Day: March 18, 2018

Donald Trump, the Very Stable Genius Psychiatrist


After President Trump posted the tweets shown below, the vast Trump vilification cosmos predictably sprang into outraged armchair psychiatry, citing the tweets as evidence that the 25th Amendment must be immediately invoked to remove Trump – a madman using insults to forge a path to nuclear Armageddon.

But a funny thing happened just weeks later – and it was not nuclear Armageddon.  Dear Leader Un arranged for the two Korean Olympic teams to march together in the imminent opening Olympic ceremony.  Even the New York Times called that decision “[t]he most dramatic gesture of reconciliation between them [North and South Korea] in a decade.”  And shortly after that, Kim Jong-un shocked the world by inviting President Trump to talk with him face to face.  Presumably, in that encounter, he will remove his Rocket Man suit and wear normal clothes.

President Trump says he will talk to anyone, that he will build a relationship with anyone from the humblest humanitarian to the cruelest dictator.  While he did not study in a psychoanalytic institute, and the terms about to be discussed may well be unfamiliar to him, Trump’s tweets masterfully employ communication techniques that are foundational to modern psychoanalysis.

Modern psychoanalysis has become an established method of “the talking cure,” having spread, like wildfire, from midtown Manhattan through the Upper West Side to New Jersey in a mere thirty years.  Introduced in the late 20th century by its founder, Hyman Spotnitz, modern psychoanalysis was radical in two fundamental ways.  First, Spotnitz believed that intransigent mental illnesses – even schizophrenia, which was generally believed by all therapists to be immune to any kind of psychoanalysis – could be successfully treated by getting patients “to just talk about everything.”  Second, unlike traditional Freudian analysis, modern psychoanalysis does not involve the analyst’s interpretation of the patient’s unconscious neuroses as a primary therapeutic technique.  In fact, in modern psychoanalysis, such analytic dronings are verboten.

In modern psychoanalysis, a patient makes progress through reciprocal streams of emotional communication with the analyst, some conscious, most unconscious.  Transference is the patient’s largely unconscious projection of narcissism onto the analyst, which Spotnitz understood not as the popular conception of self-love, but as repressed self-hatred that fuels mental illness.  Counter-transference refers to the analyst’s emotional responses to the patient.  A skilled modern analyst strives to be conscious of his counter-transference and uses it for the benefit of the patient through the communication techniques of joining the resistance and contact functioning.  This article examines how those two therapeutic techniques are used in the president’s tweets to Kim Jong-un.

Joining is a conscious, therapeutic form of empathy used by the analyst.  As explained metaphorically by one modern analyst, “[i]n fine woodworking, joinery is used to connect two pieces of wood (e.g., a leg to a table top, a drawer face to its sides) in a way that increases the amount of contact between the two, thereby strengthening the connection.  This is precisely what joining in therapeutic pursuits is designed to accomplish: to increase the contact and the connection between two individuals.  Joining can be the glue that helps two parties stay together long enough and tightly enough to accomplish something therapeutic.”

In the first tweet shown above, President Trump joins Kim Jong-un’s resistance by mirroring aggressive and bellicose language.  OK, if I’m old, then you’re fat and short.  His response is not immature baiting, as it is misunderstood to be by the legions of Trump-hating armchair analysts.  Rather, his tweet engages the little dictator in literal – and more importantly, emotional – terms that he can understand.  By neither analyzing nor judging the childishness of Kim Jong-un’s words, President Trump is allowing him to set the emotional tone.  His tweet implicitly gives Kim Jong-un permission “to just talk about everything.”  President Trump’s “tweet for tat” engages Kim Jong-un on his own emotional level and leavens the exchange with humor that communicates a lack of judgment and censure.

This is an excellent example of contact functioning.  The purpose of contact functioning is to reduce anxiety in a patient (or, in this case, a dictator).  This is accomplished by allowing the expression of any emotion or threat or even irrational idea while prohibiting the acting out of such destructive impulses.

In the second tweet, President Trump again joins Kim Jong-un’s resistance.  This time, though, as the “therapist,” he sets limits on the “patient.”  He is saying, “You are allowed to say anything, but understand that you may not do anything.”  The president is setting limits beyond which terrible and unavoidable consequences loom: “I too have a Nuclear Button but it is much bigger and more powerful… and my Button works!”

An analyst once told me how, after his very first session in psychoanalysis and many years before he became an analyst himself, he offered his hand to the analyst.  The analyst took it and said, “I’m shaking your hand to let you know that I trust you.  But this is the last time you will ever touch me.”

The above tweet is President Trump’s response to Kim Jong-un’s recent invitation to meet.  It is in the spirit of getting the patient to “just talk about everything” while making it clear who is the patient and who is the therapist.

On January 11, 2018, President Trump told the Wall Street Journal, “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un.  I have relationships with people.  I think you people are surprised.”  For those who intuitively trust the president’s communication strategies, that assertion is self-evident.  The president does seem to have a knack for relationships, whatever the amalgam of calculation and instinct may be behind them.  And just as an analyst must traverse convoluted resistances from a patient, the president must harness his calculations and instinct.  When it comes to North Korea, we can all pray they will work.

Image: włodi via Wikimedia Commons.

After President Trump posted the tweets shown below, the vast Trump vilification cosmos predictably sprang into outraged armchair psychiatry, citing the tweets as evidence that the 25th Amendment must be immediately invoked to remove Trump – a madman using insults to forge a path to nuclear Armageddon.

But a funny thing happened just weeks later – and it was not nuclear Armageddon.  Dear Leader Un arranged for the two Korean Olympic teams to march together in the imminent opening Olympic ceremony.  Even the New York Times called that decision “[t]he most dramatic gesture of reconciliation between them [North and South Korea] in a decade.”  And shortly after that, Kim Jong-un shocked the world by inviting President Trump to talk with him face to face.  Presumably, in that encounter, he will remove his Rocket Man suit and wear normal clothes.

President Trump says he will talk to anyone, that he will build a relationship with anyone from the humblest humanitarian to the cruelest dictator.  While he did not study in a psychoanalytic institute, and the terms about to be discussed may well be unfamiliar to him, Trump’s tweets masterfully employ communication techniques that are foundational to modern psychoanalysis.

Modern psychoanalysis has become an established method of “the talking cure,” having spread, like wildfire, from midtown Manhattan through the Upper West Side to New Jersey in a mere thirty years.  Introduced in the late 20th century by its founder, Hyman Spotnitz, modern psychoanalysis was radical in two fundamental ways.  First, Spotnitz believed that intransigent mental illnesses – even schizophrenia, which was generally believed by all therapists to be immune to any kind of psychoanalysis – could be successfully treated by getting patients “to just talk about everything.”  Second, unlike traditional Freudian analysis, modern psychoanalysis does not involve the analyst’s interpretation of the patient’s unconscious neuroses as a primary therapeutic technique.  In fact, in modern psychoanalysis, such analytic dronings are verboten.

In modern psychoanalysis, a patient makes progress through reciprocal streams of emotional communication with the analyst, some conscious, most unconscious.  Transference is the patient’s largely unconscious projection of narcissism onto the analyst, which Spotnitz understood not as the popular conception of self-love, but as repressed self-hatred that fuels mental illness.  Counter-transference refers to the analyst’s emotional responses to the patient.  A skilled modern analyst strives to be conscious of his counter-transference and uses it for the benefit of the patient through the communication techniques of joining the resistance and contact functioning.  This article examines how those two therapeutic techniques are used in the president’s tweets to Kim Jong-un.

Joining is a conscious, therapeutic form of empathy used by the analyst.  As explained metaphorically by one modern analyst, “[i]n fine woodworking, joinery is used to connect two pieces of wood (e.g., a leg to a table top, a drawer face to its sides) in a way that increases the amount of contact between the two, thereby strengthening the connection.  This is precisely what joining in therapeutic pursuits is designed to accomplish: to increase the contact and the connection between two individuals.  Joining can be the glue that helps two parties stay together long enough and tightly enough to accomplish something therapeutic.”

In the first tweet shown above, President Trump joins Kim Jong-un’s resistance by mirroring aggressive and bellicose language.  OK, if I’m old, then you’re fat and short.  His response is not immature baiting, as it is misunderstood to be by the legions of Trump-hating armchair analysts.  Rather, his tweet engages the little dictator in literal – and more importantly, emotional – terms that he can understand.  By neither analyzing nor judging the childishness of Kim Jong-un’s words, President Trump is allowing him to set the emotional tone.  His tweet implicitly gives Kim Jong-un permission “to just talk about everything.”  President Trump’s “tweet for tat” engages Kim Jong-un on his own emotional level and leavens the exchange with humor that communicates a lack of judgment and censure.

