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Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

Mitt Romney - Psychopathic Behavior ?

Barry, My Liege :

Some of Mitt Romney's campaign behavior raises troubling questions.

Consistently, he appears unable to connect with people and/or keep a constant position.

Additionally, he has profited from creating financial misery for others.

One possible explanation - but by no means the only explanation - is that he may be one of the 1 to 3% of the population with unusual brain wiring such that he has predilections toward psychopathic behavior.

However, he also displays some counter-indicating behaviors.

To establish whether there is a possibility of psychopathic behavior in an individual, there is a well known questionnaire which is used to determine whether an individual may have such tendencies. It is called the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R).

While it is impossible to make any conclusion about Mr. Romney from a superficial test and limited exposure to his speeches and actions, the questions on the test appear to raise concerns about the National Security of the United States, should Mr. Romney be elected.

Here is a link to a thoughtful discussion of that test :

And, below is a discussion about the test itself including a 20 question self-administered test. [While this appears a valid presentation, the author is anonymous and provides no references. However, the test is discussed in Wikipedia -]

"The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) is a diagnostic tool used to rate a person's psychopathic or antisocial tendencies. Originally designed to assess people accused or convicted of crimes, the PCL-R consists of a 20-item symptom rating scale that allows qualified examiners to compare a subject's degree of psychopathy with that of a prototypical psychopath. It is accepted by many in the field as the best method for determining the presence and extent of psychopathy in a person.


Obviously, diagnosing someone as a psychopath is a very serious step. It has important implications for a person and for his or her associates in family, clinical and forensic settings. Therefore, the test must be administered by professionals who have been specifically trained in its use and who have a wide-ranging and up-to-date familiarity with studies of psychopathy.

Scoring and Result

The PCL-R provides a total score that indicates how closely the test subject matches the "perfect" score that a classic or prototypical psychopath would rate. Each of the twenty items is given a score of 0, 1, or 2 based on how well it applies to the subject being tested. A prototypical psychopath would receive a maximum score of 40, while someone with absolutely no psychopathic traits or tendencies would receive a score of zero. A score of 30 or above qualifies a person for a diagnosis of psychopathy. People with no criminal backgrounds normally score around 5. Many non-psychopathic criminal offenders score around 22.

The twenty traits assessed by the PCL-R score are:

Score 0 if it does not apply to you, score 1 if it somewhat applies, score 2 if it fully applies to you.

1. Glibness and superficial charm
– smooth-talking, engaging and slick.

2. Grandiose self-worth
– greatly inflated idea of one’s abilities and self-esteem, arrogance and a sense of superiority.

3. Pathological lying
– shrewd, crafty, sly and clever when moderate; deceptive, deceitful, underhanded and unscrupulous when high.

4. Cunning/manipulative
– uses deceit and deception to cheat others for personal gain.

5. Lack of remorse or guilt
- no feelings or concern for losses, pain and suffering of others, coldhearted and unempathic.

6. Shallow affect / emotional poverty
– limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness.

7. Callous/lack of empathy
– a lack of feelings toward others; cold, contemptuous and inconsiderate.

8. Fails to accept responsibility for own actions
– denial of responsibility and an attempt to manipulate others through this.

9. Needs stimulation/prone to boredom
– an excessive need for new, exciting stimulation and risk-taking.

10. Parasitic lifestyle
– Intentional, manipulative, selfish and exploitative financial dependence on others.

11. Poor behavioral controls
– expressions of negative feelings, verbal abuse and inappropriate expressions of anger.

12. No realistic long-term goals
– inability or constant failure to develop and accomplish long-term plans.

13. Impulsiveness
– behaviors lacking reflection or planning and done without considering consequences.

14. Irresponsible
– repeated failure to fulfill or honor commitments and obligations.

15. Juvenile delinquency
– criminal behavioral problems between the ages of 13-18.

16. Early behavior problems
– a variety of dysfunctional and unacceptable behaviors before age thirteen.

17. Revocation of Conditional Release
– Violating probation or other conditional release because of technicalities.

18. Promiscuity
– brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs and an indiscriminate choice of sexual partners.

19. Many short-term marital relationships
– lack of commitment to a long-term relationship.

20. Criminal versatility
– diversity of criminal offenses, whether or not the individual has been arrested or convicted."

Perhaps it is worthy of serious consideration.

Your faithful servant,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why, Mitt, Why ?

Barry, My Liege :

Keep up the good fight, My Liege, your aggression seems to discombobulate the Reps and we are loving it.

But a broader question is trying to figure out exactly what drives Mitt Romney.

Here's one idea about what makes Mitt tick : He thinks he is a Royal. After all, he was born into a Royal family and made a lot of money on his own, so that means that he is simply better than the rest of us.

Besides, we would not understand him if he did explain because we just don't know how the world really works.

And, if he is just better than us, then he does not have to explain anything. Here's his wife on releasing his tax returns : "we've given all that people need to know" about the family's finances.

He answers to a higher power embodied in the form of really, stinkingly rich people who want to stay in the shadows.

If he can win an election by saying nothing, then he is free to do what he and his betters want him to do.

That may be the real reason he changes positions so often - we would not understand him if he told the real truth, so he can just say what the moment demands.

Just about the most ridiculous thing I have heard in years is the statement that he 'retired retroactively' from Bain.

Only addled Royalty thinks like that.

My Liege, it is a little discouraging to think that he might actually win the election.

Your faithful servant,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Corralling Bankers ?

Barry, My Liege :

American bankers' recent egregious and criminal behavior has damaged the Economic National Security of the United States. As a result, there have been some attempts at rectification through consumer protection legislation.

At the national level, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been working diligently to propose new rules and to investigate and prepare prosecutions.

Some new rules and some news stories will appear soon from this agency. Details are here :

In California, the California Homeowners Bill of Rights is a step toward fairness for homeowners ; here is the background :

But, Barry, My Liege, bankers are clever and will find ways to circumvent the new rules.

The intentions are good, My Liege, but the results will be inadequate. The Economic National Security of the United States will continue to be harmed by banks - unless the more stringent regulations discussed in the space previously are enacted.

There is some effort at the Justice Department toward criminal prosecutions ; see it here :

Your faithful servant,