Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Michelle's Speech: Convention Day 1

Michelle's speech was powerful and moving, rousing the crowd and bringing them to their feet and to tears of recognition of the important task before us. 
She has always been an extraordinary speaker, moving people to action from those early days in the cold small rooms of Iowa, and shone like a light of human truth last night.  
It was a unified, electrified, moved, inspired crowd brought to their best by her words, authenticity, passion, and true caring for our national human fate--one that we cannot leave in the hands of a reckless, destructive, narcissistic gambler.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Making of Melania's Convention Speech

Meredith sat down at her computer. She opened a document & began to peruse it.

All Melania had said was that she wanted something that would "Talk about what I do before, you know, the modeling, is hard work. Be sure to talk about the kids. Oh, and be sure show Donald respect! Lots of respect. And don't work too hard. He want good value, you know."

Where would she find it?

"Hmmm....Matt & John seem to have done a reasonably thorough job...Praise of Donald that is sufficiently grandiose not to offend him, yet leavened with a touch of humor so that he actually seems human..." "References to her college degree...best left unchecked, I think...referring to her caviar-infused cosmetic line as "the heart of the American entrepreneur," strike that..."

Now, she bears down to work. Opens Google.

"Modeling & Hard Work".

Hmmmm...Nothing useful there.

"Respect & Donald Trump"

Hm. Those articles aren't exactly...on point.

Meredith scratches her head. Pauses. Thinks.

"Respect and Value and Children and Presidency."

This, she laughed. The last thing they'd want:

"We were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond & you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity & respect, even if you don't agree with them. We set out to build lives guided by these values, & pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams & your willingness to work for them."

Melania's head jutted through the corniced golden doorway: "Donald want to know if you are finished yet? He say 15 minutes more, pay less."

With a decisive nod, Meredith scrolled over the text, clicked 'Copy' & clicked 'Paste.'

She looked at Melania breathlessly: "It's done."

"You got all in? Even big things?"

She responded with a widespread, gleaming smile: "Melania, it's perfect."

One difference

One difference between Trump and...certain dictators of the past, is that Trump has children.

It is clear that they have experienced the Trump ride, and I have no doubt that it has led to reports of their therapy sessions, and perhaps therapy itself.

He remains a near sociopathic actor in his remorseless pursuit.

But their family sphere--a narrow bubble, has a small area of non-narcissistic humanity.

Melania's Convention Speech

Melania takes the stage.  
(purses lips in Zoolander-like fashion)  
"It like parent always say. 'Ask not what Slovenia do for you. Ask what you do for Slovenia."  
Smiles, turns left, eyes display deer-in-headlights like terror.  
"My husband want unity for everybody. House divided not fall. Four scores and seven years before his father brought great, great nation. With all the liberty and propositioned 'All men be equal.' Not Mexicans. "  
Eyes shift from right to left, then narrow. Appears to be remembering something.  
"Only thing fear is the itself fear. Mr. President Obama, tear down this wall, so we put one up (smile). Speak soft, use big, big stick. Husband always give best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remembers, others may hate you. Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. Then you destroy yourself. Henry, will you pray with me. "  
('We Are the Champions' plays as she exits.)  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Malaysia Air MH370: Pilot Factors

The fact that the investigation of the disappearance of Malaysia Air MH370 has shifted to intentional pilot actions means that it is of critical significance to identify those motives that are most likely to have caused the actions observed, in the specific pilot(s) under examination.

Such actions are typically triggered by two motives, each powerful discontinuities, either singly or in combination:

1) Change in domestic or personal circumstances: A change in relationship, such as a serious disruption with a wife or romantic partner;
2) Change in political circumstances motivating protest: A change in a primary political situation or circumstance to which the individual has considerable commitment, leading to an act of motivated protest.

Therefore, in addition to the long overdue examination of the pilot's homes, an examination of:

a) Any changes in domestic circumstances, in the case of Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, an estrangement with his wife, or wife and children leaving the home;
b) A change in political circumstances that triggers action related to a strong political alliegiance, leading to an act of protest.

In that regard, in an event that surprisingly has not yet been reported as potentially related to pilot actions, we should note that the very evening preceding the disappearance of MH370,  a primary opposition leader in Malaysia, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the Pakatan Rakyat, was sentenced to a five year jail term by the Court of Appeals.

