Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, and the Right to Bear Arms

Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, and the Right to Bear Arms

Right to protect our children from people wielding guns.  None of us want our children exposed to the danger of another Newtown Connecticut – another Sandy Hook Elementary. It is our right and duty to make sure that our children and our schools are absolutely safe – in fact that all of us are safe.  We must protect our children and all of us from potential mass murderers.

Right to bear arms. On the other hand, the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is not merely for hunting, but it is to allow the people to protect themselves and for them to protect the U.S. Constitution, by force if necessary.  The right to bear arms came to our shores from an old concession forced upon the King of England in the 1600’s.   There are sobering thoughts to consider before we go down the path of disarming the people. The people have always been suspicious of a standing army under the total control of a ruler or powerful leader.

Reconciling these two rights:

The right to bear arms, detailed.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and in that regard, is sacred.  We generally are not aware, however, that the 2nd Amendment right, like all constitutional rights to a greater or lesser extent, could be lost, and is vulnerable.  For instance, it could happen if a catastrophic terrorist attack hits our coasts again sometime in the future – no matter who is president at the time. As commander-in-chief the president potentially has the power to invoke martial law.

What does that mean? It means that under extreme circumstances a form of military rule may be legally declared by the president, supposedly with the approval of congress.  This could happen overnight.  It could happen under the authority of Article 1, Section 9, and Clause 2 of the constitution.  That clause allows congress to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.  The writ of habeas corpus generally provides that no one can be arrested and held more than a few days without a court showing of reasonable cause to hold the person.  The authorities must show that it is probable that the person committed a crime, or is otherwise subject to the court’s control.

A suspension of that writ of habeas corpus means that the president –the executive branch of the government – temporarily becomes a military dictator, supposedly for the good of the country. In that way the president imposes military rule over civil rule.  Lincoln did it with the authority of congress for five years during the Civil War in the 1860’s.  But in the case of Milligan v U.S., Lincoln’s usurpation of power eventually was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The court said that:

“Martial law … destroys every guarantee of the Constitution.”

The Court reminded us that such actions were taken by the King of Great Britain, which caused, in part, the Revolution.

“Civil liberty and this kind of martial law cannot endure together; the antagonism is irreconcilable; and, in the conflict, one or the other must perish.”

The court said further that martial rule can never exist where the courts are open, and in the proper and unobstructed exercise of their jurisdiction. Further, the court confined the martial takeover to the locality of actual war. But our leaders did not always follow those restrictions on martial law.

During the 2nd world war, American-born and naturalized citizens of Japanese descent on the west coast of the U.S.  -  Over a 100,000 of them – were interned under a form of declaration of martial law –i.e., suspension of habeas corpus. Many years later, the U.S. congress apologized and paid reparations of over 1.2 billion dollars.

The people of other countries were not as careful as are many Americans about our freedoms.  As Chris Powell commented in part in December of 1911:

In the 1930’s the “…German people were demoralized and deprived of economic security by hyperinflation and depression. Then they were frightened into submission by the burning of the parliament building in Berlin, which was opportunistically depicted by the National Socialist-dominated coalition government as Communist Party terrorism and used as the pretext for a proclamation, issued the next day, suspending all civil liberties, including, specifically, habeas corpus. Three weeks later the Nazis persuaded parliament to surrender its power through the infamous Enabling Act, allowing the Nazi chancellor to rule by decree. He did so for 12 more years…”

The world then had to rid itself of Adolf Hitler.

But what would happen in the U.S. under the following scenario:  Let’s say an event causes martial law to be declared – that is, the president – whoever he/she is at the time – suspends the writ of habeas corpus.  Let’s say he then abuses his takeover and never ends it?  It might take months or even years for a case to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.  What would happen if the martial law power-grab is never rescinded? You remember the phrase:  Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely?

The people of the U.S. would have the right to protest that abuse of martial law – like what happened in Iran three or so years ago.  But the protesting Iranians had no guns, no arms.  The protest was brutally put down. People were killed. People disappeared. In the U.S., the people at least would have a last bulwark, a last chance to exercise their protests… They have the right to bear arms.  They have assault weapons locked in their closets and basements.

They also have the right to peacefully assemble – also a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Presumably, they may peacefully defend themselves from a persistent state of martial law that turns bad and becomes an illegal power-grab. In that situation isn’t it consistent with logic that the people would have the right to bear arms in order to exercise their self-defense?

