Are Predator Drones Watching You?

When it comes to privacy – we’re screwed. According to the Los Angeles Times – unmanned Predator drones aren’t just for hunting terrorists in the Middle East anymore – they’re being used to hunt American citizens too. Three men were arrested in North Dakota on suspicions they stole cattle from a nearby farm – and they were located thanks to the help of a Predator drone conducting surveillance above. Local police are now saying they’ve used Predator drones to run at least two dozen surveillance flights in North Dakota alone since June.

Although Congress authorized the drones to be used domestically in 2005 to patrol our Northern and Southern borders – their use for local law enforcement is increasing – with virtually no input by the American people. And privacy experts warn continued use of drones radically threatens the privacy of all of us. As Ryan Calo – the director of privacy and robotics at Stanford University – said, “Any time you have a tool like that in the hands of law enforcement that makes it easier to do surveillance, they will do more of it." The rise of the military industrial complex – and the militarization of our police are nearly complete.

As the chant goes – “this is what a police state looks like.”


DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 27 weeks ago

Clay Jenkinson of the Thomas Jefferson Hour had a great iTunes PodCast Sunday. Clay said that the OWS movement needs to occupy Washington. Washington needs to be shut down. It's our government that is corrupt & broken!

Clay also said that everyone of the obstructionist politicians who put party before the public need to be voted out of office. Listen to the show if you get a chance!

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 27 weeks ago

Oath Keepers, an association of active servicemen devoted to upholding their oath of guarding the republic and protecting individual liberty, has reported that federal agents recently paid a visit to a Latter Day Saints food storage cannery in Tennessee ( Though they had no reason to be there, these agents allegedly interrogated the facility's manager and demanded to see a list of customers that had purchased, and were storing, food there.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 27 weeks ago

The head of the OECD said last week that the social contract is unravelling:

Trickle down theory is dead. The belief fostered by Ronald Reagan in the U.S. and Margaret Thatcher in the U.K. in the 1980s, that if the rich got richer, their income and wealth would trickle down the income scale so that a rising tide lifted all the boats, has had the last rites pronounced on it – by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Its report “Divided We Stand” published on Monday highlights how income inequality is rising almost everywhere in the developed world. Not just, as it first did, in the Anglo-Saxon countries, such as the U.S. and Britain, but more recently in traditionally more egalitarian countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany.


“The social contract is unravelling,” Angel Gurría, OECD secretary-general, said.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 27 weeks ago

Re: Obama; fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. True, Obama gives a good speech, bit actions speak louder than words.

Re: Political capital. Clay Jenkinson said that Roosevelt used all of his political capital, every single time!

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 27 weeks ago

Is Obama rerally better than...

The Founding Fathers Tried to Warn Us About the Threat From a Two-Party Systemby WashingtonsBlog

Polls show that a majority of Americans say that both the Republicans and Democrats are doing such a poor job representing the people that a new, third party is needed.

I’ve repeatedly warned that there is a scripted, psuedo-war between Dems and Repubs, liberals and conservatives which is in reality a false divide-and-conquer dog-and-pony show created by the powers that be to keep the American people divided and distracted. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this,this and this.

In fact, the Founding Fathers warned us about the threat from a two party system.

John Adams said:

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

George Washington agreed, saying in his farewell presidential speech:

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 27 weeks ago

Aha! I knew something was fishy about Americans Elect.

TarryFaster 12 years 27 weeks ago

I'd sure like to hear Thom's thoughts on Bain Capital (Mitt's company) converting the San Francisco radio station Green960 to an all fascist station and kicking Thom - and all other Liberals - out of that market --

"Clear Channel to Replace Green960, San Francisco's Only AM Progressive Talk Station, With Glenn Beck, Other Right Wingers as Election Year Begins"

rlcarolyn's picture
rlcarolyn 12 years 27 weeks ago

Heck the drone is up here where I live for about 5 years now. When Emily Keys was murdered at our High School, the government gave good old Boy a drone and from what I hear some other toys that no one speaks about. I had a friend that worked right next door to the cop shop and she watched them take it in after going out and playing with it for the day. They were trying to be real secret about it and they had no idea she was watching. They got a lot of toys to help spy with, which now makes them feel like they are superior over all the citizens. There is a lot of corruption in this county and it's done right in front of us. Our local paper tries to be somewhat unbias but you can read between the lines.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 27 weeks ago

"Million and oneth"? I think that's "million and first".

