11 Dec 2013

Surely the American People Would Never Let That Happen!?

Big Brother, Conspiracy, Foreign Policy, Law 32 Comments

Things have gotten so bad, I have no choice but to read aloud from the New York Times.

32 Responses to “Surely the American People Would Never Let That Happen!?”

  1. Major_Freedom says:

    Provocative and illuminating video Murphy. Well done.

  2. Major_Freedom says:

    It’s amazing how little the consideration is given to the possibility of future leaders abusing these powers even more than the current generation of politicians.

    • JimS says:

      “It’s amazing how little the consideration is given to the possibility of future leaders abusing these powers even more than the current generation of politicians.”

      Exactly. The Democrats screamed for a special prosecutor during Nixon only to later loath Kenneth Starr (He was just following orders). The same will happen with the altering of the fillibuster rules and being able to appoint on a simple senate majority, should Republicans ever regain the executive branch.

  3. Chance_Nation says:

    Well said Dr. Murphy. The illustrations of the reactions from 30 years ago in regards to the current state of affairs really put a point on things.

  4. Bharat says:

    Wow only 4 minutes in, but this is already a fantastic video.

  5. Gamble says:

    How do they pay for all of it?

    Fiat, the invisible plain sight tax…

  6. Ken B says:

    Several comments.

    1. Good job Bob.
    2. I predicted after the furor over Gitmo that we were creating a peverse incentive and that the gov’t would just kill not capture.
    3. I don’t think it can be right that he can kill anyone. Surely senators are exempt. At least the Democrats.
    4. Come to think of it, you cannot be right. Gene Callahan announced that it was Romney not Obama who was the rogue berserker.

  7. Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

    Every time Bob starts his video with “Bob Murphy here” I always expect him to start shilling for some crappy kitchen gadget.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      You might want to stop watching infomercials at 4 in the morning then

  8. Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

    One more thing (now that I’ve watched the whole video). This is really nitpicky, but I think we shouldn’t use the term “killer robots.” I know that kind of spooks people and invokes some sort of dystopian sci-fi nightmare scenario, but I think the distinction is important.

    The “robots” aren’t autonomous. They don’t decide to kill. It’s still people who are actually doing the killing. A predator drone isn’t inherently different than a rifle. It’s a tool that has no free will of its own. We have a nation of people who, for the right price, will accept jobs where they pilot a robot around and blow up unarmed people sitting down to breakfast because someone in a fancy uniform tells them to. IMO, this is even scarier than a science fiction “killer robots” scenario. I trust the robots to make life/death decisions better than the average person.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      The way you view the world is rather interesting.

      Humans seem to be the unthinking robots, and robots seem to be the thinking humans.


      • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

        No, it’s precisely because the robots AREN’T thinking humans that I trust the more. A robot is programmed to follow specific criteria in a predictable and pre-programmed manner.

        Let’s say that back in 1791, the founding fathers had the ability to construct robots. They built themselves a Robo-Congress. Part of Robo-Congress’ programming is that it will never violate the constitution, unless properly amended per certain criteria.

        Robo-President cannot just “decide” to suspend haebeus corpus because he wants to wage a war of aggression against some states who are withdrawing from the union. It’s pre-programmed not to do that.

        Similarly, even if we could program drones that were completely autonomous and “decided” things for themselves which targets to kill, if we pre-programmed them to require certain evidence before attacking a target, they wouldn’t be able to just “decide” to ignore their hardwired instructions. If the evidence isn’t present, they can’t kill the target. Contrast that to (most) people, who will do absolutely anything for the right amount of money and the promise that they won’t be held personally responsible for their actions.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          “A robot is programmed to follow specific criteria in a predictable and pre-programmed manner. ”

          Suppose the robot is programmed to kill you, and you meet it in a dark alley at night. How much would you have wished that it was a human where there is at least a positive probability that you can convince the would be killer to stand down?

          • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

            I’ve seen this movie. The solution is to have a version of me from the future re-program another robot and send it back in time to protect me.

            German accent (and clothing) optional.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              I’ve seen the movie as well.

