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The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Private Investigating

I’ve not been a private investigator since 1986.  I’ve not been a credit card fraud investigator since 2009.  But I’ve been some-kind of investigator (private security, process server) most of my adult life.

It’s in my blood.

As such, I’ve tried to keep up with the latest regarding what records are available, what has been limited (due to privacy concerns) and the like.

And, of course, the overall erosion of privacy since Al Gore invented the Internet!  And the government passed The Patriot Act, NDAA, et al.

My dear friend Biff (previously lauded in song and story in these pages – well story, anyway) recently met me for coffee, and, as he oft wants to do, presented me with a gift!

I like gifts!  🙂

As he peruses used bookstores (in search of first editions and signed editions) he sometimes finds books his friends might appreciate.

And he found THIS!

pi-book

It was obviously used and in fair condition.  He was curious what I thought of it and it’s value to today’s sleuth.

It took me a few days to read it.  I had to keep reminding myself this was geared for the neophyte.  Hence the clever title…

Overall it’s a pretty good book.  The author claims to be a retired FBI agent who now has his own P.I. agency in Florida. (The Internet does confirm this.)  It’s fairly well organized and has both current and historic information regarding how to find stuff and to keep out of jail in so doing.  It even has material regarding sources on the Internet, and electronic surveillance.

My copy is the second edition.  An Amazon search revealed there is now a third.

It now holds a place of honor on my bookshelf, adjacent to Where’s What (the CIA book regarding where to find records, circa 1974).

Yeah, I’m a snoop at heart…

(FTC – neither Amazon, nor this book’s author gave me anything!  Biff did, but he’s my friend!  BACK OFF!)

Attention All Ostriches!

ostrich1Pull your respective heads from the sand (or wherever) and listen up!

We saw three terrorist incidents yesterday (Saturday):

Also. there was some kind of LGBTQ manifesto found earlier, which may have been misdirection, coincidental or a false flag.  Regardless:

WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!

and THIS, regarding one of the suspects:

(name excised), whom police nabbed and shot after a day-long dragnet in connection with a series of terror attacks in and around New York was a bad father who disliked America, hated gays and took long trips to his homeland of Afghanistan, the mother of his young daughter exclusively tells FoxNews.com.

More on this story: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/09/19/bomb-suspect-rahami-deadbeat-hated-america-says-his-daughter-s-mother.html

Whether or not the attackers have some twisted view of the religion of Allah, or Christ, the Easter Bunny, LGBTQ or LSMFT is of no consequence!  Is it ‘workplace violence’?  Who cares?
I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE ATTACKER’S MOTIVATION!  I’M ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT PRESERVING LIFE, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND THE REPUBLIC!
THIS BEGINS WITH MY MINDSET!
War is no longer defined by geographic boundaries.  Nor are the participants.  Nor does the enemy seem to have signed the Geneva Convention rules.
EVERYONE is considered a combatant (or potential target) by the enemy.  TERRORISTS (foreign and domestic) seem only interested in causing as much death and mayhem as possible.  POLITICIANS are only interested in using these attacks to feather their own nest and denying the citizenry their natural rights.
“We’re at war, America’s at the mall.” (from a LTC in Baghdad in 2006)
Now they’ve brought the fight to the mall…
What to do?
We must take the fight to them!
How do we do that?
First, go about our daily lives.  If we hide cowering, they win!
Second…
ALWAYS CARRY EVERYWHERE!  REMAIN IN CONDITION YELLOW AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.  CHECK YOUR SIX.
And if you pray, please do so.

“Free” And “Fair” Elections

My dear friend Borepatch posts:

Control of the Presidential Election

The headline reads “Homeland Security to Take Charge of Election.” My first thought was, well, sure, they did such a great job at the airports, why not?

There’s certainly security issues with the elections, clear problems with unauthorized voting, tallies that make no sense, and the possibility that the outcome in a state could be compromised by computer.

Consolidating the election into a singe system means a single point of failure. You could easily have multiple, overlapping intrusions skewing the results and those intrusion could come from both internal and external actors.

“Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”— Josef Stalin

Let’s see…
An administration rife with corruption, political double-dealing, and outright crime, criminals (and communists) decides without input from the People or the States that they are to oversee the election.
What could possibly go wrong?
doom

Don’t Be There! (NSFW)

from Bayou Renaissance Man

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t

Yesterday I wrote about the impossible conundrum facing police.  They’re literally in a no-win situation.  If they enforce and uphold the laws, they’re accused of racism, abuse of authority, and everything else one can imagine.  If they don’t, the law-abiding citizens they’re sworn to protect and serve will pay the price in the anything-goes free-for-all that will result.

A graphic example of how this plays out every day on the streets of some of our rougher neighborhoods was given in Chicago a few days ago.  The video below is profane, graphic and very disturbing.  I can only commend the police involved for not giving in to what must, at times, have been the overwhelming temptation to deal with the interlopers as their conduct deserved.

LANGUAGE ALERT:  Profanity is frequent and very graphic.  If you’d like to read what happened, and watch the video with the sound turned off, you’ll find the details here.

