Tuesday, April 22, 2014

TSA still frisking small children.

Yes, they are.

The video description clearly suggests that the children were given a pat down without first being allowed to pass repeatedly through x-ray scanners to clear the issue, and in fact that there was no issue with the children at all because it was the mother’s name appearing on a watchlist that prompted the pat down. If this is the case, it represents a violation of the TSA’s own policy.

In a more general context, the video serves as yet another reminder of the numerous idiotic policies employed by the TSA which do nothing to target potential terrorists and everything to harass and inconvenience innocent travelers.

The clip will also stoke concerns that the entire concept of children being taught not to allow strangers to touch them is being violated by the actions of the TSA.

Meanwhile, a teenager was able to STOW AWAY on an American flight.

The slight teenager, first seen on a security camera video, would not appear again until late Sunday morning, when airline workers spotted him, 2,350 miles to the west, wandering on another tarmac, this one at Kahului Airport on the island of Maui.

In the interim, authorities say, the boy survived a perilous 5 1/2-hour odyssey— weathering frigid temperatures, oxygen deprivation and a flight compartment unfit for human habitation — as he traveled over the Pacific Ocean in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines jet.

They need to manhandle toddlers as if they were found-ins at a crack house, but their perimeter is so weak a stupid 15 year old can wander in and hide inside an aircraft for no apparent purpose. Gee that seems reasonable, right?

It is not security. It is security theater. They are training the American public  to accept any outrage no matter how personal as just part of traveling.

Consider driving instead. Let a couple more airlines go out of business, then see how they manage.

The Phantom

44 shot, 8 dead (so far) over Chicago Easter.

That's the count so far. Here's what was said about it.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said a bloody holiday weekend that saw at least eight people shot and killed and dozens others wounded "doesn't wipe out" reductions in violent crime in the past two years.

Since Friday evening, at least eight people were shot and killed in Chicago, and at least 44 others were wounded, police said

"This doesn't wipe out what has happened over the last two years, and this is a conversation that we've had time and time again," Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Monday morning. "There's no magic formula here. We have a plan, we have a strategy, and it's hard work. That's what it is. … It's a day-by-day, minute-by-minute grind, and we're into busy season. That's what it is."

Although murders in Chicago spiked to 516 in 2012 – only the second time homicides surpassed 500 since 2003 – they dropped to 415 last year, the lowest murder total for Chicago in nearly 50 years.

The superintendent said the vast majority of shootings in Chicago are gang-related, and detectives were working to determine "which of the hot conflicts" were to blame for the most recent spate of violence.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said addressing the violence isn't just about what the police do but what the schools, community groups and parents do to instill values in their children.

"You can't do this just by discussing how many police we have and counting heads. You can't do this by figuring out many kids are in after school. We have to do all of that and more and we all know we have tough budgets," said Emanuel.

New York City used to be in this exact position. Bankrupt and murder capital of the USA. Nobody could do nuttin' under Mayor Dinkins. Half the crime was done by the cops, never mind anything else.

What finally happened? Mayor Rudy Giuliani started busting guys for j-walking, loitering, spitting on the sidewalk and breaking windows. Crime dropped by double digits the first year and every year thereafter. The free-fire zone known as Brownsville became a boring suburb with

I know that, you know that, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel knows that and so does his trained seal Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. They know it.

Why aren't they doing what they know will work?

Two reasons. First and most important, there is MONEY in doing nothing. There must be a zillion dollars worth of corrupt business flying around Chicago, and its pretty clear the Mayor's office is either controlled by or afraid of those interests.

Second, nobody important cares if a bunch of gutter-rats get killed every weekend. The crime is confined to "de ghetto" and its pretty clear to me that the DemocRats HATE those people with some seriously hatey hate. Any atrocity that goes down Downtown is all good with the mover and shakers of Chitown.

Otherwise they'd just fire all the dirty cops and start arresting ratbag gangbangers like Rudy did.

The Phantom

Monday, April 21, 2014

Your router may have a "secret" back door in it.

This stuff just keeps getting better and better.

"Eloi Vanderbeken from Synacktiv has identified an intentional backdoor in a module by Sercomm used by major router manufacturers (Cisco, Linksys, Netgear, etc.). The backdoor was ostensibly fixed — by obfuscating it and making it harder to access. The original report (PDF). And yeah, there is an exploit available ..."

What the hell does all that mean? It means that all the routers listed here are sitting with a gaping security hole in them. A hole that's there by design, apparently. Because instead of fixing the hole, they just kind of papered over it a bit. Kicked some sand on it to hide it, you might say. But its still there, waiting for just the right packet to come along and let somebody completely p0n3 your router. Yeah, that one you rent from the phone company, that little box that plugs into the wall.

What can happen? From the link,

Once the backdoor is switched back on, it listens for TCP/IP traffic just as the original firmware did, giving “root shell” access—allowing anyone to send commands to the router, including getting a “dump” of its entire configuration. It also allows a remote user to access features of the hardware—such as blinking the router’s lights.

They get to pretty much completely do whatever they want to your network, from add wi-fi users to lock you out of your own network.

Can you fix it? Yes. Get a PROPER router, one that isn't a piece of cable company shit. If you want to be really sure... forget it. If the manufacturers are putting back doors in the firmware, we're f-ed. You'd have to make your own from scratch.

The Phantom

Stop cooking with cheese!

That's all I can think of when faced with an LA Times article like this.

At a time when the still sluggish economy has sent a flood of jobless young adults back home, older people are quietly moving in with their parents at twice the rate of their younger counterparts.

For seven years through 2012, the number of Californians aged 50 to 64 who live in their parents' homes swelled 67.6% to about 194,000, according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

The jump is almost exclusively the result of financial hardship caused by the recession rather than for other reasons, such as the need to care for aging parents, said Steven P. Wallace, a UCLA professor of public health who crunched the data.

"The numbers are pretty amazing," Wallace said. "It's an age group that you normally think of as pretty financially stable. They're mid-career. They may be thinking ahead toward retirement. They've got a nest egg going. And then all of a sudden you see this huge push back into their parents' homes."

Thanks, DemocRats!

The Phantom

More anti-robot propaganda.

Seriously, what the hell?

Futurologists, commissioned by global job search website xpatjobs.com, say workers will have less job security and will work more unsociable hours.

Those who take these risks and innovate with their own bodies will be the biggest earners in 2040, they claim.

However, the study added that workers may be left with poor eyesight, smaller sexual organs, and constantly-furrowed brows as they struggle to keep up to life in the 21st century.

Experts expect the current 37.4 hour working week to increase by a third to 50.5 hours.


Show me a robot that can go down to the corner store and pick up a pack of smokes for me, and I'll show a machine that costs $20,000,000 dollars.

The Phantom

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Clinton fingerprints on Media Party monolith

Remember in the 1990's when the Internet was still very young, and this nobody named Matt Drudge had the Monica Lewinsky story to himself for like a whole frickin' week? Ever wonder how that happened? Well, now we finally know.

WASHINGTON – If you want to learn what Hillary Clinton meant by "the vast right-wing conspiracy," part of the extensive collection of dossiers the Clinton White House kept on its media enemies was released Friday by the Clinton Library.  The most important of the documents, "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce," originally some 331 pages, was reduced to only 28 pages in the sanitized and heavily redacted version posted by the presidential library.

Here's what they did:

The operation launched by the Clinton administration in response to this conspiracy theory was designed to prevent so-called "mainstream media" from picking up such stories. That effort came in several parts:

  • The original 331-page report was distributed by the White House and the Democratic National Committee to select reporters in an effort to discredit those behind the critical reports on the Clinton White House – namely billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, journalist Joseph Farah, political activist Floyd Brown and the American Spectator.
  • Hillary Clinton's public relations effort to vilify what she called "the vast right-wing conspiracy."
  • A pattern of politically motivated audits of individuals and organizations by the Internal Revenue Service.

