Category Archives: travel tactics

Are You Being Followed

are you being followedAre You Being Followed

In this modern world that we live in it is becoming easier than ever to follow and trace someone.  Any more it’s not just the government or police that can follow us but individual companies as well.

The different Governmental agencies that carry out these types of programs often justify them by saying that they are just for the use of monitoring and capturing criminals or terrorists.

The problem is that even though this type of monitoring might be well intentioned programs can easily be misused or the way they are used can be changed.

Agencies that use this type of program always justify them with the argument that if we give up a little of our privacy and freedom we’ll be safer.

The implication is also that if we aren’t doing anything wrong we shouldn’t be concerned because there won’t be any problems for us.

I’m not sure about you but the thought of giving up my privacy in increments as technology makes tracking us easier bothers me.

Some day we may wake up and find that our freedoms that we take for granted have been shrunk by more than we think.

Are They Tracking Your Car

Recently the Wall Street Journal broke a story about how the Justice Department through the DEA has created a massive data base that tracks the car movements of pretty much anyone.

Although a spokesman said that the database was originally set up to track people that were running drugs they admitted that they have since expanded the program to trace pretty much anyone in any larger metro area.

Established in 2008, the original program was a way to track down and seize cars, money, and other assets that were involved in drug trafficking in Arizona, California, Texas, New Mexico, and Nevada.

These states all have known areas where drugs are funneled across the U.S. border.

The secret license plate scanning program has since been expanded to create a real time national vehicle tracking database that monitors the movements of hundreds of millions of motorists, whether they are involved in illegal activity or not.

The WSJ pulled no punches when it described the program as nothing less than “a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program.”

Long Term Goal Of The Program

But according to documents received through a Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU it seems that the goal of the program has always been a nationwide database, something that was never publicly disclosed.

One of the documents received from the DEA refers to the steps that are needed to make sure that the program meets its goals – “of which assest forfeiture is primary.”

Asset forfeiture has been widely criticized since its start as a tactic that doesn’t do anything for public safety but only helps police and federal agencies obtain money outside the normal budgeting process that can be overseen by the public.

The program also uses the data to mine the license reader data to identify travel patterns.   The extent of this data mining is currently unknown but it does bring up a lot of questions that don’t seem to have answers right now.

  • For instance, what type of program is the DEA using to analyze the data?
  • Does it try to use traffic patterns to predict our likelihood of committing a crime?
  • Could we become suspects for more enhanced surveillance if we drive down a certain road or stop at a certain house?
  • What else does the DEA think that they know about us just through reading our license plates?

Even more concerning is the fact that the DEA has also invited other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies from around the country to contribute location information to the database.

Once vetted these agencies are then authorized to conduct queries of the data base.  This means that we the public are unable to know who has our location and travel information or how it is being used.

One major partner with this program is the Customs and Border Patrol.  The Patrol claims to collect nearly 100% of the traffic coming across our borders.

All of this collected information can be shared with federal, state, and local agencies and prosecutors.  The documents collected by the ACLU also state that the Border Patrol and the DEA will share their information with  “intelligence, operations, and fusion centers.”

The Customs and Border Patrol says that it collected  over 793.5 million license plates between May 2009 and May 2013.

Our Opinion Of This Program

I have to say that this program seems to have started with a good goal, that of tracking people who were involved in the sale or distribution of drugs.

Obviously that didn’t work any better than all the other war on drugs type programs because it doesn’t seem to have left a dent in the amount of drugs sold in this country.

What it did do is allow for a massive program whose sole goal is to track everyone – just in case they do something illegal.

This is just too big brother for my taste.  It’s one thing to do surveillance on known criminals but something entirely different to do it on everyone just watching to see if there is wrongdoing.

All this is being done with no oversight or supervision – no warrants are being used to pry into our lives and anyone who wants to can join the snooping club.

The worst part in my mind though is that there is almost no way that we can avoid this snooping unless we take buses or walk instead of driving.

 

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Surviving A Mob

surviving a mobIf some type of disaster or uprising comes to the area where you live the chances are that you may be surviving a mob if you have to go outside.

That is the first tip:

Stay Inside If You Can

If there is rioting or a disaster going on outside, if possible you want to stay indoors, safe behind locked doors.

This is why you want to make sure that you should have water and food stored.  You should make sure that you have a means of cooking the food if the power is out or have foods that won’t need heating.

Although Homeland Security recommend that you have a three day supply I think that you should have as much in storage as you have room for in your home.

Surviving A Mob

But circumstances may force you from your home.  Whether you have run out of supplies or need to bug out of your home you need to be prepared for surviving a mob.

You may even have been caught in a situation where you are away from your home base and there are rioters/looters in your path home.

Depending upon the circumstances you may be able to use your car to get away or you may need to hoof it.

So First – Assess the Situation

Before you act you need to take a moment to sit back and assess the situation.

It’s important to ask yourself whether the situation is likely to improve or get worse as time passes.  How important is it that you get home or go out to get supplies?

Take a quick inventory and see what you have on hand.  If possible, check the news to get a better idea of what is happening.

If You Must Go Out – Be Prepared

If circumstances absolutely force you to go out make sure that you are prepared.  Take your grab and go bag that should have at least three days worth of supplies.  It should be as light as possible so you can move quickly if you need to.

You should also take some form of protection with you.  I’d think several times before I took a gun that could make you a target or be used against you.

If you go out armed with a gun and are stopped by police you are going to be in a lot of trouble.

I always recommend a steel baton,  Taser or some other non-lethal weapon.  Heck, even a bat can be safer than a gun but if you have something that you can hide on your person it would be better.

Next – Avoid The Night

If possible you should avoid going out at night.  Even though you may feel safer in the dark, so do a lot of other people, some of whom would want to harm you.

When it’s dark out, people or rioters that are amped up tend to become more out of control because they think they can get away with this more violent behavior.

So, unless it’s an emergency, do not leave your home after the sun goes down if your city is in the midst of chaos.

The exception to this is if you are trying to get from point A to point B and can use the cover of darkness to move quickly and quietly.

I wouldn’t ever think about driving after dark when there is some situation going on but a quick trek on foot might be safe.

Surviving a Mob

But lets say that you must go out and you run into a bunch of looters or rioters.

Looters

Looters are safer than rioters.  Looters just want to grab what they can and get away.  If you avoid looking at them and don’t engage them, for instance don’t tell them they shouldn’t be taking the stuff they are looting, or try to take pictures of them you should be okay.

Rioters

Rioters are a whole different matter.  Their goal is to destroy everything that they can around them.  This includes both people and property.

If you can give rioters a wide berth.  If you come around a corner and see a bunch of people rioting back away. Often they are going to be so focused on destruction that they won’t see you if you are low key.

But lets say that you walk around a corner right into the middle of a riot.

Go With The Flow and Blend In

Most of the time rioters are heading in some direction.  Make sure that you aren’t trying to go across a pack of rioters.  Blend in if you can.  Yell and shout whatever they are and slowly try to extricate yourself.

Stay Away From the Leader

Every mob usually has a leader who others follow.  He can be  found at the front of the pack inciting others by being the most vocal and drawing attention to himself.

If this leader begins fighting with the police, others will follow… if this leader starts beating people up and hurling rocks, others will follow.

Just know that the area around this leader is very dangerous.  You won’t want to be anywhere near this violent person so once you identify him keep your distance.

You want to be out on the edge where there are less violent people and where you can slip away when you have a chance.

Be Prepared to Ruthlessly Fight Back

By following the tips above, you have a good chance of slipping away unharmed.

But surviving a mob may not be that easy.  Because a mob is so unpredictable things can happen at a moments notice and you could have them turn against you and attack you.

If this happens you need to be prepared to strike back quickly and ruthlessly.  You need to hit back and run.

If you hesitate at all it may cost you your life.  Just remember that you aren’t trying to engage and stand your ground, you are trying to disable your attacker(s) and run for it!

Surviving A Mob

To survive a mob whether they are a group or even single people looking to cause you harm or take what you have you need to be quick and smart.

Make sure that you are always aware of your surroundings. but make sure that you don’t look like a victim.

Make sure that you keep your head up and swiveling, looking at everything and everyone in your area.

Most of all, listen to your senses.  If you feel that you might be entering a dangerous area, exit at once.

 

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Surviving Flying

airplaneSometimes I think it would be better if mankind had never discovered how to fly.

Surviving Flying is becoming harder than ever.

As if it isn’t bad enough that you are hurtling through the air going hundreds of miles an hour in a metal tube controlled by someone who may or may not be in proper shape to control it, here comes a new study.

Recently a team from Auburn University studied how long microbes can survive on various surfaces in a plane.  They discovered that the germs could last for up to two weeks!

While it’s not too surprising how long they lived in the bathroom on the toilet handle, more surprising is the fact that they can last as long on other surfaces like arm rests, tray tables, window shades, leather seats and even the seat back pocket.

Then there was even an interview with flight attendants that revealed that tray tables are never cleaned and that an amazing number of people use them to change diapers on.

So next time that you fly you might want to take some cleaning wipes with you.  Let me know what experiences you have had or what you think about these facts in the links below.

Conclusion to Surviving Flying

I don’t know about you but I think that I am going to start using sani-wipes on my seat area whenever I fly any more.  It seems that the airlines are more concerned about stuffing more people into the plane than making sure the plane is clean.




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