Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Can We Expect?

Melody Barnes is the administration’s director of Domestic Policy. Melody Barnes is a lawyer. Christina Romer has gone back to California. The chairman position of the 3-member Council of Economic Advisors is vacant. Gene Sperling, an American lawyer and political figure, has replaced Larry Summers as Director of the National Economic Council. Summers is back at Harvard. Although Sperling is a lawyer, he “did time” at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. Perhaps he can translate economics to our Sage Constitutional lawyer Commander-in-Chief.

It looks like September 8, 2011, will be a Melody Barnes night. She does not have the background necessary to understand the paradigm shifts of the past 3 decades.
Melody Barnes’ interest is “education”. How is education related to knowledge?
The University of Michigan is almost as good as my alma mater The University of Wisconsin. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is better known than my undergraduate alma mater Drury University. However, I have many more years of experience in the college of hard knocks.

John Maynard Keynes didn’t invent economics. Milton Friedman, the Chicago School, and Friederick August von Hayek didn’t/don’t think he got it right. He probably understood the economy better than most of today’s Keynesians.

We have just completed a paradigm shift. We are recovering from Postmodernism. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich got it almost right today on CNN. Extension of the tax cut as well as the extension of Unemployment Benefits shouldn’t even be counted. These are basically MAINTAINING the current situation.

When Dwight Eisenhower was President, spending on the Interstate System was spending on a significant ADDITION (or EXTENSION) of Infrastructure. Now, nearly all highway shovel-ready construction as well as not so shovel ready should be considered needed MAINTENANCE.

If we want the US Economy to “recover”, we should avoid nearly all “res” as in rebuild, rehire, relearn, … Also, we should be FRONT/forward oriented. Trying to get people “back to work” is misleading us.

Rather than Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, …,Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, as suggested by foul-mouthed Jimmie Hoffa, Jr., the President, and his advisors, should focus on “forming a more perfect Union, establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility, providing for the common defence, promoting the general Welfare, and securing the Blessings of Liberty. We should throw in a little promoting Science and the useful Arts.
The lawyers have totally missed the paradigm shifts of the Post-Industrial Society and The Systems Age.

The Founding Fathers made the Federal Government responsible for the US Post and Post roads. They didn’t foresee electronic mail or the internet. If we can’t fit wireless Broadband under the Commerce Clause, we should be able to fit it under the Post Office which needs some restructuring. Adding a (wireless?) broadband internet highway to the nation’s infrastructure would be analogous to adding the Interstate System when Eisenhower was President. It is consistent with what we need now based on Daniel Bell’s description.

I believe that “unintended consequences” is more appropriately described as “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” than a “finding” or “fact” of science. Robert Hazen of George Mason University includes the law of unintended consequences in his Joy of Science course, one of The Great Courses available from The Teaching Company. The Washington, DC Area has been the center of the Systems Integration market. The last time I checked, we had evolved to “Systems of systems”.

Somewhere, in the past, I heard of Open Systems and Closed Systems. The closed systems are the “nicest” and easiest to analyze and describe. While working on several government contracts in the DC area, I noticed that you had to complete some quantum of work between briefings to the customer or you never made any progress. If there is real work to be done, one has to do some work, translate it into a presentation, and give it to the customer. A part of the folklore of physics is that Enrico Fermi (or an equally well known physicist) submitted proposals to the government to fund doing work he had already done. This worked well until he proposed something that was judged to be not doable.

Investing in infrastructure worked in the Industrial Society. It may also in the Post-Industrial Society. However, we need to move Jimmie Hoffa, Jr., to being president of the Communications Workers of America, or something like that. Daniel Bell's article about the Post –Industrial Society states the following"

"6. Infrastructure: The infrastructure of industrial society was transportation … The infrastructure of the post-industrial society is communication …

"7. A knowledge theory of value: An industrial society … is based on a labor theory of value, and the development of industry proceeds by labor-saving devices, substituting capital for labor. Knowledge is the source of invention and innovation. It creates value-added and increasing returns to scale and is often capital-saving."

Rather than Robert Hazen’s law of unintended consequences, I prefer Jay W Forrester’s “Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems”. See
People for whom “System of systems” is the highest hierarchical level they have encountered should read about System Dynamics

The Council of Economic Advisors is comprised of a Chairman and two Members. The Chair is currently vacant. Katharine Abraham and Carl Shapiro have been confirmed by the United States Senate as the Council's members. The Council is supported by a staff of professional senior economists, staff economists and research assistants, as well as a statistical office.

Robert Reich and Christina Romer have both indicated that a $300 Billion proposal is too low. Both have stated on CNN that anything less than $500 Billion is too low. If you are a Republican, you may remember the third big lie from the time of Reagan, "I'm from the Government and I am here to help you."

The Whitehouse’s Guiding Principles on the Economy are listed as:

"Guiding Principles

"President Obama’s central focus is on stimulating economic recovery and helping America emerge a stronger and more prosperous nation. The current economic crisis is the result of many years of irresponsibility, both in government and in the private sector. As we look toward the future, we must confront the many dimensions of this crisis while laying the foundation for a new era of responsibility and transparency."


Monday, August 29, 2011

I Remember Floyd

Hurricane Floyd for me was a many-hour trip from Melbourne, FL, to my wife’s nephew’s home in Georgia, a little north of Plains. The traffic was so slow that we got off I-4 at an interchange, filled up with gas, used the one working restroom, and got back on I-4 three cars ahead of where we were in the traffic when we got off.

Later, when threatened by Hurricane Francis and Hurricane Jeanne, we remained in our home in Melbourne. My neighbor to the East lost several shingles. During Francis, one broke our bedroom window. Being at home, we were able to stuff things into garbage bags and place the bag in the window. We also put car floor mats in the window. We secured the inside of the window by nailing pegboard over the whole window on the inside. For Jeanne, we put plywood over the outside of the windows in the exposed areas.

An episode of the TV series JAG used the line “Remember Floyd” to caution against over reacting.

The Wikipedia entry includes a visual comparison of Floyd and Andrew “while at similar positions and nearly identical intensities”. Floyd has a diameter which is two to three times that of Andrew. A hint of Floyd’s future path may be given by its lack of symmetry with respect to its eye. Andrew is small but symmetric.

Ordering a mandatory evacuation is the easy part. Hurricane Irene highlighted the need for plans to evacuate/care for the elderly and the critically ill. The current “First Responders” have gotten too much influence, if not power, in part due to the Patriot Act. We need Comprehensive Homeland Security Reform to plan for natural events other than War and Terrorism. We should also reassess how much Homeland Security we can afford and then assign resources appropriately. Isn’t a Mandatory Evacuation Order currently an Unfunded Mandate?


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To Do

1. Comprehensive &1 Reform
2. Comprehensive Enabler Reform
3. First Responders [Let him die?]
4. Cover Story [CIA for observing obl]
5. Bush built it; Who tears it down?
6. Lawyer Ethics
7. Is God Dark Energy?
8. To Open slide finger under edge…
9. CT vs COIN
10. Space Exists!
11. Joplin Mayor had less than two (2) years of experience
12. The Evolution of FEMA’s Responsibility

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Needed: Comprehensive Command and Control Reform

David Gergen and I saw need for improvement in the Obama administration’s response to the BP oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. LTG Russell Honore, USA, (ret.) described a command and control structure for addressing the crisis during multiple interviews on CNN. I decided that Colin Powell was “the answer.” Woodward decided that Colin Powell would be the “right” person to replace Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense.

Joplin is 60 miles west of here. In less than 12 hours, Joplin had been declared a state emergency and a Federal Disaster area. Initial reports on CNN seemed to discourage local people helping out and leaving the situation to the “professional” first responders. This is counter to the local culture.

Early news coverage included statements by the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, and a MG from the Missouri National Guard saying they were here to support the local authorities. By May 25, 2011, CNN was reporting that it seemed like no one was in charge. However, two parents had been kept out of the morgue for 3 days. “This is a Federal Disaster. We have to be 100% certain.”

George W. Bush was the Decider. Barack Obama is the Sage. Barack Obama is also the Commander in Chief (CINC). Since Donald Rumsfeld “transformed” our forces, CINC Obama is the only CINC. We need to UNTRANSFORM some of our forces so that we have full functional capability in general purpose command and control. We may not need to have (m)any Field Armies but we do need to have comprehensive (full functional) command and control capability.

Any task force that responds to a general disaster needs to have full functional capability.

Joplin does not have a functional integrated C3 system to include a disaster recover database.

Somebody in the system has the set of formal addresses as recognized by the USPS. Junk mailers can get access to the addresses. We have just completed a census. Sounds like what’s needed to be able to identify within 10% how many people are missing.

Joplin needs communication for cell phones and computers. The devastation is only a mile or less wide so water is accessible locally.

I have heard only one person mention on TV that search and recovery operations need to extend Eastward, perhaps to Springfield.

Joplin needs UNTRANSFORMED general purpose command and control. CINC Obama is expected Sunday.

We have spent 10 years "investing" in homeland security until we have the "Top Secret America" described in a Washington Post series a few months ago. We are heavy on the Intel. We need to reestablish an Ops capability.

The concept is simple - a rapid reaction deployable CCIS node for disaster recovery. In the GAMO and JINTACCS communities, this would be the JTF headquaters node. In WWMCCS, it would include R2DC3, DWC4, and FORWARD TALK. In NATO, it would be the MWHQ initiative of Task Force 6 (C3).


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lesson Learned 1001

Shave BEFORE putting on sunblock.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

to the Shores of Tripoli - 2

So much for Transparency:


Sunday, February 27, 2011

to the Shores of Tripoli

The untransformed US Navy and US Marine Corps would have picked up the 270 US citizens and friendly nationals. I believe they could have done it under all the weather conditions.

Who is responsible for this degradation of our forces? Donald Rumsfeldt?

The Navy and Marines belong in the Carribean and Mediterranean NOT Iraq or Afghanistan.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and the US Flag

President Obama is responsible for enforcing the US Code with respect to the US Flag in the District of Columbia and Federal Installations. The US Flag is not supposed to be used in decorations and strict guidance is given for the Flag's use. I think the US Flag is misused in John King USA on CNN and in nearly all political party statements where multiple US Flags are used. I noticed it with President Obama and then Speaker Pelosi first.

I think it is well within Congress's intent for the President to disallow any sales, wearing of, or any other presentation of a US Flag within the District of Columbia which was not made in the USA. That excludes China. This should contribute to Jobs, Jobs, Jobs in the US.

See ABCNews by Diane Sawyer earlier tonight.