Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday 02-28-15

Residents of Baltimore suburbs are currently creeped the .... out…
The U.S. Army claims that the purpose of the blimp is to protect major cities along the east coast from cruise missiles and large drones.  Similar blimps have been used near the Mexican border to detect smugglers.  The U.S. Army insists that the blimp is not intended for surveillance however Ginger McCall from the Electronic Privacy Information Center has obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act that say the secondary purpose of the blimp is to track and surveil surface moving targets.  Just another case of government pissing on your leg and telling you it’s raining.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday 02-27-15

Exclusive: Here is the New Homeland Security Report on 'Sovereign Citizen Extremist' Violence

Reason has obtained the federal government's recent report on the sovereign citizens, a largely unorganized subculture whose elaborate legal theories say they do not have to follow most laws. Members of the movement are infamous for filing nuisance lawsuits, making their own drivers' licenses and license plates, and sometimes attempting to form their own parallel institutions of government. Some of them are also prone to violence, and it is this hotheaded subgroup that is the subject of the report.
The intelligence assessment, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prepared in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was circulated to law enforcement on February 5 but was not released to the public. (DHS did not respond to repeated requests from Reason for comment.) CNN revealed its existence last Friday, but the network quoted only a couple of lines from it and did not post the full document for everyone to see.
We've posted it here. If you've seen the sensationalized coverage the sovereign citizens have been getting in some quarters—CNN announced its find with the front-page headline "Bigger threat than ISIS?"—the report's rather measured contents might surprise you.
The document declares on its first page that most sovereign citizens are nonviolent, and that it will focus only on the violent fringe within a fringe—the people it calls "sovereign citizen extremists," or SCEs. It describes their violence as "sporadic," and it does not expect its rate to rise, predicting instead that the violence will stay "at the same sporadic level" in 2015. The author or authors add that most of the violence consists of "unplanned, reactive" clashes with police officers, not preplanned attacks.
When sovereigns do plan an attack in advance, the report suggests that this tends to be "in direct response to an ongoing personal grievance, such as an arrest or court order." It argues that sovereign citizens are unlikely to pick a symbolic target—like, say, the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City—and that in this way they are distinct from the killers who attacked two randomly selected cops in Las Vegas last year or three TSA officers at an L.A. airport the year before that. While some police assessments of the movement may give officers the impression that anyone asserting their rights or videotaping an encounter might be a sovereign citizen, the DHS report draws its distinctions fairly carefully.
The report also includes an interactive map of 24 cases from 2010 to 2014 in which sovereign citizens planned, threatened, or actively engaged in violence. A static version of the map is below; to see the interactive version, click here.
Click the map for an interactive version.Department of Homeland Security
There is some variety in these events, from threatening letters to murder plots. But the incidents typically involve a traffic stop or another police encounter gone bad, and they frequently end with the sovereign citizen dead. (In two of the 24 cases, the sovereigns succeeded in killing people.) The incidents do not come substantially more or less frequently over the course of the half-decade covered—though I should note that the report does not claim its list is exhaustive, and that I've seen other lists that include incidents the federal report leaves out and vice versa. (In part, that reflects different definitions of who qualifies as a sovereign citizen.) I'd therefore be wary about using this data to judge whether these little eruptions are becoming more common.
In short, the DHS report presents sovereign-citizen violence as a fairly rare risk that officers should nonetheless be prepared for should it arise. It does not claim that the threat to police is growing, it does not conflate the sovereigns with other anti-government groups, it makes no broad claims about terror on the right (the word "right-wing" appears nowhere in the document), and it does not compare the sovereigns to ISIS or to any other foreign terrorists.
So where did CNN get the headline "Bigger threat than ISIS?" By also citing a completely separate study published last July, in which the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism surveyed state and local police. The cops ranked sovereign citizens as America's most serious terror threat, with Islamists coming in second. The survey did not ask specifically about ISIS, and it's unlikely that the group was on many officers' minds: The poll took place in late 2013 and early 2014, before the Islamic State started to dominate the headlines. (The results may also reflect the fact that the police are the group by far most likely to be affected by SCE violence.)
Citing the Southern Poverty Law Center as its source, CNN also claims that "by some estimates, there are as many as 300,000 people involved in some way with sovereign citizen extremism"—more than the Amish!—and estimates that around 100,000 people form the movement's core. I very strongly doubt that there are 300,000 sovereign citizens by any definition of the term, but there certainly are not 300,000 "sovereign citizen extremists" under the DHS's definition, since the Homeland Security paper explicitly distinguishes SCEs from "their non-violent sovereign citizen counterparts."
Below the jump, you'll find the 24 incidents listed in the Homeland Security report, as described in that document and in media coverage. (In some cases there are disputes over the facts; the list presents the incidents as the police see them.)

• March 2010: Brody James Whitaker shoots at a Florida State Highway Patrol after a traffic stop.

