Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 8, 2016

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on January 8, 2016

William R. Cumming Forum

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Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 7:27 am

Political Correctness! A Homeland Security issue? An EM issue?

PC seems to have first arise as a concept to avoid and police HATE speech, in particular on the American college campus! The concept has now in 2016 become a policy that may yet betray Americans as reforms often do!

Harold Bloom wrote book entitled THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND which attacked both the lack of FREE SPEECH and the demise of CRITICAL THINKING in American colleges in the early 80’s.

Issues of existential survival for its people and version of governance seem to have arisen for Americans in 1949 when the Soviets exploded their first Atomic Bomb.

Some would argue that politics not PC has become the existential threat to our life and lifestyle. Hannah Arendt warned of the BANALITY OF EVIL in covering the trial of Adolph Eichman in Israel. Ayan Rand trumpeted the POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL.

Charlie Rose seems to become one of our PUBLIC INTELLECTUALS even though he cautious avoids certain topics.

But underlying a system of governance built on the understandings of its voting citizens, IMO it will become more evident this year that information that might assist the voters is systematically denied them even though they often labor on in an ignorance not of their own making but created by intention.

So my advice: Listen and learn all you can about the candidates, their personal histories, and their thinking and plans.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 7:30 am

It appears that the false prophets pf the modern world are often accountants and central banks. Almost no more accurate than the Oracle at Delphi, their belief in the underlying statistics of the world’s economies and ours can only be considered religious.

And in the USA why do we an accounting world drive by taxes and one drive by securities regulation? Never the Twain Shall Meet?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 7:47 am

This is provider as a backgrounder reflecting on my personal education, training, and experience with respect to HS and EM and the parties and candidates. Hoping other will provide their views and analysis!

First, the Presidency is often about policy choices not issues. But Washington today rarely does policy, meaning choosing the best path among a multitude of choices. Instead the “experts” choose up sides on issues but usually failing to explain their choices not a product of critical thinking but instead ones formed by their hope of economic betterment.

Do we know who really funds and chooses spokespeople on the MSM?

Do we really know whether a political candidate rejects self-dealing as a life time belief or is in fact just available to the highest bidder?

What is most inaccurate about government statistics of all kinds? Probably the employment statistics that will in part be release today! If you know what the U-6 data show and the level of participation in the American economy you are ahead of the game. The American economy is sick but even the so-called 10 sectors of the economy lie IMO about its [the American economies] health! So you know what a SIC code is and what influence it has on public policy! The Commerce Department breaks down the entirety of the US economy’s participants into the Standard Industrial Classification system.

The budget code system is know and understood by very nfew. Paul Ryan and John Kasich are two of them. HS is largely part of the National Security budget code [050] and EM largely part of the State and local Budget code [045]!

And would you be surprised that DHS has little role in NS policy and FEMA has little role in any policy circles in D.C.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 7:50 am

Given their history [personal histories] Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz should be expert on Cuba and US relationships. Yet all are not expert and largely silent.

IMO eventual Statehood the end of this century should be a Cuban/USA policy option! More than amnesty!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 7:53 am

Are any of the candidates expert on anything crucial to American life and context or the world generally or specifically in 2016?

My answer is NO even though some should be with one exception. Donald Trump is very very expert on the US tax treatment of casino’s domestic and foreign.

OK on what policies are the candidates most expert?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 8:01 am

The DEMS first! IMO of course!

HRC-her main expertise is how to enrich yourself at public expense! Her main expertise should be HS and EM! And perhaps modern feminism in the USA and the world!

Bernie Saunders–The roles of the US Treasury Dept. and Federal Reserve as linchpins or not of the US economy. And of multilateral organizations. But Bernie is not expert on matters of employment as organized experts of violence of either the public safety community or internationally. When put to the test what and who will be on Bernies NS team?

Martin O’Malley–most expert on the modern city state in the USA. No expertise in economics or trade relations or the military and FP!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 8:15 am

Now the Republicans: BTW does this collection of candidates believe FEAR or ANGER is driving the American electorate this year? IMO it is ANGER NOT FEAR that is the driver since the American electorate is not a fearful one even when it should be. As they say HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!

