January 21, 2016

The Deep State

This essay, "Anatomy of the Deep State," was written almost two years ago but it is still a very interesting read. The Deep State is defined as follows:
In British author John le Carré’s latest novel, A Delicate Truth, a character describes the Deep State as “… the ever-expanding circle of non-governmental insiders from banking, industry and commerce who were cleared for highly classified information denied to large swathes of Whitehall and Westminster.”
In America the essay posits that the Deep State exists outside the normal channels of government but pervades it and exerts influence over key members. It is a vast network of financial, military and industrial operators - the puppet masters if you will - that preserves a political circus side show for the public/electorate but plots the course of our nation for their own purposes.
There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.

[...]Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude.

How did I come to write an analysis of the Deep State, and why am I equipped to write it? As a congressional staff member for 28 years specializing in national security and possessing a top secret security clearance, I was at least on the fringes of the world I am describing, if neither totally in it by virtue of full membership nor of it by psychological disposition. But, like virtually every employed person, I became, to some extent, assimilated into the culture of the institution I worked for, and only by slow degrees, starting before the invasion of Iraq, did I begin fundamentally to question the reasons of state that motivate the people who are, to quote George W. Bush, “the deciders.”
I don't agree with all of this essay, certainly not the voter identification laws that are pending in several states, and the issue of Congressional deadlock; as a NY judge wrote in an 1866 court opinion, "No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislature is in session."

Also, you may want to spend some time reading the comments  section to this essay, some are very well written.

January 18, 2016

The RNC Tells NBC To Pound Sand

The Republican National Committee finally grew a pair.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) officially voted on Monday afternoon to sever its business relationship with NBC News for the previously-scheduled Feb. 26, 2016, GOP presidential primary debate, Breitbart News has learned.
This is quite a slap in the face and will cost NBC big time in lost revenue. I wouldn't let NBC, or any of the major nets for that matter, moderate a junior high school gay slap fest.

January 17, 2016

She's Now In Brooklyn

Yesterday my wife (Mummsie) and I moved our youngest daughter to the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. I haven't driven in lower Manhattan in decades (1980?) and haven't been in Brooklyn since I was a teen, about 55 years ago. Pieces of old memories kept drifting in and out of my mind making it hard to concentrate on the Garmin and my daughter's instructions from the back seat. I had forgotten what a PITA it is to drive in NYC.

The Mapquest instructions had me drive through Newark to get to Brooklyn. I could swear I saw Dante with a copy of his Inferno tucked under one arm begging for a hand out on one of the intersections. What a depressing city.

Still, driving through Jersey City and heading for the Holland Tunnel and seeing the Manhattan skyline is quite a site.  I don't see how the cops can get anywhere in Manhattan, what a traffic zoo. Lower Manhattan is quite narrow but it still took about twenty minutes to drive to the Manhattan Bridge  and cross over to Brooklyn. Got on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (much better traffic) and drove into Bushwick. Incredibly enough, we were able to find a parking space right in front of her building.

It was a glorious day in Brooklyn, a balmy fifty degrees. Her room is on the third floor - about the size of a big walk-in closet. She shares two bathrooms and a kitchen with four other people, all young professionals. It's not for me. For what she's paying I could almost rent a house in central NY. We were there for a few hours, said our good-byes and left.

Mummsie was rather depressed. We had just moved our youngest chick and now the hen house is empty. There were five females at one time here and now she's the only one. There are only faint echoes of the waves of estrogen that used to waft through our home.

The ride home was uneventful with just a touch of rain and snow. We got a call from our girl who was also feeling depressed and lonely. Mummsie bucked her up a bit.

Upon returning to Syracuse, I managed to catch the last twenty minutes of the Chiefs/Patriots game. I watched all but the last three minutes of the Packers/Cardinals game but couldn't keep my eyes open after all that driving. Kissed Mummsie good night and toddled off to bed.

Of course this morning she couldn't wait to tell me what a great ending I missed.