Saturday, December 01, 2007
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN PEACE ON EARTH AND TYRANNY
I had an interesting discussion with a fellow veteran recently about the word "Tyranny", using it to describe what is happening in the world today and applying the word specifically to George Bush and his administration. The Rolling Stone Article linked at this post implies such a train of thought may be reasonably accurate from a historical perspective considering how tyranny evolves, grows and employs its methodologies and considering the mess in Iraq on all fronts.
We can think of many historical and recent examples of tyranny. Pakistan for instance is awash with tyrannical approaches as we speak. What is happening in Iraq is a war application of tyranny on so many clan, state and international fronts that it makes the general public dizzy and confused, to say nothing about the maze many world governments find themselves in trying to deal with events as they unfold.
The world is so tightly wired and moving at such warp speed in communications, technology and dangerous weapons that it is extremely difficult to know when tyranny is sprouting because we get overwhelmed with the details and ignore the trends.
Tyranny sprouts within massive beaurocratic organizations that imbed themselves in economies and assume a life of their own. These organizations become entrenched and difficult to change because they are wired to so much of economic and public life (a defense company in every state, a pork project tacked onto a defense appropriation). We target our elected officials as figureheads for our frustration, when in fact the real culprit is a big, faceless machine grinding onward, never changing, because we (the citizenry and the politician) will not bite the bullet and dismantle it. It finally collapses of its own weight.
Some who analyze tyranny believe the best way to avoid it is to avoid violations of the constitution. That is a bit simplistic in our era. The conundrum is detecting complex circumstances with the potential to become violations of the constitution before they become horror stories like Iraq and do something about them IN ADVANCE.
As students of history we know much of what we are experiencing today in war and politics is tied to human nature. This blog conveys a philosophy on the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and its impending collapse before that brand of tyranny changes. The Rolling Stone article, though profane in places, is documentation of tyranny after the fact. The logical follow-on to such a debacle is collapse.
A new brand of politics and accountability must then emerge, one that will deal from within when organizations such as the MIC self-destruct catastrophically from greed and avarice. The big issue after such events will be: "What do we put in the place of such beaurocracies gone afoul to manage something as important and expensive as our national defense?" The US political system classically appoints a blue ribbon panel to study such problems spread the blame and write a detailed report no one reads. We must do better then that in the future. The impending trauma will not permit it.
Perhaps we should consult our respective religious beliefs over the holiday period as my best wishes in the photo indicate in an attempt to find a peaceful answer rather than the pointless dribble of material observances and partisan political pickering.
Friday, November 16, 2007
The People vs. the Profiteers
Vanity Fair - November 2007
Americans working in Iraq for Halliburton spin-off KBR have been outraged by the massive fraud they saw there. Dozens are suing the giant military contractor, on the taxpayers' behalf. Whose side is the Justice Department on?
by David Rose November 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
We have a military veteran friend who was honorably discharged during the Vietnam era. He served in the US Navy while having dual citizenship (Canadian/US). He was born in Canada and his family moved to New York when he was a child and became dual Canadian and US Citizens.
After discharge my friend worked in the US for over 3 decades, paying US taxes and Social Security. When it came time to retire and apply for his pension he was informed that the US Department of Homeland Security had revoked his US citizenship and did not recognize his Canadian citizenship.
The Social Security Administration will not begin his pension payments until his citizenship issue is resolved. He has been trying to work this matter through the VA, his local representatives in government (congressional level) and directly through the Social Security Office. No one seems to know what to do, who should take action and who has responsibility. The DHS will not reply to his inquiries. Any ideas?
POST SCRIPT: This request was sent to DHS today:
ANTHONY ALDO ROSE
MINNESOTA STATE VETERAN’S HOME HASTINGS
1200 18TH STREET
HASTINGS, MINNESOTA 55033
(Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested)
11 November 2007
Mr. Brian J. Welsh
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P. O. Box 648010
Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010
Subject: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request for Records
Enclosure: DD Form 214 – Discharge from United States Armed Forces
Dear Mr. Welsh:
The purpose of this letter is to request records in my name on file in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The undersigned is a US Navy veteran who is a resident in a state veteran’s facility in Hastings, Minnesota. I am writing to you on Veteran’s Day to request any and all records on file at the Department of Homeland Security pertinent to my citizenship in the United States of America and the disposition of my records status as a citizen of the US, to include notifying the US Social Security Administration of my citizenship status.
I have lived in the United States since 1946 having moved from Windser, Ontario, Canada to Detroit Michigan with my family that year. I attained dual citizenship in Canada and the United States and achieved a US Social Security Number. I served in the Armed Forces of the US honorably and I have paid state and federal taxes to include social security from 1963 to the present in the United States of America.
