THE BULLIED

Chapters 16 thru 20

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Chance Was Never Poor (1980s to Present: The Age of Greed)

RUI had turned into a $240 million company in just under seven years. Chance’s use of social media and smart investments were as simple as teaming up with or rather following Tom Joyner around. Advertising RUI through America Black Web and The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise were among Chances’ earliest marketing investments. For the first three years he hadn’t even bothered to weigh the losses or gains from those investments but in hindsight there was steady growth. Actually there was overgrowth when the placed orders started to frequently exceed the supply. That was pretty much the extent of struggle at RUI then and nowadays.

Chance didn’t really have a struggle story. He grew up in the projects but he was never poor. Steak, salmon, bass and trout combined with spaghetti dinners were all he ever really knew. His mom provided for every holiday and then some. The rest he had hustled for. The people who ate ketchup sandwiches were other people. And those other people were often invited to dinner at either his mom’s or grandmother’s home for a meal or two or three. They weren’t judge. Shoot most of the poor girls were cute and their brothers were cool. Cute and cool mattered a lot more than it did not.

Chance was never the poor person that had been socially assigned to him. It was a faulty assignment which many of his neighbors too defied. He and his friends ate salmon and caught them without a net when the fish were trapped in the catch basin at the bottom of the Mott dam. They trapped the fish in the knee deep water right near where no fishing signs were posted around the catch basins of the dam that was 5-miles North of the projects.

At times they had salmon that were so big that it took two and sometimes three or more adolescents to carry them to Crazy Joe’s home. Once there his mother would start the fish fry that would last late into the evening. Pike, trout, sturgeon and bass were expected gifts of God when living in Chance’s vision of life in the projects. Many middleclass families, even today, wished they ate as well and as often. And in his spare time he grew a garden for his grandmother in his backyard which no one ever stole from.

Chance was never poor. He had earned money early on from gambling, then from tutoring. From there he graduated to the higher income of White-mailing crooked cops and Blackmailing Crack Dealers, both of whom he detested equally. That move amounted to thousands of dollars which he used to kick off his Soul Rap career. That career lead to millions and even more millions came after he had been recruited by the Unknown Committee for both freelance and contract killings. Now he was reaping the benefits of all the planning and investments which was RUI and its people.

Chance really found women who were delivered from the mold of Grace Jones and Macy Gray extremely sexy. What made their sexiness extend to a level above the average sexy woman was their spiritual depth and intelligence or more to the point the quality of their spoken words. Those words were a result of the perfected and purposely connected thoughts chilling in their minds. It was proof of the Soul in their hearts and that was sexy as Heaven.

Women like that wrote the re-writes for the playbook on Steve Harvey’s Think Like a Man, Act Like a Lady. More importantly they embraced the male dominion that was the undercurrent of a man’s thinking and feminized it until it was a part of their own. They could say the same word as another woman but their words would have more meaning to a securely confident man and be felt in his Soul as an attraction of respect for the strongest human bond, friendship.

The actress Olivia Wilde was like that. So were the singer Janelle Monáe, the comedian Aisha Tyler and the entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso. That list was only a brief of an ever growing and expanding population of beauty capped by a creative intelligence. Oddly enough, Joan wasn’t like that. She was just the opposite. She was mostly ghetto and part-time intelligent like Chance. But there were more than a few people who weren’t mostly ghetto right?

Opposites attracted mostly in Chance’s case because he knew that a relationship with a strong willed woman wouldn’t work. A strong willed woman too frequently offered advice and when it was not enthusiastically or reluctantly accepted she was almost certain to be offended. And when offended she would step to the sideline and hope by waiting to see if the offender would stumble and fall. Stumbling and falling in all that was what one got for not listening to her. That’s what their butts deserved. So to avoid that messy nonsense, Chance just made sure those types of women were friends; which was the most important type of relationship in the first place.

Actually, he tried to make sure that most women were no more than friends because he liked living alone and found compromise to be a lowering of one’s personal standards and lead to consensus building. And consensus building was one of the fastest routes to finding people on the sidelines hoping by waiting to see if the people who didn’t listen to them, which meant adhered to their wise advice, faltered. It gave new meaning to the position I can do badly by myself. And even the lovely Joan would do little to change those faulty sentiments.

Joan had changed. She had become a LPN and part-time writer who was mostly doing freelance work for the style section in Essence magazine. She had taken the money from both jobs to self-publish a series of apolitical romance novels. Her personal sense of style had changed too. She had become an Indie Arie type dresser before Indie Arie was even born.

Joan was still beautiful. She was surprisingly single and their locked-in eyes. They both new what that meant or hoped it meant. The undercurrent was strong. But Joan wasn’t the type who would just jump back into sex with anyone without some type of meaningful reconnection. Chance knew that. He knew a lot more than she would ever know or openly admit. That’s why he took her to Red Lobster.

