Wednesday, August 1, 2018

"WATCHING EYES" BACKGROUND PAPER - Will this improve tips? Good behavior?

Maybe this is something some folks might like to share or try in retail shops, schools, around bike racks, etc. to reduce "lawlessness". Might improve tips too! - JY

  • 1.       National heroin abuse epidemic
  • 2.       INCREASED LAW ENFORCEMENT- Increased Drug and Sex Trafficking
  • 3.       ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING - Pre-Trial Drug Court Formed
  • 4.       ABOUT “the Nudge”
  • 5.       “EYES WATCHING”

National Heroin Abuse Epidemic
Rutland Vermont has adopted a response to the local heroin epidemic which closely models the most effective response in the nation as outlined in the Pew Charitable Trust Public Safety Performance Project assessment of research.
July 1, 2015 – Public Safety Performance Project (Pew Charitable Trust) – “Policymakers at all levels of government are attempting to address a nationwide increase in heroin abuse. Using the drug has tripled over the past decade paralleling widespread misuse of prescription opioids, and overdose deaths have increased nearly threefold in the past seven years.”
“Available research suggests that the most effective response to the growth in heroin abuse is a combination of law enforcement to curtail trafficking and limit the emergence of new markets; alternative sentencing to divert nonviolent drug offenders from costly incarceration; treatment to reduce dependency and recidivism; and prevention efforts that help identify individuals at high risk for addiction.” (9)

August 20, 2015 – “T** B** of Rutland was arrested on August 20, as law enforcement executed a warrant obtained by the Vermont Drug Task Force authorizing a search of Barnes’ residence. Police found approximately 200 grams of heroin – nearly half a pound – at Barnes’ residence.”

September 15, 2015 – Twelve People Charged With Heroin Trafficking After Statewide Multi-Jurisdictional Investigations, FBI, Albany Division
      “The United States Attorney’s Office has charged 87 defendants with heroin-related federal crimes in the first eight months of 2015, compared with 56 defendants during the same period last year., an increase of nearly 60% Those increases are directly attributable to the combined work of law enforcement officers and prosecutors.” (1)

September 15, 2015 – “Three Drug Busts Yield A Dozen Arrests, Break Up Of Heroin ring In Caldonia County” (11)

October 19, 2015 – Law Enforcement Seizes 88 Pounds of Heroin in Vermont Bust – VT DIGGER
“The heroin has a street value of ‘significantly more’ than $5 million and could have filled more than 1 million individual dosage bags…” (10)

November 2, 2015 - Vermont launches new campaign to stop sex trafficking linked to drug trade
A new campaign in the Green Mountains is asking for the public's help eradicating what U.S. Attorney Eric Miller calls a problem "in the shadows" of Vermont's battle against heroin. 
Miller says that problem is exploiting a person's addictions and vulnerabilities to force them into selling sex or drugs for money. A host of organizations and law enforcement members across the state want the public to know the problem is bigger than they realize.  (13)

December 13, 2015 – Indictments In Fatal Drug Deal show Criminal Gang Activity In Vermont” – VTDIGGER –
A federal grand jury last week indicted two New York City men on a charge of distributing a controlled substance that resulted in a death. The victim was Gary Bashaw, 54, of South Burlington. The fatal substance was fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate…. The case provides a window into two troubling trends in the drug crisis in the Northeast: The rise in popularity of fentanyl and the extent to which criminal gangs from New York run operations in Vermont using a local network of drug users and other accomplices, often women.”
“For every dealer our office charges there’s a circle of people, charged and uncharged, who make that drug dealing activity possible and profitable,” Cowles said. In a review of the largest drug cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cowles found that women are more likely than men to support drug dealers by providing housing, cars, contact lists, transporting drugs and doing minor dealing. Often they are also being trafficked for sex, she said.
Seventy-five percent of the people who provided support to drug dealers are women. Sixty percent were under 30, some as young as teenagers, and almost all of them had addictions, most prevalently to heroin, Cowles said. One-quarter of the women reported having some kind of romantic relationship with their dealer.
DeLena said his experience has led him to believe that young people have fewer inhibitions about injecting drugs than ever before. At the same time, the shame and stigma that their families feel in confronting addiction persists stubbornly even as public figures, such as Gov. Peter Shumlin, increasingly frame it as a disease and public health issue.
“The psychological fear isn’t there for the user but it is there for the parents,” DeLena said. “They can’t talk about it. That’s what needs to change.” (12)

