Review: Willful Neglect–The Dangerous Illusion of Homeland Security

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Budget Process & Politics, Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Impeachment & Treason, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Security (Including Immigration)
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Final Review: Ground-Level View of Obvious Vulnerabilities and a General Failure to Protect

February 10, 2010 [final review 21 February]

Sam Faddis

My own new book is finally at the printer, INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainaabilty and I am really enjoying getting back into serial reading. I totally respected and agreed with this author’s first book, Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and I find this ground-level view “from our enemies’ eyes” to be quite helpful, accurate, and alarming.

This is not a book the Administration (regardless of which party happens to be in control on any given day) because the Administration is totally out of touch with reality, totally partisan, and largely not interested in the welfare of average Americans because Wall Street money is personal, our tax payments are not–they go to the highest bidder.

Indeed, the decisions that the Administration makes every day not only make our citizens less safe, they cost our earnest honest businesses billions of dollars as imposed costs from government errors of understanding and policy and regulation. See my article in Homeland Security Today on “America’s Cyber-Scam,” and separately, my update on the massive looting of Haiti that is about to take place as American contractors rush to swindle everyone, joining the Red Cross in the 50% overhead scam–only in the case of US contractors paying Haitians a dollar a day, it will be more like 80% scam.

What the author has done that no one else has done to date, is actually “walk” the ground across America looking for obvious vulnerabilities that terrorists armed with silencers and willing to die could exploit.

Each chapter covers a different vulnerability, and the value of this book is easily seen in the fact that this is almost “real-time” intelligence on specific vulnerabilities, the author has been “up close and personal” with each one, and the bottom line is clear: The US Government and state and local government have no idea how to protect America internally, we are living on grace, not preparedness (just as CIA offices under official cover overseas are not really operating under cover, just tacit immunity from local liaison which has them all pegged).

Chapter one takes down two military facilities.
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Review: SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa

6 Star Top 10%, Associations & Foundations, Autonomous Internet, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Communications, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology, Intelligence (Public), Media, Mobile, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, Security (Including Immigration), Stabilization & Reconstruction, Survival & Sustainment, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Six Stars–Hugely Important Useful Collection

February 20, 2010

Edited by Sokari Ekine

Contributing authors include Redante Asuncion-Reed, Amanda Atwood, Ken Banks, Chrstinia Charles-Iyoha, Nathan Eagle, Sokari Ekine, Becky Faith, Joshua Goldstein, Christian Kreutz, Anil Naidoo, Berna Ngolobe, Tanya Notley, Juliana Rotich,  and Bukeni Wazuri

This book will be rated 6 Stars and Beyond at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, where we can do things Amazon refuses to implement here, such as sort useful non-fiction into 98 categories, many of the categories focused on stabilization & reconstruction, pushing back against predatory immoral capitalism, and so on.

When the book was first brought to my attention it was with concern over the price. The price is fair. Indeed, the content in this book is so valuable that I would pay $45 without a second thought. I am especially pleased that the African publishers have been so very professional and assured “Look Inside the Book”–please do click on the book cover above to read the table of contents and other materials.

This is the first collection I have seen on this topic, and although I have been following cell phone and SMS activism every since I and 23 others created the Earth Intelligence Network and put forth the need for a campaign to give the five billion poor free cell phones and educate them “one cell call at a time,” other than UNICEF and Rapid SMS I was not really conscious of bottom-up initiatives and especially so those in Africa where the greatest benefits are to be found.

I strongly recommend this book as a gift for ANYONE. This is potentially a game-changing book, and since I know the depth of ignorance among government policy makers, corporate chief executives, and larger non-governmental and internaitonal organization officials, I can say with assurance that 99% of them simply do not have a clue, and this one little precious book that gives me goose-bumps as I type this, could change the world by providing “higher education” to leaders who might then do more to further the brilliant first steps documented in this book.
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Review: Come Home America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Civil Society, Congress (Failure, Reform), Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Future, History, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Justice (Failure, Reform), Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Read Fire Side Chat Review–This is Supplemental

February 20, 2010

William Greider

Very rarely do I find reviews as lengthy as my own. Please read and appreciate the Fireside Chat review that is deservedly popular with readers. I first encountered William Greider while managing the international conference on “National Security and National Competitiveness: Open Source Solutions,” and I realized that the way the US Government was mis-managing our democracy and our public commons was central to the demise of America. The two books I have most appreciated by him are Who Will Tell The People? : The Betrayal Of American Democracy and The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy but I have to remind myself that before I knew him personally I had also read and appreciated Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country as well as One World Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (Hardcover).

I like the “fireside chat” description of this book and am providing my own summary primarily for my own benefit and the benefit of those that follow all of my non-fiction reviews at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog where all of my reviews, in 98 non-fiction categories, are more easily exploited than here at Amazon (but they all lead back to Amazon.

QUOTE (1): We live in a country where telling the hard truth with clarity has become taboo.

QUOTE (7): From the birth of our nation, it was always ordinary people, pushing from the bottom against an entrenched status quo, that led to the most momentous changes in American life.
Continue reading “Review: Come Home America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country”

Review: The Idea that is America–Keeping Faith With Our Values in a Dangerous World

4 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Democracy, Diplomacy, History, Justice (Failure, Reform), Philosophy, Politics, Public Administration, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Best of Intentions, Good Individual Effort,

February 20, 2010

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Now that my own book INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainaabilty is at the printer am back into reading and really looking forward to catching up with the 25 books on my “to do” shelf. This one jumped to the top of the list at the recommendation of James Fallows, recently back from China and author of Blind Into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq among many other extraordinary books.