As to the Anger choice put Trump and no others.

As to the FEAR CHOICE put Christie and Rubio.

As to all others they have not made up their own mind yet.

Expertises will follow!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 8:24 am

TRUMP-He is expert on the so-called Mother’s Milk of Politics–Money! Not expert on much else!

Jeb, Marco, Ted–immigration and while Trump claims that expertise lacks it IMO!

Military and FP none of the candidates.

Jeb, Chris, and John Kasich STATE problems. Expert in knowledge of the dependency of the states for financing of their policies and operations by the FEDS.

All of the candidates for the Republicans lack critical knowledge of the federal government’s Executive Branch, its operations and culture, with one exception John Kasich.

All of the Reublicans lack critical knowledge of technology withe exception that Carley Forina does have that knowledge.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 8:25 am

More to follow and more debates this coming week!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 8, 2016 @ 10:13 am

So Bill, apparently not much to choose from and again, the world will continue to unravel as the days follow and as I await for Karl Guttenberg and Germany to fill the void of an evidently less than capable American leadership from both sides of the partisan political aisles, a corrupt and scandalous world w/o much repentance and humanity to see far many more Christians tortured and brutalized and more and more law abiding citizens distrustful of this American government holding 300 mln+ guns high – for all lawful purpose – while strict gun laws are unenforced and mental illness is not even on the list of priorities w/many an ER having no place to send the mentally challenged….what a pity though we can send millions to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Tehran!

In 2012, a citizen outpouring towards the Republicans to stop the bleeding by these divisive and self-serving politicians led by Obama and the Clintons and lining the coffers of the Clinton Foundation willingly prostituting our beloved Republic for their own pockets and the Republicans blatantly failed so now the real pain and suffering will be felt by all and unfortunately fellow Americans who have yet to join the local food bank where more and more there are less and less products available to those who were once contributing members of society and will find themselves w/o an oar to paddle as all begins to falter rather precipitously!

God Bless America!

By the way, another detainee at GITMO to be released to enable those who seek our demise to return and kill our precious youth who will be called upon whether we like it or not for our own salvation against the tyrants who are rallying together with more and more sophisticated technology to dupe us in every way….

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
Harwich (cape Cod), MA 02645

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 8, 2016 @ 10:27 am

….and further William, while we hear the same ‘ol, same ‘ol and not much real idea as to what might change to help our country pick itself from its faltering and precarious economic and political disintegration given these truly blatant fools elected by precious vote and seeking their own agenda and dismissal of any acknowledgement of their oath to country and Constitution and enforcing the laws….as all continues to just fail and no one really worthy of the Oval Office, the following from my Palestinian and Israeli Christiaan friends this morning to show you just how Christianity given little priority by this tainted and biased administration as it has allowed Muslim refugees (fact) to enter into the US these past 24 months far surpassing the Christian refugees being tortured….

in fact William, the corrupt Vatican has little real care about the travesty befalling Christians as its no 1 priority, Al Gore’s global warming….(lol)

William, the course is quite clear, War looms ahead and few Americans with their heads into their phones have any real understanding as to what will next come to even here at “Main Street USA” as a result of this “apologetic” American Oval Office:

Israeli Extremist Leader Once Again Calls for Torching Jerusalem Churches
By International Middle East Media Center

Global Research, January 04, 2016

International Middle East Media Center 3 January 2016
Url of this article:


The leader of the extremist anti-assimilation group, Lehava, recently renewed his calls to torch churches in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli media sources revealed.

Lehava’s leader, Bentzi Gopstein (pictured left), told the Israeli TV Channel II that Israeli Jews practically prevent Christians from entering Jerusalem, saying that Christian presence in Jerusalem was not welcome.

He also called for “making obstacles towards the expansion of Christianity and Islam in the Palestinian occupied city of Jerusalem,” said the Days of Palestine on its website.

