Archive for December, 2012

Many A Homeless Veteran Faces This!

December 19, 2012

Generally I don’t open up about myself.  However, this has come to mind as I remember an old friend.  Though he wasn’t a veteran, many veterans face the issues I face.  Twenty five percent of all veterans will or have become homeless at one time or another.  Below is a short story I wrote that would have been me had I not continued on.  For many a veteran, this story is what they will go through.  So here it is:

The Homeless Vet

           He is awaken from a drunken stupor.  Not from the person he shared the bottle with the night before.  That one is sleeping quietly several feet away.

It isn’t from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets surrounding the alley he has awaken in.  They are hundreds of feet away.  Even the stray animals and occasional rat scampering about hasn’t done it.

Then he realizes what is happening.  It’s not another he sees.  But it’s his own prone body as a soft warm hand takes his own.

As his spirit lightens and rises, he continues to look down upon the body that was once his.  Slowly the scene becomes larger as he turns to see who has taken his hand.

It’s as the city lights fade to stars that he realizes just who has taken his hand.  It’s the only one who never gave up on him.  Though no one will remember his body or his name, this man remembered his soul.  The soul of a forgotten veteran.

 

I’m not a man of any set religion.  However, this can and does happen to a lot of homeless veterans.  Unfortunately, it’s not always alcohol.  Sometimes it’s drugs. Some of those drug addictions are actually started from the Veteran’s Affairs hospitals in the name of prescription drugs relieving a patients pain or other disorder.

A lot of those addictions (alcohol or drugs) are actually people who are doing what is called “self medicating.”  This is where a person who is taken off a narcotic drug, when faced with no further supply or limited supply drinks or does other illegal drugs to substitute for narcotics he/she would have otherwise be prescribed by his doctors.  Then again, there are those that were addicts before they left the military (both legal and illegal drugs).

I won’t care to wager just how many homeless veteran’s end their lives each year due to addictions.  My guess is that one in ten do though.  It may be higher than that.  At least I beat it.  However, I’m far from out of the woods yet in this aspect.  Temptation is still there, so this story may still come true for me.  I certainly hope not.

Challenge To All Anonymous Crackers!

December 10, 2012

I thought of something I myself wouldn’t do though I can get all the tools needed to do it.  Is it illegal?  Highly.  Do I have the prerequisite knowledge to do it?  Not exactly.  Though I’m a CompTIA A+ certified computer repairman, I would personally NOT “crack” into any website or system server.  I’m what the term “hacker” is.  I learn one or more operating systems and if possible point out weaknesses to the company or group of individuals (as in the case of Linux distribution) in charge of the production of said operating systems of said weaknesses.  That said, I DO NOT CONDONE CRACKING FOR PROFIT OF ANY KIND!

However, I’m not above challenging someone to do what some would think impossible.  In this case, put mud in the face of big business and governments.  How do I propose this challenge?  Simple.  Pose the challenge to those that find cracking to be fun, sporting, and down right anti-establishment in nature.  Some of these people do this for profit as network security consultants.  Funny thing is many of those consultants are probably nonvocal members of Anonymous.  Though nonvocal, they are the ones that don’t get caught when assisting the rest of the group.

Frankly, I’ve found what Anonymous has done to date to be pure child’s play compared to what they can do.  These people are probably ones who go to the Defcon and Blackhat conferences to learn new exploits/tricks to possess root access to the operating system they attack (Windows, OS X, Android, and others).  Some or all are known to Homeland Security via registration for those conferences.  However, those that don’t attend are those to watch out for.  So here’s my challenge to those of Anonymous that are so endowed with knowledge that goes beyond anything I know or am willing to teach:

If you want to really show your salt (talents), stop with the current stuff you’re doing taking down websites as well as exposing client lists and do the unthinkable.  Crack in and find the appropriate information exposing corporate/government corruption and put it in the public domain for all to see.

I’m certain this would be much more challenging and garner some of you folks the attention you deserve not to mention a possible position in computer security for major corporations not to mention governments around the world.  And yes, I expect to be hauled in by Homeland Security (Homeland Insecurity 😛) for questioning revolving around said challenge.  I’m not scared.  It’s not as bad as something I’d write a book about.  That would be much worse than what I’m challenging.  Besides, I can’t be convicted for just putting an IDEA out there for others to act upon.

I’m already ostracized since I’m now homeless and without employment in my field of choice (Information Technology).  My age alone (52 soon to be 53) is also a strike against me.  No one wants someone my age in that field anymore unless it’s as a senior systems administrator or some position like that (and I’m not qualified for that).  Consider this a big F**k You to the establishment who grew up before and during the same time I was growing up.  You copped out.

Again, I state for the record that this is just an IDEA/CHALLENGE for those who can and are capable of doing this.  I DO NOT CONDONE ANY FORM OF COMPUTER/WIRE FRAUD, NOR DO I ATTEMPT EITHER OF THEM.  Even if I did, I couldn’t do it right now anyway as I have NO computers (laptop or desktop) of my own in which to do it with.  I’m currently writing this from a library computer and will continue to do so till I can afford another laptop.  That will probably be another year or two before that happens as is.  By that time the computer world will surpass my knowledge even further than it currently is today 😦

I couldn’t have said it better myself! VA disgraced!

December 6, 2012

Perspective

As a service to taxpayers, the IRS’s longtime policy is to pay tax refund claims promptly and only later to refer the refund files for possible audits and collection, in the event of over payments or fraud. This policy, though, means that ordinary taxpayers are treated better than the nation’s wounded warriors who file disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The V.A.’s assumption seems to be that wounded veterans are cheating — and thus most veterans receive at least five evaluations, and each one reviewed over a several-year period, before full benefits can be awarded. (Even though some temporary financial relief is available before final determination, veterans complain that the amount is almost never enough for complicated rehabilitation programs and other support.) [Washington Post, 11-11-2012]

Need I say more?

Why do they do this? Police brutality!

December 6, 2012

Not since Rodney King and the Los Angeles police department did I ever expect police officers to be as they are today.  There is just so much corruption, discrimination, and down right anger in the Fraternal Order of Police.  The problem is how they represent themselves to the public.  The other part is the quality of the officers they enlist for their employment/service.

One of the titles stated on the street for Columbia, South Carolina’s city police department is:

Uniformed Gang Members

In fact, they aren’t all that bad really.  It’s just like society.  They have their good and bad people.  It just seems they have far to many bad people of late.  With what they pay the CPD officers (Columbia Police Department), they seem to be getting the bottom of the barrel officers.  These officers come from a couple of different camps.  There are the type who are over aggressive and then there are those that are downright lazy in their enforcing the law.

Let’s first address the lazy type of officer.  These are unique in that they have been on the force for quite some time now ( I’d like to say 5 years or more experience).  I’m not going to go any deeper than that at the present time as there are some other issues with these particular officers.  Most notably, they are overweight.  Generally, these officers are much easier to deal with than the other attitude.

Most of the “lazy” officers tend to be easier going than the rookies.  They’d much rather do something else other than harass the homeless.  Here in Columbia we know that the police would much rather deal with real crime than cajole the homeless.  They give their show of force by doing what they have to in that they patrol the area they are assigned.  Some are quite nice.  They give the homeless man a warning in the first incident then after that they up the ante so to speak (harsher violations and more).

The largest issue with these officers is that they generally don’t put pressure on the real criminals.  They don’t stop crime where it starts (traffic citations).  They also have a tendency to be corrupted easily but not as easy as others.  A lot of times you’ll find these officers wasting time with others of their ilk.  In this case, they are at the local coffee and doughnut hole (Crispy Creme, Denny’s, IHOP, or even Waffle House.  Sometimes you can find them at mini conventions where you’ll see four or more patrol cars rolled up at the same location without any of them doing any law enforcement.

Now let me tell you a story of a different kind of police officer.  Generally they are rookies or ones with less than five years on the force (though it could be ones who have had this attitude since they were rookies and made rank).  Like children, they are easily swayed as well as much easier to corrupt than the later officers.  I call them “yes” men as they will broadly apply anything their supervisors or even city counsels tell them to do.

Let’s start off with my own experience in Orange Park, Florida while I was homeless down there.  With a friends help, I was able to set up a small CLEAN camp to live in.  At the time I did not know it was private property.  I later learned in a big and costly way.  Had I known now what I know today, a county police officer would have lost his job.

I’d went to work one day for Action Labor in Orange Park for several hours.  Once I returned to camp, I found what was left of my three man tent and all my belongings strewn all over the place and the tent literally cut to pieces.  The worst part of it was a note left by what was presumed to be a police officer of Duvall County Florida.  I was told in no uncertain terms to leave the property and the officer left his business card.  Now this could or could not have been the officer named on the business card.  It could have been an impersonator.  Stranger things have happened.

Needless to say, I moved in less than three days.  I chose so to avoid prosecution and also got permission to use company land of which belonged to the company I had hired on to from out of Action Labor.  It was much better than the sixteen mile one way trip by bicycle to work and then back.

I don’t believe this is the only time it’s happened.  I beat a ticket written out by an officer here in Columbia.  The following Sunday while I ate breakfast at a local church, I left my panniers on the bicycle.  They weren’t even three weeks old and I came to back to my bike (gone less than an hour) to find them knifed and stuff strewn over a twenty foot area.

I can’t prove anything as to who did the deed.  However, I have my suspicions that the officer who’s ticket I beat had something to do with it.  He’s one of those who probably has been on the police force less than five years and is doing just what city council wants just to earn his Sargent strips faster.  He’s a known harasser of homeless and has had more homeless before the local city magistrate (judge) than any other officer.

Now this brings me to yet another incident I found out about just the other day.  A homeless acquaintance of mine got the poles on his tent destroyed and it was witnessed by yet another homeless man.  The person who did the deed here was a member of you guessed it.  Columbia police department.  Now it’s likely they will not be able to do anything about this as the witness will likely not come forward because of reprisals.  Also, the acquaintance, was probably trespassing on private property for a while.  I don’t know the entire details about his camp nor did I want to know.  Safer for him and me.

These police officers are not only brutal in their willingness to make advancement but they will listen to just about anyone or do anything to get what they desire.  There are names a plenty for these types.  I’ll leave that to your discretion.  And police wonder why the homeless WON’T help them or even communicate with them.

This is not only happening here but in several cities around the United States.  There has been to my knowledge at least one death of a homeless man due to just such discrimination and hate.  It’s not about race or anything else but the fact that people are homeless.  It has to end here and now.  We as a people CAN NOT tolerate this.

Now I’d like to share with you something I read in the local Free Times newspaper which you can read at:

http://www.free-times.com

or follow them on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/freetimes

This was in a column called “Rant and Rave”:

“I have two rants I need to get off my chest today.  Columbia drivers need to stop running red lights.  You are not only putting yourself in danger but you are putting the safety of pedestrians and your fellow drivers at risk.  I see this every day.  People will blatantly run red lights and turn left on red lights.  Please stop!  I really don’t understand why our police will not give these selfish and careless drivers traffic tickets.  Something should be done.  I have seen two accidents due to  running red lights.  You know how Spain has the Running of the Bulls?  well, Columbia has the Running of the Red Lights.  And finally.  Don’t stop doing your job because a co-worker (according to you) won’t do theirs; worry about yourself.  What kind of logic is that anyway.  Oh, and if Halloween is a fall festival, then Christmas is a holiday.  A pagan one to be exact.”

The previous message exemplifies Columbia police department.  Due to orders from city council, they would much rather harass a homeless man than stop the most petty of crimes.  If they were to stop these petty crimes, then most wouldn’t graduate to felonious crimes to begin with, thus dropping our prison population and putting those tax dollars to use in better places like education.

Let me add that a recent bill which got canned in the U.S. Congress was about police being able to search your email, Facebook, and other electronic data without warrant.  The federal Fraternal Order of Police is still trying to get this passed not to mention attempting to stop you from photographing/filming them while they are on duty (within reason: must be out of the way of harm/a safe distance from any activity an officer is doing in the line of duty).  Feel free to do a search via your favorite search engine with the search of “videotaping police”.  You’ll find loads of info on it and more.

Final thought for this.  ARE WE BECOMING MORE AND MORE LIKE WHAT GEORGE ORWELL SHOWED US IN HIS BOOK ENTITLED “1984.”