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Monday Grab Bag: Traveling, Some Reading, and A Conservative Take on USAID

I will be traveling for the next two weeks in Europe and the Middle East. I suspect I will be able to post material to the blog during that time, but have patience if a few days go by without any updates.

I'm taking Jon Sumida's Decoding Clausewitz (per Gian Gentile's suggestion) and David Grossman's Someone to Run With with me on the trip, but as far as recommendations for the readership are concerned, let me recommend both Peter Bergen's The Longest War and Bing West's The Wrong War. I reviewed the latter on assignment and should not say too much about it until the review is published, but I can whole-heartedly endorse the former, which I finished a few weekends ago and feel bad for not having mentioned on the blog just yet. It is really excellent.

I will leave you, meanwhile (and in honor of the soon-to-be-released defense base budget), with the following dissenting opinion on USAID, which I solicted from a Hill staffer who took offense to an earlier post I had written. I stand by what I wrote, but I'm always willing to entertain thoughtful dissent:

A few weeks back, Abu Muqawama criticized the proposal to defund USAID as a part of a larger package of cuts to federal spending introduced by the Republican Study Committee (aka the conservative wing of the House Republicans).  It should be noted that although there are 165 members of the RSC, only twenty or so actually cosponsored this bill, and no vote was taken--merely a bill introduced and press releases sent around.  This was a marker in the ongoing debate about how to deal with our staggering federal debt.  And while the readers of this blog are probably very aware of this fact, it should also be noted that CBO's recent estimate for the FY2011 single year budget deficit is $1.5 trillion, which is more than the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 combined.  We are borrowing more this year than we have spent in ten years of two wars.  

 

The argument Abu Muqawama put forward is that conservatives don't realize that USAID has a role in national security.  I think this is largely true.  However, I'm not sure that USAID's role in national security is all that vital.  Go read USAID's budget justification for FY2011 [pdf].  It leads with USAID's request for $646 million to fight global climate change. Not only does this drive up the blood pressure of the Fox News crowd, but also, when we're borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend, should we really spend over a half a billion dollars helping other countries with "sustainable landscaping" and clean energy?  And while I understand the argument that climate change could have long term geopolitical consequences, if this is USAID's contribution to national security, I'm not sure it's worth it.  Of the $39 billion requested in FY11 in the Foreign Ops accounts, only $7 billion of it is under the category of "International Security Assistance", most of which USAID itself doesn't even manage.  Yes, avoiding wars over resources or clean water would be nice, but our financial situation is unsustainable, and that has to trump lower priority efforts... which is most of what USAID's money goes to.
Secondly, while some specific types of aid can produce clear national security benefits (Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan), even these are easily overplayed or misused and often do not lead to the long term results we are hoping for.  The question is effectiveness, and others can have this debate at a much deeper level than I, but the perception is that most of our foreign aid is not a good investment.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, the conservative desire to sunset USAID is a philosophical one.  Conservatives believe that the federal government should only do what the federal government alone can do and is allowed to do by the Constitution.  Most of the work that USAID is doing is also being done by various other NGO's around the world.  Americans are a very generous people, but we should encourage their generosity via good NGO's rather than require it via taxation.
So while I agree that most conservatives don't understand the national security components of foreign aid, I'm not sure that canning USAID would really hurt our nation's security all that much.  And in financially tough times like these, we need to be serious about cutting anything that isn't truly vital.
Books, travel, USAID

52 comments

Here's a thought: when

Here's a thought: when you're broke, you don't lend money.

"Of the $39 billion requested

"Of the $39 billion requested in FY11 in the Foreign Ops accounts, only $7 billion of it is under the category of "International Security Assistance", most of which USAID itself doesn't even manage."

If USAID doesn't manage this $7 Billion, then who does? Can you please clarify / break it down concerning who does?

Thanks!

"So while I agree that most

"So while I agree that most conservatives don't understand the national security components of foreign aid, I'm not sure that canning USAID would really hurt our nation's security all that much. And in financially tough times like these, we need to be serious about cutting anything that isn't truly vital."

AM- I have to disagree. Many conservatives do understand how USAID works and how it can ultimately improve USG political, economic status and how we are perceived by other countries (in a good light).

Many conservatives would rather see the money be spent in the United States, to directly improve our own citizens well being, considering our current economic problems. Yes, times are tough and a move to dismantle USAID may be viewed as selfish, but in the end, we have our own problems. I completely agree with your last statement, that getting rid of the organization or cutting it's funding by 1/2 or 3/4 would hurt USG National Security.

"And in financially tough

"And in financially tough times like these, we need to be serious about cutting anything that isn't truly vital."

