Review: Constructing Cassandra – Reframing Intelligence Failure at the CIA, 1947-2001

5 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Milo Jones and Philippe Silberzahn

5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, Recommended for Students, August 20, 2014

I found this book, a gift, to be charming and useful. It should certainly be used as a textbook at the national intelligence university and other mainstream schools. I consider this book a hybrid, one that integrates an outsider application of a social constructivist perspective, with an appreciation for selected insider sources who were ostracized at the time but ultimately proven correct when the agency they sought to serve was proven wrong.

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Review: Still Ours to Lead – America, Rising Powers, and the Tension Between Rivalry and Restraint

4 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Atlases & State of the World, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Bruce Jones

4.0 out of 5 stars One Third Provocative, One Third Delusional, One Third Ignorant, March 22, 2014

I was given this book as a gift, by someone who knew I can recite from memory the ten high level threats to humanity (as identified and prioritized by the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, and reported out in A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, which is also available free online as a PDF.

My first impressions were negative. On a second pass I found more to appreciate, but the most compelling impression I was left with is that Obama is Bush and the Brookings Institution has lost its moral and intellectual compass.

One Third Provocative

To the extent that good is to be found in the two-terms of the ObamaBiden Administration, this book serves as a fine guide. I wondered more than once which foreign policy position the author was applying for appointment to. Sadly, what the author offers in the way of positive must be construed by any realist grounded in international reality as a second application of lipstick on the pig, the first being when the neo-conswervatives and Wall Street successfully trotted Obama out as the savior of the two-party tyranny. [I credit the term to Theresa Amato’s Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny — it is not possible to be a serious observer of American idiocy without first understanding that there is no real difference between the extremists of the right and the extremists of the left — they are both toxic.

One Third Delusional

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Review: Rebuild the Dream

4 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Civil Society, Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform)
Amazon Page

Van Jones

4.0 out of 5 stars Oblivious to the Insanity of the Two-Party Tyranny, But Worth Digesting, July 1, 2012

This is one of two books I read on the plane to DC from Seattle, the other being Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy.

Part I for me is largely a waste of time. The author is — in my view of course — delusional on Obama’s success and at face value completely unwitting or unphased by the depth and breadth of the progressive betrayal of Obama aka Bush III. The author is also high on Al Gore — along with 9/11 and the root corruption of Congress that made our economic collapse inevitable this is one of my litmus tests. Al Gore took the bribe, rolled over and played dead despite the three months notice by Greg Palast of The Observer (later published in book form as The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. On the Republican side, I hold Colin Powell and George Tenet accountable for betraying the public trust, allowing Dick Cheney to take America to war on the basis of 925 now documented (Truth.dig) lies. There are no winners — no paragons of virtue — in either party, and I specifically include Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich has false flags, never really being willing to leave their warm embrace of their chosen tyranny.

Part II is slightly interesting is you do not read a great deal, a rehash of heart space, head space, the American story, and swarm theory. The rest of us call it collective intelligence, cognitive surplus, human scale, etcetera. Books to read here, vastly more detailed that the author’s light once over, include Tom Atlee’s The Tao of Democracy: Using co-intelligence to create a world that works for all, Jim Rough’s Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People, Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential and so many others that I have reviewed here at Amazon–and the many more I have not.

Part III begins to return value, and I certainly agree with the author’s early articulation that “America is still the best idea in the world,” but I find him hypocritical or oblivious in the extreme to completely ignore all of the broken promises, the role of money, the loss of integrity across every pillar of society.

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