Monday, August 19, 2019

Of Course Iowa's Farmers Will Remain Loyal To Trump - So Long As He Doles Out Welfare From OUR Taxes!

No photo description available.
No photo description available.
As top graph shows, soybeans are not being sold but rather stored as inventories accumulate, costing Iowa's farmers millions. Soybeans stored on Iowa farms have nearly doubled between June, 2018 and June, 2019.  Take Trump's welfare subsidies away and these farmers will be in a world of hurt.

"If history teaches us anything, it’s that there are no turning points with Trump. It’s possible he took a brief hit in the polls, but even if it happened, it won’t last for very long. As many as 40-some percent of Americans are true believers, and there seems to be no way to change that.

Trumpism is a disease, and a bad week, when there have been so many bad weeks, is hardly the cure. Trump said he just got another
“beautiful” letter from the murderous Kim Jong-un, who has been busily tossing missiles into the sky and mud onto Trump’s face. And yet Trump brags about it, and Republicans say not a word."- Mike Littwin, Trumpism Is A Disease', Colorado Springs Independent
---------------
It wasn't really a huge surprise to read in The Wall Street Journal five days ago (p. A3) the headline:

'Iowa's Farmers Remain Loyal To Trump Despite Trade War's Toll'

Given we knew these hard core yokels were all in for the Dotard - as they are convinced he's their best ally and friend. Never mind that he's costing them the biggest markets for their  soybeans and pork that they may never get back.  For some reason these losers can't process that once markets - developed over decades  are lost, they seldom return.

The ongoing problem is that Trump's escalating tariffs on Chinese goods are destroying the livelihood and  financial stability of the nation's ordinary (non-corporate) farmers- especially in states like Iowa. See e.g.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/10/trump-is-ruining-our-markets-farmers-lose-a-huge-customer-to-trade-war----china.html

Key takeaways from the piece:


U.S. farmers lost their fourth largest customer this week after China officially cancelled all purchases of U.S. agricultural products, a retaliatory move following President Donald Trump’s pledge to slap 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports.
  • China’s exit piles on to a devastating year for farmers, who’ve struggled through record flooding and droughts that destroyed crop yields, and trade war escalations that have lowered prices and profits this year.
And yet they are prepared to stick it out with Trump. As we read m the cited WSJ piece:

"That (negative) message doesn't seem to be landing with farmers, even as industry associations ratchet up statements expressing concern about the trade dispute.  The Wall Street Journal interviewed more than a dozen farmers on the Iowa fairgrounds.

'He's doing the right thing', said Leo Balk a fifth generation farmer who raises corn, soybeans, oats, beef and dairy cows near New Hampton, Iowa.  Adding, 'It hurts but the concept is definitely right'"


Are you kidding me? Seriously?  The concept is "right"? What concept? That tariffs are a hit on China when they're instead a tax on U.S. business and consumers? That China is getting away with violating property-copyright laws but we'll clobber Americans to punish them?  This farmer like the others supporting Trump's nonsense give full throat evidence for a "reverse' Flynn Effect", i.e. that IQs are getting lower by the year.

The piece goes on, getting to the core of why these farmers feel like they do about Trump, i.e. OUR tax money is supporting them (ibid.):

:"One of the reasons farmers are showing so much patience with Mr. Trump, even as commodity prices have suffered, is because his administration has provided tariff-related aid."

In other words, welfare. Let's call a spade, a spade. We know damned well in other circumstance, say helping out students with excessive interest on their loans, that's the term they'd use.  As to how much farmer welfare we're talking about, well we read in the next sentence:

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture this month started signing up  farmers for a program that will disburse about $14.5 billion, following a roughly $10 billion program last year."

So lest anyone blink, that's real money we're talking about.  And it's not coming from Dotard's Deutsche Bank hidden accounts but out of U.S.  taxpayers' pockets. In other words WE are paying for these forlorn fools to maintain their loyalty to the pissant occupying the White House.

So, of course, they have the luxury right now to ride this slimy pig as far as they can, devil take the hindmost.

Further (ibid.)

"Dan Taylor - who farms about 900 acres of corn, soybeans and livestock near Bouton, Iowa, called the checks the 'Trump payment' and said last year's assistance came close to making up for losses incurred as a result of the trade war."

