Thursday, November 17, 2016

Why Trump should select Ash Carter as SECDEF

Ashton B. Carter is a Democrat.  Most Administrations have considered bi-partisanship a positive attribute.

George W. Bush finally found a decent Secretary of Defense in Robert Gates.  The Obama Administration continued Bob Gates through Obama's first term.  Obama had no military experience other than as a Social Worker in south side Chicago.  Continuing Bob Gates assured the World (including NATO) that at least of of the NCAs was competent.

The Trump Administration can accomplish all of this with Ash Carter and get somebody smart that understands "the Iran Deal."

Senator Jeff Sessions has been mentioned as a candidate for AG and SECDEF.  The Republicans do not have too many senators in the Senate.  Consideration will be given to which party will gain by a Senator being elevated to the Cabinet.

I am not a fan of Big Government Newt Gingrich.  He's smart and should be utilized by Trump as appropriate.  Secretary of State might be a good fit.  I do not believe SECDEF would be.

The following is extracted from Wikipedia:

"Carter was nominated by President Obama to be the 25th United States Secretary of Defense on December 5, 2014.

"In his nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said he was “very much inclined” to increase U.S. military aid to Ukraine  Speaking on the Middle East, he said the U.S. must militarily ensure a “lasting defeat” of Islamic State (ISIL) forces in Iraq and Syria. He said he is not in favor of increasing the rate of prisoner releases from Guantanamo Bay.  He also opined that the threats posed by Iran were as serious as those posed by the ISIL forces.

"He was approved unanimously on February 1, 2015, by the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was confirmed by the Senate on February 12 by a vote of 93–5 and sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on February 17.

"The United States is coordinating closely with Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Qatar, and the other Sunni Arab allies in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 uprising.

"In May 2015, Carter warned China to halt its rapid island-building in the South China Sea.
In October 2015, Carter has condemned Russian air strikes against ISIL and other rebel groups in Syria.

"On October 8, 2015, Carter, speaking at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, said he believed Russia would soon start paying the price for its military intervention in Syria in the form of reprisal attacks and casualties.

"A controversy arose in December 2015 when it was revealed that Carter had used personal email account when conducting official business as Secretary of Defense.

"In January 2016, at Carter's direction, the Department of Defense opened all military roles to women, overriding a request by the Marine Corps to continue to exempt women from certain positions. In June 2016, Carter announced that transgender individuals would be allowed to join and openly serve in the military."

A Trump Administration would gain worldwide credibility by selecting Ashton B. Carter as its first SECDEF.  I would expect a Trump Administration to continually select the best person available.  General Flynn might be qualified in a second Trump Administration.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Technology's Impact on everything Hurricane

When Richard Widmark starred in Slattery’s Hurricane, released January 1, 1949, the only way to tell the strength of a hurricane was to have some nut fly through it.

Hurricanes have been and still are

“This is a hurricane. Hurricanes are windstorms of great violence several hundred miles in diameter, with a dead calm at the center called the eye. Like whirlpools, they spin rapidly, hurling great destruction in their paths. They're spawned in the doldrums, their father the heat of the sun, their mother the moisture of the sea. From July to December every year, the Caribbean crawls with these evil offspring of the elements. “

The movie made a lasting impression on me.

"Slattery's Hurricane thus begins with this narrative by Gary Merrill. Will Slattery (Richard Widmark), a former World War II Navy pilot still on inactive reserve, forcibly takes his employer's Grumman Mallard from the estate in Miami and heads for an incoming hurricane. He obtains his bearings from a Navy control tower by pretending to be a weather patrol flight. Despite a threat of court martial when the Navy discovers the ruse, Slattery flies into the storm, reviewing his life in flashback for the next hour...

