28 January 2015

Six Million Ways To Die -- We're All At Risk Pt. 1

Most City Homes Face Imminent Danger
29 January 2015
By A.F. James MacArthur
Agitator-In-Chief
@BaltoSpectator

I could have been killed Wednesday. But it wasn't the first time.

Having been shot, knife attacked, endured numerous car crashes, motorcycle accidents, a boating mishap, and even a near miss in the skies, I live life being ever aware of just how fragile it is. Truly, our lives can be taken away at any moment.

While working on  our websites this evening, I began to smell the distinct odor of natural gas.

Before starting my work, I had placed a big pot of water on the stove. I needed boiling water to brew some herbal tea. Knowing this would take a few minutes, I went upstairs to Studio B at MacArthur Media world headquarters. There were a few things I thought I'd take care of before heading back down to the kitchen to add the tea bags.

Initially the smell didn't concern me much. Sometimes when using a gas stove, it's not entirely unusual to detect a hint of odor. But in a few moments, I realized this was a bit different. With the studio door closed, the smell was a bit stronger than it should be.
Gas stove explosions can level an entire house.


Racing downstairs, I discovered for some strange reason, the burner on the stove had flamed out. Explosive, flammable natural gas was pumping into the room. I can only guess how much of it had already filled the room before I shut things off and proceeded to ventilate the building.

If some source of ignition, some sort of errant spark met with the invisible pool of gas, a mushroom cloud could have easily been part of the view in the skies of North Baltimore Wednesday.

Even without an explosion, prolonged inhalation of high amounts of natural gas fumes carries it's own health hazards as well. Put simply, it can kill you. You can suffocate. If you're sleeping and don't smell it, while not as undetectable as carbon monoxide, you can still be taken out.

Having spent years of my life working in fire rescue and EMS, I consider myself a bit more cautious
and aware than the average bear. Yet realizing how bad this could have went has me quite shaken.


Cause Of Mansion Fire Determined

Wednesday we learned what investigators determined was the cause of a huge fatal fire on Childs Point Rd in Annapolis.

A week ago the multi-million dollar, waterfront mansion in Anne Arundel County, quickly turned a family home into an inferno.

Although missing for several days, the bodies of six family members, including 4 children were eventually discovered in the charred rubble.

In a statement Wednesday,  Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Allan C. Graves, explained what investigators believe was the source of the deadly blaze:
 "The investigation team has concluded that an electrical failure ignited combustible material in the area [a large living room of the house] which quickly spread to the [dried out] Christmas tree and furnishings."
Read the full statement from Chief Graves.


Safety Saves Lives

Life in Baltimore is filled with uncertainty and dangerous enough as it is, but we should be able to feel safe while at work or at home.

Since the majority of all homes in Baltimore have gas stoves, what nearly happened to me can happen to anyone. Make sure you keep an eye on them and always be alert when they're in use.

Once a fire gets started, most people have no idea how quickly they can spread and take over an entire house.

With many residences being attached homes, and others located in close proximity to each other, Baltimore faces particularly high fire danger. A fire in one place, can quickly spread to other adjacent structures.

The city is no stranger to fatal fires. Statistically, our rate of people dieing in fires -- usually house
James MacArthur at a home explosion near Baltimore.
fires -- is around three times higher than the national average. This isn't acceptable.

Although a smoke detector would not have helped me today -- propane doesn't set them off -- they still serve as an important first line of defense. Being prepared for known dangers just makes good sense.

There are many things most of us can do to dramatically reduce our risk of fire. And we should make sure we don't take our safety, and those of our loved ones for granted.

Making sure space heaters -- possibly the number one cause of house fires -- are used properly and safely. Never leaving open flames, such as candles, unattended or set on or near flammable surfaces. Having electrical wiring and connections inspected, with repairs done in a manner meeting safety codes. Along with not hoarding too much combustible clutter, are just some of the common sense, though often overlooked, things that can be done.

You should also have multiple escape routes planned. Establish an emergency plan with your family, and practice it regularly. It's especially important for young children to understand ahead of time what to do. During a panic, there's an increased chance they'll remember what they've practiced as opposed to simply panicking without a plan.

