Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why I Support the Republican Liberty Candidates

With the May primary less than a month away, Idahoans have a few of the most important decisions they will ever make in picking new statewide constitutional officers and legislators.  There are elections and then there are ELECTIONS.  This is one of those ELECTIONS.

The country as a whole, and within many of the states, has been correctly perceived on a downward trajectory that is not only economic in nature.  It is a philosophical and cultural vacancy that people can sense but is hard to wrap one’s head around.  In Idaho, its manifestation has come in a realization that supposedly “conservative” Republican legislators and statewide officeholders do so many things that look nothing like any objective definition of ‘conservatism.’  They definitely don’t look “Idahoan” in tradition, culture and nature, either.

In recent years “conservative” voters in Idaho have been electing cheap imitations of conservatives to office all over the state.  That bad habit has come at a cost.  Without going into every exigent detail allow me to state the proposition concisely and directly as I can:  Idaho has been literally reduced to a “federal reservation,” in most every sense of the term.  As federal control and money has spiraled ever upward in the state, the sense of Idaho as a REAL state of free and independent people has spiraled downward in its wake.  Slightly over 36% of the state budget is obtained from direct federal sources.  By the time one adds in all the grants, subsidies and “non-cognizable” sources that number is far higher, likely as high as 50%.   All Idahoans are beginning to understand what Geronimo prophetically stated 120 years ago, that: “One day the white Americans will know their federal government as the Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache know it, and on that day they will know they are not free.”

Two-thirds of the state is controlled, thereby effectively ‘owned,’ by the Feds.  That is undeniable.  The same as within most western states the federal government has been loathe to give-up the remainder of the state to Idahoan’s control.  Under various guises and Acts of pretended federal legislation, ever-encroaching control has been established on the 2/3 of the state in the choking grip of federal hands.

Federal legislation such as the Endangered Species, Clean Water, Environmental Protection and so many other Acts comprehensively create a de facto Reservation.  We’re not a state, that’s for sure.  Actual states have control of their land, water and resources.

With half of the state budget and about a third of the average city and county budgets are reliant on tracing federal dollars for their funding we have a huge problem.  This has created the most obsequious and quavering political class of elected officials ever seen, forever in the thrall of federal officialdom and in constant fear of the loss of those federal dollars, along with their offices. They ignore the fact that the bulk of those federal dollars supplied to them are now either created out of thin air or borrowed.  That denial is continuing toward some disastrous consequences as the federal fiscal process and national financial picture continues to unwind.

There is a growing minority of elected officials and new candidates stepping-up into the approaching maelstrom.  en. Russ Fulcher, Idaho county commissioner Jim Chmelik, former Speaker and Rep. Lawerence Denney,  small businessman Todd Hatfield,  Litigator Chris Troupis for Attorney General and former Navy Commander and educator John Eynon are smart enough to recognize the approaching storm clouds on the horizon.  They’ve announced as candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State,  Controller, Attorney General and Supt. of Public Instruction, respectively.  They’re true Idahoans who see the danger to the people and the state and want to do everything possible to avert the worst of the coming storm.

Interestingly, those six candidates did not emerge as as a block or slate all at once.  They all emerged independently and for their own reasons to run because they recognized the same problems.  And because they recognized the necessary solutions come from the SAME principles.  Funny thing about principles, they make people consistent and disciplined.  So in effect, they shouldn’t be looked at as a slate but as independent thinkers.  Each of them came independently to the same conclusions because they used principles to analyze the problems the state faces.

It is due to a lack of principles that the current crop of incumbents have us in the mess we’re in, starting at the top.

The sitting elected statewide officers are not bad men.  However, as longtime creatures of an entrenched Republican establishment they are almost completely blind (or maybe just avert their eyes from ugliness), ill-equipped or in active denial as to what is on the horizon.  They are creatures of a sclerotic Republican establishment who behave as if conservatism means the maintenance of the status quo while in active denial that it is failing.  They have no forward view, only one that looks to a past that no longer can or does exist.

