Tag Archive | "drones"

The Rose Colored Glass on Canada

 We can gain a lesson about being deceived by the rose colored glass from the U.S. government’s intrusion into Canada.

This is the second post in a series on how to protect ourselves from perceptions created by the rose colored glass.  See the first post  if you missed it… Beating illusions from the rose colored glass.

When investing I look for ideas that will never change… like our need for food, water, clothing.

When it comes to lifestyle I work on the premise that things will always change.  No one can see what will happen in any one country’s future.

Canada for example always leaves me with a warm… wooly feel.  Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Vancouver BC were like part of town.  We went in and out as if we were residents there.

The Canadians are the sensible… peaceful nation than the elephant they sleep with and should emulate more.   If it were not for those cold winters!

Yet we’ll see here how things are achangin.

More on government intrusion into Canada in a moment.   First. may I share what a glorious day it is up here in the Blue Ridge Mountains?   The garden is bursting with colors like an English


country garden… especially the lilies and rose.


Rose in our garden.

The veggie garden is doing well.  No more lettuce will be required from the store and we have squash, tomatoes and beans getting ready and the…


first sunflowers are nicely in bloom.


There is a nice explosion of Day Lilies in front of the house and at the entrance… a very


colorful array.


Our Super Thinking + Writer’s camp starts here this evening and I was talking to one of the delegates who arrived early.

He noted how this has all the qualities of a great survival place… isolated… far from any major city, plentiful gravity fed water… abundant availability of food, fuel (wood)  and hydro power.  Many think we moved here for this reason… but it’s the beauty… freshness… the ability for morning barefoot walks in wet grass amidst the gardens… for some running with the hound up to the hot tub getting the wood stove burning… enjoying the smoky feel in the woods and a hot soak.


Here is our deep woods, spring fed. wood fired heated, cedar Japanese Ofuru soaking tub.


Every soak is in fresh filled, mineralized, gravity fed sacred waters from an ancient spring that is a historical site.

These wonderful features are why Merri and I are here during the summers and fall.  Any survival features are an added benefit because we should gravitate to what we love… not run from our fears.

Back to Canada……. we can see how government intrusion is encroaching here.

Excerpts from a recent CBS Canada news article entitled “Focus is Great Lakes area in search for drugs, migrants” shows us how changes are taking place along our longest unprotected boarder when it says (bolds are mine): The U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched another unmanned surveillance aircraft over the Canadian border on Monday, this time in the Great Lakes area, to try to stem the flow of drugs, migrants and terrorists into the country, U.S. officials told CBC News.

The first unmanned surveillance began over the Manitoba portion of Canada’s border with the U.S. in February with a $10-million plane based at a military facility in Grand Forks, N.D.

In eastern Canada, the focus of the Predator is the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, which straddles the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ont., and sprawls across the border of New York state.

“Essentially, we’re supplying high-grade marijuana through this one small rural county of 50,000 people, thanks to the border, to all of the northeast,” said Derek Champagne, district attorney of Franklin County, N.Y., and head of the area’s border and narcotics task force.

However, people on the reserve are uneasy about being watched, Mohawk youth counsellor Brant Davis said.

“We no longer have the life we had 20 years ago here. Cameras, infrared, laser, informants, everything.”

The border with British Columbia may be the next location the Predator visits after the trial wraps up this Thursday.

If the tests are successful, the surveillance will become permanent, Homeland Security says.

I do not like the feeling of this at all.  Even though the reports say the drones stay in US airspace, this activity seems too much like spying on our Canadian neighbors.   Plus history suggests that each time technology like this is implemented the use grows.

Evidently Ron Paul does not like this either. two days ago he posted a message entitled “Unconstitutional Use of Drones Must Stop”.

Here is an excerpt.  Again bolds are mine:  Last week I joined several of my colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama requesting clarification of his criteria for the lethal use of drones overseas. Administration officials assure us that a “high degree of confidence” is required that the person targeted by a drone is a terrorist. However, press reports have suggested that mere “patterns of behavior” and other vague criteria are actually being used to decide who to target in a drone strike. I am concerned that an already troublingly low threshold for execution on foreign soil may be even lower than we imagined.

