Russian Bounty on U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan; Unit 29155, Part 1

Note: for the sake of clarity, traditional Soviet acronyms, such as KGB and GRU, are used. The name changes were frequent and of little consequence.

If this  were any other decade, and but for (NY Times) Suspicions of Russian Bounties Were Bolstered by Data on Financial Transfers, I would be skeptical. The other open source evidence is based on interrogations of captured Taliban. The captives were caught in proximity to large amounts of cash. I would have wondered if the story of the captives was intended to conceal a drug-mule operation.

But the reality of Unit 29155, and likely spinoffs, cannot be denied. It has turned Britain and Germany into a hunting ground, where Russia claims the extraterritorial right to assassinate. Most of the victims are Russian citizens, but not all. Slavs, and troublesome spies are eligible. Britain is looking at a whole slew of unsolved deaths.

If it weren’t for the unsolved deaths, the reputation of Unit 29155 would be of paramount bunglers, leaving in their wake trails of failed hits and ID’d operatives. So it does not disqualify that the estimated U.S. toll in Afghanistan centers around a handful.

Unit 29155 exists because it always has, though the organizational chart follows a wide historical arc. In concept, it began in 1920 as the “Yasha Group.”  It was actually a third intelligence service, though under the control of the NKVD.  Although all the names have changed, the GRU also dates to this era. In the Soviet Union, no power center could be allowed to exist outside the Communist Party. As the enforcer of political discipline, the NKVD was closely tied to the Party. The greater distance of the military from that center of power was enforced, at first by hierarchical design, later by the purges.

Hence while the GRU was more numerous, the NKVD was higher in the power hierarchy. The para-military activities of the Yasha Group, which became the Administration for Special Tasks under Pavel Sudoplatov,  parallel the modern GRU-29155. During World War II, Special Tasks included a motorized brigade level commando force.

But the capabilities of Special Tasks, which included sabotage and assassination, were inherently dangerous to the Party. Special Tasks was the principal client of the KGB poison lab, run by Grigory Mairanovsky. (Guardian) Russia’s Lab X: poison factory that helped silence Soviets’ critics. (The lab was such a hideous idea, the Soviets kept changing the number on the org charts.) Hence it was considered safest to subordinate it to the the NKVD.

With the death of Stalin, the Soviet Union returned to an unstable collective leadership with ingrained fear of the repressive instruments of the purges, which included the use of poisons, and the necessity of propaganda  to apportion blame for Stalin’s atrocities, in which they were all complicit to varying degrees. The poison lab was denounced, and continued with a different number on the door.

With the death of Beria a short time later, the leadership moved to reassert total Party control, by destruction or reformation of institutions associated with Stalin and Beria. Ranking members of Special Tasks were imprisoned, partly due to association with Beria, partly from fear of the group’s lethal expertise, and from the desire of Khrushchev to use the group as a scapegoat for his own share of atrocities.

For a long time, a real question of the leadership, which shows the fear Special Tasks inspired, was, how many had they actually killed? The Soviet system was sufficiently opaque to confuse those who had lived close to the center of power.

Soviet/Russian presence on the world stage can be divided into four periods, with some overlap, as actors from a previous period persisted into the next until final removal:

  • 1918-1922, World revolution, Leninist dogma, strongly  influenced by Trotsky.
  • Stalinist, 1922-1953  — Build Soviet communism first, world communism later. While10 years elapse for Stalin to obtain total control, Trotskyism gradually fades, ending with his assassination, an early achievement of Sudoplatov.
  • 1950’s to breakup: Phlegmatic collective  leadership with infighting; “peaceful coexistence.”
  • Modern: Aggressive, lacking in principles, resource starved  yet genuinely threatening to the West, though not devoid of positive domestic qualities.

From the 50’s, up till the fall of the Soviet Union, Soviet foreign policy is described by Kissinger as ponderously bureaucratic. When did the mission of Sudoplatov’s Special Tasks, formerly under the thumb of the NKVD, move over to the military GRU?  It could not happen as long as the Communist Party was in control. Curiously, they seemed as personally abhorrent of poisons as the rest of us, fearful that personal loyalties were insufficient protection from that form of diabolism.

