Friday, September 30, 2011

Texas Border Residents Pawns In Border Security War Games | NewsTaco

Texas Border Residents Pawns In Border Security War Games | NewsTaco

I think the writer is correct on many of the stats and indeed facts, on violence down on the border. The writer is either as wrong misinformed as to the real facts and what they mean. The Generals are correct that a lot of incidents do not get reported, or are reported as non Cartel related, because the border cities do not want the bad rap, true reporting may cause. This head in the sand approach, is unfortunately what the border cities on the other side of the border did for years, and now look at what they have. When I walk over to Reynosa it is a ghost town, gun battles are almost a daily occurrence.

The Generals are also correct that it is moving over at an alarming rate. Talk to people on the border that deal with the issues. Small enclaves of safe houses are already here, for Cartel members that do not want to face the constant violence on the other side. But as the Cartel's come over so do the problems they have with other Cartel members. Already people in McAllen Texas do not go to specific restaurants or even parts of the City at night, for fear of getting in between feuding Cartel members. Not talked about as much, is the fact that some folks are just uncomfortable around Cartel members, who may go off for even the smallest perceived insult, and start fights, that if they look like they will lose, escalate to gun fire.

So like Reynosa and other Mexico side border towns, that saw an increase in business when the Cartels first showed up, border towns on the US side are seeing increases in home sales, bar and restaurant sales, all good things, but the negative side is slowly showing as well. Youth are being brought in as low level assets to Cartels, businesses are seeing extortion attempts rise, the newest being phone scams, that used to be a rare occurrence, are now becoming common place.

One anonymous restaurant owner has confided to friends that his new restaurant that he moved from Mexico, is getting many of the same customers, and the vague threats have started. Many fleeing Mexico, are bypassing the border towns all together, they see the signs, and do not want to deal with it. They consider Houston and Dallas better risks, even though both of those Cities are seeing Cartel problems as well.

Still City leaders with the either support or telling the Police to not report crimes as possible Cartel incidents. We have had gun fights between moving vehicles on a number of occasions. In the last moving vehicle shooting incident, the police report that yes the victims had known Cartel links, and yes there was an assassination on the other side of the border, with links to the victim. But will not make the jump to saying this is Cartel violence. Yes, incidents are just bar fights, yes incidents are domestic fights, the problem is they are people with a propensity for violence as Cartel members over here. A gun man killer on the other side of the border, just does not change his stripes because he came across the border. He just feels he in the meanest guy over here, and will not take any back talk from simple US citizens.

So yes the Generals took some liberties with numbers and statistics, but they are correct on the facts, the war is coming, and to many is already here.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Michael Jackson's security guard, wooed by tabloids, finally speaks at trial -

Michael Jackson's security guard, wooed by tabloids, finally speaks at trial -

This security guard was in over his head, but certainly did his job the best he could.

One, he is listed as a security guard, not a body guard, as many have said he was. Two, he is obviously dedicated to his client. Unfortunately that is where the good part ends, but I will say the many body guards are in the same position as this guard. I think more and more body guards are going to have to be at least familiar with addiction, and as best they can be able to work with the client or sometimes the corporation or family that is paying them, to provide a further service to the client.

It is not often that this comes up, in fact only a few times in the past few years has the ability to deal with a client with addiction problems come up for me. In those cases the clients family or corporation has paid, usually thru a lawyer. There are classes that body guards can take that would help them deal with the issue, this is in addition to the combat or other 5 minuet type medical training every bodyguard should receive. It really was painful to hear that a portable defib was not there, let alone a blood pressure cuff.

Clients, with problems, may actually be receptive to a body guard with these qualifications as they leave a treatment center, but as many bodyguards know, this does not last long if the client is not ready to make a change. So even getting paid by a third or offset party, it is just prudent to get a upfront payment for services, as well as a signed contract. The contract does not have to be a long term thing, just something that will cover time and effort, if the gig goes south quickly. 15 days is what I felt covered my risk. My expenses were paid up front and as incurred.

The fact that you are security not a addiction counselor, is it appears a big plus, as corporations and or families are not big on press possibly seeing a addiction companion, but security does not have a bad connotation. In every case so far it was possible to find local lower cost security folks that had the qualities we needed to take over before the 15 days where up, although staying with the client 30 days or so is common, even with the local support. CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is what I had taken to enhance my interviewing techniques, and that turned out to big plus in these situations. You are not qualified to be a therapist with these courses, although I have found a number of very good body guards who are licensed therapists. I am not sure that this type of work will come up that often, but it is always good to further your capabilites, to increase your value, and or special side abilities.

Hope this helps someone out there,


Monday, September 26, 2011

T.S.A. Sees No Terror Link in Arrest at Kennedy Airport -

T.S.A. Sees No Terror Link in Arrest at Kennedy Airport -

I am not sure what they stopped him for. Stun batons and stun guns are not illegal in the US, in most places, and if they are illegal in the country of arrival it is their problem. The pepper spray may be illegal, but not a federal law, it would have been a state law. Lastly, the Supreme Court was very specific on what was discoverable in this limited search at screening check points, even cash was not considered discoverable. It was only items that could hurt the traveling public. In no way was what was found in the checked bag, a potential harm to the traveling public, it was in the hold, not available to the passengers.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Audio Tapes Reveal More Details In 'Fast And Furious' Gunrunner Scandal | Fox News

Audio Tapes Reveal More Details In 'Fast And Furious' Gunrunner Scandal | Fox News

Lots of Blame to go around here, but the cover up is worse than the actions. The Cartels do not have a lot of problems getting weapons, this just made it easier for a while. I think the Mexican Gov, is also in denial on this, sitting back and acting shocked that it was going on. For the project to get off the ground it had to have Mexican Government approval. Most of the problems happened on that side of the border, when the weapons where lost track of.

ATF ran an operation that was on its face fundamentally sound, operationally in theory a tried and proven sting type of operation. The problem is that so many people are co-opted, I say this rather than corrupted, because so many folks are in such a grey area. They give small amounts of information to friends, at a lunch or social event. That is taken to others that are corrupted and given to the Cartels.

For example a mid level Cartel member was stopped on a main road from Monterrey to Reynosa, he had on him documents that had been transmitted from the US to Mexico that same day, on high level intelligence of the Cartels. This is the fatal flaw of the operation, and many working Agents from both the US side and the Mexico side, knew it was going to doom the operation, and some stated so, in fact very early on in some cases.

The cover up started, it started early, and it got nasty, and this is what has to stop. Yes weapons did go over, but weapons are still going over, mistakes have been made, and more will be made. We need to focus on what ever policies will help mitigate the problems, mainly, have someone check with the folks on the ground to make sure it will work. The CIA had and to some point still has similar problems, the higher ups develop a plan, and then get the folks on the ground to make a flawed operation work.

I still would not throw out the baby with the bath water, these types of stings are very workable in most situations, and should be used. Take a deep breath, learn what we can from mistakes and go forth. I would not change the world, it sounds harsh, but the Cartels will get the weapons from somewhere. They had them before the operation, and they are still getting them. Focus on forward movement.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Court Filing Details Shortcomings of 9/11 Airport Screeners -

Court Filing Details Shortcomings of 9/11 Airport Screeners -

The only folks it appears that thought the screeners where pretty good, are the hijackers that died. The inescapable fact that everyone seems to ignore, is that the screeners did nothing wrong, in fact they did find knives on at least one of the hijackers, and stopped others for more screening, on their own. Everything the hijackers carried on board the aircraft was legal at that time. In fact I carried a spyderco knife called a copilot, right up to the day of the hijackers taking over the plane's and it was bigger that most if not all the weapons carried on the plane. It was called a copilot because spyderco made it just the right size to allow on planes those days.

So this rant on the screeners is way over blown. The hijackers, did not beat the screeners, they did not even try, they beat the system. Our aviation system was using a protocol that all flight crew where trained on. It basically said during a hijacking, all flight crew including the pilots had to follow all commands, including letting the hijackers take over the cockpit, although that had to worry the pilots a lot. So they beat the system, which is why the tactic would not work that way again. I sat with a large number of pilots a few days after the 9/11 incident, and we went thru the scenarios and no one would let that happen again.

If we want to blame anyone than blame the system, which by the way was developed over years, to counter the hijacking threats of the 60s, 70s, & 80s, and was working pretty well. Let the Hijackers take command, rarely if ever did they actually take control, but then let the FBI/FAA negotiate a landing site, and a release or rescue on the ground. Now it was true that hijackers in the past had talked about ramming the planes into a building, in fact a nuclear reactor was once a target. But the main threat was the take over and divert the plane to another location.

In fact the FAA had done a good enough job that hijacking had pretty much disappeared. The terrorists had moved on to bombs, in the belly of planes, the new threat the FAA was fighting. Which was why plans for screening belly bags had move forward.

One last issue, the FAA had determined that the training of the screeners was lacking, so they had a new curriculum in the works, most of which was used as the initial training for the TSA. Still the screeners had not fallen down on the job, and they did not know who Bin Ladin was, but 90% of the people in the world did not know, including many police and public safety people.

I met with a screener at Boston Logan, a week or so after 911, she was crying, and telling me passengers kept saying she killed all those people. For you out there that where screeners back then, thanks for all your good work, mistakes where made at times, but ask TSA mistakes still happen at times. You did not kill anyone.

Rich Roth

Sunday, September 18, 2011

webcamXP - Webcam and Network Camera Surveillance Software

People keep asking how to make a video surveillance system quickly and cheaply.

Here is a quick MacGyver method, that anyone can use. If you have an available web camera, then this is a no cost solution.

First here is a website you can go to and download a free software product for conducting and recording video surveillance. It is free of charge for ever it you are only doing one camera. I know it works I have used it for months, mainly to test IP and USB cameras.

The nice thing about this piece of software is that it works, and so far has worked on every camera both IP high end cameras, even pan tile and zoom, as well as cheap USB cameras. It has a irritating setup procedure, for the first time you use it, but most of the problems I had were because I was expecting it to be harder. But there are enough help points, that you will not have a problem. In fact with USB cameras, they came up so fast, I was still trying to figure out how to install them when it appeared on the screen.

webcamXP - Webcam and Network Camera Surveillance Software

Ok, now installed it on any old computer PC's are the only thing I have tried them on, but so far even old PC's I had in the attic, have worked.

Plug in a USB web camera, into an available USB port, I thought I had one laying around, I did not, so I made a quick trip to a local Comp USA store, but Wall Mart, even many drug stores have them. I paid $9.95 for one, and 19.95 for two more, just to see how well they worked. All worked immediately, the $9.95 USB camera worked but has a poorer picture than I really wanted. But it is good enough to cover a large room, all the way to the front door, and I could recognize people in the recording. The 2 $19.95 cameras, worked better than I could have ever expected. Both by the way had little LED lights on them, so for a range of about 20 feet, they had a useable picture in total outside darkness.

I recorded all cameras, for an hour each, and played them back with out a problem.

If you need to use more than one camera, the webcamXL has a few other options up to five cameras for 50 bucks, and unlimited cameras for 150 bucks. I have not tried either of the other products, but feel free, or at least with a small cost.

This system has a scheduling capability so you can set it up to work only when you want. It has frame count options so you can use a little or a lot of storage depending on what you have available.

If the thief steals your computer they will get the recording, but I used an old USB hard drive I had sitting around and hid the drive behind a wall, which should keep a thief off of it. They normally just unplug everything from the computer and take it.

I hope you find this helpful, I am sure others will have more info for you. But even with the drive to the store for the USB camera, I had this system up and running in less than an hour.