Thus, until there is a more definitive ruling on this hypothetical issue, it would seem that the people could at least fire their arms in self-defense. For example, it would seem they could fire in response to an illegal suspension of habeas corpus –in response to an illegal and false arrest.  But there is probably no way to tell in advance whether any particular hypothetical suspension of habeas corpus has festered to the point of becoming illegal.  And, it could be argued that it is not illegal until a court of law rules it illegal.  This is Catch – 22.  What comes first, the fact of illegality or a court order that the act is illegal? At least it would seem that the prospect of use of arms in self-defense would make a ruler or potential abuser of the power of martial law think twice before he truly abuses that power.

In the 2008 case of District of Columbia v Heller, the court struck down a gun control law as unconstitutional.  The court said in part that the 2nd amendment to the Bill of Rights was originally enacted in large part because the Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia.  The court said that the founders were fearful this would enable a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. Their response to the federalists was to deny Congress the power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms.  In this way the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.

 

The implication of that court ruling is that if martial law is imposed, then abused, and, for example, is never rescinded, the people’s militias could conceivably become pitted against the federal army to help protect the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.  This plausibly could result if a tyrant should abuse his power, suspend habeas corpus, and become a dictator.  It happened in Germany.  It happened in Iran. It happened in North Korea.  It happened in Libya, It happened in Syria.  It happened in parts of Africa. It happened in Cuba and several more times in Latin America. It is probably happening in Egypt.  It happens just about everywhere a dictator commandeers control of a democracy. The ruler does it by declaring martial law.  It conceivably could happen some day in the U.S.  In the Heller case the court further ruled that the term “…well-regulated militia…” meant no more than that the gun owner should be trained to handle guns. And the court had precedent to back up that ruling.

 

As a side note, other countries and forces exist that would be capable of smuggling arms to the protestors of, say Iran or Libya or Syria or Egypt.  It is assumed that the CIA in the past at times served in that role. But if the citizens of the entire world, including those of the U.S., are disarmed, no source would be left to supply the arms for a meaningful peaceful protest.  If martial law is ever imposed, then abused and never rescinded at a time that the U.S. citizens had been disarmed, and the world is disarmed, what country or source would be capable of coming to the aid of the protesting citizens of the U.S.? What group would supply arms?  Only if arms are already in the hands of the people could the people back-up their protests against the continuing illegal abuse of a state of martial law.

In that regard, at the United Nations they are talking about disarming all the peoples of the world – the people of each country.  But they would leave the standing armies of each country in place. We guess that idea would be fine if the United Nations could insure that no despot or dictator could ever again usurp the right of the people to govern themselves. Many at the U.N. think they can do that under a World Government.  Surely they are kidding themselves.  If the peoples of the entire globe are disarmed – including those of the U.S., how could they ever exercise self-defense from a persistent state of martial law that turned bad?

It is illuminating to note who in history was pro-gun and who disarmed the people. All the dictators and collectivists disarmed the people – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Hugo Chaves, Pol Pot, Mussolini, and Karl Marx advocated disarming the people.    All of the advocates of freedom were pro-gun – Dalai Lama, Indira Gandhi, All the U.S, founders, George Orwell, to name a few.

On the other hand it is hard to argue against the apparent success of banning weapons in the hands of citizens, as happened recently in Australia. However, although the reports are mixed, it is curious that gun crime seems not to have gone down.  Suicides have declined, but murders have declined not so much.

The evidence is mixed when we compare the U.S. to the U.K.  Although murders with guns are much higher in the U.S. per capita, violent crime, assaults and home invasions per capita in the U. K. seems much higher than in the U.S.  Could it be that the perpetrators of that sort of crime may likely be dissuaded by the chances that in the U.S. the victim may possess a weapon?

And we should not forget that crises sometimes arise, and they usually do.  In those events we often would truly need a gun to protect our families. In the scenario of a natural disaster, or any disaster, we might need to protect our families from marauders who would seek to take more than an offered charitable share of our food, our generators, water, medical supplies, or shelter.

 

Regardless of the Australian model, however, the U.S is unique.  Here, there appears to be good reason to synthesize the demands of the individual for preservation of freedom, with a demand for ultimate protection of our children and ourselves from negligence, nuts, criminals, terrorists, and despots.

 

So how do we reconcile the right to protect our children, with the right to bear arms?  Both rights are equally important.  We are intelligent beings. We should be able to figure this out.

Universal Co-opetition.  Let’s apply the theory of co-opetition to the problem.  The act of disarming the public is in substance government forcing cooperation upon the people.  On the other hand, to continue to live with all sorts of guns with no safeguards is to allow individual competition to reign beyond reason.  A synthesis of these two behavioral forces must be found.

Some thoughts:

  1. Not practical to disarm the People in the U.S.  In the first place, there are perhaps 200 million guns in the hands of the U. S. public. Counting law enforcement there are about 300 million guns for 311 million people. From a pragmatic standpoint, how could you disarm them, even if you decided you wanted to do so?  Such a course could very possibly breed a police state.  Some would readily give up their freedom and liberty to a police state, believing that the government would offer the best protection for them – “better red than dead” was their mantra during the Cuban missile crises.  But most would never give up their liberty and freedom.
  2. Safety devices and regulations.  Gun owners must lock up their guns.  But more than that, soon technology will be perfected that will recognize the hand print of the owner of the gun.  It will not allow anyone else to fire it. That protection can be disengaged by the owner in an emergency.
  3. Mental competency certifications. Every gun owner should be required to pass a standardized mental competency examination or otherwise prove competency.  It could involve a brain scan to determine whether the empathy sites of the brain are in intact and in good health.  The results of the exams would be subject to review by a truly independent board.
  4. Promote a less-violent culture.  Do a better job reducing violence on video games, movies, lyrics, TV shows, arcades, internet and print media.
  5. Do a Better Job of Keeping Guns from the Hands of Felons and Drug Dealers.  That subject needs little further explanation.
  6. Family Law and Domestic Relations Cases or High Passion Situations.  During, and for a number of years following, a separation of spouses or partners, or of the sparking of a custody or high passion issue, the guns on all sides should be locked up unless or until special relief is granted by the court.  Guns permits suspended.  No tolerance-court orders and injunctions.
  7. Greater security. Each school district should make its own local decisions regarding security at the local schools, including whether a guard should be hired.  Starting up a new government bureaucracy is not necessary, and is not recommended.  Former military personal or former law enforcement officers might potentially earn additional pay to do double duty as a guard as well as perform regularly as a teacher, coach, maintenance person, or administrator. Until we can insure that guns are kept out of the hands of mental patients and terrorists, we recommend that guarding of children must remain a part of social existence.

The argument that Fort Hood is an army base, yet armed guards did no good at that massacre is not persuasive.  The Provost Marshal locks up all arms that are not on the firing range or in the hands of base police.  The police are guarding the gates, not the medical training facility where the massacre took place. The provost marshal specifically disarms the medical facilities.  That is the least-safe place to be if the outer gate security is breached. No facility should be left defenseless.

The Virginia Tech arguments that the campus police did not stop the massacre are also not persuasive.  In March of 2012 a jury found Virginia Tech officials negligent.  The families of two of the 33 victims received an award of 4 million dollars. The others presumable accepted the offer of settlement.   Also, the government levied a hefty fine against the University.  The biggest problem was that the administrators covered up the initial shootings for two and a half hours, during which time the shooter continued on his rampage.  The campus cops were on a wild goose chase investigating a potential domestic violence issue.  If the fire truck takes the wrong road and never shows up, does that mean we should abolish fire trucks?

  1. Thorough Background Checks On all Sales or Transfers – No Loopholes or Exceptions. Not even at gun shows or between private parties.
  2. Training certification. Protect against accidents by requiring that all gun owners are certified to handle and store the weapons.  Think of it like licensing to drive a car, even though it is more than a privilege – like driving is a privilege.  The right to bear arms is a right – like free speech is a right.

10. All Registrations, Certifications and Backgrounds Subject to Privacy Laws.  To avoid the risk of potential government abuse of information – such as would be the case if Gestapo tactics were adopted to round up all gun owners, and to avoid having criminals find out locations where they might steal guns, a strict privacy law practice should be in place.  The registrations should be sealed as though they are medical records or court documents subject to gag orders.  Only upon a court order after showing good cause could the information be discovered by government or law enforcement agencies or by anyone else.

11.Beta testing – unintended consequences. Beware of unintended consequences. We must be mindful that we might not like what we wished for. So we had better beta test the solution before we put it into effect.

12.Tax the gun sales.  Pay for the protections stated above by taxes on guns and ammunition sales at the state or local level.

V. Frank Asaro brings together many of his areas of expertise — philosopher, lawyer, inventor and composer — in his new novel, “The Tortoise Shell Code.”

