Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Video: Dragonfly Drones in Flight

A must-see. These things are essentially indistinguishable from insects.

On another paranoid note, my latest FedEx delivery was opened (and presumably rummaged through with bureaucratic glee) by Homeland Security. That's two in a row, so I'm dumping my "random inspection" hypothesis. Either everything coming to the U.S. from Canada is getting opened or I'm on a list.

15 comments:

Elan said...

I guess I have a special interest in wondering if the contents arrived unscathed…..

Mac said...

Elan--

Yeah, I'm sure that's it! ;-)

Nick Redfern said...

Mac:

Make a big fuss about it, scan the envelopes with the HS stickers on and post for all to see. Get the word out. And demand that HS give you an answer why they are doing this.

It will be interesting to see if you get any "special treatment" when you go to Canada re your theater play...

Mac said...

Nick--

Given the insane momentum behind the "terrorist watchlist," I shouldn't be too surprised if I'm on it. I would imagine they target bloggers simply because they're relatively visible and easy to find -- and to hell with whether one's actually a potential threat.

It will be interesting to see if you get any "special treatment" when you go to Canada re your theater play...

I've been wondering about that.

Nick Redfern said...

Yeah that's the sad and pathetic thing: seems these days that anyone and everyone who dares speak out about this or that is viewed with suspicion.

There is some weird shit going down in the UK, what with all the young kids in the country slowly being finger-printed. Ostensibly, this is to make it easier to pay for school-dinners etc.

Right...

The fact that they will be on file to any and all official agencies that assert they have a right to access them is convenienty left unsaid by the faceless automatons in Government.

Then there's the plan to collect everyone's DNA in the UK, the new aerial police UAV/drones, chips placed in people's rubbish bins (garbage containers, for US-speak :) ), more and more cameras, and a continual eroding of civil liberties.

And most of this, it's quite clear, has nothing to do with real subversives; but has everything to do with trying to find more and more ways to keep watch on everyone - even those who are not a threat to anyone and never will be.

I am dismayed and disturbed by this increasing trend that if you disagree with what those in power say, you are viewed as being unpatriotic or as someone of suspicion.

This is, of course, complete and utter bollocks.

I have publicly disagree with much of the Big Brother bullshit that is going down in the UK. But I don't do so because I'm sinister or a threat. I do it because I love my country and I don't want to see it turned to shit by Big Brother types who use legitimate threats as an excuse just to create an ever-expanding database on everyone.

Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Oh yeah, that's right: it got tasered.

Elan said...

Should we remind the powers that be that Mac expressed his wish to see Americans make it back to the moon before the Chinese?

Anonymous said...

I've read that HS won't tell people WHY they're on the "no fly" list, for example. Your tax dollars at work undermining your freedoms.

Fact is, I worry about getting on "the list" just for posting anti Bush administration messages(a lot) on various political forums and sites. (I certainly do post plenty of them!)

Good luck with your play, Mac (as well as in getting to Canada!)

--W.M. Bear

Mac said...

Should we remind the powers that be that Mac expressed his wish to see Americans make it back to the moon before the Chinese?

That's right. I did. Although China on the Moon is ultimately better than no one on the Moon.

Uh-oh. Was that an anti-American statement?

Good luck with your play, Mac (as well as in getting to Canada!)

Thanks! Hopefully I won't need it...

wintermuse x9 said...

You might consider an FOIA/PA request to DHS and/or the FBI to try to see why your packages are being opened.

Of course, since all USG agency FOIA efforts are underfunded and semi-incompetent by current law and design, there will be no substantive response to an FOIA request for over a year, so it might be pointless as far as finding out anything soon.

As far as being on a travel watchlist, I found these two databits:

"Through the Department of Homeland Security's new Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, or TRIP, travelers can access a DHS Web site to try to resolve watch-list misidentification issues. TRIP lets travelers relay their watch-list concerns with a single request. The information is sent to DHS, which, in turn, shares it with the applicable agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of State, and, if appropriate, airport and airline operators.

“Eliminating false positives frees up our front-line personnel to apply even greater scrutiny of those individuals who truly present safety and security risks,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. For information about TRIP, go to www.dhsgov/trip."

[From: http://tinyurl.com/242mjo]

See also:
http://tinyurl.com/yuzjcs

[similar data from Wired, with additional recommendations]

There are many things going wrong in this country since 9/11/01. Paranoia, rights being restricted, an imminent surveillance society, hundreds of billions per year for the military/industrial/intelligence complex, etc. Perhaps the _real_ terrorists in Washington are winning.

They would make Osama so proud.

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of the H.S. but perhaps it was opened by Canadian authorities. Just a thought....

I've heard that a lot of pot and prescription drugs are shipped from up north to the U.S.

Dustin said...

I knew it! You're one of those darned subversives. ;-)

Seriously, I like Nick's idea. Take pictures of your opened packages, put them on-line, and see what the response is.

Also, go with the request of your FBI file. I wouldn't expect much, but it tells them you're paying attention. Back when I worked in classified research my name showed up on a friend's FBI file, referencing my file. I asked for my file and they claimed that there wasn't one. I knew better, but I figure at least they knew I was keeping an eye out for myself.

TJ said...

Mac how do you know it was Homeland Security per se, why could it have not been regular customs agents inspecting packages from foreign sources as they routinely do.

Countries like Mexico, Thailand and Brazil are targeted for extra scrutiny because of cocaine, steroids etc. and perhaps Canada is in the same situation because of prescription drugs.

A LOT of people buy meds from Canada, Mexico, and China which pisses off big pharma and the FDA.

Guys over on the life extension boards ocaasionaly get their shipments opened so it's not as if you are necessaily being singled out becuause of your political views.

mr. intense said...

"These things are essentially indistinguishable from insects."

I checked out the video--I'd have to say that the nearly one foot long, white, V-tailed objects shown in the video are _quite_ distinguishable from insects.

If I saw one of these even 50 to 100 feet away, it would certainly get my attention, which kind of makes them less than covert. I'd think, hmmmm...a very small RC controlled vehicle--where's my pellet gun? 8^}

Mac said...

TJ--

The tape on my packages has the Homeland Security seal all over it. I'm pretty sure it was them.

TJ said...

Well I'd say that's pretty strong evidence that HS is responsible then ;)