Just Tools, Not Just Tools

I’ve been a car guy for as long as I can remember. I drew them and mildly lusted after them but mostly had an interest in the technology. I like cheap cars that I can keep running on my own because repair costs are (to me) like interest and cars should be tools not idols. I had the chance to buy a 1958 Porsche Speedster for $800 but Mom wouldn’t let me. Thanks to her I’m still alive and that car might remain an example of simpler times in high technology.

Anyone who knows what a carburetor is knows the days of do-it-yourself auto maintenance are now limited to token feats like oil changes, and it’s getting worse. Now we have Google’s driverless car technology. It is enabled by drive-by-wire systems. Throttles, for instance are largely controlled by electrical impulses in wires and computers.

Our oldest kid, Hans, loved his remote controlled dune buggy. And no doubt Michael Hastings was alright with his late model Mercedes Benz, that is until he lost control of it and hit a palm tree doing 80 miles per hour in Hancock Park, California.

Thirty-three year old Michael Hastings was an investigative journalist with ties to Rolling Stone. His big break came when he interviewed General Stanley McChrystal in 2010. McChrystal, who was commanding coalition forces in Afghanistan, made some disparaging remarks about President Obama and his administration. Soon after publication he was summoned to the White House and later resigned. I doubt being forced to quit by the criminal elite in Washington is much of a disgrace to decent people.

Hancock Park is a well-to-do part of Los Angeles and 80 miles per hour doesn’t fit. Neither does suicide by someone who just emailed his colleagues to seek legal advice before talking with authorities. Hastings’ acquaintance, Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who Hastings was embedded with in Afghanistan, said the email was “very panicked,” where he wrote, “I’m onto a big story and need to go off the (radar) for a bit.”

Former Marine Gordon Duff wrote of drive-by-wire cars being manipulated remotely in a 2010 story in Veterans Today. Counter-terrorism expert, Richard Clark, has stated that all the major powers have car hacking ability.

Authorities had Hastings’ body cremated against the wishes of the family. The Los Angeles Police Department categorizes the “accident” as having “no evidence of foul play.” But they won’t release accident or toxicology reports or make the Mercedes available for inspection.

It seems we have to dig pretty deeply to get the rest of the story on these assassinations. We wouldn’t want to be like Obama and just have someone murdered without trial or charges. But where do we turn? Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden exposed minor misdeeds by our government and the propaganda machine easily convinces our democracy they are the enemy.

John F. Kennedy’s head snapped back when shot from behind as he was beginning the process of bringing our troops home from Vietnam. Martin Luther King makes his anti-Vietnam War speech and is shot on a balcony where only one agent seemed surprised. Gary Webb, who exposed CIA drug dealing, commits suicide with two shots to the head. The list is very long of these mysterious deaths that fade quickly in our complicit media. We are convinced it doesn’t affect us as the miracle of capitalism, what little is left of it, continues to provide for us the tools for the good life and not much personal reason to question authority.

Capitalism is increasingly reserved for the well-connected rather than the producers, however and that is what elimination of leakers is all about. We increasingly exist to provide for the upper crust somewhere. I don’t know who they are. Whoever might expose that is probably no longer living. It is now evident that, like drugs, drones are but a tool. Drones, like Michael Hastings’ Mercedes are just one tool in the drawer. Drugs, drones, cars or whatever will continue to be available but as long as the law has no teeth, and I mean the law limiting government power which is The Constitution, those tools will be used to destroy us.

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