• COMPUTER & ROBOT-ASSISTED SURGERY HAS TAKEN ANOTHER HUGE STEP FORWARD with surgical procedures now being performed by doctors using “miniaturized surgical instruments, guided by a camera on a console located in the operating room… utilizing sensor devices which enable transparent film affixed to plastic – effectively ‘electronic skin’ – that enables a surgeon to translate his/her hand & finger movement into a robotic tool by wearing a glove that contains the sensor film… Beyond extreme precision, the patient benefits from fewer body traumas, minimal scarring and faster recovery than traditional procedures.” [MEDICALXPRESS – 6/15/20]
  • ARGUMENTS FOR REPARATIONS HAVE “GAINED PROMINANCE as protests have rocked America in recent weeks – payments directly or institutionally for people of different colors, to atone for the atrocity of slavery as well as to reduce persistent gaps in income & wealth between them.” Recent surveys suggest that three-in-ten Americans now support this, which is down from six-in-ten during the early 2000, but enough to return the issue for another bout. California legislators have appointed a ‘task force’ to propose regulations about who would qualify, amounts to pay, and in what manner. Approaches by varying groups range from $160 billion to $4 trillion in funding, for direct payments to ‘descendants of slaves,’ for training & education programs or tuition, and/or for business lending.  One starting point is the 1988 model, when the U.S. compensated some 80,000 Japanese-Americans around $3 billion (in today’s prices) for having been “unfairly deprived of income & property by forced relocation and incarceration during WWII.”   [ECONOMIST – 6/20/20]
  • WORLDWIDE, THE RATIO OF PER CAPITA POLICE OFFICERS TO U.S. POPULATION is among the lowest in first-world countries: per 100K people, just over 200 officers, versus around 300 in Germany and 450 in Italy. Meanwhile, America’s prison & jail population is “tops in the world, both in absolute terms and relative to population” – over 650 per capita incarcerated, as compared to 140 in England and 40 in Japan. “Numerous studies have concluded that putting more police on the street reduces crime, while evidence that longer sentences and increased incarceration do so is much weaker” (greatly attributed to America’s lenient & lengthy Appeals process and a hopelessly inefficient Court system). Recent strategies of  ‘Immediate Release’ and ‘No Bail’ programs adopted in major cities are the latest approaches and certainly critical factors in public protection, as is the rush to ‘defunding’ and other ‘de-policing’ steps being implemented by cities across the country. What could possibly go wrong with this direction?   [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – 6/22/20]
  • BOTH TRUMP AND BIDEN CAMPAIGN STAFF HAVE BEEN TARGETS OF PHISHING ATTACKS originating in China and Iran, according to Google Threat Analysis Group. Each ‘state-sponsored’ attacker group have their own agenda – “Iranians launch long term, resource-intensive operations in order to collect strategic intelligence; The Chinese specialize in carrying out intellectual property theft in order to help specific industries gain a competitive advantage.” So far, attacks have been unsuccessful, but just one more threat to this election year process. [CPO MAGAZINE – 6/18/20]
  • BLACK LIVES MATTER has ‘officially’ declared war against a nation state. “In a recently issued ‘Platform,’ more than 60 groups that form the core of the BLM movement went out of their way to single out one foreign nation to accuse of genocide and apartheid — not the Syrian government, which has killed tens of thousands of innocents with barrel bombs, chemicals & gas; Nor Saudi Arabia, which openly practices gender and religious apartheid; or Iran, which hangs gays and murders dissidents; or China, which has occupied Tibet for more than half a century; or Turkey, which has imprisoned journalists, judges & academics; it wasn’t even any of the countries, such as Venezuela or Mexico, where police abuses against innocent people run rampant and largely unchecked; or the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, where the police are a law unto themselves who act as judge, jury and executioner of those whose politics or religious practices they disapprove. It was only Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people and the only democracy in the Middle East. The BLM Platform also accuses the U.S. along with Israel, of being ‘complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.[Alan Dershowitz, JERUSALEM POST – 6/10/20]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

If you never actually listened to the words & music of ‘American Pie,’ this will bring some amazing perspective to the world in 1960s.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhX3b1h7GQw&feature=youtu.be