Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Is Robert Mueller Doing What President Putin Wants Done?

Is Robert Mueller Doing What President Putin Wants Done?

I've never given any serious consideration to the ridiculous claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin coordinated actions with Donald Trump's organization to help Trump win the election.    The scenario that proponents of this fantasy describe sounds too much like a possible plot for a Leslie Nielsen or Don Adams comedy spy movie.

Putin was with the KGB.   There is no way he would have conducted such an amateurish operation if he had wanted to help Donald Trump win.  He would not have had anyone who could have been   identified as being associated with the Russian government contact  the Trump campaign to coordinate activities.

I doubt that Putin would  have wanted a strong willed leader like Trump running the United State.     However, Putin might have had Russians contact members of Trump's organization in the hopes stupid Americans would misinterpret the actions as involving Russian assistance to Trump and then possibly try to oust Trump.    

Putin is likely aware of how much the assault on President Richard Nixon benefited the old Soviet Union.  The removal of Nixon weakened the United States and created opportunities for the Soviet Union and its allies.   North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.    Iraniian students overthrew the U.S. backed Shah of Iran and invaded the American embassy  The Soviet Union then was able to develop a relationship with the former U. S. ally.  

If what Putin would likely call the "American secret police"   overthrows Trump,  Putin could claim the action means the United States presidential elections are a farce   He would say if Americans don't vote or someone the secret police approve of the secret police will remove him." 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

President Trump Should Fire Incompetent Mueller

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Do Roy Moore's Accusers Have False Memories?

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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

ALL Stand for the National Anthem

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.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

President Trump's "Failure to Communicate"

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.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Why We Stand for the National Anthem

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.

Friday, October 13, 2017

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

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.