Bulgarian dissident  Georgi Markov was assassinated by the Bulgarian secret service via a novel ricin delivery system in 1978. The rather credible testimony of defectors Oleg Kalugin and Oleg Gordievsky assert that the KGB provided the poison. Hence, a date stamp; as late as 1978, the GRU was not what is now referred to as the “go to” resource for clandestine violence.

By 1986, as Party control imperceptibly weakened, there is a hint of change or loosening of the control of special ops, with the West Berlin discotheque bombing, the casus belli for the 1986 United States retaliatory strikes against Libya 10 days later. It required opening of the Stasi archives in 1990 to provide sufficient evidence for prosecution of individuals.

What did the Stasi archives reveal? This is the perfect cliffhanger, so stay tuned!

For Pros Only: (CNN) Fauci says task force seriously considering new testing strategy; Vilfredo Pareto

The is for professionals only.  It has significant math.  This is not the continuation of COVID Resurgent: Of Hares and Foxes; Primer for Policy Makers, Part 1, which will follow shortly. If you’re not a pro, skip this article.

(CNN) Fauci says task force ‘seriously considering’ new testing strategy. Quoting,

“Something’s not working,” Fauci said of the nation’s current approach in an interview with The Post. “I mean, you can do all the diagramming you want, but something is not working.”

All testing,  pooled or no, is good, and the more testing the better. This article looks beyond the testing strategy, for problems in the model. All models, even of simple systems, are wrong. A model seldom deals with fundamental processes. It works at the higher level of convenient simplification, or even fiction.  The only criteria is how well it works.  Albert Einstein: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

If  a model does not produce useful predictions, we can try complicating it with features of the situation which might have been thought unimportant.  The mainstream of thought centers around these parameters:

  • A(t) is the number of active cases
  • R_o, the basic reproduction number, is the number of cases infected by each active case
  • C(t) is the increment of cases that recover.
  • S(t),  which I will divulge after you have a look at the next equation.

With each time step, the model predicts,

A(t+1) = R_o*A(t) + A(t) – C(t) + S(t)

where C(t) is proportional to A.

This is the standard equation for a mostly naive  population. Later on, when herd immunity has a significant influence, it is replaced by a model of  higher dimension. It’s all quite familiar, except for a new term,  S(t), which is the source of our problems, why the predictions of testing on the model fail so miserably.

S is a guess that even at this early stage, COVID-19 is not adequately simulated by a piecewise linear model.S” could stand for “secret” or “seed”:

  • Secret, because it characterizes the 90% of COVID-19 cases that are invisible.
  • Secret also because we know as much about how it works as dark matter.
  • Seed, because, with asymptomatic transmission, the secret process seeds the one we know about.

Cynically, adding S to the model could make it work better simply because there are more parameters to play with. But it allows us to incorporate a reference to the fundamental processes of infection which the standard model cannot accommodate. It is motivated by the prominent relationship  of drinking establishments with COVID spikes.

The number of COVID virions required to produce infection may have no threshold greater than zero, but it is still thought to influence disease severity. The simple classification scheme of infected/clear handicaps modeling. Defining a series of disease states makes it possible to incorporate a threshold function based on the  number of  virions in the exposure:

  • Not infected.
  • Latent, viral load undetectable.
  • Asymptomatic, non communicable, sheds non viable viral detritus.
  • Asymptomatic, communicable, sheds live virus.
  • Symptomatic, communicable. The 10% which have been mistaken for the main event.

We could graph these states on the Y-axis, from 0 to 4, against an X-axis of virions per exposure. Do we expect a straight line? Linear systems are very special and rare. Without knowing anything more than the way the universe works in general, we can say the curve is not linear. Occam’s Razor has two more suggestions:

  • The graph is monotonically increasing.
  • There is a threshold, a level of exposure that sharply increases severity.

Would a threshold pop out with the above scheme of 5 disease states? Maybe, maybe not. But as serology becomes more attuned, it’s likely that someone looking at some graph will see it. This refines the model.

Louis Pasteur said, “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.” So let’s prepare, by writing a model that can approximate more of reality. In the  secret process S, the simplicity of a constant R_o will not exist. R_o is replaced by F(S). The model becomes nonlinear. This is an inevitable consequence of a threshold. So where:

  • S is the number of people in the secret state of infection.
  • F(S), a random variable, is analogous to R_o for the linear model.
  • C_s(t) is the increment of S who recover completely.
  • I is the increment who transition to obvious infection, adding to A.

