Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the category “Other stuff”

Photos of U.S. missiles

Minuteman II & III & Peacekeeper ICBMs, Warren AFB, Wyoming – Ywwrn_1b by Greg Goebel is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In pulling together posts in this series, I found a treasure trove of photos on Flickr by Greg Goebel. He has a photo album of Guided Missiles. He has accumulated views of a large number of air-to-air, surface-to-air, and ground-to-ground missiles.

Very cool.

Here are a few of my favorites, all shared under Creative Common’s Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.

Up first, strategic missiles:

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Some updates on nuclear weapons

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress makes a flyover at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru, India, Feb. 20, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Juan Torres)

Some articles I’ve bookmarked recently provide some background on nuclear weaponry: the B-52 no longer carries gravity nukes; recap of the capabilities of countries with sea-launched nukes, and losing the nuclear launch codes.

The War Zone – 1/13/20 – The Air Force’s B-52H Bomber Force Has Said Goodbye To Its Nuclear Bombs.

A 2019 update to technical document for strategic bombers says that the B-52H is no longer authorized to carry gravity nuclear bombs. The only weapon it is allowed to carry is the AGM-86B Air Launched Cruise Missile with a W80-1 warhead. The only nuclear loads for the B-2A are the B61-7 and B83-1 gravity bombs, which previously were authorized for the B-52H.

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Congress establishes the United States Space Force, newest branch of U.S. military.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Congress has approved and the president has signed legislation to create the United States Space Force.

This sixth branch will start out as a department of the U.S. Air Force in the way that the U.S. Marine Corps is a department of the U.S. Navy.

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A sixth branch of the United States military?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

We are about to get a sixth branch of the U.S. military. There are currently five branches:

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Marine Corps
  • Air Force

And most people forget to include the:

  • Coast Guard

The soon to be approved sixth branch?

  • United States Space Force

Yes, the Congress is just about to approve moving space missions out of the Air Force and into a new branch.

10/10/19 – Behind the Black – Congress approves establishment of Space Force Read more…

Where are they now? Minor updates to status and location of Silk Road players.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Just checked on the status of the players in the Silk Road dark web bazaar.

Updated previous post for the location and release date for Andrew Michael Jones. Release date and location for Gary Davis is now listed. Release date for Carl Mark Force has been shorted one month.

I won’t repost all the details. Check out the status at:

Cost of Los Angeles and Las Vegas football stadiums

3d rendering of an outlined stadium. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It is fascinating to see the cost of large projects. Check out the price tag for new football stadiums in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Los Angeles

The new stadium under construction in Los Angeles which, will be the home of the Rams and Chargers, will run a cool $5 billion.

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Where are they now? Players in Silk Road, the on-line bazaar for drugs, explosives, and body parts.

Mr. Ulbricht’s housing area for either the rest of his life or until the Feds decide to move  him to another facility for the rest of his life:  Federal Correctional Complex Tucson FCI Tucson Arizona Overhead View by Prison Insight is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Time for a follow-up on the status and jail location of the major players in the Silk Road, dark web fiasco. If you need lots and lots of background, check out this tag.

Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator service, some online searching, and previous reporting provides this info:

 

Ross William Ulbricht, a/k/a “Dread Pirate Roberts”, “DPR” – Silk Road mastermind – age 35.

Register number 18870-111.

Serving Life Sentence. (In the federal system, I think “life” means life.)

In 12/18 he was confined at Florence (Colorado) – High security U.S. Penitentiary, that is the ‘super-max’. On 9/2/19 he is confined at Tucson U.S. Penitentiary, a high security prison.

Update 11/21/19– Still at Tucson USP and still showing Life as release date.

 

Roger Thomas Clark – a/k/a “Variety Jones”, allegedly Mr. Ulbricht’s deputy – age 57

Register number 85816-054.

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More tips for people planning a felony on what *not* to do.

If you are planning a felony, consider your pacemaker might testify against you. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As a public service to people planning a felony (but will never read my blog) and also for entertainment of people who would never commit a felony, I have accumulated a few stories of people who really messed up their escapade by not quite thinking things through.

Extra special tip for your planning consideration:  pay attention to the impact of technology.

Previous discussions:

Here are a few more tips on how not to commit a felony, or in one situation how not to commit fraud:

 

Tip #13

This item doesn’t involve criminal charges, but it sure does fit with the theme of these posts…

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Guy took some time away from basketball after college and playing pro on several teams in Europe. Wanted to join a team in Bosnia after his break.

The league requires a drug screening test. For reasons unknown, he used his girlfriend’s urine. Seems obvious to me that he wanted to hide something.

Urine test was clear for banned drugs.

However…

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First sentencing in college admissions scandal

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A sentence has been handed down in the first of the college admission scandal cases to reach a judge. The former sailing coach at Stanford received:

  • $10,000 fine
  • 1 day in jail, already served
  • 6 months house detention
  • 2 years supervised release, i.e. probation

(Cross-posted to my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Prosecutors recommended 13 months in prison.

Several articles pointed out this person is the lease culpable of those lined up for sentencing. He did not receive any money directly.

If I read the articles correctly, the only student admitted as part of this scheme was not actually an athlete and has since been expelled.  No other students were admitted.

One key point of detention is an assessment of what type of crime is present.

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What is the total federal and state tax on gasoline in California?

Ever wondered what you are paying in direct taxes for that gas? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

State tax on gasoline in California went up again on July 1. Have you been wondering what is the federal & state tax load on a gallon of gas in the state? I was. So I calculated it.

The total excise and sales tax load levied the federal and state level is 72.5 cents a gallon, which is 23.9% on top of the cost of gas.

On July 1, CNBC reported After tax hike, gas in California is now a dollar higher than the national average.

State excise tax went up 5.6 cents for each gallon bringing total state haul to 47.3 cents.

Oh, the 2017 bill that imposed the tax hike also contained an inflation adjustment.

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Intro and update to college admissions scandal

Lots of things going on behind closed doors that have drawn the focused attention of the U.S. Attorney in Boston. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The pretend-to-be-an-athlete-in-a-sport-you-have-never-even-played scandal in higher education is one of many issues I have not focused on over the last year or more.

Family issues have pulled me away from blogging. Hope to start getting caught up on the massive changes taking place around us. I’ll begin with the college admissions disaster.

(Article cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.

Brief background:

A large number of parents were paying Mr. William “Rick” Singer to help their children get into colleges where their kids wouldn’t otherwise gain admission.

More background:

The schemes, according to a long string of articles covered in most newspapers which I won’t link, included techniques such as:

  • Creating fake profile of the student being a competitive athlete when the student had not even played the sport.
  • Paying to have another person take your SAT or ACT tests.
  • Hiring a proctor to oversee extra-testing time and then correcting answers.

Flow of cash was complicated, as expected. Most of the dollars went to a non-profit foundation set up by Mr. Singer. He then distributed portions of the money to college sports coaches, proctors, and other participants. Some of the payments went directly from the parents to the colleges.

Oh, by making those payments to a charity, the payments became tax deductible. So there is also a tax fraud angle for all the involved parents to ponder. You can easily guess someone from IRS Criminal Investigations is involved in each of the cases.

Current status:

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More tips for people planning a felony. Don’t do it.

This is not a wise strategy for addressing the judge who will preside over your criminal trial. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Previously mentioned several tips for people planning to commit a felony. For example, don’t take your location tracking fitbit with you while you carry out a contract assassination. Why? The location data will testify you were at the scene of the crime the very instant the crime was committed.

Some more helpful tips.

Tip #10

As you are preparing your case as you represent yourself and approach your first day of trial for threatening to kill someone and ignoring a restraining order, don’t sent a written death threat to the judge who is trying your case. Reported in Williston Herald on 2/25/19: Man accused of threats sends threatening letter to judge before first day of trial.