I think the true issue here is not that conservatives fail to understand the value of USAID, because I think that many do (even if they won't admit it). The problem with your guest-poster's defense is that there has been much posturing about being "serious" about "cutting anything that isn't truly vital," but no real suggestions. Truly addressing the budget shortfalls means having "serious" discussions about unsustainable levels of defense spending in general and the mandatory spending programs such as social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Until the so-called "budget hawks" sack up and start to grapple with the really difficult choices ahead, any attempt to show how "serious" they are about cutting spending by say, dismantling USAID or freezing discretionary spending at 2008 levels, is laughable posturing at best. And when folks start mistaking that posturing for being "serious about cutting anything that isn't truly vital," that's when national security suffers.

"And in financially tough

"And in financially tough times like these, we need to be serious about cutting anything that isn't truly vital."

I think the true issue here is not that conservatives fail to understand the value of USAID, because I think that many do (even if they won't admit it). The problem with your guest-poster's defense is that there has been much posturing about being "serious" about "cutting anything that isn't truly vital," but no real suggestions. Truly addressing the budget shortfalls means having "serious" discussions about unsustainable levels of defense spending in general and the mandatory spending programs such as social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Until the so-called "budget hawks" sack up and start to grapple with the really difficult choices ahead, any attempt to show how "serious" they are about cutting spending by say, dismantling USAID or freezing discretionary spending at 2008 levels, is laughable posturing at best. And when folks start mistaking that posturing for being "serious about cutting anything that isn't truly vital," that's when national security suffers.

NGO's don't do COIN. USAID

NGO's don't do COIN. USAID does. Until Oxfam adopts stability operations, it looks like we'll need USAID. Oh, and then there's this little matter of an ever changing Middle East. It might be helpful to have USAID on hand to help with building civil societies, governance, elections and rule of law. Just sayin'.

That is a staggeringly

That is a staggeringly short-sighted and uninformed perspective on USAID. I've read dozens of AARs from the last four years of fighting in Afghanistan in which Soldiers and Marines of all ranks highlight the shortage of civilian experts in governance, rule of law, land tenure, agriculture, water management, education, and public health as undermining their ability to clear, hold and build. Both USAID broadly, and the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) specifically don't have enough bodies to respond to requests from the military for training and co-deployment. And that goes both for conventional units and CFSOCC-A's Village Stability Operations.

Beyond Afghanistan, how about with the importance of OTI's conflict prevention efforts in regions like the Horn of Africa? Before the skeptics on Africa's strategic importance (Abu Muqawama!?) sneer, let's recall that:

a) that's where Al-Shabab is,

b) arms shipments to Hamas come through the region, and

b) if you think Egypt is strategically important, you better start thinking about all those countries up-stream on the Nile who are talking about taking a greater share of the river's waters - that would be Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Avoiding wars over water and resources is at least as reasonable an investment in future national security as the F-22, DDG-1000, or FCS, given that they may reduce the extraordinary expense in blood and treasure that would come from fighting those wars. It's hard to draw a straight line of causality from such investments to their payoffs, but that can be argued for almost all defense spending until it's actually used. And even then, we're all just fielding our most educated guesses.

NGO's don't do COIN. USAID

NGO's don't do COIN. USAID does. Until Oxfam decides they want to adopt stability operations, it looks like we need USAID. Then there's this little matter of the ever changing Middle East. It might be a good idea to keep USAID around when we need to help build civil societies, governance and rule of law.

Typo at the end there... It

Typo at the end there... It should say - "I completely agree with your last statement, that getting rid of the organization or cutting it's funding by 1/2 or 3/4 would "not/not" hurt USG National Security.

.

If you enter in the words

If you enter in the words "USAID" & "Fraud" into Google, you'll get enough pings / responses to want to dismantle the agency immediately.

Those who work there are just as big of scam artists or inept, as those who we give the money to. Peace Corps is just as bad.... Just look at all the problems they have had recently in the news.

There is a lot to be said

There is a lot to be said about this subject. For now, I'll just note that the same correspondent who claims that one fiscal year's deficit is greater than ten years' worth of cost for two wars does not think it worth mentioning that tens' years of cost for two wars is much greater than the bill for all USAID spending since the agency was created.

Grab bag indeed. Cut the

Grab bag indeed. Cut the gubbermint's budget and they pull their budget cutting knives out - and stab each other.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/et-tu-cnas_547526.html

Et Tu, CNAS? I know where you can find the 15%. It's called the Puzzle Palace (Pentagon) and after that move through the Beltway. As for Foreign Aid whether it be USAID or NGO's - 1) SCAMs galore* and 2) what planet are you blogging from? Is it the Federation of United Planets, which has eliminated money? Cuz down here on Planet Earth in the good ol USA - we are flat broke and angry.