“A post-sentencing drug program has been in place in Burlington since 2009, but the one in Rutland is the only pre-trial program in Vermont and handles offenders from across the state.”
 “…it’s a cooperative effort of the U.S. District Court, the U.S. attorney’s office, Probation and Parole, and Evergreen Treatment Services. And those in the program are represented by Natasha Sen, a Brandon attorney.”
“Those referred to drug court are primarily low-level drug traffickers who have already pleaded guilty to felony charges but have not yet been sentenced.”
“The way (U.S. District Judge Geoffrey W.) Crawford explains it, this is a staged process. As someone continues to succeed, there are fewer visits to drug court. And, conversely, if someone continues to test positive for drugs, the first time they might have to write an essay, the second time there is a frank discussion and the third time might mean a weekend in jail.”
“…I always worry about the ones that fall out but counselors say they’ve learned, they have gained ground.” (Crawford said) (5)

DESISTANCE – “In the field of criminology, desistance is generally defined as the cessation of offending or other antisocial behavior.” Oxford Bibliographies – Criminology -

                “In (their book) Nudge, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein take a step toward realism about it (economics vs. psychology). ... The authors start off by differentiating “Econs” from “Humans”. The former are efficient calculators imagined in economic theory, able to weigh multiple options, forecast all the consequences of each, and choose rationally. The latter are ordinary people… who operate by rules of thumb that often lead them astray… prone to generalize, biased in favor of the status quo, more concerned to avoid loss than make gains, among other shortcomings.” …A Nudge as they conceive it, means some change in the “choice architecture” surrounding personal decisions that will cause Humans to choose differently and better, even though an Econ would be unswayed.” (3)

John H. Laub, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland; Jim Bueermann, Police Foundation presented The Nudge at the 2013  xx
The top 5 reasons to Nudge: (1) Helps control crime before it occurs (2) Enhances public confidence in policing (3) Advances community policing (4) Healthier for cops (5) Focuses on the “spirituality” of policing. (4)

      From The Abstract: “Displaying images of eyes causes people to behave more pro-socially in a variety of contexts.  …Our data therefore support the hypothesis that images of eyes induce more pro-social behavior, independent of local norms. This finding has positive implications for the application of eye images in combating anti-social behavior.”
      “A good reputation increases the likelihood of being favoured by others for inclusion in future mutually-beneficial interactions. Being observed increases the reputational consequences of an action, hence, people are psychologically sensitive to whether they are observed or not, and will always increase their level of pro-sociality when observed over their level when not observed. Artificial watching eyes exploit this sensitivity.” (8)


“Human behavior is strongly influenced by the presence of others. Obtaining a good reputation or avoiding a bad one is a powerful incentive for a plethora of human actions. Theoretical considerations suggest that reputation may be a key mediator of altruistic behavior that are uniquely human.” (6)

“…we believe that images of eyes motivate cooperative behavior because they induce a perception in participants of being watched. …the human perceptual system contains neurons that respond selectively to stimuli involving faces and eyes (Emery 2000, Haxby et al 2000), and it is therefore possible that the images exert an automatic unconscious effect on the participants’ perception that they were being watched. Our results therefore support the hypothesis that reputational concerns may be extremely powerful in motivating cooperative behavior.”
“Even if very weak, subconscious cues, such as the photocopied eyes used in this experiment, can strongly enhance cooperation, it is quite possible that … the self-interested motive of reputation may be sufficient to explain cooperation in the absence of direct return.” (7)

