Monthly Archives: July 2018

Another element in our continuing Seldon Crisis


I start this post on Tuesday, July 31st because of the announcement by FaceBook of coordinated effort to influence the coming  election by  unknown parties.  What they do say is that they have blocked over 30 pages so far and the way these pages were made and used are simular to how the Russians acted in the 2016 election.  As I have been deeply involved in computers and software since 1972 I take these activities quite serous.  Not only for the sanctity of our elections but for the safety of our people.

We saw on 9/11/01 just what a few determined people can do with just airplanes.  Just think of what a few determined barkers could do.  Granted most would not be as flashy as flying two planes into a skyscraper but it could end up kill a great many more people.  As an Angeleno I can think of something that would be both spectacular and deadly, attack the controls for the California Aqueduct.  Or just attack the computers that control the flow of water by the LADWP.  The list is as endless as it is frightening.

Calfifornia Aqueduct

Just crashing the system for a few hours would be bad enough but many of these computer controlled systems can be seriously damaged if you just do the right, or wrong, things with them.  In this hot summer, just imagine what would happen if all of the water in the greater LA area stoped flowing?  For a day, For a week, for a month.

Now think about the power distribution system, that could be even worse.  Or how about the computer systems that control our harbors.  What would happen if the Port of New York suddenly crashed or started doing all the wrong things?   An for those who don’t worry about anything but money, what would happen if all the banks suddenly discovered that the interbank interchange was down do to hacking?  How long would it take, how much effort would it take, to reestablish trust in the system.  What effect would it have on the economy.

Just what would happen if the New York, or Tokyo, or London stock market(s) were suddenly flooded with sell orders?  What would happen to the market if we had to go back to the way we did stock trades in the 1960 because we could not trust the Buy & Sell orders over the computer system?  Just stop and think about it.

Our cyberspace, that we all depend on is in jeopardy and we are not paying attention.  President Trump is ignoring it, House Speaker Ryan is ignoring it, and majority leader McConnel is ignoring it.  I fear they are ignoring it because they see it as just a partisan issue, it is not.  Do we have to wait until we have a cyber 911 or Pear Harbor before we act?  We need to start now.  We need to have a nonpartisan commission soonest.  It must be tasked with several things.  First define just what is our cyberspace.  Then we must define just what constitutes an unlawful act in cyberspace, what is just a crime, what is an act of terrorism, and what is an act of war.  Next we must find out just who in the government is responsible for protecting the security of our cyberspace.  We must then ensure that that all will work togeather, as a team, to protect our cyberspace from all attacks, both foreign and domestic.  Finally we must state clearly and susectly just what our rights, both as people and as citizens, we have in cyberspace.

The time is now!  We, the American people must stand up and say to the President and Congress “Act Now!”


President and Autocrat of all the States

For as long as I’ve been studying politics, just about 50 years now, I have heard the mime “Elect a Businessman and run the country like a business and things will be better.” From conservatives.  Well, now we have elected a Businessman, so how our things going?  If you grow and sell soybeans or make things with steel/aluminum, not so well. If you’ve come to this country with your family seeking asylum things are even worse.  An don’t get me started on the people who live downstream from a coal mine. So why is the facts so out of kilter with the mime?  I once tried a little though experiment that I’d like to share with you:

Imagine you have a business that you run.  You have a small but powerful and independent board of directors (they hold their seats totally independent of anything you can do).  Now ad in that every one of you customers is also a shareholder and each shareholder as exactly the same number of votes as anyone else.  Finally each of your customers and directors are also you employees.  Now run this using classic business practices. Now add in the business is responsible for the general welfare of all of the stockholders/employees.  Have fun.

The GOP and the Matryoshka Doll

Continuing my posts on the coming Seldon Crisis you maybe wondering why I have a picture of a Matryoshka Doll.

Well it is simple, when dealing with Russian activities in the The Great Game it is best to look for plots nested in plots, and nested in plots.  Just as a matryoshka doll is nested.  I use the phase “The Great Game” because it dates back to 19th Russian Empire and to reminded us that this nesting of plots is a Russian thing, not just a Communist tactic. Even as I write this an accused Russian Agent has had her request for bail denied.

Even if we find that Donald Trump is comprised by Putin.  Or even if it is just his business that are in tangled and he ‘knew nothing’ about it.  Even if NRA didn’t ‘know’ where the large bundles of money came from that the then passed on to campaigns, we need to keep in mind that it may go deeper.  We must always remember that Russians are past masters of indirection and we must ask what don’t they want us to see.

