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Who Rules America? The Triumph of the Corporate Rich
Who Rules America? The Triumph of the Corporate Rich
by G. William Domhoff
Edition: Paperback
Price: $57.40
40 used & new from $47.00

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Stars for Early Warning on 1%, Holistic Analytics, and Clear Attention to Weakness of the 99%, April 19, 2014
This book was central to my education in Political Science (more political than science, more passive aggressive than normative). In light of all that we know now, the book MUST be considered both a 6 Star classic (in my top 10%, I read non-fiction in 98 categories), and highly relevant today.

It distresses me that there are no good reviews visible right now, this is partly because Amazon has destroyed really great reviews from past editions in order to make way for new generations of students, most of whom do not get pointed toward this book by their college professors, if they are lucky enough to even go to college.

Here is the 6th edition of the book where useful reviews are to be found:

Who Rules America? Challenges to Corporate and Class Dominance

I am posting an image from the author that shows how the social, corporate, and "hired hand" elite (for the latter, think tanks and politicians) intersect, with the 1% shown in the center (I added that bit).

Democracy is hard. Responsibility in democracy cannot be delegated or integrity is lost. When I and the author speak of integrity we are talking about accountability, the assurance of diversity in all councils, feedback loops, and the recognition of true costs of any decision. When the public delegates its responsibility for self-government, democracy is quickly lost. For other books that support this one, which can be considered "the original" in modern history (Toqueville's Democracy in America (Penguin Classics) is THE original), see my easily found list of my Amazon reviews on this topic and its anti-thesis corruption, by searching for:

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Democracy Lost & Found

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Corruption 2.0

For anyone wanting more than is available from Inside the Book, or seeking a summary of the book, there is no better summary available than that provided by the author himself on a very powerful web site of his own, search online for:

The Class-Domination Theory of Power by G. William Domhoff

For myself, this book is both a celebration of what Politica Science can offer (see also the books listed below within my ten link limit), and also an indictment of the discipline of Political Science. I am in the process of thinking about how to change the discipline to answer these three WHAT IF questions:

WHAT IF Political Science were to make the evolving craft of intelligence (decision-support) its central focus, such that a new norm is established in which politics is evaluated in relation to its ability to engage in deep multi-cultural history and holistic analytics that are public in nature and inclusive of all eight tribes of public hybrid governance (academic, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, non-government/non-profit)?

WHAT IF Political Science actually became a science by embracing Whole Systems True Cost Economics as a foundational multi-disciplinary science with data indexed geospatially and in time; thus creating a more grounded landscape of financial, social, and ecological opportunity and threat -- a basis for being a normative discipline.

WHAT IF Political Science recognized that in the Age of Information no discipline can be credible without the ability to collect, process, analyze, and share information affordably, inter-operably, and universally, which is to say, in an Open Source Everything fashion?

The author, in his summary at the end of the book, The Weaknesses of the Working Class, says:

QUOTE: There are many democratic countries where the working class -- defined as all those white-collar and blue-collar workers who earn a salary or a wage -- has more power than it does in the United States. This power is achieved primarily through labor unions and political parties. It is reflected in more egalitarian wealth and income distributions, a more equitable tax structure, better public health services, subsidized housing, and higher old-age and unemployment benefits.

ALL IS NOT LOST. The USA is in a pre-revolutionary condition (see my second image posted above, based on my 1976 first graduate thesis), but the 1% have successfully fragmented the 99% and own law enforcement -- witness over 7,000 Occupy protesters arrested, and no major bankers from Goldman Sachs, Morgan, Citi-Bank, or Bank of America, among others. For the explanation, Matt Taibbi's Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History remains the best, and so important that I offer one quote from Taibbi here (see my summary review at Amazon for much more detail):

QUOTE (32): What has taken place over the last generation is a highly complicated merger of crime and policy, of stealing and government. Far from taking care of the rest of us, the financial leaders of America and their political servants have seemingly reached the cynical conclusion that our society is not work saving and have taken on a new mission that involved not creating wealth for us all, but simply absconding with whatever wealth remains in our hollowed out economy. They don't feed us, we feed them.

Political Science needs to merge with Liberation Theology and True Cost Economics, rooted in Open Source Everything as a means of enabling public information-sharing and sense-making. That is my view. The author's book, first published in 1967 and totally updated in this new edition, remains "REF A" for where we are, still today, for lack of a normative discipline of Political Science, and a public that is good-hearted but morally and intellectually pathetic.