"Disgruntled with the service, in part because he was disciplined instead of decorated for a hazardous mission, Slattery left the Navy and became a private pilot for candy manufacturer R.J. Milne (Walter Kingsford) on the recommendation of his girlfriend, Dolores Grieves (Veronica Lake), Milne's secretary. He lives an easy life, until the day he literally bumps into "Hobby" Hobson (John Russell), an old Navy buddy. Amused that Hobson stayed in the Navy, he nonetheless accepts an invitation to fly along on a weather flight into the heart of a hurricane. Slattery is disturbed to find that Hobby is married to Slattery's former lover, Aggie (Linda Darnell), who ended their unhappy relationship years before. At dinner for the two couples, he pretends to have just met her, but Dolores immediately suspects their past attachment. Slattery invites Hobby to fly with him the next day, maneuvering Aggie into coming along, to show off his lifestyle, and introduces them to Milne and his shady partner, Gregory (Joe De Santis).

"Slattery tricks Aggie into meeting him alone while Hobby is away, and although she initially rejects his "fast one", he seduces her. Dolores confronts Slattery and they argue over his betrayal of Hobby and the effect his job is having on him. He soon discovers Dolores not only moved out, but quit her job as well, alarming Milne and Gregory, who fear she knows too much about their dealings. In the meantime, Slattery's affair with Aggie continues. Milne has Slattery fly him to a remote Caribbean island, where Milne has a heart attack. Slattery tries to save his life on the flight back, and discovers that Milne is smuggling drugs, taped to his chest. Milne dies and Slattery keeps the "parcel". Dolores telephones him and warns him again to get out, but he gets drunk instead. Gregory beats him up to get back the "parcel", but Slattery counters with a warning that he has hidden information about the smuggling ring in a safe deposit box, should anything happen to him.

"The Navy unexpectedly awards Slattery the Navy Cross from his wartime heroics. Dolores attends the ceremony, but when she sees Slattery embrace Aggie afterwards, collapses and is hospitalized in a psychiatric ward for "pharmacopsychosis," or drug addiction. Slattery is called in by her doctor and castigated for his role in her illness. He leaves his Navy Cross with Dolores and goes to Aggie's to end the relationship. A drunken Hobby is there, however, having discovered the affair. He beats an unresisting Will, but is ordered to report for a hurricane mission. Slattery sees that Hobby is in no condition to fly the mission and knocks him out to prevent it. He then steals his employer's plane and flies into the storm...

"Slattery flies into the eye of the hurricane and reports its position. His warning is instrumental in saving Miami from serious loss of life and property loss, but in returning to Miami, he loses an engine. Believing he will crash, he also radios the tower about the location of the drug-smuggling information. When the plane does crash, he unexpectedly survives. Slattery is accepted back on active duty, and by Dolores."

I liked Richard Widmark movies and encourage everyone to consider it for entertainment.

Today, Hurricane Matthew is threatening Florida and President Barack Obama has been on TV telling I-95 corridor residents to listen to their local folks.

Friday, September 9, 2016

In Defense of Gary Johnson

First:  I saw the interview on TV.  The question was very short.  There was no context.  I didn’t recognize that the question was about Aleppo (the town where the boy had been injured and photographed).  When Mr. Johnson said, “Oh, I get I it,” he wasn’t allowed to say any more.

Second:  25 entities report to the President and/or have Cabinet rank.  This exceeds what is normally considered the span of control by a factor of 2.5.  I claim the country needs a CEO for President.  The Department of State is one of the most important Departments.  However, the Secretary of State is only 1 of 25 vying for the CEO’s attention.

Wars are fought by the Defense Department (and by the CIA under the Department of State when Special Forces are used).  Both of these Secretaries should be knowledgeable in the activities of their Departments.  The CEO needs to be focused on Strategy and Nuclear Deterrence (manning the “football”).

CNN has changed a lot recently.  Corey Lewandowski now works for them.  I think it was on CNN where I heard "talking heads" debating whether it was a disqualifying moment.  A female said yes.  It is obviously being treated by the media as a potential "disqualifying moment".

Every moment when Hillary Rodham Clinton comments about "emails" or "ground troops" should be a disqualifying moment.

Donald J. Trump's potentially disqualifying moments are too numerous to mention and may be infinite but not more than denumerably so.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

At least a denumerable number of Infinities and rationals are dense but not complete

The work of Cantor shows that there are at least aleph naught number of infinities.

The Power Set of a set cannot be put into one-to-one correspondence with the set and must be a larger infinity.

Between any two rational numbers another one can be found (dense).  The set of all rationals consists of a set of measure zero on the real line (not complete).

Friday, August 12, 2016

Metaphorically Speaking

According to my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, a Merriam-Webster, “metaphor” has two meanings:

1: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in the ship plows the sea) ; broadly: figurative language – compare SIMILE 
2: an object, activity, or idea treated as a metaphor

My copy was copyrighted in 1973.  The current definition can be checked at

I had trouble in school with metaphors.  They don't come labeled with "like" or "as".  Donald J. Trump is smart.  He went to Wharton.  He probably considers metaphors staples.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Black Lives Matter and all that Jazz

“The nation exhibits a growing sense of futility as it repeatedly attacks deficiencies in our social system while the symptoms continue to worsen. Legislation is debated and passed with great promise and hope. But many programs prove to be ineffective. Results often seem unrelated to those expected when the programs were planned. At times programs cause exactly the reverse of desired results.”

I heard someone say that they wanted to be the last generation that experienced racial bias.  I say, “Wait your turn!”

The opening paragraph is from a paper by Jay W. Forrester, "Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems", which appeared in Technology Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, Jan. 1971, pp. 52-68.  A reprint of this paper complete with figures is/was available for $4.00 from

Publications Ordering System Dynamics Group E60-383 MIT
Cambridge, MA 02139 U.S.A.

Reference item # D-4468

In the old days, Loyd's of London would provide insurance for all kinds of things.  The shootings of the policeman in Dallas shows that the specifics of the local situation does not protect a community from violence generated by the "national mood" or whatever. 

I would like to see a law that protesters have to purchase a liability policy which covers all expenses of the event. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Your simplistic solution will not work - Barack Hussein Obama

Some of us learned this in the 1960s and 1970s.  One of my favorite papers is:

Jay W. Forrester, "Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems", 
Technology Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, Jan. 1971, pp. 52-68.

It's first two paragraphs are:

"This paper addresses several issues of broad concern in the United States: population trends; the quality of urban life; national policy for urban growth; and the unexpected, ineffective, or detrimental results often generated by government programs in these areas.

"The nation exhibits a growing sense of futility as it repeatedly attacks deficiencies in our social system while the symptoms continue to worsen. Legislation is debated and passed with great promise and hope. But many programs prove to be ineffective. Results often seem unrelated to those expected when the programs were planned. At times programs cause exactly the reverse of desired results."

The lessons which should be learned from this include:

  1. The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions
  2. Donald J. Trump's proposals should be subjected to simulation by currently available decision support tools.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Retrenchment 1969 - 1971

Several things happened simultaneously during the time identified here as the "retrenchment" period. 

First, large aerospace cutbacks occurred, creating unemployment problems for some segments of the engineering profession. Thousands of engineers and scientists, including many Ph.D.s, lost their jobs. Many of them remained unemployed for long periods of time.  Newspapers ran articles about unemployed engineers and scientists working as welders, rug salesmen, TV repair-men, bartenders, handymen, and operators of hot dog stands.  Second, newly graduated Ph.D.s in physics, chemistry, and mathematics began having difficulty getting jobs of their choice. Also, there were more new elementary and secondary school teachers than were needed, and many could not find jobs.  Third, the 1970 census showed that the number of young people in the college-age group was going to peak in the early 1980s and would decline thereafter, casting a pall on the prospects of those who were looking forward to university teaching careers.  Fourth, the U.S. economy entered a period of economic recession, with the result that employers cut back on expenditures and postponed hiring new people. All of these events received a high level of media exposure, which produced an exaggerated and misleading picture of the employment picture for engineers.  The cumulative effects of these events on engineering education were drastic. Undergraduate enrollments plummeted but then recovered as it became apparent that the adverse publicity had been substantially misleading.

Other developments of the period were the termination of science development programs by the National Science Foundation (NSF), virtual cessation of training grants, and the emergence of an increasingly restrictive climate toward the funding of university research. The NSF published a report in 1969 stating that an oversupply of science and engineering doctorates by 1980 appeared unlikely; two years later NSF produced another report reversing its earlier opinion, this time projecting that Ph.D. production by 1980 would result in an oversupply of 40 percent for engineers. The 1971 NSF projection along with the 1966 Goals Study projection both sets of projections far overshot the mark.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dear Progressive from Chicago

You mentioned that you taught music in Chicago for several years.  I thought if God couldn't teach the foolishness of Progressive ways in Chicago I had no hope in SW MO.

