Yoda: UN Explores Data Revolution

Advanced Cyber/IO, Analysis, Budgets & Funding, Earth Intelligence, Ethics, InfoOps (IO), IO Deeds of Peace, IO Impotency, Methods & Process, Non-Governmental, Strategy, Threats, True Cost, United Nations & NGOs
Got Crowd? BE the Force!
Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Thinking, they are.

Towards a Data Revolution

This summer UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established the Independent Expert Advisory Group (IAEG) to provide concrete recommendations on how to achieve a Data Revolution for sustainable development. The IEAG report – due in early November – will be a crucial opportunity to explain how better quality and more timely data can transform development. The group is also looking for innovative approaches to data collection, publication, and use.

To solicit input from all communities of practice – particularly academia – the IAEG is hosting a public consultation at undatarevolution.org to solicit input into its work until October 15, 2015In spite of the short notice, we strongly encourage you to submit your ideas and suggestions for the data revolution. Please share this message widely and provide your comments on the IEAG website.

Continue reading “Yoda: UN Explores Data Revolution”

Tom Engelhardt: Failure is Success – How American Intelligence Works in the Twenty-First Century PLUS Robert Steele on Steps President Obama Could Take…

Analysis, Budgets & Funding, Corruption, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), Government, Idiocy, Ineptitude, IO Impotency, Misinformation & Propaganda, Office of Management and Budget, Officers Call, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests
Tom Englehardt
Tom Englehardt

Failure Is Success: How American Intelligence Works in the Twenty-First Century

“While taxpayer dollars flowed into your coffers, no one considered it a problem that the country lacked 17 overlapping outfits bent on preventing approximately 400,000 deaths by firearms in the same years; nor 17 interlocked agencies dedicated to safety on our roads, where more than 450,000 Americans have died since 9/11”

By

MintPressNews,

What are the odds? You put about $68 billion annually into a maze of 17 major intelligence outfits. You build them glorious headquarters.  You create a global surveillance state for the ages. You listen in on your citizenry and gather their communications in staggering quantities.  Your employees even morph into avatars and enter video-game landscapes, lest any Americans betray a penchant for evil deeds while in entertainment mode. You collect information on visits to porn sites just in case, one day, blackmail might be useful. You pass around naked photos of them just for… well, the salacious hell of it.  Your employees even use aspects of the system you’ve created to stalk former lovers and, within your arcane world, that act of “spycraft” gains its own name: LOVEINT.

Continue reading “Tom Engelhardt: Failure is Success – How American Intelligence Works in the Twenty-First Century PLUS Robert Steele on Steps President Obama Could Take…”

Reflections on Reform 2.3 Numbers for 30% DoD Cut over 2-4 Years

Advanced Cyber/IO, All Reflections & Story Boards, Budgets & Funding, Ethics, Government, Officers Call, Policies, Serious Games, Strategy, Threats, True Cost
Robert David STEELE Vivas
Robert David STEELE Vivas

It never occurred to me, when I lost the first bureaucratic battle on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in 1992, that my innate sense of  integrity [do the right thing] would lead me to resign from the Marine Corps civil service in 1993 as a very young GM-14, and spend not five, not ten, but twenty years wandering in the wilderness helping over 66 governments and over 7,500 mid-career officers get a grip on sources and methods the traditional secret services refused to consider and the traditional consumers of intelligence did not know how to do.  Of all my student bodies, the USA was the worst, remaining ignorant at the leadership level, helpless at the follower level–butts in seats, no brain required.  Hence, as we approach a historic turning point, the possibility that we might have a Secretary of State and a Secretary of Defense that can actually get a grip on reality together, I thought it might be useful to offer up three things I have learned during my 20-year walk-about:

Continue reading “Reflections on Reform 2.3 Numbers for 30% DoD Cut over 2-4 Years”

Marcus Aurelius: Superficial Cuts at Defense

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, Budgets & Funding, Corruption, DoD, Government, Military
Marcus Aurelius

There is a lot of waste in the defense budget, much of it inserted by Congress for pork reasons, but DoD is also used to mask many other non-Defense programs, not just intelligence but in energy, health, foreign aid, etcetera.  Breaking the bargain with military retirees on health care is both a major betrayal, and a window into an alternative, a national health care service that does not pay full price for pharmaceutical that rarely work.

Deficit Cutters Look To Pentagon Budget

By Donna Cassata, Associated Press

WASHINGTON–One war is done, another is winding down and the calls to cut the deficit are deafening. The military, a beneficiary of robust budgets for more than a decade, is coming to grips with a new reality — fewer dollars.

The election accelerated an already shifting political dynamic that next year will pair a second-term Democratic president searching for spending cuts with tea partyers and conservatives intent on preserving lower tax rates above all else, even if it means once unheard of reductions in defense.