Gopstein has previously “called for a ban on Christmas celebrations in the country and the banishment of Christians, who he referred to as ‘blood-sucking vampires’, from the land,” reported the International Business Times.

Gopstein is the head of the notorious extremist Israeli Jewish group of Lehava, which is responsible for insulting and harassing monks and nuns in the occupied Palestinian holy city.

“Several Israeli groups are active in the occupied holy city regarding Judaization activities, including confiscating Islamic and Christian properties,” said Days of Palestine.

In 2014, a group of mostly Jewish youth attacked the Church of the Multiplication’s outdoor prayer area along the Sea of Galilee, pelting worshippers with stones, destroying a cross and throwing benches into the lake.

WAFA further reports that Israeli settlers, late Saturday night, torched eight Palestinian-owned cars in al-Thawri neighborhood in Jerusalem, according to media sources.

The Israeli radio said that settlers set a car on fire in al-Thawri neighborhood, before the fire extended to seven other cars parked nearby.

It said that Israeli police registered the attack against an “unknown” suspect, although surveillance cameras in the area prove that it was carried out by settlers.

According to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), there were 369 attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians from January 2015 to July 27, averaging more than 12 each week.

According to an October 2013 UN report:

“[…] Since 2009 the number of settler-related incidents resulting in casualties has more than doubled, and the number of casualties caused by settlers has increased by 30 percent; while the number of settler-related incidents resulting in property damage has more than tripled, and the number of trees destroyed or damaged has increased almost four-fold.”

The report added:

“From January to August 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, the number of casualties caused by Israeli security forces increased more than four-fold, as security forces intervene in settler attacks or resulting clashes between settlers and Palestinians to disperse Palestinians, rather than to protect them from attacks by settlers.”

Submitted by:

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
Harwich (cape Cod), MA 02645

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 10:33 am

One quick way to check the weather if you bookmark:


Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 10:34 am

Joseph Allbaugh, FEMA Director from January 23, 2001- January 2003 named head of Oklahoma prison system.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 8, 2016 @ 4:04 pm

And Chris thanks for comments but are you a fearful or angry voter or both or neither?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 8, 2016 @ 9:37 pm


Not really any of these other than a – very concerned and proud American citizen of Hellenic ancestry, Senior citizen and a firm supporter and advocate in the enforcement of our present laws and an obligation by every citizen to stand forthright for our Constitution….

….as well as expecting any “elected” official “entrusted by precious vote” to place country before self and who today seemingly toss such pledge aside for self-serving ways as we clearly have seen at the “Benghazi Massacre” and the intentional disdain for the indifference portrayed openly for sharing “classified information” as a State Department or any other local, state or federal employee so William….

I guess an American not fearful or angry, yet finding the State of the Union quite disconcerting like so many others here on “Main Street USA” as an individual admittedly and utterly disappointed that folks just seem not to have Respect for one another and an Oval Office who “apologizes for America” and openly releases convicted felons and terrorists to walk among us, supports even late term abortion and is so divisive….

I recall so many from the First World War to so any who have given their Life or limb for ‘ol Glory against tyrants and I recall how those landing on the beaches at Normandy and other perished so bravely in minutes upon landing all whose hearts portrayed the passion, the Patriotism…the appreciation of such Blessings we have – earned – here in America from generation to generation, committed in diligence, innovative thought, resilience and compassion, however again, seeing so many in past and present brave warriors who include those at NSA and others in the intel community we hear little about and who work 24×7 to keep us safe as well as our first responders who like this Philadelphia police officer earlier today was intentionally fired upon and despite 11 shots at him, mustered the courage having been shot three times to shoot the individual claiming he had some affiliation to ISIS! An ISIS which is not a jv team and an ISIS very sophisticated in its ways and an ISIS which should not be underestimated and an ISIS this White House has failed to stop from the early days….

“Fearful or angry or both” not really Bill, however plainly truly disgusted that the borders are not closed, immigration laws and other laws are not enforced are not enforced and that any convicted felony involving a gun must be related to a Federal charge and a ten year mandatory sentence imposed….as well as anyone intentionally seeking to or harming a uniformed police officer to be imprisoned for a mandatory sentence.

Moreover, “fearful or angry or both” not really William, however worried every day and night for our police officers and anyone in uniform on “Main Street USA” who are striving to do their job and are subjected to such outright disrespect and violence which I attribute to a society which has itself become lawless in so many ways and by example, this administration encouraging such by NOT enforcing laws and allowing convicted felons out of prison and on the street and talking of gun violence when even with background checks which are certainly supported by 80% of gun licensed Americans yet have nothing to do with outright criminals who do not go to buy a weapon from a dealer to subject themselves to a background check – com’on fellas give us a break….300+ million guns in the hands of lawful citizens held high and for all lawful purpose and more and more folks just distrusting government —

The partisanship, the special interests groups have all badly harmed our beloved Republic and when we voted twice for the first supposed Black President, no one expected a Marxist and when we voted in ’12 asking the Republican party to thwart the actions dividing our nation led by Barack Hussein Obama which he has stated at least twice his preference in being named, the Republicans failed even with a majority of House and Senate to do much so here we are in ’16 with a geopolitical landscape about to lend itself to calamity as a result of an America which has been weakened from within and has not led the world which has depicted itself as being so corrupt and tyrant after tyrant so intent in filling their own coffers, much like the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation!

So William, as we await Merkel’s handing over the baton to Karl Guttenberg who will lead Germany and its manufacturing and distribution of more and more weapons into the Middle East nurturing a regional alliance and one which will become a ten nation only superpower rightly denigrating an America where the Commander in Chief in Paris and the Secretary of State and their comments were so embarrassing pushing the French not in the arms of NATO, but to Brussels and the EU where shortly given the lack of repentance we see, a world which will see Germany take on Tehran and a Middle East outbreak in War and unfortunately many truly believe a global conflagration, a shock and awe never seen before even with the atrocities committed upon Hebrew and Armenian and others during WWII!

Homeland Security – our borders continue to be open and we have no idea who is here or not and the Oval Office seeks Muslim over Christian (fact) as refugees when in fact, Christians are being brutalized and the real fact Bill, wages in America have been stagnant and food and taxes and so many other expenses have placed such a burden on everyday Americans who are weary and fewer and fewer are actually working Americans where others are being “enslaved” by a government giving freebies and holding not itself accountable or its citizenry.

Unless we rejuvenate our national pride and stop such divisive ways and demand a media which is true to journalism and reporting fact as so much has a “spin” to it – well the not-too-distant future looks quite uncertain and unfortunately given the massive national debt and state debts as an example, my suggestion to you William when you win the $800 million Powerball is that you take the money now for I really doubt the State’s coffers will be able to support long term winnings as we have seen recently two states who could not pay out simple winning until a new budget was approved….

Our woes are many, however William, if our woes here in good ‘ol USA are many, one cannot imagine how others are subjected to and mistreated in other countries as corruption is so rampant….

God Bless America and our first responders and all those who strive to keep us safe from those who seek our demise as soldiers of Lucifer –

Happy New Year Bill!

Disgruntled can mean angry as well as dissatisfied and as a Senior citizen and a proud American who shouts out – All Lives Matter – not angry, just disappointed that the kids in Chicago who are killing themselves as an example have little support from the community where the National Guard must be ordered into to protect the citizenry who reside in the neighborhoods and to address real problems on the streets of Chicago as well as a Black community taking responsibility as well as encouraging young Black youth to stay in school and to be competitive and have hope rather than despair as family values are often not taught or taught – job creation, not part time jobs or low paying jobs, but educating Americans to be more competitive thus allowing higher wages and a better standard of living!

We together must clasp hands and overcome any divisiveness and together we must demand a better America and make it clear that we demand real leadership, not executive actions or orders….but Congress and the Senate and whatever administration to work towards restoring America for despite what this “Chicago-Hollywood-Washington charade” suggests when we hear that America is not great, well it certainly has the talent, the discipline and the Judeo-Christian principles to reestablishing the pride many of us feel for ‘ol Glory!

