Tuesday, March 26, 2013


As an aside to Graybeard's interesting post on encrypting communications: As I was reading the post, it reminded me of some court decisions that have come down the road concerning encryption and criminal evidence.

The first one is over a child porn case here in Florida, where law enforcement agents pursuing a child pornography investigation tracked a man suspected of sharing child porn. After obtaining a search warrant, they raided the room, seizing computers and hard drives with nearly five terabytes of total storage capacity. However, they soon hit a roadblock: Portions of the hard drives had been encrypted and were unreadable without a password. The suspect refused to decrypt the drives, and a federal district court in Florida held him in contempt and ordered him incarcerated.An appeals court overturned the conviction, claiming that forcing him to provide his password violated his fifth amendment rights.

So the court instead pulls a fast one: they require you to turn over the unencrypted files. Failure to comply means that you stay in jail indefinitely: you don't get out until you give them what they want.

This places you in a quandry, if you have been accused of a crime and the evidence of that crime is encrypted on your computer: you can rot in jail forever, or you can turn over the evidence and rot in jail for the rest of your life.

Of course, the judge cannot hold a person in contempt if the owner attempts to comply, but for some reason the drive or its encryption is corrupted and cannot be decrypted or read.

A virus

Animals will also flee to avoid other animals that are higher in the food chain. As long as prey remains plentiful, the predators will not give chase; they will focus on the prey that remains, what with it being easier to catch and all. Organisms tend to overpopulate: as long as food is plentiful, they will breed and multiply until they use up local resources to the point where it is more effective to migrate to an area where food is more plentiful than it is to forage locally for more food. At that point, the original locale is used up, food is hard to find, and the prey expands the hunting grounds.

This is happening nationwide in the terms of economics. The parasites of society have made it so difficult to live in places where taxes are high and socialist policies abound, that many people with money began to flee those places for states with low tax burdens: Leaving New York for Florida, Tennessee, and leaving California for Colorado, etc. This is not a secret: here in Florida, all we hear is an endless parade of New Yorkers telling us dumb southern inbreeders how we should be doing things, and how that isn't how you do things in New York. Fleeing the high cost of living in New York that is caused by high taxes, New Yorkers flood Florida with large amounts of cash from selling overpriced homes and collecting high pensions from lucrative government jobs, so that they can use the cash to pay too much for coastal homes.

As a result, the coast of Florida, especially around Miami, has made a steady march towards liberalism. As soon as they get here, those folks who fled New York do their best to make their new home just like the last, never seeing that their policies are the exact reason why their old home required fleeing. So as a result, Colorado gets new gun laws. Florida residents fight new gun laws. The infection spreads.

As people flee Europe and its financial meltdown, the same thing will happen on a global scale. The world will slide further down the road to collapse. Why? It is easier to move to new hunting grounds than it is to stay and fight. Once you get there to those new territories, it is easier to vote for government benefits than it is to work for your money.

Here in America, we have passed the tipping point: There are more people on the government dole than there are working and paying the bills. There is no longer an escape. The slide towards financial collapse has begun. Once the powers that be see this, they will try to avoid the anarchy that happens when the free money machine stops, and there will be a massive crackdown.

It is mathematically certain.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Out of control

After spending over two decades in the fire service, I can tell you that many firefighters are out of control. It is frequently a good old boy's club, with many having attitudes that were more at home in the 50s and 60s. This video, originally found over at Statter911, and commented on by AD, illustrates part of what I'm talking about.

This is sort of a respect my authoritah attitude. There are many firefighters that I call friends who have no problem with the actions of this Captain. Heck, I've seen some firefighters act just like this.

They treat their own the same way. We had one company officer that wouldn't allow female firefighters on his truck, and a Battalion shift who did all in his power to ensure that there were no women working for him. The Captain in the above video will get no punishment, and the powers that be will circle the wagons. This has turned into an "us versus them" situation, with the public on one side, and government employees on the other.

The actions of the fire officer in this video are embarrassing to the entire profession.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Follow up

In a follow up to this story, the woman threatened a lawsuit, and I can no longer teach at this school. Coupled with my termination for this little issue, I am now unemployed. Luckily, I have my pension that will pay nearly all of the bills.

Olympus has Fallen

I just saw Olympus has Fallen. One the scale of 1-10 of action movies, with 10 being the best action movie ever made, and 1 being the worst (GI Joe), I give it a 2. I wish I could have that $11 and those two hours of my life back. Spoiler alert, don't continue if you want to see the movie.

