Wednesday, January 11, 2017

From the Shadows by Robert Gates

From the Shadows is a book by a member of one of the Washington establishment, Robert Gates. From the Shadows covers Gates' time at the CIA from 1969 to 1991. The book cover suggests that the book reveals the CIA under five presidents, but it mostly talks about Gate's interactions with the bureaucracy of the CIA and the various administrations, and reactions to various foreign actions. I say reactions here because they do a lot of forecasting and analysis, yet seem to be in a state of perpetual shock about events that aren't foreseen. Some highlights:

On page 47 Gates contends that detente under Nixon and Kissinger was successful, although liberals and conservatives agree (for different reasons) that detente was a failure. I would say this is faulty analysis. Viewed through the prism of history, detente was a failure, Reagan's policy of military and political strength to win the Cold War was much more successful.

On page 110 Gates contends that Carter wasn't as weak on defense as his critics contend, then details all the decisions that led to the critics making that conclusion, mostly Carter's decisions on weapons systems like the B-1. I would say that Carter's main foreign  opponents during his administration, the Iranians and the Soviets also believed that Carter was weak on defense and acted accordingly by taking the embassy in Tehran and invading Afghanistan. Here is a fundamental flaw that Gates and the rest of the Washington establishment seem to not get about leadership. It isn't about weapons systems and money, it's about backing up your words with steel when necessary. This may be a reflection of Gates service as an analyst, he was never a trigger puller, so he doesn't understand leadership, only management. He was an intelligence officer in the Air Force, but I don't really think that briefing ICBM crews in North Dakota or wherever makes you qualified as a trigger puller or head spook.

On page 190 Gates blamed his faulty analysis concerning Andropov in 1982 and the future (or lack thereof) of the Soviet Union on Andropov's short reign. But Andropov himself persuaded Brezhnev in 1981 to not invade Poland during the Solidarity movement, signaling an end to the Brezhnev doctrine which set up the conditions for the fall of the Soviet Union. Chief among those conditions being the Soviets lost their enthusiasm to intervene militarily in other states affairs after Afghanistan.

On page 208 Gates complains that the operators in in the early eighties weren't ethnically diverse enough. But he fails to mention that CIA recruited from the military officer ranks in high numbers, he himself was recruited this way. And the combat arms MOS's especially the special operations folks weren't too diverse either, even nowadays. And the special operations ranks are prime targets for CIA recruitment. This reveals another naive assumption that he doesn't explain well and once again shows a lack of realistic reasoning prevalent in the Washington Establishment and the among the CIA academics.

On page 293 Gates complains about the friction between CIA 'career professionals' and Casey. Apparently Casey and other 'right wingers' were skeptics about what the CIA analysts were putting out. Since the CIA seems to miss out on forecasting most of the main events of the latter half of the twentieth century most of the American population seems to share this skepticism. And of course there is the Iran Contra scandal which Gates spends a huge amount of time lamenting in the book. It's interesting that he talks so much about it in hindsight, nowadays the former Obama administration gives up $400 million to Iran for hostages and no one bats an eye.

On page 323 Gates sneeringly says "Finally, at least in Reagan's mind, the impression of American political and military weakness had been erased..." Gates takes down the Reagan administration at every opportunity in this novel and reveals the disdain the Washington establishment and he had for Reagan.

On 379 Gate complains that the operators complained that someone from the analytical side is taking over as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. How did he expect them to act? How would any operator act if someone told them that a non-operator was taking control?

Don't get me wrong, the book is a good education on why the CIA gets so much wrong. Use it for that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Federalist Paper No 17 Hamilton and Law Enforcement

Hamilton and Anarchy:

"There is one transcendent advantage belonging to the province of state governments, which alone suffices to place the matter in a clear and satisfactory light ... I mean the ordinary administration of criminal and civil justice."

The current political missteps of the Department of Justice have shown this to be the case, and a succession of disastrous appointments by the Obama administration to go after local law enforcement for policy transgressions such as Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County have certainly led credence to why the Federal Government can't be trusted with a national law enforcement agency.

And we can see now, where the feds get involved in legitimate law enforcement matters its a complete disaster. Thirteen years ago the FTC opened the National Do Not Call Registry, probably at a cost of many millions of dollars, to prevent people from receiving telemarketing calls. After 13 years and many revisions the program is completely ineffective and a waste of money. I myself receive between five and ten telemarketing calls a day, and don't answer my phone anymore, unless I can identify the number calling. The feds thought that enacting a law without enforcement would be sufficient. In 2009 the Obama administration declared victory in their 2009 Economic Report. The telemarketers are declaring victory every time my phone rings.

An even bigger failure is the feds enforcement of cyber security. My wife called me in a panic this morning because someone is sending out emails with virus attachments from an email address from her business. Someone spoofed the address, the attacker appears to be coming from China. Many of our government agencies have been hacked from foreign lands without repercussion, and many of our businesses. The federal government spends eighty billion a year on cybersecurity and many claim it isn't enough, that more needs to be spent. I beg to differ. More needs to be done not spent. But my point still is, the government does many things poorly, and as Hamilton points out, law enforcement is one of them.

