Great Mind and Heart, Too Simple, Good Start
February 26, 2011
Right up front, and in part because this is going to be a “tough love” commentary, I want to say that of all those of any persuasion who are known presidential contenders, Mike Huckabee is the only one I genuinely like, trust, and would support. Mitch Daniels surprised me with his gifted presentation at the conservative caucus, and Donald Trump has his own gifts, but for me, Huckabee is a natural. I review his book in the third part of this review, the first two sections are short tough love stage setters.
That said, he is not attracting the big money, he needs a broader advisory base, and he needs to inspire ALL Americans.
Book in a nutshell: Family, Local, Money, Taxes, Health, Education, Environment, Immigration, Terrorism, Military, Enemies, Faith
FACT ONE: The two-party tyranny is killing us all. The two-party elites have sold out and there is no difference between the Republican and Democratic Party “machines,” they both work for Wall Street, they both are corrupt, until Mike Huckabee acknowledges that fact and comes forth with a demand for Electoral Reform legislation by 4 July 2011, he will not have a serious shot at being President. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by putting We the People back in charge; that needs to be his central focus, in my humble opinion, in part because there isn't a single other candidate with the integrity to do that very thing. Combine that with a Coalition Cabinet announced in advance and challenging others to do the same, and he wins a LANDSLIDE victory.
GOOD NEWS: Electoral Reform 2.2 is an easily searchable term and brings up Electoral Reform–1 Page, 9 Points 2.2. Obama was elected by 30% of the electorate, and McCain lost because he failed to honor the instincts of the House Republicans and come out full bore against any bail out of the banks. I tried to help McCain, we should have frozen evictions and foreclosures and insured Americans from the bottom-up. I say this because Mike Huckabee cannot win from the Right. He has to win from the Center, and he has to win with the support of not just angry betrayed Republicans and Democrats, but with the support of the 43% or more who now regard themselves as Independents, and the 10-15% that belong to the OTHER 63 parties in America, notably Libertarian, Green, and Reform. The the Right blows it in 2012, Obama coasts to another 30% “win.” On Coalition Cabinet, search for Coalition Cabinet Steele.
FACT TWO: There are two things wrong with this book–not with the author but with the book–and they are both associated with a lack of appreciation for what it means to have a strategic analytic model that can connect means (revenue), ways (allocations), and ends, and the absolute non-negotiable need for integrity in governance. The harshest thing I can say about this book is that is consists of well-intentioned platitudes. It does not confront the reality that the US Government is out of control, that decisions are being made based on ideology instead of intelligence, and that there is PLENTY OF MONEY for getting America back on track if we can restore the integrity of the electoral process and governance.
GOOD NEWS: A Strategic Analytic Model does exist, and there is a massive movement across America of connected young people who have survived our crummy federalized and dumbed-down educational “system,” and who are ready to empower Mike Huckabee and local, state and federal governance with Participatory Budgeting and the kind of online as well as open space face to face deliberative dialog that has been pioneered by my friend Harrison Owen and by the National Council for Dialog and Deliberation (NCDD). No one person can have all the answers–what Mike Huckabee can do is focus on connecting all of us to the facts, and giving us an chance to apply our collective intelligence to our common challenges. This is a bottom-up opportunity–top down micro-management by the federal bureaucracy is dead. There are ten threats to humanity, with poverty and infectious disease being the top two, with poverty doubling under Obama-Biden, but also stemming from uninformed and unethical — as well as unconstitutional — decisions by Bush-Cheney. Mike Huckabee has to understand what it takes to create a Smart Nation, and nurture us all in that direction. A Coaltion Cabinet, and an intelligence community focused on reality instead of secret waste, will help get us there. Dennis Kucinich as Vice President, with a hair-cut and a life-time supply of shampoo, it's a landslide.
FACT THREE: This is a great book with soul that focuses on fundamentals, and he could not have chosen a better place to start than with the family. The Industrial Era used the family as firewood, and we have allowed that era and its Industrial “captains” to design cities, transportation and food systems, energy systems, and governance systems that trash the family. A great many of our diseases — and some would say that the growth of “alternative lifestyles” is a genetic disease — can be traced to the industrialization of agriculture and the chemicalization of “food.” As I read through each of the neatly-packaged “mandate for change” chapters, what I see is a combination of superb instincts–the book and the author have soul–with terrible ignorance about alternatives.