See Also:

American Ruling Class
Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War
The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future - and What It Will Take to Win It Back
State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence
Left Hand of God, The: Healing America's Political and Spiritual Crisis
The People's Advocate: The Life and Legal History of America's Most Fearless Public Interest Lawyer
How America Was Lost: From 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust


The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism
The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism
by Jeremy Rifkin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.97
78 used & new from $14.96

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never Mind the Total Cost Terminal Society, April 13, 2014
Books like this would make me crazy if I took them seriously. This is a fad book for shallow minds that have no clue about holistic analytics, true cost economics, or anything remotely resembling the humanities (which is to say, the preservation of the good from one generation to the next). This book is the singularity cult on crack. Buy the book, by all means, to understand how seriously stupid is now in vogue.

There are some clever (which is to say, fad of the day) observations in this book but they vary from wrong (MOOCs have a 4% completion rate and are absolutely useless to 90% or more of the five billion poor who do not have the time to do MOOCs) to incomplete -- who crowd sources against corruption and waste? Part of the answer is in this book, but no more than 20%. I've raised the book from one to three stars on a second pass, but I am still irritated.

The one place where Rifkin and I are 100% in harmony is on free energy...but he pulls his punches. Free energy is here now but the "system" is intent on keeping energy expensive and the 99% in rentier status. To truly understand the alternative energies now in hand, there is no book available, but if you search for Sepp Hasslberger @ Phi Beta Iota you will be on the bleeding edge of intelligence with integrity on this one topic that is so vital to all of us.

Marginal Cost is the cost at scale after all the FIXED COSTS (little things like water, fuel, child labor, tax avoidance, imposed disease) have been "accounted for." The problem with Rifkin's book, which would be a great riff at a late night show where everyone is smashed beyond cognition, is that it discounts reality by 99%. This book is the epitome of what Dr. Russell Ackoff would call "doing the wrong things righter instead of the right thing.

I will offer just one example before linking to ten books that are all vastly more relevant to our needs than this one. The central device of our time (among the one billion rich -- there is no room at the inn in Rifkin's book for the five billion poor) is the smart telephone, with Apple and Samsung being "best in class" in Rifkin's terms, which is to say, really really cool stuff at a really really low "visible" cost. What he does not tell you is that the human cost of these devices, rooted in manufacturing processes that expose hundreds of thousands of Chinese to benzine, a class one carcinogenic, is the eseential sentencing of all those people to life in a gulag followed by uncompensated death from lukemia. Search for YouTube Who Pays the Price? The Human Cost of Electronics to see the 9:31 video Rifkin has never watched.

I've spent the last 40 years thinking about this stuff (as has Rifkin, whom I do enjoy as an intellectual fly swatter) but we are on different planets. My planet places humans before technology, guaranteed incomes before concentration of wealth, water before Monsanto, integrity before corruption, fairness before "free." There is no free lunch, and that is Rifkin's fatal presumption.

Here are ten other books at Amazon I recommend above this one if you actually want to make a difference into the next generation -- this is "back to basics" stuff that gets lost in the free-rider cloud.

Earth Is Finite

Ecological Economics, Second Edition: Principles and Applications

Elites are Crooked to the Bone -- Democracy is Not Passive

Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History

True Costs Matter

The True Cost of Low Prices: The Violence of Globalization

War is a Racket and a Crime Against All of Us

War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier

The USA Is Not a Democracy and We Do Not Have an Honest Government

National Suicide: How Washington Is Destroying the American Dream from A to Z

Culture Matters -- We've Lost It

Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture

The Center of Gravity is a Mix of the Poor, Open Source, and Total Transparency of All Costs

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits, Revised and Updated 5th Anniversary Edition

Our Existing Educational System is Corrupt, Ineffective, and Non-Scalable

Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

Water Matters -- If You Don't Calculate Virtual Water in Everything You Are An Idiot

Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource

There Are Solutions

Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny

Reality bats last. Rifkin got lost on the way to the ballpark.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust (2012)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2014 4:31 PM PDT


Secrets and Leaks: The Dilemma of State Secrecy
Secrets and Leaks: The Dilemma of State Secrecy
by Rahul Sagar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $28.93
43 used & new from $21.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlights from Steven Aftergood's Review at Lawfare, April 9, 2014
I tried to prevail on Steven Aftergood to repost his rave review at Lawfare here but for various reasons that was not possible. I've looked at this book but Steven is vastly superior to me in his contextual appraisal so below I offer both a fast means of finding Stevens review and three highlights in Steven's words, with some additional Amazon links and my own conclusions based on 40 years as an intelligence professional and 20 years as a proponent for intelligence reform.

