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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive


Saturday, June 3, 2017

No divine right of Trump. No foundation for blanket immunity or privilege, including conflict of interest, or personal enrichment. All have consequences. Time, place, manner..

Divine right of kings. Originally balanced by a contract with the deity:
Power bestowed, in exchange for the requirement of a just and merciful rule.
Later came kings claiming 'blanket privilege or immunity.'  Autocrats.
And the response?  Revolutions.
Divine right.  Mircea the Old,  Right to rule balanced by contract with the deity for justice and mercy.  Wallachia, Romania.  Follow history: no such blanket right for Trump, or in any democracy.

History of divine right: Who claims that rough equivalent of "divine-like" right based on statistics, not justice or mercy or merit of policy. Who seeks the power of office to shield, get privilege, immunity, even for personal acts. Save privilege and immunity for preservation of legitimate state secrets, state exigent circumstances, and always subject to review: not to be used to condone a power-abuser in using office to self-enrich.

History and divine right.  
1.  Mircea the Old   1330-1352
2.  Kaiser Wilhelm
'3.  Trump.

1.  Mircea the Old, 14th century. Wallachia. Romania now. Ask about the limits of power of a prince. Mircea the Old, Mircea I, Basarab I,  Mircea I Basarab.*

The grandson of Mircea I was was Mircea II, if this first identification is correct;  another king of the House of Basarab, thus the first Mircea is given the elder designation.
  •  The grant of power is by "the grace of God in accordance with a contract, which obligated the prince to be a just and merciful ruler under the will of God who granted him a vicarship over his people." (emphasis supplied). See A Concise History of Romania by Keith Hitchins 2014 at pp.38ff, tracking various rulers and their Byzantine, Orthodox roots. 
Accordingly, you, as a believer, can trust the foundation.  You do not need to see it. Vicarship over his people: a right-thinking interpretation of the meaning of dominion, for those interested in secular as well as culture-religious applications from roots. 

2. Kaiser Wilhelm.  Middle modern times. Regression.
Move to later centuries, and find manipulation of rights of rulers away from association with the obligation to right and just rule; to, in effect, blanket privilege and immunity by virtue of "divine right," but without the countervailing contract idea: The French Revolution, of course, but even afterwards --   Emperor William of Germany in 1910, Wilhelm before WWI.  He claimed to be King of Prussia by divine right, and that was stoutly denied and rejected by the Catholic Church, see, reference dated 1910. 

Kaiser Wilhelm's claim was also rejected at home, for its rejection of roles of other governing bodies:
"*** [T]he restoration under Kaiser Wilhelm II of a genuinely functioning monarchy claiming legitimation by Divine Right one hundred years after the French Revolution was even more forced, artificial, anachronistic [and] grotesque" (than the government of Germany had been under Bismarck.) Rohl proves this by examining not merely the character of the Kaiser and his court, but by analysing the roles of the higher civil service, the armed forces, the diplomatic service and the "kingship mechanism" which held the whole system together." 
See The Kaiser and his Court: Wilhelm II and the Government of GermanyMiddl by John Rohl 2017.

3.  Trump abuse of right of rule.

There is no privilege or immunity except broadly to protect state secrets; none as to personal interests. No modern ruler gets the equivalent of divine-like right to rule and make all decisions based primarily on fact of election.  We have an evolved sense of the foundation of power:  articulation along the lines of Mircea the Old, and old Biblical grant of dominion and "vicarship". Great concept. Vicar. Subject to higher considerations. Accordingly, what remains -- these three. Removal or containment for abuse of office,  a) use of that office for personal enrichment; b)  setting public policy not for the public, the nation's interest long term; but  c) setting policy to benefit one's financial and political friends/   Allow no blanket shield against investigation of abuse of office, as for personal enrichment.

  • Search for absolutism in a presidency: as in "divine right of Trump." Refresh your own recollection about that old divine right, its foundations deeply entrenched in history. Cultural belief in it enabled a ruler based on his position to do and conceal as he wished. Those ancient justifications have no legitimate place here. Media, do your jobs and begin drawing parallels pro and con and address what is left of 'divine right' and its modern applications. Protecting state secrets? May be a legitimate claim for immunity, privilege. Maybe not.  Discuss. What is fair game in this new show in Washington.
The princes said, trust the foundation:  God gave us power, God wants it where it is. Obey. Obey. Elected leader says, trust this new foundation. You elected me, do as I say.  The people say, no. You are accountable for justice and mercy to all.

Conclusion: Oppose absolute exercise of any alleged right. All are subject to time, place and manner restrictions. Expression through possessions, displays, speech. See . Rights to guns, speech, demonstrations, anything.  Time, place and manner overlay. Let investigations of actions that install kleptocracy instead of democracy begin. No divine right to do it. Divine or not, no blanket privilege or right

* Here, Mircea the Old. Mircea I. Mircea Basarab. I think. Is it instead Mircea II? This a drive-by, fast shot in Wallachia, Romania. Vet. Do an Images search. Or, see him directly at Copy text and go to a translator. Find, according to this translation, that Mircea the Old is "Mircea cel Bătrân, Mircea the Great / the old, born 1355, was ruler (vojvod) in Valakia from 1386 until his death in 1418. He was the father of Vlad II Dracul."

Now to the roots of power:  had a solid cultural foundation for his status, however. Trump just has, on a good day, perhaps 1/3 of us out there who like his playing roles for ratings. Not enough to Trump common sense.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mar-a-Lago. The ghost of Marjorie Merriwether Post. History of uses.

Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago was once the US Mar-a-Lago.
It was a gift to be used as a Winter White House. None of them did; so it was sold.
Economy of use of public money, more important. Sold under President Carter.

Update: See the NYT article, on contemporary issues, members on list, other presidents with seasonal-use alternate White Houses.  NYT, however, omits the history. See Find that history here, 

Mar-a-Lago. Between sea and lake -- or inland waterway.
Also between ethical and unethical: 
What enriching, business-enhancing, and other connections, does this place offer?
Worth it to the nation?

Study Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate and private club belonging to President Trump.  It has with high entry fees and much luxe, on some 17 acres on an elongated 16 mile island at Palm Beach. Mar-a-Lago is greatly altered from its prior privacy-oriented uses, as is allowed for private owners.

Ask -- What are its pitfalls for conflicts of interest, now that we have us a President: emoluments, etc. It gets little attention in that regard. Could he use it as outlined? How to prepare, respond. Moscow in the photo, see text below, relates only to an unexplored business opportunity for Mr. Trump there, related to his ownership of Mar-a-Lago.  Combining presidential residence with commercial club-resort offers multiple opportunities for just happening to bump up with persons otherwise required to sign in, please.

Meanwhile, enjoy the history. Visionary: Marjorie Merriwether Post.

Background. History.  The location is the name:  Mar-a-Lago, from sea to lake, from the Atlantic Ocean to the IntraCoastal Waterway. See map.  Read its 2016 social history.  And wonder at and admire the philanthropy, dignity, of its originator, Marjorie Merriwether Post.
Trump bought Mar-a-Lago long after the fact of earlier-owner glories and dreams -- Marjorie Merriwether Post and family, see timeline below.  He has no obligation to honor tradition, its creation by others, in any way. It's his. In summary, Marjorie Merriwether Post left it by will in 1973 to the United States Government for a winter White House, but it was costly to maintain and was not used for that. President Jimmy Carter saw that it reverted to the heirs, including Post's daughter Dina Merrill, see below, and the property was put on the market,   Trump bought it in 1985, all legal.

1.  Did he "save" it by buying it? Hardly. He kept up bricks and mortar; but to "save" it would be to preserve it for its intended government private use. Trump does plans to use a wing as a southern White house, as he also intends to continue using his NYC residence and the DC White House, but the point is not that partial use.

Instead of preserving, which is an integral part of "saving" (and he had absolutely no obligation to preserve anything). he had the choice and people's choices define them. No philanthropist, he has transformed it into a lucrative commercial venture. He converted it for his own aggrandizement, but did not "save" it.  Just use the wording that conveys the reality, is all.

So, no, he did not "save" it.  Instead, he worsened it in terms of its original use. Anybody care? Not as long as the money flows and all the soft little hands outstretched get refilled, and refilled. The DeVos rule, to add to the Greene 48.

2.  Emoluments?  All so far is legal?  money-making?. Who cares?  People in this country value money first. That's what they do.  Nonetheless, inquiry is appropriate. Is there a tangle of emoluments here? Should parameters be set? Somebody explore.

3.  Now: secret proposal to Mr. T.  Preparation for four more years; How about yet another, and hereby patented, business opportunity. Can I do that?  Either way, Mr. Trump, if and when you all do this, think of me. In case I haz any rightz here, do whatz right. Not just what is legal.

3.1  Secret business opportunity:  Mr. Trump has an "in" with Russia in ways yet unexplored. The Russian Art Collection. See  Said there to be the most comprehensive Russian collection outside Russia. If you like Catherine the Great, do you like the Orlov service? see

3.2  Secret details
  • Mar-a-Lago is the brainchild-dream of Marjorie Merriwether Post,  who accrued a vast Russian art collection, in the Stalin years, now at her museum-home at Hillwood, outside Washington DC.  
  • Mr. Trump has a business opportunity here:  Sell an arts and access package. Did you know your predecessor had such an art collection? Now you do. 
    • Have people stay at the Trump hotel in DC, 
    • \Whiz them (helicopter would be nice. Does the hotel have a pad?) over for a private showing and glitz meal with the butlers and butlesses at the Hillwood Museum, and see the Russian art (all apparently with provenance aceptable)/

Mar-a-Lago business opportunity. Tie in Russian Art Collection of Marjorie Merriwether Post at Hillwood with a stay at the Trump place in DC, then flap down to Palm Beach, Russia, and see where the Collection's originator lived.
 Make money. Ads in Russia. See their art in the US with access opportunities.

4.  Credit roll.

No-one has to give credit where credit is due, see that at Law 7 and other admonitions in Robert Greene's Rules of Power. Noone legally has to honor a predecessor whose vision and love of place made it possible for another to leapfrog into higher status, even if not acceptance by those who came before, see  This is not a required "attribution" of source, no plagiarism of real estate. Would a truly great person extend credits instead of simply self-promote? This is the Post estate, not the Trump's in vision.

5.  Timeline excerpts

1920 -- Marriage of Marjorie Merriwether Post, who inherited the fortune accrued by her parents in Post cereals, evolve to General Mills I think; and E. F. Hutton, founder of the Wall Street stock firm -- when it talks, people listen, etc.

In all, she was married four times, just go to Wiki, issues not relevant here.  E. F. Hutton: later fell on hard times, now working to get up off the mat again, see

1923 -- Birth of daughter of Marjorie Merriwether Post and E. F. Hutton, Dina Merrill: actress, philanthropist, businesswoman, socialite. See site for biography, husbands and their resources. I see no obituary, do a search for other life details not relevant here. She dealt with Mar-a-Lago and other issues upon the death of her mother.

  • A moderate Republican.  
  • Surely she could be remembered at Mar-a-Lago. Which bedroom was hers? 
    • Dina Merrill grew into many roles, including that of a moderate in Republican circles, and advocate for issues in women's health, supporting the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition, see Pro Choice Republicans Condemn Platform (opposing abortion, campaign era of George W. Bush 1996)

1924-1927 -- Heiress and socialite, bright person and visionary, this Marjorie Merriwether Post found the site for and had built this magnificent ocean-front estate, some 128 acres at the time? at Palm Beach, Florida.  See  It has 128 rooms.

1930's -- Acquisition of Russia Art Collection, see Hillwood at Washington DC, above.  Explore. There are 384 pages like this one, see  For a less formal look, see

1973 -- Death of Marjorie Merriwether Post.  By will, she left the property to the United States Government (now the untied states government), see Palm Beach Post,  for use as a retreat, like a winter White House, for presidents. See  None used the property.  Maintenance costs were about a million dollars a year.

1985 -- Trump and wife Ivana bought the property. Purchase price:  Ten million. See

This site says five million. See

And from then on, it was fight, fight. See

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Legitimacy of a presidency. Support special commission. Determine legitimacy of FBI processes. Partisan or not?

Progress appears. Traction emerging. Appoint special counsel, independent commission, special commission, to investigate the processes of the 2016 election:  Foreign intervention and agency partisanship.

Learn the process: see  See  See Legitimacy of a presidency is a greater issue than liking a president or not.  Legitimacy in achieving office is not a matter of opinion, floating on who got which votes.  Legitimacy depends on process, whether the law was followed, no matter what the topic.  Illegitimacy: in elections:  did a government agency act or omit to act with the intent of fostering one candidacy over another. Legitimacy is like Robert's Rules of Order in elections.
The means are available. An independent commission. People also can help:  Read George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior: at page 31 -- "When another speaks be attentive yourself, and disturb not the audience. If any hesitate in his words, help him not, nor prompt him without being desired; interrupt him not, nor answer him, till his speech be ended.‎"

Support an independent commission. Trump's election legitimacy depends on it; and with it, whether he can serve in a positive way, without that distraction. Why should anyone pay attention to someone in office thanks to foreign intervention and partisan misdeeds in a government agency. No reason. Give us a break, Trump.  Put this issue to rest. People, do not be quiet about the issue that John Lewis has properly raised, even though Morning Joe just advocated that people just be quiet. 

Legitimacy is a foundational issue. Explore the FBI. Don't be quiet. Accountability counts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trevor Noah for Secretary of Education. Reject Betsy DeVos. Unregulated capitalism exploits.

1.  Choose Trevor Noah.

This is a wise, seasoned man, with black mother, white father, raised in South Africa, who now is running interference on late night TV.  He knows legions about the broad aspirations and barriers to accomplishment that people of color experience. That is a universal issue.  He also has the perspective, humor, and articulation skills to have figured out what is needed in criminal justice and to make education work (both fields blend). He lays out the problems, and solution ideas, better than any proposal for progress that nominee Trump has come up with to date.

Hey, Trump. Why not. Education and Justice under Trevor Noah and the United States may begin to grow its democracy again, if that is indeed your goal.  As it is, we see your current nominees fostering the demise of democracy -- even its failure, in favor of entrenching the elite. Meanwhile, the autocrats, oligarchs, kleptocrats,  those whose control we used to deride in Russia, succeed here as well. Our people (your people) are taking a page out of the Russian playbook.  Can we get back to our own roots.
  • No! comes the voice from offstage right. Your so-called roots don't count. You didn't get your turn at bat before because we hid the bat; but now we get it all, so sit down.

Did we say the issues of Trevor Noah's life are universals?

Yet he can deal with them without making enemies.  Begin reading his memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, Find a brilliant organization:   a) A serious overview, in one form of typeface throughout; that  b) precedes each chapter's memoir section related to it, and in another typeface throughout.

To read the history-informational-philosophy sections first:
  • The contents list the chapter headings, so go to the immediately preceding pages for the short course in issues first. The overview may offers history, differences between ethnic and racial groups in South Africa; or the differing townships, and who lives there; or insights into a parent's reasons for behavior, as in how the child is raised; and why actions are taken to instill what life-lessons.
  • For your own short course, go to the the introduction to the jail episode: what jail is like, that precedes Chapter 17 -- the chapter about Trevor Noah ending up there, and why, and what happened and what he learned. Hooked, go on to Chapter 18, about his mother's life.
2.  Reject Betsy DeVos.

Betsy DeVos. Did we say no loudly enough? That Trevor-Noah perspective of experience, wisdom, ability to articulate, all foster a working-together ability to see many sides to issues. This is lacking in the billionaire-blinders-wearing ideological candidate for Education Secretary now: a Betsy DeVos.

DeVos?  Of Vos?  From Vos? Why the capital V?  De Vos is middle Dutch for "the fox" -- a nickname, say, for someone with red hair; or a "crafty man." See Everyman's experts at hammed that up but good.  Apt.

This fox's adulation of unregulated capitalism, totally free market, is a ticket to ongoing exploitation. As Trevor Noah says, it's fine to say we'll teach people to fish, but not if we withhold access to the poles. 

3.  Why? America -- is it failing as a democracy, while Russia's unmitigated oligarch succeed?  That kind of observation about Russia and the United States is by Karen Dawisha, author of Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia (2014), library copy on request, see review at

Dawisha sees an authoritarian government there in process of succeeding, and a democratic one here in process of failing. Is that so.

