note to self

I relax by writing. Saturday night, American Greed is on CNBC.

I have to write my profile. I have to run/jog.

I have to stop driving around in the Mercedes because I was lucky. MetLife and that ridiculous towing network exasperated it. It has been a tough day; law enforcement around here does that to me. Now I am waiting for BBB. That will be the name of my new stageplay: Waiting for BBB.

“The only thing that matters is my overall satisfaction,” I said at the meeting with Amir and Judi. I need to do a little research, Judi’s last name, etc. because she seems like an adversary. Obviously, she did not correct the problems. She dug in at the time. Amir’s email said nothing.

I was feeling great because I decided, if it is stressful I will cut them off and cancel my credit cards with BoA. I have had too many problems with them. It is weird now that I can better afford it. What is the difference between selfish, greedy, and narcissistic? I do not want to be narcissistic. I have choices in businesses, vendors, etc. If they are going to cause stress, it is better to avoid or replace them.

So that is what I need to do. Set up the printer permanently and start printing.

Susi too. The documents on narcissism.

Jeffrey Epstein

Virginia Roberts Giuffre was already abused by a neighbor, a runaway, and very vunerable. Then it all happened—Epstein took her in—and it got worse. She was sent to Thailand to become a better masseuse and recruit for him, but she left with a man soon to be her husband and father to three kids in Australia.

Not Murdoch but Maxwell. In between were Murdoch and Maxwell, his girlfriend.

Hers is the best video, even though she was called a “serial liar.” That particular filing was removed, the sentence about Dershowitz. The rest of her story, a lot of her story, is true.

Julie K. Brown and others at the Miami Herald persevered and broke it. Lawsuits finally hit home: victims, civil suits and more evidence (as well as settlements), and the U.S. Attorney settlement was thrown out.

The arrest was pretty fast. This time he will stay in jail.

It is a lot like Raniere and others—remember what we have learned, aside from the atrocious behavior by Palm Beach County and the USDA there, when the feds make an arrest and seizure they have a very strong case.

Epstein goes back a long way with bad actors. Who was it, Steven Hoffenberg or Scott Rothstein?

Did he care about the girls? The women were under 18.

Jeffrey Epstein is a an extreme, probably malignant, narcissist. Friends? He had no friends. Girlfriends? They were not girlfriends. The 2003 Vanity Fair piece is an excellent look into his personality. Never close to anyone. Everything is a mystery or facade. He is smart and can read people.

Narcissism. Combine it with alcoholism or addiction and it is worse. Greed and narcissism is a terrible combination too. Throw in power, jetsetting, and much more and that should be a lesson.

R Kelly is another. Do they care about the girls and women? That is what distinguishes it. It is not about what is there, it is about what is not there: empathy.

Interesting site.

Who the heck is Dr. C?

54 million hits, 60,000 counseling sessions, Baylor and North Texas State. Books.

This seems more appropriate, the childhood origins. It is basically inherited.

Definitions and telling everyone things narcissists do? I don’t like it. It does not get to the roots and most people on youtube still do not or will not understand it. It is very hard to understand (I think you almost have to know the rudiments of psychology–child psychology, personality developtment, Freud, and more).

Self improvement through insight rather than suffering. I like that! Why the narcissist is attractive. That sounds titillating.

Bernie Ebbers

Lynn Jeter is a person to start with. “Disconnected” (2003), her book on the Ebbers and the Worldcom failure, is a very basic recital of the facts. It is like a university thesis by someone with good intentions but no experience, insight, or particular writing skill. It is just a collection of published clippings in book form. It contains basic, published, financial information on an annual basis. It has been fact-checked.

This, written around the same time, is descriptive. “Arrogant and pompous” is a simple and informative, and Ms. Jeter should know.

There isn’t a ton on the web, so “Broadbandits” (2003) is next. Now we are getting closer. There is a chapter titled “Bernie’s Failed Vision.”

Bernie was canned in 2002, three months later the company went bankrupt, and he went to jail permanently in 2006. The company was formed in 1983 but Ebbers was not intimately involved as ceo until the mid 80’s. For the first decade Worldcom (LDDS) grew by acquisition as a long distance carrier. Everything changed in the mid 90’s with the internet. In 1996 Worldcom acquired UUNet and John Sidgemore.