              So…about that question I asked…

              • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

                Well that’s obviously the problem with robots – they’re only as good as they’re programmed to be. That’s sort of why I’d be okay with being ruled by Robo-Jeffersons but NOT Robo-Obamas or Robo-McCains.

                I think the question you have to ask yourself is, right now, which is the bigger problem? Is it the publicly expressed and accepted rules that are the problem, or is the problem that humans are twisting the words and meanings of the laws? I would suggest the latter is a bigger issue than the former right now, but obviously both have the potential to result in tyranny.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                So as long as you program the robots, I should not worry.

        • Harold says:

          How would the robot know how to interpret the words of the constitution in the light of changing circumstances and new situations? Not saying there wouldn’t be some advantages, but also problems.

          • Bob Murphy says:

            This is awesome! We can’t solve foreign policy and civil liberties until we resolve the mind/body problem. I also suspect flex pricing is relevant.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              Can’t really blame folks for feeling a little powerless over that issue, considering how even with libertarianism being the most popular its been in a long time, totalitarianism seems to be still marching forward.

              It takes a special person to keep fighting the fight despite such heavy odds against success.

              Thus the tendency to divert attention to “quibbles” like “We shouldn’t use the term “killer robots””.

          • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

            Presumably, the robots are programmed that if changing circumstances and new situations require changes to the constitution, they must follow the traditional amendment process.

            The criticism that the constitution cannot change/adapt to new situations is INCREDIBLY disingenuous. There’s an entire section devoted to explaining how it can do EXACTLY that, so long as you meet criteria X, Y, and Z.

            Yes, criteria X, Y, and Z, are fairly difficult to meet. That’s kind of on purpose. The fact that it’s “hard” to amend the constitution is a feature, not a bug.

        • Ken B says:

          Even better, with a robo-legislature in each state programmed to follow the constitution there’d be no votes for secession.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            There is nothing in the Constitution that expressedly gives the Feds to stop secession. Therefore, secession is constitutionally legal.

            Ergo, robots programmed to follow the constitution would not kill secessionists.

            • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

              Right, but I think what Ken B is saying is that Robo-Congress would be so friendly to states rights (after all, robo-congress is required to respect the tenth amendment) that nobody would really have the desire to secede in the first place.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                OK, I can see that, but then his point is far too strong. For it is possible that some day the people of a state want to secede from a purely constitutional state because constitutionally permitted activity is still coercive activity.

              • Ken B says:

                No. I am pointing out that seceding would violate their prime directive, since it’s unconstitutional. But I wouldn’t mind a constitutionalist congress!

        • Gamble says:

          Well just wait till Obama tweets the drones to strike every home that was red flagged for not filling out the census…

          • Ken B says:

            Ha! Has the advantage of making the numbers come out right.

  9. Gamble says:

    Our little Podunk town now has a “free” military hummer. We can’t even afford to service and maintain the vehicles we have, let alone paint and maintain this new behemoth.

    The military needs to send their left overs to the recycler if only on grounds of principle. That is a tax I am willing to pay!

    Can’t congress do something about this? Oh I see, they want a standing army.

    • JimS says:

      In Guernville, CA the police surrounded a place fort three days with 50 SWAT officers plus supporting elements, because someone shot an arrow at a car. After three days, they stormed the apartment to find no one home.

      Near Fort Bragg they searched for nearly two months for one man in the woods.

      Despite all they have, their perfromance is rather lack luster.

      Every police vehicle here has a ridiculous number of electronic gadgets, a shotgun, and a full auto capable M-16 or its variant. They have boats, Jet Skis, Armored vehicles, motorcycles. Nearly every PD has an armored SWAT vehicle like the one in the Tom Hanks/Dan Ackroyd Dragnet. Ridiculous.

  10. Sam says:

    My relatives in TX still think that Obama is a secret Muslim terrorist sympathizer, weakening our national security, and they want Bush back…

    • Raja says:

      Ask your relatives to talk to a few Muslims regarding what they think of Obama.

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