Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Earth Day Feely-Goody Follies


Yes, today is Earth Day, and no, I'm not attending any Earth Day rallies, festivals, or other gatherings -- and haven't in years.  I gave up on them in disgust, years ago, when I saw that they were nothing but feely-goody festivals of self-righteousness where people who pride themselves on virtuous ecological consciousness get together to swap ain't-it-awful stories, swap ineffective tips on how to live more Green, make cheerfully loud demands about what other people should do, and go home feeling wonderfully pleased with themselves.  *Sigh*

You can find new ideas and techniques springing up all over the Internet, all the time, about how to do things like conserve water, clean out waterways, improve the lives of wildlife, make clean energy, make energy-efficient buildings, farm and ranch and fish more efficiently and soundly, and so on -- and you can apply these in your own life as much as you like, or can afford.  By now everybody connected to my Facebook page knows about my efforts to plant an orchard of rare and endangered fruit-plants.  I'm hoping we can save enough by the end of the year to put a solar electric generator on our roof.  Those are small things, but real.  There are plenty of small-but-real improvements that anybody can do to improve the biosphere, and as I said, you can easily find them on the Internet -- even in an hour's search on the public-access computers in your local public library.  This is a lot more effective than a day's worth of rallies and speeches and making yourself feel good for attending.

Likewise, when it comes to dealing with the ecological Bad Guys, the Internet is more effective than self-celebratory speeches.  The numerous sins of Monsanto, despite its multi-million-dollar TV ad campaigns and lobbyists' bribings, have been exposed repeatedly on the Internet and shoved under politicians' noses by way of electronically circulated petitions until nobody can ignore them any more.  More than that, the Internet makes it possible to start and spread rival industries -- such as home solar or wind generators, cellulosic ethanol production kits, 3D fabricators, and even Thorium nuclear reactors -- that have the potential to break the power of the cartels that are the major polluters.  The phenomenon of Internet crowd-funding has even started chewing into the financial industry, providing start-up money for new businesses while bypassing the banks entirely.  This is a quiet but growing revolution that will democratize the economy like nothing since the land-rushes of the 19th century, and it's in the hands of an informed and intelligent population with a serious preference for the ecologically sound.

This is an ongoing change, not fanned and satisfied with once-a-year feel-good festivals.  This is the revolution I'm trying to be part of.  This is why I spent Earth Day watering my seedlings and comparing local solar-power companies, and ignoring Earth Day entirely.

--Leslie <;)))><     

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Tale of Two Cop Videos


I'll name no names -- anybody who wants to can go look them up -- but within the last two weeks we've seen two different videos of cop/civilian interactions that really need comparison.

The first was taken by a security camera, and the cop obviously didn't know it.  It shows an unarmed civilian running away (unfortunately in a straight line), the cop firing no less than eight shots after him which finally bring him down, then the cop going up to the body and dropping a throw-down gun next to it.  No, the civilian did not survive.  It turns out he was pulled over for a broken tail-light and late child-support payments.  The local police department is having a hard time claiming this was a Righteous Shoot, the usual suspects are trying to justify it, and the usual activists are trying to bring murder charges.

The second, which has gotten a lot less on-air time outside of Arizona, where it happened, was taken by the cop's own car-cam.  It shows the car rolling up from behind a walking civilian who's holding a rifle, then swerving to aim toward the civilian, then finally running him down and crashing into a wall.  The civilian and his rifle, at separate angles, go flying over the wall.  Another cop-car rolls up, and the cops therein run out and cuff the civilian.  Yes, the civilian did survive.  Before that incident the civilian had spent the morning robbing a convenience store, burglarizing a house, stealing a car, then robbing a department store to steal the rifle and a box of bullets.  Before the cop-car came into view he had also fired that rifle, so it was clearly loaded and he was quite willing to use it.  The local police have no trouble calling this a Righteous... Take-down, but they're puzzling over how "appropriate" it was to knock the crook down with a car instead of a gun or taser.  The politicos aren't saying anything about it.  The various activists are likewise arguing over how "appropriate" the run-down was, and nobody but the crook's lawyer is trying to claim that he wasn't a public danger.  Nobody's mentioning the fact that a .30-caliber-or-better rifle bullet can go through a police armor vest, or a car.