Now ask yourself, dear readers:  if you find yourself on the streets of a city or suburb like that (say, after a traffic accident, while you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive), and you get heckled like that . . . what are you going to do about it?  You probably won’t have sufficient legal justification to open fire on the mob.  If you produce a gun and try to threaten them, their reactions will be just as they are above.  They’ll dare you to use it, knowing that if you do, the law will basically side with them, no matter how provocative and threatening their conduct might have been.  What’s more, some of them will probably have guns too.  If you use yours, they’ll likely shoot back – and your family and anyone else with you will be in the line of fire.  You might be well advised to leave the area as quickly as possible, by any means necessary (including hitching a ride with passing motorists), and abandon your vehicle.  If it gets stripped or stolen, that’s still a lot less trouble than what might happen if you stay with it.

John Farnam’s advice (which we’ve repeated on several occasions in these pages) still holds good.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.

Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.

“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”

Words to live by more than ever, in these troubled times.  Kudos to those cops for keeping their cool under very trying circumstances.  I doubt I’d have done as well.

Peter

Obviously, it’s a matter of degree and circumstance.  A couple of kids talking smack to sound tough, or a violent street gang just looking for an excuse – any excuse.  Sometimes, as proposed in the essay, we find ourselves in a bad geographical area.  Wrong turn off the freeway, followed by car trouble…
Massad Ayoob famously stated if you feel the need to carry into a bar, perhaps you need to consider a different watering hole.  Perhaps.  Watering hole choice is usually voluntary.  (I see this as ‘not using the seat belt; not getting into an accident’ thinking.  Just because it’s not a dive bar doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. – Guffaw)
This all goes back to basics – situational awareness and mindset.  We don’t always have control, and may have to wait for others to act for us to respond – morally and legally.
And THAT’S the hell of it…

Victorian Glock?

The brilliant and beautiful Tamara (one of my ubiquitous Blogmothers ™) has regaled us almost daily with her ‘torture’ tests of various models of Glock pistol and kinds of ammunition.  As well as her opinion regarding gunsmithing modification and after-market parts.

Complete with specific counts regarding misfeeds, faulty ignition, ejection and the like.

And for this (and many other tidbits) we are forever grateful!  🙂

But, it got me to thinking (I know, a dangerous concept…)

Back-in-the-day, when I purchased MY Glocks (models 19,30,26, which sadly, I no longer have.), my intent was to acquire a machine that was sufficient for the task at hand out of the box.  The ONLY modifications I made were installation of tritium night sights (if they didn’t come pre-installed), because that seemed appropriate for a handgun chosen primarily for self-defense.

And the school of thought at the time was something akin to ‘well, you can’t replace the stocks, the sights are okay (now that they glow-in-the-dark)’.  What could I do further?  Perhaps have a NY trigger installed?’  There was not a lot of tweaking even available.

This definitely NOT your great grandfather’s service pistol, the venerable 1911, designed 80 years earlier with 51 (or 53) parts (versus the Glock’s 32).  A precision Victorian pocket watch versus a digital.

But, my friends, it does appear we have turned the corner.  There are now numerous after-market parts for the Glock, and even modification including grinding-upon and remolding the frame!

Seems we just cannot leave well enough alone!

glock mods

Perhaps tinkering is just part of being human?

Rose Mofford RIP

roseRose Mofford, the last ‘beloved’ politician in Arizona (per Arizona Republic columnist Ed Montini), passed yesterday at age 94.

A Democrat, she spent her life in public service.  Born in Globe, a mining town to the East of Phoenix, she was an All-American softball player in high school, and turned down an offer to play professional basketball with The All-American Red Heads.  She married (and subsequently divorced) a Phoenix Police Captain.  They remained friends.

She became a secretary to the State Treasurer, then secretary to the Secretary of State.  Ultimately, she was elected to that office, then became Governor upon impeachment of embattled Governor Evan Mecham.

She chose not to run for office at the end of her term, and retired to private life. (above via Wikipedia)

She was famous for being professional, personable, and answering her own telephone.  And that ubiquitous beehive hairdo!

I had a run-in with her one day.  Or rather she with me.  🙂

I was at the Arizona Department of Transportation (this was during my career as a private investigator) and opted to cross Jefferson St. (a very busy thoroughfare @ 19th Ave. and Jefferson), by jaywalking!

Just before I reached the other side of the street, a car turned East onto Jefferson and began accelerating.

Into me!

I clapped my hands onto the hood to get the driver’s attention (and to pretend I could actually stop the car) and looked up in fear.

The driver was Rose Mofford!  She was Arizona’s Secretary of State at the time.  She smiled broadly at me, and mouthed ‘I’m sorry’.  I mouthed back,‘that’s okay’, and she drove on.

I understand she supported reasonable gun control (whatever that is).  Being a Democrat, I’m not surprised.

She remains a symbol for a kinder, gentler time in Arizona politics.

She will be missed.

RIP, Rosie!

T.M.I.

