Tag Archives: crime

‘I Want Them To Be Worried We’re Watching… To Never Know When We’re Overhead.’

‘I Want Them To Be Worried We’re Watching… To Never Know When We’re Overhead.’

‘I Want Them To Be Worried We’re Watching… To Never Know When We’re Overhead.’

Law enforcement push ‘persistent surveillance’ monitoring systems By Jon Queally “I want them to be worried that we’re watching. I want them to be worried that they never know when we’re overhead.”
That’s what Police Chief Richard Biehl of Dayton, Ohio told the Washington Post while referring to the people of his city as he supported new aerial surveillance technology that would allow his officers to “track every vehicle and person across an area the size of a small city, for several hours at a time.”
Focused on the work of Persistent Surveillance Systems—a Dayton-based company that is already providing aerial surveillance for large events, like political rallies and sporting events—the Post’s reporting reveals that even as “Americans have grown increasingly comfortable with traditional surveillance cameras, a new, far more powerful generation is being quietly deployed.”
For its part, Persistent Surveillance bills itself as a “full-service, wide area surveillance provider” that sells its capabilities to law enforcement agencies, border patrol, and others private firms. According to the company’s website, their signature “Hawkeye II” surveillance system “is similar to a live version of Google-Earth—only with a TiVo-like capability” and provides:

Wide-Area Surveillance Sensors and Services that enable continuous, second-by-second video monitoring of a city-sized area. Because of the very high-resolution nature of PSS’s sensors (up to 200 megapixels), vehicle and pedestrian activity can be tracked over a 16 square-mile area. If an event-of-interest happens within this area (a murder, for example), users can rewind the event to identify the perpetrator’s place-of-origin, meeting locations, accomplices, driving routes, and final destination.

(Click to enlarge.  Source: WaPo)
According to the Post:

Already, the cameras have been flown above major public events such as the Ohio political rally where Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) named Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, McNutt said. They’ve been flown above Baltimore; Philadelphia; Compton, Calif.; and Dayton in demonstrations for police. They’ve also been used for traffic impact studies, for security at NASCAR races and at the request of a Mexican politician.

Predictably, those in favor of the hovering surveillance technology, like Police Chief Biehl and the company’s president Ryan McNutt, say the whole purpose of the ‘unblinking eye-in-the-sky’ is to solve crimes or prevent them from happening. And as McNutt explained, he envisions his companies technology not just attached to small planes, as they are now, but to ones with longer and wider ranges as well. He also thinks fixed surveillance units could “protect” large areas, boasting to the Post that “a single camera mounted atop the Washington Monument […] could deter crime all around the [Natioanal] Mall.”
But privacy advocates contend this is just another creepy development in the evolution of the ‘Big Brother’ society that George Orwell warned about and the National Security Agency has helped turn into a global enterprise.
“There are an infinite number of surveillance technologies that would help solve crimes . . . but there are reasons that we don’t do those things, or shouldn’t be doing those things,” said Joel Pruce, a University of Dayton postdoctoral fellow in human rights who opposed the use of the surveillance aircraft in Ohio supported by Biehl.
And Jay Stanley, a privacy expert with the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Post: “If you turn your country into a totalitarian surveillance state, there’s always some wrongdoing you can prevent. The balance struck in our Constitution tilts toward liberty, and I think we should keep that value.”






Death Car.

Death Car behind glass, 2012.

Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car.

Primm, Nevada

In early 1934, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow stole a V8 Ford and drove it around the Midwest, robbing and killing people. That joyride ended when lawmen punctured the car (and Bonnie and Clyde) with over 100 armor-piercing bullets.

Since then, the location of the “Bonnie and Clyde Death Car” has often been as difficult to find as it was when its drivers were alive.

The blood-splattered, bullet-ridden car was an instant attraction, touring carnivals, amusement parks, flea markets, and state fairs for 30 years. In the 1970s it was at a Nevada race track where people could sit in it for a dollar.

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde, nutty pranksters.

A decade later it was in a Las Vegas car museum; a decade after that it was in a casino near the California/Nevada state line. It was then moved to a different casino on the other side of the freeway, then it went on tour to other casinos in Iowa, Missouri, and northern Nevada (where we stumbled across it in 2008).

Complicating matters was the existence of at least a half-dozen fake Death Cars (we’ve seen them in Florida and Illinois) and the Death Car from the 1967 Bonnie and Clyde movie (which was in Louisiana but now is in Washington, DC).

Recently, the death car was parked at its home casino in Primm, Nevada, on the plush carpet next to the main cashier cage. But then it embarked on another casino tour, and was last seen west of Reno.

A sizable part of the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car exhibit is devoted to letters vouching for its authenticity. This may puzzle visitors who don’t realize how rare it is to see the real Bonnie and Clyde Death Car.

Its doors have been tied shut (no more sitting) and the car is displayed behind panels of glass, making snapshots difficult. But the car’s Swiss cheese exterior is still impressive and cringeworthy, even if you can’t stick your fingers in the holes. Showroom dummies strike Bonnie and Clyde poses next to the car, cradling weapons.

Clyde’s death shirt.

Clyde’s death shirt.

Accompanying the car is Clyde’s shredded shirt of death, perforated with a number of ragged holes in both the front and back. “Marie Barrow [Clyde’s sister] has personally signed the inside hem of the shirt to attest to the garment’s authenticity,” declares one sign. “Bloodstains are evident throughout the shirt,” it continues, although time has faded them considerably. A close look reveals that Clyde wore a size 14-32. He was a scrawny little lawbreaker.

There’s a second bullet-scarred car in Primm on display as well, which belonged to gangster Dutch Schultz. He filled its doors with lead, so the bullets merely dented its exterior. Since it isn’t a death car — Schultz was assassinated at a bathroom urinal — it doesn’t have the mesmerizing power of Bonnie and Clyde’s. But if the casino could ever track down and display that Urinal of Death….

It would be difficult even to estimate how much money the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car has made over its long career. $5 million? $10 million? Those numbers would flabbergast hardscrabble crooks like Bonnie and Clyde, but it would probably please them as well. And, having long ago earned its keep, the car is now on display 24 hours a day for free.

Bonnie and Clyde Car from back.

Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car

100 W Primm Blvd, Primm, NVDirections: Whiskey Pete’s Casino, Primm, just across border from California. I-15 exit 1, western side.Occasionally moved to casino across the highway, or elsewhere in NV.Phone: 702-386-7867RA Rates:Worth a Detour

Save to My Sights

… More on Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car


5 Unsolved Mysteries of Everyday Life (That Make No Sense)

There is a vast and terrible alien conspiracy at work. Sinister forces thrum beneath our very feet, toiling away in an effort to erode our human society and replace it with their own. I know this for a fact. I have evidence. Look no further than the unassuming hot dog: Better and worse comedians than I have noted that they come in packs of eight, while buns come in packs of six. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We shall go deeper. If there are not malevolent beings secretly sabotaging our society, then why in the ever-loving fuck …

#5. Do So Many Urinals Not Have Walls?

I get it.

I get why, on occasion, you’ll run into a bathroom with no little privacy wall to shade your junk from the unsuspecting eyes of every bar patron unfortunate enough to wander in while you’ve got your dick on full display.

It’s because of vandalism: Drunken assholes and teenagers will take the existence of an unadorned dong-blocker as a challenge, and will invariably write some homophobic, sexist, or racist slur on it. This is because the only way they know how to make their mark on the world is to leave it a slightly worse place. Pity them, for their plight is tragic.

But that explains why the urinal wall was removed — not why it was never there in the first place. A removed urinal wall is society’s time-out corner: We proved we could not be trusted with such a sacred responsibility, and our punishment is to flash our junk to a bunch of drunken rednecks every time we burn through a whiskey sour, or else stand way too close to a bowl full of strangers’ pee and risk splash-back. But there is no rational explanation for a public bathroom intentionally built without any urinal walls in the first place.

For example: In my town, the bathroom of every single Regal Cinemas features a wall of 20 urinals, always positioned directly parallel to the entry door. If you’re looking even slightly downward when you enter — say, at a cellphone — you are guaranteed to see another man’s penis. If you were the unlucky pisser, that’s a mandatory minor sex crime every time you use the facilities.

What are the possible explanations for this? Are the designers of bathrooms so far removed from society that they don’t consider genital privacy in their layout? Are the owners of Regal Cinemas prior sex offenders who just want to show the other side how it feels? Almost certainly.

But that’s irrelevant: I posit that this can only be the work of a cold and unfeeling conspiracy designed to either irreparably damage our bladders or permanently lower our morale after the post-Shrek crowd wanders into the toilet to hastily evaluate our wangs and finds them wanting.

#4. Does the Escalator Handrail Move at a Different Speed from the Stairs?

What’s the big deal, you might say: Who uses the handrail on an escalator anyway? Are we such lazy bastards that we need physical support just to stand stationary while an incredibly expensive, impossibly complicated machine walks up stairs so we don’t have to?

It’s the principle of the thing: Why do we have such an obviously, transparently broken machine in every public building on the planet?

Nobody uses the handrail because we all instinctively know that the handrail moves 6 mph slower than the stairs. We don’t even think to question it. The basic human right to rest our hands somewhere that obeys the same speed limit as our bodies has been lost. So completely lost, in fact, that not a single dissenting voice is raised. If a man were to stand on the escalator, notice his own limb wandering away from his torso like a timid rabbit, raise his face to the sky, and scream, “NO MORE!” — he’s the one who would be deemed insane.

But he is not insane. We are. We, who numbly accept this oppression, are the crazy ones.

What possible explanation could there be for this incongruity? Is it to encourage us to remain in motion — to actually move our legs and ascend the stairs, rather than stand there like pacified stair-cows? No! I know the true, sinister motivation. Think about it: Who actually needs the handrail?

The weak. The crippled. The elderly.

They require the assistance of the handrail just to remain upright, because a serious fall might kill them. And what does the escalator do in response? It moves the handrail at a different rate from the stairs. That’s right: It slowly, ever so gently tries to pull invalids over every time they change floors. Every escalator on the planet is a device of murder, culling the weak from our herd so the stock will remain strong and fit enough to be eaten when the Mole People finally rise and need a steady food source.

#3. Isn’t There a Left Turn Signal at Every Major Intersection?

I concede that minor crossings, country roads, and infrequently used offshoots don’t need and can’t afford a traffic signal at every intersection. But that’s not what this is about. This is about that one intersection in your town (you know the one; you avoid it like the plague, but about once a month you forget and find yourself stranded there for 10 minutes) that has its own light — even an entire separate lane just for turning left — and yet, when the red finally does blink off, it is not an arrow that greets you. It is the mocking, insensate verdant orb of cruelty.

“Go ahead,” the non-signal light tells you, “green means go. You just mosey on ahead now — just as soon as this car passes. And this one. And this one. Oh, would you look at this unceasing line of cars? This is crazy. Who could have foreseen this scenario? Oh, what, the light turned red again already? Maybe you’ll have better luck next time. But what’s this? It’s happening again — an eternal river of cars forever separating you from your destination? Haha, wacky! I’m sure you’ll get a turn, eventually. I’m sure you’ll get to go. The light is green. Green means go, after all …”

The only way to get through that accursed light is to edge out into the middle of an active intersection, wait for it to turn yellow, then put the pedal to the floor as it turns red. You can only hope that the asshole in the oncoming Kia Soul isn’t trying to run that yellow, too, otherwise you’re getting T-boned. That’s right: You have to risk a brutal and bloody death every single time you want to turn left on Fourth. And far from being an oversight, the authorities themselves installed this trap!

There is no possible reason for this. Is the arrow signal just staggeringly expensive? Does the arrow template industry have an unbreakable monopoly on little stainless steel cut-outs of arrow shapes? Does the amount of time it saves approaching traffic really justify risking a collision at every light change? No, the only explanation is that some great and alien force has calculated the traffic patterns and figured that people who want to turn left on Fourth are more prone to open rebellion, and it is trying to weed us out.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-unsolved-mysteries-everyday-life-that-make-no-sense/#ixzz2cdkkmH6R