Sunday, June 25, 2017

Three Intriguing lessons

Three Intriguing lessons 
Sen. John McCain said Tuesday that Americans who are "stupid" enough to still want to travel to North Korea should be required to sign a waiver absolving the U.S. government of any blame should they be harmed while there. Are you kidding ? I think no American should be allowed to fly to North Korea - Period.  For a few days we have been perplexed by the story of Otto Warmbier and his tragic death.. While going there are many risks like being sent to a labor camp for "stealing" something what Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American college student did .  Warmbier didn't deserve to die for what he did, but he should have known better anyway.  Mr Warmbier was detained on January 2, 2016 at Pyongyang airport after authorities claimed that he had tried to steal a banner containing a political slogan from the wall of his Pyongyang hotel.A month later he read an alleged “confession” which appeared to have been prepared for him. (1)>>He said that he had stolen the sign as a “trophy” for a US church with the "connivance of the US administration" in order to "harm the work ethic and motivation of the Korean people".“I understand the severity of my crime, and I have no idea what sort of penalty I may face,” he said.“I have made the single worst decision of my life, but I am only human.”In March 2016 an hour-long trial saw Mr Warmbier found guilty of committing a “hostile act” against the reclusive state. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. (1.2)>>Ebony Magazine author " The Kinfolk Collective" did a vary interesting piece on the Warmbier story . Ebony was quoting the noting of "white privilege" contributing for bad behavior in a hostile country. Shocked by the severity of the sentence would be the first reaction , but the objective is we don't know exactly what he did . Second many westerners do travel to North Korea , do get to go home if they follow the guidelines of the North Korean government. It seems to me their is more to this story . (2)>>Was Mr. Warmbier "spying" ?  Here is what gets me wried up . During Otto's ordeal , it was during the Obama Administration . There was no attempt by the United Sates government to get Otto out of North Korean hands . There were many opportunities for hostage release { Negotiations ?}  Remember 1o other hostages were released under Obama from N Korea .Was there an exception? . Why not Otto Warmbier? President Trump said Tuesday that college student Otto Warmbier — imprisoned by North Korea during the Obama administration — might be alive today if the United States had “brought him home sooner.”“It’s a total disgrace what happened to Otto. It should never, ever be allowed to happen. And frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different,” Trump said during a ​White House ​meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. (3)>>So it's a HARD LESSON . What ever the reason for Mr Warmbier detainment . Every American should stay out of North Korea . Don't do anything stupid enough to get you seen as a spy .It is time to make it illegal for Americans to travel to North Korean and Iran - both of which routinely kidnap travelers for ransom or U.S. concessions. 


I swear some of these "stories" in our news lately are out of something Charles Fort could write .A teenage girl who sent her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to kill himself asked a judge last Friday to keep statements she made to police out of her involuntary manslaughter trial.The request was among almost two dozen motions filed by lawyers for (4)>>Michelle Carter, now 19, in Taunton Juvenile Court, The Boston Globe reported.The Plainville woman is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, of Mattapoisett. .. WAIT HOLD it . It's 2017 , she is "charged" for something that she supposedly did in 2014 ? Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz announced last Friday that Carter, 20, is guilty of involuntary manslaughter after placing Conrad Roy III in a situation that led to his suicide in 2014.Legal experts say the decision could have national implications as courts grapple with how to apply long-standing laws as technological changes have taken interactions online. In Carter’s case, the ruling suggests that in effect, she was whispering in Roy’s ear, “kill yourself, kill yourself,” said Laurie Levenson, a criminal law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. And it essentially says that those words can lead someone to suicide.Carter's lawyer had argued that her texts were free speech protected by the First Amendment and didn't cause Roy to kill himself. BUT HER SENTENCE IS A DOUBLE STANDARD ! Yeah, the 20-year sentence for a minor is extreme. I remember back in September 2012, when 15-year old Audrie Pott committed suicide after pictures of a gang rape of her at a party were posted online. Three teenage boys were convicted - two received 30-day sentences to be served on weekends and the other was sentenced to 45 consecutive days. Not for "manslaughter". It didn't receive nearly the outrage this one has. I think there should be a new law - Extreme Bullying or something like that in these cases. It's challenges the mind how , why the Judge , Jury went to lock her up . (5)>>It CAN NOT JUST BE Michelle's OWN FAULT  . Just where were Conrad Roy III's Parents ?? They must have known their son had problems .The verdict is troubling, taken to it's logical conclusion telling someone to kill themselves could be enough to get you convicted even if the statement were made in some fraught circumstances (such as the ones described in this case). I've read a lot of the texts as well and it appears the girl has serious mental health issues and initially tried to get him help, only later when he insisted he needed it to be happy did she get on team suicide . Then there is the very real point that the judge based his conviction on a phone call there is no record of. I'm sure they will appeal this since it indicates she is convicted by self incrimination and here say. "The prosecution made this phone call, as described in Ms. Carter’s text, the heart of its case. And the judge accepted it as factual and incriminating." The problem is that if all the texts are taken in context she was undergoing severe mental health issues herself. And the description of her call to the friend indicates she wished she had done more to help. There may be much more to that phone call, did he ask her over and over again to help him keep his convictions up and then get angry when she did not, so she 'helped' him as requested? We don't know, no recording of that call. So based on her text to a friend where she is blaming herself for what happened she is convicted of manslaughter. I suspect we need more nuanced laws to deal with a situation like this. At trial, the prosecution maintained Carter could have done something to stop Roy, while her defense argued that Roy knew what he was doing. His mother disagrees with Carter’s legal team. “I don’t believe she has a conscience,” Lynn Roy tells Moriarty. “I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions ‘cause she knew exactly what she was doing and what she said.”

