Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Police In These 22 States Can Trick Your Cell Phone

Stingray purchases are so shrouded in secrecy that they're probably used a lot more than we know.

When police turn to technology to catch a criminal, innocent bystanders—and their personal information—get caught in the fray.

At least 55 local and state police departments in 22 states and the District Of Columbia own stingrays, surveillance devices that can dupe your phone into offering up its location and other information, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. At least nine agencies in California own the gadgets. Six local police departments in Maryland and five in North Carolina are also known to have them.

Still, it wouldn’t be accurate to say you’re most likely to have your cell phone tricked in the 22 identified states. Authorities in other parts of the U.S. may secretly be using stingrays, so actual usage overall is probably a lot higher than what’s been calculated.

Story here




Guess, what? There are fake cell phone towers on airplanes that fly around the country too. Warrants not necessary, of course, because when you clicked through the EULA terms on your new smartphone, you agreed that you gave up all rights to privacy. You didn't know that did you? If you are just now finding this out, welcome to the machine. I'm glad I could help you understand what you unknowingly did. I didn't know either until recently. That kind of stuff just isn't brought to our attention by the 20 year old kid who is selling you the phone at the store, because they didn't know either...  

Planes are equipped with devices sometimes known as “dirt boxes” to law-enforcement officials because of the initials of the Boeing Co. unit that produces them, which mimic cell towers of large telecommunications firms and trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information. 

The technology in the 2 ft square device enables investigators to scoop data from tens of thousands of cellphones in a single flight, collecting their identifying information and general location.

Sounds great! Warrants are so old fashioned anyways, so 20th Century...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind

Network scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare.

One of the curious things about social networks is the way that some messages, pictures, or ideas can spread like wildfire while others that seem just as catchy or interesting barely register at all. The content itself cannot be the source of this difference. Instead, there must be some property of the network that changes to allow some ideas to spread but not others.

Today, we get an insight into why this happens thanks to the work of Kristina Lerman and pals at the University of Southern California. These people have discovered an extraordinary illusion associated with social networks which can play tricks on the mind and explain everything from why some ideas become popular quickly to how risky or antisocial behavior can spread so easily.

Network scientists have known about the paradoxical nature of social networks for some time. The most famous example is the friendship paradox: on average your friends will have more friends than you do.

Story here


Being on social media makes me want to be unsocial. If you really want to get a grasp on where the human species is headed, scroll through a social media feed and you'll see why Genocide was so popular. Sometimes I think we are way past due for a plague or mass extinction event.


The Guinea circle of death...

Monday, September 28, 2015

Veterans Affairs Bans iPhones For Veterans

Veterans are now receiving leaflets from Veterans Affairs prior to diagnostic appointments that show iPhones are among a short list of “prohibited items” at VA medical centers. Other items on the list are pistols, knives and backpacks.

The decision is a violation of due process and numerous laws protecting the rights of disabled Americans. Let me explain why.

The key here seems to be that VA forgets that veterans are also Americans who are protected by the Constitution and who also possess unalienable rights. Did we sign our rights away forever by fighting our country’s battles?

Story here



1 or 2 possibilities here...

One being they don't want any secret recording of doctor / patient interactions which could lead to them getting an even bigger reputation of being complete and utter high paid fuck ups in handling a Veterans care or case for compensation.

Two being that the Iphone is not as easy to hack (read that as may not attract as much malware as Android) for information that could be used against Vets seeking medical care or expedient rating decisions as compared to other brands of phones that run on an Android or Windows operating system.

Shame on us Vets for wanting to use our phones to help pass the time while we wait for an appointment that IS GOING TO BE LATE no matter what.

Group Claims Armed Citizens Have Killed More Americans than All Wars Combined

On September 21 Americans for Responsible Solutions–the gun control group founded by Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly–tweeted numbers from the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP) claiming armed citizens in America have killed more people since 1989 than all wars since 1776 combined.

