Sunday, April 2, 2017

Politicization of Intelligence

POTUS43 misused intelligence to get us into Iraq.  At least his director of the CIA looked like a crook.

POTUS43 switched from counter-insurgency to counter-terrorism.  W went after terrorists (and countries that host them) almost everywhere.

“In the days after Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked and crashed four commercial jetliners on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop, without warrants, on American citizens and foreign nationals within the United States. His action represented the biggest shift in U.S. intelligence gathering in American history. But the true architect of that secret program, code-named Stellarwind, was a former Air Force intelligence officer who’d been picked to run the NSA two years earlier: General Michael Vincent Hayden. What a long way from Pittsburgh, where Hayden was born in 1945. His youth was western Pennsylvania through and through: Dad was a welder, and the family lived for Sundays, when they would attend mass and Steelers games. In college at Duquesne University, Hayden even worked at the Steelers’ summer training camp to help pay his tuition. He studied history, joined ROTC and started active duty in the Air Force in 1969.

“A registered Independent with no political background, Hayden came up through the ranks of Air Force intelligence, and in 1999 President Bill Clinton selected him to run that secretive organization nicknamed No Such Agency. When Hayden arrived, he found the NSA struggling to keep up with the technological tide. Two years later, 9/11 jolted him into unprecedented action, and he implemented rapid, transformational measures. Hayden’s Stellarwind program circumvented the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and even went beyond the authority of the Patriot Act passed by Congress.

“After The New York Times exposed the operation in 2005, Hayden still moved forward—but another, more damaging exposure lay ahead. Bush made him principal deputy director of National Intelligence and then promoted him to director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2006. Hayden’s new position as top spy coincided with another CIA hire: Edward Snowden. The then 23-year-old computer tech later went to work for two NSA contractors, and in 2013 Snowden released confidential information on the spy program established by Hayden. The resulting firestorm implicated both the Bush and Obama administrations.”


Would POTUS44 spy on candidates to be POTUS45?


Saturday, February 18, 2017

How I found HQ8 Norelco Shaving Heads

My electric shaver says to change heads each year.  I replaced the heads in 2014.

I have been looking for HQ8 replacement heads for over a year.

Tonight, I looked at Wal-Mart for new Norelco shavers thinking that I may have to buy a new shaver to get new heads.

I selected a reasonable looking shaver.  It said use HQ8 replacement heads.

I went back to the selection of replacement heads.  The second shelf contained SH50 heads.  I noticed that on the box it said, “Replaces HQ8 heads”.


I’m sure there’s a lesson in here somewhere.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Why Trump should select Ash Carter as SECDEF

Ashton B. Carter is a Democrat.  Most Administrations have considered bi-partisanship a positive attribute.

George W. Bush finally found a decent Secretary of Defense in Robert Gates.  The Obama Administration continued Bob Gates through Obama's first term.  Obama had no military experience other than as a Social Worker in south side Chicago.  Continuing Bob Gates assured the World (including NATO) that at least of of the NCAs was competent.

The Trump Administration can accomplish all of this with Ash Carter and get somebody smart that understands "the Iran Deal."

Senator Jeff Sessions has been mentioned as a candidate for AG and SECDEF.  The Republicans do not have too many senators in the Senate.  Consideration will be given to which party will gain by a Senator being elevated to the Cabinet.

I am not a fan of Big Government Newt Gingrich.  He's smart and should be utilized by Trump as appropriate.  Secretary of State might be a good fit.  I do not believe SECDEF would be.

The following is extracted from Wikipedia:

"Carter was nominated by President Obama to be the 25th United States Secretary of Defense on December 5, 2014.

"In his nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said he was “very much inclined” to increase U.S. military aid to Ukraine  Speaking on the Middle East, he said the U.S. must militarily ensure a “lasting defeat” of Islamic State (ISIL) forces in Iraq and Syria. He said he is not in favor of increasing the rate of prisoner releases from Guantanamo Bay.  He also opined that the threats posed by Iran were as serious as those posed by the ISIL forces.

"He was approved unanimously on February 1, 2015, by the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was confirmed by the Senate on February 12 by a vote of 93–5 and sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on February 17.

"The United States is coordinating closely with Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Qatar, and the other Sunni Arab allies in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 uprising.

"In May 2015, Carter warned China to halt its rapid island-building in the South China Sea.
In October 2015, Carter has condemned Russian air strikes against ISIL and other rebel groups in Syria.

"On October 8, 2015, Carter, speaking at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, said he believed Russia would soon start paying the price for its military intervention in Syria in the form of reprisal attacks and casualties.

"A controversy arose in December 2015 when it was revealed that Carter had used personal email account when conducting official business as Secretary of Defense.


"In January 2016, at Carter's direction, the Department of Defense opened all military roles to women, overriding a request by the Marine Corps to continue to exempt women from certain positions. In June 2016, Carter announced that transgender individuals would be allowed to join and openly serve in the military."

A Trump Administration would gain worldwide credibility by selecting Ashton B. Carter as its first SECDEF.  I would expect a Trump Administration to continually select the best person available.  General Flynn might be qualified in a second Trump Administration.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Technology's Impact on everything Hurricane

When Richard Widmark starred in Slattery’s Hurricane, released January 1, 1949, the only way to tell the strength of a hurricane was to have some nut fly through it.

Hurricanes have been and still are

“This is a hurricane. Hurricanes are windstorms of great violence several hundred miles in diameter, with a dead calm at the center called the eye. Like whirlpools, they spin rapidly, hurling great destruction in their paths. They're spawned in the doldrums, their father the heat of the sun, their mother the moisture of the sea. From July to December every year, the Caribbean crawls with these evil offspring of the elements. “

The movie made a lasting impression on me.

"Slattery's Hurricane thus begins with this narrative by Gary Merrill. Will Slattery (Richard Widmark), a former World War II Navy pilot still on inactive reserve, forcibly takes his employer's Grumman Mallard from the estate in Miami and heads for an incoming hurricane. He obtains his bearings from a Navy control tower by pretending to be a weather patrol flight. Despite a threat of court martial when the Navy discovers the ruse, Slattery flies into the storm, reviewing his life in flashback for the next hour...

"Disgruntled with the service, in part because he was disciplined instead of decorated for a hazardous mission, Slattery left the Navy and became a private pilot for candy manufacturer R.J. Milne (Walter Kingsford) on the recommendation of his girlfriend, Dolores Grieves (Veronica Lake), Milne's secretary. He lives an easy life, until the day he literally bumps into "Hobby" Hobson (John Russell), an old Navy buddy. Amused that Hobson stayed in the Navy, he nonetheless accepts an invitation to fly along on a weather flight into the heart of a hurricane. Slattery is disturbed to find that Hobby is married to Slattery's former lover, Aggie (Linda Darnell), who ended their unhappy relationship years before. At dinner for the two couples, he pretends to have just met her, but Dolores immediately suspects their past attachment. Slattery invites Hobby to fly with him the next day, maneuvering Aggie into coming along, to show off his lifestyle, and introduces them to Milne and his shady partner, Gregory (Joe De Santis).

"Slattery tricks Aggie into meeting him alone while Hobby is away, and although she initially rejects his "fast one", he seduces her. Dolores confronts Slattery and they argue over his betrayal of Hobby and the effect his job is having on him. He soon discovers Dolores not only moved out, but quit her job as well, alarming Milne and Gregory, who fear she knows too much about their dealings. In the meantime, Slattery's affair with Aggie continues. Milne has Slattery fly him to a remote Caribbean island, where Milne has a heart attack. Slattery tries to save his life on the flight back, and discovers that Milne is smuggling drugs, taped to his chest. Milne dies and Slattery keeps the "parcel". Dolores telephones him and warns him again to get out, but he gets drunk instead. Gregory beats him up to get back the "parcel", but Slattery counters with a warning that he has hidden information about the smuggling ring in a safe deposit box, should anything happen to him.

"The Navy unexpectedly awards Slattery the Navy Cross from his wartime heroics. Dolores attends the ceremony, but when she sees Slattery embrace Aggie afterwards, collapses and is hospitalized in a psychiatric ward for "pharmacopsychosis," or drug addiction. Slattery is called in by her doctor and castigated for his role in her illness. He leaves his Navy Cross with Dolores and goes to Aggie's to end the relationship. A drunken Hobby is there, however, having discovered the affair. He beats an unresisting Will, but is ordered to report for a hurricane mission. Slattery sees that Hobby is in no condition to fly the mission and knocks him out to prevent it. He then steals his employer's plane and flies into the storm...

"Slattery flies into the eye of the hurricane and reports its position. His warning is instrumental in saving Miami from serious loss of life and property loss, but in returning to Miami, he loses an engine. Believing he will crash, he also radios the tower about the location of the drug-smuggling information. When the plane does crash, he unexpectedly survives. Slattery is accepted back on active duty, and by Dolores."

I liked Richard Widmark movies and encourage everyone to consider it for entertainment.

Today, Hurricane Matthew is threatening Florida and President Barack Obama has been on TV telling I-95 corridor residents to listen to their local folks.

Friday, September 9, 2016

In Defense of Gary Johnson

First:  I saw the interview on TV.  The question was very short.  There was no context.  I didn’t recognize that the question was about Aleppo (the town where the boy had been injured and photographed).  When Mr. Johnson said, “Oh, I get I it,” he wasn’t allowed to say any more.


Second:  25 entities report to the President and/or have Cabinet rank.  This exceeds what is normally considered the span of control by a factor of 2.5.  I claim the country needs a CEO for President.  The Department of State is one of the most important Departments.  However, the Secretary of State is only 1 of 25 vying for the CEO’s attention.

Wars are fought by the Defense Department (and by the CIA under the Department of State when Special Forces are used).  Both of these Secretaries should be knowledgeable in the activities of their Departments.  The CEO needs to be focused on Strategy and Nuclear Deterrence (manning the “football”).

CNN has changed a lot recently.  Corey Lewandowski now works for them.  I think it was on CNN where I heard "talking heads" debating whether it was a disqualifying moment.  A female said yes.  It is obviously being treated by the media as a potential "disqualifying moment".

Every moment when Hillary Rodham Clinton comments about "emails" or "ground troops" should be a disqualifying moment.

Donald J. Trump's potentially disqualifying moments are too numerous to mention and may be infinite but not more than denumerably so.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

At least a denumerable number of Infinities and rationals are dense but not complete

The work of Cantor http://www.math.vanderbilt.edu/~schectex/courses/infinity.pdf shows that there are at least aleph naught number of infinities.

The Power Set of a set cannot be put into one-to-one correspondence with the set and must be a larger infinity.

Between any two rational numbers another one can be found (dense).  The set of all rationals consists of a set of measure zero on the real line (not complete).

Friday, August 12, 2016

Metaphorically Speaking

According to my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, a Merriam-Webster, “metaphor” has two meanings:

1: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in the ship plows the sea) ; broadly: figurative language – compare SIMILE 
2: an object, activity, or idea treated as a metaphor


My copy was copyrighted in 1973.  The current definition can be checked at 
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metaphor

I had trouble in school with metaphors.  They don't come labeled with "like" or "as".  Donald J. Trump is smart.  He went to Wharton.  He probably considers metaphors staples.