Journalist Austin Tice: Held Captive in Syria since 2012; believed to still be alive 

Updated by Maya Salam, Parents of Austin Tice, Held Hostage in Syria, Say He Is Alive, NY Times, Jun 28, 2017, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/world/middleeast/austin-tice-hostage-syria.html (last accessed Sep 12, 2017).

#Syria #hostages #MAGA #diplomacy 

Longreads

Syria is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists. In the last three years at least 60 of them have been killed while covering the conflict there, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Missing from the statistics is anything about the kind of journalist who goes to Syria and why. After the death of Marie Colvin, in a blizzard of Syrian Army shells in Homs in February 2012, much of the Western media drew back from covering the country. Meanwhile, a lightly resourced, laughably paid, almost wholly uninsured cadre of freelancers, often armed with little more than a notebook and a mobile phone, infiltrated Syria anyway. A few were crazy narcissists or war-zone tourists, but most were serious reporters. Four-fifths of all journalists working in Syria, according to one estimate, are freelance and answering to no one but themselves.

Austin Tice was one of these. So was…

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Managing Expectations: How to lead when everyone thinks they are the messiah–the chosen hero of their own stories.

By Mary E. Strayhorne, LL.M.
August 25, 2017 1:09 p.m. EST

With a generation of people who have all been given a trophy, nobody is a leader anymore. There are only supporters and detractors. Trust no one; just weigh the cost versus the benefit of acknowledging talent. Trust is not about expecting good outcomes, there are no value judgments; trust is about confidence in your expectations.  

Trust is knowing a person enough to predict their actions and reactions–including how they will stab you in the back when it comes time. A real leader plays in the ring with everyone and has the intellectual and emotional capacity to accept dedication and betrayals, take stock in all available resources versus resources needed, and prepare for as many outcomes as are likely to manifest.  

A natural born and effective leader is a realist who recognizes potentiality all available resources, acknowledges it, remembers it, cultivates it and then capitalizes on it when opportunities arise.

#leadership #trust

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Inconvenient Truth of Charlottesville & the Civil Disobedience Plaguing America’s Identity

By Mary Strayhorne 

August 17, 2017

The Distinction Between President Trump’s response and citizen Barack Obama’s Response to Charlottesville

Obama’s duty to represent ALL Americans was concluded with Trump’s Inauguration. He is a civilian and can condemn freely who he chooses, American or not. Trump as president has a duty to uphold the law. To condemn ANY American individual could be considered unconstitutional if it leads to a deprivation of rights protected under the Constitution. In some ways, it could have the same affect as a Bill of Attainder, prohibited under the Constitution under Article I.  

Trump is being tested and baited by his detractors. They want to find him unfit to serve or have him impeached.  

Trump upheld the Constitution, per his oath, with his initial response to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12.  The detractors are wasting everyone’s time. And if you doubt the whole Charlottesville fracas was staged, read the court filings leading up to the event. The hate groups were intentionally diverted to confront counter-protestors. Until you read the facts, you spout propaganda.  

See for yourself; read the supporting court filings linked on the bottom:

 http://www.nbc29.com/story/36115819/judge-grants-injunction-jason-kessler-can-have-unite-the-right-rally-at-emancipation-park

Misunderstanding and ‘intellectual cowardice’ are to blame for this Trump-Charlottesville debacle. The problem with free speech now a days is that some key messages (the entire story, all facts) are being muffled by a crowd of too many voices, as astutely stated by a guest on NPR a few years back regarding the current state of the free speech movement.

Apolitical people attended the protest for reasons in no way related to race-related politics. Historic preservation of the struggles of this nation, good and bad, is essential so we as Americans of all races can take stock of how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go to achieve national unity. Censorship comes in many forms; silence can be achieved in many ways.

Fight #FascistCoupTactics #Charlottesville #MAGA

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nasty Women and How to Deal with their Unfortunate Lack of Class

Why Women Can Be So Mean to Each Other and How to Protect Yourself

Excerpt:

“Some women don’t play by the rules. Many times, though, we realize this only in hindsight.

We assume her warm overtures are genuine, so we extend our friendship and trust.  However, instead, she betrays us, often at great personal and professional cost.  We may wonder what happened and why we didn’t see it coming.

But we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. Some women haven’t left behind the childish games they learned on the playground in elementary school.

