Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shooting dogs

Following what seems to be standard police procedure nowadays, police in South Holland shot a dog that was not threatening anyone. They were caught on video standing there watching the dog for over 20 minutes, before shooting a dog three times that was not threatening them.

Also following what seems to be police standards, they didn't even kill it. With this poor marksmanship, you have to wonder who the REAL threat to public safety is.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


This is a humorous look at the media narrative surrounding the Zimmerman trial:

Race relations

So we have death threats from blacks against whites. We have witnesses in the Zimmerman case saying that Trayvon Martin called Zimmerman a "creepy ass cracker" and many blacks claiming that the term isn't racial or offensive because "that is just how black people talk." Now we have a North Caroline County commissioner saying that white men need not apply for a vacant commission seat.

For years, we have heard about how whites are racists, and any time something bad happens to a black person, a white person and his racism are to blame. We hear that whites are all racists, and blacks cannot be racists, all the while ignoring the fact that we have a black President, which could not have happened if all whites were racists. I heard that President say that it is time for us to have a discussion on race, and say that he was going to unite us. I also heard him say that if he had a son, that son would look like Trayvon Martin.

Race relations are worse now than any time I can remember since the Rodney King riots.

Be careful out there

There is a buzz on Twitter that if George Zimmerman is acquitted of murder in the shooting of Trayvon martin, that they are going to "kill some crackas." Here are some examples:

This Zimmerman shit so AGGY just lock his ass up cause if they don't imma kill a white person and they better let me go
 If George Zimmerman win I'm gonna kill a fat white boy dat look lik George Zimmerman I swear lol
 If Zimmerman win, I'm gonna go kill a white a kid by mistake
 If Zimmerman get off, Ima go kill a white boy and use the same story he did...
 If  get off ima shoot the first /white i see
  white people scared of blacks that's why yall but i'll beat the shit outta one of u

When this case goes to the jury, there are large areas of town that I am going to avoid until this all blows over. We may see violence and riots should he be found not guilty. Living in the Orlando area puts me squarely at ground zero for any problems.

Friday, June 28, 2013


For those that have been following this blog, you know that I bought a home in 2007 for $240,000. In 2009, I realized that I was having my financial life ruined by my possession of a depreciating asset. My home was worth less than half of what I had paid for it. I decided to cut my losses and declare bankruptcy and give the house back to the bank.
The problem is that the bank I borrowed the purchase money from, and had been making payments to, was not the owner of the note and mortgage, even though they had testified in bankruptcy court that they were. Not only that, but they continued to try and collect money from me, even though the debt had been discharged in the bankruptcy. They left notes on my door asking me to call them. I would call,  and they would ask me to pay. They would mail bills to me. Since this isn't allowed after a bankruptcy, I sued them, and we settled out of court. They paid me a large sum of money to drop the case. 
They tried to foreclose on the house, but could not, because they don't own the mortgage. The foreclosure was dismissed.
They were one of the banks that the government was investigating for forging legal documents. As a result of that, I was paid another $4,000 in a settlement.
They continued to badger me for money for two more years, so I sued them again two months ago. I won another $14,700 from them. The judge also ordered them to have no contact with me. The day after we went to court, I found a note on my door just after lunch, asking me to call them. The day after that, I got a letter demanding money.
I guess we are going to give them some time to violate the court's order a some more, and then we will be going back to court.
So far:
I've been living in this house for free for four years.
They have paid my property taxes for the last 4 years, even though they are not the mortgage holder, and I did not ask them to pay them.
They have paid me approximately $30,000 in settlements and sanctions.

and yet, they continue to break the law and violate the court's orders

MoCA noise

I have been chasing down the RFI coming from my house. A touch lamp, a television, and a cable box have all been identified as sources of RFI in the house. The lamp has been replaced, and the television is going to be my next project, but for now I can turn it off when I am on the radio.
Yesterday, the cable company came out and replaced the cable box. The RFI in the house is now showing at S0-S1. Now I can finally enjoy some productive radio time.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


There is an interesting case in New York involving an EMT and a pregnant woman with asthma. The asthma patient had been seen earlier in the day by paramedics for her condition and had refused to be transported for evaluation. The EMT, who was working in dispatch for FDNY, was on a coffee break when the woman nearby began having an asthma attack. Bystanders, frantically looking for help, saw the dispatcher in uniform and asked her for help. The dispatcher called 911, but refused to get up and evaluate the patient. The women died.
FDNY Was sued by the dead woman's family, and the EMT was charged with the crime of negligence. To protect itself from the lawsuit, the FDNY claimed that dispatchers on break do not have a duty to act, and asked that criminal charges against the EMT be dropped.
My personal feeling is that when you are on the clock and in uniform, you do your job, even if you are on a coffee break. This EMT should have tried to do something. Even without equipment, she could have performed CPR.
Off the clock, I agree that you don't have a duty to act. Heck, I quit stopping at car accidents about ten years ago when a paramedic in Central Florida who stopped at a car accident was struck and killed by oncoming traffic, and the State of Florida refused to pay the widow his death benefits
because he was not on duty.
In this case, this EMT got lucky that her employer needed to avoid legal liability more than they wanted to prosecute her.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dumbass firearm instructor

This video astounds me.

What this guy is saying could easily be construed as murder. He wants you to make sure that anyone who enters your home is dead. He says to either shoot them in the head, or after shooting them, go back to bed for an hour or so before calling 911, so that you can let them "bleed out." Here are some of his statements in comments:

 When someone breaks into your home in a home invasion at 3:00 a.m. they are not another individual, they are a predatory puke who is there to kill you and your family. Don't you pay any attention to the news? Don't you know what happens to homeowners and their families in home invasions?

