Why School Walkouts are Elitist

Why School Walkouts are Elitist
by Susan Basko, esq.

I'm going to explain why national or regional School Walkouts are elitist. Please follow along. I have done legal work in this field.

 A school walkout means students walk out during school. This is tolerated differently in wealthy white schools than it is in schools where most students are poor, Hispanic, Black, and/ or immigrants.

 Wealthier white schools may use a walkout as a teaching moment. The principal or teachers might endorse or participate.

 Most Hispanic and Black schools have much stricter rules and policies. These usually cite "gang" activity as the reason for much stricter rules and increased punishments.

Schools within the exact same school district may (and often do) have different rules for schools that are predominantly Hispanic or Black. These rules are often hard to locate and may be disseminated only within the school, or not disseminated.

Walking out or advocating for a walkout in a Hispanic or Black school can result in expulsion or even arrest. Many such schools do not even allow for flyers to be passed in or near the school.

In addition, students from lower economic homes will have much harder times getting legal help. There is no financial or social incentive for the school to be lenient. There aren't usually lawyers in the students' family social circles.

Also, many Hispanic and Black students who walk out are, in fact, walking out into dangerous neighborhoods, where danger of being shot or beaten up exists on a daily basis.

Also, many Hispanic students may have immigration issues, or their parents may -- which makes any arrest or school trouble much riskier, especially now.

There are many other reasons - but basically, school walkouts are elitist and those who are from Hispanic or Black schools disproportionately face consequences.

In addition, even Saturday marches can be a burden on poorer students, who may not be able to afford transportation, may face danger in travel, and may be expected to work or care for siblings on weekends. It can help if buses or transportation can be provided.

If you want all students to have a fair chance to participate in a protest, don't hold it on a school day and don't run a walkout. Walkouts are elitist.

March for Our Lives to End School Shootings: How to Plan a Protest

March for Our Lives to End School Shootings:
How to Plan a Protest
by Susan Basko, esq.

Students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are holding a nationwide march against School Shootings on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

You can help fund the march by donating to this GoFundMe:

You can read more about the plans, as they develop, here:

You can read FAQ here: https://www.marchforourlives.com/faq


1. Look around and see if a march is already planned for your city, town, suburb, or school. If so, you may wish to join those already planning. Or you may wish to start your own.

2. The DATE is Saturday March 24, 2018.

3. The TOPIC is to End School Shootings.

4. The theme color is ORANGE.  That is the nationwide color.  That means, anything orange helps - orange hats, orange shirts, orange jackets, orange signs, etc.

5. Pick a TIME and PLACE.

6. A Two hour time slot is what is usually allowed by most cities and also is the most successful at having a peaceful, legal protest that remains on topic.  The best time slot on a Saturday is usually a 2 hour time slot in the range between noon and 4 pm.  Such as noon - 2:00pm  or 1:00pm - 3:00pm or 2:00pm -4:00pm.  Personally, I think 2:00pm to 4:00pm is best. That way, people can start arriving any time after 1:00pm and if it goes a little over 4:00pm, it is no big deal.

7. PLACE: Most protests will probably be a RALLY followed by a MARCH.  If you hold the rally in a publicly-owned plaza, you should not need a permit, but you should check with your City or town to see if some other group has reserved the space for that time slot.  You'll need to call whoever it is that books the space.

A REAL GOOD PLAN FOR AN EASY PROTEST IS TO HAVE A RALLY IN A PUBLICLY-OWNED PLAZA for 45 minutes, and then go for a MARCH for an hour,  and then end out back at the same plaza.  That way, people can easily find where they locked their bikes, or find the public transportation that they arrived on, or find where they parked their car.

If you are not getting a permit, in most places, you CANNOT DO these things:
1. Build a stage or platform, hang any banners, set up any tents, or serve food.
2. Set up a sound system (except maybe a very small one)
3. Block the streets.

If you are not getting a permit, in most places, you CAN DO these things:
1. Gather round and a speaker or announcer can stand on an existing staircase, bench, etc.
2. You can use a bullhorn or small sound system that can be carried by one person.
3. You can have signs, drums, balloons.
4. Invite people to speak.
5. Invite people to play music or drums.
6. MARCH.  If your group will fit on the sidewalks, they should go on the sidewalks. If your group is large and needs to be in the street, the police are supposed to facilitate it so you can march in the street or in part of the street.

1. Put stickers on any surface.
2. Spray paint on anything.
3. Start anything on fire.
4. Surround any vehicle.  Tip or rock any vehicle.  Harass occupants of any vehicle.
5. Bring any weapons or fireworks.
6. Throw anything.
7. Break any glass.
8. Break anything.
9. Hit or harm any person in any way.
10. Threaten any person or harass any person.

8.  PUBLICIZE. ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR TIME AND PLACE, then PUBLICIZE that using Facebook, Twitter, emails, word of mouth, press releases, etc.

INVITE live streamers, citizen journalists, independent media, mainstream media.  

Invite speakers. Invite Music. Get people to make signs (hold a sign-making party?)
The nationwide theme color is ORANGE.

A Good Two Hour Agenda might look like this:

1:30pm - 2:00:   People arrive.  Music Playing. People setting things up,
2:00 - 2:45:  Rally with speakers, each with a time slot that you keep to tightly. Ideally, a featured speaker might be given 6 or 7 minutes, and others might get 4 or 5 minutes. Less is more.
2:45  - 3:45: March - and end back at rally location. When planning a route, go out and walk it in advance to see how long it takes.
3:45 - 4:00: Clean up.

