Friday, March 27, 2015

4U9525

Before signing off tonight, what a dreadful, bewildering day, I want to pay tribute to Nicola Clark, Dan Bilefsky and the New York Times for their public service in breaking the story of the pilot lockout aboard the Germanwings flight. That report focused an unfocused world.

Tribute also to the unknown, to me, photographer(s) who snapped these moving photographs of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the crash site.



Ah. So moving. Amazing work. Good night.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Andreas Gunter Lubitz.

Amazement-Euronews.




Disbelief, shock-Associated Press.

How much did you like mountains, Andreas?


'Just another boy'-RT.com

"A terrorist? Absolutely not."-Prosecutor Robin Brice.


'Very Happy'-ABC News.


...Lubitz...'100% Flightworthy'...-New York Times.

4U9525.

This one takes the cake, doesn't it? Young guy, seems to have been a happy guy. No motive. It is just so random: What if Patrick S., the pilot, hadn't had to go to the bathroom?

"FAA Recognizez Andreas Guenter Lubitz."-Aviation Business Gazette.

This is from September 18, 2013:


Rheinland Pfalz-based pilot sets positive example



The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is recognizing Andreas Guenter Lubitz with inclusion in the prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database.
The database, which appears on the agency's website at www.faa.gov, names Lubitz and other certified pilots who have met or exceeded the high educational, licensing and medical standards established by the FAA.
Pilot certification standards have evolved over time in an attempt to reduce pilot errors that lead to fatal crashes. FAA standards, which are set in consultation with the aviation industry and the public, are among the highest in the world.
Transportation safety experts strongly recommend against flying with an uncertified pilot. FAA pilot certification can be the difference between a safe flight and one that ends in tragedy.
The FAA recently announced that is it increasing the qualification requirements for co-pilots who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines. These requirements mandate additional minimum flight time and training, as well as aircraft specific training.
...
UniqueID: A4833038
FirstName: Andreas Guenter
LastName: Lubitz
Street1: Am Spiessweiher 8
Street2: Montabaur
City: Rheinland Pfalz
State: 
Zip: 56410
Country: GERMANY
Region: EU
MedClass: 3
MedDate: 062010
MedExpDate: 062015

http://aviation-business-gazette.com/A44/B58/Pilot-Andreas-Guenter-Lubitz-Rheinland-Pfalz-.html

4U9525. Lubitz' "deliberate attempt to destroy the aircraft."* **

"The co-pilot [Andreas Lubitz] is alone at the controls," [Marseille] prosecutor Brice Robin said, drawing on information gathered from the black box recorder. "He voluntarily refused to open the door of the cockpit to the pilot and voluntarily began the descent of the plane."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11496066/Andreas-Lubitz-and-Patrick-S-What-do-we-know-about-the-pilots-on-Germanwings-flight-4U9525.html

*UPDATED, 1:08 pm UTC. He added: "The most plausible interpretation is that the co-pilot through a voluntary act had refused to open the cabin door to let the captain in. He pushed the button to trigger the aircraft to lose altitude. He operated this button for a reason we don't know yet, but it appears that the reason was to destroy this plane."http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32063587

**UPDATED, 1:18 pm UTC. "Deliberate attempt." http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/26/europe/france-germanwings-plane-crash-main/


Why, Andreas?

4U9525: Andreas Lubitz.

Photo, Daily Mirror from Paris Match.
Did you like mountains, Andreas?

4U9525 Pilots' Names.*

Andreas L. and Patrick S. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11496066/Germanwings-crash-What-do-we-know-about-the-pilots.html

Unless it's Andreas L. Islam, we can rule that angle out.

*UPDATED, 12:15 pm UTC: Andreas L. is Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot. He was the one in the cockpit in control of the plane. http://www.wsj.com/articles/germanwings-co-pilot-named-as-andreas-lubitz-1427370009

No Nukes Deal With Iran.

Folks, I've changed my mind on this. I want the U.S. to pull out of the 5+1 talks with Iran.

Fundamentally, I do not trust President Obama to make a good deal. Specifically, I read today that he has given up on the Holy Grail of American diplomacy, bringing peace to the Middle East, meaning a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and so, for his "legacy," he wants this deal with Iran. That alone is enough to make me suspicious.

Then, it's not just Netanyahu the Nut who opposes it, France, Saudi Arabia and a third country (Britain?) have deep concerns. My impression from reading, it may not be accurate, is that the other countries are reluctant to openly break with the U.S. given how much it means to Obama and how much time Kerry has spent negotiating it.

Next, the length of time this has taken. Impression: An unemotionally involved U.S. would have said fugettabout it some time ago.

Next, I read that the Iranians bargaining is characterized by one step forward, two steps back, one forward, always arriving at the same point, giving the appearance of negotiating but not really budging.

Next, the agreement, our "We got everything!" moment is a 10-year delay in Iran getting the bomb, not a red line that Iran will never get a bomb. That's small beer to a red line and to me is too little a "We got everything!"

Next, an "agreement" is looking less likely before the March 31 deadline, which was an extension of an extension and the Americans, desperate to salvage something are now pinning their hopes on a "political framework," somehow separating the political from...something else, the actual agreement I guess, and the Iranians are concerned that if they agree to a political framework, the scaffolding will constrain them from negotiating future changes, "You already agreed to the framework!" we could say and hem them in.

Next, the Iranians don't want spot inspections by the IAEA and I don't like the sound of that.

Next, they want all sanctions lifted immediately once they agree to anything, we want a gradual relaxation of sanctions conditioned on progress.

Finally, I don't trust the Iranians.

So, I am ready to rule: I agree with the Republicans. I don't like the looks of the smoke signals, I don't know what's in this agreement if it was to be reached, I don't trust Obama on this, I don't trust Iran and I want to pull the plug on the whole thing.

Have a good evening.

Oh, the trouble they have seen this year: Germany's Merkel, Spain's Rajoy, France's Hollande. God bless them.

Germanwings #9525 (Hereinafter 4U9525).

From National Post (Toronto):

"There's a 12-minute difference between when Germanwings says Flight 9525 lost contact and what radar shows."

Lufthansa says radar contact was lost at 9:53 am local time. The Post says data from Flightradar24.com shows it was lost at 9:41 UTC.The 12 minute difference is not understandable to flight boys. http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/25/theres-a-12-minute-difference-between-when-germanwings-says-flight-9525-crashed-and-what-radar-shows


This is the same crap we got into with MH370.

The plane was in perfect condition, the reports say, just inspected last week.

Okay, in light of the NYT report, what is the one question on everybody's mind right now? I'll say it:

What are the names and what are the religions of the pilots?

Germanwings #9525 Pilot Locked Out of Cockpit.

Per New York Times:


“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”
He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is continuing. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/world/europe/germanwings-airbus-crash.html?referrer=

Wow. Strange things happenin' up above. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Last May President Obama had the happy occasion to meet at a White House phot-op with the relieved parents of a an American serviceman kidnapped by infamous powers in Afghanistan and held for five years.
Look at the admiring glance mom is throwing POTUS' way.
And we may throw an admiring glance at milf mom Jani Bergdahl as she walks away!






The president exchanged five Taliban for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Steep, some might say, and did say, but as SUSAN RICE said on one of those Sunday talk shows that prevented her from becoming Secretary of State over Benghazi:

"This is a joyous day...Sergeant Bergdahl wasn't simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war, captured on the battlefield. We have a sacred obligation that we have upheld since the founding of our Republic to do our utmost to bring back our men and women who were taken in battle...He served the United States with honor and distinction."

A "joyous day" indeed as Rice repeated at the end of her interview, she tends to repeat key phrases from her talking points on these shows as she repeated "very offensive video, "heinous and offensive video," "reprehensible and disgusting,"  "hateful video," (ABC); "hateful video," "very hateful very offensive video," "offensive video," "hateful video...disgusting and reprehensible," "a consequence of the video," (Fox); "hateful and offensive video," "spontaneous reaction to a video," "prompted of course by the video," "the video might spark," "very offensive video" (NBC) on the talk shows on Benghazi that cost her the Secretary of State gig, and there were yellow ribbons and tearful gratitude and a big parade was planned in Bowe's hometown of Hailey, Idaho.

Even before Uncooked Rice made her half-baked remark that Sgt. Bergdahl "had served the United States with honor and distinction" there was a counter-narrative that he had not, that he had deserted, walked off base and subsequently was captured by infamous powers.

Never mind said the president on June 3, 2014:

"Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don't condition that."

Some developments since:

-Bergdahl's hometown canceled that big parade.
-Bergdahl refused to meet with his father (understandable) and his mother (inexplicable).
-Today, the United States Army announced that Bergdahl would be charged with "desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty" (5-year maximum sentence), and "misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place" (max life).

Full stop.

"The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century."

That's the official title of their Close-Out Memo. It can be read here: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/protecting-the-homeland-in-the-21st-century Glad to hear they're protecting the homeland in the 21st century.

There are instances where they did not provide "enhanced" protection however, instances where they "lagged" in providing that protection. One of them was the Boston Marathon bombing. Pageviewers will recall that in that lag the Rooskis actually provided advance warning. With that assistance from our Russian "partners" happily the FBI "gained information" but "lagged" in the ability to "analyze it." What says the FBI Close-Out Memo on the Brothers Tsarnaev?

CHAPTER II THE SUM OF FIVE CASES*



"The Review Commission concludes that FBI’s human intelligence (HUMINT), intelligence
analysis,
and information sharing practices performed unevenly in the five cases to varying degrees.
...

Key Points (Hereinafter "Key Points.)

"In none of the five cases did an FBI confidential human source (CHS) provide actionable
intelligence to help prevent or respond to a terrorist operation. In no case, despite the existence of a
functioning HUMINT program, did FBI human sources alert the FBI to the plotters.

(Frowny face.) The FBI needs to be intelligent, it lags in that area, we especially need the humans at the FBI to be intelligent.



"...domain intelligence needs to be enhanced..."

We are lagging in the whole enhancement field. We need the humans at the FBI to have enhanced intelligence where they already have intelligence. Where they don't have intelligence we need them to get it. 

"...intelligence analysts must be empowered to question special agents’ operational assumptions."

Okay, stop. We have to take first things first. You don't want to empower the un-intelligent. The ability to analyze is a function of intelligence. If you are not intelligent in the first place you can't analyze. So: (1) FBI humans must be intelligent. (Dos). Just to make sure let's required them to be enhanced in intelligence. (3) Then we can empower them.

"The case studies identify lapses in communication, coordination, and collaboration..." 

For unintelligent FBI humans I, personally, would recommend shortening this to the "3 C's." A prerequisite for the 3 C's is intelligence. Otherwise you're going to get "lapses."

"In Boston, although Tamerlan Tsarnvaev’s radicalization was known to some friends and
colleagues, including at his mosque, the FBI did not understand the extent of his extremist views
until after the bombings."

It all comes back to intelligence, doesn't it? The FBI just didn't get it because they didn't have it!

"Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) passed a lead to the FBI in March 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother Zubeidat were followers of radical Islam and that Tamerlan intended “to travel to Russia to join unspecified ‘bandit underground groups’ in Dagestan and Chechnya.”
The FBI opened but then closed an assessment on Tamerlan concerning his potential threat to national security, concluding on June 24, 2011, that he had “no link or nexus” to terrorism."

We need to add a 4th "C." Communication+Coordination+Collaboration=Conclusion. The FBI's conclusion was a "lapse." It becomes our disagreeable duty to conclude that FBI humans are not as intelligent as FSB humans. The opening and closing thing, they need to keep the book opened. 

"Given the limited information on Tamerlan, the FBI did not nominate him for inclusion on the Terror Watchlist. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), however, independently nominated Tamerlan for inclusion on the Terror Watchlist in October2011––based on the same information lead from the Russians, which had been passed separately to the CIA the previous month."