Per Richard Thornborough some 11 of 13 quarters prior to the bankruptcy were tainted by accounting fraud. But it was not this, or rather just this, that brought Worldcom down.

There was logic behind the strategy at first: own the lines rather than lease them to to cut costs and build scale. It made sense in the early days of telecom. The scale included end to end control. But as everything became faster and smaller, not to mention wireless and overcapacity, it was doomed. The strategy, which was really just a ponzi scheme, was doomed when the market shifted.


This new theme is a fantastic challenge. It is just white space and that is what every writer fears. There is nothing there at all. If I want it, I have to create it.

The view both from and through my smartphone is a good introduction at least for me. That is what I see about 50 times a day anyway as my cellphone wallpaper. Then I look out the window and see the same thing. There is a comfort level.

In a roundabout kind of logic, it is time to convert to that.

Still too vague? The blog needs to be updated to work on smartphones. And I have to adapt to that–how it looks and, most importantly, what is there. Media has to be a big part of what is there. (I will just say it really enhances it.)

I don’t know where the name comes from, the Gutenberg editor:

“We call the new editor Gutenberg. The entire editing experience has been rebuilt for media rich pages and posts. Experience the flexibility that blocks will bring, …”

So we are off and typing again. Or still.

Everything below this (older) was practice. I have signed-up for 4 1/2 years of hosting. There will be more.

don’t be like Keith

Long ago and far away I wrote about Keith Raniere.

I still check Frank Report regularly, but I really only like to read what Parlato himself has to say (coverage of the trial is better elsewhere) and most of the writers who rose from the level of commenter just do not hold my attention.

It is OK, you don’t have to follow it now. There is plenty on the web for posterity and there will be a lot more. In terms of timing, look the day after he is convicted and there will be a spike. Since with his demise–the leader is always key–NXIVM will sink further into the history of squashed cults, even more people will talk. For those whom the branding did not get their attention, maybe the sentences will. Clare Bronfman is yet to come too.

What is currently going on is everything the feds said made him a monster is coming out. We are privy to more texts, photos, and the like but people are actually saying it. Raniere is a buffoon and a half for sitting there day after day and taking it.

Why would someone do that?

The reason is that he is a superb example of a narcissist. At trial Lauren Saltzman broke down on the stand. The judge called her a broken person and stopped cross-examination. It is a rare move–the defense asked for a mistrial (denied) and it is sure to be brought-up on pointless appeals.

Raniere is also smart and controlling. Those closer to the trial than I have commented that he sends notes to his lawyers dictating the questioning. He tries to make eye contact. Despite his complete downfall he is still trying to stake claim to his powers in the courtroom too.

They are parading all these women to the witness stand to show what a destroyer of lives he is.

He takes it as they still love me. Look how emotionally attached they are. (Send note to attorney.) Listen to how they believed in my mission. (Another note.) They said they would do anything asked. The sex was consensual.

That was written when the trial ended. Soon after the verdicts (very fast and all guilty), I thought about Nancy Salzman. He could not have done it without her, and vice versa. She was the first to accept a plea and did not testify against her long-time boss. She is at the mercy of the judge for sentencing, and she is, when it comes to guilt, second only to Raniere. Bronfman, with her money was perhaps more dangerous, but Saltzman was irreplaceable. The getaway money ($.5 million in laundered cash) was in her house.

If Raniere was vanguard emeritus, Nancy was ceo and daughter Lauren was coo.

Lauren, who married NXIVM’s former chief hacker, was one of the few who made a stable salary. I am not sure when it began, but it was her job and life. Convinced? She was controlled, as they would say in a cult, by both her mother and Raniere.

She managed the confinement of the young, family-less and friendless Mexican woman. When Raniere was arrested in Mexico he was in bed with Lauren. The police busted in and Lauren confronted them, guns and all, while Raniere cowered in the closet.

Her testimony was so damning no one else who confessed had to appear at the trial. “Everything he taught us was this … what men do, what women do,” Salzman said. “And then he didn’t do it — and I did do it.” She is, still today, conflicted. There is much more here and elsewhere.

link 1

link 2

Joey was getting it from all sides and he was having health problems.

The friend, former roommate, and co-bartender was going to come over to help paint, he went to the hospital with his girlfriend instead, and was “rebuked.” The schedule would be off because of the flooring contractor. Then, when the room was painted the color was wrong and they had to do it again.

The murders (or abduction) were done during a period of construction. Merritt was also there. Then there was an open window and he had days to go back.

Everyone was out for themselves. Some were very nasty.

They were not having financial problems anymore, per se. They had a new house and mortgage, some $100K in the bank (two-thirds business account, rest personal), and the plan as reported was to fix the house bought from foreclosure and sell it. Two small kids and no employer benefits, they were not well off. Earth Inspired Products, primarily an online business, was not particularly solid, especially with Merritt and Kavanaugh reportedly both on their way out and no backups.

All these people had lives and problems. But none were sociopaths or psychopaths except Merritt.

Merritt was right where he had put himself. Lying on camera. Fooling the police. And climbing through the window with Joey’s brother. It is hard to picture a loser driving a work truck as a visible, famous, ostentatious, and an extremely selfish narcissist, but that is what is behind the destruction of the Joseph and Summer McStay family.

We have all heard the label before: People like that do not care. Over and over, chance after chance, a they are a person who cannot or will not learn. They have a built-in mechanism to rationalize it. Other people are are props or tools. And they do not care.

mcstay family murders

I had not heard of it, and after nearly a decade it is in the news because Chase Merritt has been convicted.

Patrick McStay has called the San Diego County Sheriff corrupt. I have never been a sleuth and for me it is not about that. I do not know how you can do it if the people in charge are corrupt.

This kind of thing, if I spend a day watching and reading about it, eats at me. There is much more to write, but I want to stop thinking about it. Here are my 5 takeaways.

  1. Chase Merritt is a lifelong criminal and con artist. He also has 3 kids and a welding and fountain-making skill, like an average father and breadwinner. This is an American Greed case without lavishness. Merritt should have been a clear suspect to everyone. He is a classic psychopath and sociopath and a danger to those around him. He is one of those people, rare as a murder but more common in the general population (that is why I do it), who can kill, steal, or lie and lie right to a camera about it. “I am definitely the last person who saw them,” he said to CNN and the world.
  2. Corruption in San Diego County is a harsh takeaway but I argue it is an appropriate conclusion. The house is here. I guess Fallbrook does not have a police department. I would go so far as they let it happen and then failed to do anything about it. The whole “blame it on Mexico” thing is ridiculous; if you did not find them in Mexico they are not in Mexico.
  3. It was not paradise at the beach in sunny California. Bankruptcy, divorce, lots of lawsuits, and both Charles “Chase” Merrit and Dan Kavanaugh pecking like vultures. No health insurance, 401K, or other benefits as well as two kids in a $215/week apartment for 5 years. Notice the counties not mentioned–Los Angeles and Orange–but it is still Southern California and it is not inexpensive. Summer (not her real name) could be attractive and a bit of a princess, was career-less, and formerly lived with Vick “I was a Marine and know how to kill” Johansen ; Joey was an awfully good guy who worked with waterfalls and wanted a family. In 2010 they were not having money problems. They bought a house and they had money in the bank, but it was not paradise.
  4. The entire trial is on Law & Crime and the videos are on YouTube, but it is surprising there is not more. Dateline, 20/20, and the biggies have not covered it. The CNN doc, updated with the arrest is excellent. Another great vid is Les something, yet another victim from a person who had to be stopped. As a blogger Cornelius is awfully good and he has the following, although not all that many hits, to prove it.
  5. Everyone was fooled including Joey’s father, in that even after the bodies were found he still did not suspect Merritt. And Joey’s brother went with Merritt as the first persons to enter the house after the murders. It is obvious Merritt is a danger to those around him. I think San Diego County should have charged him even without the bodies because the whole thing would not have been prosecuted if not for the motorcyclist. Others came forward too despite the professionals paid to solve it, but the motorcyclist’s tip is what did it. Perhaps it is fast, but congrats to San Bernadino County for providing public safety less than a year later.