• April 2010: Walter Fitzpatrick plans a "citizens' arrest" of a Knoxville jury foreman who refused to indict President Barack Obama.
• May 2010: Jerry and Joseph Kane get into a shootout with the police after a traffic stop. They kill two officers and are themselves killed.
• June 2010: A sovereign citizen begins a multi-year series of written and verbal threats against law enforcement officials in Sweetgrass, Montana.
• September 2010: Victor Dwayne White of West Odessa, Texas, shoots and wounds two sheriff's deputies and a utility worker who came onto his property to access an oil well. A 22-hour standoff ensues.
• January 2011: David Russell Myrland is arrested after threatening to use "deadly force" if necessary to "arrest" the mayor of Kirkland, Washington, and other officials.
• March 2011: Francis Shaeffer Cox conspires with confederates to kill a judge and an IRS officer in Anchorage, Alaska.
• June 2011: A domestic disturbance call brings police to the home of William Foust in Page, Arizona; Foust is shot and killed in the ensuing altercation.
• July 2011: James Tesi of Colleyville, Texas, fires on police after an attempted traffic stop.
• November 2011: A property dispute brings the authorites to Rodney Brossart's home in Lakota, South Dakota. He threatens to shoot the officers, and a stand-off follows.
• February 2012: Vahe Ohanian visits a California Highway Patrol station and a sheriff's station in Santa Clarita, California, threatening to "snipe" officers. (*)
• February 2012: Matthew O'Neill pleads guilty to sending an envelope containing white powder to the Colorado Department of Revenue.
• August 2012: In LaPlace, Louisiana, a traffic stop leads to two shootouts with members of a small sovereign-citizen group headed by Terry Lyn Smith, one at the vehicle and the second at a trailer park. Two police officers are killed and three wounded.
• September 2012: Phillip Monroe Ballard attempts to solicit the murder of the judge presiding over his tax trial.
• March 2013: Jeffrey Allen Wright of Navarre, Florida, threatens officers with a gun when they try to serve a warrant. He is shot and killed.
• June 2013: In Snellville, Georgia, a man sends police a letter threatening death if they interfere with members of a sovereign-citizen group called the "Embassy of Granville."
• June 2013: Lewis Pollard points a gun at officers at his Fruita, Colorado, residence. He is shot and killed.
• July 2013: Eric Stanberry Jr. pulls a gun on a security guard outside a Nashville strip club, identifying himself as a "sovereign peace officer." Police tase him.
• July 2013: An incarcerated sovereign citizen plans to kill a federal agent and a witness.
• July 2013: David John McCormick refuses to let the Coast Guard board his boat. After lunging at one of the crew, he is arrested for assaulting a federal officer.
• August 2013: David Allen Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman are arrested for allegedly planning to "arrest," "try," and "execute" police officers.
• March 2014: Israel Rondon of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, fires at deputies serving a warrant. He is killed.
• June 2014: When deputies try to serve an eviction notice on Earl Carlson Harris of Ashland, Oregon, he threatens them with a rifle and is killed.
• June 2014: On federal land in Nevada County, California, Brent Douglas Cole allegedly fires at employees of the Bureau of Land Management and the California Highway Patrol as they attempt to tow vehicles from Cole's unsanctioned campground.

Scientists discover black hole so big it contradicts growth theory

By Colin Packham
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Scientists say they have discovered a black hole so big that it challenges the theory about how they grow.
Scientists said this black hole was formed about 900 million years after the Big Bang.
But with measurements indicating it is 12 billion times the size of the Sun, the black hole challenges a widely accepted hypothesis of growth rates.
"Based on previous research, this is the largest black hole found for that period of time," Dr Fuyan Bian, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University (ANU), told Reuters on Wednesday.
"Current theory is for a limit to how fast a black hole can grow, but this black hole is too large for that theory."
The creation of supermassive black holes remains an open topic of research. However, many scientists have long believed the growth rate of black holes was limited.
Black holes grow, scientific theory suggests, as they absorb mass. However, as mass is absorbed, it will be heated creating radiation pressure, which pushes the mass away from the black hole.
"Basically, you have two forces balanced together which sets up a limit for growth, which is much smaller than what we found," said Bian.
The black hole was discovered a team of global scientists led by Xue-Bing Wu at Peking University, China, as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which provided imagery data of 35 percent of the northern hemisphere sky.
The ANU is leading a comparable project, known as SkyMapper, to carry out observations of the Southern Hemisphere sky.
Bian expects more black holes to be observed as the project advances.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday 022-26-15

Florida, the Freest State in the Country?

Florida is the freest (or least unfree, depending on how you look at it) state in the United States? So says North Carolina's John Locke Foundation in its First in Freedom Index, which drew data from a range of sources and found that the state where alligators help keep the yowling, roaming kitty population under control is also notable for officials who generally stay out of your way. Arizona and Indiana round out the top three, while California, New Jersey, and New York serve, unsurprisingly, as black holes of bureaucratic suckage.
John Locke FoundationJohn Locke Foundation
Those of us familiar with the neverending jaw-drops provided by Florida police shenanigans, or simply with the presence of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona's Maricopa County, might be raising an eyebrow around now. But remember that cops in California, New Jersey, and New York are much more professional about their pervasive abuses. They can get through the business of strangling petty "criminals" and trumping up charges against political enemies without parading outrageous personalities in the process. Besides, the John Locke Foundation bypasses civil liberties issues to focus on fiscal policy, educational choice, regulatory incursions, and health care freedom. As a measure of relative restraint and leeway in those areas, it's a handy addition to various existing freedom rankings without displacing the role of other indexes.
The First in Freedom Index actually draws from a lot of the sources that have been cited here before, including the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of North America as well as Mercatus Center's Freedom in the 50 States, the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index, and measures put together by the Center for Education Reform, among others. To this, the North Carolina group adds its own weight and emphasis. The ultimate score is an average across the categories it examines. Florida, for example, is in first place overall, but at 5 in terms of fiscal policy, 1 in educational freedom, 45 in regulatory freedom, and 30 in healthcare freedom.
As with all of these measures, a lot depends on the authors' values, leaving a lot of room for dispute. That's why Mercatus's Freedom in the 50 States is my personal favorite of these projects, since it includes tools that let users personalize results to reflect their own preferences.
That said, I find it interesting that top-rankers in all of these indexes tend to vary a bit depending on what's being measured and who is doing the weighting. It doesn't take a lot of policy variation to move a state up and down within the top half of an index that measures people's abilities to live their lives relatively free of state interference.
But California, New York, and New Jersey always rank near the bottom of these lists as intrusive, red tape-bound hellholes.

