WBEZ | drones http://www.wbez.org/tags/drones Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Inside Aleksandar Hemon's new book: 'The Making of Zombie Wars' http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-08-12/inside-aleksandar-hemons-new-book-making-zombie-wars-112637 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/macmillan.jpg" title="(Photo: 'The Making of Zombie Wars'/Macmillan publishing)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/218958965&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">&#39;The Making of Zombie Wars&#39; by Aleksandar Hemon</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Aleksandar Hemon&rsquo;s latest novel,&#39;The Making of Zombie Wars&#39;, is about an aspiring screenwriter named Josh Levin. Levin teaches ESL classes in Chicago and is writing a screenplay for an action movie called Zombie Wars, about a zombie apocalypse. It all takes place as the US heads to war in Iraq. Hemon joins us to discuss the novel.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-f58230a0-2394-efe7-8011-f05a3505e701"><a href="http://twitter.com/sashahemon">Aleksandar Hemon</a> is the author of &#39;</span>The Making of Zombie Wars&#39;.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/218959343&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Drones and private contractors</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>A report issued by the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism says that the Pentagon employs hundreds of private contractors to analyze highly classified video and pinpoint terror targets, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. The report, &ldquo;Reaping the rewards: How private sector is cashing in on Pentagon&rsquo;s &lsquo;insatiable demand&rsquo; for drone war intelligence,&rdquo; also found that these contractors work side-by-side with uniformed military personnel. We&rsquo;ll talk with TBIJ reporter, Abigail Fielding-Smith, about the report which she co-authored.</p><p><strong>Guest:<a href="http://twitter.com/AbbieFS">&nbsp;</a></strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-f58230a0-2396-f10b-f563-3dbb11ebdcbf"><a href="http://twitter.com/AbbieFS">Abigail Fielding-Smith</a> is a reporter at the bureau of investigative journalism.&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-08-12/inside-aleksandar-hemons-new-book-making-zombie-wars-112637 The history of European austerity http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-16/history-european-austerity-112409 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Euro%20Note%20Center.jpg" title="(Photo: Flickr/ Euro Note Currency) " /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215035926&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The history of European austerity</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>After a long night of contentious debate and despite violent protests outside on the streets of Athens, Greece&rsquo;s parliament approved Eurozone austerity measures to repay the country&rsquo;s multi-billion dollar debt. A significant number of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras&#39; Syriza party voted against the deal. The deal was even criticized by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF said the bailout fails to provide adequate relief to Greece&rsquo;s &quot;highly unsustainable&quot; public debt. But the deal does not surprise many who have studied Europe&rsquo;s modern fiscal philosophy.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> <em>Doug Henwood is an economics journalist and editor of the blog, Left Business Observer.&nbsp;</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215036332&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">A new study on the impact of drones</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Researcher Max Abrahms has studied how drone strikes impact the operations of militant groups. In his recent study Leadership Matters: The Effects of Targeted Killings on Militant Groups Tactics, Abrahms examined militant groups operating in the Middle East and North Africa. He found that when these groups lacked centralized leadership, they were &ldquo; twice as likely to target civilians&rdquo;. Abrahms also found that when their leadership is targeted and &ldquo;degraded&rdquo; by drone strikes, the militant groups become &ldquo;significantly less discriminate in their targeting choices&rdquo;. This often means the involvement of more civilians.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> <em>Max Abrahms is an assistant professor of political science at Northeastern University.</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215036332&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The justice system in the Philippines</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>According to the United Nations and human rights advocates, thousands of Filipinos have been killed, tortured or disappeared, mostly at the behest or with the complicity of the Philippine government. Many victims are human rights activists, union workers or people are aligned with the government&rsquo;s political opponents. We&rsquo;ll talk with Solito (Sotero) Toquero, a member of the International Peoples&#39; Tribunal on the Crimes of the Philippine and US Governments Against the Filipino People (IPT 2015).