Today We Celebrate Our Independence

Today without question is a day to celebrate, but don’t lose sight of what it is your celebrating. Don’t lose sight of exactly what transpired in history that made this day worth celebrating.

I would recommend watching this.

And as usual, here’s a music video that nails it.

Screw The Facebooks…

So if you’re friends/follow me on Facebook you will have probably noticed that I, who am normally active and full of commentary have been dead silent. Not only that if you try to hit up my Facebook page it is gone. Every comment I ever wrote, everything. Facebook has scrubbed me entirely from its system.

What was my transgression I hear you ask. You would think I was excessively nasty or offensive or did something that pissed someone off and the answer to that is a simple no. That isn’t to say I don’t say things that are offensive to some or that I don’t poke the bear, it’s just that I don’t do it in a manner that I walk into someone else’s house to do it.

No the burr up Facebook’s ass is they seem to think my name is not my real name. Let me repeat that, they thinks my name isn’t a real name. Evidently the idea that someone is named Barron with two r’s is just too damn hard to fathom. Now it should be noted I only used my last initial because well they wouldn’t let me suppress the damn thing otherwise. Frankly I’m not a fan of stalkers, supporting stalkers, or making it easier for stalkers, yet here Facebook is doing exactly that. Sure you could do some digging and find my Facebook page, not the one tied to the blog, but the fact of the matter is I’d rather keep the people who are missing the order of fries and the drink in their happy meal away from my personal page. I use the FB mainly to keep in touch with friends and family, if I feel like a debate it’s here or twitter. News flash Facebook, you claim this is to make sure people can find me. Everyone who knows me can find me, quite easily I might add. So please STFU.

So now that my account is disabled though, with no real note of when they will re-enable it if at all, I am wondering. Why do we need Facebook? Why do we need a centralized cloud which can censor everything? I’ve chatted with friends about a possible alternative method to remove the central gate-keeper. The main reason we haven’t is because well who cares? Facebook works right? Why is it worth my time? Well all the sudden you’ve taken the guy with the idea and the means and given him a motive.

So in the mean-time, maybe I should just blog more. Because eventually, we’re not going to need you Mark Zuckerberg and when that day comes you’ll merely be like Tom from MySpace.

Something is Afoot…

OG-AA794_GRIDAT_NS_20140204171308Back in April of 2013 there was an attack on a power station in Southern California. The attack was calculated, detailed, planned, and execute well. There were many details that perked my interest including the oil tanks being targeted instead of the windings themselves. This would limit catastrophic damage to the transformer. Additionally numerous fiber-optic lines in the area were cut, including those run by Level 3 Communications.

I have read a few writeup discussing the attack and I did come across one theory that was interesting.

Gabriel: Have you ever heard of Harry Houdini? Well he wasn’t like today’s magicians who are only interested in television ratings. He was an artist. He could make an elephant disappear in the middle of a theater filled with people, and do you know how he did that? Misdirection.
Stanley: What the f*** are you talking about?
Gabriel: Misdirection. What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.
Swordfish movie (2001)

[See the PowerPoint here]

On the morning of the 16th of April 2013 the following events unfolded at, and around, the PG&E Metcalf Transmission Substation in San Jose, Calif.:

  • 12:58 a.m. AT&T fiber-optic telecommunications cables were cut not far from U.S. Highway 101 just outside south San Jose.
  • 1:07 a.m. Some customers of Level 3 Communications, an Internet service provider, lost service. Cables in its vault near the Metcalf substation were also cut.
  • 1:31 a.m. A surveillance camera pointed along a chain-link fence around the substation recorded a streak of light that investigators from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office think was a signal from a waved flashlight. It was followed by the muzzle flash of rifles and sparks from bullets hitting the fence.
  • 1:37 a.m. PG&E confirms received an alarm from motion sensors at the substation, possibly from bullets grazing the fence.
  • 1:41 a.m. San Jose Sheriff’s department received a 911 call about gunfire, sent by an engineer at a nearby power plant that still had phone service.
  • 1:45 a.m. The first bank of transformers, riddled with bullet holes and having leaked 52,000 gallons of oil, overheated – at which time PG&E’s control center about 90 miles north received an equipment-failure alarm.
  • 1:50 a.m. Another apparent flashlight signal, caught on film, marked the end of the attack. More than 100 shell casings of the sort ejected by AK-47s were later found at the site.
  • 1:51 a.m. Law-enforcement officers arrived, but found everything quiet. Unable to get past the locked fence and seeing nothing suspicious, they left.
  • 3:15 a.m. A PG&E worker arrives to survey the damage.

The damage to the substation took 27 days to repair and cost $15.4 Million. In the substation’s 500kV yard, ten transformers were damaged; In the 230kV yard, seven transformers were damaged; In the 115kV yard, 6 circuit breakers were damaged. It was also claimed that a total of 52,000 gallons of mineral oil (used for cooling) leaked as a result of the bullet strikes.

The damage to the fiber-optic telecommunications infrastructure was repaired within 24 hours. AT&T had six cables cut and needed to install new cables to work around the affected area. LEVEL 3 Communications had one cable cut, which was repaired within 10 hours.

The attack on the substation was so over-the-top, especially given that no long-term damage was inflicted, that it more appropriately should have been an entry in Bruce Schneier’s Movie Plot Threat Contest. The trope “orgy of evidence” comes to mind because the attack was so inconsequential for the level of effort expended. Sure it lightened PG&E’s wallet and provided an opportunity for endless sound bites by consultants and lobbyists touting their employers agendas, but nobody’s lights went out as a result of this attack.

So this brings us back to Houdini’s misdirection. Two events occur, one is over-the-top and will obviously lead in the morning media, the other deals with some cut cables in holes next to railroad tracks – decidedly non-spectacular and non-photogenic.

The thing is is that the Metcalf Transmission Substation is next to railroad tracks. And it happens that the railroads’ right of way is used to run fiber-optic cables. I’m sure you’ve heard of SPRINT, which use to be SP Communications, which was founded by Southern Pacific Railroad way back when. Fiber is why all the big name companies in Silicon Valley want to be as close to the railroad tracks as possible!

If we assume that the real target was the telecommunications infrastructure, how would someone tap some of the most monitored lines in the world?

By causing the fiber cables to be so extensively damaged that new sections have to be pulled to work around the damage. This level of disruption would require that any quality/security scans performed – using optical time domain reflectometers (OTDRs) – be re-calibrated after the repairs. The new cable sections could have been pre-engineered to have clip-on couplers (passive taps) built in that exert “micro bending” (i.e., spatial wavelength displacement). If they are detectable by the OTDR they would probably show up as noise near the repaired areas and be ignored. And the voila! Job done.

The next challenge for the strike team would be getting the output from the couplers to somewhere it could be analyzed. Once it was confirmed that the couplers had not been detected, then another team could move in and install appropriate transmitters or couple them into dark fiber for back-haul to data extraction.

We may never know the who/why of this attack. The over-the-top nature of it suggests that it was corporate sponsored as opposed to sovereign. The Metcalf Substation does have some interesting corporate neighbors, but given the nature of the communications traffic flowing in that right of way just about anyone using or traversing that corridor could have been the target.

TL;DR: The substation was actually a diversion.

But there wasn’t much to give credence to the situation until I saw my inbox this morning. Let me repeat something before we start with the new data:

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three or more times is enemy action. And I don’t believe in coincidence.

Lets start with the first article that hit my inbox, USA today.

The FBI is investigating at least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California’s San Francisco Bay Area dating back a year, including one early Tuesday morning.

Agents confirm the latest attack disrupted Internet service for businesses and residential customers in and around Sacramento, the state’s capital.

FBI agents declined to specify how significantly the attack affected customers, citing the ongoing investigation. In Tuesday’s attack, someone broke into an underground vault and cut three fiber-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based service providers Level 3 and Zayo.

The attacks date back to at least July 6, 2014, said FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich.

(Emphasis mine.) Well that’s interesting, but it doesn’t sound all that interesting. The article does note that the incidents have occurred in remote areas but attempts to play it as merely petty vandalism to delay people from getting their cat videos. (No I’m not making it up, see this line…)

Backup systems help cushion consumers from the worst of the attacks, meaning people may notice slower email or videos not playing, but may not have service completely disrupted, he said.

But repairs are costly and penalties are not stiff enough to deter would-be vandals, Doherty said.

“It’s a terrible social crime that affects thousands and millions of people,” he said.

First you have to catch the vandals to fine them, and if this has nothing to do with vandalizing infrastructure but instead tapping it this is a very serious thing. But certainly those lines will help calm those who don’t know details, have the attention span of a squirrel, and don’t have the memory to correlate other external events that are most likely related.

Now lets flip over to the Wall Street Journal.

The latest attack hit several cables in Livermore, Calif., shortly before 4:30 a.m. Pacific time and hadn’t been repaired as of early Tuesday evening, according to several Internet service providers affected by the outage. Some operators complained that law enforcement activity made it harder for crews to fix the problem.

“It’s very inconvenient in terms of getting up at 4 in the morning,” said Peter Kranz, chief executive of local Internet provider Unwired Ltd.

FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich said the agency understood operators’ frustration but needed its investigators to look for evidence before anyone patches up the cuts.

“When some of the first cuts were taking place, the cuts and cables were fixed, and there was no evidence, no anything to look at,” he said. “We just need to have a little bit more time to have our people go in.”

I love the complaints about law enforcement making it difficult to repair the communication lines because they want to inspect and collect evidence. This is a classic case of “repair the problem, investigate no further on root cause.” Please stop digging you could induce panic.

Again the paper plays this off not nearly as serious almost as if it’s just some kids out pranking the world. Then we get to the local paper…

The severed fiber optic cables that disrupted Sacramento-area communications is just one in a series of 11 Bay Area incidents in the past year being investigated by the FBI.

Phone, television and Internet services were disrupted in Auburn and the surrounding areas following three severed cables in Alameda County Tuesday morning, according to the federal agency.

Since July 6, 2014, there have been 11 incidents of vandalism to fiber optic cable networks in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich said at this point it is unclear why the cables are being damaged, but said state and federal law enforcement are coordinating on the investigation.

According to communications provider Wave Broadband, three major fiber optic cables were severed at around 4:20 a.m., causing service outages in Sacramento, Rocklin and Auburn areas.

Wait, it wasn’t just one cable shared by multiple service providers, but three different cables? Additionally as these were related to the backbone and given one of the providers involved you just tapped a decent chunk of the internet. Just what the hell is going on down there. I start searching for more information, including something on the Metcalf substation incident to try to cross reference and discover this:

The Silicon Valley power substation that was attacked by a sniper in April 2013 was hit by thieves early Wednesday morning, according to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, despite increased security.

The substation, near San Jose, Calif., is the source of energy for thousands of customers, and the idea that it was the target of a well-organized attack, and that it might have been disabled for an extended period, raised anxieties about the possible broader vulnerability of the grid. The attack this week did not involve gunfire, and it did not seem intended to disable the facility.

The date on that “theft” is August 27, 2014. The recent string of attacks on the fibre lines started July 2014. Tell me, if you wanted to inspect the response and repair actions of an attack couldn’t you just easily disguise it as a simple theft? You could get up close and personal and inspect exactly how the substation was repaired and what additional actions were taken to harden the substation.

Look, I’m a big fan of Halon’s razor and I hate conspiracy theories because honestly 99% of them are bullshit. But we have multiple, repeat incidents. There were clues and suspicion of possible nation-state involvement which were dismissed. We have an administration who actively works to diminish the significance of attacks and events that surround us and affect us in deep and profound ways. Additionally we see that there are outside nation states who have taken a keen interest in the United States. Just look at the Office of Personnel Management hack, seriously that is a threat beyond what most realize. Then while all this is going on we have people calling to critically weaken our cyber security infrastructure, in the name of stopping terrorism.

There is someone gathering intelligence, placing equipment in the correct locations, and improving their leverage against us. We’re in a technological cold war and we’re seeing the spill over from the physical side of things. Things are not looking good, safe, or secure, especially with over 18 trillion in national debt. Stay safe and keep your powder dry.

Tis the Season…

Just rolled in to Orifino for Boomershoot 2015.

DSC_9685-1

You know you wish you were here.

Quote of the Day – Gray P. (1/21/2015)

Someone kept saying that gay people can get away with more and it be viewed as a good thing politically.

One thing that these morons don’t understand is that the gay community has their Carnivale at the Pride Parades. Though it’s mostly normal and mostly worksafe, certain floats are risque to say the least.

What’s the difference? Those risque floats are in downtown Seattle, or even downtown Olympia, but it’s NOT AT THE STATE FREAKING CAPITOL DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

When gay people and their allies lobbied, they were normal every day people. Even the ones who wore the freaky costumes every pride came out, properly dressed like normal people.

Why? Because their rights were at stake.

(emphasis mine)
Gray P. – Facebook thread
January 20, 2015


[Gray nailed that son of a bitch so hard I think the ball is no permanently in LEO. I’ve heard many people compare the two communities and while there is definitely room for comparison there are some statements made that don’t translate.

Having friends active in both communities is wonderfully educational. Doubly so if you’re going to try to learn from the other in methods to fight for liberty.

Perspective is always important, especially with regards to lessons already learned elsewhere. -B ]

In which crazy comes out… (Get off my side)

Initially I was writing up a post and just ran out of time on it but that is melding into this one. You see there was a group of people who engaged in attention seeking behavior during the January 15th rally and legislative meet that has quite honestly created a serious rift. Not only has it created a rift but there is a bit more of a history involved than just, “the crazies showed up.” It should be noted that the following is my observations only and is not in any way to be attributed to any group I may volunteer for or work with.

Brief Background:

Before the tally was even fully complete an individual started organizing a rally December 13th. There were numerous other individuals who were attempting to help ensure:

  1. The event went off without any serious problems and remained a positive event.
  2. That people would stay engaged and continue to be supportive come the opening of the legislature.

The group support route was heavily rejected. So much so that it actually made the Seattle Times as the organizer made decisions that were not exactly positive. Free permit, oh my god it’s the end of the world because they’re wanting a logistical heads up. But I digress. The permit thing became a very serious craw and caused many to just walk away to leave that organizer on his own. We didn’t detract from his protest but we weren’t supplying effort to support him, he was on his own.

At the same time, actually starting in September, conversation was started regarding an event at the capital in the event 594 passed. We directed the effort of all the groups trying to help with the December 13th rally to one where input, help, and unification actually came in to play. This however didn’t stop claims from the other group of how we were undermining or attacking them. How no one really knows.

As we closed in on January 15th, it became more and more common. Attacking people who were working to support what they felt were going to be effective methods instead of what many felt of the December 13th rally where it would be a giant circle jerk where nothing was really accomplished.

Well nothing happened at the December 13th rally, there was no actual outcome or changes because of the rally. Not saying that people shouldn’t have gone, but I have limited amounts of time and I have absolutely no interest in wasting my time on symbolic gestures. My goal is to be effective and actually achieve what I set out to do. I am also strategic about it and am willing to play the chess game to make it happen.

Some of people also tried to claim the rally was the work of SAF, CCRKBA, POGR, etc. Nope, sorry, hate to break it to you, it was 100% grass-roots. Know how I know? Because I was sitting at the tables helping plan the damn thing.

What Happened:

The morning of the 15th the rally was set up and all was well and good. At the start of the rally everyone was gathered on the steps and the speakers began. There were a couple outbursts yelling at speakers from a group of about 15-20 in the back who eventually moved all the way to the top of the Capitol steps. They had banners from the December 13 rally and were waving them. They yelled a couple of times to garner attention with one-off statements. Everyone for the most part ignored them. They started becoming more disruptive during Paige Biron’s speech. I just ignored it, that is until we heard the familiar sound of charging handles and bolts. I was mortified when I looked back to see loaded magazines being pulled and inserted and charging handles struck. This happened about midway through Joe Huffman’s speech. Who they kept trying to talk over as well. Joe did a fantastic job refusing to engage the misbehaving and distracting children in the back.

After the children started playing with their firearms there was a rapid influx of Washington State Patrol officers. One officer immediately approached the MC to find out how we would like to deal with the situation. I at the time was searching for another organizer so we could effectively talk to State Patrol. Everyone around me in the crowd, many of who were long time gunnies were noticeably alarmed and uncomfortable with what was going on. At least 3 people made comments about why WSP was not arresting them under R.C.W. 9.41.270.

Source, The News Tribune

I need to buy that WSP officer a coffee.

After chatting with the M.C. the WSP officer immediately went up the stairs and shortly after the group dispersed into the Capitol. One lone individual came out yelling, “Patriots come help us storm our capitol.” After 3 times he gave up and moved on. It should also be noted they did this just before Matt Shea spoke about HB-1245 and other pro-gun bills were discussed. I suppose not being at the center of attention was too much for them.

From there they entered the Capitol, I wasn’t present for it but the news media was.

988-SqfHe.AuSt.55

 Here’s a copy of the video of what happened in the gallery.

As much time as I spent in the legislative office buildings I didn’t see any of these individuals there. I only ever saw them in the capitol building so I don’t think they were there to actually engage and talk with their legislators.

Stop coon fingering your weapon, leave it alone unless you actually need it, you narcissistic attention whore.

From there we move into more WTFery.

10356329_10155058810195405_2362466223343182067_n

This does not help engender relations or confidence with those on the other side, much less the fence. I found out that calls were coming into Olympia dispatch about an active shooter at the Capitol. It appears there were some Legislative Aids who were unaware of the rally, and the presence of masked men and long arms raised their concern.

Boy wonder himself makes an appearance in this thread, though I’m not sure it’s publicly accessible. Watching him get roasted by our side was quite entertaining.

Fallout…

Press coverage did exactly what you expected. Focus on the crazy, ignore the every day individual.

Anette Wachter is interviewed by Q13 fox.

Anette Wachter is interviewed by Q13 fox.

Thankfully Q-13 did air part of their interview with Adina, however most of the actual photo coverage is the individuals above. As usual our buddies at the CSGV used the stupidity to their advantage.

CSGV-Jan-15-Rally

The worst part though is there is now a threat to open carry in the Capitol. The initial shot came this morning:

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen announced Friday that the public will no longer be able to openly carry firearms in the state Senate chamber’s public viewing area.

Owen said a notice of the change will be posted outside the gallery at the Capitol, likely before Monday’s floor session.

“We’re just noting that open carry is a form of demonstration and it’s no different than carrying a placard or something else of that nature,” he said.

I suspect this is going to backfire as anyone who can legally own a firearm but does not have a CPL must open carry. I don’t concealed carry or open carry, I just freaking carry. The problem is we have people like the above who carry at people and that is the problem. I suspect a bar on long guns could probably stand, doubly so as this particular group was trying to use the long guns in a form of protest which is expressly forbidden in the gallery.

Dave Workman had this to say:

UPDATE (Friday, 5:45 p.m.) The Associated Press is now reporting that the State Senate is banning the open carry of firearms in the Senate gallery. This announcement underscores the backlash being expressed by many rights activists, including people who were at Thursday’s rally, who were not favorably impressed by the open carry demonstration. There were several people in the crowd who were openly carrying sidearms, and who have been critical of the long gun exhibition.

Honestly I wish that WSP had nailed them under 270 or the violation of the gallery rules regarding protest and use of props. If you want to carry, then carry. But don’t carry and then try to break the rules thinking your special. All you do is look like an ass and make the rest of us look bad, and in the end sabotage the efforts of the people you claim to support. Not only that but you may run rights backwards by being retarded.

Additional side notes:

The organizer for the December 13th rally was arrested on the 15th. It appears yelling at a judge while approaching the bench is not acceptable courtroom behavior.

In addition, he allegedly took exception to a ruling by Judge Judith L. McCauley because she did not want spectators live-streaming video from the courtroom.

“Seim began yelling at the judge and walking toward her bench,” Gjesdal said. McCauley “ordered him removed from the courtroom.”

When deputies tried to escort him out, he allegedly began to pull away and resist. He was placed under arrest and later booked into jail for interfering with a court, disorderly conduct and contempt of court, Gjesdal said.

Most entertainingly the stupidity appeared to be genetic as his father decided to get arrested in a show of solidarity with him.

How I feel…

Honestly I feel a bit betrayed by my own. Get the hell off my side. As someone reminded me tonight:

“Politics is the art of the possible.”

We are quite literally trying to accomplish the impossible in a not totally friendly environment. We need 2/3s majority to touch anything and that isn’t possible without fence sitters. Further when people on our own side are shaking their heads you can turn what was a level battle into an uphill one. We most likely won’t actually get a full repeal this round, after yesterday it most likely will be DOA as it won’t even make it through committee since that’s not full of friendlies. My goal is to be effective and get shit done. Acting like a child and throwing a tantrum doesn’t help anyone. All it does is make you look like an ass. Tell me, is anyone other than the child excited when throwing a tantrum in a store?

Another Trip Around the Celestial Object…

So yesterday was the longest night to party. Why would I party? Well the days are finally getting longer today, and I had yet again survived another year and stayed on this side of the dirt.

It was a good day… Finished it by paying a visit to my mom and introducing her to Guardians of the Galaxy.

The past year was a good one. Hopefully the next year is even better.

 

Well, this is not good…

So coupled with the case of sudden Jihad syndrome out of Australia, we have something that is considerably concerning and interestingly not being advertised well within the news.

Last night Russia increased interest rates to 17%. Yes, those rates are Jimmy Carter era rates. Now why would they do something like that? Well here it is in graphical form:

Snapshot as of Dec. 16, 2014 0716 Pacific Time

Snapshot as of Dec. 16, 2014 0716 Pacific Time

The link will take you to the current Kitco rates. That’s right folks the Russian Ruble has damn near lost half its value in 30 days. There is a bunch of very interesting things if you think about it, and none of it comforting. Be ready cause winter is coming.

It is becoming apparent that the majority of the world has been printing money at a rate faster than the US and the US is making Zimbabwe look like thrifty spenders. How is that for “mental comfort”.