This wasn't always the case. Legitimate civil rights issues were fought by the Justice Department when extreme transgressions in the South propagated . Yet know we see that any perceived social injustice, no matter how slight, even those involving statistics and not actual complaints that weren't politically motivated, will be attacked by the Justice Department when the Democrats are in power. But only for the right causes. When police officers are killed, or hunted, well, that's the states' problem.

Separation of powers was also meant to dilute the power of the federal government, with respect to the states. The word federalism itself is the system of government where the power is divided between state and federal governments. The twentieth century, and now the 21st has seen a steady erosion of federalism with the federal government taking more power with less success, more power inflicting the EPA on businesses, and the wielding of the federal budget to punish local governments that get out of line, whether it be law enforcement or education. This is the exact opposite of what the founders intended. The intended purpose of the federal government was to regulate state-to-state commerce and promote the federal defense. Erosion of local power, rampant crime, and an all powerful single federal government was the exact opposite of their intentions and the states would have never ratified the constitution if they knew the behemoth the federal government would grow into, the waste of tax payer dollars, and the wielding of power using money over the states.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Federalist Paper No 15 and Justice

Alexander Hamilton writes: "Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passion of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint."

SO it is with the current left. Their insistence on unbridled illegal immigration from certain areas of the globe in order to overpower the demographics of the electorate, their insistence on redistribution strategies to power their constituents. Lately we've even heard that they want the complaints of sexual assaults, almost exclusively women, to be believed without due process. And now this takes us into the election process.

We see the effects of such a policy of accusation without due process, an army of women, descending on parachutes of publicity supplied by the main stream media on the Trump campaign with a barrage of unproven accusations after an unsavory recorded conversation appears from the depths of time.

This is about abusing a vacuum in justice for power, nothing more.

And as soon as the election is over, the army and accusations evaporate, like a dawn mist. Surely they or their cousins in crime will reappear during the reelection campaign in four years,

In Roman law, the false accuser is punished with the same sentence that they would have imposed on the accused. Pity we can't bring this back. Now we're hearing from the main stream media how horrible Trump would be if he sued these individuals and the publications that power them, how monstrous! Nary a word about the despicable acts of false accusation, so politically expedient after the shrill question from Anderson Cooper towards the candidate during the debate about sexual assault. The question itself was almost rhetorical in nature, and became so soon after. Not one suspicion was raised in the press about the timing of the question and subsequent barrage of accusations.

Very suspicious timing indeed, Anderson Cooper. There's a few more emails or communiques between CNN and other interested parties that I'd like to see.

While we shouldn't infringe on the freedom of the press, we can, and should, make it known through economic and legal means that such members of the press will be penalized financially for defecating where they consume sustenance. Such defecation should be fed back to them by routing it through their sponsors, or the courts as the defecation journals known as the Rolling Stone and Gawker recently discovered.

We shouldn't shout them out. But we can starve them out.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hamilton, Federalist Paper Number 12 Tax laws have in vain been multiplied...the treasuries of the states have remained empty

Two hundred and thirty years ago, Alexander Hamilton writes:

"Tax laws have in vain been multiplied; new methods to enforce the collection have in vain been tried; the public expectation has been uniformly disappointed, and the treasuries of the states have remained empty."

I'll paraphrase some of the rest:

Where 'popular' systems of administration, driven by 'popular' government has defeated every experiment in the collection of taxes, and has taught the different legislatures the folly of repeating them.

But, apparently our legislatures have not been taught the folly of repeating them, we are repeating them over and over again. I should not say we here, most of the blame is in the people who believe and reelect the statists, which are in the majority, and the notso conservatives who were elected to oppose their agenda, and who failed. Some of the blame also lies on the media who wholeheartedly embrace the statist agenda and who will stop at noting to try and disassemble, at a personal level, anyone who opposes the statist agenda.

One example is the media fiction, oft repeated by Hillary Clinton that Bill Clinton ran a surplus. A complete falsehood. Newt Gingrich and his Contract with America gang helped fight the deficit, but he had to have a government shutdown for weeks with Clinton before Clinton blinked. No media outlet reports that fact. The current Republican congress didn't have the gumption for such showdowns, and doesn't have the backbone for staring down the mainstream media during their shutdown shenanigans, including all the shutdown dirty tricks that Obama enforced, dirty tricks that not even Bill Clinton was willing to do.

It is too late now, no matter who wins the election, for the US to pay back the nineteen trillion in debt, and the two hundred trillion in liabilities currently owed. And no mention of the printing presses in the quantitative easing schemes that will dilute the dollar when the debt wall holding the quantity of fiat currency breaks. And where will the power of the federal government be then? It can't pay its soldiers to defend, its courts to adjudicate, and its tax collectors to collect? We are now seeing in Venezuela a state in its death throws as it confiscates private businesses, and the shelves are empty. Yet thirty percent still support the regime in the failed state. This means, no matter how bad things get, the statists will still hold thirty percent of the population in thrall.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers Number 11, and The Rights Of Neutrality

Hamilton writes: "The rights of neutrality will only be respected, when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral."
Hamilton argues, not necessarily for the strongest military, but at least one that can defend itself, and that isn't bullied. As the Obama administration has presided over the decline of our military, and shifted that money over to social justice causes, we have seen the increased hostility and contempt that other nations hold us in. Putin, in Russia. The Chinese snubbing Obama on the tarmac, Duterte in the Phillipines calling him a "Son of a Whore." Can anyone imagine the President of a third world ally of the United States saying something like that to Reagan?

Hamilton goes on:
"It would be in the power of the maritime nations, availing themselves of our universal impotence, to prescribe the conditions of our political existence; and as they have a common interest in being our carriers, and still more in preventing us from becoming theirs, they would, in all probability, combine to embarrass our navigation in such a manner, as would in effect destroy it, and confine us to a PASSIVE COMMERCE. We should thus be compelled to content ourselves with the first price of our commodities, and to see the profits of our trade snatched from us, to enrich our enemies and persecutors."

And now we see China in the East, and the Russians in the West, acting more aggressively by asking to refuel in NATO ports (soon these will be demands), or building artificial islands in the South China Sea to stake claims on previously unoccupied sea lanes. And the Panama Canal is long gone. Even America's control of the internet was ceded to the globalists. The aggressive actions by rivals were not countered by the United States, and will result in a progressive rollback of maritime power that had defined and strengthened our economic interests in the 20th century. The loss of internet control will result in a subsequent loss of cyber economic power in the 21st, thus confining us to a PASSIVE COMMERCE, that is, one where the market is dictated to us.

Monday, October 24, 2016

James Madison, Causes of Faction and Remedies

In Federalist Paper Number 10, Madison writes:

"There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: The one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence ; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests."

The Democrats/Marxists/Statists in the United States have seized on these factions and unified them as a method of gaining power at the expense of liberty, and the prescient Madison had indeed foreseen this:

"It could never be more truly said, than of the first remedy, that it is worse than the disease."

And yet we see this liberties vanishing before our eyes. The EPA, going after our businesses, and dictating what we can do on our own land. The IRS, penalizing those on the right side of the political landscape, The FBI in selective justice. These liberties that were paid for in blood, by our brave soldiers and Marines,  are being given up one-by-one, at the behest of those, for the most part, who never served, who kneel at the playing of the National Anthem, who scream "kill all cops."

The democrat-media complex that supports those who are causing this factional-driven divide in the name of political power, who are riddled with corruption and malfeasance represent everything the framers were fighting against.

And then Madison writes this:

"But the most common and durable source of factions, has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold, and those who are without property, have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination."

This is the primary weapon of the Marxist/Statist, declaring that we are not classless, that the rich must pay their "fair share," and attempting to dismantle the business class that doesn't support them. Their fair share of course being anything but, unless you 'contribute' to their own well being, say along the lines of the Clinton Foundation, then your fair share of taxes will be very small indeed, while your fair share of influence at the State Department, will know no bounds.

The framers wanted to protect us from these factions by confining them to small, local governments.  What they didn't foresee was the modern democratic party unifying all these factions by telling them what they wanted to hear, and usurping the powers reserved for the states via stacking the Supreme Court with ideologues.

"The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular states, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other states"

Unfortunately, Madison was wrong about this, we are now dealing with the effects of the Democrats unifying the factions and destroying our liberties and hence our Republic.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Measures too often decided, The Federalist Papers No 10.

James Madison writes:

"...measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice, and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true."

Such are the challenges that are brought to bear against us from the modern social justice warrior/ Marxist. A perceived gap in pay, a perceived increase in police-involved racial shootings, or the so-called campus rape culture. All of these arguments have been disproved analytically, yet the perception remains like a bad smell after a Democrat-lead Trump rally ambush . And in that respect, they are in some degree true, police sometimes shoot black criminals, women who get sick more often, are less aggressive in the workplace, and who shy away from the STEM fields are less likely to make as much money as their male counterparts, and women do get raped on campus, albeit in numbers far less than in the general population.

But there are legal remedies to all of these issues, it is illegal for police to shoot anyone who isn't a danger to them. It's illegal for companies to pay women less than men for the same job and amount of work. Rape is illegal. Yet, for the modern social justice warrior, a legal remedy is not enough.

They want the power. Just like rape is about power, the modern causes of the social justice warrior are about power. And in their minds, the power must be taken from the white patriarchy. There is nothing stopping a woman from building her own company, if she feels like she isn't earning her worth. There's nothing stopping a woman from arming herself against rape on campus. I take that back, the other Marxist have made that impossible for a law-abiding citizen to arm themselves on campus. There is an extensive legal system to prevent racially-motivated discrimination and unnecessary violence by police, so extensive it has effectively immobilized law enforcement and we're seeing the results of that as upticks in violent urban crime across America.

No, as Madison foretold in Number 10, these groups will try and restrict our rights (read power) in building our own businesses, letting police do their jobs, and cower men on campuses. And the only way they can do so is by subverting the Constitution. They will increase business regulation via federal mandate, where the federal government has no Constitutional authority. They will force police departments to bend to their will by withholding federal funding and passing unconstitutional laws on local law enforcement, and they will continue to pass laws like Title IX which attempt to circumvent due process on campuses.