The use of drones overseas may have become so convenient, operated as they are from a great distance, that far more “collateral damage” has become acceptable. Collateral damage is a polite way of saying “killing innocent civilians.” Is the ease of drone use a slippery slope to disregard for justice, and if so what might that mean for us as they become more widely used on American soil against American citizens?

This dramatic increase in the use of drones and the lowered threshold for their use to kill foreigners has tremendous implications for our national security. At home, some claim the use of drones reduces risk to American service members. But this can be true only in the most shortsighted sense. Internationally the expanded use of drones is wildly unpopular and in fact creates more enemies than it eliminates.

I agree with Paul and the Mohawks.  People do not like to be watched.  Watching is a predatory action.  The Canadians are such good friends.  This is a great nation. Let’s not do something like this that could offend them.

However these views are not the point of this message.  The point is that we cannot foresee change and that such security technology is alluring and attractive to ALL governments because it appears that at least some Canadians want drones too!

Excerpts from a February 2012 article “Why Canada Needs Drones” by  Ontario Senator Colin Kenny says:   A front-page article in the National Post last week reported that the Canadian government is considering purchasing some drones – perhaps half a dozen – as it begins to publicly perspire over its commitment to purchase sixty-five F-35 fighter jets.

Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are aerial robots used for surveillance or attack. Canadian troops used them for surveillance on the battlefield in Afghanistan; the Americans are turning to them as a cost-effective component of maintaining military supremacy.

If the government is serious about purchasing UAVs, I tip my cap. When I served as Chair of the Senate Committee on National Security and Defense, we recommended their use to defend Canada’s coastlines. Drones are also incredibly useful in saving lives on the battlefield.

Here is more, an Amtech blog article of June 2, 2012 entitled “Canadian Government hopes drones will cool off Arctic dispute” says   This week’s article focuses on the Canadian Government’s (i.e. Ottawa’s) purchase of specialized airplanes for Arctic surveillance. Although Canada is generally considered the “owner” of the Northern most part of our planet, other countries, namely Russia, have also claimed sovereignty (i.e. ownership) on this area. So, how will planes help Canada keep “the true North strong and free”?

Well, recent developments in the aviation industry are changing powered flight as we know it, and this is especially true of military aircraft.  That technology is the autonomous aircraft, a plane that flies either by remote control or pre-programmed commands. While unmanned drones have made headlines as the technology that helped track Osama Bin Laden, these remote flyers have also been used for non-military purposes: spraying pesticides, extinguishing forest fires, researching hurricanes, and searching for valuable natural resources. The Royal Canadian Air Force see this technology as perfectly suited to the remote, unwelcoming Arctic.

Here is the point that is important for us to consider.  Change is continual and it will become increasingly difficult for us to run away from being watched.   Wherever we go governments might employ drone and other anti privacy technology Even more newer technology may come that alters our life even more.

We’ll see in this series how privacy in Mexico is changing… Ecuador and even more so the country that invented common rights, England.

We can look back on the good old days when we were not watched all the time by big brother.  Follow the lead that life sends you.  Be attracted to what you love and do not let your fears dominate where you go… how you live… what you do.   If you move to escape the drones, you may well find they are still above… watching you.

This series will share more on how we can still use the Six Point Command Posture… but let’s emphasize that finding and fulfilling our purpose in life… not escaping change is the route to everlasting wealth and the best natural health.


We cannot control others. We cannot see the future. We can make ourselves more effective and adaptable to change.  This is why we have shifted the emphasis of our courses to inner improvement so we are best able to adapt to whatever change comes our way with Super Thinking.

Learn Spanish in Three Days


Learn Spanish in Three Days ONLINE

Instant $110 discount on the course!

The “Learn Spanish in Three Day Course” is now available online.

Read below to see why we are offering our Super Spanish course online for the first time.