The FBI should have "nominated" Tam. 

"In November 2012, Tamerlan interrupted a sermon discussing Islamic and American
holidays at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Cambridge, but it does not appear
that this information was ever reported to the FBI. In January 2013, Tamerlan again became
angry following a sermon at the same mosque. This information does not appear to have
made its way to the FBI."

Self-evidently this intel "made its way" to the FBI since it is, like, included in "The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century." It just "made its way" to the FBI AFTER the bombing so I don't think it's fair to the humans of the FBI to say it never made its way. It was late. Maybe it got lost! Who knows! Now they want it before. Who cares, they got it, didn't they?

"In all five cases, when the FBI eventually became aware of the plotters, intelligence analysts
played a critical role in the investigations."

SEE! 

"Still, in three of the five case studies, it was a tip from outside the FBI that triggered the investigation."

Before-after, inside-outside: picky, picky, picky.

"We do not intend to second guess the decision-making of dedicated special agents and intelligence analysts ex post facto."
 
Oh yeah, you say that NOW, after you've thrown the "Special Agents" under the Humvee.
 
"The special agent assigned to investigate the Tsarnaevs did not consult any North Caucasus
or counterterrorism subject-matter experts to understand the broader context and implications of
the information provided by the FSB..."

Maybe the Special Agent wasn't caucasian, did you ever think of that? Maybe he didn't understand the caucasian language!

"A more thorough review of Tamerlan’s activities by an intelligence analyst with the
requisite subject matter expertise on terrorism and radicalization, working in collaboration with
the special agent during the interview process, database searches, and subsequent evaluation of
the information, may have led to a different interpretation of the significance of the FSB lead."

"May," not "would," MAY. There's no telling. The Russians just have more intelligence than the FBI does!

"The Inspector General’s report on the Boston Marathon bombing noted that the special agents
did not ask questions that were expected by their counterterrorism supervisor
regarding Tamerlan’s lifestyle and travel plans."

Okay, look: He may have been "special" but he was not "enhanced," he was not "empowered" with "intelligence." Maybe he was a special-ed Special Agent!

"Moreover, the special agent did not contact the local Cambridge Police Department or complete a comprehensive search of all of baseline databases required in FBI’s Baseline Collection Plan."

I bet this guy didn't get a cost-of-living raise. 

"The Boston case demonstrates that the path to radicalization can be easily obscured from law enforcement." 

It's not fair to obscure things from the special-ed.

Arright, enough. I stopped at page 49. This is a crappy Close-Out Memo. 

Now, from the Guardian today is this headline:

Boston Marathon bomb trial: FBI agent mistakes Grozny for Mecca in Twitter photo.

(Frowny face.)

Sparks flew in a federal courtroom in Boston on Tuesday in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – the younger and only survivor of two brothers accused of perpetrating the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing – as the testimony of an FBI agent and witness for the prosecution collapsed under cross-examination by the defence.


Tsarnaev’s defence attorney Miriam Conrad surgically deconstructed testimony given late on Monday by an FBI agent that looked at Tsarnaev’s Twitter accounts – and embarrassed the FBI by showing them to have misidentified a picture of a mosque in Grozny, Chechnya, as the Muslim holy site of Mecca.
...
You said the picture [that forms the background of the second account] was a picture of Mecca,” said Conrad, towards the end of a lengthy and tense cross-examination.

“Yes, to the best of my knowledge,” answered Kimball.

“Did you bother to look at a picture of Mecca?” Conrad shot back.

No.”

“Would it surprise you to learn that it is a picture of Grozny?”

The picture on the account is not of Mecca – the FBI had misidentified it. It is in fact a picture of the Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque in Grozny.
 
The exposure of that mistake was just part of a long morning of embarrassment for the FBI, as Conrad poked gaping holes in their investigation into Tsarnaev’s online persona.

Kimball was forced to admit that he did not know that several of the tweets the prosecution had highlighted yesterday – to damning effect – as pointing towards Tsarnaev’s radicalisation and violence were actually lyrics from pop songs.

This included perhaps the most damning tweet of all those shown by the prosecution, which read, in Cyrillic: “I shall die young.”
...
Other posts shown by Kimball yesterday turned out to be jokes from the Comedy Central television show Tosh.o, or sketch comedy duo Key and Peele.
...
[Swine Defense attorney] also took Kimball to task for his lack of understanding of much of the slang Tsarnaev used in his tweets.

“Do you know what ‘mad cooked’ means?” Kimball fidgeted, and tried to guess. “Crazy?”

“It means high,” said Conrad. “Do you know who Key and Peele are?

“No.”

Key and Peele are the lead performers of a Comedy Central sketch show.

The only slang Kimball did manage to successfully identify was “LOL” for “laugh out loud”.

Lol.

*"Najibullah Zazi and the New York City subway plot, David Headley and the Mumbai attack and Denmark plot, Major Nidal Hasan and the Fort Hood shooting, Faisal Shahzad and the Times Square attack, and Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the Boston Marathon bombing."

"The F.B.I. has made great strides since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, but urgently needs to improve its intelligence capabilities and hire more linguists to counter the rapidly evolving threats to the United States, according to a report released on Wednesday.

"The report by the F.B.I. 9/11 Review Commission said that the bureau needed to enhance its ability to gain information from people and to analyze it, contending that the bureau lags “behind marked advances in law enforcement capabilities. 
(emphasis added).

"While the 2004 report of the national 9/11 Commission and subsequent reviews called for major changes to the F.B.I., the report released Wednesday was much less critical. Rather than a rebuke, it amounts to a status-check on the F.B.I. transformation that began in 2001." -The New York Times.

So this is the FBI's report on itself. It's sort of like "Close-Out Memos" in the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office on police shootings! Glad to see the FBI following that distinguished precedent. Glad to have this "status-check." Glad it was "much less critical" than previous status-checks. Glad they only need improvement in the ancillary areas of gaining information and analyzing it. Glad it's nothing central to their mission or anything. Glad to hear the only thing keeping the FBI from that "enhancement" is a "lag," "Behind marked advances in law enforcement capabilities." Keep up the good work. Closed out. Keep in touch.
Everytime I write something critical of the U.S. or of Obama especially, I get readership figures similar to today's:

Russia 38
U.S. 13
I want to read a psychological analysis of Barack Obama.

This has really gotten under my skin. Every time I look at that photograph I wince. I've tried to convince myself that a camera can capture a lot of untruth in 1/60th second. Maybe it did there too but I have not been successful in convincing myself. Pointing your finger at somebody especially at close range is not susceptible to many interpretations except one.  It's the body language of both men. Obama the lecturer, lecturing, looking directly at his subject, mouth open, clearly speaking, pointing--it's aggressive. Harper, head down, not making eye contact, hands at side, slumped. If that camera lied in that 1/60th second it lied a lot. In the context of that Washington Post article however, that camera did not lie about the other 59/60th of the U.S.-Canada relationship. At the least, that camera is telling symbolic truth.

I have been taken aback continuously by the personal hostility in politics the last few years: Putin's body language in meetings with Obama, his flat statement that he has no personal relationship with Obama; Netanyahu's speech to Congress; Samantha Power's berating Vitaly Churkin at the U.N.; domestically, the Tea Party, Boehner, McConnell, the government shutdown, last weekend John McCain telling Obama to get over his "temper tantrum" with Netanyahu. You can probably think of more than I can. There is no doubt that politics internationally and domestically is just more personally hostile in the Obama years--more hostile than it was even under George W. Bush. Bush had Tony Blair. Bush had Putin, for godssake, Bush had warm personal relationships with those guys, maybe with others I've forgotten. Reagan had Thatcher, Reagan had Gorbachev, JFK had Marilyn Monroe. Domestic politics was really rough in Bush's second term but not as rough, it doesn't seem to me, as under Obama.