Several things have caused me to rethink my World View.  I think it is most concisely stated as “The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

I consider the justification for this worldview to follow naturally from two scientific/technical papers.

 The first is an article which appeared in the December 13, 1968, issue of Science Magazine by Garrett Hardin.  This article was a part of a movement creating Earth Day and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The second is an article which appeared in MIT’s Technology Review “The Counter-intuitive Behavior of Social Systems” by Jay W. Forrester the founder of Systems Dynamics at MIT.

The first paper is known to everybody.  I was shocked to learn the limited availability of the second.  I saw it in MIT’s Technology Review.  The citation for the article is

Jay W. Forrester, "Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems", 
Technology Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, Jan. 1971, pp. 52-68.

Professor Forrester had a long and distinguished career at MIT.  In 1956, Forrester moved to the MIT Sloan School of Management where he is currently Germeshausen Professor Emeritus and Senior Lecturer. In 1961, he wrote about the expanding effects down the supply chains due to fluctuations in demand, thenceforth known as the "Forrester effect" or Bull whip effect.   In 1982, he received the IEEE Computer Pioneer Award.  In 1995, he was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum for his perfecting of core memory technology into a practical computer memory device; for fundamental contributions to early computer systems design and development. In 2006, he was inducted into the Operational Research Hall of Fame.
Forrester is the founder of system dynamics which deals with the simulation of interactions between objects in dynamic systems. Industrial Dynamics was the first book Forrester wrote using system dynamics to analyze industrial business cycles. Several years later, interactions with former Boston Mayor John F. Collins led Forrester to write Urban Dynamics, which sparked an ongoing debate on the feasibility of modeling broader social problems.
The urban dynamics model attracted the attention of urban planners around the world, eventually leading Forrester to meet a founder of the Club of Rome. He later met with the Club of Rome to discuss issues surrounding global sustainability; the book World Dynamics followed. World  Dynamics took on modeling the complex interactions of the world economy, population and ecology, which understandably met with much misunderstanding (see also Donella Meadows  and Limits to Growth).
 Forrester has written several books, articles and papers. Books, a selection:
·         1961. Industrial dynamics. Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications.
·         1968. Principles of Systems, 2nd ed. Pegasus Communications.
·         1969. Urban Dynamics. Pegasus Communications.
·         1971. World Dynamics. Wright-Allen Press.
·         1975. Collected Papers of Jay W. Forrester. Pegasus Communications.
Articles and papers, a selection:
·         1958. "Industrial Dynamics--A Major Breakthrough for Decision Makers.", in: Harvard Business Review, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 37–66.
·         1968, Market Growth as Influenced by Capital Investment.
·         1971, Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems. Also available online.
·         1991, The Beginning of System Dynamics.
·         1996, System Dynamics and K–12 Teachers.
·         1998, Designing the Future.

A fellow graduate student at Wisconsin, Gerald O. Barney, went on to work for the Center for Naval Analyses and took a sabbatical at MIT.  The good Chinese leader learned about the methodology. Democratic Capitalists believe in Free Markets.
Both groups know of the counter-intuitive behavior of social systems 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Varieties of Democratic Welfare Capitalism

A.      The conservative regime is most often found in Catholic countries and stresses job protection and high wages in order to allow a male breadwinner to be the sole support of his family.
B.      The social democratic regime is found in the Nordic countries stresses government provision of social services and income supports to create a more egalitarian society and allow (some say require) both men and women to work.
C.      The liberal version is found in the United States and, to a lesser degree, in other Anglo-Saxon countries and tries to offer government support for those who can’t work in the job market.  It generally has looser labor laws that make it easier to hire and fire people.

Lecture 35, Course Guidebook for “Thinking about Capitalism”, Jerry Z. Muller, The Catholic University of America, The Great Courses #5665, 2008, page 143.

Italicized parenthetical was added by me.

