Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

NSA et al v. SNOWDEN

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Added Forward (024JUN2013): Blind To The Truth

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.” – John Heywood (1546)

“The woman Folly is riotous; She is thoughtlessness and knoweth nothing.” -Proverbs 9:13

Scientifically, every discrimination carries with it an implied set of instructions. Take the following, for example:

In the context of driving a car, a passenger screams, “The traffic-signal is red!”

That statement is a discrimination. The implied set of instructions? Depress the braking pedal!

Today, however, governmental policy is to promote an absence of politically difficult discriminations. “Don’t give us no bad news, because we don’t know how to respond.”

Such self-inflicted blindness is folly. Such folly is nothing new.

Folly has been throughout human affairs since the beginning of humanity itself. Likely, it will be our undoing at the end of days.

In The USA, we see it today, for example, in our refusing officially even to acknowledge the identity of the “terrorists” attacking us. Folly on a grand scale usually ends badly on a grand scale.

– END –

In the case of the National Security Agency et al versus Edward Snowden, two fundamental, underlying questions, among others, largely go unasked. Whom are we protecting, and at what cost are we protecting them?

Fifth Column: noun. A clandestine group or faction of subversive agents who attempt to undermine national solidarity by any means at their disposal. Credit for the term belongs to General Emilio Mola Vidal during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). -From Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Constitution of the United States of America (Amendment IV): “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, or the persons or things to be seized.”

 Context

Firstly, the federal government enacted harshly punitive laws against using certain classes of neuro-behavioral drugs, undermining the spirit and intent of the original Harrison Act of 1914 to protect drug-users from impurities. In doing so, our government was depriving us Americans of our constitutional right, pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, against unreasonable search and seizure. The stated goal? To be arresting and prosecuting newly-demonized “drug-dealers” engaging in the newly-coined term, “money-laundering”. One costly consequence? Loss of our liberty.

Secondly, the federal government, under cover of the Sixteenth Amendment, enacted a series of self-serving, oppressive, and regressive laws; wrote a series of self-serving, oppressive, and regressive regulations therefrom;  and pursued a series of self-serving, oppressive, and regressive policies taxing the incomes of the creative and productive. In doing so, our government was depriving us Americans of our constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. The stated goal? To be obstructing the financial activities of alleged “criminals”, “terrorists”, and tax-evaders engaging in “money-laundering”. One costly consequence? Loss of our liberty.

Thirdly, the federal government, having opened the floodgates to a tidal wave of immigration, legal and illegal (including to millions of Mohammedans), ignited the fire of Mohammedan fanaticism by double-crossing our ally in Iraq, the homicidal thug Saddam Hussein, and stationing American troops, “infidels” to the Mohammedans, on sacred soil in Saudi Arabia albeit with permission. Then, the government unleashed a number of unconstitutional programs (e.g., the overt “Patriot Act” and covert “Prism”). In doing so, our government was depriving us Americans of our constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. The stated goal? To be minimizing the threat from “terrorists”. One costly consequence? Loss of our liberty.

Patriotism or Treason?

Now, we have the case of Edward Snowden, labeled “traitor” by the same politicians who, for decades, have been enacting laws one costly consequence of which has been progressive loss of our liberty. Who, then, is the patriot and who the traitor? The citizen, Edward Snowden, who, whatever be his motives, alerted us fellow-Americans to yet another and secret, costly loss of our liberty? The professional politicians [e.g., Dianne Feinstein (Democrat) and John Boehner (Republican)], who, while sitting in their plush offices in the District of Corruption at taxpayers’ expense ostensibly are defending and protecting us but at the cost of our liberty?

In making their case, these politicians claim that the NSA and its colleagues were acting within laws passed by these same politicians. Possibly. Even probably. Does enacting a law, however, necessarily render it in keeping with the U.S. Constitution or traditional American ideals? Does confirmation by the U.S. Supreme Court, known for changing decisions despite stare decisis, make it so?

Questions

As previously noted, in pursuing the story of Mr. Snowden, most in Big Media have been ignoring two, fundamental, underlying questions, among others.  Whom are we protecting, and at what cost are we protecting them?

The politicians and bureaucrats defend their behavior based upon its consequence . . . namely, allegedly having obviated a number of terrorists’ attacks. As usual, in the name of national security, they offer scant evidence, leaving questions unanswered. How many? How serious? How likely?

Let’s accept their defense as valid for the sake of discussion. Who, then, are these so-called terrorists, remembering that one man’s terrorist is another man’s hero . . . or heroine, as the case may be? Members of the IRA . . . of the Shining Path . . . of the KKK . . . of domestic, self-styled militias?

No! None of these organizations. All are members of the same religion . . . of Mohammedanism (aka/Islam) . . . acting in the name of that religion.

Should we, nevertheless, accept the cost of progressively losing our liberty in order to make America safe for Mohammedans, in general? How many actually support destroying our secular, democratic, republican form of government as conceived in 1776? Can one call oneself “Mohammedan” or “Moslem” or “Muslim” without dedicating oneself to destroying the traditional American way of life? What saith their own bible?

“When the sacred months are over, slay the idolators wherever you find them. Arrest them and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.” –The Koran, Repentance 9:5

For centuries, the Mohammedan religion dominated the world even in ways other than militarily.(1)  Yet, one can make a case that Mohammedanism was created primarily in order to justify a single cause . . . conquest. If so, Mohammedanism represents a religion of war, as noted by leaders such as Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, not a religion of peace, as claimed by Bush the Second on 9/11.

In The Koran and in recent texts, Mohammedanism the religion, even if not each of its practitioners, declares war on apostates and infidels. One such text, for example, declares, “Apostasy from Islam is a grievous crime punishable by death.”

Neither does its declarations leave much room for idolatry, especially that of Christians. “. . . he should pay tribute to Muslims readily and submissively, surrender to Islamic laws, and should not practise his polytheistic (e.g., Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; added) rituals openly.”(2)

Unlike Christians, Mohammedans may not render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s. In Mohammedanism, government and Allah are virtually synonymous . . . a concept that American atheists might do well to remember.

Furthermore, Mohammedanism justifies deceit . . .  deceit by Mohammedans towards us, the  “infidels”, not vice versa. What, asks Mr. Snowden, his personal motives aside, justifies such deceit by our politicians and bureaucrats towards us, the American public whom they supposedly serve?

Based upon The Koran itself, can one make a case that its adherents have no place in a free, democratic, and non-theocratic society? After World War II, did not the United States of America outlaw the Communist Party (The Communist Control Act of 1954) based upon such issues?

What about “moderate Muslims”? Even be there such a category in actuality, can authorities discriminate between those who neither would wage religious war against the United States nor would support such a war by deed or by thought and those hundreds of millions who would? By asking? Discriminating by asking them or even by demanding their swearing allegiance represents an exercise in futility, given that their religion justifies their lying in order to further conquest in its name.

Accordingly, can any Mohammedan reasonably and safely be granted citizenship or even legal residence? Should those already having emigrated to American shores or even those born here be deported to their respective countries of origin as a consequence of allegiance sworn under false pretenses?

Why are we Americans refusing to ask these questions? Because such questions demand difficult answers?

Abhorrent to some as they may seem, these questions can be ignored only at our own peril. One might deny Reality by feigned ignorance or indifference or even misguided ideology, but, ultimately, Reality always rules.

These questions reflect the consequences of actions by American politicians and bureaucrats of both major political parties. Many of these same politicians, while condemning the actions of Mr. Snowden, are defending the actions of the bureaucrats at the National Security Agency and elsewhere . . . actions brought to our attention only by the actions of Mr. Snowden.

Ask yourself the following question: After all the time, effort, money, injuries, and dying, are we Americans safer today from Mohammedans than we were in 1990 before Bush the First betrayed Saddam? If you answer, “No!”, you may wish to consider an alternative (www.inescapableconsequences.com) to that of sacrificing your liberty as the cost of condoning our current policies promoting supposed security . . . to consider an alternative while time permitting such a precious luxury remains.

References

1. Lewis, B: What Went Wrong?  New York: Oxford University Press (2002).

2. Ben Hammad, AR: The Religion of Truth.  Riyadh, KSA: The General Presidency of Islamic Researches, Ifta, and Propagation (1991).

COMING SOON: “GENETIC SUICIDE”

IF YOU WERE POTUS

Monday, May 13th, 2013

The most recent three postings have addressed the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the attendant potential for a nuclear conflict involving The USA. Question . . . as President of the United States, what would you do?

Before you answer, take a moment or more to relax. “Good luck!” you say? Actually, the basic procedure is easy to perform. Simply, take slow, deep, regular breaths. Let all the anxiety . . . all the tension in your body . . . leave your body with each breath out. It’s a good feeling to be able to relax.

Relaxed as best you can?

Okay, conceive of yourself as President of the United States of America. You’re sitting in the Oval Office of The White House.

Now, as POTUS, consider the situation in the western Pacific . . . the particular situation-in-question involves the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (aka/North Korea) and the People’s Republic of China. The question is, What would you do?

Before answering, how about adopting the biobehavioral orientation to structure your answer along lines based upon scientific methodology (www.inescapableconsequences.com)? Try formulating your answer according to the following format:

Context: Describe the context in which the Korean situation is occurring. (See Note 1 below.)

Antecedent: Describe a related event that occasions a behavior regarded by POTUS as provocative. (2)

Behavior: Describe the problematic behavior occasioned by the antecedent. (3)

Consequences: Describe the events following the problematic behavior. (4)

Now, as POTUS, how would you resolve the situation-in-question? Try formulating your answer according to the following format:

Problem: Define the problematic behavior as a behavioral deficit or excess then elaborate. (5)

Goals: Target specific and objective goals (states of being) to be fulfilled. (6)

Plan: Design a specific plan (action) to be put into play to fulfill the targeted goals. (7)

Measurement: Define an objective system, preferably quantitative, by which to determine your progress towards fulfilling your targeted goals. (8)

The point of this exercise is to demonstrate a framework based upon a foundation of scientific methodology that allows you to organize your thoughts into a reasoned, logical sequence.  Logical, well-reasoned thinking leads to effective, efficient behavior in resolving problems in living . . . be they societal or personal.

Notes

1. For example, Kim Jong-un . . . the new, young, inexperienced, Supreme Leader of North Korea . . . has a tenuous grip on power over a rump-state in desperate economic straits.

2. For example, a warship of the Republic of Korea (aka/South Korea) sinks a North Korean warship threatening it.

3. For example, in retaliation, North Korea launches a non-nuclear invasion of the South . . . you even might add China concomitantly launching a non-nuclear invasion of The Republic of China (aka/Taiwan).

4. For example, South Korea invokes the new military pact with The USA, requesting full-scale U.S. military involvement.

5. For example, a deficit of effective military behavior by South Korea in response to an excess of military behavior by the North. The same definition might be applied to the Chinese situation-in-question.

6. For example, to have unified the Korean Peninsula under South Korean control or, conversely, to have contained the Korean conflict to a regional, non-nuclear one with re-unification determined by the two opposing sides themselves, the RoK-USA military pact notwithstanding.

7. For example, . . . well, let’s leave it entirely to you with no prompts.

8. For example, area of territorial conquest by one side or the other.

ALL QUIET?

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Note (06MAY2013): Prior to perusing this posting, you may wish to peruse the previous two postings about Korea.

Of late, news about the Syrian civil war has been occupying the media. Meanwhile, all has been relatively quiet on the Korean front. Could that quiet represent the calm before the storm?

One piece of news about The Republic of Korea (South Korea) briefly did make a headline. Reuters (02MAY2013), for example, reported the following: “South Korean spies target Australian farm trade.” Some allies . . . those South Koreans for whom The USA is willing to risk nuclear war.

Oh yes, Financial Times (06MAY2013) reported the following: “Goldman exit exposes South Korea woes.” Apparently, foreign financial firms, with one or two exceptions, cannot compete in South Korea against entrenched, giant, domestic firms. As for exports of American-made automobiles to South Korea? Don’t bother asking. Some allies . . . those South Koreans for whom The USA is willing to risk nuclear war.

In Chapter 12 of the semi-fictional novel, Inescapable Consequences, full-scale war again ignites between North and South Korea. Thus far since 1953, in actuality, such a war has not re-ignited; however, during the interval, the roguish, rump-nation of the egregiously-named Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) has acquired nuclear weapons, developed long-range missiles, and rebuilt its military. The latest missile in the arsenal is the KN-08, which, if operational, might reach the western coast of North America.

In response, dithering as usual, The USA seems to have no coherent foreign policy with regard to the Korean Peninsula. In fact, Mr. Obama seems more concerned with the Syrian civil war than threats of potential nuclear annihilation by Pyongyang.

“Nothing we do seems to work,” says Richard Weitz of the Hudson Institute about Korea. Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute agrees. For that matter, the same likely will be said of pending American military involvement in Syria, should agitators such as Senator McCain have their way.

Returning, however, to the Korean situation, given the context, one might consider the following, three scenarios:

1) A North Korean KN-80 strikes Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam, a U.S. territory. The non-nuclear explosion inflicts considerable damage as well as a number of killed and wounded. Immediately thereafter, the government in Pyongyang issues a statement claiming that the strike merely was the consequence of a test gone wrong, weakly apologizes, but defends its position that such tests are necessary in the context of an alleged, continuing threat of American aggression against it.

2) A torpedo from an unknown source sinks a warship of the South Korean Navy. The government in Pyongyang denies any involvement. A few days later, analysis of fragments of the non-nuclear weapon indicates that its manufacturer was located in Russia. The North is known to possess such torpedoes.

3) A well-dressed woman attending a news-conference detonates a suicide-bomb, killing, among others, the South Korean President. Subsequent investigation reveals that the assassin was a Mohammedan from western China, suspected of being in the employ of Pyongyang via Iran. In the meantime, Pyongyang has denied any involvement and sent weak, official condolences to the government in Seoul.

In each of these three scenarios, how should The USA respond? If the South advocates an all-out, non-nuclear attack against the North, how should The USA respond?

Consider the following alternative, more provocative scenario: Without warning and while talking peace, having returned to the so-called six-party-talks, North Korea launches an all-out, non-nuclear invasion of the South but does not attack U.S. military installations there nor American military personnel. Concurrently, China launches an all-out, non-nuclear invasion of Taiwan while Hezbollah, denying involvement, detonates a powerful, non-nuclear device in The Loop in Chicago, inadvertently killing the mayor, Rahm “Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste” Emmanuel.

Militarily, with newly-deployed, more deadly, Chinese DF-21D missiles covering the Strait of Taiwan, American aircraft-carriers dare not enter as they did during a preceding Chinese provocation, rendering American air-cover logistically less effective. Although Chinese anti-submarine capabilities remain weak, in the shallow Yellow Sea between China and Korea, U.S. boats would be vulnerable. In other waters offshore China, the boats would be less vulnerable but still open to attack.

As described in Inescapable Consequences, economically, Beijing covertly warns Washington that, should The USA involve itself militarily, China will dump all its U.S. Treasuries onto the open-market, forcing them to be bought by the U.S. Treasury and no longer would accept payment in U.S. currency. The consequential flood of hastily printed U.S. dollars likely would destroy the dollar as the reserve-currency, a process already in progress.

The preceding scenario would be the direct consequence of what passes for American foreign policy and of the military adventurism that has rendered the country increasingly impoverished with a central government increasingly tyrannical against its own citizenry. In this context, what would an acknowledged military genius such as the Swiss Baron Jomini (1779-1869) recommend? What would his German counterpart, Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831), recommend?

For more contemporary points of view, ones that the American electorate actually has chosen, what would Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recommend? What would Secretary of State John Kerry recommend? In the final analysis, what would Mr. Obama II, as Commander-in-Chief, order, if anything? Were you he, what would you order?

WHAT, ME WORRY?

Monday, April 15th, 2013

“I am all peace; But when I speak, they are for war.” -Psalms 120:7

A spark lights a match. The match lights a fuse. The fuse detonates a bomb. The bomb kills.

1914: A city largely unrecognized except on maps. An archduke largely unfamiliar except within royalty. An assassin previously unknown except to his mother. Brought together in what should have been an unfortunate but relatively trivial act, the consequence was millions of men dying, and Western civilization beginning its continuing decay.

2013: Despite the bellicose rhetoric, despite the nuclear weapons, the South Koreans and the international community seem to be regarding North Korean threats as mere bluster intended to extract increased “humanitarian aid” and international respect while firming the political position of its new leader . . . witness the lackadaisical response of financial markets, including in South Korea. In the famous words of Alfred E. Newman featured in Mad Magazine, “What, me worry?”

Indeed, why should the South Koreans worry? Don’t they have American military might protecting them, to some large degree, at American financial expense? Even better, few of us Americans seem to be questioning whether we should be placing our own country at nuclear risk to protect a commercially predatory, South Korean “ally” that, even after the so-called free-trade agreement known as KORUS, feasts on us as its prey.

Depend upon American intelligence-services to evaluate North Korea militarily and politically as a basis upon which to make our decision? Did they accurately predict the Indian bomb? No. The Pakistani bomb? No. Iranian nuclear development? No.

At the moment, the North Koreans are engaging in a war of only words. Yet, words are a form of behavior, including Kim Jong-un’s, and behavior has its consequences. Would that you could ask the millions who died in the trenches following that day in Sarajevo in 1914 in the midst of a war of words.

Invasion?

Given the context of dithering by Mr. Obama’s administration, if you were Kim Jong-un, what might you do? Launch a non-nuclear invasion of The South?

How formidable a military foe does Mr. Obama . . .  a man of uncertain origin who never was in the military, who never owned a business, and who never held a job in the private sector . . . appear to the tyrannical Supreme Leader? How formidable a military foe does Mr. Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, appear? How formidable a diplomatic foe does Mr. Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, appear?

Would The USA commit ground-troops as it did in 1950, the consequence of which was the first war The USA failed to win since 1812? Now, after a pyrrhic victory in Iraq benefitting mainly Iran politically and Turkey economically as well as a pending defeat in Afghanistan with the religiously fanatical and anti-American Taliban regaining control, to what extent would the American public support sending hundreds of thousands of troops back to the Korean Peninsula, certain to suffer tens of thousands killed in action and many times that number wounded?

Without ground-troops, could the military of The South win with only air-support by The USAF and USN? The air-superiority of The USAF and USN failed against the North Vietnamese even with American ground-troops defending the South Vietnamese.

Would The USA be the first to use tactical nuclear weapons? A school of military analysts believes that the inescapable consequence of any tactical nuclear war is strategic nuclear war. Would the nuclear response from The North be only tactical? A worldwide strategic nuclear war will be catastrophic for most living creatures on this extraordinary planet, not only from radiation but from depletion of oxygen by firestorms raging worldwide . . . think Dresden in 1945 with non-nuclear bombs.

In the event of American military intervention, what might be the response from China? Even if it remained outside the fray, might it dump its U.S. Treasuries onto the open market as an economic weapon against us? If so, what would be the consequence on an already fragile American economy engaged in, yet, another massive military adventure?

A Further Consideration

Even today, South Korea remains a commercial predator with us Americans as its prey. How would it be in the national interests of The USA to defend South Korea? To what extent would a Korean Peninsula unified under Pyongyang represent a threat to The USA? Is the threat sufficient for us to launch an attack by air against North Korean military installations? After the momentary flag-waving of the Stars-and-Stripes, what would be the consequence?

Clearly, the North Korean military long has prepared for just such an attack. Would they, nevertheless, merely apologize, admit defeat, and promise to be good boys . . . or would they launch a strategic nuclear attack against The South and, to the extent practicable, against American military installations in the Pacific including Japan?

Ours To Make

At the moment, the decision is ours to make. Trying more talk leading to a militarily stronger North Korea while hoping against an invasion of The South by The North? Attacking the nuclear installations of The North? Continuing to obligate ourselves to defending The South then doing so should The North invade?

Given the context and contingent consequences, which option would you choose?  Before answering, consider less the provocative antecedents of Kim Jong-un but more the political context of Mr. Obama and his cohorts directing a war, potentially nuclear, and the horrific consequences of their making a miscalculation.

Is there better alternative to any of the above? Perhaps (www.inescapableconsequences.com).