The lesson I draw from this is that Arizona cops tend to have more sense and more imagination (as well as being better shots) than cops in other states -- which, perhaps, is only to be expected in a state where everybody has guns and knows how to use them well.  Also that politicos, Left or Right, think in predictable patterns and don't know how to react when something out-of-the-ballpark happens.  The run-down video makes it clear that a car, too, is a deadly weapon -- in fact, cars kill more Americans every year than guns do -- which is something that the politicos don't want to think about.

--Leslie <;)))><      

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Eat the Rich



There's an article on the Scientific American website which points out that income inequality in America is much worse than we feared, and social mobility is worse too.  The richest 20% of the population own more than 85% of the wealth.  The income of a 1% CEO is 340 times greater than the income of a minimum-wage worker, let alone someone on Welfare or Social Security.  A single family -- the Waltons, of Wal-Mart fame -- own more than 42% of the rest of the population.

Worse, they who make these incredible incomes do not create jobs, nor produce useful goods and services, nor work a useful industry.  They're managers in the financial "business" -- money-farmers.  "They toil not, neither do they spin";  they only manipulate the value of money.  They do nothing real or valuable to earn that wealth -- unless you think that buying elections and suborning governments, for their own purposes, does anything of value for the rest of us.

Now a brief diversion: "money" isn't exactly "wealth".  Money, as I've written elsewhere, is just a receipt, a useful shorthand, for services and goods -- things done and things made.  The only "money" that's worth anything by itself is coins made of useful and valuable metals -- gold, silver, and copper -- and precious little of the world's money is made of that anymore. Paper money is just a paper receipt, and electronic numbers on a credit card or a bank computer's memory is even less than that.  Real wealth is in the goods, services, and the territory where the raw material for the goods can be found.

Now territory, usually land, is almost worthless except in its potential to produce useful raw materials; a howling wilderness may produce wild game and useful plants, but these are useless to humans unless they go hunt that game and gather those plants -- in other words, put in labor.  The wilderness does produce clean air to add to what we breathe, but that's it;  everything else is potential, not actual.

So let's look at services;  those are all labor, in varying degrees of skill.  Their value is all in the usefulness of the labor.

Likewise, the value of goods is partly in the raw materials, but mostly in the labor needed to gather those materials and process them.  Consider: suppose you're walking through a howling wilderness when a healthy wild apricot tree chooses the moment you're walking under it to drop its fruit.  Wow, windfall -- literally.  You got the fruit, all that excellent food, (almost) for free.  But still, to make use -- get value -- out of that fruit, except for what you sit down and eat right then and there, you've got to put out the labor of gathering up all that fruit, stuffing it in whatever container you can come up with, and carrying it home.  Once you've got it home, you have to put in the labor of washing the fruit and storing it in a place safe from bugs and mold.  If you want to do more with it -- dry it, make jelly of it, process it into wine or brandy -- you have to put in still more labor.  Or if you're strolling through the howling wilderness and come across a riverbank full of fine potter's clay, you have to put out the labor of digging up the clay, hauling it home, and sculpting it into pots.  In short, the value of goods is primarily in the labor required to make them, even if the raw material is free.

So, most of the value of any useful goods and services is labor -- the more skilled, the more useful.

Bosses, from the beginning of history, have done their best to devalue other people's labor and inflate the value of their own.  They've evolved a million tricks for doing it, but it's basically the same old theft.  As the old IWW saying goes, anytime somebody has a dollar he didn't earn, somebody else earned a dollar he didn't get.  The triumph of the 1% is a colossal robbery -- of the value of everybody else's labor.

