Drone. What does that word connote in your mind?
Death and destruction? And maybe spying, too? On us, Americans. Under the pretext of protecting us from “terrorism.”
Talk about a fox guarding a chicken coop. Or a pot calling a kettle black.
If you’re like most Americans whose minds are programmed by TV and Hollywood images, this kind of scenes might emerge: Drones killing and maiming people. Often innocent.
Fair enough. That’s how our government sees the drones, too. Hollywood and Washington are joined at the hip in the war on free-thinking Americans. So drones are being depicted as the latest weapons of mass destruction. Which supposedly projects an image of the US technological supremacy.
From a US military standpoint, the drones are a low risk-low casualty way to fight a war. An operator zeros in on a target and presses the red button. And poof! Up in smoke and fire goes the target. Presumably it is a terrorist cell or a leader blown to smithereens.
Except for the “collateral damage.” That’s a New World Order speak for mass murder. Scenes of crying mothers and mourning families are all too often also associated with the word DRONE. And corpses. Corpses of all sizes and shapes. An funerals. And burning American flags.
The chart on the left shows just how ineffective the drones are in hitting the alleged terrorists. And how deadly they have been for the innocent victims who just happen to be around when they struck.
Yet the “peace-talking yet war-waging” American leaders like Obama have actually EXPANDED their use. Take a look at these charts. And then answer the question…
Who was the bigger warmonger – Bush Jr or Obama?
Anyway, back to the word DRONE. For all of the above reasons, the word has come to connote death and destruction.
Just as with nuclear energy. It has its place in peaceful applications which are beneficial to mankind. But the word NUCLEAR similarly engenders images like this.
Which is what happens when governments use and abuse new technologies. It does not have to be that way. Drones can perform many useful functions that can actually enhance the quality of life on this planet. If only our government got out of their way.
Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration (Guardian, London, UK)
Drones are basically flying robots.
Like other robots, they can do things the humans cannot (like fly over fiery volcanoes, or surging tsunamis). Or they can things humans can also do, only better or cheaper.
Delivery service is a case in point. Move over FedEx or USPS or UPS, here comes the Drone.
Why Canada and why all the secrecy? Because the US government has been dragging its feat in allowing such tests to be conducted in our country.
The numbers speak for themselves. The FAA has received more than 750 requests for outdoor drone testing licenses from American businesses, Amazon’s among them, but so far has granted just 48. Canada’s equivalent civil aviation authority, Transport Canada, released 1,672 commercial drone certificates last year alone.
Brendan Schulman, a New York-based specialist in drone law, said the Guardian’s disclosure of Amazon’s Canadian airstrip-in-exile should be a “serious wake-up call to politicians and regulators”.
“America has led the world in aviation development,” he said, “but for the first time in history we are at risk of losing out. To see one of our most innovative companies forced over the border is a stark example of the danger.”
The end goal is to utilize what Amazon sees as a slice of virgin airspace – above 200 ft, where most buildings end, and below 500 ft, where general aviation begins.
Amazon’s move to test its drones in Canada follows repeated warnings by the e-commerce giant that it would go outside the US to bypass what it sees as the US federal government’s lethargic approach to the new technology.
The end goal is to utilize what Amazon sees as a slice of virgin airspace – above 200 ft, where most buildings end, and below 500 ft, where general aviation begins. Into that aerial slice the company plans to pour highly autonomous drones of less than 55lbs, flying through corridors 10 miles or longer at 50mph and carrying payloads of up to 5 lbs that account for 86% of all the company’s packages.
Amazon has acquired a plot of open land lined by oak trees and firs, where it is conducting frequent experimental flights with the full blessing of the Canadian government. As if to underline the significance of the move, the test site is barely 2,000ft from the US border, which was clearly visible from where the Guardian stood on a recent visit.
DRONE APPS EXPLODING AROUND THE WORLD
Nor is Amazon an isolated company in its plans to use the drones as delivery vehicles. Dominos Pizza is testing them for pizza deliveries. No kidding.
And Coca-Cola recently used them for marketing its Happiness from the Skies project in Singapore. Handwritten thank-you notes were attached to cans of Coke delivered to migrant workers in that Asian country.
Google has launched Project Wing, which has delivered sweets, cattle vaccines and other products to two farmers in Australia.
Meanwhile a DHL delivery drone is bringing packages to Juist, a remote island off the north-west coast of Germany.
PSFK, a company that specializes in analyzing trends, reported that a Russian agency launched the first “drone-vertising” campaign last summer, using 10 devices to fly banners in Moscow promoting a Chinese takeaway chain.
When I asked someone close to me what the word “drone” to connoted, the first thing that came to that person’s mind was, “the US government’s spying on people.”
So while other nations are opening their doors to progressive uses of the “robots that fly’ – the drones – the US government is dragging its feet, forcing the American companies to go elsewhere to test their innovative projects.
And our military keep pressing those deadly red buttons that kill and maim thousands of innocent people, turning the once admired America the Beautiful into one of the most hated countries in the world.
And that’s something worth droning on about especially in this “Era of the Drone.”