In 2006, upon my retirement, I applied for my Social Security Pension and was informed by the Social Security Administration that the Department of Homeland Security had taken administrative records action that denied my citizenship status and precluded my being able to obtain my pension. I have attempted to resolve this matter for over a year and have been without a pension during that period.
Pursuant to requesting a hearing with regard to this matter I hereby request copies of all records in the Department of Homeland Security against my name, my social security number, my service number, my former addresses and my citizenship status, to include correspondence to other agencies such as the Social Security Administration.
Anthony Aldo Rose
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Mist arise through brilliant light
Slowly clear from shrouded night
Offer visions through the pane
Allowing me to sleep again
Brief delay from clarity
Softly rise to comfort me
I am not ready yet for day
With harsh detail and waiting ray
Wash this trance all over me
Cloak my vision
Set me free
To dream with my illusions
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
LISTEN TO NATURE
NOT THE ARTIFICIAL REALITY
YOU ARE CREATING
WITH WEAPONS AND EGO
AS YOU STREAK TOWARD PREMATURE GREY
AS YOUR CHILDREN DIE BEFORE THEIR TIME
LOOK AROUND AND LISTEN
LIFE IS PRECIOUS
TIME IS SHORT
LEARN FROM NATURE
TREASURE THE REALITY OF TODAY
FIND PEACE IN THE BEAUTY
AND THE SYNERGY
OF THE NATURAL WORLD
AND EMULATE IT TO SURVIVE
PLEASE CLICK ON BELOW IMAGES OR DOWNLOAD TO ENLARGE
Monday, July 02, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
If you are concerned about the Military Industrial Complex and how it controls our government, this is a must read.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
IN MEMORY OF DAVID HALBERSTAM, KILLED THIS WEEK IN A CAR CRASH.
ONE OF OUR FAVORITES AND A HERO TO JOURNALISM, DAVID WAS AMONG THE FIRST TO USE THE WORD "QUAGMIRE" TO DESCRIBE THE VIETNAM WAR.
NOW COMES GEORGE C. WILSON ON IRAQ:
Forward Observer: Quagmire Costs
By George C. Wilson, CongressDaily
President Bush, with his little war in Iraq, has outspent President Lyndon Johnson with his big war in Vietnam during comparative five-year periods, according to the Pentagon's own recently released figures.
The Pentagon's chief bean counter, the comptroller, sets forth figures documenting this in his "National Defense Estimates for FY 2008." The impartial numbers show that Johnson spent $2.1 trillion in fiscal 2008 dollars on the American military from fiscal 1964 through fiscal 1968 when both the Vietnam and Cold wars were raging. He put more than 500,000 troops on the ground in Vietnam from an active duty force of 3.5 million men and women, many of them low-cost draftees.
Bush spent $2.5 trillion in the same fiscal 2008 dollars on military activities from fiscal 2003 through fiscal 2007, even though his expeditionary force in Iraq was only about one-fourth as big as Johnson's -- some 140,000 troopers -- and the Cold War was long gone.
Also, Bush was paying a much smaller active duty force, numbering about 1.4 million in fiscal 2007, during that five-year period.
The stories behind those figures, which the comptroller did not go into in his 217-page report, are that the price of paying, equipping and caring for soldiers has gone way up since the days of Johnson's draftee military; that neither Congress nor Bush has had the will to cancel super weapons, including several designed for a Cold War that no longer exists, and that American taxpayers who just sent in their income tax checks are paying more and getting less for their money because of the Pentagon's failure to hold down the costs of new weapons.
The comptroller shows on Table 6-11 (page 129) of his new report that in fiscal 1968, when the American military was much larger, the Pentagon spent $169.7 billion on its military personnel in fiscal 2008 dollars.
In fiscal 2005, when the military had been dramatically downsized but the pay of the all-volunteer force had been raised, spending on military personnel in the same dollars approached the Vietnam era total, coming in at $139 billion.
The cost of general purpose forces -- the troops and trucks and tanks that fight conventional wars on the ground like the ones in Vietnam and in Iraq, as distinguished from strategic warfare waged with ocean-spanning missiles -- has jumped from $188 billion in fiscal 1968 to $216 billion in fiscal 2007, again in comparative fiscal 2008 dollars.
As for the advanced weapons systems, the Air Force F-22 fighter was designed during the Cold War to fight Warsaw Pact forces over Europe, and the Pentagon's Selected Acquisition Report issued earlier this month shows that the Air Force will get fewer planes for more money.
