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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Big Brother Surveillance Threat, Part 2: Codified Oppression

Big Brother Surveillance Threat, Part 2: Codified Oppression

This is Part Two, of a series that Urban Survival Skills is calling "Big Brother Surveillance Threat" and is publishing, that are excerpts from a huge article titled "You Are a Criminal In a Mass Surveillance World – Here’s How Not To Get Caught", but David Montgomery and posted on Prepared Gun

I’ve focused on the U.S. government because that’s what I know, and it tends to do these things on a broader scale than other regimes. But every regime follows the same pattern of outlawing the very same behavior it exhibits. Some just do it more aggressively than others. Generally the larger the regime, the greater the victimization of the governed.

Even when a law applies both to the government and the governed, it’s not enforced equally. Martha Stewart went to prison for lying about a stock trade, and Marion Jones went to prison for lying about using steroids. But General James Clapper, czar of the government’s mass surveillance complex, wasn’t even prosecuted for the felony of lying under oath to Congress about mass surveillance. General David Petraeus walked free despite lying to FBI investigators and leaking top-secret information. Members of the government’s Federal Reserve bankster cartel were exempted from punishment for committing multiple felonies.

What enables this codified, self-perpetuating hypocrisy? The institution of government is defined by its monopoly on both the creation andenforcement of law. This means the government can do whatever it wants, from double parking to mass slaughter with essentially no repercussions other than “regime change” through elections. Who in their right mind believes this is a good way for society to operate? If there were ever a monopoly to break up, it’s the one government protects with all its might.

As pieces of the picture came together for me, I felt depressed and wanted to throw my arms up and say, “Forget it. There’s nothing I can do to change any of this.” Then I realized. “There’s nothing I can do” are the magic words every power-hungry person longs to hear. Learned helplessness – the conviction that you are powerless to change whatever’s being done to you.

Those who watch Game of Thrones know the show has much to teach about those who seek power. The pitiful character Reek is the personification of learned helplessness. Even with a razor at his barbaric captor’s throat, he is incapable of doing anything but obeying. When his sister risks her life to rescue him, he clings to his cage and refuses to go. That’s the essence of learned helplessness.

The Greatest Weapon of Oppression in the History of Man

Every regime uses physical violence to force compliance with its rules, but physically breaking people who resist takes considerable effort, resources, and manpower. Mass surveillance gives those who seek control a vastly more powerful, far-reaching weapon.

This article was inspired by Ed Snowden’s own words to Laura Poitras inCitizenfour. He warns her that the government’s Collect-It-All mass surveillance apparatus is “the greatest weapon of oppression in the history of man.” It’s a War of Terror that’s being waged on us.

In a mass surveillance world where the law is unknowable, we live our lives wondering what crimes we’re committing and when we’ll be detected and prosecuted. This has a chilling effect on how we live. We censor ourselves to suppress the underlying anxiety of knowing we’re criminals who are being watched and recorded.

The end-game of mass surveillance is self-imposed subjugation. Threats and cages are no longer required because people believe resistance is hopeless. When we know we’re being monitored by those who have the power to beat, cage, and kill us, we imprison ourselves in our own fear.

I refuse to live that way. I hope you do too.

When people self-censor out of fear, they erect their own walls, saving government the effort. The governed avoid inquiry into controversial issues.They censor what they read at the library. They censor the web sites they visit. They censor their browser search terms. They censor what they write in emails and texts.

Free thought and inquiry into the most important matters get suffocated as we live under perpetual anxiety about whether what we do is acceptable to those who govern us. Fear leaks into our consciousness like black ink. I recently joked with a friend that he’s addicted to Coke, and he nervously wrote back clarifying “to anyone else reading” that it was Coca-Cola.

People censor what they say on the phone, on Skype, on Google Hangouts. Surveillance software automatically transcribes your words into text. Your conversations become instantly searchable and trigger key word alerts. (If you’re thinking of organizing or attending a police brutality protest, know that a trigger word list leaked years ago includes the terms cops, police,authorities, and law enforcement among hundreds of others.)