  • Learn about the larger issue: undue influence unrestrained, patterns. See a documentary Putin biographical video 2016 with stated agenda of concern, and basic information:  This is the government Trump and his nominees want to perpetuate: Average Russian is poorer than the average (India) Indian. So there is deprivation, for those not at the top. Who is at the top? Only 110 people own 35% of the wealth. What does that kind of disparity breed: more resentment, more need for force?  See
These choices are important to whether we pursue exploitation as the goal; or a mutual prosperity. No, say the voices. If people live sustainable lives, they may compete with us.  Can't have that, is that so? 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Trump status. Time to call off the marriage. Betrothal is only a contract. Break it any time.

Break this contract. Please, pleads the bride-to-be.
Betrothal to the electorate:  Leave it.

Russia would agree that the present pre-political-marriage status of This Mr. T to the US electorate is not sacramentally complete, and unconsummated, of course.  There has only been a betrothal contract that can be broken off.  Historically, such an arrangement, as interim, can be cancelled.  Make the injured party whole again, and money u$ually work$ to $alve hurt feeling$.  See "Modern Customs and Ancient Laws of Russia," The State of the Modern Russian Family, and Particularly that of the Joint or Household Community of Great Russia (modern as 1891, at, This is Lecture II by historian Maxime Kovalevsky at, see bio.

This business of breaking (or unilaterally modifying contracts) can be a way to get rich, so there should be little resistance. See Contents at How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump and Meredith McIver, 2004. Just say, Donald, we tried, we really did, but you are the wrong man for this marriage. As you say in the book:  Big mistake is to marry the wrong person. And, don't equivocate.

The people have long had their say in how to manage these long-term relationship matters, often in addition to the rule-makers, usually a church whose approval has long not been needed for common or other types of civil marriage. Let the people speak and either call this one quits, or renegotiate the contract more to their advantage. This Mr. T who generates so much enthusiasm has already violated the Logan Act, see also; and there must be punishment.  Of course.  So, this Mr. T must do what is required to walk those missteps back; and otherwise MHOB until oath is over, if he persuades the regretting electorate to stick with him. Why the premature and off-base request for how women are faring in the rights department, see Women's lives matter.

Best course for the long term: Let the people break off this ill-entered-into engagement to Mr. Trump before he fully ripens. Reconvene the Electors, unshackled. Or just write in the runner-up. After all, this is only a contract and contracts are made to be broken to get a better deal, and there will be someone else, fear not those who muddy waters, etc.

We know that, dear. Go ahead. Find another life. You'll forget him. This Mr. T hasn't even earned a title yet. He is just the presumptuous Mr. Trump.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Leak. GOP to rename DC. Contact Mitch in support.

 The Renaming in the Wings. Eight Talking Points.

1. The GOP plans to rename the postal service abbreviation for the District of Columbia.

2.  This is part of the first-100-day push of the new Administration.  New legislation effectuating the rename is based on the GOP objecting to the postal service. The postal service abbreviates District of lColumbia as DC.

3.  The abbreviation DC is objectionable to the GOP because DC resembles the common nickname for a routine internal medical maintenance procedure, dilation and curettage (sounds like ballet, a pas de deux perhaps), or D&C. See

4.  The D&C is also known colloquially as a Dusting and Cleaning.

5.  The D&C also happens to be a simple and safe means for abortion, where that may be an issue.

6.. In order to avoid obliterating the postal service (that is set for 2017), the GOP is planning to rename the District of Columbia.

7.  To avoid promoting abortion, the GOP will rename the District of Columbia to new name: Gentrified Overseers' Plantation. GOP.

The postal service is grateful for the reprieve. GOP. Acronym for the Gentrified Overseers' Plantation. Get it? Fine with the postal service.

8.  Use it. Write to Mitch McConnell in support at 317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington GOP 20150. See phone, email and fax at

Trompe News Services.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Immigrants, resident others. Dhimmi in moderation. Reasonable non vengeful administration without humiliation or brutality.


How to deal with The Conquered; the Immigrant; the Other.
Alt-solution without deportation. 
The stay-with-burden solution by Dhimmi.
Historically, Islamic conquerors took a hard line in control. Consequences flowed from a legal system without quarter: objective, impersonal, minimal equity intervention to soften the result. That worked in Spain for centuries. Dhimmitude applied.  Muslim and Jew and Christian under the Caliphate each knew what could and could not be done. As to laws for the non-Muslim, the dhimmi, those laws provided that dhimmi could remain in the land, but the dhimmi had to pay a special tax, could not own land, had no say in governance. With the humiliation of those burdens, and the threat of persecution if the individual disobeyed, the dhimmi could live a life with that reduced financial reward and status, but otherwise undisturbed. This was, in effect, a harsh gangster-type protection system, not a gauzy happy time for all. But it provided a way to stay, a reason to go if the humiliation became too intolerable, and without slaughter, expulsions.  See Life as a Dhimmi in Medieval Islamic Spain,

There was another way out. If the dhimmi converted, then the status rose to that of the other Muslims. This was no utopian solution for multiculturalism, because the hierarchy of who was right was fixed (Islam was right). A balance was struck however. That is the key. And it lasted until the punitive-vengeful Christians took over: Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492 took the expulsion-death approach as to the Jews after retaking Spain.

Governments and the Other, as seen by the Already Here. What laws can foster national progress without killing the humanity in all of us. Old textbook.Pestalozzi Institute (now museum), Yverdons-les-Bains

We know that a moderately administered dhimmitude works. That is probably why certain government leaders here propose tracks to citizenship or guest worker status.  How to get that back on track, when punishment and enforcement are so much more personally satisfying, from above.
A. What recourse?

1.  Educate about the role of humiliation in making matters worse.

Humiliation added to defeat creates enemies with heightened fervor to restore their place, when and as possible, but a sub-canker.  See Germany's response to perceived humiliation in 1933 at  Glasgow Herald, article: Hitler's Manifesto: Unjust Humiliation of Germany. So came another war loss, another humiliation, and the fervor is still there, Update 2012: a German ombudsman will represent victims of the neo-Nazi Zwickau terror cell.,,15687020,00.html. Humans can take defeat better than humiliation.
Examples of humiliation working against the humiliator

Role of humiliation in ongoing conflict.  See studies on humiliation as aggravating conflict:  The Privilege of Humiliation: The Effects of Social Roles and Norms on Immediate and Prolonged Aggression in Conflict.  Do a simple search.

South Africa as elsewhere, "immigrants are targets of xenophobia, harassment, intimidation, immigrant police sweeps, and even geopolitically motivated attacks." See
Humiliation as a coercive tactic backfires.
2.  See our own history as less than enlightened. Western boorishness was a choice made early with the Crusades against the Cathars, to reject the humanity of the "other", see! Crier havot, cry havoc,, let slip the dogs of war,

  • Religion is not the answer; who is chosen, who is not. Women have been dhimmi as part of religion ever since patriarchy took over religion.
    •  Start with behavior, not ideology.  Shape behavior, and beliefs may or may not follow, but the path is safer.

Ask children to distinguish between these buildings. What is each for?

Mosque, Gibraltar.


Mont St. Michel, France. Also used as a prison


Buchenwald Labor Camp, Germany

Same tall steeple type things?

3.  Study Islam. Manipulation increases with ignorance.

Bear the burden, and remain. Administration not punishment. The idea was to use ongoing administration; not to removing the population from the path by slavery or death: the idea of the "superior" victor (the Muslim there) imposing economic and political limitation on the "inferior" vanquished (Christian or Jew), with economic, social and political benefit resulting if the person converted. See 'dhimmitude at; and discussed at Europe Road Ways Themes - Kosovo, Dhimmi status.

4.  Back off.

Seek consensus, not agreement. Consensus is giving permission for something, not necessarily agreeing with it. Ultimate dignity:  choice. How to live a life. Somebody can give permission for the other to have a small farm, zone for it, without agreeing with what he does. See Rob Sandelin's work at .

Scharfe family farm, Ottawa. Once immigrants.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Foundations of elections and voter exploitation. Update remedy: Elector limited vote on conscience without penalty.

Speak, O Peter Abelard. Speak, O Peter Lombard.
Speak of truth and processes to arrive at it. Please.
The media needs you.

Option for Electors: Free to vote conscience under given circumstances.

Trials are looming as to a President-Elect, with continuances prior granted and now should be finished. Popular vote went the other way. Let Electors in those two circumstances vote conscience, if they choose.

Update to Foundations of Elections and Voter Exploitation:.

Address voter remorse when a re-election is not feasible, by providing an option to Electors to vote conscience without penalty, and as they see fit -- based on their own responses to events. This would occur under two circumstances. 
    A. Frame the period between election and Electoral College as a constructive rescission period during which, under two circumstances, electors have the power to decide their vote based on conscience and not State or Party rule. 

    This constructive rescission is optional for each Elector, and only triggered in two circumstances:
    1. Where the popular vote went to the losing candidate in the national electoral count, as a check and balance to the resulting overall winner;
    2. Where there are outstanding, non-frivolous legal actions filed more than 12 months before the election, and against the winning candidate, that remain unresolved prior to the Electoral College count. 
    • Such trial outcomes may be relevant to the election, and in an abundance of caution must be settled or trial begun prior to the electoral college vote. 
    • If trial has commenced and is ongoing, then the Electoral College vote shall be postponed until trial conclusion.
    • All trial proceedings shall be public.  
    • In the interim, the current President shall serve until the electoral vote at the conclusion of the trial(s) and then until the Inauguration.

    B. For other exigent circumstances, or just on whim, the Elector may as currently provided cast a rogue vote, but such Elector shall remain subject to the penalties and fines of the State or Party as are currently in effect, so long as the meet Constitutional muster. 


Initial post: Foundations of elections as exploiting voters. 
I.  Overview.  The trajectory of election 2016 is over. What did that election represent? Did 2016 represent overall position support, such as a) repudiation of an establishment; or b) rejection of current healthcare laws. Or did 2016 represent instead the perfection of spin creating a miasma of negativity, just going in the wrong direction, all is terrible, without accountability for merits. What facts support those conclusions?  Consider the endless reruns of film loops of speeches, interactions, the dogged reporting on polls, talking heads talking their heads off about what people merely thought, without vetting, as though bald beliefs count without vetting.

Foundations of statements matter. Or do they?

  • The media did not address much in 2016 that counted as to the functioning of democracy:  a)  veracity in issue presentation, b) cogency, and c) context of persuasion tactics, as a modern and old issue. 
II.  Tools for a reasonable degree of public service over the airwaves. Investigate the words.

A.  Middle Ages to the rescue. Uses of logic and rhetoric. Go back to Peter Abelard 1079-1142 CE.  Sic et non.  Yes and no. See  Use established liberal arts for logic, analysis of rhetoric, in compiling arguments pro and con any issue, and in order to be able to resolve differences.

Go back to Peter Lombard 1095-116- CE, scholastic theologian, for dialectics in how to resolve disagreements in a rational way, see There the focus is religion, but the process is what counts.  Enable a person to vet an argument before committing to a result, before the tripwire trips and someone becomes a mere follower.

B.  The science of spin in our culture:  let the people in on the secret. Why should they be guinea pigs for free?

1. Start with  Edward Bernays, 1928 or so. A video.

2. Move to advertising psychological research and businesses that conduct it, see now a science.  What do advertisers of any product do (including a presidential product, because this is indeed a sales matter and probably should trigger veracity controls on speech as in any commercial matter)?

3.  Go back to the simple techniques Americans were warned against in WWII, and still effective. See Institute for Propaganda Analysis.   Find the devices of persuasion, at

  •  Propaganda defense: Spot the tactics. See how the techniques are even ready for mass understanding. For the pop summary of propaganda, see

4.  See what techniques pass under the radar of many people. See 'false equivalence,' where merely equal time is given to speeches, regardless of the weight based on merit. Where is investigative journalism when it comes to political speech? Surely we have crossed the line into commercial speech when people pay advertisers and buy time.

Meme alert. Repetition feeds the beast, in the currency of memes. See Wiki for Everyman's Memes. See

II.  Note that none of these analyses of "propaganda" include in the category a discussion on the merits, the pros and cons of an issue where people can check the reliability, veracity of the claims made. That kind of methodology is a counter-force to propaganda, and also are longstanding in importance (now overshadowed).

Medieval times, whether religious topics then, or political now. Reboot logic, thinking, facts.

III.  Role of Media. 

Media has abdicated its information role, condones exploitation, perhaps to avoid charges of abridging free speech. That is misguided. It is only the government that is restricted from abridging free speech; private entities can use their own judgment for their own reasons, as they already do, and I would add, abridging or weighing political speech should require disclosure of what has been omitted, corrected, or should be. See

  • Rant. Exploitation, whether by gutting Dodd Frank, or keeping people immobile, hungry, sick so they cannot compete, is inconsistent with longterm stable democracy. Education, if not in schools (no common core?), then by media can recalibrate justice for people who may well not have the educational background to assess, vet, critique candidates in their own interest. 
Explore, before this election fades. Does media have any obligation to counter exploitation, or is politics just another used car-type transaction-with-talking points. Media itself is exploited by the exploiters.  Media, then, also has the power -- and obligation -- as a baseline in all walks of life -- to promote fair dealing. Any less promotes instability, injustice that goes in circles. 

Disclosure. I respect and honor the office of President of the United States.  I do not, at this point, respect the methods and mindset of the man who has been elected, and I believe largely because media left those largely unquestioned, to hold that office. I have every hope I can come to respect the man who chose those methods, but if humilitation, bandwagon, fact concealment, disinformation, sexual exploitation,  intimidation, name-calling and condoning violence continue, that respect will not arise. Will the manner of the man rise to a level worthy of the office.

  • Media guidelines. For the future: Watch spin. The science of spin. Rather than reporting only on what someone came to believe (polling), after years of hammering and pejoratives over the airwaves, report instead on what persuasion techniques were used by each side for the voter person to believe that way. 
    • This media can and should do as part of basic voter information, to enable voters to guard against their own exploitation. Do a timeline. When was the issue first raised. Who raised it. What facts. How did facts change. Bait and switch. Innuendo. Fair dealing. As important in politics as in commerce.

Why the need to counter voter exploitation? Because elections are, have become commercial in nature. The candidate, the seller, making sales pitches to close the deal.  The voter, the buyer, choosing a candidate without effective means of testing the good faith and truth of the sales pitch. Even without cause, let the voter constructively rescind in a given time frame, constructively by giving the electors the option to do so under the given circumstances. Allow a path.
    Where those circumstances do not exist, a vote against the rules, Party or State, shall be with civil consequence for usual faithless electors, as set by the party or state, so long as those are within Constitutional guidelines. 

    Saturday, November 5, 2016

    Faithless Elector rule. An elector may vote conscience, subject to State civil penalties that meet Constitutional standards.

    I.  Post-election update: Re:  Workings of the Electoral College. Are the following consistent; how to enact, if no current specific provision in effect for interpretation: Further background, see

    A.  An Elector may vote his or her conscience.  The right of Electors to vote their conscience shall not be denied.  The State may exercise its own options to ensure compliance with its rules, so long as those are Constitutional.  Trigger point:  See  [Vet for reliability in reporting, analysis -- I just found Wiki, must be more]

    B.  State Recourse against Electoral College rogue voting: must pass Constitutional muster.
    • There shall be no automatic penalty that is contrary to Constitutional rights. No strict liability where the result is so onerous or arbitrary or punitive in this civil area as to violate the Constitution.  
    • A State that is winner-take-all may forego a vote entirely on the first ballot, as a means of countering an effort by a Faithless Elector to vote conscience on the first ballot.
    • All other Electors, from States not winner-take-all, may vote conscience on the first ballot, subject to the fines or penalties as are permissible.
    • A rogue Elector shall not be subject to criminal investigation or criminal penalty, loss of liberty or property. Rogue voting is not a crime.

    II.  Pre-election interest: Still relevant.  A State may forego an actual vote if it is a winner-take-all State, and such status was in effect and duly publicized at least 90 days prior to the Election.