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 9, 2016 @ 1:43 am

…and Bill, while more “classified” Clinton emails released and nada will be done to prosecute her….another example of more corruption and an administration which promised openness – transparency and far the contrary with IRS and other officials rather than prosecuted, often w/salary increases and the reasons why WE as a nation are in much peril for we cannot even enforce laws and prosecute lawbreakers:

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday two high-ranking officials were finally demoted in response to a federal probe that found they manipulated the agency’s personnel system for their own gain, but a key lawmaker is asking why they weren’t prosecuted.

Federal prosecutors announced on Christmas Eve that they would not pursue charges in the case, but the Justice Department has not responded to Rep. Jeff Miller’s inquiry into why no charges will be filed.

On Friday, the Department of Veterans Affairs said in a statement that it took “final action” to “demote” two Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Senior Executives to General Schedule positions.

Diana Rubens, director of VBA’s Philadelphia regional office, and Kimberly Graves, director of VBA’s St. Paul regional office, have been assigned to assistant director positions at other VBA regional offices, the VA said.

“These actions were originally initiated in October 2015 but had to be redone to correct an administrative error,” the statement said.

Miller, R-Fla., and chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, is pressing U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for answers surrounding Graves and Rubens, who got $300,000 in taxpayer money for her home when it did not sell.

In a Dec. 22 letter penned to Lynch, Miller wrote, “A Sept. 28, 2015, VA Office of Inspector General report recommended that the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Columbia, pursue criminal charges against two VA executives it found to have abused their positions in order to take jobs with less responsibility, while keeping higher salaries.”

“The report detailed how the VA executives pressured subordinates to accept position transfers only to volunteer for the vacated jobs while keeping their original salaries and having the VA pay them more than $400,000 in taxpayer relocation benefits,” he wrote.

“Will the DOJ pursue charges against these employess? If not, why not?” Miller questioned.

As of Friday, the DOJ had not responded to Miller’s letter, according to his office.

The VA’s acting inspector general said in a report this fall that Rubens and Graves forced lower-ranking regional managers to accept job transfers against their will. Rubens and Graves then stepped into the vacant positions themselves, keeping their pay while reducing their responsibilities.

Rubens and Graves refused to testify to Congress in November, telling lawmakers they were asserting their Fifth Amendment rights to protect themselves against self-incrimination.

Before taking the regional jobs, Rubens was a deputy undersecretary at the VA’s Washington headquarters, while Graves was director of VBA’s 14-state North Atlantic Region.

Rubens and Graves kept their salaries of $181,497 and $173,949, respectively, in their new positions, even though they had less responsibility and a lower pay range than their previous positions.

Rubens grew up near Philadelphia, while Graves has family in Minnesota, the IG’s report said. In addition to naming themselves to vacancies, Rubens and Graves obtained more than $400,000 in questionable moving expenses through a relocation program for VA executives, the IG’s report said.

A VA spokeswoman was not immediately available when contacted Friday. It remains unclear where the money used by Rubens and Graves will be paid back to the government.

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has already held two hearings that focused on this issue extensively. The first was held on Nov. 2, and Rubens and Graves, who were forced to attend via subpoena, invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The second was held on Dec. 9. At that hearing, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson was questioned on his handling of the case, including his refusal to recoup the money and his decision to merely demote the two.

Miller’s call for transparency extends beyond the hefty relocation fees. Miller said he is still demanding answers about the secret wait-list scandal that rocked the VA in June 2014.

“FBI Director James Comey waded into VA’s secret wait-list scandal by announcing an investigation into the matter and vowing to pursue wrongdoing ‘wherever the facts take us.,’” Miller said in a statement to FoxNews.com on Thursday.

“More than 18 months later, it’s entirely unclear where the facts have taken the Department of Justice. The attorney general seems uninformed regarding even the most basic elements of the investigation, DoJ officials have refused to answer lawmakers’ questions on the matter, and meanwhile the agency is slamming the door shut on investigations nearly as fast as VA’s inspector general is referring them to DoJ,” he said.

“That’s why it’s incumbent upon Attorney General Lynch to clear up the widespread confusion regarding this situation by promptly answering our questions,” Miller continued. “Otherwise, we’ll never be able to solve the mystery surrounding why just a handful of people have been punished for a scandal that rocked the entire VA. But perhaps that’s just how the administration wants it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 9, 2016 @ 7:28 am

Thanks Chris! And usually the Public Integrity section of DoJ does not even give the reason PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION to its determinations not to prosecute.

And my origins are Polish, Scottish, and Welsh! But hey read SAILING THE WINE DARK SEA-What the Greeks gave Western Civilization.

As to the HR heads in federal agencies few even have degrees in personnel administration–is there such a thing and up through the ranks. What I discovered during my 34 years of service is that it was not new hires but mid-level and higher that were most corrupt–meaning self-dealing including financial. One FEMA employee IMO made off successfully with $21M. In my time also [20 years in FEMA] 17 HR heads including actors meaning acting headed HR! The instability that caused was enormous.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 9, 2016 @ 7:32 am

Most of the looting of the federal fisc is by contractors IMO. E.g. DHS has by my count wasted over $3B on IT systems that just don’t work since its inception.

N.B. Most departments and agencies by internal delegation have different organization units doing physical security, cyber security, and computer security.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 9, 2016 @ 10:06 am

It is with some distress that I report an initial take and initial skim of the book entitled SOLDIERS ON THE HOME FRONT- The Domestic Role of the American military [2016] by Professors William C. Banks and Stephen Dycus.

There are many disclaimers in the book as to what this book does and is. I am not sure but believe it does have some utility as a text for debating some current features of the military/civil interface historically and today in the USA.

But since it is almost the sole occupier of a complicated field should be read and studied and discussed.

Once again a simple reference and review of documents posted on the FAS/FEMA page at: http;//www.fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/index.html

might well have corrected some errors. Useful discussion, some in error of POSSE COMMITATUS history and doctrine and some discussion of post-9/11 legal history.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 9, 2016 @ 2:52 pm

FEMA was once the focus of anti-government groups. Retired over 16 years wonder the situation now:


This may be of interest.

Thanks to Recovery Diva!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 11, 2016 @ 7:56 am

NYTimes today [1/11/2016] states US warned Iraq of major dam failure that could kill 500,000!

Any reader up-to-date on the DAM SAFETY ACT, as amended, and its funding?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 11, 2016 @ 8:06 am

As we extend commments on FFF perhaps a thought for eaxh day:

This one thanks to Buckmininster Fuller:


I have suggested in other blogs that any new President bring new thinking into the FP [foreign policy] of the US by ordering the end of State Department on reliance on the Mercator Projection of the Planet Earth’s surface,

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 11, 2016 @ 8:17 am

Frequently there is discussion of Presidential action by Executive Order or otherwise so perhaps each of US might wish to review the Obama output if we are concerned:


Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 12, 2016 @ 8:07 am

In news that another terrorist attack has occurred in Istanbul, again to those in Homeland Security and the intel community as well as directed to Congress and the Senate in particular, stop Barack Hussein Obama in his giving a $100 million+ to Tehran for these “Brutes of Tehran” will only use this money to kill more innocent human beings — stop this terror and do NOT use American wages and taxes to support Barry Obama’s public support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Tehran!

Stop this travesty in sending such hugh sums of monies to terrorists who strap on suicide vests and kill innocent humans who have nothing to do whatsoever w/their governments as we plainly see here in the US when we see such blatant lies and empty political rhetoric all focused on self-serving agenda!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 12, 2016 @ 8:34 am

Has the $6 Trillion spent on GWOT been done efficiently and effectively?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 12, 2016 @ 8:57 am

The 2016 Presidential and General Election will turn IMO on TURNOUT!

One key group is culturally black eligible voters. My knowledge base is that in Presidential elections before the election Of President Obama the peak turnout of eligible black voters was ABOUT 4% in Presidential elections years. In the 2008 election my understanding is culturally black turnout was 16% an all-time high and 95% went for President Obama. In 2012 apparently there was a significant drop in black turnout.

Now I have seen the figure that 65% of eligible culturally black voters turned out! I am not a demographer or expert in any way in demography but the confusion may lie in the census and accuracy of statistics.

Wiki extract:

Relation between ethnicity and race in census results!

The Census Bureau warns that data on race in 2000 Census are not directly comparable to those collected in previous censuses. Many residents of the United States consider race and ethnicity to be the same.

Population distribution by race (2000 census)

Race Hispanic or
Latino % of
All races 35,305,818 100 12.5 246,116,088
One race 33,081,736 93.7 11.8 241,513,942 98.1 85.8

White 16,907,852 47.9 6.0 194,552,774 79.1 69.1

Black or
African A. 710,353 2.0 0.3 33,947,837 13.8 12.1

A. Indian/
Alaska Nat. 407,073 1.2 0.1 2,068,883 0.8 0.7

Asian 119,829 0.3 <0.1 10,123,169 4.1 3.6

Hawaiian N.
& Pacific Is. 45,326 0.1 <0.1 353,509 0.1 0.1
Some other 14,891,303 42.2 5.3 467,770 0.2 0.2
2+ races 2,224,082 6.3 0.8 4,602,146 1.9 1.6

Some other
+ W/B/N/A 1,859,538 5.3 0.7 1,302,875 0.5 0.5
2+ W/B/N/A 364,544 1.0 0.1 3,299,271 1.3 1.2

In the 2000 Census, respondents were tallied in each of the race groups they reported. Consequently, the total of each racial category exceeds the total population because some people reported more than one race.

According to James P. Allen and Eugene Turner from California State University, Northridge, by some calculations in the 2000 Census the largest part white biracial population is white/Native American and Alaskan Native, at 7,015,017, followed by white/black at 737,492, then white/Asian at 727,197, and finally white/Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander at 125,628.

The Census Bureau implemented a Census Quality Survey, gathering data from about 50,000 households to assess the reporting of race and Hispanic origin in the 2000 Census with the purpose creating a way to make comparisons between the 2000 Census with previous Census racial data.

In September 1997, during the process of revision of racial categories previously declared by OMB directive no. 15, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) recommended that OMB combine the "race" and "ethnicity" categories into one question to appear as "race/ethnicity" for the 2000 US Census. The Interagency Committee agreed, stating that "race" and "ethnicity" were not sufficiently defined and "that many respondents conceptualize 'race' and 'ethnicity' as one in the same underscoring the need to consolidate these terms into one category, using a term that is more meaningful to the American people."

The AAA also stated,

The American Anthropological Association recommends the elimination of the term "race" from OMB Directive 15 during the planning for the 2010 Census. During the past 50 years, "race" has been scientifically proven to not be a real, natural phenomenon. More specific, social categories such as "ethnicity" or "ethnic group" are more salient for scientific purposes and have fewer of the negative, racist connotations for which the concept of race was developed.

Yet the concept of race has become thoroughly—and perniciously—woven into the cultural and political fabric of the United States. It has become an essential element of both individual identity and government policy. Because so much harm has been based on "racial" distinctions over the years, correctives for such harm must also acknowledge the impact of "racial" consciousness among the U.S. populace, regardless of the fact that "race" has no scientific justification in human biology. Eventually, however, these classifications must be transcended and replaced by more non-racist and accurate ways of representing the diversity of the U.S. population.

The recommendations of the AAA were not adopted by the Census Bureau for the 2000 or the 2010 Censuses.


Comment by William R. Cumming

January 13, 2016 @ 7:02 am

Sam Medlock former Legal Adviser to the Association of State Floodplain Managers has left CEQ and moved to OMB to work on Climate Change and Resilience policies and issues.

After Gilbert White’s death a biogarphy appeared. In it he is quoted as highly critical of George K. Berstein the first Federal Insurance Adminstrator and the Administrator issued the first NFIP ever on June 6, 1969, in guess where Monroe County, FLA!

