Mr. Smollett has some explaining to do

‘I Swear to God, I Did Not Do This’
We’re told he addressed everyone on set, saying …”I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls. I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this.”

You told your version of events, in a police report and on GMA. The prosecutors told their version of events. Allow me to explain why I find the cops more credible in this matter.

When your story hit the news, I instantly thought that you were most likely hoaxing us. Two white MAGA guys randomly spotting you at 2AM on the streets of sub-zero Chicago… and recognizing you? And just happened to be carrying bleach and a noose?

Only someone who has never really tried to get to know Trump supporters, and relies on what the left-wing media says, would imagine that. By and large, MAGA types are not motivated by racism or homophobia. Their concerns are primarily economic, and just want to be left alone.

I was willing to give this a slightly higher chance of being real when more reports surfaced. Specifically, the dispatcher recording indicating you were jumped when leaving your apartment, and the “hate letter.” A dedicated stalker might wait stake out your apartment waiting for you to come out of a known location. But…

It was two alleged attackers. One crazy I could buy. Two seemed extremely unlikely.

Then it fell apart. It was as you returned to the building, not on departure. It wasn’t at the main entrance, where I’d expect a loonie stalker to be. And you’d just flown in to Chicago, arriving hours late. (In fact, if I’m looking at the right streets on the map, you had to walk past that.)

The version of events in the grand jury proffer go a little differently.

No one on video fitting your description. No video of your “attack” (when I first heard that you were only off video at one point for approximately 60 seconds, I guessed you’d merely made up the attack, and pick a site where you knew it couldn’t be disproven by surveillance).

But the proffer offers so much more. Please recall that is a legal document. The prosecution just told the grand jury that they have very specific evidence which — if I’d been on that grand jury, I would have voted for indictment — paints a picture of a actual faked attack. The evidence described will be turned over to you in discovery. If it doesn’t exist, the prosecution lied to the grand jury, which is even more of a crime than your seemingly false police report.

Mr. Smollett, you made an accusation. You have to back it up with more than, But you’re supposed to believe me. Your version currently makes no sense. The prosecution’s version does. You’ll need to prove that evidence doesn’t exist, or explain away odd things like IDing two black guys as your white attackers, your phone call coincidentally to the guys you said were your attackers, the canceled check… written to your alleged attackers, what would motivate these co-workers/acquaintances to attack, and why they aren’t white as you told the police. The near-witness who heard no shouts as you claimed.

Sure, you have a presumption of innocence. But your charges are based upon your own accusation against the brothers. They have a presumption of innocence, too, and you need to back up your accusation.

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“Free Energy”

I was checking the spam folder this morning. Ocaasionally a legit comment gets flagged, so I glance over them before deleting just to be safe. This time I spotted one with coherent text, the content of which actually matched the URL.

That was intriguing enough that I opened a safe window and went to the site, to see if they were “selling” what I thought.

That’s funny. No idea if he’s a pure scammer, or actually selling a $47 PDF telling folks to buy an RJ-11 plug and a blocking diode. If he is, it’s going to cost his suckers a lot more than $47 when The Phone Company hits them with repair charges when they draw down the sealing current. If TPC really wants to make an example of one, they can even go with federal felony charges for interfering with a common carrier.

Aside from some personal experience when a cheap, temporary phone shorted, I’ve actually worked for TPC. Let me tell you how it’s going to go if you try to pull $47 worth of electricity from the phone line.

  • The POTS port at the switch is going to die. No more electricity.
  • An outside tech is going to appear at your door, to check if you installed one of these or if you have a malfed phone (like I did).
  • The tech is going to pull that out of the jack and tell you not to do it again.
  • Your next phone bill will include charges for the customer prem dispatch, and for the CO repair (parts & labor).

If you’re stupid enough to do it again, the above will repeat, except they’ll leave your service turned off. And as mentioned above they can file a criminal complaint. Even if you don’t go to Club Med, you’ll be dealing with attorney fees, fines, and other legal expenses. Individual states generally have applicable laws under which you can be charged, ranging from vandalism to theft of services.

I think you’d find that was the most expensive electricity you ever bought.

I am tempted to forward the link to Ocasio-Cortez, since she’s probably stupidly crazy enough to believe the phone company magically creates free electricity that doesn’t come from the power company.

Smollett & the Osunsairo Brothers

Time for a little speculation. The Osunsairo brothers have been formally arrested. Last I heard, no charges have been filed.

Unless something else has come up (and it may have), I can only see just so many ways to charge them, as persons of interest in the alleged Smollett attack.

1. Cops think they know something, but refuse to cooperate: some sort of obstruction charge.

2. Cops think they’re the attackers: assault/battery charges.

3. Cops think they colluded in a hoax: conspiracy/accessory charge for filing a false report.

Option 3 would mean Smollett’s arrest as well.

One other thing that might have come up involves the receipt for items seized from their home. Among other item, it listed a magazine, paper with writing, and postage stamps. Perhaps they are suspected on sending prior threatening letter which was composed of letters cut from a magazine, with some handwriting, and mailed.

Another issue could be the gun, which I don’t see on the receipt picture I have, but which has been reported in the news… for what that’s worth, to have been found.

The elder brother has a felony conviction. If the gun was his, he’s busted: felon in possession. If it’s his brother’s gun, that might argue he left available to the felon. Or possibly neither had a FOID, making the possession illegal by either.

I think that covers everything that’s been made public.

If the brothers are being uncooperative, as some reports suggest, a firearms charge gives the cops some leverage.

Air Farce Officer Screwed Up Big Time

How do you get relieved of command in two weeks?

First female Viper demo team pilot removed from position after 2 weeks
Capt. Zoe Kotnik was removed from her position after two weeks, Col. Derek O’Malley, the 20th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement.

“I removed Capt. Kotnik from her position as the commander of the Viper Demo team [Monday], because I lost confidence in her ability to lead the team.” O’Malley said. “I know that loss of confidence is a common response from the Air Force, whenever someone is removed from a command position, and I think it’s important to understand why we take this approach.”

Granted, my service time was a long time ago. Maybe they take this shot more seriously these days. But I knew officers…

One of my commanders violated orders and attempted to build a swimming pool on a Turkish mountaintop. The ruckus knocked the troposcatter site off the air, caused an international incident, and a Turkish officer tried to shoot him over it.* He also had a little problem keeping his hands off his male subordinates.

He didn’t get relieved of command.

Another of my commanders screwed multiple female enlisted during the Desert Storm deployment (we could tell when he hit on another, because we’d have to install a phone for her). His brilliant engineering decisions resulted in the base communications center being able to process only aboutten percent of messages.

He didn’t get relieved of command either.

What the hell did Kotnik do?


* Sorta my fault. Under that guy, morale was crap. One night, he looked me up in the bar — where I freely admit to drinking quite a bit — and asked what he could do to improve morale. Being drunk and typically sarcastic, I suggested building a swimming pool. He took me seriously.

Bear in mind that this was on a mountaintop is the desert of eastern Turkey, and we typically ran out of drinking water in the summer, and had to truck it in.

He ran his plan past Civil Engineering at Incirlik AB, where he was told by the base commander to drop it.

But no, he decided we could do it ourselves, since we had a D7 bulldozer. He ordered an airman to start digging. Dozer blade found the buried power main going to the barracks/chow hall portion of the site. Shorted and cut it. The short knocked out the generator, and the whole site lost power, knocking us off the air. (Once they isolated that main, they were able to restore power everywhere else.)

Higher went nuts, because we damned well reported the cause of the outage as commander-induced stupidity. The Turks went nuts.

The local Turkish Air Force commander pulled his sidearm and tried to shoot our captain. One of the Turkish sergeants actually grabbed his own commander to stop the shooting. (Later, after yet another incident involving our moron, the sergeant expressed to me his regret in preventing it. I commiserated.)

Les Winkeler is officially a fucking idiot.

He’s blowing off warnings about the compliance cost for Illinois’ SB0337.

Crying wolf doesn’t advance gun rights
Those over-stated reactions always make me wince. I think crying wolf is a net negative for gun rights.

The new legislation requires that gun sellers, from large retail outlets to individuals selling from their home, be licensed by the State of Illinois. Admittedly, upon initial reading the license fees were eye-popping — $1,500 for retail outlets and $300 for private sellers. Then, the fine print came into focus and we realized those were five-year licenses.

He admits that dealers operate on a thin margin, but then blows it off as, “a stretch to consider those fees would break the bank.”

I’ll start with the obvious, then get to the nitty gritty.

A dealer isn’t going to be paying “$41.67 per month or $1.37 per day.” He has to pay $1,500 dollars up front. He has to spend — expensive — time preparing the application. Yes, that’s going to hurt.

A lot. Because the nitty gritty is the part “Zumbo” Winkeler completely ignores: the new law does far more than require an expensive license. Another license (remember, they have to get an FFL and an ordinary business license).

They also have to buy ,and pay to install, a video surveillance system. An ordinary security system won’t do. It has to specifically record each and every purchaser. They have to maintain that system, and store the video for a minimum of 90 days. That ain’t cheap, if it’s going to be of any use. If a camera fails, the dealer could lose his license even if he was unaware of the failure, so the cameras will have to be checked every day.

They have to pay for a monitored alarm system. What they already have might not be sufficient if it doesn’t directly alert police. Monitored systems for commercial operations can cost $100 or more per month. After buying, and paying for the installation. It will very likely also necessitate paying for a dedicated phone line for the alarm.

Dealers will have to maintain a separate electronic inventory control system in addition to the bound book. Another computer with inventory control software. And at this point, the dealer may need to hire a clerk to make the entries; certainly he’ll need at least a temporary hire for initial entry.

Dealers will be required to conduct annual training on “straw purchase recognition,” for every employee who makes transfers. They’ll have to pay their employees for that unproductive — they aren’t selling while they’re training — training time. More money out of pocket.

Then there’s the “safe storage” for non-operating hours. Ghu only knows what that will cost, because the law doesn’t even define it, leaving to the police to make it up as they go. More money.

More money out of their narrow profit margin. The very point of the bill was to make gun stores unprofitable. Or make guns too expensive to purchase when compliance costs are passed on.

And that won’t be all. The law also creates a “Gun Dealer Licensing Board” specifically to come up with more rules and regulations with which dealers have to — expensively — comply.

But I wonder if Winkeler even noticed this:

Provides that any person within this State who transfers or causes to be transferred, by private sale, any firearm, stun gun, or taser shall keep a record of the transfer for a period of 10 years from the date of transfer.

Any person, not just licensed dealers. And transferred, not sold. Did Winkeler loan a hunting buddy a rifle? I hope he remembered to keep that record. And doesn’t lose it for ten years.

So yes, Les Winkeler is a fucking idiot, whom I’m guessing never ran a retail operation.

Ocasio-Cortez is lying, or the GOP has demonstrated a never before seen technical ability.

Which seems more likely to you?

A FAQ appeared on Ocasio-Cortez’s web site. It mentioned a guaranteed income for those unwilling to work, eliminating farting cows, and an end to air travel. And those were some of the less irrational proposals.

Now Che-quita claims it was a fake planted by the GOP to discredit her glorious 10-year plan (twice as good as a Soviet 5-year plan!).

If the GOP did that, they managed to plant it on her site. That’s where it appeared, and from where it was archived. That doesn’t speak well of her computer security.

What’s more, the GOP would have generated a PDF of the FAQ, paying attention to such details as file properties listing her own staffer as the creator. That’s pretty good for folks who can barely figure out email, or pick the right form-letter topic for responses.

AOC wants everyone to ignore all that, and just look at the House Resolution that she and her fellow batshit-crazies are signing onto. I did; frankly, the “fake” FAQ is pretty consistent with the HR.