It is also clear they have no idea of how the actual economic theory in play works and the meaning of  “opportunity cost.”   Because of the election for decades, at all levels, of economic partial-literates the Idaho economy has grown at less than a third of what it would have if they actually understood the meaning of “opportunity cost.”  Without understanding the working of compound interest as it applies to debt or compound net as it applies to growth we suffer for their ignorance.  Idaho’s economy in GDP terms would be over $100 billion annually instead of barely breaking into $50-some billion.

The current Governor, for example, boasts that Idaho gains $1 billion in net federal money flowing into the state over what all Idahoans pay in federal taxes.   He doesn’t recognize either the immoral nature of that proposition or that all monies are not created equal.  That is a problem that seems to inhabit all levels of Idaho government.

Firstly, it is plainly immoral to expect the taxpayers in other states to pay for Idahoans programs and expenditures.  Secondly, for every dollar taxed or borrowed out of the economy and subsequently expended by government, costs that private economy a net of $2-4 of additional future GDP growth.   We are literally either not moving the economy at all or driving ourselves to the poor house by continuing the current fiscal spending path of unconstitutional taxing, borrowing and spending.  This is just one of the main failures in thinking.  There are so many levels of failure in the status quo thinking of current office holders as to boggle the mind.  The other failures will be covered in future articles.

In short, that’s why we should applaud the arrival of these six candidates and support their candidacies to the utmost.  A big indicator that any real conservative should ALSO SUPPORT these candidates is the fact that immediately upon those candidate announcements the Dems and the liberals in the state, realizing their own candidates will never have a chance, immediately began talking nice about the GOP establishment incumbents while trashing the new candidates.  They even suggest Democrats should switch their voter registration in order to vote for the incumbent REPUBLICANS in the 2014 primary!

If that isn’t the clearest signal to support all six of these candidates and most Liberty candidates for legislative office in the primaries, I don’t know what else an actual conservative would need to convince them.  So get moving.  Give your time, money and support to these candidates.  Write letter(s) to the editor, hit social media and educate yourself on their positions and policies.  And on the incumbents, too.  Once you do you’ll see why the 2014 Primary election is the most important one in generations.

The Turning Point in the Evolution of the Police State

It’s all starting to come apart for the National Security Agency and the Director of National Intelligence (NSA/DNI).  The ongoing rounds of disclosure, denial, new revelations, more disclosure and then misdirection by politicians and agencies.  Double down on denial, then attack those that point out the un-American nature of their activities.  However, the NSA/DNI and Congress are currently moving to shift the entire focus away from what they are doing, and have been doing for decades, to making this whole discussion about patriotism, safety and security.  Of course, safety and security have to be kept front and center.   Only making people believe that somehow their activities protect us from “the bad people” allows them to range so far afield in their activities.

Their two main themes?  “Everyone spies on everyone so we’re (NSA/DNI) not doing anything so different to warrant all this additional scrutiny.”  Second, anyone who asks questions about methods, authorities, disclosures or point out the strictures of the Constitution in this discussion, is ridiculed and ignored.   Particularly, the militarists within the Congress are beginning to question the patriotism of the critics.  That is a bad sign.

Watching the recent congressional testimony, in front of the House Intelligence Committee of DNI James Clapper, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and DoJs Deputy AG James Cole was a very enlightening experience.  First, it was a love fest for most members of the Committee to share their fondness and love of the agencies work and how patriotic.  Only a couple naysayers on the Committee, such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) were spoilers for the message.  The Chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) tried to deflect and undermine Schiff’s comments.

We spend $50-60+ billion (if you add “off books” monies) every year on the intelligence and surveillance apparatus.  That’s a larger single expenditure than all but the top 3 countries spend on THEIR TOTAL DEFENSE.  And, more than the bottom 100 countries (that even have a defense budget) spend on total defense COMBINED.  The enormity of the global intelligence security and surveillance apparatus is simply beyond the comprehension of the average American.

