Review: A Memoir of Injustice

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Jerry Ray, Tamara Carter

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Support for THE Book on USG Assassination of MLK,January 17, 2012<

I am unemployed and cannot afford books the way I once could, so my review is actually applause from the sidelines, and a pointer–something I can still do as the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, toward THE book:

An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (Updated)

MLK was assassinated at the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, with the active collaboration of the U.S. Army, and one suspects with at least the tacit knowledge of Lyndon Johnson, himself complicit in the assassination of JFK. I note with reverence that Bobby Kennedy calmed a major crowd with a voice close to that of MLK, only to be himself assassinated later. On JFK see:

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Jan 17

Jimmy Carter: Choosing the Righteous Path…

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Jimmy Carter

“We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure. All the traditions of our past, all the lessons of our heritage, all the promises of our future point to another path, the path of common purpose and the restoration of American values. That path leads to true freedom for our nation and ourselves. We can take the first steps down that path as we begin to solve our energy problem.”

Primary Resources: Crisis of Confidence

Jimmy Carter delivered this televised speech on July 15, 1979.

Phi Beta Iota:  Carter’s mistake was in not being clearer about the corruption of the Republic.  Malaise was a symptom–corruption–and public recognition of the corruption that was destroying the Republic from within–is the root cause.  Until we can speak the truth about what ails us as a Republic, it will not be addressed.

See Also:

Review: Palestine–Peace Not Apartheid

Review: Our Endangered Values–America’s Moral Crisis (Hardcover)

Journal: Reflections on Integrity

2012 Manifesto for Truth: Intelligence with Integrity . . . in the Public Interest (Evolver Editions, July 2012)

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Jul 15

Review (DVD): The King’s Speech

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Colin Firth,  Helen Bonham Carter, Tom Hooper

5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting–Great Actors, Great (Real) Settings, An Absorbing Delight

May 6, 2011

There are other summary reviews, so this is primarily a marker to add this DVD to the other 125 that I recommend for smart people looking for only the very best. Phenomenal and heart-warming.

Here are ten other “life at the top” DVDs that I recommend in addition to this one (to see all 126, visit Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, go all the way to the bottom of the middle column under Reviews (I read in 98 categories so it is a long column), and click on Reviews (DVD Only).

manolete (Dvd) Italian Import
Saving God
The Young Victoria
The Answer Man
Henry V
John Adams (HBO Miniseries)
Gone Baby Gone
Primary Colors
The Theory of Everything
Fidel

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May 6

Review DVD: The AMERICAN Ruling Class

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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Remarkable–Provokes & Entertains

December 10, 2009
Robert Altman, James Baker, Bill Bradley, Harold Brown, Hodding Carter, William Coleman, Walter Cronkite, Barabara Ehrenreich, Vartan Gregorian, Robert Hackney, Doug Henwood, Mike Dedavoy, Joseph Nye, Samuel Peabody, John Perkins, Pete Seeger, Lawrence Summers, Arthur Sulzberger, William Taft,  Kurt Vonnegut, Howard Zinn

This DVD is superb and also subversive. I doubt that the “stars” in this movie, particularly James Baker, Bill Bradley, Howard Brown, and Larry Summers, really knew what they were getting into, since their words–and their bland denials–ring so false in this context.

I put the film in while trying to deal with Microsoft’s latest “update” that cost me half the morning, and I recommend it very strongly as a Christmas present or for classrooms and book clubs.

My notes:

+ A Peabody, whose ancestors came on “the boat” and also founded Groton, laments that whereas all the leaders used to pass through Groton, now there is no real “source.” I am reminded of Lee Iacocca’s Where Have All the Leaders Gone?.

+ Hedge fund visits basically boils all ownership in America down to four banks, and later in the film we learn that six multinational control almost all “content.”

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Dec 10

Journal: Spinney, Boyd, Green, Kuhn on “Can America Be Salvaged?–Public Intelligence Aspects”

Idiocy in America

Idiocy in America

This lengthy piece is organized as follows:

1)  Chuck Spinney on how our partisan “leaders” are disconnected from reality and leading us over a cliff, with reference to John Boyd.

2.  An extract and link to the always brilliant CounterPunch where David Michael Green discusses the core issue: Can America be salvaged?

3.  A Phi Beta Iota editorial commentary on Thomas Kuhn (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions), Robert Steele (Paradigms of Failure, Data Pathologies), and Howard Zinn (A Power Governments Cannot Repress).

CHUCK SPINNEY: The article in Counterpunch by David Michael Green, “Can America be Salvaged?” is an brilliant expository argument describing  what are in effect the destructive outcomes of self-referencing/incestuously amplifying OODA loops that are becoming ever more disconnected from reality.

