Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
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Well here we are, the festive season is behind us and it's time to settle back into the daily routine for another year... and what a year it's shaping up to be.
Some time in March I'll be marking the 25th anniversary of Aardvark's creation so I guess I'll have to work out some way of celebrating that quarter-century milestone.
We've had an airliner shot down by an anti-aircraft missile over Iran and other events that are winding up international tensions to breaking point... will this be a decade of peace or war?
The Aussie bushfires keep blazing away with little hope of them being extinguished in the near future, spewing significant amounts of CO2 and particulates into the ecosphere and threatening the very existance of some unique Australian flora and forna.
There is also what could be a worrying "false flag" event taking place in the USA right now.
Ongoing news reports claim that swarms of drones have been seen flying in the night skies over Colorado.
Despite the alleged best efforts of law-enforcement and other agencies, the operators of these so-called "drones" have not been found and the reason for their flights remains unknown.
I cry foul on this one.
If this was some kind of "secret" operation by a bad actor then I really don't think they would have fitted their craft with bright blinky lights, thus effectively advertising their presence.
Also, we're told that "counter drone" companies have some really fancy anti-drone tech available and these same companies rushed to help out when a single drone was seen at Gatwick airport just over a year ago. Where are these companies and their fancy tech now? Why aren't they lining up to show just how effectively they can deal with rogue drones?
Also, the USA has (according to Trump) the mightiests military tech on the planet. Surely they could spare a few mobile ground-radars, a couple of Apache or Blackhawk hellis with night-vision or FLIR cameras to track down these craft and their operators?
But no, all we have are a few county sheriffs driving around and telling the media that they remain "a mystery".
And how coincidental that all this is going on at a time when the FAA and a number of *very* large players in the commecial drone sector are trying to push through a new set of rules that would allegedly prevent this kind of scary thing from happening through the use of compulsory electronic ID and mandatory flight-approvals for drones?
The suggestion that these drones are deliberately being flown to create a false-flag situation was reinforced when US DOT Secretary Elaine Chao made mention of the incidents when pitching the FAA's new rules at a CES presentation. Take a look at this piece of video to see what I mean
What better way to get the public frightened and prepared to support the unprecedented destruction of a harmless, safe and highly respected hobby, than to create a situation like this and then effectively say "our new rules will save you".
The reality of course is that the new electronic ID rules for drones would make zero difference to any bad actor that wanted to use such craft maliciously. In fact they are effectively trying to convince us that rules prevent crime -- which, as we know, is a falicy.
Bad actors, by definition, do not follow the rules. Rules only define the behaviour of good actors and they are not the problem.
I fear however, that "the great unwashed" will fall for this drivel, hook, line and sinker.
How dishonest the US government has become in its dealings with its citizens.
At least the Iranian government had the integrity to come-clean and admit when it had lied and when it was ultimately responsible for the downing of that airliner. I fear that they have put the government of the USA to shame when it comes to honesty and integrity.
What do readers think?
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