Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

I swear, you write one little post on how to bring down the electrical grid and you never hear the end of it…

Written By: Bob - Feb• 05•14

More than a year ago I wrote Shock the System, a brief description of the inherent fragility of the electrical grid. I thought nothing about it at the time, as the information I’d posted was common knowledge to anyone who had ever worked even on the fringes of public utilities, and attacking these systems has been part of military strategy dating back at least until the Second World War.

Nonetheless, I was immediately made aware of it when someone (or someones) in California decided to put some of those theories to the test in California some three months later in April of 2013.

For whatever reason, the story is in the news again today, which by my estimate, is at least the third time the story a been brought up since the attack took place. This time, they’re revealing a little more detail:

The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Smith reports that a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman is acknowledging for the first time that a group of snipers shot up a Silicon Valley substation for 19 minutes last year, knocking out 17 transformers before slipping away into the night.

The attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the U.S., Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, told Smith.

A blackout was avoided thanks to quick-thinking utility workers, who rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. But the substation was knocked out for a month.

The FBI says it doesn’t believe a terrorist organization caused the attack but that it continues to investigate the incident.

Smith and colleague Tom McGinty assembled a detailed chronology of the attack that includes some amazing details, including more than 100 fingerprint-free shell casings similar to ones used by AK-47s that were found at the site and small piles of rocks that appeared to have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.

A U.S. Navy investigation ordered by Wellinghoff determined “it was a targeting package just like they would put together for an attack,” he said.

Personally, I’m underwhelmed.

It sounds to me like authorities are fishing, dribbling out tidbits of information, perhaps hoping to track down who reads all the media coverage, hoping to narrow down a list of suspects… perhaps by taking an existing list of suspects and seeing which ones pour over the news stories of the attack to see if they’ve been compromised.

OR…

Nah. Couldn’t be.

Thoughts on militia kit

Written By: Bob - Dec• 28•13

I’m going to be working on a post for Bearing Arms ( you know, the Second Amendment site that I now run for a living) on “militia kit.”

The basic premise for the article is that as the Founders wanted Americans to be armed with arms and accouterments of military utility for militia use, then we have a civic duty to be appropriately armed, equipped, and trained to function at a very basic level as riflemen.

The problem I’m having in writing this article is deciding:

  • What arms should be considered acceptable for militia use? Considering that the M4/M/16 platform is the military standard and shares 80%  parts commonality with the AR-15 for repair, maintenance, and resupply purposes, I’m having a hard time accepting an argument for anything other than an AR-15 from a logical point of view… but I’m open to persuasion.  I’m less interested in pistols and shotguns because of their comparatively limited use.
  • how expansive the ” standard kit” should be? Should it just be the rifle, mags, ammo cleaning kit, and something to carry it all, or should it include sustenance equipment?
  • What should be considered a minimal level of acceptable training and competency?
  • Should a minimal level of  physical conditioning be part of the requirement, and if so, what is that minimal standard?

I do not have any illusions of developing actual functional militia units or even fire-teams with such a project, but think that a nation of riflemen with adequate arms and marksmanship training form a powerful deterrent force against tyranny that could be molded into a fighting force with real training in a shorter amount of time than a citizenry with no standards, common equipment, or minimal proficiency at arms.

I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments.

Welcome to the Minitrue

Written By: Bob - Dec• 14•13

That there was a shooting at a high school just eight miles from Columbine yesterday was bad enough. That the Denver Post immediately began trying to whitewash the “outspoken Socialist” background of the shooter to protect their precious narrative is even worse.

When did Winston Smith become the managing editor there, anyway?

 

Where do you draw the line? A question for law enforcement.

Written By: Bob - Dec• 02•13

This young woman puts a very good question to the law enforcement community.

Where do you stand, my friends?

EBT user laments she won’t be able to buy exotic fresh fruits

Written By: Bob - Nov• 02•13

I’m trying real hard to find some sympathy here… and I got nothin’.

“It may not sound like a lot but to a person like me, it is,” says Annie Crisp, 30, a single mother of two girls in Lancaster, Ohio. “It’s not just a number.”

She says she received a little less than $550 a month in food stamps and now will receive $497. Crisp, a babysitter who brings home about $830 a month, says the food stamps help her buy her family fresh fruits, vegetables and meat.

Crisp worries now she may end up trying to supplement her family’s groceries by going to a food bank or cutting into her electric or gas money for the month. The cut, she says, also means she will have to buy more canned fruits and vegetables, foregoing her daughters’ favorite fruit, kiwi, and buying packaged meat.

Crisps’ family eats better than most people not on food stamps. I’m not remotely sorry that she’ll have to start eating frozen and canned vegetables, and choosing prepackaged meats instead of asking the butcher to cut her a stack of fresh inch-thick ribeyes.

Food stamps was not supposed to provide luxuries. It was supposed to keep families from starving.

Perhaps for the first time in their lives, EBT users might actually have to use their brains and shop intelligently and use coupons for the best food deals… just like those millions of hard-working taxpayers who pay for their food.