Posts

ISIS Using Drones To Kill Civilians and Soldiers in Mosul

Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) is using attack drones to drop grenades while fighting to keep hold of the Iraqi city of Mosul. Captured by ISIS in 2014, Iraq’s second largest city is in the process of being recaptured from the terrorist group by the Iraqi army.

One strike in eastern Mosul, which has been liberated by Iraqi national forces, wounded eight people.

Previously, ISIS was known to use drones for surveillance purposes. Now the drones have been upgraded to be used as attack weapons. “This is the first time I’ve heard of ISIL dropping weapons from a drone,” Iraqi special forces medic Colonel Khalil Jawad told The Telegraph.

ISIS is thought to be using easily-purchasable hobbyist drones such as quadracoptors along with slightly larger fixed-wing aircraft.

As this technology advances, ISIS and other terrorist groups will come up with new ways to apply the technology to terrorism.

They have already used social media to their benefit, using it to recruit people online to their cause. They have used cars and trucks to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe and Israel.

In the latest issue of Al-Qaeda’s propaganda magazine Al-Risalah, the magazine explains to jihadists how to use the deep web to communicate effectively without alerting the watchful eye of the state.

Until the underlying ideology fuelling jihadist terrorism is addressed, coping with each developing security threat as new technologies and methods of slaughter emerge will simply be a game of wack-a-mole.

RELATED ARTICLES:

ISIS Graphic Video: Kids’ Shooting Exercise With Living Targets

Teens Fighting With ISIS Captured

Child Terrorists Come to Europe

Islamic State Moving Fighters to Turkey

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is an illustrative picture of a Quadracopter drone. (Photo: © Creative Commons/Simon Jardine)

Should We Fear the Era of Driverless Cars or Embrace the Coming Age of Autopilot? by Will Tippens

Driving kills more than 30,000 Americans every year. Wrecks cause billions of dollars in damages. The average commuter spends nearly 40 hours a year stuck in traffic and almost five years just driving in general.

But there is light at the end of the traffic-jammed tunnel: the driverless car. Thanks to millions of dollars in driverless technology investment by tech giants like Google and Tesla, the era of road rage, drunk driving, and wasted hours behind the wheel could be left in a cloud of dust within the next two decades.

Despite the immense potential of self-driving vehicles, commentators are already dourly warning that such automation will produce undesirable effects. As political blogger Scott Santens warns,

Driverless vehicles are coming, and they are coming fast…. As close as 2025 — that is in a mere 10 years — our advancing state of technology will begin disrupting our economy in ways we can’t even yet imagine. Human labor is increasingly unnecessary and even economically unviable compared to machine labor.

The problem, Santens says, is that there are “over 10 million American workers and their families whose incomes depend entirely or at least partially on the incomes of truck drivers.” These professional drivers will face unemployment within the next two decades due to self-driving vehicles.

Does this argument sound familiar?

These same objections have sprung up at every major stage of technological innovation since the Industrial Revolution, from the textile-working Luddites destroying looming machines in the 1810s to taxi drivers in 2015 smashing Uber cars.

Many assume that any initial job loss accompanying new technology harms the economy and further impoverishes the most vulnerable, whether fast food workers or truck drivers. It’s true that losing a job can be an individual hardship, but are these same pundits ready to denounce the creation of the light bulb as an economic scourge because it put the candle makers out of business?

Just as blacksmithing dwindled with the decline of the horse-drawn buggy, economic demand for certain jobs waxes and wanes. Jobs arise and continue to exist for the sole reason of satisfying consumer demands, and the consumer’s demands are continuously evolving. Once gas heating devices became available, most people decided that indoor fires were dirtier, costlier, and less effective at heating and cooking, so they switched. While the change temporarily disadvantaged those in the chimney-sweeping business, the added value of the gas stove vastly improved the quality of life for everyone, chimney sweeps included.

There were no auto mechanics before the automobile and no web designers before the Internet. It is impossible to predict all the new employment opportunities a technology will create beforehand. Countless jobs exist today that were unthinkable in 1995 — and 20 years from now, people will be employed in ways we cannot yet begin to imagine, with the driverless car as a key catalyst.

The historical perspective doesn’t assuage the naysayers. If some jobs can go extinct, couldn’t all jobs go extinct?

Yes, every job we now know could someday disappear — but so what? Specific jobs may come and go, but that doesn’t mean we will ever see a day when labor is no longer demanded.

Economist David Ricardo demonstrated in 1817 that each person has a comparative advantage due to different opportunity costs. Each person is useful, and no matter how unskilled he or she may be, there will always be something that each person has a special advantage in producing. When this diversity of ability and interest is coupled with the infinite creativity of freely acting individuals, new opportunities will always arise, no matter how far technology advances.

Neither jobs nor labor are ends in themselves — they are mere means to the goal of wealth production. This does not mean that every person is concerned only with getting rich, but as Henry Hazlitt wrote in Economics in One Lesson, real wealth consists in what is produced and consumed: the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in. It is railways and roads and motor cars; ships and planes and factories; schools and churches and theaters; pianos, paintings and hooks.

In other words, wealth is the ability to fulfill subjective human desires, whether that means having fresh fruit at your local grocery or being able to easily get from point A to point B. Labor is simply a means to these ends. Technology, in turn, allows labor to become far more efficient, resulting in more wealth diffused throughout society.

Everyone knows that using a bulldozer to dig a ditch in an hour is preferable to having a whole team of workers spend all day digging it by hand. The “surplus” workers are now available to do something else in which they can produce more highly valued goods and services.  Over time, in an increasingly specialized economy, productivity rises and individuals are able to better serve one another through mutually beneficial exchanges in the market. This ongoing process of capital accumulation is the key to all meaningful prosperity and the reason all of humanity has seen an unprecedented rise in wealth, living standards, leisure, and health in the past two centuries.

Technology is always uncertain going forward. Aldous Huxley warned in 1927 that jukeboxes would put live artists out of business. Time magazine predicted the computer would wreak economic chaos in the 1960s.

Today, on the cusp of one of the biggest innovations since the Internet, there is, predictably, similar opposition. But those who wring their hands at the prospect of the driverless car fail to see that its greatest potential lies not in reducing pollution and road deaths, nor in lowering fuel costs and insurance rates, but rather in its ability to liberate billions of hours of human potential that truckers, taxi drivers, and commuters now devote to focusing on the road.

No one can know exactly what the future will look like, but we know where we have been, and we know the principles of human flourishing that have guided us here.

If society is a car, trade is the engine — and technology is the gas. It drives itself. Enjoy the ride.

Will Tippens

Will Tippens is a recent law school graduate living in Memphis.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Roads of the Future Are Made of Plastic

Apple co-founder: Robots to own people as their pets – English Pravda.RU

Critics were right about Obama’s incompetence

During the past six years, some Republicans and conservatives have described President Obama and his administration as totally incompetent. I have harshly criticized those who would use such incendiary language because it showed total disrespect for the office of the presidency. Though I still think this language is totally inappropriate, I have come to agree with the point they were trying to make: this administration is in way over its head. Obama and his team constantly lie to the American people (IRS, Benghazi, illegal immigration), they put the interests of others before the interests of Americans, and they are obsessed with the notion of being “liked.”

Two weeks ago, President Obama told us that he “intends to destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) without putting American boots on the ground.” Everyone who follows politics and foreign policy knew Obama was lying. This is what his former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, had to say, “There will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy… I think that by continuing to repeat that [there will be no boots on the ground], the president in effect traps himself.”

Obama refuses to admit the obvious simply because of the upcoming mid-term elections. His liberal base would defect en masse from Democratic candidates all across the country if he actually told the truth.

Then again, this is the same president who has constantly lied to those in the country illegally about giving them amnesty by executive fiat. He has now promised to do it after the elections in November. Remember, one of the main tenants of liberalism is “intent.” Obama will argue that he didn’t “intend” to put boots on the ground, but circumstances on the ground changed. He “intended” to give illegals amnesty, but if Republicans take over the senate, he can’t.

As a U.S. Senator and a candidate for president in 2008, Obama was a very harsh critic of Bush’s war in Iraq. Yet, in six years as president, he has continued the Bush doctrine in foreign policy (attempting to spread “democracy” around the world).

According to the London based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), “Since becoming president in 2009, Obama has launched over 330 drone attacks in Pakistan alone; Bush only launched 51 in four years.” When you add in Yemen and Somalia, according to this same report, the total jumps to 390 drone attacks and have killed more than 2,400 people (273 of whom were innocent civilians).

Many Democrats called for Bush to be tried as a murderer and a war criminal. So what does that make Obama?

This administration thinks that everyone is “entitled” to be in the U.S., whether they entered legally or not. They are providing five-star accommodations for illegals, while American citizens are increasingly homeless, more likely to be unemployed, and less educated.

In essence, Obama and his administration actually think he was elected to be president of the world. They think they and we Americans should be willing to sacrifice our own standard of living to provide relief to those around the world who are less fortunate than us. Not even Jimmy Carter displayed this level of arrogance and disdain toward his own country and its people.

We are not responsible for the problems of the world. How do you justify allowing illegals into the country under the guise that “they are just looking for a better life in America” when Americans are looking for the same thing – in their own country?

In the 1980s, Cuba unlocked its jails and dumped the worst of their worst into the U.S., which led to the drug cartels wreaking havoc in Miami. Now we are allowing the most unskilled illegals to enter into our country from Central America and wreak havoc on the inner cities as well as the suburbs.

As president of the world, Obama really believes that we should have no borders, even if it jeopardizes our national security. Our intelligence community has already publicly and privately admitted that terrorist from the Middle East have already entered into the U.S. from Mexico.

Obama really thinks the sheer strength of his magnetic personality will get Iran to give up its nuclear program, get Putin to return U.S. traitor Edward Snowden to the U.S. and cause Bashar al-Assad to leave the presidency of Syria.

In trying so hard to be liked, world leaders don’t fear or respect him. As Niccolò Machiavelli said, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

Obama is neither.

The Essence of Senator Rand Paul in Ten Minutes

This video provides a glimpse of the essence of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY): Filibuster, NSA Surveillance, IRS Scandal, Benghazi and Syria Hearings, Foreign Affairs, Balanced Budget Amendment, Economic Freedom Zones, Defund Obamacare and Individual Liberties.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/vKWBh35aHtc[/youtube]