The SAR reveals that the Bush Pentagon plans to buy 184 F-22s for $65.3 billion, or $355 million for just one, counting the money already spent on its research and development.
On Aug. 2, 2001, Air Force procurement executive Darleen Druyun assured a House Government Reform subcommittee that "the F-22 team remains absolutely dedicated to the objective to deliver 339 production aircraft to the warfighters at an affordable cost."
Druyun eventually went to work for Boeing Co. and was later convicted and went to prison for using her military position to negotiate the Air Force's tainted deal to lease 100 KC-767 aerial refueling tankers from Boeing.
The prices of other weapons in the Pentagon's latest SAR underscores the Government Accountability Office's lament last month that Pentagon procurement is out of control.
The SAR shows that taxpayers are expected to pay $300 billion for 2,458 Joint Strike Fighters, or $122 million each for a plane that the Pentagon originally advertised as bargain basement; $54.6 billion for 458 V-22 Ospreys, or $119 million each for this aerial taxi for the Marines that has crashed a lot and threatens to take the Corps to the poorhouse in a Cadillac; $35 billion for three Navy CVN 21 aircraft carriers at $11.7 billion a copy; and $93 billion for 30 Virginia class attack submarines despite the near demise of the once-threatening Russian undersea force, or $3.1 billion for one.
Said the GAO despairingly in its March 30 report on Pentagon procurement: "GAO's reviews of weapons over three decades have found consistent cost increases, schedule delays and performance shortfalls. The nation's growing long-range fiscal challenges may ultimately spur Congress to cut spending on new weapons and to redirect funding to other priorities. In response, DOD might be compelled to deliver new weapons and to redirect funding to other priorities."
Bush was first elected to the presidency on a platform of bringing business-like practices to Pentagon procurement, including skipping whole generations of weapons if that made sense rather than making incremental improvements on obsolete ones.
Such reforms, assuming he was serious about them, have been among the casualties of Bush's embrace of pre-emptive warfare, with Iraq bloody proof of how easy it is to launch a pre-emptive war and how hard it is to get out of one.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
WE AT ROSE COVERED GLASSES AND THE VETERAN'S COMMUNITY AT HASTINGS WILL MISS AL LONG WHO RECENTLY PASSED AWAY AFTER A BATTLE WITH CANCER.
OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH AL'S FAMILY
Monday, March 12, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Politicians make no difference.
We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) ever since we took on Russia in the Cold WAR.
Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control.
I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.
There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.
The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.
So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.
This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.
The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
It is difficult to convey the complexity of the way DOD works to someone who has not experienced it. This is a massive machine with so many departments and so much beaurocracy that no president, including Bush totally understands it.
Presidents, Congressmen, Cabinet Members and Appointees project a knowledgeable demeanor but they are spouting what they are told by career people who never go away and who train their replacements carefully. These are military and civil servants with enormous collective power, armed with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Defense Industrial Security Manuals, compartmentalized classification structures and "Rice Bowls" which are never mixed.
Our society has slowly given this power structure its momentum which is constant and extraordinarily tough to bend. The cost to the average American is exhorbitant in terms of real dollars and bad decisions. Every major power structure member in the Pentagon's many Washington Offices and Field locations in the US and Overseas has a counterpart in Defense Industry Corporate America. That collective body has undergone major consolidation in the last 10 years. What used to be a broad base of competitive firms is now a few huge monoliths, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing.
Government oversight committees are carefully stroked. Men like Sam Nunn and others who were around for years in military and policy oversight roles have been cajoled, given into on occasion but kept in the dark about the real status of things until it is too late to do anything but what the establishment wants. This still continues - with increasing high technology and potential for abuse.
Please examine the following link to the Bill Moyers interview with Franklin C. Spinney. It provides very specific information from a whistle blower who is still blowing his whistle (Look him up in your browser and you get lots of feedback) Frank spent the same amount of time as I did in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) but in government quarters. His job in government was a similar role to mine in defense companies. Frank's emphasis in this testimony is on the money the machine costs us. It is compelling and it is noteworthy that he was still a staff analyst at the Pentagon when he gave this speech. I still can't figure out how he got his superior's permission to say such blunt things. He was extremely highly respected and is now retired.
The brick wall I often refer to is the Pentagon's own arrogance. It will implode by it's own volition, go broke, or so drastically let down the American people that it will fall in shambles. Rest assured the day of the implosion is coming. The machine is out of control.
If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at this blog entitled, "Odyssey of Armaments"
On the same subject, you may also be interested in the following post from the "Project On Government Oversight", observing it's 25th Anniversary: