Monday, July 16, 2018

"There Is No 'Right' Decision"

"There Is No 'Right' Decision"
by David Cain

"I sometimes get bogged down on major purchases, for months even. If I don’t find a printer or pair of runners that feels like the right one (for me at least) I usually retreat to go gather more information. I look up more reviews. I ask the advice of friends who seem less tormented by the prospect of shoe or printer shopping. Mostly I just let time pass.

A couple of years ago, after a month of needing but not buying a printer, I tweeted something like, “So I’m looking to buy a printer, but don’t know where to start… any advice?” Moments later, my good friend Nate responded, with something like, “Here’s how to buy a printer: you go to the store and get a printer.” I did that, and I have to admit his strategy worked at least as well as my usual three months of contemplation. I chose one of the printers they had. It prints. So I did end up getting the right printer, but at the time I felt like I just got lucky. I didn’t know it was the right choice, I just went ahead with something. It was a measured risk that happened to work out.

Much of the stress and difficulty of life comes down to making decisions, big and small, and they never stop coming. What’s the right call? Fix the old car or spring for a new one? Stay with your job or quit and go freelance? Cut your hair short or rearrange what you’ve got? And how confident do you need to be before choosing?

It sure feels good to get it right. We’ve all had the sense that we picked the right hotel room, or the right career path, or the right movie for this particular date. We also know the unmistakable feeling that the wrong choice has been made: law school was a mistake; the “hip and cozy” Airbnb turned out to be a closet overlooking a perpetual traffic jam; the Seahawks passed when they should have run.

Whether a decision was the right one or not, life goes on. If it was the right one, great. If it was the wrong one, at least you learned a few more red flags. Recently I was exposed to a brilliant idea: there are no right decisions. There’s no right call, and there never has been. All the time we’ve burned and heartache we’ve suffered trying to figure out the right reponse, the right outfit, the right bathroom tile, the right movie—it was all a wild goose chase.

We do make choices, and they do have consequences. But the idea that there’s a “correct” one is only ever a story we tell ourselves. Choices can be well reasoned or poorly reasoned. Their results can be surprisingly beneficial or surprisingly damaging. But there’s no such thing as a categorically right course of action, just an array of possible ones—and for each, a sprawling, endless web of consequences.

Let’s say you choose what you believe is the right name for your new product. On a different day, in a different mood, you could have chosen a different name, also believing it was the right one. Whichever name you chose, perhaps eighteen months later, when you’re struggling with sales, you might decide that your choice was actually the wrong one. A year after that, when you’ve sorted out that problem, you believe again that your choice of name was the right one—you just chose the wrong advertising company.

It’s only ever a story. There may be generally better and generally worse choices, but there’s no right choice. Yet we still approach many of our dilemmas as though there is, somewhere out there, a right course of action, and we desperately need to identify it. Perhaps we’ll only find out what it is the hard way, but the right choice will reveal itself one way or another. But it never really does. Even after the fact, when we’re living with the consequences, we don’t know what the right choice was. All we know is whether we like where we are or don’t like where we are.

Of course, you can attribute where you are to virtually any of the decisions you’ve ever made—choosing product name A over B, dumping your high school sweetheart, moving to the coast, hanging with potheads instead of preppies, not getting up early enough these last few years. Which ones were right or wrong exactly? It’s a meaningless pronouncement, except perhaps to use later as rhetoric, in blaming ourselves or someone else.

This might seem like a semantic distinction. Okay, there’s no “right” choice, but obviously there are still better and worse ones. But it matters. There’s a big difference between trying to make wise, well-informed choices, and trying to make the right choices.

Firstly, it means that gathering more information will never reveal the right choice. More information might be helpful, but there’s no such thing as enough—at some point, a leap is required, and afterward, you still won’t know what was best. I could have researched printers for a decade. If I got a dud, I still would have thought of it as the “wrong” choice.

Secondly, the idea of a right choice implies that the consequences of our choices are somehow cleanly connected, and isolated from everything else. You choose option A, and get consequence X. But choices and consequences aren’t paired off one-to-one, like doors in a game show bonus round, each hiding either a prize or a punishment. Every action sets off endlessly rippling consequences, a cascade of effects that are often both beneficial and detrimental, both short-term and long-term, both intended and unintended, both known and unknown.

Your choice to work from home leads to freed-up commuting time (decidedly good), more family time (good), but also more tension with your partner (bad), and a harder time getting enough exercise (bad) and who knows what else. Each of these effects influences other parts of your life, in ways seen and unseen, forever. Yet we tend to think we can look at a single dilemma in isolation, identify the right response, and execute it, as though we’re lining up a shot on a billiard table.