So, once we cleanup the problems of the 2016 election.  Once we take steps to end the penetration of our elections by foreign nationals.  Once we deal with the problem of ‘dark money’ we must remember we haven’t found everything.  We must continue  to be vigilant for new and inventive ways people who do not have the best interests of the USA at hard will continue to take control of OUR elections.

Finally, once we have identified those people who are responsible for these malignant attacks and the people who pulled their strings we must make sure they know it is not acceptable and the pice they have to pay is unacceptable to them.  We must show ourselves and the world just what it means to tamper, in anyway, our elections.  We hold our elections inviolable.  We have payed too high a price in blood and tears to ever let anyone corrupt or control them.

In this we are not Democrats, or Republicans, or any political party.  This goes beyond partisan politics, this goes to just what it means to be Americans.

So I ask you now:

“Who here is an American?”

The Coming Seldon Crisis



Early this week when I started writing about the coming Seldon Crisis I did not expect to have such stunning and clear evidence that it has arrived available to me.  As I write this the Joint meeting of the House Judical and Oversight & Reform committees are continueing and in the over fourty years that I have watched congressional committees I have never seen such a show.   Not since the Army McCarthy hearings has things going this off the tracks. (For those of you who would like to know more try this link to the Best documentary on the subject Point of Order). The attacks on Agent Strozk for his admittedly indiscreet texts seem to be falling into two basic categories.

The “We Hate Hillary” Republicans, and the Trumpest  sycophants.  Both seem to hold the position that the tweets of, so far, two individuals about how Trump would never be elected and/or how bad his election would be shows just how politically corrupt, bias and/or un American the FBI is.  The use the tweets to show that the current investigation in to Russian interference in the 2016 is totally driven by the FBI’s total ‘ hatred’ of Donald Trump or Love of Hillary.  That it is now thought quite likely that the announcement of the re-opening of the Hillary eMail investigation only weeks before Election Day had an effect on the election seem to pass them by completely.

The use of rhetorical tools and masive logical fallacies by these two groups of Republicans.  My current favorite action is the the plain statement that Agent Strozk, while under oath, was and is lying.  An then to go on and say in response to a ‘Point of Order’ that since this was the Representative ‘s “question” (even though it was made in the form of a statement and no question was asked) that the accusation was not in violation of House Rules.  We are now returning to the good old days of the ‘Great Red Scare’ of the McCarthy era.  Once more the extrem right wing of the GOP has lost sight of Honor, Justic and Trueth in the name of short term political gain.

They are once more moving into the dangerous realm of Transactional politics.  All we have is I win so you loose or you win and therefor I must  lose.  This kind of politics never ends well.  Even those who are seen as coming out ahead come out with many battle scars. What is worse for the GOP is that they are being plaid for dopes by their supposed friends.  What is worse for the USA is that most of this is just Mastrovka of Russia.  We will truely miss what is really being done by Putin and the Russian Oligarchs.  Just as in the ‘Great Red Scare’ we totally missed the real KGB spy ring(s) and only saw the ones they wanted us to see.

Russia wants us to spend all our time looking at the FBI and/or Hillary Emails and/or who knows what so that we do not look at how they are taking control of Social Media and the flow of information.  They are now seeking to control what we believe is news.  That the only thing you belieave is News is that which you agree with.  This is the first part of the Sheldon Crisis we are now facing.  The rise of “True News”.  News that we hold is true because we want to belieave it is true and we want to believe it is true because all of the news sources we lesion to are controlled by the Oligarchs.

“May you live in interesting times”



“May you live in interesting times,

an people in high places know your name.”

Some of you maybe wondering what “Hari Seldon and the Foundation Novels have to do with the quote above.  Bear with me and all will be made clear.

Let us start with what I’m going to be talking about, the great tumult about the nomination of Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court yesterday. I do not know enough about Judge Kavanaugh to hold a firm opinion of his nomination, but give a little time I will.  What I’ve heard about his writings and ‘opinions’ (judicial) does not make me optimistic. But this is not what I’m writing about today.

No, it is about the reaction on the center to the left of his nomination and the dangers and opportunities it presents those who oppose what the Republican Party has become.  This group includes not just Democrats but all those people of conservative political views who are  aghast at what Trump and his sycophants are doing.  Ever since Trumps election in 2016 I’ve been saying we are “Living in interesting Times”.  These time are truely historic an will mark out country forever.

In the Foundation stories we are  introduced to the idea of scientific manipulation of human political and social action.  In the first stories this is done by means of what is called a “Sheldon Crisis” where the actions of the Foundation is narrowed down to only one action, actually two, but the second is always totally unacceptable.  An these “Sheldon Crisis” are always “interesting times”.  They’re rip roaring yarns after all.  In real life things are seldom so clean and simple.  But in truely “interesting times” they can be.

By my reckoning it has been just over 45 years since America and the world has been in interstesting times but now we are there, once more.  Take a look at all the things coming to togeather.  The Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.  The turnover rate of the Trump Administration along with all of the scandals.  The  horror that ICE is perpetrating on asylum seekers in our name.  An now the sudden retirement of Justice Kennedy from the Supreme Court.

Democrats are justly upset about how political the Court has become and are well within their rights to object to who Trump has nominated.  Not because of anything Judge Kavanaugh has done, yet, but because of the purely partisan actions of the Senate in 2016.  All but the most partisan Democrat should be upset, not partisan reasons, but because this is the final move in making the Supreme Court once more partisan.  Those of us who have studied the political history of both the USA and of it’s courts know that the Supreme Court has been politicized from time to time in it’s history.  We who are alive today were lucky to have lived in a time when the court was kept non-partisan by the good offices of both political parties.

This is not the case now.  Since the advent of hyper conservative ‘Think Tanks’ and the acceptance of the idea of the courts being the last bastion of ‘conservativisum’ we have been headed down this road.  We have now arrived at an historical crux.  What we do now will change this country forever and it is imperative that we all do all what we can every time we can.  So I lay the second part of the curse upon you, my dear readers:

“An may people in high Places know your Name!”

Next up:  “Opertunities and Pitfalls”

Fake News & Doublethink

For some time now I’ve been thinking about what the Trumpests (a new word I’m attempting to coin meaning those people who blindly suport anything Donald Trump says/does) mean when the shout “Fake News”.  For the longest time I thought this meant news they saw as coming from the Main Stream (aks ‘Liberal’) media. Later I thought it might be news that the Trumpest disliked. Now I think I was mistaken.

What is really meant by “Fake News” is any news that disagrees, no mater how minor the discrepancy, with what Trump or the Trumpest is saying.  This can be truly a challenge to keep up with.  Just think about it, one day North Korea is the ultimate bad guy and the next it is a shining example of good government.   One day the Prime Minister of Canada is Trump’s best Bud and the next he is the lying cheat.  Even businesses aren’t exempt, just looked what happened to Harly Davidsonnthis last week.

What we are faced with now is finding out how to live with this phenomenon.   Psychologists have a complex name for this, it is called Cognitive Dissonance, I prefer to call it Doublethink. For those of you not familiar with the origins of the term, it come from the Novel 1984.  In essence it means holding two, or more, contradictory thought (ideas) in you mind at the same time and then using the correct one on call.

What is easier to do is just to overwrite your memory of the old idea with the new idea.  Unfortunately human memory isn’t read/write but write once read always. (Sorry computer geek here.  What I mean is that like most RAM in a computer once you overwrite something in memory it is gone for ever.  Human memory is more like PROM and once the idea is written it is there until the day you die.).  What doublethink lets you do is keep multiple contradictory ideas in your head without havin to choose between them.  The way you know is when the Person in Charge tells you that an idea I’s Fake News or when something they say now conflicts with something said earlier.

See, simple.  All you have to do is accept the idea that Truth and Falsehood are totally constant and mutable at the sametime.

Why I trust Trump & Kim

For sometime now my liberal friends have been wondering why I say I trust both Donald Trump Kim Jong-un.  It has to do with my being so longical and something I Father tought me.  Pops used to say “you can always trust a  dishonest man, he will cheat you every chance he gets.  It is the honest man you have to watch out for, he’ll cheat you only when he has to.”

It took me quite some time to figure out just what he was saying.  I first had to understand my Father was being just a bit cheeky about honest men.  Most people try to be honest but they more often than not fail and end up doing the dishonest thing.  They are often quite guilt about it, I knowI am.  An like most people I try and make amends for my dihonesty as I am sure other people are too.

What Poppa was say, quite simply is the dishonest person is predictable, dependable, you know when give the chance he will do the dishonest thing.  He won’t feel guilty and he won’t try to make amends.  Indeed the dishonest person will see you as a sucker, a rube, who deserves what he gets.  Both Trump and Kim are dishonest.  They promise anything you want because they have no intention of keeping their promise unless they are made to. As another old saying goes “All tellers are honest while the boss is watching.”

So I do trust Trump and Kim.  I trust them to act dishonestly ever chance the get.  Every time they see a chance for personal gain they will take it.  I do not trust them to keep their word, indeed I trust them to break their word at the first opportunity.  I only trust their actions, never what they say.