A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Law and Disorder’ tag

The Difference Between Criminal Gangs and the State

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What’s the difference between a criminal gang and the State? Scope:

The Drug Enforcement Administration seized more than $4 billion in cash from people suspected of drug activity over the last decade, but $3.2 billion of those seizures were never connected to any criminal charges.

A report by the Justice Department Inspector General released Wednesday found that the DEA’s gargantuan amount of cash seizures often didn’t relate to any ongoing criminal investigations, and 82 percent of seizures it reviewed ended up being settled administratively—that is, without any judicial review—raising civil liberties concerns.

In total, the Inspector General reports the DEA seized $4.15 billion in cash since 2007, accounting for 80 percent of all Justice Department cash seizures. Those figures do not include other property, such as cars and electronics, which are favorite targets for seizure by law enforcement.

All of this is possible through civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement to seize property if they suspect it’s connected to criminal activity, without having to file criminal charges against the owner. While law enforcement groups say civil asset forfeiture is a vital tool to disrupt drug traffickers and organized crime, the Inspector General’s findings echo the concerns of many civil liberties groups, which say asset forfeiture creates perverse incentives for law enforcement to seize property.

Civil forfeiture is a euphemism for armed robbery. With the exception of a few states, assets stolen via civil forfeiture don’t have to be tied to a crime in order to remain in the State’s possession. This is because civil forfeiture is based on the concept of being guilty until proven innocent. Unless you can prove that the stolen property wasn’t tied to a drug crime, an impossible feat, the State will keep it.

In eight years the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) stole $4.15 billion in cash and that figure doesn’t even include all of the other property stolen by the agency. All without having to find anybody guilty of a crime.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Living Under a Criminal Enterprise

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Will you look at that, it’s a day ending in “y.” You know what that means, right? It means another Internet scam is afoot! This time the scam involves a flaw in Mobile Safari that was just patched yesterday:

The flaw involved the way that Safari displayed JavaScript pop-up windows. In a blog post published Monday afternoon, researchers from mobile-security provider Lookout described how exploit code surreptitiously planted on multiple websites caused an endless loop of windows to be displayed in a way that prevented the browser from being used. The attacker websites posed as law-enforcement actions and falsely claimed that the only way users could regain use of their browser was to pay a fine in the form of an iTunes gift card code to be delivered by text message. In fact, recovering from the pop-up loop was as easy as going into the device settings and clearing the browser cache. This simple fix was possibly lost on some uninformed targets who were too uncomfortable to ask for outside help.

Patch your shit, folks.

I had a friend comment that he couldn’t believe that anybody would be stupid enough to fall for this since law enforcement would never highjack a phone and demand payment in iTunes gift cards. Although demanding payment in iTunes gift cards would be unusual for law enforcement, the actions being taken by the scammers aren’t that different than many actions taken by law enforcement. The scammers used a threat in order to extort wealth from their victim just as law enforcement agents do. When people have lived their entire life worrying about being pulled over and threatened with violence if they don’t pay a fine for driving too fast or, worse yet, having their vehicle and cash confiscated under civil forfeiture laws, the idea that police officers would highjack your browser and demand payment probably doesn’t seem that odd.

We all live under a massive criminal enterprise known as the State. It has taught us that being extorted is just a way of life. With that in mind, it’s not too surprising to me that there are people who fall for these kinds of scams.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 28th, 2017 at 10:00 am

An Entire System of Bad Apples

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When it comes to police are there just a few bad apples or is the entire system rotten to the core? According to people who make excuses for any officer misdeed there are just a few bad apples. But if you look at how the system deals with those bad apples you quickly realize that their claim is false:

Almost five years ago, Darren Rainey, a mentally ill black man serving a two-year prison sentence for drug possession, was locked in a shower by prison guards at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida after they said he defecated on himself in his cell. The water was allegedly turned up to a scalding 180 degrees and he was left in there for hours. He entered the shower at around 7:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead two hours later.

[…]

We could debate and wonder about all of this, but one horrific detail is not debatable. When Darren Rainey was removed from that shower, his skin was falling off of his body. This is not normal — particularly in light of the fact that “confinement in a shower” was ruled as one of the primary causes of his death.

[…]

That Darren Rainey died on their watch, in a shower that they put him in for hours on end, with skin falling off of his body, and they didn’t even lose their jobs or law enforcement certification, and that many of these staff members are still working in law enforcement is incomprehensible. What worse could happen on a staff member’s watch in Florida than this?

Here we have a few bad apples who locked a mentally ill man in a shower, with water far hotter than the legally allowed hottest temperature of 120 degrees, until he died. At the absolute minimum that’s a negligence-related death that would probably get most people charged with manslaughter. Yet those few bad apples were protected by another bad apple, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle, who didn’t prosecute the officers after seeing the evidence. Those bad apples were also protected by the bad apples who are charged with personnel matters who should have fired the officers on the spot.

Perhaps there were only a few bad apples at first but it’s obvious that the entire system is rotten at this point.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2017 at 11:00 am

Once You Post Something Online It Exists Forever

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The University of California Berkeley posted 20,000 lectures online for free and there was great joy. Unfortunately, two students from another university decided to ruin the jovial atmosphere by brining a lawsuit against the university claiming that the videos weren’t accessible to everybody and therefore posting them was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The university ended up pulling the videos offline. While the two little bitches may have high-fived each other after their apparent victory, they were obviously too stupid to realize that the Internet is forever:

Today, the University of California at Berkeley has deleted 20,000 college lectures from its YouTube channel. Berkeley removed the videos because of a lawsuit brought by two students from another university under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

We copied all 20,000 and are making them permanently available for free via LBRY.

This makes the videos freely available and discoverable by all, without reliance on any one entity to provide them (even us!).

The full catalog is over 4 TB and will be synced over the next several days.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Internet works.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2017 at 10:00 am

Today’s Arbitrary Rule Changes

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What’s the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy? A lot of people claim that one of the major differences is that under a dictatorship an individual ruler or their ilk can arbitrarily make new laws whereas under a democracy laws are created through a process that requires input by many. If that’s the difference then I’m sorry to inform all of you that we live under a dictatorship.

Laws in the United States are often passed by Congress and signed by the president. However, not every law passed in this country has to go through that process. Many laws are created out of thin air by regulators. In one of today’s example of this arbitrary process I bring you the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) newly declared rules:

US authorities will no longer allow travelers from 13 African and Middle Eastern countries to bring computers and laptops into airplane cabins anymore, two news agencies have reported.

The new rules were laid out in an e-mail sent to airlines today by the US Transportation Safety Administration. This is according to The Guardian, which was first to report on the matter. Cell phones will still be allowed, but anything larger—including laptops, tablets, and cameras—must be put in checked baggage. CNN, citing two unnamed “administration officials,” confirmed the report.

And as Billy Mays often said, “But wait, there’s more!”

In a decision that could have broad implications throughout the silencer industry as well as with shooters/consumers, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATFE or ATF) has notified silencer manufacturer Dead Air Armament that the wipes used in their Ghost M silencer is a silencer part.

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At this point, it is unclear why the ATF has decided to reverse their opinion on a nearly 20 year old issue. Once used in a variety of now dated silencer designs, the wipe has seen a limited resurgence as of late in modular suppressors and small silencers that require the use of an ablative media (“wet”) for increased noise reduction.

DHS and the ATF both created new rules out of thin air. In the case of ATF, the rule change contradicted previous declarations made by the agency. But it doesn’t matter because both agencies enjoy dictator-like powers over their domains and can make any arbitrary declaration they so choose.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2017 at 10:00 am

It’s Not Your Property

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One of the easiest mistakes to make in the United States is assuming that you can own property. If you could own property you wouldn’t have to pay rent and you could do whatever you wanted with it so long as your activities didn’t harm your neighbors or their property. But here in the United States you have to pay rent, usually referred to by the euphemism “property taxes,” and you can only do approved activities on what is mistakenly referred to as your property:

A Pennsylvania family thought building a hockey rink in the backyard was the solution for keeping the kids active during the winter — until town officials told them to tear it down.

“We want a space for them to… just get outside and get some exercise and kind of bring back the old school fun that we had when we were kids,” Terry Beam told Fox News.

This is the second winter the Beam family made a hockey rink Beam says, but it didn’t sit well with South Middleton Township authorities this year. In a letter to the family, the township engineer said the rink was a violation.

“A drainage easement is located on your property,” the letter noted. “By placing objects and fences that block the water, such as the skating rink constructed on your property, the amount of storage available is reduced, and the basin will not function as designed.”

I’m sure somebody will note that hindering a drainage basin could cause harm to neighbors’ properties. But the ice rink isn’t being removed because their was evidence that it was hindering the purpose of the drainage basin, it’s being removed because the government said so.

When the government says something it doesn’t care if its statement is logical, truthful, or supported by evidence. All it cares about is its authority. Slaves will either obey whatever the government says or it will punish them. This attitude means that the idea that government serves the people is a myth and that the idea that an individual can own property is also a myth.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 15th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Looking Good While Thumping Skulls

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The Los Angeles Country Sheriff’s Department decided that its current silver colored metal uniform ornaments are no longer in vogue. To correct this horrible fact the department is going to spend $300,000 of taxpayer money on replacing all of its current silver colored ornaments with brass colored ornaments:

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is getting down to brass tactics.

Sheriff’s officials are spending $300,000 on items they say would make deputies look more professional in their jobs and could help make them safer.

But the taxpayer dollars won’t go toward tools such as higher-quality ballistic vests, backup guns or body cameras, all of which are optional items that deputies have to pay for on their own.

Instead, Sheriff Jim McDonnell is spending the money on a minor cosmetic makeover of deputies’ uniforms: changing the color of their belt buckles and other metal pieces of gear from silver to gold. That way, the metallic bits — all made of brass — will match the gold-hued tie clips, lapel pins and six-pointed star badges that deputies already wear, McDonnell said.

This waste of money wouldn’t be so bad if the department was a business with funds acquired through voluntary trade. But the department is funded entirely through expropriating wealth from the people is claims to protect. I doubt the color of the metal ornaments will even be noticed by 99.9 percent of the department’s victims clientele. After all, who really gives a shit what color the metal ornaments on an officer’s uniform are when they’re either responding to your 911 call or thumping your skull because your skin color is a bit too dark for their liking? Since nobody will likely notice nor care about this change it’s an even bigger waste of taxpayer money than most expenditures.

But I’m sure the officers will feel better knowing that the metal bits on their belt finally match their tie clips.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 15th, 2017 at 10:30 am

There’s No Vengeance Like Government Vengeance

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If you live outside of Minnesota you may not be aware that it’s currently illegal here to buy alcohol for offsite consumption on Sunday. A law was recently passed to overturn this ridiculous restriction but it doesn’t take affect until July. However, one local liquor store decided to jump ahead of the game and was selling alcohol for offsite consumption Sunday. Needless to say, even though that very action will be legal in a few months the government doesn’t tolerate any amount of disobedience:

The liquor license at Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop will be suspended for 30 days in July, the city of Minneapolis ruled Monday, and the business must pay a $2,000 fine.

Owner Jim Surdyk opened for business Sunday, even though the repeal of the state’s 159-year-old ban on Sunday liquor sales won’t go into effect until July 2.

Instead of temporarily suspending the store’s license immediately the government chose to wait until July when it could cause the maximum amount of damage (Sunday alcohol sales will be legal plus there’s the whole July 4th alcohol sales bonanza). Why? It certainly wasn’t because Surdyk’s caused anybody any harm. It was because the store failed to respect some random government goon’s authority and to the State there is no greater transgression than failing to respect its authority.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 14th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Payback

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If there’s one thing the State won’t tolerate, it’s disobedience:

Authorities are opening a federal criminal investigation into WikiLeaks’s publication of troves of documents detailing purported CIA hacking programs, CNN reported Wednesday.

The FBI and CIA will collaborate on the probe, according to CNN, which reported that it is focused on determining how the anti-secrecy organization obtained the documents and whether they were leaked by an employee or contractor.

Notice how the criminal investigation is being performed against WikiLeaks and not the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? That shows you where the State’s priorities are. Much like when it went after Snowden instead of the National Security Agency (NSA), when the State is given a choice to go after criminals within its agencies or the people who blew the whistle on those criminals, it always chooses the latter.

Once again I must reiterate the point that the State doesn’t exist to protect the people, it exists to exploit the people and will go to any extent to do it.

Threw It On the Ground

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Hypothetically speaking, if you walked up to a teenage girl, grabbed her, and slammed her into the ground what would you expect to happen? If you said that you’d expect to go to prison you don’t have a badge:

A North Carolina police officer who was shown on a video throwing a 15-year-old girl to the ground while trying to break up a fight at a high school in January will not face criminal charges, the Wake County district attorney said this week.

The district attorney, N. Lorrin Freeman, said in a statement that a grand jury had declined to bring criminal charges against the officer, Ruben De Los Santos, for his actions in the cafeteria at Rolesville High School on Jan. 3. Ms. Freeman had asked the grand jury to review whether the case showed “willful failure to discharge duties” and “assault on a female.”

Grand Juries tend to indite everybody unless they have a badge. For some reason, when the accused party has a badge, grand juries almost always vote against pressing charges.

On the upside, the officer resigned:

The police department in Rolesville, a town of about 5,000 people 15 miles northeast of Raleigh, said it put the officer on paid administrative leave after the incident. He resigned last Thursday, the department said in a statement.

Hopefully that means that a police union can’t force the department to hire him back. The downside to this is that the officer is free to terrorize people in another community.

At the end of the day, this story yet again demonstrates that if you want to beat the shit out of people legally you can become a police officer.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 10th, 2017 at 10:00 am