Find the full review online by searching for three words together not in quotes: Lawfare Aftergood Sagar

Three Highlights:

QUOTE: Sagar makes a fresh, original and provocative contribution to the field. Our problems with secrecy, he says, are not simply attributable to official venality or mismanagement (or to the Espionage Act or the Manhattan Project) but instead are rooted in our constitutional structure. And leaks of classified information are not necessarily a lamentable deviation from good government but are -- within certain limits -- an essential safeguard that should be defended and encouraged.

QUOTE: Only leaks, he argues, have the potential to overcome the otherwise unresolved tensions over disclosure of national security information that are the legacy of our constitutional design.

QUOTE: In the end, following a detailed and critically nuanced discussion, Sagar concludes that leakers can be morally justified in making an unauthorized disclosure of classified information in violation of the law if the disclosure meets the following five conditions:

It "(a) reveals an abuse of public authority; (b) is based on clear and convincing evidence; (c) does not pose a disproportionate threat to public safety; (d) is limited in scope and scale as far as is possible; and (e) is made publicly."

Steven's full review adds at least another seven key points to the three above and whether you take the time to search for < Lawfare Aftergood Sagar > and read his full review or not, I will stipulate that Steven and I both recommend this book for purchase and use in classrooms and citizen study groups.

Just yesterday I was interviewed by Al Jazeera USA on torture and secrecy, and one of the points I made (a point I also made in my invited testimony to the Secrecy Commission led by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY-RIP), is that the US secret world has become a bureaucracy that lives immunity and impunity and has lost all sense of purpose and all sense of propriety and responsibility to the public, the government it is supposed to serve, and the public it is supposed to protect. The needs to know of the President himself, routinely lied to by CIA and NSA, of the Congress, the media, and the public, are literally dismissed by a melange of out of control pasty faced bureaucrats who have, as Victor Marchetti articulated so well in a book that has evidently been dropped by Amazon, "The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence" become a cult oblivious to all external professional, moral, and legal constraints -- I refer to managers, not the vast majority of good people trapped in this very bad system.

Here are ten other books that complement this one, my link limit.

Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy : pursuant to Public Law 236, 103rd Congress
Secrecy: The American Experience
Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry
Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq
Nation of Secrets: The Threat to Democracy and the American Way of Life
The Family Jewels: The CIA, Secrecy, and Presidential Power (Discovering America)
The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World
The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America

For my linked list of over 300 books on intelligence search for Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Government Secret Intelligence. I also recommend my linked lists Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Corruption 2.0 and Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Democracy Lost & Found as well as Worth a Look: Recent Books on 10 High Level Threats. The US secret world today is a contracting cesspool -- a secret pork pie -- of no substantive value to the US taxpayer. My many publications on how to get it right are easily found, along with the work of over 800 other authors, at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog. I am available to speak on these matters to any audience anywhere.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World
Foreword by Senator David Boren (D-OK)


The Future of Intelligence: Challenges in the 21st century (Studies in Intelligence)
The Future of Intelligence: Challenges in the 21st century (Studies in Intelligence)
by Isabelle Duyvesteyn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $116.43
30 used & new from $111.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for Libraries Not Individuals, March 30, 2014
I know one of the editors, Ben de Jong, and am disappointed in the publisher for failing to properly present the book. Below I provide the table of contents that should have been provided by the publisher.

Foreword and acknowledgements, Michael Kowalski 1.By Way of Introduction: A Systemic Way of Looking at the Future of Intelligence, Bob de Graaff 2. The Future of Intelligence: What Are the Threats, the Challenges and the Opportunities?, Sir David Omand 3. The Future of Intelligence: Changing Threats, Evolving Methods, Gregory F. Treverton 4.Is the US Intelligence Community Anti-Intellectual?, Mark M. Lowenthal 5.The Future of the Intelligence Process: The End of the Intelligence Cycle?, Art Hulnick 6.The Future of Counterintelligence: the Twenty-First Century Challenge, Jennifer Sims 7. Analyzing International Intelligence Cooperation: Institutions or Intelligence Assemblages?, Jelle van Buuren 8. European Intelligence Cooperation, Björn Fägersten 9.Intelligence-Led Policing in Europe: Lingering between Idea and Implementation, Monica den Boer 10. The Next Hundred Years: Reflections on the Future of Intelligence, Wilhelm Agrell 11.Conclusions: It may be September 10, 2001 today George Dimitriu and Isabelle Duyvesteyn

Without reading the book, I reduce it by one star because the Americans, all of whom I know very well, have failed for over twenty years to be serious about the need for radical reform. When they use words like "transformation" the words lose all meaning.