This is an excellent example of contact functioning.  The purpose of contact functioning is to reduce anxiety in a patient (or, in this case, a dictator).  This is accomplished by allowing the expression of any emotion or threat or even irrational idea while prohibiting the acting out of such destructive impulses.

In the second tweet, President Trump again joins Kim Jong-un’s resistance.  This time, though, as the “therapist,” he sets limits on the “patient.”  He is saying, “You are allowed to say anything, but understand that you may not do anything.”  The president is setting limits beyond which terrible and unavoidable consequences loom: “I too have a Nuclear Button but it is much bigger and more powerful… and my Button works!”

An analyst once told me how, after his very first session in psychoanalysis and many years before he became an analyst himself, he offered his hand to the analyst.  The analyst took it and said, “I’m shaking your hand to let you know that I trust you.  But this is the last time you will ever touch me.”

The above tweet is President Trump’s response to Kim Jong-un’s recent invitation to meet.  It is in the spirit of getting the patient to “just talk about everything” while making it clear who is the patient and who is the therapist.

On January 11, 2018, President Trump told the Wall Street Journal, “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un.  I have relationships with people.  I think you people are surprised.”  For those who intuitively trust the president’s communication strategies, that assertion is self-evident.  The president does seem to have a knack for relationships, whatever the amalgam of calculation and instinct may be behind them.  And just as an analyst must traverse convoluted resistances from a patient, the president must harness his calculations and instinct.  When it comes to North Korea, we can all pray they will work.

Image: włodi via Wikimedia Commons.



Source link

Putin's Nuke Missile Campaign: Who Is Targeted, Who Will Lose?


The presidential elections in Russia are coming soon, and in a few days, Russian citizens will elect the head of the country for the next six years.  At the beginning of the campaign, the process promised to be boring and over-staged, with a predetermined outcome.  However, further developments show that the incumbent president and the main favorite, Vladimir Putin, is facing serious problems both on the internal and the external fronts.

The political career of the president of the Russian Federation is threatened by an invisible enemy that cannot be combated by such traditional methods as folders of compromising materials, black P.R., harassment, bullying, and isolation.  This foe is too strong and is going to become invincible over time.  This challenger defeated many irreplaceable dictators who had all the necessary resources to remain at the helm of power and rule the country forever.  This opponent is the indifference and fatigue that the citizens of Russia demonstrate, the call and the dream of changes, renewed generation, and evolution of thinking.

It is necessary to fight this enemy in a completely different way, using unconventional means and strategy.  The goal of the battle would be to convince voters not to ignore the electoral process, to come to the polls and vote, despite the fact that there is no alternative to the incumbent president, and the desired choice has already been made from the moment you enter the polling station.  So what does Putin have to offer his voters?  What should he promise?  At first glance, it seems that it is possible to suggest almost everything.  Moreover, the result will be guaranteed, given the conditions of total supervision and a well led information strategy.

But things are not that simple.  Thus, Putin’s political technologists and strategies are faced with a severe problem.  They have to find, devise, develop, package, and present to voters proposals that were not made during the elections of the last 20 years.  After studying the electoral processes in Russia over the past 20 years, it can be concluded that all promises and proposals have already been made.

During the first two terms of Vladimir Putin’s presidency, Russia recorded real economic and political success that was to a large extent due to fantastic high energy prices and favorable international conditions rather than efficient and fair governance.  After 2007, the global economy experienced a severe crisis that affected the Russian economy.  As a result of this crisis, the life of an average Russian citizen entered an irreversible course of negative dynamics.  It happened because of a decrease in world prices for energy and other natural resources, a monopolistic economy, the highly defective work of state institutions, and large-scale corruption.  The situation was further aggravated by the fact that the USA and the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia because of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and annexation of Crimea.  As a result, Russian industrialists lost the opportunity to obtain long-term loans from American and European financial institutions.

Given the conditions of the deficit of foreign currency, the national currency exchange rate of Russia was devalued twice, and prices for basic necessities increased, while the incomes of citizens gradually decreased.  Apart from that, Russia’s participation in the Syrian conflict and its possible interference in the electoral processes of the United States and the E.U. exacerbated relations between Russia and the West.  Those are, by the way, characterized by unprecedented tension from 1991 to this day, with a high probability of a “cold war.”

In this extremely complicated internal and external situation, Putin decided to run for president of Russia using his constitutional right in the second, legally fourth, and de facto fifth time.  Actually, he never did leave the post of Russian leader and continued to remain head of the state during Medvedev’s presidency.  So what ideological basis and propaganda platform should Putin use during the elections now?  What layer of Russian society is Putin’s potential electorate this year?  The answers to these questions were presented on March 1, 2018, in Putin’s message addressed to the enlarged Federal Council.  He introduced himself not as head of the state, but as supreme commander-in-chief of the country.  The major part of the speech was devoted to the latest achievements of the Russian military-industrial complex.  They were presented as proof of power and invincibility of the Russian Federation that is ready to resist any possible military acts against the state.

Introduction of these innovations by the president, as well as their use in the electoral campaign, indicate that the Russian president has exhausted the resources of communication with society on a number of issues of mutual interest.  There is nothing left to promise and offer except for nuclear missiles that can be launched dependably and bypass the anti-missile defense systems of, let’s say, the United States.  Posing himself as the supreme commander-in-chief of the country, Putin sent a message to his voters.  It says the existence of the country is under threat, the enemy is at the borders of the homeland, and the existence of the empire can be guaranteed by one candidate only.  Bringing this message to an average Russian person is just a technical matter that will be carried out by the pro-Kremlin expert environment and state-controlled media (popular talk shows, for instance).  Taking into account the personality cult that exists in Russia, it takes little time to convince people that it is immoral to demand social security, justice, fair governance, and equal opportunities in these conditions since the very “existence of the empire” is questionable.

The voice of the progressive part of Russian society will be stunned by the noise of patriotic pathos.  The minority’s demand for democracy, protection of human rights, and the rule of law will be enshrined as “serving the interests of the enemy.”  Moreover, their claims will be isolated from the agenda of the political and public life of the state.  Yet anyone who obtained a higher education and is more or less familiar with security issues will destroy this thesis in five minutes, since Russia will not have the opportunity to put the exposed weapons into practice.  In the 21st century, geopolitical problems between superpowers are solved not by nuclear weapons, but by a person who is offered guarantees of political, economic, legal, and social protection.  The issues are also addressed by innovations that improve the quality of a citizen’s daily life and civilized solutions to existing problems.

“Homo Sovieticus” is still alive in Russian society.  In the subconscious of that species, NATO is the enemy to be fought, and the only resource of struggle is internal “stability” and support of the leader.  The Soviet Union, which had a clear ideology and a serious influence on geopolitical processes, managed to survive only 40 years with this ideology.  In a modern Russia that has no specific ideological platform and relatively open society without the Iron Curtain, such a concept is exceptionally vulnerable and unviable.  The Kremlin understands this.  It can be demonstrated by viewing Putin’s interview with NBC.  That interview, in fact, it was merely an edited version of his message to the Federal Council.  It shows that the latter was addressed exclusively to the domestic audience and was extremely propagandistic.

Artur Ghazinyan is the director of the Center of European Studies.

The presidential elections in Russia are coming soon, and in a few days, Russian citizens will elect the head of the country for the next six years.  At the beginning of the campaign, the process promised to be boring and over-staged, with a predetermined outcome.  However, further developments show that the incumbent president and the main favorite, Vladimir Putin, is facing serious problems both on the internal and the external fronts.

The political career of the president of the Russian Federation is threatened by an invisible enemy that cannot be combated by such traditional methods as folders of compromising materials, black P.R., harassment, bullying, and isolation.  This foe is too strong and is going to become invincible over time.  This challenger defeated many irreplaceable dictators who had all the necessary resources to remain at the helm of power and rule the country forever.  This opponent is the indifference and fatigue that the citizens of Russia demonstrate, the call and the dream of changes, renewed generation, and evolution of thinking.

It is necessary to fight this enemy in a completely different way, using unconventional means and strategy.  The goal of the battle would be to convince voters not to ignore the electoral process, to come to the polls and vote, despite the fact that there is no alternative to the incumbent president, and the desired choice has already been made from the moment you enter the polling station.  So what does Putin have to offer his voters?  What should he promise?  At first glance, it seems that it is possible to suggest almost everything.  Moreover, the result will be guaranteed, given the conditions of total supervision and a well led information strategy.

But things are not that simple.  Thus, Putin’s political technologists and strategies are faced with a severe problem.  They have to find, devise, develop, package, and present to voters proposals that were not made during the elections of the last 20 years.  After studying the electoral processes in Russia over the past 20 years, it can be concluded that all promises and proposals have already been made.

During the first two terms of Vladimir Putin’s presidency, Russia recorded real economic and political success that was to a large extent due to fantastic high energy prices and favorable international conditions rather than efficient and fair governance.  After 2007, the global economy experienced a severe crisis that affected the Russian economy.  As a result of this crisis, the life of an average Russian citizen entered an irreversible course of negative dynamics.  It happened because of a decrease in world prices for energy and other natural resources, a monopolistic economy, the highly defective work of state institutions, and large-scale corruption.  The situation was further aggravated by the fact that the USA and the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia because of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and annexation of Crimea.  As a result, Russian industrialists lost the opportunity to obtain long-term loans from American and European financial institutions.

Given the conditions of the deficit of foreign currency, the national currency exchange rate of Russia was devalued twice, and prices for basic necessities increased, while the incomes of citizens gradually decreased.  Apart from that, Russia’s participation in the Syrian conflict and its possible interference in the electoral processes of the United States and the E.U. exacerbated relations between Russia and the West.  Those are, by the way, characterized by unprecedented tension from 1991 to this day, with a high probability of a “cold war.”

In this extremely complicated internal and external situation, Putin decided to run for president of Russia using his constitutional right in the second, legally fourth, and de facto fifth time.  Actually, he never did leave the post of Russian leader and continued to remain head of the state during Medvedev’s presidency.  So what ideological basis and propaganda platform should Putin use during the elections now?  What layer of Russian society is Putin’s potential electorate this year?  The answers to these questions were presented on March 1, 2018, in Putin’s message addressed to the enlarged Federal Council.  He introduced himself not as head of the state, but as supreme commander-in-chief of the country.  The major part of the speech was devoted to the latest achievements of the Russian military-industrial complex.  They were presented as proof of power and invincibility of the Russian Federation that is ready to resist any possible military acts against the state.

Introduction of these innovations by the president, as well as their use in the electoral campaign, indicate that the Russian president has exhausted the resources of communication with society on a number of issues of mutual interest.  There is nothing left to promise and offer except for nuclear missiles that can be launched dependably and bypass the anti-missile defense systems of, let’s say, the United States.  Posing himself as the supreme commander-in-chief of the country, Putin sent a message to his voters.  It says the existence of the country is under threat, the enemy is at the borders of the homeland, and the existence of the empire can be guaranteed by one candidate only.  Bringing this message to an average Russian person is just a technical matter that will be carried out by the pro-Kremlin expert environment and state-controlled media (popular talk shows, for instance).  Taking into account the personality cult that exists in Russia, it takes little time to convince people that it is immoral to demand social security, justice, fair governance, and equal opportunities in these conditions since the very “existence of the empire” is questionable.

The voice of the progressive part of Russian society will be stunned by the noise of patriotic pathos.  The minority’s demand for democracy, protection of human rights, and the rule of law will be enshrined as “serving the interests of the enemy.”  Moreover, their claims will be isolated from the agenda of the political and public life of the state.  Yet anyone who obtained a higher education and is more or less familiar with security issues will destroy this thesis in five minutes, since Russia will not have the opportunity to put the exposed weapons into practice.  In the 21st century, geopolitical problems between superpowers are solved not by nuclear weapons, but by a person who is offered guarantees of political, economic, legal, and social protection.  The issues are also addressed by innovations that improve the quality of a citizen’s daily life and civilized solutions to existing problems.

“Homo Sovieticus” is still alive in Russian society.  In the subconscious of that species, NATO is the enemy to be fought, and the only resource of struggle is internal “stability” and support of the leader.  The Soviet Union, which had a clear ideology and a serious influence on geopolitical processes, managed to survive only 40 years with this ideology.  In a modern Russia that has no specific ideological platform and relatively open society without the Iron Curtain, such a concept is exceptionally vulnerable and unviable.  The Kremlin understands this.  It can be demonstrated by viewing Putin’s interview with NBC.  That interview, in fact, it was merely an edited version of his message to the Federal Council.  It shows that the latter was addressed exclusively to the domestic audience and was extremely propagandistic.

Artur Ghazinyan is the director of the Center of European Studies.



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McCabe Should Sweat Prison, Not Pension


For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country.  Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us.  The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing.  He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service.  And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us.

Never mind the “lack of candor” (aka lies) the OPR and OIG have charged you with, or the self-serving leaking of confidential information to a reporter.  Come to think of it, your former boss, James Comey, did the same thing.  He taught you well.

You can whine that the “OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter,” but the fact is that you had no right to make that choice any more than James Comey did when he leaked his version of a private Oval Office meeting to the press via an intermediary.

You can object to “being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan,” yet that is what you were, from the meeting in “Andy’s office,” where the official FBI resistance to President Trump was organized and discussed, to having Friend of Hillary Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe arrange massive donations to your wife’s political campaign even as you were supposed to be overseeing the Hillary email investigation.

Chutzpah has a new poster child in Andrew McCabe, who, after aiding and abetting Hillary Clinton’s exoneration and collusion with the Russians, committing a fraud upon the FISA court to aid one political party over another, and being an active participant in the attempted deep state coup against Donald Trump, dared to ask he not be fired so he can retain a cushy pension:

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday made a final pitch to the Justice Department about why he should not be fired just 72 hours before his retirement, leaving Attorney General Jeff Sessions to decide the matter with a deadline rapidly approaching[.] …


White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of McCabe, “We do think that it is well documented that he has had some very troubling behavior and by most accounts a bad actor,” though she said the decision on his future was up to Sessions[.] …


The accusations against McCabe stem from a yet-to-be released report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who has for months been probing broad allegations of misconduct surrounding the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state[.] …


Horowitz also has been examining McCabe’s involvement in authorizing the disclosure of information for a Wall Street Journal report and allegations he mislead investigators who asked about the matter[.] …


Trump has suggested in the past that McCabe was biased in favor of Clinton, pointing out that McCabe’s wife, who ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Virginia legislature, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the political action committee of Terry McAuliffe, then the state’s governor and a noted Clinton ally.

McCabe is an accomplished Deep State liar and co-conspirator who took his leave in January to avoid demotion and preserve his pension.  That came after current FBI director Christopher Wray reviewed the House Intelligence Committee memo in which his activities in the vendetta against Trump involving the now infamous Christopher Steele dossier were prominently featured.  He deserved be fired and denied his pension, and he should be forced to pay for legal help to avoid incarceration on his own dime.

Former FBI national spokesman John Iannarelli argues that the firing of McCabe is eminently justified:

Although “there [are] many things that can be forgiven” within the nation’s pre-eminent law enforcement agency, a “lack of candor” and “not telling the truth” are “unforgivable,” former FBI national spokesperson John Iannarelli said Thursday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”


Iannarelli was reacting to reports that the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) recommended to Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week that he fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe before the latter’s pension begins Sunday.


The Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) concluded that McCabe, who oversaw the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server, reportedly misled investigators during their investigation into his conduct.

Wait a minute – isn’t “lying to investigators” what former national security advisor Michael Flynn was charged with, a crime he pleaded guilty to?  But lying to investigators may be only the tip of McCabe’s criminal iceberg.  As the meeting in his office suggests, McCabe could not have been ignorant of the efforts by lead investigator Peter Strzok, his paramour Lisa Page, and the likes of Bruce and Nellie Ohr and others to keep Hillary Clinton out of jail after colluding with the Russians and Donald Trump out of the White House.

At one point, McCabe had to reschedule his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, with the Justice Department telling the network that it was due to a “routine scheduling error.”  More likely, it was due to the need for everyone to get his story straight as the details of the fix that was in for Hillary Clinton are being…er, “unmasked” and the details of the attempted coup against President Trump bubble to the surface  from the depths of the swamp:

Fox News was told by those familiar with the matter that the intelligence committee is suspicious of the purported scheduling error. One source said they believe the schedule issue arose after Fox News’ report Monday night on Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr.


Ohr was recently demoted from one of his two senior posts.  Fox News reported that Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked through last fall for Fusion GPS, which was behind the anti-Trump dossier[.] …


“McCabe has an Ohr problem,” one congressional source said.

McCabe has many problems, and is at the heart of the criminal conspiracy to protect Hillary and unseat President Trump. The “Ohr problem” relates to Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie and their connections to Fusion GPS, the firm paid indirectly by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to work with former British spy Christopher Steele and Russian sources to put together a fake dossier likely used by the FBI to fraudulently obtain FISA surveillance warrants on Team Trump:

Fox reported on Monday that Nellie Ohr worked last year for Fusion GPS, which commissioned the dossier. The company investigated Donald Trump on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC


Bruce Ohr, a high-ranking Justice Department official, also has connections to both Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, the former British spy hired by Fusion to conduct the investigation of Trump.


Ohr met prior to the election with Steele. He met several weeks after Trump’s victory with Simpson. It remains unclear what Ohr discussed during those meetings.

Another McCabe problem relates to an FBI lead investigator in the Clinton probe, agent Peter Strzok, whose text messages to his FBI mistress, Lisa Page, lend both intent and motive to the Clinton cover-up and the animus toward President Trump.  A letter from Homeland Security Committee chairman Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Wis., shows McCabe’s role in the altering and drafting of the James Comey memo exonerating Hillary Clinton:

The letter reveals specific edits made by senior FBI agents when Deputy Director Andrew McCabe exchanged drafts of Comey’s statement with senior FBI officials, including Peter Strzok, Strzok’s direct supervisor, E.W. “Bill” Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an unnamed employee from the Office of General Counsel (identified by Newsweek as DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson) – in what was a coordinated conspiracy among top FBI brass to decriminalize Clinton’s conduct by changing legal terms and phrases, omitting key information, and minimizing the role of the Intelligence Community in the email investigation.  Doing so virtually assured that then-candidate Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted.

McCabe was the ringleader of the damage control team trying to fudge the evidence of Hillary’s crimes and soften the tone of Comey’s exoneration memo so there would be fewer questions when the fix was revealed.  McCabe was also aware of Strzok’s fears of a Trump victory and determination to undermine it:

Out of all the damning, politically charged anti-Trump text messages released, one text from Strzok to Page on August 15, 2016, raised the most suspicion.  It referred to a conversation and a meeting that had just taken place in “Andy’s” (widely believed to be Deputy FBI Dir. Andrew McCabe’s) office.  According to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Strzok had texted this: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office [break] … that there’s no way he gets elected. I want to believe that[.] … But I’m afraid we can’t take that risk[.] … We have to do something about it.”

If McCabe had any honor, he would have dismissed Strzok instantly and revealed the corruption his words exhibited.  But McCabe was part of the corrupt criminal enterprise.

McCabe was in a key position overseeing the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s scandalous and treasonous handling of classified emails on her private server, a position from which he could assist FBI director James Comey in putting the fix in.  As Judicial Watch notes: 

Judicial Watch today released Justice Department records showing that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe did not recuse himself from the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecure, non-government email server until Tuesday, November 1, 2016, one week prior to the presidential election.  The Clinton email probe was codenamed “Midyear Exam.”


While working as Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office, McCabe controlled resources supporting the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.  An October 2016 internal FBI memorandum labeled “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office,” details talking points about McCabe’s various potential conflicts of interest, including the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s illicit server, which officially began in July 2015:


While at [Washington Field Office] did Mr. McCabe provide assistance to the Clinton investigation?


After the referral was made, FBI Headquarters asked the Washington Field Office for personnel to conduct a special investigation. McCabe was serving as [Assistant Director] and provided personnel resources. However, he was not told what the investigation was about.  In February 2016 McCabe became Deputy Director and began overseeing the Clinton investigation.


The Overview also shows if asked whether McCabe played any role in his wife’s campaign, the scripted response was: “No.  Then-[Assistant Director] McCabe played no role, attended no events and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind.”

Of course, that statement was a lie.  McCabe is a Democratic loyalist whose wife campaigned for state office in Virginia as a Democrat with heavy Democratic financial support.  In fact, McCabe’s efforts on behalf of his wife were the subject of multiple federal probes:

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a central player in the Russia election case, is the focus of three separate federal administrative inquiries into allegations about his behavior as a senior bureau executive, according to documents and interviews.


The allegations being reviewed range from sexual discrimination to improper political activity, the documents show[.] …


Circa reported Monday that former supervisory special agent Robyn Gritz, a decorated counterterrorism agent, has filed a sexual discrimination and retaliation complaint that names McCabe and other top FBI officials[.] …


Gritz also filed a complaint against McCabe with the main federal whistleblower agency in April, alleging social media photos she found show he campaigned for his wife’s Virginia state senate race in violation of the Hatch Act[.] …


In addition, the Justice Department Inspector General is investigating allegations from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that McCabe may not have properly disclosed campaign payments to his wife on his ethics report and should have recused himself from Hillary Clinton’s email case.

McCabe is probably not a happy camper right now and certainly has no love lost for Michael Flynn, who was a potential witness on behalf of one of McCabe’s accusers.  As PJ Media reports:

In 2014, Flynn, then director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, personally intervened on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz by writing a letter vouching for her on his official Pentagon stationary [sic] and offering to testify on her behalf.  He also supported her case in a radio interview in 2015[.] …


The FBI, for its part, claimed that Gritz had become “underperforming, tardy to work, insurbordinate, possibly mentally ill or emotional and deserving of a poor performance review.” …


Flynn argued just the opposite in his May 9, 2014 letter: “SSA Gritz was well-known, liked and respected in the military counter-terrorism community for her energy, commitment and professional capacity, and over the years worked in several interagency groups on counter-terrorism targeting initiatives.”

McCabe did not disclose Democratic contributions to his wife’s campaign in Virginia in financial disclosure forms, donations that raise questions about both his integrity and objectivity.  As Fox News Politics reports:

The records, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe left the box blank for wife Dr. Jill McCabe’s salary, as a doctor with Commonwealth Emergency Physicians.  And there is no documentation of the hundreds of thousands of campaign funds she received in her unsuccessful 2015 Virginia state Senate race.


As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Clinton confidant and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged McCabe’s wife to run for statewide office shortly after news reports were published that Hillary Clinton used a private email server and address for all her government business while serving as secretary of State.  


For the reporting period of October through November 2015, McCabe’s campaign filings show she received $467,500 from Common Good VA, a political action committee controlled by McAuliffe, as well as an additional $292,500 from a second Democratic PAC.

Connect those dots: Democrats and others looking for Russians hiding under Republican beds.  A deputy FBI director, Andrew McCabe, campaigning for his wife, who receives huge sums of money from the Democratic Party of Clinton political ally Terry McAuliffe.  Flynn, character witness on behalf of one of McCabe’s accusers, becoming a target of an FBI probe in which his identity is illegally unmasked.  Was Mrs. McCabe’s subsidy a quid for a future quo?  Was Flynn’s unmasking McCabe’s revenge?

McCabe’s firing is a well deserved outcome.  But he shouldn’t sweat the loss of his pension.  Federal prison inmates get free room and board.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

You can stop looking for Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the back of a milk carton.  Confronted by overwhelming evidence in a report by the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and a rare recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), he has fired liar and leaker Andrew McCabe in a move that can only be a harbinger for indictments to come that go beyond these offenses against honor and the law.

In his response to his firing, McCabe lied again, ignoring his multitude of offenses only to whine about persecution by a vindictive President Trump:

For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country.  Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us.  The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing.  He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service.  And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us.

Never mind the “lack of candor” (aka lies) the OPR and OIG have charged you with, or the self-serving leaking of confidential information to a reporter.  Come to think of it, your former boss, James Comey, did the same thing.  He taught you well.

You can whine that the “OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter,” but the fact is that you had no right to make that choice any more than James Comey did when he leaked his version of a private Oval Office meeting to the press via an intermediary.

You can object to “being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan,” yet that is what you were, from the meeting in “Andy’s office,” where the official FBI resistance to President Trump was organized and discussed, to having Friend of Hillary Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe arrange massive donations to your wife’s political campaign even as you were supposed to be overseeing the Hillary email investigation.

