QOTD: Holiday Edition.

I’m expecting a federal judge to over rule the pardon the turkeys got from Trump…

Posted in 2018, All the News not fit to print., Blogbits, Tongue in Cheek | Leave a comment

Fox News is drifting away from us.

Headline on Fox News Online today:

Scientist rips Bezos, Musk for plans to colonize Mars

Which scientist?  This guy…

… who is NOT a scientist, he just plays one on TV.  But he’s reliably left-wing so he gets the quote.  On Fox News, which is drifting further to the left every day.

Ivan Drago is more qualified to be called a scientist than ...

Posted in All the News not fit to print., Blogbits, Education, News and opinion, Tongue in Cheek, When Progressives Attack | Leave a comment

QOTD: A handy guide.

If they’re waving your flag, they might be immigrants or refugees.

If they’re waving their flag, they’re an invasion force.

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A police state that Himmler and Stalin could only dream of.

Explore How Cops Are Collecting and Sharing Our Travel Patterns Using Automated License Plate Readers

EFF and MuckRock have filed hundreds of public records requests with law enforcement agencies around the country to reveal how data collected from automated license plate readers (ALPR) is used to track the travel patterns of drivers. We focused exclusively on departments that contract with surveillance vendor Vigilant Solutions to share data between their ALPR systems.

We have released records obtained from 200 agencies, accounting for more than 2.5 -billion license plate scans in 2016 and 2017. This data is collected regardless of whether the vehicle or its owner or driver are suspected of being involved in a crime. In fact, the information shows that 99.5% of the license plates scanned were not under suspicion at the time the vehicles’ plates were collected.

On average, agencies are sharing data with a minimum of 160 other agencies through Vigilant Solutions’ LEARN system, though many agencies are sharing data with over 800 separate entities.

In my town, south of Boston, a working class suburb of Boston, permanent installations of what are ostensibly fixed radar speed warnings.  Set for the legal speed for that street, they flash if you are going above that speed.  They flash a lot.  But that’s not all that they are doing.  According to recent articles published by privacy advocates, they have optical license plate readers incorporated into their design.  All being paid for by the Federal Government.

Ditto for the new highway billboards that have the distance to the next exit and the digital readouts of the estimated times to reach those points at the (legal) speed limit.  Has anyone driving by those signs ever wondered how the estimated time between exits are known so exactly?  By scanning all the license plates of all the cars traveling on that road, and getting the real-time travel times between exits, an accurate estimate of travel time is easy to calculate.   The hidden tool: automated license plate readers (ALPR).

At its core, ALPR is a simple technology. These systems are a combination of high-speed cameras and optical character recognition technology that can identify license plates and turn them into machine-readable text. What makes ALPR so powerful is that drivers are required by law to install license plates on their vehicles. In essence, our license plates have become tracking beacons.

ALPR systems can be affixed to stationary locations, such as highway overpasses and street lights, to capture the license plate of every vehicle that passes. The cameras can also be mounted on police cars (or other vehicles, such as tow trucks) to passively collect license plate scans during routine patrols or to surveil specific communities by driving systematically through targeted neighborhoods.

After the plate data is collected, the ALPR systems upload the information to a central a database along with the time, date, and GPS coordinates. Cops can search these databases to see where drivers have traveled or to identify vehicles that visited certain locations. Police can also add license plates under suspicion to “hot lists,” allowing for real-time alerts when a vehicle is spotted by an ALPR network.

It is crucial to remember that ALPR is a mass surveillance technology that spies on every driver on the road, and logs their location, regardless of whether they are suspected of being involved in a crime. In fact, as the California Supreme Court noted in a 2017 opinion, “The scans are conducted with an expectation that the vast majority of the data collected will prove irrelevant for law enforcement purposes.”

Past behavior shows that the police can be very lazy at times.  The first suspect they get pointed at usually has to hope that they can ‘Prove their innocence’ to the police, or otherwise have a very good lawyer.  So maybe that liquor store that got robbed is one that your car drove by, while the actual thief walked there.  So all the police have initially is you.

How Law Enforcement Uses ALPRs

ALPR data is gathered indiscriminately, collecting information on millions of ordinary people. By plotting vehicle times and locations and tracing past movements, police can use stored data to paint a very specific portrait of drivers’ lives, determining past patterns of behavior and possibly even predicting future ones—in spite of the fact that the vast majority of people whose license plate data is collected and stored have not even been accused of a crime. Without ALPR technology, law enforcement officers must collect license plates by hand. This creates practical limitations on the amount of data that can be collected and means officers must make choices about which vehicles they are going to track. ALPR technology removes those limitations and allows officers to track everyone, allowing for faster and broader collection of license plates with far reduced staffing requirements.Law enforcement has two general purposes for using license plate readers.

Real-time investigations

By adding a license plate to a “hot list,” officers can use ALPR to automatically identify or track particular vehicles in real time. Licenses plates are often added to hot lists because the vehicle is stolen or associated with an outstanding warrant. Officers may also add a plate number to the list if the vehicle has been seen at the scene of a crime, the owner is a suspect in a crime, or the vehicle is believed to be associated with a gang. Hot lists often include low-level offenses, too.

Historical investigations

Since ALPRs typically collect information on everyone—not just hot-listed vehicles—officers can use a plate, a partial plate, or a physical address to search and analyze historical data. For example, an officer may enter the location of a convenience store to identify vehicles seen nearby at the time of a robbery. The officer can then look up those plate numbers to find other locations that plate has been captured.

Training materials, policies and laws in some jurisdictions instruct officers that a hot-list alert on its own may not be enough to warrant a stop. Officers are instructed to visually confirm that a plate number is a match. Failure to manually confirm, combined with machine error, has caused wrongful stops.