A man facing trial for terrorizing and violating a restraining order (class C felony and class A misdemeanor) for harassing a women is representing himself at trial. During the three hours that constituted the first day of trial, he did not question any jurors, did not make an opening statement, and only asked one question of one witness with said question obviously irrelevant to his case.

In the days before trial starting, the guy sent a letter to the judge saying that the judge is now on the list of people that the defendant will kill.

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Friendly tip to people planning a felony: don’t do it. And if you still want to, you might want to avoid planning your escapade with the internet or your phone.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

If you are planning to do something that our society says is a felony, or even thinking about it, please don’t.

Please change your plans. You won’t like the result.

If you are still pondering something that our society says is a felony, or even thinking about it, you might want to avoid using electronic devices that record your planning. Definitely don’t use your phone in commission of the actual crime.

Here are a few examples of what not to do, for amusement of people who are inclined to read my blog.  People likely to go ahead with felonious plans probably are not in my audience.

 

Tip #1

Don’t take along your location recording fitness device while conducting reconnaissance to plan an assassination and definitely don’t take it along for the ‘hit’:  Runners World -1/17/19 – This Runner is a Hitman. His GPS Watch Tied Him to a Mob Boss Murder

A competitive distance runner who moon lighted as a contract hit man took along his fitbit watch as he conducted recon and planning runs for two different assassinations. Also wore it for one of the actual hits. Police looked at the recorded location information on the watch which showed him making recon runs and placed him at the scene of the hit.

Result: Life in prison.

 

Tip #2

Don’t conduct an internet search with questions of whether your plans are illegal: Cleveland.com – 10/19/18 – Brooklyn Woman falsely accused Parma Heights police chief of rape, investigators say.

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Deserter from the U.S. Air Force apprehended and tried.

William Howard Hughes, Jr. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A 1983 deserter from the U.S. Air Force was arrested in 2018 and has now been tried and sentenced.

I was advised today by the Air Force Office of Special Investigation that the now-former officer has been tried and dismissed from the service. I’m working to find out the results of his trial and his current status. As more details are learned, updates will be posted.

(Cross posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Desertion

Back in July 1983, while the Cold War was still running, USAF Captain William Howard Hughes Jr. deserted after returning to Albuquerque from a TDY in Europe. He did not report to his duty station on August 1, 1983.

He was last seen making 19 withdraws from his bank account totaling $28,500. That may have been around a year’s gross salary at the time. Would have allowed him to run and hide for a while as he worked on his new identity. His car was abandoned at the Albuquerque airport.

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Other players in the Silk Road drug sales website face justice

Three more perps in the Silk Road website stood in front of the above and were awarded their well deserved earnings. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Several other players in the Silk Road gun/explosive/drug/body part bazaar have worked their way through the U.S. justice system.

Some info on their involvement and current status follows after mentioning Mr. Ulbricht’s final appeal was denied.

Ross Ulbrickt

As an aside, the Cyberscoop article below points to the following:

6/28/18 – Reason – Sadly, Ross Ulbrickt’s Case Will Not Be Heard by the Supreme Court – His appeal was denied by the Supreme Court on 6/28/18. That is his last opportunity for an appeal.

Article raises the troublesome procedural question that the sentencing judge used allegations that were not proved in court to reach his decision. Specifically, the judge used allegations of the murder-for-hire schemes which were discussed but on which Mr. Ulbrickt was not convicted, according to his attorney’s comments in the appeal.

Apparently there were some warrant-less searches at issue, which the USSC did not take up.

Andrew Michael Jones, Gary Davis, Peter Phillip Nash

7/13/18 – Cyberscoop – Alleged Silk Road employee extradited from Ireland to U.S. – Gary Davis, allegedly a/k/a Libertas, is accused of being a high level administrator in Silk Road. Article links to previously sealed indictment which accused Andrew Michael Jones, a/k/a “Inigo”, Gary Davis, a/k/a “Libertas” and Peter Phillip Nash, allegedly who had four aliases. (Inigo? Seriously? What is the deal with all the slander of the all-time classic comedy Princess Bride?)

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