Daily Reading #245

The people selected to lead our government are stupid. Susan Rice’s memo to herself implicates them all, especially Obama. I always thought she was a mental lightweight, but this is way on the far side of lightweight, tho it could be mental. Stress does strange things to judgement. Hard to believe Obama would be oblivious, but power also does strange things to people’s judgment.

I don’t know of training that could make a person immune to either stress or power, and damn few humans can handle both. The historical evidence suggests massive failure is the norm for older, larger organizations even without stress. So why do we keep building organizations that so often require doing that impossible thing so frequently? One would think it would be a huge topic in all of social science, but I can’t recall reading anything like that. Nor speculation that perhaps Russian won WWII precisely because he so radically pruned the officer corps at the beginning of the war, and so had less net loss of troops, as compared to Lincoln’s more cautious testing of generals.

That is a difficult task, running complex organizations with fallible people, maintaining the right mix of teamwork and discipline. Small groups do OK, but it is hard to know if that is because they are small, or if small groups can’t do the really complex tasks, so it is easier to look good. Otoh, the most highly trained and tasked teams in the military are real teams, independent of rank. Even that goes awry, as seen with the recent Seal or ?? team where 2 embezzlers from the informant fund killed one of their own who wouldn’t promise not to expose them. That is another example of making bad decisions under stress, it seems to me. Unless the culture of the Seals is fubared, of course.

You can make a lot of arguments about advantages and disadvantages of different forms of organization, but you can’t argue about extant human forms producing perversely moronic decisions. And it is another Lebowski moment to realize that such an important question is not part of the managerial discourse. It is as if serious military people were not discussing logistics breakdowns and how to prevent them by plan. It is deciding that large and stressful organizations will make a high proportions of stupid mistakes, and not have a plan B.

You did notice that, right? The brilliant minds in our Deep Black Swamp, the world’s most experienced specialists in infiltrating governments via compromise operations, doing their best to get Hillary Clinton elected, assumed success. They didn’t have a Plan B, so have a chance to demonstrate how well they execute in chaos. That was a bragging point in the old days, they rode the chaos they created to success. Now they do dumb things like write memos like that.

The management of the CIA portion of these events are a danger to themselves. That organization needs ended. Ditto the FBI :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_KPI29lVsw

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-13/declassified-comey-had-secret-russia-meeting-obama-amid-unmaskings

This is an assessment of the situation in Syria and wrt US foreign policy that is entirely contrary to my own, much more like the Saker’s. It is from a comment on Moon of Alabama:

Israel’s assessment is that the situation cannot be more favorable. There is a front in the north of Syria (Turkey) and in the east (US). Israel will open a front in the south, I am pretty certain about that. It is remarkable that after the failure of the plan having ISIS and Al Qaeda do the work for them, Israel, Turkey and the US are stepping into this themselves. They are betting on Putin not going all out in view of the upcoming elections (which, incidentally, is another thing that makes this moment so favorable). Another factor is that Trump lets “his” generals run things (he is lazy, he is bored reading reports, he has no clue what he is reading, he has no analytical capabilities, just survival instinct – real estate is not a very innovative business and the kind of real estate he dealt with is an ideal target for corruption and money laundering; so, as a luxury real estate magnate, he has no clue and has little regard for rules, law and fair play). And lastly, Trump’s ego will make him want “win the thing in Syria”. There is no such thing as retreating, conceding for him. That ain’t going to happen under his watch. And then, he said, after the Iraq war, the US should have taken the oil and other resources (as a compensation for a war that was the US’ own choice!). He will view this similarly with regard to Syria. And very lastly, Kushner and Netanyahu, these guys are close and it is all pro-Israel. The fact that Ivanka is married to Kushner plays a role as well. She will be in Daddy’s ear, too. In the end, while the reaction to the Jerusalem decision was comparatively muted at first (and Trump/Kushner are putting Palestinians under financial pressure as much as they can), the match was lit and this declaration does play a role, too, as it emboldened Israel. They see themselves on the winning path. Israeli police chiefs just recommended Netanyahu to be indicted for corruption. And what do you do if you are in trouble domestically? You are looking for some distraction externally and a war is a proven and tested means to deliver that AND unite a country behind you.

This states that Turkey is using ex-ISIS mercenaries to attack the Kurds, so support for that view that the US and Israel continue their attack on the nation of Syria. OK, but the Kurds were on the US side already. Unless Syria was going to allow them some autonomy, so were agreeing to peace. So many possible interpretations of everything :

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-isis-afrin-syria-kurds-free-syrian-army-jihadi-video-fighters-recruits-a8199166.html

George Webb’s investigation. Whistleblowers are NOT protected, SES people think they are in control of the government, too bad about elected officials.

George says he doesn’t see the panic in the eyes he would expect if the IG and Congressional investigations story was indeed going to rock the world, so this still could be a big coverup. Sen Warner is the example he used :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwowFl9GmQc&t=7s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLmXiliqlHk

Having watched Hannity a few times recently to see what legacy media is telling the world, Youtube now suggests FOX, so I see headlines. “Trump attacks Pelosi”. On the assumption that NSA, IG, honest FBI, some honest people that Flynn knew in the intelligence community have been behind the many leaks and congressional committee investigations, and that George Webb, et al are also symptoms of this large, background effort, noticing that Trump has heaped the most scorn upon the most corrupt in his opposition, e.g. Schiff, Schumer, …, one assumes that Pelosi …

Pilluri Prisoner Pelosi. Has a nice mental reverb to it.

The reason Trump doesn’t end the wars in Asia are because each of them is some threat to the Russian-Chinese new silk road. Playing negative-sum games means you can lose. Positive-sum would be investing to profit from those programs. US foreign policy is still as “War Is A Racket” Gen Butler said it was, a profit-making venture for the politically connected. ‘We’ don’t do this to our country, a few oligarchs and their Deep Black Swamp do this to our country :

http://www.atimes.com/article/chinas-latest-move-graveyard-empires/

My conclusion wrt the correlation of forces having changed, now being against Israel, seems correct. “Hizbollah’s forces can rain 100s of missiles per hour onto Israel for weeks”! is a serious change.

This is the article with the comment I quoted above :

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/syria-is-war-with-israel-imminent.html

Along with some good points, this article shows that cultural and intellectual elites are very threatened by the Internet. They think the world needs more editors, curators, filters on the links between individuals. More than a few, we find, are willing to limit communications by law. ‘For your own good’, of course.

The characterization of the internet-enabled economy as surveillance capitalism was insightful:

https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/02/09/surveillance-capitalism-dead/

This is a very run-on article, Russia, open access, interaction of Russia’s laws and evolution of their internet culture. Takeaway is that this is a post-secrecy era, and it is difficult to have a business model relying on people paying to access information. All the leakages discussed are through holes in passwords and accountaccess controls, above the deep-technical-bug level that prevents NSA from keeping secrets. Publishers of scientific journals are lagging legacy media, lousy investments :

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/8/16985666/alexandra-elbakyan-sci-hub-open-access-science-papers-lawsuit

 

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