Monday, September 9, 2013

NSA Success: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

First, a short review of the history of telecommunications technology.

Initially, there was a flurry of inventors, inventions and companies involved in early telephone devices. Many companies would limit connections to only those customers that were using that same company’s equipment and service; hamstringing customers who did not use the same telephone vendor as some of the folks they would like to call.

In the USA this cacophony was solved by the government creating a regulated monopoly that became AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph; a.k.a., Ma Bell, the Bell System). In other countries, around the world, it became an agency of the government: the PTT (Postal, Telephone and Telegraph).

The USA did not incorporate telephony into the government, but did become (by far and away) the largest customer; asserting its interests over the development of telecommunications in this country. The USA also became the largest market for telephone services and led development trends internationally as well.

Circuit switched, recoverable, networks were encouraged by the War Department (precursor to the DOD) as an asset in prosecuting wars. Packet switched data transmission was given a tremendous boost by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, an agency of the US government) when it worked with the private sector to start ARPAnet in 1969; the basis of the Internet.

Now, given the direct and indirect influence of the US market and the US government's role in the growth and development of telecommunications... It should come as no surprise to anybody that an agency of the US government (created specifically to spy on the entire world; technically outside the US borders) with the talent, technology, budget and inside knowledge of all the electronic means of communicating (through out the entire world) has succeeded brilliantly.

It should be mentioned that time and again (leaking bureaucrats, whistle-blowers and authors of fiction and non-fiction media) folks, like: former national security analyst (to multiple US Presidents) and author: Richard Clarke; Pfc. Manning; civilian contractor to the US government: Ed Snowden,  have warned us that we must watch the watchers.


They (the NSA, in this case) are tasked to do a very difficult job and we've allowed them great power and authority to do the job. The NSA is an agency of the Executive branch of the federal government and therefore it is the assigned task of the Judicial and Legislative branches of the federal government to monitor and restrain said agency. It is the job of the citizens to oversee that the whole process is running efficiently and effectively as intended. Since, over and above all else, the day to day function of the NSA is necessarily done in secret, the citizens don't have the information needed to do our assigned task; enter the whistle-blowers, authors and leaking bureaucrats!

Citizens can take small comfort in the fact that very few, possibly no, other organization has abilities developed by and for the NSA, because on a daily basis many of us broadcast this information using the Internet toys and tools to which we've become addicted. Also, if you will, carefully note the information we make available to private entities (friends, business contacts and companies) in innocuous comments and shopping. 

Congratulations/OMG the NSA is on the job!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Organizing for Action with Democrats?

Please, Mr. President, try to maintain a working connection with the progressive and liberal leaning folks in the Democratic Party who elected you as our President, twice.

Remember when we started the revolutionary war in Iraq that very few Iraqis had requested? 

Remember when we destabilized Iraq, after winning the war we started for them, by disbanding the Iraqi army and Baathist (ruling) Party?

Remember when we under committed to the justifiable war in Afghanistan, and changed to the second failed mission of nation building, after first failing to get the architect of September 11, 2001 (the W admin’s: Osama bin Forgotten)?

If so…  Let’s ask the international community if we might lead an effort to bring the leaders of the current Syrian government, and the evidence of the use of WMD against their own citizens, to the International Criminal Court.

Remember the, “giant sucking sound,” correctly predicted by Ross Perot when considering the North American Free Trade Agreement? 

If so…  Why would one even contemplate the Trans-Pacific Partnership being negotiated in absolute secrecy?

Free trade between countries requires only two things:
1.      Agreement that trade is a two way street; no unilateral activity.
2.      Both/All currencies must be publicly traded.

These are the clear and simple, if not easy, requirements for international free trade.

Next, we consider the possible appointment of Larry Summers as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States.

Do we remember the economic collapses in the US of 1986 and 2007 that required 100s of billions, for the first, and multiple trillions, for the second ( much bigger because of the fall of the last of Glass-Steagall in 1999; supported by Larry Summers), in taxpayer dollars? 

Do we remember Mr. Summer’s consistent support of deregulation for the casinos, individual and corporate, on Wall Street?

When one has great alternatives, like: Janet Yellen and Sheila Bair, why would one even consider a consistent deregulation and unaccountability supporting, Wall Street insider like Larry Summers for chairman of the Federal Reserve?

Last, but not least:

Having read (or been briefed) on the short, middle and long term effects of tar sands mining and the associated Keystone XL pipeline…  Why would the answer to said pipeline’s construction be anything but, “NO!”?

Please, consider working primarily with the folks who elected you, twice, to be our President.

Another WTF (win the future, I hope) moment!