Of course, what farmer Taylor calls the "Trump payment" is in reality the gratis payment from U.S. taxpayers.  Trump had nada to do with it other than using misplaced executive authority to steal our tax money to buy off the votes and support of farmers and ...oh yeah...their continued loyalty. And we know what would happen if the welfare payments stopped - say if a recession hit,
No photo description available.

One thing Mr. Taylor did nail was in comparing the farmers backing Trump (he doesn't - he just needs the handout money)  with the evangelical Christians who strongly support him, no matter how many pussies he grabs, women he assaults.   According to Mr. Taylor (out of the mouths of truthful farmers, ibid.):

"The Ag sector is the same way. They'll still give him their loyalty even though the trade war isn't doing agriculture any good."

Which may explain why Colorado Springs Independent columnist Mike Littwin now believes the mental disease of Trumpism is with us to stay, e.g.


https://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/trumpism-is-a-disease-without-a-cure/Content?oid=20188784


See also:

by Jim Hightower | August 17, 2019 - 5:34am | permalink

And:

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Spherical Astronomy Revisited (2) - Matrix Methods

In spherical astronomy one can also use matrix methods to obtain horizontal coordinates for celestial objects by using the so-called "astronmical triangle". (see image). 

The basic principle involves relating the Cartesian coordinates (rectilinear) of a point on the celestial sphere (diagram) to the curvilinear coordinates measured in the primary and secondary reference planes. One has then, for example:

(x)
(y)
(z) u,v =


(cos v .....cos u)
(cos v .....sin u)
(sin v..............)

After conversion the curvilinear coordinates may be calculated according to:

u = arctan (y/x) and v = arcsin (z)

Now, consider conventional orthogonal matrices of 3 x 3 dimensions, given as functions: R1(Θ), R2(Θ) and R3(Θ), to rotate the general system by the angle Θ about axes x, y and z, respectively. Thus we obtain:

R1(Θ) =

(1..........0................0)
(0.....cos(Θ)..... sin(Θ))
(0......-sin(Θ)....cos(Θ))


R2(Θ) =

(cos (Θ)......0........- sin(Θ))
(0................1...............0.. )
(sin(Θ)........0.......cos(Θ) )


R3(Θ) =


(cos(Θ)..........sin(Θ)..........0)
(-sin (Θ)......cos(Θ)...........0)
(0 ..................0..................1)

We now apply this method to the following generic problem:

You are located in Miami, Florida and the sidereal time = 9 h 13 m at 9.30 p.m.  local time for this date,  approximately. Saturn is visible and is at 13 h 44 m Right Ascension, and at a Declination of (- 7 o 56’).  If your latitude is 25. o75 north, find Saturn’s position  in terms of its altitude and azimuth

Solution:

We need to perform the matrix operations in the specific order:


(x)
(y)
(z) A,a
= R3(-180o) R2(90 - lat.) (XYZ(h, d)) 


Where:

R3(180) =

(cos(180)..........sin(180)..........0)
(-sin (180)...... cos(180)...........0)
(0 ..................0..................1)


Therefore: R3(-180) =

(-1       0      0)
(0       -1      0)
(0        0      1) 

And:  R2(90 o - lat.) =

(sin lat.       0         - cos lat.)
(0                 1                   0   )
(cos lat.      0.           sin lat.)

For which we have:

sin (lat.) = sin (25. o75)= 0.434 

cos (lat.) = cos (25. o75) = 0.900


Thence, R2(90 o - lat.) =

(0.434            0      -0.900 )
(0                   1               0   )
(0.900          0        0.434  )

Finally:

(x)
(y)
(z) h,
d =

(cos
d             cos h)
(cos
d             sin h)
(sin
d                 -    )

where: 

sin (d) = sin (- 7. o93) = -0.138

cos (
d) = cos (- 7. o93) = 0.990

cos h = cos (-52 o.5) = 0.608

sin h = sin (-52 o.5)  =  -0.793

(Rem:  h = 9 h 13 m – 13 h 44 m =  - 3h 31m.  There are 15 degrees/ hr. 

So: -3 h 31 m
» -52 o.5  )

Assembling the foregoing into the applicable matrix:


(0.990       0.608)
(0.990        -0.793)
(-0.138    ..........   )     =

(0.601)
(-0.785)
(-0.138)

Whence:

R3(-180 o) R2(90 o - lat.) (XYZ(h, d)) =

(-0.385)
(0.785 )
(0.481 )

The last element in the column yields the altitude, so:

a = arc sin(0.481) and a = 28.75

Meanwhile, the azimuth A =

arc tan (y/x) = arc tan (0.785/ -0.385) = -2.03

Therefore: A = arc tan(-2.03) = -63. o

And, since its' negative, we must subtract from 360 degrees:

A= 360 o - 63. o 8   = 296. o


Further practice problem:

Apply the  matrix method for the same location in the example problem and for the same sidereal time – but applied to the case of the planet Mars which is also visible at the same local time but at: RA = 10h 28m, and d = +12 o 51’.





Why Americans Have Inconsistent Perceptions of Science

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting
A Harrison College 2nd year A-level student delivers a seminar on centripetal force to fellow students. Mathematical facility as well as high level scientific literacy are expected of every HC student before graduation.


A recent Denver Post article ('Americans' Views Of Scientists Complicated', Aug. 4, p. 6A) highlighted Americans' confusion over science, and scientific research.   The good news from the results of last Friday's Pew Research Center survey?  Well 86 percent of Americans say they trust scientists at least "a fair amount".  This  is up from 70 percent 3 years ago.

The bad news?  There is a split (between parties) reflecting the polarization across issues in the larger society.   For example, 79 percent of Democrats say that scientists should be active in policy debates compared to 43 percent of Republicans.  In terms of addressing a science -related policy problem (e.g. climate change, nuclear weapons) a majority of Democrats (54%)  see scientific experts as better at decision making than most people, including politicos.  Among Republicans only 34 % concur.  In other words,  to them Tucker Carlson's input on rising sea level may well be as sound as say, Bill Nye's.

According to the authors of the  article, the differences may be accounted for by how Republicans and Democrats view bias. In particular, the Republicans polled were more likely to say that scientists are just as susceptible to bias as other people.

But see, the difference is when a scientist seeks to make a claim or advance a new view of reality (theory) he needs to submit his work to a journal for peer review.  This peer review ensures quality control and that the bias  - if any - is a minimum.  To the claim that climate change deniers' papers are rejected - as made by one Intertel member some three years ago-  I pointed out in response:

"They are generally dismissed precisely because they lack the basics of scientific authority - including: proper data selection,  analysis, consistent interpretation of data, and appropriate mathematical techniques. Hence, their papers are tagged as the opposite of  authoritative science which is in fact  pseudo-science."

In effect, the claims of bias by the Right arise precisely because they can't accept that propaganda or non-evidentiary material - such as deniers create - isn't the same as science.

There is also the broader issue of why Republicans generally have the beliefs they do, apart from whether they are highly educated deniers like Roger Pilke, Jr.  These beliefs almost always assert severe doubts regarding the more controversial scientific findings, i.e. that rapidly increasing CO2 concentrations emphasize the need to cut carbon emissions.  So what makes Republicans more susceptible to asserting (by 64%) that scientists are susceptible to bias?

I'd argue it is because they are victims of agnotology, derived from the Greek 'agnosis' i.e.  the study of culturally constructed ignorance. We know this is achieved primarily by sowing the teeniest nugget of doubt in whatever claim is made (and as we know NO scientific theory is free of uncertainty).

Stanford historian of science Robert Proctor has correctly tied it to the trend of skeptic science sown deliberately and for political or economic ends.   Since Republicans - conservatives are more committed to economic and political imperatives - say over scientific ones - then it stands to reason they'd trust economists and politicians more than scientists. More importantly, they'd trust economic and political solutions much more than purely scientifically-based ones, say like drastically cutting carbon emissions.


This distrustful faction often have attained high educational credentials - say in psychology or economics, perhaps even physics -- but their lens of perception is distorted by economic, political obsession.  Hence they become convinced they can opine on issues outside their specialty fields -  like global warming - without doing any hard work or proper research..  Their opposition to solutions that potentially affect the economy is sufficient, so they believe they can simply bloviate from their armchairs  on what they  are convinced the science ought to be.  And the latter is generally in the guise of denier pseudo-science. (They also invoke the specious comeback that "Well, because the proponents -scientists can't put it into simple words" then it must be wrong or at least not compelling.)

This is probably why Cary Funk, director of science and society research at Pew,  described respondents' attitudes toward scientific experts as having "soft support".    That is, they aren't ready to wholeheartedly embrace actual scientific experts, and if the researcher' specialty veers into a "sensitive" area for the person (say affecting economic growth, higher stock valuations, 401(k) returns etc.)   there will be a  lot more skepticism and imputation of "bias".  Again, this is most prominent in environmental science and climate science.