The tweet contains a meme which says, “The number of deaths from gun violence just since Reagan’s presidency is higher than the number of soldiers killed in combat in all of U.S. history.”

CAP then claims “gun-related deaths in the United States from 1989 to 2014 [were] 836,290,” and claims the “total U.S. military killed in war from 1776 to 2015 [was] 656,397.” The problem with the way CAP presents this–and Americans for Responsible Solutions rewteets it–is not that the gun deaths are exaggerated, but that the military deaths are much, much higher than CAP reports.

Story here


 I'm no Archimedes, but something isn't adding up here....


Friday, September 25, 2015

Sunday's lunar eclipse will also feature a 'Supermoon'

It hasn't happened in 33 years, and won't for another 18 years: Sunday evening, a total lunar eclipse will coincide with a "Supermoon."

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is between the full moon and the sun. The Earth's shadow covers the moon, which often has a red color, hence the "blood" moon nickname.

Although it's completely in the shadow of Earth, a bit of reddish sunlight still reaches the moon.

Details here 


 It will be an excellent night for fishing and hog hunting.

Count me in. I'll be out howling at it too...

America unprepared for devastating 'Black Swan'

WASHINGTON – Supply-chain disruptions often are the result of adverse weather, unplanned telecom outages, data breaches or even cyber hacking.

However, the one “Black Swan” event that would make these instances pale by comparison and result in a cascading disruption is a natural or man-made electromagnetic pulse event.

A “Black Swan” is an event regarded at the time of its occurrence as unprecedented and unexpected but later, in hindsight, understood to have been inevitable.

An EMP is in that category, since scientific experts repeatedly warn that a major EMP event is not a question of if, but when.

Barrett Moore, a security specialist and founder of the security company Triple Canopy, told WND that federal officials have modeled the effects of a “Black Swan” event on the timely delivery of food, water, fuel, medical care and technology. But they have done it primarily for the government’s benefit.

Read more at WND


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pretty much

The increasing odds that you will die working: The extinction of retirement and the growing old age labor force.

I was greeted by an older gentleman at a local Target store.  He slowly smiled and said hello.  I nodded and said hello as he proceeded to greet other shoppers.  Leaving the store I was greeted by an older cashier.  Over the last decade, the retail labor force is seeing a growing number of older Americans.  Many don’t envision retirement as working in a low-wage job but that is simply the way of life for many.  The BLS estimates that labor force participation rate for those 65 to 74 years of age is going to increase to 31.9 percent in 2022.  That is an incredibly high number of older Americans eligible for Social Security still working in the labor force.

Story here 


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Auto insurance companies and car dealerships are spying on you

Warning, if you used the DealerApp you've just given approximately 500 car dealerships all your personal information!

"The personal information collected by the apps and allegedly transmitted to DealerApp included the consumer’s name, email address, telephone number, and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle purchased, among other data. The state alleged that DealerApp failed to disclose to consumers that this data was being transmitted by DealerApp, in violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Some of the data was provided to third-party data analytics companies, again without disclosure, the state charged."

According to Consumer Affairs.com "About 500 dealers world-wide, including 38 in New Jersey, are DealerApp clients."

“The number of threats to online privacy appear to be growing by the day,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “No one should be able to profit from the personal information of others that has been obtained through cyber fraud or violations of privacy.”

Here are a few new car apps that might be also spying on you, "TrueCar," "Cars.com," "CarChecker ," "Edmunds," "CarMax ," "Kelley Blue Book."  Keep in mind anytime you voluntarily give away your personal information, anyone & everyone will have access to it.

Read the rest of this Orwellian story here 


It's like you never had wings

White Pony still rides hard 15 years later...

Save image

What's your zero?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

Story here 

Monday, September 21, 2015

New old steel

Had a pretty damn eventful weekend. I was smothered and covered with a little too much estrogen for my liking, but I still managed to finally get my hands on Dad's old pistol and see a ton of the ladies in my family that I care about.
I had seen Dad's pistol sitting over there on the night side table for many years. When he passed, my Mama just kind of left it sitting there for a while. I understand why. She finally put it away and it's been alone in the dark for the last 5 years, lonely, and itching to belong in a shooter's hands again. I know it's not a vintage king cobra or python, but it was my Dad's, and it means the world to me to have it in my possession now. Yet another heirloom that will never see the sandwich clamps of another owner outside of the family. I would imagine most of my 2A friends who come to read here have children or significant others who will inherit their armories and collections one day, so you guys know what I'm saying... None of mine have ever gone up for sale nor will they. I'll work 2 shifts a day and a 3rd on Sunday at McDonalds and donate plasma before that ever happens.

Smith and Wesson Model 33-1 Regulation Police J-frame in .38 S&W, dated somewhere between 1970-1973.

I took her for a few spins after freeing her up from years of dust and gunk collecting. It shoots very well and it's a bit small in the grips for my banana hands, but I still like it. This one is more suited for the smaller built folks and women me thinks. It's a smooth and accurate little piece.

My sweet little Mama picked up a Ruger LC9s last week and she tagged along with me to go put a few down range with her new pistol. Sure as shit, 2nd round out of the mag bounces off of the stall wall and back across the front of her nose and leaves her with two little nicks. Instant blood... So we finished off her box of 50, small piece of paper towel still across her nose, and headed on to the house. She says she's hooked as we are walking out to the car. She's never been much on guns at all honestly. I told her she could come shoot with me anytime. For someone who hasn't shot very much of anything in her life, she's pretty solid at center mass, just needs to work on that elevation a little. I like her pistol. It's perfect for her.

You know what they say about a family that shoots together... 

They have interlocking patterns of fire.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Kinks 2.0

After my long winded post and plan, I got a response back earlier today. It was better than I expected:

RE: Listing Discrepancy
From: Customer Service

Dear Sir,

Thank you for the thorough and highly detailed information about our product. It seems you were determined to find out what was failing you and we appreciate that. On behalf of our company, I would like to apologize for the error. The website listing is currently correct.  In March of this year, after you received your BCG, we changed the firing pins to the enhanced version to help with reliability.  Originally they did not have the enhanced pins, and several customers experienced the issue you have experienced.  This caused us to make the change.  Thanks to feedback like yours, we are able to continually improve service to our customers and provide quality products.  Do you need me to send you an enhanced firing pin for yours?  Let me know.


And my response:


Thanks for the quick response! Well, hell yeah I want the enhanced firing pin I thought I was buying to begin with. I will definitely take you up on the replacement enhanced pin. There's nothing wrong with having a spare tucked away. I appreciate your company's willingness to provide good customer service and support. Have a great day Sir.

And that's how it's supposed to be handled. Problem solved.


Domestication Seems to Have Made Dogs a Bit Dim

Dogs are considered some of the most intelligent animals on the planet. Thanks to a relationship with humans that dates back tens of thousands of years, dogs can respond to emotions, recognize numerous words and be trained to follow commands. 
Notably, these seemingly smart accomplishments all hinge on the partnership between our two species. Now, however, tests of canine problem-solving skills indicate that dogs rely on humans so much that we actually seem to be dumbing them down.

Most studies that investigate dog intelligence assume that certain interactions with humans are indicative of higher cognitive function. In one experiment, for example, dogs and human-socialized wolves were presented with a canine version of the Kobayashi Maru—an unopenable box that contained food.
Story here 
Dogs are as smart as you make them. True, there are some that are born just dumb as shit, so not all of them are as trainable as the others. But, for most of them, they can be trained to do some pretty incredible things. We have 4 that currently roam the confines of the Backyarder camp. All of them are well mannered and respond to different commands with ease. The oldest of our pack, who is 13 this year and also the Alpha, can still shake, speak, roll over, whisper, play dead, crawl, respond to hand signals, and steal your food off of your plate when you aren't looking like a ninja in the night. He was my squirrel hound at one time. If the dude had thumbs, we'd all be in trouble... He's even taught MD, our rescued pit bull, how to hike her leg to piss like a male rather than squat like a female. It's funny to see her go behind the boys and cover them up. 


Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Working out the bugs in my x39 AR... I am currently in process of adjusting it to eat all types of berdan primed ammo and not just a few select flavors. I think I found the problem...

Side by side comparison with a BCG that was used in another rifle I built for a friend. He bought his bolt from another supplier and used the same carrier that once held his .223 bolt. Pretty easy conversion with just a barrel and bolt swap there. 

The firing pin hole in the bolt face is slightly larger on his to the left. That could cause the pin in mine to not protrude far enough out through the bolt face hole into those hard primers and not ignite them. So there's my 1st suspect.

He also bought a true enhanced titanium firing pin. "Enhanced", meaning the stop cut into the firing pin is a bit thinner than a standard .223 firing pin to allow more protrusion past the bolt face into the primer.

The supplier of my designated 7.62x39 BCG stated that my firing pin was "enhanced" as well. I'd have to disagree now that I've got a true enhanced pin to compare with side by side.

 Per the manufacturer of mine:
Firing Pin

  • Machined from 8640 tool steel
  • Enhanced Firing pin for ComBloc ammo
  • Heat treated to military specifications
  • Ground to meet military required tolerances
  • Coated with .0002”-.0003” of hard chrome per MIL-STD-171

See the difference?

There is an obviously noticeable difference in the shoulder length on the end of the pin that strikes the primer as well. Suspect #2 identified. 

Solution : Slightly enlarge the firing pin hole and dremel down the stop on my firing pin a little to allow more pin through the bolt face. I'm betting that will fix the problem with the non-fires since I'm using a Wolff XP spring that hammers very hard already, so something told me it was probably in the BCG. I'm also going to contact my BCG supplier and relay to them my findings. I guarantee there's been plenty of other builders out there that have just about had it with the x39 AR platform from using this BCG. Not naming any names either, just know parts are from a reputable supplier. 

Y'all have a good day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A perspective

Off-shore work... All Monel 400. 

For the cost of one of these, several of us would never have to work again. 


Navy Secretary criticizes Marines' infantry study in interview

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has doubled down on his assertion that all combat jobs should be opened to women in the wake of a new study showing that all-male Marine control groups outperformed those with women in nearly every infantry task.

Mabus spoke to David Greene at NPR a day after Marine officials revealed findings from a nine-month infantry experiment that assessed the performance of male and female Marine volunteers during physically demanding ground combat tasks. A summary of data showed that mixed-gender teams completed tasks more slowly and shot with less accuracy, and that women sustained injuries at more than twice the rate of their male counterparts.

Story here 

Bonus Rebuttal from Sergeant Major of the Training and Education Command, Sgt Major Justin LeHew :

