Friday, December 02, 2016

"One on One" on 20-20: California bizarre kidnapping acse, of Sherri Papini


Tonight, ABC 20-20 aired “One-on-One”,  “Inside the California Mom’s mysterious disappearance and search for her alleged abductors”, basic link. ABC's Matt Guttman interviews the husband in this bizarre kidnapping case where the wife was returned battered.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, Keith Papini came home from work at a Best Buy to his rural home near Redding CA and found an empty house.  His wife, Sherri Papini, left her cellphone near their rural mailbox a mile away.  Keith took a picture of it and called 911.

Sherri was found by another motorist before dawn Thanksgiving morning 140 miles to the south on I-5.

During the investigation, Keith took a polygraph test, and a private investigator and international kidnapping consultant Cameron Gable offered  a ransom.  There was also a GoFundMe effort, and many friends helped with the searches.

The two suspects were female, apparently Latino, and Sherri was branded during the torture.  Law enforcement won’t say if this was targeted or random, but another consultant said this sounded like cult activity.



It is common for sex offenders to live in an area like this.

I doubt I could survive anything like this, and I would not want my life to be bargained for if ever singled out.  It is wise, when in places like banks, to be mixed in with the crowd so as not to be singled out.

Wikipedia attribution link for Mt. Shasta picture by Daniel Schwen, CCSA 2.5   I visited the area in 1975 and 1978 (Susanville).

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Trump's "raucous" prime-time rally in Cincinnati: take care of your own first


Donald Trump’s speech in Cincinnati tonight did say one thing that resonated a bit with me. Most people care about real life, and their local lives:  family, community, sports team, and country, and not about the world as an abstraction and other planets.   


But that can mean subservience to others in your own tribe that you don’t choose to be around. 
  
He also insisted that the US has the no way to verify the safety of letting in any people from certain countries.  Europe didn’t seem to have a choice.

So he makes “taking care of your own first” a moral necessity.  Your country, your immediate neighbors will come before “the others”.  If you're weak, you fit into other people's social hierarchies, whether you would want to or not. 

He did promise big infrastructure projects and that he would not countenance bigotry, as an abstraction.

Here is Stephen Collinson’s account of the “raucous” thank-you rally on CNN. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

"Shark Tank" supports female teen entrepreneur with a major innovation to intercept cyberbullying


ABC’s “Shark Tank” tonight presented a young woman, 16 or 17 (Trisha Prabhu), who had developed an app “ReThink” (before the damage is done).  The parent or school installs it on smart phones and laptops or on social media accounts.  The idea is to intercept cyberbullying.
  
The basic link is here  and here on the iTubes app store

Barbara Corcoran was very tough on all the presenters tonight (maybe she would be a very good president, and would have a good nominee for the GOP – and she predicted Trump’s victory) .  Corcoran is quick to judge people’s character (and not just Trump’s).  She thought ReThink was wonderful as a non-profit but could not make money for investors.


Trisha said she has been coding apps since she was 10. OOP is much easier to learn early in life.

Trisha said that 90% of the time, teens won't send a hurtful message if intercepted.  

Melania Trump should find this project interesting, given her pre-election speech. 
  

But three of the other panelists were “in”.  Mark Cuban wanted her to relent on one item and go with a major carrier for distribution. He thought ATT or Verizon would want to play ball. One of the other investors was concerned that filters have been around a long time (he seemed to be referring to the 2007 COPA trial, for which I was a litigant).  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

ABC 20-20 "Real Designated Survivor" shows Greenbrier, Mt. Weather, and the power lapse when Reagan was shot in 1981


Wednesday night, November 23, 2016, the night before Thanksgiving, ABC 20-20 aired “Real Designated Survivor”.

