Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Rescued Pacific Drifters, Part Two: Hinky and Dinky with the Facts.. or Just Dazed and Confused?

The October Ocean  story of the month is now a week old,
but only in the last few days have more "factual shoes"
fallen out of the closet, nevermind merely "the other shoe

The mass media's further explication (today's ) brings
out the two women's inconsistencies, about no big storm
reported in their Pacific area on the day they said it occurred,
that they sent no messages when they said they did; more
head-scratchers undoubtedly to follow, such as how they
had the strikingly bad luck to have no working communication
devices all at once, etc. A cell phone was washed overboard?
Did they not think to secure such a vital and valuable device?
There are easy and inexpensive ways to do this, even in a severe
storm(s) --how is it their food lasted for the entire putative five
months' worth of drifting?

                          So What Gives Here?

(1) They could be so stressed out that they are conflating
events when they are interviewed, piling one misstatement
upon another;

(2)  They may simply be painfully inarticulate;

(3)  They overestimated their talents and preparedness.
Many people do indeed precisely that, and sooner or later
it comes back to bite one's backside.

(4)  More insidiously, this may be what psychologists/
psychiatrists and social workers deem "Munchausens'
Disease, where great effort is expended, lying,wasting other
people's time and concern, etc. just to gain fame or merely
attention. Since it is a form of mental/emotional illness, more
to be pitied than scorned...(but were the dogs a substitution for
children, AKA the Proxy in Munchausen's by Proxy, even
though the dogs didn't appear to have been mistreated as
children are in the strict medical definition.)

(5) Lacking any mental disease affect, simply a bad character.
(Lots of THAT going around, even worse than a pandemic!)
Socrates seems to have been the first famous person to say
"The unexamined life is not worth living". How right he and
others like him are.

I am glad the gals and the dogs are alive. But again, being
the meanie I am, I must ask, why would anyone think they were
prepared for such a mammoth, risky undertaking by traveling to
a part of the world where few speak English?  If we are not willing
to learn another language, then why not travel to the many places
where English is spoken? Come ON, it just aint that hard.

I find it the height of our American arrogance that we must
(apparently) still think all the world's adults speak English.
This ignorant assumption forgets, never knew or doesn't
care that most of the world's peoples do NOT speak English,
either as the native language or as later learned...Pacific Ocean
nations have most of the Earth's humans, history and geography,
so it could really pay off to respect that.

Meanwhile, more to follow, about Hinky, Dinky and all the

P.S.: today CNN finally filled in my more urgent questions:
these ladies did have meat protein in the form of beef jerky
and very high energy (fats) nuts, also good sources of protein.
The one partner who had zero knowledge of boats and
sailing, according to her own quote, finally ends it for me as of
this post.

I didn't see where these two checked long-range weather forecasts
via NOAA, before departing, so depended on antennas
which are easily broken, etc. They also had very poor
estimation skills, since one woman said the Tiger sharks
swarming around them were 30 feet long; generally
Tigers are around ten, but more bad guess work
like this, relative to the physics of their small boat/vis a vis
all the other vital variables--well they had some luck
and held on constantly to the one GPS enabled phone,
admittedly a smart move. Enough!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Er, "Mull" This: The Pacific Drifters and Robert Mueller: Being Incredibly Lucky? vs.Taking No Chances THIS Time

Well, perhaps the two young women DID have plenty of
dog food on board their disabled sailing craft; perhaps
they fished (great sources of necessary protein for all
four of them)...but the news outlets I have checked so far
say they had rice and some staples, etc. No mention of
meat, fish OR kibble. After watching several TV stations'
reports (sitting two feet from the 23" screen) showcasing
the smiling gals and their incredibly fit dogs, I admit I'm
suspicious. After five months'  extreme stress and uncertainty,
they might all justifiably be expected to appear a wee bit more
ragged around the edges. But I am a cynic with a looong
memory for previous "inspiring, incredible, unbelievable"
stunts involving  people achieving adventures very likely
movie worthy, IF true, only to find, ahh NO, NOT. But,
sigh, in fairness, it's still early days...and the mass media is
notoriously slow on the relevant uptake and details, as
I noticed with the Las Vegas, 58-dead tragic massacre.

Meanwhile, back at Langley HQ (FBI) Robert Mueller
(trust me), has not forgotten how he and others at the
top seriously muffed 911, ignoring Mpls. field agent
Coleen Rowley's spot on warning re: flight school
strangeness training; operatives in Phoenix and NYC
also sounded the alarm, to the apparently heedless in charge.
The FBI has arrested, er, allowed, Manafort and Gates a
dignity fig leaf, letting them surrender themselves today on
Russian trade irregularities and other "sins". Some readers
may recall it was Robert Mueller atop the FBI on September
11, 2001; yes, he has a different title now, and indeed is
tightening up his act--16 years a bit late, that is, for 3, 000
innocent American souls and FBI righteous employees who
ACTUALLY did their jobs. "Peter Principle, anyone?
Betcha Bob M. knows what that is and certainly doesn't
wish to be tarred twice with a brush dipped in incompetency
#Blushing Red paint pot, yet...