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Sep 19

Journal: Global Information Grid 2.0 and Counting

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In an era when changes to the Earth that used to take 10,000 years now take three;

In an era when all information in all languages all the time is the non-negotiable first step to achieving holistic understanding of the Earth’s system of systems as well as all the chaotic sub-systems;

In an era when the Nordics are far ahead of everyone else in thinking about Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2),

it is helpful to have a sense of what the U.S. Department of Defense is going with respect to it’s own Global Information Grid (GIG).

Below are a few headlines as well as pointers to a couple of devastatingly critical reviews from the General Accountability Office (GAO).

Phi Beta Iota has just one question: when, if ever, will DoD plan, program, budget, and implement for a world in which 96% of the information DoD needs to exploit is not secret, not in English, and not originating from a DoD device?

After the GAO reports, click on the Frog Left to read what we said to the National Research Council about the Army Communications Architecture in the early 1990′s and Frog Right to read about our recommendations for National Information Infrastructure (NII) cyber-security in the mid-1990′s.

DoD needs a Chief Knowledge Oficer (CKO)–someone that knows the difference between knowledge management,  network management, content capture and exploitation, and the Holy Grail, organizational intelligence.

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Aug 9

Review: Palestine–Peace Not Apartheid

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Truth is the only thing that will save us,

January 13, 2007
Jimmy Carter
President Jimmy Carter does not have a malicious bone in his body, and is one of the most intelligent Presidents we have ever had. His scholarship is NOT off the mark. What is off the mark is the dogmatic refusal of Zionist Jews to listen to reason.

See my reviews of Fog Facts : Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin (Nation Books) and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ for a sense of just how crazy all these people are that are claiming anti-semitism. I have nothing but disdain for the Jews that resigned, for they are disgracing themselves and America by showing so vividly their monstrous disrespect for the truth, for dialog, and for one of the finest Presidents this Nation has ever had (I say this as an estranged moderate Republican).

Reality is not easy. Reality is constantly obscured by corporate media owned by the corporations whose mis-deeds they dare not report, and whose relations with the 45 dictators of the world are beyond cozy–they are self-serving partnerships to loot the commonwealth of nations and leave all publics, not just the Palestinians, in the dirt. See Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025

Reality is also obscured by a US Congress that now has 43 Jews and only 1 Muslim, a Congress that until very recently abdicated its role as the FIRST branch of government and failed to balance the powers of an imperial presidency run amok (see my reviews of The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy) and Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders. America must be very alert to the dual hijacking of its government by corporations and by Zionist Jews who forget that they used terrorism to win their freedom from England, just as our American founders used terrorism to win the War of Independence.

Terrorism is a tactic. Anyone that does not understand that is either stupid (less likely) or maliciously deceptive (more likely).

It is my rare privilege to be the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction (#48 over-all), and it is on that foundation that I stand today in praise of Jimmy Carter, and in demand of the immediate resignation of Dick Cheney, or his impeachment (see my list on books relevant to evaluating Dick Cheney, and on impeachment for those who cannot wait).

Reality is tough. Lying to ourselves is as good as bullet in our heads. See my varied lists for the reality that is the context for this good book by a good man.

Note: the Arabs are just as despicable as the Jews, for they have treated the Palestinians the way India and Japan treat their untouchables. Nothing in this book, or in my review, should be contrued as forgiving of the Arabs. It is my personal view that the US should disengage from the Middle East and also withhold our support to Israel until such time as it will listen to Jimmy Carter’s sound advice, and agree to a shared state without walls–partition, as with India and Pakistan, breeds on-going violence. It is only tolerance and a common commitment to creating shared wealth that works. The Saudi ruling royalty are EVIL. See See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism and Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude. For a more elegant view, see Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life

Gandhi (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition) had it right: Palestine is to the Palestinians as France is to the French. Contrary to the dogma and lies that the rabid Jews (as opposed to rational Jews taking the long view) spread, the land *was* occupied by the Palestinians, and the Jews are genociding them the way the early American settlers genocides the Native Americans. No one has clean hands here, but it helps no one at all to demean an honest author and good man, and to falsely claim that this book is anti-semitic. This book is anti-stupid, and I am anti-stupid.

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Jan 13

Review: Our Endangered Values–America’s Moral Crisis (Hardcover)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Impeaches Neo-Conservatives with Common Sense,

December 23, 2005
Jimmy Carter
This book should be read together with Cornel West’s Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism Peter Peterson’s Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It Jim Wallis, God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (Plus) [slams both Right and Left--the Right for claiming that Jesus is pro-war, pro-rich, and a selective moralist; the Left for not embracing faith and God as part of the politics of America]; and David Callahan, The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead There are many, many other books that support President Carter’s wisdom, and my point in mentioning just a few of them early in this review is to stress that we are indeed in a national crisis, and this one book by President Carter provides us with a pensive pause from which we might then begin to take action.

