Thursday, July 06, 2017

Electronic Newsgathering, the FAA and Drones


NJ Governor Chris Christie captured by an exclusive drone photo by, NJ Advance Media
Los Angeles, CA—The FAA is over-regulating while moving at a snail’s pace as drone technology is advancing at supersonic speed.  Right now camera drones manufactured by DJI are totally safe and virtually crash proof.
Despite claims of potential airline crashes and total mayhem there is not a single death, serious injury or significant property damage from our modern camera drones. They've been around for years now. 
TV news is spending millions that they really don’t have on $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 per hour news choppers.  Drones operate at a tiny fraction of the cost of news helicopters and they are much safer.  There are already million of drones out there in the hands of Americans of every description.
Noisy helicopters are a serious distraction to first responders even at the 500-foot altitude they are required to maintain.   Today’s camera drones fly much lower and can barely be heard.  The prop-wash from drones is miniscule. 
It was a low flying drone that recently caught New Jersey Governor Chris Christie arrogantly enjoying the beach he closed to the public during a fiscal crisis. Drones are actually superior to choppers for covering all manner of news stories except high-speed police chases.
Journalists everywhere are feeling the pinch of lost viewers and readers.  Newsroom budgets are under the ax all over the world right now.   Using drones can save jobs.  The single largest expenditure of every medium and large market American newsroom are for helicopters. 
Where is the media lobby when ignorant and paranoid politicians are trying to ban or restrict drones for electronic news gathering?  The First Amendment issues are glaring! 
Media organizations are fighting for survival right now but the empty suits in corporate management just don’t get it.  Commonsense and the desire to improve the product they are selling should motivate media executives to demand the FAA and Congress allow for unbridled drone use in urban areas.  Certainly,  just as helicopters are allowed drones belong integrated in our skies.
The spectacular video below was captured by a $1,000.00 DJI Mavic Pro, 4K camera drone. 




Sunday, June 25, 2017

13 MINUTES, A Crimefile News Film Review


 Political assassination is a sensitive subject especially for those that believe in their government and support their leaders.
Hindsight can make heroes or villains out of those who take the law into their own hands to end evil regimes. 
13 Minutes is about an assassin that saw his absolute social responsibility to kill a very popular politician, Adolf Hitler.
It was November of 1939 when carpenter and metal worker, Georg Elser, 36 undertook the killing of the most protected man in the world. 
Elser had associated with Communists and had joined a workers union.  Elser considered Hitler both a criminal and a Gypsy.  He felt the ambitious dictator was dangerous for humanity.
Elser hatched a clever plot to plant a bomb behind the speaker’s platform at the popular Burgerbraukeller Hall where Hitler gave an annual longwinded speech.  Elser was able to sneak into the venue at night spending two months rebuilding a wood and plaster column concealing an intricate and powerful time bomb. 
Hitler arrived but was pressed for time and gave a much-abbreviated speech.  He came with his high ranking henchmen including Josef Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, and Rudolph Hess.  Unfortunately the intended target left the venue just 13 minutes before the bomb went off. 
The huge blast killed eight people and another 62 were injured.   The relentless Gestapo dragnet for the bomber had begun.
Days later, Elser was detained at the Swiss border and found with tools and drawings connected to his failed plot.  He was handed over to the Gestapo.   The interrogation became the responsibility of Kripo (criminal police) head, Arthur Nebe.   
What followed was the six years of redundant, unimaginable torture and internment in the Dachau Concentration Camp.  They loosened Elser’s lips by threatening the love of his life a married woman named, Else Harlen, and his own close family members.
The movie is indeed a historical thriller. The films Director Oliver Hirschbiegel crafted into the grisly torture scenes cinematic flashbacks of Elsers’ remarkable life and relationships.   
As for the acting throughout the film every actor carries his or her weight in great style.   Christian Friedel as Georg Elser knocks his role out of the ballpark.  He’s followed by veteran actor, Burghart Klausner, (The People vs. Fritz Bauer and Bridge of Spies) who expertly plays Arthur Nebe. There is always a woman involved in these things and the very sensuous, Katharina Schuttler, played Elsner's married love interest. 
The film is in German and is certainly worth the effort to read the English subtitles.  It opens on 30 June at select theaters around the nation. 
Go see this film it won’t disappoint! Here's the trailer!