He became Director of the Bureau only a week before
the stunning terror attack, so some of my vitriol is, alas,
regrettably misplaced, and just when I was having so
much fun!! Still, Bob M. can't lean on the "I was new"
excuse the way a front line worker often can. High authority
and high office have standards of expectations well above
me and thee. He WAS NOT "new" to the Bureau.

Seriously, I am always awed by just how much
a role luck plays in all our lives, and how it really
pays to keep alert, study, and do one's best.

Let's all mull THAT.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Widow Johnson Denied Husband's Viewing an Unfeeling Miscarriage of Justice

The U.S. military overreached in denying Mrs. La David Johnson
the right to view her husband's remains. Despite her passionate
pleas, they sealed the coffin and buried it without allowing her
access. Police departments across the U.S. usually have a
family member identify the remains before further processing,
so why  not here? As she pointed out, who knows what is in
that box?

Funerals and burials are generally the proper province of the
family, so how the military legally could keep custody of the
body without allowing his spouse her rights is utterly beyond me.
What are they hiding? Why do the authorities want to speed
up and cream over whatever happened two weeks ago in

General Joseph Dunford gave a lengthy press conference
today during which he pledged an investigation, saying the
families and the country deserve answers; too few details
have been forthcoming. He did add the USA is in Africa
because ISIS and Al Qaeda have a presence there.

...Now if only the good general could ameliorate this
miscarriage of justice suffered by Mrs. Johnson in the

Monday, October 9, 2017

High Rise Hotel Security: There Is Hope for Improvement

Two days after the Las Vegas atrocity, most media did finally
take up the urgent matter of hotel security--but NPR had been
first, interviewing  an expert with surprising news: some of the
larger hotels DO have metal detectors, and some of them are
subtle, not easy to spot. I bet more hotels will follow such an
excellent example soon.

RE: the Chicago Connection: The Blackstone Hotel had
Paddock room reservations booked on August 1st, over-
looking Lalapalooza; thank the Almighty he decided to
remain closer to home in Nevada. It could have been an
even grislier bloodbath, as Lala had more audience numbers.

But again, so sad to say, I don't foresee gun law changes
in this crazy country, one which cannot properly read,
understand and abide by our noble document, the U.S.
Constitution, most tellingly, the Second Amendment. Gun
owning enthusiasts/supporters claim they arm themselves not
only for the usual self defense scenarios, but against a putative
rogue government. Reality check: even with 40 or 50
machine guns, the government/military can always make
short work of one's stash, so give that up as a sensible
reason to hold more than a handgun and a shotgun.

When will enough of us see sense and make murder
much harder to accomplish? --In my lifetime?

Yet, there is hope for improvement at hotels,
if only due to the profit motive.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2nd, 2017: Las Vegas: Open Air Security/Safety Impossible to Achieve

--Especially in a setting like last night's Las Vegas horror, an
open air concert with high rises surrounding the venue field.

Several realizations strike me about such a scenario: Once
a person has successfully checked into a hotel with large
weapons, securing the area on the ground below becomes
impossible. This hotel dropped the ball on security--how
do you not question what's inside  a large, long narrow
box? Even with all 50 states allowing conceal and carry
(some permitting open carry), private companies and
businesses still have the right to control security on their
premises. How were 20 weapons allowed into the
Mandalay Bay hotel??

Now that it is obvious how easy it was to kill so many
in such a situation, copy cats will follow...in and around
the world's biggest cities.

Meanwhile, memo to any other murderous malcontents:
just kill yourself FIRST, as long as you plan to commit
suicide anyway. --Leave everyone else ALONE.

Perhaps military grade weapons will now enjoy greater
legal scrutiny-- why does an ordinary citizen need them?

Again, major hotels must do their part to stymie such
terror--don't let suspicious packages and boxes up to
the rooms! The few dollars lost by turning away these
"guests"/customers are more than offset by avoiding tragedy
and maintaining a good and safe business reputation.
(How does the Mandalay Bay Hotel overcome what
happened there?)

I plan to avoid crowds and open air mass festivities,
since safety cannot be assured. I don't agree with the
philosophy that "all this won't change what I do", etc.
Whatever one can do to be more safe, to leave less to
chance, is a hell of a good idea.

Las Vegas, we pray for you in this dark, sad hour.

P.S.: The media (ABC, CBS, NBC) apparently has
not queried the surrounding high rises as to their check
in security measures. I saw only one woman, Val at ABC
Chicago Windy City Live, pose this concern, albeit