People censor what they share with friends on social networks. They increasingly limit posts to selfies, photos of food, and opinions about approved topics like sports and movies, rather than information or opinions that can land them on a terror suspect list.

They shy away from protesting and see the often brutal treatment of those who do. They hear about domestic black sites. Signing a petition opposing a government program is like handing the government a suspect list.

People come to know that political affiliations can make you an IRS target or trigger a home invasion. They read that withdrawing cash from a bank account is cause for criminal investigation. Yet if they don’t put cash in the bank, they risk outright confiscation as has happened over and over.

They see the persecution of whistleblowers and the crushing of business owners who won’t compromise their customers’ security. Innocent peopleend up on terrorist watch lists. They see the mainstream media’s bipolar twitching between terror-mongering and titillating celebrity scandals.

This all brings on a chilling sea change in our daily lives. The message becomes unmistakable. The government is off-limits to meaningful criticism or resistance to whatever it dictates.

Authority as a Conditioned Response

Obeying authority is what we’re taught to do from childhood. You don’t want trouble, do you? Then don’t complain. Follow the rules. Abide by the law.

We’re raised to follow orders and pledge allegiance to authority. We are conditioned to comply. Chain of command is a principle which pervades our society, not just the military. The apex of command is of course the head of the government, the Commander-in-Chief. What comic irony to call this individual “leader of the free world.”

What’s the upshot of our perpetual compliance conditioning? “Just following orders” and “Just doing my job” routinely precede the most atrocious acts perpetrated against other human beings.

What about those with enough self-awareness and independence of thought to see the pattern at work? The realization that mass surveillance makes you a perpetual suspect and non-compliance with any government rule makes you a criminal silences meaningful opposition. It doesn’t take many horror stories to roll a fog of fear over an entire population. Especially when people know they’re being continually watched and recorded.

Learned helplessness will get you if you don’t brace yourself and think clearly. You can’t change the system, but that doesn’t mean you’re helpless. You don’t have to be a victim. We as individuals can take simple steps to impede the government’s dragnet recording of our lives. We can encrypt our calls, our texts, our emails, our phones, our computers. We can show our friends and family how to do the same. It’s really just a matter of quiet resolve.

Most people like to read articles that confirm what they already believe. But beyond venting to friends, people are generally too lazy to take action unless they feel immediate danger. Here’s where we must differentiate mass surveillance from every other threat. Mass surveillance is a silent, invisible war being waged on us. The only time you’ll actually feel immediate danger is when it’s too late.

The Action Mindset

Are you in an action mindset yet? If not, here’s my last loving nudge. I’m begging you – seriously, I truly am begging you – to overcome inertia and take action. If nothing else has convinced you, then do it to keep government employees from oogling your genitals. Or if you think government isn’t and never will be a threat to your well-being, then do it to protect against identity theft, fraud, blackmail and doxing by free agent bad guys. People don’t understand just how much risk they’re taking by not securing their computer and smart phone. Your life can be ruined. If you’ve already secured yourself, please encourage others and help friends and family.

If you’re a parent with kids using computers, you need to know how to protect them. Kids are curious, and the more dangerous, forbidden or risky the topic, the more inquisitive they tend to be. What if your son comes home from chemistry class and wonders, just for the sake of curiosity, how to make a bomb? What if he’s watching Breaking Bad and starts browsing around wondering how Walter White made meth? What if a friend comes over and as a prank searches for how to join ISIS?

Are these the sorts of things kids might do? Of course. And it can turn your entire family into a target, including getting your home raided by men with automatic weapons who will shoot your dogs and take your computers, phones, and papers. Implement the enclosed anti-surveillance guide to protect your kids from getting your family in a world of trouble.

It’s All You

No matter what it is that motivates you to take action, the important thing is that you follow through. The best thing about the government’s bald-face lying about mass surveillance is it dispelled any notion that it will be “reformed” (whatever that means).

