This in turn suggests a broader story for which, sad to say, there is now a lot of fresh material: It would zero in on the curious economics of tragedies like this, focusing on Americans’ apparent impulse to send money to people they sympathize with even if they don’t need the money for anything related to the tragedy and it won’t alleviate their pain.
We saw it with the more than $15 million sent to the families of the Newtown, CT, children — and you can see it here at a website called “JusticeTM,” which solicits contributions for the “Trayvon Martin Foundation.” The purpose of that foundation, its website says, is to “pursue justice on behalf of Trayvon Benjamin Martin.”
What does that mean? The foundation’s required annual filing with the IRS isn’t due yet and won’t be publicly available for at least a year, but the website accepts donation by smart phone of as little as $10. What’s the money used for and how much has been raised?
4. Covering the AUVSI:
What’s the AUVSI? It’s the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. In other words, it’s the drone lobby. And if you think it’s got to be a new organization because drones have only recently become a big deal, think again. It was founded, according to its website, in 1978, although it went international, adding the “I,” in 1996. According to the website, AUVSI lobbies on issues from “air space” to “frequency spectrum.” Its “Diamond,” “Platinum,” “Gold,” and “Silver” level members include corporations from Boeing to Raytheon to GE to Lockheed Martin to companies you’ve never heard of but that sound pretty out there — such as Blue Fin Robotics, whose website says it makes “autonomous underwater vehicles.”
Any news organization looking for a window into this hot industry and all the regulatory, technical and policy issues associated with it, should drop in on the folks at AUVSI and see what they do all day.