Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Spy Who Loved Being A Contractor

I get lots of questions from all kinds of people about our intelligence community. "Bruce, how many intelligence (spy) agencies do we have and do you think that's enough to keep us safe from TERROR?" Well, I tell everyone that we only have 16 intelligence services and certainly THAT'S NOT ENOUGH. I always say "You can never have too much intelligence, or too many spy agencies". I don't want to bore you with a list of all the intelligence services we have, so if you're curious, you can read all about them here.

I used to think that I was "special" because I found something out about how intelligence is gathered and reported in the United States that the U.S. Media does not say a word about. I happened upon this information about a year ago after the last fake Bin Laden video was released. Of course we never get to see the actual video... the MSM shows a picture of it and then tells us what it says. The location of the video and even the translation of the video is never sourced. (Oh, by the way, that's not journalism... that's propaganda.) The MSM always says "Intelligence Sources" and we're supposed to think "oh OK, that's secret stuff that we're not supposed to know".

Turns out there is a good reason they don't want us to know. Their intelligence sources are often privately held companies! They don't want us to know that because then the news would seem biased wouldn't it? And we all know the MSM is not biased.

Believe it or not, I came across this information from a Thai newspaper that reported that the fake Bin Laden video was translated by "IntelCenter". Who the hell is IntelCenter I thought? And why am I reading about them in a newspaper from Thailand?

Intelcenter, not to be outdone by Blackwater.... this is like a B spy movie... has an even more gruesome and stupid logo.... Scarier than even Mountain Dew!!!

So, of course I went to their website and realized that I was looking at a privately held company that produces lots of really scary news and reports and sells them. They make pretty charts with lots of logos of evil organizations bent on our destruction... and of course they sell to the media and the intelligence services the Bin Laden video translation... and we're told by the MSM that its from "intelligence sources". Here is some more information about them that is very revealing... particularly about their role in obtaining video tapes of the "terrorists" and then charging for the translation.

But these guys are just one of many. A little research and you can find so many of these private intelligence contractors, it will make your head spin.

This market was created by Ronald Reagan in 1981 by Executive Order 12333 in section 2.7: (this is scary... better not look!)
Agencies within the Intelligence Community are authorized to enter into contracts or arrangements for the provision of goods or services with private companies or institutions in the United States and need not reveal the sponsorship of such contracts or arrangements for authorized intelligence purposes. Contracts or arrangements with academic institutions may be undertaken only with the consent of appropriate officials of the institution.

The horrible truth for me is that I'm late to the party with this information. Even USA TODAY published a story about this that unfortunately didn't even make a ripple. And the most important source on the web is a Blog by R.J. Hillhouse entitled... and I love this... "The Spy Who Billed Me" that goes into vivid detail about this clandestine network and what they may be up to. (Its not pretty.)

By the way, she states that we may be have paid $60 Billion in 2005 for our 16 Intelligence Services. And lastly, I found a wonderfully informative article in Salon that talks about what we may be paying for the intelligence contractors here.

So why is this important? It may not seem obvious at first, and if I start going into detail about the nature of our Constitution and how it was designed to hold people accountable for their actions, then people would call me a conspiracy theorist and shut me off. But, the charges that Hillhouse and Salon make and even are hinted at by the USA TODAY go directly back to Step #4, Develop a Paramilitary Force that I posted yesterday about the steps toward fascism according to Naomi Wolf.

The private contractors MAY not be held accountable to the voters or to the Constitution. And that's the rub. We just might be outsourcing the primary services of government to circumvent the laws that were designed to protect our rights. Additionally, outsourcing to private contractors may allow the government cover against the international law agreements we have signed such as the Geneva Convention. This is very dangerous territory we are heading into and only an informed citizenry can shine the bright lights on what is going on and put a stop to it... we CANNOT TRUST Hillary, Barak or even John to do this job for us. We have to do this ourselves if we want to protect our democracy and turn back the speeding train that is heading toward real fascism here in America.

But first, we have to care.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Al Gore's New Slide Show... AL, HELP US!!!

Recently, Al Gore presented a brand new global warming slide show on Ted.com. It was the first time he has shown this new version. Its ALARMING and worse than anyone thought.

You can see the panic on his face as he gives it. Anyone who watches this talk (and I sincerely hope there are a lot of you) will wonder why we have sat here and let another year pass without doing anything of any real consequence other than changing our lightbulbs and considering how wonderful we are now that we sell hybrid cars. He points out that this is simply not enough to save our lives and the life of the planet. I refer to this as the American mass version of COGNITIVE DISSONANCE... which is discussed in detail in my profile. He does provide guidance in this talk as to what YOU can do.

The time to act on a National and Global scale is NOW. I am posting the entire presentation below so you don't have to do anything except click on it and watch it. I believe it is the duty of every American citizen to watch this and then do something to pressure lawmakers to be brave, lead, and quickly bring about an end to our carbon based society. This is not something that is just hard to do, it is something we MUST DO NOW to save our own lives. What more motivation do we need? You think getting the troops out of Iraq or making sure that Obama or Hillary win the nomination is more important than the future of the planet? These issues are not 1/1000th as important. Think again about the experience of having no oxygen to breathe while lower Manhattan is under water.

If you don't think its important that we won't have any oxygen to breathe later in our lifetimes, then consider that your kids won't have any. And consider that this inaction on the part of our generation demonstrates that we have little concern for your own lives, the lives of our children, our families, our loved ones, our friends and our own collective futures.

And dare I ask the question: Where are the environmental organizations on commandeering this issue and why am I not reading about their bold and decisive actions on the front page of the New York Times? That's because they're not doing any. The Tibetan activists.... oh, just a few hundred them, captivated the world with their bold, decisive and SMART actions to bring attention to China's miserable record on Human Rights. From my little vantage point, it appears that most environmentalist organizations are mostly focused on raising money to grow their organizations rather than organize and execute effective direct action.

P.S. You can also watch the presentation on TED.com by clicking on the title of this post.


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Step #4, Develop a Paramilitary Group

I'm attaching a talk given by Naomi Wolf about her bestselling book:

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

In it, Naomi outlines the 10 steps that all modern democracies, or something close to democracies, have undergone to successfully install fascism. Fascism can be subtle. It can be as simple as me being too afraid to post this. It can be the fact that Naomi, by writing this book, is now on terror watch lists and is always pulled aside at airports by the TSA when traveling. Fascism is as much a state of mind, as it is a rule of law or ABSENCE OF LAW as defined by those that are theoretically "protecting" us.

The talk is long, but I have a reason that I am posting this. I find that one of her 10 steps is of particular relevance right now. Its step number 4: Develop a Paramilitary Group. For those who don't know what that is.... it is a privately paid army that works by its own rules and is paid by the state to impose the state's will on the people. A good example that those who read have heard about it is Blackwater. They are currently our private army operating primarily, but not exclusively, in Iraq at American taxpayer expense. We use the word "contractor" to connote that they make cement foundations for new buildings... but no no no... they are a private army. A good example from history is the Nazi Brownshirts. Just for kicks, I'm posting Blackwater's logo which I find particularly gruesome to the point of being funny.




The talk is worth every bit of your 45 minutes if you are interested in protecting our democracy. But in the event that you want me to do the job... stay tuned for my next post where I will reveal that there are not just simply private armies that we have... but a private intelligence network that was given life by our great and senile President Ronald Reagan in Executive Order 12333 of December 4, 1981.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Why the U.S. Will Seek Regime Change In Iran (Hint: has nada to do with nukes)

This could be one of the most important videos of our time as it tells the real story behind why the U.S. wants regime change in Iran. Very briefly, Iran is proposing not selling oil in U.S. dollars... the only country in the world to do so. Have a look at the attached video commentary from the Real News and let the chills roll down your spine...

video

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"Wounded Warriors" Dog and Pony Show For Our Brave Leaders That Sent Them To War
















