Now you see me, now you don’t! Oh, wait… you do!

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So the “patriots” (read traitors and terrorists) have realized that planning and committing sedition live on social media might not be the smartest thing they could do. They’ve apparently decided they can switch to radios, including HAM radios, to circumvent the FBI and the NSA.

I’ve got some bad news, (proud) boys.

Big Brother is on to you. The FCC issued this warning Sunday morning:

Federal Communications Commission   DA 21-73

DA 21-73
Released: January 17, 2021

FCC ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY

WARNING: AMATEUR AND PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES LICENSEES AND OPERATORS MAY NOT USE RADIO EQUIPMENT TO COMMIT OR FACILITATE CRIMINAL ACTS
The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission issues this Enforcement Advisory to remind licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, as well as licensees and operators in the Personal Radio Services, that the Commission prohibits the use of radios in those services to commit or facilitate criminal acts.

The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities. The Bureau recognizes that these services can be used for a wide range of permitted purposes, including speech that is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Amateur and Personal Radio Services, however, may not be used to commit or facilitate crimes.

Specifically, the Bureau reminds amateur licensees that they are prohibited from transmitting “communications intended to facilitate a criminal act” or “messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning.” 47 CFR § 97.113(a)(4).
Likewise, individuals operating radios in the Personal Radio Services, a category that includes Citizens Band radios, Family Radio Service walkie-talkies, and General Mobile Radio Service, are prohibited from using those radios “in connection with any activity which is against Federal, State or local law.” 47 CFR § 95.333(a).
Individuals using radios in the Amateur or Personal Radio Services in this manner may be subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and, in some cases, criminal prosecution. 47 U.S.C. §§ 401, 501, 503, 510.

Media inquiries should be directed to 202-418-0500 or MediaRelations@fcc.gov.
To file a complaint with the FCC, visit https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov or call 1-888-CALL-FCC. To report a crime, contact your local law enforcement office or the FBI.
To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

Issued by: Chief, Enforcement Bureau

*************************

What all that means is that the Feds have become aware that some of these nutjobs may have decided to use FRS, GMRS, CB, and HAM radios to coordinate their supposed “patriot acts” in the days leading up to the inauguration.

Now, the bulletin doesn’t specifically mention the recent “troubles” at the Capitol, but that is clearly the underlying motivation for this “reminder”. It tells those planning to use their handy-dandy handi-talkies that Uncle Sam is listening, and his radios are a lot more sophisticated than their $50 Baofengs. Key one of those puppies up in Washington, D.C., or in any of the state capitals, to coordinate your little act of sedition, especially if you are transmitting somewhere out-of-band, and they are going to be warming up a pair of handcuffs for you. I’m kidding, of course. It’s winter, and those cuffs are generally worn on a pouch on their belts, so they won’t be warm at all.

So… if you’re reading this and planning on joining the idiots-on-parade this week (not that I think any of *my* readers would do such a thing, but you never know where something you posted on the Internet might end up), don’t use a two-way radio to do it. Especially not if you’re a HAM, as you should know better. First, it’s against the law (law and order, remember?). Second, it’s just plain dumb.

73, KC6YRU

Historic Day in the Presidency

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Donald J. Trump can lay claim to a historic first.

No President before him has accomplished what he did today.

Today, he becomes the first President of the United States to have been impeached twice.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. (Don’t parse that too much, Donny. If you figure it out you won’t like it.)

Congratulations. You’ve set the bar at a level no one will (hopefully) reach again.

If you can’t talk on Twitter, are you speaking?

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Twitter has permanently banned Donald Trump from it’s platform.

Facebook, as well.

Parler has been booted into oblivion by the app stores, and it’s hosting servers.

The MAGAts are screaming about “freedom of speech” and censorship, without, apparently, understanding how the 1st Amendment or private businesses actually work.

They, including my own Congressional Representative Devin Nunes, are complaining that they (conservatives) no longer have a way to speak to the American public. (Said, in Nunes’ case while on Fox “News”, without any apparent awareness of the irony of his statement.)

As I ponder all of this, I wonder…

“gee, how did politicians communicate with the American public before Facebook, before Twitter, and before Parler?”

Twitter bans Trump

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After years of Tweets that would have gotten anyone else banned from their platform, Twitter finally decided that Hair Furor’s attempts to incite followers to storm the Capitol was a bridge too far. Today, Twitter banned Trump from the platform, “with prejudice”, as the old saying goes.

I suppose better late than never.

It’s kind of amazing, seeing people suddenly grow a spine in the last days of Trump’s term. So many rats are abandoning the sinking ship that is Trump’s administration, but I really don’t know why they waited until the waves were lapping at the bridge’s deck plates before they left.

Kudos to Twitter. But not huzzahs.

Facebook is spying on me. And you, too.

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So this popped up on my phone a few minutes ago.

I think Facebook is spying on me.

I *did* stop in this afternoon and grabbed two, no chili, but I didn’t check in, didn’t post a picture, didn’t do anything to indicate I had stopped there. I left the phone in the car when I went up to the counter, so Siri didn’t hear me place my order and figure it out that way, and I didn’t speak while eating my ‘dogs in the car, so it couldn’t have ratted me out. I think. He’s (I have the male voice) sneaky sometimes, so there’s no telling what he might have said to Facebook, if he’s the culprit.

Anyone that is complaining about the Covid-19 vaccine, worried that it has tracking micro-chips in it, better not have a smart-phone.

While I’m not particularly worried about being tracked by my phone, it is easy to forget that it’s constantly doing so. Of course, if anyone was to pull my data to see where I’ve been they’d be pretty bored. No secret rendezvous going on here! (I am trying to restrict my journeys to minimums, and practicing distancing and masking when I do go out.)