A few months before the Snowden revelations broke, James Clapper, czar of all U.S. intelligence agencies, replied under oath to this question (which he received a day in advance of his testimony).

Richard Nixon, after secretly bombing Cambodia (which brought the genocidal Khmer Rouge to power), persisted in lying to the public about it. As he told his aides, “Publicly, we say one thing. Actually, we do another.” True to form, shortly after Snowden came forward Obama was in full-on denial mode. The lie below was from his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Literally nothing the government says about mass surveillance is credible. Every public relations gambit to make it look like “something is being done” is aimed at deterring us from taking responsibility and acting for ourselves. Don’t be fooled by political theater.

Mass surveillance programs are built in secret and they operate in secret. Remember that what little we know is due to an act of treason (as defined by the government of course). And it’s only the NSA we know something about since that’s what Snowden had access to. The CIA, FBI, DEA, DHS, INR, DIA,NGA, NRO and other agencies have their own surveillance programs.

Any NSA policy change will be publicly heralded by politicians as a great victory while other programs silently spring up or continue operating under different code names or different agencies. As with mass surveillance obliterating the 4th Amendment, all Constitutional violations are not only predictable, they’re inevitable. Trusting the government is like trusting pit bulls to guard a pile of pork chops.

Thankfully Ed Snowden gave us the guidance we need.

Snowden’s Inspiration

Snowden’s most important insight is not that we’re being recorded in a Collect-It-All panopticon. It’s that we – as individuals – have the power to free ourselves from the surveillance noose: “We have the means and we have the technology to end mass surveillance without any legislative action at all, without any policy changes.”

We have the power, but only if we exercise it. What does that amount to in practical terms? Being willing to use some free software. After a couple hours you’ll have taken action that can literally keep you out the worst kind of trouble including criminal prosecution, blackmail, and kidnapping. You may even save your life. Same goes for any friend or family member you can persuade to take action. And you’ll sleep better knowing you’re no longer enabling mass surveillance.

Some might object and say that taking defensive action is an unnecessary act of paranoia or ‘Murica hating. Those people may just be doing their job. Others may be fact-resistant humans. Fear of real risks is not paranoia. It’s motivation. Only the most fact-resistant among us would deny that there are individuals and extraordinarily powerful institutions who are actually out to get you one way or another.

Most people prefer to feel rather than think. I know I’d feel much better pretending all this is much ado about nothing. Even if you’re not the fact-resistant type, the temptation to abdicate responsibility and hope politicians will “fix the system” is as tempting as it is delusional. The system we live under was built by people who want it to work this way. To those in control, it’s not broken. It may not work for you, but it works for them. And you work for them. The only hope we have for change is to do it ourselves.

The U.S. regime is the alpha dog of mass surveillance, mass incarceration, and mass media propaganda. But all governments aspire toward ever greater control over their populations. China, Russia, England, all of them. The bigger the government, the more they squeeze. It’s just a matter of money, manpower, time, and technology. Smaller countries are often laughably ham-fisted in their approach, like making it a crime to insult politicians.

Big-Ass Disclaimer

Perfect security does not exist in digital or physical life. A house has a continuum of steps you can take to secure it, but it will never be secure from a determined adversary. A lock on your door is better than nothing, but most locks can be defeated in seconds by people who are trained. Even if you have great locks, what about the door itself? Can it be kicked in? What about your windows? Anybody can break a window. Alarms are useful, but they have several vulnerabilities. Plus they don’t actually keep people out of your home. (By the way, your home is now see-through to the government.)

Just as perfect home security is impossible, there’s no such thing as perfect digital security. No matter how many precautions you take, there are too many “known unknowns” you can’t protect against. Software like your operating system, drivers, and web browser have faults which get exploited. Some of those faults are honest human error, and some are purposely engineered to weaken your security. Those who pretend to protect you are leading the charge to purposely undermine the security of products we rely on.

Now that the Internet is regulated – meaning, controlled – by the government like a utility, things will only get worse.