Remember, in Baltimore City, you can get free smoke detectors for your home, courtesy of Baltimore Fire Department, by calling 311. But it shouldn't stop there.

Taking the time to survey your surroundings for fire safety can literally save your life, or that of someone you know. Don't put it off. Tomorrow could be too late.

This handy fire safety checklist can be used to survey your home. Make it an activity involving the whole family. Everyone need to learn how to be safe.

For comprehensive fire safety information for the home, work or school, including customizable tip sheets, visit the National Fire Protection Association.  Established in 1896, the non profit is the world's leading advocate of fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety.

In a follow up story, I will discuss something even more frightening learned while researching this article. Even if you don't have natural gas lines in your house, you're still at serious risk due to aging underground pipelines. This is a serious problem, but the government really doesn't want you to know.






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Researcher, independent investigator, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur is Baltimore's most well known independent journalist contributor. A member of the underground news network for over 20 years. During this time, he's been a frequent subject of attack by government under the guise of law enforcement. Although closely watched and followed, he's often boycotted from being given any credit for his work by mainstream media.
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27 January 2015

Yes, Facebook Really Was Down -- It Wasn't You!

Social Media Giant Experienced Rare Total Blackout
27 January 2015
By A.F. James MacArthur
Agitator-In-Chief
@BaltoSpectator

Users attempting to login to the worlds most popular social media site were unable to early Tuesday morning. For over an hour, beginning shortly after 1:00 a.m. and lasting till sometime after 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time, the site appeared to have been completely inaccessible.

Login was attempted from various devices -- using different independent internet service providers and networks -- at MacArthur Media world headquarters, before it was realized the problem was system wide.

CBS Los Angeles reported Facebook released a statement at 1:55 a.m. that read:
“We’re aware that many people are currently having trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
 The full scope and number of users affected was unclear. Instagram is owned by Facebook.

Around 1:00 am, I'd posted a status update on The Baltimore Spectator Facebook page. The post was successful, but within moments when I tried to share it to my personal timeline and several other pages, the site, though still up, appeared to be sluggish and unresponsive.

It went from unresponsive to total blackout.

According to website DownDetector.com -- a site that tracks website service interruptions -- Facebook began having "issues" around 12:10 a.m. There was no information was listed stating exactly when total blackout occurred.


Twitter As A Secondary Source

Thousands of people took to Twitter -- the world's second most popular social media site -- inquiring to see whether it was Facebook that was down, or if the issues problems on their end.


Although these sort of total blackouts seem relatively rare, it wasn't too long ago when Twitter had a similar problem.


Hacking History

Online hacking collective Lizard Squad, shutdown Twitter in last December after having first launched a vicious Christmas day attack on the Sony Play Station and Xbox gaming networks. The attack on the gaming networks lasted nearly two days before service was restored.

In 2009 Twitter experienced a "Denial of Service" (Dos) attack. The attacks are also referred to as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). That outage lasted about two hours. Facebook and LiveJournal also experienced service interruptions as part of that same attack. 


Lizard Lock-down


On 1 January, PCWorld.com reported two men -- including a 17-year-old -- were arrested in connection with the group in response to the December attacks.

At this point there doesn't appear to be any groups taking responsibility for the Facebook blackout, nor is there any indication on precisely what caused the disruption. Citing security concerns, companies are usually vague in their explanations of what vulnerability may have been exploited, causing their systems to fail.

UPDATE: While this story was being written, CBS Los Angeles reported via Twitter, that Lizard Squad was responsible for the outage and that Instagram was also down. Note, claims like this are difficult to verify. Individuals actually responsible may not necessarily be the ones seeking publicity points for claiming so.









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Researcher, independent investigator, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur is Baltimore's most well known independent journalist contributor. A member of the underground news network for over 20 years. During this time, he's been a frequent subject of attack by government under the guise of law enforcement. Although closely watched and followed, he's often boycotted from being given any credit for his work by mainstream media.
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26 January 2015

DISCUSSION OF THE DAY -- Masking The Truth


Read the post below then join in the discussion with your thoughts and comments.

