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The eyes of an old dog

July 10, 2017

d0293ccec965527dadc64266b4008eeb--puppy-dog-eyes-old-dogs

There’s nothing like looking into the eyes of an old dog.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a dog person and will look into the eyes of any canine, but the eyes of an old dog are different than the eyes of a puppy.

Puppy eyes are frenetic and fun, but old dogs eyes are focused are wise. They are knowing and comforting. They are a warm sweater on a cold night – a cognac in front of a fire. Puppy eyes are a T-shirt and a margarita. There’s a place for both, but it takes decades to make cognac.

It could be that I’m not exactly young myself and can see in the old dog’s eyes the reflection of what I feel and know. Old dogs are quiet, reserved, and circumspect. They’ve been around the block a few times and have the physical and emotional scars to prove it. So do I.

Old dogs know what works and doesn’t work in life. A lifetime of trials and errors has honed their soft gaze to be one of understanding, compassion and empathy. When I look into an old dog’s eyes I feel a bond. A bond of understanding that youth is fleeting, and always, as the saying goes, wasted on the young.

But at the same time, a puppy can never fully appreciate chasing a squirrel in the same way an old dog savors the pursuit. For a young dog, the squirrel is merely a brief distraction. For the old dog, the squirrel is a challenge, a threat, and the foil that keeps her in the game. Without the squirrel to chase, the old dog would wither. Maybe the same is true for the human that retires too early in life.

It’s good to be an old dog. I just wish they had more time to chase the squirrels now that they know how important it is. But then, I wish I had more time to chase my own squirrels too.

C’est la vie.

DSC00087I didn’t know it at the time, but a camera that was broken in 1963 would become my first lesson in mindfulness and would shape my approach to photography for the rest of my life.

When I was younger, I enjoyed taking pictures of landscapes, beaches, and sunsets. Technique was important – depth of field, aperture, shutter speed, film speed, and of course, the 18% gray card. Composition was equally important. I would patiently wait for just the right lighting or for a passing cloud to cast a shadow in just the right place. I viewed my surroundings through the viewfinder of the camera.

The broken camera

Some of the photographs were breathtaking and awe-inspiring, or at least that was my youthful opinion. But all of that abruptly changed when I read a passage in Colin Fletcher’s 1968 book, The man who walked through time. [1] The book chronicled Fletcher’s solo walk through the length of the Grand Canyon in 1963. This is what he wrote on page 120.

In order to photograph a scene that for interest and balance demanded a figure in the foreground, I had mounted my camera on its lightweight collapsible tripod for a delayed- action self-portrait shot. But as I moved into position a gust of wind sent camera and tripod crashing over. And afterward the shutter refused to function.

I had brought only this one camera down into the Canyon, and at first I simmered with frustration. But within an hour I discovered a new fact of life. I recognized, quite clearly, that photography is not really compatible with contemplation. Its details are too insistent.

They are always buzzing around your mind and clouding the fine focus of appreciation. You rarely detect this interference at the time, and cannot do much about it even if you do. But that morning of the Serpentine reconnaissance, after the camera had broken, I found myself freed from an impediment I had not known existed. I had escaped the tyranny of film. Now, when I came to something interesting, I no longer stopped, briefly, to photograph and forget; I stood and stared, fixing truer images on the emulsion of memory.

And the reconnaissance, set free, became a carnival—a bonus carnival, like one of the unexpected half-holidays we used to get at school for events quite beyond our control, such as the birth of yet another child to the headmaster’s gratifyingly fecund wife. The carnival spirit carried me up the steep side-slopes of Serpentine Canyon and along the Tonto Trail. When I got back to camp it was still there. And it lasted to the end of my stay in William Bass’s little bay. To the very end.

Photography interferes with mindfulness

Fletcher’s observation that “photography is not really compatible with contemplation” resonated with me. In my early years, I had been so obsessed with capturing the perfect, breathtaking sunset on film that I forgot to enjoy the actual sunset before it turned to gray. I didn’t know it at the time but Fletcher’s passage was my first introduction to practical mindfulness. Thank you for that Colin, RIP.[2]

For a brief period of time, I resisted taking any photos and instead just practiced enjoying the moment. As it turned out, I couldn’t sustain an absolute separation from my camera. I realized that, at least for me, taking photos was not about competing with Ansel Adams [3] or Peter Lik [4] for the best landscape (spoiler alert – they win!). Rather, I realized that taking pictures was a means of capturing an impression or a memory, not recording a landscape – no matter how dramatic it may be.

