Monday, June 22, 2015

The Confederate Flag's Image and Meaning…

Charleston, SC—It’s never the losers of wars that write the history books.  With glee, the winners demonize the losers at every opportunity in anything published about the conflicts.
Our Civil War was much more about a heavy handed federal government and states rights than slavery.  Personally, I abhor the concept of slavery.  
Today that same federal government has made slaves out of every taxpayer.  They take more than half of what we earn and reward corrupt businesses that bribe politicians. 
The slavery of the Negro is distant history. Nobody alive today owned slaves or were slaves except for taxpayers of every color.
The Confederate flag represents among other things thousands of brave young American men that gave their lives fighting for their country.   It’s not a symbol of racism or hate. 
Saying all that, ignorance and propaganda has relentlessly maligned the flag over the many years at least to African-Americans it has become a symbol of hate. 
We will never be able to educate the millions of misinformed people of all races about the flag.  There is not a reason to bother educating them today.
Under the circumstances the flag has be defiled and misinterpreted beyond hope.  Accordingly removing it as an effort of political correctness will not harm society.
Rewriting history is what people do.  There is no cure for propaganda and ignorance in humans.
If it makes African-Americans and the ignorant happy,  removing the old Stars and Bars from government buildings, it’s a small price to pay to co-exist peacefully.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Uber Ridesharing Service and Their Laughable New Gun Ban

Los Angeles, CAUber has taken the taxi business to new highs or perhaps lows.  The convenient but overpriced service you order and pay for on your smartphone has suddenly banned firearms both drivers and passengers.
The right of self-defense is not something politicians or corporate suits can abridge. Our creator gave us the gift of fear and the instinct for survival. We are all alive because most of us understand  threats, danger and that injury or death is no option.
Some of us have had charmed lives always living and working in safe places where behavior is civilized.  Others have had to live and work where rape, robbery and murder is a reality.  Some of us understand the need to be prepared for self-defense much better than others. 
Uber decreed their fleet of vehicle as “Gun Free” with a press release and a prayer.  Do they really think their policy is somehow enforceable?  I suppose if they find out a gun somehow was in possession of a passenger or driver they can try and retaliate somehow.  If a gun was used by a driver or passenger to end a violent crime, who would give a rat’s ass what Uber thought about it?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Why Must State and Local Government Bully Food and Snack Cart Vendors?

Los Angeles, CA—There everywhere, small trucks, vans, carts and stands.  They offer water, beverages, ice cream and snacks. 
These are the equivalent of a kid’s lemonade stand.  In L.A. people with highly questionable immigration status seem to exclusively operate them. 
The vendor’s seem to have sanitation challenges since they don’t seem to have access to hot water to wash their hands.  I think we are all capable of deciding if their products are fit for consumption.
The vendor’s products are cheap and service is fast.  Most importantly the vendors aren’t stealing, begging or damaging our way of life.
The complaints against the food carts are nearly the exclusively owners of local brick and mortar shops and restaurants.
The brick and mortar set have the additional government tyranny to deal with over the new $15.00 per hour minimum wage!. That is in no the way the fault of the food cart operators!
The complainers carp and whine about abut unfair competition.   That and their own high cost to do business, along with heavy-handed over regulation, taxes and health inspections are a problem for the brick and mortar folks.
Beating up on the cart vendors because you are too timid and weak to fight government tyranny is both cowardly and wrong.  That bullying resulted in exactly what the L.A. City Council has done. They shut down most of the carts with a new ordinance. 
America was founded on the concept of free enterprise. Corrupt government officials are always looking to create monopolies for those who reward their extortion.  They’ve managed to do this everywhere with permits, licenses and fees.
I say leave the cart owners alone!  The way to combat the vendor cart competition is with better sanitation, competitive prices and service. 
The cart vendors have enough difficulties and challenges.  I say leave them alone and be satisfied if you’re not running a food cart yourself! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My DJI Inspire 1 Camera Drone is Amazing!

