Watch This LEGO Drone Soar Across the Sky We've seen people do some pretty creative things with Legos, but programmer and Lego enthusiast Ed Scott may have just taken the cake with this Lego quadcopter drone. While it's certainly no Predator, the Lego drone is well-equipped: Four motors give it lift and thrust, autopilot helps keep it flying right and two cameras provide still and live-streaming video capability. It would be perfect for spying on roommates or coworkers — if it weren't bright yellow and red, at least. Scott programmed the drone's software, but he credits his kids with doing most of the Lego work. "Most people go to their favorite hobby store to get parts for their UAV," Scott told drone enthusiast site SUASnews. Would you fly a Lego drone? Image courtesy of SUASnews
US drone strikes listed and detailed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen Spies in the sky. Click image to embiggen Are drone attacks becoming the face of modern warfare? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has collected the comprehensive database of reported drone attacks. It shows hundreds of attacks: up to 337 in Pakistan, largely along the tribal areas of Waziristan, especially in the northern part - something which becomes very obvious in the chart below. Plus there are another 35-45 recorded in Yemen and up to nine in Somalia. The data also records the number of deaths, which could be up to 3,247 across the three countries, including up to 852 civilians. Drone strikes interactive map. It comes as the MoD decides to start developing a new generation of armed drones for use in strikes across the world. For the first time, the TBIJ have released its full data as a spreadsheet, for you to download via the Datablog. Download the data • DATA: download the full spreadsheet NEW! • Facts are Sacred: the power of data (on Kindle) More open data World government data
Disenfranchisement info graphic Data Source: "State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 2010," Table 3, by Christopher Uggen, Sarah Shannon and Jeff Manza, July 2012. Available from: (Map: Prison Policy Initiative and Josh Begley, 2012) We worked with Josh Begley to create this info graphic showing that the states that bar the most people from the polls had tremendous deciding power in the 2012 presidential election. Data Source: "State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 2010," Table 3, by Christopher Uggen, Sarah Shannon and Jeff Manza, July 2012. Available from: We worked with Josh Begley to create this info graphic showing that the states that bar the most people from the polls had tremendous deciding power in the 2012 presidential election.
Homer Simpson vote pour Mitt Romney (VIDEO) Les personnages de la série à succès Les Simpsons votent aussi. Et quand Homer doit se prononcer, c'est à Mitt Romney qu'il accorde sa confiance, quitte à le regretter. Aux Etats-Unis, les stars déclarent publiquement à quel candidat à la Présidentielle, elles accordent leur confiance. Très appréciée du public, internationalement connue, comment cette star pourrait ne pas convenir au candidat républicain Mitt Romney ? Lors d’un épisode, Matthew Groening a projeté son personnage principal au jour des élections américaines. Dans un bref bilan du mandat du président actuel, Homer déplore la politique de santé et celle de Michelle Obama sur la nourriture saine. Et pourtant, il semble rapidement regretter son choix. Par Georgina Brinster
Que faudra-t-il à l'Empire US pour s'effondrer ? par William BLUM Il a fallu une révolution à Louis XVI, deux défaites militaires historiques à Napoléon, de multiples révolutions dans le Nouveau Monde à l’empire espagnol, une révolution communiste au Tsar russe, la Première Guerre Mondiale à l’empire Austro-hongrois et Ottoman, la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale au Troisième Reich, deux bombes atomiques à l’Empire du Soleil Levant, un coup d’état militaire à domicile à l’empire portugais en Afrique. Que faudra-t-il pour l’Empire américain ? Les documents et vidéos de Wikileaks ont asséné une succession d’humiliations, les unes après les autres... les mensonges exposés, les manipulations politiques révélées, l’hypocrisie flagrante, les meurtres de sang froid... suivis par la torture de Bradley Manning et la persécution de Julian Assange. Washington qualifie ces révélations de « menaces contre la sécurité nationale », mais le monde entier voit bien qu’ils sont tout simplement embarrassés. « Au final, Castillo Armas ignora la suggestion de Dulles. William Blum
Inauguration Festivities With Ceremonial Drone Flyover WASHINGTON—Taking the oath of office for his second term today, President Barack Obama joined thousands of supporters in the nation’s capital for traditional inauguration festivities that included a prayer invocation, a parade along Pennsylvania Avenue, and a ceremonial flyover of three combat drones. “When Obama was being sworn in on the Capitol steps, we could hear the drones screeching by overhead and everyone got really excited,” spectator Andrew Meyers, 34, said as he eagerly trained his eyes on the unmanned aerial vehicles that have taken out several hundred innocent civilians during presidentially authorized strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. “They go by super fast, but luckily there are Jumbotrons all over the National Mall, so nobody missed out. Wait, they’re coming back!” At press time, sources confirmed that inaugural celebrants were enjoying the Jumbotron’s live closed-circuit feed of the still-open prison facility at Guantánamo Bay.