Local resident’s new novel combines high seas adventure with legal drama

By Joe Tash

V. Frank Asaro brings together many of his areas of expertise — philosopher, lawyer, inventor and composer — in his new novel, “The Tortoise Shell Code.”

Asaro, a Carmel Valley resident, wanted to tell the dramatic story of the sinking of a commercial fishing boat off the coast of Central America, while putting forward his theory of “co-opetition,” in which both cooperation and competition are essential elements of every type of human endeavor.

V. Frank Asaro

“I wanted to promote the theory and I thought the novel was a good way to do it,” said Asaro, who practiced law for nearly 50 years in the areas of real estate, business and admiralty — or maritime — law.  He is now “90 percent retired,” taking on a small amount of legal work but focusing on writing and other business ventures.

Last year, he published his first book, a non-fiction work that lays out his theory, called, “Universal Co-Opetition: Nature’s Fusion of Cooperation and Competition.”

Both the non-fiction book and the novel were published by Del Mar-based Bettie Youngs Books, and can be ordered through Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

The novel is part high seas adventure and part legal drama, as the main character, an attorney, seeks to disentangle himself from the case, which hinges on the cause of the tuna boat’s sinking, and the determination of who was responsible.  Asaro has also woven in threads of revolution and international diplomacy, as rebel fighters use the tuna boat to smuggle weapons, and later as parties to the conflict meet in secret in an effort to settle their dispute.

“The book is truly exciting,” said Youngs, noting that a big market exists for sea-related stories.

Currently, she said, her team is getting the word out about the novel, and also seeking to interest foreign markets.  Asaro’s first book has already been translated into two languages and more translations are expected.

Even during his legal career, Asaro said, he enjoyed writing scraps of stories and novels.  “I’d do it to get my mind off the pressures of litigation,” he said.

If he woke up in the middle of the night thinking of the legal case he was working on, he would pick up a pen and pad to relax his mind.  In fact, pieces of “The Tortoise Shell Code” were written over the past 25 years, he said.

His theory of co-opetition also developed over many years, beginning several decades ago.

While the two ideas might seem to be diametrically opposed, he said, they actually work together in many areas, from music to economics to politics to chemistry.

Rather than a Darwinian competition for survival, he said, capitalism itself is a merger of both competition and cooperation.  The key is to strike a balance between the two that results in a balance that works for all parties.

As an example, he cited an outrigger canoe, which uses a small float attached to the canoe by a cross-bar.  If the outrigger is too small, the canoe is unstable and could tip over.  If it’s too large, he said, it will drag down the canoe and impede its progress through the water.

“The system I want to see in the economy and politics is an ordered liberty, a moral liberty,” he said.  “This concept is an antidote for polarization that allows reason to get into the argument so it’s not just based on emotion.”

He equates cooperation with order — too much cooperation, he said, results in a dictatorship or police state.  Competition is akin to chaos, and too much of that results in anarchy, or no government at all, he said.

“You’ve got to find the synthesis that works really well,” said Asaro, who put himself just to the right of center on the political spectrum.

Asaro has a couple of other novels and screenplays in mind, some of which reside in file drawers, waiting to be dusted off.  He’s also a jazz drummer and composer, and has put out a CD of his compositions with noted San Diego jazz guitarist Peter Sprague.  In addition, he holds several patents for his inventions, which include a device that allows eye-drops to be administered with one hand.

“He’s just a very talented person,” said publisher Bettie Youngs.

DEBATE – Romney/Obama

The debate last night.  Remember Milli Vanilli, the pop duo who couldn’t sing? You’ll find them on the top-ten impostor list.  The curtain parted a little last night and we saw, to the great surprise and mortification of a whole lot of people, the real Barak Obama

Nature and God help those who help themselves.

Nature and God help those who help themselves.  But Romney also believes that those who through no fault of their own are incapable of surviving and helping themselves, or who are retired and have already done their share, should be protected by social security or a safety net and/or by charity…  However, those who are lazy, scamming or who just leech off others, although Romney will never let them starve or go without essential healthcare, he will not take your money and waste it on non-essentials.

He won’t buy them a hammock, car or TV or give them booze or casino gambling money.  Would you?  If you say you would, you are a fool, a liar, a masochist or all three. The law of Coopetition requires some competition – some effort – to survive. If you are capable but put forth no effort you are a drag on everyone, and the economy sinks. Not only is the general happiness blanketed, but eventually mankind will become extinct.

Through the synergy of capitalism Romney will open the dam and fill the lake of prosperity.  Then as all ships rise, the non-tax paying 47% will shrink exponentially.  Who knows how low the shrinkage – 25%?  And who knows to what heights happiness will rise?

Killing of navy seals; coincidental? Did Obama open the door, asleep at the switch? Dereliction of duty? Was the film fabricated by the radical Islamists? Was the main-stream press complaisant?

Killing of navy seals and ambassador coincidental? Did Obama open the door; asleep at the switch?

Was the film covertly fabricated by the radical Islamists? Was the main-stream press complaisant?

Strangely, the coincidental thing is not that the coordinated attack on the Libyan US Consulate came on 911, but who was killed. Hours after the initial attack, two former navy seals, the Ambassador and a staffer were murdered, so the story goes, at a supposed safe house. We haven’t yet heard the full story – the FBI is not allowed fully into the saddle. The Horn-blowing by the current administration over the Bin Laden take down exploited and exposed the navy seals. Such exploitation of the seals continues today as a divisive element of the President’s election campaign. Did motivation for killing those former seals along with the Ambassador by Al Qaeda’s surrogates include retaliation for the Bin Laden killing? The assissions apparently gained highly secret inside information on the location of the alleged safe house where the former seals were protecting the Ambassador. Loose lips sink ships, but intentional loosening of security for political points, if it happened, is worse. So how did the radical Islamists get that secret information of location of the safe house?

On a different issue, apparently president Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have never heard of the bit of wisdom:  often you are better off with the devil you know than with the devil you don’t.  At least Gadhafi was a secularist, as was Hosni Mubarak, Why did Obama throw them under the bus for a worse dilemma?

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said recently that Obama put the Muslim Brotherhood in the front row when he gave his major speech in Cairo in 2009 – to the mortification of Hosni Mubarak. Did our commander-in-chief open the door to the Brotherhood while undermining the only prominent middle-eastern ally who’d maintained peace with Israel?

Because the infamous anti-religious film was allegedly produced by an Egyptian-American with a criminal rap sheet, isn’t it a good bet that the film surreptitiously may have been manufactured by the radicals to create the incident as an excuse to rally the Islamists. Setting up a straw man to shoot at is as old as the hills.  Lyndon Johnson was guilty of it in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Why isn’t that potential scenario being investigated?  The mob action would certainly dampen if the protestors came to believe that their own people were the instigators of the film.

Co-opetition fails when protection of the seals (cooperation) is shirked in order to politicize. Such is an example of over-competition. Co-opetition fails when the commander-in-chief is asleep at the switch or is too distracted by campaigning or golf to adequately protect his Ambassadors.  He had plenty of warning. His focus was not the sharpest. Why didn’t he beef up security, especially on 911?  And why did it take the US president 15 hours to condemn the mob action?  Where was he?  Why didn’t he pick up the phone immediately and read the riot act to the head of Egypt, a Brotherhood leader.  Why didn’t he also immediately phone the head of Libya?

The State department eventually distanced itself from the apologetic first tweets from the US embassy.  Why did not Romney have that same right to so criticize that apologetic, weak plea?  It was President Obama’s duty to immediately without a second’s delay vehemently condemn the mob action… Again where was he? The competition factor was missing, i.e. leadership was missing.  Where does the buck stop?

“Over-cooperation by Government”

Universal Coopetition Blog

Our memories were refreshed the other day. Here is an example of over-cooperation by government at the expense of common law and free-market competition. At the end of President G. W. Bush’s term he signed the check bailing out GM ($19 B or so). However, when president Obama took over a month later he renegotiated the bailout, giving greater benefit to the unions. He left the amount intact though. The problem on the coopetition scale is that the renegotiated bailout gives senior priority to the unions. By law the bond-holders have first priority. The bonds never recovered; GM is again on the ropes, over-burdened by pensions it can’t afford. The tax payers have subsidized the union pensioners (over-cooperated); but how about your pension or your parent’s pension? Where is the “fairness” there? Wouldn’t you say there was a government crony-unionism factor to the renegotiated bailout?…Who are the biggest sources of campaign funds for President O? He wouldn’t stoop to buying votes would he?

“What Really Put the Economy in a Ditch”

Who Put The Economy Into The Ditch?

What really put the economy in the ditch – causing the Great Recession of 2008 and still going? The subprime mortgage bubble – that’s what. And who is primarily at fault? Some sleeping republicans, but overwhelmingly the liberals – led by Congressman Barney Frank, Senator Chris Dodd and President Bill Clinton, and later perpetuated with the help of then senator Barack Obama. The left- leaners had pushed unaffordable home buying by people of modest means. That ill-advised social engineering program festered insidiously during the reign of a distracted George W Bush and his accommodating republicans. On the coopetition scale, such is a classic example of too much government cooperation and not enough competitive restraint.

Finally, when Bush woke up in the middle of his second term and tried to audit the quasi-government loan guarantee agencies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, his efforts were crushed by the democrat congress and – guess who- then Senator Barak Obama. Incredulously, Obama along with mostly democrats blocked the republican effort to audit Fannie and Freddie! The economy tanked three or so years later when Fannie and Freddie went bust. The world belatedly discovered that Fannie and Freddie had been hundreds of billions in the hole at the time of George W’s attempt to audit and correct the problem. Not only was the Great Recession the result, but its economic tsunami brought down Greece, most of Europe and threatens the entire world. I say so much for ill-conceived social engineering.

Asymmetrically Balanced Economy

A growing, thriving, competitive economy will feed and educate the people and pay the taxes.  It will save much expense from such things as food stamps and social entitlements for those who can otherwise work and produce….  So we must be sensitive to reckless promotion of over-regulation, also known as forced cooperation, that stymies growth.  If we think of the economy as an outrigger canoe, we see free enterprise, individuality, creativity, entrepreneurship in the main canoe, and regulation in the outrigger.  The outrigger should serve only to prevent the boat from capsizing in a storm – such as when it polices against crime.  Too much regulation (burgeoning weight) in the outrigger, however, and the canoe will slow and be sent into the doldrums.    That is why under the theory of coopetition the fulcrum is on the side of growth – that is, on the side of competition. It is close to the main hull. The outrigger canoe is a metaphor for a good economy.  It is the epitome of a beautiful asymmetric balance, with the emphasis on competition and growth.

Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely

Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. That inevitability bubbles out in the wonderful recent movie Ruby’s Spark, staring Zoe Kazan who plays the girlfriend and Paul Dano who plays the young author/boyfriend.  In one dramatic scene the author gleefully mentally tortures his girlfriend whom he very much loves – he is exercising his absolute power. Why?  What makes this seemingly nice man turn temporarily and for no apparent reason sadistic? What triggered this innate proclivity for despotism?

In my  novel The Tortoise Shell Code and my book Universal Coopetition I show that the founders of the USA were so concerned about absolute power corrupting absolutely, they separated the powers of government into the three branches: administrative, legislative and judicial; and they put in place all sorts of checks a balances.  E.g. the states verses the federal government, the house of representatives verses the senate, among many others.  They purposely designed tugs of war in all directions so that no one or group would gain absolute power. So perhaps the lament “why can’t we all get along,” we really may want to rethink.  Under Universal Co-opetition, often too much cooperation can be bad. It could slip to forced cooperation, eventually even to dictatorship. Did the boyfriend have Ruby be too cooperative at times?

So we learn that we need both competition and cooperation in any formula for good government or for good living. It takes a synthesis of competing and cooperating behaviors to drive a good political system, or any system.  Ruby’s Spark I liked a lot; it is readily apparent that one or two critics never really got it.  This great film will become a classic!

About the Book: The Tortoise Shell Code

Anthony Darren has it all: renown as a lawyer, love, money, and loyal friends. But when he is wrongfully accused of participating in a high seas crime that ends in death, not only is his freedom at stake, but also at risk is his reputation, his fiancé, and most of all, the budding relationship he prizes the most: the daughter he only recently came to know.

From the bowels of incarceration and the depths of his own despair, Anthony works to overcome, and to uncover the principles underlying the seemingly random events of life. Why do some people prosper, and others fail? What is the basis for long-lasting success? Love? What is real power—and why is it so elusive?

Only after he breaks out on a mission to prove his innocence and to mentor a Latin American revolutionary to help both their causes will he, with the greater help of his daughter, position himself to turn the tables on the men who framed him. He will also learn that his strange journey has brought him the truest kind of success: the kind one share with the world. Like A. Dumas’ classic story of the Count of Monte Cristo, Anthony gains riches, but unlike the Count, Anthony’s treasure is the unique knowledge he and his daughter can now spread to the world, but most important it is the creation of the family they had always craved. This book will leave you feeling joyous.