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I find it supremely ironic that the FBI is warning consumers about internet-connected devices when local police departments are pushing consumers to install internet-connected doorbell cameras which they can apparently access at will under certain conditions … and the CIA, NSA, and FBI are piggybacking on technology capabilities. And, not to be picky, how about those digital assistants or in-car systems being sold as a convenience, entertainment, or safety and security devices … all of which are capable of recording your personal non-public information as well as being hackable.


Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Securing Smart TVs

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. Today: building a digital defense with your TV.

Yes, I said your TV. Specifically your smart TV...the one that is sitting in your living room right now. Or, the one that you plan to buy on super sale on Black Friday.

Smart TVs are called that because they connect to the Internet. They allow you to use popular streaming services and apps. Many also have microphones for those of us who are too lazy to actually to pick up the remote. Just shout at your set that you want to change the channel or turn up the volume and you are good to go.

A number of the newer TV’s also have built-in cameras. In some cases, the cameras are used for facial recognition so the TV knows who is watching and can suggest programming appropriately. There are also devices coming to market that allow you to video chat with grandma in 42” glory.

Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, that television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home. A bad cyber actor may not be able to access your locked-down computer directly, but it is possible that your unsecured TV can give him or her an easy way in the backdoor through your router.

Hackers can also take control of your unsecured TV. At the low end of the risk spectrum, they can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos. In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV's camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.

[OCS: Smart hackers can always find a way to access your unsecured and secured devices. Just ask the government, banks, or other large companies who have spent millions securing their systems only to be laid by an unknown “zero day” exploit.

So can government investigators on a fishing expedition and without a valid probable cause or warrant.]

TVs and technology are a big part of our lives, and they aren’t going away. So how can you protect your family?

  • Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features. Do a basic Internet search with your model number and the words “microphone,” “camera,” and “privacy.”

[OCS: Many devices have hidden features which are used for maintenance and repair – and are hidden from consumers. Some are accessed with specific key sequences which allow you to access hidden settings, information, and features.]

  • Don’t depend on the default security settings. Change passwords if you can – and know how to turn off the microphones, cameras, and collection of personal information if possible. If you can’t turn them off, consider whether you are willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service.

[OCS: This means nothing as we have seen time-and-time again where vendors, app-suppliers, and others have bypassed user settings to access devices directly.]

  • If you can’t turn off a camera but want to, a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option.

[OCS: Some devices have infrared sensors which can scan the room independently of the camera and can yield images.]

  • Check the manufacturer’s ability to update your device with security patches. Can they do this? Have they done it in the past?

[OCS: If the manufacturer can access and update your device, with or without your permission, they own your hardware and software and can do anything they want with or without your permission.]

  • Check the privacy policy for the TV manufacturer and the streaming services you use. Confirm what data they collect, how they store that data, and what they do with it.

[OCS: This is a joke – privacy agreements and terms of service are unilateral, one-sided agreements that are provided on a “take it or leave it basis.” Most contain provisions that they can access and use your data to improve your user “experience” or help them improve their products (using you as guinea pigs). In many cases, they claim the right to sell “anonymized” data, which when combined by other data may allow third-parties to identify individuals. And, of course they claim no responsibility for damages and often preclude class action lawsuits by demanding “arbitration.”

As always, if you have been victimized by a cyber fraud, be sure to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at or call your local FBI office. <Source: FBI>

Bottom line...

It is time for consumers to demand that legislators enact strict privacy laws that actually punish evildoers – mandating jail for government officials and technology executives who knowingly violate the law.

“Newly declassified judicial opinions, released last week, revealed that the government has again violated the rules for access to vast databases containing Americans’ private communications—and that it’s warrantlessly searching these databases on a massive scale.” <Source>

As we have seen, the top politically-appointed leadership of our top intelligence and law enforcement agencies appears to be complicit in spying on Americans. In many cases using criminals (also known as confidential informants) willing to commit crimes to access information to provide to the government – for monetary payments or benefits in mitigating their own criminal wrongdoing.

How many people understand that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms are intelligence troves of data – much of what the government is forbidden to ask, collect, and access? And, that such information is provided willingly by individuals willing to sacrifice convenience and a little recognition in exchange for their privacy and security.

Without stiffer penalties that are actually enforced, we are so screwed.

-- steve

P.S.  Since the progressives hate "Merry Christmas," I wonder where the race-baiters are to proclaim "Black Friday" is a racist celebration of white privilege and must be renamed "Rainbow Friday" to be more inclusive? 

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


Just when you thought a cynical douchebag of a politician could not get any lower, you find Herb Wesson exploiting the homeless and his mentally ill son for political advantage as he runs for a position as a powerful Los Angeles County Supervisor.

Politics: the family business…

He’s one of L.A. City Hall’s most powerful politicians. He’s also having problems paying his

He is considered, at a minimum, the second-most powerful politician at Los Angeles City Hall. He wields huge authority over the city’s $8.8-billion budget, which governs spending on police, firefighters and an array of services.

Yet in his private life, Council President Herb Wesson has struggled with a considerably more mundane set of issues: paying the bills on time.

