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Thinking and speaking.

August 12, 2015

It’s recently come to my attention that some people don’t really understand what I think because all they see are my words.

This is understandable to me. I type something like 15 words per minute, I have no idea how fast I think.

This leads to my thinking in specifics, about specific incidents or specific people, and communicating in generalities.

Take Ferguson, for example. We’re in the midst of the second round of riots and discord because of the justified death of a thug. Some quibble at that term yet I have not heard any more accurate term to describe the person that was shot and killed after attacking a police officer who was sitting in his car.

When I address most events, I address the generalities as presented but also have specific thoughts about specific persons and specific events. Anyone interested is most welcome to ask and present their ideas for consideration.

For example, my #FenceItAndBurnIt hashtag addresses the false, racist created, totally nonsensical events in and around Ferguson, Missouri. It is not directed to any specific person, it is simply a generic response to the childlike temper tantrums over the police killing of a punk that even the black-centric, muslim empowered, obama administration could not find to be a crime. (I don’t just blame blacks for obama, the punk is mulatto.)

The fact that this is a race issue is not my fault. I am not the ones who decided that the death of this creature was cause for destroying much of a city and creating racial strife not seen since the Watts riots in the mid 1960s. Which, oddly, centered around the same race. Huh.

By the same token, I do not blame all blacks for the racist created and racism powered black lives matter movement. This group of opportunists have no more legitimate place in America than the local skinhead gang. Candidly, if I have to choose, I’ll choose skinheads. At least they don’t have the goal of exterminating MY race.

The black lives matter gang is particularly repulsive because they actively exterminate any narrative but their own false narrative. The fact is that #AllLivesMatter and I will actively defend them but if I am pressed to prioritize, I will prioritize those who value my life ahead of those who do not.

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Alarming Security ideas from Comcast

July 5, 2011

Having worked in the alarm industry for many years, I have been watching the entry of Comcast in to the home security industry with some interest.

I applaud their cutting edge approach, but have a number of concerns. One being that they quote no prices at all other than cancellation fees ($1100 or $700).

My other great concern is Comcast’s expectation that you, as the paying customer are responsible for ANYTHING Comcast does – without regard for whom is harmed or how they are harmed, so if the Comcast equipment fails and causes a fire in your condo, destroying three or more condos, it’s not a Comcast problem and YOU have to pay to defend them.

Here’s what I’m reading, see if you see the same.  http://www.comcast.com/homesecurity/iControlSMA/includes/docs/XHSContract.pdf

“15. Your Indemnity/Protection of Company Even For Its Own Negligence.
This Agreement is intended only for your benefit. Therefore, you agree to protect/indemnify, hold harmless, defend (if requested by Company) and release the Company and the Company Related Parties from liability and shall reimburse the Company and the Company Related Parties for any damages, losses or expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs) incurred by the Company or the Company Related Parties in connection with any claims, suits, judgments
and causes of action which relate to the System or the Services the Company provides. This protection/indemnity includes claims brought by any third party, including, without limitation, your insurance company, whether the claim arises under contract, warranty, negligence, or any other theory of liability.
Your duty to protect/indemnify the Company, however, does not apply to claims based on injuries to third parties or to their property that occur while the Company’s employees were on the Premises and which were caused solely and directly by those employees.

YOUR DUTY TO PROTECT/INDEMNIFY THE COMPANY APPLIES EVEN IN THE CASE OF THE COMPANY’S OWN NEGLIGENCE.
IN CASE OF ANY THIRD PARTY CLAIM OR LOSS COVERED BY YOUR INSURANCE, YOU AGREE NOT TO LOOK TO THE COMPANY OR THE COMPANY RELATED PARTIES FOR REIMBURSEMENT. YOU WAIVE ANY RIGHTS THAT YOUR INSURANCE CARRIER OR OTHERS CLAIMING THROUGH YOU MAY HAVE AGAINST THE COMPANY OR ANY COMPANY RELATED PARTY, INCLUDING ANY RIGHTS OF SUBROGATION.