The very hardware you use – computer chips, routers, hard drives – also have exploits which you can do nothing about. The CEO of Intel refused to answer, with good reason, a question about whether Intel places “backdoors” in its chips. The biggest tech companies in the world are American, and they must comply with orders in the name of national security while being gagged from disclosing said orders.

Bottom line: America’s tech giants are surveillance proxies for the government. The government is also typically their biggest customer. This is the essence of the military-industrial complex.

We almost never hear about it because to say something is a death wish, but corporations also employ NOCs (non-official covers) who carry out government directives.

Modern computers have become so complex it’s practically impossible to know everything that’s happening “under the hood.” Even TVs can record you, translate your speech to text, and beam it to third parties. Computer chips the size of a dime and cheaper than a Big Mac can do all that and more. Really just about any electronics device in range of a wifi signal can be reconfigured into a surveillance device. That includes seemingly innocuous things, like a keyboard or USB thumb drive.

I’m not trying to dishearten you. It’s better to see things as they really are than to be ignorant of real risks. The truth is we’re being attacked from all sides.

The only real shining light in all this is the free and open source software (FOSS) movement. Open source means publishing a program’s source code online so that anybody can inspect it, audit it, compile it, and test it. The complete transparency of FOSS stands as our best safeguard against purposeful sabotage of our security.

Our Goal

The way most people use computers and smart phones is equivalent to leaving your doors and windows wide open with a neon COME ON IN! sign blinking in the front yard. We’re going to close the doors and windows, install curtains and quality locks, and toss the sign in the dumpster.

But know that if you’re ever individually targeted by the government as a person of interest (for example a journalist or whistle blower), pretty much everything you do on a computer or phone likely will be in the regime’s hands unless you have extremely specialized skills like Ed Snowden. As he said, “If there is a warrant against you, if the NSA is after you, they are still going to get you.” If you think you may have been individually targeted, run Detekt as a first step to check for malicious software commonly used against journalists and activists.

The goal of this guide is not anonymity. Anonymity is not possible because it requires control of many factors that are simply beyond our control. Our goal – Snowden’s plea to us all – is to stop the dragnet collect-it-all recording of our lives. As peaceful outlaws living in a mass surveillance world, the most effective act of self-preservation we can take is to render the greatest weapon of oppression inoperable.

If you don’t act, there will have been no real point in reading this. You’ll probably sleep less soundly, and mass surveillance will continue metastasizing. The reality is that to not take action is to enable mass surveillance. And remain highly vulnerable to hackers, stalkers, and fraudsters – threats which seem hypothetical until you get humiliated,blackmailed, stalked, or ruined.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Big Brother Surveillance Threat, Part 1: Government Closing the Loop

Big Brother Surveillance Threat, Part 1: Government Closing the Loop

This is Part One, of a series that Urban Survival Skills is calling "Big Brother Surveillance Threat" and is publishing, that are excerpts from a huge article titled "You Are a Criminal In a Mass Surveillance World – Here’s How Not To Get Caught", but David Montgomery and posted on Prepared Gun

A Noose Around Our Necks

Mass surveillance equals perpetual uncertainty. No matter how honest and benevolent you consider the current American government, no one knows what laws a future regime will impose. Otto Frank never would have disclosed his family’s religion had he known it would lead to the murder of his loved ones a decade later. His family would have fled Germany and attempted to illegally immigrate elsewhere, as millions have done throughout history.

Living under mass surveillance is living with a noose around your neck. You can’t know what circumstances will cause you to hang. History is loaded with never-saw-that-coming catastrophes. The 20th century alone is an inconceivable horror – 262 million corpses engulfed in various government wars and genocides. That’s equivalent to every single adult living in America today suddenly perishing.

All the nightmare regimes of the past that kids study in school predate the era of computerized mass surveillance. The ability to lock down people’s lives instantly… to track them, analyze them, trap them, financially paralyze them, impersonate them, frame them, and apprehend them is unprecedented. Governments always seek to control the governed, but mass surveillance is the most powerful weapon of control ever devised. Because of its novelty, invisibility, and deep complexity, many people can’t comprehend its implications and therefore don’t defend against it.