</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> <em>Solito (Sotero) Toquero is a retired United Methodist bishop, former head of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, and a member of the International People&#39;s Tribunal on the Crimes of the Philippine and US Governments&nbsp;Against&nbsp;the Filipino People.&nbsp;</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-16/history-european-austerity-112409 As rules get sorted out, drones may transform agriculture industry http://www.wbez.org/news/rules-get-sorted-out-drones-may-transform-agriculture-industry-111567 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/img_3297_wide-0eaf22bd10778693f1839956d8a491c74b257934-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On a breezy morning in rural Weld County, Colo., Jimmy Underhill quickly assembles a black and orange drone with four spinning rotors. We&#39;re right next to a corn field, littered with stalks left over from last year&#39;s harvest.</p><p>&quot;This one just flies itself. It&#39;s fully autonomous,&quot; Underhill says.</p><p>Underhill is a drone technician with <a href="http://agribotix.com/">Agribotix, a Colorado-based drone start</a> up that sees farmers as its most promising market. Today he&#39;s training his fellow employees how to work the machine in the field.</p><p>&quot;So if you want to start, we can walk over to the drone,&quot; Underhill says. &quot;It&#39;s got a safety button on here.&quot; And now it&#39;ll start flying.&quot;</p><p>The quadcopter zips 300 feet into the air directly above our heads, pauses for a moment and then begins to move.</p><p>&quot;So it just turned to the East and it&#39;s going to start its lawnmower pattern,&quot; Underhill says.</p><p>What makes the drone valuable to farmers is the camera on board. It snaps a high-resolution photo every two seconds. From there Agribotix stitches the images together, sniffing out problem spots in the process. Knowing what&#39;s happening in a field can save a farmer money.</p><p>At farm shows across the country, drones have become as ubiquitous as John Deere tractors. The Colorado Farm Show earlier this year included an informational session, telling farmers both the technical and legal challenges ahead.</p><p>&quot;I think it&#39;s a very exciting time,&quot; says farmer Darren Salvador, who grows 2,000 acres of wheat and corn near the Colorado-Nebraska border.</p><p>&quot;Can you look at disease concern, insect concern, so now you can be more proactive and treat smaller areas and not treat the entire field,&quot; he says.</p><p>Salvador and about 50 other farmers got an earful from Rory Paul, CEO of <a href="http://www.voltaerialrobotics.com/">Volt Aerial Robotics</a>, a St. Louis-based drone start up.</p><p>&quot;We really don&#39;t know what they&#39;re good for,&quot; Paul says. &quot;We&#39;ve got a few ideas of where they could benefit agriculture. The majority of which are still theoretical.&quot; Theoretical because commercial drone use is still widely banned in the U.S.</p><p>On Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/02/15/386464188/commercial-drone-rules-to-limit-their-speed-and-altitude">released long-awaited draft rules </a>on the operation of pilotless drones, opening the nation&#39;s airspace to the commercial possibilities of the burgeoning technology, but not without restrictions.</p><p>Currently, companies may apply for exemptions from the FAA, but the requirements to get that exemption can be costly. Like requiring drone operators to hold a private pilot&#39;s license.</p><p>&quot;These small drones, that are almost priced to be expensive toys, are not reliable. And that&#39;s the concern of the FAA,&quot; says Eric Frew, who studies drones at the University of Colorado-Boulder.</p><p><a href="http://www.faa.gov/">The FAA </a>didn&#39;t respond to requests for comment for this story, but Frew says the agency is trying to find a balance. Putting a large flying machine in the hands of someone who&#39;s inexperienced can cause big problems.</p><p>&quot;When these systems work, they work fantastically. When they don&#39;t work, they don&#39;t work,&quot; Frew says.</p><p>Back at the corn field in rural Colorado, Agribotix President Tom McKinnon watches as the drone comes in for a landing.</p><p>&quot;So we bash the FAA a lot,&quot; McKinnon says. &quot;I mean the FAA&#39;s job is air safety. And they have delivered on that. But when it comes to drones they&#39;re badly fumbling the ball.&quot;</p><p>McKinnon says until the agency gives solid guidance to commercial drone operators, he&#39;ll be doing most of his work in countries like Australia and Brazil where laws are friendlier to farm drones.</p><p><em><em>&mdash; via <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2015/02/16/385520242/as-rules-get-sorted-out-drones-may-transform-agriculture-industry" target="_blank">NPR&#39;s All Tech Considered</a></em> and <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/">Harvest Public Media</a>, a reporting collaboration that focuses on agriculture and food production.</em></p></p> Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/rules-get-sorted-out-drones-may-transform-agriculture-industry-111567 Crisis in Yemen: President resigns http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-01-22/crisis-yemen-president-resigns-111440 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/yemen2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Despite reaching an agreement to pull back and end the crisis of the last several months, Yemen&#39;s Houthi rebels surrounded the presidential palace in Sana. Now President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has resigned. We talk to Joe Kechichian, Gulf State scholar and writer for <em>Gulf News.