Memorial Day, Up Close and Personal

This poignant letter tells why we grieve today for those who gave all and those who lostmost:

Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Massachusetts:

“Dear Madam:

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

Abraham Lincoln.”

Today, I remember my Naval Academy graduates, and particularly my Classmates who lost their lives in the sinkings of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) and the USS Scorpion (SSN-589). The Submarine Force is a special group of intelligent misfits, who understand that we all survive — or none survive.

In WWII, Submariners had the highest casualty rate — yes, higher than the first wave of Marines on the beaches of the Pacific — 24% of all submariners in the Pacific died. I was fortunate to have been trained under a WWII Submariner who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor. I can still hear him saying, “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back. Close the enemy, fire every torpedo you have and never return to port with one torpedo left!”

All Purple Hearts awarded to Submariners are given posthumously.

The Thresher and Scorpion remind Submariners that peacetime is not peaceful for Submarines.

“Of all the branches of men in the forces there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariners.”  Sir Winston Churchill

And a special nod to my Roommate from the Naval Academy, Jack Peace, who was Jean and my Best Man. (He was indeed the best man at our wedding!) He was shot down over Vietnam, seen alive on the ground, but his fate is still unknown. He was never listed as a POW, but his bones were returned.

RIP, Jack! 

“Circle the Wagons”

The Hillary personal server has been hashed to death by me, and there is no chance of the uninitiated to be further convinced…except for three new facts the State Department Inspector General’s report.
First, the fact that Hillary and her staff REFUSED to cooperate with the investigation, despite Hillary’s assertion that she would meet with anyone, anywhere on the subject.

Secondly, the IG reports that on two occasions, the State Department mentioned their concern that the personal server was a security breech, and on each occasion they were told the matter had the blessing of the legal staff and that the subject was not to be raised again. There is no record of the personal server having been approved by ANYONE, Hillary’s campaign assertions to the contrary notwithstanding.

And lastly, Hillary’s assertion that her server had not been attacked is at variance with her IT assistant’s testimony that he had to shut down her server twice because the server was under hacker attack.

In effect, Hillary lied at least three times. She needs to be called out on these immediately.

My guess is that she will refuse to discuss anything for awhile, then claim “old news.”

Morning Musings

The bathroom controversy is just slightly overblown. 

It is a letter, not an order, a suggestion…sort of like Trump’s “Muslim ban” was a “suggestion.” 

It can’t be a law because Congress didn’t pass it. What it is, is a reinterpretation of a Title 9 ban on “sex discrimination” redefined (illegally, IMHO) to mean “sex identity discrimination.”

Note to Public Schools: Toss the letter in the trash and await a final judicial decision. (In California, a student’s parents must attest to the student’s sexual dysphoria, before school begins, and accommodations are made for use of the faculty, or Nurse bathroom.)


Venezuela is in free fall…Maduro has ordered martial law for 60 days because of civil unrest brought about by years of socialism. Government offices are only open two days a week, grocery shelves are empty, electricity is so spotty that the president has asked women to use hair dryers just two days a week. 

The inflation rate is predicted to reach 170% this year, and although the people have voted out the socialist Congress, President Maduro is in office until 2019.

That 2019 seems unlikely. Only the Army keeps Maduro in office, but it is likely that eventually the Generals will side with the people. Simply as a humanitarian issue, the United States should aid the people — but fears of Imperialism ties our hands.

How bad is it? The government can no longer pay international specialist printers to print more money!


This week, the first of my GrandDaughters graduates from college — and ignoring my advice as to a major, she picked Fine Art. 

Of the 29 in her graduating majors in Fine Art, as I predicted only three have a job — luckily she one of the three, and of the three, my Granddaughter has the highest starting salary by a wide margin. Obviously, she has talent!

That shows how much I know.


Republicans are far less tolerant of misbehavior in office!  The Democrats elected a Boston Mayor in jail, a Chicago Councilmember in jail, worship an impeached president who lost his law license for lying to a federal judge, elected a federal judge who had been impeached and removed from office to a Congressional seat (he is still in Congress)…

Nominating Hillary should be a piece of cake

How Low Can He Go?