Speaking Spanish is a huge benefit on its own.  You can become one of the rare North Americans who can get along in Spanish speaking countries.  You can be one of the special people who can communicate with 10 million non-English speakers in the USA.  Spanish is the second most used language in the USA.  There are more Spanish speakers than speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.  According to the Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language of nearly 50 million people in the US.  This is the largest Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Only half of these speakers also speak English “very well,” and 19% do not speak Spanish at all.

You can tap into all this potential when you speak Spanish.  Yet there are more benefits.

An article in England’s leading newspaper, the Telegraph, entitled “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” (1) sum up the biggest benefit of learning a second language and increased intelligence.  The article says: “Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling.  It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English.  Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process.  The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”

The article then explains studies that show seven cognitive advantages gained from learning a foreign language.

#1:  You become smarter
#2:  You build multitasking skills
#3:  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
#4:  Your memory improves
#5:  You become more perceptive
#6:  Your decision-making skills improve
#7:  You improve your English

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

Though you may choose to take more time using this course to learn Spanish, thousands of our readers have learned at our Spanish courses.

There is a scientific method of learning… proven and described in numerous best selling books that create educational jumps by making education natural, easy and fun.   This course works because it is education without stress!

This method was created and refined by the Bulgarian educational master, Georgi Lozanov, who transformed the entire Soviet educational system to such a degree that this third world country beat the USA into space.

Merri was lucky to be one of a handful of students outside of Bulgaria who were allowed to be taught this system in the early 70s.  She practiced this unique and remarkable form of education for  four decades. It was a delight!

Merri and I began integrating these techniques with other shamanic and educational tactics we had gained in our global travels and then applied them to teach Spanish in three days.

The course has been proven again and again by the thousands who have used this system.  You can read a few of the many raves we have received from delegates who have learned from the Super Thinking Spanish course we created.

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (www.sundaybaroque.org).  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from a course wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it.  It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.

“They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  I would definitely recommend this course.  Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you.  This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment.  I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary.  I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better!  Muchas Gracias!  I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word!  Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning.  Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach.  I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish,  I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

The first tactic is to use Baroque music in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  Merri Scott was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

The second tactic uses 17 unique lessons to provide Spanish fluency in a short time.   Let me prove to you how this tactic works by teaching you hundreds of Spanish words in less than 30 seconds.

Here is the proof.

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

Then, the third lesson teaches almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.

The fourth lesson shows how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds).  This simple lesson leaves a person sounding like a Spanish professor without ever conjugating a verb.

Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

Lesson six gives valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples the Spanish capacity with three words for “yesterday,” “now” and “tomorrow”.

By the end of three days you feel comfortable speaking Spanish.

Plus the system is Impro-Dynamic.  This means your Spanish keeps getting better even though you do not seem to be studying… practicing… or speaking Spanish.

I was amazed by this as I traveled back and forth from the USA to Ecuador.  The longer I was away from Ecuador… the better my Spanish became.  My second language was automatically improving The self improving feature comes because you learn to create Spanish sentences rather than remember them.  The portion of the brain that creates is more powerful than the portion that recalls.  When your mind creates something… it owns it!  You do not have to remember .

During the course you learn 4005 Spanish words that you already know .  

You then learn how to create Spanish sentences from these words.

Throughout the course you learn how to pronounce the sentences you create.

When the course ends… the mind keeps working… and creating… so next time you begin to speak Spanish you’ll be surprised .  You improve even though you have not actively worked on your lingual skill.

Due to the difficulty of getting groups together to learn this valuable technique, we created an online program for subscribers to use the Super Spanish course at home.  Normally $149, this is available at the highly reduced price of $79. Simply use coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout.

I’ll be in touch personally via email with each person who signs up for this course to see how it works or what is required to make it better.  Once this test is complete, we plan to offer the program on a larger scale and at a much higher price.

The ONLINE course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee.  Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

Learn Spanish online $79 – using coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout to immediately save $110 off the regular price of $149

Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

Learn Spanish online $79 – using coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout to immediately save $110 off the regular price of $149


Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Spanish online $79 – using coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout to immediately save $110 off the regular price of $149

(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html

Ron Paul Unconstitutional Use of Drones Must Stop

Colin Kenny Why Canada Needs Drones

Amtech Canadian Government hopes drones will cool off Arctic dispute

Government Intrusion II

This is Chapter II of our report on Government Intrusion.  See Government Intrusion I.

