The Changing United States

We can simply forget the United States of the 40s and 50s , as well as , the US from the 80s and 90s. Those days and those ways are long gone. Unfortunately, we (and that includes me) don’t always acknowledge it.

The Nuclear Family with a “Father Knows Best Dad”, a “Claire Huxtable” mom and “Brady Bunch” kids , is pretty much behind us now. The values of a family have not changed because these are traditional values. However, they are now applied to single parent families, to mixed race families, and to extended and multi-generational families. It’s a different America at home and in the work place. Color and gender ceilings are broken almost daily.

What remains now is the blending of American and Rest of World cultures. Asian, Indian, Muslim, and other cultures are not melting into the American pot anymore but are becoming their own flavors of a new American dish. And we don’t recognize this is happening as well as we might. Yes, we have always had enclaves of different cultures but this is different.

Yesterday’s Blue-Plate Special of Caucasian America is changing and those cooks who have been making it for centuries are not adjusting their recipes. Call them what you will, but Caucasian primacy in America is devolving ever faster in both politics and the work place. Old timers like me can’t adjust fast enough. The attributes that guided us in the past six decades are eroding and being replaced with something new and it is a work-in-process activity.

President Trump, much to his dismay, is the second-to-last white male who will govern this country as though it were a single Caucasian constituency. Joe Biden will be the last one.

The model going forward will be multi-ethnic mixed-race candidates. We will be ahead of the European countries thanks to our history. The ruling Houses of Europe will be the last to adapt to the world.

Yeah, I know you other old timers don’t see it yet. Put your glasses on the next time you read the tea leaves. You will see what I see. A new America with a new vibrancy and a new kind of world leadership. We will not only embrace the ethnicity and culture within the US but we will embrace the Rest of the World, too.

Our manifest destiny is not over, we are extending it across both oceans until our fingers touch from around both sides of the earth. We will seek to blend in and not to stand out. It will become our new way.

Capitalism at your expense will give way to blended socialism. Much of that road has already been paved. We just don’t see it yet.

One image, many interpretations

The President sees the looting and mob actions.

The Media see the abuse of the innocent by the Authorities.

The Democrats see the outcome of rich versus poor politics.

The Republicans see the outcome of poor choices made by individuals.

The Communists see an opportunity to de-stabilize Americans from their government.

The Fascists see an opportunity to demonstrate the Force of Law.

The Antifa see an opportunity to rebel against Authority.

Law Enforcement sees civil disobedience.

The emotionally sensitive see the pain of others.

The emotionally insensitive see the weakness of others.

And what about you? What do you see?

COVID-19 Made in Wuhan?

Hmmmm… is the bat out of the bag?

It appears there is un-vetted information on the internet that the COVID-19 virus came from a research lab in Wuhan, China.

But IDK anymore. There is so much false information out there that who can believe any thing reported anywhere?

Let’s face it:

a) The President lies; not just this one, all of them

b) The new media doesn’t vette their stories

c) The CIA plants phony stories in servers around the world, aka disinformation

d) The Chinese government controls their media

e) Partisan politics have gotten absurd about everything

Our problem is not that we have too little news, we have too much of it and cannot sort out the truth of it anymore.






President Trump Removes Many IGs

From the New York Times:

Mr. Trump also nominated a senior Customs and Border Protection policy official, Jason Abend, to be the Defense Department inspector general. That position is vacant and is held on an acting basis by Glenn A. Fine, the deputy inspector general at the Pentagon and a longtime Justice Department inspector general with a reputation for independence.

This week, a group of fellow inspectors general named Mr. Fine to be the chairman of the new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, with control of an $80 million budget to police how the government carries out the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. If Mr. Abend is confirmed, Mr. Fine would lose his acting role and could no longer lead the committee.

Mr. Trump also nominated three current and former Justice Department officials to be the new inspectors general at the C.I.A., the Education Department and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The president has been focused for weeks on rooting out administration officials perceived as disloyal.

In February, after the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted Mr. Trump of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, the president ousted other administration officials who cooperated in the impeachment inquiry by providing testimony, including Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a National Security Council aide.

The White House marched Colonel Vindman out with security guards, along with Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, an Army officer who also worked on the National Security Council staff but had played no role in the impeachment inquiry, but he happens to be Colonel Vindman’s brother.

Before his role in bringing to light Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine that led to his impeachment, Mr. Atkinson had been nominated to the position by Mr. Trump and confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

The two top Democrats on the intelligence oversight panels expressed vehement objections on Friday, portraying Mr. Trump’s move as political and retribution.

Who thinks for the President?

Who is the President’s brain?  Is it Jared Kushner? Senior advisor to the President?

It is prima facie this President is no genius. So then who is the architect that is making these maneuvers to align EVERY POSSIBLE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIAL as a Trump loyalist?

Does this President fear all independent thinkers?

Is this all Jared Kushner? Will he overthrow the President at the right time this year and take over the United States government in a previously-unthinkable coup?

So all of a sudden with less than 7 months to an election, the President tosses out all inspector generals to put his own minions into place.

Is the President merely the circus barker who gets everyone’s attention while the carny operators prepare to fleece the public at large?

Atkinson’s firing is part of a larger shakeup in the intelligence community. Maguire, the former acting Director of National Intelligence, was also removed by Trump and replaced by a Trump loyalist, Richard Grenell.

The intelligence community, which Trump has always viewed with skepticism, has been in turmoil amid the constant turnover. Atkinson is at least the seventh intelligence official to be fired, ousted or moved aside since last summer.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which was created to improve coordination of the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies after 9/11, has been in upheaval since former director Dan Coats, who had a fraught relationship with Trump, announced in July 2019 that he was stepping down.

Trump nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to replace Coats, but his selection drew sharp criticism from Democrats and a lukewarm response from some Republicans because of his lack of experience.

Trump withdrew Ratcliffe’s name from consideration shortly after he was nominated, but then re-nominated him again in February. The Senate has yet to move on the nomination.

And Jared Kushner said this recently:

Kushner on Thursday evening offered a novel argument about the national stockpile. He said some states still had stockpiles that they hadn’t been employing for the coronavirus outbreak and that localities should go to them first. And then he suggested that the national stockpile wasn’t even meant for them.

“And the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said. “It’s not supposed to be the states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

When the federal government says the stockpile is THEIR’s and not OUR’s. They have broken the bond with the State’s and the People they represent.




Terrible “News”

They just don’t get it, do they? The news anchors, I mean. “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Let’s say this straight out:

If you are a news person and you are “The Story”, you aren’t doing your damn job right!

YOU… Mr./Mrs./Ms….you so-called journalist…YOU are not supposed to have encounters with the President, challenge the President, or pontificate on a series of facts before asking the President leading questions. Or anyone else for that matter.

YOU are not the news. When YOU are the news, it is because you have too much ego and not enough intelligence. YOU want us to see YOUR “courage” (cough) to speak truth to power. YOU are NOT the story.

YOU are supposed to give us YOUR opinion AFTER THE DAMN INTERVIEW!

Have you forgotten your elders? George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Seymour Hersch, Howard Fineman, Wolf Blitzer, George Stephanopoulos. Sheesh!

Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read PRESIDENT CAN’T SWIM.”

This illustrates my point. The story was about the President. It’s not about the journalist who was standing on the shore shouting out some absurd comment like: “How do you think people are going to feel about you walking on water now, Mr. President? Some might say that you are covering up the fact that the water is polluted since you removed all pollution controls by executive order?”

That’s not journalism. That’s crap.

Save your pontificating in front of the Washington press corps for drinks at the “newsy” hotel bars.

Or get a blog like mine. With a blog, you are free to open your mouth and remove all doubt about the kind of fool you are. I do it every day.

Should Congress spy on the Executive Branch?

The IRS lost all of the emails related to Lois Lerner and the Tea Party attack by the IRS. Of course this was no accident. It was directed by someone who wishes to prevent the President from looking bad and to prevent Congress from having any physical evidence of wrongdoing.

Not even President Richard Nixon had the poor judgement to destroy his taped evidence of misdeeds but then President Obama is no President Nixon by any measure.

This leads to my question: Should Congress set up a surveillance process to watch the shenanigans of the President?

1) The Executive Branch has all the authority of a dictator in a third world country.

2) The Executive Branch is increasingly filled with sycophants who refuse to do their duty to care for the Constitution and the country. Instead these sycophants hide the misdeeds and refuse to prosecute offenders. They no longer police themselves. The government is no longer by and for the people but by and for the political parties.

3) If Congress does not do this then who will?

We know that the CIA, NSA, and others surveill Congress but who watches the watchers?

The Executive Branch has too much authority and control without oversight. Maybe it’s time to put in place some covert oversight through Congress.



The President of Half Measures

Once again President Obama strives mightily for a Participation Award.

From Free Press.Net:

After months of deliberation, President Obama has announced a proposal to end the NSA’s warrantless collection of millions of phone records.1 Under this proposal, these records would stay with the phone companies, and the NSA would need to get a special court order to collect “metadata” about our calls.

Woo Hoo!  Months of deliberation to determine the phone company actually owns the records it creates of your phone data. How mighty is our President!

But does he Win, Place, or Show? Nah,but he was in the race…

The president’s proposal wouldn’t do anything to address the many other ways the NSA and other agencies spy on millions of people in the U.S. and around the world — by tracking our Web searches, reading our emails, even serving National Security Letters that make it illegal for people to speak out.

And what about all those other bills in Congress that want to wrap up the NSA with plastic wrap? Well, …

The FISA Transparency and Modernization Act — which Reps. Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger introduced this week — bolsters some of the NSA’s worst practices, including the accessing of phone records without a warrant.2 And Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s so-called FISA Improvements Act would “make permanent a loophole permitting the NSA to search for Americans’ identifying information without a warrant.