Formulas to get rid of insects in your home

ANTS To keep ants out of a house or a garden: sprinkle ground cinnamon around base of house. (I get the bulk cheap stuff works great no ants in 7 yrs!) You can also sprinkle it on ant beds, to kill the ants (or they will travel to your neighbors yards). For your garden: sprinkle concentrated lemon juice round the whole garden, keeps ants & insects out of garden. Both are ok to use if you have pets or little kids around, safe for all to use & you can get the kids to do it for you without worry! Contributed by ANTS formula 2:

  • Boric Acid
  • Sugar
  • Cotton Balls
Mix Boric Acid and Sugar in a bowl. Then soak Cotton ball in Mixture and let dry. Place Cotton balls in path of Ants.Contributed by Michelle Potter ANT TRAPS:

  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons active dry yeast
Mix ingredients together in a small bowl until they form a smooth past. Spread the mixture into plastic lid. Any old plastic container will do. Set the mixture near the mouth of ant hill. For kitchen areas, coat a strip of cardboard with the mixture and lay along floor or in crevices where ants travel. Works best with medium to large ants. Try substituting honey for the molasses.

  • Plastic Zip lock bags
  • Water
  • Paper clip
Fill plastic zip lock bage 1/2 full with water
punch smmall hole through Ziplock bag with paper clip and and thread it to the first loop
Hag bag using paper clip where Flies are.

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over strips of brown paper and let soak overnight. To hang, poke a hole in one end of a strip and tie a string to it. MOSQUITO/INSECT REPELLENT Formula 1: Ingrediance
  • aloe vera gel
  • essential oils of citronella
  • tea tree oil
  • lavender oil
Stir all ingrediance together
Mix becomes opaque. (make it as strong as y0u like)

contributed by Lucy
Formula 2: Ingredients
  • 3 cups rubbing alcohol
  • 1 1/2 cups red cedar wood shavings
  • 1/2 cup eucalyptus leaves
Mix ingredients together in a large bowl or jar. Cover and let stand 5 days. Strain the solid ingredients out and save the remaining liquid. Store tightly sealed. Yield: 2 cups. To use, pour into a small spray bottle and spray lightly on skin. Formula 3: Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup denatured alcohol
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons camphor
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons calcium chloride
Mix ingredients together in a bowl and stir until dissolved. To use, rub on skin before going outside, or pour into a small spray bottle and spray lightly on skin. CAUTION: Do not use near eyes. Discontinue use if you notice a rash or other allergic reaction. Formula 4: Ingredients Mix together:
  • One ounce of either oil of citronella or pennyroyal
  • Baby oil or vegetable oil, a few drops
Citronella and pennyroyal can be found at most health food stores. Apply to skin before going outside.
(Note: caution should be used with penny royal around or by pregnant women )
Formula 5: Ingredients
  • Four parts glycerin
  • 4 parts alcohol
  • 1 part eucalyptus oil
Or make a solution of equal parts of isopropyl alcohol and methyl phthalate. Avon's Skin-So-Soft
Although some people swear by this product, I didn't find it to be particularly effective.
The castor bean plant
Seeds available from any nursery. Plant in pots within the house; replant outdoors. Decorative and they grow like weeds! (Please read note 1)
Garlic Juice
My grandson is allergic to any type of repellent with chemicals in it. So we use a mixture of Garlic juice and water. Use at least 1 part garlic juice to 5 parts water in a small personal size spray bottle. Works every time, works great in the woods, hubby forgot one day and had a terrible case of chiggers. We originally started to use this in our garden instead of poisons and decided to use it on ourselves since it worked so well. Contributed by Becky Holcomb, ROACH EXTERMINATOR Mix the following:
  • Borax, one pound
  • Powdered sugar, 60 oz.
  • One oz. cocoa powder
  • Two oz. sodium fluoride
Mix well and sprinkle around places pests are known to frequent. Keep out of reach of children! MOTH PAPER Melt together
  • 4 parts naphthalene and
  • 8 parts paraffin wax
Paint on paper while still warm.
Note1:the castor bean contain ricin which is harmfull if eaten. PLEASE keep seeds out of the reach of children and pets.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday 02-25-15