There is also the mystifying leaning toward "practical practitioners" as opposed to researchers in pure science, say astrophysicists and cosmologists. Thus, overall people are more likely to trust "dieticians or physicians" more than say, Neal deGrasse Tyson or Stephen Hawking.   According to Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton who studies trust:

"Trusting a group or profession comes from thinking about what their intentions and motives are.  The motive of the research scientist can be murky.  But with a doctor you assume the motive is to help people."

Yes, but that assumption could be wrong.   The physician may only be that in order to pay off his/her student loan debt more expeditiously. Say as opposed to being a biology teacher, the actual calling.   There may be little interest in actual "helping" but more in making money off your visit.  Let's also bear in mind most physicians aren't their own persons but operate under the auspices of some business or corporate entity - say Centura Health - that dictates their patient flow, time allotted for each and so on.   So the belief in any 'help" may well be a total illusion.

At the same time, the lack of trust in a pure researcher because his motive is "murky" is rather laughable.  In fact, it usually isn't the research  or its motive that is "murky" but the respondent's understanding of it.   But the more disturbing aspect as revealed in the Denver Post piece is the caricature of the research scientist (often derived from the characters in "The Big Bang Theory') ensconced in too many brains of ordinary folk. As we learn:

"Shows such as the Big Bang Theory partially explains why experts who do research are seen as 'capable of immoral conduct'.    Essentially, the study found that this attitude is less about thinking that scientists are bad people and more about seeing them as being so robot-like that no one could possibly know their motives."

Which is mind boggling.   But at least Ms. Fiske did get to the central point:

"I think part of what's going on here is that the more people know the more they trust."

I touched on some of this in my July 26th post when I pointed out why so many ordinary folk exhibit impatience with theoretical physics and its researchers such as  portrayed ( e.g. by the characters "Sheldon" and "Leonard")  on the Big Bang Theory. E.g.

"Most of the public - even those who read Scientific American- probably halted their math courses at Calculus, if they even took that.  And from what I've read in a few education journals, barely 1 in 1000 Americans ever see the inside of a physics lab in connection with a college level General Physics course.   So it is little wonder there is an existing impatience with theoretical physics and its "gibberish" equations and material"

Anyone who's even seen a few episodes of BBT would have noted how the two fictional Caltech physicists peppered their boards with equations (which by the way are vetted by actual physicists in string theory etc for correctness).  And since higher mathematics is the language of most theoretical physics, and most Americans probably didn't get past intermediate algebra,  it makes sense they'd find the motives of pure physicists murky - because their own math ability is murky!

 As is their basic understanding of science.  The authors of the Denver Post piece argue much of the trust gap can be breached provided "scientists post candid stories of themselves doing scientific work".  In other words, provide a personal insight or perspective into their research. But let's face it that only goes so far. Getting an insight into a scientist's personal life and approach to his or her work will not actually open the doors to understanding that work.   That major step requires a commitment to learning and reading about it, as opposed to squandering time on Instagram or Twitter or playing video games. In other words, the choice to understand scientific research - including theoretical - rests with the choices of Americans themselves.  Will they now finally really READ Neal deGrasse Tyson's 'Astrophysics for People In a Hurry' or Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History Of Time' or will they go back to some superficial distraction on TV or a streaming service?

Only by making this leap will they be able to put "two plus two"   together. That is, graduating to the appreciation that pure theoretical work can lead directly to practical, technological manifestations. Thus, without the very abstract general theory of relativity your GPS navigation system wouldn't work. Without the abstract ideas of quantum mechanics we wouldn't have lasers and solid state electronics.

At issue then is basic scientific literacy which, alas, too many of our countrymen lack.  Demonstrating that literacy would, at the very least, mean passing a basic physics test, e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2010/10/basic-physics-test.html

Achieving that would at least show that citizens possess enough scientific competence to intelligently comment on major contentious issues of our time - whether global warming/climate change, or aspects of current defense spending-  such as the advisability of replacing our nuclear arsenal.   Or, making nuclear energy a component of any viable 'Green New Deal'.

In addition, a  more uniform competence across multiple scientific disciplines would arguably close the gaps between Democrats and Republicans, especially in terms of whether scientists have the right to contribute to policy discussion, decisions.

The takeaway? Americans have inconsistent perceptions of the worth of scientific work  (and motives of researchers)  because they have inconsistent scientific backgrounds and knowledge themselves.