"It's quite an amazing story," said Farah, founder and editor of WND, whose Western Journalism Center was audited after the White House sent the IRS a letter from a constituent calling for an investigation. "It may all have a familiar ring to the tea-party groups of the 21st century. Clinton got away with it, so it was bound to happen again – and it most assuredly has."

Funny how it's exactly what the Obama White House is doing now, as Farah said. Funny how the whole Bundy Ranch thing so closely resembled Waco too. 

I think Clinton dipped his toe in the water with Waco and found it too hot for him, now Obama is having a go. These morons seem to think that control of the New York Times will let them do anything they want. Lucky for us it ain't true. Yet.

The Phantom

Friday, April 18, 2014

How to tell that scholarship is dead.

Exhibit A:

Why There Will Be A Robot Uprising

Anyone who thinks there will be a "robot uprising", ever, is fundamentally ignorant of the nature of modern digital computers.

The Phantom

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Numbers to conjure with: 86 million vs. 108 million.

I had to post this one.
Buried deep on the website of the U.S. Census Bureau is a number every American citizen, and especially those entrusted with public office, should know. It is 86,429,000.

That is the number of Americans who in 2012 got up every morning and went to work — in the private sector — and did it week after week after week.
But then there are government workers, who work but don't produce any physical value for the economy.
Of the 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers, 16,606,000 worked for the government. That included 12,597,000 who worked for state and local government and 4,009,000 who worked for the federal government.
And then there are the ones who don't work at all.
Of course, it stands to reason that some people lived in households that received more than one welfare benefit at a time. To account for this, the Census Bureau published a neat composite statistic: There were 108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on "one or more means-tested program."

Note that this is not the total number of people receiving benefits, this is the number of people receiving benefits who we can assume do not work.

Note that 108,592,000 is larger than 86,429,000.

Any bets on how long this situation lasts?

The Phantom

Michael Bloomberg on gun control jihad.

Bloomberg says he's going to spend $50 million bucks to destroy the NRA.

Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.

“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the N.R.A. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”

He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”

Again, just thought you ought to know. Remember, New Yorkers, the best defense is a strong offense.

The Phantom

FBI attention on buying MREs in bulk.

Given the affair at the Bundy Ranch, this missive from InfoWars caught my eye.

FBI counterterrorism agents are visiting gun shops in South Carolina to investigate “suspicious purchases” made by people who talk about “big government,” according to a new report.

Author Brandon Turbeville says he was approached by an individual who works in a Columbia, South Carolina gun shop to relate the story of how an FBI agent entered the store on Monday, showed his credentials, before proceeding to ask a series of stunning questions.

Telling the gun store worker he was tasked with visiting all the firearms outlets in the local area to check on “suspicious purchases” for counterterrorism purposes, the agent then began discussing what in actual fact were “completely normal transactions,” such as, “paying with cash, purchasing long guns, and other similarly innocuous behavior.”

Now, one of the suspicious behaviors on the flyer the FBI is handing out is buying MREs in bulk. So the FBI is clearly on the lookout for "preppers" and views them as a potential problem. People are suspicious if they:

Make bulk purchases of items to include:
 Weatherproofed ammunition or match containers
 Meals Ready to Eat
 Night Vision Devices; night flashlights; gas masks
 High capacity magazines
 Bi-pods or tri-pods for rifles
I freely admit that a guy buying a bunch of bipods might be a trifle suspicious... or NOT, because he might be like some people we know and have half a dozen AR uppers that all needed bipods and waited for them to go on sale.
Just thought y'all ought to know, my friends. Don't buy all your stuff the same day just because its on sale, or you'll end up on a "nut" list.

The Phantom

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This is not alarming either. Fingerprinting Medicare -providers-.