New technology comes with a double edge sword.   We gain but usually at the loss of something.   Life changes.  Society evolves and if we are not careful we can see this process as all bad.

Really overall though… technological advances over the past 100 years have brought a lot more good than harm.

When governments are bad… new technology can be used badly… but dwelling just on the negatives obscures many wonderful new opportunities.

Up in the Blue Ridge, where we live in the summer for example, cars meant that police could catch moonshiners faster during the stupidity of prohibition.   That created Thunder Road and NASCAR.  But let’s look at what good cars have brought mankind!

Then radios meant no one could outrun the police.  Yet most aspects of radio are good.

Radar brought a much greater intrusion in our lives especially if we like to drive fast.   However radar also does an awful lot of good.

Government intrusion is always a concern, and every free man and women has the responsibility to make sure its government uses new facilities for the people.

We as individuals are also smart to understand what governments can do and to look for ways that we can also use the same technology to make our lives and the lives of those around us better.

This is why our reports have been looking at ways to gain from new potentially intrusive technology since the 1970s.

This report is being created to examine how we can profit and improve our lives from the ways that governments can intrude in our lives.

This chapter looks at the potential for government intrusion in our lives using drones.

Screen shot 2012-04-14 at 7.16.07 AM

Photo from defensetech.org article “Police Drones Are Already Here.”  This is the Seattle Police Department’s Draganflyer UAV.

Our first government intrusion reports were written decades ago in my 1970s book “Passport to International Profit”.   Then the basic idea was to avoid government domination by being a multi national.

I realized that these ideas needed a serious update when I discovered last week that my new camera was tracking me.  I began getting location related advertisements scrolling across my view finder compliments of the GPS in the camera.

Talk about peeping directly into the window of the soul!  What can be more intimate than a photographer’s eye and its relationship with the image in the viewfinder as we capture that brief moment of time?

Screen shot 2012-04-14 at 7.38.59 AM

Image from Guarding ground zero at www.digitaltrends.com

What’s to stop a reverse process?  Could someone see from my retina from my camera and know what I am taking a picture of?  That’s a truly scary thought. This report will touch on retinal scans later but first drones and the way they can intrude locally and globally.

Just as the US used the muscle of the US dollar to force banks globally into abandoning bank privacy, it is using its muscle to take over air space globally.

A March 2012 New York Times article entitled “U.S. Drones Fight Mexican Drug Trade” by Ginger Thompson and Mark Mazzetti gives us a clue how the Feds are doing this when it says:  Stepping up its involvement in Mexico’s drug war, the Obama administration has begun sending drones deep into Mexican territory to gather intelligence that helps locate major traffickers and follow their networks, according to American and Mexican officials.

The Pentagon began flying high-altitude, unarmed drones over Mexican skies last month, American military officials said, in hopes of collecting information to turn over to Mexican law enforcement agencies. Other administration officials said a Homeland Security drone helped Mexican authorities find several suspects linked to the Feb. 15 killing of Jaime Zapata, a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration agent.

President Obama and his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderón, formally agreed to continue the surveillance flights during a White House meeting on March 3. The American assistance has been kept secret because of legal restrictions in Mexico and the heated political sensitivities there about sovereignty, the officials said.

In recent years, the United States has steadily stepped up its role in fighting Mexican drug trafficking, though officials offer few details of the cooperation. The greatest growth involves intelligence gathering, with Homeland Security and the American military flying manned aircraft and drones along the United States’ southern border — and now over Mexican territory — that are capable of peering deep into Mexico and tracking criminals’ communications and movements, officials said.

“It wasn’t that long ago when there was no way the D.E.A. could conduct the kinds of activities they are doing now,” said Mike Vigil, a retired chief of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “And the only way they’re going to be able to keep doing them is by allowing Mexico to have plausible deniability.”

The leaders emphasized “the value of information sharing,” a senior Mexican official said, adding that they recognized “the responsibilities shared by both governments in the fight against criminal organizations on both sides of the border.”

Still, much of the cooperation is shrouded in secrecy. Mexican and American authorities, for example, initially denied that the first fusion center, established over a year ago in Mexico City, shared and analyzed intelligence. Some officials now say that Mexican and American law enforcement agencies work together around the clock, while others characterize it more as an operational outpost staffed almost entirely by Americans.

Mexican and American officials say Mexico turns a blind eye to American wiretapping of the telephone lines of drug-trafficking suspects, and similarly to American law enforcement officials carrying weapons in violation of longstanding Mexican restrictions.

One American military official said the Pentagon had flown a number of flights over the past month using the Global Hawk drones — a spy plane that can fly higher than 60,000 feet and survey about 40,000 square miles of territory in a day. They cannot be readily seen by drug traffickers — or ordinary Mexicans — on the ground.

But no one would say exactly how many drone flights had been conducted by the United States, or how many were anticipated under the new agreement. The officials cited the secrecy of drug investigations, and concerns that airing such details might endanger American and Mexican officials on the ground.

“I think most Mexicans, especially in areas of conflict, would be fine about how much the United States is involved in the drug war, because things have gotten so scary they just want to see the bad guys get caught,” said Mr. Selee of the Wilson Center. “But the Mexican government is afraid of the more nationalistic elements in the political elite, so they tend to hide it.”

Expect the spread of US drones in other countries because the drones are powerful tools.  This means that one can no longer eliminate the eye of the government by simply crossing a border.   The drone can see and the information garnered is most likely going to be shared.

Billions in Information Sharing

The drones are the seeing eye and the information shared is the biometric IDs.

An article at terrorism.about.com says:  Biometric identification was given a legislative green light. The Patriot (Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act of 2001, renewed in 2006, mandated that standards for biometric identification be established.  The imperative to create standards and new technologies paved the way for a massive infusion of government funding. Evan Ratliff at Wired, Inc. noted spending projections of $10 billion, in 2005, and that US-VISIT (an immigration data and biometrics system) alone had had $10 billion poured into it.

The combination of drones, biometric ID and information sharing can create a terrible intrusion.

BiomterictrendsGrowth.com sows that bio metrics have been with us for quite some time when it says: More and more private and government organizations turn to facial recognition biometric (just think DMVs), but privacy concerns slow broader adoption.

After a driver sits for a photo at the Illinois Secretary of State office to renew a license, officials use facial-recognition technology to give the resulting image a close look. First, state officials verify that the face matches the images portrayed on previous licenses issued under the driver’s name. The second, more extensive run-through determines if the same face appears on other Illinois driver’s licenses with different names. Washington Technology’s Alice Lipowicz writes that since starting the program in 1999, the state has uncovered more than 5,000 cases of multiple identity fraud, according to Beth Langen, policy and program division administrator at the Illinois Secretary of State office. The state pays Digimarc Corp. about 25 cents per license for the service, she said. “We are very pleased. It is a fraud for which we have no other tool” to combat, Langen said.

About 40 percent of the nation’s drivers will undergo such facial-recognition database checks when they renew their licenses in twenty states.

Several other projects and developments are driving growth in facial recognition:

* The State Department uses it for its database of foreign visa applicants’ facial images, which it has been building since 2004 under a contract with L-1 Identity Solutions. The system was developed at State to reduce visa-related identity fraud.

* The FBI’s $1 billion Next Generation Identification system is being built to add face and palm print biometrics databases to the crime-fighting arsenal. It also will make it easier to share data from the existing fingerprint system. The FBI chose Lockheed Martin Corp. Feb. 12 as the prime contractor.

* DHS’s U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program is experimenting with multimodal biometrics, including facial recognition, said Director Robert Mocny. US-VISIT collects fingerprints from visa applicants and shares that information with other agencies.

