Category Archives: Surveillance

Don’t take any chances – CC all your emails and posts to the NSA

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Got to thinking last night before I slid off to sleep, “What if the NSA ain’t reading my emails and other stuff I write?  What if some get lost in the shuffle, or worse, what if they just aren’t interested enough to read mine?

How damned de-humanizing is THAT?

Sheeze!  Brought me spang awake with a start.  Those bastards might be going flaccid on the job, reading everyone elses’ stuff, but not mine.

I thought about it a while as I scratched niaid behind the ears, got up and took my third [under pressure] cold shower of the day, dried off and scratched Hydrox behind the ears pondering it.

Still felt insecure and de-machoed, so I kicked on the AC unit for a few minutes to knock the edge off the cold sweat I was breaking out in.

Okay.  First crack out of the box, this ain’t something I’m going to sit still for, ain’t going to tolerate it.  Those bastards are going to read my stuff whether they like it or not.  I’m going to put them on the list of CCs for all my emails, and if I can find out who my senator or congressman is, I’ll write them.

See if I can get a congressional committee started to get those guys from NSA in and test them, grill them hard to make sure they aren’t falling down on the job.

Piss me off.

Old Jules

Wishing you whatever kind of Christmas you want for yourselves

la cantina antlered head 2

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I sat in a Mexican food cafe in Snora the other morning chowing down on a buffet breakfast I hadn’t asked ahead of time how much would cost.  After all, how much could they charge for a buffet breakfast, anyway?

Well, that’s another story.  What I was going to say was that the table next to me had five men having breakfast together.  Obviously something they did frequently, judging from the conversation.  None of them gave off the physical aura of having missed many big breakfasts for a while.

But these were serious, corn fed Texas men wearing cowboy hats and gimme caps with an air of having shiny new pickups with dual wheels out in the parking lot and weighty matters on their minds.  Men of substance and strong opinions about what’s wrong in this world and how to go about solving it.

Men, I thought as I eavesdropped on them, who wouldn’t sit still for someone telling them what kind of Christmas or New Year to have, because these men were capable of figuring it out for themselves.

I learned a lot as I listened to them telling one another things the others weren’t listening to while they waited for openings to allow themselves to tell the others things they wouldn’t listen to.

But it was all right, because they were all saying pretty much the same things, anyway.

So I waited in a state of fingernail-chewing anticipation to find out whether one of them would slip up and tell the others what kinds of Christmas to have, causing a confrontation, a fist-fight, maybe a gunfight out in the parking lot.  I hurried my meal so’s if I had to duck under a table I’d have already packed my gut with as much as time allowed.

However, strangely enough, they all stirred the remains of their meals around on their plates, finished off whatever each had to say that the others wouldn’t hear, and almost in unison, ordered one another to have a Merry Christmas.  No steely eye squints.  No, “Don’t you tell ME what kind of Christmas to have, Charlie!”

Everyone made allowances, I suppose, for the fact it was breakfast ending and they had serious matters to attend and not enough time to do it.  No time for a fist fight before getting on with it.  Or maybe they just didn’t hear what the others said, as they’d done throughout the meal.  Didn’t realize someone told them what kind of Christmas to have.

However, after thinking it and talking it over to the cats, I think my own approach is to mildly suggest that you readers have whatever sort of Christmas you want to have.  But if you choose not to, it’s okay.  I’m not insisting.

The New Old Jules and the Enlightened Cats

Naked City in the Sticks

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I’ve resisted posting a blog entry about this incident a couple of days now.  Felt I needed to allow it to settle in my mind enough to think calmly and clearly about it.

I’ve explained before that the nearest property line is almost 1/4 mile away from here.  No line-of-sight to the nearest dwellings.  Woods, rough roads and rough country between here and the nearest neighbor.  Aside from Gale, no reason whatever for anyone to be anywhere near here, and Gale rarely comes, never without honking his horn at the top of the hill. [That bluelike speck right-of-center in the pic is the roof of the cabin.  The barely-visible white loop's the turnaround.]

Sooooo.  A couple of days ago I’d just finished my afternoon solar shower, poured a couple of gallons of water over my head for a soapdown shampoo and rinse out in the driveway.  Went inside to towel off and stepped back outdoors onto the porch to let the sun finish things off.

“DAMMITTOHELLSHIT!”