 What I in fact said was if you can put two to center mass and one in the head before they hit the ground that can be made to look like a legitimate shoot. If they hit the ground before you can put one in the head that's going to be a problem. Then you're going to have to let them bleed out.

When a person enters your home in a castle doctrine state, the law presumes that the homeowner is facing a deadly threat, and allows the homeowner to use deadly force. That presumption disappears if the state can prove that  you deliberately allowed a person to die after they were no longer a threat. An attorney in the comments says effectively the same thing, and this is his response:

What will your hourly charge be to defend a so called CLEAN SHOOT? I betcha if you are an attorney your charges will be a lot. If I dispose of the body I don't have to pay them.
This video will be used against the maker to show premeditated murder, even if the shoot is a proper one. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Look at another video he produces:

At 1: 34, he says that he keeps his Sig 220 in a "combat ready condition" where it is loaded and the hammer is back. This guy is a total dumbass. This is a double action pistol with no manual safety, no grip safety, and no safety built into the trigger. He fingers the trigger and sweeps the camera multiple times before clearing the pistol. This is a negligent discharge waiting to happen. He goes on to say:

I haven't taken this thing apart yet, and have no desire to. My guess is that this lever (indicates takedown lever) releases it, and it comes apart like a Glock.

This guy supposedly runs a training academy. I seriously hope that no one takes his advice, because they will likely wind up in jail. Anyone who has attended this school that is involved in a shooting better hope that the prosecutor doesn't find out about it, because they will be in a world of trouble.


The east coast of the US, specifically New Jersey, was struck by a tsunami on June 13. I had no idea.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Physics humor

I bought a Quantum car. Now every time I look at the speedometer, I get lost.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More on HAM noise and MoCA

I think that I have located all of the sources of RFI in my house. Some are easy to solve, others are not. Here they are:
1 There is a touch lamp in one of the bedrooms that is generating broadband noise. It is easily solved by getting rid of the lamp.
2 There is a television in the living room that is causing noise that extends from 3.4 mHz all the way up to 9.8 mHz.
3 The most vexing is the fact that I have a service called "whole house DVR" that allows us to watch recorded shows in any room of the house. It does this by using a system called "multimedia over coax," abbreviated as MoCA. Since there are three of these cable boxes in the house, any time two of the three boxes are powered up, they begin to communicate over the house's cable lines. This is why it was so hard to track down. I am going to have to call the tech support for the cable company and see if they can help me out with calming down this noise.

Stranger danger fail

So a man meets a woman and her three kids as they are shopping at Wal Mart at 11 pm on Friday night. After befriending them, he offers to take one of the children (an 8 year old girl) for a snack and leaves the store with her. The police issue an Amber alert. The man is found and arrested on Saturday morning at 9 am. The girl is not with him. Just over an hour later, the girl's body is discovered.

The man has an extensive criminal record:
1992 Convicted of attempted kidnapping and selling obscene materials. This placed him in the sexual offender database.
2003 arrested for burglary and dealing in stolen property
2006 Parole violation
2009 Child abuse, making obscene phone calls to a 10 year old girl, and making verbal threats. According to the arrest report he claimed he was a social worker with the Florida Department of Children and Families and told the family they were under investigation by the state. He plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of attempted child abuse and attempted impersonation of a public employee.
 He was just released May 31, and 21 days later, he murdered a little girl. There is plenty of blame to go around.

The douchebag:
Evil exists in the world. There are evil people in the world, and we need to constantly be aware of them. it doesn't matter if they are armed with a gun, a knife, or with nothing but charm and guile, they are still deadly. Never forget that humans are the most dangerous animal on the planet.

The mother:
We teach our children that they should avoid strangers. The problem is that the majority of abductions in the US are committed by people that are known to the child. As parents, each of us have a responsibility to know and vet the people who have access to our children. This woman let a man that she had only known for a few minutes walk away with her child. She will relive that moment for the rest of her life. If she is married, the odds say that this marriage is over. The feelings of resentment from the husband will likely destroy that relationship. A momentary bad decision has ended a child's life and destroyed a family.

All of us:
By continuing to push for the war on drugs, we have thrown more of our population in jail than any other civilization in history. We keep having to let the dangerous people like this guy out of prison to make room for drug convictions, only to see them hurt people. This guy was released at least twice, and broke the law almost immediately upon release. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

HAM issues

I am having a problem with my HAM bands. There is quite a bit of RFI coming from my house. To begin with, there is a lot of noise on all bands below 30 meters. I managed to isolate that, it is coming from the LCD television in the living room. When the TV is turned off, the noise is gone. This means that I can only work the 40 and 80 meter bands when no one in the house is watching TV in the living room. I can live with that.
In the 20m band, it is showing up as an S8 on the signal meter most of the time, and this hash covers up all but the strongest stations. Here is the pattern:
-  turning off the circuit breakers to everything but the shack, it disappears and I get an S0-1.
- turning off one breaker at a time doesn't get rid of it.
- Turning on all of the breakers doesn't always make it return.
- When it DOES return, it starts at S3, and builds to an S8 over about a 30 second period
- The limits of the hash are from 10.6 MHz through 15.4 MHz.

This is driving me crazy. I think it is more than one piece of equipment.

I blame the lawyers

I ignore signs like the one below, found at the Florida Mall in Orlando:

Or this one, found at Florida Hospital Celebration:

 Or this one, found at Heart of Florida hospital:

Even though these signs do not carry the force of law, and I can legally ignore them, many people tell me that I should not, because I should honor the wishes of the property owner. I wonder if these signs really DO reflect the wishes of the owner, or if they reflect a legal climate that has been forced upon the owner.

