• Was that Grover at the GOP debate in South Carolina jumping to his feet to cheer Newt’s blustering response to John King? I caught a few frames in the video on the tube but couldn’t find the same footage online to check frames.

    Is Grover supporting Newt?

  • I’m reminded of a discussion I had with a venture capitalist.

    We were arguing over the morality putting high school and college students into consumer debt (not student loan debt). I equated consumer credit card debt at an early age with addiction to heroin.

    “If it’s legal, I’d sell them heroin, too!” he said.

    In short, money and economics are amoral, as is this venture capitalist. This is prima facie evidence of a need for a new economics that introduces a value for morality and humanity. I’ve been out of college for many decades, so I can’t say I’ve been concerned with theory as I’m a serial entrepreneur.

    Amoral economics makes it acceptable for me to build a very profitable factory that kills one employee every day, I need only build the cost of the employee’s life insurance or death benefits into my business model for this to work. One skilled in the art would quickly analyze the most profitable (lowest cost to die) employees one could hire so that we could maintain production while reducing costs and increasing profits.

  • But wait, there’s more to this story!

    The disinformation propagated by Milton Friedman and his Chicago School descendants is now being reinforced and baked into our future economics system.

    Charles Koch has been funding economics chairs at many universities with the requirement that those selected pursue only the “Chicago School” of economic theory. This is not an overt requirement, but Koch demands control over hiring and retention and seems to eliminate anyone who doesn’t conform to his political goals. This is completely outside the tradition of academic freedom from control by funding sources.

    This is equivalent of paying to place global warming deniers in charge of environmental science.

  • You have no idea how depressing it is to read even half of your points and know how much you left out. I have a shelf of books supporting that and can’t bring myself to have my kids read them, it would destroy their optimism for the future.

  • It should be no secret that the US military is gearing up to invade Iran. Ask you neighbor in the military who is home for the holidays they’ll tell you straight up this is a fact as their training and weaponry is being prepared with this focus as much as deployment to Afghanistan.

    We’re already flying armed drones, Iranian experts are being killed in strange ways that would match with either drones or boots on the ground.

  • NationalInsecurity commented on the blog post Iran Shows US Drone on State-Run TV

    2011-12-09 15:16:49View | Delete

    My understanding this is an autonomous UAV, as that is what is promoted when it landed on an aircraft carrier and in other efforts. As noted, the inertial navigation would replace GPS to prevent spoofing and jamming GPS and would be good enough.

    If there are no weapons they wouldn’t need realtime data channel but that could be an option.

    The inside part of this is story is this is a Boeing product, while others are from other vendors such as General Atomics and Lockheed, so I wouldn’t be surprised there is a fair amount of kvetching about how it’s operated. We should also anticipate some disinformation for many reasons.

    From my knowledge of other similar projects I assign stronger veracity to the aviationist source. I doubt the Iranians were able to hack the control channel encryption if used properly. But we all know that people screw up and ignore obvious security gaps through hubris and haste – recall the trap Ayman al Zawahri set for the CIA team in Afghanistan, killing many of them due to lack of proper security.

  • NationalInsecurity commented on the blog post Iran Shows US Drone on State-Run TV

    2011-12-08 22:38:56View | Delete

    Here’s the best description I’ve found about why and what.


    see the complete article, but here’s a good insight

    First of all he said that Sentinel has no self-kill switch hence self-destruction is not part of the procedure intended to take care of a lost ‘bot.

    Then, he added:

    “Temporary loss of satellite connection is common and the drone will orbit on a preplanned route until connection is re-established. If the connection is never re-established then the aircraft will eventually run out of fuel and crash. This can happen if the the encryption keys are invalidated during rollover and were not properly loaded (among other possibilities). Prior to fuel exhaustion, standard procedure is to perform classified data erase, followed by software data erase. A recovery team is supposed to follow up and secure it or blow it up.

    “The UAV uses a an intertial nav system just like normal aircraft. Typically GPS aids the INS with the aircraft navigation solution, so if you were able to impersonate GPS, then you’d get some hybrid of the 2 solutions and it wouldn’t go where you wanted it. But the problem is even harder because this is mil-gps so you need the P-code encryption keys. Even worse, you need to somehow jam the real satellites while still allowing your impersonated gps to reach the aircraft…not easy to do on the ground, but pretty much impossible when the drone is at altitude.”

    Invoking my “appeal to authority” logic that this passes my sniff test, I was cofounder of a firm that made encryption software that may or may not be used for satellite communications with UAVs (drones). I’m also a private pilot and have had physics and aviation lectures/discussions with one of the senior Lockheed Skunkworks guys who designed the F-117, was junior guy on SR-71 and D-21 drone.

    This drone is autonomous and is designed to land itself with no external communications. I’m baffled and a bit surprised it could locate a suitable landing site that was long enough, wide enough and flat enough to not cause more damage. I know at least a couple private pilots who’ve run out of fuel and been so lucky, but their planes are homebuilts with low landing speeds and small wings.

    If this is a deception of sending a dummy drone that will tell the Iranians “See how good our ground penetrating radar is, we can see inside your deep underground bunkers,” it’s a pretty lame way to do it.

  • NationalInsecurity commented on the blog post The Dumbest Guys In The Room

    2011-07-24 21:41:32View | Delete

    I keep asking this question and nobody ever delivers a well-thought answer:

    “2.5 million American families will lose their homes this year, 14 million are unemployed, 25 million are unemployed, why are NO Democratic or progressive organizations getting people out into the streets?”

    My observation is that they’re all told by the WH strategists to lay low. But after 30 months of this why are they playing along?

  • “I just wonder how many votes the banks can can bring to the polls.”

    In all seriousness, the banks don’t need to bring votes, they merely need to drive up apathy to the point people don’t vote. It’s provably cheaper to increase apathy with negative advertising, increasing frustration, and generally fomenting a sense of hopelessness.

    I’m not saying I like it, just that it’s a cost-effective strategy

  • NationalInsecurity commented on the diary post Jared Bernstein’s Advice to Joe Biden: Focus on Jobs, Not on Deficits by Scarecrow.

    2011-06-03 22:50:16View | Delete

    No shit! The focus should be on jobs? (I’d say jobs-jobs-jobs, but I’ll settle for them focusing on jobs.) Someone is willing to _put his neck out and say it publicly_? And they have to _think_ about this? Are they completely and totally captive in DC? When we see 14 million unemployed in the streets [...]

  • Allow me to get back to the MOST IMPORTANT topic JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

    The only thing that’s going to get this country going again is a focus on jobs. We can complain all we want about banks and loan mods, but if people had jobs most of these problems would take care of themselves. Jared Bernstein’s opinions would be more useful to explain why the Obama Admin and the Democratic party have not been beating the GOP on the head with a 6″x8″ hickory log called jobs, jobs, jobs.

    If my hard science startup could raise risk capital we’d make about 20 jobs in next 12 months, about 50 in 24 months, about 250 in 36 months, a $1 billion industry in 7-10 years and $5 billion industry in 20 years. This isn’t an idle boast. We’re repeating a technology evolutionary pattern that’s happened 5 times over the past 120 years and we’ve got it working and cost effective. We have the tools and people to originate here in Silicon Valley, or watch it happen in Europe or China instead.

    But risk capital isn’t available in this country because we’re so focused on providing cheap money to commodity speculators, or funding the next viral game or burping iPhone or social networking software startup with a couple of 19 year olds. Note that commodities and software are short term flashes in the pan. Commercializing hard science takes longer, but it creates lots of stable jobs, with high pay and long term benefits to society.

    I’d go to Mitt Romney and Meg Whitman for money but they’re both obsessed with spending money on elections and ego.

  • “It’s better to punish all the struggling homeowners that have been sold predatory loans than let a few undeserving mortgage holders get a modification she doesn’t deserve.”

    Rick Santelli’s rant didn’t look beyond the end of his long nose.

    The reality is that a lack of serious loan mods has resulted in profound erosion to home values via the vicious downward spiral: -
    neighbor #1 loses job and must sell at a loss,
    new appraisal reduces value of 15 neighboring homes,
    credit scores of all neighbors is reduced as their home equity is lower, changing their debt ratios
    tax assessors must reduce ALL home values due to lower appraisal
    lower property taxes means less money for schools, public safety, etc
    neighbor #2 with job is now underwater
    pursues loan mod, declined
    neighbor #2 puts home on market that previously had equity but is now short sale
    home #2 is sold as short sale
    new appraisal reduces value of 15 neighboring homes
    neighbor #3 is underwater, has HELOC. Investor won’t remove deficiency judgment to allow short sale
    neighbor #3 decides to let bank foreclose
    new appraisal reduces value of 15 neighboring homes

    Santelli has a trader mentality of dealing with only what’s in front of his nose.

    Some of us have strategic planning mentality that integrates 5 years into the future.

  • I’m one of several old hippies in our neighborhood who have kids in the military. I frequently wake up around 4 AM and wonder, “How did we get here?”

    Much is due to collapse of economy that eliminated our home equity just as college arrived, loss of small business revenue that eliminated savings, diminished job opportunities for our son, but also because California’s public community colleges and state university system are so underfunded they can’t get enough classes to advance into higher paying jobs.

  • Whose fingerprints are on this “Warren for Senate” deception?

    She’s where she’s supposed to be. Recess appoint her. Period.

    Anyone who can get bin Laden can recess appoint a true consumer champion.

  • Go ahead, start the trend – “GFY.”

  • NationalInsecurity commented on the blog post Karl Rove, Bankster Bailer

    2011-05-20 21:07:08View | Delete

    Oh, BTW, 7 times shows you’re a piker! Why not 10 times? Settling for less shows you’re not doing your job.

  • NationalInsecurity commented on the blog post Karl Rove, Bankster Bailer

    2011-05-20 21:02:10View | Delete

    Nailed it.

  • NationalInsecurity commented on the blog post Late Night: The Clever Supervillians Get Bailouts

    2011-05-08 10:04:25View | Delete

    So Teapot Dome was a case study for today’s kleptocracy. “Griftopia” by Matt Taibbi looks like the Cliff Notes.

    I read up on what Rick Scott and the GOP just did in Florida to get their hands on $20 billion on Medicaid billings under the guise of “managed care” a.k.a. “managed theft.” They’ll scrape off $6 billion a year, pay themselves incredible salaries and perks, then bonuses on that, and declare they just CANNOT make a profit.

  • NationalInsecurity commented on the blog post Late Night: The Clever Supervillians Get Bailouts

    2011-05-07 21:05:45View | Delete

    2 questions from the left coast:
    Can anyone explain who’s giving money to Grover Norquist in such amounts that his most absurd comments scare people?

    It’s obvious from reading the news story that the laws have been gutted to the point prosecution is pointless. Literally, if this were a sport, the one team has been allowed to write one-sided rules so they can’t lose, and the referees and even the fans are left with no choice but to observe and pay, respectively.

    One need not have an MBA to realize that Citizens United literally demands corporate management, as part of their “fiduciary duty” to pay protection and buy as many politicians as possible.

    In fact, i recently heard from a neighbor who is a real estate agent here in California that her state realtor association, about 175,000 members with traditionally big lobbying strength, is having to raise MORE MONEY just to compete with the banks to keep visibility in Sacramento. She sat in a hearing room watching bankers and consumer groups (with union visibility, too) face off over foreclosure law changes. Having heard her stories for a few years I’m still amazed that Jamie Dimon, Angelo Mozillo and Ken Lewis aren’t being held naked in solitary under suicide watch. That Cassano could walk free is a testament to the value of owning a Senator or two.

  • I recently read about a few low level perps in California who are up for sentencing – facing 7-30 years. When I say low level, these were basic scammers who got straw buyers to sign loan docs, used the credit scores of the straw buyers, juiced the appraisals (juicing, like with steroids), took out extra cash at close, and did a mere 58 properties.

    I’m pleased to see some perps going to jail. But it’s obvious that these guys were mere pikers who weren’t aware they could buy a US senator for a mere $500K and keep sleeping in their McMansion in San Diego.

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