And what about Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill to “modernize” FISA?

Section 6 of Feinstein’s bill blesses what her committee colleague Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat and civil libertarian, has called the “backdoor search provision,” which the Guardian revealed thanks to a leak by Edward Snowden.

The section permits intelligence agencies to search “the contents of communications” collected primarily overseas for identifying information on US citizens, resident aliens and people inside the US, provided that the “purpose of the query is to obtain foreign intelligence information or information necessary to understand foreign intelligence information or to assess its importance.”

Section 6 bills itself as a “restriction,” but it would not stop the NSA from performing the warrantless search, merely requiring intelligence agencies to log their queries and make them “available for review” to Congress, the Fisa court, the Justice Department and inspectors general inside the executive branch.

Additionally, the report on Section 6 explicitly states that the provision “does not limit the authority of law enforcement agencies to conduct queries of data acquired pursuant to Section 702 of Fisa for law enforcement purposes.”

One thing that we all can agree on is that as soon as Congress puts the word “Modernization” in the title, it is a guarantee that somebody wants to enshrine into law something that is an advantage to him or her.

What will you and I do to protect our privacy?

The Pentagon at War

One day I would like to read a book with that title. Unfortunately, it will likely never be written let alone printed. The Pentagon is at its zenith right now. Never has it had so much money, so little oversight, so many projects, and so many new war-making technologies and technology threats as it has today.

Consider this: The threats of war include not only the traditional territory ‘capture and control’ threats but also the cyber threats, the microbe threats, the infrastructure threats, the terrorist threats, the space and satellite threats, and countless other ‘specialized threats’ that debilitate but not physically injure whole populations. Each of these threats require an early detection system, a thwart system, and a progressive response system. And in many cases, we need to watch our allies as much as our enemies.

In any event, the Pentagon at War must be a fascinating study in how to recognize, categorize, triage, and plan for threats when you are listening to every possible conversation taking place around the world and monitoring the evolution of technologies that can be used against you. You can imagine the SUG (Serious, Urgent, Growing) analysis that takes place every day.

One area that I find interesting is the crypto/code breaker area. Not only do we have to have computers programmed to work with foreign latin-based languages but the pictograph and scrawl languages that might be encrypted and require decoding would be quite challenging. No wonder the US Military is working hard to build computers that can crack every code in every language worldwide.If machine intelligence ever arises, it will be because code breaking computers do it. It won’t be due to some computer at the Social Security Division with a 666 address.

All these thoughts came to me as I was reading Ashton Carter’s article in Foreign Affairs about the Pentagon’s difficulties in procuring new war-making vehicles and weapons. With so many technologies and mfring entrenched in other countries, it must be a real challenge to keep war secrets. US dependencies on foreign chips, software, hardware, and manufacturing must be a problem when choosing strategic weapons to be deployed.

I was struck by his last two statements: “Too many lives were lost in the early years of those wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) because the Pentagon failed to keep up with a changing battlefield. Never again should it make the same mistake twice.” He was referring to the failure to protect troops from IED’s through the planning, development, and deployment of successful technologies to reduce the effectiveness of IEDs. Seems to me that agility and changing battlefields are main components of waging a successful war.

In any event, the Pentagon has been at war for many years and it would be fascinating to know how it changed itself to triage all threats and develop war plans for all the threats it faces.

Silence of the Pols

The silence of the politicians continues into 2014. It has been a couple of months now that the rhetoric between the two political parties has subsided. In fact, the volume is almost as low as Congress’ ratings.

We must be in the re-branding phase. This occurs right before the campaigns for re-election begin. This is the time when we American idiots are supposed to forget the characteristics of the current politicians so our heads can be filled with new stuff and nonsense about the campaign themes du jour.

Will it be social re-engineering topics like gay marriage and women’s rights? Will it be economic blankets to cover the poor and homeless and the unemployed? Or will it be National Defense, the National Deficit, or National Healthcare?

Seems to me that we have exhausted the print media and the news with stories on all of those. Taxes have lost their luster also. Looks like we might have to put together something like a “Congressional Modernization Act” in order to change the operating rules in Congress. Then both parties will have plenty of fodder until after the campaign. But like all “Modernization Acts” enacted to date, it will be fraught with problems of power and over reach when it is passed.

Perhaps Congressional races can stir up a fight over Executive Privilege. One side seeking to give more power to the Executive Branch for liberal ideas and the other party seeking to give more power over conservative ideas. Then both parties can claim victory over the results when the President simply closes Congress for malfeasance reasons and takes over writing all laws.

Sigh, my cynicism is getting the better of me. Perhaps the fight will be over Privacy Rights and a bunch of stuff will get dumped into it that gives government more intrusive power, removes responsibilities and liabilities of communication and information companies while pretending to add them, and limits freedom of the press and freedom to travel.

I know that last year has left me underwhelmed with congressional hope, overwhelmed with governmental intrusion, and simply whelmed with the political balls of some people. I promise to do better…Wish me luck…