1. Get people to bring bottles of water.  You can place boxes of bottles of water on the ground or on a bench, so people can find it and take a bottle.  Having water available will prevent people from getting dehydrated and sick.
2. Bring a whole box of garbage bags and CLEAN UP the space afterwards.  Leave the space better than you found it.  Get the garbage bags into a trash bin if possible, or take them home with you.  If you leave trash bags on location, they will likely be ripped open and the contents scattered.
3. Ask people to please not bring flyers, since these end out all over the ground.  If someone brings flyers, tell them to be sure to pick up all the flyers at the rally and along the march route. Hand them a trash bag for this purpose.
4. Plan for bathrooms.  For this march, people will probably not be renting portapotties -- but if they can, that is good.  Find out what bathrooms might be nearby or along the route.
5. Public Transportation, Parking, Bike Racks.  Gather all this information and let people know.
6. Handicapped. Try to plan your location and route so that handicapped people will be able to participate.  That means finding what public transportation is nearby and accessible, planning a route that has safe street crossings and ramps, which nearby places have a handicapped-accessible bathroom, pacing your march so handicapped people can keep up, and possibly assigning helpers to those who are handicapped, if they want a helper(s).
7. ALWAYS clean up afterwards!  Leave your rally plaza and march route better and cleaner than you found it!
8. LEGAL: Have phone numbers for lawyers or legal organizations in case things happen and anyone gets arrested.
9. MEDIA. INVITE live streamers, citizen journalists, independent media, mainstream media.  Make videos and post them online!  Take lots of pictures!  Live Tweet your march.

How to Run a Protest: Basics
Quick Protest Planning: 10 Easy Steps
Questions about Protests
Agents Provocateurs
Hijacking a Protest: How to Prevent It

Co-Songwriters: Basic Music Law

Co-Songwriters: Basic Music Law
by Susan Basko, Esq.

"Beautiful - The Carole King Musical" is a wonderful stage play about Carole King, one of most successful and beloved songwriters in the United States.  The show traces her songwriting partnership with Gerry Goffin.  In their partnership, Gerry Goffin often wrote the lyrics, while Carole King wrote the melody, composing on piano.

Songs are a very important factor in U.S. musical history and form the basis of much of music law and music copyright law.  Music Copyright law in the U.S. is largely based on the concept of songs.

What is a song?  A song is a short piece of music, with lyrics and melody.  Lyrics (the words) and melody (the tune) are the two components of a song that are recognized in U.S. Copyright law.  Music and lyrics are what traditional American songwriting are all about.

Today, there is a lot of nontraditional songwriting, largely due to the use of electronics and computer music editing being used to create "songs."  Many rap or hip hop songs are created by making a beat, which is a short piece of sound, which may then be repeated over and over, with words spoken or sung to it.  Often, the beat is created by a beatmaker, who sells it or licenses it to a producer or music artist.  Many times, such songs are created without anyone playing any musical instrument, and there might not be a discernible melody, as such.  Often times, such a "song" is a product of creation on music editing equipment, rather than being lyrics that are written and a melody that is composed, which is then recorded.

Music law and music copyright law were created to meet the needs of traditional songwriting, in an era before electronic music creation existed.  This blog post is about how music law and business treat the traditional song.

As stated, U.S. copyright law considers a song to be two elements: lyrics and a melody.  What does copyright law do with pieces of music that are drums or other sounds, with words spoken over them?  Copyright law gets confused by that.

Traditional songwriting in the U.S. has often involved co-songwriters.  Traditionally, this was two people -- one who was good at writing lyrics, and the other who was talented at composing, usually on a piano or sometimes on a guitar.  It has been traditional practice in the U.S. songwriting industry that co-songwriters are each given an equal share of Copyright ownership over a song.  This is particularly true if they are a songwriting team.

Another basic element of music Copyright law is that a recorded work of music has 2 Copyrights: one is for the songwriting (lyrics and melody) and the other is for the Sound Recording.  Traditionally, the songwriting copyright is owned by the songwriters and assigned to a publishing company for a period of time.  Traditionally, the sound recording is owned by a record label.  One song might be recorded over and over by many different recording artists, so the Owner of the Copyright on the Sound Recording will be different on each one, while the owners of the Copyright on the Songwriting will remain the same.

U.S. Copyright law gives the songwriters the right of first recording.  This means that the songwriters get to choose who will be allowed to first record the song.  This is a factor featured in "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical." In the show, Don Kirschner, the music publisher and producer, buys or licenses the rights to songs written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and then places those songs for first recording with different music artists that he thinks can turn them into hit songs.

One special nugget in U.S. Music Copyright law is called Compulsory Licensing.  This law says that  when any song subject to U.S. Copyright law is first recorded and released, then afterwards, anyone else may make a recording of that song.  It is called Compulsory Licensing because the songwriter or publisher must allow anyone to record a cover version of the song, if that person sends them notice and pays the royalties that are due.  One need not wait for permission or approval from the songwriter or publisher, and none may be sent. After notice is given and the royalties paid, the person can record their own version of the song, as long as they do not substantially change the lyrics or melody.  This is called a "cover song" or "cover version."  The person wishing to record a cover version can send this notice on their own -- if they can locate the publishers and find the required wording, which is contained in the U.S. Copyright law  -- or they can pay a fee to a music lawyer or music cover song licensing company.  It can be very difficult to accurately locate all the publishers that might share control on one song, so it can be well worth it to pay for a licensing service.