Now I'll be first to admit that not all labor has the same value.  An hour of the skilled labor of, say, a brain surgeon is easily worth 10 or 20 times an hour of the labor of, say, a fast-food cook.  But I really don't believe that the labor a paper-shuffling money-manipulator is worth 340 times the labor of that cook.  The cook at least produces real food.  What does the money-manipulator produce except corrupt politicians, bad laws and inflation?

The usual argument of the super-rich and their apologists is that they're The Job Creators;  without their investments there would be no factories or farms or mines or other businesses to hire working people. This is a transparent lie, for anyone who chooses to look.  Wherever the super-rich have a free hand, they reduce the number of jobs -- say, by replacing laborers with machines, or moving industries off to poor countries where labor is much cheaper -- in order to funnel more money back to themselves.  The real job-creators are the middle class and working class.  The working single mother who hires a babysitter is a job creator.  The mom-and-pop shop that hires a stock-boy is a job creator.  The farmer who expands his dairy and hires a milkmaid is a job-creator.  These are people who perform real work, which requires real workers -- whch means real labor.

All right, so the super-rich are thieves and parasites who are impoverishing the rest of us.  What can be done?  Taxing the super-rich at 90% rates would be only a stop-gap (even assuming you could get enough politicians to do it, or that next year's election wouldn't bring in a crop of them that would drop those taxes again in the names of St. Reagan and St. Bush).  A revolution to overthrow the rich and confiscate their holdings would be costly, in poor people's lives, and there's no guarantee that the confiscated wealth would be fairly distributed.  The real solution is to put an end to the money-farming "industry" itself.  How do we do that?

Well, here's an idea.  Flog the politicians (until they fear for their lives as well as jobs) to pass a simple but draconian national law which says: "No person (including corporations) shall loan money at interest unless he/she/it/they has already and previously owned and managed a business providing goods and/or services to the public which has produced enough profit to cover the loan.  Said business shall not be in banking, brokering, insurance or investing."  Think of the change that would make.  Nobody could be purely -- or even primarily -- a money-farmer.  Think of Joe's Bank and Grill, or Mor's Furniture and Loans, or Ford Motors and Mortgages.  Oh, and also abolish a lot of the restrictions on unions -- labor and consumer -- so as to restrict the bosses' ability to devalue the labor of their employees, or to falsely inflate the value of their goods and services.  And it wouldn't hurt to teach investigative journalism, logic, and critical thinking in the schools, either.  Can anybody think of other safeguards to add?

--Leslie <;)))><                

Friday, March 27, 2015

Folk Medicine Experiments: #1

Over the past several years I've occasionally had to battle with joint pains in my fingers.  Early arthritis or just the usual impact pains?  In any case, I've always cleared them up with my homemade remedy:

Take 1 dozen absolutely plain generic aspirin (no coloring, no buffering, no nothing), grind them as fine as flour, and dissolve in one ounce of DMSO.  Shake, stir, and filter through a coarse cloth until the fluid is clear.  Paint on the skin over the affected joint, wait until it sinks in and the skin is dry, then massage the skin vigorously to press the solution into the deeper tissues.  Apply twice a day.

This has worked reliably for years, until a couple months ago.  That's when I got pain and weakness in the joints of my right thumb, from wrist to tip.  I painted on my aspirin/DMSO solution as usual, and it stopped the pain and weakness from spreading, but didn't make it vanish as quickly as usual.  I told Rasty about it, and he worried that this was real arthritis;  he knows all too well about arthritis, having been damn-near crippled with it 20 years ago.  From what he could learn from a dozen doctors, what causes it is one's own immune system going crazy and attacking one's own cartilage.

