for me. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

            by GreatLakeSailor on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 12:18:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Think in process terms (0+ / 0-)

          Create a critical path. What has to happen before the US gives up empire? Maybe it has to give up being the world's largest arms dealer.

          What has to happen before the US gives up being the worlds largest arms dealer? Maybe it has to give up subsidizing arms dealers with a standing army, navy, airforce, marines, intelligence agencies that all demand bases in your state and overseas that all demand their weapon systems all be kept up to date.

          How about replacing all of that bureaucratic infrastructure that designs weapons, and lobbies for them and sells them, and educates people for the jobs that make those things happen?

          How do we replace that whole process that costs us $700 billion dollars a year with a different system that doesn't require artillery, battle ships, carriers, jet fighters, boots on the ground, people to clothe and feed and maintain the boots on the ground and the planes and tanks and what not?

          What if we claim its a new technology that makes all that other stuff obsolete?

          What new technology could possibly do away with armies and wars and then be a sword beaten into a plowshare?

          What could do away with our consumerism here at home that maintains the quality of life that sets us apart from all the countries where people have miserable lives so we can live more comfortably?

          How about a technology that frees up the $700 billion a year we spend on building aircraft carriers and nuclear subs, artillery, rocket launchers, tanks, war planes  and other stuff in support of our troops by taking the troops out of the warfighting picture?

          "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

          by rktect on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 08:07:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  tech isn't the answer: the humans must evolve. (0+ / 0-)

            Very often one hears that an unlimited source of clean energy will solve all the world's problems.   Energy, after all, is the precondition for everything else in meeting economic needs.  Unlimited energy, unlimited prosperity, all needs met, no more war.

            Problem with that is, humans as with any other animals, reproduce right up to the lowest limit of the ecosystem, and then overshoot and die back, fighting each other to the death all the way down.

            Since human imagination is unlimited, it can be applied to "wants" and create unlimited "wants."

            The answer is that the humans must evolve: culturally, psychologically, and, if you will, spiritually.  We have to evolve to stop seeking genetic supremacy and domination, and we have to evolve to stop seeking power over others, and we have to evolve to use our unlimited imaginations in ways that don't run into the limits of a finite planet.  We have to evolve to reproduce and consume only at a steady-state level that is below the Earth's carrying capacity.

            Technology can't do that; we have to do it for ourselves.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 09:32:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  7 Billion people speaking 4000 some odd languages (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Are going to have to turn the internet into a hive mind where instead of obstruction and the political or financial or religious interests of 1% of us choosing the course of going forth to be fruitful and multiply and make a profit as the number one priority, even over the survival pf the species, we evolve to think in more long range terms than next week's board meeting.

              "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

              by rktect on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 09:40:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yes yes yes, what you said, all the way. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 08:06:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh great, "clap louder" on drone killing too. (0+ / 0-)

      Oh great, "clap louder" on drone killing too.

      •  The "clap louder" Obama derision again. The (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        frankzappatista, G2geek

        President has been fighting a war against Al-Qaeda who declared war on the United States and destroyed part of lower Manhattan, killing 3000 people.

        How did Presidents of the past engage in military conflicts again? Well, they simply went into countries with carpet bombs killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

        How has Barack Obama done it again? Well, mindful of the possible deaths of hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions as in WWII, Obama has used targeted strikes with drones minimizing the amount of innocents who might be killed.

        Now everyone can agree that one life is too much to sacrifice, still, not being able to bar or outlaw wars, this is will not happen in our lifetime, how would the anti-drone contingent engage militarily with a military foe again?

        Carpet bombing campaigns, drones, or maybe a knife and fork?

        I know the answer to this question. You don't have to make that decision, all you have to do is stay in the comfort of home and deride Barack Obama. Easy peasey....

        It has been interesting over the past few years that I don't hear people criticize FDR or LBJ or any President of the past for fighting wars which killed millions of people. It is estimated that George W. Bush killed close to 500,000 people in Iraq. But despite of all this history, who do they berate as a warmonger again? Yup, you guessed it, Barack Obama.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        •  You've given up on this: (0+ / 0-)
          not being able to bar or outlaw wars
          I have not. That applies to GWB, BHO, LBJ, FDR, and anyone else. Quick citizenship quiz: who's President today?

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 10:06:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Today the President is FDR and I wonder how many (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            of you Obama "clap louder" deriders would criticize him for carpet bombing Germany in WWII or Truman for dropping the nuclear bomb on Japan.... Nope....of course not! Obama, he is the "killer of innocents".

            And, no, we will not see the end of wars in our lifetime. The world is filled with people who have a beef with other people and feel the need to attack them with deadly instruments.

            •  About the first part, (0+ / 0-)

              do you have to believe that to think you've won the argument? Because it's false (no matter how many times you repeat it), and if so, you should re-evaluate.

              Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

              by Simplify on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 10:55:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Carpet bomb blast louder (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Nuclear thunderclap louder

              FDR, I'm sure. Obama could hire Goldman Sachs to run economic policy in this country, and it wouldn't change your mind. Oh right, he already has.

              Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

              by Simplify on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:02:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I get you, it's not even about drones, is it? Now (0+ / 0-)

                you have  segued nicely to "Obama in the pockets of bankers" meme.

                I guess we use whichever argument that seems to work best at the moment in going after Obama....

                I understand.  

            •  Not only would I criticize carpet bombing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and the use of nuclear bombs, I already have done so.

              I also protested against LBJ's war.

              The present administration doesn't get a pass.

              I agree with one of your statements. "The world is filled people who have a beef with other people and feel the need to attack them with deadly instruments." A lot of them live in the USA and some of them were presidents.

              A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

              by slatsg on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 01:47:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Interesting that you have criticized FDR and LBJ (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                for the millions of people who died in WWll and Vietnam, I have been here in this community for years and have very rarely seen anyone referring to these men as "Warmongers". Especially FDR who is revered by many here. Let me just suggest that your are an exception.

                Now, FDR is also one of my favorite Presidents, but I don't go around leveling invectives at Barack Obama as a "war criminal".  


                •  I don't refer to either FDR or LBJ as criminals (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  It has to be a slam dunk case for me to make such a claim. Dubya is a case in point. He is a war criminal. Reagan's actions in Central America would be another example.

                  Having said that, it is my opinion that the US Presidents opt for military action much too readily. That includes the present occupant of the White House. I will give President Obama credit for backing off on Syria.

                  A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

                  by slatsg on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 05:59:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  exactly right. spot-on. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 08:08:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Is anyone else concerned that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, tc59, JeffW

    drones (even ones intended for relatively harmless uses like delivering pizzas) could be a threat to commercial aviation?  If a lot of relatively unsupervised, untrained people are operating drones, it is only a matter of not much time before one of them collides with a passenger plane, with unfortunate results.  I'm not at all convinced that having a lot of drones in the air is a good idea.

  •  The tea party (0+ / 0-)

    wants Obama to use drones against women and children from Central America flooding the southwest border. Of course if Obama did that then the tea party and their leader, Raul Labrador, who happens to be an immigration attorney, could then blast Obama for being trigger happy.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

    by harris stein on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:27:09 AM PDT

  •  Whoa, wait! People don't kill people. DRONES kill (0+ / 0-)



    You can see:

    It's not my fault!

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 12:10:35 PM PDT

  •  How did this get on the front page? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, GreatLakeSailor

    It must be a mistake.   This is the sort of thing I would expect to see on a liberal site.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site