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Jim Hightower
Otherwords / Op-Ed
Published: Monday 13 August 2012
It's the arrival and proliferation of "unmanned vehicle systems," soon to be buzzing around the airspace of your own town.

Drone on the Range

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Get ready, America. Here comes "the next latest and greatest thing in aviation." Wow, what could it be? Maybe the airlines are going to drop all of their ridiculous rip-off fees. That'd be great!

No, no, not that kind of aviation. You probably won't find this breakthrough so great. It's the arrival and proliferation of "unmanned vehicle systems," soon to be buzzing around the airspace of your own town.

Yes, drones, right here at home. Those very same pilotless, remote-controlled, undetectable planes that the CIA has been secretly using to spy on and bomb people in Pakistan and elsewhere are headed to our local police departments, FBI offices, and...well, who knows who else will have these toys?

All we know is that Congress — under pressure from Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and other big drone peddlers — directed the Federal Aviation Agency earlier this year to open up civilian air space to thousands of them by 2015. And, in their wisdom, our loosey-goosey lawmakers provided no regulation of who can have drones, how many, or for what purposes.

So prepare to be pestered and monitored, for police agencies and corporate interests are said to be abuzz about getting their own. The first ones are expected to be used for high-altitude surveillance, which is worrisome enough. But consider this: A Texas sheriff's office that has already bought a "ShadowHawk" drone says it might outfit the little buzzer to fire tear gas and rubber bullets.

No worries, though. The drone industry's lobbying group has drafted a two-page code of conduct urging purchasers to "respect the privacy of individuals."

How nice. Only, it's a voluntary code — and totally unenforceable.



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ABOUT Jim Hightower
National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

Cowards love drones-sit at

Cowards love drones-sit at your computer and play soldier without having to get dirty.

I can fly my drone into their

I can fly my drone into their drone--opps.

The "eye in the sky" is a

The "eye in the sky" is a reality.

But there is nothing to worry

But there is nothing to worry about if your not doing anything wrong, Right? And I have can hook you up with some of my friends from Nigeria who would like to send you $2.4 mil, no strings attached.......... Right?

So are these drones capable of spotting corrupt Wall St. A-holes as they game the economy? Can they spot tax cheats and send in an Hellfire?

Another unregulated disaster.

Another unregulated disaster. Now we can give the nuts another way of killing people. They can load up the plane with AK47's and rockets and do their deed and then do crash it and no one will know who owned it.

Drone Warfare...Killing by

Drone Warfare...Killing by Remote Control

http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/drone-warfare/

Coming to a neighborhood near YOU!

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