Wednesday, February 14

The Markel Changelings -

TV Channel Investigation Discovery recently aired a presentation of the Dan Markel Murder Case authored by its People Magazine Investigates group.

The presentation, called MARKED FOR MURDER, was straight-forward and included cameo appearances by several of Markel's lawyer friends. It was formatted as a police procedural.

The problem with this format is that the Markel situation is bigger than the resolution of some intriguing forensic evidence. Actually, it's practically operatic. Not only was Dan Markel murdered, but it seems like his children were stolen from him as well.

Ironically, if Markel's Rolex or BMW were hijacked, this aspect of the situation might have received more publicity.

Was any new information disclosed on ID?

Yes! It was reported that the cell phone conversation Markel was having in his vehicle at the time he was shot was about a new school for his young sons. I suspect that this was what triggered Markel's murder, what we could call "the inciting incident."

It seems likely to me that the school Markel chose would be a parochial or religious day school. And if this were true, too, than it would appear that his former wife and her family may have harbored strong anti-religious sentiments which Dan Markel did not know about at the time they were married.

Exploring any such lead might yield
an additional cluster of potential evidence.

This situation is moving
through our court system very slowly.


Friday, January 12

Comings & Goings -

So many departures in 2017!

This is not meant to be a
scientific survey; it's just an informal stroll . . .

A fond farewell to Peter Capaldi. His stint as the Twelfth Doctor in the Doctor Who TV series has ended. I enjoyed his portrayal very much.

In the last episode, which was written by Steven Moffat, David Bradley put in a wonderful appearance portraying The First Doctor. It was entitled Twice Upon a Time with a touch of nostalgia.

I must admit that I had some difficulty understanding Pearl Mackie's heavy dialect in her portrayal of Bill Potts, but all's well that ends well.

# Nat Hentoff left us early last year. He was a longtime columnist at the Village Voice newspaper. I didn't have much in common with him, but he sometimes wrote about First Amendment issues which captured my interest, especially because he wasn't a lawyer. Discussions about this topic in the public arena can be valuable.

# Eric Schmidt has stepped down from his role as executive chairman of Google, Alphabet, and/or whatever letter salad those geeks try to throw against the wall. Well, I've had some differences with Eric over the years.

# The "Joan Rangers" signed off for the last time with the ending of the Fashion Police. They were sorely missed at the recent Golden Globes event. The female celebrities wore black as promised, but with varying effects.

*  *  *  *  *
Sorry you haven't heard from me in yonks, but I've been rather busy these past few months - too busy to suit me! I do hope to be more active as a Blogger in 2018.


Tuesday, August 1

SoFlo News Notes -

Need a gun that can drop
an angry elephant charging at you?

Someone must have thought they did. A burglary at the Bass Pro Shops in Dania Beach was recorded on surveillance video cams. The 19-year-old fellow who has confessed to taking part in the caper has been arrested. If they micro-chip toy poodles, they can probably keep track of elephant guns, too.

:: Local 10 News :: - / - :: Local 10 News ::

Guy Eargle Jr, 68, described as a wealthy businessman and a retired telecommunications executive, was found dead inside his Fort Lauderdale home recently. The police said he was murdered. He was a part time resident here in South Florida and also lived in Atlanta.

If you think you can provide helpful information about this situation, please contact Det. Mark Breen at 954-828-5708 or Det. Jason Wood at 954-828-5344.

:: NBC Miami :: - / - :: Miami Herald ::

Controversy is swirling around Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, because her recently employed IT aide, Pakistani-born Imran Awan, has been arrested at Dulles Intl Airport while he was trying to leave the country under questionable circumstances. A preliminary hearing is expected to occur on Aug 21.

Luke Rosiak from The Daily Caller, who seems to be one of the leading investigative journalists on this story, has additional information.


Friday, December 9

Will There Be Mockingbird News? -

From Creepy Pasta to
Creepy Pizza, Conspiracies Abound . . .

It seems somehow fitting that the contentious 2016 Presidential Campaign would culminate in a Super Full Moon. A nurse and I were speculating on whether lunar vibrations were contributing to the social unrest in the aftermath.

Even if the moon were a contributing factor, it was not the main cause. The Democratic political machine's use of hard-boiled Identity Politics was the primary and direct cause.

And the Mainstream Media hasn't helped. Many people are complaining about their skewed coverage of the campaign and the decline in their journalistic standards.

There are numerous factors to consider in this realm.

# Consolidation: Media activists have warned for many years about the dangers of consolidating the ownership of media organizations into fewer and fewer hands.

# Chemistry: There has been a sharp increase in the percentage of Americans with chemically impaired judgment due to misuse or abuse of drugs and medications.

# Content: Publishers no longer refer to News, which is now often known as Content; instead of Editors, there are Content Managers.

# Childishness: In an effort to economize, the media organizations have laid off their experienced reporters who earned more money, leaving juvenile cubs to shoulder the load.

From Identity Politics to Conspiracy Theories is not a long leap! I'm not a Conspiracy Freak myself, but I enjoy a good Conspiracy story now and then.

Conspiracy stories have become part of our Mainstream Entertainment in recent decades: the Dan Brown movies like The Da Vinci Code and Chris Carter's X-Files TV series which featured a shadowy conspiracy.

But sometimes conspiracies are real: Operation Paperclip, Operation Mockingbird, and what about Watergate? Now, we even have Pizzagate.

Who hacked into the Democrats' Emails? "Experts" say it was the Russians. That looks like Disinformation to me. I would speculate it was probably the Anonymous Lulz Crowd again, because they fancy themselves heroic rebels from Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism.

Closer to home, Buddy Nevins reports that the Sun-Sentinel is leaving downtown Fort Lauderdale:

"Speaking at a downtown Fort Lauderdale breakfast meeting in the summer, Sun-Sentinel Publisher Howard Saltz denounced much of the paper’s Internet competition. He branded it a bunch of out-of-touch bloggers secluded in their parents’ basement."

Surely, he doesn't mean me.


Wednesday, December 7

Quick News Notes From Florida -

Daniel Markel Murder: Katherine Magbanua is pleading "Not Guilty" to allegations of her involvement.

# Quintessential Fort Lauderdale: The city issued numerous parking citations to a cadaver parked inside a vehicle for days near the courthouse.

# Local Color: "When Pigs Fly" Trump Mural in Miami.

+ Hope to post a longer blog entry soon.


Wednesday, October 12

Six Clicks to Murder -

Now comes in due course the story of
the curious murder of Florida Law Professor
Daniel Markel by a maladroit hit man whose kill shot was placed far wide of the victim's brain stem.

Who would do such a thing? And why?

For those busy souls who are still interested in this case,
ABC TV devoted an entire hour of its 20/20 program to it recently.

And, subsequently, a woman named Katherine Magbanua was charged in connection to the case.

Will there be more arrests?

It's a small world. Maybe so, if evidence
is found in the social links of that community.


Monday, August 22

The Elusive Origin of ISIS -

When the real story
is much more interesting . . .

A dispute erupted over the origins of ISIS when Donald Trump asserted that President Obama founded it. I casually presumed Trump was speaking figuratively and didn't give his remark a second thought.

Then someone in the Mainstream Media asserted that it was Zarqawi who founded ISIS. And many others repeated that response like parrots in an echo chamber.

Oddly enough, I remember this story quite differently. I blogged it as the story unfolded because I had to study Propaganda Analysis in college and because it seemed like a historic development.

ISIS, I believe, migrated from a CGI animation.

We tell stories to help us make sense of our experiences in the world. My own memory of the story may be imperfect because some of the story may be classified top secret and because of my own efforts to make sense of what was disclosed.

There came a point in time when the Al-Qaida chapter in Iraq was having terrible problems. As I recall, every time the cult named new leadership, our team bumped them off. It became a kind of death sentence to be identified as one of their leaders. Consequently, the cult was having a hard time finding anyone willing to assume leadership.

This is how the Al-Qaida brand went toxic. The cult needed to rebrand their group or face dissolution and extinction.

And then, the second shoe dropped. Once they rebranded, how could they stop the Allies from assassinating the leadership of the "new" group?

The terrorists devised a scheme which they believed would protect them. As many young men these days play computer video games, they were familiar with CGI animation. Some of the artwork in these games and movies can be quite lifelike and convincing.

They had some friendly geeks create a CGI animation of an avatar who could appear in cyberspace on the Internet to make announcements or issue directives.

Thus it was, they created the virtual Sheikh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, Emir of the "new" group which they called the "Islamic State of Iraq."

I would conjecture our geeks in the DIA and other agencies performed some packet traces to locate the group, but, eventually, the case was cracked wide open because our team tracked down the actor who was reading the avatar's script, and he publicly confessed what he had done.

The following is an adaptation
excerpted from my blog entries at the time:

A Cyberspace Myth -

The mysterious Abu Omar al-Baghdadi - the so-called "emir" of the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq" - apparently avoided capture so elusively through a very clever ruse: He didn’t exist... (7/19/07)

A computer-generated avatar -

Sheikh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi's
speeches were read by an actor.

The ruse was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, and Mashhadani, who served as a propaganda chief in the organization, helped create the Islamic State of Iraq as a virtual organization that is essentially a pseudonym for al-Qaida in Iraq. (9/15/07)

The last word on this matter
has probably not yet been written.