Facebook, and Gawd only knows who else (HI, NSA!), is tracking me, and probably you, too. Welcome to the future.

Refresh? Or hide?

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It’s getting down to the wire, and I’m in a quandry.

I can’t decide what to do.

On one hand, I want to run and hide until well after next Tuesday’s election. I’m afraid of what might happen. This is worse than thinking we’d elect Mitt Romney President in 2012, after just one term of Barack Obama. That November night I was really worried the racists and the bigots would pull it out of the hat, and give the win to Romney. Fortunately, it turned out well that time. I was stunned when we then handed this country over to Donald Trump in 2016. How could anyone think he’d be a better President than Hillary? Even if you hated her with a passion, how could Trump be a better choice?

On the other hand, I find myself hitting the refresh icon on my Twitter and Facebook feeds much too often, worried I might miss something. These Trump caravans of lifted trucks, and these super-spreader rallies worry me. He’s whipped them into a frenzy, and I’m afraid they’ll go nuts when he loses. Especially if he loses by a landslide.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping we’re smart enough to toss the right-wing, fascist trash out, and clean house. The White House. The Senate, too. But I’m really worried about the after-math. It’s making me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

If we’re not, smart that is, we’ll deserve our fate. Putin will be cackling with glee if we don’t toss Trump, McConnell, McCarthy, and Nunes from office with numbers that clearly repudiate them and their malfeasance.

So I’m sitting here trying not to be nauseous, telling myself that everything will be fine, and that on January 20 we’ll have real leadership and experience at the helm. That no matter what Trump and the GOP did to damage our country, the repair crews will be dispatched, damage control parties will be at work, and we can step down from Red Alert to merely Yellow Alert. The ship of state will be refitted, even if we have to go into space-dock to do it.

As much as I keep telling myself that, though, I keep wondering about a remote bunker without internet access or cell phone coverage.

Oh, who am I kidding?

“click” refresh

One Nebraska, Two Nebraska

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… three Nebraska, four.

How many states of Nebraska in your country? Mine only has one, but the President of the United States thinks there are at least two.

You know, we have to win both Nebraskas, you know that, right? You have two, you cut. We’re going to win both“.

Maybe it’s like “Stranger Things” – Real Nebraska, and UpsideDown Nebraska.

Or maybe it’s like Corinthians in the Bible – 1st and 2nd Nebraska. (Or, in Trumpspeak, “One Nebraska”, and “Two Nebraska”.) Okay, you’re right, with Trump it can’t have anything to do with the Bible.

Upper Nebraska and Lower Nebraska? East and West? North and South? Left and Right? Plains Nebraska and, well, More Plains Nebraska?

I wonder why the buses don’t run in Donald J. Trump’s Nebraska? How much you want to bet nobody from the Trump campaign paid the deposit?

Anyway, welcome to the newest state in the Union, Mystery Nebraska. It’s a shame you have to share your Representatives and Senators with Old Nebraska, but maybe Mitch McConnell will call the Senate back into session to deal with it. Don’t hold your breath, though.

Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., sorry that Mystery Nebraska beat you to state-hood, but we still love you.

Freak Out (not the song)

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Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, lots of people freaked out about HIV/AIDS. They wanted gay men isolated, they wanted quarantine, they wanted no public contact. They wanted to know who every person was that might have come into contact with an infected person (contact tracing). It was/is very hard to contract HIV, and casual contact did not/does not spread it. Most people were not in danger of infection. Still, they panicked.
Now, many people (generally Trump supporters) are blasé about a virus that is infinitely easier to spread, and has a much shorter incubation time. Where HIV might take a 5 to 10 years to kill you, Covid-19 can do it in days or weeks.
From 1987 through 1995, over 41,000 people died of HIV/AIDS in the United States. For much of that time, calls for punitive action by the government against gay men were common.
In the past 8 months or so, Covid-19 has killed over 220,000 Americans.
Trump and his supporters don’t seem to be very concerned.
Reagan’s people laughed when asked about HIV. Trump’s people have said they aren’t going to be able to control the virus. Trump himself said “it is what it is”.
41,000 in 8 years, vs. 220,000 in about as many months.
Difficult to get, vs. very easy to get.
Freak out, vs. “It’s the flu!”
“oh my God, I’m going to get AIDS from the toilet seat!”, vs. “I’m not wearing a damn mask!”
“Ryan White can’t attend school because he’s a hemopheliac and got AIDS from a blood transfusion, and he can’t be near my kids!”, vs. “get those kids back in school!”
Has a large percentage of this country simply gone insane?

Do you know what I did last summer?

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I bought a new car!

Well, almost new. A 2019 Ford Fusion, with 2,600 miles. A “lease return”, whatever that means.

I’m really loving this car. It has a bunch of bells and whistles that I’m still figuring out how to use, but I’m getting there.

Took it on a road trip earlier this month, put 4,100 miles on the car, and couldn’t be happier. It averaged 35 mpg, with sections of the trip hitting 40 mpg. It’s very comfortable to drive, and I’m ready to go on another trip. I just have to decide where. Fires and smoke have limited the choices here in California, but I’ll figure something out. Maybe Oregon and Washington before the rainy season starts. Oh, wait… is there a rainy “season” there? Or do they just call that “a year”?

If you see me on the road, give me a wave. If you’re a HAM radio operator, call me on 146.520 MHz. I might even be listening on CB, on channel 17 or 19 or whatever the highway (trucker) channel is in that area.

Happy motoring!

Still around…

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I’m just checking in. Haven’t posted anything in a while, but I’m still here. Just haven’t been motivated to write anything lately.

Hopefully, that will pass and I’ll get back to a regular posting schedule.

Thanks for stopping by!

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