*Houses in CT with inground pools and a Benz out front? Wow. Pull Hitchen's off Mother Teresa's corpse and sic him on those humps. Or you could send Naomi Wolf.

Iraq and Afghanistan since

Iraq and Afghanistan since just before surge "one" has been "USAID".

When you're bringing in truck loads of hundred dollar bills to pay the Sons of Iraq, footing the bill for Afghan Police, and doing the heavy lifting on DEA activities (Bringing the US Homeland security head to building a customs department?) the lines are blurred between USAID and COIN. Then add in the American jobs that have been off-shored and the intellectual property that has gone with them. State Department just dropped another $75M on Yemen to train troops. There is a lot that happens under the radar, I would like to see the CIA & NSA budgets. Add in the spending on military bases world wide, the spending of the GIs, and Embassy spending that is a lot of USAID.

Between the economy going bust and loss of taxes on wages due to off-shoring, a new age has dawned on government spending.

Spending has to be justified now or you lose you six-figure government job ! The taxpayer is paying attention at many levels

............PS....If I recall correctly from the wedding announcement, Andrew your other half is doing climate change studies. Sorry if the USAID budget change impacts the need for those studies.

*****************

*DIckie Durbin is out hawking unemployment benefits at the State level using Federal money....were is the money coming from? Illinois just hiked corporate tax 42%, personal tax 66.6%. Now DICKIE wants another corporate tax to pay for unemployed workers. Federal government has already extended payouts twice......

*US has 1 in 6 on food stamps....what is going to keep that ball rolling?......

*Obama care is just kicking in and 1099 revenue just got kicked out, the ten year funding plan just changed ! Obama care is not for just ten years, it is for life!

*Afghan war has not gone away. From what it sounds like we got AQ fires in other places........

*State Department just announced an aid package to Egypt to help with organizing political parties that is on top of the $1.5B military aid we give Egypt every year.......

*Don't forget about the S. America drug war. It is not talked about much, but there is as much happening south of Texas as there is in Africa and Korea. BATFE just dropped $90 M on Operation Gunrunner and screwed the pooch on allowing straw purchase to happen that got Brian Terry, a US Federal Border Agent killed with one of the guns from an illegal BATFE allowed straw purchase.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_74d9a714-2a0e-5cb2-9c88-46...

*Don't forget about the $3 B per year we give Israel.

*Don't forget the money we give the Palestinians.

* There has been a stream of money being thrown at containment of nuclear material. US is still providing aid to collect up materials across the globe........

* US is still footing the bill for AIDS drugs in Africa.......

I can keep going, but you get the idea......the US is doing some heavy spending.

Democrats have tried to purchase all the votes in the US with social program spending and now they are working on world opinion of Dear Leader.

BTW....... When you are

BTW.......

When you are working around the margin and bending the rules, finding loop holes, and pushing the limits to get your agenda through.....

This is what happens. Some one slams the cash regisiter shut on your plans.

Maybe it is time to put some sunshine on your planning, it has been behind closed doors for too long and it is starting to stink.

.................... AM are

....................

AM are you practicing arguments to protect your budget turf ?

You need to convince the 20% unemployed that they need to contribute to your agenda !

.............you have not convinced me yet. All I see are people living high on the hog....Pelosi and Obama, plus a lot of others.

I don't even get table scraps from that feast.

The school of really Big

The school of really Big Sharks coming to feast: the long suffering taxpayers. Let the feeding frenzy begin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3mKAKPYh6k

Tea, Mr. Jaws?

Andrew, I have heard you

Andrew, I have heard you lament about the need for all Americans to become more involved. The CNN turkey statement....

It goes for both side of the discussion...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBrHkxqNT7s&feature=related

This is a bit of far right discussion, don't watch it if you will be offended. It is a gut buster, laugh. Some might not see the humor. To me it is just a piece of American Politics. It is even better when you realize the lyrics are Lady GaGa.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2Lc2l-pnPc&feature=related

Problem with Keynesian Economics is the money no longer stays in the US to be spent. Lot of people use a pool of water to explain Keynesian economics, you take money from one end a pour it back into the other end of the pool. In the case of off-shored jobs, it is not so easy to see that the money trickles back to American pockets.

We all saw that with the green stimulus, the wind turbines are manufactured off-shore. There is a couple tons of rare earth material in the magnets of those turbines and China is the primary producer of rare earths due to environmental laws in the US shutting down rare earth mining. Only recently has Congress acted on bringing rare earth mining to the US of A. If you look at the 10K's for the US rare earth mining companies that operate in Colorado, one of the risks they list to production are US EPA laws. China used its indigenous innovation laws to give itself priority for supply of rare earths, making China the de facto source of anything with rare earths (like electronics).

Americans keep screwing the pooch on US jobs.....the source of all the money for US government spending.

If you think about it, all politics are Keynesian cause it is about moving money to your party to get votes. For Democrats that means labor (high speed rail), for Republicans it is about defense spending.

Either China plays fair, all Americans buy only the "American Label", or Americans cut their budgets. That is the only way I see for American to get back on its feet again. Wouldn't it be nice to have pride and trust in our American selves again, it would be like a new sunrise.

...............Defense spending is the only place Americans have a Indigenous Innovation clause ! I am not saying that defense is the correct solution, figuring out a way to keep the jobs and money closer to home is. We are giving away our future for a profit in China. That intellectual property that GE is giving away to get market access in China originated from cold war tax payer spending in the Reagan Era ! Wireless technology came out of commercialization of secured government defense radio (NSA, sat coms.... we are talking 802.11 a, b, and g). What a concept, American taxpayers getting something back from their tax dollars....like jobs in America, not China.

If your agenda is growing the world with American tax dollars at their expense, then you really do not care about Americans do you.

I am for cutting USAID if it means bringing the money home, America First.

"Pay the soldiers, nothing

"Pay the soldiers, nothing else matters."

You're not listening to me in the UK..Our former Britannia.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/3411906/38-...

Sacked by email. Wow. I thought DoD was cold.

Visitor 1108 - no, he cares about the interests of the ruling class, to which he thinks he belongs. Wake up will be sad.

I think people understand the

I think people understand the "security" components of Foreign Aid fairly well, the Mubaraks and any number of sleazy Latin American and Afghan warlords benefiting from US tax-payer dollars is undeniable. But that is small potatoes, what "security" components really mean are Government subsidies to US "defense" corporations, i.e. war profiteers.

So, it comes out today...that

So, it comes out today...that those peaceful protester's in Cairo beat and raped Laura Logan - South African Citizen / 60 Minutes news reporter.

Wonderful and peaceful people of Cairo, may your country spiral into dust.

You've shown us you're nothing but low-order thinking animals, most of which were born from the anus of a dog.

Septimus

Septimus Severus.............

By email is cold. Then I have seen a lot of it in a US fortune five-hundred company.

When I started work, they met you at the door with a box full of what was in your desk. I am talking about four year degree Engineering staff.

Then they got kinder sort of. We always knew what was happening cause HR had to distribute the folders with the separation paperwork. Still I saw people walking through the cafeteria crying their brains out.

As time progressed so did the titles of the action. Lay-off. Economy-of-scale. RIF (reduction in force). Christmas time was a popular time of the year for the reductions. Management fiddled with the timing trying to decide if before or after the holidays was better.

Then the benefits started to get laid off. Severance was reduced, then reduced some more. Vacation was cut and cut some more. We knew lay offs were coming because the severance would be cut before the action.

The above happened as the economy cycled, then off-shoring started to happen. All the fat was cut, meat to the bone. Supervisors were allowed to retired and their departments were contacted out. As the cuts got deeper the behavior got more interesting. One person that got laid off went home and blew his brains out. Another person chased his supervisor down the hall with a pair of scissors.

Then they took us private and really started to go to work. Buildings the size of a half city clock had just a few people working in them. It was an odd feeling to walk through empty hallways that once were full of American workers. Holding companies were formed and business units were sold off. What use to be mostly a defense industry was sold off to the highest bidder. Net gain was a Billion dollars in cash.

After that, the weeding went stealth. Every quarter for two years straight people were called into their supervisor's office. It did not matter how hard you worked, only margins mattered.

Then the off-shore design centers were created and the company expanded. The RIFs were no longer stealth because you got to train your replacement in India.

Corporate management was replaced. Old management took buys outs ranging from $12M to $52M. All corporate knowledge of professional references were erased from Director up in the organization. People that you could call for a job at the drop of a hat because they knew your work, no longer existed in the profession. CEO who learned his re-organization skills from Motorola, received $65M for his troubles and currently is making more on the board of directors.

Company is still in existence. Most operations are off-shore. Recently the company expanded by purchasing another company that also had operations off-shore. Total purchase was $400 M with $300M financed in the US at rates lower than 5%. Company still has the Billion dollars from the sale of business units, but did not want to expose the off-shore money to a tax event.

Product margins of off-shore operations are 65%.

What happened?

Mixture of a maturing technology, off-shore capabilities, enabling Internet, competitive market, and the desire to maximize executive bonuses.

Why hire an American worker when you can get ten for the same price in China?........I was told that by a member of management who objected openly to the ex-Moto CEO and got fired for his troubles. One of the many Professional References that I no longer know where they are at.

Shit Happens.

This is a good one.... I am

This is a good one....

