A Geek With Guns

Discount security adviser to the proles.

Archive for the ‘Superdickery’ tag

Submit, Slave

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Remember what I said in the previous post about the police not liking any of our government granted privileges? Here’s another example:

[Waterbury Conn.] Police Chief Vernon L. Riddick Jr. brought a message of cooperation with police to a mostly African-American crowd of more than 200 people at Mount Olive A.M.E. Zion Church on Wednesday night.

If an officer stops your car, if they ask to search your person or vehicle, if they demand entry into your home, comply and then complain later to the department’s internal affairs office and police chief’s office if you feel your rights have been violated, Riddick said.

In other words, when an officer asks to search your vehicle or home you should just roll over and be a good little slave.

The exact opposite is true however. If an officer requests to search your property the only response you should give them is, “Come back with a warrant.” Officers asking to search your property are on fishing expeditions. They’re asking permission because they don’t believe they have enough grounds to get a warrant issued. Fishing expeditions can’t help you but they certain can hurt you. As police are required to tell you when reading you your Miranda warnings, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. Likewise, anything an officer finds during a fishing expedition can and will be used against you in court.

Always keep in mind that the police are out to get you. That’s their job. The politicians pass laws and then task the police with finding and dealing with anybody who breaks them. Many of these laws, such as traffic citations and drug offenses, include a nice kickback to the department that makes the arrest. So do yourself a favor and always exercise what few privileges you have against the police.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 20th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Implied Licenses are Bullshit

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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has been thoroughly fucking over people in the United States since 1998. One of the things that the DMCA accomplished was effectively abolishing property rights on anything that includes copyrighted material. This has had wide reaching ramifications including preventing farmers from repairing their own equipment:

In fact, the craziness of this goes even further: In a 2015 letter to the United States Copyright Office, John Deere, the world’s largest tractor maker, said that the folks who buy tractors don’t own them, not in the way the general public believes “ownership” works. Instead, John Deere said that those who buy tractors are actually purchasing an “implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”

[…]

But what this has meant is that tractor owners can’t repair their own tractors—and if they do, they’re in violation of the DMCA. So, if a machine stops working, its owner can’t pop the hood, run some tests, and find out what’s going on; he or she is legally required to take the tractor to a service center (one owned by the manufacturer, since that’s the only entity allowed to analyze the tractor’s issues).

I’m against the concept of copyright, in part, because it is an implied license.

That is to say it’s a contractual agreement that the purchaser didn’t agree to. If you manufacture something and want to restrict the user of that thing then you need to get them to agree to contractual terms. For example, if you want to sell a book and prevent the buyer form copying it then you need to write up a contract that states the signer agrees not to copy the book and include penalties if the contract is broken. Then you need to convince the buyer to agree to it.

Copyright doesn’t work that way though. When you buy a book you don’t sign a contract binding you to an agreement not to copy the book. The agreement is implied, which is a fancy way of saying you were bound to it involuntarily. As the article notes, John Deere stated in a letter to the United States Copyright Office that people who had purchased its equipment were restricted by an implied license. The company is changing the rules after the fact by trying to force an agreement upon farmers through the State. In any sane sense of contract theory that is nonsense but in the statist interpretation it’s a perfectly sound method of getting buyers to agree to specific terms.

People should not be subject to involuntary agreements of any sort and nobody should be allowed to change an agreement willy nilly after the fact without the other party agreeing to those changes.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 19th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Like You and Me, Only Better

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Online harassment is pervasive. Death threats on the Internet are a dime a dozen and if you’re a woman there’s a good chance punk kids are going to subject you to a constant stream of variations on “Show me your tits,” followed by accusations that you’re a whore and should be killed. Anybody who has played online games has probably lost track of how many times pissed off children have claimed to have slept with their mother and challenged them to a fight in real life.