Law enforcement claims that ALPR data has been used to, for example, recover stolen cars or find abducted children. However, police have also used ALPR data for mass enforcement of less serious offenses, such as searching for uninsured drivers or tracking down individuals with overdue court fees.

The length of time that ALPR data is retained varies from agency to agency, from as short as mere days to as long as several years, although some entities—including private companies—may retain the data indefinitely.

Of course, commercial interest in the data will also be keen.  And how many jurisdictions will farm out the implementation and collection of the data to private corporations.  And to

If the data shows that you drive by a area in which certain nationwide chains have stores, then you can be targeted with ads; print, mailed, or robocalls.  Worse, drive over to visit your girlfriend every Friday night and Thursday you get a flurry of different ads in every medium for flowers, wine and condoms.  Explain that to your wife.

The debasement of privacy in this country, already extreme, would soon make the concept of personal privacy meaningless.

Posted in All the News not fit to print., Blogbits, Crime, Deep State, Police, Tech, Tongue in Cheek, When Progressives Attack | Leave a comment

Think about it, Privately managed forests in California are not burning.

CA Gov. Jerry Brown Vetoed 2016 Wildfire Management Bill While CA Burned

The 129 million dead trees throughout California’s state and national forests are now serving as matchsticks and kindling.

With California on fire once again in the North and the South parts of the state, Gov. Jerry Brown continues his bizarre claims that devastating fires are the “new normal” and a result of climate change.

Yet, the same climate change impacts private lands as public lands, but private forests are not burning down because they are properly managed.

McClintock said for decades, traditional forest management was scientific and successful – that is until ideological, preservationist zealots wormed their way into government and began the overhaul of sound federal forest management through abuse of the Endangered Species Act and the “re-wilding, no-use movement.”

Traditional forest management had simple guidelines: thin the forest when it becomes too difficult to walk through; too many trees in the woods will compete with one another, because the best trees will grow at a slower rate.

The U.S. Forest Service used to be a profitable federal agency, McClintock said. “Up until the mid-1970s, we managed our National Forests according to well-established and time-tested forest management practices.”

“But 40 years ago, we replaced these sound management practices with what can only be described as a doctrine of benign neglect,” McClintock said. “Ponderous, byzantine laws and regulations administered by a growing cadre of ideological zealots in our land management agencies promised to ‘save the environment.’  The advocates of this doctrine have dominated our law, our policies, our courts and our federal agencies ever since.”

Today, only privately managed forests are maintained through the traditional forest management practices: thinning, cutting, clearing, prescribed burns, and the disposal of the resulting woody waste. And notably, privately managed lands are not on fire.

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QOTD: Election results

At last count, 153 sexually abnormal people won public office across America last week.

In case you were unaware, this is progress.

Posted in 2018, Blogbits, Deviancy, Quote of the Day | Leave a comment

In other words, it’s Sunday.

Posted in 2018, All the News not fit to print., Deep State, Time to talk a little treason, When Progressives Attack | Leave a comment

Cool Cats

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Pity the British aren’t still running things.

Ebola Outbreak enters new phase.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said Monday that the Ebola outbreak in conflict-ridden Congo has become so serious that international public health experts need to consider the possibility that it cannot be brought under control and instead will become entrenched.
If that happened, it would be the first time since the deadly viral disease was first identified in 1976 that an Ebola outbreak led to the persistent presence of the disease. In all previous outbreaks, most of which took place in remote areas, the disease was contained before it spread widely. The current outbreak is entering its fourth month, with nearly 300 cases, including 186 deaths.
If Ebola becomes endemic in substantial areas of North Kivu province, in northeastern Congo, “this will mean that we’ve lost the ability to trace contacts, stop transmission chains and contain the outbreak,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which hosted the briefing on Capitol Hill that featured the Ebola discussion with Redfield.
In that scenario, there would be a sustained and unpredictable spread of the deadly virus, with major implications for travel and trade, he said, noting that there are 6 million people in North Kivu. By comparison, the entire population of Liberia, one of the hardest-hit countries during the West Africa Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016, is about 4.8 million.
The outbreak is taking place in a part of Congo that is an active war zone. Dozens of armed militias operate in the area, attacking government outposts and civilians, complicating the work of Ebola response teams and putting their security at risk. Violence has escalated in recent weeks, severely hampering the response. The daily rate of new Ebola cases more than doubled in early October. In addition, there is community resistance and deep mistrust of the government.
Some sick people have refused to go to treatment centers, health-care workers are still being infected, and some people are dying of Ebola or spreading the virus to new areas. An estimated 60 to 80 percent of new confirmed cases have no known epidemiological link to prior cases, making it very difficult for responders to track cases and stop transmission. In late August, the United States withdrew some of the CDC’s most seasoned Ebola experts who had been stationed in Beni, the province’s urban epicenter, because of security risks.

From The Raconteur Report:

And if you’re playing the home game, we’re currently at Level 8 (moving to 9) out of 34 on the Global Apocalypse Scale. Small potatoes, IOW. Until it’s not.
Logarithmic growth will sneak up on you that way.

Posted in All the News not fit to print., Can't fix Stupid, On the Ebola River | 2 Comments

PSA, The Flu kills, GMO (Gene Modified Organisms) do not.

80,000 Died From Flu (And Still 0 From GMOs)

Only about 37% of American adults bothered to get a flu shot this past flu season. That’s actually a decrease from the previous season, when about 43% received one. Partially as a result, 80,000 Americans died from the flu. On the flip side, we did buy more organic food than ever before. READ MORE

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