Why is that important to the Evolution of the Police State?  Firstly, it means that its enormous size simply puts it beyond the ability to manage and control, which is becoming more evident everyday.  Secondly, it also means the NSA/DNI has an enormous incentive to protect and maintain the scope and reach of their own power regardless of whether that scope and reach is Constitutional; which about two-thirds of it is not.  It’s extra-constitutional and done outside the jurisdiction of US law, both through executive orders and due to never being scrutinized under US law because of the “national security” cloak.

The NSA scratched around for something to do after the end of the Cold War supposedly meant “the end of history” and, likewise, a severe reduction in the global intel apparatus.  However, not only did that not happen but they also found a way to invent two new threats to add on;  Global corporate espionage and the Global War on Terror.  After 9-11-01 the “black budget” virtually exploded in all directions.

It was important to gain more supporters for the “black budget,” even without them knowing what’s actually IN the black budget, so it became necessary to co-opt more policing agencies and to invent others.  The PATRIOT Act of 2001 and its section 215, among others, was the most handy for that.  Next came the “Intelligence. Reform and Terrorism Prevention -IRTP- Act of 2004”   The IRTP Act combined all 16 old (like CIA, NSA and NRO) and new (like Homeland Security, DEA and even the Coast Guard “Intel” units) intelligence agencies under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and helped to explode their funding levels into anything and everything.

All of this reshuffling and increased funding is bringing tighter and tighter integration of all police, security, defense and intelligence functions more and more under one funding source; the federal government.  It is also distorting, misdirecting and mal-training the local police while militarizing them into some horrible behaviors that are more and more in evidence, all over the country, every day.  No-knock and SWAT raids, Civil Asset Forfeiture and military training for the patrol cops showing increasing routine disrespect, if not outright ignorance, of anything remotely attached to the exercise of Constitutional rights and liberties.

We are swiftly approaching a turning point in the rise of the police state.  If the full integration of the federal, state and local agencies is allowed to proceed any further in funding, equipment provisions or training the American Republic will finish dying in the process.  If the domestic Security and Surveillance state is not drastically curtailed along with it, we’ll see the rise of the nastiest Big Brother imaginable and the likely precipitation of civil war instigated by the Feds and their lapdogs within the states.

The “Gravity” of Our Situation

Watching the Weather Channel, seeing the unfolding catastrophic effects of Super-typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines, I was struck again by the thought I had while watching the movie “Gravity” at the theater recently.  The movie, while being a typical Hollywood over-the-top “space-cowboy” portrayal of disaster, in many ways managed to come together at the end with a subtle but powerful message.  A message I have often thought and written about over the last several decades.

In the movie Dr. Ryan Stone, ably played by Sandra Bullock, survives the destruction of every space station refuge the combined nations of earth have placed in low-earth orbit.  In about three hours an unexpected event wipes out decades of space development, construction and operation.  There’s a message about the fragility of mankind’s endeavors somewhere in there.  It might be a Hollywood one-in-a-million scenario but then, those possibilities do exist.

Before its destruction,  Dr. Stone makes one last miraculous escape from the Chinese space station that was her final refuge.  She then survives an uncontrolled capsule re-entry that can only be described as one no sane astronaut would ever wish to have.  Dr. Stone makes a near crash-landing in an un-identified remote lake somewhere on earth with no support or pick-up operations anywhere on the horizon.  The capsule quickly sinks as she tries to claw her way out.   Stone has to struggle free and swim to the surface and then to the nearby shore of the lake.

There, she crawls back out onto the soft sand shore while grappling once again with earth’s gravity pulling her back down, forcing her to re-double her low-gravity weakened muscles in the push to stand up.  At first, she walks shakily and then confidently onto the beach as a fully erect, thinking human having escaped the entire onslaught thrown at her to survive.   She is reborn as life emerging from the waters of the earth.

The scene is highly-symbolic of a whole collage of emotion and mankind’s triumph over adversity and planetary survival, not just that of one astronaut returning to earth after a single harrowing mission of deadly challenge.  The  scene and movie aligns a multitude of issues that all people of the world face if we are to survive in a universe with a so-far-very-low inventory of planets hosting intelligent life.  The most important issue seems to be the impossibility of the people of the world to choose how to even survive together as a civilization or a species.