Gosta Esping-Anderson Model

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Solomon Kullback

Solomon Kullback (1907 – 1994) was an American cryptanalyst and mathematician, who was one of the first three employees hired by William F. Friedman at the US Army's Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) in the 1930s, along with Frank Rowlett and Abraham Sinkov. He went on to a long and distinguished career at SIS and its eventual successor, the National Security Agency (NSA). Kullback was the Chief Scientist at the NSA until his retirement in 1962, whereupon he took a position at the George Washington University.
When I was working for BDM (now contained in Northrop  Grumman), I had the title of Deputy Directory for Technical Guidance - Operational Test and Evaluation.  Our major project was supporting the Army's OTEA (Operational Test and Evaluation Agency).  A member of our staff was working on a doctorate in statistics under Solomon Kullback at George Washington University.  The student was using a manuscript prepared by S. Kullback.  Somehow I got a copy of the manuscript.
A staff member told me that an analyst at OTEA disagreed with one our sample sizing results.  I knew enough to know that if one of our results was wrong then all of our results were wrong so I checked it out.
Our methodology was not wrong.  I met with the analyst from OTEA.  Some face saving terminology was used.  I don't remember what it was.
I purchased a copy of Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude E. Shannon and Warren Weaver (I liked Weaver's part best).  The book was published by University of Illinois Press.  The paper and/or the book were published in 1948.  I bought my copy in the early 1970s.
I got into information theory via Shannon's book and Kullback's manuscript.  I have found mathematical probabilities to be simple for me.

While talking with my brother's wife's brother, I couldn't remember Kullback's name.  I said that he was in Army communications.  Wikipedia  says he was with the Army's Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) and its eventual successor NSA.  I had no idea that Kullback retired as Chief Scientist of NSA in 1962.

Kullback's statistics and physics entropy have a lot in common.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Audrey - Your grandfather's NATO

For saving the West from the Warsaw Pact in the 1970s (a slight hyperbole), I received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service from my undergraduate Alma Mater.

In the 1970s, France was not a part of the Military Structure of NATO and there were only about 11 member nations.  Newly elected President Carter launched his NATO Initiative.  General Alexander Haig, Jr., USA, was in command of Supreme Allied Command - Europe.  He was SACEUR.

I was a part of the "shadow support" for Task Force 6 - the command, control, and communications (C3) task force.

During the 1969-1971 RETRENCHMENT, I learned to write my resume.  {At this time, I envisioned going to Oxford or Cambridge, purchasing a book related to a field [X] with a famous professor [Y] not on the bottom floor, going to a room under the famous professor's, briefly studying my book, and then updating my resume to include "studied X under Y".}

Some people think that their are only two geographical areas:

1) Inside the DC Beltway, and
2) Outside the DC Beltway.

This provides no way of distinguishing the left (West) coast of the US.  Some of them think they are the top of the heap.

Some people use the following categories:

1) California cabal
2) Inside the DC Beltway,
3) Not 1) or 2)

My task officer and I did go to the University of Michigan.  We met with Dr. Daniel Teichroew of Problem Statement Language/Problem Statement Analyzer (PSL/PSA) fame.

Auerbach Reports said that only the top 15% of analysts could use PSL/PSA.  I liked it because it could handle VERY HIGH LEVEL input.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Turning 30 - Past, Present, and Future

In the past, when you turned 30 your were a nobody unless you had won the Nobel Prize in Physics.  Thirty was getting very close to when you had to have a mid-life crisis.

At present, the Baby Boomer cohort has made several changes as they pass through.  Life now begins after 40.  Levis have a scouch more room.

In the future, you will have to be 70 to run for President of the United States.  Franklin Roosevelt proved that you could be president for as long as you wanted.  Harry S Truman proved that anybody could become President.  Dwight David Eisenhower proved that the country didn't need a president until Barack Obama provided such a convincing counterexample.

At present, the United States Constitution is considered a living document.  The 35 years in the Founder's document should be reinterpreted as a mature adult.  Ronald Reagan was elected as a mature adult.  Donald J. Trump qualifies on age.  Senator Cruz should not be expected to be much more mature than Barack Obama.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Child Custody under SB 668

The child-custody provisions of SB 668 put parents on equal footing during child-custody determinations. Existing law declares a vague public policy that each minor child have “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents after they separate or divorce. What this public policy means can vary from judge to judge.