“You remembered,” Joan said as Chance pulled into the parking lot of her favorite restaurant. She also had told him that she wasn’t even going to ask how he found another car like the one he use to have in high school, which really wasn’t that long ago.

“When it comes to you I never forget,” was the charm that Chance shared as he got out of the car with a smile and opened her door.

They had talked the entire time on the way to their meal. Joan was 21 then and Chance was 23. They had both promised early on in their teen love not to ever marry another person should they not marry one another. This was a few decades before Chance would learn about the two abortions and years before Trudy and Taylor’s, and Joan’s own daughter’s birth.

Joan was 5’2” and had a body that came from the Pam Grier mold. Joan was often called pretty as a teen and wore a well groomed Afro. Her hair was permed now but Chance didn’t know that for she wore a blue scarf wrapped around her hair. The scarf matched her dress and her blue sandals. She still dressed cute, Chance thought upon first seeing and then hugging her.

Joan seemed a little disappointed when Chance told her that he was going to be a Rapper. But she changed the subject on a high note by saying, “At least they will know what you’re saying.”

Joan didn’t like Rap during its earliest stages and wouldn’t come to like it until Run DMC, Whodini, Will Smith, L.L. Cool J and others would come along and start to Rap with a wider usage of mainstream English. Chance hadn’t liked the early hard to decipher Rap either but he still was one of the few from his generation that invested in its potential early on.

The potential was a musical format that presented an underground challenge to the established music industry. The music industry was about as corrupt as an industry could be back then but Chance knew then that corruption always evolved as was evident in the sameness of much of the Rap music of today. So it was probably just as corrupt now, too. But to talk about matters such as that with Joan would only garner a side-eyed look of boredom.

They did a lot of small talking about other matters instead but somewhere during that small talk and their meal Joan had almost casually mentioned the Head Hunter. That was understandable as she didn’t want to pollute the romantic air between them with an unpleasant social reality such as the police whom she knew Chance didn’t trust. Plus she wanted to avoid having him rant. Joan preferred the soft and needing look he had in his eyes for her then.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Math and Financial Crisis Requirements (2013 to Present)

To the wrong authority: See the People’s Bailout punks.

Chance’s Black Panther rising insights into the STEM and financial crisis would appeal neither to the hosts of MSNBC’s or Fox’s news cycle talk shows. His take was totally different than that of the Associated Press. He listened to all of them, weighed the sides and speculated on the interests behind the views. Then he would look at the past motives of the players in the current games and attributed their past and current crimes to a pattern that fed his current speculations.

He found the intellectual interaction of engineers and mathematicians to be built from a false narrative, a fake but positive stereotype. Most people in the world didn’t need much math. The only people who needed math beyond the basics were the few people who benefitted from the discipline. Why do something that you’re never going to benefit from and don’t want to benefit from?

STEM was nothing more than the medical and technology corporations push to undercut the pay of engineers and scientists everywhere. They wanted to flood the market with both immigrant and native talent, lower the salaries and kill all of the uncontrolled challenges of creation through acquisition. You make it and they gobble it up or outright take it.

Innovation was market driven and unless it was birthed in the Black Market of garages, unless it was birthed by children tinkering in their parent’s living room or a small company taking a chance on a whiz kid STEM was doomed to the non-benefits of corporate and hedge funded absorptions. As far as Chance was concerned, there was a high probability that the Power of 4 was even behind that particular corporate push because the control of technology fit comfortably within their directed interests.

Chance told whoever would listen that they could listen to Neil Degrasse Tyson and all the nice sounding and smart people that they wanted too, but if we don’t want to see anymore game changers like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates for about the next twenty years or so, like when IBM and Kodak was king, keep the STEM corporate and factory push going. He was sure that there was a hand full of shareholders who would appreciate such as push.

The real shareholders were the consumers. The current shareholders were fake interests called stake holders. Stake because that’s what they drove through the hearts of the creative and innovative. Right now they were just paying them off until they could wrest control completely away until STEM was something that looked like the candy corporate structure in America. It was a structure where three companies had a whole bunch of subsidiary names but it was really a monopoly for candy manufacturing that was not called a monopoly.

On the same hand, public corporations were loosely regulated with the threat of tight enforcement while private ones (threatened by light enforcement) violated, closed shop and reappeared as a something else Group or Fund that was now bigger and badder with a lot more front loaded reputations to protect from the backend of current or past criminality.

They were only transparent in that their misdeeds were always well documented after the facts were mislaid and fell into the hands of some whistle-blowing like investigative reporting which really came off the sidelines. The most effective lie to date was that there was shared prosperity in the 1980s and 1990s. No there wasn’t. Those years were when the declines went into full effect and the shift in wealth pivoted even more to them, the 1%.

The financial crisis during those decades was just like the Great Recession of the Bush years. Only they said it was a false equivalency although the majority of losers were the same across the board. And although no economist would totally agree with Chance or be expected too, including the Black Enterprises’ Board of Economist, Chance would switch to Insubordinate and wax freestyle on their arse in this intended to be rude way:

The money changers needed their money tables turned over again

They were steal cheating through Banks of America and corporate thuggin

Robert Reich was the most gangsta economist out there bar none

Start acting on his YouTubed words and build your own freer markets son

Even Frankenstein tried at first to be a decent human being. Frankie’s creator was a madman right from the start. The financial mess was created by policy. Ever since the Founding Fathers failed to corral the dudes who were released from the British and other European prisons and boated to America with plans to disrupt by hook or crook, those similar policies still flourish today as the Wild Wild West Wall Street style.

Now their offspring still wave the confederate flag of defeat and can’t understand why formerly suppressed people won’t just bow down to the improved Millennial style of cultural and financial oppression that’s derived from an old playbook. Regardless, once again Frankie will be burned and the peasantry will return back to the free market field of dreams and be satisfied only because they weren’t radical enough to publicly admit that the wrong monster had been destroyed.

Now that he was wide open on the subject of human monsters, Chance would have strongly suggested that the wrong authority See the People’s Bailout. Of course he would have ended that suggestion with “punks.” He couldn’t help it and he wasn’t trying.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Asian Sistahs & Anti-Snitching (1990s: The Age of New Jack City)

Chance had performed over 4, 270 concerts between 1990 and 2012. Some music columnists called them theatrical and solo concerts because he was the headliner and producer but that was misleading. He had background singers who sometime performed their own unrecorded materials and turned the place out. There were guest artists who had done the same and both would be flooded with Demo requests of their new or unheard songs after the concert.

Then there were the performance artists who were inspired by his work and performed their inspirations so that Chance could locate them on YouTube or Pinterest and have them also perform live at the concerts. There was room for everyone with funk because that was what funk was all about, peace and love. See Sly & the Family Stone baby. And few things produced more peace and love than inclusion and acceptance.

At Chance’s funkcerts, that’s what his concerts should have been called for there was certain to be the sing-along magnetism of a church call and response. That happened because the songs sounded just as good live as their studio recordings. Clarity and clear audio with Jill Scott like word pronunciation was always the goal.

There was plenty of slang but it was unforced and belonged in the context from where which it was submitted. The words were sung and heard while spoken in a sing-song way, a funky fun way and channeled the spirit of Parliament. Again the contents of the words strove for the positive precision of Patrice Rushen, Earth Wind & Fire and the like.

For the words to be heard for their quality, the audio needed to be precise and undistorted. For a theater quality sound anywhere they went, his crew would erect acoustic walls; bathroom tiles worked best. They were pre-fabed sectional walls with inserts that took less than 25-minutes per wall to setup.

It was like erecting an amphitheater because performance was art and needed to be heard clearly. There were small gaps in the walls so that some sound could escape and not be overbearing or with an echoing or other distorted effect. It was seamless, loud and crystal clear. It was early in his career that Chance managed to churn out 3 self-released EPs in that way.

That all allowed him to select spots that weren’t ideal or optimal for a concert (such as a stadium or sports arena) and re-imagine them as a spot for an ideal experience. When he performed he wanted you to hear that he had combined or overlaid Dr. Dre, Tina Turner, Jean Luc Ponty and the Beatles all into one song; with an alternative music interlude interspersed throughout.

It was all a part of FARKing and FARKing was really four or five songs and styles combined into one. The songs and styles were designed not to overwhelm but to push the senses and one’s sense of style above its usual limit.

But during somewhere around the time of his 100th concert Chance, as Insubordinate, had spoken out about snitching. He spoke out when it was a hot controversy. Because it was hot, meaning it mattered a lot on the streets, he was attacked and in a violent way. The attack was repelled though, not by Chance (Insubordinate) but by the Asian Sistahs.

Insubordinate hadn’t known that he had personal protection until the mid-1990s. He was a polished Rapper who was sharpened by underground or street steel and had just started to get radio airplay. The radio station WOWE 98.9 (FM) in Flint had even played one of his jams and WOWE was an oldies but goodies radio station.

Insubordinate’s music right from the start had an old school feel with a new school appeal. He was a crossover Rapper because back then few people could even understand what most Rappers were saying even after listening intensively to their angry or speedy blurred words.

It turned out that Insubordinate’s attackers were a young up and coming crew of Thug Life Rappers who didn’t possess the art of Anger and Deflection that Tupac once possessed and that Ice Cube harnessed and built a career from. It also turned out that they had been leaving for quite some time threatening comments and anti-snitching tirades through hastily produced demos and mixed tapes. That was done along with rants from the stage during their underground concerts and Rap Battles.

Leading up to the physical urban attack, Insubordinate possessed a rather divisive view when it came to snitches and snitching. To Insubordinate there were two basic levels of snitching.

A Level One Snitch was when two or more criminals were linked to a crime and one or more of the criminals turned state’s evidence when some or all of them were caught. Such a person was a pariah, they were prosecutorial prostitutes and karma would have them tossed into a cell with a sexual sadist. Their reduced sentence for unmanly cooperation with the prosecution should more often than not be rewarded with a reduced possibility of living a pain free life.

No such reward should be handed to a Level Two Snitch, though. Not just because a Level Two Snitch was what Chance or Insubordinate was when he was a Soul Rapper but also because it was level with his ground rules for keeping the community safe.

When a Level Two Snitch saw someone robbing a neighbor’s home, snatching a purse, carjacking or spraying a crowd of nosey but innocent bystanders with bullets Insubordinate said from the concert stage and in his lyrics that he would gladly tell on the guilty in those circumstances. And furthermore if others were afraid to tell then they should tell him and he would tell and not tell on whoever told him. Insubordinate was pissed but so were the anti-snitching campaigners.

Now this was during the time of Crack, AIDs and a continued legacy of inner city police abuse. It was also when Gangsta Rap careers were built around lyrics about when they put a doughnut sized hole in the brain of even the casual snitch let alone a prosecutorial prostitute. Times were hard then for a snitch.

Insubordinate had reasoned that if a Thug Punk tried to kill him because of their own warped mind and twisted ghetto tales, which had nothing to do with making the community stronger and safer; well then in that case he would pray beforehand that all of their anti-community action plans went to hell along with them. That was his prayer.

The last part angered a bunch of preachers, the middle part about the levels of snitches angered a bunch of television activists, and the whole concept enraged millions of short fused Thugs and their small minded followers. Then in a tempered version of that rage Insubordinate was street tested with a bunch of “What ifs” during his social encounters with critics.

“What if you see someone shoplifting, would you tell then?”

That’s between them and the store’s security cameras.

“What if you see someone on the corner selling dope?”

Sell all the hard loss of hope dope that you want and dodge the police and that 20-year sentence for as long as you are desperate. But if I catch you selling to children, or hooking a woman with small children I will probably beat or shoot you myself. If not it’s because I’m pretending to be passive and dialing 911.

“What if someone is robbing…?”

Stop right there. If you are robbing anyone other than another robber or dope dealer, I’m dialing 911. Believe that.

Insubordinate went on to explain that no one could make him tell anything on anyone unless he wanted to tell. He had ground rules and they should have some too. He had shared his ground rules and they were all more than welcome to share theirs also.

That snitching controversy was meant to be a weight around Insubordinate’s neck and then drown him in the court of public opinion. The beauty of the Rap game was that there was room for just about everyone. Still Insubordinate was researched and seriously investigated by Rap and Hip Hop fans as a result of his position. That meant that his music and lyrics were studied and dissected and were judged to be mostly street worthy and mainstream ready.

The fact that the controversy was pushed into the media archives of until further notice and since his music sales had quadrupled during the fiscal quarter of that controversy, all of those combinations solidified Insubordinate’s position. Insubordinate’s Rap success was the result of the product that could not be manufactured, respect. But haters hate respect and the more respect Insubordinate received the more respect that the Hater’s hated.

There’s no doubt that they were just as determined to kill Insubordinate as the Asian Sistahs were to protect him. He would meet both at his second most favorite place a concert. A bookstore was his most favorite place.

As mentioned earlier Insubordinate’s attackers were a group of impulsive and ready to act Thugs. Those Thugs were like the runoff water from farmlands and lawns; they were fertilized with reasons to poison others with hate. And just like when runoff water joined a river, lake or ocean a nitrogen based algae bloom would grow and the bloom was there to distort, suffocate and kill everything that would keep the rest of nature’s system healthy and vibrant.

The specific system of nature that some Thugs distorted, suffocated and ultimately killed was the Hood. To keep warped thinking hot the worse the Hood was the more hypo-respect that particular Hood got amongst other Thugs and observers. It was a backward growth that was fed by both good and bad people. Killing Insubordinate would also help them to grow. But evidently the bad people had paid no attention to Insubordinate’s prayer for any active anti-community spirit or plan.

In a concerted effort, the Thugs put an entirely new twist on the strategy used to murder Malcolm X. While Insubordinate was in the middle of a groove during one of his concert songs someone cut the sound off and another person raised the lights to shine brightly on the stage.

Two boy looking men exposed themselves from the crowd by shooting a short burst from one of the Uzis into the air. The crowd panicked and stampeded to the exits as the submachine gun sounded.

“Insubordi-snitch!” One of the boy men shouted after they both pointed their Uzis at Insubordinate, “This is for being a snitch bitch.”

Before that point and time they weren’t known to Insubordinate as the Asian Sistahs. As a matter of fact the two Asian women weren’t known to Insubordinate at all.