Why You’re a Criminal

We unknowingly commit crimes, including felonies, in our day to day lives. The fact that we haven’t been caught is a matter of detection – namely, surveillance. As mass surveillance expands, the government’s crime detection capabilities increase exponentially.

“There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.” This warning is from John Baker, a retired law professor who tried in vain to count new federal crimes created in just the past few years. The same message comes from attorney Harvey Silverglate in his book Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.

Because politicians have made us criminals, what the government knows about you can cost you your freedom. Understanding that is so important that you shouldn’t take anybody’s word for it. See for yourself.

Into the Abyss

Most federal law is aggregated into the United States Code (USC) and theCode of Federal Regulations (CFR). Let’s start with the CFR. Go here, select a year from the menu, and click Go. A list of 50 Titles will appear (2015 is incomplete). Click on the Text link for any Title and start reading. You’ll see that some Titles have several volumes. For example, here’s Volume 1 of the 2014 Banks & Banking code, the first of ten volumes for that year alone.

If you’re anything like me, after a few minutes your brain will attempt to revolt. Push on and do your best to even vaguely understand what Congress – the lawmakers – demand of Americans. You’re up against literally hundreds of thousands of pages of legalese. Much may not apply to anything you’re currently doing in your life, but finding out what applies to you now and has applied to you in the past is, quite literally, impossible. And with thousands of new rules being created every year, you won’t know when you break new laws in the future either.

Need a breather? Have a laugh with me at the sinister humor of the CFR web site’s slogan: “Keeping America Informed.” How many Americans have even heard of the CFR, much less read a single sentence of its laws? What could possibly better illustrate the essence of propaganda double-talk than this slogan? When you tap out on the CFR, give the USC a browse.

But wait, there’s more. Thousands of pages more. The IRS Code is over 7,500 pages and 3.4 million words. When the IRS decides you’ve done something wrong, you are presumed guilty unless you manage to prove yourself innocent. Anyone who’s dealt with the IRS knows that the process is its own punishment. Now that tax forms are filed electronically, artificial intelligence and data mining increase the power to detect non-compliance exponentially.

You’ve seen it first-hand. The law is truly unknowable to the governed. Being a law-abiding citizen is a myth.

Of course this is just federal law. Any adult can be prosecuted for a federal crime, but what about state crimes? State law is another incomprehensible morass – tens of thousands of pages of legalese per state. Cross an invisible line and the same act may no longer be a crime – or it may have twice the penalty. Wade into California’s legal code for a sample, or look up your own state and see for yourself. The abyss goes even deeper. There are thousands of county and municipal laws too.


This demonstration wasn’t meant to depress you. Truth just sucks sometimes. In this case ignorance is anything but bliss.

Every single day ignorance of the law costs people their savings and their freedom. And here’s the awful Catch-22: Ignorance of the law is no defense, even though it’s literally impossible to comprehend what the government demands from us.

Good people everywhere have been turned into peaceful outlaws by politicians.

We live our lives trapped in a ubiquitous but invisible scaffolding of rules. There is literally no aspect of our lives not subject to politicians’ orders.Everything that’s not forbidden requires government permission. What kind of society is this?

Crime Detection Is the Killer App

As criminals we already have a noose around our necks. Crime detection is the terrorizing question that hangs over us. That millions of Americans are behind bars makes one thing clear: The government is zealous about enforcement. New prisons are being built every day. Prosecution isn’t a constraint either since only a handful of cases see a trial.

Crime detection is law enforcement’s biggest bottleneck, and that’s where Collect-It-All surveillance changes everything. Police already track you bywide-area surveillance, thousands of networked street-level cameras, auto-scanning license plates, drones, and spy planes, but that is primitive compared to what’s coming.

Computerized face recognition is already extremely accurate and fast. You can be matched against a nationwide database instantly. This technology will be integrated with the body cameras police now wear. You will be cataloged and tracked by your Universal Control Number (UCN). Yes, that’s really what it’s called. A friend of mine is an Auschwitz survivor. You can still read the “control number” tattooed on his arm.