The Transgender issue cannot be about helping fewer than 1/2 of 1% of the population at the expense of the privacy the privacy rights of 99.5% of the population.
No, as bad as that is, and it is bad, the letter/directive/order/whatever is part of President Obama disrupting the social and cultural order of the nation. It follows closely on the push for gender equality which now runs up against drafting women, to releasing tens of thousands of felons, to failing to enforce existing law against Sanctuary City laws, to this pitting the rights of a few against the rights of the many.

So, why?

Some conspiracy theorists believe Obama is trying to beat the wasp nest in order to provoke the nutty Malita, so he can invoke martial law, stay in office and put political enemies in re-education camps. Some believe That Obama is throwing up Social Justice junk against the wall to see what sticks, in order to provide media cover for a coming negative FBI report on Hillary. Some think that Obama is just trying to enrage the Republican voting populace to get Trump nominated because the money in oddsmaker is heavily on Hillary.

Theses are not mutually exclusive. The downside from Obama’s standpoint is that the letter, while not specifically an order, was accompanied by a threat to withdraw federal funds that cannot be done, but the mere threat influences some pearl-clutchers.

I am not certain that the issue can be adjudicated because it is not a mandate. It is more like Trump’s “suggestion” about temporarily ending Muslim imports until we can sort thing out. 

But it is an interpretation of a law, Title 9. Congress could define the wording, because Congress passed the law, but the president would surely veto the interpretive bill. Still, that would put the onus on the president.

The results will certainly be to increase the number and population within private schools, and that has all sorts of positive and negative results.


Epstein Knows

It has been obvious from the beginning of the political season, that Donald Trump was the Silvio Berlusconi of American politics.
Now Silvio has been out of the international limelight for awhile during his forced community service for tax evasion. Before that he was a force in Italian politics — an ultra-rich media mogul, oversexed even by Italian standards, who loved VERY young girls and, so-called Bunga-Bunga parties. 

Yes, very young girls is another, less noted contact point. 

The parallel, and something neither the Clinton nor the Trump camp want to bring up is that both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump traveled to Jeffrey Epstein’s cozy little private island in the Caribbean, aboard Epstein’s private jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express.” 

Epstein probably has plenty in his head that could easily get him sprung from prison, where the Wall Street billionaire is serving time for tax evasion. Epstein could go free regardless of which person wins the White House! A spate of former underage girls are suing Epstein, and while none of the previous 15 year olds are naming names, yet, it could be very interesting.

Berlusconi assumes, correctly, that Italians don’t care about his sex life, but he erred about the public’s attitude about sex with children. Clinton and Trump have been directly and closely tied to Epstein, but not with any particular young girls. 

But Epstein knows, and he wants favors.



Mary Matalin, who has served the Republican Party for decades, has changed her registration to the Libertarian Party, because, she says Republicans have lost their way as a party of small government
I was all-in for Goldwater in 1964! My wife ran one of his city headquarters, and he had the Republican Party solidly behind him — and all of our friends supported him.

Goldwater lost 49 states. 

The answer to success for any Republican is solid Republican vote, plus at least 60% of Independents. Trump has no solid Republican Party, and at best the Independents will sit on their hands.

Trump is making a YUUUUGE mistake. He should blow up the “establishment” AFTER he wins the election!

To win the election, Trump must have EVERY Republican vote, plus 60% on the Independents. Trump is shooting his potential friends before they could vote for him!

Disaster awaits! Both potential candidates are under serious legal attack — Clinton for callus disregard for national security, and Trump for fraud. Both potential candidates have greater than 50% UNFAVORABLE ratings. As one of the Facebook memes notes that the problem with this election is that one of the candidates must win!



So, it’s Trump.For the first time in many decades, I will not be voting Republican. It is not out of frustration from supporting another candidate, it is my belief that Trump is not capable of being an American president…unless you are looking for a president whose last names were (Andrew) Johnson, or Jackson.

