The Hightower Report
A blanket of PR to make you want to hug a drone
A Blanket of PR To Make You Want To Hug A Drone
Sen. Rand Paul is not the only speed bump slowing down the push by government contractors, police authorities, and politicians of both parties to bring military drones to America.
In his recent filibuster, Paul delivered a 13-hour rant against the idea of littering our airspace with thousands of these surreptitious, unmanned aircraft – which inevitably will be used to spy on, invade the constitutional rights of, and even fire on American citizens. While the senator's outrage raised the drone issue to a new level of public awareness, opposition had already been percolating across the country, uniting such diverse constituencies as the ACLU and the Tea Party. Indeed, from city halls to Congress, many officials are working to ban or at least restrict drone deployment in our land of the free.
Clearly, the drone-industrial-complex has a growing political problem. But, hey – in corporate America, where there's a way, there's plenty of will. We're talking extremely big dollars here.
As reported by The New Republic, drone pushers at an industry confab (ominously titled "The Reapers Come Home") decided that theirs is merely an image problem, starting with the off-putting d-word itself. "That term 'drone' kills us every time," moaned a police official. Another pusher suggested that the menacing black color of the weapons is the problem. He noted that Seattle's police chief tried to get city officials to OK drone use by having one painted pink and rechristening it "Soft Kitty 2000."
That didn't work in Seattle, but still, the droner-complex can be expected to launch a PR campaign that'll make you want to hug one of their machines. Already, the peddlers are describing a sky full of drones over your city as "a nice safety blanket." Good luck living under that.
For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown" – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.