First, there is an opening scene where our protagonist, a Secret Service Agent, shuttles the President and his family from Camp David in a motorcade during a snow storm. There is an accident, the First Lady goes over the side of a bridge in the Presidential Limo just after the agent pulls the President out. The agent is pulled off the detail in disgrace.

A year and a half later, a sort of, but not quite AC130 that wears USAF markings enters the restricted airspace over the Whitehouse, shoots down two fourth generation fighters, and strafes the entire area around the place, and takes out half the secret service. The plane is piloted by everyone's new bad guys, the North Koreans. The Secret Service fires what appears to be a pair of RIM-7 Sea Sparrows at the plane from an IBPDMS launcher that pops out of the roof, but the plane avoids destruction by using decoy flares. A pretty good trick, since the RIM-7 is Semi-Active Radar Homing.

There are 40 commandos who take the Whitehouse in less than 15 minutes, manage to get into the bunker located 120 feet under the Whitehouse, and capture the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the entire Cabinet, and the SecDef. They use the hostages to accomplish two things:

- Get the 3 part code to cause the US nuclear aresenal to self destruct by remote control by threatening the SecDef and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs with death if they don't hand them over. They then get the President's code through a brute force attack. I was sitting there wondering who the IT guys were that would allow a brute force on such an important code, and wondering why the people weren't given duress codes that would deactivate the system if entered.
Apparently, according to the movie, the self destruct charges, if activated while the missiles are still in the silos, would cause sympathetic detonation of the warheads. Nevermind that the explosion of a nuclear warhead requires a number of specific events happening in a specific sequence, at precise times... so no, there cannot be any "sympathetic detonation" of nuclear warheads. In fact, any explosion going off with a nuclear warhead in its blast radius renders the warhead incapable of successfully exploding.

- and get the Speaker of the House to order the 7th Fleet and the US Army to back away from defending South Korea. The idea is that without the 28,000 personnel of the US Army, the Republic of Korea's 639,000 active duty troops augmented with nearly 3 million reservists would be helpless. (Hint: The US troops in South Korea are a tripwire force.)

The commandos follow the military's every move with a drone. Never mind that it is impossible to control a drone by radio from 120 feet underground in an EMP hardened bunker. The Commandos also install a stolen US antiaircraft system that shoots down the SEAL team enroute for the rescue. When the commandos installed the system, they even managed to wire it into the Whitehouse power system with an electrical panel in a manner that would pass inspection. I don't understand why the protagonist had to steal an RPG to blow up the system when he was standing right next to the power disconnect.

Another thing I couldn't figure out is where the Third Infantry Regiment was in all of this. Yes, I know it is an honor guard unit, but is still a fully functional and qualified infantry regiment. There is also an entire company of combat ready Marines at the Marine Barracks at 8th and I streets, just 3 miles from the Whitehouse. In short, there are over 2,000 US troops within 10 miles of the Whitehouse, not to mention the thousands of cops and secret service agents.

The movie ended in a predictable manner, with the head of the commando force getting in a martial arts fight with the protagonist, just like every action movie has in the past 20 years. Then, the protagonist goes outside to find his ER nurse girlfriend staffing an ambulance in her scrubs, surprised to see him. Never mind that you wouldn't catch an RN within 100 yards of the back of an ambulance.

In short, this movie had many technical and plot holes, and was the worst sort of popular drivel. Stay away, save your money, and if you must, catch it on TV or rent the DVD.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Terror Connection?

So a UCF former college student attempts a massacre. This is right down the road from my house. His Facebook page is here.
His likes include:
This site, whose last status reads: There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of God
this site, which appears to support the new Muslim government of Egypt.
 Then there is this site. This one appears pretty militant as well.

Each of these was in his 'likes' on Facebook from 2012. Look yourself. This man is a Muslim, or at least frequents militant Muslim pages. Why are we not seeing reports of this in the press? Is this a possible attempted terror attack?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sexual issues

Borepatch writes about how some women think that a man treating a woman differently is sexist. I wrote about this last year. The problem is that women don't want to be treated the same as the men are. They want to be treated differently, they want to have advantages over men, and are using the fact that they are women against men.
I was lecturing an Anatomy and Physiology class for the newest class of paramedic students one day, part of the class was about reproduction, and I talked about spermatazoa, oocytes, and genitalia, and how they worked to pass on genetic material in humans. The entire lecture was from a clinical and biological standpoint. Two female students filed a sexual harassment complaint against me, and said that talking about those things is offensive.
When she got the complaint, my boss flew off the handle and pulled me off the class. She said that I need to be aware that the younger generation is more easily offended than people of my age. I was on the verge of resigning from teaching. If you can't mention body parts in an anatomy class, how can you possibly teach it?
So this morning I went to the director of the school, who questioned several other students from that class, and they said that the lecture was professional and well done. I finished the second half of the lecture today. To protect myself in the future, all of my lectures are going to be video taped, and the recordings saved. It is shameful that I have to do that, but this is the liability world we live in. Are there any other instructors out there who feel that they have to do this? What about you new female medics? Is this really that offensive to you? Am I really that old and out of touch?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blame objects, not people

There is a petition on Whitehouse.gov that is pushing to prevent the relaxing of the TSAs rule against knives on aircraft.From the petition:
Before the morning of September 11, 2001, the threat of using commercial aircraft as a weapon was unknown. At great cost, we know better today. The TSA was created because blades on airplanes were used to cause this deadly attack on U.S. soil.
 It isn't the box cutters that caused the attack. It was Muslim terrorists, aided by the prevailing attitude towards highjacking: Comply with the highjackers, get the plane on the ground, and let the government deal with them. In other words, forced helplessness. What caused the attacks on 9-11 was accomplished because people depended on government for their protection, and the terrorists found a hole in the government's plan: the government can't have agents everywhere, all the time.

The government's plan depended on one thing: the assumption that the terrorists wanted to survive the encounter. Once the attackers decided that they didn't want to survive, this changed the rules of the game, and the government's plain fell apart. 

So would such an attack, given the rules that were in place at the time, work again? Do you really think that an aircraft filled with 30 or more people are going to sit there and allow five men to take over the plane? On 9/11, Flight 93 had the lowest ratio of passengers to highjackers, 33:5. Yet outnumbering their attackers 6:1, once they realized that they were doomed to die, the passengers of Flight 93 succeeded in overwhelming the terrorists and saving the Whitehouse from attack. The other flights had even more lopsided numbers, with Flight 11 being 76 to 5.

No, an attack using box cutters or other small knives will never work again to take over an aircraft. With alert and wary passengers, reinforced cockpit doors, and other procedures, an attack like 9/11 just isn't possible.

Let's blame the terrorists and the complacent attitude and not the object. The next attack will come from a direction we are not expecting, and will use a hole in our security. it won't be like anything we are prepared for.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dividing by zero

The DJIA is the sum of 30 stocks on the NYSE, divided by the Dow Divisor. As I write this, the DJIA stands at 14,438.

The Dow divisor is currently 0.130216081. If we used the same divisor as they did in May of 2001, which was 0.153694, the DJIA would be 14375.

So adjusting for changes in the Dow divisor, the DJIA is actually unchanged from where it was 12 years ago. These numbers are so manipulated, it is ridiculous.

Originally, the Dow divisor was intended to adjust for stocks that split, so that a company could not manipulate the DJIA merely by splitting their stock. Otherwise, a stock that sold for $50 today could split, and cause a large drop in the DJIA when it sold for $25 after the split.  The Divisor approach worked well for the first few decades but in recent decades the Divisor has become very small. In 1986, the Dow Divisor fell below 1.0 for the first time, effectively becoming the 'Dow Multiplier' since to divide by a fraction, we invert it and multiply, resulting in a larger number.

The math is simple. Now that the Dow Divisor is .130216081, a one dollar change in the price of a stock results in a 7.67 point movement of the DJIA. Mathematically, the system is set up to oscillate out of control as the Divisor approaches zero. After all, dividing by zero causes an infinite result, so as the divisor approaches zero, the DJIA will approach infinity.

 Another problem is that the Dow treats all price increases the same, regardless of relative magnitude. For example, a $2 change in the stock price of IBM, which is selling at $209, would offset a $2 decrease of Alcoa, currently selling at 8.64. The IBM change is an insignificant 1% movement, but the Alcoa change is a staggering 25% movement. This allows for easy manipulation of stock prices. An entity can manipulate the DJIA by buying large amounts of low priced stock, and cause large movements in the Dow.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ammo craziness

9mm Ammunition is now selling for over $800 a case. The last 9mm buy I did was last February, and I got it for $180 a case. One of my usual suppliers is still selling it at $280 a case, but they have a 2-8 month back order.