Christian Persecution

By Matt Ward

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake...” (Matthew 5:10).
The Bible tells us that persecution will be the experience of those who have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior despite what the prosperity teachers tell us (2 Tim.3:12). For many Christians in this world today persecution is real, brutal and deadly serious where their very lives are at stake on a daily basis.
The Bible is replete with warnings that living as a Christian will be difficult and for many it has proven to be deadly. In more than 50 nations of our world today it is illegal to just be a Christian. It is illegal to own a Bible, to preach Jesus Christ, to change your faith to Christianity; especially from Islam and to teach one’s children about salvation in Jesus.
Those who continue to live in this way despite government edict or severe pressure face harassment, arrest, torture and even death. Aside from these 50 nations, in another 139 countries of the world today Christians are classified as being “under severe threat or persecution.”
Even countries that at one time hosted thriving Christian communities are now becoming significantly more hostile toward Christianity. One example of this is Turkey, which a short time ago had a Christian population totaling 32% of it electorate. Today it is 0.15%. Christians are systematically and methodically being eradicated from many countries in the world today.
The fact that we in the West can walk to church on a Sunday morning relatively unbothered is the exception in the world, not the norm. In fact, it is true to say that Christians have become the most persecuted group on earth in 2014-2015.
Our future in Jesus is indeed a glorious one beyond compare but until we meet Him through death or the Rapture our destiny on this earth is one which will increasingly include suffering and persecution. As the end time’s birth pangs increase, so will Christian persecution.
The examples of this worldwide are truly overwhelming.
The Middle East is witnessing a whole scale slaughter of Christian’s unseen since the era of the Crusades in the 10th and 11th centuries.Entire Christian cultures which have previously existed for centuries are being wiped out, especially in Iraq and areas of Syria under the control of the Islamic State. The barbarity of these attacks have shocked everyone exposed to them, which include decapitating young children and putting their heads on spikes simply because their parents are Christians. This type of barbarism is not generally reported in the media.
Indeed, one of the most upsetting yet inspirational news items of last year occurred last month in December 2014, when four Iraqi youth under the age of fifteen were decapitated by ISIS because they refused to convert to Islam. The reason they refused was that, “they loved Jesus” too much.[1] This is not an isolated example.
Today in February 2015, for the first time in 1600 years there are no Christians living in Mosul or in almost the entirety of northern Iraq. [2] ISIS are following through on their stated goals and soon the vast swathe of land that they control will be entirely Christian free. What is perhaps equally as shocking is the gross underreporting that is taking place amongst the world’s media.
Persecution of Christians in 2014-15 is not confined to areas of obvious chaos such as Iraq and Syria. Open and brazen persecution of Christians is taking place in countries that are supposed to operate under the rule of well-established legal systems.
In Pakistan, in November 2014 for example, a mob burnt to death Sajjad Maseeh, 27, and his wife Shama Bibi, 24 who were bundled into a hot kiln for the crime of burning verses of the Koran. Both husband and wife had their legs broken so that they could not run away. President Obama, though made aware of this issue did not even bother to issue a press release condemning this crime. Shama Bibi was also heavily pregnant at the time. Both were Christians. [3]
France in the last few weeks of 2014 and first few weeks of 2015 have decided to cede sovereignty in over seven hundred “no-go” areas to large Muslims communities. Areas where the French police do not patrol and where Sharia Law is the law that governs, not French judicial law. This retreat from confronting issues involving radical Islam has led to a literal explosion of hate crimes against Jews and Christians. This attitude led to the recent Charlie Hebdo massacres in Paris, and France is now witnessing a real life fast exodus of Jews undertaking Aliyah to Israel.
Boko Haram, in Africa are running rampage through well-established nation states like Nigeria, butchering entire villages. [4] Boko Haram’s primary targets are not Muslims, they are Christians, something again vastly under reported in Western media.
Closer to home in America and Europe the shadows of persecution are starting to crawl deeper down our own horizons. Creeping domestic legislation will soon effectively criminalize the Christian faith, meaning that believers in Jesus will have to choose between obeying the law or standing with their Bibles, and all under the guise of “political correctness.”
What makes this all the more perverse is that this criminalization of Christianity in the West is “…being perpetrated under the rubric of promoting tolerance and equality, but only toward approved groups.” [5] America currently very aptly falls into this category.
Prophetically, the Bible is clear that persecution is the future for the church in the run up to the end of the age, abroad and at home. As with ever increasing birth pangs the current persecution is the beginning of an ever increasing trend that is going to lead directly to the Tribulation period.
Those of us who love Jesus will experience persecution because it is the very cross of Jesus that we look toward with such hope for our salvation; that is what separates us so deeply from this world (John 15:18-21).
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:14).
If you believe in Jesus, you are not of this world and the world will hate you for it.
True believers will also increasingly experience persecution because mainline churches are currently led by compromising leaders who do not love the truth as they ought (John 12: 42-44). And Jesus also plainly tells us that His true church will experience persecution because as His followers we will share in his suffering and in His promises.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).
Our immediate prophetic future on this earth is one that does involve suffering.
“And you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22).
“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:10, 12-13).
It is this very suffering, abhorrent and appalling though it is, that convicts the world of sin through our witness to Jesus.
“…they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them” (Luke 21:12-13).
Ultimately God is in control. In control of all circumstances and all situations and our mission is to stand with Jesus in these last days, even in the midst of the raging storm and to simply be a witness.
Christian persecution is real and it is burgeoning, but there is hope and that hope is found in Jesus Christ alone.
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:12-14a).
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday 02-24-15

Bombshell Interview: Cop Reveals That “Planting Evidence And Lying” Are Just “Part Of The Game”

Palm Beach County, Florida – Journalists at the DC Post were looking through message boards that are frequented by law enforcement officers, when they found a post where one officer was causally talking about planting evidence on “mouthy drivers” and “street lawyers.”
The Post then contacted the officer and conducted an anonymous interview with him where he revealed his disturbing perspective.
The officer revealed the illegal and unethical actions that he is proud of taking on the job. The DC Post has also said that they have verified the officer’s position with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and they have verified many of the claims that he has made.
The original post was titled “Tricks of the trade – let’s exchange!” and featured the following message:
“I have a method for getting people off the street that should not be there. Mouthy drivers, street lawyers, assholes and just anyone else trying to make my job difficult. Under my floor mat, I keep a small plastic dime baggie with Cocaine in residue. Since it’s just residue, if it is ever found during a search of my car like during an inspection, it’s easy enough to explain. It must have stuck to my foot while walking through San Castle. Anyways, no one’s going to question an empty baggie. The residue is the key because you can fully charge some asshole with possession of cocaine, heroin, or whatever just with the residue. How to get it done? “I asked Mr. DOE for his identification. And he pulled out his wallet, I observed a small plastic baggie fall out of his pocket…” You get the idea. easy, right? Best part is, those baggies can be found lots of places so you can always be ready. Don’t forget to wipe the baggie on the person’s skin after you arrest them because you want their DNA on the bag if they say you planted it or fight it in court.”
Other officers on the board responded by sharing similar stories about how they falsely arrest people who don’t adequately bow to their authority.
Later in the interview, when the officer was asked if planting evidence happened regularly within his department, he responded by saying,
“Um, yes it does, on a regular basis. Probably every day in my shift. I work nights on the Road Patrol in a rough, um, mostly black neighborhood. Planting evidence and lying in your reports are just part of the game.

