Quote of the day—J.D. Tuccille

It’s difficult to see the future as anything other than more closely surveilled, and in a more coordinated way. Law enforcement agencies are likely to coordinate their efforts through multi-jurisdictional efforts such as the U.S. Department of Justice’s Regional Information Sharing Systems which increase reach while reducing costs and technical challenges. They can also sign up as subscribers to one or more privately developed plug-and-play surveillance networks.

Those of us who are especially surveillance-averse will still take active measures to obscure our trail, through purchases made in cash, face masks, clothing that confuses algorithms, and leaving our cellphones at home. But we will still be watched, and chances are that making efforts to preserve anonymity will itself come to be seen by the powers that be as suspicious.

J.D. Tuccille
November 21, 2022
See the Surveillance State at Work in Your Own Community: The Atlas of Surveillance lets us monitor the agencies that snoop on the public.
[Via a message from Stephanie.

The Atlas of Surveillance gives you some clues as to how thoroughly you are surveilled. It’s not complete so just because your area of operation shows as relatively clean doesn’t mean it actually is. Bellevue, where Barb and I live, doesn’t show anything at all. Yet, I can show you cameras on traffic lights and know people who have received automated tickets from those type of cameras in Bellevue.

I have to agree with Tuccille. It is only going to get worse.

I was talking with Mike B. last night night about cellphone location data and how it might apply to the mass murders in Moscow a few days ago. And, as suggested by Tuccille in the last sentence quoted above, I suggested surveillance camera in Moscow could be used to identity time and place of vehicle activity. Combine data around the time of the murders with cellphone location data. If a camera visible car did not have a cellphone then it is suspicious and should be investigated.

Other suggestions included:

  • The, obvious, look for cell phones visiting the house during the time of the murders.
  • Look for cellphones which were turned off during the time of the murder.
  • Get location data from popular phone apps as well as the cell providers. I know the Facebook app collects location data. Probably Twitter and others do as well.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Moscow mass murder update

More information on the tragic mass murder in Moscow Idaho last Sunday as been slowing dribbling out. It seems that the information raises as many questions as it answers.

Here are the points of interest I have found:

University of Idaho victim’s friend says dorm door-lock code wasn’t usually activated. I’m not too surprised. When my family lived in Moscow we always locked our doors. But I know people that leave the keys in the ignition of their vehicles when at home.

Over the last few days, police officers have come knocking at a local home improvement store to inquire about potential sales of a Ka-Bar knife – as they continue to try to locate the murder weapon. They appear to be specifically looking for a knife “with a smooth edge on one side and a serrated edge on the other.” But the picture they provide is of a knife without any serrations. My reading on Ka-Bar knives seems to indicate that Ka-Bar’s an not typically serrated.

Autopsies were conducted on November 17th. The Latah County Coroner confirmed the identity of the four murdered individuals and their cause and manner of death as homicide by stabbing. The coroner stated that the four victims were likely asleep, some had defensive wounds, and each was stabbed multiple times. There was no sign of sexual assault. This same posting tells us, “At this time in the investigation, detectives do not believe the two surviving roommates … are involved in the crime.” Also, there are over 128 people in law enforcement involved in the investigation. This includes the Moscow Police, Latah County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Patrol, and the FBI.

The 911 call that led to the discovery of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle’s bodies was not made by their roommates, I don’t really trust parts of this report. It could just be former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman wanted another 15 minutes of fame and speculated on things for the camera.

One of the University of Idaho murder victims called the same person seven times shortly before she was killed, her sister claims… “Kaylee calls [the man] six times between 2.26am and 2.44am. From 2.44 to 2.52 Maddie calls [the man] three times, then Kaylee makes a final call to him at 2.52am,” Alivea said. If this was after the attack started, why didn’t they call the police? See also this report which identifies the person the victims called as “Jack”.