In every case I did not see what Obama had done to deserve the coldness and hostility. In each of the instances above involving Obama personally, I blamed the other guy, I still blame the other guys, maybe I'd blame Harper if I knew anything about the Keystone pipeline, but there has been this discordant background noise that has grown louder, Obama's "aloofness," "cool, detached," smug, nouveau riche, the lone walks, the lone golfing, the Big Picture of NO warm personal relationships with ANY world leader. And now: U.S.-Canada relations "as cool AS I EVER REMEMBER," according to a diplomat who goes back to the 1980's! CANADA.

Good grief.

Look: warm personal relationships...I don't do warm personal relationships. In politics, especially in geopolitics...What geopolitical good came of the Putin-Bush love bites? Huh? Of Jimmy Carter's bussing of Leonid Brezhnev? You don't need love bites but you can't have sucker punches. You can't be fighting with everybody. Even I don't fight with everybody. "Dancing" whether lovin' or fightin' takes two. Obama is guilty under the Dancing Principle which I just made up and which Holds that if every time a person dances his "partner" ends up with her toes bruised then he ain't lovin' dancin'.

Discarding the analogy now, you can't have your ambassador berating the Russian ambassador, you can't have her predecessor,  Susan Rice, storming away from the Russian and Chinese ambassadors, you can't have Victoria Nuland saying "Fuck the E.U.," into a bugged telephone, and you certainly can't have finger-pointing at the prime minister of Canada. Good grief.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What Is His Problem?

A couple of days ago I thought, "There are some similarities between Putin and Netanyahu." Thought maybe I'd do a post on it. On the way home from work just now I thought, "Netanyahu, Putin, Obama, three world leaders, long-serving in their own countries, popular at home, and they can't stand each other." When I got home I immediately got formal photos of each I was going to put with the post. Then, while eating a quick sandwich I checked the news, and, happens all the time, got distracted. By this:

"A Chilly Wind from the Great White North."-Washington Post.

What the heck is that? I really didn't know so I got distracted and read the article.

There's a photograph with the caption "Bruce Heyman is the U.S. ambassador to Canada at a time of tension between the two allies."

I actually chuckled. "This is going to be a tempest in a teapot, eh?" What is this, about Quebec City not getting an NHL team?

"Israel isn’t the only U.S. ally at odds with the Obama administration."
...

"The cold shoulder turned to the ambassador was part of a chilly year for U.S.-Canada relations, which have become unusually discordant at the top,” wrote Campbell Clark, the [Globe and Mail's] chief political reporter."

"To put it simply, President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper aren’t exactly close."

I don't know if my jaw actually dropped because I wasn't looking at my jaw. The jaw in my brain dropped.

OBAMA DOESN'T GET ALONG WITH CANADIANS!

I mean, come on, how can you not get along with Canadians, that's impossible.

"Last month, Allan Gotlieb, Canadian ambassador to the United States for most of the 1980s, called the current relationship between the two countries 'as cool as I ever remember.'"

“The Keystone project has been handled with considerable insensitivity. Our history has been characterized by . . . a sensitivity to each other’s interests,” he told the Globe and Mail in late February."

"...[I]n July 2014... Heyman irked some Canadians who thought he came off as patronizing in defense of the White House taking its time on Keystone."

Patronizing. We have heard that before about the Obamas. Acting like the "nouveau riche," right? That's what Putin said. Nuland, Rice, the Mad Irish Woman. Obama himself like a law school lecturer, someone said.

"A longtime...diplomat posited that the tensions may be a product of Obama’s personality, which he described as 'aloof.'"

Ummm...Yeah...Wait, wait, don't tell me, we have heard that before too, right? I think so.

Okay, as I wrote last night, as I frequently write when I've made up my mind, I'm ready to rule: This is an Obama problem. I don't know what it is! But it's an Obama problem. He just doesn't get along with anybody.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Whipping Boy.*

I am disturbed by this. This, to me, is not about anti-semitic tinged bullying Allen Kurzsweil suffered as a ten-year-old. It is beyond the need to forget and to move on. This is about Allen Kurzweil seeking vengeance forty years later against a twelve-year-old boy.