Van Nuys, CA—I’ve been hooked on camera drones for a while now and I very recently picked up a new addition to my five drone, air force. 
My drone dealer of choice is, which is also a brick and motor store located very close to the Apollo IX Model Aircraft Field between Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks.
This time it was the coveted DJI Inspire 1 with its dedicated 4K camera.  The Inspire I’s camera is distortion free unlike the GoPro cameras.  With the GoPro you can fix the distortion in postproduction but it’s a pain in the butt, at least for me.
The Inspire 1 camera will also shoot 12 megapixel stills.  Previously I simply grabbed a frame from the Go Pro camera.  I can control the camera from the controller so this is literally just a snap now.  A12 megapixel photograph is a lot richer than any video grab. 
This is a great drone for two.  You simply use two controllers with two monitors.  The pilot operates the drone while the second operator can independently control every aspect of the camera.  This essentially frees the pilot to concentrate exclusively on flying.  Of course, a single pilot can handle both jobs alone but it’s a bit more challenging.  For a couple in love, operating the Inspire 1 would only be second to the bedroom for fun. 
The Inspire 1 can travel 45 miles per hour and be operated from a motor vehicle.  You can program the drone to land exactly where it took off, or it can home in on the controller's location. If you’re moving in a boat or motor vehicle, that is imperative.
Following moving trains, vehicles, boats or horses from the air with the Inspire 1 can be easily be accomplished.  You're limited only to the 18 minute flight time and top speed of the drone.  
The Inspire 1 is faster, more stable and larger than the DJI Phantom series.  Traveling with the inspire 1 on commercial airlines may be difficult if it won’t fit in some airline’s overhead bins. 
The new DJI Phantom 3 drone costs only one third of the Inspire and is has most of the features including a similar camera.  Understandably for globetrotters the Phantom 3 may be a more practical choice.
My primary drone use among other things will be electronic newsgathering.  Somehow I managed to earn two aerial film credits on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) so filmmaking is included.
The Inspire 1 controller has an HMDI connection socket that makes broadcasting a live video feed possible for television.
Both the Inspire 1 and the Phantom 3 have a built in capability to stream live video to YouTube.  You simply give your live feed video link to your intended audience members and they can see your flight live from anywhere on the globe! 
The application uses the microphone on your smartphone or tablet.  That enables the pilot to talk to his or her audience during the live flight.  Of course once the flight is over the video stays on YouTube like any other upload.
I’m still getting familiar with my Inspire and I hope to put many videos up very soon. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Feeling Like You’re being watched Lately? Yes, You Are!

Town of Paradise Valley, AZ—If you don’t like cameras pointed at you, you'd better learn to smile.  They are here to stay watching, documenting and exposing all of your public behavior to the world.
With the new consumer camera drone technology the camera shy folks are in paranoia overdrive.  These people seem to have forgotten that cameras are watching them 24/7 everywhere.
From the time you leave your front door until you return cameras are constantly watching you.  Some you can see and there are many others you can’t.
For example if you enter the Town of Paradise Valley, Arizona in a vehicle a camera concealed in a cactus grabs the license plate number. It’s placed in a searchable database that allows the town government to know each vehicle’s exact movements. 
There are live cameras capturing and saving video everywhere.  Some store video for a short time others keep video indefinitely only limited by the size of their hard drives.
From the time you enter retail stores and their parking lots until leave there is a full video record all of your visit.  
Your neighbor’s home security cameras are easily pointed at your driveway documenting your activities.  Those cameras can be both overtly visible or covert and unseen. 
The reality is that if you’re in a place outside your own home that can be seen and photographed from any angle. Your backyard swimming pool is no sacred refuge.  
Satellites, fixed wing airplanes and occasionally helicopters, are constantly photographing the outside of your home from the sky. 
When I investigate crimes I make every effort to look for and ask about surveillance cameras.  You can nearly always find cameras that have captured at least a portion of most serious crimes.  Of course I must get to the camera’s owner before the hard drive begins to record over the earlier video.
Today you can’t watch a local news broadcast on TV without seeing samples of this video.  Remember you only see the crappy video where the characters are not readily identified. 
There is hardly a murder case anymore where clear video does not become evidence that prosecutors can use either to coerce a plea deal or enter at a trial. 
If you've picked your nose in public I promise you that some camera has captured that image.
Right now there are millions of illicit cameras in hotels, motels apartment building’s bath and shower rooms.  Today the infamous character Norman Bates from the film “Psycho” would be watching his undressed guests in high definition on large monitors or on his smartphone screen. 
Speaking of smartphones, we all now have high definition video cameras in our pockets!  At the first sign of something unusual happening the cameras are out of the pockets!  There is no escape from the unblinking camera lenses! 
Sorry folks the Genie is long out of the bottle and like it or not, you’re on candid camera.
As for the little consumer drones that may occasionally fly over your home are really inconsequential when you look at the big picture.  

Sunday, June 07, 2015

A Happy Update to Report on My Missing Person’s case, Oliver “Pareece” Jones!

Oliver Jones
Mazatlan, Mexico—I’ve been able to verify through Oliver "Pareece"  Jones’ sister that he’s been located here and is safe.  I know his five children are celebrating today and are very anxious to be reunited with their father.
The personal details are sketchy right now but they seem to surround a head injury Jones received in Hollywood just before he vanished on or about April 4th.    
I wish to thank the San Bernardino, CA Sheriff’s Police of Rancho Cucamonga for their diligent and professional efforts. 
Additionally I want to thank KTLA-TV, NBC-4, ABC-7, KCBS/KCAL-TV and ABC News Network for their efforts in informing their Southern California audience of the crisis and broadcasting Pareece’s pictures everywhere!  
Special Thanks go to KTLA’s great reporters, Kareen Wynter, Sara Welch and Rick Chambers for their interest and concerns.  KTLA’s five hours of broadcast local news was incredibly valuable and comforting to the emotionally distraught Jones family.
Like me the family was prepared for the worst but this miraculous ending is indeed a joy to report.  