GOOD NEWS: It takes a Nation to rescue a Nation. I believe McCain-Palin lost because they declined the Wall Street bribe (Obama still has not accounted for 300 million of the 750 million he spent, most of it NOT from small donors) and because they tried to run on being expert rather than being open. Palin should have totaled Katie whats-her-name by saying her job was not to be an expert on anything, it was to be First Mom and ensure that McCain did not go to bed at night without hearing from the heartland. Here also the Bushie staffers on Vice Presidential Operations (all picked three months before she herself was chosen–the fix was in) let us all down. There's nothing wrong with the prescriptions in each of the chapters, but here below I offer one line mind-expanders, the stuff that is NOT in this book that could, if integrated by Mike Huckabee, make him the first modern President and world leader.
Family: We need to get back to one income families, plain and simple, at the same time that we restore multi-generation families staying together, and provide absolute protection to the right of citizens to be employed while stopping illegal immigration.
Local: Governance focus–and as we learn in Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War, local elites are just as corrupt as national elites. Local needs to be about RESILIENCE and COMMUNITY. Local banks, local food, local energy, local water discipline.
Money: Money and Taxes are connected and the Federal Reserve has got to go (not mentioned in this book). Electoral Reform 2.2 includes a demand for all legislation to be publicized before the vote. We need to end earmarks and we need to end federal spending for the sake of spending (each Senator and Congressman demands a 5% kick-back on “delivered” programs. Personally I think federal officials should be chosen the way we choose juries–by lottery and for single terms. Our “political class” is the most corrupt bunch of money junkies I have ever seen, and we need to separate public decision making from personal profit. I totally agree with the author on redefining ALL spending as discretionary, but he could be tougher on no more borrowing from banks, and on the fact that fity percent (FIFTY PERCENT) of all current spending is known to be fraud, waste, and abuse, especially in defense, intelligence, and health. See my review of Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America.
Taxes. Fair Tax is okay, the Automated Payment Transaction Tax (it even has its own website) is better. END all individual income taxes, period, no negotiation, no delay. End all exemptions and subsidies. The US tax system is criminally out of control and irresponsible. Loopholes and subsidies are the primary source of legislative crime. End it all with the APT tax.
Health. This is an important part of the book that avoids mention of many obvious facts, including the fact that we are poisoning ourselves and our environment with industrialization including the industrialization of agriculture that pours toxins into our bodies and our air and water. This section also avoids the FACT that we can eliminate the health short-falls by making health a public service just as fire, police, and water are; and the FACT that the rest of the world pays 1-3% of what we pay for the top 75 drugs–there is no MEDICARE deficit, there is an INTEGRITY DEFICIT in Congress and the Executive.
Education. There are a lot of important observations in this chapter, and I particularly favor the personalized learning and restoration of arts and music (which have an enormous impact on creativity and later on entrepreneurship). However, the chapter is out of touch with proven child-driven education, and below I list just three books that should define the future of US education.
Don't Bother Me Mom–I'm Learning!
The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education
Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education
Environment. Of all the chapters, this one best demonstrates the author's urgent need of a holistic analytic model and a diversified board of advisors. Most of what is in here is sensible industrial-era stuff. Eliminating the entire grid that wastes half the energy enroute is not in here. Fully self-sufficient houses and self-sufficient neighborhoods is not in here. Recasting our entire nation to emphasize high-speed rail with mid-size cities and localized agriculture is not in here. WATER is not in here. Global Warming is a fraud created by Maurice Strong and Al Gore and the Indian railroad engineer that has been manipulating the results of the International Panel on Climate Change. POVERTY is killing the environment. IGNORANCE (of water waste and poisoning) is killing the environment. Most of all, the fact that nothing we do matters if we cannot create a new model so compelling that Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia adopt it, is not in here. See The Global 2000 Report to the President: Entering the Twenty-First Century (Pelican) (v. 1). Jimmy Carter was told what the future would bring, but Zbigniew Brzezinski preferred to give Pakistan the nuclear bomb and dabble in geo-politics.
Immigration. My mother was born in Colombia of Spanish ancestry. I also know colleagues whose grand-parents, when asked about their immigration date, say “I was born here, they just moved the border on me.” The Guadalupe-Hidalgo line is coming back, demography is destiny, and the US Government is absolutely worthless on the matter of immigration. The last attempt to do population planning was killed by the save craven politicians that refused to address Peak Oil or Peak Water. On that see, The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U. S. Population Policy.
Terrorism. I was one of the first clandestine case officers assigned terrorism full time in the 1980's, and I am one of those who signed the letter to Senator McCain against torture. Terrorism is a boil, nothing more. It is a manifestation of US occupation of foreign lands and US support for dictators. Ron Paul has it right–A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship. The rest of the world sees the US Government and US forces in the same negative light that they see predatory US corporations that bribe elites to create what one author calls The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back. My chapter on holistic counter-terrorism (don't throw stones if you live in a glass house) can be found at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog under Articles & Chapters. I would also stress my concern with home-grown terrorism, which is natural outrage at federal excesses–see for instance, Harvest Of Rage: Why Oklahoma City Is Only The Beginning. The federal AND state governments are out of touch with reality and their publics…in my humble opinion. We need to start managing quality of life, not budget share.
Military. We don't have a military in the US, we have a badly managed pork factory with careerist flag officers who lost their integrity upon leaving the rank of Major. We've known since 1998 that we needed four forces after next (Big War, Small War, Peace Force, and Homeland Strength Force (mostly about education and infrastructure). CORRUPTION in Congress and the Executive (regardless of which party has been in power) have created a military in which 4% (the infantry) take 80% of the casualties while only receiving 1% of the money invested in their well-being. This is criminal. We have the answers and the money, we lack the INTEGRITY at the top to get it right.
Enemies. With profound respect and an up-front apology to those who disagree, this chapter is a delusional sop to Israel and the neo-conservatives that destroyed the US economy (Goldman Sachs led the way) and US standing in the world, taking us to war on the basis of 935 documented lies led by Dick Cheney, who himself committed 23 documented impeachable acts while hijacking the White House from the well-intentioned, good-hearted George Walker Bush, the final act in the Bush Family Tragedy. Israel–and the dual-citizens that hold Top Secret clearances and routinely lie to the President on Israel's behalf, are not our friends. Remember the USS Liberty. Take a closer look at the USS Cole and the 9/11 “who benefits.” We are our own worst enemy, and for so long as we continue to support 42 of the 44 dictators on the planet, spending tens of billions on them and nothing on Internet access and other foundations of freedom, we are–in the eyes of the world–deceitful hypocits who do great damage to everything we touch. Here again, listen to Ron Paul. Read Chalmers Johnson and Derek Leebaert and Howard Zinn and Jonathan Schell. Above all, stop accepting propaganda as a substitute for getting a firm grip on reality. NEWSFLASH: 200 million Americans, each giving $10 to Mike Huckabee for President, can outspend Israel, the Vatican, the top 20 Islamic families now getting into US politics, and all of the corporations. Go straight, win righteously.
Faith. I have a special interest in faith because I have taken an interest in the Inter-Faith Peace Summit that will take place in Assisi, Italy in October 2011. My letter to the Pope, search for Intelligence for Assisi, outlines in a few pages the same stuff I think Mike Huckabee needs to add to his policy portfolio. The primary obstacle to inter-faith tolerance and harmony is SECULAR CORRUPTION, and the primary culprit on the latter, the one doing the most damage to the most people including its own citizens, is the US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. I have faith in America the Beautiful, I have faith in the American people and the Average American, and I especially have faith in the concept that God is Us–the Community of Humanity practicing the Golden Rule and making the most of Earth, our most precious foundation for being. Corruption is the manifestation of Satan, and anyone who sacrifices their integrity for personal gain at the expense of others has gone to Hell and is trying to take us with them. Faith demand integrity, in my view, and we are long overdue for having a President, a Coalition Cabinet, and a Congress that can demonstrate both, always.
By the by, there is NOTHING we really need from Washington, the federal government is supposed to be an administrative service of common concern to the United STATES of America, not a czar. Nullification and secession need to remain on the table–in my view, the US Government is four years from breaking apart, and Mike Huckabee, and Electoral Reform and a Coalition Cabinet, may be the only means of achieving the non-violent 2nd American Republic that restores the fundamentals of who we are supposed to be, a beacon of light for all who aspire to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
More links at the Phi Beta Iota version of this review, which does lead back here.
Review: Running on Empty–How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It (Paperback)
Review: National Suicide: How Washington Is Destroying the American Dream from A to Z
Review: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Review: Secession, State, and Liberty
Review: They Dare to Speak Out–People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby