Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

President Trump Should Fire Incompetent Mueller

December 6, 2017

Robert Mueller is supposed to be investigating Russian hackers who were spying on political emails during last year’s election, but reporters with the Associated Press are doing a better job than he is.

The AP reported last week that the Russian hacking group Fancy Bear was spying on more than just political emails and  FBI .leaders knew it.  The FBI failed to warn the vast majority of hackers’ targets that the Russians were reading their emails.   The FBI allowed the Russians to spy on the emails of   “the former head of cybersecurity for the U.S. Air Force. An ex-director at the National Security Council. A former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.”  Targets included a manager working on the stealth fighter program.

Meanwhile Mueller was getting Michael Flynn to admit he lied to the FBI about a legitimate meeting with the Russian ambassador that occurred after the election.   Having aides of the President-elect meet with foreign diplomats can prepare their government for any change in policy and help the incoming president avoid actions that might adversely affect relations between the countries.

The situation reminds me of an old Warner Brothers cartoon about a family of buzzards.  The mother sends her children out to bring back some fresh meat.   One brings back a horse.   Another brings a cow.  The younger one is shown flying along holding a bee in its talons and proudly singing: “‘I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee.   Won’t my mommy be so proud of me.”  Last week the AP brought back a whale and Robert Mueller brought back a baby bumble bee,

Mueller has spent millions on what would be called a dry hole in Texas oil country.   The  Associated Press has brought in a gusher.   The AP has discovered what may be the greatest act of espionage involving federal employees since the theft of atomic bomb secrets in the forties.

President Donald Trump should either replace Mueller’s team with people who have never worked for the Justice Department or drop the investigation

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Do Roy Moore’s Accusers Have False Memories?

November 29, 2017

The human brain is an unreliable memory device.  It can forget events that happened and remember events that didn’t.

I don’t know  if the allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior by Ray Moore 40 years ago are true or not.   I do know that it is unlikely he would remember such casual affairs so many years in the past.  Many men would forget such affairs in weeks, if not days.   A young woman might consider an older man’s attention significant,  but to the older man the young woman is just another warm body who might be used and forgotten.

It is possible Moore doesn’t remember the incidents because they didn’t occur except in the brains of his accusers.  False memory can play a role in allegations of sexual abuse of young people.  Women and men sometimes falsely imagine they have had a  sexual relationship with someone that didn’t actually occur.   Talk show host David Letterman once had  a problem with a woman who thought she was his wife.   A  woman who was convinced she was married to singer Michael Jackson even challenged his will in court.

False memories in women can begin as sexual fantasies with “rape fantasies“.    Men sometimes misinterpret the concept as an indication that women want to be raped.    Such fantasies might be more accurately described as “action adventure” fantasies.    Males may fantasize about athletic achievements  or perhaps imagine themselves as someone like James Bond or Marshall  Matt Dillon.   Females seem less inclined to fantasize about being involved in sports or fighting evil doers which leaves contact with men as the potential subject of physical fantasies.

The accounts given by Moore’s accusers Leigh Corfman  .   and Beverly Young Nelson fit a pattern which could indicate they are fantasies.    The plots of each involve a dangerous encounter with an older man in which each accuser escapes without being raped.  Each is a damsel in distress who in effect rescues herself.

Memories can be affected by drug and alcohol abuse.    Leigh Corfman’s  use of drugs and   alcohol might have affected her memory of events from her youth to the extent that she might be  confusing
an old fantasy with an actual event.

Television  can also affect memories of past events.  Watching a program multiple times can lead to stronger memories of  an event depicted on the program regardless o whether the event is real or fictional.  Seeing a fictional event that is similar to an actual event or a fantasy event could result in the brain combining the events.  As I read Nelson account of what she believed happened to her I saw two brief images. One video segment  was a woman who seemed to be struggling.   The other was of a car leaving an area in a hurry.

ALL Stand for the National Anthem

October 31, 2017

Should those of us who are watching sports events on television stand along with the people in the stadium and possibly join in the singing when someone performs our national anthem?