Chutzpah has a new poster child in Andrew McCabe, who, after aiding and abetting Hillary Clinton’s exoneration and collusion with the Russians, committing a fraud upon the FISA court to aid one political party over another, and being an active participant in the attempted deep state coup against Donald Trump, dared to ask he not be fired so he can retain a cushy pension:

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday made a final pitch to the Justice Department about why he should not be fired just 72 hours before his retirement, leaving Attorney General Jeff Sessions to decide the matter with a deadline rapidly approaching[.] …


White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of McCabe, “We do think that it is well documented that he has had some very troubling behavior and by most accounts a bad actor,” though she said the decision on his future was up to Sessions[.] …


The accusations against McCabe stem from a yet-to-be released report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who has for months been probing broad allegations of misconduct surrounding the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state[.] …


Horowitz also has been examining McCabe’s involvement in authorizing the disclosure of information for a Wall Street Journal report and allegations he mislead investigators who asked about the matter[.] …


Trump has suggested in the past that McCabe was biased in favor of Clinton, pointing out that McCabe’s wife, who ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Virginia legislature, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the political action committee of Terry McAuliffe, then the state’s governor and a noted Clinton ally.

McCabe is an accomplished Deep State liar and co-conspirator who took his leave in January to avoid demotion and preserve his pension.  That came after current FBI director Christopher Wray reviewed the House Intelligence Committee memo in which his activities in the vendetta against Trump involving the now infamous Christopher Steele dossier were prominently featured.  He deserved be fired and denied his pension, and he should be forced to pay for legal help to avoid incarceration on his own dime.

Former FBI national spokesman John Iannarelli argues that the firing of McCabe is eminently justified:

Although “there [are] many things that can be forgiven” within the nation’s pre-eminent law enforcement agency, a “lack of candor” and “not telling the truth” are “unforgivable,” former FBI national spokesperson John Iannarelli said Thursday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”


Iannarelli was reacting to reports that the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) recommended to Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week that he fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe before the latter’s pension begins Sunday.


The Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) concluded that McCabe, who oversaw the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server, reportedly misled investigators during their investigation into his conduct.

Wait a minute – isn’t “lying to investigators” what former national security advisor Michael Flynn was charged with, a crime he pleaded guilty to?  But lying to investigators may be only the tip of McCabe’s criminal iceberg.  As the meeting in his office suggests, McCabe could not have been ignorant of the efforts by lead investigator Peter Strzok, his paramour Lisa Page, and the likes of Bruce and Nellie Ohr and others to keep Hillary Clinton out of jail after colluding with the Russians and Donald Trump out of the White House.

At one point, McCabe had to reschedule his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, with the Justice Department telling the network that it was due to a “routine scheduling error.”  More likely, it was due to the need for everyone to get his story straight as the details of the fix that was in for Hillary Clinton are being…er, “unmasked” and the details of the attempted coup against President Trump bubble to the surface  from the depths of the swamp:

Fox News was told by those familiar with the matter that the intelligence committee is suspicious of the purported scheduling error. One source said they believe the schedule issue arose after Fox News’ report Monday night on Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr.


Ohr was recently demoted from one of his two senior posts.  Fox News reported that Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked through last fall for Fusion GPS, which was behind the anti-Trump dossier[.] …


“McCabe has an Ohr problem,” one congressional source said.

McCabe has many problems, and is at the heart of the criminal conspiracy to protect Hillary and unseat President Trump. The “Ohr problem” relates to Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie and their connections to Fusion GPS, the firm paid indirectly by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to work with former British spy Christopher Steele and Russian sources to put together a fake dossier likely used by the FBI to fraudulently obtain FISA surveillance warrants on Team Trump:

Fox reported on Monday that Nellie Ohr worked last year for Fusion GPS, which commissioned the dossier. The company investigated Donald Trump on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC


Bruce Ohr, a high-ranking Justice Department official, also has connections to both Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, the former British spy hired by Fusion to conduct the investigation of Trump.


Ohr met prior to the election with Steele. He met several weeks after Trump’s victory with Simpson. It remains unclear what Ohr discussed during those meetings.

Another McCabe problem relates to an FBI lead investigator in the Clinton probe, agent Peter Strzok, whose text messages to his FBI mistress, Lisa Page, lend both intent and motive to the Clinton cover-up and the animus toward President Trump.  A letter from Homeland Security Committee chairman Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Wis., shows McCabe’s role in the altering and drafting of the James Comey memo exonerating Hillary Clinton:

The letter reveals specific edits made by senior FBI agents when Deputy Director Andrew McCabe exchanged drafts of Comey’s statement with senior FBI officials, including Peter Strzok, Strzok’s direct supervisor, E.W. “Bill” Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an unnamed employee from the Office of General Counsel (identified by Newsweek as DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson) – in what was a coordinated conspiracy among top FBI brass to decriminalize Clinton’s conduct by changing legal terms and phrases, omitting key information, and minimizing the role of the Intelligence Community in the email investigation.  Doing so virtually assured that then-candidate Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted.

McCabe was the ringleader of the damage control team trying to fudge the evidence of Hillary’s crimes and soften the tone of Comey’s exoneration memo so there would be fewer questions when the fix was revealed.  McCabe was also aware of Strzok’s fears of a Trump victory and determination to undermine it:

Out of all the damning, politically charged anti-Trump text messages released, one text from Strzok to Page on August 15, 2016, raised the most suspicion.  It referred to a conversation and a meeting that had just taken place in “Andy’s” (widely believed to be Deputy FBI Dir. Andrew McCabe’s) office.  According to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Strzok had texted this: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office [break] … that there’s no way he gets elected. I want to believe that[.] … But I’m afraid we can’t take that risk[.] … We have to do something about it.”

If McCabe had any honor, he would have dismissed Strzok instantly and revealed the corruption his words exhibited.  But McCabe was part of the corrupt criminal enterprise.

McCabe was in a key position overseeing the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s scandalous and treasonous handling of classified emails on her private server, a position from which he could assist FBI director James Comey in putting the fix in.  As Judicial Watch notes: 

Judicial Watch today released Justice Department records showing that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe did not recuse himself from the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecure, non-government email server until Tuesday, November 1, 2016, one week prior to the presidential election.  The Clinton email probe was codenamed “Midyear Exam.”


While working as Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office, McCabe controlled resources supporting the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.  An October 2016 internal FBI memorandum labeled “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office,” details talking points about McCabe’s various potential conflicts of interest, including the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s illicit server, which officially began in July 2015:


While at [Washington Field Office] did Mr. McCabe provide assistance to the Clinton investigation?


After the referral was made, FBI Headquarters asked the Washington Field Office for personnel to conduct a special investigation. McCabe was serving as [Assistant Director] and provided personnel resources. However, he was not told what the investigation was about.  In February 2016 McCabe became Deputy Director and began overseeing the Clinton investigation.


The Overview also shows if asked whether McCabe played any role in his wife’s campaign, the scripted response was: “No.  Then-[Assistant Director] McCabe played no role, attended no events and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind.”

Of course, that statement was a lie.  McCabe is a Democratic loyalist whose wife campaigned for state office in Virginia as a Democrat with heavy Democratic financial support.  In fact, McCabe’s efforts on behalf of his wife were the subject of multiple federal probes:

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a central player in the Russia election case, is the focus of three separate federal administrative inquiries into allegations about his behavior as a senior bureau executive, according to documents and interviews.


The allegations being reviewed range from sexual discrimination to improper political activity, the documents show[.] …


Circa reported Monday that former supervisory special agent Robyn Gritz, a decorated counterterrorism agent, has filed a sexual discrimination and retaliation complaint that names McCabe and other top FBI officials[.] …


Gritz also filed a complaint against McCabe with the main federal whistleblower agency in April, alleging social media photos she found show he campaigned for his wife’s Virginia state senate race in violation of the Hatch Act[.] …


In addition, the Justice Department Inspector General is investigating allegations from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that McCabe may not have properly disclosed campaign payments to his wife on his ethics report and should have recused himself from Hillary Clinton’s email case.

McCabe is probably not a happy camper right now and certainly has no love lost for Michael Flynn, who was a potential witness on behalf of one of McCabe’s accusers.  As PJ Media reports:

In 2014, Flynn, then director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, personally intervened on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz by writing a letter vouching for her on his official Pentagon stationary [sic] and offering to testify on her behalf.  He also supported her case in a radio interview in 2015[.] …


The FBI, for its part, claimed that Gritz had become “underperforming, tardy to work, insurbordinate, possibly mentally ill or emotional and deserving of a poor performance review.” …


Flynn argued just the opposite in his May 9, 2014 letter: “SSA Gritz was well-known, liked and respected in the military counter-terrorism community for her energy, commitment and professional capacity, and over the years worked in several interagency groups on counter-terrorism targeting initiatives.”

McCabe did not disclose Democratic contributions to his wife’s campaign in Virginia in financial disclosure forms, donations that raise questions about both his integrity and objectivity.  As Fox News Politics reports:

The records, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe left the box blank for wife Dr. Jill McCabe’s salary, as a doctor with Commonwealth Emergency Physicians.  And there is no documentation of the hundreds of thousands of campaign funds she received in her unsuccessful 2015 Virginia state Senate race.


As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Clinton confidant and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged McCabe’s wife to run for statewide office shortly after news reports were published that Hillary Clinton used a private email server and address for all her government business while serving as secretary of State.  


For the reporting period of October through November 2015, McCabe’s campaign filings show she received $467,500 from Common Good VA, a political action committee controlled by McAuliffe, as well as an additional $292,500 from a second Democratic PAC.

Connect those dots: Democrats and others looking for Russians hiding under Republican beds.  A deputy FBI director, Andrew McCabe, campaigning for his wife, who receives huge sums of money from the Democratic Party of Clinton political ally Terry McAuliffe.  Flynn, character witness on behalf of one of McCabe’s accusers, becoming a target of an FBI probe in which his identity is illegally unmasked.  Was Mrs. McCabe’s subsidy a quid for a future quo?  Was Flynn’s unmasking McCabe’s revenge?

McCabe’s firing is a well deserved outcome.  But he shouldn’t sweat the loss of his pension.  Federal prison inmates get free room and board.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.



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My Theory of Everything


Stephen Hawking certainly was right about one thing, even if he was wrong about others.  “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet,” Hawking said.  “And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

Sure, look up at the stars and dream and ponder and question and fantasize, maybe even theorize.  Try to make sense of the universe, and one day you might be a great philosopher or a theoretical physicist or even…a rabbinic scholar.  And even if this doesn’t happen, at a minimum, you will join the ranks of most humans who, since the dawn of time, looked to the heavens trying to make sense of it all – an irresistible pastime that seems to be inherent in our collective DNA.  

But is there room in the dreaming and stargazing for those who believe in both science and the divine, or are the two mutually exclusive, as today so many claim?  Is there any leeway in Hawking’s “brief history of time” for a fellow scientist committed equally to scientific inquiry and to G-d, or would such an individual be regarded with revulsion?  Hawking’s first wife, with whom he apparently re-established a close relationship in his later years, is supposedly a religious Christian.  One would have to assume he had some degree of tolerance for his religiously devout wife of thirty years.

As for Hawking’s pearl of wisdom that “there is always something you can do and succeed at,” who can disagree with that? 

The problem I have with this quote from Hawking – and I readily admit I haven’t read all of his views on the subject – is with his comment about feet.  Now, it’s possible that a man who was confined to a wheelchair might have found that gawking at his feet all day was a fruitless enterprise.  In some sense, directing curiosity to untangling the mysteries the universe was a perfect vocation for a brilliant mind bearing witness to a horrible disease wresting control from his body.

But if I were speaking to a room full of confused but eager high school students – most of whom will never achieve the intellectual magnificence of a Hawking – I might temper his comments a bit while instilling the requisite amount of inspiration for the next genius.

The strides we make in understanding the universe and the world around us do not always stem from contemplating the stars and dreaming – or, to be more precise, do not necessarily result from dreaming as a singular activity.    

There are those who succeed by dreaming alone, those who succeed by doing, and those who succeed by a combination of both.  And while knowledge and progress are the ultimate goals, we encounter failure with greater ease and frequency in any series of experiments or attempts to innovate than we do success.  It is not uncommon for our desire to land the big one to turn into a quest for the great white whale – ever elusive to the point of our own downfall.

Young people need to understand this as they are pushed to pursue careers in STEM.  There is an episode of The Big Bang Theory that illustrates this in a humorous but sad way.  An older professor dies, and, while cleaning out his office, the gang finds a bottle of champagne with a note from his mother instructing that it be opened upon his first big discovery.  Their curiosity takes on a life of its own when they find spiral notebooks filled with numbers, and they wonder whether this was incomplete but groundbreaking research – his first big discovery.  Unable to decrypt the numbers, they visit the deceased professor’s office mate, who is living alone in a run-down apartment.  He bursts their bubble when he reveals that the books were calorie diaries the professor kept, believing that calorie restriction is the key to longevity.  The dearly departed did not accomplish anything significant in his career, and when the boys ask about his office mate’s accomplishments, he sarcastically remarks that yeah, sure, run-down apartments like his are what they give out as Nobel Prizes. 

Maybe the fictitious professor would have fared better in the private sector or honing his skills as a teacher.  Let’s face it: there are times when dreaming gets you nowhere in life, and at some point, you will be forced to look at your feet and see where they can take you instead.  Throughout the course of humanity, there have always been people who contributed to human knowledge and scientific inquiry not by pondering the imponderable, but by inventing something practical. 

Sometimes, our feet will lead us down a successful, fruitful path.  Sometimes, the practical can lead to the dream and even the answers.  Sometimes, ignoring the questions on a daily basis can lead to the solutions.  Sometimes staring too long at the stars and pondering comes at the cost of our happiness, our sense of fulfillment, and a meaningful life.  Often we are left with a sense of weariness pondering the same unanswerable questions, making little headway with any quantifiable scientific progress. 

Sometimes we get so involved with our dreams that we lose connections to our families.  Master dreamer Stephen Hawking got divorced from his first wife, Jane, after thirty years of marriage.  Hawking’s resounding success in the wake of A Brief History of Time took such a toll on the family that she “felt that the family had been left behind.”

It’s quite possible that we might not ever get answers to certain questions about humanity and the universe – at least not that our puny organic brains can currently comprehend.  It’s quite possible that science can only take us so far. It’s also possible that our thirst for knowledge can sow the seeds of our own destruction, as Stephen Vincent Benet wrote about in By the Waters of Babylon.  We tend to focus on nuclear bombs and war as the means to our demise, but a DIY biohacker or artificial general intelligence just might do us in.

Sure, look up to the heavens and ponder, dream, fantasize, question, and theorize.  If your passion is to wrestle with infinity, query your heart out – maybe someday you will discover something that expands our knowledge about the universe. 

But don’t be so quick to judge those scientists who are also believers or us lower life forms slithering around in the primordial goo, whose limited nervous systems can’t fathom the unfathomable and are inclined to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  Before you reflexively dismiss those who believe in a higher power, take a moment to reflect on the following:

Scientists, geniuses, theoretical physicists, and technologists often ask the rest of us to take their latest working theories on faith until they can be proven, many of which they ultimately abandon.  And some of the greatest scientific minds ask that we take on faith their highly credible, earth-shattering theories that will change our understanding of everything until the time comes they are able to prove them.  Humanity has invested untold sums in high-powered telescopes, space exploration, probes, and ROVERS; on Fermi Lab and the Hadron Collider smashing atoms in search of the tiniest of particles…all in an attempt to prove theories to which we cling based only on our faith.

Is having faith in scientific gospel at all different from having faith in G-d?  Are labs and colliders designed to uncover knowledge about the universe truly different from our monasteries, seminaries, and houses of worship?  Can’t we have faith in both?

I do agree with Hawking that we should look to the heavens and dream because, if we can imagine it, it can happen – practically every tool, process, discovery, and piece of technology we have created started in our minds’ eye.

But here is where I disagree with Hawking: don’t forget to mind your feet, because your feet are what will carry you forth in life.  Sometimes your feet will take you down a singular path and sometimes multiple paths.  Sometimes your journey will be a straight, predictable trek, and other times it will be a circuitous mess, a maze in which the end is not apparent.  Your feet will bring you accomplishments and failures that will define your life.  And in the end, when you look back on your life, you will understand that it had to be the way it was to make you the person you will be when your time to leave this blessed Earth comes. 

Focusing on the stars as a discrete pastime or career choice can indeed be rewarding, and a few just might have a profound impact on the world.  But beware that fixating on the stars alone and ignoring your feet can keep you in a dream state for so long that you might actually lose time (and hope and love and family – which also define our humanity and place in the universe) as life passes you by.

My theory of everything is that it is all a balance.  Look up to the heavens and dream, my children.  But keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, ready to kick into gear when you need to travel to an alternate destiny.

Stephen Hawking certainly was right about one thing, even if he was wrong about others.  “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet,” Hawking said.  “And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

Sure, look up at the stars and dream and ponder and question and fantasize, maybe even theorize.  Try to make sense of the universe, and one day you might be a great philosopher or a theoretical physicist or even…a rabbinic scholar.  And even if this doesn’t happen, at a minimum, you will join the ranks of most humans who, since the dawn of time, looked to the heavens trying to make sense of it all – an irresistible pastime that seems to be inherent in our collective DNA.  

But is there room in the dreaming and stargazing for those who believe in both science and the divine, or are the two mutually exclusive, as today so many claim?  Is there any leeway in Hawking’s “brief history of time” for a fellow scientist committed equally to scientific inquiry and to G-d, or would such an individual be regarded with revulsion?  Hawking’s first wife, with whom he apparently re-established a close relationship in his later years, is supposedly a religious Christian.  One would have to assume he had some degree of tolerance for his religiously devout wife of thirty years.

As for Hawking’s pearl of wisdom that “there is always something you can do and succeed at,” who can disagree with that? 

The problem I have with this quote from Hawking – and I readily admit I haven’t read all of his views on the subject – is with his comment about feet.  Now, it’s possible that a man who was confined to a wheelchair might have found that gawking at his feet all day was a fruitless enterprise.  In some sense, directing curiosity to untangling the mysteries the universe was a perfect vocation for a brilliant mind bearing witness to a horrible disease wresting control from his body.

But if I were speaking to a room full of confused but eager high school students – most of whom will never achieve the intellectual magnificence of a Hawking – I might temper his comments a bit while instilling the requisite amount of inspiration for the next genius.

The strides we make in understanding the universe and the world around us do not always stem from contemplating the stars and dreaming – or, to be more precise, do not necessarily result from dreaming as a singular activity.    

There are those who succeed by dreaming alone, those who succeed by doing, and those who succeed by a combination of both.  And while knowledge and progress are the ultimate goals, we encounter failure with greater ease and frequency in any series of experiments or attempts to innovate than we do success.  It is not uncommon for our desire to land the big one to turn into a quest for the great white whale – ever elusive to the point of our own downfall.

Young people need to understand this as they are pushed to pursue careers in STEM.  There is an episode of The Big Bang Theory that illustrates this in a humorous but sad way.  An older professor dies, and, while cleaning out his office, the gang finds a bottle of champagne with a note from his mother instructing that it be opened upon his first big discovery.  Their curiosity takes on a life of its own when they find spiral notebooks filled with numbers, and they wonder whether this was incomplete but groundbreaking research – his first big discovery.  Unable to decrypt the numbers, they visit the deceased professor’s office mate, who is living alone in a run-down apartment.  He bursts their bubble when he reveals that the books were calorie diaries the professor kept, believing that calorie restriction is the key to longevity.  The dearly departed did not accomplish anything significant in his career, and when the boys ask about his office mate’s accomplishments, he sarcastically remarks that yeah, sure, run-down apartments like his are what they give out as Nobel Prizes. 

Maybe the fictitious professor would have fared better in the private sector or honing his skills as a teacher.  Let’s face it: there are times when dreaming gets you nowhere in life, and at some point, you will be forced to look at your feet and see where they can take you instead.  Throughout the course of humanity, there have always been people who contributed to human knowledge and scientific inquiry not by pondering the imponderable, but by inventing something practical. 

Sometimes, our feet will lead us down a successful, fruitful path.  Sometimes, the practical can lead to the dream and even the answers.  Sometimes, ignoring the questions on a daily basis can lead to the solutions.  Sometimes staring too long at the stars and pondering comes at the cost of our happiness, our sense of fulfillment, and a meaningful life.  Often we are left with a sense of weariness pondering the same unanswerable questions, making little headway with any quantifiable scientific progress. 

Sometimes we get so involved with our dreams that we lose connections to our families.  Master dreamer Stephen Hawking got divorced from his first wife, Jane, after thirty years of marriage.  Hawking’s resounding success in the wake of A Brief History of Time took such a toll on the family that she “felt that the family had been left behind.”

It’s quite possible that we might not ever get answers to certain questions about humanity and the universe – at least not that our puny organic brains can currently comprehend.  It’s quite possible that science can only take us so far. It’s also possible that our thirst for knowledge can sow the seeds of our own destruction, as Stephen Vincent Benet wrote about in By the Waters of Babylon.  We tend to focus on nuclear bombs and war as the means to our demise, but a DIY biohacker or artificial general intelligence just might do us in.

Sure, look up to the heavens and ponder, dream, fantasize, question, and theorize.  If your passion is to wrestle with infinity, query your heart out – maybe someday you will discover something that expands our knowledge about the universe. 

But don’t be so quick to judge those scientists who are also believers or us lower life forms slithering around in the primordial goo, whose limited nervous systems can’t fathom the unfathomable and are inclined to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  Before you reflexively dismiss those who believe in a higher power, take a moment to reflect on the following:

Scientists, geniuses, theoretical physicists, and technologists often ask the rest of us to take their latest working theories on faith until they can be proven, many of which they ultimately abandon.  And some of the greatest scientific minds ask that we take on faith their highly credible, earth-shattering theories that will change our understanding of everything until the time comes they are able to prove them.  Humanity has invested untold sums in high-powered telescopes, space exploration, probes, and ROVERS; on Fermi Lab and the Hadron Collider smashing atoms in search of the tiniest of particles…all in an attempt to prove theories to which we cling based only on our faith.

Is having faith in scientific gospel at all different from having faith in G-d?  Are labs and colliders designed to uncover knowledge about the universe truly different from our monasteries, seminaries, and houses of worship?  Can’t we have faith in both?

I do agree with Hawking that we should look to the heavens and dream because, if we can imagine it, it can happen – practically every tool, process, discovery, and piece of technology we have created started in our minds’ eye.

But here is where I disagree with Hawking: don’t forget to mind your feet, because your feet are what will carry you forth in life.  Sometimes your feet will take you down a singular path and sometimes multiple paths.  Sometimes your journey will be a straight, predictable trek, and other times it will be a circuitous mess, a maze in which the end is not apparent.  Your feet will bring you accomplishments and failures that will define your life.  And in the end, when you look back on your life, you will understand that it had to be the way it was to make you the person you will be when your time to leave this blessed Earth comes. 

Focusing on the stars as a discrete pastime or career choice can indeed be rewarding, and a few just might have a profound impact on the world.  But beware that fixating on the stars alone and ignoring your feet can keep you in a dream state for so long that you might actually lose time (and hope and love and family – which also define our humanity and place in the universe) as life passes you by.

My theory of everything is that it is all a balance.  Look up to the heavens and dream, my children.  But keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, ready to kick into gear when you need to travel to an alternate destiny.



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Foreign Collusion? It's Rampant in Big Tech


You want foreign collusion?  I’ve got foreign collusion for you.  On your phones, computers, tablets, and laptops.  In your bedroom, living room, and kitchen.

The Big Tech Industrial Complex has thousands of H-1B visa and green card employees.  Some of these workers’ roles are as engineers, analysts, and programmers, in the departments responsible for the regulation, suppression and censorship of political speech their parent companies have deemed hateful, inflammatory, and inappropriate for young audiences.

What this means is that foreigners who cannot vote in American elections have been given carte blanche by their bosses and executives to tyrannically muzzle political thought and opinions, which undoubtedly can, and likely does, influence the outcomes of American elections at all levels of government.

Here’s the tale of the tape of the top two Big Tech firms with federally approved H-1B and green card workers since 2014 (figures are from http://www.myvisajobs.com):

Twitter: 1,226

Google (including YouTube): 15,368

Though it is unclear exactly how many of the nearly 17,000 workers are directly responsible for the collusion, even a small percentage equals a lot of collusion.

Putin wishes he could collude like Big Tech

Vladimir Putin?  He ain’t got nothin’ on Big Tech.  And speaking of collusion, where are all the Democrats and Tessio Republicans obsessed with the “President Trump is Alger Hiss” conspiracy theory?

Big Tech fancies itself as God, as an omnipotent and omniscient Supreme Being.  The surreptitiousness by which, for example, Twitter operates is highly sophisticated.  Furthermore, the San Francisco-based social media company has always been cozy with Democrats and is notorious for denying right-leaning ads.

Ironically, news of the recent forced unfollowings of millions of users’ accounts was reported on Twitter.

Google is currently facing a lawsuit from conservative icon Dennis Prager, who alleges that YouTube restricted 30 videos from his PragerU channel due to their political themes and topics.  Some of the videos’ titles were “The most important question about abortion,” “Where are the moderate Muslims?,” and “Is Islam a religion of peace?”  Many of PragerU’s 4- to 5-minute vignette-presenters are well known conservative pundits, professors, and Pulitzer Prize-winners.

Twitter, likewise, is facing lawsuits from plaintiffs alleging that they were banned due to their views on race.

To make matters worse, the DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex) is no longer masking its fetish for speech control.  (You thought guns were the only right the DMIC wants to control in its “all for me, none for thee” zeal?)  DMIC colluder and conspirator CNN recently embarked on a propaganda activist campaign against Infowars’ Alex Jones.  Whatever one’s opinion of Jones, it’s flat-out creepy how fervent the DMIC is on its anti-First Amendment warpath.

Have any of you ever, for a single second, heard DMIC networks, newspapers, and other organizations question the ethical appropriateness of foreign workers at American companies manipulating what political content their users see and don’t see, based on political ideology?

Me neither.

Online discrimination is worse than segregation

The internet is the greatest invention in mankind’s history.  I am a frequent Twitter and Google user; I have a YouTube video channel.  The Democrats told us the repeal of net neutrality was Armageddon (until tax reform came along – Democrats meant to say tax reform was Armageddon!).  Why, then, haven’t those same Democrats so in favor of net neutrality spoken a word about shadowbanning?

Our country, and our world, is fueled by technology.  Technology and the internet connect us in ways our elders never could have envisioned; one out of every three human beings on Earth communicates via the internet.  This is why I forewarn: continued, furtive, and unchecked discrimination against political viewpoints will make segregation and McCarthyism look like Camelot.  Segregationists and Joseph McCarthy operated openly; Big Tech, however, seems to relish the invisible influence it wields over its end users.

Democrats made a big deal about, and levied six figures in fines against, a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple, based on his religious beliefs.  But Democrats support Big Tech’s silencing of Republicans, conservatives, President Trump, and his supporters.  There are certainly legal arguments to be made that Big Tech is well within its rights to handpick what content appears on its platforms, but its obsession with trampling speech it arbitrarily labels as “hate speech” reeks of actual discrimination – the tech version of refusing service based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

Big Government, with all of its onerous regulations, always stifles economic growth, especially among small business.  But perhaps the time has come for the Federal Communications Commission to begin a serious examination of whether Big Tech has become too much like Orwell’s Animal Farm: “all views are equal, but some are more equal than others.”  Free speech is often beautiful and often ugly.  Freedom isn’t really about agreeing or disagreeing with speech; it’s about equally supporting the right to speech we deem agreeable or disagreeable.

The free market of ideas must be left as untouched as possible.  It’s true that no right is absolute, but mega-conglomerates weaponizing their services is frighteningly totalitarian.  If Fidel Castro, or Mao, or Pol Pot, or…fill in the dictator blank…had this kind of technology, he would have leveraged it exactly as Big Tech does today.

If foreign workers despotically meddling in our online political speech doesn’t keep us up at night, what will?  

Rich Logis is host of The Rich Logis Show, at TheRichLogisShow.com, and author of the upcoming book 10 Warning Signs Your Child is Becoming a Democrat.  He can be found on Twitter at @RichLogis.

Image: Patrick Nouhailler via Flickr.

You want foreign collusion?  I’ve got foreign collusion for you.  On your phones, computers, tablets, and laptops.  In your bedroom, living room, and kitchen.

The Big Tech Industrial Complex has thousands of H-1B visa and green card employees.  Some of these workers’ roles are as engineers, analysts, and programmers, in the departments responsible for the regulation, suppression and censorship of political speech their parent companies have deemed hateful, inflammatory, and inappropriate for young audiences.

What this means is that foreigners who cannot vote in American elections have been given carte blanche by their bosses and executives to tyrannically muzzle political thought and opinions, which undoubtedly can, and likely does, influence the outcomes of American elections at all levels of government.

Here’s the tale of the tape of the top two Big Tech firms with federally approved H-1B and green card workers since 2014 (figures are from http://www.myvisajobs.com):

Twitter: 1,226

Google (including YouTube): 15,368

Though it is unclear exactly how many of the nearly 17,000 workers are directly responsible for the collusion, even a small percentage equals a lot of collusion.

Putin wishes he could collude like Big Tech

Vladimir Putin?  He ain’t got nothin’ on Big Tech.  And speaking of collusion, where are all the Democrats and Tessio Republicans obsessed with the “President Trump is Alger Hiss” conspiracy theory?

Big Tech fancies itself as God, as an omnipotent and omniscient Supreme Being.  The surreptitiousness by which, for example, Twitter operates is highly sophisticated.  Furthermore, the San Francisco-based social media company has always been cozy with Democrats and is notorious for denying right-leaning ads.

Ironically, news of the recent forced unfollowings of millions of users’ accounts was reported on Twitter.

Google is currently facing a lawsuit from conservative icon Dennis Prager, who alleges that YouTube restricted 30 videos from his PragerU channel due to their political themes and topics.  Some of the videos’ titles were “The most important question about abortion,” “Where are the moderate Muslims?,” and “Is Islam a religion of peace?”  Many of PragerU’s 4- to 5-minute vignette-presenters are well known conservative pundits, professors, and Pulitzer Prize-winners.

Twitter, likewise, is facing lawsuits from plaintiffs alleging that they were banned due to their views on race.

To make matters worse, the DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex) is no longer masking its fetish for speech control.  (You thought guns were the only right the DMIC wants to control in its “all for me, none for thee” zeal?)  DMIC colluder and conspirator CNN recently embarked on a propaganda activist campaign against Infowars’ Alex Jones.  Whatever one’s opinion of Jones, it’s flat-out creepy how fervent the DMIC is on its anti-First Amendment warpath.

Have any of you ever, for a single second, heard DMIC networks, newspapers, and other organizations question the ethical appropriateness of foreign workers at American companies manipulating what political content their users see and don’t see, based on political ideology?

Me neither.

Online discrimination is worse than segregation

The internet is the greatest invention in mankind’s history.  I am a frequent Twitter and Google user; I have a YouTube video channel.  The Democrats told us the repeal of net neutrality was Armageddon (until tax reform came along – Democrats meant to say tax reform was Armageddon!).  Why, then, haven’t those same Democrats so in favor of net neutrality spoken a word about shadowbanning?

Our country, and our world, is fueled by technology.  Technology and the internet connect us in ways our elders never could have envisioned; one out of every three human beings on Earth communicates via the internet.  This is why I forewarn: continued, furtive, and unchecked discrimination against political viewpoints will make segregation and McCarthyism look like Camelot.  Segregationists and Joseph McCarthy operated openly; Big Tech, however, seems to relish the invisible influence it wields over its end users.

Democrats made a big deal about, and levied six figures in fines against, a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple, based on his religious beliefs.  But Democrats support Big Tech’s silencing of Republicans, conservatives, President Trump, and his supporters.  There are certainly legal arguments to be made that Big Tech is well within its rights to handpick what content appears on its platforms, but its obsession with trampling speech it arbitrarily labels as “hate speech” reeks of actual discrimination – the tech version of refusing service based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

Big Government, with all of its onerous regulations, always stifles economic growth, especially among small business.  But perhaps the time has come for the Federal Communications Commission to begin a serious examination of whether Big Tech has become too much like Orwell’s Animal Farm: “all views are equal, but some are more equal than others.”  Free speech is often beautiful and often ugly.  Freedom isn’t really about agreeing or disagreeing with speech; it’s about equally supporting the right to speech we deem agreeable or disagreeable.

The free market of ideas must be left as untouched as possible.  It’s true that no right is absolute, but mega-conglomerates weaponizing their services is frighteningly totalitarian.  If Fidel Castro, or Mao, or Pol Pot, or…fill in the dictator blank…had this kind of technology, he would have leveraged it exactly as Big Tech does today.

If foreign workers despotically meddling in our online political speech doesn’t keep us up at night, what will?  

Rich Logis is host of The Rich Logis Show, at TheRichLogisShow.com, and author of the upcoming book 10 Warning Signs Your Child is Becoming a Democrat.  He can be found on Twitter at @RichLogis.

Image: Patrick Nouhailler via Flickr.



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