16. Your Additional Agreements. You are at least eighteen (18) years of age and have the authority to sign this Agreement and in doing so will not violate any other agreement. You agree to ….”

So it looks like we pay them to protect us,  and instead we protect them?  I’m not seeing any benefit to the customer, and would certainly check with my attorney before signing a three year contract with Comcast.

The slippery slope of allowing airport scanning.

November 22, 2010

While my discussion here is about the backscatter scopes or nudeoscopes, the dangers are the same to any search that does not require articulable reasonable suspicion.  That is the minimum legal standard for even a basic frisk.  The ‘sexual abuse’ search is only done after arrest.

Even if all flyers and crew fly entirely naked after a full body x-ray, cavity search, and ‘government supervised’ bowel movement, we cannot prevent commercial aircraft from being blown out of the sky. There are simply too many vectors for attack, and few rely on a passenger attack.

The only long term answer is realistic and workable security, instead of Security Theater, coupled with the clear understanding that everyone dies from something. There is a risk to flying just as there is to crossing the street, surgery, or sleeping in.

Nude scans, as pointed out by the Government Accounting Office and Israeli security experts, will not improve airline security. Particularly when well over A HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE ARE EXEMPT FROM ANY AIRPORT SECURITY AT ALL.

Nude Scans do, however, assist in the further harassment of recreational drug users (not a TSA mandate, but a large part of their actual work) and in improperly tracking and seizing cash being carried on commercial aircraft, which is also unrelated to the TSA mission. Both, of course, are of great value to other branches of the Federal Government that are not allowed to make such intrusive and warrant-less searches.

It has been reasoned that we have less right or expectation to privacy in a public airport and therefore lose our Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search. I disagree completely. If we accept that the Fourth Amendment does not apply inside an airport, then we need to ask what other rights we lose in an airport? If we accept that we lose rights just because an airport is a public venue, then where do we have rights? Certainly a public street is less private than an airport, so are Times Square, the Pikes Place Market, the Grand Canyon and the 7-11 on the corner. If we accept the argument of ‘reduced privacy expectation’ at all, then how do we argue against any strip search at any place outside a private home?

Others argue that this is a federal right and duty as part of the mandate to protect and regulate interstate commerce. This argument has more weight to me and was used to break the ATC union by President Reagan. If, however, we accept that this mandate allows unbridled federal intrusion in to the lives of anyone travelling on an airplane, interstate or not, then we must accept in advance that this will soon extend to passenger trains, interstate buses, and ferries. Those plans are in place, and TSA has announced their intentions to put the same screening in place. Isn’t the next logical step to protecting interstate commerce random or full time checkpoints at state borders? However likely you this it might be, what could prevent it?

In either case, once warrant-less searches are recognized as a federal power, how do we prevent this power from being taken up by the state?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

November 20, 2010

Or, if you prefer, Who will guard the guards themselves?

Corruption exists at all types and levels of Federal Law Enforcement.  I think we all know this without really understanding the depth and breadth of the problem.

In 2004, the US employed something around 105,000 Federal Law Enforcement Officers who are exempt from screening when boarding commercial aircraft.

In 2005, in ONLY California and Texas there were SEVENTY-FIVE cases of corruption in border and immigration alone.

These exempt FED LEOs are not all FBI or ATF or Air Marshals, they come from such groups as the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, and even the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

Granted that the vast majority of these men and women are honest, honorable, law abiding and well-meaning people, ‘vast majority’ is not 100%. Hundreds (Thousands? All?) of these Federal LEOs are susceptible to corruption, bribery, coercion, blackmail, identity theft or simple insanity, and yet each and every one strolls up the exit, flashes a badge, and boards an aircraft with whatever they choose to carry onboard.

Consider this scenario, and decide for yourself whether it is likely or only possible.

Agent Broke (not a real name) thinks that US Immigration Policy is unfair to Latinos. Agent Broke takes money to ignore certain document irregularities in an attempt to personally correct that policy. The people who pay Agent Broke, tell him that they need a package delivered to a man waiting for flight 773 inside the San Diego Airport terminal, and they give Broke a small package, a plane ticket for a different flight and $10,000 in cash.