(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Thank you to Princess Sparkle Pony for keeping an eye on our beautiful Secretary of State and all of her wonderful hairdos. An article about this sorry spectacle from the WHITE HOUSE ITSELF about how funny and poignant our heroic and brilliant PRESIDENT BUSH is here.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dearest Pentagon,

Not only do we Americans give you 2/3 of the discretionary budget of the United States and your small group of contractors (who get most of THAT money), you continuously lie and distort the truth in order to ensure that you always seem that you have things almost under control.... but make sure to let us know that things will be really really more under control if you just had a few more of our tens of BILLIONS of dollars. Now, you must face the REAL ENEMY.... Senator Carl Levin from the great state of Michigan, who has good intentions, but really never seems to make any real change. He has sent you a letter asking for your cooperation in providing some truth behind your MFMing.

I am attaching his letter addressed to Robert Gates, our esteemed Secretary of Defense, and no doubt, it will be most interesting to watch you successfully wiggle out of this one as you do all other revelations as to your questionable and (frankly) disingenuous practices. The letter begins with

Dear Mr. Secretary: I am writing in connection with a front page story in the New York Times on Sunday, April 20, 2008, entitled "Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon's Hidden Hand."

And now for the ACTUAL letter (click to enlarge):

I applaud Senator Levin's sincere effort. However, I've been on this earth long enough (as well watching this baloney on television in a state of horror for many years) to know this will have NO IMPACT on either the MSM, continued MFMing on the part of the military and its contractors, or how the Pentagon or the 16 intelligence services (yes, we have 16 intelligence services) conduct information services to the public in the future. These guys didn't build nuclear subs that make no sound and B2 Stealth bombers at $2 Billion a pop only to have a lowly Senator change the way they trick us into being continuously IN DANGER and giving them all of our money in perpetuity.

Senator Levin, I ask you now to please send letters of a similar sort to each of the Senior Editors and owners of the news networks who broadcast this dubious "news analysis" and ask them why it is that they refuse to, or cannot do, their jobs.

Stay tuned for our next episode... where nothing of any consequence will happen.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

The Implications of our new revelation... "MFM"

Blog readers... particularly liberal ones who distrust the mainstream media as much as I do, typically refer to the them as the "MSM". Now we have a new term... MFM... "Message Force Multipliers". I've been thinking about this term all day and want to share my thoughts on the implications of this term.

First, some background... The New York Times broke a story last Sunday that... well... I've sort of suspected all along. (Humbly speaking) That the analysts on TV that discuss all matters pertaining to just about anything and everything are essentially biased and often have a vested interest in their own analysis. The conflicts of interest of many "Analysts" have been well documented and I need not review them here.

But back to the New York Times article. And again... while the New York Times broke this story its gotten little play in the MSM and when I googled the term in quotations... I only got 180 hits. 180!!! And, unfortunately I did not see my last posting as one of those hits so I can't trust that Google is not an accurate read on this as apparently my words are not part of their search engine even though they own blogspot.

The story in the times entitled "Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon's Hidden Hand" reads like so:

"Five years into the Iraq war, most details of the architecture and execution of the Pentagon's campaign have never been disclosed. But The Times successfully sued the Defense Department to gain access to 8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records describing years of private briefings, trips to Iraq and Guantanamo and an extensive Pentagon talking points operation. These records reveal a symbiotic relationship where the usual dividing lines between government and journalism have been obliterated.
Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as 'message force multipliers' or 'surrogates' who could be counted on to deliver administration themes and messages to millions of Americans in the form of their own opinions."

Photo courtesy of Gameslore

Dare I say these three little words speak volumes about what is (I firmly believe) the actual truth behind the MSM. Quite simply, if we are told something enough times, it essentially becomes fact. Then, those "facts" are picked up by others who are believed to be knowledgeable and repeated over and over again and the cycle continues only until someone blows a whistle if that ever happens. Eventually, it is never again questioned and becomes an underlying assumption.

One example is the amplified threat of terror that we see over and over again... even in the most liberal press and how to deal with it. The assumption of the threat is seldom ever questioned. Only the response to TERROR is debated. As a matter of fact, an honest discussion of why such TERROR even exists is a topic no one will discuss. But we read over and over and over.... that word... TERROR. We hear it everyday, we read it everyday in the newspaper. TERROR. TERROR. TERROR. We ride on the subways and see "If you see something, say something". (They can say TERROR without even saying TERROR.)
It has become part of the collective mindset of the nation so deeply that the question of its very existence never comes up. It simply is FACT. I don't know this for sure... but I imagine if I went to Sweden, or Denmark, or Hungary today (I went to Hungary last year and it was true), I wouldn't see this word nearly as much if at all. This word and its implications is simply not part of their daily reality and part of their collective conscience.

Now let's take a look at this term "MFM" and see where it comes from. If I ever want to find out something, I always go to Wikipedia.org. Who doesn't love Wikipedia?

I looked up "force multiplier" and found some really interesting information. Turns out this is a very common term in the military and really is quite simple. From Wikipedia:
"Force multiplication, in military usage, refers to a combination of technology, intense training, organization, or a combination of all to make a given force more effective than another force of comparable size. Deception as to the presence or size of a unit can increase its effectiveness. Another way to state the idea is that a force multiplier refers to a factor that dramatically increases (hence "multiplies") the effectiveness of an item or group."
They have a very telling quote from former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell:
"Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. Morale, training, and ethos have long been known to result in disproportionate effects on the battlefield. A volunteer military is, soldier for soldier, significantly more effective than a conscription force. Psychological Warfare can target the morale, politics, and values of enemy soldiers and their supporters to effectively neutralize them in a conflict."
This gives us a very shiny and clear glimpse of the MFM doctrine as it can be easlily applied in the media... how to take just a few "knowledgeable" people, have them continue to say the same things over and over again, and soon you have psychological advantage. It essentially explains everything that was said and REPORTED TO BE TRUE IN THE MEDIA in the run up to the Iraq war and then everything that happened after. Only when they could no longer hide that it was all going very badly did the message change. But the point I want to make is that the analysts sent out by the Pentagon in 2005 were simply one tiny example of this tactic and how it is used to frame what most of what Americans believe to be true in the world.

We are essentially subject to MFMing on nearly every issue today. And the designers of the message multiplication are not just the military. It could easily be everything that makes news and is reported as fact. Political talking points, assumptions about the intentions of other countries. Who is hostile and who is not. Osama, Osama, Osama. Al Queda, Al Queda Al Queda and "believed to be linked to Al Queda".... the message multiplication machine just grinds on and on and the the underlying assumptions that we as a society believe to be true are a direct result of message multiplication. The "army" or "force" in every day life is the corp of journalists who don't, can't, or are too afraid to do their jobs and question underlying assumptions.

Not until Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971 did anyone even think to imagine that the U.S. was fighting the Vietnam War anywhere except inside Vietnam. It simply wasn't even imagined to be true. Had he not leaked it, we may still not know to this day.

On my bookshelf are two very interesting books (which would easily be branded "conspiracy" books) that I think have information that may be correct to some degree.... however, the premise of the books I believe to be strikingly true. They are each a series of essays whose Editor is Russ Kick. One is called "Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the other is called "You Are Being Lied To".

So, when the story came out in the NY Times, I was not surprised. Candidly, I wondered what took them so long. My reaction was "oh finally", but then a shrug and a thought... "isn't this true for just about everything and why does no one seem to realize this? Why would this story be a surprise to any skeptic?"

What was NEW for me... was the term "Message Force Multiplier". Now... I had a way to describe what I already knew to be true!!
I think there is a huge insight and truth here that needs to be delved into very deeply. We need to be ever more vigilant of the messages that are repeated over and over again as underlying and assumed truths. ALL OF THEM. We must question everything and throw off all assumptions. If we are dumb enough to think this is the first (and last) time that this tactic has been used to frame the debate in America and present facts, then we would be demonstrating a colossal naivete.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

What Is A "Message Force Multiplier"?

