Good piece on James Comey

I really hope this is true. I can’t help it, but I trust Comey (or really want to) and I know that if the FBI director is corrupt, our nation is doomed.

There are many theories about what is happening with the Weiner email find and what those docs mean, and sometimes the details get in the way of a good overview.

This is a very good overview by Scott Adams. Highly recommended: James Comey – As seen through the Persuasion Filter.

So allow me to offer an interpretation of events that casts Comey as more of a patriot and hero than an ass-covering weasel. Compare my interpretation with whatever movie you have in your head and see which one works best for explaining and predicting.

Another theory is that Comey was forced to reopen the investigation because top FBI people were resigning over his not recommending prosecution. Also have read Comey’s wife was against what he did. Also, this: CNN: FBI discovered new emails weeks ago; stash includes classified emails “likely” deleted by Clinton.

It’s all just speculation as of this morning, but there almost certainly is something very big in the new find.

If you want the latest most up-to-date info on this issue, including plenty of speculation, go here.

EDIT 11/01: A strong counterargument to the above is that Comey did a fake investigation in the first place and in so doing has pissed off the majority of FBI people. To correct this and because explosive new evidence has been found, he sent the letter to Congress. Here is a presentation of that argument:

A Buddhist perspective on money in politics

In Buddhist thinking, money is good if it is acquired honestly and used intelligently, morally and for good purposes.

In the USA, during this presidential campaign we often see headlines saying that Hillary has raised more money for her campaign than Donald has for his. The implication is that she is probably going to win and that her money-raising skills are better than his.

Here is a detailed comparison on the two candidates: Tracking the 2016 Presidential Money Race.

Hillary Clinton continues to dominate the money race—now having raised more than $1 billion this election—thanks in large part to a cadre of wealthy donors sending tens of millions of dollars into super-PACs. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into television advertisements on her behalf as well as get-out-the-vote efforts in battleground states across the country. Even so, Clinton still has more cash in the bank heading into the final days of the campaign, giving her a significant advantage for mobilizing voters and getting her message out.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has relied mainly on his own wealth and millions of small donations to fund his campaign. He paid for his Republican primary victory mostly out of his own pocket, and only began actively soliciting outside funds in May. Since then, he’s never closed the fundraising gap with Clinton. [emphasis added]

From an American media point of view, Hillary is winning in the money department. But from a Buddhist point of view, she is not. From a Buddhist point of view, Trump is doing much better with money than Hillary.

The reasons are:

  1. Trump is doing as well if not better than Hillary with voters while using less money. This shows he is spending wisely.
  2. More importantly, Trump is using “mainly his own wealth and millions of small donations to fund his campaign.” This shows he is generous and willing to give back to the country that allowed him to gain so much. Furthermore, his donations are coming from ordinary Americans while Hillary’s are coming from “a cadre of wealthy donors,” who we all know expect to receive returns on their investments.

It’s true Trump is wealthier than Hillary, but Hillary and Bill acquired a fortune of some $250 million since Bill left office, so she could easily afford to kick in $30 million if she wanted to.

Moreover, it seems clear that Hillary’s wealth was not acquired in an ethically sound manner. She neither produced nor invented anything. Instead, it appears that her fortune is based on selling government influence.

Money acquired in that way harms the American people because our assets are being sold for pennies on the dollar, and all the pennies go to Hillary. Hillary’s campaign finances are another example of this pattern of benefiting herself by catering to the wealthy at the expense of ordinary Americans.

No one is perfect, including Donald Trump, but from a Buddhist point of view his use of money is much better than Hillary’s.

Welcome to the basket of deplorables you ” f**king dumb” young people

A new email released by Wikileaks as part of the Podesta dump features Hillary ally Wendy Bronfein advising Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta on how to reach “f**king dumb” young people.

(Source: Wikileaks Email: Hillary Campaign Struggles to Reach “F**king Dumb” Young People)

A bit more from this story:

Marketing executive Bronfein tells Podesta that Clinton “may not be the best face” to attract younger voters and that she needs to utilize “trending figures” as part of an “infusion to pull younger voters” because “that’s the crap that young people pay attention to”.

Bronfein goes on to state, “It’s f**king dumb but being “cool” counts for more than it maybe should.” [emphasis added]

As always in private Clinton and Clinton people never demonstrate principled conviction, moral passion, or concern for the USA or the American people. The subject is always about how to get more votes, spin the issues, cover them up.

They treat loyal American opposition to them even worse. To them we are “followers,” “basement dwellers,” “stupid,” “irredeemable,” “xenophobic,” “racist,” “deplorable,” and “fucking dumb,” etc.

Bad judgement as usual

“Retired senior US military pilots are increasingly alarmed that Hillary Clinton’s proposal for “no-fly zones” in Syria could lead to a military confrontation with Russia that could escalate to levels that were previously unthinkable in the post-cold war world.” (Why Clinton’s plans for no-fly zones in Syria could provoke US-Russia conflict)

Her view of war displayed below. To me, this is the laugh of a psychopath.

She voted for the Iraq war and was a principle architect and proponent of the senseless destruction of Libya and Syria. She has threatened Iran with nuclear annihilation and now wants to act aggressively toward Russia without any clear plan in sight.

None of this is wise or worthwhile. And none of it is in America’s best interest.

Trump’s Election Will Be The Biggest F You Ever Recorded In Human History – Michael Moore

Michael Moore, of course, does not support Donald Trump, but this excerpt from his upcoming anti-Trump movie does portray an important segment of Trump supporters well.

To me, the people portrayed in this segment are emblematic of America as a whole, no matter the race or socioeconomic level. We all have been fucked over by terrible politics for many years and many of us can see that and are completely sick of it.

Only the very top of American society has benefited from loose borders, job exportation, and the strangle-hold of PC culture.

How did American news media and academia become 85-90% liberal? Isn’t it obvious the reason is that liberal culture in those spheres is self-serving, exclusive (not intellectually diverse) and corrupt?

It is beyond obvious that MSM overwhelmingly and dishonestly supports Hillary Clinton. You have to have enormous blinders on to fail to see that. This is how the left really operates and how a Clinton administration will govern the country.

On principle alone, I would reject another Clinton administration, which will almost certainly be worse than Obama, more bellicose even less capable and definitely more corrupt.

But Trump has more to offer than a rejection of Hillary and her unscrupulous subculture.

He is paying for his own candidacy. No one owns him. He is a real outsider. He actually stands a chance of “Draining the Swamp” in Washington DC.

Moreover, he has real skills, real business acumen. And with these he will bring fresh vision and new strengths to DC. He built real businesses in the USA through decades of hard work. He is not a one-hit Internet wonder but someone who used brains and perseverance to build his fortune over many years. He has faced many different kinds of challenges and succeeded.

We need someone like this. Our stable of “viable” national politicians have, essentially, no other skills but gaming the political system and growing their personal fiefdoms. Most of them can talk OK and make promises. But almost none of them speak the truth or deliver on what they promise.

Trump is much more likely to go the distance than any candidate we have seen in many years.

Historically, he is unprecedented. He is the first figure in world history to offer the chance of profound peaceful change within a large dying culture.

If we miss this opportunity, we may lose the USA itself.

Trump asks the black community, “What do you have to lose?” That question should be directed at all Americans.

Clinton’s people dodge WikiLeaks questions by blaming Russia

There is no proof the emails came from Russia. Podesta fell for a simple phishing trap that asked him to change his password.

Besides, no matter where the emails come from, it is the content that matters.

What I see in the Podesta emails is zero concern for the USA or Americans. Never any mention of principles or passion about the USA. All they talk about is how to get votes, hide problems, or spin the news as they do in this short video. That is how they will govern.


Small lies matter

A new study shows that even small lies can weaken our self control, causing us to tell bigger lies and more of them.

Lead author of the study, Neil Garrett, says of it:

“It is likely the brain’s blunted response to repeated acts of dishonesty reflects a reduced emotional response to these acts. This is in line with suggestions that our signals aversion to acts that we consider wrong or immoral. We only tested dishonesty in this experiment, but the same principle may also apply to escalations in other actions such as risk taking or violent behaviour.” [emphasis added] (How lying takes our brains down a ‘slippery slope’)

The study itself can be found here: The brain adapts to dishonesty.

Here is the abstract:

Dishonesty is an integral part of our social world, influencing domains ranging from finance and politics to personal relationships. Anecdotally, digressions from a moral code are often described as a series of small breaches that grow over time. Here we provide empirical evidence for a gradual escalation of self-serving dishonesty and reveal a neural mechanism supporting it. Behaviorally, we show that the extent to which participants engage in self-serving dishonesty increases with repetition. Using functional MRI, we show that signal reduction in the amygdala is sensitive to the history of dishonest behavior, consistent with adaptation. Critically, the extent of reduced amygdala sensitivity to dishonesty on a present decision relative to the previous one predicts the magnitude of escalation of self-serving dishonesty on the next decision. The findings uncover a biological mechanism that supports a ‘slippery slope’: what begins as small acts of dishonesty can escalate into larger transgressions. [emphasis added]

Though this is only one study based on results from only 80 people, I find it very credible.

In Buddhism we learn that even the smallest of thoughts can have enormous consequences.

An important aspect of Buddhist mindfulness is watching how our thoughts develop and how they affect us and others. FIML practice is based on sharing the fruits of real-time mindfulness with a partner.

Done correctly, FIML allows us to observe small transitions in our minds and correct them in real-time if they are wrong.

FIML does not deal all that much with lies per se because partners are expected to be beyond that and FIML won’t work if partners lie.

Nonetheless, FIML does deal with small misunderstandings that can lead to slippery slopes similar to what is described in the study.

For example, if you think your partner’s tone is dismissive and it isn’t and you don’t do a FIML query, the next time you hear that tone you will experience confirmation bias and be on your way down the slope. It’s very hard to trace that sort of thing back to its origin after a few occasions. Your misunderstanding of your partner’s tone could be construed as an unconscious lie that you are telling yourself.

This is why FIML is so important and why it is very helpful to start doing it early in your relationship when all is well and there are no misunderstandings.

FIML can be described as detailed, shared, real-time moral and existential awareness. It demands integrity and mindfulness from both partners and rewards them with greatly enhance shared integrity and mindfulness.

A major purpose of FIML is to prevent the sort of thing that happened in the study. To prevent partners from sliding down a slippery slope that sometimes cannot be regained.