</em></p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-crisis-in-yemen/embed?border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-crisis-in-yemen.js?border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-crisis-in-yemen" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: The Crisis in Yemen" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-01-22/crisis-yemen-president-resigns-111440 Secret drones and a trip to Babel Med Music festival http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-05-01/secret-drones-and-trip-babel-med-music-festival-106925 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP544565027115_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F90351717&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-secret-drone-operations-accountability-i.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-secret-drone-operations-accountability-i" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Secret drone operations, accountability in mass production and a trip to the Babel Med Music festivalival" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Wed, 01 May 2013 09:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-05-01/secret-drones-and-trip-babel-med-music-festival-106925 'The Predator' A Passion Play for the Drone Era by Jack Gilroy http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/predator-passion-play-drone-era-jack-gilroy-107031 <p><p>&quot;<em>The Predator</em>&quot; is a play by <strong>Jack Gilroy</strong> that is being used by groups around the country to explore issues related to drone warfare and the larger questions of the militarization of our society.</p><div>The play revolves around a college student and some questions she is beginning to raise about her country&#39;s conduct in the world, and what her own response should be. The other characters in the play are: the student&#39;s Air Force officer mother, a U.S. senator, and an antiwar activist.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jack Gilroy was present for a discussion after this March 29 performance of the play.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AFSC-webstory_6.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div></div><p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Recorded live March 29, 2013 at Grace Place.</p></p> Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/predator-passion-play-drone-era-jack-gilroy-107031 10 Years since Iraq: The Changing Face of War http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/10-years-iraq-changing-face-war-107190 <p><p>This program to mark the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, includes a panel of speakers addressing the changing face of war. Abroad, the US&#39; increased use of drones for &quot;targeted killings&quot; in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. Here in the US, deadly cuts continue to be imposed on domestic programs in order to fund the Pentagon&#39;s excessive spending and line the pockets of wealthy corporations, such as Boeing. The fights for public education, housing, and healthcare are intricately tied to the fights against war and imperialism.</p><p><strong>Peter Lems</strong> is a leader in the American Friends Service Committee anti-drone effort. <strong>Kait McIntyre</strong> of the Anti-War Committee speaks about the local campaign targeting Boeing. <strong>Vince Emanuele</strong>, of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, served two tours in Iraq.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AFSC-webstory_7.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br />Recorded live Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at Grace Place.&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 15:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/10-years-iraq-changing-face-war-107190 Drone fight over Illinois http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/drone-fight-over-illinois-105524 <p><p><a href="www.suntimes.com/18213738-761/lawmaker-seeks-to-regulate-use-of-drones-in-illinois-before-they-arrive.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Drone makes a test flight in Mesa County, Colo. (AP Photo/Mesa County Sheriff's Unmanned Operations Team)" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6999_AP120124033602-lpr.jpg" style="height: 168px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="" /></a><strong>HOME-DRONE FIGHT.&nbsp;</strong>An Illinois lawmaker wants some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18213738-761/lawmaker-seeks-to-regulate-use-of-drones-in-illinois-before-they-arrive.html" target="_blank">privacy guidelines to cover potential use of <strong>drone aircraft</strong> by state and local crimefighters</a>.<br />* Pentagon introduces new type of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/medal-will-honor-troops-engaged-in-cyber-ops-drone-strikes/2013/02/13/bdc26f64-7629-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html" target="_blank">medal for troops who remotely pilot unmanned vehicles</a>.</p><p><strong>&#39;ONE OF THE GREAT BATTLES OF ALL TIME.&#39;</strong> That&#39;s the way <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130214/NEWS10/130219873/how-the-american-us-airways-merger-will-affect-chicago" target="_blank">one airline industry consultant describes what&#39;s ahead</a> for Chicago now that American Airlines and US Airways have <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18211434-761/us-airways-american-announce-11b-merger.html" target="_blank">announced their merger</a>.