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart explains it best. And oh by the way.... this story was broken by the NY Times and then reported only on NPR and Comedy Central...

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Am I A Conspiracy Theorist?

Certainly not! I believe in all that is published and broadcast and talked about in the Mainstream Media (MSM). They have their finger on the pulse, they do their jobs as fine journalists always seeking the truth wherever it may lurk. Asking the tough questions... probing... always asking why.

So who are the true conspiracy theorists? Well... I've been searching the world over, and I finally found one. His name is David Rockefeller Sr.. You've heard of him I'm sure. But I'll let this conspiracy theorist speak for himself.

For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
— From Rockefeller's "Memoirs", (p.405).

We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during these years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government which will never again know war, but only peace and prosperity for the whole of humanity. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in the past centuries. It is also our duty to inform the press of our convictions as to the historic future of the century.

—Allegedly said to a Bilderberg meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany, 1991 [2]. Quoted from The New American in William Jasper's article, European Nightmare. The quote ultimately came from the French periodical, Lectures Francaises, according to Jasper's article and Will Banyan's research in The Proud Internationalist.

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I love The Huffington Post

Rachel Sklar, in her column "Eat the Press" does a wonderful and hilarious analysis of flag lapel pins... and thus exposes how inane this topic is and how shamefully stupid it was for ABC NEWS to have brought it up in the last presidential debate.

Here is the article:

There's been much ado about flag pins lately — who wears them, who doesn't, and whether that means you are patriotic enough to be president. Last week during ABC's now-infamous debate, moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulous included this question from totally random Pennsylvanian Nash McCabe:

"Senator Obama, I have a question, and I want to know if you believe in the American flag. I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen, policemen and EMS wear the flag. I want to know why you don't."

Nope, no questioning of the patriotism at all! Gibson followed up wondering, "How do you convince Democrats that this would not be a vulnerability?" Because clearly, wearing a flag pin is an excellent indication that you are patriotic, and the non-wearing of said pin is a sure indication of your scorn for the flag. Since this keeps on popping up again and again, ETP decided to look at a random day in the news cycle (pre-primary Monday) and see just how patriotic the media, candidates, and various people orbiting the campaign actually are — and who wears their hatred of America as surely as an unencumbered lapel.

We'll start with Fox News, because some people on that network were particularly exercised after Obama explained in October 2007 that he didn't wear a flag pin, instead aspiring to do patriotic acts that spoke for themselves:

Talk about your Fox and Friends! We've got the whole gang here...and three of them don't hate America! Fox is the winner in flag pinnery, with the small metallic symbol of pride glimmering on the manly chests of Brit Hume, Neil Cavuto and special analyst Karl Rove, who has lots of opinions on the subject. But that still leaves people like Steve Doocy, Greta Van Sustern, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Jenna Lee, Alisyn Camerota and two guys I can't name from Fox Business flag-less. You'd expect no less from Alan Colmes, really, but golden boy Shep Smith? What's the opposite of a patriot, Bill O'Reilly? Oh, right. Note that Chris Wallace has previously said that he sort of agrees with Obama's flag-pin theory; we bet Brian Kilmeade would find that reasonable.

Well, what about the godless liberals at MSNBC, and their NBC brethren?

Wow, a clean sweep; that is to say, 0 for the random 14 we selected. (Thanks to "Race for the White House" for inspiring our montage design!). Bill O'Reilly could have told you so. Sorry, Brian Williams — that Peabody will only get you so far. Same goes for you, former Congressman Joe Scarborough and former Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and other people orbiting David Gregory's head. For shame.

