Category Archives: National

Colorado town deciding to grant applications for drone-hunting permits

Colorado town deciding to grant applications for drone-hunting permits

DENVER – Voters in one small Colorado town won’t decide until next month whether to issue hunting licenses to shoot down drones, but hundreds of marksmen are lining up for permits to fell such aircraft in the unlikely event any appear in local skies.

A resident of the small ranching and farming community of Deer Trail, 55 miles east of Denver, floated the whimsical idea of issuing permits as a way to protest the proliferation of unmanned aircraft used for commercial or government purposes, said town clerk Kim Oldfield.

drone-hunting permits

Town trustees decided last month to put the question to voters, Oldfield said, adding that there are vocal opponents to the idea among the 600 residents of the town, which boasts that it held the world’s first rodeo in 1869.

Oldfield said the town has been inundated with applications for the $25 permits, including from all over the country – and from as far away as Britain and Canada.

“I stopped counting when it hit 985,” she said.

Proponents envision a quirky festival surrounding the notion, with a skeet shooting contest using small model airplanes instead of clay targets. Oldfield said that and other events could attract tourists and infuse cash into town coffers.

“Our intention is really not to allow people to shoot things out of the sky,” she said.

Oldfield said she was setting aside the uncashed checks until voters decide the issue. If the town’s 380 registered voters reject the measure, the town will return the payments.

When the idea made headlines this summer, the Federal Aviation Administration took a dim view of firing at aircraft, even if it was just a publicity stunt.

In a statement, the agency warned against shooting at drones, noting that a downed aircraft could damage property or injure people on the ground, and could cause midair collisions.

“Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane,” the statement said.

But Deer Trail resident Phillip Steel, who proposed the license idea, said he was serious about protesting what he calls “a surveillance society.” He is selling his own mock licenses online and said about 150 people have purchased them.

If residents reject the ballot measure, Steel said he will continue selling his permits.

“They can’t vote me out,” he said.

The Rob Simone Talk Show Podcast: The Hopi Elders Speak Part 1

The Hopi Elders Speak! For the first time in a thousand years, the Hopi Elders are speaking out on a Critical Issue that threatens the FUTURE of the Hopi People… and maybe the world – Don’t Miss This Show

Around the world there are ‘people of the earth’ who still respect the natural world who are working to protect her and honor the energies of all life.

Stop privatization of water, the right to life. Stop corporate ownership of water, the right to life. We need to respect and protect our water, rivers, lakes and ground waters for future generations.

Now is the time for change to protect one of the worlds most valuable elements, water, an element that all life on earth needs to survive.

Being caretakers of the elements for thousands of years the Indigenous people understand that water is not a commodity to be bought, sold, polluted and destroyed for monetary gain.

Water is to be respected and honored as one of the elements of life itself.

Listen on iTunes Free

Home Owner Pulls Gun On Utility Worker to Stop Smart Meter Instillation (Video)

You don’t have to be a tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoiac to be worried that the electromagnetic radiation from modern wireless devices may be harmful to your health.

But are the “smart meters” being installed by utilities throughout the state frying homeowners’ brains, as many consumers and even municipal governments fear?

Breaking: How the government reads your emails without a warrant

Worried that the US government might be able to read your emails? Don’t be — they already can! The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the feds to come clean on why — and what — they do with the personal correspondence of its citizens.

The ACLU has filed request under the US Freedom of Information Act in hopes of learning more about the powers the government has granted itself to snoop through the emails, texts and instant messages of Americans. Being able to browse through correspondence without a warrant is a power that the government has had for ages, but with the Internet making sending mail as easy as a click of a button, the ACLU says it is about time the feds fix their current policies.

The organization writes in a recent press release that they are going after the FBI, US Justice Department, IRS and US Attorneys Offices around the country with the intent of figuring out why the government is so interested in sticking its nose in the inboxes of millions of Americans. They have sent FOIA requests to all of those agencies in which they ask “about the government’s policies, procedures and practices for accessing the content of private electronic communications.”

In the long run, the ACLU hopes for a law change.

The ACLU note that, since the 1870s, the government has been able to leer at the personal letters between Americans as long as they are older than 180 days, all without a warrant. Such legislation is also applied to electronic communication, but with ever expanding technology allowing Internet users to essentially keep communiqué on file for an eternity, this allows for not just impressively large “unread message” counts on inboxes across America — it also gives the government at even large cache of correspondence to call their own — without a warrant.

“In an era when everyone stores their email forever, this rule makes no sense and puts a great deal of personal information at risk,” writes the ACLU. “Unfortunately, the government continues to take advantage of an outdated law to read Americans’ private electronic communications without a warrant.”