US federal government having a real week here. Now HHS is fingerprinting health care providers as part of some kind of Obamacare thing.

Four years after Obamacare became law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is notifying Medicare providers and suppliers of new fingerprint-based background checks.  Eventually, all individuals who hold a five percent or greater stake in a Medicare supplier or provider that is categorized as "high risk" will be subject to the requirement.  The provision is part of the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP Program Integrity Provisions (Title E) of the Affordable Care Act, and gives the HHS secretary broad discretion in applying the background check requirements depending on the potential for abuse, fraud, and/or waste.

The new requirements are spelled out in a document posted online on the website of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last Friday.  The new rules will apply to both current and future enrollees who are classified as "high risk," the stated purpose being to weed out "bad actors" in the Medicare program and prevent any more from enrolling.

That's what happens when you have to pass something that runs to 10,000 pages so you'll know what's in it. HHS writes the rules, so providers should be grateful they didn't require a blood sample and a skin biopsy too.

The Phantom

License plate readers are watching you.

Apropos of the recent falderall in Nevada, with the "militia" showing up and etc., I thought this little eye opener I found on Drudge was rather appropriate.

As a part of my series on the use of automatic license plate readers in Virginia, I wanted to find out what kind of information local police might have. By law, the only information I’m privileged to is my own.

Last week I filed a public records request with the Alexandria Police Department. I’ve lived in the lovely city of Alexandria for just two years, and my driving record — aside from the occasional parking ticket — is virtually spotless.

What I found, however, left me riveted.

In all, police captured 16 photos of my car — mostly at night — and recorded my license plate eight times on five dates — from October 2013 to as recently as April 1.

Alexandria PD has 13 plate readers systems mounted in cop cars. Every time this lady passed a cop car on the road, or one drove past her house, the plate reader tagged her car's location. She notes particularly the following incidents regarding these readers:

In 2008 and 2009, the Virginia State Police, which now regularly expunges records but still collects them, captured license plate data of people at political rallies for Sarah Palin and Barack Obama.

Now consider the Nevada situation. Potentially, everybody who showed up to the Bundy Ranch in a car had their license plate photographed and tagged multiple times during the event and previously. It takes no effort at all to pull up a full itinerary of locations for a plate, given the database. Now add cellphone data. Everybody who showed up with a cellphone has left a full record of their comings and goings on cell towers. For that matter Apple and Google potentially have a full record of their locations for months in the past, possibly years.

How much use is this data to police? Laying it out for you, two guys were able to commit four or five murders while on parole and wearing GPS ankle bracelets. They were caught after SEVERAL MONTHS because some bright spark matched cell phone data from the victims to GPS tracker data from a database and found these two mooks. So really, its essentially useless for preventing crime and not amazingly useful for keeping track of criminals. These two retards were convicted sex offenders hanging out at the local prostitution circuit, and zero alarm bells were rung even though they were in major violation of parole.

How much use is this data to somebody who wants a list of people to swoop down on and arrest? Mega. They know where your habitual hangouts are, they know your movement patterns, they know where you park, they know where you live, work, eat, shop, party, they know where and when you go for a dump, potentially. So if the BLM decides they want to play rough, within the next six months or so a whole bunch of people could vanish off the streets and no one will hear about it. For a little while anyway.

Something to consider if you want to support things like the Tea Party, make sure somebody friendly knows where you are all the time. It could matter, some day soon.

The Phantom

US Postal service needs ammunition now?

In a genius move worthy of Einstein, the US Postal Service has let it be known that they are seeking to purchase large lots of ammunition.

Add the U.S. Postal Service to the list of federal agencies seeking to purchase what some Second Amendment activists say are alarmingly large quantities of ammunition.

Earlier this year, the USPS posted a notice on its website, under the heading "Assorted Small Arms Ammunition," that says: "The United States Postal Service intends to solicit proposals for assorted small arms ammunition. If your organization wishes to participate, you must pre-register. This message is only a notification of our intent to solicit proposals."

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Washington-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said: "We're seeing a highly unusual amount of ammunition being bought by the federal agencies over a fairly short period of time. To be honest, I don't understand why the federal government is buying so much at this time."

Presumably this was written a while ago, even though it was posted at Newsmax today, April 15th 2014. Because now we know why. The government of the USA is very, very afraid of the -people- of the USA. The Powers That Be have decided that the policies they wish to pursue will most likely be violently resisted by the general populace, and they are taking steps to see that they can manage that resistance.

Example, obviously, the Bundy Ranch in Nevada. The BLM and the EPA have been squeezing out ranchers all across the South West states these last 20 years without incident, so now all that's left are the serious ones, the stubborn ones, the die hard sons of bitches who just won't quit.

In the pre-Internet age, all these ammunition purchases and ranch closures would have gone unremarked. 200 cops could roll up to the Bundy place, arrest the lot of them and kill all their cattle, the most that would be seen in the media would be the notice of lawsuit published in the local paper when Bundy tried to recover his losses. Or his estate did, more likely.

Now, 200 cops roll up and a thousand armed yahoos spring from the ground, as if Bundy had sown the dragon's teeth. Obviously the next thing that's going to happen is the cops will black-out phone and internet service to locations they are going to raid. We will have to see how that plays out. Not well, I expect.

Here's another blast from the past from Newsmax, just to illustrate what's going on with the whole firearm supply chain in the USA. EPA closes the last lead smelting plant in America.

The closure of the last lead smelter plant in America due to tightened Environmental Protection Agency rules will have an impact on ammunition supplies and costs, according to Gun Owners of America.

And it will leave nearly 220 people who worked directly or indirectly for the plant seeking new jobs.

In an interview with Newsmax, GOA legislative counsel Mike Hammond said the shuttering of Doe Run Company's Herculaneum lead smelter plant "won't shut off the production of bullets in America because [manufacturers] can get recycled lead from a lot of other plants.

"But combined with the government's large purchases of ammunition, it will make it harder and more expensive to purchase ammunition," Hammond said.

Some Second Amendment supporters see sinister motives on the part of the federal government in tightening the smelting regulations.

Former Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, put a statement on his website about the Doe Run plant closure, calling it a "back-door gun control" move on the part of the Obama administration and the EPA to tighten ammunition supplies.

Of interest here is less the effect on lead supplies in the USA than the effect of EPA regulations on an entire industry. EPA has made it impossible to economically derive lead metal from ore in the United States. I point out that lead smelters operate in Canada quite happily, with no massive ecological disasters resulting from their activities. People requiring certain types of lead are now obliged to buy it from Canada or China, or some other country.

EPA is doing the same thing to coal mines and coal fired electric generating stations. EPA is doing the same thing to farmers in California. EPA is about to begin doing the same thing to oil drillers in the Dakotas. Other federal agencies are doing it to other industries all over the USA.

By contrast, the US Border Patrol has effectively ceased patrolling the southern border and thousands of Mexicans, Guatemalans and people from all over South America are pretty much crossing into the USA at will. The Border Patrol seems to prefer the northern border with Canada, where they intimidate and harass Canadians trying to spend money in American border cities like Buffalo.

In other news, guns and ammunition are flying off the shelves all over the USA. New record for sales every other month it seems. Biggest problem retailers have is having to wait for more stock.

Taken all together, this is somewhat troubling.

The Phantom

Saturday, April 12, 2014

BLM in trouble in Utah too.

BLM is just popping up all over the place. And not in a good way.

ENTERPRISE, Utah (Reuters) - A Utah county, angry over the destruction of federal rangeland that ranchers use to graze cattle, has started a bid to round up federally protected wild horses it blames for the problem in the latest dustup over land management in the U.S. West.

Close to 2,000 wild horses are roaming southern Utah's Iron County, well over the 300 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has dubbed as appropriate for the rural area's nine designated herd management zones, County Commissioner David Miller said.