Much of the Internet Vanguard (Borepatch, The Silicon Graybeard et al) have chided us for years regarding not just the intrusion of government and business into lives, but our voluntarily providing too much information to them – like posting when you are leaving for vacation on Facebook.

Well, my friends, Internet intrusion has indeed jumped the shark! (or perhaps a more adult euphemism!)

(from Wirecutter, in part)

A woman is suing her (appliance name excised for taste) manufacturer for knowing too much about when and how she uses it.

A few weeks ago, two researchers told the Defcon hacking convention audience that We Vibe “smart” sex toys send a lot of data about their users back to the company that makes them. According to Courthouse News, one We Viber took this news hard. A woman known only as “N.P.” filed a class action civil suit in a federal court in Illinois against Standard Innovation, which makes the We Vibe line of sex toys and corresponding app.

The smartphone app lets users “customize” their We Vibe experience, unlock app-only “bonus” vibration modes such as the “cha-cha-cha” and the “crest,” and “create unlimited custom playlists,” according to the product’s website. In the suit, N.P. says she bought a We Vibe in May and used it “several times” until she realized that it was sending data about her usage practices back to Standard Innovation’s servers, including when she used it, which vibration settings she used, and her email address.
MORE

And here I was concerned about license plate readers, facial identity programs and grocery store purchase trackers!

YIKES!

She obviously thought she was the master of her domain*, anonymously…

*a Seinfeld reference

Ray Donovan

ray-donovan

click for wiki

Yep, yet another TV show to which I am addicted.

A transplanted Southie Irish guy (played by Liev Schrieber), transplanted to L.A., makes his living by being a ‘fixer’ for rich Hollywood (and other) types.

Sometimes the fix is a simple contract negotiation.  Sometimes it’s more complicated – like involving blackmail, kidnapping and murder.  Or covering up his client’s crimes.  Like murder, robbery and prostitution.

He does very well with it, too.  Mercedes CLS 550.  Nice house.  Kids in private schools.

Of course, it’s never as easy at all that.  A history of killing the priest who molested he and his brother.  A wife with breast cancer.  Teen kids acting out.  Currently, he’s pissed off the Russian mob.  And he has an ex-con father (Jon Voight) who has his own criminal agenda and cannot seem to stay out of jail.

And the FBI is on his ass!

So, many times, HE becomes his own client!

It’s on Showtime, and next week is it’s 4th Season finale. (It’s also available on You Tube and other venues).

It has the usual extreme violence, sex and language.  If you are easily offended, you might stay away.  (FTC – Neither Showtime or the production folks give me anything.  I would accept a Mercedes from Mr. Schreiber, if he offered!  🙂  )

“Your Fired!”

trump-fired

(hee hee!)  Bet you thought this post was about THIS guy!  Nope.

(From Free North Carolina)

Obama’s Military Coup Purges 197 Officers In Five Years

Via David

https://shaunynews.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/obama-firing-military-generals-e1407224003709.jpg?w=375&h=333
 

Defense: What the president calls “my military” is being cleansed of any officer suspected of disloyalty to or disagreement with the administration on matters of policy or force structure, leaving the compliant and fearful.

We recognize President Obama is the commander-in-chief and that throughout history presidents from Lincoln to Truman have seen fit to remove military commanders they view as inadequate or insubordinate. Turnover in the military ranks is normal, and in these times of sequestration and budget cuts the numbers are expected to tick up as force levels shrink and missions change.

Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.

I found this particularly of interest, as it wasn’t some screed from WND or  Alex Jones, but from IBD!

Barbarians At The Gate

are nothing new!

(courtesy of Bobbi, in part, from her musings on 9/11…)

     Barbarians of one stripe or another had been after blowing up highly-visible stuff in the States for a good long while — a Federal building in Oklahoma City, a van-bomb at the World Trade center, and so on back to the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago.  There’s no shortage of fools who think blowing up innocent people is a suitable method to effect change.

It’s not.  It’s been shown to produce nothing but death, injury and anger.  And we’ve now got the TSA bringing miniature, audience-participation versions of the Stanford Prison Experiment to every passenger airport in the country.

Here’s what I can tell you: when violent people initiate force against the innocent, more people step up to stop them (Flight 93), to help the victims (police and firefighters at the World Trade Center and Pentagon), and they do not count the personal cost; they step up.  Civilization is stronger than barbarism.  It is not destroyed from the outside.

So remember the heroes, probably none of whom felt especially heroic in the moment.  Remember the people who do what needs doing.  And don’t kid yourself that it won’t happen again.

Considering we remain at ‘war’ (in one degree or another) against these forces (both foreign and domestic) after 15 years, it’s good to hear that while said barbarians keep testing (and sometimes breaching) the fences, there are folks out there who continue to step up to do the task at hand.  Thank you, Roberta, for reminding us.

Three quotes come to mind:

While it may be apocryphal, Winston Churchill is often quoted as having said (supposedly paraphrasing Orwell) “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  (John 15:13)

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”  –  General George S. Patton

 

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…