3.  Philando Castile . BLIND JUSTICE .

The last eight years . America's police departments have fallen under scrutiny . We have to thank cell phone technology for documenting police brutality -excessive force . Most of all catching on camera that our men in blue can be "murders" too on the beat . Case in point . (6)>>The national outcry is still vary strong . The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop was acquitted on all charges by a jury Friday, a decision that came nearly a year after the encounter was partially streamed online to a rapt nation in the midst of a painful reckoning over shootings by law enforcement.Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile’s car over in Falcon Heights, a suburb near Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the officer later said he thought Castile matched the description of a suspect in a robbery. The stop quickly escalated.Yanez fired into the car, saying later he thought Castile was going for his gun, a claim Castile’s girlfriend, sitting in the seat next to him, disputed. She began streaming the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live. Two things are evident from the new material: Castile’s every move was calculated to maintain safety and survive the encounter, and Yanez was responsible for turning the situation deadlyCastile was cooperative. He pulled over immediately. He did not try to flee, resist or even complain. When the officer asked for his license and insurance, he handed over proof of insurance. He calmly and politely volunteered: “Sir, I have to tell you I do have a firearm on me.” Yanez told Castile: “Don’t reach for it then.” Per the government’s evidence, Castile reached for his wallet. He even tried to explain this, telling the officer “I was reaching for –”, but was cut off by Yanez ordering: “Don’t pull it out,” referring to the gun. Continuing to communicate, Castile responded: “I’m not pulling it out.” Reynolds chimed in, saying “He’s not –”, but Yanez opened fire. The result is that Castile was shot for doing what the officer asked: getting his license.  Crazy that's why the verdict in this case was so wrong . The particulars of how the police justified the killing of Philando Castile ? Castile was killed for a reason his mother summed up a while ago: he was “black in the wrong time and place”.


So we have three stories that are mind boggling as to what they happened that way . Each case there was no justice  . Either the jury went the other way in court , or the the media jumped . Justice as a kind of Platonic truth, and truth as the less theatrically exciting cousin to lies, political and personal.  The system is more about winning than it is about truth seeking. Justice goes to the strong, the rich, the powerful. Disadvantage individuals are left out.  Some commit stupid acts and find themselves in the spotlight . Some of us might like to believe that things do have a reason for occurring, especially when the incident has caused us actual loss or psychological distress.  Each one of these lives touches US regardless if we go on with our daily business . Karma is simply cause-and-effect. This idea that “everything happens for a reason” If there is such a thing as divine justice or karmic retribution, the world we live in is not the place to find it.

Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday


(1)>>He said that he had stolen the sign as a “trophy” for a US church with the "connivance of the US administration".  While the "confession" was probably North Korean , the question of Otto being forced to read it in the North Korean court is a bit mind boggling . Sure it was typical propaganda  A bit over a year ago, as Warmbier's sentence hit the news, some media outlets used it as a teachable moment, though the exact point was never all that clear. On Comedy Central's The Nightly Show, host Larry Wilmore opined that the lesson was "Frat Bro Privilege not valid in totalitarian dystopias."(1.2)>>Ebony Magazine . Here is the best quote from the article  :
 Headline after headline has highlighted that Otto Warmbier is a student. His Linkedin profile states that he is majoring Economics with a minor in Global Sustainability and is a Managing Director of an “alternative investment fund.” A man reared in this country who studies the globe as a part of his higher education curriculum must have been at least passingly aware of the notoriously strained relationship between the United States and North Korea. Surely he had read the stories of Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller, other White American men arrested in North Korea for “petty crimes” who were subsequently sentenced to hard labor.

 (2)>>Was Mr. Warmbier "spying" ?  Several thousand us citizens visit the DPRK {NORTH KOREA }  each year without any incident. among the ones who are detained/captured/etc, typically for religious purposes or reporters lying about their credentials. even then, every account of a prisoner released is that they were treated reasonably well during their detainment. They're basically kept near Pyongyang in a solitary prison meant only for foreigners. However some are "detained" for certain reasons . And now the six million dollar question. Was Warmbier an Israeli spy?{ see this URL for an interesting note by VETERANS TODAY short URL  trying to find any reasons why Otto was arrested . Who knows, but it is likely that someone in North Korea thought he was.he U.S. State Department strongly warns U.S. citizens not to travel to North Korea/the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), though travel there is not illegal.“U.S. citizens in the DPRK are at serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement,” according to the U.S. Department of State. “This system imposes unduly harsh sentences for actions that would not be considered crimes in the United States and threatens U.S. citizen detainees with being treated in accordance with ‘wartime law of the DPRK.’ It's highly unlikely ANYTHING the regime has said about Otto Warmbier is factual. He probably didn't "steal" that poster in exchange for some church promising him a $10,000 car as his family is reportedly "well off". More likely he was randomly retained while boarding the plane home to be used as a political bargaining chip for future purposes. He was an American in the wrong place, at the wrong time. He naively went to one of the most dangerous places on THE PLANET out of a desire "for an adventure" as stated by his dad. He sadly Otto fell prey to some ridiculous "tour" touted by "Young Pioneer Tours" which lures ignorant people (as it's now evident) who are ill informed, or just simply reckless. Why his parents agreed & paid for the trip (presumably) is beyond logic.....(3)>>So it's a HARD LESSON . Mar 18, 1994 - Which brings us to Michael Fay, American teenager in Singapore. ...During the spring of 1994, Americans were gripped by an incident in Singapore which unexpectedly became a cause celebre: the caning of Michael Fay, who was sentenced for his role in vandalizing property in Singapore. The sentence caused outrage in the United States and even President Bill Clinton became involved in the court proceedings. The seemingly minor incident became such an issue that it threatened to derail the normally friendly bilateral relationship. The Singaporean government eventually lowered the penalty to four lashes from six; the caning was administered on May 5, 1994. (4)>>Michelle Carter.Now, this kind of tells me she wasn't as evil as some comments note:  "Days before his death, Carter urged him to get help. “But the mental hospital would help you. I know you don’t think it would but I’m telling you, if you give them a chance, they can save your life,” she wrote."  She probably got tired of him telling her he wanted to commit suicide, and then the other texting that got her convicted. Her lawyer did her a disservice by not accepting a jury trial. Carter and Roy had met in Florida two years earlier while visiting relatives. Their relationship largely consisted of text messages and emails. They hadn't seen each other in more than a year when Roy died, even though they lived only about 50 miles apart in Massachusetts, Carter in Plainville, and Roy in Mattapoisett.At the most she should have been charged with aggravated assault: Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another or to cause serious bodily injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly, with an extreme indifference to the value of human life. She was a minor, 17, at the time. She needed psychiatric care and to be banished from social media for life. Also, she should sue her attorneys for malpractice for allowing her to waive a jury trial. She never would have been convicted by a jury!!   (5)>>It CAN NOT JUST BE Michelle's OWN FAULT  . Just where were Conrad Roy III's Parents ?? The younger Roy, who had struggled with anxiety and depression and attempted suicide before, was found dead in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014. He poisoned himself with carbon monoxide. Just were there any indications to Conrad's parents that something was going on . His  Parents should have taken an interest in their own teenage boy . Considering the implications of suicide . His parents are now wondering what could they have done.  This is a case where adults should have intervene to provide help and guidance. Holding children responsible for not acting like adults doesn't seem to be just.      (6)>>The national outcry is still vary strong .   As a BLACK LIVES MATTER sympathizer  . I know that there is black on black crime , gangs , etc & . The question of poverty . Saving the lives of all lives matter as such . The black community has suffered racism, lynchings . That stigma resonates when ever the law takes actions against the notion of police brutality . Reality is that many of the these black men who met their deaths under the hands of a white Police officer where "unarmed" in many cases .Common sense, I mean even the common sense that a complete moron would have, would tell you that Castile was not aggressive. Even if Castile WAS the robbery suspect, the panicked actions of Yanez identify him as someone who is not qualified to carry a fire-arm. I wouldn't even trust him as a Wal-Mart greeter. Is Yanez guilty of murder? The 7 shots fired at point blank make me lean towards yes. Is he guilty of at least manslaughter? Absolutely. We need to re-evaluate the role of police officers in our society. Police patrols should not be a thing with the exception of certain situations. Unless someone called 911, I don't want to see a police officer. Do firemen drive around looking for fires?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Apple & Amazon

Apple CEO unveils the new
Home Pod. A vary expensive
alternative to Amazon's Echo.
IN 2010 . Amazon and Apple were at "war"  for a while . Apple was accusing Amazon of underselling it's products and selling "fake apps" .  The war of words and accusations took a twist over the years . Amazon was pushing forward a market place that may have beaten Apple   If you have to compare Apple  to Amazon , first Apple has the most expensive , best production line  of  technological gadgets . Apple -Mac dominated the industry for decades . Now its all Amazon . Regardless . Amazon is buying the market with clever marketing schemes. (1)>>People are buying Amazon , shopping Amazon .  The idea of finding a cheaper alternative to Apple Products . Makes Amazon the # 1 choice . BUT there is always a catch to any products . Here I am going to tell you the good & bad about each one one.  There is always a run down . It's about competition. (2)>>The  New iPads, spiffed up iMacs and MacBooks, a smart home speaker, and most exciting of all? n a race to catch up with its competitors, Apple on Monday unveiled a smart home speaker and numerous software updates emphasizing artificial intelligence at the Worldwide Developers Conference.During its marathon two and a half hour keynote speech, Apple repeatedly touted its AI and machine learning capabilities across all three new operating system updates. Following Microsoft, Facebook and Google, which all emphasized artificial intelligence at their annual developer conferences, Apple threw its own hat into the AI ring, heating up the competition in Silicon Valley. Artificial Intelligence has always been the stuff of science fiction . Amazon was ahead of the game with Alexa . I never understood why Apple waited to long while Google & Amazon jumpped the wagon . Apple’s new voice-controlled home speaker, called the HomePod, is its challenge to Amazon Echo and Google Home in the smart home assistant space. Directly compatible with Apple Music and Siri voice assistant, Apple is relying on its superior acoustics and ease of use to woo customers away from competitors. Tapping Apple's (AAPL) Siri digital assistant, such a speaker is expected to serve as a butler as well as an outlet for listening to music. If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015. And it would mark an effort by Apple to catch up with Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG).

Apple : "the Bad". & "the good" 
The Apple Watch is a great device . For
practical reasons I found no
use for it . Tell me why
please ?
With all I can afford from Apple INC , is their IPAD air 2 in my collection. I have the I -Pad mini Gen 2 {now defunct IOS} . I have to say that Air 2 is the best I Pad I have used , it's no brainier for me to get a hold of an IPAD-PRO { when I get a raise I hope } . The nitty-gritty on ALL APPLE based technology is unlike Microsoft - Linux systems is that you can get updates that last for years . Apple however,  is not long lasting or sustainable . You have to buy the latest gadget , every year they release something new . People dash the Apple stores sometimes camping outside like on a black Friday sale . The newest I-Phone for example  it's net price , when you buy it,  is going to cost you 1200 $ . You think I am that crazy to buy a 1200 dollar phone ? hell no , but there are people who love it . I have nothing against anyone with a great wallet - credit cards to go in and rush to buy the latest Apple craze . They Good things . Apple for me is Apple-TV . I love the 4th Generation { will get the 5th generation if out} but using my I-Pad air 2 I am able to mirror that pad to my TV screen and watch any video service . That I love . The  Apple-TV remote with Siri for example is vary limited , you can not browse the web with it . This has been the problem with Apple-TV since it's debut . The black Apple-TV box has similar software to the MAC-MINI . I know people who have (2.2)>>"jail broken" the Apple-TV by installing software in it that can enable the Apple-TV box to "act like" a computer , so enabling it with a web browser . There are so many possibilities with Apple products . I think personally Apple is too expensive . Sill Apple has to produce the Apple PC Stick . Intel has a PC stick that sells for 140 dollars with Windows 10 . You plug it into your HDMI port on your TV . And your surfing watching 4K movies and streaming .  It's MAC's and Desktop MAC sell close to 5000$. It presents a serious challenge to the "geeks" out there if their willing to spend all that money just for"fun" of having these nifty items at their disposals . For now I am buying anything from Apple with fiscal caution . 

