Saturday, December 31, 2016

Introducing Alisa Elega Shevchenko Glamourous Russian Cybercriminal


We end 2016 on Global Wahrman with a note of hope in a world otherwise diminished by death, war, greed, and hypocrisy.

The Obama Administration, in one of its final acts, has published a list of Soviet, I mean Russian, firms and individuals implicated in the DNC hack. Those of us who are concerned about the lack of women in computing, particularly the important new field of Cybercrime, can take heart by the inclusion of poster child Alisa Elega Shevchenko on this list.

Although she modestly claims to have no idea what people are talking about, adolescent men and some women can be encouraged by her excellent photograph which could have come right out of Soviet Vogue.

Please give a warm welcome to Alisa Elega Shevchenko.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

John Kerry and the American Values of Lies, Betrayal and Hypocrisy


Warning.  It is required of all right-thinking people of the world to hate Israel, but I am guilty of the sin of not hating Israel. I dislike Netanyahu but I think he was legally elected. I disagree with the settlements in the so-called Occupied Territories, but I look forward to the day that the world addresses its settlements on occupied territories before beating up a little country like Israel.  Shall we all return the lands won in war? What if we were attacked in that war? The US, China, Russia, the UK, etc, builds settlements in lands they took in wars, wars in which they were the aggressor.  Shall we have a UN Resolution to demand that they return those lands? I am all for it.  But to criticize Israel for actions that other nations are guilty of is blatant hypocrisy. All in a days work at the UN, I suppose.  

John Kerry announced to the world that the US vote at the UN to condemn, isolate and ultimately destroy Israel was in accordance with the best values of the American People. Now, what values might he be referring to? I think those values are lies, betrayal, hypocrisy and maybe just a little irony.

We are told and we are expected to believe that the Obama Administration did not initiate, encourage and coordinate this UN Resolution. Well, I suppose that one thing that we have learned from the last few years and certainly this election season is that lies no longer have to be plausible, that Americans will believe pretty much any baseless lie if they want to. But not even a nitwit, not even a Trump supporter, could possibly believe this one. Sure, appropriate cutouts (1) had to be found. Yes, America had to have their hands clean when someone put in the knife. Now who would that someone be? England? France? And then one of the little guys, you know like Senegal would have to take the fall. Of course it is just coincidence that this happens in the last month of the Obama presidency and before four years of Trump about whom, whatever else you might say, is apparently not prepared to sell Israel down the river. Of course, coincidence! The Obama administration does not even have the guts to say what everyone knows, that this last minute arranged vote is a reversal of 60 years of American foreign policy. Liars..

Betrayal is also a core American value. In this case we have at least two beautiful examples of American betrayal at its finest. Of course the United States has just betrayed Israel, that goes without saying. But even more delicious is the lovely betrayal of those in this country who support Israel's right to self-defense who supported Obama through two presidential elections. Obama waited until he did not need their support anymore, and then stabbed these supporters in the back, knowing there was no way to undo the damage. And he did it in a way that he escapes the results, he does not have to run for election anymore. The poor Democrats in Congress though are going to reap the implications of this. Of course the old Democratic coalition has been dead for years, this is merely another shoe dropping. 

But the highest value exposed here is our value of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is as American as mom and apple pie. Shall we review which of the countries on the security council have built settlements on the “occupied territories”? Well, lets see. Britain (N. Ireland), New Zealand (North and South Island), China (Tibet), Spain (Basque territory), Russia (so many places), and dont forget the good old US of A (Hawaii, N. Mexico, Ca, and frankly most of N. America depending on how you look at it).

Is there any irony in this episode? That would depend on how you interpret a topic in American history. That topic being to what extent Jewish Americans were involved with and important to the Civil Rights movement in this country. And even if Jews were important to the movement, did it really matter that they were Jewish, in some sense of that word? But to the extent that Jews were important to that movement that worked to achieve civil rights for all Americans, regardless of color, then some of the children of these activists will note that when the time came for the USA to condemn, isolate and attempt to destroy the Jewish state of Israel, that it was the first Black American president who did so. This seems like irony to me.

