A Geek With Guns

Discount security adviser to the proles.

Archive for the ‘Your Government Doesn’t Love You’ tag

Why the FBI Loses Control of The People It Radicalizes

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For a long time the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has adopted a strategy where it seeks out people of lukewarm intelligence who are socially isolated and radicalizes them. Once radicalize the target is given a fake bomb and explicit plans on how to use it. When the target finally executes the FBI’s plan they are arrested and charged for terrorism related crimes. In other words the FBI has been creating criminals for it to catch and touting itself as a hero for it.

But what happens when the FBI’s target slips their leash? People die:

THE REVELATION THAT an undercover FBI agent encouraged a would-be terrorist to “Tear up Texas” shortly before he opened fire on a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, last year raises new concerns about FBI counterterrorism efforts that were already under fire for manufacturing terrorism cases rather than halting them.

According to an affidavit filed in a related case last week, Elton Simpson — one of two men who donned body armor and fired assault weapons before being shot dead by a Garland police officer — had been corresponding with an undercover FBI agent. And in a text message roughly a week before the attack, as they discussed the cartoon contest, the agent had exhorted Simpson to “Tear up Texas.”

It was only a matter of time until this happened. Only a government agency could be so idiotic as to expect that it could go around radicalizing people and not lose control over one of them eventually. Humans are creative creatures and don’t always act as expected. While a majority of the people the FBI targets are pretty dull it only takes one creative individual for the FBI’s strategy to backfire.

I’m sure the double standards of the legal system will come into play here as well. If you or I were to radicalize somebody and provide them materials and encouragement to perform a terrorist attack we’d be brought up on charges of providing material support to terrorists. So far the FBI hasn’t faced those charges when it radicalizes somebody and provides them a means to perform an attack. Since the FBI is a government agency the law doesn’t apply to it so it will likely face zero consequences for this case as well.

It’s a big club and we’re not in it.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 30th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Never Comply with Demands from Politicians

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It’s inevitable that any company that becomes popular will begin receiving an endless stream of demands from politicians. Each politician will demand the company comply with their person agenda. One example of this are when anti-gun politicians demanded Facebook stop allowing its service to be used for perfectly legal gun sales. Facebook voluntarily complied and started taking down groups and posts related to gun sales. Now the politicians are back and demanding Facebook do a better job at blocking perfectly legal gun sales:

A United States Senator released Facebook’s response on Tuesday to a slew of questions he sent company officials last month about gun sales initiated through the site. But the two-page response, which was supposed to address what impact, if any, Facebook’s ban on gun sales has had, left many questions unanswered.

“While I commend the platforms’ facilitating the reporting of prohibited content related to gun sales by users, I urge Facebook and Instagram to redouble their efforts to develop and deploy technology that can enforce their gun-sales ban without relying so heavily on user reporting,” Sen. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said in a written statement. “Facebook and Instagram’s ban on private firearms sales should have the teeth it needs to be effective, so that it can truly prevent guns from falling into the hands of those who should not have them.”

Never comply with demands from politicians. They’re never satisfied. No matter how well you comply with their demands they will always demand that you do a better job. Politicians are like spoiled children. Once you’ve rolled over for them they’ll never stop.

Treat politicians like terrorists (because they are); never negotiate with them. If a politician tells you to do something just ignore them. They’ll threaten to pass a law but complying with their demands will just give them a poster child to hold up as an example of the industry supporting the law they’re going to pass anyways.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 25th, 2016 at 10:30 am

The FBI and Child Pornography

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The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) seemingly went scorched Earth during its campaign to takedown a hidden child pornography site. Except it didn’t take the site down. It not only left it running once it discovered where it was being hosted and continued hosting the site itself but it even actively worked to upgrade the site so it could distribute more child pornography:

Under the FBI’s stewardship, Playpen membership rose by 30 percent and the number of visitors to the site increased from roughly 11,000 to 50,000 per week, assistant federal defender Peter Adolf argued in a motion to dismiss his client’s indictment. Playpen distributed 200 videos, 9,000 images and 13,000 links to child pornography while the FBI ran the site from February 20th to March 4th, Adolf said. He supported his claims with archived messages from Playpen users commenting on how well the site was running during this same timeframe.

[…]

“Government agents worked hard to upgrade the website’s capability to distribute large amounts of child pornography quickly and efficiently, resulting in more users receiving more child pornography faster than they ever did when the website was running ‘illegally,'” Adolf wrote.

How can the FBI claim it was fighting child pornography when it was not only distributing it but also working to distribute more of it? I’m sure the FBI and its apologists will claim that the ends justified the means but it’s exactly that attitude that allowed a supposed law enforcement agency to perpetrate a crime that a large portion of society finds especially heinous.

Furthermore, if the FBI isn’t punished for this what’s to stop it from setting up another child pornography site and permanently operating it in the name of fighting child pornography? What’s to stop it from partnering with child pornographers so it can increase the available content on its site so it can attract more child pornography consumers? I’m sure there are FBI apologists who will claim my insinuation is ridiculous but they would have probably told me that the FBI hosting child pornography was ridiculous just a year or two ago.

What’s the point of having a law enforcement agency that perpetrates the very crimes it’s supposed to fight?

Written by Christopher Burg

August 24th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Do You Want to Help Your Neighbors? You Better Pay Off the State First.

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The floods in Louisiana have received very little press coverage. This isn’t surprising since Louisiana is a poor southern state and those are undeserving of coverage according to most major media outlets. Joining major media outlets, the State has also provided precious little help so far. This has forced the members of the community to step up efforts to help one another (as they always end up having to do because the State doesn’t care about them). There’s just one problem. Most of these good Samaritans haven’t paid off the State and that makes it very angry:

NEW ORLEANS – The Good Samaritan who rescued hundreds, maybe thousands, of people during the ‘Great Flood of 2016‘ said he was not happy after a state lawmaker announced he wants to introduce legislation around future actions by citizen heroes.

Some of these citizen heroes, a loosely-organized group called the ‘Cajun Navy,’ gained national attention for their rescue efforts last week, but that attention is nowhere near the pushback lawmakers are discussing when it comes to a lawmakers proposal to require permits for citizen rescue groups.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, the State wants a piece of the action. It doesn’t care if people end up dying while you’re wasting time filling out paper work so you can pay the State for permission to help the people it’s not helping. It doesn’t even care if all of your belongings were just destroyed in a flood. If you don’t scrounge up money to pay off the State it will send men with guns to kidnap or possibly kill you.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 24th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Justice Department Announced It Will Keep All Federal Slave Laborers

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Private prisons have been controversial. A lot of people believe that for-profit prisons are evil and that all prisons should be owned and operated by the government. Somehow people think slave labor is morally superior when the government owns the slaves. I don’t understand that mentality. A cage is a cage and a slave is a slave. Regardless of my opinion, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that it will keep all future federal slave laborers for Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR):

The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”

Since this announcement private prison stocks have fallen pretty hard even though most private prisons hold contracts with state or county governments:

While any reduction in the federal prison population will be welcomed by those released, their families, and by reform advocates, the majority of inmates reside in state or county facilities. Only one in eight federal inmates was in a private facility in 2015.

So this change doesn’t affect many prisoners and won’t put Corrections Corporation of America or GEO Group out of business. But the falling stock prices weren’t unexpected and I bet many of the higher ups in the DoJ as well as those in the know in Congress made a good deal of cash shorting those stocks.

There is also the question of how long this decision will last. In December of last year the DoJ announced that it would stop paying civil forfeiture money under the Equitable Sharing Program. A lot of people heralded the decision as a victory over civil forfeiture. Only a few months later the DoJ announced that it would resume those payments. It’s quite possible the DoJ will announce plans to continue using private prisons in a few months, perhaps around November 4th when everybody is distracted by the election.

One thing is certain, nothing meaningful has changed. The DoJ didn’t announce that it would stop enslaving people or that it would stop using private prisons and abolish UNICOR. It merely said it would stop handing out slave laborers to UNICOR’s competitors.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 19th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Technology Empowers Individuals

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In all regions of the planet having sex is legal. But in many regions being paid to have sex is illegal. Some of those areas to have a caveat where you can legally be paid for sex but you have to be filmed doing it. Either way, governmental restrictions on sex work have made the trade more dangerous. Many sex workers have been relegated to operating under the authority of abusive pimps. However, technology is changing that:

Soon after Kate ran into trouble at the nightclub—like many other fresh-faced high school girls in Hong Kong today—she discovered online forums to run her own business as a sex worker. On HK Big Man and HK Mensa, where ads are proliferating everyday, so-called “compensated daters” offer their services without the help of a middleman.

Bowie Lam Po-yee, who runs an organization called Teen’s Key that provides outreach for these girls, says that it’s common for one girl to find an ad she likes, and then copy it—with just minor adjustments. Then, girls leave their contact information and negotiate where they’ll meet and how much they’ll charge. It’s easier to evade the cops that way: they’re less likely to be caught for solicitation if they’ve checked a client out to see if he’s legitimate. Police can be obvious as to their identity when it comes to brokering a deal over a chat app.

The job of a pimp has been to market out sex workers and they often use their position abusively. Ubiquitous communication technology allows sex workers to market themselves. Forums, smartphones, and chat applications allow sex workers to cut out the middle man, which allows them to keep all of the profits as well as not be reliant on an abusive individuals.

This isn’t just true for sex workers. Online communication technology has also made the drug trade safer. Technology often acts as a balance to the State. When the State makes a market more dangerous by declaring it illegal technology helps make it safe again.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 19th, 2016 at 10:30 am

A Growing Idea

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More and more people are jumping onboard the idea that Trump is part of Clinton’s campaign:

How would Donald Trump assess Donald Trump’s candidacy? As he might put it: A lot of people are saying his campaign is an operation on behalf of the Democratic Party to destroy the Republicans.

“A lot of people are saying”? That’s not a very high evidentiary standard. What else?

Well, to start there is the photo. You know the one, where Trump and his new bride Melania are rubbing elbows with the Clintons. Bill Clinton spoke with Trump right before Trump announced his candidacy. Trump has of course contributed to Clinton campaigns in past years as well. This doesn’t even get into the fact that Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton are friends.

Previous evidence leads me to believe that Trump isn’t an idiot. He has raked in a ton of cash over his lifetime and became prominent enough to rub elbows with powerful political figures. Yet he seems to have become entirely incompetent overnight, which leads me to think he might be part of his good friend Hillary’s campaign.

Why do I care? The only reason I care is because I want this to be true so I can rub it in the faces of all those so-called gun rights activists telling gun owners they need to support Trump even though he has a long history of being anti-gun. If Trump is part of Hillary’s campaign they’re actually providing material support to her campaign and that would amuse me to no end.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 19th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Disarming the Starving Slaves

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The people are starving in the paradise of central planning known as Venezuela. Starving slaves tend to be uppity slaves so the Venezuelan government has decided to attempt to secure its power by redoubling its efforts to disarm the slaves:

Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries.

Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.

What’s rather entertaining through is the source of the slaves’ firearms:

Gangs often get weapons from the police, either by stealing them or buying them from corrupt officers, experts say.

I’m sure the police love this renewed effort since it will create more opportunities for them to sell more firearms.

Venezuela is fucked. Anybody living there should do everything in their power to get out. Things are only going to get worse as the slaves become more desperate and the government responds by becoming more tyrannical.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 18th, 2016 at 10:30 am

It’s Like Laws are Arbitrary

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User byutamu over at /r/guns created a nice image illustrating the absurdity of gun laws.

arbitrary-gun-laws

It’s like laws are arbitrary. Weird.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 18th, 2016 at 10:00 am

You Can’t Stop the Market

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The federal government put a lot of resources into shutting down the Silk Road. Was it worth it? Has the online drug trade stopped or at least been reduced? Of course not! People want access to recreational drugs and the market always provides. Since the death of Silk Road the online drug trade has actually flourished:

The successors to Silk Road, the darknet drug market shut down by the FBI in 2013, are raking in tens of millions of pounds in total revenue every month, according to a new report.

British dealers apparently have a serious finger in the pie, taking home roughly 16 percent of the global revenues, or around £1.75 million, between an estimated 338 vendors.

The State, however, can never admit failure. Through the magic of statistics it has declared itself victorious over the online drug trade:

The report, commissioned by the Dutch government to gauge the growth of darknet markets in the years following the demise of Silk Road, found some good news for beleaguered law enforcement: “cryptomarkets have grown substantially in the past few years, but not explosively,” though the numbers of vendors and hosting sites have grown. In fact, researchers found around 50 of these markets in total, however, the total volume of listings is now only six times larger than in 2013.

The volume of listings has only grown six times larger! It would have obviously grown even more if it wasn’t for the State’s efforts! This reminds me of the national debt, specifically when a politician claims that they have shrunk the debt because their efforts ensured it only grew twice as fast as it would have otherwise. If you’re very careful with your statistical definitions you can make any defeat appear to be a victory.

What’s the lesson here? Easy, the State is powerless against the forces of the market. While the State does win temporary victories it is always defeated in the long run. After all, how can a handful of people ever hope to defeat the entirety of humanity? When seven billion people are thinking of new and interesting ways to get their fellows the goods and services they want there’s nothing a handful of people wearing suits and sitting in marble buildings can do.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 17th, 2016 at 10:30 am