Martin Goes to Washington

The video above is a 2 minute 25 second youtube video, new.

Martin Shkreli in Congress, and at minute 1:40 it really gets special. It takes a special kind of sociopath to smirk so heartily. He deserves the nickname of “Snarky Shkreli.”

He is the guy who needlessly skyrocketed the price on a pill designed to save lives, a pill that had been affordable for years. But a quick medical tour of all other developed nations reveals that all medical prices in the US are the product of collusion and corruption.

But is Shkreli really to be blamed? His attitude is merely the same one Big Pharma holds – it’s just that Shkreli has no filters.

So, Shkreli might be Madoffed (a verb here), eventually cuffed and escorted down the famous perp walk. Made an example of.

So that the rest of them feel, even if momentarily, somehow different and better.

Miles and Miles o’ Dilemma

What is the deal with the current email scandal? Arguably, it is not entirely what it seems.

There are two levels to this scandal. The first level is more superficial, involving current and former members of the current administration – as well as former members of the former administration.

It is being alleged, and sometimes merely insinuated, that these people mishandled classified information. In their defense, much of the crucial information was probably not classified as secret at the time information was sent along the email grapevine. Personally, I think that top-secret classification came much later, several years later in fact. At the time, they felt that they were just spectators, watching a train wreck.

Still, those officials who read the emails are certainly guilty, if not of a crime, then of falling short of the highest ethical standards. For them, “If You See Something, Say Something,” does not apply. That advice only applies to us schmucks who ride the subway.

So, what was in these notorious emails? Here we dive deeper into the scandal, past the ordinary question of “what did she (or he) know, and when did she (or he) know it?”

Various US agencies, departments and bureaus of the US government have described the contents of these emails as extremely damaging, as too harmful to make public. Above top secret. Wow. What they must contain!

Indeed, were the contents to be revealed it would open a can of worms.

One surprising thing is how many people already know, with varying degrees of detail, the basic contents, which include, among other things, two failed assassination attempts.

The first one was directed (on the ground) by a woman (not American), and the second was directed by two men (both American).

These operations were sanctioned (if that is the right word) by a clique in the administration, but actually initiated – and run – by more unaccountable types who span not one, not two, not three, but four administrations.

To complicate matters, this operation-gone-awry involves one major US ally and implicates at least two other US allies. So if the contents of these emails were exposed, there would be some turbulence in other countries.

Meantime, when several rival governments gathered the information, they did not reveal it. Instead, two of these rival governments did nothing, and the third, supposedly a sworn enemy of America, used the info as a negotiating strategy to win favorable terms and untold billions of dollars. True, there were all kinds of subtle negotiating tactics going on, and sophisticated diplomacy, but at the end of the day it was blackmail.

Meantime, the intelligence services of two major superpowers, for reasons of their own, probably somewhat understandable, went about business as usual. There are rules of the game that I know about (obviously), and there are rules of the game that I do not know about (obviously). But the longer one plays the more rules one follows. And they have been at it a long time.

But there was no need for either of the two superpowers to hack into anyone’s email to discover the mechanics of this assassination program. Ironically, when some members of the current administration first read these classified emails (people who are now under scrutiny), they were some of the last people to learn of it, among the world’s political elites.

At least one of these superpowers stayed abreast of the operation in real time, by means both conventional and unconventional – and might I say shockingly unconventional. You figure it out.

The other superpower intercepted communication between participants (also at the business end) of the operation – in February of 2010, a month before the Secretary of State learned of the… situation…

Now she faces her own dilemma. If she is ever indicted or prosecuted, she could reveal the scandal and bring down the entire house of cards. But then the paradigm would change. And she would never be president. And so she teeters on the edge of the dilemma.

So, if the contents of these emails are to be revealed, they will not be revealed by some intrepid reporter (that appears to have been a fatal move by one and probably three people thus far).