We might write,

S(t+1) = F(S)*S(t) + S(t) – C_s(t)  – I(t)

Now Pasteur gives his attention to the bar, the innumerable social interactions within, and the COVID explosion that comes out. He goes in with a sampling gadget that looks beyond the transient life of suspended droplets. It could be something like flypaper that captures droplets as they fall out of suspension. Our modern Pasteur goes to that bar for a week, takes a sequence of measurements, and discovers something amazing. Over the course of a week, the sequence  COVID concentration is (M-T-W-TH-F-SA-SU):

0,  0,  M, M^2, M^5, M^7, M^(off-scale)

where M is the measurement on the first non-zero day. This is enough for Pasteur to speculate that there is a significant threshold on the 3rd day.  Before then, bar patrons were pretty safe. By Thursday,  they are doomed. This situation cannot be modeled by R_o. It requires F(S), dependent on the above sequence.

What goes into F(S)? We may as well make it a random variable, which requires a probability distribution. Pasteur’s observations require a threshold.  Since we are still far away from fundamental processes, aesthetics count. If we can forgive Vilfredo Pareto for advising Mussolini to march on Rome, the Pareto distribution is beguiling.  It served Pareto well, even though he didn’t know why either.

The Pareto is actually a family of distributions:

  • It has a threshold, adjustable from a vertical cliff to a rolling rise.
  • The higher order moments are large or infinite, reflecting the association between bars and COVID black swan events.
  • It has only two independent parameters, the median, and alpha, which allows us to substitute faith for the  inscrutable.
  • Pareto invented it for problems in the social sciences, where it has been repeatedly validated, even where the fundamental processes are unknowable.

The Pareto distribution predicts a constant seeding of black swan events.The fundamentals will remain unknowable, relying in detail on every aspect of society and life that make the U.S. different from China. An enterprising mathematician might use the Pareto for a few plausibility arguments:

  • In a contest between testing and masks, masks win hands down.
  • Close the bars until COVID-19 is history.










COVID Resurgent: Of Hares and Foxes; Primer for Policy Makers, Part 1

Many accounts of plagues of the past conclude with mysterious vanishing. Since science based medicine did not exist, accounts of contemporary historians exhibit ignorance of mythic quality, of which the historians, biblical and secular, had not the slightest hint.

The terror of ancient plagues, coupled with complete ignorance of the causes, has persisted into the current. If you don’t know anything about epidemiology, the myths occupy a corner of your mind, to be dragged out when fear is great and critical thinking is weak.

(CNN) 90% of Americans have prayed for healing, study finds. You don’t have to deny yourself the emotional support of prayer, provided public health policy is based on science. Passover is a great story.

The knowledge vacuum  persisted until the advent of epidemiology, which became a rational field with the advent of Koch’s Postulates, a set of criteria required to prove that a microbe causes a disease.  With a little modification, and accommodation of exceptions and complications, the Postulates remain valid today.

In ancient times, there were only a few legitimate causes of plagues:

  • The Gods were angry.
  • Chastisement of the Devil.
  • Bad vapors or waters. In ancient times, a lot of things smelled bad, and most water tasted bad.
  • Passage from one person to another.

In a world without science, these  were complete explanations. The Postulates marked a transition; they were eagerly taken up by early epidemiologists, who in a mere half-century managed to discover why many of the historical plagues vanished without apparent cause.

Yet epidemiology, so rich and precise in describing epidemics after the fact, has  weak powers of prediction. This is why WHO couldn’t say COVID-19 would escape China. This is also why someone in a CNN video, asked why he was not wearing a mask, replied, “God will heal this country.” A stronger science would have left no room for this.

Epidemiology is almost totally divorced from biochemistry. The COVID-19 genome was sequenced in a week, but there was and is no way to use a genome for prediction without clinical experience. Epidemics, like elections, are mostly studied with statistics. This is not great news, but it has an upside. It means the policy maker can largely understand some things, such as:

  • COVID-19 isn’t going to “mysteriously vanish” like plagues of yore. Hint: COVID doesn’t involve vermin.
  • As time goes on, epidemic predictions become more accurate.
  • Virulence varies from time-to-time and place-to-place. (Reuters) New coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says.
  • Like all viruses, COVID has no ability to think, yet has complex “strategies” to overcome the defenses of an infected person.
  • How public health policy can actually influence the virulence of COVID.