Then straight from the horses mouth, the officer said that this crooked behavior was actually encouraged by the drug war. Continuing his discussion about planting evidence, the officer said,
“Yes, all the time. It is something I see a lot of, whether it was from deputies, supervisors or undercovers and even investigators. It’s almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they’re going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway. One of the consequences of the war on drugs is that police officers are pressured to make large numbers of arrests, and it’s easy for some of the less honest cops to plant evidence on innocent people. The drug war inevitably leads to crooked policing — and quotas further incentivize such practices. It doesn’t help that your higherups all did the same thing when they were on the road. It’s like a neverending cycle. Like how molested children accept that as okay behavior and begin molesting children themselves.”
When asked if he would get in trouble with the police department for framing people, the officer laughed and said that this type of behavior was actually encouraged.
“Our top boss, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, supports this behavior and has for his entire career. As with anything, it depends on who you know in our agency. Last year, we had three deputies on the TAC unit, Kevin Drummond and Jarrod Foster, get caught falsifying information for a warrant. They got a pat on the back for a job well done. Just recently, we had a deputy, I think his name was Booth. He was caught completely lying on a car crash. Back a few more years, our Sheriff was involved a massive coverup of the death of two black deputies. He hid the report for years. This is only the beginning. The Sheriff has been involved in falsification of documents and his underling, Chief Deputy Michael Gauger, has been personally involved in an overtime scandal to steal money from the Sheriff’s Office. Does our Sheriff know about this behavior? Of course he does. We have even had a judge outright accuse my agency of committing fraud upon the court in a public hearing. She was one of the ones who saw through all the lying and covering up our department does to get away with the internal crime committed by deputies on a regular basis,” he said.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is no special police department, and this officer is not just a bad apple. The problems that are discussed in this interview are systematic, and they occur in every town across the country.
Just this week, we exposed a police department in Missouri whose officers were forced to make arrests or faced losing their job. This leads to otherwise innocent people being charged on a regular basis.
Also this week, the Free Thought Project conducted a report to show what happens to cops who try to expose this corruption. Several officers within the Chicago police department were threatened with “going home in a casket” for exposing this same vile practice within their ranks.

A Moral Code For The Post-Collapse World

Popular media today, including television and cinema, are rife with examples of what is often referred to as moral relativism — the use of false and fictional moral dilemmas designed to promote the rationalization of an “ends justify the means” narrative. We are also bombarded lately with entertainment depicting an endless array of “anti-heroes,” protagonists who have little to no moral code fighting antagonists who are even more evil, thus vindicating the otherwise disgusting actions of the heroes. From “24” to “Breaking Bad” to “The Walking Dead,” American minds are being saturated with propaganda selling the idea that crisis situations require a survivor to abandon conscience. In other words, in order to defeat monsters, you must become a monster.
This theme is not only unavoidable in film and TV, but also in military journals, politics, and even within liberty movement discussion.
What I see developing is an extremely dangerous philosophy that rests on the foundation that victory (or survival) is the paramount virtue and that it should be attained at any cost. Moral compass becomes a “luxury” that “true” apex survivors cannot afford, an obstacle that could eventually get one killed. I have heard some survivalists and liberty proponents in anger over the trespasses of the corrupt establishment suggest a strict adherence to the eye-for-an-eye ideology, up to and including torture, harming of the enemy’s families, and even harming the children of those who would harm us.
There is also a small but ingrained subculture within spheres of survivalism that embraces the strategy of the “prepper pirate,” essentially planning their subsistence around the idea of taking what they need from others as a form of evolutionary realism. They believe that the “survival of the fittest” is more important than the survival of the principled.
In mainstream yuppie culture, this attitude would be labeled insane. Yet urban and suburban television addicts often cheer the concept of the ends justifying the means in their favorite prime time shows and consistently argue for morality stretching policies within government (as long as their “team” is in control of the football in Washington, D.C.). I have little doubt they would adopt such thinking in the event that disaster does strike and they find themselves unprepared amid desperate conditions.
In “Understanding The Fear Of Self-Defense And Revolution,” I discussed the inevitability of self-defense against criminal oligarchy and why common methods of pacifist activism are dangerously inadequate in the face of psychopathic tyranny. When self-defense or revolution is initiated, though, the movement does not necessarily fight only for its own benefit; nor does it fight simply to eliminate the threat. Our survival as individuals is not the primary concern; the survival of the principles and truths that drive us to fight is the ultimate goal. If there is such a thing as the “greater good,” truth and honor must be the apex of that vision.
If we cast aside our principles in the name of victory, then, ironically, we have still lost everything. Our war is fought on multiple levels, from the physical to the spiritual. Lose the spiritual war, lose sight of one’s conscience, and the physical war becomes meaningless.
I believe the formation of a liberty movement code, a kind of warrior’s code, is absolutely vital to our future. Without a new kind of oath, an oath not only to the Constitution but to our own internal values, the temptation to use our darker natures against the enemy during greater trials of the soul may be too much to bear. While conscience is an inborn gift, it sometimes requires a more outward affirmation in order to remain strong. Here are some elements I believe should make up the foundation of our code.
Defense Of The Innocent