See my five-star review of the same author’s A New World Order, which is the better book for professionals. This book I recommend to those who are, like the author of the book, emerging counter-culture spirits, restless in harness, acutely aware of the hypocrisy of “Empire as Usual” under this nominally liberal Administration as under the last. My book Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography) covers the same ground from a more pragmatic focus on the need for reality-based governance.

I have two competing views of this book. The first, beyond five stars, is earned by this quote from page 13:

QUOTE: In our history, the greatest patriots have been those leaders and ordinary citizens who have dared to hold America to our own highest standards–even at the cost of ostracism, punishment, imprisonment and, at times–e3ven death.” I would add unemployment to the list–Washington today does NOT want to hear truth about anything at all.

Continue reading “Review: The Idea that is America–Keeping Faith With Our Values in a Dangerous World”

Review: A New World Order

5 Star, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Democracy, Diplomacy, Information Operations, Information Society, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Priorities, Security (Including Immigration), Survival & Sustainment, United Nations & NGOs, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars For a Serving Elite, Genius–Out of Touch with Non-Elites

February 20, 2010

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Now that my own book INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability is at the printer am back into reading and really looking forward to catching up with the 25 books on my “to do” shelf. This one jumped to the top of the list at the recommendation of James Fallows, recently back from China and author of Blind Into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq among many other extraordinary books.

This might have been a four because despite the gifted genius of the author–I use the term with admiration–the book is out of touch with two thirds or more of the relevant literature and all the non-elite movements that are doing precisely what she advocates but DISPLACING governments.

HOWEVER, the recurring theme of multinational information-sharing and information-driven harmonization grabbed me by the throat. A handful of quoted phrases, generally citing others properly end-noted:

+ European agencies “are best described as ‘information agencies.’ Their job is to collect, coordination, and disseminate information needed by policymakers.

+ “Modes of regulation based on information and persuasion…”

+ “Debousee also sees the European information agencies as network creators and coordinators.”

+ “In short, the ability to provide credible information and an accompanying reputation for credibility become sources of soft power.” She acknowledged here that non-governmental organization networks are doing this now, and that government networks need to do more of this.
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Review: The Bhagavad Gita–A Walkthrough for Westerners

5 Star, Consciousness & Social IQ, Cosmos & Destiny, Information Society, Intelligence (Public), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Religion & Politics of Religion, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Speak the Truth, Lose the Anger, Be Part of the Whole
February 10, 2010
Jack Hawley

It took me fifty years to recognize the deficiencies of the command and control or top down elite-dominated model of governance, and to discover the spiritual and practical integrity of collective intelligence, openness, appreciative inquirty, deliberative public dilaog, and so on. It’s taken another seven years to discover detachment from outcome, and that in turn set the stage for what I find to be the absolute essence of this book: speaking truth to power is half the battle, losing the anger is the other half. Harder to do than it sounds, this Westernized version of the Bhagavad Gita does help.

Here are the two paragraphs I pulled from page 129 and then 147 for intelligence (decision-support) professionals:

“Those who transcend the gunas are in essence watchers, beyond the worldly. Although constantly aware of the inevitable cycle of birth, disease, senility, grief, and so forth, they dwell above it all, and merely witness it.

My personal take on the above is that sacred dispassion is a prerequisite for both spirtual vision and professional integrity.

“Always tell the truth, Arjuna, and present it in as pleasant a way as possible. If you cannot do that, remain silent. If something absolutely needs to be said, you must uphold the truth, but find a way to do it that is gentle and obliging.”

Talk about one’s life flashing past–A for truth, F for gentle. Something to work on in my last 20 years.
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Review: Comeback America–Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility (Hardcover)

3 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Budget Process & Politics, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Economics, Electoral Reform USA, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)

3.0 out of 5 stars Ten Years Late, More Whimper than Roar

February 7, 2010

David Walker

I was watching David Walker as he served nine of his fifteen years at Comptroller General, with light-weight whimpers to Congress until he finally got Peter Peterson to bail him out of government and give him a chunk of cash for making movies and writing a book and creating a web site that very few serious under 40 pioneers pay attention to.

I was thrilled to see him tell Congress in 2007 that the US was bankrupt–both Senator McCain and Senator Obama could have cared less–and so he walked quietly back to his holding cell at the General Accountability Office (GAO).  His “loyalty” to impeachable masters is just as troubling to me as the loyalty of our military leaders during the neo-con rampage.

This book loses one star for the publishers arrogance and ineptitude in failing to use all of the tools Amazon provides, so that readers like myself who read a great deal and do not buy books on whim, can actually look at the table of contents. If you want a sense what the author has to say, see the Wikipedia page on the US Federal Budget where the author’s fingerprints are elegantly visible.

If and when the publisher acts more responsibly and provides Look Inside the Book information as well standard entries via Amazon Advantage (about the book, about the author, editorial reviews), I will buy the book, read it, and review it.

The book loses a second star for being wildly praised by all the unethical losers that got us into this mess in the first place by sacrificing their ethics and selling the two party system out to Wall Street. Bill Bradley in particular is a major disappointment, he slunk off to Allen and Company where George “Slam Dunk” Tenet is also in hiding, and they have profited handsomely for betraying the public trust for over a decade. Edumund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Even better is the following from Chief Justice Louis Brandeis:

Continue reading “Review: Comeback America–Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility (Hardcover)”