How many of us make a quick trip to the kitchen when the tv sports event announcer asks everyone to stand for the national anthem? How many of us have come to think of the performing of the “Star Spangled Banner” as just a part of the show for us to watch, but not to participate in?

I’m wondering if those of us who treat the playing of the national anthem as just part of the show are really much different from the NFL kneelers. The national anthem played before the start of a sports event isn’t just the national anthem of the people in the stadium. It’s our national anthem as well.

Many of us already participate in some television programs. Many of us cheer along with the people in the stands when a player on our team makes an outstanding offensive or defensive play. We may sing along when someone sings one of our favorite songs.

Although the national anthem is called “The Star Spangle Banner” it isn’t about the flag itself, but what the appearance of the flag flying over Ft. McHenry symbolized. When Francis Scott Key saw the flag that morning he knew the men in Ft. McHenry had refused to be intimidated by the British bombardment of the fort.

An audience may give an entertainer a standing ovation for an outstanding performance. Standing for the national anthem is the equivalent of a standing ovation for those who died defending Fr McHenry and in other battles including the recent deaths in Niger. Performing music is a greater tribute than clapping hands.

We should all join in giving a tribute to our fallen heroes when someone performs our national anthem.

President Trump’s “Failure to Communicate”

October 24, 2017

President Donald Trump had a “failure to communicate” when he talked to Myeshia Johnson about the death of her husband Sgt. La David Johnson who was one of the Green Berets killed during a mission in Niger. Trump failed to consider the implications of the concept that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

Veteran sitcom viewers are very familiar with the basic plot. The man says or does something that those of us of the male persuasion consider perfectly sensible and the wife or girl friend blows her top because the female brain sometimes interprets statements and actions differently than the male brain.

Men tend to take statements at face value. Women are more likely to read between the lines and look for hidden meanings partly because many men have a tendency to deceive women.

I would interpret the statement attributed to Trump “He knew what he signed up for, but when it happens, it hurts anyway”] as praise for Sgt. Johnson’s courage. Myeshia Johnson interpreted it differently possibly because women have trouble understanding the male warrior nature that likely has a genetic base.

Males in some species are genetically programmed to protect other members of the species, especially the females and “children”. In primitive societies most males have a strong drive to protect the others in their village or clan. As societies become larger it is less necessary for everyone to be a warrior. This situation allows those with a weaker genetic “protection” drive to avoid combat. Those who inherit a strong “protection” drive tend to become the societies’ protectors in the military, law enforcement and fire departments.

Why We Stand for the National Anthem

October 15, 2017

Although the “National Anthem” is called “The Star Spangled Banner”, we are not standing to honor and respect the flag itself. We are standing with those who have fought to keep that banner flying.

Today we tend to think of flags as primarily decorative items. In 1814 the flag was an essential communications device on the battlefield.

The flag flying above a fort demonstrated which army controlled it. When an army captured a fort it took down the enemy’s flag and raised its own flag. If the occupants of a fort lowered their flag, “struck their colors”, it meant that they were surrendering.

When Francis Scott Key saw that the flag was still flying over Ft. McHenry he knew the men in the fort had refused to be intimidated by the British artillery barrage. His poem celebrated the courage of the men in the fort rather than the flag itself.

The use of the flag to demonstrate a resolve to stand up to America’s enemies has continued into this century. This spirit was demonstrated in World War II when the Marines who took Iwo Jima quickly raised the flag to let those at sea know they were established on the island. New York city firefighters showed they were not defeated when they erected a flag at Ground Zero shortly after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Those who disrespect the military by attacking the national anthem demonstrate a lack of gratitude for what the military has done to reduce racism. 360,000 U.S. army soldiers, including 40,000 black, died in the Civil War which ended slavery. After WWII President Harry Truman integrated the military to show that black men and white men could live together and work together. President Dwight Eisenhower used paratroopers in Little Rock to insure compliance with a federal court order to desegregate the schools.

Edward R. Murrow Would Be Ashamed of the People at CBS.

