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Police Set To Use Patrol Drones With Night-Vision Cameras During Lockdown In California

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A police department in California is set to use drones equipped with night-vision cameras and loudspeakers to help keep an eye on citizens during the coronavirus shutdown and make sure they are following the state’s orders to self-isolate.

The Chula Vista Police Department has now doubled its fleet of drones, buying two machines from the Chinese company DJI. The department spoke with The Financial Times and stated they would be equipped with night-vision cameras.

Folks, this is getting kind of scary.

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“We have not traditionally mounted speakers to our drones, but … if we need to cover a large area to get an announcement out, or if there were a crowd somewhere that we needed to disperse, we could do it without getting police officers involved,” said Capt. Vern Sallee.

“The outbreak has changed my view of expanding the program as rapidly as I can,” Sallee added.

U.S. officials have warned about the threat Chinese-made drones could pose to the United States. The company that the police department is purchasing from, DJI, is the world’s largest player in the civilian drone industry.

Spencer Gore, chief executive of U.S.-based drone company Impossible Aerospace, said he is “working like crazy” to help equip other law enforcement agencies with drones and emphasized that the hardware his company uses is made domestically.

Gore said the drones would fly around and see if people were gathering at places they weren’t supposed to be and would tell them to go home. He went on to admit the whole thing sounds “Orwellian,” but “could save lives.”

We’re all about saving lives, but this sort of measure is definitely more than a little Orwellian. It’s ripped right from the pages of 1984. That novel was supposed to be a warning against intrusions by the state, not a playbook.

The measures being asked of us concerning self-isolation are very much necessary if we want to stop the spread of this potentially lethal illness. However, using drones to spy on people and enforce this law flies in the face of comments made by Gov. Newsom that such action wouldn’t likely be necessary.

If we allow the police to have this much power over us, we’re setting ourselves up for some really scary things in the future.

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Apple Backs Down, Will Allow Parler Back on App Store

The news is seen as a major boost for the First Amendment.

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Free speech is a fickle thing, and precious too.  If we’re not careful, it can be stripped away but those who hide behind the claim that a “private” company can limit your personal freedoms. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms are almost always the culprits here, bending the algorithmic reach of those with whom they disagree. Enter Parler:  A free speech app where only the bare legal minimum of content would be moderated. The platform became incredibly popular with an astonishing swiftness, but soon faced trouble from companies who had previously aligned themselves with Facebook and Twitter’s more controlling stance. Apple, who had previously booted Parler from its App Store, has now relented to the Constitution. Apple has approved Parler’s return to the iOS app store following improvements the social media company made to better detect and moderate hate speech and incitement, according to a letter the iPhone maker sent to Congress on Monday. The decision clears the way for Parler, an app popular with conservatives including some members of the far right, to be downloaded once again on Apple devices. The letter — addressed to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck and obtained by CNN — explained that since the app was removed from Apple’s platform in January for violations of its policies, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.” On April 14, Apple’s app review team told Parler that its proposed changes were sufficient, the letter continued. Now, all Parler needs to do is to flip the switch. The news is seen as a major boost for the First Amendment.

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WATCH: NC Man Slings Rabid Bobcat Across His Front Yard

WOW!

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For many North Carolinians, neighborhood living brings with it the peace of mind that the most invasive animals you might have to deal with are squirrels who are trying to rest in your attic, or raccoons hoping to fatten up from your trash can.  The Tar Heel state has some bears, sure, but they’re not often the pestering or dangerous type like you might see in the Pacific Northwest or parts of California. But one man this week got up close and personal with a seriously frightening creature this week, after it lunged at his wife from underneath their car. A disturbing video captures the moment a rabid bobcat attacks a North Carolina woman—and the moment her husband grabs it off her and throws it through the air. Kristi and Happy Wade of Burgaw were walking to their SUV to take their cat to the vet the morning of April 9 when the growling animal ran across the street and attacked, WIS-TVreports. After throwing it several feet, Happy Wade eventually shot it after it ran into the couple’s garage and then continued to charge, ABC 11 reports. A neighbor who had been jogging by at the time stopped to help and called 911. Video of the incident is simply unbelievable. https://twitter.com/nojumper/status/1383145940807163904?s=20 The bobcat was injured by Wade and later euthanized by local law enforcement.  An autopsy revealed that the animal was indeed rabid, and the family has been undergoing treatment for their numerous bite wounds.

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