Mass murder with edged weapon

Four University of Idaho students were ‘left to bleed out’ in brutal targeted stabbing attack: Blood is seen oozing through walls of home – as cops call the scene ‘the worst we’ve ever seen’:

  • Sources in Moscow, Idaho, say the house where four students were brutally murdered Sunday was the worst they have ever seen
  • There was so much blood that it oozed through the walls of the three-story house near the University of Idaho campus
  • ‘We have investigators who have been on the job for 20, even 30, years, and they say they have never seen anything like this,’ one police source said
  • Police are now trawling through the contents of trash cans near the scene looking for the ‘edged weapon’ the killer used

This hits harder than it would have had it happened in some distant city, I drove through Moscow on Monday night on my way to Boomershoot territory. I graduated from the University of Idaho as did my ex-wife, one of her sisters, and her mother. My brother and his three children all attended the U of I. My three children, my father, and numerous cousins and high school friends attended the U of I as well. I owned a home and lived in Moscow, at least part time, from about 1990 to 2012. One of my daughters and my ex still live less than 20 minutes away.

It got even more disturbing with this:

Fry said investigators believe two other roommates were home during the attack, but they were “not injured.” When asked if they had been involved in a hostage situation, Fry said no. He did not speculate on why the crime was not reported until noon when uninjured, living people remained in the home, and, to protect the “integrity of the investigation,” would not confirm if the surviving roommates were the ones who called 911. Fry did say that the roommates were still at the house when police arrived.

“We don’t know why that call came in at noon and not in the middle of the night. … We’re investigating everything still to try to pull all the pieces together,” Fry said.

I found out about the murders via a text message from Mike B. Mike played a big role in getting “campus carry” through the Idaho legislature. It didn’t help these students but it might give a number of students comfort and safety in the coming weeks.

One has to wonder… Since this is getting so much attention, and the murderer(s) have got away with something like a nine or ten hour head start on the police, if there will be copycats. Knives are almost completely silent, never need to be reloaded, unrestricted sales, no serial numbers, easy to make, found in every home, etc..

If the murders had been with a gun it would have been called a “mass shooting” and more calls for gun control would have been in the headlines before the bodies were cold. So what will the gun control advocates have to say if “mass stabbing” becomes a trend here? “Common sense knife control”?

What I will say about the potential for copycats is, “People, show any copycats why you don’t bring a knife to gunfight.”

Quote of the day—Anders Hagstrom

A top-of-the-line Russian nuclear-powered submarine has gone missing from its harbor in the Arctic along with its rumored “doomsday weapon,” according to multiple reports.

NATO has reportedly warned members that Russia’s Belgorod submarine no longer appeared to be operating out of its White Sea base, where it has been active since July. Officials warned that Russia may plan to test Belgorod’s “Poseidon” weapons system, a drone equipped with a nuclear bomb that Russia has claimed is capable of creating a “radioactive tsunami,” according to Italian media.

The drone can be deployed from the submarine at any time and detonated at a depth of 1 kilometer near a coastal city. Russian state media has claimed the device can create a 1,600-ft. wave that smashes into the coast and irradiates it.

Anders Hagstrom
October 3, 2022
Russian nuclear submarine armed with ‘doomsday’ weapon disappears from Arctic harbor: report
[A fallout shelter in Idaho is looking very good to me right now.—Joe]

They are doing it wrong

Really?

The fear of the use of nuclear weapons by Russia against Ukraine looms over the current crisis, but some Ukrainians have found a… creative solution.

A large group of Ukrainians has decided to organize a mass orgy to take place on a hill outside of Kyiv in case Putin does launch a nuclear bomb.

More than 15,000 have already registered on Telegram for the sex party. The mass orgy will take place on a hill outside the city where the participants would be asked to decorate their hands with colored stripes, symbolizing their sexual interests. If you are considering participating – three stripes are for anal sex lovers and four stripes are for oral sex lovers.

That’s pretty messed up as far as I’m concerned. You should stay in your bunkers.

The orgy is after you know you have survived all the firestorms and fallout.

Winning via one lawsuit at time

New York’s most recent infringement upon gun owner rights just got kneecapped:

A federal judge in New York temporarily blocked parts of the state’s revised concealed-carry gun law on Thursday, finding that it is too strict and should not have barred weapons from being carried in areas such as public playgrounds and health care facilities.

A group of gun owners filed suit in federal court in Syracuse, charging the new law violated their Second Amendment rights. In his ruling Thursday, Suddaby agreed some of its restrictions are unconstitutional.

“Simply stated, instead of moving toward becoming a shall-issue jurisdiction, New York State has further entrenched itself as a shall-not-issue jurisdiction. And, by doing so, it has further reduced a first-class constitutional right to bear arms in public for self defense … into a mere request,” Suddaby wrote.

I look forward to the day judges get fed up with the defiance and start levying fines of $100K/day to be paid to the plaintiffs for contempt of court while the politicians are being prosecuted.

Putin’s next move?

Via “reliable sources” which I am not at liberty to share* the resistance to the war by the Russian people is getting energetic. At least 13 military recruitment offices have been burned down. Police shooting in the air has been failing to to break up protests, and people are burning Putin’s portrait. And an estimated 260,000 men of military age have left the country.

So, what is Putin to do?

This should not come as a surprise:

Nuclear weapons convoy sparks fears Putin could be preparing test to send ‘signal to the West’:

A train operated by the secretive nuclear division and linked to the 12th main directorate of the Russian ministry of defence was spotted in central Russia over the weekend heading towards the front line in Ukraine.

The pro-Russian Telegram channel Rybar shared the footage showing the large freight convoy hauling upgraded armoured personnel carriers and other equipment.

Konrad Muzyka, a defence analyst specialising in Ukraine, said the 12th directorate operated a dozen central storage facilities for nuclear weapons.

Is he bluffing?

If he isn’t and pops an mushroom cloud, then what does NATO do? If they don’t have a vigorous response then Putin can annex any piece of ground without a NATO stamp on it, and maybe even non-nuclear possessing NATO countries. And with an energetic response from NATO, then what?

My understanding is that all the war games against Russia with scenarios that result in just one nuke being used result in everything being released.

Prepare appropriately. I want an underground bunker in Antarctica.


* There are open sources for all the information in this paragraph, but my source is a meld/analysis of the open sources.

St. Javelin

Via email from PKoning:

Today’s WSJ had an article about a group that’s ridiculing Putin online, calling itself “NAFO”.  The article came with a photo of a mural on a building depicting “St. Javelin”.  It reminded me of an article a week earlier, describing the “ragtag army” that saved Kyiv from the invading Russians.  One of the soldiers featured in that article is a lady anti-tank missile operator, who in civilian life was a journalist.

As depicted in popular media:

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In real life:

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Super volcano awakens

This is ominous:

A supervolcano has had its alert level increased in the wake of 700 earthquakes occurring nearby.

Taupō volcano, which is a supervolcano situated underneath New Zealand‘s largest lake, Lake Taupō, had its Volcanic Alert Level (VAL) increased from 0 to 1 on September 20. Level 1 indicates minor volcanic unrest, according to GeoNet, a geological hazard agency in New Zealand.

Lake Taupō sits within the giant caldera of a supervolcano on New Zealand’s North Island, roughly six miles above the magma chamber. The volcano has erupted 25 times in the last 12,000 years, most recently in the year A.D. 232, resulting in the largest and most violent eruption on Earth in the past 5,000 years.

If it erupted 25 times in the last 12,000 years, that is an average of once every 480 years. With the most recent eruption in 232, then it is “overdue” (these things are not anywhere near that regular) by about 1,300 years.

Even now, pools of water 30 miles away boil from the heat.

By definition, a super volcano erupts with 1,000 km3 (about 240 cubic miles – a cube of material over 6.2 miles on a side) of material ejected. An eruption like that will give us some “climate change” to deal with.

Prepare appropriately.

Quote of the day—Eric Schmitt

The creation of a Merchant Category Code for sales at U.S. gun stores will not only not accomplish its intended goal, but is rife for misuse and abuse. Missourians value their Second Amendment rights and oppose any attempts to create a de-facto gun registry. I’m proud to stand up for those rights and will oppose this decision by the major credit card companies at every turn.

Eric Schmitt
Missouri Attorney General
September 21, 2022
Missouri Attorney General slams credit card companies for violation of Second Amendment rights
[Twenty four attorneys general signed a letter sent to American Express, Master Card and VISA CEOs.  I can’t imagine this accomplishing anything more than some positive publicity for the signers of the letter. But it doesn’t hurt our cause any either.—Joe]

We live in interesting times

UN warns up to 345 million people marching toward starvation:

The U.N. food chief warned Thursday that the world is facing “a global emergency of unprecedented magnitude,” with up to 345 million people marching toward starvation — and 70 million pushed closer to starvation by the war in Ukraine.

Because of the wettest and longest spring we have ever experienced, my brothers on the farm were only able to get about 1/3 of the spring crop in this year. The little bit of lentils they were able to plant did not yield nearly as much as usual. I think the mid-west yields are below average as well.

We live in interesting times.

Make this work both ways

Via Chet, Richard, and other sources.

Interesting development. It’s another attempt at an end run around the 2nd Amendment:

Credit Card Code to Track Gun Sales Approved by Standards Group:

“I’m pleased that the ISO voted to advance a key step to prevent the next tragedy,” Lander said in a news release. “American Express, Mastercard, Visa and other credit card companies now have a responsibility to implement the new merchant category code, so that financial institutions can do their part to flag suspicious activity and save lives.”

Guns bought through credit cards in the US will now be trackable:

Credit card purchases of firearms in the US can now be tracked and purchases deemed suspicious can even be shared with law enforcement, according to a new measure approved by an organization that sets parameters for business transactions.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) voted in favor of creating a merchant code for firearms stores, according to Reuters.

Visa To Categorize Sales At Gun Stores In Win For Gun Control Advocates:

Visa’s decision will allow banks to make decisions with enhanced information on whether they will allow purchases at gun shops on their cards.

Visa, Mastercard, AmEx to start categorizing sales from gun shops:

Visa’s adoption is significant as the largest payment network, and with Mastercard and AmeEx, will likely put pressure on the banks as the card issuers to adopt the standard as well. Visa acts as a middleman between merchants and banks, and it will be up to banks to decide whether they will allow sales at gun stores to happen on their issued cards.

There were some attempts at balanced reporting. ABC and NBC had identical articles which included this:

Gun rights advocates argue that tracking sales at gun stores would unfairly target legal gun purchases, since merchant codes just track the type of merchant where the credit or debit card is used, not the actual items purchased. A sale of a gun safe, worth thousands of dollars and an item considered part of responsible gun ownership, could be seen as a just a large purchase at a gun shop.

“The (industry’s) decision to create a firearm specific code is nothing more than a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time,” said Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association.

Credit card firms to code gun, ammunition purchases, making them easier to track:

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, on Wednesday morning, also tweeted in support of an MCC.

“Together we can help stop gun trafficking & keep New Yorkers safe,” she posted.

Opponents of the measure included the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

In a statement to The Center Square, Mark Oliva, the organization’s managing director for public affairs, slammed the move, saying the creation of the code was “flawed on its premise. Those who believe it will help law enforcement do not provide details on what should be considered suspicious purchases.”

“This decision chills the free exercise of Constitutionally-protected rights and does nothing to assist law enforcement with crime prevention or holding criminals accountable,” he said. “The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics consistently shows in their own reporting that 90% of felons convicted of their crimes involving a firearm admit they illegally obtain those guns through theft or trading on the black market. Attaching codes specific to firearm and ammunition purchases casts a dark pall by gun control advocates who are only interested in disarming lawful gun owners.”

I have three takeaways:

  1. Continue using cash whenever I can (online is still going to be a card).
  2. Encourage others to use cash.
  3. Publicize and advocate boycotts for banks that refuse to let their cards be used for the exercise of 2nd Amendment rights.

Make this work both ways. They want to use it to cast a chilling effect on the exercise of constitutionally protected right. We can use it to out the enemies of the constitution and freedom. And by using cash you enable others to avoid paying our oppressors more tax money.

Update: This is a good article on the topic which includes more from the civil rights viewpoint.

Banking rights?

Over the years we have seen banks close the accounts of gun stores simply because they sold a constitutionally protected item. This was wrong and the U.S. Senate telling them to back off probably helped.

I’ll grant that you might have to squint a little to see it but this is an analogous situation with the 1st Amendment:

Over the weekend, Rolling Stone broke the news that half a dozen of the bank’s clients had their banking accounts with Wells Fargo canceled with no previous warning. What do they have in common? Each has previously or is currently working in the adult entertainment industry. Some performers have held accounts with the bank for 25 years or more.

I’m a bit torn on this topic. Should a company (and/or an individual) be forced by law to do business with someone?

There is the wedding cake case for possible insight. There I was inclined to side with cake makers freedom of religion claim over the same sex couple wanting a wedding cake.

In the gun maker/distributor/seller and the adult entertainers banking cases I’m having a tougher time siding with the businesses. Sure, the Feds don’t have constitutional authority (like that has ever stopped them) to tell the banks they must do business with someone. Unless, of course, there is a “banking right” hidden in the constitution someplace. But the individual states could legislate such requirements.

Aside from the legal authority there are other issues. If a business can discriminate on the basis of occupation (assuming the risk is equivalent for the favored and disfavored occupations) then why can’t they discriminate on the basis of skin color, religion, gender, etc.? Perhaps, from a philosophical viewpoint, should they be allowed this freedom. But I’m not comfortable with that conclusion either.

Thoughts?

Mugme Street news

Just another day on Mugme Street:

Suspect in fatal downtown Seattle attack pleads not guilty

A Seattle police officer was driving east on Pike Street around 3 p.m. on the day of the attack and heard a man yelling for help, the charges say. As she approached Third Avenue, she saw a man, later identified as Fulk, raise a metal bar over his head and strike Peterman twice in the back of the head, say the charges.

Fulk delivered a third blow to Peterman’s temple after Peterman had fallen unresponsive to the ground on the southwest corner, charging papers say. The officer noted in her police report that Peterman was unarmed and used a walker to ambulate, the charges say.

Though Fulk attempted to walk away, he was quickly arrested at the scene, according to the charges. It is unknown whether the two men knew each other.

“The defendant admitted to officers that he was trying to kill the victim, and while acknowledging the victim was the first that he attacked in this manner, [he] made it clear this victim would not be his last,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Gretchen Holmgren wrote in the charges.

This happened at 3:00 PM on a Tuesday afternoon. It was not on a Saturday night after the bars were closing and decent people were at home safe in their beds.

I used to work in the Century Square building which has one corner on Third and Pike. Of course you know it was against policy to have a firearm on company property. The policy was the for the safety of everyone.

News you can use

From Neuroscience News:

Research led by Drs. Yuhai Zhao and Walter J Lukiw at the LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center and the Departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Neurology and Ophthalmology, reports for the first time a pathway that begins in the gut and ends with a potent pro-inflammatory toxin in brain cells contributing to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). They also report a simple way to prevent it.

The highly potent neurotoxin BF-LPS is a natural by-product of GI-tract-based microbial metabolism. Bacteroides fragilis abundance in the microbiome, which is the source of the neurotoxin BF-LPS, can be regulated by dietary fiber intake.