This article explains that at least one insurer thinks that insuring a property owner who allows legal concealed carry is too great of a risk. I don't blame the insurance company. I blame our legal system. Here is why:

If a murderer kills people on a property, the owner of that property is not liable for damages.

If a person carrying a concealed weapon shoots a person on that property, the property owner is liable, unless they prohibit concealed weapons on their property.

This means that a property owner that prohibits concealed weapons is in a win0win scenario: If anyone shoots anyone on their property, they have no liability. A property owner that allows concealed weapons is likewise liable for any shooting that occurs on their property.

This means that the property owner is not freely choosing to prohibit weapons, they are instead choosing to limit liability. Remove that liability, and you remove the incentive for businesses to ban weapons.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Like a bad novel

The government has a record of all communications. They know who leaks information. The government has stated that they can kill anyone that they deem to be a threat to national security, and have already done so. This has slowed leaks to reporters down to nearly zero. Informants and reporters are disappearing or dying under accidental circumstances.

The man who saw Breitbart collapse is missing. A technician in the Los Angeles County coroners office, where Breitbart's body was taken, died of arsenic poisoning.

The list of people damaging to the government that are waking up dead is getting longer.
Andrew Breitbart dies March 2012. A technician in the coroner's office that handled the body dies of arsenic poisoning on the day the autopsy results are released.

December 2012:
Job Price, the Navy SEAL that killed Osama Bin Laden dies of apparent suicide.

January 2013:
John Noveske of Noveske Rifle Works died in a car crash.
Aaron Swartz, a computer activist that was known for placing government documents in the public domain, was found hanging in his apartment.
Keith Ratliff committing suicide by duct taping himself to a chair and shooting himself in the back of the head.

February 2013:
Chris Kyle murdered at a gun range in Texas.

May 2013
Andy P. Hart, a public defender for Guantanamo detainees, committed suicide May 2, 2013.
Two members of the FBI's HRT, involved in the capture of the arrest of the Boston bomber, die in a training accident.
The FBI shoots and kills a person of interest in the Boston bombing in Orlando. (This happened less than a mile from the apartment where I was living at the time.)

June 2013
Michael Hastings dies in a car accident.

There is also Tracy Lawrence, the woman who exposed the foreclosure fraud mess, found dead in 2011.

There were times when I would have passed this off as coincidence and waved the speculation off as a conspiracy theory, but after the Fast and Furious scandal, the NSA scandal, and the announcement that the US can and does execute American citizens without trial is making me wonder. These deaths may all be coincidence. Who can tell? All I know is that if a person were writing a novel, and this were the plot, the editors wold tell them that it was too unrealistic.

"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is Enemy Action."
-- Auric Goldfinger

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cop shoots therapy dog

It seems like it is police SOP to shoot every dog you see. A police officer serving a warrant for a traffic offense got the wrong house. He shot a three year old German Shepherd that was a therapy dog.

Of course, police say the officer felt threatened when he opened fire, and say that dog was running towards the officer. The homeowner says the dog was shot through the neck as his 6-year-old grandson played nearby, and he opened the door when he heard the shots to find his crying child covered in blood. The boy wasn't physically hurt, the blood belonged to the dog.

The big, brave officer remains on active duty, of course.

This link requires pay to read the full article, but there is a free video.

It seems to me that if the cop had the wrong house, he should face some sort of negligence charge. There are those that say the cop's side of the story hasn't been heard. The problem is that it never will be. The cop will, as they always do, be excused and nothing will happen. In my mind, a cop serving a warrant on the wrong house should be held personally accountable for anything that happens as a result of him being at the wrong house.


A single mother with four children who earns $2,500 a year in a part time job (that works out to 6 hours a week at minimum wage) gets another $40,000 in government benefits.

 This is why we are seeing generations of children being born that look up and see their 15 year old mother, their 32 year old grandmother, and their 50 year old great grandmother. If they have more kids, they make more money. If they get a job, they get less money in the aggregate by losing more in benefits than they gain in pay.

Left to right, Rhonda Carter (mother), Mildred Ross (grandmother), Catrice Mitchell (daughter)

 The above picture was from a study done by the California Department of Agriculture, looking at the multigenerational nutritional habits of black females. (pdf warning) Each generation of daughters was increasingly dependent on WIC and food stamps. (The study also found that the food programs had no impact on dietary quality.)

Almost half of all first children born in the US being born to unwed mothers:

The average age of marriage is increasing to 26.5 years old for women ... the median age of first birth for a woman is now 25.7 -- meaning that about 48 percent of first births [are] happening outside of wedlock.
What is happening is that we are penalizing people for working and being productive, and subsidizing them for creating more people who will be dependent on government handouts.

As of November 2012, 47.7 million Americans were receiving on average $134.29 per month in food stamps. There are 11 million on Social Security Disability, and 4 million on welfare. Other programs like WIC, the school lunch program, and the dozens of others make it nearly impossible to figure out how many people are on the government dole. One thing is certain, though: that number will continue to grow until the system collapses under the weight of the nonproductive class.