Instead, the contents would have to be revealed by the controllers themselves, by the backstreet boys who imagine themselves as guardians of the republic, but who are actually just goons with unlimited funds, protecting a sclerotic regime.

These controllers now face a dilemma.

On the one hand, if they allow the contents of the emails to be exposed, then there will be political turbulence and probably regime change in some western countries, with ripple effects from one end of the Middle East to the other. Certainly, things would not be the same.

On the other hand, if the controllers continue to cover up or contain (their word) then they will be revealing themselves as weak and cowardly – and exposing the system they are desperate to maintain as fragile.

This weakness would still be glaring if the controllers substitute the real scandal for pseudo-scandals.

There is also the cosmic question (in their world) of rule breaking. A cover up would violate their own declared rules of engagement, which apparently apply only when they are winning. The Hegelian dialectic torn asunder.

Thus far, these controllers have little faith in the capacity of the American system to adapt to changing circumstances. And so they prefer to fossilize the American body politic. Well, they seem undecided. Or divided.

Time will tell.

Bite of the Apple

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Cityscape

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Hi-Tech, Low Integrity

As primary season heats up, people are right to be concerned about electronic voting. This sketchy technology has been shown to be subject to power outages and hackable. E-voting often deviates from exit polls.

The amazing thing is that voting is being increasingly outsourced to corporate interests, run across private servers and tabulated by patented software. It is illegal for citizens to have access and inspect the software.

Got a problem with the vote counting? “Why, that’s private property!” That was the absurd line in Dr. Strangelove, when Peter Sellers shoots up the Coca-Cola machine to get quarters, so he can call the Pentagon.

There are some shady things going on in several states. Electronic voting sets the stage for a very subtle form of fraud. With algorithmic precision, controllers are able to switch just barely enough votes to flip elections – just enough, but not too many to call attention to the scam.

Ballots should always be on paper, with marks made by pen or pencil. And then the ballots should be counted by little old ladies, retired librarians, and other pillars of the community – under the watchful eye of certified observers and concerned citizens. It is not a perfect system, but it is better than any and all other alternatives.

Spreading Stalin’s meme… (Stalin was supposedly the first to say this :)

 

Family Tree

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On recent visits to family I obtained a list of my paternal family tree. I found some interesting things, going from the present to the past.

Stephen Warren Bosworth (my father)

  • Born December 4, 1939 in Michigan
  • Died January 4, 2016
  • Dartmouth graduate 1961

Warren Charles Bosworth (his father, and so on)

  • Born December 9, 1912 in Michigan
  • Died December 3, 1985
  • Married Mina Elizabeth Phillips
  • He graduated from Western Michigan University in 1962 and became a schoolteacher in Grandville High School.

Carl C. Bosworth

  • Born January 26, 1889 in Michigan
  • Died August 20, 1964
  • Married Anna B. DeVree

Charles E. Bosworth

  • Born June 13, 1852 in Michigan
  • Died February 26, 1926
  • He was a schoolteacher and a farmer.
  • Married Margaret Sheridan

Edward Franklin Bosworth

  • Born 1818-19 in Essex, New York (near Lake Champlain).
  • Died 1899 in Michigan
  • At age 21, Edward Franklin was given 80 acres of land in Georgetown Township of Ottawa County, Michigan by a Mr. Page of Bethany NY, to whom he had been apprenticed as a youth. Mr. Page had apparently prospected this land earlier.
  • Married Mary Lowing.
  • During the Civil War, Edward Franklin acted as agent for many of the soldiers form the area, guarding their property and paying their taxes.

Stephen Strong Bosworth

  • Born in 1785 in Stephentown, NY, just east of Albany
  • Died in 1827 in Buffalo, NY.
  • Married Mary “Polly” Raymond
  • Stephen was a tanner, currier, and shoemaker
  • Stephen died of an infection from a nail in his foot just a few months after they arrived in Buffalo.