Little has changed as they’ve gotten older, except they’ve become much better at bullying others, under the radar. They’ve become masters at creating chaos without tipping anyone off, except the unfortunate victim who’s still pinching herself to see if this really happened, and wondering if anyone else would believe what she’s just experienced.

A few social scientists are now beginning to study and publish ground-breaking work on adult female bullies, because, for too long, most people assumed they didn’t exist.”
© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Founders Intent with Respect to the Electoral College

A response to Lawrence Lessig’s article, “The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton.” (24 Nov 2016 Washington Post).  Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of “Republic, Lost: Version 2.0.” In 2015, he was a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary.

Lessig limited his argument on two major points:

  1. The founders intended the electoral college to be a circuit breaker, yes, but to prevent the mob mentality of a minority of states with greater population concentrations forcing ideology on the majority of states.
  1. Clinton has been subject of many investigations and scandals over the years, including being up for potential indictment during the campaign for her actions holding public office, which, if followed through during her presidency, she’d be impeached, like Nixon….effectively a disqualification.  Trump has not been indicted, nor was their any pending indictable offenses.

“it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”

Perhaps, there should be an amendment to the constitution that disqualifies a candidate under investigation for alleged indictable crimes carried out while holding public office.  The reason being that even if they do get into office, they may be impeached anyway and, if not, they certainly hold a powerful position to actually curb investigative activities during their term or give the appearance of impropriety.  A long held principle in the law is that a judge must recuse himself to avoid the look of impropriety in the interest of justice.  Why should the executor of the law (or even legislators and administrators also) not be held to the same standard?

From Federalist 68 on the electoral college:

Read More

Post-Trump Victory & Uncertainty: A Note to the Fearful Masses

To anyone who fears a Trump-fueled racist fallout, read this and allow it to guide your wisdom and strength in these uncertain times.
Being American is not about race, it is about nationality and how one identifies themselves.

We are all Americans.

We welcome you and your views. We also welcome the right of people to use the democratic process to choose a leader.

Though Trumps words were poorly chosen, we still have an opportunity to communicate to this leader that we will not stand for the mistreatment of any citizen or visitor to our country. Period. Read More

Censoring the Internet

China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works – By Simon Denyer, Washington Post, May 23, 2016

BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

In China, the government can censor the pics and memes you send to your friends via IM– Posted on Jul 19, 2017 by Caleb Chen

“Chinese censorship has hit new dystopian levels. Internet censors in China are now able to delete an image sent from Party A to Party B, before the image makes it to Party B. While China has long had the power to scrub text and remove public posts, the ability to censor images in one-on-one WeChat is new and demonstrates exactly how far the government’s tendrils extend into Chinese tech companies.”

Also, take a look at the E|S|P previous post on censorship and surveillance:

Our Inevitable Descent into Censorship: A story that begins with surveillance – by Mary Strayhorne, Mar 26, 2016
Credits

Featured image source:  Cartoon by Brian Gable, The Globe and Mail, Toronto (published by CartoonArts International / The New York Times Syndicate, Feb 6, 2006, available at  https://www.nytsyn.com/cartoons/cartoons?start_date=1901-01-01&search_id=5782576&media_type=cartoons#271380) (last accessed Sep 12, 2017).

Political Stalemate or a Sign of Things to Come

Do both primary popular GOP and Democrat candidates think they are above the law, what is next?

If popular GOP candidate Donald Trump’s comments about forcing the U.S. Military to act on illegal orders to torture insurgents (on the battlefield?) and Hillary Clinton gets indicted for yet another Clinton ‘Emailgate’ scandal for breaching national security, what happens next?

At this point the top two candidates are appearing unfit to lead the nation.  This may be the first accurate result of how the media plays an integral and dangerous role in the American political system.

Hillary Clinton’s litany of scandal

Last Night, Donald Trump Disqualified Himself
© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

E|L|P Daily Dose of Founding Perspective

Today’s founding perspective is from Thomas Jefferson on the nature of politics and government:

“Let those flatter, who fear; it is not an American art. To give praise which is not due might be well from the venal, but would ill beseem those who are asserting the rights of human nature…Open your breast, sire to liberal and expanded thought. Let not the name of George the third be a blot in the page of history…The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail. No longer persevere in sacrificing the rights of one part of the empire to the inordinate desired of another; but deal out all equal and impartial right…This is the important post in which fortune has placed you, holding the balance of great, if a well poised empire.”

(As quoted in Jon Meacham’s Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power)