This is about the lack of a literary statute of limitations. It is similar to Dylan Farrow and Nicholas D. Kristof's twenty years later attempt to ruin Woody Allen, who at least was an adult at the time Farrow accuses him of raping her. Both cases are about revenge. Both are, Kurzweil's is more, about ambush.

Cesar Augusto Viana III has only the vaguest recollection of Kurzweil and little, if you believe Kurzweil, no, if you believe Viana, recollection of bullying Kurzweil. Viana apologized "for any harm I may have done," according to Kurzweil, because Viana really could not remember according to Kurzweil. That apology is the basis for Kurzweil's claim of a confession. That's the case against Viana!

Kurzweil says be spent, off and on, forty years tracking down Viana. Tricked him with ingratiation into meeting with him. A coward, Kurzweil wanted to make sure Viana was not "dangerous." Tricked him again with false trust established into meeting with him a second time to confront him with the bullying allegations. He stalked him. Why, except revenge?

Now, forty years later, Kurzweil has gotten his revenge, he has seen Viana punished. When I first searched for Cesar Augusto, Google prompted me with "cesar augusto, bully." That is who he is now, forty years after the fact. He is an international target of opprobrium.






The photo at top left, from a Phillipine site. "This story didn't make us proud to be Filipino," it says. Viana is now a disgrace to the Phillipine nation for actions taken when he was twelve! The photo at top right is from the Daily Telegraph, UK, who tracked Viana down in San Francisco.

Viana says he now can't sleep at night and wants to sue Kurzweil.

As I understand it, Kurzweil ends the book with a realization that the culmination of his forty year obsession did not bring him closure, that he came to realize that his obsession said more about
himself than about Viana. I believe that last.

I am ready to rule: Allen Kurzweil, your book, your acts of trickery in the cause of vengeance, as
a fifty year old Jewish man, against a twelve year old Filipino Christian boy forty years after the fact, those are morally and ethically wrong acts, they are reprehensible and are a shame on the character of the Jewish people.

*UPDATED: March 24, 3:57 am. I hadn't read Ms. Kipnis' entire review last night and missed this: "All writers are stalkers," Kurzweil announces while crisscrossing the country in pursuit of Cesar..." Actually no, Kurzweil, all writers are not stalkers. YOU are a stalker, you are correct about that, you are a bully, a coward, you are cruel, you are disingenuous, you have a small pee pee, you are neurotic, you are weak, you are obsessive, and your are Jewish which is redundant with a lot of the above?  Have you condidered electro-shock? Or suicide?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Survival I believe to be the soul of China, the product of pain and fear. Remembrance, the title of the Cultural Revolution journal in China.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," that is the post-it note philosophy of the West, ergo, we must remember. Chinese must remember.

Just say no to post-it note philosophy. If you can put it on a post-it note or greeting card it's not philosophy, it's too simplistic. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" is the statement of a single man, a statement that cannot be proved empirically. “You can learn the lessons of history too well” is another, opposite, philosophical aphorism almost as unprovable. “Let it go,” another.

Remembrances of painful events can revisit the pain. Many Chinese do not want to remember the Cultural Revolution. My Chinese-American friend Weimin Mo and his wife are two such. I don’t want to remember some events in my own past which are far less “objectively” painful than the Cultural Revolution. Not remembering can be therapeutic. They give pills for that now.

Comes now:

Resentments of Things Past

The art of not letting go.

LAURA KIPNIS

That is as close as I am going to get to sex today.

“Consider the festering wound. Especially if you’re a writer: Consider it as the raw material for your next book, for an entire oeuvre, even. Moving on may be better for your mental health and digestive tract—so say wusses and forgiveniks—but your wounds are who you are. Especially these days: We live in an injury culture. I don’t mean to sound cynical, I’m just being practical. Besides, wallowing is one of life’s great unacknowledged pleasures.”

Laura Kipnis reviews a book by Allen Kurzweil called Whipping Boy. My forty year search for my twelve-year-old bully. We see at once the benefits of those forget pills.



The caption to this photograph provided by Bookforum reads: "A postcard Allen Kurzweil sent to his mother, detailing places he was bullied."

"The lingering rage of that year never entirely dissipated: Two decades later, an impromptu visit to his old school triggered a panic attack. On the suggestion of his wife, PAUSE. Those who take suggestions from their wives are condemned to follow them. UNPAUSE. Kurzweil decided to find out what had become of Cesar, and [spent]... a decade...pursuing leads..."
...
When Kurzweil finally contrives to meet his old foe face-to-face, it’s something of a letdown: Cesar barely remembers Allen, or the bullying. And his story turns out to be irksomely complicated: Cesar, too, had lost his father at an early age; Cesar, too, was victimized at school. The tormentor had had his own tormentors. Adult life hasn’t gone so swimmingly, either..."
...
"Eventually [Cesar] manages a New Age-ish apology: He hopes Allen will finally get closure, and he’s sorry for what 'may have happened in the past.'”

"It’s hard to imagine this helps. Memorializing your childhood pain doesn’t exactly minimize its aftereffects."

Thank you, Ms. Kipnis....Ms. Kipnis, would you be my wife?

http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/021_05/14154
I slept until 7:30 am and have been watching porn since. Not one woman has come over or even called.
"Women Who Sleep More Also Have More Sex, a New Study Finds."-TIME‎.

"An extra hour of sleep 'boosts women's likelihood of sex'."-Medical News Today

"For More Sex, Get More Sleep."-Newser‎. [I thought this was gender-specific to women. "Newser" drops the gender.]

"Better Sleep for a Better Sex Life."-New York Times. [The Times drops the gender. Now I don't know what to do.]

"Key to a good sex life? More sleep."-CBS [3-2 for men and women. Alright, good night then.]

WAIT!

"Scientific Advice For A Better Sex Life: Sleep, And Watch Porn."-Huffington Post. [...(THINKING)...Okay ...YES! Okay, 4-2 for men and women and I've got the second one covered. Good night.]

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The city of Coral Gables is the loveliest part of Miami-Dade County, Florida.








Coral Gables was founded by an extraordinary man, a racist, named George Edgar Merrick.
                                                       
                                                  


Merrick did not come from money, he was the son of a protestant minister from Pennsylvania, and had no professional training or experience in town planning, yet, inconceivably, he created Coral Gables. The land was his, left to him by his father, the City Beautiful Movement vision for the city was his, the architects were hired by him, the Spanish Mediterranean style homes were his idea, the zoning codes were his.

He hired William Jennings Bryan to pitch Coral Gables property for him.


Merrick founded the University of Miami, the Historical Association of Southern Florida, and was responsible for all of the early major road construction in the Miami area. He transformed Miami from a trading post into a major metropolis. It was all blown away by the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 and the Great Depression. Merrick ended his career as a postmaster. There are remembrances to him everywhere.













It was a remarkable life and it was cut short at age 55. What an extraordinary story! How did he die?

There is no biography of Merrick, there is a Wikipedia entry which says he died in 1942, no date, no location, no cause. There are 1,600,000 Google webpages for "George Merrick," 481,000 for "George E. Merrick died," 164,000 for "george merrick coral gables." Joining archives.com gets you a link to another site where you can purchase a death record. There is a Merrick family "expert." Yet there is no mention of how or from what George Merrick died. The most "extensive" account from Miami sites is that Merrick died "at about 2:30 am" (Miami Daily News), March 26, 1942  at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the public hospital for the Miami area (Tequesta, the journal of the Historical Association of Southern Florida.). 

It is inconceivable that there is no readily, if not instantly, available cause of death  on the internet for so important a man. There is nothing from any Miami source. HOW DID THE MAN DIE! It can get a man thinking, it can. Then today, one, a newspaper account from March 27, 1942: Merrick died "after a brief illness of a heart condition," according to the Brooklyn Eagle.