The statutory royalties are, at this time, about 9.1 cents per copy to be made of a song under 5 minutes.  Royalties are higher on a song 5 minutes or over, which is why most American popular songs are under 5 minutes. The law, the royalties, and the industry are geared toward songs being under 5 minutes. That's something to keep in mind if you are writing songs and want to make your own path easier.

The licensing required to make a cover recording of a song is called Mechanical Licensing.  Mechanical licensing is obtained directly by giving notice to the songwriters' publishers, or by paying a licensing company to do that for you.  PROs (performing rights organizations), such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, are not involved in mechanical licensing.

Record companies that will be making and selling many copies of a record will negotiate with the publishing company to give them a lower rate per copy.  Most publishing companies take 50% of the songwriting royalty -- which is why some songwriters today run their own publishing company.  Let's say you buy a digital copy of a cover version of a song.  If full royalties have been paid, the songwriter who has signed to a publishing company will get half of 9.1 cents of your purchase -- or about 4 and a half cents.  If the song has been co-written by two people, they each get 2 and a quarter cents.  Thus, you can see that it is very hard to make a living writing songs.  "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" accurately portrays this, as Carole and Gerry have hit songs playing on the radio, but still live with Carole's mother in her New York apartment and cannot afford to get their own place.  Later in the play, after they have many hit songs, they are finally able to get their own place in the suburbs of New Jersey.

The Compulsory Licensing law came about to benefit songwriters as well as the public.  Songwriters wanted their songs to be recorded by multiple artists.  Sometimes publishers were putting a stranglehold on recordings by holding the songs ransom for the highest bid.  Having an equal royalty amount for each copy leveled the playing field while guaranteeing the songwriters some income if their songs were recorded.  This system allowed the traditional songwriting practice to flourish.  If a song was attractive, with good lyrics and a catchy melody, many music acts would want to record it.  Until the rock band era of the late 1960s, when a good song was written, it would be recorded by many popular artists of that time. When the rock band era came in, the idea was often that a song "belonged" to a certain group and could not plausibly be replicated by another group.  Legally, anyone could make a cover version of, for example, a Led Zeppelin song, but this was rarely done.

Compulsory licensing requires the same amount of royalty per copy, regardless of who the songwriter is.  You can record a song by the famous Beatles writing team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney for the same price as you can make a cover version of an obscure song written by some schmoe who plays only at the local open mic night.

Sometimes in a rock band, there is an egalitarian approach to songwriting, where all members of a band are given Copyright on the songwriting.  This would be the subject of a band contract where this is spelled out.  If they are all actually participating in creating the song, this might be fair.  It can certainly be a headache for anyone trying to give notice to make a cover version, since each songwriter might be represented by one or more publishers!  If there are 4 or 5 songwriters to the song, there can be many publishers to identify and track down.  To make matters more complicated, may songwriters change publishers numerous times through their career, and they may have different publishers handling the song in different parts of the world.

Many of the most famous parts of songs are actually created by studio musicians in the process of recording a song.  Usually, they do not share songwriting credit or copyright.  Louie Shelton is a guitarist who has created many famous riffs on rock songs.  Carol Kaye is a studio bassist who created many of the most famous bass riffs in rock music.  Studio musicians are usually paid very well, but are rarely given songwriting credit or copyright, unless that was something they had negotiated for in advance.  Studio musician work is generally Work for Hire -- meaning, they are paid, they perform, and the ownership of the recording belongs to the record label that hired them for the session.  This fits with the way songwriting is viewed in the traditional American sense -- that a song is the lyrics and melody, not the clever bass riff.

A song that is created using parts of an old song is called a Derivative Work.  To make a derivative work, you have to get permission for the Copyright holders on the original work.  I covered this topic in this blog post on Derivative Works.  The fun part about derivative works, if you can get permission to create one, is that you can share songwriting credit with the original songwriter.

Another means to being a sort of Co-writer is to create an arrangement of a song.  If the song is still under copyright, that would be a derivative work.  If the song has passed into the public domain, meaning the song is over 80 years old, then you can create your own arrangement of it without getting permission.  This is pretty special because you can register Copyright with yourself as Arranger on a piece of music by Johann Sebastian Bach  -- or any other musical composer who wrote long ago.  There are reputable websites online that list songs that are in the public domain -- older classical music and many traditional folk songs.  Basically, any song written before 1938 will now be in the public domain -- but do your research on each song before assuming it is in the public domain.

Also - be aware that a more recent arrangement of a song in the public domain will not  itself be in the public domain.  You may be familiar with an arrangement of an old song, but the arrangement may have been created much more recently by someone who still holds copyright on that arrangement.  For example, the traditional folk song "Greensleeves" is in the public domain. But, there have been many arrangements of it.  The version you know and love may have been created by someone who registered the Copyright on their arrangement.  While you would not need a mechanical license to record Greensleeves, you might need one to record a particular arrangement of it.  The same is true of such classical favorites as Pachelbel's Canon.

A few years ago, CD Baby put together a list of Christmas Carols that are in the public domain and a list of Carols that are not in the public domain.  To make a cover version of the songs that are on the "not in the public domain" list, you need to get mechanical licensing, which is done by giving notice and paying royalties -- or paying a licensing service to do this for you.  These lists can be surprising, since songs we might think of as "belonging to everyone" actually are owned by the people who wrote them.

If people are co-songwriters, each one has the right to be listed on the Copyright registration.  If one of them registers the song, but fails to list the other songwriters, those who are left out can petition the Copyright Office to amend the registration to include them.

The best way to start off a Co-Songwriting partnership is with a CONTRACT that is in writing and signed by both people.  The contract should spell out that each is an equal partner, that each will equally own the Copyright, that each will be listed on the Copyright registration.  The contract should also state who will have the right to administer the song -- meaning, who will have the right to assign the song to a publisher or licensing company or to a record label or music artist.  There are many other simple provisions for such a contract, particularly, what happens if and when the relationship goes sour or dies out or one of the parties wants to write on their own or with a different partner.   Co-songwriting is much like a love relationship, and it often is tied in with one, too.  Spelling it all out in a contract in advance can protect everyone's interests down the line.

Jaime Cochran Accused @MalwareTechBlog

Jaime Cochran Accused @MalwareTechblog
by Susan Basko, Esq.

Note: As disclosure, I was extremely harassed by Jaime Cochran for a number of years, and she also led her followers in the Rustle League to harass me.  Cochran has been posthumously awarded a Lifetime Achievement Stalker Award.

Note: on the continuing cycle of Troll Harassment: A person using the name Kat Valentine, who ran a memorial service for Jaime Cochran (wherein Valentine announced that Jaime Cochran was not a troll) has been posting hate tweets against me -- and using as her "evidence" that I am a bad person a page on Encyclopedia Dramatica that is loaded with lies and defamation about me --  the page having been created by Jaime Cochran years ago as a way to extort and defame me.  The Encyclopedia Dramatica page was a big part of Cochran's years-long campaign of lies and harassment against me!   The ED page says absolutely nothing about me, since it is all lies and nonsense, and says everything about the harassment techniques of Jaime Cochran and that whole gang of malicious cyberstalkers involved in such groups as Rustle League, Encyclopedia Dramatica, GNAA, and others.    Note: Encyclopedia Dramatica is a website that was created years ago by some of the most malicious racist, antisemitic hateful people on the internet to post lies and smears against people they were trying to silence or extort. Jaime Cochran used the site for that purpose.  The Admin for Encyclopedia Dramatica recently terrorized a high school, shooting dead two students and then killing himself. To those of us who have watched this hate group/ hate website, this came as no particular surprise.

WHO was Jaime Cochran harassing before she died?  Marcus Hutchins, aka @malwaretechblog.

If Jaime Cochran committed suicide, as she hinted in a tweet was her plan, her harassment of Marcus Hutchins may give a clue as to why.

Marcus Hutchins is a man in his early 20s, from the UK.  He supposedly ended a rapidly spreading malware attack called wannacry by purchasing a domain that the malware kept referring to - thus, allowing the malware to resolve itself to that domain.  This was hailed as a simple ingenious fix.  Marcus Hutchins was promoted as a hero in the internet security community.

However, since the adage is "No good deed goes unpunished," the FBI in the U.S. felt compelled to fulfill that adage.  Last summer, Marcus Hutchins came to Las Vegas, Nevada, to attend a couple hacking or infosec conferences, including Defcon. He tweeted about staying with a bunch of people in a nice villa, renting a sports car and driving fast, and going to a gun range promoted as a tourist attraction and shooting big guns. What could be more all-American?

When Hutchins went to the airport to return home to the UK, he was kidnapped by FBI agents, questioned, jailed for about a week, and then charged with federal crimes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, of all places.  The charges claim Hutchins made and distributed banking malware.  Hutchins got some good lawyers and was freed, but told he had to stay in the U.S.  He has taken up residence in the Los Angeles area near the beach.

A week ago, Hutchins' lawyers filed a motion to compel withheld discovery from the U.S. prosecutors.  The lawyers hope to use the discovered material to prove that statements Hutchins gave to the agents were coerced and that the agents were aware that Hutchins had been intoxicated and sleep deprived, as is common at Defcon. You can read about that motion here.

Now, let's get back to Jaime Cochran harassing Marcus Hutchins.

On December 21, 2017, Jaime Cochran picked a twitter fight with Marcus Hutchins aka @malwaretechblog.   Here, Cochran says "I  almost hope everyone gets away with shit in the end, besides those who sat down with c-ciphers --- " 

C-ciphers means "cops" in hip hop talk.

Cochran continues, "much like zeekill, kms, and probably malwaretech--"

Here, Cochran lists two names of notable European hackers and then lists malwaretech.  Cochran is stating that she thinks malwaretech is cooperating with law enforcement agents.

Next, someone named @ValidHorizon asks why Cochran loves picking on Marcus Hutchins.

Hutchins replies that Cochran is upset because, a while back, he linked to a Youtube video of Cochran.  The video is a short clip from a TV show about internet trolling where Cochran admits harassing others for fun.

Next, Hutchins says he is surprised that someone who is a troll is still upset weeks later.

Cochran replies to @ValidHorizons by stating there are "plenty of questionable things about his past/current case/ situation, but he's a VICTIM of the SYSTEM now and automatically a MARTYR! Save him, etc. Regardless of the things he's said since being arrested that would lead one to believe he's actively informing."

Here, Cochran mocks Hutchins, sounds jealous of the widespread support Hutchins has received from the public, and claims that things Hutchins has said make it appear that he is "actively informing."  This seems like pure harassment on Cochran's part, because it seems that Hutchins has refused to say anything about his case.  Further, Hutchins and his lawyers have declared his innocence.

But, keep this in your head -- Cochran was worried that Hutchins was informing on someone.  As the tweets continue on, it appears Cochran seemed to fear Hutchins was informing on her.

Here, Hutchins tweets, "Maybe if I change my career from InfoSec to bitcoin trading, I won't get arrested as much."

