All Over the Place

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I went to the Jane Goodall Live production in Topeka last night. That woman is amazing. I can’t imagine the amount of energy it takes to live her lifestyle. Traveling 300+ days a year trying to help save the planet. She is truly a hero for mankind.

While I was watching the presentation last night, I got this thought in my head about a segment I’d heard on NPR a couple days ago about the US using drone aircraft to kill some guys in Pakistan. I thought the segment was pretty interesting, but it must of bothered me subconsciously.

I think it was something that Jane Goodall said about “we’re not borrowing from our children and grandchildren, we’re stealing from them.” And that we should be looking at our actions much like the American Indians made decisions, not how the decision only affects us, but how the decisions are going to affect our “tribe” in the long term.

I have a problem with this drone warfare on a lot of different levels. Philosophically, I have a problem with just assassinating people without trial. Not to mention the collateral damage a missile inflects. Plus, it seems like a chickenshit way to conduct yourself. Build a multimillion dollar robot to fight for you. I don’t see that much difference between doing this and the roadside bombings that have now become commonplace.

But those aren’t the major reasons I’m against this. The main reason is that that it opens the door for everyone to use drones/remote control airplanes, cars, ect. to “fight” their battles. And let me tell you, it is not rocket science to strap a bunch of explosives on a remote control plane and fly it into a crowded area. I think we opened Pandora’s box here. I don’t think we should be doing things in the name of war that endanger our future generations. And this is definitely something that, in the short term, might save American soldiers lives, but in the long term, will be very costly to American society.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s all try to act more responsible.

Fritz was at the vet again most of the day yesterday. He doesn’t have any broken bones, but seems to have nerve damage on his whole left side. I thought he was having trouble with his front left side, but it’s his whole side. He is pinned up in our room and is going kind of stir crazy. He mainly spends all day and night outside, so hanging inside, under a dresser, is probably mentally stressing.

I started replacing the domes on the skylights at the building. I bought some new polycarbonate exterior domes that are supposedly hail proof. Disassembling the skylights and reassembling them is quite a process. I put the first two back together incorrectly, reversing the caulk and sticky tape. There is no instructions on this process, so it is kind of made up as I go. I think I have it down now and it will be pretty quick for the last two. I’m not going to redo the first two now. I’m sort of interested if it matters how I put it back together. I can always just redo it later.

I need to figure out what I’m doing this weekend and on. I’m sort of thinking about racing in Fort Collins. I don’t know why other than I’m interested in how bad it feels to race a cyclo-x at altitude nowadays. I’m thinking about going up to Steamboat for a bit to get some new frames, so it is sort of on the way.

There is a 100 mile gravel road ride in Lawrence this weekend, plus local cross races every weekend until next year, so racing is not a problem.

Jane Goodall is an inspiration for all.

Pretty big drone.

Not quite as enormous as “ours”, but would still do the trick. It comes with a camera and gps.

Fritz is not feeling well.

I have 5 of these just like this.

After removing the outer dome.

Back in place all fixed.

My promised photo of the repaired hole in the rubber.

18 thoughts on “All Over the Place

  1. Jim

    “Not to mention the collateral damage a missile inflects.”
    No one seems to remember that’s what got us here in the first place.

  2. bob

    War is sad no question but as Jim points out we are responding to quit a bit of collateral damage.
    And as far as a chickenshit way to fight that is what the British said about us when we stopped getting mowed down marching in open fields and fighting the conventional war style the British fought.
    We changed tactics to adapt to a style that was more effective.
    We are fighting against an uncoventional force that refuses to meet us in a traditional battle. Instead they endanger lives by not following the
    rules of war set by the Geneva convention. Fighting in civilian clothes for one. Even before the Geneva convention if u were fighting out of uniform you were executed without trial as spy.
    Many people were executed (without trial )as spies in the Civil war for fighting out of uniform because it endangers the civilian population.
    I respect your opinion but sometimes you need to ask yourself why someone might do the things they do.
    Almost everyone agrees dropping the bomb in WW2 was a terrible thing.My father thought so, but also saw it as neccessary. He was to be in the first wave coming ashore before the main force in the invasion of Japan. To defeat the Japanese would have cost lives in the millions. If you watch the history channel you can see the Japanese were training their women & children to fight to the death. Also their you can see footage of interviews with Japanese who killed POWs on the Bataan Death March. They claimed anyone who surrendered was thought of as sub human so they had no right to life. So that is why they brutally killed and tortured.
    The bomb, athough brutal was far more humane than allowing millions to die needlessly.
    In addition the Japanese refused after the first bomb was dropped only after the second was dropped in Nagasaki days later did they surrender(if they had known we only had two they probably would not have surrendered)
    war is not a politically correct thing to do any way you slice it, it is ugly and inhumane but unfortunately man cannot seem to coexist.

  3. Jim

    Bob, good post; it reminded me of this:
    “The first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945 in the Trinity test in New Mexico; Oppenheimer remarked later that it brought to mind words from the Bhagavad Gita: “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

    Oppenheimer then went on to become a prominent force in regulating nuclear weapons.

  4. Ken

    Steve, if you need any advice for Fritz, shoot me an email with what’s going on with him. Glad to help or at least offer a professional opinion.

  5. Just Crusty

    Well reasoned opinions expressed calmly and clearly.
    If only our elected officials in Washington could follow that example.
    Thankyou Steve, Jim and Bob

  6. tilford97 Post author

    Bob-I understand where you’re coming from. That is what is so hard about people killing each other in the name of something. Justification is yours to judge.

    The atomic bomb is a good example of what I was trying to express. A quick solution that has had very long term consequences. We’ve been spending billions upon billions of dollars throughout my lifetime trying to protect ourselves from our very invention. And it is still not even close to coming full circle.