Jabin Bosworth

  • Born in April 8, 1752 in New London CT
  • Died in 1792 in Whitehall NY
  • Married Luna West who died in 1822. Her family traced back to Mayflower (her father Moses’ mother Martha’s mother Mercy’s mother Elizabeth was the daughter of John and Priscella Alden, both passengers on the Mayflower.)
  • Jabin was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
  • He was awarded 500 acres for his service but never claimed it – he was a miller, not a famer. He owned a gristmill in Whitehall.
  • 8 children: Alva (1775), Hezekiah (1778), Anna Downey (1780), Jabin (1782), Luna Bosworth (1783), Lucy Bosworth (1787), Stephen Strong Bosworth (1785)

David Bosworth

  • Born in 1718 in Bristol MA
  • Died in 1798 in New London CT
  • Traveled to Lebanon CT in his youth where he met and married Mary Strong.
  • David was a soldier in the French and Indian War serving in various capacities from 1756 to 1761.
  • 8 children: Lydia Loomis (1743), David (1746 died in infancy), Ichabod (1748) , David (1750), Jabin (1752), Molly (1754) Hezikiah (1757 who died of smallpox while a soldier in the Revolutionary War).

John Bosworth

  • Born in 1671 in Plymouth Colony
  • Died 1719 in Barrington MA (now in Rhode Island)
  • In 1702 he married Elizabeth Toogood
  • John was a carpenter and became a Surveyor

Jonathan Bosworth Jr.

  • Born 1636 in Plymouth Colony
  • Died 1717 in Bristol, MA
  • Jonathan apparently left the church of his parents (to become an Anabaptist, in fact helping to organize the groups that broke away form the Congregation Church of the Pilgrim founders) and they temporarily disinherited him.
  • He was a schoolteacher and a farmer (a plowright).
  • In 1661 in Swansea MA he married Hannah Howland who had been born in 1635 in the Plymouth Colony.
  • Hannah was the daughter of Mayflower passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley.
  • Lived there during “King Phillips War” – an armed conflict between the Plymouth colony and English colonists and their Native American allies in 1675–78.
  • The war was the single greatest calamity to occur in seventeenth century Puritan New England and is considered by many to be the deadliest war in the history of European settlement in North America in proportion to the population.
  • 9 children Mercy (1662, probably died at birth), Hannah (1663), Elizabeth (1665, lived for 11 years)), Jonathan 1666 (lived for 10 years), David (1669), John (1671), Jabez (1673), Icabod (1675), Stillborn son (1678), Jonathan (1680)

Jonathan Bosworth Senior

  • Born 1613 in Leicestershire England (Market Bosworth)
  • Came to Plymouth Colony probably in 1632 board the ship John & Mary a year or so ahead of the rest of his family who traveled on the Elizabeth Dorcus (father died without setting foot on land).
  • Like those who had come earlier on the Mayflower, Jonathan and his father’s family were Pilgrims, a breakaway “separatist” wing of the Puritans.
  • Jonathan’s wife was Elizabeth who was born in 1610 in Leicestershire and apparently came to the Plymouth Colony around the same time as Jonathan and they were married in 1633 (?).
  • 8 Children: Jonathan Jr. (1636), Elizabeth Brackett (1638), Rebecca Peck (1642), Bethia Peck (1644), Mary Cobley (1647), Deliverence Peck (1650), Joseph, and Bathseba Jones

Edward Bosworth Jr. (1589 to 1634)

  • He had lived in Leicestershire, England and married there in 1610.
  • He and his wife Mary had 4 children all born in Leicestershire: Mary Buckley, Jonathan, Benjamin, and Nathaniel.
  • With his family he left England in 1634 for the Plymouth Colony aboard the Elizabeth Docas (Jonathan had gone on ahead a year or two before).
  • Edward died on August 5, 1634 as the ship was in the Plymouth harbor. He never actually set foot in the Colony.

Edward Bosworth (1565 to 1600)  Lived in Leicestershire.

John Bosworth (1530 to ?)   lived in Leicestershire

William Bosworth (1500 to 1552) lived in Leicestershire

Robert Bosworth (1470 to 1536)

Thomas Bosworth (1440 to ?)

The record seems to break around this time,when there was upheaval back in England. In 1485 there was the “Battle of Bosworth Field,” named after my unfortunate ancestor whose farm became the battleground.

Battle scene with many figures. A knight atop a charger and wielding a lance unhorses another knight. Two unhorsed knights battle. Infantry advances from the right, led by a man with raised sword. Bodies litter the ground.

Wikipedia page on the Battle of Bosworth, the last battle of the War of the Roses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bosworth_Field

 

 

Too Close to Call

14 Second Youtube Video

The shooting death of LaVoy Finicum, mentioned on this post a few days ago, is still a mystery. A drone did videotape the car hitting the snowbank and Finicum running out of it. What happens next in the video above is hard to tell.

As shown in the youtube video below, Finicum had his hands up in the air. But then he appears to have reached for something. He also turned away from the camera, making it harder to tell.

Clearly, his arms came down and three possibilities emerge:

  1. He changed his mind about surrendering and reached for a pistol.
  2. An FBI agent had already fired a shot while his arms were raised.
  3. He had already been shot and wounded, and his arms dropped instinctively.

In the first scenario, Finicum would have been unjustified, and the FBI would have been in the right (in that context). Never mind, for the time being, that the underlying federal argument for land ownership in Oregon is unconstitutional.

In the second scenario, Finicum would have been right to draw a pistol, as would anyone coming under fire.

In the third scenario, Finicum would have become just another victim of law enforcement. Granted, this is much less common in the snowy countryside than in urban Ferguson.

The existing video does not resolve the question of which of the three scenarios is accurate.

There must be multiple ground-level videos, both from the cars and even the officers or agents involved, who commonly wear video and audio recorders.

These ground-level instruments could clear up the question of Finicum drawing or not, and if the agents on the scene had quick trigger fingers or not. Where are these other videos?

 

 

 

The Big Apple

I didn’t take the photo above, but I will be posting photo essays, commentaries and occasional items (the 22 emails etc)  from New York City, which will be my base of work for three weeks – until I return home to China.

My father lived here for some years, in the late 80s and early 90s, and I was constantly in and out.  Back in the Day. Bonfire of the Vanities times. It will be fun to rediscover this great city.

Washington DC

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Business and pleasure back home after a decade. This is my mom’s old stomping grounds near Dupont Circle. It is strange to see which stores are the same and which have changed. Good to see Kramerbooks is still in business, with independent bookstores closing down around the country, as people prefer digital gadgets.

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Deer are common in Silver Spring & Wheaton, Maryland, where my uncle lives.

The neighborhood association here is divided.

Half the people think deer are bambis, deserving of protection and adoration. They even put out salt licks for them.

The other half think they are vermin, and I quote: “rats with hooves.”

I think the deer should be judged individually, on a case-by-case basis.

Investigation into Death?

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It seems appropriate for the state of Oregon and for the Justice Department to investigate the killing of Robert La Voy Finicum during a recent “traffic stop.”

Finicum was a spokesperson for the Oregon protesters, who reclaimed a federal facility in Oregon. What were they protesting? The prosecution of two ranchers for having set fires to clear brush.

The federal government had prosecuted the ranchers for arson, which is a distortion of justice. But then the federal government proceeded to add, to the arson charge, the charge of “terrorism,” which is so ludicrous, and such an abuse of power, that it should invalidate the source of the travesty.

Did Finicum somehow threaten or provoke the FBI? Did the FBI agent truly act in self defense?

Why is the FBI, by the way, suddenly in the business of traffic stops? Is there a video of this encounter, as widely reported? Was Finicum shot in cold blood, execution style?

These questions remain unanswered, while mainstream media obsesses with political campaign.