Is cowardice an American value?  Not that I am aware of. But one thing we can be very sure of here, this particular little betrayal by Obama was handled in a way that demonstrates that first and foremost, Obama is a coward.

But lets get real here.  Lies, betrayal and hypocrisy are three of the fundamentals of international diplomacy. There is nothing particularly new here when you look at the big picture.


1. A “cutout” is an intelligence term for a person or organizaton that is between the real perpetrator and the victim. It provides plausible deniability, at least under some circumstances.

tags: lies, hypocrisy, betrayal, greed and corruption 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Thanks, Obama, For Stabbing Us In the Back


I think it is completely brilliant for Barack Obama to wait until the last month of his term of office and then deliberately and without (much) notice take a group of his very loyal supporters and stab them in the back. Now this tiny group, which is given far too much credit for influencing American politics, IMHO, can feel very, very stupid for supporting him these last 8 years.

On Monday, I change my registration from Democrat to Independent. I guess that old Democratic coalition really is dead.

If you do not know what I am talking about, then you are lucky and don't worry about it. If you do know what I am talking about, then you are right to think that this is a very complicated topic that has lots and lots of issues. What I am objecting to here is the hypocrisy, the timing, and the way we were used. And let there be no doubt in your mind, we were used. I will be interested to see who, of my friends, actually reads this and knows what I am talking about.

(from my FB post)

When Starbucks Is Not Only for Coffee


As I have mentioned before, one advantage of my extreme poverty is that it allows me to see other parts of my community that I would not otherwise see.

So recently when I did my little 9 day experiment without electric power, and therefore without an internet connection except through my smartphone, I researched where it was I could charge my various batteries and get high speed internet. To my surprise the local library is really well set up to accomodate people who need to charge their devices and provides free WIFI, although admittedly its bandwidth seemed limited on occassion, that was probably because so many people were trying to use it at once. Very quickly you start to recognize the people who are in a similar situation to yourself, people who are so poor that they need to charge their electric appliances somewhere and maybe use the Internet.

But the library closes by 6 PM most evenings and is not open on Sunday, so that is when the famous Starbucks option comes into play. Starbucks is open from about 4 AM to 10 PM or later every day of the week.

I went there three times, bought about $5.00 worth of stuff (ice tea and a great cheesecake thing) and charged three devices and used their WIFI. It was a great experience each time.

There were two other groups that I noticed as well. First, at least in my community, Starbucks has become the go to place for High School students to go study with their friends. They buy coffee or tea and work on their homework together.

The other group was represented by two individuals, myself and a black man of roughly my age. He was also there to charge his smartphone and I noticed him on two different occasions. On one of those occasions he also fell asleep in his seat and one of the staff woke him up, explaining that he could not sleep there. Which seems reasonable to me.

If I end up going truly homeless but have enough money to buy some tea or coffee, then no doubt you will see me at Starbucks as well.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Two Essays on the Trump Catastrophe

As a way of procrastinating on things that must be done, and also to self-medicate my anxiety about the insanity of a Trump presidency, I read a lot on the Internet, that bold new paradigm of lies, stupidity, pornography, exploitation and fake news. From time to time, I come across what seems to be an exceptional essay written by those who share my concerns.

Here are two.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Electoral College Having Done Its Work Leaves the Stage

"Tomorrow we discover if Americans, specifically Republicans, have any guts or if we are all doomed by their cowardice to be slaves of the Russians and the rich forever. The Republican electors could choose to postpone the process in order to hear the results of the CIA investigation but they will not. They are craven traitors who are betraying their country out of ignorance and self-delusion."

Oh come now, I say in retrospect, did you really believe for a moment, for even one moment, that dedicated functionaries of the Republican party, all of them vetted for their reliability, did you really think they were going to turn their back on their party's candidate and vote for Hillary Clinton in full view of the world?  And then what, to return home to accusations of betrayal, their lives destroyed, their careers destroyed?  Did you really think that of all people they would vote for Hillary Clinton, the target of their lies and hate campaign for 30 years?

Grow the f-word up.  Lets be real here.  The Republicans want power, pure power is their goal, and with Trump although they have a wild-card, they have one that generally conforms, or who can be believed to conform to their racist, misogynist,  homophobic, xenophobic vision of America.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Letter to Bob Re: Trump, Bullying and Debating Technique


Another letter to my friend Bob who has tried to argue that since Trump has “forgiven” some people he previously attacked, that he is suitable to be President of the United States.


A climate denier will say that the climate is not warming, see Antarctica is gaining ice mass for 3 years in a row.

But we are not discussing whether or not there was a temporary increase in ice mass in Antarctica (if there actually was, or whether that was an anomaly of an imperfect measuring system due to budget limitations on earth science), we are discussing whether or not the hundreds of indices we have, combined with climate theory that makes certain predictions about a very complicated and imperfectly understood topic, global climate, tells us that our release of carbon into the world is or should affect climate, and yes, the evidence says that it does.

This is a well known debating technique when one does not want to acknowledge that the other side has all the evidence and you are grasping at straws. So while I do appreciate the compliment I am not all that interested in wasting my time.

Trump has been a bully in public, often via Twitter literally hundreds of times since I have been watching, less than a year. If you pay me, I will be happy to count the number of times, usually an ad hominem or a direct and unambiguous lie.

I thought I was discussing with friends whether or not Trump was in any way a suitable person to be president of the United States.

To save you some time, I have enclosed a list of phony and fallacious debating techniques for you to use in the future.

But if you would do me a favor, please avoid using them with me. I am a little busy and I dont respect the arguments so its a waste of both our time.

Global Wahrman

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How to Remove a President (Other Methods)


This post is a continuation of the discussion of how a nation may remove a non-performing or insane chief executive that is outside the more constitutional methods of a nation.

I use the term “chief executive” as a synonym for “President”, “Chancellor”, “First Secretary”, etc.

As we discuss some of these famous cases from history be particularly alert for the principle of “unintended or unanticipated consequences” and remember that these examples are usually very specific to the country and the period of time they are a part of.

1. The General Rebellion

The "rebellion" as defined here often also goes by the name of revolution. They generally only happen after a prolonged period of distress and/or dysfunction of the government.  It requires that a significant portion of the population decides that the situation is untenable and that rebellion is the only alternative. Or they may not be thinking too hard about rebellion or revolution, they may simply be protesting the lack of food or the murder of one of their own by the security forces and things spin out of control.

This revolt may or may not include a substantial portion of the aristocracy and it may or may not be encouraged by foreign governments.

The rebellion is distinguished from the coup d'etat by being generally unplanned and involving a sizable percentage of the general population, in other words, people outside the present government.

Notable examples of the rebellion or revolution include the Glorious Revolution of 1638 in Great Britain, the American Revolution of 1776, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Islamic Revolution of 1989 in Iran. All of these cases resulted in a new constitution for the country. The Glorious Revolution and the Russian Revolution also had aspects of a civil war.

The Islamic and Russian Revolutions both started with a broader base of support and then were taken over by one of the revolutionary groups which came to control the government.  The Islamic Revolution started as a rebellion against the Shah's government but was only later taken over by orthodox Shia.  The Russian Revolution first resulted in the Kerensky Provisional Government and was later taken over by the Bolsheviks. 

2. The Coup d'Etat

Far more common in recent history is the coup d'etat which is distinguished from the General Rebellion by being initiated by a much smaller group of people working in secret. Very often the people who attempt a coup are part of the ruling government and generally includes in the conspiracy a part of that nation's military and internal security forces.

In the classic coup d'etat, members of the government and the aristocracy conspire to take over the government and depose the chief executive and his primary supporters. There is usually a specific event or date of the coup, the part of the military that is in control of the plotters attempts to take control of the capital, imprison or kill the chief executive, his loyal ministers, and anyone else who is perceived to be a threat. They generally attempt to control the primary media outlets, traditionally a radio or television station, in order to control the news about the situation. They generally attempt to seize and control the parliament of the country.