New technologies for 3-D facial recognition and new algorithms for greater accuracy are being developed. For now, Lipowicz writes, we should expect to see more motor vehicle offices adopting the technology, industry experts said. More sharing with law enforcement and with other states might come later if privacy can be protected. “Facial recognition is getting to a point where it really has a high degree of potential acceptance. But it is not yet capable in covert and face in- the-crowd applications,” said Walter Hamilton, chairman of the International Biometric Industry Association. “In my view, facial recognition at state motor vehicle departments is one of the most logical applications. It works the best,” said Jeremy Grant, senior vice president at Stanford Group. investment research firm.

Cameras in drones may not yet be able to pick put people in a crowd, but they can alert authorities to unusual activity.

The article “Guarding ground zero” at  www.digitaltrends.com explains how:  While the WTC security system will employ technology from a wide array of companies, including Diebold and SightLogix, the bulk of the system is being outfitted by Houston, Texas-based Behavioral Recognitions Systems, or BRS Labs. BRS Labs makes a product called AiSight (“eye sight”), which uses artificial neuro network (ANN) technology, allowing it to “autonomously identify abnormal behavior within the field of view of a surveillance camera in real time,” according to the BRS Labs website. Anytime something unusual happens within view of an AiSight-powered camera system, an alert is sent to the appropriate authorities.

Why AI is better

Like other artificial intelligence systems, AiSight uses computer learning to build “memories,” or “Hypocepts,” as BRS Labs calls them, based on what it “sees” through the cameras to which it’s connected. These memories become more and more refined over time, as the AiSight system gathers and analyzes more and more information about the environments it watches.


The benefits of AiSight are not simply that it learns on its own, but that it could prove more effective at actually preventing crime. Standard surveillance systems have been shown to do little to actually stop people from breaking the law. According to a 2005 study from the University of Leicester in the UK (home to the world’s largest public surveillance network, CCTV), the presence of a surveillance cameras did not actually reduce crime. Yes, the footage can be used by law enforcement as evidence after a crime is committed. But that’s hardly acceptable at a site as vulnerable to catastrophic terrorist attacks as the WTC.

Because AiSight automatically detects suspicious behavior, like a car parked in a strange location, a person wandering around in circles, or someone snooping where they shouldn’t, and immediate contacts the authorities, it’s possible for AiSight-powered systems to stop terrorism or other dangerous crime before it actually happens. Combine this with the WTC’s facial recognition and iris scanners (which can identify if someone is in the federal database), and the chances of another disaster occuring there become greatly lessened.

Why this is terrifying

You may have notice that, so far, I’ve spoken positively about BRS Labs and AiSight; from my research, it seems like a vast improvement over previous surveillance software systems. But that’s just the tech geek side of me talking. The suspicious, civil liberties advocate side is thinking, “Creeping Jesus! This is the beginning of a terrifying Orwellian police state!” Which very well may be true. Not that much can be done to stop it — nor would most people would want to, anyway.

Modern “search and seizure” laws under the Fourth Amendment are defined by the 1967 US Supreme Court case, Katz vs. United States 389 US 347. In its decision, the Court declared that, “What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection, but what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected. Generally, a person walking along a public sidewalk or standing in a public park cannot reasonably expect that his activity will be immune from the public eye or from observation by the police.”

Beyond Big Brother

There are some other concerns… such as private use of drones.


The AR Drone in your Smartphone.  The accessibility of  drones and ease to consumers will lead to use in the private sector. Already the Parrot AR drone allows a smartphone user to easily control a remote controlled flying camera using a smartphone.  It’s easy to setup and easy to fly.

The River of Blood

A number of January 2012 news article showed how a  private Drone Enthusiast discovered a “River of Blood” using a drone. He was using the drone to survey the course of a local river when he photographed an environmental hazard coming from a Texas slaughterhouse.

Drones and Water

The applications here for law enforcement and of course the media are obvious.  Where else might this be applicable?  I always wondered how governments could enforce water restriction laws.  Drones can easily pick up those who are watering when they should not!

The day is not coming when police will have drones. The day is already here.