While Insubordinate should have been panicked and scrambling for cover like the other members on the stage, Insubordinate was instead looking at the Asian woman. She was running or more like floating through the crowd and towards the guy who had shouted the threats.

She introduced herself to him and Insubordinate by chopping off the boy man’s shooting arm at the elbow with a sword and then doing a smooth 180 spin back into him with a finishing stab with a knife from the other hand. The other woman was much more efficient as she just chopped off the other shooter’s head and then began looking slowly around for any other attackers.

As the crowd was running away and screaming Insubordinate and the two ladies stared at one another for a moment or two. The ladies’ look spoke be careful. Insubordinate was shocked and also grateful that his own abilities for self-defense weren’t exposed. He had on a bullet proof Graphene vest that looked like a t-shirt and several weapons were stashed nearby. Had he not seen the two ladies with flowing black hair and the most beautiful and bluest blue and blended orange combination in their oriental dress he would have been totally committed to countering the Thug’s sloppy offensive.

A lot of blood was pooling near where the bodies laid and the ladies stood. Their look had said be careful but they never said bye or any other word as they blended into the panic of the stormy crowd which was the thick movement of people.

Insubordinate hadn’t considered why but thought, “My guardian angels are Asian Sistahs.”

The attempted murder of Insubordinate had taken place when Windows 95 was hot and years before MySpace was born. Had the event occurred during the era of iPhones the entire episode would have been posted to YouTube and would have gone viral. Instead a few camera phones had captured fuzzy and dark pictures of one of the Asian Sistahs but even the police labs couldn’t make heads of tails out of the pictures.

There was a very good picture of the beheaded Thug and his gun though. That photo appeared on the cover of Vibe with the space where the head belonged blotted out with a gray blob as the image. That image appeared with an article that had the words “unconfirmed reports” strung throughout it.

Vibe pieced together a profile of Insubordinate that squashed any notion that it was a gang related hit or miss-hit in that case. The journalistic piece pointed out Insubordinate’s argument that if your activities were tearing down the Hood then that person should be told on or in some other lawful way stopped. Vibes position was that it wasn’t snitching it was community involvement, something that every-one had on obligation to do.

Vibe was also surprised at how prolific and low key Insubordinate was but that changed rapidly over the next several years. Amongst the many other requests, Insubordinate was interviewed and featured on the cover with the caption: Old Skool Rapper Takes New Skool to School.

Street cred, rumor mill Ninja assassins as bodyguards and Vibe all boosted Insubordinate’s status in the minds of Hip Hop lovers and in the hearts of old school lovers. Well the old school crowd wasn’t too pleased when he tore up a subpoena inside the court house. That was before he refused to cooperate with the authorities who were investigating the concert murders and who openly tried to tie it to drugs, gangs and any other convenient social menace that would make the heroic aspects of the repelled attack be downplayed.

Insubordinate was given the standard indefinite sentence for Contempt of Court and he was only released upon the tenth day when the detectives called and explained to Insubordinate’s mother that he was a victim and not a suspect. Her tears and pleas for him to just answer their questions made him relent on his jail house status. While there he was a free man who was not literally free because he had the balls to say fuck the disrespectful elements of the judicial system. Even the guards seemed to respect him since all he did each day was read and play chess. He was an overall good influence on the jail.

After being released he was replacing the State’s slop by eating his mother’s collard greens, baked chicken, macaroni & cheese and cornbread when his niece “A” tossed the latest edition of Vibe onto the dining table. Insubordinate saw his name on the cover in white letters against a blue background and kept on doing what was important after being locked up; eating and drinking his mom’s Kool-Aid. Well that was after asking, “What’s this?”

Adrianna was his niece. He called her “A” for the best grade. She picked the magazine back up and began to read. The article punched Insubordinate’s critics coming right out of the gate.

“Snitch my ass. How many of our real Thugs and Gangsta Rappers would be man enough to jeopardize their own freedom based solely on principle? Let me answer, few to none. Insubordinate is clearly one of the few.”

“Faced with an investigation that tried to sweep the murder of two attempted murderers under the rug by calling it the usual gang rival or drug related deaths, Insubordinate tore up his subpoena right in the court house because he was being treated as a suspect and not victim.”

“He held his ground for 10-days and was willing to do a whole lot more. Insubordinate only relented when the lead investigators told his parent that he was a victim and not a suspect.”

“Standing for and on principal was what being a man was all about. How many of us would have displayed the courage that Insubordinate displayed? Let me answer, few to none.”

“A” was an excellent reader who hated the un-stimulating boredom of routine and compulsory schooling. Plus she personally argued that Chance, as he was known to his family, was primarily self-educated. He already knew what the schools were going to try and teach him before he even stepped into the classroom. Educational tirade aside, she went onto explain how the writer felt that Insub-ordinate lived up to his name and that he was not reckless.

Insubordinate kind of and sort of felt reckless. He questioned his actions after his she-ro, Oprah, cancelled their interview while he was in jail. Another Rapper and two people murdered while attempting to murder. Maybe she was thinking more about the protection of her staff and audience. After all bad people had just recently tried to kill Chance because of his thoughts and opinions. And the persons or person who had cut the sound off and lights on high was still at-large.

That all described fear of bullying and terrorism to Chance but as Insubordinate he quickly realized that Oprah was a wise and rational woman and that the cancellation wasn’t likely personal it was a business decision. And Chance too had to make some personal decisions in order to protect his family.

“Hey, ma.” She was in the kitchen and he was at the dining table. “I’m moving.”

That was how Chance decided to relocate to Georgia and where he wanted to be close enough to Florida to run there if wanted too. Valdosta was on the Georgia/Florida borderline and anything less than 26.2 miles, a marathon distance, was close to Chance.

CHAPTER NINETEEN 

The Asian Sistahs (The 1990s: The Age of New Jack City)

The Asian Sistahs were like an urban Rap related myth. Some called them Japanese while others called them Chinese or Korean. The best rumor, though, was that they were really Ninja men dressed as kick-ass women.

The only truth was that there was no real proof that they even existed at all. When the police questioned Insubordinate he actually wouldn’t have been able to tell them anything even if he had a remote desire to do so. Heck, he had just been introduced to them himself. They would help him out over the next couple of decades but who they were he never really questioned.

And witnesses at the concert provided nothing short of conflicting reports. Plus there was no footage of them on any of the few security cameras from banks that existed in the ancient times of the 1980s and 1990s. Nothing confirmed their existence except maybe the fact that Insubordinate was alive even after being sneak attacked.

MUSLIMS and the Power of 4 (1980s to Present)

Even Chance often wrestled with respect for Islam. But there was no denying that some of the intellectually sharpest and most insightfully spiritual people he had ever met were Muslim. They all left a very favorable impression. And the common everyday Muslim, the taxi driver, the guy or gal at the party store; all were usually very cool and read and shared materials or thoughts that gave respect to the respectable. Like many Jews and Blacks once you got to know many of the individuals that were clustered or driven into a social group then one would come to know also that they really just wanted to live in peace, which literally meant not be harassed and just left alone to live a thoughtful and fruitful life.

Like most people’s goals, the Muslim as a person goal was not to be overtly discriminated against, to have the universal aspects of their culture embraced, to be respected as individuals and to not be seen as a homogenous group. That was evidently the most healthy and productive way to leave them and others alone. Be a good neighbor and be a decent citizen. Wasn’t that all part of a natural process for building and maintaining a community?

Still Chance had few regrets about his lines of work other than not spending more time with his daughters. He didn’t regret having been recruited by the Unknown Committee, which he still called them. He called them that because he had only ever met the two recruiting operatives in his network. It was a network which he knew had to be much bigger and a lot better connected.

And so far every target handed down to him from the Unknown Committee had been a despicable human being who was bound for hell anyway. And to solidify that belief most were assassinated while in the process of planning an attack on civilians. That made pulling the trigger just that much easier and sleeping with a dream of the horrors or horror associated with killing them non-existent.

Amongst some Muslims, the suicide bombers were the worse. They were the most cowardly of cowards. He actually enjoyed intercepting suicide bombers as they headed for their targets: a marketplace, a religious center or crowded hotel. That’s also why Chance thought they were the worse. Civilians weren’t soldiers no matter how it was sliced and diced.

Their leaders didn’t send their suicide bombers into the resort towns favored by millionaires and billionaires. No, they sent their strapped bombers into the marketplace where grandma, an uncle or a father was just trying to make ends meet. Yet those same bombing Muslims claimed to be better than Americans and defenders of the poor and downtrodden. They were cowards because they knew that if they bombed the rich, the surviving billionaires would hunt them down like the jackals they were.

Despite that, Chance had few regrets except for his occasional rants against the Koran. He had major problems with the Koran and its followers being so casual about slavery. That was the fault line for Chance and there was no explaining away the fact that slavery was supported by the Koran and widely practiced by Muslims all over the world. The targets of slavery were even more numerous than were the targets of terrorism and that was problematic to Chance. Shoot to Chance slavery was more problematic than terrorism because slavery was terrorism. It was terrorism of the worse kind.

But as if he didn’t have enough problems, now he had to dodge the surveillance technology known as drones. Actually, drones had been a problem since the early 1990s but seemed to have gotten worse as their stories in the media grew. He made the calculated mistake of taking a U.S. drone out in Liberia and that resulted in a U.S. military buildup that almost cost him his life. Even the Asian Sisters didn’t show up for that one, as far as he knew. So the drones were double trouble. They were Chances damned if you and damned if you don’t.

That was also part of the reason why abroad and locally terrorists were the enemy and in the U.S., in particular, it was the Power of 4.

The Power of 4 was similar in power to the Unknown Committee. Only their goals were more corporate strategically. However, they were a danger because much of their technology was outside of normal channels and rivaled that of the Unknown Committee. The Power of 4 also had agents who were often dispatched to secure and protect their interests, which as mentioned were largely corporate.

Chance believed that they were mostly ex-C.I.A. and F.B.I. operatives who were now mostly mercenary workers for corporate and financial America and other parts of the commercial webs around the world. The Power of 4 was also a danger because the Unknown Committee had designated them as so. Through the same Wikileak like channels that assignments were selected reports of the Power of 4’s activities were also highlighted and profiles of some of their agents were documented. Also updates were encouraged by any of the Unknown Committees’ agents who encountered the Power of 4 agents. Tom Swords name was added there by Chance as being an unconfirmed but likely agent.

It all was considered Police Intelligence and governmental in-fighting to Chance. Both the Unknown Committee and the Power of 4 obviously had ties to legitimate government functions. Chance would have not been at all surprised if some of them were actually Senators and members of Congress. As matter of research he was sure of it. But getting too close to confirming that information was a sure route to receiving a bullet in the head, heart or both. A strategic missile or bomb strike of his home wasn’t out of the question either. His home was bomb proof but nothing was missile proof.

Still he wondered which secret agency was more behind the drone strikes. Was it the Unknown Committee or was it the Power of 4?

CHAPTER TWENTY

Air-gapped and Government Surveillance (2013)

Chance had several air-gapped computers. Air-gapped was computers that were never connected to the internet. Sometimes being disconnected was more sensible than being connected. People soon forgot that all of the surveillance stuff going on today was predicted well before it happened.

All they had to do was read archived articles from Times, Forbes, Ebony, Fortune and other mainstream news magazines to find that clear and accurate documentation. But that’s right, it’s now cool not to read and study rigorously just to make one point or not be well informed in ones disbelief about another’s multiple points of view. Study takes time and was best done before any of us intellectually wined and dined, Chance would have strongly recommended.

Chance believed in an awkward strategy of find me if you can’t. Everyone needed to send the surveillance community multiple false messages. Register your phone in a phony name, play any evasive game that you can. It’s not illegal if what they’re doing was illegal, and it can’t be the law if it’s against the law. It was called self-defense against wrongful surveillance and the people would be better off protecting the journalist and ignore that many of them were investigative creeps because Chance found out that historically better protection for journalist meant greater protection for the rest of us.

Some computers didn’t belong on the internet for no other reason than that some snooping teams of private contractors didn’t belong on there either. Of course, Chance’s rant against contractors would be something like fuck them, they aren’t the law. Or he’d borrow from a Gangsta Rapper and be real with it and say fuck them hard but not in the raw.

Distort their false missions and use a lot and lots of profanities to mess with their fake sensibilities and pile it all on top of their reasons to despise us all the more prayerfully. When a person was more suspicious of you than you were of them there was a good chance that their suspicion was proof of a non-blindly held governmental allegiance. Most likely their allegiance was to the country and the government was not and has never been the country. Its people always have been and always will be the country.

Even when a cell phone was turned off Anonymous and the government could still listen as if it were turned on. That was why Chance believed that every-one had to continually provide them self with technical and operational safety from the government’s prying and their court supported subpoenaed lies. It was nothing new it was just a continuance of the methods borrowed from the earliest stages of our own government’s complicity with injustice.

The government’s policing position that if you don’t have anything to hide then there was no need to worry argument was both empty and insane. They called some people crazy conspiracists then when Martin Luther King had nothing to hide and look what the government rewarded his I Have Dream Speech with.

While looking, look also at what they were currently doing to the journalist who reported on that surveillance which was still in full affect and which were all part of Chance’s unpublished rants here. And if ever published they would be called rants to distort the word’s credibility and to mess with the writer’s and other’s sensibilities for truth. They would slaughter the real news again.

The real issue was the corporate sponsored or cooperation with government lying and prying. The cover of national security was growing ever weaker with an exposed lie that was justified by the unjustified. The question “Why?” deserved an answer that neither side of the political aisle would be pleased with.

Chance’s rants would further state that protecting Americans while removing the protections of its citizens was a shackle to freedom. And that we were all chained together by and due to that intentionally faulty effort. We were being lead to nowhere in the name of being led to somewhere. We can’t continue to let people who won’t balance our budget by helping the needy, who only vote to bomb or not to bomb others as diplomacy or who voted that outsourcing was in the country’s best interest to continue to reset the boundaries for American’s freedom.

The treatment of a known terrorist should be different than that of a known American. If an American wasn’t helping to get something bombed, then there was no need for surveillance. And the fact that our government’s police agencies and their contractors don’t make that distinction mean we all have something to hide from our shadowy and very secretive government. Where’s the proof that the shadowiness and secret measures were making us more secure as a nation? There wasn’t any proof so don’t bother to look other than as an exercise to competently confirm that the proof really doesn’t exist.

