Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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.

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.

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.

 

Russia Sanctions Humiliate Hillary

July 31, 2017

I’ve been trying to find a logical reason for the Congressional vote for the extreme action of imposing sanctions on Russia.

Sanction supporters talk about what they call “fake news”,but the term is just another word for propaganda which governments produce all the time. We didn’t impose sanctions on the British government for its “fake news” stories about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

Russian spying on candidates cannot justify sanctions because spying on political figures is a common government activity. Besides the CIA had already infiltrated the Russian hackers who were the alleged spies.

The only significant difference in the situation is that the person Congress is concerned about is a woman, Hillary Clinton. I believe Congress is upset because members think the big old Russian bear was mean to poor little defenseless Goldilocks.

Does anyone believe Congress would have taken a similar action if Donald Trump had been the alleged victim? Or, for that matter the previous losing Democratic candidate John Kerry?

Congress didn’t impose sanctions when Vietnam meddled in the 2004 election by producing story claiming that potential Democratic presidential aspirant Sen Bob Kerrey had participated in a war crime in Vietnam 50 years earlier.

Charlie Gard’s Parents Demonstrate British Fortitude

July 22, 2017

Americans  support Charlie Gard partly because his parents demonstrate the fortitude in the face of adversity that  Americans have long admired in the British.  Unfortunately for Charlie his doctors don’t have that fortitude.   The doctors prefer a white flag of surrender to a “stiff upper lip”.

If Charlie’s parents had been in London during WWII they would have come out of the shelters between bombing raids and taken  care of business.  I don’t know about his doctors.

The decision by Charlie’s parents to ask for American help repeats   another British behavior.  During the last century when “Mother England” needed help she turned to her powerful “child” the United States.

Old Medicine vs. New Medicine

July 16, 2017

Poor baby Charlie Gard and his parents are caught in the old battle between compassionless medical traditionalists who are satisfied with existing medical knowledge and the experimentalists who are trying to advance medical knowledge to reduce the number of disorders that cannot be successfully treated. Traditionalists who don’t know how to treat disorders tend to deny the possibility that patients like Charlie whom they don’t know how to treat can be treated by anyone. They are like selfish little children who don’t want to let other children play with toys they aren’t playing with at the time. Traditionalists would rather have a patient die than allow someone else to treat and cure “their” patient.

Traditionalists often call themselves “experts”, but they are incapable of being experts because experts must be familiar with the latest knowledge as well as the traditional knowledge. Development of new treatments can intimidate traditionalists because they don’t know if they can learn the new knowledge.

Traditionalists don’t understand that parents can accept a child’s death more easily if they know they have tried every possible treatment. Parents can accept death more easily if they know doctors have gained knowledge from their child’s death that might help other children in the future.

Do British Understand Importance of Medical Research?

July 16, 2017

The efforts of British medical personnel to prevent Charlie Gard from receiving experimental treatment implies they don’t understand how important participating in medical research is. All medical treatments begin as experiments. Someone had to be the first to be treated for rabies. Someone had to be the first to receive a heart transplant. Sixty years ago my grandfather had experimental treatment for skin cancer on his face that didn’t work as expected because, according to my dad, The doctor applied the radiation for too long. Decades later doctors used the knowledge they gained from treating my grandfather and others to successfully treat my father and his brother as well as myself for facial skin cancers.

Sometimes treatment developed for one malady can be used to treat another. American entertainer Jerry Lewis helped raise millions to develop treatments for muscular dystrophy. Doctor used one of those treatments to save Lewis from a potentially fatal heart problem.

We cannot tell in advance if Charlie Gard will benefit from experimental treatment. If he does not his parents will know that their son’s life served a purpose because knowledge gained from treating their son will eventually benefit the lives of other children just like knowledge from efforts to treat my grandfather’s skin cancer benefited his sons and grandson.

Was “Russian Hacking” a CIA Sting?

June 30, 2017

Until I found stories about FSB’s [Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation] arrest of Col.Sergei Mikhailov, I thought the claims about Russian hacking during last year’s presidential
election  were probably false.   I know  the FSB is unlikely to be as effective as the legendary KGB, but  I wouldn’t expect it to engage in the amateurish activities attributed to Russian hackers.  The CIA’s connection with Col. Mikhailov raises the possibility the CIA was operating a sting to discredit Donald Trump.
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For example,  the KGB wouldn’t have been satisfied with using hacking to get some emails from the Democratic Party headquarters.  The old KGB would have planted an agent in Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters.  This agent  would have occasionally downloaded documents, including summaries of meetings,   onto a zip drive.   Russians have been planting people in American organizations for 70 years. Why would the FSB switch to  a less productive means of acquiring  information?  A human agent can overhear conversations that contain information that doesn’t get into the computer.

The CIA could have used Col. Mikhailov for more than just a  source of information about Russian activities.  The association potentially allowed the CIA to use Russian hackers to spy on Americans or on “friendly” governments like Britain or Germany.  Those detecting  the hacking would blame the Russians rather than the Americans.  European governments would complain if they caught the CIA spying on them.  Using Russian hackers potentially allowed the  CIA to gain information risk free.

CIA could also have had Mikhailov send Russian agents to try to compromise American politicians.   Spy agencies sometimes have trouble resisting an urge to become power brokers.  The CIA has a history of involvement in other countries, particularly in the Middle East.  An agent of the World War II OSS [predecessor to the CIA]  admitted before he died that he was responsible for killing American World War II General George Patton.  Many Americans believe the CIA was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

The following statement is not intended to accuse the CIA of attempting to interfere in the process of determining who is the President of the United States.  I merely want to point out its actions are consistent with that possibility.  The CIA could have used the Russian hackers to keep Hillary Clinton from winning the election and then used other Russian agents to discredit her opponent Donald Trump and make him appear to be responsible for the Russian hackers.