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Radio/TV • Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock
Program Date:

11-12-14 -- Michael Belfiore - Dr. Peter Steinmetz -- (VIDEO & MP3 + BONUS LOADED)

Michael Belfiore (Author: Rocketeers; Journalist) provides and update on the private space race - Dr. Peter Steinmetz (Brain Researcher) talks about the charges being dropped for bringing an AR-15 to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
Media Type: Audio • Time: 210 Minutes and 0 Secs

Hour 1 - 3

Media Type: Audio • Time: 210 Minutes and 0 Secs

 Hour 1 -- Freedom's Phoenix Headline News

 Hour 2 --  Michael Belfiore (Author: Rocketeers; Journalist) provides and update on the private space race

 Hour 3+BONUS -- Dr. Peter Steinmetz (Brain Researcher) talks about the charges being dropped for bringing an AR-15 to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (Bonus Interview after show included in 3rd hour archive)

CALL IN TO SHOW: 602-264-2800



November 12th, 2014

Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock

on LRN.FM / Monday - Friday

9 a.m. - Noon (EST)

Studio Line: 602-264-2800 


Hour 1

2014-11-12 Hour 1 Freedom's Phoenix Headline News (Video Archive):

2014-11-12 Hour 1 Freedom's Phoenix Headline News from Ernest Hancock on Vimeo.

Ernest Hancock

Freedom's Phoenix Headline News

Hour 2

Hour 2

2014-11-12 Hour 2 Michael Belfiore (Video Archive):

2014-11-12 Hour 2 Michael Belfiore from Ernest Hancock on Vimeo.

Michael Belfiore

Michael Belfiore, is an author and journalist reporting on the innovations shaping our world. He has written about game-changing technologies for the New York Times, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian, Air & Space, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and many other outlets. He is an International Aerospace Journalist of the Year Award finalist and a recipient of the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace Award for outstanding journalism.
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Starting at 10am ET today, I'll be on the air with Ernest Hancock on his show, Declare Your Independence, to talk about the recent spaceship crashes and other current events, including the one eluded to above. Listen live at I'll be on for a full hour. During that hour, one of the most audacious robotic space missions ever attempted will reach its climax. The European Space Agency (ESA)'s Rosetta spacecraft, 311 million miles, or about 28 light minutes, from Earth has released a washing machine-size probe that will attempt to land on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This is an icy space mountain about 2.5 miles wide with such a week gravity field that the probe, called Philae, will have to harpoon itself to a rocky debris field on the comet's surface and then deploy foot screws to hold itself in place. From there it will drill for samples to analyze in an onboard chemistry lab. It's not at all clear that this will work. But this is a test of the kinds of technologies that will be needed to mine asteroids for precious metals and even more precious water, as companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries want to do. You can follow the action at ESA's website at: The Philae probe has already separated from the Rosetta spacecraft and is moving towards rendezvous with 67P. Touchdown is expected to occur around 10:30 ET, but we won't know if it was successful until 11:02, when radio signals from the two spacecraft reach us.



Michael's New Web Page:


Mad Science Innovation covers science fiction coming true—the people, projects, and organizations making it happen, as well as how they are getting it done.

Newest article:

Why madness matters


Tom McGuire, program manager for the compact fusion program at the Revolutionary Technology Programs group at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works. Photo: Eric Schulzinger/Lockheed Martin.

If most people don't think what you're doing is crazy, you're not pushing the envelope hard enough.

I've heard that sentiment echoed by two of the innovators I most admire—aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Segway inventor Dean Kaman—on separate occasions, years apart. I'm pretty sure most of the major inventions we take for granted today were initially subject to derision at one time or another.

Take spaceships. A January 13, 1920 editorial in the New York Times dismissed the work of the man now known as the father of rocketry, Robert Goddard, saying that a rocket couldn't possibly provide propulsion in space, where there is no air to push against.

Last month, I heard an innovator put in his place by a reporter even before publication. The occasion was a press call with members of a team from Lockheed Martin who had announced that they intended to produce a working prototype of a compact fusion reactor (CRF) within five years, and get it into production within 10 years.

It was a bold claim, especially given the decades of research by major government projects that has so far not resulted in practical fusion power.

The promise of such a thing is tremendous—nothing short of serving the world's major energy needs with clean, abundant power for thousands of years to come. That's why the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, project in France is being funded to the tune of $50 billion over decades of its own by seven major world governments.

The Lockheed Martin team, led by Tom McGuire, says it has a new approach that will reduce the cost and the time required to achieve this long sought-after breakthrough—which prompted this comment by one of the other reporters on the line with me in last month's call:

"I just wonder whether you think it might be premature to be talking about converting gas powered plants and fusion powered airplanes when you haven't even got any published results yet. There are a lot of people in the both private and public sector working on fusion who've done a lot more research, and they don't talk about things like that until they're a bit more sure of where they are.