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Open Carry of Firearms, Things to Consider

Houston, TX—Like many people I believe in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. There is no question in my mind that Americans have the absolute right to keep and carry arms everywhere.  Politicians and some courts differ with this as they attempt to violate Americans rights under color of law.
Saying that, mentioning the foolishness of civilians openly carrying firearms must be discussed and debated.  The debate about the law here is long over for me.  Open carry or any carry is the law of the land.  The debate about the wisdom of open carrying in an urban setting must continue.
Just because you can carry openly should you? 
I say that open carry is incredibly problematic and will put you in prison or worse!  Let’s begin with the worse.  If you’re carrying a gun for personal and family security doing that openly, deprives you of the element surprise needed to survive a violent event.   Even worse, experienced violent criminals can be counted upon to attempt to strong-arm you for your weapon. The tactical disadvantages of open carry are huge.
Other challenges are laid out like mines in a minefield.  I’ve seen the fallout of open carry first hand. Here are just some scenarios:
A gun rights hater sees you with your gun and calls 911.  The story this jerk tells is exaggerated in many different ways because the caller wants to see the police confront you and your gun.  The 911 caller will say, “the guy appears drugged up or drunk” or “The guy looks mean and angry and has his hand on the gun!” or “The guy is paying quick draw in the street!” The police can be counted on to treat the call like it is valid and the potential for disaster here is enormous.
Then there is the town troublemaker who will see your weapon and will try to aggravate you and instigate to the point where something stupid happens.
Last but not least is the malicious person that you may or may not know.  He or she wants to see you in jail and calls 911 saying, “there’s a guy with a gun and he pointed at me and threatened to shoot me!”  The police arrive and see you carrying the gun as described.  With a complainant that continues with this lie the police have absolute probable cause to arrest you for a felony crime of Aggravated Assault. 
They will arrest you, seize your gun and you will spend the next year of your life fighting the lie in court.  Between the huge cost for bail and lawyers, even if you win in court you lose.  Yes, I’ve seen innocent people sent to prison for as much as seven years this way.
If you are arrested for Aggravated Assault there is an 80% chance you will be convicted. Innocence is really irrelevant in today’s American courtrooms.
If you are discreet and keep your weapon concealed you can avoid so many real booby traps that can kill you or ruin your life.  Why would you take the unnecessary risks of open carry?
Saying all of that there are places where open carry is not a problem Events like those put on by SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) or for filmmaking.
I simply ask you to think before you place yourself in harm’s way by openly carrying. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner, The Fallout and Opinions are Mixed

Malibu, CAI weighed in yesterday on this story and I'm somewhat disappointed in many people including some of my own friends.   Many of the comments I received are not fit to print.
Bruce Jenner was an unquestioned world-class athlete and sports hero.  Jenner for the most part enjoyed a charmed life of wealth while he was always in the close company of beautiful women.  Now with a medically facilitated sex change Bruce is now Caitlyn
This non-political story has the political Right and Left taking sides.  That makes no sense to me.  
There was an apparent downside to this charmed life in the form of a life long desire for Jenner to be a woman.  Experts differ on the cause or pathology this peculiar sex confusion phenomenon.   Jenner is not alone since there are apparently millions of similar examples of transgendered people in our world.
The so-called experts have no concrete answers, cure or even an effective treatment for this malady. There are those that call Jenner insane, sick, perverted or worse.  We seem to judge insanity on the failure of people to reasonably function in their daily lives. I don't think anyone could label Jenner that way.  Perhaps those people concerned or worried need to get a life.
Transgendered people are historically non-violent and there is little evidence that they have any negative impact at all on society.  Why are some people concerned enough about Jenner to condemn, complain or hate what Jenner does with the remaining years of his/her life? 
Jenner deserves some slack from everyone.  This thing will play out in a high profile and public manner at least until the novelty wears off.  Jenner will make a mountain of cash that will soon find its way to his/her children and grand children.
Should this transgender situation wipe out an otherwise amazing and productive life?  Is there some reason to believe that suddenly Jenner will suddenly become unkind, evil or even homicidal?  Jenner has an absolute right to present and or promote the new persona “Caitlyn”.   Life is far too short for anyone possibly offended to concern himself or herself with Jenner’s new life. 
Now if anyone can tell me how this Jenner transgender thing will damage society feel free to let me know.