Sunday, May 07, 2017

FAA Drone Regulation, Is It Time For Mass Civil Disobedience?


Let me begin by saying my views on this subject are my own and doing what I suggest could result in prosecution. The risk however is very low…
Being an avid photographer for most of my life, the amazing drone technology has become an exciting addiction.  Ive been flying them for over four years now getting images I could only dream about before.  Placing great musical soundtracks on my videos has been pure joy.  

I fly really safe having never once damaged property or caused injury. I follow sound advice like staying away from other aircraft, flying well below 400 feet (flying higher does not aid in capturing great images).  I fly sober and watchful and accordingly I have never needed crash repairs.

I won’t ever ask permission to flyover or photograph private property.  That’s constitutionally protected activity that fixed wing and helicopters have enjoyed for years and there is plenty of settled appellate law that guides me.  

As for the FAA.  FAA rules, until drones became to be, were always written in the blood of actual air catastrophes. Prior restraint regulation was not part of the FAA’s culture until modern hobby drones appeared in our skies. 

Conventional pilots understood only too well that drones were going to invade their professional turf and threaten their livelihoods. Pilots and FAA officials entered into a public relations conspiracy to demonize drones, their operators and to frighten the public that their safety, privacy and wellbeing were at serious risk. 

Pilots were calling in phony drone sightings and near collisions constantly creating what I called, Drone Hysteria. The phony reports are few and far between now that the novelty has worn off. 

The Obama Administration’s FAA’s mouth was watering with the idea of punitive drone regulation followed by thousands of new enforcement jobs and promotions.  

Fortunately drones increased by a few million and still there were no collisions with conventional aircraft, serious injuries or property damage.  Any excuse to grow the FAA because of drones was and is a total failure.   

The FAA has since created a horrendous, two tiered system for drone operators with separate rules.  The somewhat relaxed hobbyist rules and the substantially burdensome, stricter and more unreasonable commercial user’s regulations.  

The Part 107 Commercial rules are petty, unfair and do nothing to make our airspace safer.  The simply make unnecessary work for everyone akin to digging holes only to fill them back up.

The petty, Part 107 rules are virtually unenforceable because the FAA lacks meaningful manpower to police them. 

Drone operators love answering questions to FAA officials and that ignorant behavior allows the FAA inspectors to easily build cases against them. If the drone operators simply were smart enough to ask for a lawyer instead of blabbing and making admissions there would be virtually no cases to prosecute.

It’s much easier to talk your way into a courtroom.  Keeping your mouth shut tight will do wonders to keep you out of trouble, away from lawyers, their fees and court fines.    

I say when in doubt, fly if you really need the images. Lets say your two miles from a major airport and you want to inspect a roof or capture real estate marketing material at less than 70 feet above the structures go ahead.  

If your in such an area considered sensitive, fly your drone early in the morning before the FAA, local police and public have had their coffee. Use your vehicles to shield drone take offs and landings. Above all fly low and safe. 

Above all tell your Congress people to get the FAA off of our backs and have them return to real safety issues with conventional aircraft. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Immigration, Trump and The Reality of a Political Power Grab.

Washington, DC--For the most part our Congress has been ruled by Democrats for the last 100 years.  Our Immigration laws that the executive Branch's elected officials and their appointed bureaucrats are sworn to enforce have not changed. The votes to change our immigration laws are just insufficient even with a Liberal majority.
So the open borders loving politicians can't get the law changed so they do the next best thing.  That's to obstruct, de-fund and denounce our border law enforcement efforts and employees. 

When the political Left (including Liberals like the father and son Bush team) owns the Whitehouse, educated, self-reliant and law abiding Europeans are turned away in favor of economic refugees that bring, ignorance, poverty, total dependence, crime and drugs from Mexico and regions South. 

Trump has merely said he'd enforce existing laws. Keeping his immigration promises has caused Liberal heads to explode. 

I'm appalled that under Obama European tourists have been forced to provide fingerprints and are subjected to unwarranted humiliation.  The Europeans spend millions of dollars that support many American families. Needless to say America is becoming a piranha for Europeans to visit now.

Democrats are in a rush for grabbing power and know impoverished dependent immigrants from  South of our border will vote for them.  So it's not about humanitarianism but rather seizing political power and shutting out Conservatives. 

We are all immigrants except those Europeans that were always subjected to extreme vetting, medical exams and loyalty testing.  The slightest problems would bring refusal to those seeking entry and they'd be put on boats returning them raptors Europe. 

The immigrants from below our border have been invited to evade our border security and stay here unchallenged.  They are not turned away from our emergency rooms for their violence related injuries or to give birth of their anchor babies. American taxpayers are forced to pay billions as they watched their healthcare system get flushed down the toilet because of impoverished illegal aliens.

Caught up in this illegal immigration horror are impoverished Americans, mostly minorities that must compete with the illegal aliens for jobs, healthcare and the food on their tables.  

Added to this immigration disaster are those invaders who hate our culture, customs and Christianity. They include people that are Hell-bent on harming and dominating Americans in the name of Islam. 

Humanitarianism or political power grab, you be the judge!




Saturday, February 18, 2017

It’s The Liberals That Are The True Fascists!

Los Angeles, CA—I can never understand how the Liberals always accuse Conservatives of being Fascists.  It’s the liberals that will do anything to force their will on Conservatives. 

Liberals demand that Conservatives pay for the illegal aliens, their medical care and anchor babies.  It’s the Liberals that want to force the Conservatives to pay for their abortions. It’s the Liberals that want to curb free speech calling anything they don’t like hate speech.  It’s the Liberals that want to take the Constitutional protected gun rights of Conservatives by force and violence (Yes, arrest and imprisonment is force and violence).  It’s the Liberals that want to force Conservatives to pay special interest extortionists for their Climate Change Theory.  
Conservatives simply want Liberals to leave their rights, religion and property alone.  Liberals insist on using the full force of the police powers against Conservatives, never the other way around.   

Liberals are violent when they don’t get their way.  Conservatives don’t riot or block traffic. Conservatives don’t want to force Liberals to pay for anything at all.  Conservatives believe in total free speech.  

Liberals need to own up to the fact that they love big government using police powers to force their will on others.   Liberals are the real Fascists…

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Current State of Drones, Laws, Regulations, Fear and Loathing.

Washington, DC--it's a painfully slow process for politicians and FAA bureaucrats to accept the need, legitimacy and relative safety of those little civilian drones. 
There was the initial hysteria of passenger jets crashing, mass privacy invasion because of those little drones.  The panic reaction was bolstered with thousands mistaken or deliberately false reports of sightings claiming drone misbehavior.  

Thankfully as the number of drones in civilian hands increased by leaps and bounds, the bogus reports quietly subsided considerably. 

Very recently progress has been made in allowing the commercial use of drones under a somewhat loosened set of rules and guidelines.  Along with the more realistic drone rules the FAA created the Part 107 licensing exemption with a written test for commercial drone pilots.  

They have allowed for considerable expansion of drone use in urban areas for news gathering, filmmaking, property inspection, marketing and photography.  

The FAA still must give a bit on night flights, first person view and use over highways and people. Slowly that too is happening.

The same is needed for low altitude flights below 150 feet near, but not adjacent to airports.  Inspecting a roof of a building with a drone that's a half mile from an airport from 30 feet above should not require anything more than simple caution. 

We've still not seen a single fatality, serious injury or property damage caused by a drone.  This despite nearly four million of them in the hands of all manner of men, women and children. 

Drones are a natural tool for news gathering purposes. Their excellent broadcast quality cameras, safe low altitude flight and minimal expense will save countless jobs in America's newsrooms.  

For news gathering drones are substantially preferable to helicopters in all but those high speed police chases.  The liability issues of drone use is also minuscule compared to that of helicopters. 

Still safety is a real concern along with the upscale price of drones that ultimately keeps their owners cautious. None of them want to see their precious drones damaged or lost.  

Finally superior drone video has become slowly integrated in our nation's TV newscasts.   There is virtually little noise and no pollution emitted from these marvelous little machines.

Hopefully police will begin to use them to document traffic accidents saving time and money.  Drones can cut the time busy streets are obstructed for traffic investigations by two-thirds.  

The Netherlands has been using them to deliver defibrillators to save the lives of heart attack victims.  Drones are excellent tools for use in critical missing persons cases, search and rescue. The benefits of our civilian drones make for a better and bright future.