An article “Look to the skies” at arstechnica.com says:  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) have driven the rapid development over the past decade of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—robotic planes flown by some combination of remote “pilot” operators, software, and GPS navigation. Ranging in size from that of a flying model kit to full-sized aircraft, UAVs, also referred to as unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), have done everything from spotting roadside bombs to bombing alleged Al-Qaeda hideouts—and now they’re ready for civilian jobs. As war efforts wind down, the military is preparing to bring home the over 7,500 UAVs deployed overseas—and the companies that build them are looking to create a domestic market for the technology.

Federal Aviation Administration rules have so far tightly limited the use of UAVs to the same sets of rules applied to hobbyists flying radio-controlled model aircraft. But all that is set to change, thanks to legislation slipped into the FAA’s 2012 funding bill, signed on February 14. The law is pushing the FAA to stop worrying and love the drone by setting deadlines for starting UAVs’ “integration into the national airspace.” The FAA is now soliciting public input on locations for six test sites where it will look at ways to integrate UAVs into the same airspace as human-piloted aircraft.

In addition to fast-tracking the use of small UAVs by law enforcement and emergency responders by as early as May, the law also sets deadlines that could allow the first wave of certified “safe” drones to take to the skies as early as August. By September of 2015, the law dictates that the FAA will have rules set for the licensing of commercial and civil UAVs, and that they will be fully integrated into the “national airspace.”

That could have a potentially huge impact on society and culture—in both a positive and negative sense. “There’s a stunning amount of innovation going on in the drone world,” and a long list of potential applications, said John Villasenor, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of electrical engineering at UCLA, at a panel discussion on drones at Brookings on April 4. He called drones the equivalent of the space program in terms of their potential impact on technological change.

“What the military has shown abroad is there’s a tremendous amount of stuff you can do with this, if the regulatory environment permits—not just surveillance,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior Brookings fellow, also at the April 4 event. Based on the advances in self-guidance and self-landing technology, he said, “there is no good reason anymore for there to be pilots in the domestic airspace. The main barrier is psychological, not technical.”

The applications for unmanned aircraft—both for government and business—range from the mundane to the insane, covering everything from the monitoring of highway traffic and land use to airborne wireless Internet gateways. The military has already begun work on adopting autonomous helicopters based on the Kaman K-MAX to deliver cargo on the battlefield; airfreight companies could be among those lined up to bring that technology to the commercial world.

In Texas, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office acquired a Shadowhawk helicopter UAV from Vanguard Defense Industries last September with some funding help from the Department of Homeland Security to support the department’s SWAT team; the Shadowhawk costs $40 an hour to operate, compared to the $500-per-hour cost of a full-sized helicopter. There are downsides—last month, a Shadowhawk prototype crashed into a SWAT armored vehicle during a photo op when it lost contact with the controller and shut down.

There are some in law enforcement who are interested in doing more than just watching with UAVs—some have expressed interest in arming UAVs with nonlethal weapons. Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel told The Daily in March that the office was “open to the idea” of adding weapons to their Shadowhawk, which could include flares, smoke grenades, tear gas, tasers, or rubber bullets for crowd control—allowing police to disperse protestors or angry mobs without even being on the scene. The Shadowhawk could also be equipped with a beanbag “force baton” to be used to subdue a suspect “from altitude.”

The idea of armed flying police robots seems, to some, a really bad idea. Security technologist Bruce Schneier responded to the news of Montgomery County’s purchase of the Shadowhawk with the question, “Why does anyone think this is a good idea?” American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney Catherine Crump expressed her incredulity over the concept as well at the Brookings event. “The potential weaponization of drones and the way the debate has developed, I found startling,” she said—the potential for inappropriate use of force against individuals by police could be huge if actions were based solely on what could be seen through an UAV’s cameras.

That’s a scary thought… the police with weapons in drones and using biometric technology.

Think of the mistakes that could be made.  The computerized profiling… making decisions out of context from afar.  Plus there are the mundane risks.  One wonders how long it will be before some jet taking off or landing somewhere sucks a drone into its engine or when one will crash through a house or into a car.

According to an article at  defensetech.org, a Shadowhawk drone-chopper belonging to the Montgomery County,Texas, Sheriff’s Office has already crashed… into a SWAT truck belonging to the Sheriff’s office.

