Limits of Cameras

Great story on WFAA today about a homeowner using a camera to protect his property.




But note some of the issues –

First -

The alarm stopped the burglary but not the break in ! The homeowner still had an expensive repair bill.

Second -

It’s an upscale North Dallas neighborhood.  And apparently it’s good prey for thieves.

Yeah, so much for ‘you only need self defense if you live in a bad area.  And make no mistake, the camera (to some extent) and the alarm are self defense measures. They are just passive measures that a person living in a good neighborhood can afford. The technology is not cheap — the camera is $199 for the top model and cloud storage is $99 (for 7 days) or $299 (for 30 days) a year.

Third -

Even with the notification, even with the alarm company — the police did not arrive in time to catch the criminal !! He and his possible partner are still out there. And now, thanks to the photos, probably moving to other areas to avoid being recognized.

Fourth -

Even with all the mug shots, the facial recognition software, the databases, etc –

As of Wednesday night, Dallas police had not identified the suspect, but investigators said they are working good leads.

That’s right. With great images available, with clear evidence that this person committed a crime; police still don’t know who he is.

This type of technology is great and will probably, eventually, lead to his arrest and definitely will help his conviction. Unless he plea bargains out but that is another post.

I support and encourage folks to use surveillance cameras and alarms if they can afford them. Proper lighting and securing fences are also great ideas. Just recognize they will not stop everyone.



Please join the discussion.

Seems About Right….

….but fails to mentions it has be changed every 8.1 days and you can’t use any of your last 187 passwords.



Government Getting It Wrong – Again

One of the thing that perplexes me about the anti-rights cultists proposals is how often they call for the government to step up and take charge of everything.

President Obama’s call for the government to share more information regarding background checks really has me worried in light of this news report.

A digital chart used by the minesweeper Guardian to navigate Philippine waters misplaced the location of a reef by about eight nautical miles, and may have been a significant factor when the ship drove hard aground on the reef on Jan. 17.

The Guardian drove onto Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea around 2:25 a.m. on Jan. 17 (some sources cite a date of Jan. 16, since that was the date in Washington, D.C. when the incident occurred). The reef is about 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island.

Now, I know you may be wondering why a ship running aground is cause for concern; after all ships have been doing that for centuries, right?
Let’s look at a possible (highly probable) root cause of the incident.

The Digital Nautical Charts (DNC) used by the Guardian and most Navy ships are produced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), a largely secret organization headquartered in Springfield,Va.

The DNC charts come in several versions. “General” and “coastal” versions are used in open areas such as the Sulu Sea, and “approach” and “harbor” versions are used for operating in and around harbors. According to an NGA memo sent to the Navy on Jan. 18, the error was in the coastal DNC, apparently in use on board the Guardian at the time of the grounding.

The general DNC and hardcopy charts show the reef’s location correctly, NGA said. (Emphasis mine – Bob)

This isn’t a case of communication being garbled between two different agencies. This is a government agency making a profound mistake — and it going undetected until now — on what should be a fundamental and routine element of their job !
It isn’t like the reef was wrong on every map in the world – they knew exactly were it was and still produced digital maps that got it wrong.

Does this give you confidence they will do any better if they are further involved with our 2nd Amendment rights?

Effectiveness of Less Lethal Options

Many people recommend carrying/using “Less Lethal” means of protection instead of a firearm.

I’ve talked about the effectiveness of TASERs before but Barron at The Minuteman had a video that brought it to mind again.


Here is a recap of how they are supposed to work.

Many might think the answer is simple: The prongs of a taser send electricity directly into muscle fibers and cause them to contract uncontrollably. But that’s not the whole story. According to the website of TASER International, an Arizona company that provides electronic devices for use in law enforcement, a taser incapacitates a person by highjacking the reins of the central nervous system—the ultimate controller of our muscles.

The electrical weapon, according to TASER International, overrides the brain’s control of the body by speaking the same ‘language’ as nerves. It achieves this by emitting electric pulses that match those used by neurons, which transfer information between the brain and muscles. When these nerves are flooded with pulses that are similar to their natural frequency and strength, normal signals get drowned out and muscles contract uncontrollably.

Now check out the actions of the lady in the video; does it look like her muscles ‘contract uncontrollably”? Or does it appear the reins of her central nervous system where highjacked?

Not so much to me. The TASER was likely ineffective because the barbs were too close. The officer fired from near contact distance. And no, he didn’t use the ‘drive stun’ mode; the wires are clearly visible as he walks off screen.

Shot placement apparently isn’t just appropriate for firearms.

Some people may advocate less lethal means but given the problems with them (hey, I’m an Asthmatic & can you say “winter coats” ?) I think I’ll stick with something that I can practice with over and over again.

Please join the discussion.






Text Messages and Law Enforcement

Not surprisingly,  those in charge of catching criminals want it to be easy to snoop through your private communications.

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to record and store information about Americans’ private text messages for at least two years, according to a proposal that police have submitted to the U.S. Congress.

CNET has learned a constellation of law enforcement groups has asked the U.S. Senate to require that wireless companies retain that information, warning that the lack of a current federal requirement “can hinder law enforcement investigations.”

They want an SMS retention requirement to be “considered” during congressional discussions over updating a 1986 privacy law for the cloud computing era — a move that could complicate debate over the measure and erode support for it among civil libertarians.

2 years worth of text messages for each and every cell phone user would be a considerable burden on companies. And that is just if they record the meta data (to/from, date/time); recording the actual text messages would be a staggering issue. Just check out what companies have to do for email archiving to comply with federal laws for an example of how bad it can be.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the law enforcement proposal is to store the contents of SMS messages, or only the metadata such as the sender and receiver phone numbers associated with the messages. Either way, it’s a heap of data: Forrester Research reports that more than 2 trillion SMS messages were sent in the U.S. last year, over 6 billion SMS messages a day.

I know what I plan on doing if this becomes law; passive resistance.
I will send a message to all my contacts explaining that at least once per day one or more people will receive a text containing such words as; cocaine, murder, secession, robbery, assault, etc. I plan on making it very difficult for law enforcement to actually use any of my text messages as evidence. Oh, they will be able to I’m sure. But they’ll have to comb through them individual and repeatedly.
I say this because the wireless companies and law enforcement agencies do not seem to think my communications should be secured by the 4th Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If companies and law enforcement agencies respected my rights (e.g. actually obtained a search warrant) instead of writing themselves one through the guises of ‘exigent circumstances’ I would make their job easier.

Here is a simple and easy test;  Would each and every officer and official would agree that any citizen could examine their cell phone logs and text messages simply by signing a paper asking for that information?
I’m guessing they wouldn’t.

Please join the discussion.

Not Quite Endlessly Refreshing

….but very close.

I have found a great App for my Android phone.

For when you are Waiting on the Trucks of Happiness to show up


It has a huge list of delivery companies available; simply enter the tracking number and follow the progress of your package across the country.


I’m expecting one of these to be on my doorstep when I get home. Going to be the first modification to any of the firearms I own. Should be lots of fun.

Stay tuned for pictures and a range report.