We will do everything within our power whenever possible to ensure the safety and liberty of those people around us caught in the currents of collapse. Some might claim that the unprepared are not “innocent” because their lack of vigilance contributes to the decay of our society. I would say that while the ignorant are a danger to us and themselves, we would also be contributing to the decay of our society by refusing to help others when we have the ability to do so. Someone somewhere has to end the cycle. And if that requires us to sacrifice some of our energy and the satisfaction of saying “we told you so,” then this is what we must do.
I would also point out that the defense of the innocent does not begin when our economic and social structures end. We help them now, by offering them the knowledge to prepare and organize for mutual aid. We go to our town centers, to local churches, to our lecture halls; and we openly educate those who are willing to listen — not to preach politics or to indoctrinate, but to offer practical knowledge. We give them useful tools through neighborhood watch programs and Community Preparedness Teams. We teach them today how to defend themselves, their families and their property and how to invest in survival, so that tomorrow they will not feel compelled to become part of the problem, but part of the solution.
If we let our distaste for the unaware lead us into an attitude of “us versus them” against our own neighbors, then we will miss every chance to strengthen our communities. Our purpose is to bring others up, not to stand in pious judgment as they fall down.
We Prepare To Offer Aid, Even To Those We Think Might Not Deserve It
Many survivalists and preppers may scoff at this idea, but they would not be looking at the bigger picture. Offering aid to your community serves not only to help them, but to help you in the long run. Look at it this way; when FEMA arrives in a disaster-struck city or county, its “authority” means little to the shell-shocked citizenry. What does matter to them is that FEMA brings food, water and sometimes shelter. FEMA does this in its own sweet time and often allows numerous people to die before the aid is given, but it still maintains its authority over a region simply because there is no other alternative.
You must offer that alternative.
Imagine what would have happened if during the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina, while FEMA was lounging around watching the carnage and even denying access to private institutions offering supplies, New Orleans residents were greeted with liberty movement teams defying government mandate? What if liberty advocates from across Louisiana and the nation had marched right over the top of FEMA, escorted those trapped in the Superdome to a safe place, and gave them food and water? The movement raised millions of dollars for Ron Paul’s campaign (twice!), why couldn’t we do the same to save lives?
Imagine if we were to prove that FEMA is an unnecessary and frivolous organization ready for the dustbin? Imagine if we were to prove that communities can provide their own security and aid without the state, as Oath Keepers did in Ferguson, Missouri?
Even at a local level, this methodology could mean the difference between freedom and tyranny. Stockpiles of grain bought directly from independent farms can be had for very little money and strategically placed for use in future calamities. Affordable water filtration could prevent disease and dehydration for thousands. A team of engineers could solve waste and grid-down dilemmas. A team of well-trained security personnel could prevent looting, rape and murder. Imagine if the catastrophe the elites wish to engineer was mitigated or thwarted by the very people the disaster was meant to target? Imagine how much satisfaction that would give you.
Our Actions Are Inspired By Conscience, Not Rage
To fight in self-defense is entirely moral, but there are lines that, if crossed, destroy our moral high ground. Without the moral high ground, we become no better than the elites we seek to remove from our lives. This means that we do not harm people unless they are attempting to harm us. We punish criminals, not their families and not their children. We do not torture, not only because it is a useless tactic with little concrete proof of effectiveness, but because it is a morally reprehensible psychopathic act designed to fulfill a sick desire for sadistic power. It is not who we are.
When we fight, we fight in the knowledge that we have first and foremost protected our moral foundation. We see those who promote moral ambiguity and moral relativism as an element destructive to the purpose of liberty. Winning means nothing and survival means nothing, unless we endeavor to deserve life.
We Do Not Run Unless We Plan To Return
In an asymmetric revolution, there is rarely such a thing as a “front line” or a piece of ground that must be defended at all costs. That said, successful asymmetric warfare requires that the enemy pay an overwhelming price for every attack he initiates. This means that said revolt must always be aggressive, never relenting, always striking, and resting or retreating only to stage a more effective counter. Every time a totalitarian system advances without consequence, it generates political, social, psychological and tactical momentum. Without the courage to engage such advances, revolt is impossible. Fear leads to moral rationalizations. The fearful cannot adequately defend themselves, let alone defend others; and, once again, the moral high ground is lost.
Zero Tolerance For Piracy And Criminality Within
Prepper pirates and others on the very fringes of the survival movement who seek to thrive at the expense of others are not only criminal according to natural law, but they are also a blight on the reputation of the liberty movement itself. Our principles will require us to stamp out such people as a priority. Those who would viciously impose upon the innocent as a preplanned strategy are not redeemable. Even if they claim to hate the same elites we fight against, the enemy of our enemy is not necessarily our friend. Prepper pirates are rabid dogs who should be put down.
We Are Professionals, And Guardians Never Satisfied With Half Measures
We carry ourselves as quiet professionals. We strive to represent the best potential of what the liberty movement has to offer. There is no problem we cannot solve and no opponent too large. We do not know the meaning of the word “impossible.” We operate best under pressure and during disaster. We move to disrupt crisis before it begins when possible, and we refuse to stand back as spectators when crisis does develop. We work diligently to master all knowledge and training that could be used to achieve our goal, which is a free, prosperous and independent citizenry. We do not seek leadership over others; we only wish to teach others how to lead themselves. We will not stop until this goal is accomplished or until we are no longer breathing. We are not mutable or flexible where tyranny is concerned. We are entirely uncompromising. We are stubborn bastards, here to drive oligarchs even crazier than they already are. We are here to undo them and their treacherous world. And in this mission, we find ultimate comfort and peace.

