EU firms have joined the gold rush on military and civilian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). But ethical and legal questions dog the technology.On the civilian side, British police will use UAVs to observe crowds in the 2012 Olympics, while EU border control agency, Frontex, on 9 February test-flew an Israeli-made surveillance drone in Greece - the main entry-point for asylum seekers.The Neuron - a "euro-Ucav" being made by France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland - will in April do its first test drive on the tarmac. France's Nicolas Sarkozy and the UK's David Cameron in Paris on Friday (17 February) will, among other things, reveal details on Telemos, their joint effort to make a next-generation predator, designed to fly in 2018.As things stand, nobody from the European Defence Agency or from the European Commission, which have been tasked with drafting laws on how to share civilian airspace, can give a ball-park date for when they will be ready.
Another problem is that people care about their privacy.
According to World Tribune, the Kremlin has ordered the military to draft for a Russian response to any foreign attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The report added that the Russian Defense Ministry has set up a facility toTehran as Moscow’s close ally and trading partner.The Russian general added that international pressure on Iran over the country’s nuclear program has been growing and could be followed by military action.“We used to have a general on duty at each main command. Now, we have created a situation center that receives all the necessary information in real-time,” he added.
Christians in Turkey continue to suffer attacks from private citizens, discrimination by lower-level government officials and vilification in both school textbooks and news media, according to a study by a Protestant group.
The report documented 12 attacks against Christians in 2011, including incidents in which individuals were beaten in Istanbul for sharing their faith, church members were threatened and church buildings attacked. None of the attackers have been charged. In some of the attacks, the victims declined to bring charges against the assailants.Yildirim said attacks have increased since the previous year, and that much of the problem lies in the fact that the Turkish government won't admit there is a problem. The state routinely characterizes attacks on Christians as isolated acts of violence rather than the result of intolerance within elements across Turkish society.
The Egyptian government says it will put on criminal trial 16 people who distributed funds to Egyptian moderates from pro-democracy forces. One of them is the son of U.S. Labor Secretary Ray LaHood. The prosecutions are going forward despite Obama administration threats to cut off all aid to Egypt, which mostly goes to the Egyptian military, which happens to run the country at present.
If Egypt’s government is ready for a confrontation risking its U.S. aid over this tiny and insignificant issue, then why should we believe that the fear of losing U.S. aid will keep it from imposing Islamization on its people, sponsoring anti-Israel terrorism, becoming entangled in a war with Israel, and doing all sorts of much more important stuff?
Haven’t seen that anywhere else, right?
Doesn’t this incident undercut all of the soothing words about how Egypt (or Libya, or other countries taken over by Islamists) will be constrained by such things?
Well, consider this:
Normal president: The Egyptian government is holding Americans as hostages. Therefore, I will withhold any proposal for more aid to Egypt until they are released.
Obama: The Egyptian government is holding Americans as hostages. Therefore, I will now introduce a proposal to give $800 million in aid to the new Arab governments, mostly to Egypt.
A centrally managed, but inherently unnatural, system requires a lot of inputs and control mechanisms to keep up the appearance of stability. Because everything is imposed from the top, not from the operation of rational choice from below, the level of costs rises in proportion to the level of desired control.The costs of running a society by detailed regulation do not scale in a linear fashion. Adding a single little thing requires committees to coordinate between committees; oversight and review functions; evaluation units and managers to manage everything. And that doesn’t even count the cost of politically selling and defending each and every new mandate.
You would too if you had to watch kids; lunches and chase every shadow. The requirements eventually grow so large that even the Eye of Soros cannot cope. The number of minions who must daily toil in this seething mess to discern and implement their Master’s Will is enormous. And sooner or later, they will start getting in each other’s way. That is directly reflected in the costs of implementing every new program. Obamacare, for example, will wind up becoming incredibly expensive simply because of the cost of its impositions. Left to itself, it will expand and expand and explode.
What finally undermines centralized systems as diverse as the Soviet Union and the EU is cost. Eventually they become too complex to remain workable and run out of other people’s money. Picture of the day: the Russian Embassy in Havana. Maybe Sean Penn likes it.
“I know these blacklisters,” Buchanan concluded. “They operate behind closed doors, with phone calls, mailed threats, and off-the-record meetings. They work in the dark because, as Al Smith said, nothing un-American can live in the sunlight.”The entire article can be viewed at The American Conservative.