Me love killing.

I’m for the most part a peaceful person. I’m not a gun-toting, ass-kicking warrior all, “Me love killing. Grr.”

Sure I’ll kick a pigeon from here to the 31st Street Bridge if given the opportunity and sure I’d shoot Tom Brady in the thumb if given the gun, but in general, I’d prefer that everything just kind of stay … cool.

That said:

On Saturday, January 26, POG will protest outside the home of John Bares, director of the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC). NREC, a mainly Pentagon funded branch of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) that develops robotic vehicles and weapons delivery systems for the U.S. Army and Marines, is a world leader in warfare robotics.

While we have often held CMU-related protests and events over the years, CMU president Jared Cohen has been the only individual we’ve sought to protest directly. Our decision to protest another prominent, public CMU figure involved in war profiteering and warfare development is the result of NREC’s recent $14 million contract to further develop “Crusher,” a new generation of unmanned offensive ground weapons for the U.S. army. This further moves CMU towards not just research, but direct design and production of killing machines.


1. You can protest until the Buccos win the pennant; CMU is never going to go to the Pentagon and say, “There are some locos protesting outside of our houses every month. We’re tired of it. Here is your giant sack of money back. Good riddance, you giant sack of money!”

2. From their protest in March in which a whole bunch of them got arrested for being non-peaceful:

March 2nd a Success! – Highlights of the day include a blockade of NREC’s front gate involving a lockdown and a tripod; a blockade of NREC’s back entrance on 43rd St. that resulted in 14 arrests;

Okay. Define “success” for me, would ya? Getting yourselves arrested is success to you? Wouldn’t success be CMU returning their GIANT SACK OF MONEY and not making these killing machines, grrr?

3. How I feel about the current war is obviously not something I’m going to discuss here. Outside of that, I have absolutely no qualms about the US building up their smart-weapons cache because I’d rather the US have “The Crusher” than say … anybody else. If something like Pearl Harbor or 9/11 were ever to happen again, my God, I want the US armed to the teeth with super-smart killing machines.

Ah, screw it. Me love killing! Grrr.


  1. Mosley
    January 25, 2008 10:00 am

    Your best qoute yet!
    “Good riddance, you giant sack of money!”

    I about died when I read that. I have a love hate relationship with protesters. I love them because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy insides when I see them using the freedoms this country protects. I hate them because I don’t always agree with their tactics and/or message.

    I wish these kids protested something useful like the Drink Tax and the Good Old’ Boys that are running the city in to the ground with there ever expanding list of taxes and committees.

  2. Chad Hermann
    January 25, 2008 10:06 am

    I guess these folks would rather have real live human soldiers launching the ground offensives.

    Yeah. That would save lives.

  3. Brother Anthony
    January 25, 2008 10:12 am

    1. You’d think that John Bares could just have the NREC develop a robot for crowd dispersal and park it in his garage. Then he can keep the sack of money.

  4. Bram R
    January 25, 2008 10:21 am

    My only qualm is that I’d rather we start pouring more of our resources into building our smart-persons cache.
    Okay I have other qualms, but la-la-la, I wonder what Sidney Crosby is doing today…

  5. M. Silenus
    January 25, 2008 10:28 am

    Oh, PITTGIRL! You know I adore you AND Milla, but you are so trying to stir the pot. Consider it stirred. Forget about the protesters and whether or not their tactics make any sense.

    1. A buddy of mine who designs robotics at CMU once told there is an old adage amongst designers that if you give a robot a gun you have killed yourself. Hopefully, these are remote controlled like the predator planes, not truly AI.

    2. One of the main reasons we need to be able to project our military anywhere in the world quickly is to protect our access to oil. If we spent one dollar on energy independence for every dollar we spent on military readiness we would be energy independent in ten years AGO, and thus have much less need to project our military strength globally.

    3. Our best minds are occupied with making things go boom. Japan’s best minds are occupied designing cars and DVD players and gorgeous HDTVs. See where I’m going here?