ATF and EPA quietly working on gun control with ammunition bans

About a year and a half ago, we wrote a story about the closing of the Doe Run lead smelting facility, the last primary lead smelter in the U.S. and whether this was a “backdoor effort” to control guns. After all, no lead means no ammunition, which means your gun becomes about as lethal as a ball-peen hammer.
Naturally, we were roundly attacked by leftists who said that was ridiculous, because most ammunition comes from secondary lead, and there’s still plenty of that around.
Unless of course lead is banned.
On a related theme, we wrote yesterday about how the FCC and FEC are preparing a noose to tighten around our First Amendment rights.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday 02-23-15

If spies can so can other people and groups

Spies Can Track You Just by Watching Your Phone’s Power Use

Smartphone users might balk at letting a random app like Candy Crush or Shazam track their every move via GPS. But researchers have found that Android phones reveal information about your location to every app on your device through a different, unlikely data leak: the phone’s power consumption.
Researchers at Stanford University and Israel’s defense research group Rafael have created a technique they call PowerSpy, which they say can gather information about an Android phone’s geolocation merely by tracking its power use over time. That data, unlike GPS or Wi-Fi location tracking, is freely available to any installed app without a requirement to ask the user’s permission. That means it could represent a new method of stealthily determining a user’s movements with as much as 90 percent accuracy—though for now the method only really works when trying to differentiate between a certain number of pre-measured routes.
Spies might trick a surveillance target into downloading a specific app that uses the PowerSpy technique, or less malicious app makers could use its location tracking for advertising purposes, says Yan Michalevski, one of the Stanford researchers. “You could install an application like Angry Birds that communicates over the network but doesn’t ask for any location permissions,” says Michalevski.  “It gathers information and sends it back to me to track you in real time, to understand what routes you’ve taken when you drove your car or to know exactly where you are on the route. And it does it all just by reading power consumption.”
PowerSpy takes advantage of the fact that a phone’s cellular transmissions use more power to reach a given cell tower the farther it travels from that tower, or when obstacles like buildings or mountains block its signal. That correlation between battery use and variables like environmental conditions and cell tower distance is strong enough that momentary power drains like a phone conversation or the use of another power-hungry app can be filtered out, Michalevsky says.
One of the machine-learning tricks the researchers used to detect that “noise” is a focus on longer-term trends in the phone’s power use rather than those than last just a few seconds or minutes. “A sufficiently long power measurement (several minutes) enables the learning algorithm to ‘see’ through the noise,” the researchers write. “We show that measuring the phone’s aggregate power consumption over time completely reveals the phone’s location and movement.”
Even so, PowerSpy has a major limitation: It requires that the snooper pre-measure how a phone’s power use behaves as it travels along defined routes. This means you can’t snoop on a place you or a cohort has never been, as you need to have actually walked or driven along the route your subject’s phone takes in order to draw any location conclusions. The Stanford and Israeli researchers collected power data from phones as they drove around California’s Bay Area and the Israeli city of Haifa. Then they compared their dataset with the power consumption of an LG Nexus 4 handset as it repeatedly traveled through one of those routes, using a different, unknown choice of route with each test. They found that among seven possible routes, they could identify the correct one with 90 percent accuracy.
“If you take the same ride a couple of times, you’ll see a very clear signal profile and power profile,” says Michalevsky. “We show that those similarities are enough to recognize among several possible routes that you’re taking this route or that one, that you drove from Uptown to Downtown, for instance, and not from Uptown to Queens.”
Michalevsky says the group hopes to improve its analysis to apply that same level of accuracy to tracking phones through many more possible paths and with a variety of phones—they already believe that a Nexus 5 would work just as well, for instance. The researchers also are working on detecting more precisely where in a known route a phone is at any given time. Currently the precision of that measurement varies from a few meters to hundreds of meters depending upon how long the phone has been traveling.
The researchers have attempted to detect phones’ locations even as they travel routes the snooper has never fully seen before. That extra feat is accomplished by piecing together their measurements of small portions of the routes whose power profiles have already been pre-measured. For a phone with just a few apps like Gmail, a corporate email inbox, and Google Calendar, the researchers were able determine a device’s exact path about two out of three times. For phones with half a dozen additional apps that suck power unpredictably and add noise to the measurements, they could determine a portion of the path about 60 percent of the time, and the exact path just 20 percent of the time.
Even with its relative imprecision and the need for earlier measurements of power use along possible routes, Michalevsky argues that PowerSpy represents a privacy problem that Google hasn’t fully considered. Android makes power consumption data available to all apps for the purpose of debugging. But that means the data easily could have been restricted to developers, nixing any chance for it to become a backdoor method of pinpointing a user’s position.
Google didn’t respond to WIRED’s request for comment.
This isn’t the first time that Michalevsky and his colleagues have used unexpected phone components to determine a user’s sensitive information. Last year the same researchers’ group, led by renowned cryptographer Dan Boneh, found that they could exploit the gyroscopes in a phone as crude microphones. That “gyrophone” trick was able to to pick up digits spoken aloud into the phone, or even to determine the speaker’s gender. “Whenever you grant anyone access to sensors on a device, you’re going to have unintended consequences,” Stanford professor Boneh told WIRED in August when that research was unveiled.
Stanford’s Michalevsky says that PowerSpy is another reminder of the danger of giving untrusted apps access to a sensor that picks up more information than it’s meant to. “We can abuse attack surfaces in unexpected ways,” he says, “to leak information in ways that it’s not supposed to leak.”
Read the full PowerSpy paper below.

DHS: You right wingnuts are worse than ISIS

The Department of Homeland Security has a lot on their hands lately. It seems as if some days they don’t know where to look first when dealing with a variety of threats. Whether it’s al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram or sympathizers for any of a variety of terrorists groups, they are dealing with a dangerous world. But for some reason, CNN reports that the big threat this year is probably… sovereign citizens.
On second thought, maybe that whole defunding the DHS thing isn’t looking that bad.
A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.
Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.​
The Homeland Security report, produced in coordination with the FBI, counts 24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010.
24 attacks in the last five years is 24 too many, as I’m sure we can all agree. But we should also put things in perspective. Islamic terrorists can pull off that many in a week without breaking too much of a sweat. They make no secret of their intentions, but you always have to be on the lookout for who might be helping them on the home front.
But if it’s domestic threats that we’re worrying about, is this really the top trophy to go after? In 2012 (the last year of full records) there were 500 gang killings in Chicago alone. For those of you keeping score at home, unlike the 24 in the last five years racked up by the “sovereign citizens” brigade, that’s more than 28 every three weeks. In New York, youth gangs commit an estimated 40% of the shootings each year, and while the Big Apple has done an admirable job of bringing their murder rate down for several years now, that’s still a lot of lead flying through the air. I could go through the numbers for the other cities, but you get the point.
It goes beyond that, though. We have parades of people marching down the streets calling for the murder of cops. That’s not single point violence… it’s mayhem on a cultural scale which seeks to tear down the fabric of civilization. And if that’s not enough, if you take a tour of the more southwest regions, massively well funded, heavily armed and well organized drug cartels make regular forays into our nation dealing death and destruction on a daily basis. Math may not be my strong suit in terms of placing things in order of importance, but that seems fairly serious.
But… hey. 24 attacks in five years is pretty bad too, so you get right on that.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday 2-22-15