Drones are here to stay having reached us as products of war.  Most new technology that moves from military to domestic use brings jobs, increased productivity and numerous social benefits.  I expect drones will as well.

Drones in Ecuador

ecuador-drone tags:

According to the Daytona news Journal:  Unmanned planes, dubbed Piquero, the Spanish word for a native bird in the Galapagos Islands, weighs 55 pounds and has a 12-foot wingspan They will cost $5,000 to $10,000 each.  (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students and professors have designed a drone that will help keep poachers from killing sharks and whales near Ecuador.

The unmanned aerial vehicle will be used to prevent poaching in the Pacific Ocean around the Galapagos Islands, an area rich in marine life.

The goal is eventually to have a fleet of about 30 such aircraft in a few years to monitor that area, according to Charlie Reinholtz, Embry-Riddle professor/chairman of the department of mechanical engineering and faculty project leader.

Embry-Riddle has been working for the past year and half on the project, collaborating with a group of faculty and students at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador, which has a research station in the Galapagos.

So drones can bring a lot of progress and good.

However they will also bring more intrusion into an increasingly public world.

 What to Do?

The ways new technology and greater government intrusion will change life is hard to say.  How to adapt to such complexities…or even harder to project.

This is why we have been focusing on simple solutions. Simplicity is a key to combating complexity.

One simple fact is that as there is more government intrusion, as there are larger populations and greater isolation… people will want to meet and unite with like minded souls.

Our writer’s camps and self publishing courses show how to monetize publications with events and how to use special interest groups to market events and publications.

Here is an excerpt from a lesson of our online self publishing course.

Special Interest Groups Can Create Excellent Prospecting Paths

Special interest groups can be excellent prospecting paths for overseas events.


Merri greeting and meeting in Cotacachi, Ecuador.

Expats have been meeting lately at the Inn Land of the Sun Fridays and Saturdays for homemade pizza, special dishes and quinoa.

Here is a case study of how one of our Super Thinking + Spanish teachers launched his  events marketing efforts with success.

This study can help you see one way to build an events business based around travel.

This teacher planned to travel to several Spanish countries where he had never been.
Due to time restrictions he only had three and a half weeks to market his first course when he arrived in Uruguay… thousands of miles from his home in this country for the first time.

He had no contacts to kick start his first event.

Yet he garnered 12 delegates for his first course with over $4,000 of income.  We consider this a very good start.

He began by finding out about expat meetings… looking for expat forums and visiting language exchange meetings.

Expat forums.  The expat meetings provided access to people who were writing blogs for the expats in Uruguay.

These expat groups can be large and active.

Let’s take Peru as a quick example.   A quick Google search for expat blogs in Peru reveal www.expatperu.com.

Just this one site invites expats to an St. Patrick’s Day event at the Irish consulate and…


has a schedule of events.




special and regular events including get togethers and Spanish courses.  Both are great places to meet prospects for a Spanish course.

Expat meetings.  Merri and I have never been good at meetings like this.  We are introverts… so are not great in social groups, plus we have always tended to mingle, live, work and socialize (in a limited way) with family rather than expats.

In spite of this, such groups are great prospecting paths.

Referals.  The teacher in Uruguay took one more step that worked well for him.  One of the expat bloggers had lived for some time in Uruguay but needed to speak Spanish better.

The teacher offered him a free attendance if he could bring three delegates.  This idea accounted for a fourth of this courses initial turn out.

Language exchange meetings.  These are meetings where expats meet residents and trade language. The locals speak Spanish (or whatever the language might be)… the gringos speak English.  They are typically fun social events with dozens… even 100 or more in attendance.

The ideas above offer excellent, fun and fulfilling ways to create new friends as you develop prospecting paths to market and conduct events as you travel or go to a new place.

Learn how to earn from two hot trends as a Super Thinking + Spanish teacher.

Learn about our online writer’s and publisher’s course.


U.S. Drones Fight Mexican Drug Trade

Guarding Ground Zero

Biometric ID article

Look to the skies Is it time to stop worrying and love the drone

Police Drones Are Already Here

Drones in Ecuador