</p><p><strong>&#39;WE WILL NOT SURRENDER. WE WILL NOT APPEASE. WE WILL BUY MORE GUNS THAN EVER.&#39; --&nbsp;</strong>Commentary for&nbsp;<em>The Daily Caller</em>&nbsp;from&nbsp;<a href="http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/13/stand-and-fight/" target="_blank">NRA chief Wayne LaPierre</a>.<br />* Sen. Kirk says he has parents&#39; OK to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/sen-kirk-talks-guns-health-and-presidential-fist-bump-105516" target="_blank">name anti-gun trafficking bill after Hadiya Pendleton</a>.<br />* Family says Pendleton murder suspect is a &quot;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-family-hadiya-pendleton-slaying-suspect-good-kid-20130213,0,3977389.story" target="_blank">good kid</a>.&quot;</p><p><strong>&#39;THE MOMENT MATTERED, BY THIS POINT, BECAUSE EVEN RUBIO SAID THAT IT DID.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>The New Yorker&#39;s Ian Crouch takes&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/02/marco-rubio-water-bottle-moment.html?mobify=0" target="_blank">an intimately detailed look at Marco Rubio&#39;s hydration break</a>. (Rubio comes from a Gulp State, no?)<br />* NRA, other lobbyists, corporations paid big for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/twitter-a-live-megaphone-for-lobbying-groups-companies/2013/02/13/dbe023ac-758d-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html" target="_blank">Twitter placement during State of the Union address</a>.</p><p><strong>SCHOOLS OUT.</strong>&nbsp;The good news? The Chicago Public Schools system has shrunk the number of schools it&#39;ll consider closing. The bad news?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-129-on-new-chicago-schools-closing-list-20130213,0,6621050.story" target="_blank">The list is still 129 schools long</a>.<br />* West Side mom: &quot;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18187995-761/cps-chief-releases-list-of-129-schools-that-could-close-west-siders-vow-to.html" target="_blank">They want to send our kids into unfamiliar streets they don&rsquo;t even know</a>.&quot;<br />* Map and sortable list of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/more-20-percent-city-public-schools-list-potential-closure-105519#list" target="_blank">schools eligible for closure</a>.</p><p><strong>CTA&#39;S BRIGHT FUTURE.&nbsp;</strong>Armed with a $30 million credit from the company that makes those new rail cars with center-facing seats, the CTA&#39;s buying eight more cars -- and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/18212618-418/cta-buying-new-rail-cars-at-bargain-price-adding-brighter-interior-lights.html" target="_blank">replacing the lighting in all the new cars with LED fixtures</a>&nbsp;that won&#39;t yellow the way traditional fluorescents do.</p><p><strong>PEOPLE WHO NEED <em>PEOPLE?&nbsp;</em></strong><a href="http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/time-warner-in-talks-to-sell-off-majority-of-magazines/" target="_blank">Time-Warner&#39;s seeking buyers for most of its magazines</a>, including <em>People</em>, <em>InStyle</em> and <em>Real Simple</em>. But it may keep <em>Time</em>&nbsp;for a time. And it may also not sell <em>Fortune</em>, because the selling price would be a ... big sum of <em>Money</em>. Which it&#39;s also reportedly not selling.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/chicago-media-blog/16069511/nbc-5%E2%80%99s-wert-to-head-local-broadcasting-for-tribune-co" target="_blank">Channel 5 boss leaving</a>&nbsp;for Tribune Co., including WGN-TV and WGN Radio (which, full disclosure, formerly employed this here news blogger).</p><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong><br />* Yesterday&#39;s post incorrectly characterized the state of the Blackhawks&#39;&nbsp;streak of games without a regulation loss. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/marco-rubios-sip-water-sets-twitter-afire-105493" target="_blank">That text has been corrected</a>, with thanks to Friend of the Blog <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/pub/stephen-anzaldi/6/816/7b1" target="_blank">Stephen Anzaldi</a>.<br />* Have more corrections for this blog? <a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Things%20and%20stuff">Email anytime</a>.<br />* Follow us on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/wbez" target="_blank">@WBEZ</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson" target="_blank">@Meyerson</a>.<br />* If it&#39;s Thursday, it must be time to make up this week&#39;s news quiz. Be here Friday morning, bright and early, for your chance to score.</em></p></p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/drone-fight-over-illinois-105524 President Obama's illegal war http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-02/president-obamas-illegal-war-105431 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/drone.jpg" style="float: right; height: 168px; width: 300px;" title="AP file" />This is what I wrote after <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-09-30/president-orders-killing-american-92687">the death of Anwar al-Awlaki,</a> a U.S. citizen targeted for killing by the U.S. president, on this blog on September 30, 2011:</div><p>&quot;We used to be afraid that President George W. Bush, pushed by his nefarious warmongering VP and a Department of Justice that justified medieval tortures, was going to expand executive branch powers to such levels as to threaten the very balance and foundation of our democracy.