img by Front404
What better day to point this out than the 110th anniversary of George Orwell’s birth? Artists and social commenter Front404 used Orwell’s birthday to bring attention to this fact by putting party hats on every security camera they could find.
Take a few minutes to examine the areas near your home and see how many security cameras you can see that are filming public areas. Still think no one will see you picking that booger?
With much of the United States speculating as to why the Department of Homeland Security needsbillions and billions of dollars’ worth of ammunition, new reports are coming forth that put the controversial purchases into new light.
“It started out like any work day, with an office party for [Acquisition Contracting Manager Milton Johannsen]‘s birthday,” said Jeff Lavange of DHS. ”It was a pretty typical cake-and-ice cream deal with your boss, Milt was obviously bored. He’s been here for a long time.”
“At about four o’clock he just stood up and said ‘Fuck it!’” continued Lavange. “‘Who wants Benihana!’ he said.”
So all those conspiracy theories are for naught. Seriously, who can honestly say they’ve never found a package addressed to themselves, opened it, and realized, shit, that’s right, last week after we got back from the bar, I saw that coupon in my inbox…
I once drunk-bought a boxed set of the Matrix even though I only like the first movie and some of the Animatrix. I gotta be honest, I never could bring myself to re-watch “Reloaded” and “Rebooted” or whatever it was called. So much betrayal.
It came with a bust of Neo. He watches over me when I sleep.
tl;dr damn police, you scary!
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a nationwide campaign to assess police militarization in the United States. Starting Wednesday, ACLU affiliates in 23 states are sending open records requests to hundreds of state and local police agencies requesting information about their SWAT teams, such as how often and for what reasons they’re deployed, what types of weapons they use, how often citizens are injured during SWAT raids, and how they’re funded. More affiliates may join the effort in the coming weeks.
Additionally, the affiliates will ask for information about drones, GPS tracking devices, how much military equipment the police agencies have obtained through programs run through the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, and how often and for what purpose state National Guards are participating in enforcement of drug laws.
“We’ve known for a while now that American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war,” said Kara Dansky, senior counsel at the ACLU’s Center for Justice, which is coordinating the investigation. “The aim of this investigation is to find out just how pervasive this is, and to what extent federal funding is incentivizing this trend.”
A CBP agent with M14 rifle and HK P2000 pistol, both of which require ammunition to function properly (img Andrew Tuohy)
tl;dr the order’s fake but it keeps their budget intact
Talk of the Department of Homeland Security’s recent ammunition solicitations has gone from the fringes of the internet to the mainstream in websites like Forbes. I was disappointed by the Forbes article – rather than talk cold hard facts, it was rife with ill-informed speculation.
Government and military procurement is a very complex topic; so complex, in fact that it’s sometimes hard to discern best value practices from actual waste, fraud, and abuse. However, there are practically no examples of nefarious acquisitions intended to be used for the subjugation of the American populace. These ammunition contracts and solicitations are no exception.
Before we begin, it’s important to understand that an RFQ (request for quote) or solicitation is not a purchase. When Infowars says something like “the Department of Homeland Security is planning to buy a further 750 million rounds of ammo in addition to the 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets already purchased earlier this year,” or “Following controversy over its purchase of around 1.2 billion bullets in the last six months alone, the Department of Homeland Security has put out a new solicitation for over 200 million more rounds of ammunition,” the reader is led to assume, naturally, that DHS has actually purchased that amount of ammunition. That is simply not the case. A solicitation is the equivalent of a want-to-buy ad on Craigslist, writ large. It’s not an actual purchase.
tl;dr maybe if you’re getting legit raped
Starting this week, Chicago police are changing their responses to 911 calls. They’ll no longer come right away to reports of things like criminal damage to property, vehicle thefts, garage burglaries, or other crimes in which the suspect is no longer on the scene, and the victim isn’t in immediate danger.
The move will free up the equivalent of 44 police officers a day for patrol duties.
CBS 2′s Jim Williams spoke to some Chicagoans who think it’s the wrong move for the police.
On the block where burglars broke into a home on Christmas Day, Carmen Curio has a strong opinion on the city’s new 911 response plan.
“I think that’s ridiculous. I think if there’s a burglary, they’ve got to come. It’s what we pay for. They have to come,” she said.
img by Max Slowik
img by Max Slowik
While leaving Die Less World HQ the other night I had a Die Less experience. As I walked around the front of my truck there was a pile of broken glass where my window should have been. I was pretty surprised because I don’t leave valuables in my car, ever –years of living near Detroit will teach you that lesson. With no valuables visible from the outside, I’m not sure what attracted the thieves to break in. And it was only my truck, none of the other vehicles on the block were molested. I have some ideas now about why, but they’re pretty thin.
In their best effort to find something valuable, they did rifle through the center console, the glove box and some papers. There were a few things of minor value there: my insurance paper work, my vehicle registration (including a registration sticker I’d not yet applied) and some miscellaneous crap. None of those items were taken.
All of this got me thinking; If the person(s) who broke into my car were so inclined, they could have a pretty good start to an identity theft profile. They would have had my name, my address, my insurance policy number, and access to my driving record. Not enough to immediately turn into a false identity, but probably 80% of the necessary information.
Since then I’ve sterilized the inside of my car. There is no identifying paperwork in the truck. All of that is in my wallet. Now on the one hand I’ve just made it so that if the wallet is lost or stolen the door to identity theft is wide open. On the other hand, it’s a wallet, that’s where an identity is kept, so I’d be screwed regardless. Sterilizing the vehicle at least reduces my exposure. When you consider that cars are often left unattended for hours at a time, I can’t see a good argument for not sterilizing a vehicle.
Finally, as I started examining the idea of limiting my exposure I realized I had been making a terrible mistake. For years I’ve kept a spare key to my house and car in my wallet. Think about that. I carried around keys to everything I owned in my wallet; with my license, which has my address printed right on the front. If it were stolen that would be an invitation for the wrong kind of person to come help themselves. Sometimes I marvel at the blind spots that develop around convenience.