I thought about that, and considered that the immune system doesn't go hog-wild for no reason.  Something has to set it off, and that something can only be some kind of an infection.  So, first solution: kill the infection.  Problem: just what kind of infection is it?  Not bacterial, I guessed, since lots of people with arthritis take antibiotics fairly often, for other ailments, and there's no record of them having any affect on the joint problem.  Not protozoans or parasites, I figured further, since those are quite noticeable in blood tests -- and, again, no correlation has ever shown up.  That leaves viruses and molds.  There are a number of mold-killers on the market, but where is there a broad-spectrum virus-killer?

Well, I know of an herbal mix that has a pretty good track record:

Grind up equal volumes of fresh raw garlic, fresh raw onion, fresh raw cabbage, and cured shredded tobacco.  For internal infections, swallow a teaspoon-full two or three times per day.  In this case, I painted the mixture on my skin, let it dry, then painted over it with DMSO. 

And looking further through folk-medicine accounts, I found something besides DMSO itself that's said to help with arthritis, and that's copper -- pure metallic copper, worn on the bare skin, as in a ring or bracelet.  After trying it, I realized that if you wear metallic copper on the bare skin, sooner or later the skin sweats.  Sweat is acid, and dissolves ions of copper out of the metal and deposits them on the skin -- thus causing the famous blue-green stain.  But not all of that stain stays on the skin;  some of it is absorbed through the pores, and eventually gets into the bloodstream, where the white blood-cells take up those copper ions and mix them into a chemical which kills all kinds of invading microbes -- but especially molds.  This isn't surprising, since molds (yeast, fungi, etc.) use a lot of copper in their metabolism, and therefore can't refuse to take in the stuff, no matter what else it's chemically attached to -- even if that something else is inimical to the mold's health.

At this point I mentioned my problem, and ideas, to my family doctor.  He agreed that mold infections do tend to make the immune system go frantic, and that both DMSO and copper have good track records for treating arthritis.  But he disagreed that the problem was caused by mold infections in the bloodstream, since "If you've got a mold infection in your blood, you're dead."  Hmmm, but how would the mold get to the cartilage in the joints if it didn't travel through the blood?  He also warned me to be wary of using too much aspirin, since it could burn the skin.  Well, of course: aspirin is acetyl-salicylic acid, and acid can certainly burn you if you get too much of it.  And we still hadn't completely ruled out viruses.

So what I settled on was painting the DMSO-and-aspirin on my skin only once a day, painting the herbal mix on my skin and following it with DMSO two or three times a day, and also wearing a copper ring and a copper bracelet on my right hand and painting DMSO on the resulting stain twice a day.

I've been doing that for the past four weeks, and the pain and weakness in the thumb have been slowly but steadily fading in intensity and shrinking in range.  They're not entirely gone yet, but they're retreating.

I think I'm on to something here.  Does anybody else have any similar stories?