A cammie 4-wheeler with two people aboard was creeping by about 30 feet from the porch.  I jumped back inside to throw on some trousers and by the time I got back outside it was gone.  Not a sign of whomever I was wanting to throw rocks at and shout lectures about respecting property lines and the not-to-be-aspired-to human trait of nosy intrusion.

Because that 4 wheeler wasn’t coming down the driveway.  It came from the direction of the chicken house.  Nothing in that direction for another quarter-mile to the north property boundary fence. 

Even though that new neighbor’s got 90-odd acres for himself and his family to fart around on knocking down trees and blasting away with every caliber firearm ever invented, 90 acres just isn’t big enough when a man’s richer than 18 inches up a bull’s ass.  Got rich early enough to get thinking he could run over everyone in reach, bluff whomever he couldn’t buy outright.

When he was coming down here trying to get me to go on wages working for him I had a vague suspicion this was the kind of thing he had in mind, ultimately.  Getting a leverage in place so’s he could do anything he pleased.  He’d already described every property and house within sight of here in enough detail to suggest he’d explored already what was none of his business.  Described it without blushing, as though it was a given.

Sometime during those visits he was making down here I asked permission to haul water from his well up beside the driveway, and he’d given permission.  His water’s nearer than Gale’s from here, and the road’s better.  I’d done it once already.

But after this incident I’ll be going back to hauling water from Gale’s.  And the only thing I’ve got to say to him about what happened the other day:

“Stay the hell away from this part of Gale’s property and keep the kids and grandkids away from it when they’re visiting.  One of the rare positive stereotypes about Texans is that they respect property lines.  Where the hell did you grow up?”

Says he reads this blog.  I hope he does.

Old Jules

Running Around Bare-Assed Naked – Visitors, Telescopes and Determination

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting outdoors reading Mitcheners, The Bridges at Toko-Ri [a truly bizarre piece of twisted logic intended to explain why the US was fighting a war in Korea nobody understood] wearing nothing but a pair of shoes.  Nobody much comes here, but I heard a vehicle on the hill, glanced up and saw a truck making its way down.  Ran indoors and slipped on a pair of trousers, still zipping up and pulling my galluses over my shoulders when the newish neighbor pulled up in front of the cabin.

Which has happened occasionally since he moved up there.  Something just to get used to, me being a guy who ain’t interested in what neighbors think of me if they have to use binoculars or come unexpected to get around to thinking it.

We talked a while, had a pleasant visit, and he left without commenting on the fact he’d probably gotten a forbidden view of my almost 70 year old traffic stopping bod.

But this morning when I logged on and glanced through the daily digests of Yahoo Group posts I came across this posted yesterday on the “Not Your Usual Goat” list:

Re: OT: Zillow
 
Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:33 am (PDT) . Posted by: “Cheridehart” thumber_smiget
I am to open to even consider going out nude more or less even in my nighty
. We are to open for that . Even with the neighbors on the next 20 acre lot
We are in farm land area my place was a wheat field at one time what trees
I have around the house I planted . I was adjusting the telescope one day for the hubby for sky watching and
focused in on a house going up on the hill side say about 25 miles away . I
did not think anything of it it was being built did not know someone was
staying there had not seen any one . Had hubby check it out if I had it set
for him okay it was a little blurred for me he wears glasses . Well when he
looked the guy was taking a shower in the garage part of the place right
where I had it pointing Hubby ask me if I was spying on the neighbors and
how many times have I watched him shower . I told him for now on he can
adjust it for him self from now on I am sticking to my own scope which is
pointed a Venus at the moment be going back to the moon soon . We have very
few out side lights so makes for a very good night sky watching around here
Can not believe how may satellites are up their blinking there way across
the skies. The last three good sky events we have had we where so clouded
could not see anything. Cheri
Led me to consider the big house someone built on the ridge about 10 miles away from here, which I watched them build through a telescope.  As it happens, I shower outdoors every day pouring gallon orange juice jugs of water warmed by sunlight over my head.  Direct line of sight from the big house on the ridge.
 
Got me wondering whether Cheri might be up there looking at my private stuff through a spyglass pretending I’m Venus.
 
Which I ain’t.
 
Maybe I need to start keeping one hand over my crotch.
 
Old Jules
 
Afterthought:  About The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Paraphrased
 
Navy Task Force Admiral character:  “No, this war isn’t necessary.  We could let them have it [read, let the North Koreans have Korea].  But what would we give them next?  Japan?  Hawaii?  California?  Besides, it’s honorable.”
 