“The experience of self-agency, that is, the feeling that one causes one’s own actions and their out comes – has an intimate relationship with self-awareness and constitutes an important building block for our concept of free choice and our belief that our behavior is governed by “consciousness” or some other type of inner agent, such as “the will” or “the self. How then can we have much of our behavior unfold outside conscious awareness if we have these pervasive agency experiences?” (2) P. 134-135
Research shows that our intended outcome draws the non-conscious prompt, prime or nudge into a personal narrative where we feel we are in control of the behavior even though a non-conscious element may have been a trigger.
The Sense of Agency In Self Regulation,

(2) “Nonconscious Self Regulation or the Automatic Pilot of Human Behavior”, Esther K. Papies, Henk Aarts, p. 125 – 142
(1)  September 15, 2015 – Twelve People Charged With Heroin Trafficking After Statewide Multi-Jurisdictional Investigations, FBI, Albany Division
(3) “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness”, Richard Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Yale University Press, 2009; book review by Lawrence M. Mead, Claremont Review of Books, pg. 18
(4) Presentation to National Conference on Law Enforcement, 2013 - THE IDEA OF THE NUDGE,  John H. Laub, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland; Jim Bueermann, Police Foundation
(5) April 26, 2015 – “Vermont’s New Drug Court Offers Options to Jail”, RUTLAND HERALD, Kathy Phalen Tomaselli, Staff Writer –
(6) “The Social Neuroscience of Reputation”, NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH, Volume 72, Issue 4, April 2012, Pages 283-288
(7) “Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in real-world setting”, Melissa Bateson, Daniel Nettle, Gilbert Roberts, BIOLOGY LETTERS, September 22, 2006, Volume 2 Issue 3
(8) “Do Images Of Watching Eyes Induce Behaviour That Is More Pro-Social or More Normative?”, Melissa Bateson, Luke Callow, Jessica R. Holmes, Maximillian l. Redmond roche, David Nettle, PLOS ONE, December 5, 2013
(9) “Public Safety Aspects of the Heroin Abuse Epidemic”, July 1, 2015, Public Safety Performance Project, Pew Charitable Trusts / Research Analysis.
(10) “Law Enforcement Seizes 88 Pounds of Heroin in Vermont Bust”, VT DIGGER,  October 19, 2015
(11) “Three Drug Busts Yield A Dozen Arrests, Break Up Of Heroin ring In Caldonia County”, vt digger, September 15, 2015
(12) “Indictments In Fatal Drug Deal show Criminal Gang Activity In Vermont” – VTDIGGER –
(13)  WCAX – “Vermont launches new campaign to stop sex trafficking linked to drug trade

Thursday, May 3, 2018


   Who understands the source of their beliefs? Do the people who are supporting the different candidates know the source of their own beliefs? If so, are they willing to say that the candidates who utter the Public Lie are saying things they themselves stand for. If not, then why do we tolerate the Public Lie? 

   When lying with impunity or ad hominem becomes the status quo for those who would become President of our United States, then this leads to the situation where there are various “camps of believers” who support candidates and their Lies. Or, perhaps worse, people support candidates without knowing why they are supporting them. These then become hierarchies which influence the candidates. These camps of believers remain separate and quite distinct from one another. In the end, is our country no longer sustaining the ideal of being a “melting pot”? Has this also become a Public Lie? Are we now armed camps which rail against each other and even seek to promote their group's safety with gated communities, militia or guards to protect ourselves from ourselves?
    Young black men in inner cities arm themselves in order to protect themselves. Where are the Peace Keepers?

    Is our country now a Lie? This was the case in Ancient Greece where the family (okios) was the prime force. Today, we can see that our citizens are strongly in favor of families. In this election we have the Clintons, the Bushes. Coincidence? Family’s represent one motive force within our nation which feels good, safe, protected by families. Have we simply become tolerant of these old forces and have come to tolerate them because we are too lazy or too busy for any alternative? But, it is a Public Lie. Our country was created as a revolution against monarchy or the family rule.

    We once rebelled against monarchy, family, okios. The family of the monarch was considered to be an extension of the gods. These families were ordering their societies, were elites, had way more money and properties, possessions, castles and towers named after themselves. Oh yes, they thus kept citizens from shooting one another by keeping soldiers under their family command (before ”law enforcement”). 

What replaced okios rule was rule of law. Law was above families - "under law". The idea was once that each person was equal before the law and the laws were enforced on all equally.  Black Lives Matter, all lives matter, under rule of law and not families, each person is equal before the law. Not corporations. Corporations were not people. The Public Lie today is that there are forces working against the rule of law and the individual. We have seen many recent killings of black people. We have seen corporations killing democracy. Public Lies which now seem to be above the law. We are tolerating this for how long?


  I bring you Polis! Polis is the opposing approach to life to okios, corporatism and oligarchy.  In ancient Greece, the Polis came to be seen as the opposing philosophical construct to okios – family, monarchy, centralized wealth. Laws were thought to be transcendent ideals which were above all families, gangs, corporations or countries. Humans gained access to laws through groupings such as representatives which were truly representative of people – human beings-  rather than being rather than corporations (okinos groups) technologically groups or economically “bought” – financial okinos groups.

   Vaclav Havel, a revolutionary in Czechoslovakia during that country’s recent Soviet/totalitarian era, wrote an essay during the time of the totalitarian state entitled “Power To The Powerless”. We should read that. In that essay Havel, who after being released from prison after the “Velvet Revolution” became President, described a parallel polis during the time of totalitarianism. One polis was the State which was based on wealth and power. The parallel polis was based on powerless human-to-human relationships. We have a parallel polis in our country, too.

It seems that today we have an interesting   mirror image of the totalitarian state of Havel’s time where we have an uber-Capitalistic, greedy 10% dominating 90%. In his lecture. Havel actually describes this capitalist / totalitarian mirroring. Each has a different form of Public Lie. Totalitarian states today continue to tolerate leaders lying with impunity, and so perhaps, our current experience is preparing us for a time when honesty is no longer a requirement for governance.

If the state becomes a Lie, then are Liars the best to govern?


   The shadow side of the polis is also something with which we are experiencing. It is a different version of the Public Lie. It is when the leader is leading a public which no longer feels it can do anything if the leader is lying. The leader can then freely speak the Lie. There is no notice. There is a mass psychosis.  Here’s how it is done: “Truth” is now created with forceful argument rather than reasoned argument. Those with great wealth appear to be the ones who are “believed” – even when they speak blatant untruths.
    One of the most memorable examples of this was Donald Rumsfeld who said (regarding the lack of evidence of WMDs in Iraq): 
"The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” 

    Such circular statements should begin to test the inner strength of citizens. The game was rigged.  We allowed those in power to continue to rule. The world has become a worse place, tens of thousands of Iraqis suffered and died and U.S. troops died because of the Public Lie. It is a Public Lie some would like us to repeat if given the power and feel they can repeat.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character give him power. ~Abraham Lincoln

The situation today seems to beg us to become “judgmental”. We do not need citizens being judgmental and driven by power and emotion.  What we need is to form judgments, seek Truth outside of our silos. The first step is to know that you don’t know. That we have come to live in silos. That leaders have tried to isolate us from one another as they sought to prove their families are experienced and know what to do. However, their solutions to all problems are to let them lead again.

Here’s what the poet Rilke said:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart 
and try to love the questions themselves
Like locked rooms and like books 
that are written in a very foreign tongue. 
Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you 
because you would not be able to live them. 
And the point is, to live everything. 
Live the questions now. 
Perhaps gradually, without noticing it, 
you will live along some distant day into the answer. 
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

(c)Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018


     The Icon is a solid, art object with no moving or electronic parts which is comprised of linen stretched across a specially routed board and painted with a special gesso (rabbit skin glue, chalk and white pigment). This surface is sanded smooth and painted with layer upon layer of earth and ground semi-precious stones mixed with special mineral oils. Gold leaf is applied to specific areas with rabbit hair glue which is warmed with the human breath and burnished with a polished stone. The paint preparation techniques and formulas have been passed down and were the same ones used to paint the Sistine Chapel and other revered works of art. The Icon images are drenched with layers of meaning from spiritual symbolism designed with the intention of moving the soul and touching the heart of the viewer, consciously or unconsciously.
     The “SmartPhone” is made of a motherboard which is circuit board on which has been designed in a utilitarian, non-symbolic pattern. Gold is printed on  the motherboard and pre-drilled to receive electronic components which are comprised of silicon and other precious earths (lead, silver and palladium). The screen of the “SmartPhone” is a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) made up of layer upon layer of glass, plastic and liquid crystalline. Lithium metal oxide batteries power the motherboard. Once powered, moving images flutter on the LCD display in patterns guided by software written by engineers. No single image ever really appears on the LCD display as the array of pixels are charged. The rapidly moving image(s) cause the brain to work with extra intensity in order to attempt the impossible - to fill in the blanks between the illuminated pixels and “make sense” out of what is moving so rapidly that it is a non-sensical image.

     The Icon has been around for centuries with several specific and extremely meaningful roles to perform: first is to inspire the devotees who create Icons – called Icon Writers.  As the outer Icon is written, an inner Icon is inscribed into the heart and inner life of the Icon Writer – striving for beauty, balance, harmony and skill is a challenge. Secondly, the Icon is blessed by the Church and becomes a meaningful addition to the Community into which it is housed. Thirdly, the Icon’s symbolism inspires the religious and spiritual feeling life within the individual who behold it. And, Fourth, the Icon is a portal through which the Spiritual Being depicted on the Icon is able to perceive and interact with the physical world.
     The “SmartPhone” runs application software which is designed to perform specific tasks, gains energy from WIFI, and other sources across networks and receives signals beamed by Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites which enwrap us all like a non-spiritual web. The LCD screen contains a substance which is both liquid and crystalline (solid) and is arranged in front of a thin film of transistors (TFT) which polarizes light. This dancing light captivates the human cognitive functions with hyper-kinetic visual activity and a dynamic multi-touch surface. Children, particularly, find these screens as something which totally captures their attention and shuts down all normal, natural thinking processes. For us, too.

     A Zombie is an animated corpse raised by magical means. A Zombie is an animated, non-living entity which is will-less, speechless and is able to function due to powers outside itself. If the forces animating the Zombie are evil or malevolent, Zombies do their will, they are powerless to do otherwise.
The same is true of a portable computer or “SmartPhone”. At a minimum , a “SmartPhone” is an agent animated by forces far beyond the individual human. Once in hand, the human consciousness is affected by the technology and we comes to rely on the technology for at least a certain portion of our thinking, feeling and will life. For most of us, it takes a large effort to disconnect totally from a "SmartPhone" as we consider them "important", even perhaps "essential" in our day-to-day lives. We revere them.
Are they malevolent? In computer lingo, a “Zombie” is term used to describe a computer or “SmartPhone” which has been accessed by a remote attacker in order to forward spam, viruses, or other instructions and so becomes a technological malevolent or evil force.
In our lives today, “SmartPhones” with animated LCD screens are Zombies whose dancing, images are corpses or non-living imaginations activated by technology which capture the attention of adults and children and transform them into beings who do the bidding of the technology (“Pay Attention to ME!”). They diminish or do away with the key human function of thinking and questioning. Does this attack our free will?
Icons are quite the opposite. They use solid, fixed images created by a devoted human with natural materials to put ancient symbols in front of us which pose a question as to their meaning. Or the question may arise within us as to “Why we have no feeling whatsoever for this object?” “Why is reverence so weak within me?”
The symbols on the Icon, even for a non-believer, may cause a “resonance” within our minds and hearts and lead us to ask questions about how to understand the meaning of images. “What are those lightning bolts coming out of St. Michael’s neck?” They activate us rather than shutting us down. The Icon presents questions or mysteries with which the human must work out the answers themselves. Wrestling with these questions make us more human.
The Zombie is about injecting information, data or pre-digested knowledge into the individual in such a fashion that we do not question.  The Zombie “SmartPhone” consumes our consciousness making us un-dead and captured by technology.

© Copyright 2014, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

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Sunday, April 15, 2018


    Mine is a very small, digital boat called a blog which sails on a very big electronic ocean called the World Wide Web. My boat navigates toward very large cyber-constellations called Facebook, Stumble Upon, Twitter and others. Mine is a very tenuous and vulnerable craft which heads out on notions as strong illusions powered by money and profit. These days all of the cyber-constellations are filled with shooting stars and Mega-You-Tube-Astroids used for business purposes. The volume of technology which now includes audio, video and Triple-Tweets swamp small boats like mine.  The single text, "message in a bottle" which my blog puts out one at a time is a relic of the past something which makes me feel like a typographic castaway.
    The reality of the World Wide Web is that it is an actual web of electronic signals carried by Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites which downlink and connect with large networks in various countries around the globe. The LEOs hold  fixed positions over different countries.
    High above the LEOs in the space-time continuum, out in the cosmos are genuine constellations such as Orion, Leo, Capricorn, Sagittarius, and others. Some say the constellations and certain planets are spiritual communities. 
    Many of the folks with whom my little boat travels rely on the genuine constellations to orient themselves for the seasons, gardening tasks, fishing, hunting, hiking and travel in our daily lives on earth. In addition, we rely on the Sun and the Moon, daylight, moon-glow, winds, clouds, and seasons - things which do not exist in the cyber realm.
    My message in a bottle is not a real, physical message in a real, physical bottle. My messages are digital pleas for help, queries, innuendo and encouragement - as the lyrics to a Sting song says: "Only hope can keep me together. Love can mend your life. But, Love can break your heart."(1)

    Why does a person send a message in a bottle out onto a very big and complicated cyber-sea such as the World Wide Web? What difference does one small message make in the vast life of Internet users and the very few numbers of readers of my blog? Would I have more chance of actually delivering a message to someone if I were to put a note into a real bottle, cork it, and toss it into the beach I recently visited in Maine?
    On occasion I get some indication back that someone has read a post. This closes the loop on the cyber communication process. One may have followers for Tweets. So you feel  something of two-way communication slowly grows. The software for the blog tells me that of the 1,000 castaway visitors a month, 500 are new – and 500 return to read some more messages. So, we can take comfort in knowing " are not alone at being alone."(1)
    I'm using a few lyrics from the song which Sting wrote many years ago, "Message In A Bottle". The song has millions of sales/uses. Sting gives us an image of billions of bottles washing up at his location in response to his sending an S.O.S. - "Hundreds of millions of castaways looking for a home." (1)
    It seems like many of us are castaways in our digital age. It's almost as if the LEO net over our head and the gizmos which capture our attention, create in us a deep longing for the truth - for the real - for authentic relationships.

    It is ironic, but not at all surprising that Sting, the man who authored "Message In A Bottle" is new putting new messages in bottles. A few years ago, Sting met and worked with a good friend of mine named Alan York who died not too many months ago. Alan was a master Biodynamic (BD) gardener and viticultualist. Alan and I worked together on the American BD Association Board many years ago.  We swapped stories about growing up in Texas and metaphysics. 
    Alan had been the consultant who helped Sting bring his vineyards into Biodynamic practice. One of the things that one can say with all certainty is that Biodynamic wine or juices deliver a "message in the bottle". Allen devoted his life to sending messages in bottles.
    The message which Biodynamic wine or juices send is one of Truth and Authenticity. The practices seek to unite the forces of place, nature, Sun, Moon, Constellations and the morality of the grower and wine maker. In addition, BD incorporates spiritual practices aimed at supporting the health of the soil and plants - the grape in this case. If done correctly, you can experience a qualitative difference in each taste. Quality, vitality, and health are not bad living messages to take from a bottle.
    So, I am sending this digital "message in a bottle" post to all of us who feel we are castaways adrift on this digital ocean. Join with me in connecting with those who help us reconnect with an authentic life - as above, so below.

(1) "Message In A Bottle"

(c) Copyright 2014, Jean W Yeager
All Rights Reserved
Jan – June 2014 threesimplequestions Blog Posts
Are Available In Book Form 
"Th3 Simple Questions: Slice Open Everyday Life" 
Available at
Available at Internet Retailers 


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