A successful coup will do all these things and the former chief executive will either be killed or be forced into exile, or in a few cases, internal exile. A coup that is not successful generally results in the death, imprisonment or exile of the coup supporters and a purge of suspected supporters from the government and from the country. The end result of an unsuccessful coup may have the result of leaving the existing government more powerful than before the coup. The fall of the Soviet Union was an unexpected result of an unsuccessful coup d'etat. 

The coup d'etat has in the past been a device of intelligence agencies of various nations attempting to execute regime change on a country that is not their own.

3. The Assassination

Perhaps the most direct way to change the chief executive of a country is to kill him or her. However, assassination has a mixed track record for achieving political goals as it often results in unanticipated or undesired results. Very often assassination may be the work of a very small cabal leading to questions of conspiracy and a strong counter-reaction.

Classic assassinations in history include John Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and Julius Caesar. In the case of Kennedy, it is not known why the assassination happened although of course there are numerous theories. In the case of Lincoln, the assassination did not help the Confederate cause, if anything it hurt it. In the case of the Archduke Ferdinand, the goal of the assassin involved regional politics and was not intended to start a general global war. In the case of Julius Caesar, the assassins were all dead within a few years and the Roman Republic was definitively destroyed.

Sometimes we are not sure whether a chief executive was assassinated.  An example of this is the death of Joseph Stalin who may or may not have been poisoned by Beria.

4. Suicide

In some circumstances, the chief executive can be encouraged to commit suicide as Hitler did at the end of World War 2.  This is not so easy to arrange and when it does happen it is usually in conjunction with some other circumstance, such as the one below.

5. Change of Government After Defeat in War

The final case of a non-consensual change of government is that which occurs after defeat in a war. The governments of Germany, Austria, and Japan in particular were imposed by the victors after World War 2, generally without the consent of the citizens of the defeated country.  If it does involve the citizenry of the defeated country, then that consent is only pro forma.

An Open Letter to My Friend Bob


The following is a letter to a former friend, a true believer in the free-market system, who wants to "wait and see" about Donald Trump.  In my opinion, my friend is delusional on a number of different issues.  The most annoying of these ideas is that he can somehow convince me that Trump is a good guy.  But facts are facts, whether or not you like them.  And Trump ran on a platform of racism, misogyny and hate.

Dear Bob,

I understand that you support a racist, misogynist, homophobe for president, but I don't. Trump is a bully who attacks with obvious lies in order to intimidate people who disagree with him and force them into line. Maybe you think that it is OK for the president to act in this way, but I don't.

The CIA says something Trump does not agree with, and he attacks them. The Carrier union leader says that Trump grossly misrepresented the Carrier deal (and he did) and he is attacked by Trump.  Then, "anonymous goons" call this enemy of Trump and threaten his life and the life of his family.  These are not isolated incidents. What about this don't you understand?

You tell me that Trump is not lying, he is bargaining. But we are not talking about negotiating how much cheese to buy.  We are talking about our country here and people need to know what positions their potential leaders will take in order to make judgments about whether or not to support them.  When Trump takes the oath of office on Jan 20 and he swears to support the Constitution and laws of the United States of America will that also be a lie?  

Exxon funded fake science and worked to derail any attempt to deal with global climate change. Trump said that climate change was a hoax and then he said that "nobody can really know if we are causing climate change or not". More lies of course because we, the best scientists we have, do think they know.  Its not "just a theory" as the Creationists would say.  Then in beautiful Trump-style, his goons demand to know who in the government supports these theories, presumably so they can be punished or fired for incorrect thought.

The new head of the Energy department has vowed to destroy the department. The head of the EPA wants to violate our environmental laws. The head of the Education department is well known for destroying Michigans public school system. The rumors of his abuse of women are not invented, a friend of mine knows a woman who was attacked by Trump when she was 14 years old. Trump has said he will appoint a supreme court justice that will vote to repeal Roe v Wade. I am sure Haley and Perry kissed Trumps flabby white ass to get their jobs. Trump appealed to the most racist parts of our society to get elected. Trump suggested that if HRC were elected that people should shoot her. Trump publicly asked Putin to attack the Democrats.

