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Army’s "Information Dominance Center" Designed to Look Like the Bridge of The Enterprise

Well, specifically the Enterprise-D.
Daily Mail Online is reporting that when NSA Director Keith Alexander was the head of Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, he had the “Information Dominance Center” he ran the show from designed to look like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

We Fail To See History Repeating in Our Own Time

(Originally Published by Howey Politics Indiana)

On October 11, 1912, George and Ollie Risley weren’t concerned with the Italo-Turkish war. On that Friday, they were concerned with the difficult task of childbirth on a small family farm in Knox County, Indiana. Lucky for your columnist, all went well, and they welcomed my great-grandfather Miles in to the world. My best guess is that the poor, Knox County farmers never heard of the small conflict that would one day impact their family.

Only seven days later would the small regional conflict come to a close with the signing of the Treaty of Ouchy. For the past 13 months, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy had waged war on the lands destined to become modern-day Libya.

What caused the Italo-Turkish War? One must look back 34 years to the Congress of Berlin.

The once-great Ottoman Empire was flashing weakness as its institutions of government began to erode. As a result, the surrounding powers began to annex their lands. Especially antagonistic were the Russians, who repeatedly tried to nibble away at the northern edges of the Balkans and the Caucuses. This sparked the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78.

The policemen of the world, Great Britain and the rest of the 19th century G8, had to intervene to end the conflict. The British went as far as sending a fleet of battleships to Constantinople to stop the Russians from entering the city. At the Congress of Berlin, the Great Powers carved up foreign lands lost by the Ottoman Empire. The “sick man of Europe” was humiliated and broken by the loss. At the end of the Congress, the Italians felt they had not been received their fair share of the ailing Empire.

This was a wrong they intended to right. In 1902, the French signed a secret treaty with the Italians that offered them a consequence-free invasion in to Tripoli on the northern shores of Africa. After an extended propaganda campaign by the Italians, the public shifted their support for the invasion that came on September 29, 1911. (Notably, the most outspoken critic of the war was a young journalist and activist by the name of Benito Mussolini. In September of ’12, he participated in a riot against Italy’s “imperialist war.” For this, the young socialist spent five months in jail.)

Fast-forward 13 months, and the Treaty of Ouchy is signed. The Italians were given the lands of Libya, and the Turks once again humiliated and weakened. This set off a sense in the Balkans that liberation could be theirs for the taking. A sense of nationalism spread, and Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria formed the Balkan League and launched the first Balkan War. This then led to the Second Balkan War. And that led to the Great War.

Pop history teaches that the Great War, or World War I, was caused by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by the Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914. The assassination then led to a crisis that led to the invoking of dozens of treaties that entangled the Great Powers in a war that killed 15 million people. If including the Spanish flu, or the Great Influenza, the toll is 65 million.

The spark that led to the killing of 3.6% of the Earths population in 4 years may have been the death of Ferdinand. The cause was imperialism and intervention of the previous 100 years. The Great Powers chose for other nations and states what paths must be followed. This led to revolts. The revolts led to wars. The wars led to treaties that failed to respect those living in the new boundaries. And the cycle began anew. For instance, the Treaty of Versailles led to World War II.

It was in World War II that George and Ollie lost a son, and Miles lost a younger brother. George Risley Jr., 25, was a fighter pilot flying over Normandy on June 7, 1944. He was killed in action.

History has two groups of people. The first are the world-shapers, the heroes and villains, and the notable exceptions. The second are the vast majorities of those in-between that fail to see history happening in their time. The first group rarely sees the effects of their decisions on the second group. And it is the second group that allows it to happen.

Any honest observer of world events today can see that history is happening around us. The governments created by fall of the Ottoman Empire now are crumbling themselves. The Arab Spring was set off by one particular moment. Mohammed Bouazizi was a Tunisian making less than $10 per day. On December 17th 2010, a female inspector slapped him, confiscated his scales, and he snapped. Outraged, he lit himself on fire outside of the local government building. Protests erupted across the nation, and his death two weeks later made him a martyr in the fight over corruption. Tunisia’s leader of 23 years, Ben Ali, fled the country two weeks later.

Was the Arab Spring set off by just this one incident? Do the dictatorial rulers that are being overthrown exist in a vacuum? Or does the imperialist and interventionist mindset still exist today?

I argue that it is softer than in the past, but the Great Powers of the 20th and 21st century manipulated lands they did not own and people they did not have the authority to control. The Great powers toppled governments. Propped up murderous regimes. Provided chemical and conventional weapons to rebel groups that eventually used them on us in future wars.

Now we are told that we “must do something” again. We should not ignore history. Let’s do nothing, and empower those in the second group to become their own world-shapers.

“Thanks to the Communist Party of China, we now know the path to poverty alleviation is Capitalism.”

In 1981, China counted for 43% of the world’s poor. In 2010, China accounted for 13% of the world’s poor. What changed within China? Capitalism.

“Thanks to the Communist Party of China, we now know the path to poverty alleviation is Capitalism.” – Fareed Zakaria

Need some RSS Feeds and Podcasts?

A friend recently asked for my .OPML of podcasts and RSS feeds. I scroll through a ton of material to feed several beasts, and have collected, weeded, and sorted a system of RSS feeds that work for me. I figured I’d share them here in case anyone is interested.


Podcasts – About 200 of my favorites. I use Downcast as my app. –
Tailored RSS Feeds – What I consider the essentials (around 500). I read these with Feedbin. On the iPad I use Mr. Reader. On the Mac, I use Readkit. –
Mega RSS Feeds – This is YEARS of collecting feeds, and it is unkempt. It’s about 3800 feeds. I enjoy the broad view it gives, and I look through them on Feedly. –

If you put these in and have to spend three hours undoing what you did, I am not responsible. LOL

The Self-Absorption of the Syrian Discussion

It is completely self-absorbed and arrogant to launch military strikes on another country to save the credibility of a President, the Presidency, or a nation. This really hit home last night as I watched an interview with a Syrian activist. His message: Save your bombs. You don’t care about us anyways, and you’ve now put us in a terrible position either way.

Indiana Must Have Solved all of its Murder, Rape, Robbery, Burglary and Child Molest Cases

I am so glad Indiana has solved all of its murder, rape, robbery, burglary and child molest cases. Otherwise, why spend so much time on possession of alcohol by a minor cases? From the Indianapolis Star: “Excise Police arrest 46 at Ball State on move-in weekend”

From the Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Expats Balk at Tax Law”

“‘You became an immigration lawyer to fulfill the American dream, and now you are helping people leave.”” How sad.

Batman and the Abyss

When Batman stares into the Abyss, the Abyss just wets itself.

— The Batman (@TheBatman) June 24, 2013

Video: Former FBI Agent Admits All Digital Communications Are Recorded and Accessible to the U.S. Gov.

In an interview May 1, 2013 on CNN’s Erin Burnett Show, former FBI Counterterrorism Agent, Tim Clemente surprised many by stating that the U.S. Government has access to all digital communications.

This means only one thing, everything we do and say on the phone, text messages, over email, social networking and other digital communications are being recorded. Not only that, but the federal government has access to it ALL.

Spangle: Obama in 2007: No More Wiretapping Of Citizens – LOL

Senator Barack Obama at Woodrow Wilson Center on Terrorism, 8/1/07:

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