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 27 weeks ago

It's funny that Thom accidentally said "Texas" instead of "Kansas". It's just like Pres. Obama's joke at the beginning of his recent speech.

David Cantrell's picture
David Cantrell 12 years 27 weeks ago

Watch all you want, it's what they do with the information collected by the drones that counts.

I'm betting that the public will follow their usual path of do nothing if it is used wrongly or to the detriment of our citizens.

ForTheForests's picture
ForTheForests 12 years 27 weeks ago

Since June 2011, there has been a drone office at the airport in Redding California. They are not manufacturing, California is too expensive for that, its their offices. No one has made much of a fuss yet. It is thought that they are here to back up the new DOE force that's new to the area, because of the large number of marijuana gardens in the north state. There have been facebook reports of drone sightings over Mendocino county.

Thank you for bringing me the truth.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 27 weeks ago

DRichards: Thanks for those links. I have added the Thomas Jefferson Hour to my podcast library. Occupy Washington is a very good idea. The story of Thomas Jefferson's witnessing a UFO was interesting..probably needed to use the story to explain his "missing time" (with Sally Hemmings?).

The story at Crooks and Liars about police inheriting all of that military hardware was interesting. It's getting to look like Poland's revolt against the Soviet Union right here in America where the Politburo (excuse me...I mean...Washington Power Elite) sends in tanks and now, of course, they have drones to fly over to spy on us (drones can also be used to kill by the way..they'll get around to it.)

I wonder what the police will do with all of that depleted uranium ammunition (tank busters). The leftovers did such a good job at creating a huge population of deformed children in would work quite well right here in America as well.

I suppose we might be safe providing OWS doesn't show up in tanks...but what the heck, we are all headed for that pollution riddled cesspool that will be America one day anyway...we might as well get a head start of creating our own deformations. But I'm sure there are some rabid right-wingers who had a "waste not..want not" mentality drummed into his head by conflicted parents.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 27 weeks ago

Interesting Washington's Blog...but I am wondering...there is a picture of the Washington mall with Capitol building on the web site home page..and the name is "Washington's Blog" you the impression that this web site is in Washington DC. Then why are the dates on the newest articles saying December 13, 2011? It must be about 10:51pm in Washington DC right now. No telling how long these new articles have been posted. Is the Washingtons Blog located in some time zone further east than Washington DC?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 27 weeks ago

I have also said many times that the Democrats and Republicans are nothing but a smoke and mirrors shell game...a "good cop bad cop" ruse that the ruling elite uses to keep the masses playing the elusive political shell game.

The Democrat party pretends to be on the side of the masses..the working people..the tax payers...and feeds us enough faux hope to keep us from a revolution.

It doesn't matter who you vote for...both parties are working for the ruling elite...Wall street owns them both. Look how much money Wall Street is spending to get Obama reelected. Look how much money they spent to get him elected in the first place. And look how easily the con men shifted the pea (trillions of dollars) under the shells...and America, once again, lost it's shirt.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 27 weeks ago

Americans Elect is not to be trusted...the more you check them out...the more you will realize this. It is really difficult to detect who some of their adherents are. They all feed upon the overwhelming distrust and discontentment with our current two party system and they say they can offer an alternative. There are quite a number of individuals and organizations that pretend to be liberal or progressive or "Democrats" and even though they may have progressive sounding names and may be saying progressive sounding things...they are really, covertly, working to undermine us. They usually have very wealthy and very right-wing backers. These groups, like Americans Elect don't want you to know who is backing them. And they try to hide it. Groups like these, or their associated groups, have actually tried to overthrow other governments by using psychological deceptions and training of internal agitators and demonstrators. ...something the CIA was known to have done.

Once you look into who they are and who backs them, who associates with them, what activities they have participated in you will realize that they are just setting you up to fall into their web of deceit. They want you to either continue to play the political shell for either Republican...or Democrat (Obama) or if you don't fall for that one anymore...they want you to fall for their ploy...of falling into their trap. They are Plan C. Plan A is for Republicans to rule. Plan B is for Democrats to rule. Plan C is for their newly created regime to rule. And their regime is way far to the right...NOT in any way progressive or liberal. Can you say Seig Heil?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 27 weeks ago

Maybe if they watch us close enough we can teach those watching that the ones who really need to be watched are part of the arbitrary powers that put them up to it in the first place.