.45 ACP Ball is selling at $600 a case, up from $250.

I am tempted to put in an order for a few cases of that 9mm, and when it is delivered in two months, sell it for $1,000 dollars a case.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Waste of time and tax money

So the University of Cambridge says that they can predict things about you from your Facebook postings, even if those postings don't reveal the information. Color me unimpressed.

They claim that they can predict a male's sexual orientation with 88% accuracy. Yawn. At best, 90% of males are heterosexual, meaning that I can beat their numbers merely by calling all men heterosexual. It isn't as if I can't guess the sexual orientation of a guy who posts pictures of himself kissing other dudes, or of a woman who looks like a man, with short hair and her arm around another woman.

Likewise for the claim that they can predict religion and political leanings. If I click the 'like' button on the NRA page, the Pope's page, and the page for Rush Limbaugh, it is a safe bet that I am not a Democrat.

The thing that bothers me the most is that this study was likely done with tax dollars. This is why we are broke.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Google Reviews

I have to say that I can no longer trust any public reviews from Google. There is a local (to me) school that teaches paramedic and EMT classes. They periodically will have a bad review come up, and it will remain there for a week or so, and then will disappear. There are currently 8 reviews up there, with five of them written since the format changed to only allowing Google+ users to rate a business. Of those 5 reviews, one is written by the owner of the school, and all of the reviews are positive. I have seen at least three negative reviews get deleted.
In short, I will no longer trust Google reviews.

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Buyback" nonsense

So the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office held a gun "buyback" just three weeks after the county commission voted not to have one. Over 2,500 firearms were turned in, at a cost to taxpayers of $190,000. Most of the guns confiscated were junk guns:

Then there was the ingenious gun made from a flute. This makes me wonder if it really worked. If so, this is proof that gun bans can't work unless ownership of common items like flutes becomes constructive possession:

Then there is the obligatory "rocket launcher" that seems to turn up at every buyback nowadays. Where are these coming from? Are the cops doing this for publicity value, or are enterprising people making money off of worthless green tubes? Either way, with the number of these things turning up, you would think there were rocket attacks happening every week in American cities.

With all of that, some of the people who redeemed guns for free hockey tickets attempted to go to a sold out game at the last minute and exchange the vouchers, but were told they were out of luck. The tickets themselves recommended that they be exchanged for tickets 48 hours before the game. They also said "subject to availability, while supplies last."


So yesterday, I had a friend decide that she wanted to buy an AR15. I shopped around a bit and discovered that Spike's Tactical has an 8 to 12 month wait. L&R armory, not too far from my house, is selling stripped lowers for $900 each.
Well, considering that the Florida legislature is considering a law that would make it illegal to purchase an "assault weapon" after July 1, and a felony for those guns already owned not to be turned in by December 1, one has to wonder if people are paying $2000 and more for an AR15, are they planning on turning them in this summer?
I doubt it.

More on the bill: It would require proof of an anger management class to buy ammo, make it illegal to manufacture, import, possess,  purchase, sell, or transfer any "assault weapon" or large-capacity magazine. Any weapons or magazines that are in your possession as of July 1, 2013 would have to be turned into the police by December 1. Violations of this law are a second degree felony, punishable by no more than fifteen years imprisonment in a state prison and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars.

Possessing a 15 round magazine for your handgun would now be a greater crime under this bill that possession of cocaine, selling and growing marijuana, burglary, and battery of a law enforcement officer. It will be treated the same as Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon No Intent to Kill, Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor,  Sale of cocaine, DUI with Serious Bodily Injury, DUI Manslaughter, and certain forms of Homicide.

There are enough prohibited items in my house to get me a couple of centuries in prison.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stupid point of view

This is the mindset that we are dealing with: A democrat that says we gun folks are approaching crime all wrong. They way to prevent rape, and presumably all crime, is simply to tell people not to do it:

This is the mindset. Why, if we just put up a sign that says "No guns" or "Rape free zone" or even "No robbing of this store allowed" then no one will do so.

This is why some people cannot be argued with or reasoned with on the gun debate. They simply do not have the mindset to have an intelligent conversation. I try to see things from their point of view, but I just can't get my head that far up my ass.