Category Archives: Barack Obama

"HEADS UP" America! Drones are the Season's Hottest Gift

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Yessiree, I always love the Christmas season.  It is my  favorite time of the year for sure. I always, “tongue in cheek”, brag that I still believe in Santa. The truth is, down deep inside of me there is a place that only I can go. I call it Stillness. When I travel to Stillness, Santa is always there. So is the  most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen and a lifesize manger with moving people (guess who).  I could go on about my favorite place but I have already revealed too much personal info and, if I am being monitored by the NSA or CIA or Starbucks, I could be profiled. Anyway, I have been momentarily kicked out of Stillness. My reality check started with the Sunday newspaper ads.

Trying to acquire some knowledge about today’s toy market (in case I need something to discuss with my grandkids at Christmas dinner) I flip open the Sunday flyer from Target. Immediately stunned, I know I must be looking at the ad of the year; it reads… “ready for takeoff” —-“Drones are the season’s hottest gift”. I can feel the instant pulsing coming from my temples.

The advertisement is for the Parrot Airborne Nightime mini-drone that flies in the dark with two headlights and an embedded camera. The price is $129.99. Next to the drone ad is a picture of a Darth Vader talking boom box. This page is for kids. Drones for kids??? What??? Oh, before I forget, all that is required to operate the drone is a smart phone or a tablet. Probably every kid in America over five has one of those. And some of those little tykes are pretty tech-savvy (temple pounding begins amping up).

   bestdronesforkids.com

I took a break and tried to get back to  Stillness. It took me until Monday afternoon to get back. Tuesday morning, bright and early and calm and tranquil, I scan the front page of the freshly tossed newspaper. On page one is the picture of a drone. A nice story accompanies the picture. “Santa bringing Drones—You have to register it”.  Yup, it seems that new FAA regulations are in force since Monday because first time flyers must register before flying their drones. You can register online but you have to be 13 or over. That should keep things safe. Headache has begun.

They expect that more than 800,000 drones will be sold this Christmas. Drone owners “are aviators (I had this ridiculous notion that you needed a bit of training to be classified as an aviator) and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility.” U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Fox, said in a statement. “Ya think, Mr. Secretary?” And the FAA estimates that 1.6 million drones will be sold in 2015, more than half in the fourth quarter (in this case ‘fourth quarter’ may be a synonym for Christmas time). In less than two weeks we will have almost 2 million “responsible” drone owners of all ages filling the nation’s skies with their personal flying machines. Ah, progress.

There is a neat little caveat at the end of the advertisement for the Parrot Airborne Nightime mini-drone. It reads, “Prior to piloting your Parrot Drone please make sure you have authorization to pilot in the area you intend to fly. In some areas flying a drone is not permitted ie; such places as military bases, parks, cities and airports. Before starting, check local regulations prior to flying.”
For more information, visit  www.knowbeforeyoufly.org   (I did not make this up).

With less than two weeks to go before Christmas, Barack Obama and his supporters are talking about gun-control and climate change. Islamic terrorists are killing people all over the world including Americans right here at home and all of that has taken a back seat to politics. But now–we have approval for personal drones that kids will be flying near highways, cities, schools and airports, etc. All they need is a five dollar registration fee. I can leave my house right now and go to Walmart or Target and buy a drone for less than a hundred bucks, register online for five dollars more and I am now an ‘aviator’ capable of flying my own drone.. Imagine the possibilities.

I will have to pray and work very hard if I ever want to get back to Stillness. As long as I don’t get hit by a drone coming from the park two blocks away, I know I will make it. I am asking Santa for a football helmet.

                                 ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

50 Years Ago He Had a Dream–Is It Becoming a Nightmare?

by Larry Peterson

Fifty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his now famous “I have a dream” speech in Washington D.C. A quarter of a million people stood and listened. Here are  a few excerpts:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.”

 “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.”

So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Of course these are only several out of context remarks from that great speech. And it WAS a great speech. I dare say over the last fifty years we had come a long way in seeing Dr. King’s dream of  joined  hands between white and black people actually materialize. The Alabama mentioned in the speech is long gone.  Governor George Wallace and his famous “Segregation now, Segregation Forever” inaugaral speech from January, 1963 seems almost surreal. We had come a long way. Barack Obama is the President. We have had and have  black Supreme Court Justices. We have had a black man as Secretary of State and we have one as Attorney General.  At present there are 43 African-Americans serving as congressmen and women and two as United States Senators.

We had come a long way  and then, on February 26, 2012,  a 17-year-old by the name of  Trayvon Martin was killed in Florida by a neighborhood watch captain named George Zimmerman. From “we HAVE come a long way” changed to “we HAD come a long way”. The race baiters pounced. Time to fan the flames of intolerance and hatred and spit in the face of everything Martin Luther King stood for. Even our own President of the United States dipped  into the trough of animus and racism helping to divide a country that  before Trayvon’s death had actually come together more so than anytime in our history. It was far from perfect but it was so much better. How sad to see all of that progress cast to the wind.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King on this anniversary is a fine thing. But the people on the podium should not be using this man as camouflage for an agenda that flies in the face of everything he stood for. This can be a time to bring people together, to tamp out the flames of hatred, and to honor the progress we have made in race relations. There will  always be the narrow minded, black and white, who harbor mindless and insensible prejudice based on skin color. It is not a perfect world.  In his honor it is time to heal and spread the words once more of Martin Luther King, ““Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” His dream should not turn into a nightmare.