To that, Cochran replies, "OR if you didn't get caught writing/ selling banking malware (and regularly poasting (sic) on hackforums)...you *might* not get arrested as much.  Food for thought."

This is Cochran harassing Hutchins by implying he is guilty of the crimes of which he has been accused.  This is Cochran harassing, trying to bring relevancy and notoriety to herself by attacking Hutchins on twitter in the most dire way -- by insinuating that Cochran has some special knowledge of the situation and knows that Hutchins is guilty.  This is a typical Cochran ploy for attention with no sense of fairness or decency.  These are actual crimes Hutchins is charged with, his life has been upended by him being forced to live in the U.S.  He has no I.D. to be able to travel within the U.S., and Cochran is making a public spectacle of claiming that Hutchins is to blame for his own predicament.

Cochran claims Hutchins deleted tweets that show he is guilty of something.  "plz. yr deleted tweets say otherwise."  Typical Cochran harassment.

Then Cochran says, "Stop snitching, starboys."  Here, Cochran equates being arrested and charged with crimes, and the notoriety or fame that came to Hutchins from that, with being a "starboy."  Cochran outright accused Hutchins of "snitching."

This tweet is in reply to @ValidHorizon, who suggested there might be other people, besides Hutchins, who might be more deserving of Cochran's attacks.

Cochran's replies is that she already attacked those people on Chroniclesu -- a ludicrous website where Cochran wrote and posted hate rants she thought were "satire."  Cochran then goes on to say that Hutchins "is someone who was allowed into brofessional circles and vouched for." Cochran seems to be saying that behind the scenes, she has been in touch with Hutchins and that he has been allowed into a circle of people that included Cochran.  "So, yada yada yada, he's arrested for banking malware. big deal."

Here, Cochran has upped the ante from claiming Hutchins is guilty, claiming that Hutchins has sat down with law enforcement agents and "snitched," to here stating that Hutchins has been in her intimate circle of "brofessionals." Note regarding "bro": Cochran was transgender, that is, male by birth.

Through all this, one might ask why a supposed computer or information security professional would be putting on such a spectacle in the very public space of Twitter.

Next, Cochran claims that Hutchins has admitted to having a collection of IRC logs from since his raid.  By "'grep' able," Cochran means computer searchable text.  By "raid," I assume Cochran means Hutchins being arrested at the airport.  By "pre-conviction," Cochran seems a bit confused, since Hutchins has not been convicted, has just filed a Discovery motion, and has pleaded not guilty.  "IRC logs" are "internet relay chat."  This is a popular form of internet chat communication where only those people admitted to the forum may participate.

Essentially, Cochran is saying that Hutchins has a lot of chat logs that could be used as evidence against people, and that Cochran believes Hutchins is cooperating with the prosecution.  However, that does not appear to be the case at all, since Hutchins' lawyers have filed a discovery motion.

However, in Cochran's mind, Hutchins had been allowed into Cochran's inner circle of "brofessionals," had been logging IRC chats in searchable format, and is "snitching."  From this, it is easy to extrapolate that Cochran believes she will be snitched upon.

This is real interesting, because this seems like a show, a tossing of blame.  Hutchins has pleaded not guilty to the charges regarding banking malware, and Cochran is acting as if she is guilty.

Then Cochran tweets what appears to be a death plan.  This was posted on Friday December 22, at 5:25 PM.  Cochran states, "anyway, it's about half past five, so i'll see you in a cemetery after noon after monday afternoon, merry christmas i probably won't die, i probably won't die"

At first, I thought these might be song lyrics, but a google search on these words shows only this tweet.  The following Monday was Christmas.  So, Cochran seems to be saying she will be in a cemetery after Monday afternoon. 

MY ANALYSIS of these tweets is that Cochran felt she had been in some way compromised and that she was being "snitched out" by Hutchins, whom she said had chat logs as evidence.

Was Cochran's death a suicide to outrun what she perceived as impending indictment? Or was it something else?  Let's watch and see what other information comes up.

This person tried twice to ask Jaime Cochran about her level of mental health.  There does not appear to be any reply.

Jamie Cochran tweeted casually about using ketamine while tweeting. Ketamine is a drug used as an anesthetic. In the U.S., it is widely used illegally. Ketamine has caused many deaths by overdose, accident, and suicide.  One of Cochran's friends tweeted that toxicology tests are being run.  Perhaps Cochran's admitted Ketamine use should be considered?

8 Women Deserving Justice:
Video and Phone Tech in Unsolved Crimes

Police Sketch of Delphi, Indiana Killer
 8 Women Deserving Justice:
Video and Phone Tech in Unsolved Crimes 
by Susan Basko, Esq.

Several crimes against women over the past couple years involve video and phone tech.  These are examples of how such technology can provide some answers, but does not provide all the answers.

1-2. Liberty German and Abigail Williams.  These two girls were killed when they took an afternoon walk on a wooded trail in Delphi, Indiana.  One of the girls used her phone to get video and audio of a man who is presumed to be the killer.   A year has passed, and the man has not been identified.  With the video, the clear audio, and a police sketch (shown above), the killer has not been found.  How can this be?  A great many middle-aged men in that rural midwest region have a body build and clothing style similar to the man in the phone video and many men in that region share a similar accent.   The video does rule out a whole lot of possibilities and people, and for that, it is highly valuable.  Please look at the pictures and listen to the voice (below) to see if you can identify this man.