An alternative to this book (from the same publisher) is Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies. I disclose that I have a chapter in that book, but the chapter is by agreement with the publisher free online at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog: "The Evolving Craft of Intelligence." As an additional resource, my linked list of 319 Amazon reviews (with a number of guest reviews)< Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Government Secret Intelligence > is easily found online and was updated on 26 February 2014.

Best wishes to all,
Robest David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability


Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times (Sacred Activism)
Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times (Sacred Activism)
by Carolyn Baker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.50
58 used & new from $8.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Best Book to Both Catalyze and Deepen Your Awakening, March 24, 2014
This is a 6 star book (my top 10% across the 98 categories in which I read), and I consider it a book to be stunningly effective. At the age of 61 with no pensions on top of a rich life, I have found myself in unemployment over several years, and as this book so powerfully suggests, this may have been the best possible state for me at this point in time. I specifically recommend the book as a gift for any unemployed person, but I also consider it essential reading for any entering class of college students.

The author is extremely well-read in this domain, and the book is priceless for the combination of her insights and the manner in which she weaves many other selections into the work.

Perhaps by coincidence, perhaps not, I have read this book at a time when I have also been exploring the Jesuit tradition of discernment, seeking to center myself on a combination of where I can be most authentic and helpful to the larger community of man, and where God wants me to be. Never too late to ask that question, but I do believe that those questions have been with me since I first learned the Latin mass in Colombia in the 1960's. I also believe this one book to be the single most powerful book I have read in the past decade, in relation to focusing my soul so as to better focus my mind and body.

This is not a religious book, if anything it is a gnostic spiritual guide, far removed from dogma, celebrating both the holy individuality of each person -- each soul -- and the utter absolute need of every soul for community -- for being spiritual in communmity, as one with others and one with the Earth.

As an intelligence (decision-support) professional, I will begin my summary review with the flash of inspiration I found on page 161, 13 pages from the end of the book:

QUOTE (161) Citing Clarissa Pinkola Estes "Asking the right question is the central act of transformation."

AHA! Could it be that intelligence professionals, in striving to answer the questions they have received from their clients (generally, corrupt politicians and myopic corporate chiefs), have been upside down and inside out? Could it be the acme of skill for the intelligence professional of the 21st Century is to guide their clients into asking the right questions, the holistic questions, the questions that embrace true cost economics and a fullsome appreciation for all forms of life, not just the 1%?

I had been side-stepping up to this conclusion with some earlier work on the urgency of integrating educaton, intelligence (decision-support) and research & development to create Smart Nations, but this book from page one has hit me in a most favorable manner.

The author makes four points throughout the book:

01 The Industrial Era is collapsing.

02 Apocalypse understood in its root term means revelation not "the end"

03 The primary salvation in this context is spiritual, not material. The rest of the book makes this point deeply, broadly, and fulfillingly. This is emphasized over and over -- whatever solutions we might contribe in the face of collapse, they will not be technical, but rather spiritual. Buckminster Fuller was on this path from a different perspective, I certainly recommend in this context two of his many books, Guinea Pig B: The 56 Year Experiment and Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure. I cannot help but be reminded of Paul Straussman (Jesuit-trained, former Director of Defense Information] saying "Information Technology makes bad management worse." Absent spiritual coherence, technology is digging us an ever deeper grave.

04 The whole point of human existence is to learn from death and be re-born -- collapse of the toxic is an essential pre-requisite to birth of something purer, more holistic, more lasting.

The second layer of persistent reasoning is consistent with the points made by Lionel Tiger in The Manufacture Of Evil: Ethics, Evolution, and the Industrial System -- in commoditizing humans and forcing humans, alone among all living creatures, to "earn a living" inside a little box designed by the 1% to enrich the 1% and impoverish (exploit) the 99%, what the Industrial Era has done is poison the Earth, our chalice, and diminish our souls -- the spirit.

A few quotes and highlights from this heavily marked book:

QUOTE (5): "...this time of massive unemployment creates space in our lives that allows us to prepare for a future of permanent unemployment."

+ In the next culture (post-collapse) spiritual employment will displace financial employment as the central focus

+ Industrial "civilization" is inherently traumatizing -- inherently abusive of society, community, humanity, and the individual.

+ In the face of collapse, physical fitness and spiritual coherence are vastly more important than a transient stock of goods in the basement.

QUOTE (40): "When a culture falls apart, and when people fall apart, culture centers everything"

+ The author is effective in pointing out that both the New Age mentality and the "positive attitude" shyster-spin are counter-effective. Humans are not perfect, being passive about collapse blocks learning, and yes, gender matters -- the feminist perspective is ESSENTIAL to restoring our soul and recovering our harmonization with the earth. [I am struck by the coincidense of these insights and those of the new Pope -- search online for < Francis, Jesuit & Pope: Happy, Open, Thinking, Women on His Mind (Need for a Theology of Women) >.

QUOTE (56): Citing Daerrick Jensen in Endgame (not clear which volume), "Any economic system that does not benefit the natural communities on which it is based is unsustainable, immoral, and really stupid."

QUOTE (62): "No other form of life on the planet knows negativity, only humans, just as no other form of life violates and poisons the earth that sustains it."

+ While I lean toward Libertarian (as a recovering sane Republican who now sees the deep corruption of the two parties that bar all others from electoral participation) the author's emphasis on the need for balance between individual liberty and community cohersion strikes me as a stake in the heart of Libertarian thought, something to be reflected on.

QUOTE (73): "The American dream is a mixed story: in part, a story of genocide, racism, classicism, peopolitical and resource imperialism, exceptionalism, and entitlement--as well as a set of [anti-] humanitarian assumptions about what constitutes a rich quality of life."

+ Citing Charles Wisenstein, whose Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition I have reviewed here at Amazon, the author devotes a chapter to debt as a cancer, with a gift economy being the alternative.

The first half of the book concludes with two chapters on the dumbing down and infantilization of our Western culture. However, the first half ends optemistically -- collapse has been described by indigenous cultures as a purification process, and the author ends on that note.

The second half of the book consists of 51 short essays that take-off from one or two quotes. While once could certainly read them one at a time, I found them to be as substantive as the first half of the book, and best consumed in the same seating. It is in the second half of the book that the author explores the revelation side of apocalypse and the "ask the right question" aspect of spirituality.

The second half ends strongly with thoughts I first read -- but did not fully appreciate -- in the 1970's, focused on the urgency of being one with nature, integrating nature, respecting nature. I am reminded of so many books from that era, which was also the era that forecast the limits to growth, peak oil, water deprivation, and so on. Herbert Marcuse stands out in my memory.

This book is part of a Sacred Activism series with three other titles I am moved to link to:

Earth Calling: A Climate Change Handbook for the 21st Century (Sacred Activism)
Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation (Sacred Activism)
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (Sacred Activism)

Two books that I recommend for consideration of who we might become both more intelligent and more spiritual are:

Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (Manifesto Series)

With my last link, here is the book that I have ordered at the recommendation of DharmaCafe, and will be reviewing here shortly:

The Seven Mysteries of Life: An Exploration of Science and Philosophy

This book also is from the 1970's -- we are re-inventing knowledge that was repressed by corrupt political and financial powers, today known as the 1%. It was repressed with a velvet glove, what Noam Chomsky called "manufacturing consent." This time around, I hope we live up to our potential.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust


Still Ours to Lead: America, Rising Powers, and the Tension between Rivalry and Restraint
Still Ours to Lead: America, Rising Powers, and the Tension between Rivalry and Restraint
by Bruce D. Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.31
44 used & new from $8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Third Provocative, One Third Delusional, One Third Ignorant, March 22, 2014
I was given this book as a gift, by someone who knew I can recite from memory the ten high level threats to humanity (as identified and prioritized by the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, and reported out in A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility--Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, which is also available free online as a PDF.

My first impressions were negative. On a second pass I found more to appreciate, but the most compelling impression I was left with is that Obama is Bush and the Brookings Institution has lost its moral and intellectual compass.

One Third Provocative

To the extent that good is to be found in the two-terms of the ObamaBiden Administration, this book serves as a fine guide. I wondered more than once which foreign policy position the author was applying for appointment to. Sadly, what the author offers in the way of positive must be construed by any realist grounded in international reality as a second application of lipstick on the pig, the first being when the neo-conswervatives and Wall Street successfully trotted Obama out as the savior of the two-party tyranny. [I credit the term to Theresa Amato's Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny -- it is not possible to be a serious observer of American idiocy without first understanding that there is no real difference between the extremists of the right and the extremists of the left -- they are both toxic.

One Third Delusional

This author is an apologist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. There is nothing in this book about the reality that Wall Street and the US Federal Reserve exploded multiple national economies and the US economy, while the IMF and World Bank and various secret agreements signed by corrupt elites on both sides have generally perpetuated poverty. For everything the author cannot bring himself to acknowledge, try Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History. For the history -- there is none in this book, add Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent.

While the book was largely written before the Edward Snowden debacle -- or its spin-off with Angela Merkel, among other world leaders -- the author seriously overstates the alignment of European allies and the USA and his endnotes on the NSA breaches downplay the matter to the point of gross irresponsibility. This is not a man who can bring himself to acknowledge that NSA has cost and will cost the US telecommunications sector tens of billions of dollars in lost business, both in software and hardware and now in cloud services.

One Third Ignorant

I have left the book at four stars because there is some good in this book, even if it is only in the presentation of what passes for reasoned policy dialog these days. Without that this would be a three-star book at best. The ignorance is profound. This entire book demeans the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) without once acknowledging that they represent -- along with Indonesia -- the demographic power of the planet. Minister-Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has emphasized this many times, but Americans are not very well read and this author misses both that reality and the second harsher reality: the BRICS are creating an alternative global financial system AND an alternative global Internet. When the US used SWIFT against Iran, the Chinese were instantly ready with an alternative to SWIFT. Over 57 countires are actively preparing to abandon the dollar as the reserve currency and move to what will probably be a gold-backed Yuan with a composite twist. There is now an alternative to both the IMF and the World Bank.

This is not a book that offers anything useful with respect to responsible attention to the ten high-level threats to humanity, the twelve core policies from Agriculture to Water that must be harmonized, nor, as I note above, the twelve core demographic challengers defining the future. This is a book in which our pupported elite are talking amongst themselves, to no good end.

Better books still today (for which I have provided a summary review at Amazon and at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog)

Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy: Reforming the Structure and Culture of U.S. Foreign Policy
Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform
Seven Sins of American Foreign Policy (Great Questions in Politics Series)
The Folly of War: American Foreign Policy, 1898-2005
Preparing America's Foreign Policy for the Twenty-first Century

This book -- as with so many others I do not bother to review -- misses the core point that would make the book's title true: the ONLY thing we can offer at this juncture is intelligence with integrity, and that is not to be found in the US Government today -- nor in the various leech elements that surround it. My 2 minute lecture on this point at the Wilson Center can be found by searching for YouTube Steele Scowcroft.

Absent a restoration of electoral and governance integrity in the USA in 2016 or 2020, the only thing the US leads the world in right now is legalized crime.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2014 8:41 PM PDT


Global 2000: The Report to the President, Entering the Twenty-first Century
Global 2000: The Report to the President, Entering the Twenty-first Century
by Jimmy Carter
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from $19.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligence with Integrity Ignored by Government and Private Sector, March 22, 2014
This treasure was included in my donation to George Mason University of my entire library, and only now do I wish I could pull it down to look at the table of contents and the conclusions. It *is* available online as a free pdf but I strongly recommend buying one of the used copies offered above, there is no substitute for the hand-eye-brain engagement with a physical book.

There has been no lack of intelligence in the USA, either in the IQ sense of the decision-support sense. What has been lacking is integrity at all levels. Junior bureaucrats follow orders from senior bureaucrats who follow orders from political appointees who follow orders from elected officials whose only priority is to get re-elected, to keep the USA in a two-party monopology, and to retire without having actually addressed any real problems.

I do not agree with the excessive conspiratorial thesis of the other review–none of the conspiracies would work if our electoral system and our government retained their integrity. That is in my view the central problem of our time: restoring integrity to government so that We the People may be well-served by all organizations, public and private.

VITAL POINT: The USA has been both the 25% innovator and the 25% waste producer including a plentitude of toxins beyond most people’s imaginations. The onlything we might reasonably offer the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East is a model for getting it right — for ceasing with doing the wrong things more expensively, and instead doing the right things with applied intelligence — design — replete with integrity that produces sustainable outcomes. Absent that, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Wild Cards like Turkey will rule the world and we will — as they have been to the USA — mere collateral damage.

At the end of this note I offer, as the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction (the official number, 277 today is across all categories including software, entertainment, toys and fiction), two book lists easily found online, with each book listed leading boack to its Amazon home page. Just search for the lists using the entire phrase. All of my reading, all of the non-fiction views of over 1,800 author’s whose brains I have tapped via reading, support this specific study and others like it.