    A.  Overview:  The Electoral College faces the issue in a close election of the Faithless Elector.

    How binding shall be a State's decision to consider itself winner-take-all. Does that entitlement to winner-take-all mean that Electors in such state do not need to vote at all, with their bound votes merely submitted for the count instead. In such case, can they then go off on a frolic of their own, liability-free for a second or later ballot, if neither candidate wins on the first ballot?   Must Electors vote on a first ballot even where they later disagree with their own pledge to follow the State's rules?
    "The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that Electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, political parties may extract pledges from electors to vote for the parties' nominees."

    Conclusion:  Lawyers, prepare to argue that winner-take-all requires no actual vote on a first ballot; the winner iis entitled to all those votes by fiat, without additional step or objection by individual Faithless Electors.  They have to wait until the second ballot.

    I.  Rules of the Electoral College:

    It is useful to check the wording of the actual law or rule apparently applicable in any situation, before assuming a refusal of an elector to vote is a problem to anyone.

    Totem pole hearsay says the elector says he will not vote as an elector. Is he required to vote at all in a winner-take-all state?  Photo: Off-road in Romania.

    II.  Immediate issue:

    News says, I read, that some Washington State elector refuses, in advance, to vote for Hillary Clinton even if she wins his State of Washington.  See

    More news, informal:  This elector says, says Rachel Maddow in finest totem-pole hearsay tradition  [from this morning, at rerun of her Friday evening show], that the recalcitrant elector plans to pay the $1,000 penalty (where is that? where are the rules?) rather than cast his vote Hillary's way.

    III.  Collect the information:

    A.  Where are the rules for the Electoral College? Start at

    B. Is Washington a winner-take-all State? Yes. See site:
    "48 states, including Washington, use a “winner-take-all” system; the presidential ticket that receives the most votes in the state are entitled to all of Washington’s electoral votes (emphasis supplied)."
    C. If a candidate wins in winner-take-all, then there need be no act of voting by the individual electors of that state?  Looks that way.
    If all that is so, then Yes. No need to take vote. The candidate is "entitled" with no further action specified.

    III. Discussion.

    A. Not so fast on strict construction of the meaning of a word. There are miles to go before we sleep,  in this our own electoral forest. Keep this site handy: the National Association of Secretaries of State. (NASS).  An issue may return to roost at the State level. Be prepared.
    • The Electoral College site suggests on its own a broader latitude, suggesting that a vote is indeed needed (despite the plain language otherwise).  So, if that holds, is the obligation of an elector merely a matter of good faith??
    B.  The website indeed addresses what happens if an elector does not vote as pledged. Elector on a frolic of his own.

    But that means a requirement to vote in the first place in a winner-take-all state, on the first ballot; which interpretation is contested here.  
    The Magic Website and its term, Faithless Electors:
    "Some state laws provide that so-called 'faithless Electors' may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under the Constitution. No Elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged."
    *****"Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of Electors have voted as pledged."
    C.  The site even provides a tentative non-binding list of the kinds of fees and penalties a State may or may not exact from a Faithless Elector.  See site, and its own disclaimer against itself. Perhaps there is no penalty at all??  In Washington, the stakes are merely a party pledge and a thousand bucks.

    So an Elector can throw an election by ante-ing up $1,000.00 in Washington State. Could happen. .

    What good is a pledge otherwise in a winner-take-all state> 

    Monday, October 31, 2016

    Is Weiner Pix Texting Psychopathology, Update. Paraphilia is now Paraphilic Disorder DSM V. Comey. You messed up.

    Paraphilia in Politics. Weiner Pix-Texting. Sexting Psychopathology.  

    Anthony Weiner's behavior now arises to  Paraphilic Disorder. Update October 2016. Consider DSM-V. 

    Topic: The behavior of Anthony Weiner in
    a) now perhaps committing a crime (sexual exploitation of a minor);  and
    b) furthering that activity using a computer with others' material on it,
    c) disregarding the negative likely consequences affecting involuntary third parties.

    Effect: These behaviors arise to the level of Paraphilic Disorder according to DSM-V, suggests this Everyman's Observer.  Anthony Weiner's disregard of the harsh negative effects of his storing his means of communication on computers where others' information is stored seems to require a strong diagnosis of pathology. 
    • It is predictable that his behavior would invite legal examination in drawing in a minor, if he did; it is predictable, then, that material of others on his means of communication would then be exposed.  
    • Did he also back up the other's information there, or did Huma Abedin do that herself, and did she use that computer as a primary sender as to some or all? There is now a serious impact on voters, even if not Weiner's own voters any more. 
    Director Comey in mis-joining two separate investigations:  Three fatal flaws. 
    1) A three-week delay in your learning from your staff of the emails on Mr. Weiner's computer(s) (possibly pertinent to another investigation, Clinton), and  
    2) The resulting three-week delay in getting the necessary additional warrant for examination of the other emails (is there really probable cause here, or did the dump put pressure on that issue as well?), displays incompetence as a non-partisan leader (Hatchery).  
    3)  Your scantily clad Friday night news dump disclosing your late knowledge but before a warrant had even been issued, confirms it. People, vote fairness here. That is the only matter which is certain.

     Weiner Pix-Texting. Is it a Psychopathology?
    Sexting diagnoses. What category?

    Is it mere Paraphilia (one example in a spectrum of non-normative sexual behavior),
    When does mere deriving pleasure from a behavior
     reach the clinical-intervention level of Paraphilic Disorder.
    Ask DSM-V.

    Either way, the issue  of identification of a situation-condition soon gets caught in technicalities. The important matter, however, with the new DSM-V is the nature of any harm caused by the behavior. As to Anthony Weiner, make a little list:  These descriptions and consequences, and not categories of some manual, will decide a candidacy:

    • Descriptive: To some, the Weiner Conundrum Syndrome is exploitive, foisting reasonably anticipated edgy visual and text on others without advance consent; it is a power play. You are worthless, I do what I want, is the communication. Can't catch me. I am beyond accusation. It disrespects women, is clueless, says the wise Pelosi. Keep going:  Flawed candidate judgment, self-control, trust diminution. Can one who uses women in this way be trusted to represent their interests against other impositional behavior.
    • Pathology:  Not necessarily, but with the negative impact by his behavior on his constituents' confidence in his judgment, trustworthiness, the harm he does to himself may tip the descriptive to the pathological.
    • And so the media and chatter go on.  My interest in what concrete diagnoses from the DSM-V might address Mr. Weiner's situation. The Pope says he will not judge one group of relationships, and Buddha proposes a similar non-judgmental approach: generosity, compassion, wisdom, see
    Update on possible diagnoses-from-news: Even the overview in the NYT, offering possible speculative diagnoses based on the news coverage,; includes no reference by a mental health professional to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V, current).  What cubby would they use in the DSM-V.  They refer to an addiction with neurological roots possibility, but sexual addiction is not in the DSM-V, we think. Mere indiscretion blown big because of our own fears of the topic?

    A.  Meanwhile, fill in the gaps as to the categories, the professional angles seen by an amateur.  So far, these seem to be so, and the good news is that we are beyond (in the DSM-V) trying to list what is normal and what is not.  What matters is the impact, the consequence.  There pathology enters in, not before.

    1.  Paraphilia in itself, a non-normative sexual preference, is not necessarily psychopathological.  It only becomes psychopathological where it cannot be contained or changed and there is danger or harm to others, or to the person -- including his extreme distress, where the person becomes virtually incapacitated.  Such is the change in analysis in the new DSM-V.  No longer are mere behaviors listed and called paraphilia, and so stigmatized.   The added factors are needed to create the now stand-along paraphilic disorder.

    2.  Analysis of sexual behavior, and what to categorize as a pathology, has changed.  Mere paraphilia, or non-normative sexual behavior, is now not a psychopathology in itself, requiring or suggesting clinical intervention.  There must be more.  The behavior must either cause distress or impairment to the individual, or bring on a likelihood of or actual harm to the person or others. Then the behavior qualifies as more than mere paraphilia, non-normative sexual behavior.  It becomes paraphilic disorder.  That is the new and only category in the new DSM V.  See the changes in the DSM-V from DSM-IV.  *

    3.  That means that the mental health professional community guided by the Diagnistic and Statistical Manual no longer list what is norm-al, and what is not. What individuals find rewarding and pleasurable vary, without a listing needed, and may be left alone.  But if they overstep the harm category, to self or others, broadly, then pathology analysis may step in. 

    B.  What harm in his displays?  Can it be broadly drawn, where some are exploiting their receipt of pix-texts for their own financial gain, even now.  Harm to them?  They are making bundles. 

    Go past the ones riding his coat-tails, or jock-elastics.

    Anthony Weiner: his behavior in finding pleasure in pix-texting is not enough in itself to disqualify him as a candidate on grounds of a pathology.  Instead, what may disqualify this candidate in the view of an electorate are issues unrelated necessarily to any psychopathology -- a pattern of poor judgment and exploitation in doing it, repeating despite the public eye likely to follow. 

    1) Weiner's failure to disclose material facts in a timely way, before seeking supporters' support, 

    2) Weiner's flawed ability to analyze a totality, predict consequence, weigh, see his behavior as exploitive, and change his worldview if he really valued elective office, supposedly serving the public.  

    C.  If he tried to change and failed this time, can we assume that the behavior will be an ongoing indulgence when he represents the City of New York. What does he propose to ensure, yes, ensure, he does not humiliate himself and exploit others in the future.

    Impact on voters:  Would he describe himself with the diagnosis of paraphilic disorder.  Now, would even that disqualify him?  What disorders disqualify a person from office?  This one? Not necessarily. Wait and see. That's why we have voters.  And why we need educated, informed voters.
    In your court, sir. 

    *  Changes in DSM. See DSM-V.  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, see

    I. Old DSM-IV.

    A.  Paraphilia is something like intense arousal to atypical objects or situations, with a spectrum range from the harmless to the threatening. Nobody has found a bright line between unusual or merely out-of-norm sexual tastes and paraphilia. Amateurs head to Wikipedia's Encyclopedia for a reasonable overview --  Learn that the behavior qualitatively may or may not be illegal-criminal.  It may be a mere choice, something that pleases the person. To change the behavior (as when there is harm or other pressure to change), requires long term therapy, and there should be subject to immediate interventions if there is danger to self or others, or the activities may create legal problems for themselves, see 

    B.  Paraphilic Disorder.  The behavior-spectrum paraphilia rises to paraphilic disorder as a matter of consequences, not a description of the act itself: Tthe person experiences distress from it, or is impaired by it, or the behavior is or is likely to cause harm to others.

    New DSM-V.  These two categories, found in the old DSM IV and leading to different conclusions as to treatment,  have been combined into one category where both the qualititative description (a place on the spectrum) and the consequences occur or are likely to.  That is the new Paraphilic Disorder.

    That, in the new DSM-V, leaves the first category, the mere paraphilia, as meaning simply not in the norm.  There is no pejorative.  A person may have non-normative sexual preferences, but no harm no foul.  Paraphilia does not mean psychopathological. 

    The old qualitative description of Paraphilia of DSM IV, the description;  was separated from the consequence side, the old Paraphilic Disorder of DSM IV