To which McGuire replied:

"I hundred precent understand those comments and acknowledge that. One of the reasons we're talking is we have an idea that makes us very excited because it has the possibility of being able to develop fast. That does go in the face of a lot of established research and entrenched research. But that possibility is what we're talking about. We've haven't proven it yet. But we have a path to actually achieve that. And we're not the only ones. This alternative fusion effort has been picking up steam and it's something that really needs to be supported…. We'll be publishing in the coming year to really generate that full scientific debate and we welcome that. I think that's healthy. We're real scientists and we can take it.

I thought that was a nice comeback.

The point is, we need mad ideas to solve the big challenges we face today. We need mad scientists doing crazy ass things, as a former DARPA director once characterized the work of his agency to me.

Sure, a lot of those mad ideas won't work, but that doesn't mean there isn't value in the attempt to realize them. Incremental projects that inch along in apparent safety doing the equivalent of building better horse-drawn carriages while missing the big leaps that might create the biggest impacts can only go so far before being sidelined by the unexpected.

That's why madness matters in the pursuit of real breakthroughs.


Mike Alsbury Memorial Fund - click link (below) to donate....

Michael Tyner Alsbury
1975 - 2014

Mike Alsbury, 39, of Tehachapi passed away last Friday, Oct. 31. He died in the crash of SpaceShipTwo near the Mojave airport.

Mike was born March 19, 1975, in Santa Clara, to Linda and Rich Alsbury. He grew up in Scotts Valley, and graduated as a valedictorian from Soquel High School in 1993. Mike went on to obtain a degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In college he met the love of his life, Michelle Saling. They moved to Tehachapi in 2000 and were married in August 2003.

Mike's love of planes and flying began in childhood. He got his pilot's license at the age of 23, followed by numerous other pilot ratings. Mike was a "pilot's pilot" and absolutely loved to fly. He was a brilliant engineer and started working at Scaled Composites right out of college in 1998. Mike was indeed a class act and well respected colleague.

Mike was an avid fly fisherman and San Francisco Giants fan. He enjoyed hiking, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, and traveling with his family. He was an Eagle Scout and also played soccer from a young age.

Above all things, Mike loved his family. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, and son. He was a kid at heart and will be remembered for his endless energy, easy smile, great sense of humor, and generosity.

Mike is survived by his loving wife, Michelle; and their daughter and son (ages 10 and 7); parents, Rich and Linda; twin sister, Nikki; her husband and their children; his grandparents; sister-in-law, Melanie; her husband and their children; and parents-in-law, Denise and Fred.

His amazing and wonderful spirit will be celebrated at a private family memorial. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Mike Alsbury Memorial Fund at

Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc. was entrusted with his care. For condolences please visit

Hour 3

Hour 3

2014-11-12 Hour 3 Dr Peter Steinmetz

(Video Archive):

2014-11-12 Hour 3 Dr Peter Steinmetz from Ernest Hancock on Vimeo.

2014-11-12 Hour 4 BONUS Dr Peter Steinmetz (Video Archive):

2014-11-12 Hour 4 Dr Peter Steinmetz BONUS from Ernest Hancock on Vimeo.

Dr. Peter N Steinmetz - In Studio

Brain Researcher

Webpage: Steinmetz.Org



NOV 5TH, 2014...

Charges dropped for man who brought gun to Sky Harbor

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has agreed not to pursue charges against a man who carried an AR-15 rifle into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in July as long as he meets certain requirements, records show.

Dr. Peter Steinmetz, a director at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, had been facing two counts of disorderly conduct. After signing a "pre-indictment resolution offer" on Tuesday, Steinmetz told 12 News that the deal was a victory for gun-rights advocates.

"I certainly didn't intend to commit a crime; I did not commit a crime," Steinmetz said. "I think the important point that was made is that, in fact, as Americans, we have a non-infringeable right to keep and bear arms and that you can legally do so at Sky Harbor Airport."

The agreement stipulates that Steinmetz must complete NRA-certified courses by the end of March 2015 and avoid openly carrying a firearm in the Valley's major airports for the next two years, although he may carry a concealed firearm. He is also required to make a $500 donation to the Rio Salado Sportsman's Club Youth Program.

In the agreement signed by Steinmetz, his attorney and Deputy County Attorney Keith D. Manning, prosecutors also reserved the right to file criminal charges if Steinmetz "violates any term or condition of this agreement."

Steinmetz received national attention in July after walking around Sky Harbor with an AR-15 slung over his shoulder during a self-described coffee run.

While bringing the gun to the airport is not illegal, Steinmetz was arrested on suspicion of two counts of disorderly conduct after the gun's muzzle reportedly faced toward a frightened woman and her daughter, according to Phoenix police. Barrow put Steinmetz on a brief administrative leave, and he returned to work a week later, he said Tuesday.