"Ok, been silent long enough on this. I have been a part of this process from the beginning and I am just going to put it out there. The Secretary of the Navy is way off base on this and to say the things he is saying is is flat out counter to the interests of national security and is unfair to the women who participated in this study. We selected our best women for this test unit, selected our most mature female leaders as well. The men (me included) were the most progressive and open minded that you could get. The commander of this unit was a seasoned and successful infantryman. The XO of this unit was as good as they get, so good the USMC made her the CO of the Officer candidate school. I just selected the SgtMaj of the unit to head up our senior enlisted academy at Camp Lejeune, NC. No one went in to this with the mentality that we did not want this to succeed. No Marine, regardless of gender would do that. With our limited manpower we cannot afford to not train eveyone to the best of their abilities. This was as stacked as a unit could get with the best Marines to give it a 100 percent success rate as we possibly could. End result? The best women in The GCEITF as a group in regard to infantry operations were equal or below in most all cases to the lowest 5 percent of men as a group in this test study. They are slower on all accounts in almost every technical and tactical aspect and physically weaker in every aspect across the range of military operations. SECNAV has stated that he has made his mind up even before the release of these results and that the USMC test unit will not change his mind on anything. Listen up folks. Your senior leadership of this country does not want to see America overwhelmingly succeed on the battlefield, it wants to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to persue whatever they want regardless of the outcome on national security. The infantry is not Ranger School. That is just a school like any other school and is not a feeder specifically to the infantry. Anyone can go to that school that meets the prereqs, just like airborne school. Kudos to the two women who graduated. They are badasses in their own right. In regards to the infantry….there is no trophy for second place. You perform or die. Make no mistake. In this realm, you want your fastest, most fit, most physical and most lethal person you can possibly put on the battlefield to overwhelm the enemy’s ability to counter what you are throwing at them and in every test case, that person has turned out to be a man. There is nothing gender biased about this, it is what it is. You will never see a female Quarterback in the NFL, there will never be a female center on any NHL team and you will never see a female batting in the number 4 spot for the New York Yankees. It is what it is. As a country we preach equality. But to place these mandates on the military before this country has even considered making females register, just like males, for the selective service is in all aspects out of touch with reality. Equality and equal opportunity start before you raise your right hand and swear and oath to this country. Yes, we are an all volunteer force at the moment. Should this country however need to mobilize rapidly again to face the threats of the world like our grandfathers did, it will once again look to the military age males of this country to fill the ranks because last I checked, we did not require women to register for the selective service. Until that happens, we should not even be wasting our time even thinking about opening up the infantry to women. To my female Marine friends out there, I love you to death, you are the best of the best and you have my continued admiration for what you do and to the Marines of the GCEITF….you are tops in my book for taking up the challenge…regardless what the SECNAV says about you not being the best that we could have put in that unit because you were….on all accounts."


Well played Sgt Major, well played...


I could watch this all day

Building and creating things always strikes my interest because it's something I do as well. I found this guy last night after searching for flint knapping videos. This is where I ended up. Prepare to be reminded just how quickly we can all be knocked back into this style of living with a few switch flips.

You can find his blog here

He's apparently new to the blogging world and I cannot wait to see what else he's been up to.

He's in Northern Australia.

Go see and learn.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Shocking photos from inside the Aurora movie theater crime scene and shooter's home

More than 3 years after the horrific Aurora movie theater shooting on July 20, 2012, shocking images from the crime scene and the killer's booby-trapped home have been released by the Colorado District Attorney's office now that the trial of shooter James Holmes is finally over.

Pictures here 


After seeing this, I'd have no issues at all with Gary Busey watching my offspring for the weekend. He ain't so bad. But this Holmes cat? 


This day

As much as I'd like to forget it, I never will. Nor will any of you who are old enough to remember it. I was still active duty USMC at Camp Pendleton on that dreadful morning. I got an early phone call that woke me up from a dead sleep to scream in my ear for me to get my ass on base for formation and roll call. Shaking the cobwebs out of my head I went to the living room to get dressed and turned on the TV. Absolute chaos... It still doesn't even seem real 14 years later.  We were under attack and shit was about to get serious. The GWOT was going hot.

 Normal life just a day before... 

Much respect to the brave men and women who ran toward the chaos to help. It takes a special kind of courage to saddle up and keep going when you are scared to death in the face of such adversity. Some folks are born with it and some folks learn it later on. 

Many condolences to those left behind that had to keep living life without their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, friends and family. There is nothing to replace the loss of loved ones and so many innocent people. I wish there was and that the wounds would heal. Folks say to forgive. It's not that easy for me and most likely will never be. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

‘This gun has no safety’ says lawyer of illegal alien in murder trial

Attorneys for an undocumented immigrant facing charges in the high-profile death of a woman on San Francisco’s Pier 14 contend it may be the gun’s fault.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, 45, a Mexican national with at least five deportations under his belt, contends he shot Kathryn Steinle by accident with a found gun now tied to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. California Superior Court Judge Brendan P. Conroy on Friday found there is enough evidence for Lopez-Sanchez to stand trial on charges of second-degree murder for his alleged involvement in the woman’s death.