Man seen in phone video taken by Liberty German before her death.
LISTEN BY CLICKING:  The man's voice:  Delphi_male_voice_loop.mp3 
3. Sherri Papini.  Sherri Papini is a beautiful wife and mom who was kidnapped while out jogging near her home in Shasta, California, about 200 miles north of San Francisco.  Papini's husband, Keith, was able to determine the likely location of Sherri's disappearance because he found her abandoned phone on the ground by using a phone-finder app.  Unfortunately, Sherri's location could not be tracked by gps because of her phone being left by the  side of the road.  About 3 weeks later, Sherri was released from a car in the night, and video from a nearby surveillance camera showed her running to escape.  Apparently, the camera was situated such that it did not gather any information regarding the vehicle.  Sherri said it was two Hispanic women that kidnapped her.  However, sketches made from the information given by Sherri show that one of the "women" looks like a man.  Police have released information stating that male DNA was found on Sherri's clothing.  It seems possible Sherri was mistaken about the actual sex of one of the kidnappers.  In this case, there is the eyewitness account of the traumatized, terrorized victim, DNA evidence, a police sketch, and still, no suspects yet.

Sketch of the Kidnappers of Sherri Papini

4. Missy Bevers. Missy Bevers was a wife and mom in the small town of Midlothian, Texas.  Missy ran a fitness class for women at a local church.  Classes were held in the early morning. While Missy was setting up for the class, a man or woman dressed in a police tactical uniform entered the building and killed Missy, bludgeoning her in the head with a tactical hammer. Church surveillance video captured the killer.  The video has been widely shared.  Other video showed a car circling in a nearby parking lot a few hours before the killing.  Despite the existence of both surveillance videos, the killer has still not been found.

Below, a Youtuber slowed down the video of the car in the parking lot

5. YingYing Zhang.  Ms. Zhang was a Chinese scholar who had traveled across the globe to work and study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).  Several weeks after her arrival, YingYing was going to sign a lease for an apartment.  She was running late and had just missed her connecting bus, when a car pulled up -- probably to offer YingYing a ride.  That was the last she was ever seen alive.

By using video captured by a surveillance camera across the street from the bus stop, police were able to identify the make and model of the car that picked up Ms. Zhang.  A camera at a different location showed the driver.  The car was a fairly rare type, and with diligent police work, the car and its driver were tracked down. Brendt Christensen, who had been a UIUC graduate student, allegedly admitted that he picked up YingYing Zhang. Brent Christensen has been charged with kidnapping resulting in the death of YingYing Zhang, with a trial set for late February 2018.

The mystery here is: Where is YingYing Zhang?  The FBI has issued statements that they believe Ms. Zhang is dead.  Let's assume the FBI has checked other cameras around town to see if there is video of Brendt Christensen continuing on this drive, where he went, and drives he may have taken in the days after YingYing Zhang disappeared.  This makes it all the more mysterious that her remains have not been found.

Notice below how clear this surveillance video is. If we assume that other publicly-mounted cameras in the area produce equally crisp video, it seems likely that Christensen's movements could be traced.  The area outside the town is one of farm fields and forests, which can provide plenty of hiding spots.  For the sake of YingYing Zhang's grieving family and boyfriend, may she be located so she may be given dignity in her death.

6-7-8. Rhoden Family.  In April 2016, in rural Peebles, Ohio, eight  member of the Rhoden family were shot dead in one night, in four trailer home locations.  Those killed included 5 men and 3 women.  The women killed included the mother of the clan, 37 year old Dana Lyn Rhoden.  Also killed were two young mothers - Hanna Mae Rhoden, 19, and Hannah Hazel Gilley, 20.  Both of them died with their babies nearby.  The babies were not harmed.  The notable thing about video evidence in this case is that there is not any.  Reports are that at least several of the locations had video cameras installed, but that those cameras were off or disabled at the time of the killings. A law enforcement official stated that the killers took steps to remove evidence that could have identified them.  This sounds like the killers were familiar with the properties, familiar with the locations of the cameras, and familiar with how to disable them.  Police have stated they believe 2 or more killers are involved.  The killers obviously had to know their way around that rural area in the dark.  May justice come for these three mothers - Dana, Hanna, and Hannah, as well as for the men who were killed.

Get Smart! and the U.S. Mint

Get Smart! and the U.S. Mint
by Agent 99

This was emailed to the U.S. Mint:

and this reply came within minutes.

Tattling on a Terrorist

Alligator, a common site in Florida, the location of Pulse Nightclub
Tattling on a Terrorist
by Susan Basko, Esq.

If someone you know is a terrorist wannabe, are you required to report them?  From several recent cases, the answer would seem to be, "Yes."  Federal law does not require you to report them, but if a terrorist act takes place, the FBI will sure come knocking on your door to find out what you knew and when, how your finances were shared, and whether you gave any encouragement.  If you tell investigators you did not know, and it looks like you had reason to know, they will probably say you lied to them about whether you knew.  This is all very tricky, so let's look at three examples of cases where family or friends of the terrorist have been charged with crimes, and one case where that has not happened.

The first example is of Noor Salman, the widow of Omar Mateen. Mateen terrorized a gay nightclub, killing many.  He was killed by police, so he is not around to be put through a trial.  Instead, his wife is being put on trial for aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice. It sounds like she did not actually know exactly what he was going to do, but that there were enough major red flags that she should have alerted some authority.  Reporting on him would likely have broken up their marriage and would likely have put her in personal jeopardy.