Military contractor Lockheed Martin has for years been designing biometric surveillance systems to track us by our hand prints, face, voice, and walking gait. Their use for crime detection is unlimited. Anything that can be electronically measured can be the basis for automated crime detection. For example fingerprints can now reveal drug use.

Going forward mass surveillance will be combined with robotics to create law enforcers who will automatically scan and crime check you. The military-industrial complex is leading robotics development. As with bug-sized drones and MRAPs, the technology and equipment will cross-pollinate with domestic law enforcement.

Hopefully this glimpse of what’s coming makes it clear. Mass surveillance isn’t about having nothing to hide. It’s about hiding whatever we can.

Mass Surveillance Cheerleaders

The highest profile shills for mass surveillance are the usual suspects: politicians and mega-corporation execs who have the most to gain. Former U.S. Senate majority leader Trent Lott: “What are people worried about? What is the problem? Are you doing something you’re not supposed to?”

Google chief hypocrite Eric Schmidt defines privacy as an excuse to hide wrongdoing: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

Google employs many brilliant people who no doubt mean well, but the simple truth is this: Google’s business is, literally, mass surveillance. Snowden revealed the NSA has direct access to Google’s servers. Google’s vast offering of services equals the world’s biggest surveillance roach motel. There’s a reason the room and board are free. You’re the product, not the customer.

The Death Star Is in Utah

Mass surveillance is not only Collect-It-All recording of your life. The totalitarian power of mass surveillance comes into focus when one sees how years of data can be summoned in the future for purposes you can’t predict. Five or ten years from now your surveillance records could be used as the basis for advanced interrogation, criminal prosecution, bail-ins, property confiscation, blackmail, stalking, humiliation, horrific medical procedures,internment camp, deportation, and yes, even execution. None of these is without historical precedent.

The technology enabling Collect-It-All surveillance perhaps seems vague since we don’t have any practical reference for what it takes to implement. Here’s a glimpse.

Snowden’s revelation of the Collect-It-All blueprint was the prelude to the completion of a 1.5 million square foot complex called the Utah Data Center. The original name of the complex – Massive Data Repository – is more ominously instructive.

Imagine a stadium-sized complex filled with the world’s fastest super computers and endless racks of digital storage space so vast that you literally can’t comprehend how much information can be stored. The power and cooling required for the complex is staggering. It consumes 1.7 million gallons of water daily to operate. This is the mass surveillance equivalent of the Death Star. Last year it went fully operational.

The difference between filing cabinets and the space-age technology of the Utah Data Center is almost impossible to describe. In terms of speed, it’s like comparing a tricycle with a supersonic jet. In terms of search power, it’s like a magnifying glass versus the Hubble telescope. In terms of data storage, it’s like a hot tub versus Lake Michigan. And yet, it’s worse.

Weaponized Data Mining

There simply is no comparison to be made in the pre-digital era when it comes to data mining – using the power of computers to find patterns across vast quantities of data. The Utah Data Center is weaponized data mining.

Collect-It-All surveillance means that if the government wants to target you, it can comb back through years of your life in minute detail. As we’ll see shortly, coming up with a crime in order to prosecute you is easy. There are so many laws in existence today that legal experts agree that anybody can be prosecuted for crimes they aren’t aware they’ve committed.

Even if you didn’t commit the crime you’re being prosecuted for, mass surveillance guarantees that innocents will be targeted because data mining can’t tell whether a pattern is intentional or coincidental. Say there’s an enemy of the government being tracked by the feds. You coincidentally are on the same flight sitting next to him, use the same car service, stay in an adjacent room at the same hotel, eat at the same restaurant, and then take the same flight the next day to another city. Now you too are a target. If you happen to also be Muslim (1% of the U.S. population), good luck.

U.S. law is clear on what might happen next. Perhaps men show up and interrogate you. Or they secretly tear apart your life down to the smallest detail looking for any charge to pin on you. Maybe they destroy your reputation and monitor how you respond. Or maybe you get disappeared. Under the NDAA, American citizens can legally be kidnapped, imprisoned in secret without charges or access to a lawyer (indefinite detention), andsubjected to torture programs developed by doctors.

The Torture Triumvirate

To design the US government’s torture program taxpayers paid over $81 million to Dr. James Mitchell and Dr. Bruce Jessen and another $31 million to Dr. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association. Seligman is a man who achieved fame by repeatedly shocking dogs until they completely gave up trying to avoid the shock, even when presented with the opportunity to do so. This state of hopeless surrender is what he coined “learned helplessness.”

These three were not paid $112 million to suggest sleep deprivation or waterboarding (both of which have been used for centuries.) The public has no clue what the real torture program is. But given the government’s history of using drugs to torment people, I suspect drugs are the holy grail of modern torture as they break no bones and leave no scars. Imagine being inflicted with a drug-induced migraine and then getting locked in a cell withblasting heavy metal and flashing strobe lights. What would you say to make it stop? Centuries ago you’d confess to being a witch.

Death From the Sky? Legal.

If being kidnapped, caged and tortured without trial isn’t sufficient for the government’s purposes, the president also claims legal authority to summarily execute US citizens. Four Americans, including a 16-year old boy, have already been executed by drone strike – no charges levied, no trials, no evidence presented, no opportunity for defense. Just sudden death from the sky.

If you think “kill lists” are only about Muslims and therefore don’t affect you, count yourself among Germans in the early years of the Nazi regime who said these laws are unfortunate but only affect a few Jews. By the time the general public felt things were really getting out of hand, to speak out was to risk your own life. So let me repeat: The government has granted itself legal authority to summarily execute American citizens. Just because you’re not a target, don’t delude yourself. This is turnkey tyranny.

The data mining power of the Utah Data Center will find all sorts of extremely unlikely coincidences which will be used to cage or kill innocent people. The old way to do that was to torture people into making false confessions, frame them with planted evidence, or convict them based onfaked forensic science. With weaponized data mining, no fabrication will be required to put innocent people away.

Much like the IRS process of finding you guilty unless you can prove your innocence, you’ll be in the crosshairs trying to explain an extraordinarily unlikely coincidence. A one-in-a-million coincidence is common when the world’s fastest supercomputers are searching for patterns among quadrillions (that’s thousands of trillions) of pieces of data. Trying to establish your innocence will be like trying to prove a negative.

Mass surveillance is ushering in a brave new world of crime detection. The vast majority of crimes in the past have gone undetected. A Collect-It-All mass surveillance apparatus is an all-seeing eye which untethers crime detection from manpower constraints.

Law Is Codified Hypocrisy

My definition of a bad guy is a person who purposely harms or threatens to harm others or their property. I used to think of crime as the stuff that bad guys do. Bad guys are criminals, and criminals are bad guys. Makes sense, right? After all murder is a crime. Theft is a crime. Assault is a crime.

Cartoons, TV shows, and movies I’ve seen from childhood have reinforced the only-bad-guys-do-crime message. And my teachers were explicit: Good people obey the law. Be a law-abiding citizen.

Yet millions of Americans who are not bad guys have criminal records.

My day in the Secret Annex taught me that it’s a trap to equate crime with morality. While I think it’s always preferable not to harm people or their property, neither my nor your preferences should be conflated with laws. That’s because most laws have nothing to do with actually harming others or or their property. Sure there are plenty of bad guys who are criminals, but there are also millions of Americans who have been convicted of victimless crimes. They simply broke a politician’s rule, often unknowingly.

Meanwhile many bad guys aren’t criminals because the law doesn’t apply to them. Every day peaceful people and their property are harmed by government employees acting in a fully legal capacity. That’s because those who govern us are permitted to do the very things the governed are forbidden from doing.

If you are carrying out government orders:

•Legally maiming and killing thousands of people who haven’t harmed anyone isn’t mass murder. It’s collateral damage.