These new toys could lead to lots of invasion of privacy lawsuits.....not good for local taxpayers!

On the lighter side, my wife not long ago used the... "google earth street view map"... to pinpoint her Aunt's house in the suburbs of upstate NY. Much to her astonishment a very clear picture of her Aunt carrying groceries into the house came up......they all thought it was hilarious!

I don't give a damn if I'm watched....... but I certainly believe we all have the right to privacy if so desired.

George Sullivan's picture
George Sullivan 12 years 27 weeks ago

As American citizens, we have the protection of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, dealing with a "Reasonable Expectation of Privacy". Unfortunately, our Supreme Court has ruled that police officers may use the airspace over our homes and/or business's to conduct investgative surveillance. Due to rapidly growing advancements in technology, that now includes surveillance conducted by drones and other high tech spying devices. It is sad that this is what the combination of fear mongering and the decidedly unrestrained attitude of law enforcement, has done to our country. We have been sliding down a slippery slope for years and if we the people do not demand accountability from both the Supreme Court and law enforcement officials as well as their subordinates, then we will have no one to blame but ourselves, when one day we realize that we have sacrificed our freedom for a false sense of security. To quote a song by the Regae artist, Jimmy Cliff ; "I'd rather be a free man in my grave, than to live as a puppet or a slave"... From "The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall."

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 27 weeks ago

"It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees."--Emiliano Zappata

Mickey Kossack's picture
Mickey Kossack 12 years 27 weeks ago

These are simple questions for response. Thom's radio program is based in DC and is live at 9:00 am EST; his program on Free Speech TV is an evening program. I receive the newsletter for the daily show in the late pm; it informs about the recent show and outlines the next day's show. I depend upon the newsletter and am often only able to follow in the is now 12;05 am, the date is now 12/13/11.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 27 weeks ago

Thank for your reply...It probably is pretty simple but your reply sounds like you think I was referring to Thom's web site. I was referring to the Washington's Blog web site...I don't think it has anything to do with Thom's web site???
Does it?

Anyway, the Washington's Blog website may just have a server in London, or elsewhere, that is attaching what appears to be many hours into the future...

Was just conspiracy theory brewing here...

Actually, I found out that is registered in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania. But the article I saw may have originated...from who knows where...and who know what server.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 27 weeks ago

One of my favorite Washingtonsblog article is this one:
Once you understand the most likely truth about 911 you will not be surprised that they are flying drones around the US to spy on people. And it is really funny....the drone that malfunctioned and went down in Iran....and the hypocrite, troublemaking US is actually "asking for it back"? I got a few chuckles out of that one.

Another article on Washingtonsblog that is more fact, the most recent...that talked about SOPA....and likened it to what the Chinese Government did to their citizens....clamping down on the internet...heavily censoring it. SOPA is now being pushed by a number of congressmen and if they pass that bill...some think it will be tantamount to shutting down the internet. People would be afraid to use it for fear that any little thing they do could set them up for being sued by the MPAA for any little thing. ISPs, search engines (Google) would possibly have to shut down.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 12 years 27 weeks ago

Why do I always see trumpet mute ads, while surfing on the internet? Because they know I'm a trumpet and cornet jazzgal. These days I'm interested in a new alto recorder (I like 17. and early 18. century music too and people keep asking what I want for Christmas).... suddenly I see recorder ads too.

Yesterday I did the banjo test. I never played banjo and never will. Just googled banjos and now I get banjo ads.

They really watch us all the time. Maybe they'll soon have drones that zoom on the books you read in the city rail to find out what else you're interested in. Not everything that looks and behaves like a fly is necessarily a fly....

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 12 years 27 weeks ago

i've got a secret weapon...its called being a fat middle aged slag bastard that likes to mow the lawn naked! that thing get within lens shot of me? broken camera!lolol and as long as i ain't breakin no law and it don't find the stil with its infared, X-ray super top secret vision? Heck golly gee I'z gooood to go! hyuk, hyuk, hyuk....

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World