Misinformation Dominates the Media

Those of you who don’t work in the media, or in PR or advertising are likely unaware of how carefully and strategically the news is planned, delivered and managed. Even those who have some sense of how misinformation, disinformation and simple ‘Fake News’ dominate the information we are exposed to lack the critical thinking abilities or the time to investigate and discern.

So just look at this meme and apply it to every story you read, hear or see, all the time, regardless of the source. If you approach these things with skepticism, especially where the ‘reporting’ involves accusations against a person or institution you’ll be right more often than not.… Read the rest

Schrödinger’s Sock

For more than 20 years I’ve wondered how my Wife manages to lose so many socks. It’s so bad, we have a large laundry basket overflowing with nothing but socks which have no match.

Think about that…it must be hundreds, perhaps thousands of orphan socks.

How does this happen? I mean, you take the socks from the basket, into the washer, then to the dryer, and then back out again. What’s so complicated about it?

Yesterday I did my own laundry for the first time in many years. I’ve been on the road for more than a week and it simply couldn’t be avoided.

I loaded the washing machine with two black t-shirts, three pair of black boxer shorts, two pair of navy dress socks, one pair of black dress socks and three pair of black athletic socks.

It’s a small load, so what could go wrong?

After I pulled the clothes out of the dryer, I found that I was short one navy dress sock and one black athletic sock.

Out of 12 socks, two were missing.

I checked the dryer, and then the washer, and then the area around the machine, and then the basket, and then the path from my room in the condo to the machines.

Nothing.

I guess when I get home tomorrow, I’ll check the bastard sock basket.… Read the rest

About that Blackmail…

Three weeks ago I posted an article about how I was being blackmailed and how I advised others to deal with it.

Today I saw that the richest man in the world was being blackmailed:


Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

I don’t pretend that Mr. Bezos is one of the 11 people who reads this blog, but I must say that it appears his strategy is precisely the same that I recommended, viz,:

  1. Confront your fear and accept the possible/likely consequences
  2. Involve legal counsel
  3. Involve law enforcement (if appropriate)
  4. Go public fast

It seems Mr. Bezos may have made some terrible personal choices and stands to lose tens of billions of dollars for it, but at least he didn’t respond like a coward when threatened. As he wrote, “If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?”

This is what’s known as ‘Courage in a crisis’.… Read the rest

How to Respond to Blackmail

If you interact with enough people, speak offensive truths, or stand up to the powerful, it’s inevitable you’ll eventually be blackmailed. Extortion and doxxing are related techniques you may encounter as well.

If your first thought on reading those words is to say to yourself, “You can’t be blackmailed if you haven’t done anything wrong”, well, you’re delusional.

For one, we’ve all done something wrong, it’s simply a question of there existing the right kind of evidence to be employed against you at a certain time and under just the right circumstances. Your crime or sin could be very minor, but if you were to state under oath that you had never committed a crime, and then a blackmailer reminded you that at age 16 you exceeded the speed limit, or you lied in a phone call you made to a girlfriend and mailed across state lines, or you wore an American flag as a piece of clothing to a political rally, or you trespassed while protesting outside an abortion clinic, well, you have not just empowered the blackmailer, but you may have perjured yourself and be subject to additional criminal penalties.

Secondly, it doesn’t really matter whether you are guilty, because the blackmailer perceives that you fear the allegation, and not just the truth of it. Since most people are inclined to believe the worst of others, especially someone they already dislike, the revelation of negative information is almost certainly to be damaging, even if much later it is … Read the rest