Digital Security

Conferences about digital security risks have speakers who often talked to a half-empty room of chairs but they weren’t having a senility based melt down Clint Eastwood-like conversation. There were very few exceptions to the empty chairs. The few likely exceptions were universities that gave students class credit or faculty time off or when a business made it a mandatory meeting.

Under those circumstances it was a full room with a quarter of the attention being paid to half of the speaker’s details, making the few people who had paid attention the smart people of the moment at work. They were smart because they still had the simple answers to the complex questions that were already answered by the speaker earlier.

So the digital threats lurked beyond many of the worker’s willingness or ability to anticipate or even to begin to understand that threat. The workers were not paid to know so they didn’t want to know. And what they were paid to know they knew just enough to continue being paid. It was an unintended consequence of leaner and meaner productivity strategies that people felt was meaner and only leaned towards making their pay leaner. So since there was no job security people weren’t all that interested in protecting the fort that protected the palace.

But a new fear and paranoia was sure to bring them back. And just like before words will be used about protecting the security of the fort when the real role was cheap laborers who fought hard and relentlessly to protect the security of the palace. And the enemies of the palace were many.

There were hackers, crackers and attackers. Even most C.I.A. directors and generals were junior varsity players when it came to digital security and they were on the frontline. How can the palace keep the fort safe when the palace was where the high-level security administrators used junior varsity playbooks and junior varsity playmakers? Thankfully, the terrorist were self-limited and angry thinkers who used outdated tools too. But how long would that last?

Temporarily ignore Chance’s opinion about it all. He would just say read up on the last five or so Internet compromised politicians, CEO’s or Fund Managers. The source of their lack of security protocols was the biggest risk. The old boys and girls network had some pretty weak boys and girls when it came to basic Internet security. But their curriculum vitae look oh so pretty. But like the author Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book the Black Swan warned and Chance para-phrased, they know a whole lot about nothing. It was like their job was to appear to be of importance and not actually be important.

Threat Score (2013)

Chance was not a frequent flier on overseas flights and the only overseas calls he made or received were from Taylor who was either in Sweden or Germany. So his domestic flights were not marked SSSS which stood for Secondary Security Screening Selection like too many domestic journalists were. That marking would mean scrutiny beyond the ordinary measures. And once in that level of the TSA’s security system it would almost take an Act of God to get out of it.

A threat score could be as high as 500. When it was over 300 a person was flagged and would likely be detained during both domestic and international travel regardless of what the real intent of that travel was for. A robotic agent was part of the hiring criteria. And to add insult the flagged person would be issued a National Security Letter for their electronic communications and not be told when it would be returned or why it was selected to be taken in the first place.

Just as we were warned during the infancy of the internet when Window’s 3.0 was all the rage all that the government said wouldn’t happen has happened and continues to happen thanks to the new constructions out in Utah of all places. The Mormons were freakish both politically and religiously, and that was from Chance who had a high tolerance for political and religious freakishness. Chance had plenty of proof in Mitt Romney though regarding the Mormons.

Mormons were better than the rest of us. They had better values than the rest of us. They were better educated, more religious and more culturally sound than the rest of us. And they had better plans for America than the rest of us. And if that sounded similar when assessing the Amish, the Jehovah Witnesses and others that’s because Chance felt that way about their religious ambitions also.

Chance’s question, why don’t the Mormons and Amish as a group have a threat score? Weren’t they more of threat by allowing domestic surveillance to occur and be housed in their states? And weren’t the rest of us Americans just as guilty for not jumping on the problem when it was smaller and not later (any time after 2013) when it was sure to be much bigger and much more difficult to contain and explain?

Palantir (2013)

Palantir, a CIA funded startup, was also credited with helping kill Osama bin Laden. Its customers were the N.S.A., C.I.A. and F.B.I. Palantir was propped up as an honest enterprise in the book The Finish where fictional details of the killing of Osama were designated as non-fictional. Now all of that misinformation was good as far as public knowledge went but the reality was that a company like Palantir was also searching for Chance and other U.S. citizens who weren’t playing ball with the government’s counter terrorism efforts.

Unfortunately the U.S. government had a poor legacy of terroristic designation. Martin Luther King, The Hippies and their Flower Power and many of the Lieutenants of the Civil Rights Movement were designated as domestic terrorists by the F.B.I. and other police agencies. How does one reason with the unreasonable? You don’t, instead you treat them worse than they treat you but only more smartly and with less of a driven ego.

To fight for civil liberties effectively would surely enable one to be labeled a social menace and worse a domestic terrorist. State and city androids (cops) used Palantir to analyze license plates. It was about as bad as when battling Chinese hackers only these hackers were government supported and spied as private contractors.

And on and on went Chance’s rants on the subject of government surveillance, which had never ended but had been upgraded to the point of being a resurfaced and protracted political problem.

Chapters 21 thru 25

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