County officials complain the burgeoning herd is destroying vegetation crucial to ranchers who pay to graze their cattle on the land, and who have already been asked to reduce their herds to cope with an anticipated drought.

Wild horse preservation groups say any attempt to remove the horses would be a federal crime.

Be it noted, horses are not native to the Southwest USA. They are European imports. They are supposed to be getting managed, as in culled, by the BLM. That's the BLM's job and reason for existence. Theoretically. So why isn't the job getting done in Iron County Utah? This is where it gets funny.

Wild horses have not been culled due to budget constraints, according to Utah BLM officials, who say their herds grow by roughly 20 percent per year.

Yes, budget constraints. No money, so sad. Meanwhile in Nevada the BLM is burning a million bucks a day to collect a few cattle and play army in the bush. I think a million bucks a day is probably a fair estimate of what it takes to pay for 200+ heavily armed and armored cops, cop vehicles, multiple helicopters, plus contractors and their heavy equipment to manage the cattle that were collected. Oh, plus a fortified, fenced "command post" and a bunch of other crap that we probably will never know about.

Here's a thought. If you deliberately let the wild horse population grow too large, and they start eating everything in sight, plus there's a drought, you can shut down ranching on public land completely.

Just sayin'.

The Phantom

Obama TSA riddled with corruption? Mmmmmaybe!

They say fish rot from the head down.

The director of the Federal Air Marshal Service is retiring after being investigated for his role in an alleged operation to acquire guns for officials' personal use, FoxNews.com has learned. 

Director Robert Bray's home was raided in December in connection with the ongoing probe, according to sources and documents. Law enforcement and congressional sources told FoxNews.com that Bray's recently announced retirement, which is effective in June, is directly related to the investigation. 

Transportation Security Administration officials say no such raid ever happened. 

But Bray allegedly is among several officials who were obtaining weapons through this operation. 

Free guns that "fell off a truck", allegedly given away/sold cheap between high ranking TSA officials, as "gimmes". FOX News is going to have this story all to themselves forever.

The Phantom

BLM/FAA no fly zone in Nevada.

According to InfoWars the FAA has decreed a no-fly zone to keep news choppers out of the area surrounding the Bundy Ranch.

The "temporary flight restrictions," revealed by a contributor to the Free Republic, bans all air traffic under an altitude of 3,000 feet in the vicinity of the ranch except for aircraft operating under the direction of the Bureau of Land Management.

Seems the BLM really doesn't want people seeing what they're doing out there. Such as driving herds of cattle with helicopters. That's an ugly business.

There are also conflicting reports about cell phone coverage. Some people are saying the service was cut off to the ranch, others are saying it was not. Currently it appears the cell towers are up and functioning (as of last night anyway) so I guess we shall see.

I speculate that if some people were getting no service but others were, or that people could call in from outside the ranch but those at the ranch could not call out,  those kind of flaky conditions could be caused by BLM if they had the will to do so. Cell service is 100% under the control of the federal government in the USA (and Canada!) so the cell provider could be doing things to interfere with some phones and not others, or some locations and not others. Furthermore there is lots of equipment that will fit inside a suitcase which can hijack, intercept, jam or otherwise frig with cell service over a limited area and you may be sure the BLM cops have access to such things. If not in their own armory, they can borrow from other services like DHS.

And please, this is speculation. I'm sitting in Southern Ontario, I don't know jack about what they're actually doing. But that's what I'd be doing if I were a power tripping moron with an really big budget.

Tinfoil hatters and doomsday hackers take note, and maybe start working on your own digital shortwave solution to this issue. With enough power a determined individual can bounce a readable signal off the moon, if nothing else. I'm not a radio guy, but I suspect "enough power" would be the output of a couple of diesel electric generators and a decent directional antenna.

Court of last resort, there's always the Apollo laser range finding mirrors, you can bounce a signal off them too. That would be pretty difficult. Very tinfoil hat.

The Phantom