</p><p>&quot;That&rsquo;s why so many of us voted for Barack Obama -- because we wanted somebody who was anti-war, who would close Guantanamo; somebody who knew and understood the Constitution not as some sacred sentimental Old Testament but as a covenant of fairness, with inviolable safeguards, between the governed and the government.</p><p>&quot;One of those safeguards has always been due process -- the idea that individuals are protected by a process of law from arbitrary action by the state. In other words, that the government must follow its own laws. In the U.S. Constitution, it&rsquo;s so important that it&rsquo;s stated twice, in the 5th and 14th amendments.</p><p>&quot;Today, however, the media tells us that the president of the United States in the person of Barack Obama has now extended the power of his office to order the assassination of fellow citizens without a shred of due process.&quot;</p><p>Just exactly how empty of constitutional muster Obama&rsquo;s policy is can be seen in <a href="http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/04/someone-just-leaked-obamas-rules-for-ass">white papers acquired by NBC News</a> this week which details the administration&rsquo;s legal reasoning.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s one of the juicier parts:&nbsp; an &ldquo;informed, high-level&rdquo; official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American&nbsp;has been &ldquo;recently&rdquo; involved in &ldquo;activities&rdquo; posing a threat of a violent attack and &ldquo;there is&nbsp; no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.&quot;</p><p>But neither &ldquo;recently&rdquo; -- this week? last year? a presidential term ago? -- or &ldquo;activities&rdquo; -- actual killing? planning killing? drinking tea and talking approvingly of killing? -- are defined, and in legalese, that&rsquo;s not a detail.</p><p>Moreover, that &ldquo;informed, high-level&rdquo; official of the U.S. government, by definition, will not be an elected official -- someone chosen by the people, for the people, to represent the people&rsquo;s interests. That &ldquo;informed, high-level&rdquo; official will be a presidential appointee, and probably one strategically ranked so as not to even need congressional approval.</p><p>In the meantime, and speaking of congressional approval, the architect of the administration&rsquo;s clearly illegal drone policy -- a strategy that ends up <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan">killing about 30 or more civilians for every militant</a> it eliminates -- John Brennan, is now Obama&rsquo;s nominee to direct the CIA.</p><p>But don&rsquo;t be fooled by the Senate&rsquo;s grilling during the confirmation process. The Dems who oppose him and his policy don&rsquo;t have the votes or the cojones to do anything about it and the Republicans -- finally in a position to be a real opposition -- actually agree with Obama on this one. Whatever fireworks comes from them should be viewed as spectacle and nothing more.</p><p>Barack Obama will get his moment in history&rsquo;s parade as the nation&rsquo;s first black president, and he&rsquo;ll be duly applauded for the long-term good of the Affordable Care Act. But his continuation of President Bush&rsquo;s drone war, his hypocritical endorsement of government secrecy by refusing to publicly explain what he&rsquo;s doing in our name in countries such as Pakistan and Yemen, his outrageous expansion of the executive office&rsquo;s war powers, and the murder of Americans on his orders will forever tarnish his legacy.</p><p>And, as we are seen more and more in the rest of the world as a lawless empire, these policies will haunt America&#39;s future.</p><p>Americans everywhere -- regardless of race or political party -- should condemn the drone war and, specifically, Obama&rsquo;s assassination guidelines -- which allow him to target U.S. citizens without due process or even a formal declaration of war.</p></p> Fri, 08 Feb 2013 10:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-02/president-obamas-illegal-war-105431 Drones and Warfare http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/drones-and-warfare-105860 <p><p>American Friends Service Committee and Chicago Area Peace Action will co-sponsor an event with <strong>Robert Namain</strong>, the policy director for Just Foreign Policy, who will talk about his recent trip to Pakistan and on the policy of targeted assassination and drone warfare. This is a subject very pertinent to current foreign policy: the U.S. has pointed to the use of drones as a way to save money and U.S. lives, but it has terrible moral implications, as the many civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan have made clear. AFSC and Peace Action will be embarking upon a national campaign to end use of drones, and this is an excellent opportunity to hear eyewitness testimony and expert analysis before joining these efforts.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AFSC-webstory_5.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Recorded live Thursday, January 17, 2013 at DePaul University.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 09:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/drones-and-warfare-105860