Defensive Gun Use Is Not a Myth

t’s deja vu all over again. In a recent Politico Magazine article, Evan DeFillipis and Devin Hughes resuscitate criticisms of a survey on defensive gun use that I conducted with my colleague Marc Gertz way back in 1993—the National Self-Defense Survey (NSDS). The authors repeat, item for item, speculative criticisms floated by a man named David Hemenway in 1997 and repeated endlessly since. The conclusion these critics drew is that our survey grossly overestimated the frequency of defensive gun use (DGU), a situation in which a crime victim uses a gun to threaten or attack the offender in self-defense. But what DeFillipis and Hughes carefully withheld from readers is the fact that I and my colleague have refuted every one of Hemenway’s dubious claims, and those by other critics of the NSDS, first in 1997, and again, even more extensively, in 1998 and 2001. Skeptical readers can check for themselves if we failed to refute them—the 1998 version is publicly available here. More seriously motivated readers could acquire a copy of Armed, a 2001 book by Don Kates and me, and read chapter six.
If DeFillipis and Hughes could refute any of our rebuttals, that would be news worth attending to. They do not, however, identify any problems with our refutations, such as errors in our logic, or superior evidence that contradicts any of our rebuttals. Instead, they just pretend they are not aware of the rebuttals, even though our first systematic dismantling of Hemenway’s speculations was published in the exact same issue of the journal that published Hemenway's 1997 critique, on the pages immediately following the Hemenway article.
The authors, a couple of Oklahoma investment counselors with no graduate degrees, do not claim to have had any training in survey research methods. Like Hemenway (who is also untrained in survey methods), they believe that it’s perfectly plausible that surveys generate enormous over-estimates of crime-related experiences, as if this were the most commonplace thing in the world. The reality that survey experts are familiar with, however, is that surveys of the general public simply do not overestimate crime-related experiences.
In order for a survey respondent to report a typical DGU, she or he must be willing to report all three of the following elements of the event: (1) a crime victimization experience, (2) his or her possession of a gun, and (3) his or her own commission of a crime. The last element is relevant because most DGUs occur away from the user’s home, and only about 1 percent of the population in 1993, when we conducted our survey, had a permit that allowed them to legally carry a gun through public spaces. Thus, although survey-reported defensive gun uses themselves rarely involve criminal behavior (that is, the defender did not use the gun to commit a criminal assault or other offense), most (at least back in 1993) involved unlawful possession of a gun in a public place by the defender.
So what does research on the flaws in surveys of crime-related behaviors tell us? It consistently indicates that survey respondents underreport (1) crime victimization experiences, (2) gun ownership and (3) their own illegal behavior. While it is true that a few respondents overstate their crime-related experiences, they are greatly outnumbered by those who understate them, i.e. those who falsely deny having the experience when in fact they did. In sum, research tells us that surveys underestimate the frequency of crime victimizations, gun possession and self-reported illegal behavior. Yet DeFillipis and Hughes somehow manage to conclude that defensive gun uses—incidents that always involve the first two of those elements, and usually the third as well—are overestimated in surveys.

Like Hemenway, DeFillipis and Hughes fail to understand the most fundamental logical issue regarding whether surveys under or overestimate the frequency of defensive gun use. The point at issue is not whether there are “false positive” responses, i.e. respondents saying “yes, they used their gun defensively” when the correct answer was “no.” No one has ever disputed that there are some false positives in these surveys. But this by itself can tell us nothing about whether DGU estimates are too high or too low overall. Even if false positives were numerous, false negatives (when a respondent falsely denies a DGU that actually occurred) could be (and, according to extensive research, are) even more common. In that case, survey estimates of DGU frequency would be too low, not the enormous overestimate that DeFillipis and Hughes believe in. Since neither of those authors nor Hemenway—nor any other critics for that matter—have ever made the slightest effort to estimate the number of false negatives, they cannot possibly know whether false positives outnumber false negatives and therefore have no logical foundation whatsoever for their claims that erroneous responses to DGU questions result in an overestimate of DGU frequency.

The authors’ discussion of possible flaws in survey estimates of DGU frequency is conspicuously one-sided, addressing only supposed flaws that could make the estimates too high—but none that could make the estimates too low. As mentioned above, they say nothing about the well-documented failure of many survey respondents to report criminal victimization, gun ownership or their own crimes. Likewise, they do not mention that our estimates did not include any DGUs by adolescent crime victims, even though adolescents are more likely to be crime victims than adults, and just as likely to carry guns, albeit illegally.
To summarize, notwithstanding DeFillipis and Hughes’ one-sided cherry-picking of the research evidence, surveys do not overestimate the number of DGUs (or anything else crime-related), and at least 18 national surveys have consistently confirmed that DGUs are very common, probably more common than criminal uses of guns.
As to DeFillipis and Hughes’ motives for working so long and hard to get the DGU estimate down, I believe the most likely explanation is that they hope that total gun prohibition will one day be politically achievable, and they recognize that high numbers of DGUs each year would present an enormous obstacle to persuading Americans that disarming noncriminals would be without serious costs. No one who supported only moderate controls but who opposed total prohibition would care about high estimates of DGUs by noncriminals, since they would be unaffected by moderate controls that do not disarm noncriminals, such as background checks.
If DeFillipis and Hughes do indeed hope to see gun prohibition someday, perhaps they should be more honest with their readers as to their motives, forthrightly embracing the prohibitionist position. On the other hand, if they are not trying to advance the cause of prohibition, what could possibly justify a 2000-plus word screed pushing the long-discredited claim that Americans rarely use guns for self-protection?
Since DeFillipis and Hughes have not offered any new criticisms beyond those that Hemenway peddled back in 1997, I can do no better than to repeat the conclusions of the first refutation that I and my colleague Marc Gertz published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology in 1997. They are especially noteworthy for our remarkably accurate prophecy regarding how Hemenway’s claims would be exploited by people like DeFillipis and Hughes: “Hemenway has failed to cast even mild doubt on the accuracy of our estimates. The claim that there are huge numbers of defensive uses of guns each year in the United States has been repeatedly confirmed, and remains one of the most consistently supported assertions in the guns-violence research area. Given H’s purposes, however, it is politically inconsequential that we can easily rebut all of his claims. We can be confident that ideologues will cite his series of one-sided speculations as authoritative proof that our estimates has been “discredited,” while pro-control academics who fancy themselves moderates will conclude that although maybe H was wrong on some points, he has nevertheless somehow “cast doubt” on the estimates or “raised serious questions” about them. Left unmentioned will be one simple fact: in all of H’s commentary, he does not once cite the one thing that could legitimately cast doubt on our estimates—better empirical evidence.”