Since he became council president in 2011, Wesson has received five default notices on his properties — either on his home in Mid-City or at his rental property in Ladera Heights — saying he and his wife were months behind on their mortgage.

In two of those instances, Wesson’s properties came dangerously close to a foreclosure auction, according to county real estate records. The most recent auction was scheduled for July 6 and then canceled, records show.

Asked about Wesson’s real estate woes, his spokeswoman, Vanessa Rodriguez, said all five default notices have been rescinded and that the councilman is current on both mortgages.

Wesson attributed the problems to the home he and his wife bought for $759,999 in the Wellington Square section of Mid-City. <Source>

FBI Notebook: Why Feds Should Zero-In on Herb Wesson

The FBI’s and IRS’s investigation might boil down to a wink and, especially, a nudge from Wesson to Huizar to suggest how they got away with it.

Before we dig-in, there are myriad examples of how Wesson has gamed virtually every facet of the public trust placed in him. Many of them were either originally or exclusively identified in this column, with the LA Times either sitting on those stories, or not knowing about them, until after they were published here. Among them are Wesson’s shady personal real estate transactions, and the misuse of public resources for personal benefit. And, like father, like son, both Wesson and his son (City Council Floor Director Justin Wesson) defaulted on their debts to the Discover Card, and appear to have repeatedly falsified their voter registration information, which is something Wesson had me thrown out of City Council meetings for raising during General Public Comment.

And then there is Herb Wesson’s ultimate motive; his persistent financial troubles, including repeatedly coming this close to losing one of his homes due to failure to meet his mortgage obligations. How someone sports a new Rolex, custom-made suits and dress shirts, and a collection of high-end eyewear while on the verge of foreclosure is anyone’s guess, and an investigators’ job, to figure out. <Source>

Times Investigation: L.A. councilman Wesson helped apartment executives while his son received rent break

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson’s son received preferential treatment on his rent for years at an L.A. apartment building while his father helped the building’s executives win approval of a controversial high-rise, according to interviews and records reviewed by The Times.

Wesson helped shepherd the 27-story Koreatown residential tower through the city’s review process amid opposition from city staff and the planning commission. During the same period, his son was living in a building owned by Rosewood Corp., a company headed by tower developer Michael Hakim and one of his relatives.

The councilman’s son, Herb Wesson III, went more than five years without a rent increase at the apartment building on Rosewood Avenue, even as many other tenants saw their rent go up, a Times analysis of city records found.

Three other people who lived in the building at the time said they were aware that he was receiving a rent break while living in Apartment 4 — and that it was provided because his father is a councilman. One of them said Wesson III explained during a private conversation that he had received a discount because of “business his father was doing with the owners of the building.”

Looking for votes (and his missing 50-year-old son) …

If the video is missing, you can find it here.


Touching, or is it fondling the voter’s goodwill?

One of L.A.’s most powerful politicians is searching for his homeless son — cameras in tow

It’s a campaign video with the pathos of a Hallmark Channel movie.

A worried father walks the streets of skid row, carrying a picture of his son and buttonholing strangers to ask if they have seen him.

You can see the strain on the father’s face — and feel the joy as he skips down the middle of a street lined with tents, en route to a reunion with his homeless son.

This kind of scenario plays out privately for countless local families in a county where nearly 60,000 people are homeless, most of them living on the streets.

But this worried father is one of Los Angeles’ most powerful politicians: City Council President Herb Wesson, the former speaker of the California Assembly. The son he is searching for is 50-year-old Doug.

Wesson, the candidate, hopes the carefully crafted campaign video will help propel him to an open seat on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in March. He is already known as a consummate politician. The 90-second ad recasts Wesson as a resolute dad, relentlessly trying to reclaim a troubled son.

The video, narrated by his wife, aims to let us know that he’s intimately familiar with a plight that’s afflicted many families in the 2nd Supervisorial District in South Los Angeles that he’s running to represent. That he understands the woes and pain of wayward children, mental illness, addiction and grief.

It’s a smart move in an election cycle in which homelessness is the county’s most volatile and pressing issue. His experience means he’s got skin in the game. . They hoped that sharing their story could convince others to open up, even though it might also be seen as exploiting his son’s pain for political gain. “We needed to do something radical. What I wanted to do is personalize it, let people know what it’s like.”

For now — or at least when I spoke to Wesson — Doug is again lost to the streets. The reunion on the campaign video lasted for three days, Wesson said. Then Doug took off to see his girlfriend. “We were trying to get him into rehab, but he disappeared for several weeks. <Source>

Bottom line …

Herb Wesson, another corrupt, cynical progressive socialist democrat talking out of both sides of his mouth – saying or doing anything to get elected. This is the type of parasite who exploits politics for his own personal and family gain. And the excuse is always the same when politicians get caught – a mistake, a misunderstanding, or a coincidence.

Council members Jan Perry and Bernard C. Parks argued that race -- which can be taken into account in redistricting, but not more than any other issue -- was the commission’s biggest factor when redrawing political lines. Perry and Parks are primarily upset over the proposed removal of certain neighborhoods from their districts -- Parks lost three primarily black neighborhoods to Council President Herb Wesson, who is also black and appointed the redistricting commissioner; while Perry lost an ethnically diverse neighborhood to another council member, according to the Times. <Source>

This is the benefit of having a one-party state that puts race ahead of responsibility, and hizzoner ahead of honesty.

We are so screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


A cartoonist sums up the season perfectly ...


I am thankful for my health, my family, my friends and to be able to live in the greatest, most productive and compassionate country in the history of mankind. – steve

As you contemplate the significance of Thanksgiving, be thankful that there are patriots in our nation who are willing to sacrifice their lives to keep our nation free and to ensure that our governing documents: the Declaration of independence which codifies our God-given rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and our Constitution which limits the powers of the federal government, remain our guiding light.

Recall also that there are those who, knowingly or unwittingly, pursue a path of evil for their personal, professional, or political benefit. Those who believe in Marxism and Communism, which replaces a moral belief system and individual self-reliance with Godless devotion to a collectivist state ruled by those who, by military or financial might, proclaim themselves to be the “ruling elite.”   People who are so evil that they have already condemned millions of people to a long, torturous death with their public policies based on nothing more than the idea that we must control our populations lest they outstrip the world’s resources. And who remain willing to sacrifice millions of others in their pursuit of a toxic political ideology that promises an unachievable nirvana.

On this day of contemplation, realize also that there is a world that may not be enjoying the comfort of your shelter, the food on your table, and the companionship of family and friends. Some by choice, many by circumstance and others by virtue of the living in countries dominated by despots or denied their human rights by those who promote political or religious philosophies which preclude the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I am also thankful that there are those in the United States who have come to their senses. Those who realize that the Marxists and Communists who have infiltrated the Democrat Party and are destroying the America we know and love with their pursuit of personal, political, and financial power. And that some semblance of constitutional checks and balances MUST be restored by voting corrupt and complacent Democrats from office.

So on this day of celebration, remember there is much work to be done. To restore the freedoms we have lost, to rebuild our own nation and to extend charity, first to our own family, then to our community, our nation and only then to the much larger universe. There will be sacrifices ahead, but may they be of circumstances not of our making.

I am thankful for those who are reading my blog and even more grateful for those who enter into a dialogue so that we may learn from each other as we go forward in this miraculous land of opportunity, unburdened by state-imposed hardship and free to pursue our own individual desires.

ArmedServices-MIAAnd let us not forget the first responders who stand watch over our community while we enjoy this holiday.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


If you are a conservative and will be eating with progressives, don’t bother arguing – you can’t win an argument with someone who will not take the time and effort to study the candidates or issues. They replace logic with beliefs and feelings, and there is no way you can overcome their emotional responses with well-reasoned arguments. They are getting their news from friends, social media, and even celebrities who are mostly dumb as rocks as they search for self-recognition and relevancy in today’s youth culture.

It is irrational to fight irrationality.

THANKSGIVING One day to go …

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


Sometimes truth is stranger that fiction. Imagine the chutzpah of former American Indian/Lawyer/Professor/2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in re-defining traffic accidents as “traffic violence.” Not only did this lead to a funny exchange of tweets, but points out how Elizabeth Warren is out of touch with reality.


I cannot help but believe that if someone asked Elizabeth Warren about CAFE standards, she would have a plan for that too, probably couched in the language of climate change, social justice, and subsidies for poor families that cannot afford safer cars.

Perhaps we should take a further look at the causes of death and traumatic injury in the context of government regulations which mandate conditions leading to tragedy.

1991 -- Auto Cafe Standards: Unsafe and Unwise at Any Level

Reacting to America's alleged excessive dependence on Middle East oil and to last fall's gasoline price increases, Congress is considering raising the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which mandate average minimum miles per gallon (mpg) for the fleet of automobiles sold in America by each manufacturer. The "Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Act" (S. 279), introduced by Senator Richard Bryan, the Nevada Democrat, would increase the current 27.5 mpg standard to approximately 34 mpg by 1996 and approximately 40 mpg by 2001.

In any case, to meet higher CAFE standards American manufacturers will be forced to produce more smaller, lighter and therefore less safe cars. As it is, the current CAFE standards result in as many as 3,900 additional highway deaths per model-year fleet. The higher CAFE standards sought by the Bryan bill would force Americans truly to pay in blood, increasing the number of highway deaths attributable to CAFE by as much as 8,600 per model-year fleet. <Source>

2012 -- CAFE Standards Kill

At fault is a regulatory regime called Corporate Average Fuel Economy, commonly called CAFE standards. Congress mandated these rules in 1975, during a seemingly decade-long energy crisis. Washington generally has hiked CAFE standards in an ongoing effort to boost automobile efficiency. Lacking magic wands, car manufacturers spend money to obey these laws. And then — surprise! — up go sticker prices.

Team Obama is fueling these anticipated price hikes by boosting CAFE standards from 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016 to 54.5 MPG by 2025.

As they have for 37 years, car companies will follow these new rules by making cars thinner and lighter. Smaller, slighter vehicles get better mileage. But that hardly matters when a car smacks into a sycamore or slams head-on into another vehicle. That’s when most drivers would trade lower MPG for protective layers of thick steel.

The laws of physics are stubbornly impervious to Obama’s green slogans, no matter how abrasively he shouts them. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded in 2007 that “None of the 15 vehicles with the lowest driver death rates is a small model. In contrast, 11 of the 16 vehicles with the highest death rates are mini or small models.”

According to the Brookings Institution, a 500-lb weight reduction of the average car increased annual highway fatalities by 2,200-3,900 and serious injuries by 11,000 to 19,500 per year. USA Today found that 7,700 deaths occurred for every mile per gallon gained in fuel economy standards. Smaller cars accounted for up to 12,144 deaths in 1997, 37% of all vehicle fatalities for that year.

How many deaths have resulted? Depending on which study you choose, the total ranges from 41,600 to 124,800. To that figure we can add between 352,000 and 624,000 people suffering serious injuries, including being crippled for life. In the past thirty years, fuel standards have become one of the major causes of death and misery in the United States — and one almost completely attributable to human stupidity and shortsightedness. <Source>

2019 -- Trump wants to freeze fuel economy standards and it's the right thing to do

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to freeze the ever-rising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards at the current benchmark of 37 miles per gallon — suspending the increase to 51 miles that had been scheduled for 2025.

The federal CAFE standards were poorly forged weapons for an oil and gas war that Americans are no longer fighting. There are no long lines at gas stations. Hybrid cars and electric vehicles are rapidly gaining market share in a competitive, free-market race to lower emissions and raise fuel efficiency.

We should also note that this issue is one of those “evergreen” matters the politicians love as proponents and opponents rush to lobby legislators with campaign donations and other support. And, then there is the matter of intellectual honesty where the unions support the democrats rather than the consumers who purchase and service the vehicles that keep them employed and their pension funds solvent.

Bottom line…

America cannot afford four years of bigger government, higher taxes, fewer personal freedoms, and nonsensical regulations that lead to death and destruction. Considering the number of individuals killed or injured with a motor vehicle, perhaps the government should first solve that problem before turning to gun control.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


In formally announcing his bid for the 2020 Democrat nomination for the Presidency of the United States, billionaire businessman took his opening shot…

“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage. The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead.”

My take …











Bottom line…

We can joke all we want about a Bloomberg candidacy, but he does represent a formidable threat to Donald Trump. Especially since the prospect of an ailing Ruth Bader Ginsberg retirement from the Supreme Court is going to drive Democrat turnout to astronomical levels.

It remains to be seen if the GOP can overcome the Mitt Romney establishment wing of the party and the never-Trumpers to pull off a GOP victory. Never put it past the GOP to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


There is little or no doubt in my mind that today’s schools are indoctrinating more than educating, and most administrators, teachers, and support staff either agree with the activist agenda or are too afraid to be singled out in the media or in a court battle…

Consider today’s example where the ACLU (American Communist Lawyers Union) intervened in what should be a matter handled at the school level. Where it appears that the children at the Del Paso Manor Elementary School in the San Juan Unified School District were being instructed by a parent/volunteer who injected their own progressivism into the classroom.


ACLU Demands Del Paso Manor Elementary School Stop Censoring Black Lives Matter

Teacher Disciplined Students and Threw Away Black Lives Matter Posters


SACRAMENTO - Today, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California sent a letter to the San Juan Unified School District on behalf of a student and parent who were censored and retaliated against by school officials for expressing support of Black Lives Matter. A teacher singled out and prohibited Black Lives Matter posters that were created in an art class about activism. The letter argues that the District violated the California Education Code, as well as the California Constitution and First Amendment.

[OCS: One might question why children were being instructed about activism in an art class and why the class was being taught by a parent volunteer rather than the teacher who was paid to teach the students?

One might also question whether teachers and students have unrestricted free speech rights in a classroom controlled by a teacher who may have been required to adhere to a previously submitted lesson plan?]

The District banned Ms. Kincaid, a parent and frequent volunteer at Del Paso Manor Elementary School, from speaking at the school after she was invited as an art docent to teach a class. Her lesson encouraged students to create art about a cause they cared about. Four students, including the ACLU’s student client, created posters in support of Black Lives Matter, which upset Mr. Madden, the classroom teacher, who confiscated the artwork. In front of their peers, he forced the students to re-do the posters, throwing the originals in the garbage. Both the school principal, and the District’s counsel backed Mr. Madden’s actions, calling the art and student’s message of support for Black lives “inappropriate.”

[OCS: The teacher, the school’s principal, and the District’s legal counsel supporting the teacher’s actions are absolutely right.

Black Lives Matter, is little more than a communist front group promoting discord and dissention in order to bring about a revolution based on Black Liberation Theology. It is an intolerant group that uses hate speech and violence against those who dare question the group’s motives, messaging and behavior. Even promoting a violent reaction against those who claim “ALL Lives Matter” including the those in law enforcement.]

