Clone Wars category archive
. . . is something entirely other. The ACLU reports:
Drone proponents would prefer that everyone use the term “UAV,” for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or “UAS,” for Unmanned Aerial System (“system” in order to encompass the entirety of the vehicle that flies, the ground-based controller, and the communications connection that connects the two). These acronyms are technical, bland, and bureaucratic. That’s probably their principal advantage from the point of view of those who want to separate them from the ugly, bloody, and controversial uses to which they’ve been put by the CIA and U.S. military overseas.
More linguistic magic tricks at the link.
From “robotic death raining from the skies” to “instrument of foreign policy.”
The ground-control station for the remotely controlled aircraft will open Oct. 1 and be established by the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs announced Monday. It is expected to create about 250 jobs, including 75 full-time positions.
Last time I checked, “foreign policy” did not blow stuff up.
War blew stuff up.
Never mind. Creates jobs for gamers.
The Roanoke Times predicts dollar signs.
With parts easily found on the Internet, a determined drone aficionado could build a strong unit capable of carrying a 50-pound payload 3 miles and back, said Ellis, who is aware of the potential downside of that much capability in the wrong hands.
On the other hand, Ellis has been approached by business people with a vision to sell legitimate aerial services. One was a home inspector who wanted an alternative to climbing roofs for inspection. Another was a wedding photographer.
Once drones are approved for commercial use, “it’s going to generate a massive number of business opportunities for people,” Ellis said.
I used to work with a dron—never mind.
What’s in a name?
Virginia Tech apparently thinks, “quite a bit” (emphasis added).
Improving the study of agricultural disease and the assessment and mapping of special environments, such as forests and explosion sites, are major project drivers.
These flying machines, the accessories such as cameras and sensors that they carry, and the control mechanisms are referred to by Tech engineers as unmanned aerial systems — UAS for short — and not “drones.”
Drones, unmanned aircraft, model aircraft with electronics are here to stay. They can no more be made to go away than, in their times, the automobile or the choo-choo.
They need to be regulated and restrained, as were the automobile and the choo-choo.
Daniel Ruth makes a point about raining robotic death from the sky; follow the link for the rest.
Those of us who had a problem with what’s-his-name asserting that the Constitution did not protect Americans because he said they were enemy combatants must also observe that Mr. Obama with his killing lists ordering death-from-on-high is in the same league. And so are his legal experts with their semantic gymnastics trying to justify treating American citizens as if they weren’t citizens. They drone on, same as it ever was, sort of.
It’s difficult, though. In my selective way, I concede that blasting some American al-Qaida member deep in Yemen seems reasonable. You can’t have the drone read him his constitutional rights through a loudspeaker. My attitude is: Occupy any area that is clearly a battlefield in a war against America, die. But too often there is collateral damage, the modern term for innocent people dead. We are on a slippery slope in a toboggan of our own manufacture.
My two or three regular readers know that I am not a fan of drone warfare.
Note that I am no more against drones in general than I am against M16s, Tanks, and aircraft carriers.
I’m not for any of them, but sometimes they seem necessary.
What troubles me is the packaging–drones are presented as somehow surgical weapons that always get the right target. Their PR makes gamers’ raining robotic death from the sky seem somehow, well, nice, antiseptic, almost harmless.
Yet, the “surgical strike” PR helps the citizenry turn away from the dealing of death.
As Bob Cesca points out, there is a possible corrective, and it’s not yelling “Obama=Bush”; anyone who is capable of grasping more than one thought at a time can see that he doesn’t.
Even though summer is on the way, give up those plans to sunbathe nekkid behind your eight-foot privacy fence in your backyard.
(Note to self: Add to to-do list, “Order tri-copter.”)
Oh, so now it’s a “booming industry.”
. . . the FAA announced Thursday that it would pick six locales for test runs — and Florida is among the 35 or more competitors expected to vie for the chance to open its airways as soon as this fall.
“This research will give us valuable information about how best to ensure the safe introduction of this advanced technology into our nation’s skies,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement.
Although no money is attached, officials in Florida and elsewhere see the competition as an opportunity to get a jump on the booming drone industry, which is expected to almost double in size from $6.6 billion in global spending now to $11.4 billion in 10 years.
Follow the money and watch fat cats feast on our private lives.
James Carroll starts with the murder of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and ends with robotic death raining from the skies. A nugget:
Now the U.S. military, along with its CIA paramilitary, is moving into the age of the automated sniper – the armed drone. The public reticence that inhibited discussion of the actual meaning of Kyle’s history pales beside the silence with which the nation – government, media, citizenry – treats the moral threshold of assassination by drone.
Death out of nowhere, inflicted by unthreatened operators, upon designated enemies, who may or may not pose lethal threats and who may or may not be as guilty as the joystick judges decide. America has become a sniper nation.