    My view is as the Earth becomes a smaller space, country borders are going to either get more transparent or more rigid. With the former being human friendly and the later being more hostile.

    Jane Goodall’s activist activities now include much to help the human population because she realizes that when the human population is in peril then the animal population is much more in peril.

    I agree. I think eventually “our tribe” is going to, hopefully, be the human race. And that each and everyone of us will support efforts to protect the tribe as best as we can.

    I don’t think using robots to kill people is going to sit that well with some of the people on the planet. That just adds to more instability, which makes the planet a more dangerous place in the long run.

  7. bob

    i understand what you are talking about Steve, i respectfully disagree with your last statement about instability.
    Look at the big picture for a moment, do you think by backing down from an enemy such as the suicide bombers you give them more or less power? They now have positive reinforcement for their actions, that brings more power and desire to expand their activities, which brings more instability to a greater area.
    Do you believe if Israel just made nice with its enemies they would all peacefully coexist?
    Before we got involved in WWII Japan was raping China and we all know what happened in Germany. Do you sincerely believe that we would have been better off if the Axis had won the war?
    There is a time to talk and a time to fight, luckily the US knew which to do.
    Remember Neville Chamberlins words
    “peace for our time”
    if he had spent his efforts wisely talking to the US instead of negotiating a false peace with Hitler, maybe a few million Jews could have been spared.
    was more stability & humanity gained by his words?
    or the brutality of killing another human being
    so more could live in peace?

  8. jpete

    Sometimes we look back on events and tell ourselves, “it was the right thing”, and we rationalize it by thinking about it as a duality- that there were only A and B possibilities, and only A and B possible outcomes and those outcomes are limited to the consequences we see. I think Steve’s point is right- we could debate the finer points of dropping the bomb versus not and what the Japanese may or may not have done, but the truth is we do not know what the outcome would have been if we didn’t. It is impossible. There may be some scenarios with higher probabilities, but we don’t really know what might have come along, or what events might have unfolded otherwise. What we do know now is that there are atomic bombs which lead to nuclear weapons in the world now. In the great timeline of humanity these are relatively new concepts because of their potential to affect things globally. They are here and do shape behavior. They create power imbalances and while the relatively short time that we have had them things seem “more stable”, the long term is less sure. Just because our belief system and the soviet belief system didn’t lead to use of the nuclear option, doesn’t mean that it won’t one day be in the hands of someone prepared or motivated to use it. It all reminds me of the zen buddhist story at the end of “Charlie Wilson’s War”…

  9. tilford97 Post author

    Jim-That is a great article. I think a lot of the issues that the world is facing is because of the growing media coverage of all atrocities, thus we all think that they are common occurrences, when in fact they are anomalies that don’t normally happen. It has two outcomes. It makes the world worry about things that should never happen, but also gives others the “idea” to make the atrocity more commonplace. Media is important, but dangerous at the same time.

  10. Jim

    Yes, the TV never comes on now. Somewhat relatedly I wonder if there are really more crashes in the pro peloton than days of yore. The media says so, I think so too. It’s hard to think clearly if everyone is always talking. Me too.

    jpete, not knowing how old you are and not being quite the age to have remembered myself, I did feel growing up there was a lot of guilt and justification going on in my parents’ generation about the bomb. I’ve read bio’s of Oppenheimer and Feynman who were deeply conflicted about the development of it as moral beings. No doubt the science was of tremendous excitement to them. Mostly though, not to take sides one way or the other, bob’s take is pretty accurate. The Japanese were prepared to sacrifice every last soul and take as many Allies as possible with them. Casualties were immense over miniscule plots of land, as in WWI. I lost an aunt in the Rape of Nanking; the Samurai culture so deeply informed the military it was like going up against unfeeling machines, so I am told.
    The younger generation can’t really imagine what it was like. You have to either have lived it or have felt it through someone who experienced it to truly know.

  11. Cavvycav

    Like Jim says “unfeeling machines”. Unmanned drones are remarkable technological marvels. They do save American lives but I believe only in the short run. When you forego the human element in warfare, you extract the very premise and cruelty of war. War and murder morph into a clinical and overly easy operation. I feel like this is why so many movies portray a post nuclear holocaust riddled with machines trying to eradicate any mammal on the planet. It’s our inherit fear that we’ll face such enemies in war. Fighting an unrelenting “unfeeling machine” on the battlefield awakens vulnerability and primitive terror in us. The very existence of the human element in warfare somewhat assures a deterrent against a state that embarks into war for any number of unnecessary nationalistic reasons. Oil being a prime example.

  12. MarkT

    As warfare has evolved from being fought at a primal level with only hand-held weapons to one of sophistication involving machines and remotely activated destruction, one does not need to ponder the methods but rather the intent to further war.

    Thoughtfulness on what human hate, greed, anger, and envy means to our own survival and especially that our own children should evoke intelligent movement towards understanding by all rather than overcoming what is perceived as evil by some.

  13. H Luce

    The Nazis were roundly condemned for using “buzz bombs”, missiles using jet engines launched from Peenemunde, in the last years of World War II. They were supposedly aimed at military targets, but they killed many innocent civilians. There is scant difference between “buzz bombs” and drones.

    On top of which is the fact that the Bush/Cheney administration lied to Congress and to the American people about the justification for invading Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Obama administration continues Bush/Cheney policies. The US should be in neither country, the wars should end and the troops brought home, and those responsible for the inception and prosecution of these wars and allied war crimes should be prosecuted and punished, as were the Nazis at Nuremburg, and other such modern war criminals such as Slobodan Milosevic, at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.


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