“The point of the lesson was to create a more inclusive school culture that affirmed the dignity and value of every student,” said Abre’ Conner, staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California.

[OCS: What hypocrisy! The Black Lives Matter is not about inclusivity and the dignity and value of every student; else the group would be tolerant of the appropriate message that ALL Lives Matter – including those of law enforcement and those who may have an opposing viewpoint.]

“By censoring and punishing the students, the school violated their constitutional free speech rights, and sent the damaging message that supporting Black lives is not welcome in their classrooms.”

[OCS: Perhaps the matter may have been handled in a different manner, but the blame falls on those who allowed a non-teacher, a parent/volunteer to interject activism into the classroom. While this individual may have had good intentions, the lesson subject matter should have been pre-cleared with the teacher, and the school administrator if necessary.]

During the lesson, Ms. Kincaid asked students to create art expressing a change they would like to see in their school, showing examples related to immigration, housing rights, financial aid reform, pay equity, and Black Lives Matter.

[OCS: Excuse me? Why would these subjects be appropriate for elementary-age children unless the goal was indoctrination and conditioning the students to accept future activism in schools and their communities?]

Mr. Madden soon became agitated, telling the students that the topics in his lessons would be limited to “a bunch of old dead white guys.” He later called the posters “irrelevant.”

[OCS: I wonder if the teacher was referring to the old masters – truly a bunch of old dead white guys whose outstanding work touched the world and has stood the test of time. But, then again, history has little or no meaning to progressives as they believe that only the present and the future count. Pretty much why they are willing to commit the same socio-political mistakes that history has condemned as harmful to civilization and free societies.]

When Ms. Kincaid learned that Mr. Madden had singled out the students and made them undergo embarrassing public discipline, she set up a meeting with the school principal. The principal wrongfully claimed that since Black Lives Matters posters are “political statements,” the school can legally censor them. At the same time, the school allowed posters with political, pro-environment messages to go up.

[OCS: It is a fact of life that discipline, embarrassment, and shame are effective tools that teach you about authority, social norms, and provide valuable life lessons. That is, unless you are part of the bubble-wrapped snowflake generation that must be protected from triggering thoughts. And, of course, it is in character that the aggrieved parent would run to the administration as it’s in the DNA of most progressives to push back in order to silence their critics.]

Not long after meeting with the principal, Ms. Kincaid learned that Mr. Madden banned her from teaching any further classes in retaliation for speaking with his superiors.

[OCS: Retaliation? One might make the case for the wrongness of introducing controversy, chaos, and progressive politics into an elementary school classroom.]

Our schools must do more to listen and learn about the real experiences of their students, which includes the experiences lived by their black and brown students,” said Ms. Kincaid

[OCS: If Ms. Kincaid wants to alter the curriculum, let her run for the local school board, become a curriculum expert or even a teacher with an appropriate lesson plan. She does not represent the community, the school’s parents, the school’s administration, or the students. She apparently represents herself and a progressive agenda. And, if she wants to deviate from current educational norms, let her do it outside of a public school.]

The message Black Lives Matter should not be controversial. School administrators, teachers, and staff must take a hard look at the racism and implicit biases that they’ve internalized if they are to ensure all of our students succeed.”

[OCS: The real message should be inclusive and that ALL lives matter. Any other message is racist in and of itself as it sets one class of individuals above all others. To the extent that the Black Live Matter movement is controversial – it is their own fault.

How Black Lives Matter Is Bringing Back Traditional Marxism

It isn’t surprising that Black Lives Matter is a communist organization—but the type of communism they subscribe to is. They are conservative communists attempting to fold the progressive movement back into traditional Marxism.

BLM has turned its back on intersectional theory, the modern conflict theory that birthed safe spaces, trigger warnings, and the Oppression Olympics. Instead, BLM is rebirthing the traditional class struggle, reframing it in terms of black and white..<Source>

If one looks at the anti-police, anti-white, anti-Semitic messages of the leadership of the BLM movement, it can be properly designated as a hate group – and using hate speech to spread their message.]

The ACLU’s letter asserts that the District’s actions against Ms. Kincaid and the students were illegal and unconstitutional. The California Education Code clearly protects student’s right to express political opinions. Likewise, the California and federal constitutions both prohibit the school from engaging in viewpoint discrimination. The school also violated the First Amendment rights of Ms. Kincaid by banning her from the classroom for petitioning the principal.

[OCS: I see nothing illegal, immoral, or unconstitutional about the teacher’s or the school’s activities in this matter. Ms. Kincaid was a guest and does not have any statutory authority to enter the school or promote her message on school property. There can be no doubt, as witnessed by the ACLU, that Kincaid is a disruptive person and that the student’s actions were by her direction and not those of the teacher.]

Del Paso Manor Elementary’s actions are part of a pervasive pattern of anti-blackness in California schools. The ACLU has had to intervene in school districts across California, including Fresno Unified, Visalia Unified, and Alameda Unified, for creating a racially hostile climate for Black students and for students who support Black students. Black students in the state, and across the country, are consistently discriminated against and targeted by teachers and administrators, with research showing that they are 3.4 times more likely to be disciplined than white students.