MSNBC may be locked in a ratings race with CNN, but they clearly lose the flag pin race, thanks to patriot Lou Dobbs. See below:

Lou Dobbs is taking no chances on that flag thing, btw — wearing it on you is made that much more patriotic by having it waving around you as a lofty backdrop (though to be fair, that gives the MSNBC "Morning Joe" crew a lift thanks to the background visuals of Rock Center in the a.m.). But otherwise, it's a fairly rag-tag bunch — John Roberts may be excused because he's Canadian, and Joe Klein's just in there because he looks so damn excited, but pride-of-network Anderson Cooper? Bearer of tradition Larry King? Stalwart defender of truth and justice Nancy Grace? Hey John King, what does your Magic Wall have to say about the demographic of Americans Who Hate America And Prove It By Not Wearing A Flag Pin? Yeah. We thought so. As for you, Glenn Beck — we really thought you cared. It must have been that book cover where you eat California.

Back to the standard-bearers, then: Do Gibson and Stephanopoulos put their money where their lapel is? Survey says:

No flaggar! That's how the Swedes would say it, or close to how the Swedes would say it, but the upshot is the same: No flags. What does that say about the patriotism of ABC? Charlie Gibson, how do you convince other networks that this won't be a vulnerability? I know, I know, we added CBS in there — they both have complementary gold-tinged motifs, it just made sense — and besides, none of them are wearing a pin so who cares either way? Besides, adding a pin to Diane Sawyer would make her look less like an Oscar.

Well, what about the true patriots? Sure, the other candidates, but actually, I mean the true patriots:

...Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, obvs — and nary a flag in sight. (Though Colbert is sporting his WristStrong bracelet). What does that tell you about the flag pin, if a patriot like Colbert wears his lapel bare? Well, it tells John McCain and Hillary Clinton that they don't have to bother pretending to love this country, either. Same goes for surrogates (David Axelrod), runners-up (Mike Huckabee) and people who appear in that "I'm 4 New York!" ad (Alec Baldwin). But I would have expected better from the Pope.

Upshot: What does all this mean? That the whole flag-pin wearing thing is ridiculous — a personal choice, just like most other things in this great and democratic country, terrific if you choose to wear it and just as terrific if instead you choose to show your love of country and fellow countrymen and women through your actions, of which wearing a flag pin is but one? Seems that way to me — but what do I know, I'm Canadian.

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Clinton says U.S. could "totally obliterate" Iran

In a speech to position her as Democratic Party "tough guy", Hillary has put Iran on notice. Attack Israel, and... well... we'll bomb you into the 4th century.

This is really nothing new for American politicians who want to use Iran as our most capable enemy and show them (and Americans) how tough we are. But let's consider some facts that are not discussed and are clearly relevant if we want to gain a deeper understanding of the incredible hypocrisy of all of this obliteration talk.

I recently heard a speech on TED.com by Thomas Barnett called: "The Pentagon's new map for war and peace".

In it, he discusses the problems faced by the US Military as it goes about the business of "regime change" and how it is not structured to do anything except destroy things.... they're not capable of fixing them after we've destroyed them. This often creates an awful lot of really messy messy problems... after we bomb and destroy countries.... there is essentially no one that we have to clean up our mess. Its.... sort of a conundrum.

But that's not all I want to discuss. What I also want to discuss is a very strange paradox between what we hear each day about our military capabilities ("Obliterating Iran") and what we hear about the very real problems on the ground where we are actually fighting. There is a total disconnect between the two that is never ever discussed. We always seem to have the capability of "obliterating" but never seem to be able to stop the actual wars from continuing on forever. I wonder why?

Of course, this is the stuff of books and scholarly articles... but I want to get people thinking about some facts about our military and and their implications that seem completely obvious to me and the rest of the world, but clearly escapes most Americans.

Hillary says that we can "Obliterate" Iran. Well then, why aren't we obliterating Muqtada al-Sadr? Why must we keep having American soldiers and innocent Iraqis and Afghans get killed each and every day when we can simply obliterate our "enemies" in the name of protecting U.S. lives? We seem to be fully willing to "obliterate" Iran to protect Israel. What about the lives of Americans and our other supposed Allies?

The question seems almost rhetorical... silly... we have become comfortable losing... or at least "not winning". Why is this true? Particularly when we have "obliteration power"?

When Hillary... the Democrat acting like a tough girl.... says we can obliterate Iran, she's completely on the money. Thomas Barnett notes that the last American fighter pilot involved in a dogfight is now a General in the Air Force. Think about that... it's been that long since one single country would take on the United States Air Force. Can anyone remember this dogfight?

The truth is.... there is not a country in the world that can militarily touch us. We can destroy anyone on the planet in a matter of seconds. Everyone knows this to be true... its just plain fact. But... lets assume you just don't believe me. So, let's take a page out of one of my favorite books/movies, "All the President's Men" and use it to begin evaluating a complex situation that we want to understand... it goes like so: "Follow The Money".

Where does our United States Federal Budget go?
I want to examine (in an appropriate manner) U.S. military dominance in the world. I'll probably do many posts on the projection of US military might and how it is used and where... but I think its important to first look at the money and this will give us a good starting point at really understanding the sheer scale and scope of what we're paying for and what they're (our Government supposedly by the people for the people) are up to with all of this money.

The best analysis of the budget I've seen is from a website called Wallstats, http://www.wallstats.com/. They sell the most stunningly detailed chart of the Federal Budget that anyone has ever developed. They accurately report that total military spending for 2008 will be $799.611 Billion. People, that's just for one year. And it NEVER goes down.

Now let's take a look at what everyone else in the government gets. Oh looky here... a whopping $383 Billion. That includes the NIH, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, The FCC, EPA, FDA, National Science Foundation, Department of the Interior (they are supposed to protect our National Parks) the Department of Transportation..... (you know, the stuff people need) and the list goes on and on. And it even includes all the money necessary to administer the daily operations of the government such as the General Accounting Office. Let's go to the replay: the military gets 2/3 of the governments budget.

Did you ever work for a company where one guy got 2/3 of all the money that came in? Wouldn't you say that this guy/gal was the "owner" of the company... or at least had complete control over the company? Obviously, a very simple example... but a fairly accurate view of what we have here in our country. 2/3 of the money goes to one place, (the Pentagon) and everyone else fights over the crumbs that are left.

I'm simply presenting publicly available facts and then asking relevant questions for all of us to consider based on those facts... and then asking the very basic question that any reasonable person knowing these facts would ask. Why do they need so much money? And.... worse yet... why do we give it to them?

Is there a conspiracy? I think not. This is done in the open... this is all public information. It just doesn't make the news on TV. What makes the news is the "threat".... which of course is constant and coming from all sides, abroad and at home.. terrorists, rogue states, Iran, Syria, North Korea and on and on and on. You'd think we were surrounded. But really.... we're not. Our great and mighty enemy Syria has an economy equal to the size of the economy of Delaware. We can "obliterate" Syria as well and be home on time for dinner!!

In reality, if we just take today's example, Hillary was referring to us obliterating Iran for not attacking the United States... but for attacking Israel.

Awake yet? Curious? Wondering anything?

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dick's Question Considered

I want to thank Dick for posting his very compelling question today.  I felt it was imperative for me to discuss... as this is one of the key issues that seems to be too hard for the mainstream media to probe. Perhaps we could even consider this issue as the Pink Elephant in the Room. Here is the question from Dick:

"PINLESS" OR "PENIS"
As much talk as there is around Obama not wearing an American Flag pin, there is as little talk about his penis.
Bruce, do you think a candidate or even the president's penis should be a topic given all that we face as a nation? Is it because he's handsome and young? Is it because (god forgive me) he's african american or that his wife is always smiling? What about his 13 1/2 bowling shoe size/ (by the way that's my size as well at Bowlmore)... just a topic to kick you off as the world and the great country of the United States of America face its greatest challenge since WW2.




Dick, thank you. Finally, someone has asked a relevant question that is of huge concern to the future of our nation. The focus of B.L.O.G. is to always ask WHY. The question of why never seems to rear its head anymore. It appears as if that we are all supposed to agree with the assumptions fed to us like Viagra and that news analysis never asks penetrating questions about these assumptions. Therefore, I will follow up on Dick's question by asking WHY has this issue never emerged?

It appears that the mainstream media does not want to face this question head on. It's as if the question is on every one's lips but never makes it out of their mouths. With the Pennsylvania results streaming in now to all the organs of the media, I am sure they will not ask these questions. But why?

Charlie and George at ABC NEWS did a brilliant job with their nationally televised debate where they decided that the critical questions America needs answered at this time have to do with the Reverend Wright, the Weather Underground when little Barak was just 8 yrs old, Hillary imagining that she was dodging sniper fire in Bosnia and the now famous running-mate question by Charlie directed to no one. I could never be so arrogant as to question the wisdom of these fine journalists... but I do have the right to ask the BIG question no one has yet to ask... does size matter in the presidential election?

I thought I would do an analysis of this question based on the thinking of our former distinguished Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld when fielding questions about our brave invasion of Iraq. Here is what he said:

"There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that's basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.

Let's break this insightful speech down to its basic parts:
1/ There are known knowns.
2/ There are known unknowns.
3/ And yes, over time we discover that there exists... unknown unknowns.

And now, let's do the analysis...

1/ Known knowns: Barak wears size 13 1/2 bowling shoes.

2/ Known unknowns: We cannot be absolutely positively sure that Hillary does not have a penis. As far as we can tell, she is a woman, but we do not have absolute proof of this. Some of the evidence weighs against her... drinking beers with the guys in Pa. so she can be just like George Bush at every turn. Consistently referring to herself as the (potential) "Commander in Chief".

We also do not have absolute proof that just because Barak has incomprehensibly enormous feet that this is absolute proof that he has a large penis as well. Lastly, we know that we don't know whether penis size is a factor in the race because NO ONE HAS ASKED THE QUESTION IN EXIT POLLING.


3/ Unknown unknowns: I, and no else, has any idea at this time.

Dick, from this analysis, I would say that I, as well as perhaps.... Donald Rumsfeld... have no clue to the answer to your question. I think we have discovered a true "unknown unknown".  

But thank you Dick for asking the tough questions that must be answered if we are to choose our next President wisely.  

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Downfard Facing Tracey

Happy Tuesday,

I really do want to make B.L.O.G. a place that people come to in order to learn, gain new perspectives and ultimately.... see what I think. But, life most often is driven by really funny things. And this, is really really funny.

One of my true passions is Yoga, and Jonathan (JYogi) my dear friend and Yoga teacher has given this to me to brighten my day... so I thought I would share. Enjoy.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

TED Conference - A Stroke of Insight

Recently, I was on Towleroad and I came across a video of a woman named Jill Bolte Taylor. She was giving a talk at a conference called TED. As someone who prides himself of knowing quite a bit of what is happening in the world and on the web, I was quite shocked that I had not heard of TED. I was immediately curious to see Jill speak, as well as learn of this TED Conference, what it's about and the implications of this far reaching conference for our collective future.

I believe that what happens at the TED conference is clearly one of the most exciting and positive things that is happening in America (and the world for that matter) today. From their site, TED.com, I will provide their summary of what they are about:

"TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted."

Of the hundreds of talks posted, the one that still moves me the most is by Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher and Neuro Anatomist from Harvard University. Her talk is about a stroke that she had and the subsequent experiences that she went through. The implications of her experience span so many critically important topics of how our brain works, the nature of how we experience the world and touches upon elements of spirituality and potentially the future of the human race if we are to live in a peaceful world. I still watch Jill's talk every night to inspire me and remind me how to use the gift of my right brain in a way that is most positive for my life moving forward. Jill's talk follows. Do take the 20 minutes to watch.... its an unforgettable experience:


video

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Welcome to the inaugural post of Bruce Lays it Out Good B.L.O.G.

I want to thank all my friends and family for all their support in this very challenging time. Without them, none of this could have ever happened. No doubt, this is the happiest day of my life.

God Bless America -- Hang on... let me put on my lapel American Flag pin. Ok... there.. all set. Now I'm a true Patriot!!!

And as a special bonus for visiting, I am providing Tracey Ullman (a true genius) to give you good laugh to enhance your day:

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