Which of the above is most important to you?

To be continued shortly. And yes, hares and foxes will figure in the telling.







(Reuters) “SAFE” Type of ultraviolet light kills airborne coronavirus NOT SAFE!

(Reuters) Type of ultraviolet light kills airborne coronavirus; effect on platelets helps explain blood clot issues.


Ceiling fixtures emitting a safe form of ultraviolet light called far-UVC would be very efficient at killing airborne coronaviruses, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University. “A very low exposure to far-UVC light killed well over 99.9% of the exposed virus,” lead researcher Dr. David Brenner told Reuters.

This is a dangerous assumption, justified by one of two competing ideas. I have worked with these sources. In germicidal applications, the lights are mounted in enclosures that contain the material, or air, to be irradiated. In this context, UVC is safe. There is no more danger from air that has been irradiated when blown through an enclosure than there is from irradiated food, which is nil.

Brenner’s creative wiggle room may be in the phrase, “very low exposure.” There is a standard reply to that. UVC is in the broad class of ionizing radiation, which includes blue light, all UV, X-rays, and gamma rays. Two ideas compete about the existence of an intensity threshold for radiation damage to occur:

  • Radiation intensity below some threshold is harmless, or even salutary — radiation hormesis.
  • There is no threshold; any level of ionizing radiation is harmful.

These competing ideas are in complete contradiction with each other. No middle position has yet been elucidated. The specious certainty that low level UVC is harmless may stem from the weak ability of UVC to penetrate the cornea. A quote from WHO (What is UV) helps. (In lab wavelength jargon, “far” is equivalent to “short”):

Short-wavelength UVC is the most damaging type of UV radiation. However, it is completely filtered by the atmosphere and does not reach the earth’s surface.

If Brenner has his way, UVC, to which there is no natural exposure, is to be introduced at low levels into public spaces, without the confinement of sterilizing enclosures.

I doubt this will  happen. But Reuters should take care with the word “safe”.  We already read of people drinking bleach. The equivalent can be anticipated with “safe” UV.  LED UV flashlights are cheap and widely available for mineralogy and curing adhesives.

The Reuters article could instigate the use by the uneducated of commonly available UV lights that can cause eye damage and promote cancer.




(CNN) Trump Homeland Security official says he believes George Floyd would not have been spared if he were white

(CNN) Trump Homeland Security official says he believes George Floyd would not have been spared if he were white.

I beg to disagree. In my opinion, George Floyd would almost certainly be alive if he was white.  There is no factual basis for Ken Cuccinelli’s opinion, or mine, except for one thing. In 18 years with the department, George Floyd is the first person Derek Chauvin killed.


“…And I have a funny feeling, I don’t know anything about his professional history, but I have a feeling that we’re going to find that he wasn’t necessarily that well thought of as a role model among law enforcement through the time of his career, to say the least.”

Since there were 18 prior complaints, this is virtual fact. But does it mean that we can know whether Derek Chauvin’s action was racially motivated? The mind of the individual is ultimately unknowable, which is why we have statistics. The latest tabulation is:

  • George Floyd, who was black, is the first person Derek Chauvin killed.

Cuccinelli says (CNN) systemic racism is not an issue in US law enforcement. Fine, I’ll go with that. Non-systemic racism  is deadly enough. The U.S. is in chaos, and we’re debating whether there’s a system?

It seems to be hard to juggle the multiple aspects of the cop problem. Policy makers, keep in mind that the solution is a three legged stool, Police Brutality Part 4. 

  • If you just legislate, you will fail.
  • If you just “reform”, you will fail.
  • If you don’t fix the people problem, you will fail.

Institutionalized racism is not the problem.  So what is?  There are several. The most urgent is de facto racism (names left blank for future use):

 [Black Person] is the first person [White Cop] killed.

If it wouldn’t be to much trouble, let’s also work on the other problems,  manifest in recent peaceful demonstrations.


(CNN) Minneapolis City Council members intend to defund and dismantle the city’s police department; Police Brutality Part 4

(CNN) Minneapolis City Council members intend to defund and dismantle the city’s police department.

This brave grass-roots experiment deserves to be tried. How might it turn out?

  • At worst: A reshuffling of departments, familiar faces, and responsibilities, while an insular culture remains a potent adversary to real change.
  • The best: A new police culture in which members of law enforcement act as members of the community they police. This new culture is contained by society,  rather than insular to it.

Because it is a local initiative, the effort will have responsiveness that prevents total breakdown.

Editorials have focused on reform of the shield of qualified immunity. Punishing the guilty cop is only one leg of the stool.  Though it is an important part of Rousseau’s Social Contract, public attention tends to focus on punishing the guilty, which has force only after the fact. Prevention requires two legs of structural change:

  • Police culture responsible to the community, instead of to itself.
  • Exclusion of the workplace psychopath from the badge and the gun.

Consider: Derek Chauvin is probably a psychopath, or something like it. With his exclusion, the death of George Floyd would in all probability not have occurred. This  has been absent from recent opinion. This is a blind spot, which the press would do well to correct. Of course, excluding the psychopath is harder than passing legislation. So let’s figure out how to do it.

The psychopathic cop is the subject of U.S. protesters call to Defund the Police. Even with weakening of qualified immunity, the psychopath remains a coiled spring, waiting for his chance.

Will the brave experiment actually be tried, or will the supermajority members of the city council temporize or bungle? Will soaring crime revoke their mandate?

This is going to be interesting.





U.S. protesters call to Defund the Police

(Reuters) Explainer: U.S. protesters call to ‘Defund the Police.’ What would that look like?

Without polling protestors to explain why they feel this is a good idea,  we have to supply the argument:

  • The police are bad.
  • The fewer police are around, the fewer bad things will happen.
  • Therefore, reduce the number of police.

Though the  authentic logic is unavailable, it has to be a close cousin to the above. It has flaws. From Police Brutality, Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, Rousseau’s Social Contract Part 2,

If 5-10% of  males (Australian estimate), or 1-5% (other estimates) are workplace psychopaths, then 99.9% of cops can’t be great Americans. No sampling of any profession or group of Americans shows 99.9% of people you just want to love. There are lots of rotten people, everywhere you look.

So 90 – 95% of police are not workplace psychopaths, which means they are likely to act to the benefit of society. The number of workplace psychopaths is unacceptably high, but defunding would not selectively remove them.

Like all human beings, cops are psychologically complex.  Perhaps the cop-psycho behaves like a bully, or a gang member, who becomes emboldened in bad behavior by numbers. Derek Chauvin was the senior cop of a unit that included two rookies. His actions are consistent with intent to indoctrinate the rookies with his own twisted club rules.

Whether a person is a cop or an ordinary citizen, we generally recognize the right to self preservation. While the  good samaritan is lauded, the cop is required to help. There are broad parallels in what is expected of both, while the rules and sanctions are markedly different.

Defunding would not stop the determined psycho. It would squeeze the normal person who happens to be a cop between three imperatives which are similar for cops and non-cops:

  • Do no harm.
  • Act with civic virtue.
  • Self preservation.

The cop has a 4th imperative, to uphold the law. In every attempt to do this, the first three imperatives limit action in ways critical to success or failure, to life-or-death. Training is supposed to enforce those limits with split-second judgments.

Failure to uphold the oath might be innocent, careless,  or as we have seen, malicious. The instinct of self preservation implies one more cause, fear. It is the most likely reason that Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American in the Minneapolis Police Department, shot Justine Diamond. Noor is a small man, who may have been chronically afraid of being physically overpowered.

The cop is caught in a web of obligations and mischance. Let’s now consider the effect of defunding on the cop who is a normal person like yourself. Perhaps your life is simple: You do not seek power, and civic virtue  does not concern you. Then you are caught between just two poles:

  • Do no harm.
  • Self preservation.

When not complicated by greater ambitions, these instincts  occupy most minutes of a day.  Fear squeezes the poles together. Driving in traffic is a moderate squeeze. In the extreme, a cop faces a door, behind which there may be a gun.  The greater the fear, the tighter the squeeze, the greater chance of a mistake.

Defunding law enforcement means doing the same job with less, which means greater fear, with more lethality, not less. Review the video of Police Brutality, Derek Chauvin, and the Death of George Floyd Part 1,   (YouTube)Unruly Foreigner Ar‌re‌st‌e‌d in Starbucks By Tokyo P‌ol‌i‌ce.

  • The element of danger, to both the policemen and the suspect, is absent.
  • The policemen are contained by the social system of Japan.
  • They are not required or encouraged to chance the edge.

The Tokyo cops could be what they are because they are not afraid. Among the reasons for their lack of fear: Numerosity and training.

There are other reasons as well. America is plagued by violence. Japan is not. But that’s another chapter. Conclusions:

  • If most cops are not psychos, defunding would increase their fear. The greater the fear, the tighter the squeeze, the greater chance of a mistake.
  • If psycho cops are at the root of police brutality, specific measures are called for.
  • If the psycho-cop is an open question, it deserves thorough debate, because the cost of defunding law enforcement would be huge. America is a notably violent society.

If defunding can work at all, it should be trialed grass-roots, not as a top-down amputation. Reuters quotes views from the trenches:

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday told reporters that “what I’ve heard from people in neighborhoods is that they want more police protection not less.”


U.S. Representative Val Demings, .“We don’t have to just maintain law and order and pay no attention to the man on the ground,” said the black former police chief in Orlando, Florida. “We can do both.”

Political memes are no substitute for the human touch.














Police Brutality, Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, Rousseau’s Social Contract Part 2

We continue from Police Brutality, Derek Chauvin, and the Death of George Floyd Part 1.

Preamble: Nothing that follows condones  violence, which in many cases is directed against those sympathetic  to the protestors, such as CNN and Reuters. Since nothing I write here will have any influence on protestors, this continues a focus on the roots of our national problem.

With every social problem, there are multiple angles, each with a distinct vocabulary. They may not seem to connect. In the last article, the word racism does not appear.  We focused on the psychology and training of the individual cop. Removing psychopaths from law enforcement could be the single most effective step against police brutality, which has a long history.

But psychology says nothing about the Social Contract, a concept introduced in 1762 by the great French thinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Contract has been in continuous evolution, serving as the basis of the American and French revolutions, the year 1848, and every modern democracy in every corner of the world. The two party system owes to Rousseau.

The Social Contract between a government and its citizens lays down the responsibilities of each. The book concludes with,

“Let us then admit that force does not create right, and that we are obliged to obey only legitimate powers”.

Whether they know or or not,  in their demand that all four police officers be tried for the murder of George Floyd, the protestors are invoking Rousseau. This may not be possible; one reason for the mere 3rd degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin may be fear of acquittal, with another round of riots.

(CNN) National security adviser: ‘I don’t think there’s systemic racism’ in US police forces. Quoting Robert O’Brien,

“No, I don’t think there’s systemic racism. I think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are great Americans. Many of them are African American, Hispanic, Asian, they’re working the toughest neighborhood, they’ve got the hardest jobs to do in this country and I think they’re amazing, great Americans.”

This is easily contradicted:

  • If 5-10% of  males (Australian estimate), or 1-5% (other estimates) are workplace psychopaths, then 99.9% of cops can’t be great Americans. No sampling of any profession or group of Americans shows 99.9% of people you just want to love. There are lots of rotten people, everywhere you look.
  • A random sample of Minneapolis cops offers one murder suspect and three who let it happen. If one person murdered Derek Chauvin, while three others watched, are the three part of that 99.9% who are presumably saving lives and helping people?
  • How many callous souls does it take to say that, in at least some corners of the Minneapolis police, racism is an institution? Does it have to go all the way to  upper management? Could the term quasi-institutional apply?

The response to the tragedy of Minneapolis requires three forks. They barely intersect, yet all are required:

  • Mitigating the direct cause, preventing cops who shouldn’t be cops from becoming cops.
  • Fulfillment of the social contract.  In our culture, this means that crime is punished, even if the perp is a cop.  This won’t prevent a repetition, but the social contract demands it. Only then will the people consent to be governed.

The contract could also mean that for a cop to overlook a crime by his companions is a crime.

What about  racism itself?  Though it is unlikely that we will ever have a test for it, or a way of banishing it, a third fork is mandated:

  • Moral leadership.

In 1858, when a young United States was facing its greatest crisis, the Republican nominee for Senator of Illinois stepped up:

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand.”…It will become all one thing or all the other.

As in the time of Abraham Lincoln, a primal force rides on great expectation. What will the United States will become?