I’ve received enough threats online that I could paper my living room walls if I printed them all off but I mostly ignore them because I don’t really care. However, if you do feel the threats are credible and report them to the police you’ll likely receive little more than a shrug and a claim that there’s nothing the department can do. Things are a bit different when the harassment is aimed at police officers though:

Five police officers were killed in the Dallas shootings, constituting the highest number of police casualties in an attack since September 11. And as a result, law enforcement officials everywhere are suddenly much more sensitive to threats against their lives.

But one result has been that several police departments across the country have arrested individuals for posts on social media accounts, often from citizen tips — raising concerns among free speech advocates.

The police are like you and me, only better.

Another issue here, as pointed out by The Intercept, is free speech. A lot of people will argue that since many of the posts in question were threatening in nature that free speech doesn’t apply. But statements such as “I have no problem shooting a cop for simple traffic stop cuz they’d have no problem doing it to me,” aren’t threats in my opinion because the person is stating an opinion, not a course of action that they’re planning to pursue. If the statement had been “I will shoot any cop for pulling me over,” then it could been seen differently as the statement is expressing a potential planned course of action (of course it could also been seen as a statement expressing a willingness to defend one’s self). But then questions of means must be answered because a threat is meaningless if the person making it doesn’t have the means to go through with it.

Regardless of your opinions on threats in regards to freedom of speech, there is no question that the police are treating people who threaten them online different than people who threaten regular Janes and Joes. It’s no different than a politician who argues regular people shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun but then carries a gun themselves or hires armed body guards to protect them.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 14th, 2016 at 10:30 am

The Minneapolis Police Department is a Bit Red in the Face

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The Minneapolis Police Department is well known for its high speed, low drag attitude. Instead of deescalation and conflict avoidance the MPD prefers throwing down with anybody it can create an excuse to throw down with. In fact the department is so cocksure that it didn’t even try to hide its love of violence in its recent recruiting video. However, many people weren’t amused by the video so the MPD was a bit red in the fact and decided to abuse the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in an attempt to erase the video from the Internet:

Less than a week after an officer from a nearby force shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop, leaving him to die in front of his child and girlfriend (and the world on livestream) the Minneapolis Police Department has perjured itself in issuing a copyright takedown notice to Youtube in order to suppress a controversial recruiting video that depicted the jobs of MPD officers as being a firearms-heavy shoot-em-up.

The video had attracted alarm and criticism by officials and the public, who saw it as indicative of a deep culture of violent, shoot-first policing in the Minneapolis police.

When you start repeating a lie often enough you also start to believe it. The MPD believes that their job is to be domestic soldiers. Who are they at war with? The people. At least that’s the only enemy that exists in Minneapolis because the city isn’t really known for being in a state of civil war. That leads the department to choose violence before deescalation. At this point the attitude is so prevalent that the department’s recruiters can’t even make their recruitment videos looks like anything other than an Army recruitment video. When their videos are finally criticized by the public the MPD resorts to its default tactic, government violence, by threatening anybody hosting the video with a DMCA takedown notice.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 14th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Giuliani Wants Black Parents to Raise Their Kids to be Better Slaves

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I’m a firm believer that respect is earned, not given. But I’m also not a statist. In the mind of a statist respect is owed to anybody in a position of authority, no matter how ridiculous the authority is. With the police’s war on the people being waged across the country a bunch of statists have gone into victim blaming mode. Rudolph Giuliani, the former warden of New York City, made sure to take time out of his day to blame black people for not being good enough slaves:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani thinks black Americans need to worry less about police violence and more about teaching their children to respect police and fear other black people.

In light of the killings of five police officers in Dallas last week, Giuliani went off on the Black Lives Matter movement, in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. He called the slogan “inherently racist” and “anti-American,” while neglecting statistics that show black people are disproportionately targeted by police.

“There’s too much violence in the black community,” he said. “[I]f you want to deal with this on the black side, you’ve got to teach your children to be respectful to the police and you’ve got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police; the real danger to them, 99 out of 100 times, 9,900 out of 1,000 times, are other black kids who are gonna kill them. That’s the way they’re gonna die.”

Why should anybody respect the police? They spend most of their time enforcing victimless laws such as drug use, driving faster than arbitrarily selected speeds, parking in the wrong place or for the wrong amount of time, and other such nonsense that their department usually get a nice payout for. Meanwhile, if you call the police because somebody has broken into your home and is trying to murder you you might be left waiting for hours, if the police dispatch anybody at all. If a burglar breaks into your home and steals your valuable the only purpose the police generally serve is giving you a report that you can give to your insurance company.

In other words, the police aren’t working to earn our respect so why should people be expected to respect them? If Giuliani actually cared about reducing the number of deaths of black children, or anybody else for that matter, he would be demanding an end to the drug war, which is probably the single largest contributor to police militarization in this nation. After ending the drug war he could move to advocate for the repeal of all victimless crimes so that the police were focused on something other than revenue generation. But he doesn’t give a shit. He’s just upset because he can’t own a few black people to perform manual labor for him anymore.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 12th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Incentives Matter

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I’ve been focusing a lot on the law enforcers as of late but I think it’s important to also take a look at the people who create the laws. Specifically, what incentives they put forward for enforcing different laws.

What does a law enforcement department receive when they solve a murder, robbery, or rape? Perhaps some respect from the community and the gratitude of the victims.

What does a law enforcement department receive when they go after a suspected drug user or seller? A percentage of the proceeds from the property taken under civil forfeiture.

What does a law enforcement department receive when they write a traffic citation? Here in Minnesota, as I’m sure is true with most other states, a percentage goes to the cities, which usually give that money back to their law enforcement department.

The law enforcers are focusing on the crimes that the politicians have incentivized them to focus on. The fact that the politicians are incentivizing crimes such as drug manufacturing, selling, and use over murder, robbery, and rape should be damning.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 12th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Like You and Me, Only Better

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Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you’re in a position where you handle classified data. Through your own actions this data is handled improperly. What do you expect will happen when the higher up find out? If you’re a contractor for an organization that is illegally spying on every American and you improperly handle the data to blow the whistle you will end up exiled in Russia. On the other hand, if you’re a presidential candidate who is married to a former president you’ll have the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) recommending charges not be pressed against you:

Good morning. I’m here to give you an update on the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State.

After a tremendous amount of work over the last year, the FBI is completing its investigation and referring the case to the Department of Justice for a prosecutive decision. What I would like to do today is tell you three things: what we did; what we found; and what we are recommending to the Department of Justice.

[…]

As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

It’s good to be better than everybody else. What makes this decision interesting isn’t the decision itself; because let’s face it, we all expected this outcome; it’s the brief moment of honesty displayed by FBI Directory Comey:

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

He flat out admitted that they were giving Clinton extra special treatment. In cases such as Edward Snowden’s the FBI would likely recommend summary execution but in cases involving people whose last name is Clinton it is recommended that no consequences befall the law breaker.

It used to be that the State would at least hold a meaningless public display of reprimand when one of its own did something like this. But more and more the State is moving away from the facade of everybody being equal under the law and outright admitting that some animals are more equal than others. Part of me appreciates this honesty but another part of me knows where this kind of behavior leads and it’s a damn dark place.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 7th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Watch Our Brave Boys in Blue Defend Themselves Against a Pinned Down and Helpless Man

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It’s a day ending in “y”, which means police officers somewhere in the United States gunned down a man whose only crime was having a complexion darker than mine. But this time some high quality video has surfaced that leaves little doubt that the act was little more than a summary execution (obviously the video is graphic as it involves somebody being gunned down at point blank range):

The new video shows officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II on top of Alton Sterling, threatening him not to move. One of the officers is seen with his gun drawn and pointed directly at Sterling’s head, then the camera pans away when shots are fired. After the camera pans back to Sterling, he’s seen struggling to breathe with a massive gunshot wound in his chest. The officer is still pointing his gun at Sterling, while his partner grabs an unidentified object from Sterling’s pocket.

