Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More incompetent than spy.

I was reading about Mata Hari. Apparently she was more of a dupe, than a conspirator or spy. It reminds me of Emile Zola and Captain Dreyfuss. Esterhazy was the actual spy(double agent)for whom Captain Dreyfuss was the perfect foil. Captain Dreyfuss is forever a symbol of right and wrong. And Emile Zola was the Archimedes of his time, a man who had convictions and was fearless in standing up for them. The fury that I feel that Esterhazy was allowed to flee to England after Emile Zola's campaign to free the innocent Dreyfuss grabbed the publics attention.

Mata Hari and her execution during World War I

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rick Young and Freedom

Bobby Kennedy once said that Freedom isn't what you allow yourself, it is what you allow the people who disagree with you.
Our friends determine who we are. My best friend in college was a Young Socialist named Rick Young. I liked him because he believed in things and had the courage of his convictions. We argued all the time and he kept my mind sharp because he made me defend what I believed in. He is the son of two decent people Sam Young, A Methodist Minister and Hymnal composer. A Professor of Church Music at Emory. Rick's Dad introduced me to Robert Shaw the Conductor of Atlanta Symphony. His Mom was Majorie Young, a wonderful thoughtful woman who didn't have to think about being a good mother, because she was born for the job. Anyone who met her knew that. We need more people like the Youngs in the world. I was lucky enough that they shared their world with me. If I show kindness to another it is in Thanks for the kindness you showed me.

Jim Garrison and Lee Harvey Oswald

I remember how Republicans attacked Jim Garrison for suggesting that Republicans were involved in a conspiracy to assasinate President Kennedy. He pointed out two people in particular, who had close ties to Anti-Castro Cubans, David Ferrie and Clay Shaw both of whom he contended were members of the CIA. Denials from the CIA and the Justice Department confirmed that Republicans were right.
Long after Jim's death the picture above came to light, proving that David Ferrie knew Lee Harvey Oswald. We also know that the Russians always believed that Oswald was CIA. That is from Kremlin Files. We also knew that on his own volition George Bush Sr. went to the Dallas Police and volunteered to help and provided his own alibi for the time of the killing. When no one asked him for an alibi. This was at a point that we know that Bush was CIA and has lied about it ever since. We now know that Clay Shaw and David Ferrie were CIA. So the several membeers CIA committed perjury. We also know that J Edgar Hoover committed Perjury.
Jim Garrison was an honest man and he told the truth.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

TE Lawrence in Arabia: A boy with an imagination makes history.

Lawrence of Arabia, French Movie Poster, 1963' Art - |

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. Thomas Edward Lawrence (August 16, 1888-May 19, 1935)

Making Lawrence of Arabia - AramcoWorld

Lowell Thomas and Lawrence in Arabia, his stories would create the myth of Lawrence.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The difference between Justice and Right and Wrong

We now know that Dr. Sam Shepard was innocent, during the investigation of Marilyn Shepard's murder. The police interviewed Richard Eberling, the Shepard's caretaker and fixit man within hours of the murder. During the interview, Eberling volunteered why his blood "might" be found in the house. He said that he had cut his hand on a nail at the house and showed it to the interviewing officer. A trail of blood was found in the house, from the Shepard's bedroom on the second floor going downstairs and out of the house. When the police examined Sam Shepard they found that he had no cuts or wounds on his body. Richard Eberling was found to have pawned one of Marilyn's rings.
20 years later Eberling was convicted of another murder and suspected of several others.

Friday, September 3, 2010

In Remembrance of Things Past

Two people have passed away who deserve to be remembered:

I saw "Lord of the Flies" when I was 6-years-old. Not a movie typically chosen for someone so young, but my mother wanted us to be well educated and exposed to things which required us to think. She took us to bookstores and always indulge our desire to read. After watching the movie she took me to the bookstore and I bought a copy of the story on which the movie was based.
I remember being able to understand that a world of children without adults was a dangerous thing, certainly no Utopia. Though they started working together, individual selfishness sabotaged their mutually beneficial effort. I remember understanding that when Jack chose to hunt and be a hunter, it cost them a chance to be rescued, because he didn't keep his word, to man and maintain the signal fire. 
Honor character matter, I was always taught by my mother, Ruth O'Hara and my Nana. But mostly I remember that my Mom had a boyfriend, Naval Commander Burke Lucas, who emphasized that a boy should want to grow up to be an officer and a gentleman. I remember that he said that if you feel that you have to prove that you are a man, then you aren't one.

I remember a picture of William Golding speaking to a group of boys , about the age of the boys in "Lord of the Flies," seated around a table, obviously in some sort of classroom setting. From their dress, quite possibly at one of England's famed "Public" Schools(in England Public means Private), Eton, Harrow, Rugby. Well, one of the boys has a book in front of him, which is barely discernible, Vladamir Nobakov's "Lolita". I would like to think that some little scamp did that to be clever. Which goes to prove why William Golding deserved his Nobel Prize.

James Aubrey Tregidgo died at age 62 of pancreatic cancer. He was one of my first heroes. He spoke and I listened. He thought while others didn't. He cared when other couldn't. He was more of a man than those who opposed him, he was logical and thoughtful. Being six years older than me, merely meant it was very easy for me to look up to him. His death was hardly noticed by others, it was impossible to overlook for me. We'll miss you Ralph. You were an example of the kind of person I wanted to be.

Ian Brown of Walnut Grove, California. As a boy, his brother was killed in an accident in Venezuela(their Dad worked for an Oil Company) which nearly took his life. He and his brother had been walking along a steep incline and horsing around. His brother slipped and fell down the mountain. Ian blamed himself for something which couldn't possibly be his fault. Though his life slipped into a downward spiral, Ian maintained a certain nobility. He never ceased helping others and always protected the weak. When any of the lost kids he was with were hurt or sick he would stay in the hospital with them until they were well. But he couldn't help blaming himself for something which wasn't his fault. I guess Ian needed his brother to tell him that. At least now he knows and he has now finally found the happiness that escaped him in life which he truly deserved.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts
Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").
Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.
Quantify, wherever possible.
If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.
"Occam's razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.
Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?
Additional issues are
Conduct control experiments - especially "double blind" experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.
Check for confounding factors - separate the variables.
Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric
Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.
Argument from "authority".
Argument from adverse consequences (putting pressure on the decision maker by pointing out dire consequences of an "unfavourable" decision).
Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).
Special pleading (typically referring to god's will).
Begging the question (assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased).
Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).
Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).
Misunderstanding the nature of statistics (President Eisenhower expressing astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!)
Inconsistency (e.g. military expenditures based on worst case scenarios but scientific projections on environmental dangers thriftily ignored because they are not "proved").
Non sequitur - "it does not follow" - the logic falls down.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - "it happened after so it was caused by" - confusion of cause and effect.
Meaningless question ("what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?).
Excluded middle - considering only the two extremes in a range of possibilities (making the "other side" look worse than it really is).
Short-term v. long-term - a subset of excluded middle ("why pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?").
Slippery slope - a subset of excluded middle - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile).
Confusion of correlation and causation.
Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack..
Suppressed evidence or half-truths.
Weasel words - for example, use of euphemisms for war such as "police action" to get around limitations on Presidential powers. "An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chris McCandless

I just saw "Into the Wild" a few days ago. Since then I've been reading opinions from people who, with the utmost profundity, tell us what a fool he was. Not to me. I like Chris, because he had the guts to be different. He took huge risks and paid for all his own mistakes. A debt paid in full. His reached exceeded his grasp.

I would have been the lucky one to number him among my friends. As to his critics, I consider myself lucky not to number you among my, or his, friends.