Ibrahim, who has been one of Malaysia's leading proponents of democratic reform, and who has served in the past as Deputy Prime Minister, was recently experiencing a surge of increased popularity in Malaysia as the head of the PKR.

Given the fact that:

1) The trial and sentence was viewed by many Malays as an attempt to quash this rising popularity;

2) The flight of MH370 began at 12:40 am the following day--less than 8 hours after the sentence;

It is important to examine whether the disappearance of MH370 was influenced by the contiguity of this powerful and polarizing political event--an act of pilot protest.

This is particularly the case given the directly occurrence of an extremely powerful motivating trigger of the type that often precedes such actions: the jail sentence of Ibrahim--which was separated from the take-off of MH370 by only hours, and which provides precisely the degree of emotional discontinuity necessary to trigger such an act.

Many other factors, of course, still remain to be determined--psychological stability, the continuing role of technical issues and disturbances, and passenger issues.

However, the fact that the precise timing of handoffs and navigation of waypoints are among the host of factors increasingly converging on experienced pilot involvement; and that powerful political discontinuities, including a major national political event, the sentence of a leading Malaysian opposition figure--precisely the type of event that triggers such an act of motivated protest--occurred in Malaysia just hours before the launch of MH370 means that it is critical to examine the history of the pilots in terms of any prior activities that would indicate a strong political allegiance to this issue, and connection to this outcome, in order to determine whether these, in combination with the outcome of the trial, influenced either of their actions in the weeks, days, and hours preceding the flight, serving as a key trigger of pilot motivation and action.

In addition, such reactions frequently interact with and are driven by domestic factors. Family relations, particularly any actions taken with regard to the wife and children of Capt. Shah, should be examined, and interviews conducted, in order to identify any changes in domestic relations or activities that preceded the flight. These may provide vital information regarding pilot activities and reactions to the trial and sentence, as well as serving as an additional triggers to pilot actions in the MH370 disappearance.

Friday, October 04, 2013

New Information on Miriam Carey and the Fatal White House and Capitol Chase and Confrontation

There appears to be new information regarding Miriam Carey, the 34-year old woman killed in a confrontation with and subsequent chase from the White House to the Capitol yesterday.


1) She had become psychotic during her post-partum depression--a not unusual concomitant of this syndrome;

2) As a consequence, she had been let go from her work as a dental hygienist in the months preceding yesterday's incident--an indication of the deterioration and impairment of her mental state;

3) She had become delusional--delusions are a feature of psychosis, consisting of false beliefs that are often paranoid and grandiose in nature--believing that messages were being sent to her from Washington through her television.

This is such a common feature of psychosis that it is used in training those who conduct evaluations for the condition.

4) Consequently, in a paranoid and grandiose condition, she went to DC to battle the forces produced by these delusions. This would account for her refusing to stop when confronted, and continuing to drive even after the massive response by multiple DC and Capitol law enforcement personnel.

This is a tragedy  It is one that could have been prevented. However, in understanding yesterday's events, it is critically important to understand her mental state, and the decisions that she was making on that basis, as well as the decisions made by others.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Syria 2: The Dangers of an Internal Mindset and Groupthink

It is all too easy for an Administration to become locked into an internal mindset in such situations, even starting from the best intentions.

Here, we have:

1) A vicious regime, for whom the current murderous occurrences are tantalizing close to attribution--but still unproven;

2) A verbal commitment to act upon these occurrences--with the failure to act having potential consequences upon the dangerous actions of another regime;

3) A strong moral stance by the President and key advisers that adds additional pressure for such action.

However, we also have:

1) A group of rebels who have taken significant and rapidly increasingly losses, who would benefit from precisely such a conclusion;

2) A lack of conclusive evidence, and some evidence that appears to contradict regime responsibility for the acts in East Ghoula;

3) Two regimes that would benefit significantly from action based on conclusions that are found to be incorrect;

4) The now oft-seen and often severe unintended consequences of such action.

It is possible to be seen as strong, responsive, and morally consequential without military action at this point. The absence of conclusive evidence *at this point* is precisely the basis on which to found such a response.

The response should be unambiguous and clear: We are willing to act with clear, great, targeted severity in the face of this more conclusive evidence.

To act before such evidence meets a standard of beyond reasonable doubt is to endanger the very concerns of the President and the Administration at this point, as:

1) It causes the President to appear as if he must act before the facts have been determined--not strong, but acting for fear of being perceived as weak, rather than with the patient strength of acting upon conclusive evidence;

2) It creates the higher probability that the Administration will be proven to be wrong on the basis for such action, making the bar for later, more demonstrably proven and necessary actions significantly higher.

The Administration's message should be unequivocal, unambiguous and clear: 

Should the evidence under review prove that the regime is responsible for the attacks in East Ghoula, there will be a military response sufficient to warn the regime of severe consequences of such acts. 
Any other such acts will receive a similar response.  

However, in the absence of this proof, the Administration must continue to determine its acts regarding this regime with the means, measures and severity commensurate to its other acts against its people and the geopolitical and domestic interests of our nation.

Experiment lets man use his mind to control another person’s movements: Political Implications

From today's WaPo:

Experiment lets man use his mind to control another person’s movements
This has already been demonstrated for 8 years in the famed Cheney-Bush experiment.



Thursday, August 29, 2013


President Obama is considering whether to respond with military action to the chemical attacks in the Jobar, Kafr Batna, Hamoryah, Erbin, Douma, Zamalka, and East Ghouta regions in the suburbs of Damascus.

The President has declared that he would act if the Syrian Government crossed a "Red Line", which included the use of chemical weapons. The failure to act would therefore, be presumed to undermine the credibility of statements of US intention to act.

If the Government is, indeed the perpetrator of the acts, then it can also be inferred that the acts themselves may have been based on the belief that the US would not respond, and that they can act with impunity. 

To fail to respond is therefore to open the door to even more unrestrained action, with just barest veil of cover, in the belief that now, there will be no US response.

If the US were to respond militarily, it would need to do so in a way that is calibrated to sufficiently damage and restrain the Syrian government, without giving such advantage to rebel forces that they will burst from sufficient US leverage and management, given the presence of radical Islamist members among them. Such calibration is an inherent gamble.

More centrally, the moral imperative to act militarily and the nature of these acts rests upon the ability to identify their perpetrator. The information thus far provided is inferential, not conclusive.

Assuming that there is no greater certainty in information that has been kept private:

The essential crucible is thus in the tension between the consequences of the failure to act and the consequences in acting without clarity regarding the perpetrator.

Given that the consequences of military action here will be extremely significant, the standard here should not be a preponderance of the evidence, but certainty beyond a reasonable doubt.

On the basis of the evidence provided, we have not yet met that standard. 

The question thus should become: What is the most severe non-military response that we can provide, that is both diplomatically deft with regard to our explanation for withholding military action at this point, and that has sufficient impact to act proportionately, based upon the preponderance on the evidence. 

With such a response, We do not sacrifice the ability to act militarily should we determine a basis with greater certainty--and our current response should take us just to the place before this line.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Zimmerman Buys a Tactical Shotgun


Three weeks after he was caught speeding in Texas, George Zimmerman visited the Florida headquarters of Kel-Tec, the gun manufacturer that made the PF-9 pistol Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin, where he asked about purchasing a tactical shotgun. 

Presumably part of his law school application. 


The small but crucial element to a democracy is that you need actual democrats in power.

Not those who wish to use democratic processes to pave the way to a totalitarian state. .

Egyptians have realized this.

Is the Purpose of AJA to Provide Greater Free Rein To AJE?

Watching AJE last night--days after the cut off of AJE to the States, and the simultaneous beginning of Al Jazeera America (AJA) on Tuesday.

A new voice on AJE, rather than the nuanced, inferential approach of just days before.

An utterly unsubtle AJE World documentary on Israel.

Essentially, a call to bring the nation to an end.

A combination of arguments: Israelis would be more comfortable in Europe, in any case. They are suffering under the pressure and stress of living in Israel--and would be happier if they returned to Europe.

A bald-faced attempt, obvious, to seduce the young to leave.

No mention of Hamas. Of Hezbollah. Indeed, of those who actually view Israel as a nation. 

Sickening, repetitive, not terribly far from the propaganda of seventy years ago, with a slight but rather obvious gloss.

A rather massive leap from the inferences and knowing tones of the days before AJE was cut off in the United States.

This brings one to wonder:

Was one significant purpose of the establishment of a separate American voice for Al Jazeera to allow it free rein for the full-throated anti-Israel propaganda they have now unleashed, but may have felt unable to fully voice until they cut off America from its sight? 

Repellant. Stands as a modern, slickly produced equivalent of "The Eternal Jew".

I suspect that this is the true voice of AJ on Israel--which it now feels, in burst of relief, free to express.

You should know this.