Tag: John Law

Cops. Whacha gonna do when they come for you>

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Oakland Cops Have a Spy Tool So Secret They Can’t Discuss It –  Deadline Detroit.

…Undersheriff Michael McCabe tells The News: “Hailstorm helps us capture fugitives from the law, people wanted for murder and rape” and can be used only with a search warrant. He said the federal Homeland Security Act bars him from discussing Hailstorm, but he elaborated at length about what it doesn’t do.

“It’s not a tool to spy on people, unequivocally,” McCabe says. “It does not record cellphone conversations. . . . Hailstorm does not capture personal information on anyone or store unintended target data. It does not take photos of anyone. It doesn’t take videos or fly in the sky. It’s a tool used for criminal investigations and it’s legal and lawful.”

Yes.  Who would ever understate the technical capabilities they have, or specifically deny what is obvious or misuse an offical device for an unoffical, off label purpose?  Certainly not the cops, and certainly not with DARPA/DHS “snooptech.”™

Previously, I argued that publicity portended the death of Hookers and Squirrels the “Motorsports gathering” (née Cars and Coffee) in Scottsdale.  Me, as an avowed hater of the city and idealized lifestyle of Scottsdale, fully expected that the city would take notice of this completely Constitutional gathering and start whining about “event” permits and other bureaucratic bullshit cities impose. I thought it would lead to cops, and eventually to tying the cop expense directly to the event, killing it.

I was not 100% correct in my premise.

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The fine folks who turned cars and coffee into Hookers and Squirrels “the motorsports gathering” are a couple of steps ahead of our prediction model

the fire chief was also present, and because of the size and sheer number of cars present many people are insisting on parking in the fire lanes.  The fire chief made the cars move, but warned us that if the fire lanes continue to be blocked, he will pull the permit and shut the event down.

We all thoroughly enjoy this event and it would be a shame to lose it, but it is up to you.  If you arrive and there are no spots in the main display area, PLEASE DON’T PARK IN THE FIRE LANES!  He said that before he closes the event, he will ticket and tow cars that are in the lane.
Evidently, someone is already running permits for this thing.  We were wrong about that issue springing up. (also about them having any say over who parks where.)
But, between the post-fluff piece attendance spikes, the stepped up cop presence the last two months and now the fire chief playing big dick in the room trolling for free coffee, we still think the clock is ticking on this event in its current form at this location.

are doomed to repeat it.  Sometimes, so are the people who remember it.

I got my start behind the wheel in a parking lot, at one point with a ginormous floaty Lincoln.  Never on the street – escalation is bad, mmkay? Then more lots, and then finally on the road with Dad.

So too with my kid.  Kid2 just got a learner’s permit.  Kid 2 has long ago driven a Continental in an empty parking lot.  Today it was more lots and then a couple of cautious forays onto the street.

The big difference?  A stick shift that was not a total fail. Also, a cop.

Oh shit.  A cop.  He was looking at us.  We need to switch places.
Dad, I’ve got my permit. We’re legal.
Sorry.  Force of habit.


About a month ago, we noticed some newspaper attention for a car show we go to every month. Concurrently, the “usual suspects” (whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean) changed the name of this thing from “Cars and Coffee” to “Scottsdale Motorsports Gathering.”  The new name seemed a bit pretentious; the media coverage portended more everything in the following months.

And it happened.

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Man shoots friend trying to prevent him from driving drunk – Autoblog.

The Huffington Post reports the drunkard was attempting to leave the bar after an evening of heavy drinking when his friend, Java Bowling III (yes, really), attempted to take his keys to prevent him from driving home drunk. Good friend, right? Well, as things tend to happen when alcohol is involved, a scuffle broke out. Only instead of ending the night like most drunk friends do (you know, by attempting to walk through the White Castle drive-thru at 3:30 AM), Campbell shot Bowling in the chest.

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Watch out for that tree…

Phoenix Man With Weed in Pocket Walks Head-First Into Tree for Saddest Arrest of 2013.

Phoenix police officers watched as Melton hit his head on the tree, and apparently thought it was so bad that they stopped to make sure Melton was okay. Police asked for Melton’s name and date of birth during the “course of conversation,” according to a probable-cause statement, but police couldn’t find records of anyone with that name in Arizona. Melton then admitted his real name and birth-date, saying that he lied because he had a felony warrant out for his arrest. Melton was arrested at that point, and admitted that he had a weed pipe in his pocket. Police also found a bag of pot on Melton during a search.

If the walk to the car looks like this, get out of the middle of the road and call a cab.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announceda bold set of targeted interventions to put the country on a course to eliminate alcohol-impaired driving crashes.” Basically, this means persuading or coercing states, over time, to towards 0.0 as the allowable BAC to drive.  The NTSB claims that:

Today, investigators cited research that showed that although impairment begins with the first drink, by 0.05 BAC, most drivers experience a decline in both cognitive and visual functions, which significantly increases the risk of a serious crash.

On Friday, I went to BevMo for some adult beverages for the holiday weekend.  Three different breweries offered tastings, from run of the mill IPAs to exotic chocolate one-offs with 10% ABVs.  I didn’t sample everything, but I knew I sampled some high test beers in that 20 minutes.  Whoo!

Then it was time to check in with the home office.  I have an Android phone, with speech to text, so I spoke my message.  I have had the phone for a while, so it has adapted to my speech patterns pretty effectively.  Mostly. Then this happened:

Your fone 50 working fine.  I was offline fertile bad at bevmo, king all f***ed up

(Your phone is working fine.  I was offline for a while then at bevmo, getting all f***ed up)

Maybe smartphones are the answer for self-screening.  Maybe someone could develop an app that applied a coherence standard to its user’s speech, the way that word processor software can assess the reading level of written text.  If you talk to the machine and the transcription exceeds a certain threshold of gibberish, the app would warn you that maybe it’s time for a taxi.

Yes, there are hurdles:  background noise, uncalibrated users, overreaching software/EULAs that cause the phone to alert nearby cops to your failed self-test.  And, of course, enterprising prosecutors will try to use your self-diagnosis against you in court.  For law abiding citizens just trying to be safe, maybe this is not such a bright idea.

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