This conversation is not productive.

I can not be friends with someone who wants to murder women and destroy the environment.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

New Russian Super Torpedo and the New Cold War


Today we are going to ask some questions about this alleged Russian Superweapon, the Torpedo From Hell, the Status-6. Get your booties on, because we are going to slog through some messy Cold War logic in a few paragraphs.

If you know nothing about this latest scare from Russia, the best article I know about it is on Foxtrot Alpha and can be found here.

Here is what you are supposed to gather about this torpedo. First, it wasn't an accidental leak, the Russians want us to know about it. Second, it may or may not exist, and if it exists, it probably doesn't do everything that it claims to do because some of those things are *really hard* and if you could really do them you might want to keep it a secret. Third, we already knew that they had nasty ways of blowing us up and spreading radioactive death for a long time.

So what is this all about then? The Russians have made it clear that they do not like our little missile shield. Why is a bit of a puzzle and is discussed below but it is very clear that they do not like the shield at all. But we have refused to stop deploying it for whatever reason (also discussed below). So my guess, purely a guess, is that they are presenting this torpedo (underwater missile) as a way of saying “See! We don't really care about your missile shield because we can blow you up anyway! So there!”

Now, what is a little weird about this is that the missile shield that we have and are likely to have in the next decade or so falls loosely into two types. One type is a tactical “Patriot” missile type, developed in part by the Israelis. The other is a strategic missile type developed on our own that uses the Navy SM6 (Standard Missile 6) to the best of my knowledge. The tactical missile defense is a pretty good defense against a fair number of tactical missiles at one time. These missiles that they defend against can certainly cause a lot of damage but they will not destroy Tel Aviv without an awful lot of work.

The strategic missile shield is what we are probably talking about here. The thing about this is that the Russians have nothing to worry about from it. Why? Because in time of nuclear war, the Russians could easily launch enough missiles to overwhelm this shield. This shield is good for a few missiles, maybe, certainly not the tsunami of missiles one would expect if we were in a nuclear war with the Russians.

So what is this shield good for? Two things. The first would be one or two missiles that were launched by mistake or in some way were launched by a rogue site that was not under control of its nominal government. And the second thing it could be useful for is in defense against a few missiles from a country like Iran or N. Korea who only has a few nuclear weapons available at one time and maybe also only a few relatively primitive intercontinental missiles to deliver them with.

So the point of the Status-6 may be to say something like, “We spit on your missile shield! See, we can go around it with our nifty torpedo!”. Ok, fine, but the missile shield was not aimed (so to speak) at Russia, so its all a little puzzling.

Maybe it has more to do with influencing people who are not very sophisticated at this, like the populations of Europe and Asia who are easily frightened? Of course people should be frightened about nuclear war, but I do not see how defending against loony toons like Iran and N. Korea could possibly threaten Russia.

But one thing you can be sure of, this is the kind of nuke vs nuke, spy vs spy thing that happened in the Cold War all the time. And maybe it is about prestige and appearances.  Or maybe it is about something I know nothing about. So welcome to the new Cold War.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Criminalizing Corporate Crime and Malfeasance


Famously, Don Corleone said in the novel The Godfather that one lawyer with a briefcase could steal more than a gang of thieves with guns, or words to that effect.

Of course, everyone knows this is true. The egregious corruption of our justice system, from top to bottom is well known. Whether it has always been that way or has gotten worse in the last 3 or 4 decades is not known to me, but in the interest of helping our poor, stupid, and corrupt political elite in matters that should be obvious, we are going to make a few comments.

Dear Stupid Politicians,

If you do not start fixing the justice system, you are going to see a blowback that makes the Globalization / Trump debacle look minor in retrospect.

Everyone has noticed, and I mean everyone, that our justice system is grossly unfair and biased in favor of the rich. A poor man can go to jail in Alabama for life for stealing a stapler, but not even stealing billions of dollars on Wall Street and causing the collapse of the world economic system is a cause for even the most modest reprimand.