When I was in the Navy, there was a scandal that happened at the Tailhook convention. There was a lot of drunken debauchery, including a contest where females allowed men to shave their bikini lines, and allowed men to judge the efforts by running their tongues across the area.
In 1992, one of the participants in the shaving contest, a young Navy lieutenant named Paula Coughlin, said she had been sexually assaulted at the 35th Annual Tailhook Symposium in Las Vegas. It turns out that she lied for much of her testimony. She picked officers out of a photo lineup, claiming that they sexually assaulted her, but they were able to prove that they were not even AT the convention. The Navy ran with the accusations, and ruined the careers of 300 officers. Coughlin did all right for herself, cleaning up $5.4 million from the Tailhook Assn. and Hilton Hotels Corporation.
As a result of this scandal, the entire Navy was required to undergo a standown that included sexual sensitivity and harassment training. The thing is, officers were not required to attend, at least not in my command. For those of you who are not military, let me tell you why that is significant: ALL Navy pilots are officers, meaning that the people who were alleged to have done these acts were the very people who were not required to attend the training.
The Navy has always been more about protecting its image than in true justice. That is why I am not surprised by this announcement.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Experienced" medics

I got a call from a former student of mine who now works at a hospital. She is a critical care medic, and is actually one of the most knowledgeable medics that I know. Her problem? She frequently gets told that her opinion doesn't count and she doesn't know what she is talking about because she has only been a medic for two years. We will refer to her as CC medic. Case in point:

First problem

A female patient enters the ED, where this medic is working. She is a 54 year old woman of African descent, and has a pretty severe case of angioedema:

She has a history of hypertension, and is taking Lisinopril HCTZ. There is no other history, and patient denies having any allergies. The ED staff flips their shit, and begins prepping for intubation. The doctor is ordering epinephrine and Benedryl.
CC medic says that this is likely a bradykinin initiated angiedema, brought on by the ACE inhibitor. She tells them that being a bradykinin initiated edema, it will not respond to epinephrine or to histamine blockers. One of the other medics working there, who we will call Old Medic, has more than a decade of experience, tells her to be quiet. He tells her that she is too young to know what she is talking about, and then tells her that "this is obviously anaphylaxis" and to just be quiet and learn. So my medic friend gets mad, says whatever, and leaves the room.
The doctor, seeing how agitated she was, took the time to think about what she said, looked it up, and agreed that she was correct.

Second problem

That same night, a patient had been sedated, chemically paralyzed, and intubated. CC medic notices that the sedation has worn off, and the patient is now awake and has tears in her eyes. She remembers that I taught her that the worst thing to see in an intubated, paralyzed, supposedly sedated patient is tears. (think about how cruel it is to have a tube down your throat and be unable to move, tell anyone, shout for help, or even blink, but be completely awake)
She advocates for the patient by asking for more sedation, and the RN says that she is too busy helping 4 other nurses give tPA to take care of her patient. Old Medic comes over and gives her a speech about how it isn't within her scope of practice or job description to worry about patients like this, and that she should just mind her own business. The patient did finally get sedated again, but it was 5 minutes later. 5 minutes of being paralyzed and aware of everything. How terrifying and uncaring!

I didn't realize that caring about your patients and advocating for their well being is wrong and not part of a paramedic's job description.

Some people have 5 years of experience, and others have a year of experience repeated 5 times. Just because you have been on the job for years doesn't mean that you have nothing to learn, and doesn't mean that a newer medic doesn't know something that you do not, and just because you have never heard of something, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

Just sayin'.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

More specifically, the self incrimination clause, the part that reads "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself," is the part that I want to talk about today. This particular clause has been variously interpreted by the court. On the one hand, we have decisions like Haynes v. US, where the Supreme Court held that a criminal cannot be forced to register his guns, because the act of registering an item that he cannot legally own is tantamount to an admission of guilt, and violates the self incrimination clause.
In the other extreme, that same Supreme Court held in 1927, in US v Sullivan that a person must fill out a tax form, even if in so doing he admits to illegal activity. In contradiction to this, the Supreme court also held in Garner v United States (1976) that a person who answers the tax form does so voluntarily, and therefore was not compelled to be a witness against himself when the information is used against him.

That is why it comes as no surprise to me that the Supreme Court just held that a person who refuses to answer when asked if he broke the law can have the fact that he refused to answer used against him as evidence that he broke the law. According to the Supreme Court, your constitutional rights do not count until the police read you your Miranda warning. Whether or not, and when, you have constitutional rights depends entirely on whether or not and when the police SAY you have those rights, which makes them not rights at all.

In other words, if a cop asks you a question, there are only three possible answers:
1 Admit guilt, in which case you will be thrown in jail.
2 Claim innocence: which of course can be used against you as "obstruction"
3 Refuse to answer: which will be used as an admission of guilt.

The police state gets more restrictive every day.

Review: The Purge

This review is full of spoilers. I would suggest not reading it until you have seen the movie, if you want to be surprised at how it goes. This movie was bad. Awful. read on to see why.

So the basic facts of the movie are that violence and unemployment was destroying society, so the powers that be came up with an idea: allow people one night per year where few laws were enforced for a 12 hour period. This would give people an opportunity to get their natural desire to be criminals out of their system. Under this rule, the only laws enforced were: no weapon above "class 4" (whatever that means) were allowed, and no government officials above "grade 10" could be harmed. This night would be called "the purge." Then the picture went on to explain how crime, violence, and unemployment are virtually nonexistent because of the purge.

There were quite a few problems with the film. It was your typical class warfare tripe, where the rich were demonized for having more than the poor. The film focuses on a family, whose patriarch is a salesman for security systems. He has sold systems to virtually every home in the neighborhood, and become rich as a result. The neighbors hate him for "getting rich off of their fears and misfortune." The entire movie centers around this have versus have not editorial.

From a tactical standpoint, the man was foolish. The security system that he has in his home consists of metal shutters that close over the doors and windows after being activated from an upstairs control room by entering a PIN code. A code that his young son knows, which turns out to be a problem.  The system begins to break down when the boyfriend of the man's daughter hides inside the home before it is activated, and then waits until the beginning of the purge to approach and shoot at the man.

The second disaster is when the man's son sees a homeless man fleeing people attempting to kill him, and uses the PIN to disable the system and allow the homeless man in. The people who were hunting the homeless man then go on the warpath because they were denied. The rest of the movie consists of the people in the house trying to stay secure, and the ones outside trying to get in.

I noted during the movie that for a man who made a fortune selling security systems, he didn't know jack about security. He had no way of engaging anyone outside. Some firing ports, a moat with crocodiles, boiling oil on the roof, or even land mines would have made the place safer. Simply locking yourself in a house with sealed windows and doors isn't going to work. To compound this, he secured a standard home by putting shutters over the doors and windows. Anyone with an axe would have found it easier to enter through the roof. He also had no fallback position in the event that his barricaded windows failed. Why not turn the basement into a saferoom, and hole up down there?

As for the bad guys: They got in by pulling the steel door and window covers off the house using a pickup truck. What did they hook the chains to? Also, how did they simultaneously pull off every window and door using one truck?

How hard is it to defend your home one night a year, when you know the time and the date that it will occur? If this were happening today, this would be my favorite holiday of the year. One year, I would defend my home with land mines. The next year, it may be boiling oil. Each year, the challenge would be to use something different. It wouldn't be about simply defending the house, it would be about defending it with creativity and style.

This movie was painful to watch.

3 a day?

I keep seeing the meme that the "average American commits 3 felonies a day" just by going about their daily routine. I got to thinking that despite the book, there is no evidence that this is a fact. Sure, there IS that book, but I read it, and all it contained was a few anecdotal stories about people getting busted for obscure felonies. Just how easy is it to commit a felony?

1 If you are using a household cleaner, and the label tells you to mix a cap full of the cleaner with a gallon of water, and you only mix it with 3.5 quarts of water, you have just used a labeled product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. Felony.

2 In Texas, it is a felony to own more than 4 sex toys (chapter 43). 11 of the 2,324 acts that the Texas Legislature thinks are worthy of being called felonies, have to do with acts that you can commit with or to an oyster.

3 In Montana It is a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.

4 In Florida, it is a felony to access WiFi without permission. There was a man who was convicted in 2005 of using the WiFi of a restaurant that advertised free WiFi for customers, because he was using the access from the parking lot while the establishment was closed. Since it was advertised as free WiFi for customers, and he could not be a customer while the business was closed, hello felony.

5 It's a felony to have a raffle in Georgia, unless you are registered as a non-profit organization with the state.

6 In Michigan, it is a felony for a man to seduce an unmarried woman, punishable by 5 years in prison. Adultery is also a felony in Michigan, but only if the spouse being cheated on is the one who complained.

7 In Mississippi, if you promise to marry a woman, have sex with her, and then decide not to marry, you are guilty of a felony punishable by ten years in prison.

While I cannot find any proof of the "three felonies a day" rule, I can certainly believe that it is possible.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tips, again

I want to address a comment left by a reader on Tips. Why is it that a server feels like they were 'screwed' when they get paid $50 for what represents an hour's worth of their time? Servers get their noses out of joint when they get a $10 tip on an $80 dinner bill. Who decided that you should get 15%? I went out to eat for fathers' day, and the three of us were there for an hour, and the bill came to $84. We were just one of four tables assigned to that server. Assuming that the $84 was representative of the checks for those four tables, a ten percent tip nets that server $38.77 an hour. I can't see how that is 'screwing' anyone.

Sorry, but being a waitress is not a high tech job that requires any special knowledge or education.

The Third Amendment

Many people refer to the Third amendment as useless, by claiming that no one in this day and age has to worry about your home being turned into a training barracks. I think that statements like this miss the point of the Third Amendment.

This amendment was considered important enough to be the third listed protection in the bill of rights, right after the freedom to associate with other citizens, speak out against abuse, and to keep arms to resist tyranny. In the colonial era, the practice of billeting British troops in private homes was a widespread. One of the complaints against King George III in the Declaration of Independence was "for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us."

Why do you suppose King George III did this, and why do you suppose the colonists were so upset about it?  It is a fairly effective form of intimidation: putting an agent of the State inside the houses of people whom the State considers “troublesome.” Having an agent of the State live with the troublemakers has an absolutely chilling effect, and most especially when the agents start abusing the power—"pushing the envelope," as such agents so often do. This would have been known to the authors of the Bill of Rights. The Third Amendment was put there to prevent just this sort of thing.

It was impossible for the founders to foresee the advent of electronics, video cameras, microphone "bugs" and the like, but the fact remains the same: the presence of agents of the State present in people’s homes, intimidating them by their very presence, and by their presence also enforcing the State’s policies, as well as reporting any opposition towards the State has a chilling effect on the liberties that we hold so dear, whether the government agent is present, or is merely "virtually" present.

The news that the government has been listening to our communications comes as no real surprise to anyone that has been paying attention: they have been eroding our freedoms for decades.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's day

Today is the ninth father's day that I have spent without being able to thank my dad for all he did for me. I leave you with a post that I wrote 6 years ago:

Dealing with life and death issues as often as I do, I really felt like I knew what was coming when I learned of my father's passing. I was wrong.

Like any boy, I loved my father. A boy’s love for his father is not the affection you show for a lover, nor is it even remotely like the love of a mother for her children. You see, boys have a need to seek the approval of their fathers. They are driven by an overwhelming need to grow into even a fraction of the man that they perceive their fathers to be. Most of all, they want to earn the respect of their Dad.

I fought in a war. I gave him grandchildren. I became the first person in my family tree to graduate from college. I have delivered babies, and I have held others as the life slipped from their bodies, and felt the pain of being the last person to speak with them as they left this world and entered the next, all the while wondering if there was anything else that I could have done. I have pulled dying people out of burning buildings. I once jumped in a lake and saved a drowning man from an alligator. When my dad had a heart attack, I was the medic who treated him. I have filled sandbags in Missouri to save flooding homes, sifted through ruined homes looking for the dead after hurricanes and tornadoes, spent weeks in the woods fighting wildfires, and fed the survivors of dozens of disasters. All of these things I did, trying to be half the man I perceived my father to be. After his death, I began to teach classes on medical procedures, hoping to teach the next generation of providers. Again, for him.

Then he was gone. I carried him to his grave, and since that time, I have carried my grief around in my heart like a lead weight, and at times it has been nearly overpowering. I asked myself countless times if I measured up.

This morning, my son came to me with 2 movie tickets and asked me if I wanted to go out with him. We spent the afternoon with each other. I am proud of my son, as he starts his new job on Monday as a firefighter. As I looked at him on the way home, I realized that my son was trying to be larger than life.

Just like his Dad.

I finally did it Dad, I am just like you.

and to you, son: You have indeed earned my respect. You have fulfilled every expectation and dream that any father has a right to hope for his son.

Cell scams

There is talk of police and industry leaders wanting to put a so-called "kill switch" into the software of your phone, ostensibly to reduce the market for stolen phones. Samsung phones will have the feature beginning on July 1. I see this being used for all sorts of unannounced purposes. The most obvious of these is easily demonstrated by the market for college textbooks.

For decades, colleges and their textbook publishers have relied on the sale of textbooks to increase profits. The college goes with a certain publisher and gets a slice of the proceeds. At the same time, students reduced costs by buying and selling used books. The small scale of these sales was not a real problem for the publisher's bottom line. Until online giants like eBay and Amazon came along. Schools tried all sorts of methods like changing the book every year by adding chapters, but that didn't work well. Then schools and publishers found the secret to shutting off used book sales: Make the homework part of a digital, online packet, and then force used book buyers to purchase an access code. This access code often accounts for 2/3 of the original book cost, and shuts down used book sales.

The same will be true of cell phones, now. Cell phone companies already enter into contracts with phone makers, where the phone maker sells a particular phone model to the public for a greatly inflated price, say $500, and then sells that same phone to the cell company for much less, and the company then uses that lower price to trap a consumer into a multi-year contract that carries very high early termination fees.

Once the contract is over, the original owner of the phone sells it to places like Gazelle, or sells the used phone on their own. Users that want decent phones without being locked into contracts purchase the used phones for much less than the inflated prices charged by the phone maker. This causes the service provider and the manufacturer to lose money.

Now picture that a phone company activates the "kill switch" as soon as the original owner's contract expires and they upgrade to a new model. Good bye to the secondary phone market. You could try to jailbreak the phone to remove the kill switch, but that would be a felony.

Korea gets it. Last year, that nation fined cell phone carriers and manufacturers for inflating prices, offering complicated discounts, and using the resultant confusing price structure to deceive consumers into coughing up more money. In contrast, the US government is in the pocket of big business and throws people in jail for daring to alter a product that they purchased.

There are other uses: Cops shutting down phones during protests, riots, emergencies, or any other time they feel like it. Didn't pay your traffic ticket? Your child support? Are you a TEA party member? An election organizer for the wrong candidate? You may find that your phone shuts down when it is most needed.

Friday, June 14, 2013

K-9 double standard

If a private citizen harms a police K9, he will be charged with several felonies, including injuring a police animal, aggravated battery, and others. For all practical purposes, attacking a police dog is the same under the law as attacking a police officer.

If a person locks their own dog in a hot car, they can be charged with various charges like "animal cruelty."

In 2012, there were 18 police K9s that were killed. 8 of them died of heat illness when their handler left them locked in a hot patrol cruiser. In fact, more police K9s died last year because of neglect or errors that their handlers made than died from any other reason.

In the past month, three police K9s died from being left in a hot patrol car in three different states: Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Ohio. Stop the double standard. These officers need to be charged with a crime.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


A woman walks into a restaurant and pays the dinner tabs of everyone in the place, and tips each server $50. Many of the comments on the article complain that the $50 tip is less than 10 percent, and say that the woman "screwed" the servers. I don't see how it is screwing anyone when a person receives a $50 tip for an hour's work.
I am so sick of this "tip should be a minimum of 15%, or you are screwing the server" mentality. A server who works at a place that has a mid level menu (like Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or Outback Steakhouse) averages a $50 tab for two diners. If each server covers three tables of two diners each, and the diners take an hour to eat, that server is seeing $150 an hour in sales. At 10%, the server is getting $15 an hour. At 15%, the server gets $22.50 an hour. Not too shabby for doing nothing more than writing down what I want and then carrying it to the table.

As seen on Facebook

Write your own comments here.

More jury nonsense.

More on the Zimmerman jury selection. It turns out that the Defense team in the Zimmerman case caught one of the prospective jurors committing perjury. He stated that he didn't know much about the case, had formed no opinion about the guilt or innocence of Zimmerman, and had not posted on social media about it. It turns out that he had posted comments on Facebook about the case, demanding that Zimmerman be jailed.

So will they charge him for this? Or is Zimmerman's wife the only one that the court is out to crucify?

Educating juries

The Zimmerman case here has gotten quite a bit of coverage. So far, all that is being done is jury selection. One of the jurors questioned today firmly believes the media is biased, and avoids Fox.  When asked about the difference between opinion and news, she responded: “The difference between FOX and CNN.”

She voiced that she thought the case presented a “very, very tough” concept, regarding the fact that “someone who was unarmed being shot by someone who is armed.” This has interesting implications for those of us who carry a firearm. If the time comes that you must shoot an unarmed person because you are in fear for your life, your attorney is going to have to explain how a person who is unarmed can present a realistic threat of great bodily harm to you. Many people think that the possession of a firearm is some sort of talisman that will protect you from harm, and see an unarmed person as non-threatening.