The lowly snapshot

I essentially abandoned photography in favor of taking snapshots. The lowly snapshot is spontaneous, and, if I’m doing it right, always has a person in the frame. Some of my early learning won’t die. Composition really does matter – even for snapshots taken with a cell phone.

I’ve looked back over decades of photos I’ve taken and I inevitably quickly pass over any shots featuring just a sunset or a beach. After a few years, all of those look more or less the same. Not so for the pictures with people. They capture so much more of the moment – my thoughts at the time, my feelings, the conversations taking place, the passing of time – all of the things that make us human.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t snap an occasional picture of a sunset, but when I do it plays a mere supporting role to the true main characters – people.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Walked-Through-Time-ebook/dp/B00OEXJB5E

[2] http://www.colinfletcher.com/Colin_Fletcher_Home.html

[3] http://anseladams.com/

[4] http://www.lik.com/thework/desert-dunes/beyond.html

 

With the release of the Republicans’ new tax reform legislation imminent, I thought it might be a good time to revisit a Confronting Mediocrity post from 2010 titled, Top fractiles income share and the “good old days.” [1] The reasons for the renewed relevance of the post is that the Republicans’ new tax reform plan will inevitably have generous tax cuts for the wealthy while it will have minimal tax cuts for the working class. It will be the most recent attempt to put lipstick on the pig that is known variously as trickle down economics, supply-side economics, Reaganomics, or, as George H.W. Bush characterized it in 1980 – Voodoo economics.

Whatever shade of lipstick you put on the pig, it’s still a pig. Reaganomics didn’t work in the 1980s and a reincarnation of it will fail in 2017. The reason is the basic premise is flawed, unless the objective is to make the rich richer at the expense of throttling the economy. An oversimplification of the trickle down premise is that giving hefty tax cuts to the wealthy will incent them to build more factories and make more products thereby creating jobs for workers. Under this conceit, the economic benefit of a tax cut to the wealthy would trickle down to the working class.

Let be crystal clear about one thing. Trickle down economics simply does not work. It’s backwards. Henry Ford new that when he decided to double the minimum wage for his employees to $5.00 per day. And, it wasn’t a pay hike driven by altruism. In his 1926 book, Today and Tomorrow [2], Mr. Ford wrote,

“The owner, the employees, and the buying public are all one and the same, and unless an industry can so manage itself as to keep wages high and prices low it destroys itself, for otherwise it limits the number of its customers. One’s own employees ought to be one’s own best customers.”

It’s a simple concept, really. Put another $5,000 in the pocket of a millionaire through a tax break and what happens? Nothing, except maybe it’s invested in some equity fund. On the other hand, put $5,000 in the hand of a worker and what happens? He or she buys stuff. They consume, and the products they consume must be built by someone, so employment increases to build the products to meet the increased demand.

In 2012, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service published a study titled Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945. [3] A key paragraph from the report summarizes their findings by saying,

“The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.”

This report was nothing less than a bombshell to the tenaciously-held core belief of Republicans that Ronald Regan’s trickle down philosophy was economic scripture. To acknowledge that trickle down may not work would be blasphemy, so Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell forced the report to be taken down. [4]

Then, in 2015, the International Monetary Fund published a paper, Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective [5], that effectively drove a stake of reality through the heart of the trickle down argument dismissing it as a fatally flawed principle and confirming what Henry Ford believed 90 years earlier. The report summarized their findings by stating,

“We find that increasing the income share of the poor and the middle class actually increases growth while a rising income share of the top 20 percent results in lower growth—that is, when the rich get richer, benefits do not trickle down.”

It seems that most now believe that the unequal distribution of incomes in the United States is a core issue that must be addressed. It is an issue that Democrats have been championing for decades and one that even some Republicans are begrudging acknowledging the impact of income disparity.

