Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Our City Council Could Easily Build Public Housing In Los Angeles — Instead Of Giving Away Public Property To Private Developers For Putatively Affordable Housing — But Instead They Say Public Housing Is Illegal — They Say They Can’t Do It — This Is A Lie — Here Are Concrete Steps We Can Take To Force Them To At Least Try To Build Some

The Los Angeles City Council is very fond of giving away publicly owned property to real estate developers to build what passes for affordable housing.1 Judging by the fact that they never do it, they’re decidedly unfond of building public housing.2 At least some Councilmembers, though, are also fond of lying about their ability to build public housing at all — ask one about it and maybe they’ll tell you that new public housing projects are illegal in California.3

This is a lie, by the way. An utterly shameless lie. In fact they could easily use City land for City-owned housing. Here are some steps we might take to force them to do it. But first let’s talk about the origin of this illegal public housing lie. It’s based on Article 34 of the California Constitution.4 The key part says:
Continue reading Our City Council Could Easily Build Public Housing In Los Angeles — Instead Of Giving Away Public Property To Private Developers For Putatively Affordable Housing — But Instead They Say Public Housing Is Illegal — They Say They Can’t Do It — This Is A Lie — Here Are Concrete Steps We Can Take To Force Them To At Least Try To Build Some

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Washington DC Folks Love To Ride ATVs On Public Streets — The Washington Metropolitan Police Department Has Been Spending Beaucoup De Bucks Actively Surveilling — Investigating — And Arresting Riders — For Years On End — Not Only That But Sworn Officers Swear To Warrant Affadavits With Copy/Paste Errors — Casting A Great Deal Of Doubt On Their Veracity — All This In Service Of White Supremacy — When If Anyone In Power Saw Poor Black Residents As Human Beings This Could Be Worked Out Easily With No Cops Involved — And The Money Could Then Be Spent On Something Socially Desirable

This post is based on records taken from the recent ransomware attack on the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. The material is incredibly sensitive, so I’m not publishing any of it unredacted. I will share it with people who will promise credibly to use it responsibly. Email me if you’re interested.

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department was recently attacked by a ransomware gang, which ended up dumping more than 150 gigabytes of really sensitive data online. Most of it is unsuitable for responsible publication, but it’s still possible to draw interesting conclusions publicly.

In particular, of the approximately 165 gigabytes released, 49 had to do with human resources and the other 116 with what people generally think of as real police work. Of that material 47 gigabytes, which is about 40%, has to do with a years-long investigation into illegal ATV use on DC streets.

The ATV issue is essentially fueled by race and class conflict. Powerful politicos in the District bitch and moan about outlawry, visible signs of disorder, laxity in putatively permissive DC courts, and disrespect of police officers while more sensible people realize that what appears to be a problem to the uncritical or dishonest observer is in fact created by the laws against it, that it has many positive and essentially human aspects, and advocate for their repeal.

The investigation, which is apparently ongoing, involves surveillance photos and video, taken on both public streets and private property.1 There are hundreds of arrest warrants, powerpoint presentations announcing rewards, and so on. This is a major police operation and it must be incredibly resource-intensive both in money and time.

The photographs were taken by multiple detectives, all of whom were paid to take them. The arrest warrants were written and filed by multiple officers, also of course paid for their time. And they appear to take up a lot of time. Here are four examples, all issued in 2019 and 2020 for the same person:2
Continue reading Washington DC Folks Love To Ride ATVs On Public Streets — The Washington Metropolitan Police Department Has Been Spending Beaucoup De Bucks Actively Surveilling — Investigating — And Arresting Riders — For Years On End — Not Only That But Sworn Officers Swear To Warrant Affadavits With Copy/Paste Errors — Casting A Great Deal Of Doubt On Their Veracity — All This In Service Of White Supremacy — When If Anyone In Power Saw Poor Black Residents As Human Beings This Could Be Worked Out Easily With No Cops Involved — And The Money Could Then Be Spent On Something Socially Desirable

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How To Discover And Access Ransomware Data Dumps On The Dark Web

Since I was cited recently in Harriet Ryan’s article for the LA Times about the recent Azusa Police ransomware data dump I’ve gotten a few requests for info on how to access this kind of material. This post is a practical guide, so I’m relegating background material to footnotes. There’s a quick guide for beginners and a more advanced guide for people comfortable with the Linux command line and similar techniques.
Continue reading How To Discover And Access Ransomware Data Dumps On The Dark Web

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Emails Obtained From Creepy Zillionaire Haven Calabasas Show That They Appear To Have One Homeless Resident And The Entire City Government Follows Him Around And Calls The Cops On Him Daily — Because He Walked By The High School — Or He Walked By A Lemonade Stand — Or He Walked By Someone’s House

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: I’m just going to tell you right up front that there is actually no point whatsoever to the post you’ve just started reading. It’s really nothing more than a heap of anecdotes strung together without so much as a smidge of narrative synthesis interspersed with pointless sarcasm, signifying nothing. But that’s the content you’re here for, innit?!

I recently got a bunch of emails from the formerly unincorporated white supremacist mountain stronghold known as the City of Calabasas as part of my ongoing investigation into those terroristic antihomeless West Valley vigilante Facebook groups you’ve been reading so much about, most recently in L.A. Taco, where just today the incomparable Lexis-Olivier Ray published another excellent piece on the subject. And specifically into rogue cop Sean Dinse, who has some kind of relationship with Calabasas Mayor Pro-Tem1 Alicia Weintraub.

Calabasas being the creepy little backwater bastion of white privilege that it is, I got the usual braindead pushback to my request at first with Alicia Weintraub claiming that she didn’t possess any emails between her and Dinse but, and this is essential advanced CPRAlogical praxis, of course I hadn’t asked without knowing from other sources that, in fact, there were such emails. So after a surprisingly minimal amount of argument the City admitted that they’d made an unintentional error, which is what public agencies call it when they lie and then get caught, and agreed to produce. And they did produce. And you can look at a selection of the produced material here on the Internet Archive.

And there’s no bloody shirt to wave here, none of the supervillain stylings so characteristic of the City government of Los Angeles. What we find instead is a bunch of small town politicians with too much time on their hands and too little of substance to occupy them. And, it appears, one single unhoused resident that they all follow around and discuss with one another.

Now he’s walking by a school! Now he’s carrying stuff! Now he walked past my Ring camera! Just look at the video! Now he walked down a street! And worst of all, now he walked by my kids’ lemonade stand! And they were terrified! THAT IS ABSOLUTELY FRIGHTENING!!! And, you know, it is absolutely frightening. But not for the reasons these people think it is. Read on for some stills from that terrifying Ring camera video!
Continue reading Emails Obtained From Creepy Zillionaire Haven Calabasas Show That They Appear To Have One Homeless Resident And The Entire City Government Follows Him Around And Calls The Cops On Him Daily — Because He Walked By The High School — Or He Walked By A Lemonade Stand — Or He Walked By Someone’s House

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An Archive of Santa Susana Field Laboratory Documents



guest post by Kim Cooper of Esotouric tours

Last week, The Department of Energy announced that an agreement had been reached with the California Sate Historic Preservation Office, to allow archeologists and representatives of native communities to examine areas of historic significance prior to toxic remediation at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) Superfund site.

Curious to learn more about the Pre-Conquest artifacts on the site, I threw some keywords into a search engine, and found… something else entirely.

Scanned for OCR search and visible to the internet, though at least partially otherwise unlisted, I had hit upon a cache of PDF files hosted on an obsolete version of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory cleanup website.

These documents, written by and to Rocketdyne, Boeing, independent scientists, government agencies, lawyers, politicians and community groups in some cases are stamped or inscribed with strong warnings of confidentiality or use restriction.

Among the restricted documents I read was HDMSE00251897.pdf, a 1957 memo documenting repeated incidents of sludge and discolored water runoff onto Brandeis Camp, a Jewish retreat downstream from Rocketdyne—two years before the partial meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) nuclear power plant. This document was referenced in the 2015 NBC4 investigative series L.A.’s Nuclear Secret, but appears not to have been published.

While I know a thing or two about the Santa Susana Mountains, my particular expertise is in the cultural history of local religious cults like The Royal Arms of the Great Eleven and WKFL Fountain of the World.
Continue reading An Archive of Santa Susana Field Laboratory Documents

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Ultra-Corrupt Former ABC Agent Will Salao Is Running A Lobbying Firm For Alcohol Licensing — And Representing Himself As A Knowledgeable Former ABC Special Agent In Charge — The California ABC Is Not Happy About This And They Submitted A Letter To Judge John Kronstadt Asking Him To Prevent Salao From Doing This As A Condition Of His Sentence — Which Will Be Handed Down On March 28, 2019 — Government Seems To Recommend Sentence At Low End Of Sentencing Guidelines For Indicted Salao Co-Conspirator Scott Seo — Although It’s Hard To Be Sure Because A Lot Of Their Reasoning Is Under Seal

Don’t forget that on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at 8:30 AM in Judge John Kronstadt’s Courtroom 10B in the First Street Federal Courthouse ultra-corrupt former ABC agent Will Salao and his thoroughly indicted co-conspirator Scott Seo will be sentenced for their ultra-corrupt crimes. Although probably Will Salao is going to get less than Seo because it seems likely that he is a cooperating witness and Seo is not.1

And recently some sentencing material was filed with the court but it was all filed under seal so we’re not to know what was in it. But just now the government filed an unsealed version of their recommendations for Seo’s sentence. You can get the sentencing position here and the exhibits here. The first item is fairly interesting, and the government recommends the low end of the guidelines-based sentence because Seo has a family to support.

However, one of the exhibits is really interesting. It’s a long letter from ABC general counsel Matthew Botting describing the fairly appalling fact that Will Salao is presently running a consulting business in the advertising for which he characterizes his last job as “Supervising Agent In Charge of the ABC/LA Metro District Office,” omitting salient adjectives like “disgraced,” “corrupt,” “indicted,” and so on.

I have essentially zero sympathy for the ABC on anything at this point because my recent experience has made it clear that they’re all a bunch of power-drunk sociopaths, but I can certainly see their point. The upshot of the letter is that they ask Judge Kronstadt as part of both Seo’s and Salao’s sentences, to bar them from representing, advising, or consulting with people about anything to do with the ABC.

I wonder, though, if this kind of restriction is actually within a judge’s power to impose. It seems at least plausible to me that it’s a violation of the First Amendment. Maybe it’s allowable if they’re forbidden from lobbying for pay? But maybe not. As always, turn the page for a transcription, and maybe come out to the sentencing hearing next week!
Continue reading Ultra-Corrupt Former ABC Agent Will Salao Is Running A Lobbying Firm For Alcohol Licensing — And Representing Himself As A Knowledgeable Former ABC Special Agent In Charge — The California ABC Is Not Happy About This And They Submitted A Letter To Judge John Kronstadt Asking Him To Prevent Salao From Doing This As A Condition Of His Sentence — Which Will Be Handed Down On March 28, 2019 — Government Seems To Recommend Sentence At Low End Of Sentencing Guidelines For Indicted Salao Co-Conspirator Scott Seo — Although It’s Hard To Be Sure Because A Lot Of Their Reasoning Is Under Seal

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L.A. Times 2018 Move To El Segundo Left Reporters With Insufficient Office Space Downtown — Reduced Them To Begging City Departments For Places To Work — Perhaps It’s Not So Easy To Maintain Journalistic Independence When You Have To Ask The LAPD For Permission To Charge Your Phone In Their Building — And They Tell You “Sure But Not Every Day, K?”

Remember in April 2018 when Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the L.A. Times and promptly announced that he was moving the headquarters from the historic building at First and Spring, which Tribune Media sold to Canadian real estate developers Onni Group in 2016, to El Freaking Segundo because Onni had proposed to jack up their rent by one million dollars per month? And soon thereafter Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine attempted to assuage everyone’s fears by telling the Columbia Journalism Review stuff like this:

… we are keeping a presence downtown. We will have an office with several dozen seats in it, and I would expect we’d probably have a pretty senior editor here responsible for it. Secondly, without taking away from the importance of physical location of where your desk is, it’s more important to talk about where your reporters are.

But recently I laid my hands on a big pile of emails between Times reporters and the LAPD’s Media Relations Division. You can browse these here on Archive.Org, and there is a ton of interesting stuff in there, although it’s mostly if not wholly off-topic for this blog. And there is also this email conversation from July 2018 between LA Times police reporter Cindy Chang and Media Relations commander in chief Patricia Sandoval. And this tells a slightly different story than Norman Pearlstine’s Pollyannaistic whiggery!1

From: Chang, Cindy
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2018 10:36 AM
To: Patricia Sandoval <25981@lapd.online>
Cc: Joshua Rubenstein <n5373@lapd.online>
Subject: press office at LAPD

Hi Trish,

There’s a press office on the first floor of PAB, correct? As we’re moving to El Segundo, we’re trying to tabulate the office space available in the agencies we cover. Our downtown bureau won’t have many seats, so other options will be helpful.

I’m off the early part of this week. Would it be possible to see the space later this week or next week?

Cindy Chang

Staff writer, Los Angeles Times
cindv.chanq@latimes.com

213.237.7016

And turn the page for the rest of the story!
Continue reading L.A. Times 2018 Move To El Segundo Left Reporters With Insufficient Office Space Downtown — Reduced Them To Begging City Departments For Places To Work — Perhaps It’s Not So Easy To Maintain Journalistic Independence When You Have To Ask The LAPD For Permission To Charge Your Phone In Their Building — And They Tell You “Sure But Not Every Day, K?”

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Why Is The RAND Corporation Paying Off People In Skid Row To Discuss Public Safety? — The Same RAND Corporation Whose Pro-BID Study Is So Influential That It Is Cited In The Actual Property And Business Improvement District Act — The Same RAND Corporation That’s Funded By The Department Of Homeland Security — The Same RAND Corporation That Justified Carpet Bombing And Torture In The Vietnam War For Robert McNamara — The Same RAND Corporation That Paid “Megadeath Intellectual” Herman Kahn And His Ilk To Theorize About Winnable Nuclear War

The flyer you’re looking at was posted around Downtown Los Angeles recently, seeking participants in discussion groups about “neighborhood safety,” to be paid $25 for 90 minutes of their time. As you can see at the bottom, the moving force behind this was the RAND corporation, a Santa Monica based think tank that has been providing theory-driven rationalizations for all manner of murderous government policies since 1948.

Now, I don’t know what kind of information RAND is looking for here or what they’re planning to use it for, although the multiple layers of deception embedded in the poster itself1 make it hard to believe that they’re working on anything life-affirming. I do know that RAND has a history with business improvement districts in Los Angeles.

BIDs actively collect data about what passes for public safety in zillionaire circles and repurpose it as propaganda in the service of the vast development and gentrification machine in which they are teensy cogs. For instance, as putative evidence that more and more and more police are needed in gentrifying areas, and that those police need increased powers to deal with the putative danger. Or that more and more and more BIDs are needed and that those BIDs need increased powers as well.

Without evidence to the contrary it’s likely that, whatever else the information they’re gathering might be used for, RAND is certainly going to use it for this kind of thing. Or, once published, it will be used for this even if not by RAND. This has happened before. Just for instance, in 2009 RAND released a massive report on Los Angeles BIDs and public safety. Although the results of this study were ambiguous, nevertheless it has been taken up by both BIDs and by governments as weighty evidence in favor of the theory that BIDs reduce crime.

So much so, in fact, that it’s actually cited in the Property and Business Improvement District Act of 1994 as one of the reasons that the State Legislature promotes the formation of business improvement districts, at §36601(e)(1):

Property and business improvement districts formed throughout this state have conferred special benefits upon properties and businesses within their districts and have made those properties and businesses more useful by providing the following benefits … Crime reduction. A study by the Rand Corporation has confirmed a 12-percent reduction in the incidence of robbery and an 8-percent reduction in the total incidence of violent crimes within the 30 districts studied.

Tangentially, this report is surprisingly honest in a weirdly Orwellian sense about what BIDs are up to, much more so than the BIDs themselves ever are. For instance, read this selection,2 wherein the authors “… describe the BIDs in terms of their public safety (or social control), beautification (or broken windows), and marketing (or place promotion).”
Continue reading Why Is The RAND Corporation Paying Off People In Skid Row To Discuss Public Safety? — The Same RAND Corporation Whose Pro-BID Study Is So Influential That It Is Cited In The Actual Property And Business Improvement District Act — The Same RAND Corporation That’s Funded By The Department Of Homeland Security — The Same RAND Corporation That Justified Carpet Bombing And Torture In The Vietnam War For Robert McNamara — The Same RAND Corporation That Paid “Megadeath Intellectual” Herman Kahn And His Ilk To Theorize About Winnable Nuclear War

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Will Salao Pleads Guilty To Bribery And Corruption Charges — His Plea Deal Was Evidently Signed In September 2018 And Filed Under Seal — It Is Still Under Seal — Evidently This Makes It Likely That He Snitched Out His Codefendant Scott Seo — Who Also Pled Guilty Today — And Whose Plea Deal Was Signed On November 20 — Not Under Seal — Photography Is Forbidden In Federal Court — But MK.Org’s Own Courtroom Artist Takes Care Of Business!

Will Salao, corrupt and discredited and federally indicted former ABC agent, this morning in federal court before judge John Kronstadt changed his plea to guilty as he was scheduled to do. During the procedure it came out that Salao’s plea agreement with the government was filed under seal on September 19, 2018. This is big news because the indictment, also under seal at first, wasn’t filed until September 21, 2018. It sure looks like the indictment must have been based on Salao’s cooperation, does it not?

This theory is consistent with the fact that Salao changed his plea to guilty directly after his coconspirator Scott Seo, who also pled guilty this morning, signed a plea agreement on November 20, 2018. This agreement is not under seal and you can get a copy here if you are interested. Even though Salao’s plea agreement is still sealed, some facts about it came out in the hearing. For instance, he will be ordered to pay no more than $23,400 in restitution. By contrast Seo agreed to pay approximately $88,400.
Continue reading Will Salao Pleads Guilty To Bribery And Corruption Charges — His Plea Deal Was Evidently Signed In September 2018 And Filed Under Seal — It Is Still Under Seal — Evidently This Makes It Likely That He Snitched Out His Codefendant Scott Seo — Who Also Pled Guilty Today — And Whose Plea Deal Was Signed On November 20 — Not Under Seal — Photography Is Forbidden In Federal Court — But MK.Org’s Own Courtroom Artist Takes Care Of Business!

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Is Will Salao Planning To Change His Plea To “Guilty”? — Something Is Happening But We Don’t Know What It Is — Hearing Scheduled For Thursday, November 29, At 8:30 A.M.

This is just a very short note to announce that mere moments ago a text-only scheduling notice hit PACER which suggests the possibility that ultra-corrupt former ABC agent Will Salao may be changing his plea. You will recall that he was indicted under seal in September and possibly also that he pled not guilty to all charges last month. But as I said, just after 7 p.m. this evening, the following note showed up on PACER:

(IN CHAMBERS) ORDER SETTING CHANGE OF PLEA HEARING RE DEFENDANT WILBUR M. SALAO (2) by Judge John A. Kronstadt: Pursuant to the request of the parties, the Court sets a hearing regarding Defendant’s change of plea for November 29, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. THERE IS NO PDF DOCUMENT ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ENTRY. (ake) TEXT ONLY ENTRY

I don’t know what it means, but doubtless it means something. Turn the page for courtroom information.
Continue reading Is Will Salao Planning To Change His Plea To “Guilty”? — Something Is Happening But We Don’t Know What It Is — Hearing Scheduled For Thursday, November 29, At 8:30 A.M.

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