Steinmetz said that his trip to the airport was peaceful until the police arrested him and that few people noticed he had a gun as he walked through one of the airport's busiest terminals.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Wednesday he disagreed that Steinmetz went almost unnoticed.

"I watched the videotape," Montgomery told reporters during a scheduled biweekly news conference. "I watched people grab their children and walk the other way to get away from him, and if his powers of observation are that weak, he should probably lock his weapons up in a gun safe and hide the key and forget where it is."

Marc Victor, Steinmetz's lawyer, said the county attorney's decision validated his client's actions and proved he never broke the law.

"To charge him with a crime when he didn't commit a crime would be outrageous," Victor said. "And so, it's a fair and reasonable result because it doesn't put any kind of requirements that are onerous on my client."

Victor said airport surveillance video shows that Steinmetz was carrying his gun peacefully and legally.

"He didn't go there with the intent of disturbing anybody's peace," Victor said. "He wasn't aware of disturbing anybody's peace. And he never recklessly displayed a firearm."

But Montgomery said the Second Amendment must be exercised properly.


Arizona State Worker Fights to Carry Gun to Job

From July 7, 2008...

A Second Amendment group in Arizona is rallying behind a woman there who wants the right to carry a pistol to work.

Shannon Flynn, an Arizona Department of Revenue collector, wants to carry her 9 mm pistol to her state office because she fears her father, now serving time in state prison for molesting her, will come after her when he is released.

The gun rights group Brassroots, based in Tucson, Arizona, is calling on its members and others to lobby the office of the governor and state legislators to allow Flynn to carry her gun.

Brassroots President Gary Taylor said there is a state statute that lets security officers in government buildings disarm citizens, but only if the agency safely stores the weapon in a safe or any other safe place.

"Under Arizona state law, there is a statute called 13-3102 and it states that any public building that prohibits the carrying of firearms by people, whether concealed or not, they (the state) have to provide a place to store them," said Brassroots President Gary Taylor.

"If they provide a storage locker, they must provide security for it. In other words, you can give to the (security) guard and he can keep for you until you are ready to leave," said Taylor.

But Arizona state law currently bans gun-carrying by employees, and state Revenue Department head Mark Killian has told employees they can't carry a gun into the building, according to his spokesman, Jeff Kros.

"We have an (Arizona) Attorney General's opinion that states that it is state policy for all buildings, not just Revenue, obviously, but every building the state owns, that employees are not permitted to bring weapons in at anytime," said Kros. "That's the state policy and we are just following what the state's guidelines are here."


Ernest Hancock - Arizona Supreme Court Special Action Petition - From Dec 2005...

(Publisher: This lawsuit against the State of Arizona is what prompted the following article to be published in the Arizona Republic Newspaper and the New York Times coverage of the issue)

Arizona Republic June 2002

Why trust the politicians who take your guns? by Ernest Hancock

New York Times
Gun Owners Take Their Concerns to Court


5739 N. 11TH WAY

PHOENIX, AZ. 85014







MARK KILLIAN – Director, CASE NO. CV-02-0161-SA

Arizona Department of Revenue


ELLIOT HIBBS – Director,

Arizona Department of Administration

JANE HULL – Governor of

The State of Arizona


Petitioner alleges:

1. That, as provided in Rule 3 of the Rules of Procedure for Special Actions and Article 5 Section 5 Clause 1 of the Arizona State Constitution. The Respondents have blatantly and severely violated the Enabling Act of June 20th 1910, the clear language of the Arizona State Constitution and its original intent and the United States Constitution and will continue to do so without direct intervention of this court.

2. On Wednesday May 8th, 2002 at 12:30pm the petitioner entered the Arizona State Department of Revenue, a public building, to conduct required business (see attached declaration of Ernest Hancock appendix page 1.

3. The petitioner was refused access to this public building because he was in possession of his firearm. (Hancock Declaration app. pg. 1)

4. Petitioner had right to access to the Arizona State Department of Revenue, a public building to conduct business therein. Respondent had a duty to permit petitioner's access without discretion.

5. Not withstanding Petitioner's right to access to the public building and the respondent's duty to grant access the respondent did knowingly, willfully and unlawfully refuse petitioner's access to said building solely because he was in possession of his firearm.



From Dr. Steinmetz's Attorney, Marc Victor:

I am happy to announce that we have reached an Agreement with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office regarding my client Peter Steinmetz. Pursuant to the Agreement, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has agreed not to pursue any charges against Mr. Steinmetz as a result of his peacefully and openly carrying his AR-15 rifle at Sky Harbor Airport. At all times, Mr. Steinmetz has maintained, and continues to maintain, his innocence. I appreciate the careful consideration given to the evidence by Mr. Montgomery and his office. Mr. Steinmetz is obviously pleased with the decision not to pursue any charges against him, and he maintains the importance of peacefully defending important, fundamental, constitutional rights. Mr. Steinmetz intends to continue to peacefully advocate for the rights of responsible gun owners to safely keep and bear arms.

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