Friday, April 4, 2014

An Engineer's Engineer and Releasing Johnathan Pollard

  Results of a Mental Accounting

A few years ago a person who would be considered successful by most people's standards shared with me, "Looking back at my childhood, a pattern that I remembered having is, 'He has more than me.' 'His birthday present was better than mine.' 'He gets to travel to more interesting places.' 'He is luckier than I am.' 'He has more friends.' 'He lives in a nicer house.'
"On my fortieth birthday I made a mental accounting of my life. I thought about various traits and patterns that I had. The most distressful part of this mental accounting was that I noticed I wasn't very happy in my life. When I asked myself why, and thought about it, I realized that I kept feeling that I had less than others. I was told to look back at my childhood for this pattern, and that's when I realized how often this theme came up. There were many ways that others had it better than I did. And my mind was full of thoughts of not only having less, but of being less.
"I realized that if I wanted to live the rest of my life joyfully, I needed to do one of two things. Either I could make it my goal to be so successful in every way that is important to me that I would be far ahead of everyone I knew. Then I would find it easier to be grateful for my accomplishments, successes, and possessions. Or I could learn to gain greater mastery over my thoughts. I would choose to think thoughts of gratitude as my automatic way of thinking. The first choice would take so much time, effort, and energy that I would be in a constant frustrating race with others. I might never reach my goal and even if I did reach it, it was certainly not going to last. Eventually someone would pass me by. This way of thinking would give me many years of stress and frustration and there really wasn't a way that this would give me gratitude and happiness. It was obvious that the wiser approach would be to be grateful for what I had. Choosing this pattern of thought was one of the best choices I have made in my life."
Love Yehuda Lave

Releasing Pollard

Justice demands that Pollard be released without regard to what Israel decides to do on the release of Arab prisoners.

by Alan Dershowitz and Irwin Cotler

Reports are circulating that the Obama Administration is considering releasing Jonathan Pollard, as part of an effort to encourage Israel to release Arab prisoners. Justice demands that Pollard be released without regard to what Israel decides to do. A case for Pollard’s release is based on both legal and humanitarian considerations.
Although many former government officials who were involved in Pollard’s prosecution now favor commutation, some continue to insist that he should serve his complete life term. In opposing Pollard’s release now, these former officials are violating the spirit, if not the intent, of the contract our government made with Pollard 28 years ago.
Jonathan Pollard entered into a plea bargain with the United States government after he was found with unauthorized, classified material in his possession. He could have exercised his right to trial by jury and he might have been acquitted of the most serious charges, because there was little admissible evidence that he was spying for a foreign country. Instead, he confessed to spying for Israel, a close American ally, and agreed to plead guilty and cooperate in full with the government’s investigation and damage assessment. In exchange, for giving up his important constitutional rights, Pollard was promised that the US would not seek the maximum sentence of life imprisonment. In other words, our government agreed that a sentence of years less than life imprisonment was sufficient to satisfy the needs of justice for Pollard, in light of who he spied for, how extensively he cooperated with the investigation, and how much time, money and risk he saved the government by pleading guilty. A sentence of years, less than life imprisonment was sufficient, the government agreed, to deter others from spying for allies. That was the “quid” for Pollard’s “quo” in pleading guilty: The government’s solemn agreement that a sentence of less than life was enough!
The prosecution then violated the plea bargain by submitting an official affidavit from the then Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, who, according to Lawrence Korb, assistant Secretary of Defense under Weinberger, was motivated by “a lack of sympathy for Israel” – an understatement considering Weinberger’s long history of animosity toward the nation-state of the Jewish people. In his affidavit, Weinberger erroneously characterized Pollard’s crime as “treason”, exaggerated the harm done, and demanded a sentence of life imprisonment. By submitting this demand, which was inconsistent with its agreement not to ask for a life sentence, the prosecution violated the spirit if not the letter of their plea bargain.
There is no way any competent lawyer would have advised Pollard to give up his right to a trial, after which, if he were convicted, he could receive at most life imprisonment, in exchange for an agreement that included the submission of an affidavit from the Secretary of Defense demanding the maximum sentence of life imprisonment. For a lawyer to agree to such a “lose-lose” deal would have constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. The sentencing judge, relying on the impermissible and exaggerated Weinberg affidavit imposed a sentence in excess of what the plea bargain contemplated and what the prosecution agreed would be sufficient: He sentenced Pollard to life imprisonment. The sentence was and remains, the harshest one ever imposed on an American who pleaded guilty to spying for an ally. The usual sentence for such crimes is in the single digits.
Prosecutors not only broke their plea bargain back at sentencing, but some of those former prosecutors continue to break it now by insisting that Pollard’s sentence not be commuted to a term of years consistent with what they agreed to recommend in 1986. Nothing has changed for the worse over the 28 years Pollard has been in prison. Pollard has been a model prisoner; he has apologized for his crime; consequences falsely attributed to his actions by Weinberger and others now have been correctly attributed to Aldrich Ames and others who spied for America’s enemies; Pollard is seriously ill and getting old.
The time has come for the US government to keep its word and reaffirm what it agreed to tell the judge back in 1986: namely, that a sentence of years, 28 plus years, rather than a sentence of life imprisonment is enough to satisfy the demands of justice for Jonathan Pollard. Even if prosecutors refuse to comply with their plea bargain, the president – who has the exclusive authority to pardon or commute – should do the right thing and commute Pollard’s sentence to the long time he has already served.

Professor Dershowitz consulted with Pollard’s defense lawyers in the 1980’s and 90’s. His autobiography, Taking The Stand, was recently published.
Professor Cotler is a member of the Canadian Parliament and its former Minister of Justice and Attorney General. He too consulted on the Pollard case.
This op-ed originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

: An Engineer's Engineer

 An Engineer's Engineer

Modeling News and Views - March 2012
This is remarkable!
Anybody who has any sense of the dedication to a job done to the nearest level of perfection,
who sees beauty in such purism of craftsmanship,
who can appreciate the dedication and love of a person for such an impeccable job,
who can relate to the ability of a single person to do what Lou has done with after years of dedication,
all these people must applaud Mr. Louis Chenot for having accomplished such a task.
A miniature functioning replica 1932 Duesenberg  by Louis Chenot
No, it's not a real full-size Duesenberg, but rather a beautifully constructed 35" long working model made in 1/6 scale.
Louis Chenot has spent the past ten years building this incredibly detailed 1932 SJ Duesenberg LaGrande dual-cowl phaeton. Not only does it look good, but the engine runs, the lights work, the top mechanism functions and the transmission and driveline are complete. Lou started his research on this project over fifty years ago with the purchase of a book and through the following years collected many drawings and studied a number of Duesenbergs while they were being restored, taking photos and recording dimensions.
Here's a shot of the finished car from the side on its specially made display table. The model weighs about 60 pounds.
Lou's 40 year career was spent as a mechanical engineer. In the 1960's he spent 7 years restoring a vintage 1930 Cadillac convertible that was on the show circuit for years, but now he prefers to work on smaller projects in the comfort of his home shop.
The bodywork is all metal, not fibreglass. Here is the car in Lou's shop before the brass coachwork was primed or painted. Lou is not adverse to remaking a part that doesn't meet his standards. He started over on the especially difficult brass radiator shell nine times.
Here is the engine removed from the model and sitting on its test stand. The transmission is in the foreground.
Most running models are built at larger scales like 1/3 or 1/4. Working in the smaller 1/6 scale magnifies the problems caused by miniaturizing certain parts. Remember that these scale parts are 1/6 as long, 1/6 as high and 1/6 as deep as real parts, making them 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6 or 1/216th the volume of the original part. By comparison, a 1/3 scale model is 1/27th the volume and a 1/4 scale model is 1/64th the volume. Further complicating the prospect of building a running engine at that size is the fact that fuel molecules and electricity don't scale. It is very difficult to get tiny carburetors and little spark plugs to work like the big ones. A video of Lou starting and running the engine for the first time can be seen at
Inside the straight eight engine are all the correct parts custom machined to scale from steel, cast iron and aluminum. Here we see the block and crankshaft at the top. Arrayed below the block are the cast iron cylinder sleeves, pistons, wrist pins and assembled connecting rods.
Even though there would be no way to tell once it is all assembled, the cylinder head shows that Lou didn't cheat. The engine has 4 valves per cylinder--32 total--just like the real one.
Here is the head (before painting) with the camshafts in place--there are 16 lobes on each shaft. (The apparent curve of the upper shaft is caused by the camera's wide angle lens.)
The gears inside the differential will never be seen by anyone, but Lou cut them as actual hypoid gears like the real one rather than machining simpler bevel gears.
This is the dashboard and interior with the body primed but not yet painted. Note the detailed instruments and engine-turned finish on the dash.
The complicated convertible top mechanism is shown in the lowered position before the canvas top material was installed.
Louis Chenot (Left) and Joe Martin (Right) inspect progress on the chassis and engine at the NAMES show in Detroit in 2007.
Lou was presented with a special Lifetime Achievement award by the in 2009. The model was nearing completion but the engine had not yet run. Now that the engine runs and the model is completed, Lou has been selected as the foundation's "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year." The award includes an engraved award medallion and a check for $2000.00. Lou is the 15th person to receive this coveted annual award. Because it is likely that this could well be the finest running model car ever built in this small a scale, Lou's award this year will be presented as the "Craftsman of the Decade." More can be seen on this car and some of Lou's other projects at 
Please forward this message to anyone you know who likes fine craftsmanship, car models, miniature engines and/or Duesenbergs.

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