I will end this post where I began it by referencing the 2010 post in Confronting Mediocrity. The chart below was presented in that post and clearly demonstrates that as the top marginal tax rate decreased, the income disparity increased. And for that we can thank the failure of Regan’s trickle down economics.

Income share and top marginal tax rate

The era of broad prosperity between 1947 and 1974 coincided with a high top marginal tax rate and a relatively evenly distributed income share.

So, in the coming weeks, be alert for Republicans proposing tax reform based on the premise that preferentially benefiting the wealthy would create jobs and spur the economy. That concept is now fully debunked. Q.E.D.

[1] https://confrontingmediocrity.net/2010/11/21/distributionofearnings/

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Today-Tomorrow-Special-Fords-Classic/dp/0915299364

[3] http://www.dpcc.senate.gov/files/documents/CRSTaxesandtheEconomy%20Top%20Rates.pdf

[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/questions-raised-on-withdrawal-of-congressional-research-services-report-on-tax-rates.html

[5] https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/Staff-Discussion-Notes/Issues/2016/12/31/Causes-and-Consequences-of-Income-Inequality-A-Global-Perspective-42986

Blasting_of_a_chimney_at_the_former_Henninger_Brewery_in_Frankfurt_am_Main,_Germany

Entropy: “Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.” [1]

I first wrote about the metaphor of sociopolitical entropy in a 2010 posting [2] noting that President Obama’s challenge to restore order and organization in Afghanistan was considerably more difficult than it was to plunge that country further into the chaos of war through military action.

The concept that creation is more difficult than destruction is certainly not a new idea and examples can be found in many disciplines. In 1887, James JH Hamilton, principal of schools in Osceola Mills, Pennsylvania wrote in The American, “But it is easier to destroy that create; to tear down than to build up.” [3] That dichotomy is is no more evident than the contrasting approaches to the presidency by President Obama and Donald Trump.

Entropy opposites: Obama vs. Trump

President Obama was a builder who tried to constantly add order to systems. His efforts were manifest as policies to protect the environment, to provide health care, to stabilize conflict-weary regions, and to elevate America’s international stature and influence through diplomacy. This reasoned, policy-based approach to improving the lives of the body politic was tedious, complex, and time consuming. In a word, it was hard.

In stark contrast, Trump appears to have neither the interest nor the aptitude to take a policy-based approach to building a better America. Instead, at every opportunity he destroys or dismantles the structure and fabric that others before him have so laboriously built. In the Trumparian view of the world, there would be few regulations and little governmental structure to impede his holy grail – big business profits.

His goal is to increase the sociopolitical entropy at every opportunity. Why? Because it’s easy. One does not need a fully staffed State Department if international policies are considered superfluous. One does not need a fully functioning White House staff as long as there are family members to fill key positions. [4]

Is there an upside in the entropy-laden world of Trump?

There is if you are a large corporation that lacks a moral compass and has no encumbrances to polluting the environment to earn a few pennies more for your shareholders and your executive salaries. Corporations are myopic entities and are oblivious to species-threatening issues such as climate change. I wonder if there are any board rooms that consider that we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction. [5] No, the SEC 10k takes priority.

Some things are just hard

Trump seems to think there’s an easy solution to everything. Why else would he think a 66-page healthcare bill would work? Oh right, he did say, “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” [6] Actually Donald, they did. Why would he unfurl a complex flowchart showing the regulatory process needed to build a highway?[7] Because his approach would be to eliminate those complex regulations and start laying asphalt. Nobody knew building a road could be so easy.

I understand the concept of entropy may be too much of a metaphor for Trump and his die-hard supporters, so allow me to end with a quote that may have more credibility for them: “Doctor. As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create.” – Spock speaking to Doctor McCoy in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Believe me, with Trump as president, there have been more than a few times I wanted to say, “Beam me up, Scotty!”

 

[1]In physics entropy is a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.

‘the second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases with time’ https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/entropy

[2] Obama, Afghanistan and the second law of thermodynamics. August 1, 2010, Confronting Mediocrity

https://confrontingmediocrity.net/2010/08/01/entrop/

[3] The American: A National Journal, Vol XIV-No.356 Page 105ff, June 4, 1887

[4] http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/14/14907868/trump-empty-appointments-trade

[5] The Holocene extinction event. Is our species’ destiny to be known as “The Burners?”, April 13, 2104, Confronting Mediocrity, https://confrontingmediocrity.net/2014/04/13/the-holocene-extinction-event-is-our-species-destiny-to-be-known-as-the-burners/

[6] http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-nobody-knew-that-health-care-could-be-so-complicated-235436

[7] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/06/heres-the-huge-chart-donald-trump-is-dragging-around-to-show-how-hard-it-is-to-start-an-infrastructure-project.html

 

 

 

dead-canary

How many more canaries must die in the coal mine that is Donald Trump’s administration before America realizes that this president is toxic to the very fabric of what truly makes America great – fairness, equality, and diversity? The reality is that, for some people, no amount of metaphorical, avian carnage will result in that realization.

Most people can probably absorb one or two bad decisions or dubious behaviors by a president by considering them aberrations. But, surely there must be a tipping point where the aberrations become so frequent and so egregious that they can no longer be rationalized as outliers, and they must be recognized for what they are – the immature, aberrant, destructive behaviors that define the essence of the current president.

The backfire effect

For the majority of voters in the 2016 election, that tipping point had already been reached as evidenced by Hilary Clinton winning the popular vote. However, there is a segment of emotionally entrenched Trump supporters, nay zealots, for whom no amount of fact-based information will diminish their passionate support of Trump. There is a name for that phenomenon. It is known as the backfire effect that was first described in a paper by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler titled “When Corrections Fail: The persistence of political misperceptions.” [1]

The backfire effect is succinctly summarized in a posting [2] by David McRaney – “When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.” The same article also cites the 2006/2007 work of Nyhan and Reifler where they demonstrated the backfire effect by measuring people’s response to fake news articles. [3] Yes, “fake news.”

I doubt Nyhan and Reifler could have realized the impact fake news and the confirmation bias of the backfire effect would have in the 2016 election. I doubt anyone did, with the exception of Vladimir Putin and his cyber warfare experts at the FSB, a.k.a., Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации – (ФСБ).

What to do

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the solution is to recognize that responding to Trump supports with facts will likely never change their mind. It is a waste of your time to engage in fact-based discussions unless there is an acknowledgement by all that they may be wrong. Since that is unlikely to happen with emotion-based beliefs, there are three things everyone should do.

  1. Engage with your representatives in Congress and let them know your opinions. Every member tracks calls and emails to help them know the pulse of their constituents.

To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

To locate your Member on-line:
U.S. House of Representatives: www.house.gov
U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov

  1. Vote! Not just for the presidential horse race every four years, but in off-year elections. Congress is one of three equal branches of government and is worthy of your ongoing attention.
  2. Don’t waste your time on social media trying to convince a Trump supporter that they’re wrong. It won’t work and may well backfire.

 

[1] https://www.dartmouth.edu/~nyhan/nyhan-reifler.pdf

[2] https://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/

[3] http://www.uky.edu/AS/PoliSci/Peffley/pdf/nyhan-reifler%202007%20When%20Predictions%20Fail.pdf

Despite a vote by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2015 recommending that Direct to Consumer Advertising (DTCA) be banned [1], the pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma) continues to spend billions of dollars each year on consumer-targeted media campaigns. A year after the AMA vote to ban such advertising, the industry responded by increasing their 2015 DTCA budget by 19% spending more than $5 billion in 2016. Approximately 66% of that massive expenditure was on TV ads. (See chart below) [2] I am both relieved and disturbed that it wasn’t my imagination that the number of TV ads for pharmaceuticals has been increasing.

Spending-on-prescription-drug-advertising-by-source.-Digital-outlets-not-included-1-1024x624

Drug advertising works

It’s no wonder billions are spent on pitching prescription drugs to lay people. It simply works. For every dollar spent on DTCA sales within the industry rise by $4.20. [3] A Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll [4] found that 28% of people talked with their physician after seeing an ad for a prescription medication. If a Primary Care Physician (PCP) sees 90 patients a week, that would mean 25 of those patients were there because of something they saw on TV. I would imagine that PCPs have honed their responses when a patient opens the conversation by saying they saw an ad on TV or on the internet.

DTCA is not a new topic of discussion. It seems that the only thing that has changed when I first broached the subject in 2010 [5] is that spending has accelerated and the ever-expanding sources of media has allowed the pharmaceutical industry to finely target their advertising spend, e.g., Lyrica on the Food Network and Cialis on the Golf Channel.

America is an outlier

gall-peters-map-projection

Source: Confronting Mediocrity

It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s only “normal” to see pharmaceutical ads on TV if you live in the United States or New Zealand. In all other countries in the world, advertising prescription drugs on TV is prohibited. If one does the population math, that means that only 5% of the world population sees this type of advertising.

It’s a sad commentary on American society that everything, including health care, is driven by sophisticated marketing with the primary goal of maximizing corporate profits. In this construct, people are simply fodder for corporations to exploit. The best thing we can do is to be aware of efforts to manipulate us and to recognize that the interest of big business and personal interests are often not aligned.

The solution

In the case of those TV ads for prescription drugs, the solution is simple. If you don’t feel well, then see your physician. He or she has the knowledge, experience, and context to help. Rest assured, they already know more about the conditions and medications than is in the TV ads. Being an effective healthcare consumer means being informed, but it also means not being be duped by a big pharma ad into believing you have the disease du jour.

 

[1] https://www.ama-assn.org/content/ama-calls-ban-direct-consumer-advertising-prescription-drugs-and-medical-devices

[2] https://www.statnews.com/2016/03/09/drug-industry-advertising/

[3] https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/10683058.pdf

[4] http://kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-october-2015/

[5] https://confrontingmediocrity.net/2010/08/21/dtca/

How many coincidences does it take to establish causality?

The reality is that causality can never be established by coincidences, and attempting to do so risks falling into the realm of conspiracy theories. But, every so often, coincidences turn out to be the visible expressions of an underlying network of collusion. There must be a tipping point at which enough coincidences are recognized that an actual fact-based, structured investigation is undertaken to determine that now-elusive entity we call the truth.

The nexus

In some cases, identifying and focusing on a single event that triggered the conversion from conspiracy to collusion is helpful. To be sure, in the case of the Trump/Russia nexus there are many apparent connections: Attorney General Jeff Sessions “forgetting” he had spoken with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, during the 2016 campaign,[1] Trump’s political advisor Carter Page making a trip to Russia during the campaign,[2] but wait. Do you see how easy it is to fall down the conspiracy rabbit hole when there are so many connections? Fortunately, others have been trying to make sense of all these connections[3], so let me focus on the one that seems too blatant of a coincidence to be a coincidental.

Follow the money

In the case of Donald Trump, the time-tested axiom of following the money[4] will likely be the unifying thread that stitches together all the coincidences to create the tapestry of collusion. However, the tipping point for me came not by following the money, but by following the flights of Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev. You may remember Rybolovlev from his purchase of Trump’s Palm Beach mansion in 2008. At the time, the economy was in free fall and had reached terminal velocity. Nevertheless, Rybolovlev paid $95 million for the property Trump had purchased four years earlier for $41.3 million.[5]

Rybolovlev and those flights

airbus_acj319_m-kate_at_cologne_bonn_airport

M-KATE is the tail sign of Rybolovlev’s private Airbus 319

I first learned of the peculiar flights of Rybolovlev’s private jet, M-KATE, from a segment on the Rachel Maddow show.[6] Admittedly, MSNBC has a point of view, but the flights of M-KATE have been investigated by many other organizations without an ostensible political agenda. For example, Business Insider investigated the flights and concluded that the M-KATE flights that coincided with Trump were outliers from the plane’s typical flight history.[7] Of course, the White House has denounced any coincidences as conspiracy theories.[8] This denouncement is quite ironic given Trump’s own rich history in propagating conspiracy theories.

 

Bringing it in for a landing

I seem to be circling the airport and need to bring this posting in for a landing. I have distilled the massive flight data obtained by the Huffington Post into the two maps presented below.

M-KATE flight overview

The first map shows that on October 30, 2016, M-KATE flew to Las Vegas and stayed only a few hours. Coincidentally (?) Trump held a campaign rally in Las Vegas during the same time. Similarly on November 3, 2016,  M-KATE flew to Concord Regional Airport in North Carolina where, coincidentally (?) Trump was holding campaign rally. The coincidences (?) didn’t end after the election. When President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Abe at his mansion in Palm Beach on February 10,2017, sure enough, M-KATE flew from France to Miami, stayed for two days, and then flew back to Europe.

M-KATE flight North Carolina

The second map elaborates on the North Carolina flights of M-KATE. The stop in tiny Concord regional Airport is odd as the reason given for the stop was for refueling. Later in the day, M-KATE flew 25 miles to Charlotte International Airport to share the tarmac with Trump’s private jet. Stopping for fuel at a regional airport makes no sense if the final destination was a major airport only 25 miles away. M-KATE would have burned more fuel taking off and landing at Concord than it would have used if it had just flown straight to Charlotte International. So why the stop at tiny Concord?

Speculation is fun!

Since this post has conspiracy theory characteristics, I will take the liberty of offering my speculation of what happened on M-KATE during the flight to North Carolina. I would posit that plan was for Rybolovlev to touch bases with the Trump campaign, maybe Trump himself, in North Carolina. I think there may have been a miscommunication where Rybolovlev believed they were to meet at the site of Trump’s rally in Concord. Upon arriving in Concord, Rybolovlev realized the mistake and decided to refuel as a subterfuge to explain the otherwise inexplicable stop at a tiny regional airport. M-KATE departed Concord Airport to rendezvous with the Trump who was already at Charlotte International Airport.

Of course, the reason for the flight of M-KATE to Concord is just speculation. However, wouldn’t it have been entertaining to have been part of the flight crew on that leg of the journey? If only the pilots were American, they could be subpoenaed to testify as to the real reason for the diversion to Concord. Since that will never happen, we’ll have to be content with connecting the dots of the Trump-Russia nexus. For me, connecting the dots on the map for a handful of flights is enough to convince me that the connections are not coincidental. I’m not sure how Trump believes that nurturing a relation with Rybolovlev will help make America great again.

(Because the Trump-Russia connection is real, it’s only fitting to provide the following translation of this post.)


Сколько совпадений требуется для установления причинности?

Реальность такова, что причинность никогда не может быть установлена совпадениями, и попытка сделать это рискует попасть в область теорий заговора. Но, так часто, совпадения оказываются видимыми выражениями скрытой сети сговора. Должен быть переломный момент, при котором признается достаточное совпадение, что фактическое, структурированное расследование проводится для определения этой неуловимой сущности, которую мы называем истиной.

Связь

В некоторых случаях полезно определить и сосредоточиться на одном событии, которое вызвало переход от сговора к сговору. Правда, в случае с Trump / Russia nexus есть много очевидных связей: генеральный прокурор Джефф Сесс «забыл», что говорил с послом России в США Сергеем Кисляком в ходе кампании 2016 года, [1] политический Трамп Советник Картер Пейдж, совершавший поездку в Россию во время кампании, [2], но подождите. Видите ли вы, как легко свалить кроличью нору заговора, когда так много связей? К счастью, другие пытались разобраться во всех этих связях [3], поэтому позвольте мне сосредоточиться на том, что кажется слишком вопиющим совпадением, чтобы быть случайным

Следуйте за деньгами

В случае Дональда Трампа проверенная временем аксиома следования за деньгами [4], вероятно, будет объединяющей нитью, которая сшивает все совпадения, чтобы создать гобелен сговора. Однако переломным моментом для меня явились не следование деньгам, а следование полеты российского миллиардера Дмитрия Рыболовлева. Вы можете вспомнить Рыболовлева от его покупки особняка Трампа в Палм-Бич в 2008 году. В то время экономика была в свободном падении и достигла конечной скорости. Тем не менее Рыболовлев заплатил 95 миллионов долларов за имущество, приобретенное Трампом четыре года назад за 41,3 миллиона долларов [5].