However, his legal team contends that the man never pulled the trigger and claimed the type of handgun involved is documented for having accidental discharges.

Story here 


So the BLM Rangers carry auto-seared pistols or was the illegal alien criminal a shade tree gunsmith with a 2nd grade education? She was killed with a single shot out of 3 rounds fired accidentally? Never heard of a 3 string accidental discharge in a pistol before. Wow, California has really stepped up their game when it comes to firearm knowledge. We should all strive to be more like them...


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Americans rushed to buy more guns after August shootings: FBI

Gun sales in the US soared in the month of August after a series of high-profile shootings in the country, FBI data shows.

The FBI posted 1.7 million background checks required of gun buyers at federally-licensed dealers. This is the highest number seen in any month of August since the checks began in 1998, according to a USA Today report published on Saturday.

The soaring statistics come hot on the heels of monthly records for months of June with 1.5 million and July with 1.6 million background checks, a period that marked a series of deadly gun attacks from Charleston to Roanoke.

Story here


As a matter of fact, I'll be the proud new owner of my father's J-Frame .38 come this Friday... Mama got herself a LC9s.

Missing service dog found in Texas

A Marine veteran's missing service dog turned up in Texas last week, nine months after the German shepherd disappeared — and was possibly stolen — from a North County home, a Vista-based sheriff’s detective said Tuesday.

On Aug. 31, a tip led Kai’s owner, Alexandra Melnick, to a home in Aubrey, about an hour north of Dallas. The Vista woman flew to Texas and confirmed that her dog was at the home, Detective Debra Hutches said.

Melnick reached out to Texas law enforcement. Once they confirmed that Melnick had reported the dog missing in December, animal control officers seized Kai on Sept. 2.

Story here 


Reunited and it feels so good...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Downtown Austin vault of precious metals turns up mostly empty

Gold first caught Ron Barbala’s eye in 2008. With the housing values plummeting and the stock market cratering, the Phoenix engineer felt betrayed by the economy, which increasingly he considered little more than a mirage. “The standard American method of investing, all of it,” he said. “I’d had it.”

Desperate for something of value he literally could put his hands on, he began acquiring gold and silver bullion. “Its value is in its physicality,” Barbala said. “It just is.”

Over the next several years, Barbala bought more than $100,000 worth of precious metals through a little-known downtown Austin company. Started in 1999, Bullion Direct began as an online virtual trading floor where thousands of customers could buy and sell precious metals to each other, with the company taking a cut of each sale.

Later, it began selling the metals to customers directly. It also stored the commodities for those who requested it — such as Barbala — with the glittering coins and bars kept safely in individual piles for each investor in an old bank vault in its Lavaca Street offices.

At least that’s what everyone thought.

Read the rest here


He's a fool for not taking physical delivery to begin with. And we all know that a wise man once said "A fool and his money are soon parted"... 

One of the first things I remember my dad drilling into my head was "if it ain't in your hand, it ain't yourn boy". 

Situations like this is how people go missing in the middle of the night...


Friday, September 4, 2015

Chess Board Badassery


I can't even imagine what something like this would cost in a retail setting. It's probably the only one if its kind in the world and whoever owns it is a sick bastard for teasing us with it.

Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells

Wasps get their fair share of bad press.

They have painful stingers, and they're not as useful to us (or as cute) as bees. Their time to step in the spotlight, however, may be just around the corner: Their venom has been shown to attack cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

The cancer-targeting toxin in the wasp is called MP1 (Polybia-MP1), and until now, how it selectively eliminates cancer cells was unknown.

Cannabis oil and now wasp venom. Who would have ever thunk it?

Putting a dent in the 100 billion dollar a year worldwide "cancer research" money funnel will definitely get you found somewhere "accidentally dead"

Next story out of Brazil : Polybia paulista species of wasp decimated by unknown illness and sickness. Entomologists cannot determine the cause and predict the species not to recover. Entomology Research Expedition funding provided by Memorial Sloan Kettering and MD Anderson.

Mark it.