--Leslie <;)))><     



Thursday, March 19, 2015

GHOSTS, DREAMS AND INSPIRATION



--Leslie Fish

            People often ask me where I get inspirations for my songs, and the answer is: the damnedest places.  I've mentioned before how a passing phrase at Joe Bethancourt's memorial concert inspired a song – "High Desert Wind" – that I'm still working on, and how the inspiration lasted for only one chorus and verse, so I asked for suggestions from the fans to finish it.  I got some useful suggestions, a whole verse from Mark Horning and a lot of workable lines from other fans, but I still hadn't put together that last verse…
            At least until this morning.
            I was jerked awake by the sound of my cell-phone ringing, and swam up to consciousness as I reached for it, groggily aware that I'd nodded off in front of the computer again.  I peered at the blank screen even as I yawned "Hello?"
            "Leslie!" yelled a frantic male voice – somewhat familiar, a local fan, but I couldn't think of the attached name: Don?  Dan?  Dave?  Daryl?  "Make it stop!  Send him back!"
            "Whaaa…?" I managed.  "Stop what?"
            "That song!  The one you wrote at Joe's memorial, the one about raising ghosts from songs and forces of nature.  It worked!  He's here!  I can hear him outside!"
            "What the hell?" I wakened faster.  "Joe's there?"  I couldn't understand the panic in the fan's voice.  If my old friend's ghost should show up at my door, I'd welcome him in gladly.  And I'd ask for his help in finishing that song. 
            And why would Joe's shade drop in on Don-Dave-Dan-whoever, rather than me?  Ghosts appear unsummoned when (and where) they have unfinished business.  I didn't know half of Joe's friends or family, or what he had going on with them, but what urgency would have sent him there first?  …Did it have anything to do with the fan's terrified reaction?
            The fan's voice rose another octave as he screeched: "He's at the door!"
            I thought fast.  "Send him to me," I snapped.  "Toss him one of my tapes, or CDs, or books, and send him to me.  I want to see him."
            There was no answer but a single thump.  I wondered if the frightened fan had thrown the phone at the ghost.
            "What the hell?" I repeated, getting up from my chair…
            …And then I wrenched awake – really awake – and found that I wasn't sitting in front of the computer at all.  I was lying in bed among a tangle of coverlets and sleeping cats, and there was no phone in my hand.  Now I remembered turning off the computer, setting the phone in the charger, and coming to bed the night before.
            "What the hell?" I said, one more time.  I almost never remember dreams when I wake up, and when I do, they're only vague fragments – nothing so clear or coherent as this.  And I hadn't been thinking about Joe Bethancourt, or that song, before I went to sleep;  I'd been working on a novel I'm doing with Rasty.  So why that dream, and why now?  I started to get up…
            And felt an unmistakable sense of Joe Bethancourt's presence, as if he were standing in front of me.  It was there for only an instant, but it was unmistakable.  It was followed by a sense of urgency, which nudged me to get up and come into the livingroom.  I yielded to it, definitely intrigued.  So I plodded out to my desk…
            …And saw that the computer was turned on.
            Now I distinctly remember turning it off, as I usually do, before I went to bed.  Turning it back on would have required pressing a recessed button, set into the vertical face of the power-box at an angle the cats couldn't reach, with more pressure than a cat could manage.
            So how did the computer get turned on?
            I could make a good guess.  So I clicked up my Word document files, and started working – and, sure enough, I had an idea for that last verse.
            As I said, I get inspiration for my songs from some genuinely weird places.


HIGH DESERT WIND
May, 2014

Cho:

            High desert wind won't blow the songs away.
            They pace the streets of Tombstone with Doc Holliday.
            Long as they blow the stronger souls can stay.
            High desert wind, come blow again.
                                                                                                           
For half the year it's blowing dust and blazing sun-fire heat.
Then twice a year the solstice rains flood gully, field and street.
Earth and water, air and fire, as any wise soul could desire,
Shaped by ancient songs upon the wind –
Sung before, and they'll be sung again.     (Cho.)

The sun burns down on shattered rock like fire from the sky.    
The stars at night burn like a dream that no one can deny.
Light and darkness, stars and moon, petroglyph and ancient rune,
Secrets whispered softly on the wind,
Sung before, and coming around again.   (Cho.)   (M. Horning)

The wind that spreads the flowers' call, the pollen and the seeds,
Bears life throughout the desert lands that serves the spirits' needs.
Bannered clouds in glowing herds, paint the sky in ancient words
Of powers from the oldest days of men.
Welcome in, old friend.  Come sing again.   (Cho.)

--Leslie <;)))><  )O(    

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Update

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back, folks, but I've been a wee bit distracted for the past couple weeks.  'Tis because Rasty was scheduled for heart surgery, and there were complications -- not with the surgery, but with the scheduling.

He was originally supposed to get the operation two weeks ago, but there were problems with transportation -- ours and theirs.  First, no way was I going to let him drive 30 miles across the valley for his surgery, so we had to get ADA-mandated medical transport -- a.k.a. Dial-A-Ride.  For unknown bureaucratic reasons, Dial-A-Ride would provide us with a cab from here in Buckeye to the border of Phoenix, but we'd have to get off there and pick up the city's Dial-A-Ride bus from there to St. Joseph's hospital.  That meant waiting at the border bus-stop for nearly an hour, and that -- coupled with the traveling time -- meant that we had to get up at 5 AM.  How jolly.  And the weather that early in the morning was distinctly cold.

Anyway, we got to the hospital on time, did all the usual pre-operation things, settled in the pre-op room and waited.  And waited.  Some two hours after the operation was due to start, the surgeon came in and apologized.  It seems that the operation couldn't proceed because a vital instrument (he didn't say what it was, but I got the impression that it was the arterial roto-rooter) hadn't arrived.  It came from Boston Instruments, and hadn't been sent because Boston airport was snowed in.  *Sigh*  So 'twas all for nothing.  We re-scheduled the operation for the next Thursday, and -- thankfully! -- got Sharan to drive us home.  We also arranged for her to do the driving for the real operation day.

The next Thursday things went a lot better.  Sharan drove us to St. Joe's, we got there in plenty of time, the pre-op work went a lot quicker because they still had the previous week's records, and the operation started on time.  Rasty's daughter Cheryl showed up, and we sat down to wait.  It took a long time, and Rasty didn't get out of the operating room until noon.  While he was snoring off the anesthetics on the cardio-recovery ward, the surgeon and the main operating nurse filled us in.

Yes, the miniature medical roto-rooter had thoroughly reamed out Rasty's right main cardiac artery, the miniature medical vacuum-cleaner had sucked out all the organic debris, the delivery-tube had implanted no less than three stents -- adding up to 88 millimeters, or about 3-and-a-half inches -- and the artery held up so well that the surgeon planned to go and open up Rasty's other blocked artery sometime this summer.  In other words, success!  Of course Rasty had to stay overnight, so I did too (part of the pre-op preparations included packing a huge duffel-bag for just such a contingency).

By morning Rasty was awake and eager to get home.  He groused and grumbled at the interminable wait for the techs and nurses to clear him for release, particularly since Cheryl had to go to work and couldn't drive him.  Sharan came to the rescue again, and we made it home with no further stress.  Rasty's main problem after that was ravenous hunger, since he hadn't eaten for a day and a half.

So for the past week I've been hovering over him, watching developments.  At first he was too tired to do much more than haul himself out of bed to watch TV, and that worried him.  I explained that the fatigue was the result of his body spending energy on healing itself, and he should give it time to recover.  He grumbled anyway, and made effort to exercise a little more each day.  Today he managed to drive to the bank and post office before feeling tired out, which mollified him somewhat.  He's now been a whole week without any angina pains, which is a pretty good indication that his heart's getting the blood it needs.  He's cautiously optimistic.  I'm a lot optimistic.  He's looking better than he has for the past year.

So that's why I've been letting my postings slide a bit.  Patience: I'll make up for it.


--Leslie <;)))><    

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bill Cosby and the Media-Hyped Stampede


Rasty loves to watch John Stewart, Rachael Maddow, The Nightly Show, and all that crowd -- even in re-runs -- which is how I happened to watch the re-run of TNS that roasted Bill Cosby over those rape allegations.  I noticed that, after a few lines of lip-service to "innocent until proven guilty", the host and guest panel gleefully went after the usual Politically Correct topics of "nobody believes the woman" and "Cosby's nice clean media image" and so on, cheerfully assuming that Yes He Did It.  For evidence, they're quoting Cosby's refusal to say anything about the subject.  It's assumed that an innocent person would talk and talk and talk all over the media, the way Cosby's accusers did.  Uhuh.  It never seems to have occurred to all these media pundits that maybe Cosby's lawyer warned him not to say a word about the accusations, so as not to give away any of the facts he plans to use in his court case.  No, Cosby has to be guilty because he won't talk to the self-important media!  Rrrrrrright.

