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Editorial: A second opinion on drone strikes Government-sanctioned killing of U.S. citizens abroad is troubling, but judicial. BY LUCY SMITH Special to the Star Perhaps it’s a good thing the United States made Associated Press Photo extensive, if controversial, use of drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen because it has allowed us to build up substantial expertise in operating the pilotless aircraft. We’ll need that valuable experience at home because the Federal Aviation Administration has taken the first steps toward making drones a standard feature of the American skies — an estimated 10,000 in civilian use within five years, according to the FAA. The agency began soliciting proposals for six drone sites scattered around the country. Ventura County wants a share of the action; county business, civic and political leaders have been drawing up plans to ensure this area is considered as one of the drone-testing sites in Southern California. The FAA apparently expects to start small, with drones weighing less than around 55 pounds. The Global Hawk, perhaps the drone most widely used in military operations, weighs 15,000 pounds without fuel or payload. However, there’s no technical reason a drone couldn’t be as large as a fullsize airliner. Small drones are in limited use in the United States now for law enforcement, border surveillance and academic research. Industry experts told the Associated Press they anticipate a multibillion-dollar market for civilian drones once the FAA finishes drafting regulations to ensure that the drones will see DRONES, pg. 2
Associated Press Photo
Oscars still reign as king of awards shows The Oscars telecast Sunday night was another reminder that no matter how crass, boring, protracted, and predictable it may be, it’s still the one awards show that ranks above all others. BY MICHAEL SONG Star Reporter The Oscars telecast Sunday night was another reminder that no matter how crass, boring, protracted, and predictable it may be, it’s still the one awards show that ranks above all others. The Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, Country Music Awards can slather themselves in production numbers, televised red carpet preludes.
None holds a candle to the Oscars for self-congratulation, self-reference, selfreverence. None draws the same audience or the same slavering news coverage. None gets noticed in a column like this one. No organization seems as expert as the motion picture academy at drawing attention to itself and its awards, or feeding a very obliging press.
It’s not unusual for one example in a field to be the touchstone by which all others are weighed. China’s Three Gorges Dam may be more powerful than Hoover Dam (by a lot), but it will always be the Hoover Dam of China. Big-government technological efforts will always be their era’s moon landing. Duke Ellington will be the Mozart of jazz.
BY ALICE REILLY Star Reporter The Supreme Court says it won’t hear a case that would have let candidates solicit money from corporations. By doing so, the court is reaffirming one strict ban on corporate political money, three years ago after easing other limits in its controversial Citizens United ruling. Congress outlawed corporate contributions to candidates back in 1907. Now, two businessmen say that Citizens United makes that law unconstitutional.
Danielczyk and Biagi chalThe Justice Department is lenged the prosecuting corporate “Democracy requires investment bankers donation civic courage. The William ban before First Amendment does Danielczyk the trial and Eugene began. not protect you from Biagi for Last allegedly criticism.” week, the -Justice Sonia Sotomayor funneling Supreme corporate Court money into said it the old will take up a challenge to Senate and presidential the overall limit a donor can campaigns of Hillary Clinton. Danielczyk and Biagi give during a two-year elecchallenged the corporate tion cycle. Eliminating that umbrella limit would allow a donation ban before the donor to give the maximum. trial began. See SUPREME, pg. 5
Today’s debate over whether Seth MacFarlane was the worst Oscars host ever — the David Letterman of 2013? The James Franco? — is also a reminder that there are also plenty of touchstone pieces of Oscar history itself. But it’s probably safe to assume that among awards shows, there will only be one Oscars. Think of it as the Pulitzer Prize of awards shows.
Movie history provides many such touchstones. There’s “Citizen Kane,” one “Godfather” (out of three), one James Bond (Connery). Anne Hathaway can never be more than our time’s Katharine Hepburn, if that. But the movies are constantly reinventing themselves: Some toddler of today may grow up to be the Anne Hathaway of 2040. see OSCARS, pg. 4
Supreme Court will not hear campaign finance case on corporate donations
Golden State Star File Photo