[OCS: Spare me the massaged statistics. Black students are more likely to be disciplinary problems, black students are more likely to bully other black students who excel in academic studies, and black students are more likely to intimidate other students. In fact, many schools where the majority of students are a minority, it is the white student that are often the subjects of ostracism, bullying, or discrimination.]

To remedy the harm that the District caused, and protect against such damaging behavior in the future, the ACLU demands that the district:

  • issues a public apology;
  • reinstate Ms. Kincaid’s parent volunteer privileges;
  • allow students to put up Black Live Matter posters;
  • incorporate Black Lives Matter into their curriculum and school events, including the school’s Spring Art Night;
  • provide a staff wide cultural and sensitivity training, based on input from Ms. Kincaid;
  • host a parent engagement training.

[OCS: This is bull-pucky. You do not allow disruptive parents or any parent with their own agenda to influence children. You do not openly promote a communist organization that promotes its own form of discrimination and hate speech. And, you certainly do not pay the ACLU or politically-affiliated organizations to teach sensitivity training classes. You also demand that Kincaid and the ACLU reimburse the school and the district for their costs, time, and effort.]


Bottom line …

Will the progressives in the educational establishment cave to the ACLU demands? You bet – just like all of those other cases where an organization caved to create additional funding and precedents for causes which they supported in the first place.

Why not teach history in the context of art? Why not banish activism and hate speech from the classroom? And, why not stop the progressives from turning out another decade of functional illiterates who know all about condoms, anal sex, and activism – but little or nothing of the historical deaths, destruction, and despair associated with Marxism and communism?

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


Today’s inbox brought an email featuring DeSmog, one of those self-important sites who believe they know best and attempt to suppress the free speech rights of others …

If there is such a thing a climate deniers, DeSmog might be labeled a “truth denier” or, at the very least, an “anti-scientific method” proponent.

DeSmog Was Created to Combat Climategate-Style Misinformation. We’re Still Going

DeSmog was launched in January 2006 to call out the public relations industry for working with fossil fuel industry clients to sow doubt and seed misinformation about climate science.

[OCS: It appears that DeSmog’s viewpoint was that climate science was settled enough to make informed public policies that would help mitigate any climate-related damage that was projected to occur in the future.

Our climate is constantly changing and is a product of a chaotic and complex series of energy-driven fluid dynamics between our atmosphere and ocean and no researchers can identify, isolate, and quantify man’s contribution to climate change in the noise of climate variability. Yet, somehow a group of individuals, mostly politicians and activist-scientists, believed that the models they were using were sufficient, in and of themselves, to adequately inform a course of political action.

And, instead of improving the science, including the flawed models and dodgy data, they appear to be more interested in killing competing viewpoints by silencing their perceived opposition. About as anti-science as you can possibly get.

It seems that free and open communications, or debate, is not to their liking because, to this day, there are numerous unanswered questions about both the science and the politics. Like the discrepancy between the satellite-derived data and the heavily-manipulated terrestrial datasets. Like the explanation of why models predict a non-existent tropospheric hot spot. Like why the models appear to overstate the climate sensitivity which does not appear as prevalent when one back-tests the models. Like the explanation of the warming hiatus and where the heat went in spite of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.

And, then there are political ramifications of public policies which seem to always result in bigger government, higher taxes, the necessity to curtail personal freedoms – and looks a lot like socialist or communist totalitarianism – with little or no room for the capitalism that has driven our country to exceptional heights.]

In those early years, we focused most of our attention on the merchants of doubt who were scuttling political action to address global warming in the United States.

[OCS: As we saw in the Climate-gate email scandal, activists manipulating data, suppressing the publication of legitimate scientific papers from credible scientists, and a general conspiracy to hide the “trick” used to produce the infamous – and now debunked – hockey stick graph that omitted the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Loudly shouting “denier” at anyone with a contrary opinion.]

Little did we know that climate science denial was spreading throughout the English-speaking world, and we would have to follow it to the UK and beyond.

[OCS: What was really happening was that progress in climate science where the orthodoxy was being challenged not only by scientists, but by a population that was skeptical of a solution that was manufactured out of thin air. Not one scientist could explain how they could reliably measure the results of trillions of dollars being spent and correlate the expenditures with mitigation of the imaginary planetary emergency.

Simply pointing out that the science was flawed and the Earth has been hotter, colder, with more and less atmospheric carbon dioxide and we aree still here seemed sufficient to strike up a debate between those who were being massively funded by government and politically-connected sources.]

By the time the Climategate email hack happened in November 2009, we had already begun building our Disinformation Database of individuals and organizations responsible for spreading climate denial around the globe. And honestly, when we learned the identities of those behind the effort to push the stolen emails into the mainstream press, we were amused at the relative amateur ranks of the key promoters — a small number of bloggers and commenters whose voices were typically confined to the dark corners of denier chat rooms and blogs. But somehow, they achieved a minor miracle in generating massive media coverage of these out-of-context and stolen personal emails of climate scientists.