“Put another way, dietary-based approaches to balance the microorganisms in the microbiome may be an attractive means to modify the abundance, speciation, and complexity of enterotoxigenic forms of AD-relevant microbes and their potential for the pathological discharge of highly neurotoxic microbial-derived secretions that include BF-LPS and other forms of LPS,” Lukiw explains.

The researchers conclude that an improved understanding of the interaction between the GI tract-Central Nervous System axis and the GI-tract microbiome and Alzheimer’s disease has considerable potential to lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in the clinical management of Alzheimer’s disease and other lethal, progressive, and age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

It has been estimated that Americans eat 10–15 grams of fiber a day on average. The USDA recommends that women up to age 50 consume 25 grams a day and men 38 grams. Over age 50, women and men should consume 21 and 30 grams daily, respectively.

Eat your lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and shredded wheat*. One half cup of lentils contains 7.8 grams of fiber. The same amount of Chickpeas contain 6.3 grams of fiber. One cup of shredded wheat contains 6.2 grams of fiber. Other sources of dietary fiber may be substituted.


* We grow lentils, chickpeas, and wheat on the farm.

Quote of the day—Chet

The problem is not Mental illness! In the best-case gun control is a stupid attempt to address a symptom of the breakdown of society. The ills of society that we are seeing is due to that very society and addressing the symptoms cannot fix the ills. It is society that has gone amuck. It is society that needs fixing.

Look back 50+ years. Guns could be purchase if you had the money. You could live in a shack if that is what you could afford. There were definite expected roles for men and different expected roles for women. Boys were given a gun on becoming of age usually in their early teens. There were jobs even for people on the lower half of the IQ curve. A single wage earner was sufficient to raise a family though it was preferable not to be a hired hand.

So today, it is women and POC that get the jobs and the promotions. What is a young man to think when society is saying that he has no role? That he is not wanted? Yet, he can look at what is being achieved and be alarmed.

Does recognizing reality make him mental ill?

Chet
June 12, 2022
Comment to Insightful observation
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

World class trolling

I suspect Justice Thomas has had this teed up for many years and got a great deal of pleasure whacking the opposition in the face with it today:

Even before the Civil War commenced in 1861, this Court indirectly affirmed the importance of the right to keep and bear arms in public. Writing for the Court in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393 (1857), Chief Justice Taney offered what he thought was a parade of horribles that would result from recognizing that free blacks were citizens of the United States. If blacks were citizens, Taney fretted, they would be entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, including the right “to keep and carry arms wherever they went.” Id., at 417 (emphasis added). Thus, even Chief Justice Taney recognized (albeit unenthusiastically in the case of blacks) that public carry was a component of the right to keep and bear arms—a right free blacks were often denied in antebellum America. After the Civil War, of course, the exercise of this fundamental right by freed slaves was systematically thwarted. This Court has already recounted some of the Southern abuses violating blacks’ right to keep and bear arms. See McDonald, 561 U. S., at 771 (noting the “systematic efforts”

Thomas goes on at length with sections such as:

The reports described how blacks used publicly carried weapons to defend themselves and their communities. For example, the Bureau reported that a teacher from a Freedmen’s school in Maryland had written to say that, because of attacks on the school, “[b]oth the mayor and sheriff have warned the colored people to go armed to school, (which they do,)” and that the “[t]he superintendent of schools came down and brought [the teacher] a revolver” for his protection. Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 658 (1866); see also H. R. Exec. Doc. No. 68, 39th Cong., 2d Sess., 91 (1867) (noting how, during the New Orleans riots, blacks under attack “defended themselves . . . with such pistols as they had”).:

Via LongWay001.

In other news, Mike B. and I exchanged some text messages this afternoon:

Mike: We need to start renaming streets, “Clarence Thomas Blvd.”.
QOTD candidate by Mike’s wife.

Joe: Smile
Hmmmmm… How about renaming NYC “Clarence Thomas City”?

Mike: Honoring the black man