Рыболовлев и те полеты

Я впервые узнал о необычных полетах частного самолета Рыболовлева «M-KATE» из сегмента на шоу Рэйчел Мэддоу. [6] По общему признанию, MSNBC имеет свою точку зрения, но полеты M-KATE были расследованы многими другими организациями без явной политической повестки дня. Например, Business Insider исследовала полеты и сделала вывод, что полеты M-KATE, которые совпали с Trump, были выбросами из типичной истории полета самолета. [7] Безусловно, Белый дом отрицает любые совпадения как теории заговора. [8] Это отрицание является довольно ироничным, учитывая собственную богатую историю Трампа в пропаганде теории заговора.

Взятие его для приземления

Я, кажется, кружил в аэропорту и должен доставить это сообщение на посадку. Я перегонял массивные полетные данные, полученные Huffington Post, на две карты, представленные ниже.

M-KATE flight overview

Первая карта показывает, что 30 октября 2016 года M-KATE вылетел в Лас-Вегас и пробыл всего несколько часов. По совпадению (?) Трамп провел митинг в Лас-Вегасе в то же время. Аналогичным образом 3 ноября 2016 года M-KATE вылетел в Региональный аэропорт Конкорда в Северной Каролине, где по совпадению (?) Трамп проводил акцию. Совпадения (?) Не закончились после выборов. Когда президент Трамп принимал у себя премьер-министра Японии Абэ в своем особняке в Палм-Бич 10 февраля, то, конечно же, М-Кейт вылетел из Франции в Майами, пробыл там два дня, а затем улетел обратно в Европу.

M-KATE flight North Carolina

Вторая карта рассказывает о полетах М-КАТЭ в Северной Каролине. Остановка в крошечном региональном аэропорту Конкорд является странной, поскольку причиной остановки является дозаправка. Позже в тот же день, M-KATE пролетел в 25 милях от международного аэропорта Шарлотты, чтобы разделить гудронированное шоссе с частным самолетом Трампа. Остановка на топливо в региональном аэропорту не имеет смысла, если конечным пунктом назначения был крупный аэропорт, расположенный в 25 милях от отеля. M-KATE сжигала бы больше топлива, взлетающего и приземляющегося в Конкорде, чем это использовало бы, если бы оно просто летело прямо в Charlotte International. Итак, почему остановка в крошечном Согласии?

Спекуляция – это весело!

Поскольку у этой должности есть характеристики теории заговора, я позволю себе высказать свои предположения о том, что произошло на M-KATE во время полета в Северную Каролину. Я бы сказал, что план заключался в том, чтобы Рыболовлев связал базы с кампанией Трампа, возможно, с самим Трампом в Северной Каролине. Я думаю, что могло быть недопонимание, когда Рыболовлев считал, что они должны встретиться на месте митинга Трампа в Конкорде. По прибытии в Конкорд Рыболовлев осознал ошибку и решил заправиться в качестве уловки, чтобы объяснить необъяснимую остановку в крошечном региональном аэропорту. M-KATE вылетел в аэропорт Конкорд, чтобы встретиться с Трампом, который уже был в международном аэропорту Шарлотты.

Разумеется, причина полет M-KATE на Concord – это просто предположение. Однако не было бы увлекательным, если бы он был частью летного экипажа на этом участке пути? Если бы только пилоты были американцами, их можно было бы вызвать в суд, чтобы дать показания относительно реальной причины утечки в Конкорд. Поскольку этого не произойдет, нам придется довольствоваться соединением точек связи Trump-Russia. Для меня соединение точек на карте для нескольких полетов достаточно, чтобы убедить меня, что соединения не случайны. Я не знаю, как Trump верит, что воспитание отношений с Рыболовлевым поможет сделать Америку великолепной снова.

 

 

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html

[2] http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/carter-page-russia-trip-trump-corey-lewandowski-235784

[3] http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/connections-trump-putin-russia-ties-chart-flynn-page-manafort-sessions-214868

[4] http://www.npr.org/2012/06/16/154997482/follow-the-money-on-the-trail-of-watergate-lore

[5] http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/why-did-a-russian-pay-95m-to-buy-trumps-palm-beach-mansion/

[6] http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/intriguing-overlap-in-paths-of-russian-oligarch-trump-campaign-889979971765

[7] http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-billionaire-rybolovlev-responds-to-accusations-about-ties-to-trump-2017-3

[8] http://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-trump-rybolovlev-russia-conspiracy-2017-3

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