But if you keep ignoring what the people think, and keep kicking the can down the road while chortling to yourself that you got away with it again, one day this is going to blow up in your face. This is a specific example of the more general "failure of the cultural myth" or "failure to believe in a nation's institutions". It means that people start believing conspiracy theories, even the most ludicrous, and never believe anything that a politician tells them. You don't want that, although it may already be too late as The Donald Trump Disaster demonstrates.

What can you do about this?

In a nutshell, when a corporation commits a crime, people should go to jail. And I do not mean the little people here, say, for example, the 5,000 people that Wells Fargo fired after a decade of crime. We mean the top executives, all of them, and for a reasonable period of time depending on the extent of the crime.

Specifically, this includes the people on Wall Street whose incompetence and greed caused the financial collapse. Put them in jail. This means the executives at Volkswagon, to the very top, who of course knew all along that they were committing fraud with the EPA Decepticon software. This means the Exxon executives, who suppressed research reports on global warming and funded fake science to attempt to delay action on global warming. This means the Wells Fargo executives who stole money from their clients. This means AT&T who was caught stealing $88 million from customers. I suspect that is the tip of the iceberg. Put them in jail.

Put them all in jail.  Yes, even the ones who gave all that money to your reelection campaign and that you have been protecting all these years behind the scenes.  Even those executives you play golf with.  Even them.

Furthermore, if our government can seize the assets of middle class people who have not even been accused of a crime, then civil asset forfeiture could surely be applied to such people as Exxon executives or Wells Fargo executives. Just think of all the good you can do with that extra $100M from the Wells Fargo CEO who of course knew all along that his company was stealing. 

We all know that "statute of limitations" is nothing more than a way of exempting rich criminals from facing the penalties of their crimes.  People figured that out long ago.  So when some stooge quotes "statute of limitations" at us why a criminal corporation can not be prosecuted, we know we are being lied to again.

We dont care that you failed over the last 60 years to make the criminal code correspond in the least to fairness here. We know you are in the pay of the worst criminals / executives. Put them in jail anyway and fix the criminal code while you are at it. 

Of course you wont do it. You are as corrupt as they are. But you have been warned, so dont pretend innocence when this blows up in your face.  

Global Wahrman


Article on AT&T Stealing $88 Million

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Five Hours of Hell


The Visual Effects Bakeoff will take place this year at the usual place (La Peer and Wilshire) on January 7, 2017 from 5:30 PM - until 10:30 PM.

Whenever possible, I recommend sitting on an aisle seat so it is easier to escape between films and chill out in the lobby. This is one advantage that the non-members have.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

Alice through the Looking Glass
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Captain America: Civil War
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Independence Day: Resurgence
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Rogue One
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad
X-Men: Apocalypse

I have never really understood the rules here.

I have no idea what films will be selected, but here are some guesses. I suspect that Dawn of Justice, Captain America, Dr. Strange, Rogue One, X-Men and Jungle Book will be selected. I think they nominate 10 films for consideration. Deadpool is interesting and might be selected. I predict Suicide Squad and Independence Day will not be nominated.

As usual, the Academy members are separated from the unwashed masses by the Academy SS (Screening Service) personnel. If you are not a member and you wish to hobnob with your elite friends, you need to be there early. How early is of course anyone's guess but since the US Government worked so hard to send American jobs overseas in order to destroy the middle class and elevate and exalt the rich, there has usually been no problem getting in. I would say about an hour early is a safe bet, say 4:30 pm.

If you are going to attend, it is best to wear all black and leave your sidearms at home, there is no recording, whistling, spitting, or throwing of items of any sort. Those who are ejected from the theatre are never seen again.

Monday, December 5, 2016

What Field and Where?


Since my participation in the field of computer graphics and animation is not up to my requirements, although I suppose that could change at any time, the best plan I can come up with is to go to graduate school and try to learn another trade. Many people assume that when I return to school (if I return to school) I will study computer graphics / animation. But why would I do that if the field is not being minimally economically viable? Yes VR/AR is spending a lot of money.  But how that will work out remains to be seen.

No doubt, visualization will be part of what I do in the future, no matter what direction I take. I seem to have dedicated a big part of my life to it, so why not continue?

So what field and where?

1. Field

If it involves computer science, then it might involve computer security, computational biology, machine learning, autonomy, or image understanding. All these fields are very important and interesting. If it involves being able to teach, then a terminal degree in art, the MFA, is useful. It would also be entertaining to get. In a previous life I studied economics and it is clear to me that the world economists are morons and a half, it might be fun to get an advanced degree in it. All my life I have studied history. Why not a PhD in that? Finally, RAND has a graduate institute.  I could probably get in, and try to work on a variety of RAND projects.  I see this as form of regression to a happier time.  The plan is to apply to as many of these as I can afford and have time for. Since I have no money, the final list will no doubt be shorter than the list here.

2. Work

Well one reason one might not want one of these degrees is the fact that I will not get employment after graduation.  But then I probably will not get employment whatever I study. 

3. Where?

All graduate schools are ageist and deliberately so. The ability to get accepted to an elite school such as MIT, Stanford and so forth is zero. I still may apply because I am stubborn and I hate their behavior and I want them to reject me to my face. The good news is that there are many schools where I can get a good education. Any major research university will do. How about UCSC, or NYU, or Columbia, or UNC? Where else do you suggest?

4. How?

To get into a top school, I need the best recommendations. My grades got me into Harvard the last time I tried, and god only knows how my GREs will go, but the last time I took them I did well. So it comes down to my essay and the recommendations.

As usual, my essay will be brilliant for those who have a brain and hopeless for those who are conventional and are terrified of someone who thinks differently.  But I have no plan to sanitize it for the small brained as it would do no one any good.

I am told that the only recommendations that are considered by admissions committees are recommendations by colleagues and peers: in other words, if you are applying for a CS school, you need recommendations by a tenured professor in CS. Anything else will be ignored. Unfortunately, while I know quite a few professors of CS, only one has agreed to write a letter of recommendation.

5. Other strategies

The MS programs are easier to get into, I might volunteer to go do a MS before the PhD to reduce risk. The average PhD candidate will be offered a fellowship. I will offer to do all this on government loans, that may make it easier to admit me. By admitting me they immediately get a graduate who has won an academy award. I am probably responsible for 1/2 billion in revenue based on my work. I will emphasize that I probably would have had at least 5 patents if I had had the money to file.

6. What happens after?

By the time I graduate, I hope to have at least one if not two books published (The details of that for another time.  The first book is well underway).  I will have social security, maybe a tiny income if I keep writing books.  If I get a job, I can repay my govt loans.  If I do not work, then they can come take it out of me.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Proposed Constitutional Amendment in Honor of the Election of Donald Trump


Every honest and informed American is aghast at the election of Donald Trump to the President of the United states. A misogynist, racist, would-be murderer of women, xenophobe, narcissist in the non-clinical sense, possible narcissist in the clinical sense and most of all, completely inexperienced and inappropriate for the office of President. The people who voted for him and the Republican party must be held accountable for this abomination who is likely to damage the American republic for decades to come.

But moving forward, what can we do to prevent this kind of uninformed election in the future? What was the structural problem here and is there a solution?

I want to propose (seriously) a constitutional amendment to address this. Although I am not a constitutional lawyer and just a common citizen, so forgive the wording which no doubt would need work.

The intent of the amendment would be as follows, “No person may be elected President of the United States who has not been elected to and served honorably in a major political position of the country, such as a member of the House of Representatives, or of the US Senate, or Vice President of the United States.”

In this way, we would know that the would-be president would be cognizant of foreign policy issues, budget issues, legal issues, and many other topics that the President must deal with upon election.

It is arguable that being elected Governor of a state should also qualify a person for election as president, but it is a little questionable because in general a Governor does not have the same foreign policy responsibilities. It is possible that a justice of the peace would also be eligible. It is possible that a senior military leader would also be eligible (see for example Eisenhower).

Obviously these issues would have to be debated before proposing an amendment.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

How to Remove a President (Constitutional Methods)


The obvious question to ask in the context of the Trump disaster, is how do you remove a president who is a maniac, or who suffers from a personality disorder, or is a fanatic and who is expected to involve us in war and attempt to destroy the country hand-in-hand with the incredibly stupid faction that put him into power?

There are a variety of case studies from history, both recent and ancient, and we will review some of them here. Please be aware that each of these is contingent on that nations culture, its institutions, its laws and the specific situations at hand (e.g. an unpopular war, a famine, riots, police oppression, etc).

This post will discuss constitutional methods only. A second post will discuss some of the extra-constitutional methods.

I use the term “President” below as a synonym for other titles including “Chancellor”, “Premier”, “Prime Minister”, “Shah” and “First Secretary”.

1. The President is installed / removed on a technicality which may or may not be legal.

In 2000, the right-wing US Supreme Court forced the recount in Florida to be halted in order to install Bush Jr as president. Anyone who examines that situation comes away with the following impression: had the recount continued Al Gore would have won the election. In this way, by controlling the Supreme Court, the right wing was able to defeat the results of an election. Whether or not you believe that or not is irrelevant. A substantial number of Americans do believe it.

If in 2016, the Electoral College were to install Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, it would be perfectly legal to the best of my knowledge and the Trump faction would go nuts. The Electoral College is an artifact from 200 years ago and is itself a technicality that many people do not find legitimate. I doubt this situation will occur.

2. The President / Tsar / whatever is responsible for (or inherits) a policy so unpopular that he/she resigns from office or declines to run for re-election.

There are many examples of this in history, a notable one being LBJ's decision not to run for re-election and is also probably the case of the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917.  In the latter case the situation in Russia was far more complicated and dire than simply an unpopular war.

3. The President loses a vote of confidence or is impeached and convicted by Congress.

This is more common in parliamentary governments than in our type of government. It requires a congress / parliament that is not controlled by the President's party and/or the President loses control of his own party. As the impeachment of Clinton showed, the fact of an impeachment does not have to be based on anything real and that it is quite possible to survive an impeachment when the charges are baseless and merely the irrational actions of an irresponsible Republican party.

Since the Republicans currently control both houses of Congress and is likely to appoint one of their goons to the Supreme Court, this is an unlikely scenario for the immediate future.  However much the mainstream Republicans hate Donald Trump, he is still technically a Republican and better than a stick-in-the-eye for their right wing, America-hating causes.

There is the entertaining possibility, however low probability, that the Republicans might impeach Trump if he did something egregious, as a way of putting a more compliant reactionary in charge, e.g. Pence.

4. The President commits a crime which is exposed and the resulting scandal causes him/her to resign.

In general for this scenario to work, the scandal has to be so egregious that it overwhelms the attempts of the administration to suppress it.  In this country it usually requires an “independent prosecutor” to be assigned, its report has to be damning, and the threat of impeachment has to be real.

This scenario also requires, or may require, such things as an internal security unit doing the right thing and trying to enforce the law, or a whistle blower who is aware of the crime coming forward, or a responsible press, and usually a combination of the above.

This is a likely scenario ultimately for Trump. But there are many reasons to think that it also might not work in his case. Trump has proven to be remarkably immune to borderline insane behavior already exhibited, the Republicans control both houses of Congress and would have to approve an independent prosecutor, and our internal security forces would have to do the right thing which in general is not a realistic expectation on our part.

5. The Constitution permits a president to be removed without impeachment.

There is a technique for removing the President if he/she is judged to be insane in the opinion of his/her own administration. I know very little about it but I think it is intended to prevent nuclear war in the short run while the government figures out what to do with a certified loony at the top. To the best of my knowledge, these provisions have never been used.

In the next post on the subject of removal, we will review some of the more entertaining but illegal methods of removal of the chief executive such as assassination.