Complimenting that theme was a recent item in the news of the announcement by NASA that there may be approximately 9 billion earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone.  That is an astounding number where we knew of none a decade ago.  Even if not one of those suspected planets proves to host intelligent life it should give every person on this planet pause, no matter their station or circumstance, for no other reason except to ponder the implications for a day.

The ongoing advance of such science and studies shows that the odds of eventually finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe grow every day.  Or, just having an available inventory of life-sustaining planets may one day prove very important for that trait alone.  However, we seem to be having a problem finding intelligent enough life on this planet in order to govern ourselves.

Which brings us back to Super-typhoon Haiyan and the devastation it has just visited on the Philippines.  I have often thought of the problem that “island nations” face on this planet every day.  Whether the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia or the tiny Maldives islands, surviving as an island nation is a tough proposition.  They have strictly defined and limited land mass upon which to support an ever increasing population.  The Philippines, especially, has a large (nearly 100 million and growing) and grindingly poor population that must figure out how to survive and then prosper on a landmass about 2/3 the size of  California.  How do they really survive for the long term?

Or Japan?  A much more successful nation that 70-odd years ago felt compelled to attack other countries when their ability to trade was threatened.    Even though seemingly successful today Japan’s population is now declining at a rate of 1 million people/year with alcohol and suicide fast accelerating in the population.  The Sendai quake of 2011 and subsequent Tsunami is just compounding their problems.

Both Japan and the Philippines are dependent on being able to find or trade for goods, materials and resources they may not find anywhere on their islands.  Plus, any large-scale catastrophe multiplies the difficulties of island existence many times.  It also illustrates another problem.

Three thousand years ago such events occurred with the same regularity as the more recent Indonesian and Japanese Tsunamis or the Super Cyclones or Hurricanes in any of the seas.  The same is true with massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  However, with ancient populations so much more sparse and dispersed and more easily accessible resources close by, the incidence of effects on large populations was much lower.  Such will never be the case in the future.

People back then viewed such devastating and low-frequency events as “Biblical” or the “Wrath of the Gods” on a world and in a universe of which they had little understanding how the fundamental laws and resulting geophysics operated. Such minimal understanding is much less the case today.  We understand much more (though nowhere nearly enough) about how earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and firestorms occur.  However, we really have little more ability to avert or ultimately alter the outcome and effects on people than we had 2000 years ago.  In the future, there is a very large-scale disaster awaiting that will prove beyond anyone’s doubt the truth in that statement.   So, most must still resort to some form of prayer or ritual protection practice.

We have some small ability to detect and thus give earlier warning but it’s not much for most circumstances.  And with a large and dispersed population of 7+ billion inhabitants large-scale death and destruction is going to become more prevalent.  More to the point is the extremely poor response we, as a planetary population, make to these events around the globe, particularly given what they mean to our island world.  Yes, the same problems that every island nation has today is actually shared by every nation on our “island” planet, whether anyone wishes to understand or believe that fact or not.

We have a finite planet with an always-increasing population and will have for quite some time into the future.  Governments and, particularly, the anti-human environmentalist crowd has to get over that fact.  We are infested by a range of governing systems that together seem to make less progress, with each war and conflict, in understanding and rising to the real challenge of our continued existence here on earth.  Instead, those governments regularly seem to expend just as much time in ravaging and destroying much of what earth’s population achieves on the same regular basis that the earth’s geophysics destroys.  Which really brings us to the “BIG” problem and what we’re going to do about it.

Are we going to allow the evolution or practice of large-scale depopulation or build a world that embraces population growth as not just an inherent feature of our long-term survival but a thing of beauty and essential to our survival?  Yes, expanding population is a thing of beauty, contrary to what most environmentalists (a slightly different form of narcissistic-sociopaths) believe.  However, everyone needs to turn their attentions to fixing coercive governance not trying to develop more.

As I and a few others have advocated for decades, there is a much more critical reason to solve the problem of dictatorial, murderous, socio-pathological regimes and governance that seems to plague our existence everywhere on the planet.  That self-evident reason is that we cannot  solve our much larger problems of earthly survival for any one population or conserving the environment in the best way possible, much less the species, without first solving the problems in our governance.  In many ways that problem is more easily solvable if only the reasonable and rational among us would actually stand up and start expressing that reasonable and rational proposition.

To save ourselves on this planet we must first eradicate the power structures of humans that generate conflict and war and give rise to the narcissistic, socio-pathological megalomaniacs who strive for power in every country through maintaining those structures.  In this and other countries we seem to be stupid enough to elect and re-elect them out of both major parties.  In other countries they also take control through various mechanisms, from pseudo-democracy structures to outright police state violence.  In any case, the general population must learn how to identify them much earlier in their rise to power and end their efforts through concerted individual action.  They must learn the lessons of freedom and liberty and our population apparently must relearn them.

Yes, that’s right, it’s up to each of us to stop them, not look for others to do it for us.  Yep, we need to turn off Sunday Sports, the latest Amazing Race or any one of a number of mind-numbing, brain dead activities that really provide no added value for our own lives, much less to help insure the benefit of our children and grandchildren.   Get off the couch now, otherwise it will be removed for you as government grows ever larger.  Even many of those who don’t view themselves as couch-potatoes, because they are employed and  may have “jobs,”  fail to realize that many “jobs” are simply not productive or produce no true wealth that advances the population or our civilization.   That is particularly true of about half of government jobs and many in the service sector that support government.  Those government activities and “jobs” that produce no economic, human health, safety or productive benefit are easy to identify once one understands actual economics and human behavior.

For the truly addicted, the only way might be to toss the satellite or cable and most social media connectivity altogether and go cold turkey.  Also ending the massive, mindless consumerism would appear to be a reasonable education experience for most.  More than a third of our GDP is used up making, selling and using “stuff” that can only be viewed as complete “crap.”  A waste of precious and finite resources.  Incomprehensibly, many people don’t understand everything we make and have comes out of the earth, it doesn’t just magically appear in the stores and supermarkets.  There’s no other way to describe it but “crap” that so many rush around to purchase every day, believing they’re helping the “economy” because their political leaders and the TV tell them so.

It’s also appalling how few in the United States are engaged in trying to bring about positive economic and political change while our economy and federal budget are in the midst of an ongoing implosion here and in similar governments across the globe.  There is no “Recovery” on the horizon other than transitory statistical blips and flim-flammery.  The two ideologically-controlled parties and the mass of elected buffoons here have failed to resolve anything of importance and, in fact, are the ones pulling us underwater.   We have wars of all types brewing around the planet and more than half of America couldn’t locate central Asia or Africa on a map even to save their life.  Which soon may become a necessity.

On earth we live in a gravity ‘well.’  To first overcome that ‘well’ will require enormous individual sacrifice and the development of private, sustainable (meaning profitable) systems, infrastructures and technologies to fully exploit the region of near-space and the solar system beyond for the immense and beckoning resources there.  It is an imperative of the survival of the human race.  If we fail to do that before we have consumed too much of the strategic resources we have on the planet, the necessities of planetary survival of the increasing population will trap us here in the well and likely doom us to a (optimistically) slow and grinding extinction.

However, think of the opposite possibilities!  My Dad was an early worker in the Space program.  He and his colleagues early-on planted a seed that directed eventually all man’s long-term possibilities lie in space.  Nature, as did my decades-long career as a large-scale systems engineer, teaches that the first form of any system’s survivability is redundancy, particularly when the in-system reliability is either not high or unknown.  Being able to obtain resources from space not only insures our long-term survivability on earth, but in space or elsewhere may lie refuge if for some reason something were to happen to earth.  Development of off-earth resources will also allow the Conservationist mentality to be better utilized.

However, to obtain our long-term survivability requires we must finally overcome failed behaviors, philosophies and failing political systems first.  Thousands of years of tribal, religious, monarchical, nationalist and oligarchical wars have left the human race largely bereft of the correct lessons.  We continue to fall into the same traps built by the powerful to both amuse and control.  One of the contemporary and chief failed philosophies behind Communism-Socialism-Fascism -Progressivism is Environmentalism.

A person born today stands a reasonable chance of living to somewhere near the end of the century.  What kind of a planet will they be living on?  Will human behavior continue on the downward trajectory we seem to exist on today?  Will we learn the lessons of the 20th Century or continue as we are?  Is it possible to retrace the Pursuit of happiness we started out on?

In a world of ever-increasing population and finite geophysical boundaries there is no such thing as Environmentalism.  Only Conservationism.  Environmentalism is the latest attempt at the “free lunch.”  Until that is understood we will continue to fall behind in our need to survive for the long term.  Mankind is the most endangered species on the planet as we represent the best hope of developing both intelligent life AND continuing the survival of the entire planet.  If we are wiped out everything else will inevitably follow.  Cosmic events may be far apart but they contain the only global-killers we will ever know.  Governments and Environmentalists aren’t smart enough to think that one through.

It is the goal of “The Citizen’s Last Stand:  Are YOU Ready?” to re-introduce the population to the fundamentals of existence and of positive advancement towards happiness.  I believe it is the goal of the “Remnant” who truly believe in Freedom and Liberty to re-establish those fundamentals as the driving properties of not only America but of our planetary civilization.  It is the most expansive view to our future that I know of and certainly beats the heck out of the brain-dead policies and political future of the ruling parties and the government we have in place.

 

Why Don’t Citizens Understand the Economics of Government Spending?

I have long wondered why the simple economics of government spending and the building of an economy are n0t understood by most of the population.  But then, I also wonder why some people don’t like fine chocolate, given its wonderful flavor and texture.  It seems so obvious.

We could blame the existing public school system, of course, but that’s too obvious and easy a target these days.  It barely turns-out people qualified to flip burgers, much less understand the government budget, basic history and economics.  Judging from the number and range of college remedial courses offered these days we should just take 6th graders and send them straight to college as that appears to be about the average level of a 12th grade graduate.

The disaster of the public school system aside, let’s turn back to government spending and economics.  It seems even most folks that graduated in the 1950s and 60s don’t even get the basics, so maybe it’s not just the public school system to blame.   Maybe, it’s the Propaganda/Media machine that seems to churn-out idiot talking heads faster than Hershey’s turns out Kisses.  Virtually none of them seem to understand basic Economics 101.

For example, the average person seems to have no idea of the definition of the Velocity of Money.  They can tell one all about where to find a mortgage at 3%, a zero, zero, zero loan with a score of 720.  However, they have no idea of how a mortgage is created from thin air with no money actually lent from the bank who “originated” it.

Even worse, for our discussion, is the near complete lack of understanding of the Money MultiplierOpportunity Cost, Marginal Utility or my personal favorites the Glazier’s Fallacy and Comparative Advantage.  If folks just took very few hours out of a single month to understand what those terms actually mean, the current idiotic “debate” going on in Congress, the media and the public over the federal budget and the dreaded “Shutdown,” would not be happening and likely would have never happened.

Politicians and Pundits would never be allowed to use the term “investment” when discussing government spending.  Or, for that matter, any of the next 10 oxymorons politicians pose when referring to what they euphemistically call “the economy.”  They get away with because most people have no idea how stupid it is to tie the idea of  “investment” to “government spending,” with even a single silk thread.   If the “Rahn Curve” is correct (and all evidence says it is) it all boils down to this: “A little bit of government spending (at all levels) does a lot of good.  A lot of government spending does little good.”  In fact, too much spending will always end in an economy entirely insolvent and bankrupt.   That seems kind of like a “DUH!” statement but then no one seems to get it, either.

History teaches that when total government spending exceeds 55% of GDP no country’s economic system can long survive.  Ours is approaching 50% total.