The ACLU adds that the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit wrote in 2010 that “By obtaining access to someone’s email, government agents gain the ability to peer deeply into his activities,” acknowledging the privacy violations could be brought up by government intervention in emails and texts. In the meantime, however, the government at large hasn’t addressed the issue.

“The appeals court got it right, but its decision is only binding in a few states, and it’s not clear that the government follows its guidance in much of the country,” adds the ACLU. “Once we hear back from the government, we will share what we learn.”

Police State?! People Who said “it Could’nt Happen” Must See – Video

Where does the the need for growing security stop and our civil right end?
There are great improvements to fighting crime, but most of them involve eroding our privacy, and
NOT fixing the broken criminal justice system and the privatization of the jails.

Where will the path of security end? will we fell safe when we are watched all the time?

Espionage! Air force computer network for UAV’s Hacked – Inside Job

U.S. military base found a keylogger on their network specifically targeting UAVs

U.S. Army expects unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have a greater role in future military operations, but it is still obvious things that need to be resolved. One such thing is the safety of UAV that rely on computer-controlled, which may jeopardize a professional criminals and foreign governments.

Virus found a Host-Based Security System is a computer used in Nevada Creech Air Force Base. In particular, the virus remotely logged keystrokes for computers used by pilots to control the Predator and Reaper unmanned aircraft to perform in Afghanistan.

“We will wipe off, and it falls back,” Anonymous sources said. “We think it is benign. But we just do not know.”

Creech officer now receives daily briefings on a computer virus, but seems to be business as usual.

Both the Predator and Reaper drones actively flying in the Middle East, and there are no immediate plans to land an unmanned fleet until the problem has been solved.

It is unknown if this is reported with a keylogger has been deliberately placed on a data network, but it is an extremely serious matter. It is hopeful optimism that the relatively common keylogger was simply placed on the network by mistake – but it is also something that must be taken into due account.

Meanwhile, the British Royal Air Force and other nations with growing fleets of UAVs are also monitoring the Cyber ??questions that the U.S. military has to deal with.

Benign or not, a keylogger will remain a serious concern for security experts worried that the military experts, and private contractors to make improvements.

Previous U.S. Army warns of documents for non-military, commercial computer parts purchased in Asia, which should not be used for military bases. The ease with which the USB memory sticks and other external devices can be used for the bottom – when he uses the base-line – has remained a problem.

Homeland Security discover new terrorist threat that could devastate the Southwest of US


A senior staffer at Homeland Security revealed that a threat to the Southwest region of the US is
imminent in the next few months.

The threat is one that happens every year, forest fires.
High heat and no rain make millions of rural and suburban area susceptible to bush fires.
The devastation to the economy, infrastructure and loss of property are severe.

In a cell that was discovered near Portland Oregon of “persons of a undisclosed nationality” plans were drawn up to set multiple fires in forest from California to Colorado.
The plan called for using self igniting fire bombs that could be remotely detonated by radio frequency.
These networks of fires were coordinated to maximize wind patterns, counties with limited fire fighting resources and response time and current fire risk.

The result would be the largest loss of land and fire that the world has ever seen.
To defend against this threat is virtually impossible. The consequences would loss of life and
cloud of smoke over America.

Officials advise to aware of any suspicious activity in the next few months. You can make a difference.


Mitt Romney receives 1 million dollars from a “mysterious” corporation


Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign could face sharp questions after an independent political committee supporting him accepted a whopping $1 million from a company that vanished into thin air, campaign finance watchdogs said yesterday.

The mysterious company, W Spann LLC, was created by a lawyer at the Boston firm Ropes & Gray and then folded shortly after the donation was made, according to NBC News. That move may indicate a “sham organization” created to shield Romney’s financial supporters, said Michael Beckel, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that examines campaign donation records.

“There’s serious potential for blowback (against Romney),” Beckel warned. “Former Romney aides are involved in this group — so even if they are independent, it’s not like they’re strangers.”

Yesterday, a Romney spokeswoman said the campaign has no connection to the so-called SuperPAC, Restore Our Future, created by Charles Spies, Romney’s former general counsel in 2008, his former political director Carl Forti and former spokesman Larry McCarthy.

The PAC raised $12.2 million during the first six months of 2011 and has publicly said it’s backing Romney, but it is not officially connected to Romney’s campaign and can receive unlimited funds from individuals and corporations because of a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that removed a ban on corporate political donations.

W Spann LLC was incorporated in Delaware in March and made a $1 million contribution to Restore Our Future on April 28, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. The company folded on July 12, two weeks before the PAC made its first disclosure of its donors this year.

NBC News, which first reported the donation, said a Boston lawyer, Cameron Casey of Ropes & Gray, formed the company. Casey did not return calls for comment.

Brittany Gross, spokeswoman for Restore Our Future, declined to say whether PAC officials asked for identifying information from W Spann LLC. She referred to a statement that said PAC officials followed federal election laws.

Paul Ryan, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said federal election and justice officials should determine if the donation broke campaign laws.

“Just because the general public doesn’t know where money comes from doesn’t mean that Mitt Romney doesn’t know or that Mitt Romney’s SuperPAC doesn’t know,” Ryan said. “These sorts of practices deprive the voting public of valuable information as to who is trying to influence a candidate with million-dollar checks.”

40 years after leak, the Pentagon Papers are Released

WASHINGTON — Call it the granddaddy of WikiLeaks. Four decades ago, a young defense analyst leaked a top-secret study packed with damaging revelations about America’s conduct of the Vietnam War.

On Monday, that study, dubbed the Pentagon Papers, finally came out in complete form. It’s a touchstone for whistleblowers everywhere and just the sort of leak that gives presidents fits to this day.

The documents show that almost from the opening lines, it was apparent that the authors knew they had produced a hornet’s nest.

Pictured – Joint Chiefs of Staff meet at the LBJ Ranch, 12/22/1964

In his Jan. 15, 1969, confidential memorandum introducing the report to the defense chief, the chairman of the task force that produced the study hinted at the explosive nature of the contents. “Writing history, especially where it blends into current events, especially where that current event is Vietnam, is a treacherous exercise,” Leslie H. Gelb wrote.

Asked by Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara to do an “encyclopedic and objective” study of U.S. involvement in Vietnam from World War II to 1967, the team of three dozen analysts pored over a trove of Pentagon, CIA and State Department documents with “ant-like diligence,” he wrote.

Their work revealed a pattern of deception by the Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy and prior administrations as they secretly escalated the conflict while assuring the public that, in Johnson’s words, the U.S. did not seek a wider war.

The National Archives released the Pentagon Papers in full Monday and put them online, long after most of the secrets spilled. The release was timed 40 years to the day after The New York Times published the first in its series of stories about the findings, on June 13, 1971, prompting President Richard Nixon to try to suppress publication and crush anyone in government who dared to spill confidences.

Prepared near the end of Johnson’s term by Defense Department and private analysts, the report was leaked primarily by one of them, Daniel Ellsberg, in a brash act of defiance that stands as one of the most dramatic episodes of whistleblowing in U.S. history.

Pentagon Papers Links:

Vietnam and the U.S., 1940-1950

U.S. Involvement in the Franco-Viet Minh War, 1950-1954

Evolution of the War. U.S. Ground Strategy and Force Deployments: 1965 – 1967. Volume II: Program 5

Justification of the War. Public Statements. Volume II: D–The Johnson Administration

As scholars pore over the 47-volume report, Ellsberg said the chance of them finding great new revelations is dim. Most of it has come out in congressional forums and by other means, and Ellsberg plucked out the best when he painstakingly photocopied pages that he spirited from a safe night after night, and returned in the mornings.

He told The Associated Press the value in Monday’s release was in having the entire study finally brought together and put online, giving today’s generations ready access to it.

At the time, Nixon was delighted that people were reading about bumbling and lies by his predecessor, which he thought would take some anti-war heat off him. But if he loved the substance of the leak, he hated the leaker.

He called the leak an act of treachery and vowed that the people behind it “have to be put to the torch.” He feared that Ellsberg represented a left-wing cabal that would undermine his own administration with damaging disclosures if the government did not make him an example for all others with loose lips.

It was his belief in such a conspiracy, and his willingness to combat it by illegal means, that put him on the path to the Watergate scandal that destroyed his presidency.

Nixon’s attempt to avenge the Pentagon Papers leak failed. First the Supreme Court backed the Times, The Washington Post and others in the press and allowed them to continue publishing stories on the study in a landmark case for the First Amendment. Then the government’s espionage and conspiracy prosecution of Ellsberg and his colleague Anthony J. Russo Jr. fell apart, a mistrial declared because of government misconduct.

The judge threw out the case after agents of the White House broke into the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist to steal records in hopes of discrediting him, and after it surfaced that Ellsberg’s phone had been tapped illegally. That September 1971 break-in was tied to the Plumbers, a shady White House operation formed after the Pentagon Papers disclosures to stop leaks, smear Nixon’s opponents and serve his political ends.

The next year, the Plumbers were implicated in the break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building.

Ellsberg remains convinced the report — a thick, often tough read — would have had much less impact if Nixon had not temporarily suppressed publication with a lower court order and had not prolonged the headlines even more by going after him so hard. “Very few are going to read the whole thing,” he said in an interview, meaning both then and now. “That’s why it was good to have the great drama of the injunction.”

The declassified report includes 2,384 pages missing from what was regarded as the most complete version of the Pentagon Papers, published in 1971 by Democratic Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska. But some of the material absent from that version appeared — with redactions — in a report of the House Armed Services Committee, also in 1971. In addition, at the time, Ellsberg did not disclose a section on peace negotiations with Hanoi, in fear of complicating the talks, but that part was declassified separately years later.

The 40th anniversary provided a motivation for government archivists to declassify the records. “If you read anything on the Pentagon Papers, the last line is always, ‘To date, the papers have yet to be declassified by the Department of Defense,'” said A.J. Daverede, director of the production division at the National Declassification Center. “It’s about time that we put that to rest.”

The center, part of the National Archives, was established by a 2009 executive order from President Barack Obama, with a mission to speed the declassification of government records.

If not with the same personal vendetta, presidents since Nixon have acted aggressively to tamp down leaks. Obama’s administration has pursued cases against five government leakers under espionage statutes, more than any of his recent predecessors.

Most prominent among the cases is that of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, an intelligence analyst accused of passing hundreds of thousands of military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks. The administration says it provides avenues for whistleblowers to report wrongdoing, even in classified matters, but it cannot tolerate unilateral decisions to release information that jeopardizes national security.

Ellsberg served with the Marines in Vietnam and came back disillusioned. A protégé of Nixon adviser Henry Kissinger, who called the young man his most brilliant student, Ellsberg served the administration as an analyst, tied to the Rand Corporation. The report was by a team of analysts, some in favor of the war, some against it, some ambivalent, but joined in a no-holds-barred appraisal of U.S. policy and the fraught history of the region.

To this day, Ellsberg regrets staying mum for as long as he did.

“I was part, on a middle level, of what is best described as a conspiracy by the government to get us into war,” he said. Johnson publicly vowed that he sought no wider war, Ellsberg recalled, a message that played out in the 1964 presidential campaign as LBJ portrayed himself as the peacemaker against the hawkish Republican Barry Goldwater.

Meantime, his administration manipulated South Vietnam into asking for U.S. combat troops and responded to phantom provocations from North Vietnam with stepped-up force.

“It couldn’t have been a more dramatic fraud,” Ellsberg said. “Everything the president said was false during the campaign.”

His message to whistleblowers now: Speak up sooner. “Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait until the bombs start falling.”

Supreme Court orders California to release tens of thousands of prison inmates


The 5-4 decision represents one of the largest prison release orders in U.S. history. The court majority says overcrowding has caused ‘suffering and death.’ In a sharp dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia warns ‘terrible things are sure to happen.’

The Supreme Court ordered California on Monday to release tens of thousands of its prisoners to relieve overcrowding, saying that “needless suffering and death” had resulted from putting too many inmates into facilities that cannot hold them in decent conditions.

It is one of the largest prison release orders in the nation’s history, and it sharply split the high court.

Justices upheld an order from a three-judge panel in California that called for releasing 38,000 to 46,000 prisoners. Since then, the state has transferred about 9,000 state inmates to county jails. As a result, the total prison population is now about 32,000 more than the capacity limit set by the panel.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said California’s prisons had “fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements” because of overcrowding. As many as 200 prisoners may live in gymnasium, he said, and as many as 54 prisoners share a single toilet.

Kennedy insisted that the state had no choice but to release more prisoners. The justices, however, agreed that California officials should be given more time to make the needed reductions.

In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia called the ruling “staggering” and “absurd.”

He said the high court had repeatedly overruled the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for ordering the release of individual prisoners. Now, he said, the majority were ordering the release of “46,000 happy-go-lucky felons.” He added that “terrible things are sure to happen as a consequence of this outrageous order.” Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

In a separate dissent, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the ruling conflicted with a federal law intended to limit the power of federal judges to order a release of prisoners.

State officials and lawyers for inmates differ over just how many prisoners will have to be released. In recent figures, the state said it had about 142,000 inmates behind bars, and the judges calculated the prison population would need to be reduced to about 110,000 to comply with constitutional standards.

Kennedy said the judges in California overseeing the prison-release order should “accord the state considerable latitude to find mechanisms and make plans” that are “consistent with the public safety.”

The American Civil Liberties Union said the court had “done the right thing” by addressing the “egregious and extreme overcrowding in California’s prisons.”

David Fathi, director of the ACLU national prison project, said “reducing the number of people in prison not only would save the state taxpayers half a billion annually, it would lead to the implementation of truly rehabilitative programs that lower recidivism rates and create safer communities.”

Meanwhile, the court took no action on another California case in which a conservative group is challenging the state’s policy of granting in-state tuition at its colleges and universities to students who are illegal immigrants and have graduated from its high schools.

The justices said they would consider the appeal in a later private conference.