Just judging from the few facts we know, I don't think he did it.

For that matter, I didn't think that O.J. Simpson Did It either -- based on observable facts.  That is, I don't believe it's possible to kill one's ex-wife and her new boyfriend, clean up the evidence, run home, play a couple rounds of golf, get in a limo and be driven (at normal speed) to Los Angeles airport, check in, and get on one's plane -- all in one hour.  I have personally traveled through LAX airport, and believe me, it's impossible to get through that airport and get on your plane -- even for a red-eye flight -- in less than an hour.  The timeline just doesn't fit.  The fact that the restaurant Nicole visited that night, and which her new boyfriend worked at, was a notorious cocaine distribution center -- and that Nicole was into coke -- is beside the point.  I think O.J. was ruined -- by the media -- for nothing.  The only people who profited from the whole incident were the media and the family of Nicole's boyfriend, who -- after O.J. was cleared in criminal court -- sued him in civil court, won, and walked away with most of O.J.'s millions, leaving him ruined for life.

Now let's look at Bill Cosby.  What we do know is that this obscure woman went to the police and, especially, the media, claiming that Cosby had raped her some 30 years earlier.  She gave considerable detail: that Cosby lured her to his home with promises of making her a star, gave her a drink full of Roofies, and raped her.  She claimed he did this several times, using his "charisma" to "hypnotize" her into compliance, and this is why she didn't complain for 30 years.  Since this story broke, some 35 more obscure women have made the same claim, repeating the exact same details.  We also know that Bill Cosby was born in 1937, which makes him 77 years old now, and that (like O.J. Simpson) he made himself very rich over the years.

Now let's start drawing some connections.  At the time when Cosby was supposed to have been playing Svengali to some 35 young women, he was a) married and raising a family, b) starring in a weekly TV comedy show, c) still doing stand-up comedy at any venue that could afford him.  From my own experience in showbiz, and what little I've seen of TV production and live gigs, I have to ask: when did he get the time -- let alone the energy?  Entertainment is a very time-and-energy-consuming business.

Another question: why did all these women wait more than 30 years to complain?  Cosby obviously didn't make them stars, or their names wouldn't be so obscure.  If he used them and tossed them away, that would have ended his "hypnotic" control over them;  such stuff has to be renewed constantly to remain effective, even when done by an expert psychologist.  Without such constant reinforcement, it wears off within a year -- and one thing Cosby has never been is a hypnosis-trained expert psychologist.  The only reason I can think of for the delay is that, over this many years, the witnesses' memories of that time would have grown a bit fuzzy.  For example, I can clearly remember my move from Chicago to northern California;  I remember the incidents well, but damned if I can recall what day I arrived in Albany, or what time (other than "afternoon"), or even what month.  If asked what I observed on December 14, 1983, I couldn't begin to say.

And why do they all tell exactly the same story, with the same details that the first woman spread around the media?  Even a compulsive serial criminal never repeats his crime exactly the same way, every time, and over the years needed to seduce that many women, even a serial rapist would vary his technique somewhat.  These reports sound as if all the women were reading the same script.  Ahem.

Finally we come to the question of motive.  What do all these women have to gain by making accusations against a 77-year-old comedian with an image as a kindly family man?

Well, first, he has a lot of money -- and remember what happened to O.J. Simpson.  When, not if, Cosby is cleared of criminal charges, the inevitable media-circus will color the attitudes of the public so that it will be hard to collect a jury that's really neutral -- and the rules of evidence for a civil lawsuit are much looser than for a criminal case.  35 women could divide up Cosby's millions quite handily between them.  That's not counting the money they could get for peddling books and media appearances;  any good public relations expert could tell you how to make money on a scandal.

For another thing, this will give them the one thing which they claim Cosby promised them, but they never got -- fame.


--Leslie <;)))><