From a distance, Omar Mateen probably looked very good:  He was a U.S. citizen, as is his widow, Noor Salman; he was very handsome; he was employed in a responsible job; he was of her same background and culture; he was her husband.  That's a whole lot to give up.  The U.S. law enforcement stance at this time does expect someone to read the warning signs and report in advance to avert a terrorist act.  Let's look at this expectation more closely.

Noor Salman, the wife of Omar Mateen, has been indicted on Obstruction of Justice and other charges.  She was the wife of Omar Mateen, man who killed 49 people and injured nearly 70 people in June 2016 at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  Her indictment is below for you to read.  The first Count claims that Noor Salman aided and abetted her husband's material support for ISIS. Count Two claims Noor Salman made misleading statements to police and FBI agents.

If Noor Salman is convicted, she will face life in prison.  There is no trade-off to make in exchange for testimony, since her husband is dead. It sounds like Noor Salman made a huge error in answering FBI questions and signing a statement written by an FBI agent, all without a lawyer present. It sounds very much like the agent put words into her mouth and false meanings into her words.  Let's wait and see what develops in this case.

The second example is Joseph Meek, who was a friend of Dylann Roof, the young man who gunned down nine Black people at a Church Bible study in Columbia, South Carolina. Dylann Roof attended the Bible study, pretending to be interested.  Then, Roof pulled out a gun and started killing the people who had warmly welcomed him to their learning circle.

The FBI claims that Joseph Meek knew about Dylann Roof's plan to kill the church people, and offered him a lesser sentence in exchange for testimony.  In the weeks before the killings, Dylann Roof was living at Joey Meek's house. The FBI claims that three men got drunk and high together and played cards --  Dylann Roof, Joey Meek, and another man.  During that long night of drinking, Dylann Roof told the other two men his plan to kill people at the Church.  After the Church attack, the third man wanted to call police immediately and alert them that Roof was a suspect, but was stopped by Joey Meek from making that call.  Meek has been sentenced to two years in prison.

According to the Guardian, "In a deal with prosecutors, Meek pleaded guilty to concealment of a crime and lying to the FBI.  Meek was not charged for failing to tell police about the impending attack, since that is not a crime under federal law. Instead, he was prosecuted for stopping a friend immediately after the attack from calling the police to report Roof as a suspect."

The third example is Enrique Marquez, Jr., who was friends with a married couple who went on to commit a terrorist massacre shooting in 2015 in San Bernardino, California.  The married couple,  Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and injured many others who were at a holiday party held by Farook's employer.  Farook left the party, went and picked up his wife, Malik, and returned to the party armed to kill his co-workers. After the attack, they fled in an SUV and were later stopped and both were killed.

Enrique Marquez, who was a friend and neighbor of the couple, was charged with "material support of terrorism and making false statements in connection with purchase of a firearm."  Marquez purchased the 2 guns used in the attack and had given them to Farook. Shortly after the shootings, Marquez said that he was staying with his mother, who told him to get the guns out of the house, so he gave them to Farook for safekeeping.  That may have been true, but the prosecutors called it a "straw purchase," meaning Marquez bought the guns with the intention of passing them to Farook.  

As evidence that Marquez would materially support terrorism, the FBI pointed to Marquez's admissions of shit-talking with Farook when they were both in community college, where they talked about shooting up the cafeteria and attacking people in rush hour traffic.  The FBI also claims that Marquez joined the mosque Farook attended and spent time at Farook's house watching terrorist indoctrination videos.  

Marquez was also charged with immigration fraud because he was in a sham marriage with a woman who was a relative of the two married killers.  Allegedly, Marquez married the woman so she could live in the U.S., and in exchange, he received a monthly payment. She did not live with Marquez and had a different man who was her "real boyfriend."

Enrique Marquez entered into a plea agreement, which can be read in full at the link The charges against him regarding the sham marriage were dropped, though the other people involved in the sham marriage were charged and sentenced.   Sentencing for Enrique Marquez is scheduled for February 26, 2018.

From these three examples, we can get a handle on what is expected and of what is wise and unwise:

1. It is unwise to speak with FBI agents without having your own lawyer present.  No matter what you say, they will make it into what they want it to say.

2. Number two contrasts with number one.  If you know someone that is planning a terrorist attack or other killing, you should report it, because that can prevent people being killed.  You are not legally required to report an upcoming crime, but you are not allowed to lie to FBI or police about knowledge of a crime, either before or after the crime takes place.

3. It is unwise to talk stupid with anyone, even a good friend, about terroristic plans, even if it seems like you are just shit talking or shooting the breeze.  If you don't mean it, don't say it, and don't take part in such discussions.  That goes for online discussions, too.

4. It is unwise to give a gun to anyone else, for any reason, unless you check out the laws behind gun transfer and transfer it officially with required paperwork.

5. It's unwise to hang out watching terroristic videos, unless you want to be perceived as a person planning an attack.

6. If someone wants to report something to police or FBI, don't try to stop them.

LET'S LOOK NOW at how to decide if you should report what seems to be someone planning some kind of attack on others.  Obviously, the closer the person is to you -- a family member or close friend -- the more difficult it will be to make that decision.  I think the decision-making factors can be listed in three simple steps:

1. Has the person said they are going to attack a place or a person or a group?

2. Does the person own or have access to weapons, including a gun(s), ammunition, a knife, bomb-making materials, poisons or acids?


3. Has the person not said they plan an attack, but it seems likely they might have such a plan because they are stockpiling guns, ammunition, buying a large quantity of fertilizer, buying a big knife, or doing other things that seem like preparation for an attack?