Basically, the idea is that the more truly productive a wealth-creating venture is, the higher the “multiplier effect” that creates growth in the economy.  Non-productive ventures create slower or negative growth if their proportion of the economy is too great.   Most all of government beyond absolutely essential functions is, by definition, non-productive.

Without settling on any one study I’ll just use the ranges the various studies have generated.  When a dollar is taxed or borrowed out of the economy, to fund a government venture, the average return on the dollar is $0.60-$1.70.  Welfare spending is probably towards the bottom of the range and high-tech R&D by government near the top.   Welfare disbursed on borrowed money is even worse for the economy, not even touching on the negative social and cultural effects.  So welfare and pure benefits transfers are economic losers and NASA a modest winner for the economic system.  In general, government spending is a purely consumptive exercise.  That’s why it is required to be kept to a minimum.

In contrast, the private sector economy shows a much greater return.  Depending on the sector, the typical return for a dollar kept in the private economy and actually invested returns from $3-5.  In some sectors, like high tech, the reurn can be as high as $6-7.  That means that the combination of all private-sector economic factors creates a $2-4 opportunity cost for taxing that dollar out of the economy for government vs leaving it there for private investment.

In direct terms then,  the seeming magic of compounded growth like compounded interest, costs the overall economy an immense sum of wealth that is never recovered.  If one considers the additional $trillions that government has spent in the last 40 years that never should have been allowed, we are paupers in comparison.  It’s easy to estimate a U.S. GDP at $40-45 trillion in 2013 rather than the paltry $14 trillion it will barely achieve.  Can anyone even imagine all the possibilities the United States could have achieved if we’d simply kept government spending under control and never racked up $17 trillion in debt?  This includes the elimination of almost all social welfare (and corporate), dependency, subsistence, subsidy and the like.

Any government-set minimum wage would be a joke compared to the private sector entry-level wages delivered in a $45 trillion economy.  Private charity and minimum government supplemental-aid programs would be the norm to provide any “safety net” that fell outside of the private sector.  It is inestimable the amount of social and cultural damage that has been wreaked on the people by constricting economic growth through government spending.  It is the maximum working of The Glaziers Fallacy.

We would never be watching the stupid spectacle taking place in Congress as this is being written.  Any T-bills that would ever be issued, if any, would be truly the gold standard of sovereign debt.  Rather, very soon, we’re going to watch the deterioration of the status of our sovereign debt to junk and the dollar to erode below 50% of the world’s reserve currency.   At that point, the rout will be on.

And the American public has no one to blame but themselves.

 

 

 

22 Questions No One in Congress asks the NSA or DNI

It should be obvious by now that the National Security Agency (NSA) and other elements of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) have been operating far beyond the limits of both the Constitution and the inconvenient controls of an ignorant and easily misled Congress.  When one listens to committee hearings and news-clips of official statements with a knowledgeable ear, it’s easy to see why the Agencies skirt or outright violate the law on a routine basis.

It is easy to manipulate Congress when most of its members are never fully briefed on anything the Agencies do.  Easier still to control the small number of members, on the intelligence committees, that have no idea about the infrastructure and technical capabilities of the comprehensive Directorate.  Much less, how much overlap and function duplication there is.

With that in mind it is also too apparent, from recent disclosures, of the need forthe American people to understand what their government has been doing to their privacy and civil liberties.  The following questions are for the press and media pundits, elected officials and everyday citizens to begin to ask the right questions of DNI/NSA officials.  Without immediately delving into specific classified programs, these questions are intended to indicate the size and scope of global and domestic surveillance and overall capabilities:

1)  What is the total amount (in square footage) of the operational and computer/server/storage space now active within the entire 16 agency directorate of the DNI?

2)  What is the total amount of square footage of the DNI and associated agency operational and computer/server/storage infrastructure planned for construction-completion and operation within the next 5 years?

3)  Of the approximately 4.5-5 million active clearances, of all classification levels within agencies of the DNI, how many are government employees and how many are civilian contractors?  What percentage of total TS/SCI clearances are held by civilian contractors?

4)  What percentage of those clearances have current Special Security updates and Background Investigations (BI) completed on-time or pending?  Is that completion rate audited and supplied to Congress?

5)  What is the total number of separate units and physical operational sites/installations reporting to DNI inside and outside the geographic boundaries of the United States through Agency/Service heads?

6)  How many allied countries does the US government have intelligence-sharing agreements with?  How many adversary/enemy countries do we have intelligence-sharing agreements?

7)  Of the number of allied countries provided does the US government provide money or funding to support a portion or all of their intelligence gathering/analysis capabilities?  How many adversaries do we provide a portion of the funding/equipment and training for their intelligence gathering capability?

8) What is the total US government intelligence-gathering/support/operational budget for all agencies/entities contained within the DNI?  Outside the DNI?

9) In terms of Petabytes what is the current combined online structured storage/library/archive capability of all agencies/subcontractors and foreign entities of the DNI?  Offline?  Planned within the next 5 years?

10)  How many total cases/targets does the NSA and DNI track in real-time?  How many in non-real time?

11) Within the intelligence-sharing agreements indicated in questions 6 and 7; how many foreign agencies supply intelligence data and information on domestic communications, of all types, within the geographic boundaries of the US to US agencies?  In how many countries does the US reciprocate the same to those allied foreign intel services ?  For adversaries?

12) In the last 5 years, how many US citizens have had their personal digital and other communications monitored and/or tracked in any way by US agencies when engaged in communications with other US citizens outside the geographic boundaries of the US?  How many have been supplied by foreign intercept agencies to US agencies?  How many foreign citizens, Canadians for example, have had call metadata and other captured and archived communications data supplied by US Agencies to CSEC.  Repeat the same data for our top 10 allied countries?

13)  In the last 5 years, how many US citizens have had their personal communications monitored in any way when engaged in communications with non-US citizens when traveling outside the geographic boundaries of the US?

14)  In how many allied countries does the NSA/DNI monitor the private personal and official communications and track employees or officials of those governments?

15)  How many domestic and international US corporations does the NSA/DNI track the internal, personal and private communications of those corporations an/or their senior executives and employees?  How many foreign corporations?

16)  Since 1980, with how many allied governments has the US/NSA/CIA/NRO provided/shared intelligence data gathered by US agencies on their own internal opposition?

17)  Since 1990, how many US Corporation’s executives/employees have been briefed on intelligence data collected against their foreign competitors by US government resources?  How many have been actively supplied current intelligence before attending trade fairs and economic summits?

18)  How many domestic US private and political organizations, either incorporated or free association, have had their members, leaders and activities electronically monitored and archived?

19)  Since 1975, in how many non-adversarial countries has the CIA and other US government Intel agencies and their contractors actively interfered in the internal policy, governance or political structure?  Since 1975, how many foreign allied governments have had a change of government directly due to US Government and agency interference and/or manipulation or intelligence disclosures?

20)  How many military, state- or federal-elected officials have been monitored and have specifically archived information about their movements, personal communications and private lives while in government service?  Outside of government service?

21)  What is the justification for the “Special Caveats and Exemption” system, used for US data classification, not de-classifying all documents and information at 25 and 35 years maximum regardless of origin?

22)  When will US Embassy/Diplomatic Mission and all intel traffic and communications associated with our operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran be declassified and released from the period 1978-1982 inclusive?

There is not one reason why answers to every one of those questions should not be disclosed to every member of the House and Senate regardless of whether they sit on an Intelligence Committee.  Every single member of Congress should be “read-in” and know the answers to the above, at minimum.

After that disclosure and full debate there’s very few reasons why the general scope of many answers to those questions couldn’t be publicly disclosed to all Americans.  With modest redaction and cleansing there’s no reason why nearly the entirety of the above couldn’t be disclosed.  The same should be done for all that we know of the foreign operations of every adversary country

Only then can the citizens be informed to the level necessary to begin to understand what has happened to the United States and the rest of the world in the past 50 years.  Only then can the citizens perform their role in the command-management and control functions designated in the Constitution to limit current misbehaviors in the security and defense of the United States.