Another prospective juror took the position of many antigun forces when he said that he believed “murder’s murder, no matter what. Even if it’s self-defense.  Self-defense doesn’t make it right to kill somebody.” In other words, this man believes that no matter what, you must accept that another person is about to kill you, and there is nothing that you should or could do about it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


A husband and wife are shopping in their local Wal-Mart. The husband picks up a case of Miller Lite and puts it in their cart.

"What do you think you're doing?? asks the wife.

"They're on sale, only $10 for 24 cans," he replies.

 "Put them back, it's a waste of money," demands the wife. He does, and they carry on shopping.

A few aisles further along, the woman picks up a $20 jar of face cream and puts it in the basket.

"What do you think you're doing?" asks the husband.

"It's my face cream. It makes me look beautiful," replies the wife.

Her husband retorts: "So does 24 cans of Miller Lite, and it's half the price."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

EBT abuse?

The ice cream man takes EBT cards.

Get what you ask for

Look at the police recruitment videos, and you see why we have a problem with overly aggressive cops:

Note that the video is all about ass-kickin' SWAT, K-9, and other assorted testosterone filled activities. Now it would be easy to say that you don't get a lot of quality recruits with a video that emphasizes customer service, but that is kind of the point. When you have an advertisement that is full of ass kicking authoritarianism, what you get is people that are overly aggressive that want to be ass kickers. Greeneville isn't alone:

Friday, June 7, 2013


Six sigma is a system that seeks to reduce errors to less than 3.4 errors per million operations. What if I told you that it was possible to greatly exceed this standard? Can you imagine a company that delivers 2 million packages every day using 5,000 employees, and make less than one mistake every 16 million deliveries?

Can you believe that such a company has existed for over 125 years with no work stoppages? The dabbawallas of Mumbai pickup lunches from people's homes and deliver them- still hot- to the breadwinner's workplace 2 million times a day, and they make less than one mistake per week. They do all of it without a single piece of modern technology.


About 90% of American households own a phone. There are over 200 million of them. The average cell phone owner talks for 12 minutes a day. Americans use 1.1 Extabytes of data on their cell phones each year, and send over 2 trillion text messages.
To store the phone calls and data from one year alone would require over 1 yotabyte of storage space.
The facility in Utah that is being run by the NSA is capable of handling data at these scales, if reports are to be believed.
So to the government employee that is undoubtedly reading this:
Doesn't it bother you that you are supporting a police state? We know the information being gathered is being used wrongly for political gain. Why are you supporting this?

To everyone else: begin encrypting everything. There are so many cheap ways to encrypt your stuff. Even if the government has the computing power to break the encryption, it takes time and computer power. Lots of it. If everyone, or even a significant percentage of people, began using encryption, there would not be enough computer power to handle the data.

Free hard disk encryption
Zfone telephone encryption
Hushmail for email

Symantec now owns the PGP technology. I don't know, and have no way of checking, if the government has inserted back doors into the software.

Here is a great article on this.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dickheads are everywhere

Fire Captain Smart will get no discipline for the screaming rant that I posted on a few months ago. The fire chief says that since the Captain never told the man to stop filming, he did not violate policy. I have to say that this is obviously a public official that is covering his employee's ass.
As a retired firefighter with over 25 years on the job, I can tell you that this is an embarrassment. As the title says, dickheads are everywhere. This is what happens when you give authority to a dickhead.


So here we are, four years and four months into the Obama presidency. How are his approval numbers?
As of June 2, the President has an approval of 48 percent and a disapproval of 44 percent.

As of June 2, 2005, President Bush (four years and four months into HIS presidency) had and approval of 48 percent, and a disapproval of 47 percent.

That means that Bush's numbers were within the margin of error of Obama's numbers, at this point in the Presidency.
And Bush had those numbers with the press on the attack, while Obama largely has the press carrying his water.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Petty tyrants

So a girl is graduating from a private High School, and decides to put an eagle feather on her tassel for the graduation ceremony, even though she was told not to. The school's answer? A $1,000 fine, and withholding her transcripts and diploma until it is paid.
Another student was told that he could not get his diploma without performing 20 hours of community service, because his family cheered too loudly during the ceremony.
The valedictorian of an Oklahoma school used the word "hell" in her speech, and had her diploma withheld.

Each of these students performed all of the acts and lessons required of them to complete school and receive a diploma and are entitled to them. The things that happened to cause the school to deny their diploma were things that would result in detention, at most. To deny them the rest of their lives, and to deny them that which they have earned is a travesty. These are each cases of petty tyrants using the power of their positions to dictate the behavior of others.

More and more, I am beginning to oppose formal education at all levels.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Horizontal Loop

To end my posting about my HAM radio project, I finished up my installation of lightning protection this weekend, and spent the day yesterday installing my antenna. I have been experimenting with different antenna designs for the past few months. For this round, I bought myself a 500 foot spool of 14 gauge black THHN wire to make my antenna for $43 from Home Depot. I measured out 275 feet of wire, and ran it around the outer edge of the roof. I used hooks on the eaves to attach my insulating anchors, which are just short loops of parachute cord. I cut off the end, and this left me with a 260 foot antenna in a rectangular shape, about 10 feet off the ground. It is nearly invisible from the street.
I soldered the ends to a 20 foot section of 450 ohm ladder line, and attached the other end to a 4:1 balun. Antenna complete.
Do the math by dividing the number 1005 by the total footage of the antenna (260) and you get the resonant frequency of the antenna, 3.865 mHz. That means that I have an antenna that will resonate right in the center of the phone section of the 80 meter band. In theory, I have an 80 meter full wave horizontal loop. The problem here is that these antennas are supposed to be placed 30-40 feet above the ground. So we moved on to testing.
Receiving was greatly improved. Swapping back and forth between my old and new antennas, the difference was amazing. Frequencies that sounded dead with the old antenna had faint but readable signals. Signals that used to be audible but unreadable were crystal clear. I got a 3-4 S meter improvement in all bands.
Transmitting is amazing. The antenna works so well that I have disconnected my auto tuner. Hooked directly from the balun to the receiver, I get a 1:1 SWR in the 160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10, and 6 meter bands. That's right: EVERY amateur band from 160 meters all the way up to the 6 meter band. Within 10 minutes of starting, I had made contact with the Hatteras Lighthouse 600 miles from my house.
For anyone that is a HAM operator, I would recommend trying this antenna.