Amazon : "the Good & Bad" .
Amazon's new Echo with
2 way communication
video .
I really did not get into Amazon till a friend of mine gave me a Fire Stick TV dongle . I was a bit curious since he installed (2.3)>>Kodi on it for me so I can watch movies . Honestly I had to set up a Amazon account with Credit Card. (3)>> I can tell you it opened a new world to me . I never though anything of Amazon till I bought the Echo Tap speaker with Alexa . My reason for buying the speaker was to listen to remote radio stations streaming . The Amazon Echo is a wonderful device . It can remotely control house hold devices besides ordering Pizza . So with Fire Stick with Alexa enabled streaming TV can be  fun at half the cost of Apple-TV . The real surprise  came when I discovered that there are Apps that work with your I-Pad so you can mirror it to the Fire Stick and watch your I PAD content on a Amazon system .   NOW FOR THE BAD . There are problems with some of the Amazon technology . I recently purchased a new Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet , and compared it with Apple I Pad . I was dismayed , but the Fire tablet is neat , it has a vary fast processor , you do as much with it as a I Pad . Why dismayed me was this tablet is a marketing device for seeing Amazon merchandise. It's great to have Alexa on it  . But the preloaded apps are designed to market Amazon store  . Yes there are advertisements that pop up on the tablet when it goes into sleep mode . Its so cleverly designed to get you to buy or watch Amazon TV if you have a Prime membership . Another problem is the APP STORE . It's full of "fake" apps that don't work , most of the apps crash . Another problem is you can't download anything from GOOGLE . Like PLAY STORE . Its installed with a browser called "Silk" which is tricky to run . Otherwise the Amazon Fire Table is OK for certain things. But over all if you want a table that is less expensive the Fire Tablet is for you .

Last The Future ?
It's 2020 . Apple just started it's own streaming "cable like" service , besides people flocking to buy the Apple Car . Hundreds of Apple employees were once rumored to be working on an electric car, but the project's focus has shifted to developing self-driving car software instead of an actual car. But its just rumors . If Diver-less cars are your thing . Its out of AI and Total Recall . The Apple Car is a tricky subject because we’re not even sure that it exists. Nevertheless, few products have been rumored as heavily – and debated so vociferously – as the Apple Car. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is already calling the car a "missed opportunity" due to its far-off launch. There's no denying that the evidence of an Apple Car is mounting, and it seems Apple is struggling to keep a lid on leaks.The long-rumored electric vehicle – supposedly developer under the codename ‘Project Titan’ – is tipped for either a 2019 or 2020 launch. It’s also alleged that Apple is developing the vehicle in Berlin (in part, anyway), with a team of between 15 and 20 “progressive thinkers” – so says the German media. The Cupertino-based technology giant is also reportedly in talks with manufacturers of charging stations for electric cars. If APPLE does make a electric car , my thought who would buy it ? . It's going to be more expensive than a Lamborghini sure enough . (4)>>AS I can see it . We might just have Apple drones flying along with Amazon drones as well  .Autonomous vehicles
have the potential to upend the transportation and technology industries, something that isn't lost on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Both companies have been in the spotlight recently for their self-driving vehicle plans, so let's take a look at what each is doing with driverless car technology and why. Even before that sci-fi concept becomes an everyday reality, however, automakers are looking to give motorists more options to connect with the outside world, whether to play smartphone apps through new technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or by integrating voice assistants — like Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana — into the vehicle.Looking at all of this through the lens of Hollywood gives us an apt analogy to help understand all of this: Star Trek’s Borg. 