The introduction is nothing less than an implicit (NOT explicit) manifesto for the impeachment of the current Administration and its political neo-conservatives and their extremist fundamentalist right-wing Christian religious zealots (who, coincidentally, are aligned in the Middle East with extremist Jews and completely corrupt energy and construction companies that profit from war).

EDIT of 11 Dec 07: Also in support of President Carter, these books just out:
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America
American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century

Consider this one sentence from the introduction: “Most of our political leaders have extolled state and local autonomy, attempted to control deficit spending, avoided foreign adventurism, minimized long-term peacekeeping commitments, preserved the separation of church and state, and protected civil liberties and personal privacy.” The only thing President Carter does not include here that I would is “and respected the separation of powers and particularly the Congressional prerogatives of declaring war and controlling the public purse.”

This book is nothing less than a national-level sermon on what is wrong and where we need to go. I have often thought over the years that President Carter was too far ahead of his time. He paid heavily for being honest about the need to deal with future growth issues and national malaise in the 1970′s. I am struck, not only by how right he was, but by how he may be just what we need now, returning him to the Presidency in 2008, especially if he asks John McCain to be his Vice President and commits to both a coalition cabinet announced in advance, and a platform with just three planks: restore the integrity of the individual vote (by ending gerrymandering, campaign contributions, and lobbyists; reinstate the League of Women Voters as the debate managers, open to all parties; move voting to week-ends to accommodate the working poor); restore morality in both governance (end our support of 44 dictators) and business (end subsidies, tax breaks, and predatory capitalism); and balance the budget (end both debt and trade deficits, in part by localizing energy, transportation, agriculture, and production).

President Carter nails it when he states in his conclusion that the greatest challenge we face is the growing chasm between the rich and the poor on earth. He is at one with C. K. Prahalad (The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks) )when he observes that “extremely poor people demonstrate remarkable intelligence, innovation, and effectiveness.” I had no idea of the extraordinary results the Carter Center has been achieving around the world–unlike other Presidential Centers that focus on glorifying their subject, the Carter Center has been focused, in relative anonymity, on actually saving the world.

He concludes that what defines a great Nation is not its economy or its military, but its “demonstrable commitment to truth, justice, peace, freedom, humility, human rights, generosity, and the upholding of moral values.” Implicit throughout the book is also the need to return to a separation of church and state, and our traditional respect for providing our citizens with accurate information, welcoming dissenting voices, and accommodating free and open debate on controversial issues.

Edit of 11 Dec 07: See also:
Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity (BK Currents)
Escaping the Matrix: How We the People can change the world
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All

President Carter does not, in any way, shape, or form, call for the impeachment of this current Administration, nor does he comment on the Democratic Party as an alternative. My own view is that the Democratic Party cannot be trusted as an alternative–they are as corrupt as the Republicans (I am a moderate Republican dismayed by the current “coup d’etat” engineered by the neo-conservatives). My own view is that President Carter’s vision for the future of American will not happen unless we first do two things:

1) Insist that anyone who wishes to be elected or re-elected in 2008 to Congress campaign as an Independent, and strive for a coalition Congress led by Independents with Democratic and Republican incumbents not up for re-election as minorities; and

2) Devise a coalition Executive team, ideally led by President Carter, to win in 2008 with the sole and explicit objective of restoring the integrity of the individual vote so that the common sense of the people might hold sway over all the other decisions that face us.

I am mighty impressed by this book and the wisdom in this book. Other candidates for President pale in comparison to this author. It would be a mighty fine sign of divine providence if we were to have a chance to bring Jimmy Carter back as president, but not as a Democrat–as an Independent American.

EDIT of 11 Dec 07: Lou Dobbs on CNN is calling for all Americans to consider re-registering as Independents, and Jim Turner, Naderite #1, led Naderites for Gore 2000, is seeing signs of 100 million who have opted out on partisan politics, coming back for the big one.

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Dec 23

Review: Infinite Wealth–A New World of Collaboration and Abundance in the Knowledge Era

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5.0 out of 5 stars Survival Manifesto for Anyone with A Brain,

February 11, 2001
Barry Carter

First off, this book made the cut above another ten or so options on the fringes (the amazon reviews helped). It was a good choice. The author captures the essence of many other books as well as real-world experience with two fundamental points that every manager and every employee–including fast-food employees and others in “drone” jobs–needs to absorb: first, that the existing bureaucratization of the economy at every level is costing so much as to place those companies in jeopardy during the forthcoming economic shake-out, and second, that the sooner every individual begins the process of inventorying their personal capabilities and creating the networks for offering their personal services and knowledge via the Internet to all comers, the sooner they will be able to share in the profits associated with their direct individual contributions to the new economy.

The Department of Defense acquisition and contracting examples are especially shocking because they show, so credibly and in detail, how we have institutionalized multi-billion dollar waste.

This is a special book. It is by a practical man who has drawn very personal and transformative lessons from the school of hard knocks, and whose recounting of those lessons have value for anyone who expects to work for a living today and in the future. This is not a “get rich quick” book as much as it is a “get rich together or get left behind” book.

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Feb 11

Review: Preventive Defense–A New Security Strategy for America

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5.0 out of 5 stars Fully Half of the Right Answer–Bi-Partisan and Serious,

August 30, 2000
Ashton B. Carter
The authors provide a coherent discussion of fully half of the security challenges facing us in the 21st century. They wisely avoid the debate swirling around the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA)-but deserve credit for their predecessor “offset strategy”-and simply note that the absence of “A List” threats gives us an opportunity to strengthen and maintain our traditional nuclear and conventional capabilities against the day when a Russia or China may rise in hostility against us. The book as a whole focuses on the “B List” threats, including Russia in chaos, a hostile China acting aggressively within its region, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and catastrophic terrorism. They note, correctly, that most of the spending and effort today is focused on responding to the crisis de jure, some but not enough resources are applied to preparing for the future, and virtually nothing is being done against the latest concept, that of “shaping” the environment through “forward engagement.” Perhaps most importantly, they introduce the term “defense by other means” and comment on the obstacles, both within the Administration and on the Hill, to getting support and funding for non-military activities with profound security benefits.Although others may focus on their discussion of Russia and NATO as the core of the book, what I found most helpful and worthwhile was the straight-forward and thoughtful discussion of the need for a new national strategy, a new paradigm, for dealing with potentially catastrophic terrorism. Their understanding of what defense resources can be applied, and of the impediments to success that exist today between state & local law enforcement, federal capabilities such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and defense as well as overseas diplomatic and intelligence capabilities, inspire them to propose several innovative approaches to this challenge. The legal and budgetary implications of their proposals are daunting but essential-their proposals for dealing with this one challenge would be helpful in restructuring the entire U.S. government to better integrate political-diplomatic-military-law enforcement operations with judicial and congressional oversight as well as truly all-source intelligence support.

Interesting side notes include 1) the early discovery in US-Russian military discussions that technology interoperability and future collaboration required the surmounting of many obstacles associated with decades of isolated (and often secret) development; 2) the absence of intelligence from the entire book-by this account, US defense leaders spend virtually all of their time in direct operational discussions with their most important counterparts, and there is very little day to day attention to strategic analysis, estimative intelligence, or coordination with diplomatic, economic, and law enforcement counterparts at home; 3) the difficulty of finding a carrier to send to Taiwan at a time when we had 12 carriers-only four appear to have been “real” for defense purposes; and 4) the notable absence of Australia from the discussion of security in Asia.

The concept of Preventive Defense is holistic (requiring the simultaneous uses of other aspects of national power including diplomacy and economic assistance) but places the Department of Defense in a central role as the provider of realigned resources, military-to-military contacts, and logistics support to actual implementation. Unfortunately the concept of Preventive Defense has been narrowly focused (its greatest success has been the dismantling of former Soviet nuclear weapons in the Commonwealth of Independent States), and neither the joint staff nor the services are willing to give up funds for weapons and manpower in order to make a strategy of Preventive Defense possible.

This resistance bodes ill for the other half of the 21st Century security challenge, what the author’s call the “C List”-the Rwandas, Somalias, Haitis and Indonesias. They themselves are unwilling to acknowledge C List threats as being vital to U.S. security in the long-term (as AIDS is now recognized). I would, however, agree with them on one important point: the current budget for defense should be repurposed toward readiness, preparing for the future, and their concept of preventive defense, and it should not be frittered away on “C List” contingencies-new funds must be found to create and sustain America’s Preventive Diplomacy and its Operations Other Than War (OOTW) capabilities. It will fall to someone else to integrate their concept of Preventive Defense with the emerging concepts of Preventive Diplomacy, International Tribunals, and a 21st Century Marshall Plan for the festering zones of conflict in Africa, Arabia, Asia, and the Americas–zone where ethnic fault lines, criminal gangs, border disputes, and shortages of water, food, energy, and medicine all come together to create a breeding ground for modern plagues that will surely come across our water’s edge in the future. On balance, through, this book makes the top grade for serious bi-partisan dialogue, and they deserve a lot of credit for defining solutions for the first half of our security challenges in the 21st Century.

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Aug 30