Monday, June 3, 2013

On EMP and lightning protection

One of the things that we as preppers have to be prepared to deal with is a loss of communications. One of the ways that I have dealt with this is through HAM radio. There were some questions about my HAM radio setup and EMP protection when I posted about it last year. Now that I am back in my house, I have more options for making my radio systems a bit more hardened to EMP. Being that I live in the center of Florida, the lightning capitol of the world, this is a wise idea.
Some facts:

(If I am mistaken on any of this, there are some readers who are more knowledgeable than I, and they can feel free to correct me in comments.)
Lightning is an electromagnetic pulse that is pretty powerful, delivering an average of 18,000 amps to whatever it strikes. A lightning strike typically contains 2-5 pulses of electricity. The first pulse is called the leader, and it breaks down the resistance of the air as it heats it to 50,000 degrees F, changing it into a plasma state. This leader channel allows 3-4 more pulses to follow at 50 millisecond intervals. This is the reason why lightning seems to flicker.
The rapid rise of power with each pulse generates radio frequency energy at frequencies ranging from 20 kHz to 15 mHz. Unfortunately, this is the area where much HAM equipment operates, and it is thus vulnerable.
Where I live, we have an average of over 90 thunderstorm days a year. In my area, a 50 foot radio antenna will be struck an average of twice per year. This is why I have upgraded my EMP protection.


I spent the weekend driving copper ground rods. 6 of them in all. There are three, 8 foot copper ground rods just outside of the room that I am using as a radio shack. They are in a triangle, and spaced 10 feet apart. They are connected to each other, and to a ground bus inside of the shack ( I used a 3 foot long, 3/4 inch copper pipe), with a 1 inch braided grounding strap. All of the radio equipment, my computer equipment, power supplies, and all other electronics in the shack, are grounded to this bus. The radio tower  is also grounded to another ground rod array. The shield of the antenna cable is grounded at both ends. All of this grounding gives any pulses or stray energy a place to travel that doesn't include my sensitive electronics.
The antenna feed line is protected with an arc plug. An arc plug is two electrodes hermetically sealed in a gas filled ceramic cylinder. Acting like a voltage dependent switch, the Arc-Plug can repeatedly carry large currents to ground for brief periods.

The idea here is to shunt dangerous pulses away from my equipment and harmlessly into the ground.I think this will do it.
The entire project of hardening this equipment cost me a weekend and about $250. As with most of my prepping projects, this one covered likely as well as unlikely threats, and was done for a reasonable cost. My electronics are now safe from the likely event of a lightning strike, and the unlikely event of a man made EMP attack.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The stupid, it hurts

This has to be the dumbest application of "zero tolerance" weapons policies that I have ever heard.

A three year old deaf child signs his name, and the school district says that his hands look too much like a gun, so THEY ARE MAKING HIM CHANGE HIS NAME.


The educational bubble: It is being driven by the government. As I said in my post the other day, Abraham Lincoln passed the bar with less than a third grade education. It could be argued that the government requiring a competency exam is in place to protect the public, but to me the argument that the only place to gain competency is in a government approved college educational program is hogwash. Of course, by passing the bar exam on his third try, Frank Abagnale showed that competency examinations are no guarantee of competency, either.

In order to attend medical school as either a Physician Assistant (Master's Degree) or as a Doctor (MD or DO), one is required to have a Bachelor's Degree. It doesn't matter what you major in for the initial 4 year degree: I know Doctors with a BA in film, and I attended a PA program with a degree in EMS administration.

The problem here is that requirements for education are increasing costs.Let me explain: In the United States, to be a Doctor requires a 4 year degree to attend Medical School, followed by three years of medical school, followed by a three to seven year (depending on specialty) residency program. In all, the new Doctor now has a student loan debt of  $250-500 thousand. Our new Doctor has had no (or virtually no) income for a decade, and has incurred a quarter million in debt.

Considering that the young doctor could have earned anywhere from $160-400 thousand in that same time period, our young doctor is $300-900 thousand and 10- 14 years in the hole before he has made any money. If we assume that a person has an average working life of 47 years (between the ages of 18 and 65), he is going to have to make a hefty salary to pay back his student debt, and still make up for the years that he wasn't working, and his non-educated contemporaries were.

For example:  a person gets a job in a fast food joint making a starting wage of $5 at age 18, and tops out at $50,000 a year before retiring at age 65. Over the course of his career flipping burgers, he makes an average wage of $22,000 a year. Over his lifetime as a burger flipper, he makes about a million bucks.

Now consider the doctor: he only has a working life of about 35 years, and over that time must make that same million, plus the cost of the quarter to half million in loans to break even with burger flipping. This means that the doctor must earn more than double what the fast food worker does, JUST TO BREAK EVEN. If we cut out the requirement for the 4 year degree, and instead made medical school a 4 year program, the meat of the doctor's education is still there, but we have reduced the costs of becoming a doctor by four years and $150K. This means that the doctor can make less and still earn what he needs to earn, meaning that medical care just became cheaper, and also more accessible for the poor.