Giving up on the idea of right decisions doesn’t mean giving up on using our best judgment. But it’s a tremendous relief to recognize that getting it right, in any meaningful sense, is an impossible goal. Here’s how I think it really works: You’ll make a million decisions, and each will shape your life and other people’s lives in ways you’ll barely know. You will have surprising successes and surprising failures. You’ll give yourself too much credit for both. Then you’ll die.

Much more important than any decision, or its consequences, is the motivation behind the sorts of decisions you tend to make. Principles, applied over the years, have consistent, traceable trajectories. You may or may not make your choices with good intentions. You may or may not learn from your choices. You may or may not get lucky. But you will never get things right. So let yourself off the hook."

Sunday, July 15, 2018

"Signature in the Cell and Intelligent Design: An Introduction to Protracted Desperation"

"Signature in the Cell and Intelligent Design:
 An Introduction to Protracted Desperation"

"A question that never ceases to fascinate is that of how life originated, and how and why it has progressed as it seems to have. The official story and de rigueur explanation is that that life came about through spontaneous generation from seawater. Believing this is the mark of an Advanced Person, whether one has the slightest knowledge of the matter. In academia researchers have been fired and careers ruined for questioning it. If you doubt that scientists can be ideological herd animals, as petty, intolerant, vindictive, and backstabbing as professors, read "Heretic," by the PhD biotechnologist and biochemist Matti Leisola, who fell on the wrong side of the herd. This establishment’s continuing effort to stamp out heresy looks increasingly like a protracted desperation. 

The other, more intuitive view of life is that of Intelligent Design. When one sees an immensely complicated system all of whose parts work together with effect and apparent purpose, such as an automobile or a cell, it is natural to think that someone or something designed it. There is much evidence for this, certainly enough to intrigue those of open mind and intelligence. Those of a philosophic bent may note that Freud, Marx, and Darwin are equally relics of Nineteenth Century determinism, and that Darwin wrote when almost nothing was known about much of biology. Note also that the sciences are tightly constrained and limited by their premises, unable to think outside of their chosen box. Others, wiser, wonder whether there are not more thing in heaven and earth.

The theory of ID is seen by the official story as a form of biblical Creationism of the sort holding that the world was created in 4004 BC. This is either wantonly stupid or deliberately dishonest. There is of course no necessary connection between ID and Buddhism, Islam, or the Cargo Cult. There are scientists who are not proponents of ID but simply see that much of official Darwinism does not make sense or comport with the evidence. Some IDers are Christians, which does not affect the validity, or lack of it, orf what they say. To judge by my mail, many people have serious doubts about the official explanation without being zealots of anything in particular.

(For what it is worth, I am myself a complete agnostic. Faith and atheism both seem to me categorical beliefs in something one doesn’t know. ID certainly provides no support for the existence of a loving Sunday School god, given that in almost all places and all times most people have lived in misery and died in agony.) To me, though, things look designed. By what, I don’t know.

Two difficulties affect the presentation of ID to the public. First, most of us have been subjected to thousands of hours of vapid “science” programs and mass-market textbooks. These tell us  that doubters must be snake-handling forest Christian with three teeth.The second is that following the argument requires more technical grasp than most have. Trying to explain the question to a network-news audience is hopeless and makes those attempting it seem foolish.

Yet discussion has to be fairly technical to avoid degenerating into vague generalities. Following many of the authors requires familiarity with, or the ability to pick up quickly, such things as the nature of information, both in the Shannon sense of a reduction in uncertainty and of specified information as found in DNA and computer code. Some experience of programming helps as does a minor familiarity with organic chemistry and a nodding acquaintance with early paleontology.

And, alas, much of dispute turns on the mechanics of cell biology: DNA’s structure, codons and anticodons, polymerases and transcriptases, the functions of ribosomes, chirality of alpha amino acids, microRNA, protein folding, ORFans, developmental gene regulatory networks, Ediacaran and Cambrian paleontology (so much for 4004 BC BC), and similar technoglop, It isn’t rocket science, but it takes a bit of study to pick up. Most of us have other things to do.

The less one knows about cellular biology the easier it is to believe in spontaneous generation. Darwin knew nothing. Since then knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology has grown phenomenally. Yet, despite a great deal of effort, the case for the accidental appearance of life has remained one of fervent insistence untainted by either evidence ofrtheoretical plausibility.