The suspect, Alton Sterling, was lying on his back. One officer was on top of him, pinning his body down. The other office was pinning his left arm down with his legs. His other arm was stuck under the bumper of the car. From this position the officer pinning Sterling’s left arm apparently felt his life was in immediate danger because he drew his pistol and put it over Sterling’s chest. Shortly after drawing his pistol he fires into Sterling’s chest.

As expected, the neocon news sources have jumped into action and dug up as much dirt on Sterling as they could find in some strange attempt to justify the shooting. Of course none of what they present matters. Whether Sterling was a gang member, a felon, or even a pedophile is irrelevant in a self-use of force situation. What matters in a use of force situation is whether the threat at the time of the situation warranted the amount of force that was used.

The officer drew his gun, which a regular person like you or me could only legally do if we had a reasonable belief that we were in immediate danger of great bodily harm or death. I can’t see how the officer could reasonable believe that with the suspect immobilized on the ground. Even if Sterling was armed he wasn’t in a position where he could retrieve his weapon and use it. Those are the facts that matter in this case. Sterling’s past is entirely irrelevant. But some people hold a misguided belief that all police officers are heroes and will therefore go to any lengths and twist logic in any way to justify what would be unjustifiable if the perpetrator wasn’t wearing a badge.

Until society overcomes its hero worship of police officers and begins to focus solely on the facts the scourge of abusive officers will remain unaddressed. As long as the issue remains unaddressed innocent people will continue to die and the hands of almost entirely unaccountable officers.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 7th, 2016 at 10:00 am

How the State Uses Donations for the Homeless

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When you donate funds to a small charity organization that specializes in assisting the homeless there’s a decent chance that those funds will go to help the homeless. When you donate funds to the State for the purpose of assisting the homeless there’s a decent change that those funds will be used to make the lives of homeless individuals more miserable:

DENVER (CBS4)– A CBS4 Investigation has found that the City of Denver used thousands of dollars in public donations intended to help Denver’s homeless with food, shelter and counseling to instead pay costs associated with a sweep of the homeless population out of Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood in March.

[…]

The CBS4 Investigation found that when city administrators were planning the March sweep, they immediately wanted to use donations that had been made to Denver’s Road Home to assist the homeless population.

In a series of city emails obtained by CBS4, city officials from the mayor’s office, public works and a host of other city agencies grappled behind the scenes with an anticipated bill of nearly $60,000 to pay an environmental company to move, store and redistribute personal property confiscated from homeless men and women during the sweep.

I must once again reiterate the fact that the State hates the homeless. The State is an organization built upon theft so it sees those who have nothing to steal as a burden.

A common criticism of libertarianism is that it advocates the charity to help those in need. The critics claim this is proof that libertarians don’t care about the poor. Quite the opposite is true. Libertarians do actually care about the poor, which is why they want to rid society of the State. The State preys on the poor and tries to take what little they have.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 5th, 2016 at 10:00 am

How Do You Get on The Terrorist Watch Lists? Be in the Wrong Place When an Officer Needs to Fill a Quota.

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With all the talk about prevent terrorists from buying guns I think it’s time we sat down and asked what a terrorist, in this context, means. When people say they want to prevent terrorists from buying guns what they really mean is that they want to prevent people on the terrorist watch lists from buying guns. But being on the terrorist watch lists doesn’t mean you’re a terrorist. In fact, over 40 percent of the names on the lists aren’t affiliate with any known terrorist organization.

So what lands somebody on the lists if they’re not affiliated with any known terrorist organization? One way is to be in the wrong place when an officer needs to fill a quota:

You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they’re reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they’re required to submit at least one report a month. If they don’t, there’s no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

This is the problem with secret lists that have secret criteria. Anything can potentially land you on the lists. Since they’re secret you don’t even know you’re on one. Furthermore, if you do find out you’re on one there’s no way of getting off of it.

This is the problem with using lists that involve no due process to punish people. Under the laws the gun control advocates are fighting for you could lose your right to purchase a gun just because you were sitting near an air marshal when they needed to fulfill a monthly quota.