The bill replaces the vague policy, with a requirement that courts begin a custody determination with the premise that a child should spend “approximately equal time” with each parent. The court must then take into account a child’s best interest by considering 20 statutory factors that are based on current law. Finally, the bill requires courts to explain their child-custody determinations in writing.

The changes to the child-custody law are driven by well-known societal changes. For example, there are more two income households than ever.[1] Women are more likely than men to have a college degree, and women are pursuing more graduate degrees than men.[2] Forty percent of households with children have a female breadwinner, a dramatic increase since 1960.[3] Additionally, fathers have become more active in raising their children.[4]

Unfortunately, many incorrect statements and specious arguments have been made about what SB 668 says and how the bill will affect children and custody litigation. The remainder of this document identifies and responds to the common misstatements and specious arguments.

[1] Kim Parker, Pew Research Center, 5 Facts About Today’s Fathers (June 18, 2015) available at:
[2] Executive Office of the President of the United States, Eleven Facts About American Families and Work 10-11 (Oct. 2014), available at: .
[3] Wendy Wang, Kim Parker, and Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center, Breadwinner Moms (May 29, 2013) available at:
[4] Parker, supra note 1.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Did Jupiter Police have a choice?

Thanks to Joe Biden and the funds that have been channeled through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Jupiter police had little choice but to charge Corey Lewandowski with battery.

Under Florida Statute 784.03, the crime of misdemeanor battery is committed when a person either:

1.     Intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will; or
2.     Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

The video is highly suggestive that Corey Lewandowski touched Michelle Fields against her will.

Florida Family Law is badly in need of reform.  SB 668 has not yet been signed into law by Rick Scott.  Two years ago, Rick Scott did not sign a related bill.

Tort reform was in fashion until the lawyers got hold of Barack Obama.  Our criminal justice system needs reform.  Our Family Law system needs reform.

I don’t think a jury of Corey Lewandowski’s peers would convict him of even simple battery.  I recommend to Corey and to Mr. Trump that they not waive the right to trial by jury.
The web describes defenses against battery.  These include implied consent as in athletic contests.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Benefits of a Living Constitution

  1. The Federal Government via the Supreme Court can address the problem of the day.
  2. The Federal Government can adapt the Constitution to modern technology.
  3. Barack Obama will need to wait about 15 years until he is dry behind the ears and old enough to run for President.
"The Warren Court" was an example of #1. 

The Warren Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States during the period when Earl Warren served as Chief Justice from 1953 to 1969.  Warren replaced the deceased Fred M. Vinson and was replaced by Warren Burger.
Warren led a liberal majority that used judicial power in dramatic fashion, to the consternation of conservative opponents. The Warren Court expanded civil rights, civil liberties, judicial power, and the federal power in dramatic ways.
The court was both applauded and criticized for bringing an end to racial segreation in the United States, incorporating the Bill of Rights (i.e. including it in the 14th Amendment Due Process clause), and ending officially sanctioned voluntary prayer in public schools. The period is recognized as a high point in judicial power that has receded ever since, but with a substantial continuing impact.
Prominent members of the Court during the Warren era besides the Chief Justice included Justices William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, and John Marshall Harlan II.

The Federal Government support for the internet may be an example of #2.

The internet can be considered the email equivalent of "snail mail's" post roads  (Article I, Section 8).

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Veterans Affairs

On December 8, 2008, U.S. President Barack Obama announced he would nominate retired U.S. Army general, Eric Shinseki, to be the 7th Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on January 20, 2009.  General Shinseki resigned as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on May 30, 2014, making deputy secretary Sloan Gibson the acting secretary. On June 29, 2014, President Obama nominated Robert A. McDonald to serve as VA secretary. The United States Senate confirmed McDonald on July 29, 2014.

How does Eric Shinseki differ from Barack Obama?  Eric K. Shinseki was born on Nov. 28, 1942, in Lihue, which is located on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
WASHINGTON, March 4, 2015 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was honored tonight with the Veterans of Foreign Wars prestigious Congressional Award.
At a ceremony in the Senate’s Kennedy Caucus Room, Sanders said he was “extremely honored” by the award presented for his eight years of service on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, including his time as the panel’s chairman during the last session of Congress. He remains a senior member of the committee.
VFW National Commander John Stroud noted that Sanders played a leading role in winning passage last year of major legislation to improve health care services at the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
The nation’s largest service organization of combat veterans said Sanders “has been a commanding voice”  fighting to preserve benefits for disabled veterans, for the proper care and treatment of women veterans, homeless veterans, for better employment opportunities and improved access to mental health programs. The VFW also lauded Sanders for increased congressional oversight that resulted in improved claims processing by the VA. 
“It is no understatement to say that Sen. Sanders has taken care of wounded, ill and injured veterans and their surviving family members,” said the VFW’s Stroud. “When the VA imploded last year, he was the lead negotiator for the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, which the president signed into law last summer,” he added.
“The VA still has an uphill climb to fix what’s broken, to hold employees appropriately accountable, and to restore the faith of veterans in their VA, but veterans everywhere should be proud and comforted to know that this United States senator has their back in Congress.”

Lewis William Walt where are you when we need you?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Open letter to Barack Obama

Since the 1980s, the President has been in charge of enforcing the Flag Code in the District of Columbia and at military installations.

The Flag Code is available at .

The flag should be flown at half-staff for an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a member of the Cabinet, a former Vice President, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, or the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives: from the day of death until interment.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Conservative Values

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Since our founding, a society constituted of the market and a government capable of enforcing the rule of law has done more to lift up the human condition from poverty than any other system in the history of the world.  The United States is exceptional.  Among capitalistic democracies, the United States exemplifies the liberal version.  The social democratic regime is found in the Nordic countries and the conservative regimes are found in Catholic countries.

John Maynard Keynes died in 1946.  He said that in the long term we are all dead.  He was brilliant.  His book suggested fiscal tools for managing the economy and categories of analysis that influenced economic policy and analysis for decades.

Frederick August von Hayek (1899 – 1992) became a professor at the London School of Economics in 1931 and a leading critic of Keynes.  Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan recognized the importance of coordinating function of the market.  Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom (1944) while living in Cambridge.  He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974.

Good conservative values means supporting the United States version of democratic capitalism before Obama.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Incomplete Late Breaking News

CNN could have really helped its brand by saying, "We regret that our initial report, which was accurate in specific content, was stated in such a way that some misunderstood it, and we are sorry that we did not make clear immediately that Dr. Carson was not suspending his campaign."
The first Amendment does not make journalists arbitrators of the truth.  I am addicted to the old real CNN.
In many situations, particularly legal shows, people swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
If any organization should know that the early reports prove later to be wrong, it is CNN.
CNN is not without sin.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Late Breaking News

Truth is not relative.

A belief is true if it matches the way the world is.  If two people disagree, it can’t be that both are right—that what each believes is “true for them.”  Academics currently say, “To prevail in a debate, an opinion must be informed by the relevant facts and based on sound reasoning.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Master Speaks

The government of the United States was developed under the idea that nobody knew how to make a government, or how to govern.

The result is to invent a system to govern when you don't know how. And the way to arrange it is to permit a system, like we have, wherein new ideas can be developed and tried out and thrown away.

The writers of the Constitution knew of the value of doubt. In the age that they lived, for instance, science had already developed far enough to show the possibilities and potentialities that are the result of having uncertainty, the value of having the openness of possibility.

The fact that you are not sure means that it is possible that there is another way some day. That openness of possibility is an opportunity. Doubt and discussion are essential to progress. 

The United States government, in that respect, is new, it's modern, and it is scientific.

It is all messed up, too. Senators sell their votes for a dam in their state and discussions get all excited and lobbying replaces the minority's chance to represent itself, and so forth.

The government of the United States is not very good, but it, with the possible exception the government of England, is the greatest government on the earth today, is the most satisfactory, the most modern, but not very good.

--Richard P. Feynman in The Meaning of it All  [A single paragraph in the master's book.]