I am not going anti-corporate, just questioning the direction that America is headed....

Reason Immelt/GE sold military jet engines to India was the technology has matured. It is not the lasted and greatest ( if if was the State Department would not allow the sale !). This technology came out of DOD contracts.

Question is, how long will it be before Immelt wants to sell F35 engines developed with taxpayer money? Once you sell the engine, you are handing over technology.

Does all this make good business sense? Best use of tax dollars? Where is the return on investment to the taxpayer (Just be happy you have a job, where is it?) ?

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONGRESS_SPENDING?SITE=AP&SECT...

The engine battle pits Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates - who say the engine would waste almost $3 billion over the next few years - against GOP leaders like House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, whose state is a chief beneficiary. The spending measure includes $450 million for the engine, which would be built by the General Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce in Ohio, Indiana and other states.

Check out Prof Angelo

Check out Prof Angelo Codevilla - on "The Ruling Class" . He's from Boston U for those of you who put stock in degrees.

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/americas-ruling-class-and-the

Dude V n dude outsourced - we are not "taxpayers". We're tax serfs, bonded to this predatory Govt/Ruling Class.
He defines Ruling Class as their fortunes are tied to the Government one way or another, this includes not only Defense Industries but much of the media (GE/NBC) and CNN to name two. Also of course Wall Street, any institution that goes to the Fed's "Discount Desk", academia (public money galore) and of course at the bottom of the totem pole their welfare state clientele - although the last are really clientissmo and not Rulers. Some people sell out for Billions, others for the Section 8 to shelter spectrum.

Or you can check out the incomparable Moldbug and his links.

USG = Enemy of the American People.

Wonder if Dear Leader likes

Wonder if Dear Leader likes the change in the ME ? Mexico ?

Few more countries were added to the list, Libya and Bahrain. Hillary is working the crowd. Would imagine that there is a full court press being done by intelligence to figure out what to do about it.

So many questions, so few answers. Think Lara Logan has a different view of the ME these days?

PS...Did not know that ICE worked inside Mexico. There are 26 agents working the country. No wonder US can not enforce federal immigration laws, they are looking for illegals in Mexico where they are legal...duhho. Figure that the DEA guys could carry that load. Merida Initiative is worth $1.5B these days...

You can not look at one budget without looking at the whole picture. More cuts to come.

Yes indeed pressure from

Yes indeed pressure from right, left and center to balance budget. The only disagreement is over what.

With the exception of the editorial staff of NYT/WAPO.

Things really do not change,

Things really do not change, people retire, words get changed around, name of the wars change....the technology updates.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfx7YMstXkg ...........LBJ did the Gulf of Token, he wanted the war. Sound familiar?

Life before twitter....its not the technology it is the times stupid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnqMTcdbGpg ......This is not the ME guys. Mayor Daley did it. The Daley DNA lives on in the White House.

.........and the Democrats want to have their 2012 convention in Chicago?

Democrats want the good ole' times back again.

Hillary (grew up in Chicago) is supporting the demonstrations in Iran? Is she going to fly over and bandage their wounds? Obama called Lara Logan. What the heck does a President say to a women that was sexually assulted while doing press coverage of the riot that the US encouaged? Giv'em one for the Kipper?

I can hardly keep up with the issues on the budget, it is rapid fire changes. The budget issues were on the table couple years back and every time I turned on the TV two years ago all I heard about was Health Care and Hope.

........All I wanted was a job two years ago so I could afford health care. Now I have to wait "four more years".

Guys this is our nation, not a toy. Another summer of change?

NPR - Last night, Bahrain

NPR - Last night, Bahrain Military personnel & Police entered Pearl Square, firing tear gas, concussion grenades and severally beat "peaceful" protesters in Pearl Square. The New York Times reports men, women and children choked and ran as police chased them: over five people are dead, some reportedly killed in their sleep. The coppers even beat the Ambulance worker's responding to treat the injured!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/17/133831776/bahraini-police...

http://i.imgur.com/oWDR7.jpg

This is a good one..... Who

This is a good one.....

Who wants to be Mayor of Chicago in 2012 ?

Rahm Emanuel...... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yeA_kHHLow

.....if you can not find a crisis.........MAKE ONE........huh Rahmmy...

BATFE turned their back on straw purchases going to Mexico..... http://www.scribd.com/doc/48549160/RosettaStone

Ft Hood did not have the right mix of characters, so Tuson was better?

Push the demonstrations in the ME......need more money for the HLS budget? Afghanistan?

Use to be that Vietnam was on the news every night. What happened to Afghanistan.....Tet?

Make CHANGE that people can believe in.......

BTW.... For those not born

BTW....

For those not born yet..... in '68.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBkBnCGW_S8 .....This is the guy that did R.Kennedy, interviewed in '85.

Palestinian ?
Terrorism ?
Israel ?
Middle East ?

Think Bill Ayers (remember him...he lived in Chicago too) dedicated a book to Sirhan.

................'68 gave us the 1968 GCA ...... passed by the left.......because the left created the CRISIS ? huh?

How old is Rahmmy? Is it true ? ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls9yD4ZC6tA&NR=1

..... We know this is and he lied about it.

There once was a girl named Lewinsky
Who played on a flute like Stravinsky
'Twas 'Hail to the Chief'
On this flute made of beef
That stole the front page from Kaczynski

Small world. There really is no NEW CHANGE .....they just what you to believe that.

NEW is always better ....right?

I gotta say, I didnt know

I gotta say, I didnt know that the US was falling this much apart...

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/116381289.html

Republicans sicking the state police on democrats for refusing to kill union rights? Damn, the repubs are going crazy..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpwVfl3m32w&feature=player_embedded

Who was responsible for keeping Twitter / Facebook accounts for protesters operating during the civil unrest in Tunisia and Egypt?

Who was responsible for flooding the internet with information and pamphlets to "educate protesters" in Tunisia and Egypt?

Who was responsible for shutting down and attacking Egyptian, Tunisian and multiple other Middle Eastern government and IC computers over the last 3 months?

The answer for all three of these questions, according to media source Al Jazeera, the (Black / White Hat) Computer Hackers at Anonymous http://anonops.blogspot.com/

What are your thoughts on this AM? Do you know much about this organization and their objectives with Middle Eastern Political Affairs / Governments? Perhaps you should try and get in contact with the OIC of Anonymous and ask for an interview!

http://anonops.blogspot.com/ should have some kind of contact information. Send them an email and ask for an interview via phone, on video or in person. 60 Minutes and NY Times would be envious.

Fnord, It is about division

Fnord,

It is about division politics......

ObamaCare vote came up and the Republicans pleaded for time to read the bill. The vote proceeded and the Republicans pleaded no, no, no. The Democrats did it anyway. Shit hit the fan after the vote. Everyone said the level of unrest was not normal.

Now the Democrats are not Honorable enough to take their own medicine. They are showing their colors.

People determined the majority and the law allows for the police to bring the Democrats in to do the job they are paid to do.

I live in a State that just can not stop spending. Taxes are out of control, spending is out of control, and the State is selling its debt on Wall Street for 12% and the f*cking Democrats have ran the state since 2002. Democrats bristle at the idea of the budget being their fault.

Ain't the first time its happened.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXgzpUx42Ks ..... we're a scrap'in bunch when we get go'in

Liberators or Cyber

Liberators or Cyber Terrorists.....

Sh*t I won't be right for a week.......

G rated response..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzOS3eM1Xag

Mature audience only..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kZS5zKX294

Fnord, the Democratic

Fnord, the Democratic legislators fled the State and their duties so they could chicken out of the vote.
Because they either have to 1) vote for bankruptcy against the clear will of a rather outraged populace, that will be taxed out of their homes --it's called Property Taxes, it's how we pay for schools here - I pay 10K a year - that's just local for my house, doesn't count Federal, State, Social Security and everything else. Or 2) they vote for it to continue to get very big $$ from the Teachers Union's dues for campaigns. Despite the fact they know they'll ultimately lose.

Fnord State Govt's across the USA are facing bankruptcy because of these pensions, which we cannot pay for.
If you check you'll see we are talking in the 160 Trillion $ in commitments. You'll also find our dedicated public servants are doing much better than the average citizen (who pays for it) and have full pensions, which almost none of us have.
We have to contribute to the pension plans. Then there's great health care, early retirement, short work year...

Think Greek Govt, German taxpayers. Except it's worse.

No the Govt did not have the Police attack the Dems. He just sent them to find them. They're in a Best Western in Illinois. Power to the Cowards.

We have a two tier system here Fnord. The Ruling Class who's fortune$ are tied to Government, and the Tax Peasants. Who are revolting.

*taxed out of their homes - not a hypothetical, it's been happening in Big Spending States for years. Many old people who have paid off their mortgages have to leave the home after retirement because they can't pay their Property Taxes. NJ is a great example. Why do you think there are so many retirees in Florida and Arizona? Low taxes for those on fixed incomes. Great, we threw Granny out "For the Children".

What I was gonna say - Mises

What I was gonna say - Mises (Austrian Economics) has an interesting but not unique take on the food riots"

"The price of everything seems to have skyrocketed. Only housing, the dollar, and inflation-adjusted income are negative. World food and commodity prices are up 28 percent over the last 6 months...Higher food prices set off the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and the mass protests in countries like Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, and Iran. People in these countries buy more unprocessed foods and spend a much higher percentage of their income on food, so they have been severely impoverished by Bernanke's QE2."

http://mises.org/daily/5050/QE2-Fuels-a-Global-Fury

BTW Fnord the Wisconsin State

BTW Fnord the Wisconsin State Police deny they were sent out. BTW this is happening at State and Municipal Governments all over the country. Try and remember too these are not coal miners having their heads broke by Pinkertons, they are public servants - who have organized not against Capital - but the taxpayers.

Elf, Interesting way to look

Elf,

Interesting way to look at it....."marching on the taxpayer".

Think you are right.

Our state is in deep doo doo on the budget. University stopped hiring a while ago. State is slow rolling payment for out of pocket expenses on medical for the University employees. Businesses are waiting about 6-12 months for payment for services. Last year the University raised tuition 10% and this year they increase dorm room costs (four year degree is about $60,000). University has been waiting for $500,000 from the State for the last year. Taxpayers that overpaid withholding have to get in line to get their tax returns paid by current year withholding. State refuses to cut social programs. Income taxes were increased 66.6% and corporate tax 42% this year. Business have announced that they are leaving the State. The state has been stealing the 11% Pittman-Robertson excise tax money for years (it is the excise tax that sportsmen pay on guns and ammo). We get about $40M/per year from the excise tax and the state never can account for the money (except for one year a $700,000 grant was given to the University which paid for research in Canada).

State Democrats recently decided to continue paying the unemployment extensions that the Fed. Gov. extended twice.

State unemployment : 9.3 %
State pension is underfunded by $90 Billion dollars.

Services Worker Union just struck the Univeristy for higher wages.

Tenured profs :$100,000 and the get 40% of royalties on Intellectual Property (for those doing research)
Administration : $300,000
President : $750, 000, they just got a new one that says "Furloughs are distasteful"
Foot ball Coach : $1,000,000
Teamster Delivery : $25.00/ hour, one I saw spent more time smoking than he did delivering.
Services. : Union Scale.

Retirement : 20 years....90% of your salary. Includes medical.

My solution is for all non-state employees to leave the state, let the state employees pay the taxes.

Florida is a solution, but the taxes are not so low like they use to be. Still a bargan compared to the north. You'll pay through the nose for insurance.

any educated responses

any educated responses on...the Computer Hackers at Anonymous??? http://anonops.blogspot.com/

This is a huge phenomenon...how twitter and facebook overthrew a dictatorship! someone needs to write a book or do a movie on it, if they haven't already.

Visitor 11:39pm I am still

Visitor 11:39pm

I am still trying to get my mind right from the headless mono-tone electronic voice from the Liberators or Cyber Terrorists? 4:11 youtube presentation. Just seems to be a little out of this world.

Looked over the information and I do not see the message. Sort of reminds me of the plots of the Hollywood conspiracy shows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdmtY0vux30 .

Computer hackers have always been an interesting group of people. The whole Wikileak thing is a good example. Guess it comes from getting your mind that deep into computer code. I have been there, just not that deep. It is a focused task that takes you out of the mainsteam and put you behind a computer all day. Just keeping up with the barrage of languages that come and go will hurt your brain. Just go to a bookstore and look at the computer code book section. Then again, mainstream today is being behind a computer all day. People are losing their interfacing skills by reducing what they have to say in a 140 charater message (not the queen's english!). DOD is paying attention to the hackers these days.

Need to relate to the guy that gets up in the morning and jumps on the green line to go to his day job and grad school each day. Their brains are wired different and might be more interested in the ME than how the Internet transmits twitter. To folks like that, the fact they can us twitter to make money or organize people is all that matters to them.

Work on marketing.

BTW V11:39PM U Might have to

BTW V11:39PM U Might have to spk their language in 140 chrs or less. LOL. :)

Fnord, Let me shorten Elf's

Fnord,

Let me shorten Elf's post for you:

Save your snide comments for something about which you have the slightest clue. Like...well...I'm sure there's something.

This is interesting. When

This is interesting. When the Tea Party marched on the House of Representatives. Pelosi had the Tea Party arrested outside her office. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/11/05/tea-party-activists-hit-...

Image what Pelosi/Dear Leader would say if they arrested protesters in Wisconsin? Oh, that would be a violation of the freedom of assembly. Double standards are bad from this crowd.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870465770457615039039346184...

If I was a Fire Marshall, I would be concerned about the number of people inside the Wisconsin Legislature, that's if I was doing my job. In addition, if I was the city engineer doing my job, the floor loading would be a concern. Think of that nice historical building being damaged by all those people worried about the rich history of the state of Wisconsin. Hate to have the floor cave in cause they all started jumping up and down all at once.

Yup, looks like one BIG public safety issue.......Did Dear Leader just do an Executive Order allowing regulations to be reconsidered for "public safety issues".... http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/01/18/improving-regulati... ....would not want to disappoint Dear Leader.

"Frankly ridiculous crowd

"Frankly ridiculous crowd packed into in Tahrir Square"?

Andrew, you're showing your fascist colors.

RH

Maybe........ Homeland

Maybe........

Homeland Security should do something about that crowd in Wisconsin.


What if one of those ME guys did some thing. Looks like a security risk to me. Where is that proactive thought?


Did all those people get their body scan? OOhh the liability issues to watch over the security of all those Democrats. What is a centralized government to do?

"Problem with Keynesian

"Problem with Keynesian Economics is the money no longer stays in the US to be spent. Lot of people use a pool of water to explain Keynesian economics, you take money from one end a pour it back into the other end of the pool. In the case of off-shored jobs, it is not so easy to see that the money trickles back to American pockets."

Oh it does. 34% of the accumulated wealth is now owned by 1% of the population. Capitalism gone wild, trickle-down my ass.

Visitor from 3:53am My

Visitor from 3:53am

My comments are about trickle out economics (money not coming back to the US), not trickle down (Reagan era policy).

Because of the US trade deficit, I do not see the money that Americans spend on imports coming back to the US. The Federal Reserve has to print more money to replace it which devalues what currency we have in the US.

.............China not only owns a trillion in US bonds (US debt) , but also a trillion in US hard cash due to the trade deficit.

.............Within the United States, there is a accumulated wealth owned by 1% of the population. If that wealth is spent on Chinese goods then part of it will remain overseas until rebalance of the trade deficit occurs.

............Part of the trade deficit is linked to the valuation of the US and Chinese currencies. American companies have pushed operations off-shore which also magnifies the problem. Chinese indigenous innovation policies also magnify the deficit.

The US government can pour a trillion-trillion dollars into the economy, if that money goes off-shore and only a fraction comes back to the US then Americans have stimulated off-shore economies and not our own.

trickle out economics

Visitor from 3:53am.......

Visitor from 3:53am....... Forgot to mention this....

...... About the American offshored operations.

The wages earned by foreign workers making products for American people are not taxed by the US treasury. Social Security and Medicare contributions are lost and do not benefit retired Americans. American companies have the largest work force ever overseas with the largest population , the baby boomers, about to retire. That is not a win-win situation.

.....If the operations were on-shore, then Americans would benefit from Americans getting wealthy (trickle down economics). Off-shoring only makes the problem Vistor 3:53 is pointing out worse, the American wealthy have figured out a way to get wealthier, by maximizing profits by hiring cheaper labor and cutting Uncle Sam's Taxes out of the loop. The stock market roars from the increase valuation of companies while the American job mark sucks.

Trickle Out Economics

Obama is going to make matters worse because there is no guarantee of companies hiring American workers if operations are expanded off-shore. Corporate CEO's get their bonus from profit, not hiring American workers. Either China pays equal wages and enforces EPA laws to level the playing field (Why should a CEO hire Americans when they can get TEN chinese for the same price) OR Obama finds a way to get corporations to hire again in the US (If you give tax breaks with cheap labor offshore, the CEO will take the tax break and then go offshore and say THANKS, BYE).

Obama is creating false HOPE.

Education.....We have an educated population, how did we get to where we are at? I know qualified college grads that were laid-off due to offshoring.
Innovation.....Americans have always been good at that.
Productivity....American are and have been one of the most productive work forces.

What is the problem? Why put up with EPA and regulations when you can go to China? You can buy ten Chinese for the price of one American. When a CEO sits down to decide on how to make profit numbers, what do you think they will decide?

Bonus is $100 Million if you offshore, your fired for not making your numbers if you don't.

What would you do?

We are giving our parachutes to China..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgSSaENMuGA

Wisconsin, Washington DC,

Wisconsin, Washington DC, and Teachers.

When Michelle Rhee (a Democrat) addressed institutionalized problems in Washington DC by firing Union Teachers, in effect taking away their collective barganing rights. Teachers had to sue to get their jobs back.

Obama gave Rhee praise.

When Governor Walker (a Republican) addressed institutionalized problems in Wisconsin by taking away collective barganing rights to balance budgets.

Obama called Walker an assault on Unions.

Double Standard.

PS.....Obama just did it again in Israel on settlements. Arabs, we love you kisses and hugs just don't get beaten up .vs. Israel, go ahead US will look the other way on settlements.

No wonder people from different points of view think this guy is on their side.

Obama speaks with fork tongue.

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