Agent Broke is stuck. He has been working with these people for a while and coming forward with this will expose his actions and cost him his career, retirement and freedom.

Maybe the package is drugs, maybe the package is money or fake ID, maybe the package is C4 or a bio weapon. The point is that the package is completely unchecked and we will never know it exists.

There is no logical or necessary reason to exempt these FED LEOs , or anyone else. If it is proper and necessary that they be armed during flight, fine. They can be nude scanned, and present the documentation allowing them to be armed; BUT WE have the right to KNOW that they are only carrying weapons and articles that they are legally entitled to carry.

The same logic applies to any exemption to the rigorous, and unreasonable, screening. Anyone who is exempt, even if they do not fly, can pass items to persons who do.

If this screening is necessary AT ALL then there can be NO EXEMPTIONS for ANYONE WHO ACCESSES A SECURE AREA IN AN AIRPORT. Everyone must have an equal chance to be viewed in the nude.

That’s the logic of “No Exemptions”; here, maybe, is the law. The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution says, in part:

Section 1. … nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

 

I would argue that Federal rules or procedures that protect a certain class of person, in this case Federal Law Enforcement, from the same intrusive nude scans and sexual assault searches that the general public is subjected to are illegal. IF there was any reasonable, articulable suspicion to the enhanced searches this would probably not apply, but a general presumption that Federal Law Enforcement is more trustworthy that the general public is completely unreasonable and entirely unsupportable.

Federal Law Enforcement, at every level, has been shown to be entirely human, including susceptibility to every possible human failure.

A birthday with no Guest of Honor

November 20, 2010

Today is my daughter’s birthday, but she has no family with whom to celebrate.

My daughter, Leslie Peterson, is in the US Army, stationed in Baghdad.

Leslie Peterson

It won’t be a horrible day for me, I’ll have my wife, my son, and my grandson; and with any good luck we will get to enjoy the day together.  We may even get some snow to enjoy.

But whatever we do, it will not be complete.  A piece of each of our hearts is many time zones away.

Thank you Leslie, for being where you are.  We just wish it wasn’t today.

Be safe, and come home soon.

An Amendment for the Constution

November 19, 2010
tags: , ,

The more I watch, the more I see.  (oddly, that even makes sense)

We, as Americans, need a very specific change in our lives.  It can be a Constitutional Amendment or Executive Order, or might even be done at the state level.  However it is done, it is necessary.

WE THE PEOPLE, must DEMAND that the laws, rules, regulations, and procedures that apply to us MUST apply equally to those who create and enforce them.

Obamacare does not apply to Congress or other senior government officials, Congress exempted themselves. 

DHS Sexual Assaults and NudeOScope scanning does not apply to DHS management, TSA management, Senior Government Officials or any of the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of Federal Law Enforcement Officers.

If Napolitano and Pistole (and fifty thousand plus of their cronies) were also forced to suffer these indignities, they might reconsider.  If not, at least it would be fair.

If the Congress who passed Obamacare was bound to use it, they would have considered it more carefully and we would  have better law.

If the rules I make apply to me and mine, I consider the impact very carefully.

In times of crisis, we look to our national leaders…

November 18, 2010

We are in a national crisis of confidence over the Department of Homeland Security’s new rules being administered through TSA.

Our ‘protectors’ are installing invasive technologies and procedures that outrage the senses and morals of the travelling public, and our ‘public servants’ demand we comply or face criminal penalties.

They tell us that the technology is safe, the modesty protected, and the outline chalky or cartoonlike. (And then they exempt themselves, many of their employees, and ALL of Federal Law Enforcement.)

Maybe so, but I learned it as “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”.

John, Janet, Barack, Michelle, lead us down this path, show us our fears are groundless. Today even, take your families and go to the nearest nudeoscope. Get scanned and publish the pictures so I can know for myself that this is a reasonable, safe, and modest intrusion on my personal rights, modesty, privacy and dignity.

Show me the scans of you and your families, and then I will show you mine.