    4. You don’t have to be for or against the war, conservative or liberal to have a healthy skepticism toward the military industrial complex. Eisenhower was the one who gave us the most earnest warning about that.

    5. It takes a huge amount of infrastructure and money to develop these kinds of weapons. I don’t think we have to worry about Al Qaeda getting the “Crusher” first.

    OK, flame shield up.

  6. Frank
    January 25, 2008 10:30 am

    The art of protest is something that needs serious updating. Post-civil rights era, I’d argue that protesting has done very little to change policy or public opinion. We need better options.

  7. fugly
    January 25, 2008 10:34 am

    I’m going to have to agree that their use of “success” is a bit off. I wonder if they have researched every detail of their lives to see where that money ends up.

  8. pittgirl
    January 25, 2008 10:36 am


    “Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”


  9. JP
    January 25, 2008 10:52 am

    Silenus is so right on, on this one. The crusher is not a very good defense against box cutters.

  10. nellie
    January 25, 2008 10:53 am

    What if they have their little protest and no one (ie, new cameras) came? Would it still be successful?
    They can just drag their little 14 butts to jail and no one would ever know. Will they still be high-fiveing themselves? It would be successfull, after all. Wouldn’t it?
    I think that all the time. Esp the KKK rallies. Why does the news bother to show up? Can’t they just ingnore them, just once?

  11. M. Silenus
    January 25, 2008 10:53 am

    Huh…? Wha…? You and David Conrad and me and Milla for a round of doubles? Awesome! (Ooh sorry, still staring at Milla’s pic.)

  12. nellie
    January 25, 2008 10:56 am

    Sorry, you know what I meant.
    Ignore them, hopefully they’ll go away.

  13. Jumbo
    January 25, 2008 11:20 am

    Of course it was a success. I went to college with these types of kids and the whole goal is to have a good protest, not to actually change something. That includes getting arrested, because then you can tell all your protest buddies that you fought the good fight against “the pigs” and “the man.” They do these protests as a fun thing to do, so as long as there are some bongos and exciting drama with the police, it’s a success. What would they do for fun if CMU actualy said good riddance, you giant sack of money?

  14. Holly
    January 25, 2008 12:46 pm

    The protest at CMU last March 2 was peaceful. Participants were arrested because they did not move (they were connected by lock boxes), not because of violence against police.

  15. TC
    January 25, 2008 1:35 pm

    PittGirl: Brilliant. Consider yourself self-united.

    Holly: Lock boxes? Were they left over from Al Gore’s Social Security proposals?

  16. BagitTagit
    January 25, 2008 2:29 pm

    On a totally unrelated note, disgruntled alumni are planning on protesting Peter, Owner of Peters Pub. Peters Pub, a mainly Greek funded establishment of The University of Pittsburgh that develops alcohol addiction and general overall apathy, is the main reason Pitt doesn’t have any relavance in the world of warfare robotics.

  17. pittgirl
    January 25, 2008 5:42 pm

    TC and BagIt,


  18. perogie kid
    January 25, 2008 9:28 pm

    The nerve of these kids protesting about military contracts at their University. They really need to get their priorities in order and protest about having to pay 46 cents more for a draft just so some blind old lady up in Broadhead manor can get to her dialysis treatment, cause you know freedom isn’t free.

  19. Woy
    January 25, 2008 9:30 pm

    I’m going to confess on having a bit of a crush on Milla in the original Resident Evil.


  20. bucdaddy
    January 28, 2008 9:50 am

    Many many years ago a buddy and I went to the arena to see REM. Somewhere around the encore Michael Stipe went on a rant about Westinghouse making weaponry or bombs or some such, and that all got the predictable whoop from the crowd. Whereupon the guy with me noted, “Probably half the kids here are here because they got ticket money from Dad, who works at Westinghouse.”

    Otherwise known as, Biting the hand that feeds you.