Soon-to-be-dead fighter pilot:  “I’ve got to do this because the bastards shot down a guy I admired while he was directing fire on their advancing troops.  I can’t let my buddies down.  Wouldn’t be honorable.”
 
Soon-to-be-dead helicopter rescue pilot:  “I do it because I hate communists.  I’m a gutsy guy.  Not some coward.”
 
Weepy wifee of soon to be dead fighter pilot:  “I was against the war, didn’t want my hubby killed.  But I changed my mind after the Admiral explained why it’s necessary.  Now I’m okay with it, though I still whine and weep.  Now I whine and weep in a noble, more courageous way.”
 
 
 
 
 

Old Sol: “John B Stetson’s Gone Solar”

Me:  This overcast is protecting you this morning.  I can’t tell what you’re doing up there.  You doing your stretches, getting a move on?

Old Sol:  I tell you, I welcome those mornings when I’m blessed with a little something between me and you guys.  There’s a guy named John B. Stetson been prying, taking pictures, nosing into my affairs something awful.

Me:  Yeah, I saw something about him:

http://spaceweather.com/

“In Falmouth, Maine, amateur astronomer John Stetson photographed the ongoing activity around sunspot AR1499.  “These solar active regions are producing M-class and C-class flares that are easy to see through my H-alpha telescope,” says Stetson.

“NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of more M-class flare today, although this is probably an underestimate considering the rapid pace of development of magnetic fields near AR1499. Stay tuned.”

Old John Stetson’s probably just trying to drum up hat bidness.  Nothing directed at you, personally.  I can’t think what my nose would look like if it weren’t for John Stetson and his hats.  That horizon’s forming itself up fairly well.  I assume you’re ready to get some work done?

Old Sol:  Could you cut me some slack here?  Of course I am.  When haven’t I?  But I’ll tell you for a fact I’m getting sick of all this sophisticated surveillance equipment you’re getting down there.  It ain’t all just to sell hats, either.  Reporters forever poking around, digging up secrets.  But at least I got that chicken around behind me now.

Me:  Yeah, I’m relieved about that, too.  So are the chickens.  They saw it as a sign, began to get all worked up about it.  Nobody around here besides me has any fondness for Buff Crested Polish roosters.

Old Sol:  You guys are a caution.  Anyway, yeah, I’m right up here where I’m supposed to be.  Go do something else.

Old Jules

Do We Have a Plethora Yet?

A plethora, say, of pinatas?

Jefe: I have put many beautiful pinatas in the storeroom, each of them filled with little suprises.
El Guapo: Many pinatas?
Jefe: Oh yes, many!
El Guapo: Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?
Jefe: A what?
El Guapo: A “plethora”.
Jefe: Oh yes, you have a plethora.
El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?
Jefe: Why, El Guapo?
El Guapo: Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has no idea* what it means to have a plethora.
Jefe: Forgive me, El Guapo. I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me? 

Three Amigos – circa 1980s

 

Mindless outdoors work gives me a lot of time for my thoughts to ramble into unexpected places.  Theyve been doing that a lot lately. 

I’ve found myself pondering how a governed population can escape resp0nsibility for the activities of the government they put up with.  No matter how oppressive that government might be, no matter how inclined the members of that government are to ignore the wishes of the governed [or responsibility for the consequences of their decisions as fragments of the governing body].

If any of us gave a damn about karma we’d probably be concerned.  Everywhere on this planet human beings are allowing themselves to be governed.  Tacitly approving and being a part of what those governments do.  The bedrock fact is there… those governments couldn’t do what they do without the consent, at one level or another, of the populations giving them support. 

Nanking, say, couldn’t have been raped by Japanese if some substantial piece of the Japanese population hadn’t actively or tacitly participated.  The gulags in the USSR, the NAZI horrors, even the killing fields in Cambodia weren’t just a government job of work.  The insane, lazy, entrepreneural capitulation of US education, industry, economic solvency, labor and energy leading to where we are now didn’t happen because of single piece of government idiocy, corporate greed,  educator incompetence, Chief Executive dynastic aspirations.

Those pinatas hanging in the pic at the top came to be there because the citizenry of the US snort coke and toke marijuana through one breath and pretend they don’t through the next.  And they’re going to remain silent and pay for more penal institutions so long as the folks filling up the prisons for doing it have enough pigment to their skins to keep them out of the equation.

The prohibition against their behavior runs the price of it high enough so’s thousands, millions of people world-wide who are blessed with fewer alternatives find themselves involved in one of the processes.  It offers a legion of lawyers a product cycling through a system of human cages to enrich themselves.  It provides a river of money to fund so many layers of copshops nobody can keep track of them. 

But the bottom line is that it ain’t the government, the copshops, the brotherhood of  judges, lawyers, jailers and private prison corporations doing it.

Fact is, it’s humble us.  The people who sit on juries. 

This entire damned selectively-enriching, otherwise-bankrupting, oligarchy-growing pretended attempt to control the behavior of adults in their private lives, crimes without victims, can’t happen without a dozen citizens on every jury agreeing to help it continue.  Those juries, soberly listening to the somber prosecutors, the judges, are pronouncing death penalties every time they sell their souls to an abstraction.

Those people hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo were convicted and sentenced by US jury members who allowed themselves to believe they were just sending some black guy off to the slammer to get himself raped by his fellow felons for possessing a controlled substance.

Jefe: Forgive me, El Guapo. I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me? 

Maybe Jefe was onto something bigger than the knew.

Old Jules

Surveillance Weirdness

Saturday October 28, 2006  

 

This brave new century offers a lot of interesting twists and turns for the observant.  I was reading a blog this morning, someone ruminating over a friend request he’d gotten from someone, maybe in India.

I’d gotten a similar request yesterday, so it caused me to consider whether blogs aren’t being used by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, both here and abroad, to find folks with particular sets of viewpoints.

For instance, I came across a blog the other day posted by a person who called himself something like ‘dope-smuggler’.  Hmmm, thinks I, is this for real?  The blog entries and photos all involved various aspects of the use of controlled substances.

Suppose I worked for DEA, I went on thinking.  Would I throw out a trot-line or two searching for folks who’d like to admit on blogs that they were felons?  I think I might.

Or suppose I worked for Mossad  (I think that’s the right spelling), the Israeli intelligence agency.  Would I like to know as many names and locations of people who held Nazi-like viewpoints?  Would I be equally interested in folks who rabidly approve of anything Israel might do?  Probably.

And so on.  But that’s not what this blog is about.

This blog is about what’s happened with surveillance technology and general nosiness, both of government and individuals.

The technology and availability of spying equipment with amazing capabilities and invisibility at a shockingly low price is out there for anyone.

At least it was shocking and amazing to me when I found myself moved to investigate the matter.

One day I’d been sitting at a blackjack table for about twelve hours, and when I got to my car in the parking lot my cell-phone rang.  I answered and was treated to hearing a long playback of my conversations at the game-table several hours earlier.  I thought back and recalled a guy who sat next to me for a while wearing an unusual fanny-pack he kept messing with, so I figured it was him.

But his motive for doing such a thing was a mystery, and how he happened to know my cell-phone number was one, as well.

That happened several times, the casino playback thing, but I only saw that particular person once, and when he took the chair next to me I asked him if he had his equipment with him.  “Oh yeah,” he answered with a laugh.  “I always carry everything with me.”  And left the table.

During the same time-period Jeanne was in New Mexico.  We were in the living room, me standing, her sitting across the room, having a conversation.  The land-line phone rang and I answered.  Similarly to the casino experience, I had a conversation played back to me, but this time it was the conversation Jeanne and I’d just had within the past five minutes.

Someone obviously had the capability to listen to what was said in my home.  But what’s intriguing to me is that they wanted me to KNOW they had that capability.

That happened a couple more times and I could never see any signs around the house of any microphone/camera, but it was obviously here.  From then until now I’ve gotten spam emails I don’t open, but with subject lines referring to something or other that’s happened in my life, said or done, recently.

Which confirms for me that I am one helluva interesting guy.  I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would put that kind of effort, energy and expense into my life, but I do try to provide with them with some amusement in various ways.

Sometimes I figure it’s the rich neighbor kid, sometimes I think it’s the neighbor across the street next-door to my buddy, Wes, who’s generally known to be a negative busybody.  But that doesn’t quite fit the casino incidents.

I haven’t a clue. 

But after the first phone-at-home incident Jeanne and I went to a surveillance store and looked over what was out there on the open market.  After seeing it, I decided we live in a time when it’s useless to think there are any secrets, any privacy, if anyone’s determined enough to want to know, sick enough to be willing to put out a few bucks and plant a device.

Flattering, though, knowing that despite the fact I don’t talk to anyone but the cats these days unless I’m on the phone, I’m still one hell of an interesting feller.

Golly.

Old Jules