•Legally caging a person for inhaling something the government doesn’t approve of isn’t kidnapping. It’s corrections.

•Legally siphoning all the money out of someone’s account isn’t theft. It’s asset forfeiture.

Legally blockading a country from receiving desperately needed goods and services isn’t economic warfare. It’s foreign policy. (Don’t forget, the dead children are collateral damage.)

•Legally using insider information to rack up stock market profits isn’t insider trading. It’s Congressional investing.

•Legally transferring hundreds of billions to Federal Reserve banking cartel cronies isn’t fascist economics. It’s quantitative easing for your financial security.

•Legally forcing interest rates to zero so that savers lose purchasing power and banks clean up isn’t price fixing. It’s monetary policy.

•Legally spending trillions to create the most militarized society in history isn’t totalitarian insanity. It’s defense.

•Legally demanding your money under threat of imprisonment to pay for all these things isn’t extortion. It’s taxation.

What is criminal for the governed is legal for the government.

(If you’re a government employee or contractor, thank you for being open-minded enough to read this. When one’s salary depends on believing something, considering other perspectives is as difficult as it is rare.)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Planning Rehearsals

I received this e-mail from "John":

"Urbanman, like your info. me and my friends discuss prepping all the time. We have five of us in our hunting and survival group, but of course we expect to have all sorts of relatives bust our group when the time comes.

That's cool, because we're ready for it. We have a farmhouse belonging to one of guy's grandmas about a mile and half out of town. That's are meeting point and security point. We plan on staying here as long as we can maybe forever because we have woods and two water ponds. After we hunt or shoot we have a practice of discussing scenarios.

The last one was two weeks after SHTF. If we go into town to see what is going on, or maybe look at a couple of spots where solar panels. It's a no brainer if we have cell phone service, but may not so we may have to go into town to look around and see what's available plus the solar panels would come in handy. What do you think? Call me John if you write this."

UrbanMan replies: John, thanks for writing. It's a good routine to get into talking about scenarios with your group. It can help identify areas where you disagree and need to come to a resolution about plans and protocols. It can also help identify equipment, material and even skill sets gaps that can be fixed before you are doing it for real.

This game of "what if'ing" is called war gaming If you were leaving your secure site to conduct a patrol into town, you would need to have clear cut objectives,...a mission if you will. Such as making contact with selected town residents to get an situational update; procure any needed items, especially food and fuel. And even if you are only going 1.5 miles, you need to plan at least the primary route using the terrain to your advantage for cover and concealment.

Some considerations for your patrol planning checklist, be it the scenario into town or a longer security or forage type patrols:

Control: Sometimes simplicity is the key to controlling a patrol and the actions. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for patrolling, arms and hand signals, reaction drills, crossing danger areas, and more, helps the patrol operate as one team and make control easier.

Security: During a patrol, security is achieved through choosing routes that provide cover and concealment, especially on approach to the target or the tentative observation/listening post. Good employment of light, noise and litter discipline also helps the patrol stay undetected.

Communications: This covers radio communications to visual signals. Consider recognition signals and distress or duress signals, and code words. Use brevity codes for radio communications. Have scheduled communications contacts or windows, however even at only a mile and a half, FRS/GMRS type radios will not have the range.

PlanningThink contingencies,...contingencies,.....contingencies,...use PACE planning. Ensure everyone, even the guys remaining, know all contingency plans,...situations like if the patrol is ambushed or the secure site is attacked.....where you emergency rally point is,....this list is endless but needs to be considered so the patrol operates with backup plans.

As far as the solar panels. I am not advocating conspiracy to commit theft, but in a very decayed world without law enforcement or order of any type, I too would consider "requisitioning" available solar panels to hook into my home power grid.

Urban Man

Friday, September 4, 2015

EMP Threat Scenario

Here is a good short video on the dangers that the US is facing from a possible and likely EMP scenario. If our country does not get its act together and protect its citizens, we may be facing this one day.

Urban Man.