See also:

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2011/07/sad-state-of-us-high-school-physics.html

And:

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2010/11/are-american-students-really-math.html

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Spherical Astronomy Problem Solution

The problem again:

The altitude of a star as it transits your meridian is found to be 45o along a vertical circle at azimuth 180o, the south point.  Find the declination of the star.

Solution:

From the celestial pole geometry (e.g. in Fig. 3 of post from Aug. 12):


90o = z +  max    

Where  max    is the altitude at meridian transit (hence a maximum)


But if:   z =   max   = 45o

Then:   90o -   z    =     90o -     max    =  f (latitude) 

For which your latitude is inserted.

But    d (decl.) =    z + φ


For example, take Barbados' latitude of 13 deg north.

Then:

d (decl.) = z +   f = (- 45o)   + 13o    = - 32o


Since the zenith distance z  plus altitude (max) must equal 90 degrees and we know CE (celestial equator) defines 0 degrees declination, then in this case (Barbados' location) the  star’s altitude of  max = 45 deg shows it to be SOUTH of CE. How much? 90 deg - 45 deg = 45 deg.   (The (-ve) sign implies direction below (south) of CE.)

The diagram below shows the geometry of the situation:
Image may contain: text

At the zenith the declination is + 13o     on the basis of projection. The star S is   45o    above the observer's southern horizon. We know the celestial equator (CE) is 0 o  declination.  Then the position of the star S must be 32 degrees south of it, or as shown in the computation,  d  =  - 32o, which would be its declination.

As we can infer:  Z  CE =  13o

CE   S  =   32 o

The altitude max    =   45o     as shown

The zenith distance z =  Z CE +  CE S =   13   +  32 o  =   45 o

Thus,  90o =   z +  max  

If You Are Partial To Conspiracy In Jeffrey Epstein's Death At Least Embrace A Plausible Theory

Jeffrey Epstein mug shot.jpg

"Conspiracy theories are usually false because the people who come up with them are outsiders to power, trying to impose narrative order on a world they don’t fully understand — which leads them to imagine implausible scenarios and impossible plots," - Russ Douthat, NY Times

"Consider the Bureau of Prison’s suicide prevention protocol. Epstein was found last month unconscious in his MCC cell with marks on his neck. If he was not on suicide watch, it would be astonishing. Yet if he were on suicide watch, his death would be virtually inconceivable.....We are not talking about inexperienced yokels. BOP personnel, especially at MCC, are the best professionals in the corrections industry, and they receive special training in administrating suicide prevention. Who better to guard against such a horrific development?"-   Harry Litman, The Washington Post, Monday, 'Jeffrey Epstein's Apparent Suicide Is Unfathomable'


After billionaire financier bad boy Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide over the weekend, it was inevitable that the conspiracy theories would be flying..(cf. 'Conspiracy Theories Fly Online Over Epstein Death', WSJ, Aug. 13, p. A2).  Of course, most of the "theories" - namely the ones spewed by Trump and the Right- which I call conspiracy hogwash-   don't amount to a micro-hill of ant feces. They are made up garbage with no plausible basis, and above all, fail to provide any logical answer to the question one always raises after such events: "Cui bono?"  Who benefits?

As I noted in my post of October 28, 2016 ('Separating Paranoid Balderdash From Rational Conspiracy Thinking')  one must take care to separate rational and coherent conspiracy proposals from those spawned by outright kooks and whackadoodle screwballs.  In the latter category we can put Alex Jones, e.g.
Image result for alex jones








Jones is a confirmed, demented moron,  notorious for  the nutso conspiracy ideation that the Sandy Hook/Newtown massacre was a federal "false flag" operation. Those twenty  kids weren't really slain, they were merely actors- as well as the teachers- in an elaborate script to befuddle the public and make them demand gun confiscation across the land.  

Another conspiracy kook is Donald Trump with his "counting illegal immigrant votes"  bunkum from 2017 (to explain why Hillary won the popular vote by nearly 3 million). Oh, and claiming Ted Cruz' father was in on the JFK assassination, e.g.


http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2016/05/did-rafael-cruz-help-lee-oswald-kill.html

So given Trump's history of  'kookamonga'  conspiracy rubbish there is no reason at all now to put any stock into his tweets implicating Bill Clinton.  This is even more perverse, in my opinion, than his paranoid codswallop from February, 2017 that Obama was bugging him. Recall this followed all the birtherism conspiracy nonsense he started in 2011.

In the end, I always go back to Barbadian psychologist Pat Bannister's categorization of those who invoke conspiracies and how she differentiated them. As part of her construction of a theory of mind, specifically showing the role of lying in young children, she also noted adeptness at detecting lies was linked to accurate detection of real conspiracies. 

Bannister  published several erudite papers, mainly appearing in university symposiums, showing that conspiracy investigation arose as an evolutionary adaptation to the (earlier evolved) ability to lie. In her conception, if conspiracy is among the most sophisticated forms of lying (entailing misdirecting actions as well as words)  then an evolutionary  "equalizer" was needed in order to expose it so this advanced lying would not be to the total future detriment of a tribe, community or nation.

Think of it: effective conspiracy (a surreptitious plan to alter outside events to a group's advantage)  is not merely a simple matter of bending the truth, but bending it - usually in an extended manner over time - to achieve a specific end or manifestation in the real world. It requires not only the awareness of what's in the minds of those one conspires against and those who might try to detect the plan, but also predicting in advance how they might act or respond to prevent the conspiracy from being executed in the first place. And also predicting how future inquirers might be impeded from exposing it decades later.

Thus, as Bannister pointed out in a 1972 UWI  symposium, the Kennedy assassination conspirators would have to know not only how the normal law enforcement structure would respond to an executive action (assassination), but also the official  paraphernalia needed to misdirect it in the case of an accidental encounter while the plot was unfolding.  (Thus, years later, with the publication of Abraham Bolden's 'The Echo From Dealey Plaza', we learned about the critical role of the stolen Secret Service Commission books which allowed conspirators to pass for security personnel.)

The conspirators would also have to be able to predict where the biggest potential threats might lurk, e. g.odd citizens with movie cameras (like Abraham Zapruder and Orville Nix) or with still cameras (like Mary Moorman). Thus, they had to have special teams ready to confiscate them.  The greatest level of forward planning and cognition was reserved for the autopsy - which had to be carried out in a secure venue under full government control (not Dallas' Parkland Hospital) so that the actual entry and egress points for the bullets could be manipulated as well as x-rays, regular photographs.

In other words, taken in concert the Kennedy assassination conspiracy amounted to one of the most sophisticated lies in history, fooling a generation almost totally (other than a few original skeptics like Mark Lane) until at least the JFK Records Act required long stored documents, files be released to the public.  Bannister didn't accept any given conspiracy case dismissed by the media was hopeless. Hence,  whatever the conspiracy,  there would always be 'x' number of critical intellects capable of detecting its mechanisms ex post facto from clues that the conspirators left behind.  


In Bannister's mode of thought then, the conspiracy alert sounder had to possess a theory of mind at least equal to the conspiracy planners', certainly in finally exposing it.  Yes, there could be missteps - especially given the conspiracy planning side would inevitably add further layers of lies ex post facto to throw off conspiracy investigators. These would be in the form of misinformation and disinformation (e.g. inventing whacky conspiracy theories to circulate and get many to bite then ridicule them as 'buff-based') or simply ridiculing any person that even conceives of conspiracy - no matter how well -versed or grounded the formulation is.

It was basically a race between successful gaming of the public via actual conspiratorial  actions (in cover ups)  and exposing it at a deeper cognitive level by those with conspiracy awareness.   

This brings us to the Epstein case, which one can begin to examine by asking "Cui bono?"  In the first instance this would, of course, be Epstein's pal Trump - and make no mistake Trump would have much to worry about from any Epstein testimony - should he have lived.  Does this mean Trump ordered him killed? Nope. An active aggressive (as opposed to passive)  modus operandi was unnecessary given last month  Epstein was found last month unconscious in his MCC cell with marks on his neck.  Thus, we  already knew Epstein was at risk (to himself) having already had one event in which he attempted self-termination.

Hence, all that was needed was to remove the  protections and safeguards present to prevent his commission of the act.  In other words, some person or persons had to have merely wielded enough leverage (money?) to  upend the Federal Bureau of Prisons suicide prevention protocol.   Even Miami Herald reporter (Julie Brown) who was the lead journalist in exposing Epstein's crimes, agreed that this would not have been that hard to do knowing what she did about "prison culture".   So payoffs would be made, likely to some higher up, then lower echelon guards would be brought into the mix say to doctor their  check-in logs.   Voila!  Epstein is left unattended for at least one long enough period (2 hours according to reports on CBS yesterday a.m.) to do himself in. 