Targeted killing, wikipedia Targeted killing is the premeditated killing of an individual by a state organization or institution outside a judicial procedure or a battlefield. Targeted killings were employed extensively by death squads in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Haiti within the context of civil unrest and war during the 1980s and 1990s. Targeted killings have also been used in Somalia, Rwanda, and in the Balkans during the Yugoslav Wars. Currently the US government practices targeted killings semi-publicly, as with the killing of Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Awlaki. Targeted killings have also been used by narcotics traffickers. Early History In Central and South America The United States Department of State's Human Rights Report in 1994 decried such killings, noting that in Haiti, "right-wing thugs, closely allied with the military, assassinated the legitimately appointed justice minister and conducted many other targeted killings By drug cartels In Somalia and Rwanda Background
Post-Snowden Age Les démocrates réintègrent Dieu à leur programme De notre correspondant Oh. My. God. Mercredi, en marge de la convention de Charlotte, un débat féroce a éclaté autour de l'abandon de l'adjectif «God-given» («conféré par Dieu») dans la «plateforme» démocrate, un document qui exprime les positions du parti sans avoir la force d'un programme officiel pour un candidat. Il a fallu trois tentatives de vote à haute voix pour revenir sur le changement et adopter un nouvel amendement, au grand embarras du maire de Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. (cliquer ici pour passer directement à 1'54) Dans la matinée, Mitt Romney était monté au créneau sur Fox News: «Notre document fondateur, la déclaration d'indépendance, fait référence à Dieu. Pas de Dieu dans la Constitution Comme le relève le Los Angeles Times, le candidat républicain oublie que Dieu est absent de la Constitution de 1787 (hormis dans la date accompagnant la signature). Les historiens et les experts en droit débattent de chaque mot de la constitution. 76% de chrétiens Philippe Berry
NATO occupies sweet home Chicago THE ROVING EYE NATO occupies sweet home Chicago By Pepe Escobar So the anthem now goes something like this: C'mon, baby don't you wanna go/back to that same old place/sweet home ring of steel Chicago. Robert Johnson must be spitting fire in his bluesy grave because the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), for its 25th summit, is occupying Chicago like it was Kabul - with Americans treated as concentric circles of Taliban. The Department of Homeland Security has branded the summit a "National Special Security Event"; that means the Secret Service, in practice, has taken over Chicago. It's lockdown time - complete with Iraq-style concrete barriers; battalions sporting upgraded riot gear; "extraction teams" to snatch and grab pinpointed protesters in a "low intensity conflict" environment; and an Orwellian guest star, the LRAD (long-range acoustic device) - a sound cannon bound to "ensure a consistent message is delivered to large crowds", according to the Chicago Police Department.
‘Rise of the Drones’ Is Mostly a PBS Infomercial for the Military Defense Industry Screen shot from preview of Nova’s “Rise of the Drones” The widely-acclaimed PBS program, NOVA, premiered a documentary on unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. The documentary, “Rise of the Drones,” was produced to explore how the technology is revolutionizing warfare and creating the next generation of cutting-edge surveillance. It was created to provide a glimpse at how the technology has advanced and how innovations might progress in the future. Before the documentary began, PBS noted the program had received funding from the David H. Lockheed Martin is one of the nation’s biggest military defense contractors and is developing drones (in secret). Editorial Control Test: Has the underwriter exercised editorial control? Having Lockheed Martin provide any amount of money to a program that touts the amazing potential of innovations in drone technology appears to be a violation of both the “perception” and “commercialism” tests.
Obama's itchy trigger finger on drone strikes: what happened to due process? | Peter Van Buren Terrorism (ter-ror-ism; see also terror) n. 1. When a foreign organization kills an American for political reasons. Justice (jus-tice) n. 1. When the United States Government uses a drone to kill an American for political reasons. How’s that morning coffee treating you? Nice and warming? While you’re savoring your cup o’ joe, imagine the president of the United States hunched over his own coffee, considering the murder of another American citizen. Through what seems to have been an Obama administration leak to the Associated Press, we recently learned that the president and his top officials believe a US citizen – name unknown to us out here – probably somewhere in the tribal backlands of Pakistan, is reputedly planning attacks against Americans abroad. Supposedly, the one thing that’s held up sending in the drones is the administration’s desire to make sure the kill is “legal”. Last May, Obama gave a speech on the subject. Short-Term Questions The answer is: we don’t know.