Jackson let all the yahoos into the White House for the inauguration, stealing the China and wrecking the chandeliers. Trump could trump that because he is as uncouth as Andy Jackson…no Trump is a draft-dodging, position changing, lying SOB, and only Hillary is worse. I am asked to choose between Ted Bundy and Charles Manson. 

Could a Trump grow into a decent president? Sure! I have seen flying fish and Manatees with my own eyes, and other things I would not believe without seeing it, so I am going to wait to see a successful Trump presidency. It has been my experience that politicians tell the truth about opponents. One needs to listen to the attacks, accept them as true, then pick which criminal one likes best!

That means it is highly unlikely that I will vote for Trump, and highly likely I will vote for the Libertarian candidate. If Trump beats Biden — I believe that Hillary will be indicted, and that Biden will try to save the Democrats — and Trump becomes president, then he could, could grow into the presidency, much as did Harry Truman. Harry Truman was a former machine Democrat, a suit salesman who became a decent president.

Truman hit above his weight as president. He was thrust into the presidency as a weak Vice-President to FDR, an uber-strong president. Truman was so weak that he didn’t even know that that the Atomic Bomb was being developed until just weeks before he had to use it.

Trump’s VP selection will be vital because I still predict that he will be impeached within the first year or two, but he may realize his vulnerability and pick a weak VP. That could be his poison pill.

If I didn’t have to submit an occasional column to my newspaper, I would comment only about the San Diego Padres, who are a loser in another dimension. I have never see so many batters whose batting average starts with the number “1.” 

Massive Societal Disruption

The advanced world faces a disruption of such proportions that it is nothing short of a societal Krakatoa — and few people are watching. 

Recently, I spoke to a STEAM high school Science class about their need to select a college major which will permit them to repay their college loans, and I described the future they faced, a future which is not incrementally different from today in the near term, but will be drastically different in their lifetime. 

In Ancient Greece and Rome, slaves did the work and the Greeks and Romans went to the Forum to argue. (The Romans actually enslaved the Greeks.) 

That is our future, and the disruption on the way to that future will be traumatic. It has already begun — we have never had so many able-bodied people out of work. 

The disruption will continue, more rapidly than we are prepared to address. I fear that society is unprepared (my background is as a computer scientist, but my concern is societal). 

In the very short term, truck drivers will suffer drastic dislocation, as trains of autonomous trucks with minimal, and eventually no drivers, crisscross both Europe and North America. Recently, five trains of driverless trucks crossed nations of Europe to meet up in Rotterdam. 

As the switch to nuclear propulsion in submarines provided an ENORMOUS advancement in submerged distance and speed, so taking human drivers out of trucks is an ENORMOUS advancement. 

In the U.S., trucks can only travel 11 hours then the driver must rest for eight hours before resuming. Autonomous trucks keep moving almost 24 hours, and are involved in far fewer accidents! 

Millions of trucking jobs will be lost. Transporting a load from New York to L.A. currently costs more than $4,000, of which $3,000 is labor! The most bang for the buck in autonomous vehicle technology is not in selling Google cars to Uber, but in selling autonomous Volvo and Mercedes trucks to over-the-road trucking companies. 

Truckers are just the tip of the spear in the societal disruption. Target, Lowes and Best Buy are testing inventory and restocking robots. There is an Italian vending machine that makes one of three choices of pizza from scratch in three minutes, and there are hamburger machines that make 400 custom hamburgers an hour. The changes are not coming BECAUSE of a high minimum wage, although they are accelerated by a combination of higher minimum wage, benefits, vacations, Obamacare, etc. 

How does a society handle massive and growing unemployment, particularly among the physical workers? How do we handle multiple generations of minimally educated people who have no potential to ever be employed? Will the Luddites sabotage the technology to extend their employment? How will unions respond? 

The time is now to consider a “Guaranteed Basic Income.” This has been a Socialist dream for decades, and even Milton Friedman once proposed a similar idea, but it may become a reality out of necessity if not ideology. In a society where a few “work” and most have nothing but leisure, how do we incentivize work? 

I don’t know.