[OCS: After years of legitimate requests for the data and programs behind much of the leading climate scientist’s work, some brave soul assembled a FoIA-like (Freedom of Information Act) response that dumped thousands of climate-related emails into the public domain. Because of the specificity of the documents, it is likely that it was a disgruntled insider and not an external hacker.

To downplay the discovery of a treasure trove of wrongdoing on a global scale was truly amazing. From the fabrication of the hockey stick graph (Mike’s Nature trick – referring to Michael Mann of hockey stick fame) which grafted contemporaneous temperature data onto proxy data because the proxy data did not produce the desired result – to instructions to destroy emails which might be uncovered in FoIA requests, to plans to suppress the publication of legitimate research, it was all exposed for the world to see.

Climategate 2.0: New E-Mails Rock The Global Warming Debate

A new batch of 5,000 emails among scientists central to the assertion that humans are causing a global warming crisis were anonymously released to the public yesterday, igniting a new firestorm of controversy nearly two years to the day after similar emails ignited the Climategate scandal.

Three themes are emerging from the newly released emails: (1) prominent scientists central to the global warming debate are taking measures to conceal rather than disseminate underlying data and discussions; (2) these scientists view global warming as a political “cause” rather than a balanced scientific inquiry and (3) many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data. <Source>

The scientific method is one of hypothesis, testing, publishing, and accepting additional information that validates, expands, or falsifies the published findings. It is not suppressing information, but encouraging an open debate with all parties welcome.]

Ten Years Later, DeSmog Still Plays a Critical Role

DeSmog’s coverage has expanded over the years, reporting on everything from the rush to build oil and gas pipelines across the globe to transport the products of fracking, to the Koch-, Exxon-, Mercer-funded attacks on clean energy and climate solutions, and the leveraging of climate science denial to push for deregulated trade-deals post-Brexit. Nevertheless, we remain committed to exposing the misinformation and disinformation blocking action to address the climate crisis.

Throughout the past 14 years, our tagline has remained “Clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science,” and it’s a mission we’re still on.

We’re grateful to the millions of readers over the years for their support. And you can make sure we’re still around for the next (inevitable) misinformation campaign by supporting us with a donation. 

[OCS: Over a decade, and they still do not acknowledge that the fundamental questions posed by credible scientists have not been answered – and, if anything, continue to point out the deficiencies in older models, dodgy assumptions, and spurious data.

Will they ever learn? Probably not! Because like moral and social philosopher Eric Hoffer noted:

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

It is amazing that they continue to point to the fossil fuel industry and claim that they spend hundreds of millions each year on climate-related science; while totally ignoring the trillion or so being spent by governments and politically-connected non-governmental organizations.  And, ignoring the simple fact that if “green energy” were indeed renewable, sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective, the energy industry would have invested heavily to jump ahead of the curve.

Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence can be found in the Soviet-led “peacenik” movement that demonized nuclear energy, one of the cleanest sources of “on-demand, cost-effective power on the planet.]


Bottom line…

It appears that the various attorneys general and their trial lawyers are attempting to replicate the business model that squeezed billions of dollars out of the tobacco industry -- which was accused of suppressing studies showing the link between tobacco products and significant health issues. And, it is impossible to track the expenditure of the settlement money using accounting systems that are defective by political design.

I highly recommend you read, “'Your boss is a crook!' The phone call that sent Texas AG Dan Morales to prison,” which was published in the Dallas News on April 15, 2016. An expose of the $17 billion tobacco settlement and attorney fraud.

Now we see pretty much the same type co-conspirators making a move on the fossil fuel industry where cases may be deliberately structured to be settled – with the costs of trial, defense, and settlement being passed through to consumers and taxpayers in the form of higher energy costs. Pretty much why industry giants are incentivized to settle rather than risk continued reputational damage, lower share prices, and possible prosecution of executives.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


Is it possible that the upcoming Department of Justice Inspectors General's Report may legitimately give a pass, possibly temporary, to many who are thought to be co-conspirators in the take-down of then-candidate and now-President Trump?

DOJ watchdog report expected to say FBI's Russia probe launched properly but lower-level employees made mistakes

(CNN)The Department of Justice Inspector General's report on the start of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election will say the probe was properly launched but lower-level employees made a series of mistakes.

The investigation on the effort to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, is expected to conclude that the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation was properly predicated, and that there were a series of mistakes and improper handling of the Page FISA application by lower-level employees.

The New York Times was first to report on the expected conclusion of the report.

The report is also expected to conclude that Page was appropriately targeted for surveillance and that the FBI appropriately disassociated itself from Christopher Steele, author of the infamous "Steele Dossier" on President Donald Trump, after leaks and contacts with the media were uncovered.

CNN first reported that a former FBI lawyer is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document related to the 2016 surveillance of Page. <Source>

Was Carter Page, an innocent American victim caught up in circumstances beyond his control?

It appears to me that Carter Page, like most of his ilk, sought to enhance his resume and perceived power by meeting, greeting, or assisting already influential individuals. I would dare say that Page’s own actions led to a credible finding of probable cause to investigate whether or not Page was acting as a Russian Agent or was being recruited as a Russian asset. Notably, when he served as a foreign-policy adviser to candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Considering the number of dodgy individuals in the Trump orbit, including Russians, Ukrainians, and various criminals, I believe that the investigation of Page was warranted. (pun intended) What was not justified was the broader spying efforts on others that appeared to have taken place. Or the extent to which foreign intelligence services may have cooperated in the effort to spy on Americans.

Carter Page Touted Kremlin Contacts in 2013 Letter

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years.

The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.

“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.

In interviews with reporters over the past year, Page has given inconsistent accounts about his contacts with the Russians.

In January 2013, Page met a Russian diplomat named Victor Podobnyy at an energy conference in New York City, according to court documents. The two exchanged contact information, sent each other documents on energy policy and met several more times to discuss the topic, the documents allege. Two years later, in January of 2015, Podobnyy was charged in absentia — along with two other Russians — with working as a Russian intelligence agent under diplomatic cover.

Court records include a transcript of a conversation where Podobnyy talks about recruiting someone named “Male-1” by making “empty promises” about “connections in the [Russian] Trade Representation.” Page now acknowledges that he was “Male-1.” Podobnyy and one of the Russians had diplomatic immunity and left the U.S. The third Russian was arrested and eventually expelled from the U.S. in April 2017. <Source>

From the July 21, 2018, heavily redacted versions of the Carter Page FISA warrant applications released by the Justice Department… 

It also appears to me that the inclusion of extraneous materials about how the Russians may have sought to influence the 2016 election was overkill and the use of the so-called Steele Dossier and concealing its true nature was simply window dressing to “bulk up” the application; and relatively inconsequential in the scheme of investigating Carter Page.

However, the FISA Court submission was as a “VERIFIED APPLICATION” with the specific statement that “The FBI has reviewed this verified application for· accuracy in accordance with its April 5, 2001 procedures, which include sending a copy of the draft to the appropriate field office(s). A copy of those procedures was previously provided to the Court.”. It contained the statement, “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing information regarding Carter W. Page is true and correct. Executed pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, § 1746 on [redacted] and signed by a Supervisory Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The final “CERTIFICATION,” much of which is redacted, reads “I the undersigned, having been designated as one of the officials authorized to make the certifications required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as amended, do hereby certify with regard to the [redacted] requested in this verified application targeting Carter W. Page, an agent of the Government of Russia, a foreign power, as follows: [major redactions] and signed by James B. Comey, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

To be noted are the additional signature slots of individuals who could sign-off on this type of document … many of whom are thought to be co-conspirators in the take-down of then-candidate and the future President Trump.


The Department of Justice sign-off was by Sally Quillian Yates, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, who was fired by President Trump for openly defying his orders.


What appears to have happened is that there was a failure of proper surveillance procedure oversight and especially concerning the minimization procedures that mask tangential contacts. To the extent, high-ranking members of the Obama Administration unmasked associated individuals for political purposes should be the subject of a separate and proper criminal investigation conducted by John Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, who was tasked for such matters by Attorney General Barr.

There is a relatively easy way to determine if those in charge are lying and hosing the public: examine the timeline and their internal communications…

While the initiation of the investigation appears to be justified, we can determine if the game was played honestly by reviewing the timeline and cross-checking the unclassified and un-redacted documents to determine when certain information was known to the FBI when the warrant extensions were filed. If things are relatively kosher, you will find that certain previously presented information will have been corrected in subsequent applications and new, especially exculpatory, material added as necessary.

Was this application for a FISA warrant merely a “deliberate pretext” to spy on the Trump campaign and individuals associated with Donald Trump?


As we have seen, the minimization (masking) procedures to protect innocent parties on surveilled conversations were massively abused by the Obama Administration, who appeared to target individuals whose conversations could be unmasked to reveal the real target. Even worse than minimization was the rule that allowed you to follow a chain of contacts that extended the range of surveillance activities far and wide. In the closing days, the Obama Administration extended the number of agencies that could handle unmasked information – ostensibly to prevent the information from being destroyed by the incoming administration.

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches. <Source>

Bottom line…

To what extent will the government punish the government for spying on Americans is the big question. How broad was this particular investigation, and how many criminal referrals did it generate? Did it cover Rosenstein's deceptions, Comey's leaks, McCabe's actions, and Strozk and Page's activities, etc? Will it highlight connections to other agencies and the White House itself. 

Let us wait to see what we shall see on December 9, 2019, when the report is said to be scheduled for release and then listen intently to the December 11, 2019 appearance of DOJ Inspector General before Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) Senate Judiciary Committee. A word of caution: in the past, Graham has been a weak poseur who looks great in the media but accomplishes relatively little when it comes to corruption.

And let us not forget, in the meantime, the House of Representatives has done little or nothing to improve the lives of Americans or to conduct the people’s business. All they have done is to attempt to influence the 2020 election because, like in 2016, they have no viable candidates.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell