Cyber-Vigilantes take on Indian Scammers


No Tech Support ScamsEver gotten a strange pop-up claiming your computer has a virus? Gotten an email supposedly from Microsoft or Amazon that looks shady? Received a phone call where a person with an Indian accent claiming to have an American name tells you something is wrong with your computer, or that you have a refund from Amazon? Most likely, you are about to get scammed.

These scammers typically will request access to your computer via remote desktop software, and they will take advantage of people lacking detailed knowledge of their computers and the Internet. They particularly prey on the elderly and most of them lack any compassion whatsoever. They will take the last dollar from a disabled veteran and laugh at the “stupid rich American.” The Indian justice system is overwhelmed and has even more cases of buying their way out of jail than ours. Seemingly, there is no solution.

Enter a group of hackers and pranksters who fight back. This type of cyber-vigilante justice is known as scambaiting.

A Day of Darkness and Silence


Resolved: Inauguration Day 2021 should be a day for patriots to go dark and stay silent, to mourn a passing and to prepare for the challenge and struggle ahead.  Let the land be filled only with ignoble bureaucrats and their small, scared followers, surrounded by police and military, with no threats to be seen (because they are unwilling to look within). 

Not a day of celebration, but a day to reflect on next steps, and to get on with the work of nation building in the face of a temporary setback.  Let the contrast be stark with the enthusiasm due only to leaders who serve the American people.  The incoming administration is one richly deserving of being ignored, and opposed when necessary.  But I propose that there be no public rallies on this day, no protests, no attention paid to these unworthy pretenders led by a cipher – a zero of no importance. 

You Weren’t Wrong & You’re Not Alone


You weren’t wrong, and you’re not alone. It’s important to keep that in mind because there’s going to be a test later. Make no mistake though, you are at war.

The first play in modern warfare is to disrupt communications, and this is what our spiritual enemies are doing today. They want us isolated from those who would encourage us, provide intel, and coordinate opposition. Once that’s accomplished, they will attempt to crush our spirits, which is much easier to do if we’re in isolation. In that dark place one may begin to doubt the cause, and perhaps entertain the idea that our allies have abandoned us. They haven’t, not all of them. But the enemy wants us to think they have, and even become bitter towards them.

“In nothing is the power of the dark lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all who still oppose him.”

Violence Against Police on January 6th


The New York Post tells the appalling stories of two police who went to assist at the Capitol and were savaged by the rioters:

Officer Michael Fanone was on desk duty last Wednesday when he decided to join his fellow officers at the Capitol to control the rowdy mob, but what happened next, he says, was unimaginable.

QotD: From Sharyl Attkisson on Censorship


Saw this and thought of many of us:

When you see news outlets, “fact checkers,” Internet companies, and others working hard to keep you from seeing or believing something; or controversializing a news outlet, reporter, or other person; use that as a cue to understand that the item/fact/study at issue may actually be true and worthy of further inquiry on your part. The attention giving to censor or controversialize typically signals that powerful interests are trying to hide something or attempting to further a narrative that may be false.

19th Nervous Breakdown (This Week): An Isolation Photo Journal, Round 2


Guess who ended up in English quarantine again? (For anyone that wasn’t around for the last time this happened, you can read/see the beginning of the saga right here).

Because I chose to visit my parents in Massachusetts for three weeks, I got to have a lovely, ten-day mandatory quarantine alone, in my dorm room/flat. In between all of the fun of completing graduate school applications and getting ready for the start of school on Monday (as well as painting, reading, contemplating escape, practicing harp, working on Hebrew, contemplating escape, workshopping recital routines, boxing practice, and contemplating escape), I took a few minutes each day to make a meme about my experiences in isolation for the PiT, through the medium of Keith Richards. So without further a-due, for your amusement ‘The 14 days of Quarantine: Keef Style, Part 2’:

Impeachment of a Former President is Unconstitutional


As pointed out by Senator Tom Cotton, impeachment and conviction of a former President is not allowed by the impeachment provisions of the Constitution which provide in so many words that upon a conviction in the Senate the President shall be removed from office.

That is pretty obvious, which of course means that the Democrats and the DemMedia will either ignore the point or ridicule the argument.

Jason Piccolo joins the show. Jason spent over a decade in various capacities with the US Army, in active duty and reserve. His service included a deployment to Iraq in 2006 as the Anti-Terrorism Officer for the  Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula. Jason has also been in law enforcement for over twenty years, including patrolling the US-Mexico border as a Border Patrol agent and later with the White House Security Council’s Human Smuggling Cell.

Jason is the author of two books: Unwavering, about his time as a Border Patrol agent, and Out of the Shadows, detailing his decision in 2015 to become a whistle blower, exposing the fact that Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) were being handed over to criminal sponsors.

As the president spends his final days in office embattled, progressives in Congress, Silicon Valley, and the incoming administration seize on the opportunity to mount new offensives against the Right. Will conservative populism survive the onslaught? Victor Davis Hanson explores that question and others in the newest installment of The Classicist.

Surviving a Siege Mentality


Much of the country feels we are going through a civil war; it just hasn’t been formally declared yet, although many of us have said that the last four years have felt like a war. The current environment is so detrimental to our country that I fear for our wellbeing, mentally and physically.

If you ask the people whose homes and businesses have been destroyed, they would likely tell you how devastated they feel. Their entire lives may have been invested in starting their businesses. Sacrifices were made, economically and relationally. They thought they were in a great country, where they could thrive and reap the benefits of a free society. And then in one vicious attack, it was all taken away. Their hopes and dreams were tossed onto the ash heap. And if it felt like a war, they had no one to protect them, and often couldn’t protect themselves. Now they are trapped in a nightmare with little relief.

Your Opinion on Impeachment


I’d like to gauge the extent of support for, or opposition to, impeachment among the Ricochetti.  Here’s what I ask you to do: I’m going to set forth two questions, and if you’re interested in participating, I ask that you answer them in the comments.  This will work better if you refrain from commenting or arguing, and simply state your answers.

The two questions are:

As we post this podcast, the US has vaccinated about 2 percent of its population, Canada is at 0.5 percent, France is at 0.001 percent, and Israel? 20 percent. By the end of this week, Israel will have vaccinated two-thirds of its population over 60 years old and most of the country’s medical staff, at which point they will all be called back for their second vaccination.

According to international studies, Israel’s healthcare system has been ranked among the most efficient in the world. And due to big data and AI, the Israeli health system is certainly one of the most digitally advanced.

Fortress DC: ‘Your Papers, Please’


I have lived and worked in the DC metro area for more than 50 years. I have seen or joined numerous large demonstrations prompted by civil rights, the Vietnam War, abortion, and/or the Tea Party. I recall the 1968 riots after the assassination of MLK and saw the aftermath of the more recent Floyd rioting.

With the exception of the 1968 Riots, I have never seen such a comprehensive response by authorities as is currently underway in anticipation of the Biden inauguration. Never this far in advance for anything. Downtown streets are closed and every Metro train station within a 100-block area is to be closed a full week in advance of the event. Downtown is almost empty and (mostly unmarked) cars with flashing lights are blocking the single lane entrance to the affected roads each with large concrete barriers. There are now actually more police on the street on K Street than civilian pedestrians.

Yesterday, our office needed a service call for the A/C in the computer server room. (We are aberrant–we almost never close and we show up despite weather, riots, fascism, and/or pandemics and the existence of Zoom and Teams.) To arrange that visit, we needed to email a service request in writing so the company could print it out to be shown to the police to prove the tech has a valid reason for entering the cordoned zone. His truck was still banned so he had to park outside the zone and come on foot carrying tools and testing equipment. He was permitted to do that even though he fit the new dangerous profile: a working-class white guy in work boots and jeans–with tools.

Marsh v. Alabama: Amazon, Google, Apple, and Twitter


Does ownership convey complete dominion?

The First Amendment does not apply to private parties, only the State, therefore a private business can prohibit speech with impunity. That’s the familiar argument. What is not so familiar is that that’s not the law of the land. We do respect the rule of law don’t we? Most everyone in America just spent the last week thumping their chests and proclaiming utmost respect for the rule of law. OK, then. Let’s follow the existing law. In a direct conflict between property rights and the rights protected by the First Amendment, the applicable law is contained in the 1946 Supreme Court case of Marsh v. Alabama. Spoiler alert – the First Amendment wins.

Silicon Valley vs. Free Speech


Suddenly, free speech is in serious trouble.

Six years ago, CEO Jack Dorsey could proclaim “Twitter stands for freedom of expression. We stand for speaking truth to power.“ Last week, Dorsey and other big tech titans unleashed a massive speech suppression initiative, based on the notion that not only President Trump, but also anyone who supported him, including conservatives and Republicans en masse, must be silenced in the interest of public safety.

The silencing was comprehensive and ruthless. Recently increased censorship in social media had all been directed to the right. Then Facebook and Twitter joined in a permanent ban of the president. It was necessary to silence the President of the United States, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, because his claims of voter fraud were false and it would be dangerous to allow him to keep making them.

“Ты куда?”: Where has Russia’s Brain Gone? (Borscht Report #6)


The утечка мозгов/brain drain has been a concern for Russia since the 1990s, when the collapse of the USSR and the resulting political and economic chaos pushed those with sufficient means and desire to escape to do just that. All told, about 2.5 million Russians of various ethnic and economic backgrounds left the country between 1989 and 1999, heading predominantly for the US, Israel, and the EU, especially Germany. Despite the massive gains which the Russian economy saw in the first decade of the 21st century, a further 1.6-2 million people have fled the country since 2000. It would be easy to posit that this is mostly the result of economic issues in the country brought about by Western sanctions and the fall in hydrocarbon prices, or a lack of high paying jobs for skilled people. And these are issues, but a more interesting, and telling, one is at play when we parse the data before and after 2012. 

Living in the Hate of the Common People, continued


In late December, I posted Living in the Hate of the Common People, which was inspired by the comment of an anti-Brexit Brit who said “I think we need to find a way to stop the working class from voting altogether” and also “Idiots and racists shouldn’t be able to ruin the lives of people who do well in life by voting for things they don’t understand. The problem in this country boils down to low information morons having the ability to vote.” I cited other examples of the same kind of thinking.

Yesterday, it was reported (by Veritas) that a lawyer employed by PBS had resigned after being caught saying things like it was “great” that coronavirus cases were spiking in red states because they might infect Trump voters and suggested that Republican voters should have their children put in re-education camps.

Donald Trump is now the only president ever impeached twice. Yes, that says a lot about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, and the Democratic Party’s, obsessive quest to remove him from office. But the impeachment is also the result of a disastrous turn in Trump’s presidency since the November 3 election. The turn was so consequential that it makes sense to divide Trump’s term into the time before November 3, 2020, and then what happened after. With the notable exception of the COVID vaccine, everything Trump did after the election has led to catastrophe for himself, the Republican Party, and the nation. And it all stemmed from one decision: Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election.

Is Loyalty a Meaningless Word?


Does anyone care about loyalty anymore? Loyalty to principles, country, people and institutions seems to be disappearing, or its meaning has been manipulated to meet a multitude of agendas. And along with all the other cultural disruptions, the state of loyalty is endangered.

We used to believe that loyalty to principles was a significant commitment. It’s not that we couldn’t examine, evaluate or discuss all principles, but we pursued activities to better understand them, to learn how our principles interfaced with the principles of others, or even how we might act to uphold them. We were both proud of and humbled by the principles we held, and looked for opportunities to realize them in our lives. And yet many have embraced a loyalty of convenience—they’ll put their chips where they can get the most power and leverage. There is moral relativism as well, where everyone gets to decide for him or herself what matters and what is sacred.

Limited, Local, Lawful Government


I have been an active poster and commenter on Ricochet since the beginning; way back when Peter came down the mountain with the Code of Conduct and Rob was still scribbling graffiti on the side of NRO cruise ships.

The concept and the membership really haven’t changed much. Contributors come and go. Ever more podcasts elbow each other for a place in the spotlight. We have more options on the site now, like groups and private messages. We have more meetups. Ne’er-do-wells are still sacrificed to the PIT.

I Love This Fence Outside the Capitol


This fence is my photo of the week. Thanks to Architectus for the photo. Unfortunately, it should have been in place on January 5th outside the Capitol building. This fence would have prevented the launching of a thousand posts, media punditry, and stupid comments from Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer. The impeachment word would have disappeared, as well as hundreds of thousands of comments.

One woman and one Capitol police officer might still be alive if this fence had been in place on January 5th. We wouldn’t have been subjected to videos of violent morons trashing the interior of the Capitol. We wouldn’t have had to listen to morons that were silent for months on violence in American cities that were subjected to mostly peaceful protests. There were a lot of rioters that got their Christmas shoplifting done in those summer months.