What are some of the problems with official Darwinism? First, the spontaneous generation of life has not been replicated. (Granted, repeating a process thought to have taken billions of  years might lack appeal as a doctoral project.) Nor has anyone assembled in the laboratory a chemical structure able to metabolize, reproduce, and thus to evolve. It has not been shown to be mathematically possible. 

This is true despite endless theories about life arising in tidal pools, on moist clays, in geothermal vents, in shallows, in depths, or that life arrived on carbonaceous chondrites–i.e., meteors. It has even been suggested that life arrived from Mars, which is to say life came from a place where, as far was can be determined, there has never been any. Protracted desperation.

Sooner or later, a hypothesis must be either confirmed or abandoned. Which? When? Doesn’t science require evidence, reproducibility, demonstrated theoretical possibility? These do not exist. Does not the ferocious reaction to doubters of the official story suggest deep-seated doubt even among the believers?
Other serious problems with the official story: Missing intermediate fossils–”missing links”– stubbornly remain missing. “Punctuated equilibrium,” a theory of sudden rapid evolution invented to explain the lack of fossil evidence, seems unable to generate genetic information fast enough. Many proteins bear no resemblance to any others and therefore cannot have evolved from them. On and on.

Finally, the more complex an event, the less likely it is to occur by chance. Over the years, cellular mechanisms have been found to be  ever more complex. Darwin thought that in a warm pond, bits of goo clumped together, a membrane formed, and life was off and running. Immediately after Watson and Crick in 1953, the chemical mechanics of cellular function still seemed comparatively simple, though nobody could say where the genetic information came from. Today thousands of proteins are known to take part in elaborate processes in which different parts of proteins are synthesized under control of different genes and then spliced and edited elaborately. Recently with the discovery of epigenetics, complexity has taken a great leap upward. (For anyone wanting to subject himself to such things, there is The Epigenetics Revolution. It is not light reading.)

Worth noting is that the mantra of evolutionists - that “in millions and millions and billions of years something must have evolved” – does not necessarily hold water. We have all heard of Sir James Jeans assertion that a monkey, typing randomly, would eventually produce all the books in the British Museum. (Actually he would not produce a single chapter in the accepted age of the universe, but never mind.) A strong case can be made that spontaneous generation is similarly of mathematically vanishing probability. If evolutionists could prove the contrary, they would immensely strengthen their case. They haven’t. Improbabilities are multiplicative. The currents of exponentiation seem to be running ever more heavily against the monkey. If this is not true, evolutionists have not shown it not to be true.

Herewith a few recommendations for  those who may be interested. Whatever one might conclude after reading the various authors on ID, you will quickly see that they are not “pseudoscientists,” not lightweights, and have serious technical credentials. They try to explain their subjects  as they go along. Some succeed better than others.

The most accessible are "Darwin’s Black Box," which I highly recommend, and "The Edge of Evolution," both by Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. He puts the heavy-duty tech in the end notes. The intelligent reader will have no problem with these.

Also clearly written and carefully explained, are "Signature in the Cell" (mentioned above) and "Darwin’s Doubt," by Stephen Meyer (geophysicist, PhD in history and philosophy of science, Cambridge University.) The (again) intelligent reader will find these good but challenging. A third possibility in "Undeniable" by Douglas Axe (Undergrad biochemistry, Berkeley, PhD. CalTech, chemical engineering) While very sharp, he uses analogy so much to keep things simple that the science can be lost. Ann Gauger,  Science and Human Origins, has a degree in biology from MIT, a PhD in developmental and molecular biology from the university of Washington, and has done postdoc work at Harvard (on the drosophila kinesin light chain, which I don’t know what is.)

Anyway,  Meyer takes the reader clearly and comprehensively through the question of the origin of life from, briefly, ancient times through the research of Watson and Crick and then into the depths of the cell in detail. Of particular interest is his discussion of the the probabilistic barriers to spontaneous generation. Right or wrong, it is, again,  assuredly not “pseudoscience,” and is extensively documented with references.

Should you order any of these books, ask Amazon to ship them in boxes labeled "Kinky Sex Books" or "Applied Beastiality" so nobody will know that you are reading ID.

Here, allow me a thought that the writers above do not mention: Maybe nature is more mysterious than even the ID people think: The insane complexity of life might suggest a far deeper level of non-understanding than even the ID folk suspect.

Suppose that you saw an actual monkey pecking at a keyboard and, on examining his output, saw that he was typing, page after page, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", with no errors. You would suspect fraud, for instance that the typewriter was really a computer programmed with Tom. But no, on inspection you find that it is a genuine typewriter. Well then, you think, the monkey must be a robot, with Tom in RAM. But  this too turns out to be wrong: The monkey in fact is one. After exhaustive examination, you are forced to conclude that Bonzo really is typing at random. Yet he is producing Tom Sawyer. This being impossible, you would have to conclude that something was going on that you did not understand.

Much of biology is similar. For a zygote, barely visible, to turn into a baby is astronomically improbable, a suicidal assault on Murphy’s Law. Reading embryology makes this apparent. (Texts are prohibitively expensive, but "Life Unfolding" serves.) Yet every step in the process is in accord with chemical principles.

This doesn’t make sense. Not, anyway, unless one concludes that something deeper is going on that we do not understand. This brings to mind several adages that might serve to ameliorate our considerable arrogance. As Haldane said, “The world is not only queerer than we think, but queerer than we can think.” Or Fred’s principle, “The smartest of a large number of hamsters is still a hamster.” We may be too full of ourselves."

Musical Interlude: Afshin, “Prayer of Change”

Afshin, “Prayer of Change”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majestic island universe some 200,000 light-years across. Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the chemical constellation Fornax, NGC 1365 is a dominant member of the well-studied Fornax galaxy cluster. 
 Click image for larger size.
This impressively sharp color image shows intense star forming regions at the ends of the bar and along the spiral arms, and details of dust lanes cutting across the galaxy's bright core. At the core lies a supermassive black hole. Astronomers think NGC 1365's prominent bar plays a crucial role in the galaxy's evolution, drawing gas and dust into a star-forming maelstrom and ultimately feeding material into the central black hole.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Anacortes, Washington, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"The World's Last Whale..."

"As I rocked in the moonlight,
And reefed the sail.
It'll happen to you
Also without fail,
If it happens to me.
Sang the world's last whale."

- Pete Seeger
“Wind On The Water”
by Graham Nash and David Crosby

"Over the years you have been hunted
by the men who threw harpoons,
And in the long run he will kill you
just to feed the pets we raise,
put the flowers in your vase,
and make the lipstick for your face.
Over the years you swam the ocean
Following feelings of your own,
Now you are washed up on the shoreline,
I can see your body lie,
It's a shame you have to die
to put the shadow on our eye.
Maybe we'll go,
Maybe we'll disappear,
It's not that we don't know,
It's just that we don't want to care.
Under the bridges,
Over the foam,
Wind on the water
Carry me home."

"Promise Me...

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
- Christopher Robin to “Pooh”

"A Tribute to Dogs"

"A Tribute to Dogs"
by George Graham Vest

"George Graham Vest (1830-1904) served as U.S. Senator from Missouri from 1879 to 1903 and became one of the leading orators and debaters of his time. This delightful speech is from an earlier period in his life when he practiced law in a small Missouri town. It was given in court while representing a man who sued another for the killing of his dog. During the trial, Vest ignored the testimony, but when his turn came to present a summation to the jury, he made the following speech and won the case:

"Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death."
- George Graham Vest, - c. 1855

Dogs are far better "people" than we can ever hope to be...

"George Carlin Was Right!"

"George Carlin Was Right!"
"The wisdom of the late George Carlin on display once again..."

"And nobody knows, nobody cares..."
- George Carlin
Hat tip to the Burning Platform

Musical Interlude: Adiemus, “In Caelum Fero”

Adiemus, “In Caelum Fero” 

"How It Really Is"

"Winston Churchill vs. Nancy Astor"

"Winston Churchill vs. Nancy Astor"
by Madame dePique

"Once upon a time in the British Parliament, more precisely in the House of Commons, the juiciest gossip topic apart the outbreak of a new World War and the perpetual conflicts with Berlin was the enmity between prominent politician Sir Winston Churchill (1874–1965), then occupying the privileged position of Prime Minister, and the audacious Viscountess Nancy Astor (1879–1964 ), known to be the first woman sitting as a Member of the Parliament, who, from some reason or another, could not at all live in mutual tolerance.

The two were reputed for a series of sarcastic dialogues whose lines were ping-ponged on the halls of Westminster Palace to the delight of the many accidental witnesses that obviously couldn’t refrain a smile when hearing such virulent interlocutions like the following:

Nancy Astor: “Winston, you are drunk.”
Winston Churchill: “And you, madam, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning!”

Any other lady would’ve slapped him, offended by this type of rudeness which seemed as if taken from Oscar Wilde’s plays, but not our Nancy, no, for she was an adept of intelligent revenge and on numerous times had the chance to retort smartly a mocking proposition to equal the score. Thus, when the stout Winston attempted to both tease and ridicule her by stating that “having a woman in Parliament is like having one intrude” on him “in the bathroom”, she serenely replied: “You’re not handsome enough to have such fears”, provoking general dissimulated laughter amongst the stiff diplomats, we can imagine, to her satisfaction.

Also, at his impolite question about what disguise he should wear so that nobody could recognize him at the Astor’s “stupid” masquerade ball, Nancy ironically responded using rhetoric: “Why don’t you come sober, Prime Minister?”

Yet by far my favorite is the immortal exchange of witty words which Consuelo, Duchess of Malborough, registers in her “the Glitter and the Gold” autobiography: “Lady Astor and Winston were actuated by a strong antipathy one for the other, so much so that one never invited them together, dreading the inevitable explosion bound to occur. It was therefore unfortunate than on one of her visits to Blenheim, when my son was host, Churchill should have chosen to appear. The expected result of their encounter was not long in coming; after a heated argument on some trivial matter Nancy, with a fervor whose sincerity could not be doubted, shouted, ‘If I were you wife I would poison your coffee!’ Whereupon Winston with equal heat and sincerity answered ‘And if I were your husband I would drink it!’”

Legend has it someone once asked Winston Churchill how his wife was? 
The answer, dripping Churchillian wit: “Compared to what?” 

"What Are The Facts?"

“What are the facts? Again and again and again– what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the un-guessable “verdict of history”– what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” 
- Robert A. Heinlein

And always remember...

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,
 however improbable, must be the truth."
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "Sherlock Holmes"

"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, 
ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is." 
- Winston Churchill

Whether we personally like it or not...

"The Recipe For Perpetual Ignorance..."

"The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: 
be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge."
       - Elbert Hubbard

 "Most ignorance is vincible ignorance.
 We don't know because we don't want to know."
 - Aldous Huxley

X22 Report Spotlight,, “The Economic Recession Will Hit Sooner Than You Think, Here's Why”

 “The Economic Recession Will Hit Sooner Than You Think, Here's Why”

"The Traitor..."

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

"He... his..." or she. Come on, you know who that is...
Clear enough? See post below...

Greg Hunter, "Clinton Involved in Biggest Treason in History"

"Clinton Involved in Biggest Treason in History"
By Greg Hunter’s

"Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says what Hillary Clinton did with her charity and Uranium One while she was Secretary of State was a crime for the history books. Shipp explains, “Hillary Clinton used this to launder money in foreign banks so it wasn’t subject to U.S. laws, congressional subpoenas or FOIA demands for the evidence. This was done to launder this money globally into the Clinton Foundation so the U.S. government could not examine it at all.” 

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller was the head of the FBI while the Uranium One deal was being done by Clinton and the Russians. One fifth of U.S. uranium production was bought by the Russians in a deal Clinton pushed and approved. The Clinton Foundation received more than $140 million from some of the same Russian players who were involved with Uranium One. Why didn’t Mueller stop the deal? Shipp says, “Mueller is either a complete moron, which he is not, or he overlooked the biggest counterterrorism cases in U.S. history. It involved Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One and, of course, the destruction of all the emails and evidence and her secret server, and on and on and on it goes, and he (Mueller) ignored it all.” 

How did she get away with obvious crime? Shipp says, “The most bizarre thing is the people who protected her from clear felonious activity and violations of the Espionage Act. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, was protecting her and leaking things to the media and lying. You had John Brennan, Director of the CIA, protecting her by starting a false investigation (on Trump) and stirring things up with this (false/unverified) dossier. You had James Comey, Director of the FBI, protecting her. Then, you’ve got Peter Strzok protecting her, and now it appears the United Kingdom GCHQ was using NSA information to target Donald Trump and protect Hillary Clinton. You have to ask yourself what kind of power or connections does this woman have to get all of these members of the Deep State, Shadow Government to risk their own criminal penalties to protect her and try to get her elected? That is the Shadow Government. That is the Deep State. That is what is so chilling about this whole thing. This is deep. This is dark. This is as dark as it gets, and this is the biggest espionage case involving government officials in the history of this country.” 

Shipp also points out that, this time, it will not be business as usual for the “Deep State and Shadow Government.” They are going to be brought to justice because Shipp says, “indictments are coming because of Donald Trump coming into the White House from the outside. Trump cannot be bribed.”  
Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One 
with former CIA Officer Kevin Shipp of