President Barack Obama and Congress have just a few weeks to figure out how to avert the automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs totaling $110 billion next year. Those reductions are part of the so-called fiscal cliff of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and the across-the-board cuts that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned would be devastating to the military.

Continue reading “Marcus Aurelius: Superficial Cuts at Defense”

Reference: Spending on War

04 Inter-State Conflict, 07 Other Atrocities, Budgets & Funding, Government, Military

From: http://www.youtube.com/user/AlJazeeraEnglish

June 18, 2012 – Do you know how your tax dollars are spent?

US radio host Dennis Bernstein and investigative reporter Dave Lindorff illustrate just how much US tax money goes towards the country’s war chest.

“People have to realise that 53 cents of every dollar that they are paying into taxes is going to the military to an astonishing figure there is an enormous, enormous amount of money being blown on war an killing and destruction.”

Paul Craig Roberts: Collapse at Hand – and ONE THING an Honest Government Could Do To Make It All Right

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Transnational Crime, 11 Society, Blog Wisdom, Budgets & Funding, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, General Accountability Office, Government, Law Enforcement, Money, Banks & Concentrated Wealth, Office of Management and Budget
Paul Craig Roberts

Collapse At Hand

Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis and quantitative easing, the question has been before us: How can the Federal Reserve maintain zero interest rates for banks and negative real interest rates for savers and bond holders when the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year via its budget deficits? Not long ago the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury’s credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued.

In other words, financial deregulation leading to Wall Street’s gambles, the US government’s decision to bail out the banks and to keep them afloat, and the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy have put the economic future of the US and its currency in an untenable and dangerous position. It will not be possible to continue to flood the bond markets with $1.5 trillion in new issues each year when the interest rate on the bonds is less than the rate of inflation. Everyone who purchases a Treasury bond is purchasing a depreciating asset. Moreover, the capital risk of investing in Treasuries is very high. The low interest rate means that the price paid for the bond is very high. A rise in interest rates, which must come sooner or later, will collapse the price of the bonds and inflict capital losses on bond holders, both domestic and foreign.

The question is: when is sooner or later? The purpose of this article is to examine that question.

Continue reading “Paul Craig Roberts: Collapse at Hand – and ONE THING an Honest Government Could Do To Make It All Right”

Mini-Me: $4 Billion for Israel, Nothing for US Jobs

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, Budgets & Funding, Corruption, DoD, Government, Idiocy
Who? Mini-Me?

Huh?

Congressional Committee Proposal would raise US taxpayer support for Israel’s military in 2013 to a record $4 billion.

Tim King | Salem-News.com

(WASHINGTON DC) – As news about Israeli political parties merging dominates headlines, this one is being overlooked. The US House of Representatives Defense Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday approved almost $1 billion for Israel’s anti-missile defense programs.

The expensive systems are called Arrow 3. The American politicians propose spending this exorbitant amount in order to upgrade the current Arrow system, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome.

The names are fancy, unlike the missiles they say they are defending themselves from. The munitions fired from Gaza are al Qassam rockets and they are little more than unguided fireworks.

Israeli and American media portray the ‘rocket attacks from Gaza’ as a serious danger and they claim that the large U.S. tax payer contributions are necessary in order to ‘defend’ Israel. The Gaza rockets have in all time, killed a total of 28 Israeli citizens. Some place the number at 29.

The total appropriation is the highest ever approved for the four programs; it reflects the willingness of the United States to back yet another racist, apartheid government that uses American investments to send Israeli youth to college, and to kill Palestinians; Muslims and Christians, who have few rights under a system that Israel created, offering one set of laws and punishments to Jews, and a different set for all other human beings.

Read full article.

Phi Beta Iota:  Equally troubling is the continued borrowing of $1 trillion a year and the continued waste of over $2 trillion a year.

Reference: Defense and Energy Deficit Reduction: $688 Billion

03 Economy, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Energy, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Proliferation, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Budgets & Funding, Commercial Intelligence, Corruption, General Accountability Office, Government, Military, Office of Management and Budget, Officers Call

POGO Source Page, May 8, 2012

national security spending

Wasteful Spending in the Department of Defense Budget
Wasteful Spending on Nuclear Weapons Programs
Service Contracts
Conclusion
Endnotes

Americans are tightening their belts, and it’s time for the U.S. government to do the same. In light of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the subsequent failure of the “Super Committee,” Congress is still desperately seeking ways to reduce spending. To this end, the Project On Government Oversight and Taxpayers for Common Sense have closely examined the proposed national security budget[1] and found plenty of wasteful spending. Adjusted for inflation, U.S. national security spending is higher than at any point during the Cold War and accounts for more than half of all discretionary spending.[2] However, the U.S. faces no existential threats as it did then, and U.S. defense needs are changing as the military draws down its presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, military spending at the Department of Defense (DoD) has increased by an astounding 95 percent from FY 2001 to the FY 2013 estimate, adjusted for inflation.[3] Nuclear weapons spending at the Department of Energy (DOE) is projected to grow by billions of dollars over the next decade.[4] And the federal government’s reliance on contractors, most of whom work on national security-related work and cost on average nearly twice as much as the federal workers who do the same job, is also driving budgets through the roof.[5] It’s clear that any serious proposal to shrink the U.S. deficit must include cuts to the national security budget.

The following list updates our recommendations from 2011[6] and details nearly $700 billion in savings over the next ten years, including cuts to wasteful weapons systems as well as limits on out-of-control contract spending. We found programs for which there are cheaper yet equally effective alternatives, and programs that can be cancelled or delayed without putting America’s security at risk.

The Project On Government Oversight is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

Taxpayers for Common Sense is a nonpartisan budget watchdog serving as an independent voice for American taxpayers. Its mission is to achieve a government that spends taxpayer dollars responsibly and operates within its means. TCS works with individuals, policymakers, and the media to increase transparency, expose and eliminate wasteful and corrupt subsidies, earmarks, and corporate welfare, and hold decision makers accountable.

Wasteful Spending in the Department of Defense Budget

Continue reading “Reference: Defense and Energy Deficit Reduction: $688 Billion”

Marcus Aurelius: Early Warning DoD Reductions in Force 6% to 50%

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 10 Security, 11 Society, Budgets & Funding, Commercial Intelligence, Corruption, DHS, DoD, Government, IO Impotency, Military, Office of Management and Budget
Marcus Aurelius

Starting to see initial indications that at least one part of DoD is gearing up to cut anywhere from 6% to 50% of its workforce within the fairly near term, perhaps beginning as soon as 01 Oct.  Drivers could be generic deficit reduction, sequestration, and historic limitations on strength levels in certain types of organizations.  Expect it to be ugly — sprung at last minute, execute without finesse.)

Government Workers Are Unfairly Assailed

By Ted Kaufman, US Senator (DE)

Wilmington (DE) News Journal
April 8, 2012

We’ve heard a lot in the past couple of years, pro and con, about escalating CEO compensation, but it seems to me at least one argument in their defense has merit. It is important to pay enough to recruit and retain the best talent available in the highly competitive global marketplace.

What seems strange to me is that those who believe this is true, that you have to pay well to attract the best talent, usually don’t accept the same argument when it comes to government employees.

One of the more dangerous consequences of the financial crisis is how governments at all levels are, in effect, cutting off their noses to spite
their faces. In the rush to balance their budgets, some are indiscriminately firing, freezing and cutting pay, and cutting pensions — too often impacting the people who actually make government work.

Continue reading “Marcus Aurelius: Early Warning DoD Reductions in Force 6% to 50%”

Winston Wheeler: Lies, Damn Lies, & Panetta-Pentagon Criminal Insanity

Budgets & Funding, Corruption, DoD, Government, Military
Winslow Wheeler

Cost growth in the last year in DOD’s acquisition system was $74 billion, 34 percent more than the $55 billion presumed to occur in the sequester in January; while the time frames are different (see discussion below), so much for Secretary of Defense Panetta’s asinine rhetoric that sequester would be a “Doomsday.”

Analysis of two recent acquisition reports is available at Time’s Battleland blog at http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2012/04/09/lies-damn-lies-and-pentagon-budget-numbers/

and below.

Cost growth in the last year in DOD’s acquisition system was $74 billion, 34 percent more than the $55 billion presumed to occur in the sequester in January; while the time frames are different (see discussion below), so much for Secretary of Defense Analysis of two recent acquisition reports is available at Time’s Battleland blog at http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2012/04/09/lies-damn-lies-and-pentagon-budget-numbers/ and below.

Lies, Damn Lies, and The Pentagon’s Latest Budget Numbers

By Winslow Wheeler | April 9, 2012 | +
Leon Panetta in Drag

There’s a pair of must-reads just out for anyone paying attention to the Pentagon’s acquisition nightmare: one is a routinely scheduled, but important, report from the Defense Department; the other comes from one of the very few entities doing even minimal oversight of the Department of Defense these days, the Government Accountability Office.

Reviewing the reports separately results in a muddled picture of how the Pentagon buys its weapons. Happily, each report fills some of the data missing in the other. But, the two reports still leave some gaping holes, while providing a false impression of progress in the way the Defense Department buys weapons.

The two reports are GAO’s annual review of major hardware acquisition, Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs, and DoD’s new Selected Acquisition Report (SAR), both released March 30. What follows is my own After-Action Report – including the gaps, contradictions, and false assurances – after studying the data they do – and don’t – contain.

The Death Spiral is Alive and Well

Continue reading “Winston Wheeler: Lies, Damn Lies, & Panetta-Pentagon Criminal Insanity”