Horsham Air Base

27 May 2017 - 127th day of Trump Administration

crowd facing street
Gathered against the Drone Command Center in Horsham, PA

The big, long-range,high-explosive-laden drones the US uses are not the only ones in the field these days. Nowadays, the small drones one can get from a hobby shop or a mail order place are serving as mortar spotters, guidance for car bombs and other tasks for ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Most of their drones come from the Chinese company DJI, which says it opposes their drones being used for military purposes. The US military is using small drones as well. They have a cell phone-sized drone that can be controlled with a touch-screen tablet to serve much the same purpose.
The Trump Administration is concerned enough about potential military/terrorist applications for consumer drones, they want police to be able to shoot those drones down. They're pressing for laws that would not make distinctions between drones that serve a reporting purpose (A group of Native Americans used a drone to monitor construction progress on the Dakota Access pipeline last year) and any other purpose that police might object to.

facing the traffic

On April 23rd of this year, the Pentagon claimed that a drone had killed eight al Qaeda members, but the friends and relatives of the men who were killed dispute that they were either al Qaeda or ISIS.

The strike in Al Said was one of the roughly 250 attacks carried out by the United States in Yemen, a campaign that is now alleged to have killed as many as 1,200 people since 2010, up to 200 of them civilians, according to figures kept by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. President Trump appears to be outpacing Obama in Yemen, with more than 80 strikes since January and a disastrous Special Forces raid that killed 25 civilians, including 10 children. The Trump administration has also lifted Obama-era rules limiting when strikes can take place for certain parts of Yemen. So far, there have only been a small number of alleged civilian casualties in drone strikes under Trump, but Alawlaqi’s account of who was killed on April 23 raises questions about the people that the military is targeting as terrorist threats.

musician and speakers

Our singer, Tom Mullian, performs a song from his album Six Strings Against the War.

The Drive alleges that Iran is supplying large (10 to 15 feet in length) drones to Houthi rebels in Yemen. The piece alleges that Patriot anti-missile batteries are effective against the Houthi-launched drones. That makes more sense than that Patriots are useful against long-range, high-altitude nuclear attacks and raises the disturbing possibility that a whole set of multi-million dollar Patriot missiles might be expended against drones that only cost a few thousand each.
How are the uses of drones likely to grow generally? "The global market for drones is expected to reach $22.15 billion by 2022, according to a new report from Statistics MRC." That's up from almost $6 billion in 2015."For military applications, drone technology can be used for border security, combat missions, intelligence gathering and surveillance."
Footage of small bombs hitting targets in Mosul, Iraq, dropped by the Iraqi Federal Police.

Gathered against Drone Command Center

One cheerful bit of good news for opponents of the Trump Administration is that he's polling very poorly. Gallup took a polling snapshot of the President's popularity in 2009 and 2017. Barack Obama's support from Democrats (liberal, moderate and conservative) were all well over 75% approval. Both Independents and moderate/liberal Republicans were right around 50%. It was only the really conservative Republicans who were around 20%. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has conservative Republicans above 75%, but moderate/liberal Republicans are all below that mark. Conservative Democrats and Independents are right around 25% and liberal and moderate Democrats are well below that. The mix held throughout Obama's two terms, so it's likely Trump will never do much better.
Trump's only real legislative achievement so far is the AHCA/Trumpcare, the proposed replacement for the ACA/Obamacare. A Quinnipiac poll showed that non-college-educated Republican white males were the only ones whose support of the AHCA was over 20%. Every other demographic group was well below that, with Democrats being below even 5%.

seen from the side

The blog Daily Kos does Abbreviated Pundit Round-ups every day. The author of today's round-up apologized for the length - "These APRs are long because there is just so much out there." Trump appears to be "lost" in Europe. Trump blurts out classified information, again! FBI Director Comey relied on some pretty bizarre logic to justify interfering in the 2016 election. The CBO score on the AHCA/Trumpcare is really, really awful!

PRAWN