Post by The Baltimore Spectator.




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Researcher, independent investigator, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur is Baltimore's most well known independent journalist contributor. A member of the underground news network for over 20 years. During this time, he's been a frequent subject of attack by government under the guise of law enforcement. Although closely watched and followed, he's often boycotted from being given any credit for his work by mainstream media.
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Snowpocalypse 2015 Live Situation Report

Despite the promise of doom and gloom continually echoed all weekend by the media and government agencies, particularly via social media; Monday's winter weather event in the Baltimore Washington area has been mostly a non event.

This report, was originally recorded during morning rush hour. A few flakes may have fallen afterwards, leaving a light layer of snow, but all in all once again, what took place was nothing unusual and came nowhere near the hype. After all, it is winter isn't it?


Listen to James MacArthur reports on area traffic and weather live from aboard Spectator Force 1.







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Researcher, independent investigator, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur is Baltimore's most well known independent journalist contributor. A member of the underground news network for over 20 years. During this time, he's been a frequent subject of attack by government under the guise of law enforcement. Although closely watched and followed, he's often boycotted from being given any credit for his work by mainstream media.
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25 January 2015

Police Shoot Man - Killing Him

Baltimore's Second Police Involved Shooting In Two Days
25 January 2015
By A.F. James MacArthur
Agitator-In-Chief
@BaltoSpectator

A man was fatally wounded after being shot in the chest by a Baltimore Police officer Saturday night.

The incident took place when a resident flagged down a passing officer on the 1900 block of McHenry Street in south Baltimore around 8:30 p.m.

According to police, the citizen told the officer a family member was inside a residence threatening to harm other family members. Family was gathered together for a 3-year-old's birthday party when the incident took place.


Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez stated the young veteran officer -- with less than two years on the force -- entered the residence and found the man with a knife in his hand.

After failing to comply with orders to drop the knife, the officer fired a single shot into the man's upper chest. Police say immediate aid was rendered, however the man died as a result of the gunshot wound a short time later at an area hospital.

View full, unedited video of Baltimore Police press conference.
 According to Rodriguez, a full investigation is underway, but preliminary investigations did not indicate alcohol or drugs as a factor. No mention was made of the knife wielding individuals mental state, or what precipitated the incident.

No family members, nor the responding officer was injured during the incident.


Officer Involved In Thursday Shooting Identified

On Thursday night, Baltimore Police officer Angel Richardson, 32, a former city firefighter-paramedic, with just about two years on the police force, shot a man after a struggle related to a traffic stop.

Initially attempting to stop the driver of a minivan on Reisterstown Rd in Northwest Baltimore, the man fled from police.

After crashing the minivan, the driver and another occupant bailed out and a foot chase ensued. The other occupant -- a juvenile -- was arrested without incident.

At some point police say the driver "turned on the officer" and got into a physical confrontation with the Richardson. Feeling "overpowered" Richardson feared for her life, and police say as a last resort, opened fire on the individual.

The man shot was transported to an area hospital. At the time of this writing he was said to be recovering from his injuries. Baltimore police have not yet released any information on any criminal charges.

Thursday's shooting prompted The Baltimore Spectator to publish an editorial analysis asking the question of whether Baltimore Police were "Trigger Happy," resorting to lethal force before other means were first attempted. Two days later, police would shoot another man.

To date the editorial has been one of the most widely read stories at The Baltimore Spectator, garnering nearly 10,000 views in less than 24 hours and prompting hundreds of shares on social media, and a steady stream of comments showcasing varying opinions from readers.

Listen to James MacArthur's initial report recorded live on scene.







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Researcher, independent investigator, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur is Baltimore's most well known independent journalist contributor. A member of the underground news network for over 20 years. During this time, he's been a frequent subject of attack by government under the guise of law enforcement. Although closely watched and followed, he's often boycotted from being given any credit for his work by mainstream media.
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23 January 2015

Trigger Happy? -- Baltimore Police Shoot Unarmed Man... AGAIN

Second Police Involved Shooting In Less Than A Month
23 January 2015
By A.F. James MacArthur
Agitator-In-Chief
@BaltoSpectator


NOTE: A previous photo appearing here was used for illustrative purposes only. The decision was made to remove it. It is NOT owned by The Baltimore Spectator, nor is it directly or indirectly connected to this article. The picture showed an interaction between police and suspect. That's it. It's not intended to do anything other than show correlation between Baltimore Police and suspects. The incident described in the story is all that matters. Taken by Baltimore Sun Photographer Andre F. Chung, 6 June 6 1997. Police Officer Raymond Cook is seen arresting 16-year-old Lance Tate on an armed carjacking charge at the corner of Edmondson Avenue and Allendale. Sadly, weeks after the photo was taken, in an unrelated incident, Tate was shot to death in what police called a fight between rival gangs. 
Shoot first, and figure out justification later seems to be the current, standard use-of-force operating procedure in Baltimore City these days.

The latest incident, happening Thursday night in Park Heights, involves an unarmed subject who police attempted to perform a traffic stop on. The man sped off, evading capture before crashing the vehicle. At that point the suspect bailed out, and police gave chase.

Although police state there was some sort of physical struggle that ensued, there was no word of any weapon being found on the scene, or on the suspect, nor was there any other articulation of a life threatening situation. We're simply told the suspect struggled with police, so the officer shot him.

At this point, it's clear that Baltimore Police can virtually shoot anyone at anytime, and some how, some way, no matter what, it'll inevitably be ruled a good shoot. Although we weren't there, logic has it that most every arrest involves a physical struggle.

With people getting into fist fights everyday, and no one dying, a mere "physical struggle" is hardly ever considered life threatening, particularly in a situation where the suspect was likely greatly outnumbered by police officers.

There is nothing unusual about a police officer having to get into a physical confrontation as a routine part of his or her job. However it seems now the bar for using lethal force is awfully low in Baltimore.


Police Given A Pass

It's not clear how or even why we've arrived at the current sad state of media affairs in Baltimore. If reporters won't ask tough questions of the public servants who's job it is to keep us safe, then who will?

By their lack of a willingness to ask tough questions, and show any inkling of wanting to hold police accountable, Baltimore media has virtually given an "anything goes" pass to the Baltimore Police Department.

The last time Baltimore police shot a man was a few weeks ago near the end of December. He toowas unarmed. Nothing about the police explanation of events even remotely suggests the burglary suspect posed an immediate threat to responding officers. Desperately seeking justification, the best police could come up with at the time was; the man who they'd caught coming out of an unoccupied store that was closed for the day, had a "shiny object" in his hand. End of story.

The "shiny object" was never identified nor shown to the public. The story was all but completely ignored by media. It seemed no one reporting news in Baltimore found it peculiar that police shot a man who; A) had no weapon, nor even threatened or feigned having one, B) did not engage officers in even the slightest bit of physical struggle.

Strangely in that case, despite the narrative being laid out clearly by Baltimore Police; in a blatant display of the type of statist propaganda mainstream media does best, several news outlets altered the facts, taking the story from a man standing there with a "shiny object" in his hand, to a man "charging" at officers with said shiny object in his hand. The police never made mention of any charging. Where the news got this from we will never know.


Dangerous Suspects Able To Be Apprehended Without Lethal Force

In anticipation of the inevitable usual police apologists and those who habitually justify use of excessive force (because police can do no wrong), the following incidents are placed here for comparative perspective:

  • An armed man who attempted to rob a Toys R Us store in Towson Wednesday, was captured alive by Baltimore County Police. Note; HE HAD A GUN, yet no shots were fired.  It's hard to imagine a situation more dangerous, and actually justifying use of lethal force, yet Baltimore County Police demonstrated, arrest of armed subjects is sometimes possible without opening fire. How much more possible should it then be to take down unarmed suspects without shooting them?

  • Christopher Todd Jackson pulled out a knife when deputies tried to arrest him. He wasn't
    shot either. Although it didn't happen in Baltimore, the story of the possibly deranged man, attempting to throw a knife at the police in struck me. Here you have a man, actually clearly intent on doing potentially lethal harm to police, yet in he's not shot. Police are able to arrest him. No one is hurt.






Trigger Happy Track Record

Let's face it, Baltimore Police love to shoot their guns. There have been so many cases, more than any other area agency, of Baltimore Police shooting their guns, when it simply made no sense at all. Here are just a few.




Officer William Kern shot police officer trainee, Raymond Gray in the head, nearly killing him dead. IN A TRAINING INCIDENT. At the time of the incident, few grasped the significance.

Prosecutors stated the police trainer had an "unhealthy relationship" and fixation with his gun. These guys LOVE to shoot.

If a veteran trainer of police could be as sloppy, cavalier and dangerous with his gun as Kern was, how much worse are his legions of former students and trainees likely to be?

Kern was one of the organizers of an illegal, unauthorized, highly dangerous training exercise which involved trespassing on state property.

Not only was Kern a dangerously reckless individual, responsible for showing others how to properly use firearms -- a lesson which he obviously never mastered -- but for the observant, he also provides a vivid view of the careless culture of the department. It's no wonder they shoot any time for any reason. It's how they were trained. They don't know any better.


When Officer William Torbit was gunned down in a hail of bullets outside a downtown night club, The Baltimore Spectator was first on the scene, putting out live updates via twitter.

Although deemed a tragic mistake, with no one being charged, punished, or even reprimanded, anyone living in Baltimore should be highly disturbed by the incident.

When a police department can fire 41 shots at one of their own, a veteran well known, well loved officer no less; the rest of us are doomed. Citizens of the city should realize we simply don't stand a chance. These wanna be jackass cowboys will shoot at anything that moves.


BPD = Bullsh*t Police Department

When an escaped steer attempted to go for one last stroll of freedom before becoming hamburger, the last thing any reasonable person expected was the blunted horn, castrated male cow, minding his own business, simply strutting down the street, would be blasted to bovine heaven to hang with the great herd in the sky.

But, despite the congested urban environment, filled with bystanders, despite the fact that it's against policy, safety protocol, and common sense to shoot from a moving vehicle, that's exactly what Baltimore Police did.




No One Is Innocent


20 year-old Dameatrice Moore had stopped off at a carry out food spot on York Rd., when Baltimore Police officer Quinton Smith, attempting to arrest a suspect, opened fire. Moore - an innocent bystander - and another man having nothing to do with anything, were both shot.

With this kind of a track record, which we've only examined briefly, one must wonder why every time there's a police involved shooting here, Baltimore Police aren't met with a phalanx of reporters demanding answers and details as to just what happened.

Instead, it's as if they've been given consent by a complicit silence from a media, who seems to have lost sight of their purpose and ability in protecting citizens from danger. Even if that danger is the police.






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Researcher, independent investigator, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur is Baltimore's most well known independent journalist contributor. A member of the underground news network for over 20 years. During this time, he's been a frequent subject of attack by government under the guise of law enforcement. Although closely watched and followed, he's often boycotted from being given any credit for his work by mainstream media.
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MESSAGE TO ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT/INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

To all those who willfully, deliberately and routinely violate the civil rights of law abiding American Citizens; Yes, you're powerful. Sure, you're everywhere. But this is still America, and the Constitution of the United States Of America still reigns supreme as the law of the land. The Baltimore Spectator will vigorously and aggressively defend against any and all attempts at spying and suppression. Let it be known to all that we are already aware of the regular monitoring and shadowing attempts. There is nothing to hide, but cross the line and there will be hell to pay.

In the end, efforts to impinge upon the freedoms of the people will ultimately fail. Some of us may get taken out in the ongoing battle for true and lasting freedom, but as I've said many times before, and will say till the day I die or get taken out by you goons, THERE ARE MORE OF US, THAN THERE ARE OF YOU.


A.F. James MacArthur -- American patriot & lover of liberty.

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