Elizabeth Vargas (who appears in the ABC series) interviews actor Kiefer Sutheland, and then real DG’s Glickman (for the 1997 state of the union with Bill Clinton) and Horton (2002, for Bush).
The documentary showed footage of an unknown location for continuity of government today (I think it may be somewhere in the mountain areas NW of Gettysburg PA), then Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado (for NORAD), then Mt. Weather  (“High Point” ) in the northern Blue Ridge between routes 7 and 50 in Virginia (you can drive right past it), and the bunker under the Greenbrier Hotel  in White Sulphur Springs, W Va, which remained a secret -- Project Greek Island” --  until “spilled” in 1992.  I visited the facility on a Sunday afternoon tour in August 1997, shortly before my move to Minneapolis.  I believe there is one copy of my first DADT book there.  Some of the footage in the ABC broadcast tonight looked familiar (like the temporary Congress halls and the radiation decontamination baths, and the barracks).

The documentary then covered the gap in power in the confusion after the near assassination of President Reagan on March 30, 1981 (the NatGeo movie, “Killing Reagan”, movies, Oct. 16, 2016). The public was never told.  Alexander Haig took charge away from Larry Speaks.



The 20-20 program then covered the problem of the continuity of government in Poland after the 2010 plane crash in Smolensk Russia killing much of its government.   I visited Warsaw and Cracow in May 1999. . ABC’s link for this portion is here. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Lisa Ling reports on rapists sharing custody or visitation of children of their victims


Lisa Ling covered a surprising problem Sunday night on her “This Is Life” series on CNN, with “How I stopped my state from giving parental rights to rapists”, link here.

The woman, in Florida, had the child and faced the assailant demanding visitation rights.


 
Generally, in many states, assailants can be denied visitation rights only when having major felony convictions, and an amazing number of rape cases are plead down.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lance Bass produces "Finding Prince Charming" as is he were a gentler version of Trump with an "Apprentice" for gay marriage


I tried the Pilot episode of “Finding Prince Charming” tonight, on LoGo, link here. It’s a 62-minute episode that expands to 90 minutes with ads.
  
It’s produced by Lance Bass (‘Nsync and later the brainy commentator on Meredith Vieira).  It’s surely inspired by the heterosexual “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette”, but there’s a touch of “The Apprentice” in the climax where the “prince charming” calls the men up one by one and give a black tie to each one who made the first cut.  But when is becoming a fashion designer’s lover the equivalent of getting a top job?  Yet, there is something Trump-like in the show.  Lance Bass (sort of a gaycon in his views, enough for the  GOP moderates), now 37, seems quite fit to be president.  And some in the GOP – Lindsey Graham – would have been glad to have him there instead of Trump.

Is “Prince Charming” the same as “Mr. Right”?  Robert, 33, is not perfect for me – graying beard and an unsightly permanent left side tattoo.  He has a nice home that seems to be in the Hollywood Hills, I guess, with big pool.   Of all the contestants, Chad, from Atlanta (not the “Chad” of DOOL) was my favorite.  He makes the cut.   There are a few contestants from Texas, and Dallas is presented as a swinging place now.



There were two or three African-American contestants, and you can’t discriminate even in picking a marriage partner.

One of the contestants "offended" the host by saying he wasn't attracted to men taller than him (I heard someone say that in NYC once).  I feel the opposite.  But that contestant stayed.  Another contestant who was dismissed got criticism for not allowing himself to be "vulnerable". 

  

Earlier this evening. Anderson Cooper interviewed Glenn Beck about Bannon, Breitbart and the “alt-right”.  Beck said that no American should worry that his or her personal life or love life depends on a presidential election, particularly if the president hosts reality TV.  That won’t be true for some people. Including children brought here by undocumented workers. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

"Mars" series starts on NatGeo tonight


Mars” premiered tonight on the National Geographic Channel with a pilot called “Grounded” (link ) .

The episode intermixes narrative of the 2033 first manned mission by Elon Musk, with docudrama acting, as the crew sets down, but out of position, and with one serious injury.

The crew, however, steps out on Mars, in the sunshine, one step for mankind.



The crew also accepts the idea that it probably will not return to Earth.

The crew is also told that the members will lose 10% of their bone mass on the way.  Adjusting to 38% gravity is probably not good for the human body.  Your ideal Adonis will no longer remain so.

The second episode ("Pressure Drop") presents a crew member becoming fatally injured away from base, and having an NDE.  The team has to march him back to base.