Tag Archives: law

For Science Fiction Writers: Facts about Drones


This information is from Electronic Frontier Foundation. Any emphasis is theirs:

These records, received as a result of EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), come from state and local law enforcement agencies, universities and—for the first time—three branches of the U.S. military: the Air Force, Marine Corps, and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

The records show that the Air Force has been testing out a bunch of different drone types, from the smaller, hand-launched Raven, Puma and Wasp drones designed by Aerovironment in Southern California, to the much larger Predator and Reaper drones responsible for civilian and foreign military deaths abroad. The Marine Corps is also testing drones, though it chose to redact so much of the text from its records that we still don’t know much about its programs.

Perhaps the scariest is the technology carried by a Reaper drone the Air Force is flying near Lincoln, Nevada and in areas of California and Utah. This drone uses “Gorgon Stare” technology, which Wikipedia defines as “a spherical array of nine cameras attached to an aerial drone . . . capable of capturing motion imagery of an entire city.” This imagery “can then be analyzed by humans or an artificial intelligence, such as the Mind’s Eye project” being developed by DARPA. If true, this technology takes surveillance to a whole new level.

While LIDAR can be used to create high-resolution images of the earth’s surface, it is also used in high tech police speed guns—begging the question of whether drones will soon be used for minor traffic violations.

It’s not a far-fetched idea to use drones to replace the traffic cop. Drone manufacturer AeroVironment offers a few suggestions of their own for drone usage:

The Future is Unmanned

AeroVironment is a world leader in the design and manufacture of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Since the introduction of Pointer in 1986, considered by many to be the first true small UAS for military use, AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems have supported U.S. and allied Armed Forces with reconnaissance data, helped monitor forest fires, and penetrated and analyzed volcanic plumes.

UAS have more than proven their value in the military world. Today, UAS are utilized for applications closer to home. Whether monitoring our country’s borders, protecting its citizens, monitoring pipeline and utility assets or finding those who are lost and in distress, small UAS can be launched quickly, day or night, to provide precise situational awareness whenever and wherever they are needed.

Qube is a device already in use by police departments. AeroVironment offers suggestions for its use:

Qube® is a rugged and reliable small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) specifically targeting the needs of first responders. The packaged system fits easily in the trunk of a car, and can be assembled and ready for flight in less than five minutes to provide a rapidly deployable eye in the sky, transmitting live video directly to the operator at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft.

Small UAS like the Qube system can provide valuable capabilities to a broad range of industries and applications:

Public Safety – transported in the trunk of a police vehicle, the back of a fire truck or carried in a backpack, small UAS can provide immediate situational awareness to first responders, giving them a birds-eye view of the situation, day or night, to save lives and protect property.

Wildlife and Environmental Monitoring – already used to monitor sensitive wildlife areas and populations, small UAS are increasingly providing a means of collecting important information in inaccessible areas to facilitate more effective resource management.

Infrastructure Management – dams, pipelines, offshore oil platforms, microwave transmission towers, power plants and ports are some examples of large, sometimes remote infrastructure that can be accessed easily and safely by small UAS to provide color and thermal video for rapid visual inspection.

Scientific Research – peering into a volcano is made easier and safer with small UAS, and is just one example of the new ways this technology is helping scientists gain a better understanding of the way the earth and its biosphere operate.

You can see what Qube looks like by clicking the link: http://www.avinc.com/uas/small_uas/qube/

Modern Investigative Reporting Aids Those in Foreclosure


Warning: Off-topic subject, although it illustrates the value of old-fashioned investigative reporting.

After this post was written and scheduled, I came upon a news story that sets the context for the story. I will paste it here, in italics.

It’s easy to judge someone who spends more money than he makes and gets into financial trouble. It’s irresponsible. At first, that is the way I felt about all people who bought too much house, then lost their homes to foreclosure.

The more I read the background news stories, the more I came to believe many were lured into a snare designed by certain financial organizations to be a massive money-making machine. Select lenders and investment banking institutions purposely behaved irresponsibly because they had a plan. They figured out how to make money using “mismanagement”  and avoid consequences. (The perfect legal defense: “Your Honor, I used poor judgement and made some bad management decisions.”) Stupidity isn’t a crime, unless it can be proved to be a smoke screen for outright fraud. Once these banks were en masse in insolvency (they all did the same inane, irresponsible acts), then step two of the devious plan kicked in: suck massive amounts of free money out of the general populace through tax-supported bailouts. With no paybacks. Forever. (Where can I get me one of them? I’d like $40 million dollars a month indefinitely for being criminal stupid.)

Lend– bad loan, good loan, it doesn’t matter. Make money. Package and sell the bad mortgages to investors, teachers’ retirement funds, firemen’s retirement funds, policemen’s retirement funds, your retirement funds, foreign governments. Make money. Pass off the consequences to unsuspecting others. Mortgages defaults. Pension funds lose the money they need to pay out retirement benefits. Get government to tax citizens and give the $$$ to lenders–no strings attached, no pay back required. Bail out. Make money. Foreclosure.  Real Estate is sold. Make money. The cycle begins again. Make Money.

Sadly, citizens do pay consequences for bad behavior. That’s where the news story comes in. The institutions which figured out how to profit from fraud haven’t paid consequences–yet. That’s where the original post comes in. Someone clever has figured out a way to turn the game back on the banksters in certain circumstances.

But first the newly added news clipping from Reuters:

Spain promises to spare needy from eviction after suicides

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos promised on Monday that no needy family will go homeless over mortgage arrears, responding to public fury at a homeowner’s suicide as she was being evicted.

Facing accusations that politicians and banks are complicit in de facto “murder”, Spain’s banking association said its members would suspend eviction orders for two years for those borrowers worst hit by economic crisis and record unemployment.

Banks have repossessed close to 400,000 homes in Spain since a property bubble burst in 2008 and the nation subsequently sank into recession, throwing millions out of work and unable to keep up mortgage payments to the banks.

Last Friday’s suicide of 53-year-old Amaia Egana has inflamed a public already angered by what they see as a lack of compassion among Spanish banks, many of which have benefited from taxpayer-funded bailouts organized by the political elite.

Now to the originally scheduled post:

An investigative reporter discovered that a segment of the mortgage banking/ investment banking community purposely defrauded investors and homeowners. His investigative findings are now compiled in a book called Clouded Titles.

The subject bankers defrauded pension funds and other investors by selling worthless mortgage backed securities. The same bankers also unscrupulously by-passed laws governing title and mortgage records so that millions of homeowners with a mortgage may not be able to sell their homes. Why? Because the homeowner will not be able to provide clear chain of title, solely due to lender fraud and mismanagement. Further, the banks skipped out paying millions in taxes and fees to local governments when they short-cut the law through robo-signing and other techniques. So the mortgage-handling entities cheated investors; they swindled homeowners; they skipped out like a dead-beat parent on paying their fees and taxes to local, state and federal governments.

Currently, a multi-BILLION dollar lawsuit has been filed by the U. S. federal government seeking damages. There is a successful movement growing among injured mortgagees who are suing  in court to prevent eviction and foreclosure. Some have seen the courts stop the banks from foreclosing or even from collecting mortgage payments.

For anyone who has received repeated letters about a change in who owns your mortgage or a change to where you send your house payment, you may eventually learn your title is clouded and you may be paying someone who doesn’t legally own your mortgage, and therefore, your home.

For those persons, I am providing the following information about the author and his  book Clouded Titles.

Dave Krieger is a former major market radio news reporter and news director and television news reporter/anchorman and investigative journalist, who won national and state news awards from Associated Press Broadcasters. Dave was a former member of Radio and Television News Directors Association. Dave began studying law in early 1990; specializing in real estate, tort, consumer credit and collection issues.

His first self-published work, The Credit Restoration Primer, a 263-page, self-help, credit repair book, was first released in 1995 and is now entering its 4th Edition.

Dave currently serves as a paralegal and legal research analyst for Wade Kricken, an attorney in Dallas, Texas, who specializes in consumer and real estate law and foreclosure defense. He has lectured at the Texas County Clerk’s school hosted by the V.G. Young Institute and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and currently conducts audits of county land records and instructs attorneys on the subject of Chain of Title Assessments & Quiet Title Actions in continuing legal education courses around the country.

The newest version of his book, Clouded Titles, is 396 pages of updated information about the aspects of foreclosure defense, strategic default, quiet title actions and county land record functions; coupled with a detailed Index and Table of Case Citations and comes highly regarded by attorneys.

Additional commentary from MSNBC on a related subject– listen to the end to hear the “banking corruption” remark. Ignore the politics. This is your chance to look behind the curtain in OZ. It’s your life. You are the one behind the eight ball. You and your kids and your grandkids. Know who is using the system and putting the screws to you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TZ0LqnaeuA&feature=share&list=PL2WWM-Cq2nuJ59drKmEEfsSkwZ9C2n5Gm

You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me!


This post is way off topic, but I had to post it as an example of how crazy things are getting in the world. This excerpt came from www.zerohedge.com on 8/7/2012, posted at 18:37, submitted by Tyler Durden:

Last Friday, US Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced HR 6357, a bill which aims to ‘prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens’ by the federal government. In other words, in the Land of the Free, they need to pass a law to prevent the government from indiscriminately murdering its own citizens. Now if this doesn’t  give one reason to pause and consider the distortions of liberty that have taken place in western civilization, I don’t know what will.