Now that we further know (revealed yesterday)  the guards may have well  falsified their reported about suicide check -ins, we have further ballast for working conspiracy.  This in the sense that missing the Epstein checks wasn't just a case of "forgetting" or blatant incompetence.  No, there was clear skullduggery at work.

This gives the basis for a rational conspiracy proposal, as opposed to the crap and brain barf we behold Donnie Dumpsterfire spewing and retweeting from the Right wing loons.

Add to this the other power players, i.e. all those "players" in sex games who could have been scalded with reputations ruined  by any Epstein exposures.  As we read in this NY Times piece from Aug. 12 ('The Day Jeffrey Epstein Told Me He Had Dirt On Powerful People')

"Almost exactly a year ago, on Aug. 16, 2018, I visited Jeffrey Epstein at his cavernous Manhattan mansion.
The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it. He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.
So one of my first thoughts on hearing of Mr. Epstein’s suicide was that many prominent men and at least a few women must be breathing sighs of relief that whatever Mr. Epstein knew, he has taken it with him."

Or....they breathed sighs of relief that their plan had succeeded.   The bribes were taken, MCC payoffs made, check-in reports falsified.  The worst punishments for the offenders would be either forced unpaid leave, or reassignments,  i.e. being moved to other facilities. Ho hum. This again makes the above passive conspiracy proposal the most logical and rational.  IF indeed the reputations of powerful people were in play they would stop at nothing to compromise Epstein's suicide prevention protocols to prevent him talking.    This leaves the three key questions:

1) Who benefited?

2) Who had the power to orchestrate the disruption of Epstein's suicide prevention protocol?

3) Who would have the power to cover it all up with a specious report?

Now you can agree with this depiction or not, after all it's only a theory - heck, maybe only a suspicion, an educated, rational conjecture. But one thing for sure Epstein's death at just this time spares a hell of a lot of power players tons of embarrassing news print.   Much like Lee Oswald's killing 56 years ago, e.g.

Image result for brane space, Lee Oswald project

spared a clique of conspirators from devastating exposure. Thereby ensuring an investigative charade  and whitewash in the infamous "Warren Report".  Hopefully, an FBI investigation will be rigorous enough to eliminate  a similarly bogus "Epstein report".

In the WSJ piece I cited at the top we were informed:

"Conspiracy theories are likely to complicate probes under way by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. and the Justice Department."

However, I dispute that provided the FBI focus on the rational (and most probable) conspiracy theory I summarized in this post, and ignore the utter bilge spouted by Trump and the Right. The latter is all deflecting noise and the FBI needs to be after the signal not the noise.  As for the Justice Dept. let's bear in mind that while AG Barr delivered a good patter on pursuing this case and insisting "no conspirators should rest easy" his own DOJ isn't clear.   After all as pointed out yesterday (WSJ, p. A4, 'Prison Staff Put On Leave In Epstein Case'):   Barr's DOJ "controlled staffing levels and other safeguards" through the 120 facilities and 180,000 inmates under the Bureau of Prisons.  Hence, unless Barr investigates his own DOJ, BOP there is nothing gained by asserting conspiracy theories "complicate probes".  Given all this it is evident that Barr needs to recuse himself from any future investigation, or judgments. 

See also:


Opinion | Count Me Among the Jeffrey Epstein Conspiracy Theorists


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/opinion/jeffrey-epstein-death.html?


Excerpt:

"To take the sudden death of such a man in stride — a man whose alleged misdeeds cast him as a veritable pimp to the elite, not to mention a monster in his own right — would be a bit irrational, I think, even if it had happened in Times Square at noon on a clear day. Yet Mr. Epstein died in a locked room guarded by agents of the same establishment, the same power structure that he so broadly and horribly corrupted.


And:


And:


And:
by John Kiriakou | August 14, 2019 - 6:03am | permalink

And:
by Richard Eskow | August 14, 2019 - 6:22am | permalink

Excerpt:

The talking heads have also babbled on about the inner workings of federal prisons. Nearly every word I’ve heard is either factually incorrect, out of context, or fantastical. I spent 23 months in a federal penitentiary and served on suicide watch over a fellow inmate. So I can set the record straight about how suicide watches work in federal prisons, and about the conditions that led Epstein, apparently, to take his own life. If Epstein’s death turns out to have been an actual suicide, it would be the result of a complete breakdown in the system that was supposed to protect him.