In those instances, you may be saving lives by making a report.  You may also be saving yourself from criminal charges and prison.

 The instances where you might make a report of suspected terrorism or suspected planned terrorism fall into five general categories of people you might report:

1. People you know well, such as family members, close friends, people living or staying with you.  These are the most gut-wrenching to report and the most likely to get you charged with crimes if you do not report it.

2. People with whom you are acquainted, but are not close with.  This may include co-workers, fellow students, neighbors.  In these instances, you are probably reporting to keep yourself and others safe, but you probably don't want your name known as the one who reported.

3. Strangers you see out in public - on a street, bus, train, public building, park, parking lot.  Go with your gut. The more factual details you can provide, the more likely it is that the situation can be effectively investigated.  The closer in time you report it, the more likely your report is to be useful.  If you can say, "I just saw this -- minutes ago," your report is much easier to check out than if you are reporting something you saw out in public last week. But, if that event from last week is still on your mind, do report it.

4. People you see on the internet making statements about their plans or actions. Their "statement" might be a tweet, a post, a video, a picture, audio, email, etc.   It helps to get screen shots and the URL where it is happening.  If it actually looks like a threat, you can report it to https://tips.fbi.gov/

Making reports to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media does not help in getting information to any law enforcement agency.  In fact, Facebook or Twitter are likely to tell you the post does not violate their rules; just ignore that and make your report to law enforcement.

5. People with whom you have dealt in a business or professional capacity.  Examples: You work at a truck rental place and a suspicious person rents a truck.  You sell fertilizer and a suspicious person buys a lot of fertilizer.  You work in housewares and unlikely people buy a pressure cooker.  You work in a public building and someone is asking prying questions.  You run a flight school and a person inquires about pilot classes but says he does not need to learn how to land.  In such instances, you may have a professional obligation to make a report.

REPORTING SUSPECTED TERRORISM: Let's say you want to make an FBI report about what you think seems like a possible terrorist attack or possible terrorist activity. You can do that online here: https://tips.fbi.gov/  You can give as much or as little information about yourself as you want.  You do not have to fill out all the spaces, but I think it is a good idea to give them some means to contact you, such as an email or phone.

If you think you may need a record later to show you have made a report, you can save a copy of the report.  The FBI tipline no longer sends a receipt email - which is good, because it means you can make your report without risking that someone else might find out.

The reports sent to the FBI tipline will be read immediately and will be assigned as appropriate. There can be an immediate response if something seems urgent.  If something is in the process of happening, then give as much information as you can. Information that is useful includes such things as:

WHAT is happening.
WHERE it is happening. Name of street, city, state,  Name of building.  Name of bus or train line and car number.
WHO is doing it.  How many people? What does each one look like?
WHEN? Now? Two minutes ago? An hour ago? Last week? Last year?
NAMES of people, if known.  You might also see IDs, or hear people speaking to each other by name.
DESCRIPTIONS of people - what do they look like? What are they wearing? What kind of shoes are they wearing? What are they carrying?
VEHICLE license numbers, makes, models, descriptions.

NOW, LET'S LOOK AT A CASE where there is no apparent intent to charge any family or friends of the attacker with crimes.  That is the Las Vegas mass shooting by Stephen Paddock. Paddock rented a luxury suite in a casino, brought many guns into his hotel room, and shot through the windows at an outdoor concert below, killing 58 people and injuring about 550 other people.  Paddock then killed himself.

Stephen Paddock had a girlfriend, but there is no indication she is being charged with any crime. Paddock sent his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, to be with her family in the Philippines prior to the attack.  He wired her $100,000 to buy a house there.  She said she feared this was his way of breaking up with her.  She has stated, through her lawyer, that she had no knowledge that Paddock planned the attacks or was capable of such an act.

Make note of these factors: 1) Danley was far away during the attacks. 2) She had her lawyer prepare a statement and speak for her.  3) She said she had no knowledge he was capable of such an act and she knew Paddock as a quiet, kind person. 4) That she has a lawyer who has made her public statement indicates that she would have a lawyer present during questioning by authorities.  5) There are no known overtones of political, racial, or religious motive in the attack or in the lives of Stephen Paddock or Marilou Danley. 

Investigators in the Las Vegas killings have issued search warrants for many items, including email and phone records of Stephen Paddock and Marilou Danley.  If Ms. Danley had prior knowledge of Paddock's plans to kill, that would likely come to light.  The investigation is still ongoing,  A hearing is expected for mid-January 2018 with regard to news media requesting access to search warrants.

Update January 19, 2018: Sheriff issues report that states Marilou Danley will not face charges - but someone else might.

Update January 30, 2018: The second "person of interest" has been revealed as Douglas Haig of Mesa, Arizona, an Aerospace Engineer who ran a sideline business of selling ammunition. He has reportedly stated he sold tracer ammunition to Stephen Paddock.  Haig says he has no connection to the crime and no connection to Paddock, other than having sold him some ammunition.

Stephen Paddock's family -- his brothers and mother -- do not seem to have been knowledgeable about his recent life, other than knowing he had wealth and liked to gamble for high stakes and enjoyed traveling.  It is highly unlikely any of them would be charged with any crimes regarding his attack.

The motives behind Stephen Paddock's attack also appear to be unknown. No motive has been mentioned by investigators.  It has been discovered that Paddock had previously booked rooms in hotels overlooking major outdoor events.  That looks like he was planning a mass killing for quite some time. There has so far been no indication to the public that Paddock was motivated by politics or religion or race.  Since the investigation is still ongoing, more information on motive may come up later.