(1)>>People are buying Amazon , shopping Amazon . Amazon reported its seventh consecutive quarter of profits, along with soaring revenue. Meanwhile, new research shows the company is responsible for 53% of all online sales growth in the U.S. But investors apparently can't wait to dump their shares of this e-commerce behemoth.  Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods could mean big changes for the way people buy groceries — and just about everything else.Amazon could try to use automation and data analysis to draw more customers to stores while helping Whole Foods cut costs and perhaps prices. Meanwhile, the more than 460 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. could be turned into distribution hubs — not just for delivering groceries, but also as pickup centers for online orders. (2)>>The  New iPads, spiffed up iMacs and MacBooks.  In 2013 Apple CEO Tim Cook’s keynote speech at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference on Tuesday was mostly a chance for the chief executive to rehash his well-worn talking points. But Cook also addressed a question that most consumers find themselves asking regularly: Why are Apple products so expensive?His answer — that Apple doesn’t want to sacrifice quality for price — served mainly to reinforce his argument that Apple values great products over all else. (In typical Apple fashion, he made some half-dozen references to Apple’s “magic” or “magical” products.) Yet he also suggested that Apple’s innovation and product pipeline is driven at least in part by an effort to produce new gadgets at lower price-levels.“Instead of saying, ‘How can we cheapen the iPod to get it lower?’ We ask, ‘How can we do a great product and do it at a cost that enables us to sell it at the low price of $49?’” he explained.Cook noted that tech observers wondered for “years” why Apple didn’t offer a Mac for under $1000. Well Cook was wrong . There are products that are cheaper than Apple . The Amazon Fire tablets have been getting better . There is Lenovo , Samsung . Other verities . Yes there is a  $49 dollar tablet that is good as a IPAD.(2.2)>>"jail broken".  In the new lingo . Jailbreak (computer science), a jargon expression for (the act of) overcoming limitations in a computer system or device that were deliberately placed there for security, administrative, or marketing reasons: Jailbreaking (iOS), overriding software limitations on the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. It means any device !  (2.3)>>Kodi. Kodi is a "hackers" dream app. It's a free media player . Kodi is a cross-platform software application whose core is mainly programmed.  It's is funny that it's not available on Apple Store  . You'd  have to jailbreak it in order to install it on any Apple product  . BUT it's found on most app stores for Android , Amazon -Fire TV / Stick easy installation Microsoft Store has Kodi. For info on KODI go to this url :  (3)>> I can tell you it opened a new world to me . Shopping addiction is a rubber stamp of Amazon . You can buy just as much merchandise as in  Ebay at Amazon .  Amazon does such an amazing job with logistics and keeping their orders bundled and packaged efficiently, finding that rare gem on Amazon has kept me glued to the screen. (4)>>AS I can see it . We might just have Apple drones flying along with Amazon drones as well  . Apple has CarPlay, which integrates iOS into a car's infotainment system. Google has Android Auto, which is available in select cars from Kia, Chevrolet, Audi, Skoda, and other manufacturers. Amazon is a somewhat later entrant into the smart car battle, but it's moving fast.Ford, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Volvo have all announced Alexa integrations. And, thanks to the fact that Amazon allows Alexa to live in third-party devices, you can also get a smartphone version of Alexa for older or unsupported cars.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bigger than "Watergate"?

Before it's either called FAKE-NEWS, or a  leak . President Trump's problems are growing into a downward spiral . The whole Comey -Russia so called scandal testimony this week , calling out Pres. Trump as a liar . Donald Trump is now willing to testify under oath . A defiant President Donald Trump said Friday he was willing to testify under oath about his conversations with James Comey, further fueling the swirling controversy ignited by the fired FBI director's bombshell testimony before the Senate on Thursday. "One hundred percent," Trump said when asked about his willingness to deliver sworn testimony. If President Trump goes and swears trying to prove his "innocence" before Congress,  I have a feeling about this , that he is going to fumble . He is left to himself,  along with his tweets as an open target of political attacks . In order to protect the FBI, his reputation, and to deliver the message in the most qualified rhetoric he could muster, Comey put his own head on the block.He may save his head, his reputation, the FBI, and American democracy if he can weave a case from what is now a tangled skein of direct and indirect factual evidence that ranges from domestic to international, and that requires assistance and cooperation from NSA.  Can the Republicans mount an independent and effective investigation of Moscow’s hacking during the 2016 campaign and the interactions between (1.1)>>Trump’s crew and Russia? There is now a good argument that the answer is no. The line about White House “drama” serving as a distraction from the Republican agenda is damning enough from a political perspective, national security questions aside. The GOP leaders are implying that they could fulfill the White House’s agenda if only the White House could get out of their way. It’s not a note of confidence from the president’s party some four months into his administration. Remember when  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) declared that allegations of collusion between President Trump’s inner circle and the Russian government are potentially worse than the (1.2)>>Watergate scandal that brought down former President Richard Nixon. Just how worse can it be ? I think it's the creme of the crop as they say of serious wrongdoing not just as much as Pres. Trump's cohorts , but it bottoms down to the entire (1.3)>>Republican party {inner circle that knew and picked Trump } in order to defeat Hillary Clinton at the polls .  Former FBI Director Comey for example is part of the "scandal"that he helped Trump win , by trying to find criminal wrongdoing against Hillary Clinton's e-mails.  So Comey's testimony is rather bizarre . How CAN he testify against the President , when he was working for him by leaking material against Hillary? Mr. Trump and his defenders have responded to Mr. Comey’s testimony by denouncing him as a leaker. That is a neutral description, but Mr. Trump on Friday used the term in a way that was clearly intended to carry pejorative connotations: “He’s a leaker,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Comey at a news conference. So is Mr. Trump referring to the e-mails from Hillary's server that some how ended up with Wiki leaks founder Julian Assange ? The line between a leak and a plant is sometimes ambiguous. In a 2013 law review article, David Pozen, a Columbia University law professor, coined the term “pleak” to describe a practice in which high-level officials talk to reporters without getting clearance but in a way that the White House tolerates. Of course Mr. Trump during the fist 100 days saw the sizing of Cell Phones within the White House staff . Looking for the "leaker" . Later President Trump himself "leaked"  classified information to the Russians regarding some terrorist plots using Laptop computers from an Israeli source .  Its' seems that the "leaker" was the President . Inside the White House, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted during a gaggle with reporters that despite all signs to the contrary, it was “a normal Thursday at the White House.” She bristled at the question of whether Trump was a liar, which Comey twice suggested under oath, and said she was unaware if the president watched much of his testimony. Sanders referred further questions to his outside counsel, Marc Kasowitz, who read a typo-filled letter aloud accusing Comey of  “unauthorized disclosures” of “privileged communications with the president.” So the Leak continues ...............

(1.1)>>Trump’s crew and Russia?{ there is a lack of evidence that Russia "influenced" our elections . I never saw any propaganda from Russia to convince me to vote for Trump , but Trump's ties to Russia in business dealing is overwhelming } With the resignation of National Security Adviser retired Lt. General Michael Flynn and the reporting surrounding his actions have raised many questions about the Trump administration’s contacts with Russian officials and why the White House statements often appear contradictory. As Ryan discussed at Just Security last week (Newsweek: Despite Denials, Russians Were in Contact with Trump Campaign), a second bombshell was in The Washington Post story on the content of Flynn’s communications with the Russian Ambassador is the pair’s contacts prior to the November election, and presumably at the time of  the so called Russia’s cyber operations against the United States { The Russian government wanted Trump to win in order to ease sanctions , normalize relations . This is a fact}otherwise Trump's own cabinet is full of pro- Russian business CEOs .  (1.2)>>Watergate scandal. A former prosecutor who worked on the Watergate investigation says that there is “no question” President Trump was involved in obstruction of justice.The remarks from former prosecutor Nick Akerman came a day after former FBI Director James Comey testified in the Senate for the first time since Trump fired him in May.Akerman compared former national security adviser Michael Flynn to James McCord, one of the first people arrested in the Watergate investigation. Trump asked Comey to drop an FBI investigation into Flynn, according to Comey.(1.3)>>Republican party {inner circle that knew and picked Trump }It was supposed to be Jeb Bush, if you asked Democratic honchos in mid-2015, except when it was always supposed to be Scott Walker. Eventually, they insisted, it was always supposed to be Rubio. But it was never supposed to be Trump.  If there was any rigging , it can only be said that something was suspicious about how Trump won the nomination , knew he beforehand he was going to win . There is evidence . For me is when Donald Trump flew to Mexico to meet with it's President . He was already acting the roll that his proponents were trying to  mold him in . So who told Trump?  Last election was vary odd . The DNC  as revealed by the leaked e-mails prove that the election was "rigged" for Hillary against Sanders . So can we speculate that GOP was also "pre-arranged" for Donald J Trump ? . I BELIEVE that could be the case , rather than spinning around Russian manipulation in our election . We have seen the politicians on both left and right of accusing Russia of "undermining" our democracy . Our democracy was already undermined from within .

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Ramblings about the PARIS ACCORD.

I wonder why there are so many climate deniers . Earth's climate has changed over periods of millions of years . There is evidence that since the 1970s the average temperature of the air rose about (1)>>1-1/4 of a degree { some say the temp rose by 2 degrees since the 1880s } either way even if you are the most biblically faithful , or deepest in religiosity the Bible warns against "ruining the earth"  as a warning to Mankind. Some people believe that humans are causing global warming. Others vehemently deny that.What I do know is that humans pollute and burn a lot of fossil fuels.  "All creation groans in pain from the beginning til now" (Rom 8:22). Denining any kind of change to the climate without any instinct on the part of any nation falls under that category . (2)>>So what is up with the Paris Accord ? In a live stream at The White House Thursday, Trump said, “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the U.S. will withdraw form the Paris climate accord.” Trump announced the country will immediately cease implementation of the non-binding accord, including ending implementation of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions and pledge to the Green Climate Fund. According to the Trump agenda getting out of the Accord will save Americans "jobs" . He might be "referring " to the Coal industry ? Or unreasonable "regulations" . There is a serious problem with pulling out . First of all two other nations bailed out , Syria and Nicaragua. Funny thing about Trump's decision is that  Syria didn’t sign the agreement because the country remains locked in a protracted civil war { fueled by our American government of course }  that the United Nations estimates may have displaced 12 million people and resulted in more than 250,000 deaths. Meanwhile, Nicaraguan leaders said they declined to enter the Paris agreement not because they didn’t want to abide by new emissions standards but because those standards weren’t strict enough and didn’t require enough sacrifice from wealthier countries with larger economies, according to Reuters.  Withdrawing the United States out of the accord puts our world leadership in "saving the earth" , working with other nations in jeopardy . White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said during Trump's first overseas trip that the carbon emission limitations the Obama administration agreed to (3)>>"would be highly crippling to U.S. economic growth," and if Trump had to choose between limiting carbon emissions and economic growth, "growing our economy is going to win." Trump is not a supporter of strong environmental protections on the federal level, and during the presidential campaign he pledged to pull the nation out of the accord, calling climate change a hoax created by the Chinese to hurt the U.S. economy. Since taking office, Trump's policies have favored delaying or rolling back rules that would limit carbon emissions by U.S. companies. Trump did not discuss climate science nor the dire consensus among nearly all peer-reviewed climatologists that emissions from burning fossil fuels, industrial farming and deforestation have put the planet on course to warm beyond the point where the climate will be irreversibly changed by the end of the century.Trump's top diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, warned against leaving the Paris deal. It puts the U.S. in a very small camp; the only other countries not part of the agreement are Syria, which is in the midst of a civil war, and Nicaragua, which argued that the Paris accord did not go far enough to curb global emissions. Former Secretary of State John Kerry calls Trump's decision "an irresponsible walking back of American leadership."

(1)>>1-1/4 of a degree . Can't deny some facts from NASA , The world is getting warmer. Whether the cause is human activity or natural variability—and the preponderance of evidence says it’s humans—thermometer readings all around the world have risen steadily since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  Change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures. Sixteen of the 17 warmest years in the 136-year record all have occurred since 2001, with the exception of 1998. The year 2016 ranks as the warmest on record. This web site "explains" what has been going in an illustrated graph { xkcd: Earth Temperature Timeline }  as far as a history of human and climate manipulation .  (2)>>So what is up with the Paris Accord ? What is the Paris climate change agreement? In 2015, the United States and nearly 200 other nations agreed to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to keep the global temperature increase this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius (4 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, and work to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Each country agreed to put forth and meet nationally determined contributions that would help keep global temperature levels down and assist in funding responses to climate change's effects on more vulnerable, developing countries. As The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis reported Wednesday, “More than 190 nations agreed to the accord in December 2015 in Paris, and 147 have since formally ratified or otherwise joined it, including the United States — representing more than 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.”“A U.S. withdrawal would remove the world’s second-largest emitter and nearly 18 percent of the globe’s present-day emissions from the agreement, presenting a severe challenge to its structure and raising questions about whether it would weaken the commitments of other nations.”(3)>>"would be highly crippling to U.S. economic growth," While President Trump had promised to "cancel" the Paris deal to boost coal, the decision is not likely to create more jobs. The industry is in a long-term decline as it faces competition from cheaper natural gas and — increasingly — wind and solar. Some utilities are also responding to customer demand for renewable power, and the policies of any one administration have little impact on those decisions.