I was able to find the online version and printed the table of contents, here are the highlights, they are consistent with the 1992 warning of the Union of Concerned Scientists:

MAJOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
+ Principal Findings
+ Conclusions

THE STUDY IN BRIEF
+ Building the Study
+ Population and Income
– Population
– Income
+ Resources
– Food
– Fisheries
– Forests
– Water
– Nonfuel Minerals
– Energy
+ Environmental Consequences
– Impacts on Agriculture’
– Impacts on Water Resources
– Impacts on Forest Losses
– Impacts on the World’s Atmosphere and Climate
– Impacts on Nuclear Energy
– Species Extinctions

ENTERING THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Appendix A: The Global 2000 Study Compared with Other Global Studies
Appendix B: Letter of Transmittal
Appendix C: The Institute for 21st Century Studies

References

To Learn More See:

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative)

Best wishes to all,
Robert Steele
INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability


Guinea Pig B: The 56 Year Experiment
Guinea Pig B: The 56 Year Experiment
by Richard Buckminster Fuller
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.79
29 used & new from $4.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Starting Point for Life Work of a "First Thinker", March 21, 2014
I've read a number of books by Buckminster Fuller, but it was not until this one that I realized he is the only person that writes longer sentences than I do. He is also, as his daughter notes in the preface, a man who uses words with great precision, and invents words when he is certain none already exist. So many words in fact, that he has his own dictionary, Synergetics Dictionary, the Mind of Buckminster Fuller: With an Introduction and Appendices (4 Vols.).

I drew three big ideas from this slim volume:

01 All of the energy we create at great expense enriching the few is trivial in comparison to all the free energy offered to Earth by the Universe.

02 No other species -- no other elements of the Universe -- submits to the slavery of a wage, of having to "earn" a living. Why do we? Could that be our greatest intellectual and moral failing?

03 Fuller trusted in God and submitted himself to God. This is an aspect of his life and work I did not properly appreciate prior to reading this book.

The bottom line on this book, which I rate at beyond five stars, is that Fuller, alone among all minds, concluded that humanity was created by God as an experiment and to experiment -- to devine the universal principles and see where else they might lead us.

QUOTE (22) "Therefore the fact that we are designed to be born naked, helpless, and ignorant is, I feel, a very important matter."

Tied to naked ignorant helpless babies are two other Fuller thoughts in this book: first, that no one is a fool to be dismissed, only an alternative perspective to be factored in; and second, at the end of his life, he anticipated the moment when for the first time, instead of a global tower of Babel, we would achieve a point in human history "at which approximately everybody is "in" on both speech and information (p 25).

His biggest lasting lesson, the lesson that should be the first day in every school, every course, every year, is that you are going to have to do your own thinking. ALL teaching is in some form inaccurate, incomplete, and mis-directed. Intelligence is in the moment, in context, and found only in those who can achieve a holistic appreciation (to which I would add as Fuller would no doubt have added, true cost economics as pioneered by Dr. Herman Daly, see for instance Valuing the Earth: Economics, Ecology, Ethics).

I am surprised to find that Fuller at one point considered suicide, and promptly rejected the idea as selfish. I have no doubt the matter never came up again.

The book draws to a close with some truly moving material on pages 36-37, in which Fuller outlines how he committed himself to God and God's evident intent that humanity be a functioning endeavor in which Fuller, one man, was to be an exemplar.

This book joins the following in my very small collection of pinnacle books. The others are

7 years from somewhere: Poems
Philosophy and the Social Problem: The Annotated Edition
Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure
The Lessons of History

Inside this book is also a listing of all that Fuller left to humanity in the way of archives, and a listing of his 28 published books. At Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog I have created a series, BUCKY 2.0 that highlights a number of historical and current resources rooted in the life, mind, and invention of Buckminster Fuller. I am honored to know Medard Gabel, co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game (and architect of the digital EarthGame), and I am certain that a number of us are carrying on in the tradition of Buckminster Fuller, with the same faith in God and the same commitment to creating a prosperous world at peace, "a world that works for all."

