Monday, March 23, 2009

It's Nice To Be Back, Security Tips, And Oakland PD

Thanks for the welcome back comments on the previous post! I appreciate it.

I've updated the Jukebox. A word of caution, the first song is called (and this is not a typo) "Take Your Love and Shove It Up Your Big Fat Ass" and it is dedicated to the folks who run all those server farms out there in Colorado and Virginia under the auspices of the Federal Alphabet Soup Agencies. It is sung by the actor Joe Pesci, as only Joe Pesci can. It is replete with foul language, but is funnier than hell.

I hope you enjoy it.

A couple of the comments left in the last post have me concerned for the safety of our fellow preppers. In the near future, I will take some time to highlight some of what I did over the past week in detail. I'll start with the product DriveCrypt. This is a must have for all of you preppers out there.

One of the really cool features of the product is the "system within a system" feature.

You can create two bootable systems on one hard drive, each invisible to the other, and each encrypted. If your computer should be seized, and should you be forced to divulge your password, you can give away the password to the "clean" system. Oh, they'll dig through your drive with a fine tooth comb, but they'll only find your visits to your local church's website, and some local restaurants. They will not find your other hidden system.

I know it is pricey, but that's why I visit all those hacking sites out there.....keep watching this space, you never know, a download link may sneak in here and there....

A trick I use for easily remembered passwords is picking chapter and verse from the Bible. It is a mix of capital and lower case letters, punctuation, and numbers. Make sure you choose something that people don't easily associate with you. Some of us have verses we're fond of quoting, so pick something else that has meaning to what you are doing to assist your memory.

All of you non-Christians out there, I'm not shaking the Bible at you. If you follow another belief system, I'm sure there are texts that have meaning to you that you can use for this purpose as well.

I sincerely advise anyone against using a password manager, a thumb drive, or even a piece of paper to assist you in remembering passwords. If you have to, use the street address of where you lived as a kid coupled with the names of your neighbors. Just pick something that people will not easily be able to tie to you.

I know a guy whose passwords are based on the photos on the wall of his office. The pictures help him remember, but are so vague if someone else would try and guess what they were by looking the pictures, they'd be there nearly an eternity.

I'm sure many of you have heard of what transpired in Oakland, California Saturday. If you haven't, a brief recap, two motor officers pulled over Lovelle Mixon, 26, and were shot dead during a routine traffic stop. Mixon fled on foot and holed up in an apartmen allegedly belonging to his sister.

Reports state that approximately two hours later, the police received an annonymous tip as to Mixon's location.

Oakland SWAT, Alameda County Sheriffs, Oakland PD, and the California Highway Patrol (essentially California State Police) convereged on the location.

Upon forcing entry, SWAT tossed a flashbang grenade on a sixteen year old girl who was injured by the detonation. Two additional Oakland officers were shot and killed as they entered the apartment, and a fifth wounded. Mixon was killed in the exchange of gunfire.

What isn't being widely reported is that Mixon's neighbors allegedly knew he was in the apartment, but did not inform the police. Reported also, at the scene of the first shooting, a group of people gathered (reported numbers vary from a few, to twenty, to upwards of fifty) and heckled, jeered at, and taunted the police.

Mixon was a parolee who had missed his last visit with his parole officer. A warrant had been issued for his arrest. It is speculated that this may have been a factor is Mixon's actions.

I'm not an expert in police procedures, but is running into an apartment where an armed suspect is located standard?

If you remember, Oakland's first shooting of the year was the killing of an unarmed man, who was held down by several police officers, while he was shot by another officer. Oakland's residents have always had a nervous relationship with the police. The increasing level of unemployment and tough economic times are sure to increase the level of stress.

What I think most of us can carry away from this confrontation is that the police are going to have a very difficult time should civil unrest begin. Mixon was someone without tactical support, without training, and without tactical skills. Yet he was able to neutralize four well trained, well equipped, and seasoned law enforcement officers.

The attitude of the local public, indifference, scorn, and outright hatred cost the police dearly. I guess we can see the fruits from the seeds sown.

Yes, this is going to get ugly.

Already the cries for more gun control are being heard from the bleating sheep.


Cygnus MacLlyr said...

good to see you're back so soon Catman! Missed your earlier blog for whatever reason... Shitty couple of days...

NE Who--

Hey, great info on the computer front... Man. I miss this little store in Austin they had, called The Austin Spy Shop.

Take your cellular unit in for a de-GPS-ing. Things of that nature.

Tanks, Catman. Good to have a Brother back..

HermitJim said...

Afraid you are correct, Catman. Ugly is definitely a good description of just how it's going to be!

Welcome back...

Bitmap said...

"Mixon was someone without tactical support, without training, and without tactical skills."

Do you have more background info on the creep?

Just because the guy is a creep does not mean:

1. He didn't have training.
2. He didn't have tactical skills
3. He is stupid.
4. He can't get "lucky".

I heard a rumor that he was stopped for a minor traffic violation. If that was the case and he was driving someone else's car the first officers may not have realized that they had stopped a felon with a warrant. I suspect there will be changes in training to avoid this in the future.

Prayers for the officers involved and their families.

Maitreya said...

Good to see you back, Catman.
I'm a tech moron, so I probably won't use your advice, but I don't do many 'sensitive' computer things either (besides visit blogs of "domestic terrorists")
Also, its not my computer, and in 2 weeks or so I'll be gone anyway.
Police action in Oakland aside, people who are passionately pissed off and fighting for their lives and freedom have a huge advantage in attitude over police who are "just doing their jobs."
Plenty of cops will abandon ship if happened in NOLA during Katrina. Why not everywhere else?

Catman said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone.


The only background I have on Lovelle Mixon is what has been reported in the news. I know officers within the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, but it would be uncouth to call them seeking any information at this time.

I generally hold law enforcement, as an organization, in low regard. However, that does not mean that I do not regard individual officers as human beings. I think they are due the same courtesy as the rest of us would like to receive.

You are correct, and I apologize. I do not know -for a fact- that Lovelle did not have tactical training. It was an assumption made by me based on what I was able to ascertain about his age, and activities. I can not claim that it was exhaustively researched. Thank you for keeping me honest.

The LA Times has a timeline on Lovelle after his release from prison.,0,2113362.story

This should answer some of your questions.

He was apparently a suspect in a homicide after his release on parole, and also a suspect in a rape.

I do not think that I referred to Lovelle Mixon as "stupid", nor did I suggest that he was not "lucky".

It is possible that those two factors may have played a significant role in what happened on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Ugly? It is very, very ugly or if there is a word which means worst than ugly then that's what describes it.