October 13, 2017

Edward R. Murrow used his position as a journalist to expose the anti-communist witch hunt in the 50’s.

I remember seeing some of the television coverage of the Army-McCarthy hearings. I was too young to fully understand what was going on, but I recognized that Murrow thought something was wrong.

If he were alive today, I’m sure he would recognize that the current anti-Russian crusade makes less sense than Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade in the 50’s.

There was a Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union in the 50’s. There is no good reason for the United States and Russia to be enemies today.

The question Joe McCarthy asked in the 50’s was: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party?” The question today is: “have you ever talked to a Russian?”

Supporters of the Russian meddling witch hunt claim that Russian hackers were spying on the Democratic Party’s emails. The fact is that the Russian government has arrested four of those hackers [ including the deputy head of the FSB security agency’s Centre for Information Security, Col. Sergei Mikhailov and his deputy Maj. Dmitry Dokuchayev]. and charged them with working for the CIA.

Thus any inquisition on this issue should begin with Obama administration officials and seek answers to the following questions: “What did President Obama know? When did he know it? and What did he do about it?”

The witch hunters also charge the Russians with “planting fake news”. The traditional term is “propaganda” and governments have been doing it for generations. Great Britain started doing it to us during WWI. After the 9/11 attack the British convinced our government that Iraq’s WMD program was more extensive than it was.

Prior to the 2004 election, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam [DRV] released a story that insured that Gov. Bob Kerrey would not run against Sen John Kerry [whom the DRV was supporting] for the Democratic presidential nomination. The DRV had previously provided “fake news” to try to influence voters in the 1968 and 1972 elections.

It’s increasingly obvious that it’s the British, rather than the Russians, who are meddling in American politics. The British are once again using “fake intelligence” to influence American politics.

After the 9/11 attack the British used fake intelligence about WMD in Iraq to get President George W. Bush to help them invade Iraq. The British treated rumors about WMD as if they were proven facts.

Now they are using fake intelligence to undermine President Donald Trump. Patrick Cockburn in the “London Independent” says the charges about Trump’s alleged association with the Russians are based on information that is at least as unreliable as the claims about Iraq’s WMD.

The British Are Meddling! The British Are Meddling!

October 11, 2017

It’s increasingly obvious that it’s the British, rather than the Russians, who are meddling in American politics. The British are once again using “fake intelligence” to influence American politics.

After the 9/11 attack the British used fake intelligence about WMD in Iraq to get President George W. Bush to help them invade Iraq. The British treated rumors about WMD as if they were proven facts.

Now they are using fake intelligence to undermine President Donald Trump. Patrick Cockburn in the “London Independent” says the charges about Trump’s alleged association with the Russians are based on information that is at least as unreliable as the claims about Iraq’s WMD.

The British may be trying to oust Trump because they know they cannot manipulate him the way they manipulated George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They used fake intelligence to get Bush’s help in invading Iraq. I don’t know how they tricked Obama into helping them invade Libya. This century is only about 18 years old and the British have already gotten us into two stupid wars. We need to keep the British from using their boy Robby Mueller to force Trump out of office.

Replacing Obamacare

October 10, 2017

President Trump promised to replace Obamacare, but so far has only suggested modifying it. He should replace the Obama approach to health care.

Medical costs cause the price of health insurance to be too high for some to afford. Obamacare attempted to deal with high insurance rates by forcing healthy people to buy health insurance.

A better approach would recognize that it isn’t practical for profit-making insurance programs to pay for expensive to treat chronic disorders such as those associated with alcohol or tobacco use. Special programs could be set up to cover such disorders.

Taxes on alcohol and tobacco should be used to fund programs for alcohol and tobacco related medical disorders. For example, a per gallon tax on alcohol products would go into a fund for treatment of alcohol related disorders. A doctor would certify that a person has an alcohol related disorder and health care providers would send health care bills for the patient to the alcohol fund in the same way bills are sent to insurance companies for payment. To simplify payment procedures all medical problems of a patient with an alcohol related medical problem would be paid by the fund because alcohol can reduce the body’s ability to handle problems. The fund would also cover medical costs of those who suffer injuries because of the actions of someone under the influence of alcohol even if the injury involved a preexisting condition. A police report that one of the drivers in a traffic accident was under the influence of alcohol would trigger payment from the alcohol fund even if the courts wouldn’t consider the drinking driver to be at fault.

Under the current insurance system people who never use tobacco or alcohol help pay for the medical treatment of those who have tobacco or alcohol related medical problems. Under my proposal only those who use alcohol and tobacco products would pay to treat medical problems related to alcohol and tobacco use.

Another type of health care fund would involve specific disorders, such as heart trouble or specific cancers that may be caused by various factors other than tobacco or alcohol. Government would use general taxes to finance treatment and conduct research. Other funds might come from non-profit organizations. Government might encourage non-profit funds by offering to match what they raise.

Each fund would operate in part as a research project. Paying for all treatments from a single fund would allow researchers to monitor and compare the success rate of various different treatments. Insurance companies are reluctant to fund experimental treatments because they can’t expect to benefit from them, but the federal government could benefit from knowing what doesn’t work as well as knowing what does work.

Obama Official Admits Meddling in Russia

October 5, 2017

Tom Malinowski, who served as Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor from 2014 to 2017, has admitted in a Washington Post article that the United States “meddled” in Russian elections by financing political groups.

Malinowski says: “until the U.S. Agency for International Development was expelled from Russia in 2012 [it helped] fund some of the country’s leading nongovernmental organizations. These included the human rights group Memorial, the Committee Against Torture and, most important, given the drama to come, a group called Golos, Russia’s main nongovernment organization for election fraud monitoring.”

Malinowski demonstrates his imperialistic attitude with the claim: “This effort was non-partisan and it aimed to strengthen democracy for everyone in Russia, not to steer the outcome.” What gives Malinowski and the United States the authority to claim they know what is best for Russian democracy? The term “non-partisan” is a nonsense word because issue positions and election procedures may not have the same impact on all parties. Any claims about corruption in the Russian government are inherently partisan because the claims place the governing party in a negative light.

Malinowski may be too ignorant to understand the potential implications of such spending, but former KGB officer President Vladimir Putin probably knows why the Soviet Union financed comparable groups in the United States during the 1950’s. Americans called such organizations designed to support the communist view of the world “communist front groups”. When a nation finances alternate political groups in another nation, it is meddling in that nation’s politics if any of those connected with those organizations participates in politics regardless of whether the participation involves issues or personalities. I wonder what Democrats would say if Russia financed a group in the United States whose purpose was monitoring election fraud.

Malinowski is out of touch with reality. He suffers from the delusion that American foreign policy has some idealistic purpose. As a Vietnam vet I know that isn’t true.. Many American foreign policy actions are just a response to events. Actions that have a purpose usually are designed to serve corporate interests.

The best example of this situation is the Obama administration’s efforts to push the crooked Enron corporation’s global warming fraud. The claim that carbon dioxide causes global warming is based on a primitive early 19th Century belief that was disproved in 1909. Malinowski talks about corruption in Russia. I wonder what he would say if Russia had made a major effort to discredit Hillary Clinton by exposing the global warming fraud prior to last year’s election.

Those Who Benefit from Economic Injustice Shouldn’t Complain

September 25, 2017

Those athletes who complain about the existence of injustice ignore the fact that they are part of the class whose members may benefit from whatever injustices are perceived to exist. What is considered an injustice varies from one person to another.

The use of local taxes to subsidize sports facilities can be considered an injustice. Some of the athletes using the facilities pay more in income taxes than some of the local taxpayers make in a year. The money teams save by not having to pay to construct facilities is available for player salaries.

If professional athletes are really concerned about injustice they should do something directly instead of whining about it like children For example, they might use part of their income to create jobs in high unemployment areas.

Criticism of President Donald Trump’s comments is unjustified. As the elected leader of the American he can speak for those who agree with him. Normally we can expect that some will agree with him and some will disagree.