NOTE: among Medard's books that I recommend are these:

Designing a World that Works for All: Solutions & Strategies for Meeting the World's Needs
Designing a World That Works for All: How the Youth of the World are Creating Real-World Solutions for the UN Millenium Development Goals and Beyond

I also recommend:

Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (Manifesto Series)
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability


Earth: An Alien Enterprise: The Shocking Truth Behind the Greatest Cover-Up in Human History
Earth: An Alien Enterprise: The Shocking Truth Behind the Greatest Cover-Up in Human History
by Timothy Good
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.98
15 used & new from $17.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Credible, Eye-Glazing, Not the Polished Brief I Expected, March 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have read other books on extra-terrestials, have noted with interest that governments around the world have been declassifying their archives on actual contacts with extra-terrestials, and noted with interest the mock Congressional hearings a year or so ago in which a former Candian defense minister testified to their being no fewer than five alien races in contact with our governments and also in residence on Earth in various forms.

Normally I write a summary review of a book, but I quickly gave up that idea once this book was in hand. It is a mind-glazing textual dump. While it is organized sensibly, and every bit is in my view credible and useful,

Let me start with past books that I have read and found credible, along with a few I have not but whose titles I find helpful:

Close Encounters Of The Fourth Kind: Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at M.I.T.
Disclosure : Military and Government Witnesses Reveal the Greatest Secrets in Modern History
ALIEN AGENDA: Why they came Why they stayed
Opening Minds: A Journey of Extraordinary Encounters, Crop Circles, and Resonance
Hidden Truth: Forbidden Knowledge
Vital Signs: A Complete Guide to the Crop Circle Mystery and Why It is Not a Hoax
Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids
Saucers, Swastikas and Psyops: A History of A Breakaway Civilization: Hidden Aerospace Technologies and Psychological Operations
Black Operations, Weapons Systems and Experiments by Extraterrestrials, Grays and Governments
Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

Now here, from pages 397-398, is the take-away statement from this book, citing Daniel Fry, who stated that he heard this from an alien in 1949:

"If we were to appear as members of a superior race, coming from above to lead the people of your world, we would seriously disrupt the ego balance of your civilization. Tens of millons of your people, in their desperate need to avoid being demoted to second place in the universe, would go to any conceivable length to disprove or deny our existence."

"If we took steps to force the realization of our reality upon their consciousness, then about thirty percent of these people would insist on considering us as gods, and would attempt to place upon us all responsibility for their own welfare. Of the remaining seventy percent, most would consider we were potential tyrants who were planning to enslave their world, and many would immediately begin to seek means to destroy us."

"If any great and lasting good is to come from our efforts, the actual leaders must be your own people, or is must come from men would are indistinguishable from them."

So here in a nutshell is what I believe on the basis of ancient references, my past readings, and common sense:

01 Aliens have visited Earth in multiple forms both visible and invisbile, since mankind emerged from the caves.

02 Humans have been abducted and also invited, and various forms of cross-pollination including insemination, has occurred.

03 Governments have generally sought to keep all these matters secrets, and I suspect that in the case of both extra-terrestials and the greats of crimes (pedophilia, running drugs to create off-budget budgets) there is a government within a government -- distinct from the satellite government Nixon created or the neo-con shadow government Cheney created -- in which political appointees are considered transitory and not worthy of being briefed. The Nazi hydra has a major role in this secret unaccountable government that stretches across all borders north to south and east to west.

04 Nuclear power scares the crap out the aliens. They actively strive to neutralize it where they must and they can.

05 Technology transfer has occured, particularly in the areas of energy, anti-gravity, and cloaking. The transfers have been badly handled, the public trust betrayed, the opportunities squandered.

06 Entire underground cities and based do exist and are a major explanation for the $2.3 trillion still unaccounted for by the Pentagon. These cities house combinations of secret programs, alient populations, and men without a country willing to come out and mow down US citizens on order. Similarly there are undersea bases, some ours, some theirs, that are inadequately understood or plotted.

07 All of this is OUT OF CONTROL and badly in need of professional, unconstained investigation and revelation.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2014 1:36 PM PDT


Apollo Precision Tools DT0204 71 Piece Household Tool Kit
Apollo Precision Tools DT0204 71 Piece Household Tool Kit
Price: $50.51
36 used & new from $40.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for my son going to college, March 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This was a gift for my son going to college, complemented by a toolbag with a drill, drill set, and a few other odds and ends. I have bought many such kits over the years, and still have a smaller one in my 1964 MGB.

In relation to all the other possibilities, this is absolutely the best with the most versatility including a small hand-held saw, and the price is totally right.

The only negative is really rotten plastic snaps that will fall off after 20 or so openings. I consider it extremely stupid of this company to spoil an otherwise perfect offering with such incredibly ignorant, deficient, and totally unsatisfactory plain plastic snaps.

Highly recommended despite the one serious flaw.


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