White’s criticism of GKB was based on his not making better use of the state floodplain managers. I called GKB telling him I was sending a copy of the White Biography in case he had not seen it. I did not identify what I thought of it or any particular part of it. After he read it, GKB called me to tell me he wondered about White’s criticism of him and he told me when he became head of the NFIP there were virtually no FPM efforts at state level with the exception perhaps of Minnesota. And he took credit for pushing the STATES. He left in the fall of 1974 [I arrived at HUD on July 1st] but not before he had supported formation of the ASFPM!

TVA also had a strong FPM effort, much stronger IMO than USACOE! Disclosure: A relative of mine, Marguerite Owen, headed TVA’s Congressional Relations for many years, first under Davids Lillenthal!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 13, 2016 @ 7:04 am

Listened in part to State of the Union message and did not hear much about the ?State of the Union. I don’t remember hearing any discussion of HS or EM but could have missed it.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 14, 2016 @ 5:38 am

Two debates tonight [1/14/2016] for the Republicans.

Any good links as to how “socialist” [funded and controlled by governments] SCIENCE is in this Century?

Did you know that up to about the AGE OF NEWTON “SCIENCE” was called and considered NATURAL PHILOSOPHY?

Did you know that from fall 1981 to fall 1993 the then independent Executive Branch agency known as FEMA had a NATURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL HAZARDS DIVISION in its SLPS [State and Local Support] Directorate?

How does FEMA have a role in federal policy development and implementation on NATURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL HAZARDS?

Did you know there is an OSTP [Office of Science and Technology Policy] in the Executive Offices of the White House?

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 14, 2016 @ 6:01 am

Wiki Extract:


In 1939, during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term in office, the foundations of the modern White House staff were created. Based on the recommendations of a presidentially commissioned panel of political science and public administration experts that were known as the Brownlow Committee, Roosevelt was able to get Congress to approve the Reorganization Act of 1939. The Act led to Reorganization Plan No. 1, which created the EOP, which reported directly to the president. The EOP encompassed two subunits at its outset: the White House Office (WHO) and the Bureau of the Budget, the predecessor to today’s Office of Management and Budget, which had been created in 1921 and originally located in the Treasury Department. It absorbed most of the functions of the National Emergency Council. Initially, the new staff system appeared more ambitious on paper than in practice; the increase in the size of the staff was quite modest at the start. But it laid the groundwork for the large and organizationally complex White House staff that would emerge during the presidencies of Roosevelt’s successors.

Roosevelt’s efforts are also notable in contrast to those of his predecessors in office. During the nineteenth century, presidents had few staff resources. Thomas Jefferson had one messenger and one secretary at his disposal, both of whose salaries were paid by the president personally. It was not until 1857 that Congress appropriated money ($2,500) for the hiring of one clerk. By Ulysses S. Grant’s presidency (1869–1877), the staff had grown to three. By 1900, the White House staff included one “secretary to the president” (then the title of the president’s chief aide), two assistant secretaries, two executive clerks, a stenographer, and seven other office personnel. Under Warren G. Harding, the size of the staff expanded to thirty-one, although most were clerical positions. During Herbert Hoover’s presidency, two additional secretaries to the president were added by Congress, one of whom Hoover designated as his Press Secretary. From 1933 to 1939, even as he greatly expanded the scope of the federal government’s policies and powers in response to the Great Depression, Roosevelt muddled through: his “brains trust” of top advisers, although working directly for the President, often were appointed to vacant positions in agencies and departments, whence they drew their salaries since the White House lacked statutory or budgetary authority to create new staff positions.

From 1939 through the present, the situation changed dramatically. New units within the EOP were created, some by statute, some by executive order of the president. Among the most important are the Council of Economic Advisers (1946), the National Security Council and its staff (1947), the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (1963), the Council on Environmental Quality (1970), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (1976), the Office of Administration (1977), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (1989). Under George W. Bush, additional units were added, such as the Office of Homeland Security (2001), which later became a Cabinet department, and the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives (2001). Precise estimates as to the size and budget of the EOP are difficult to come by. Many people who work on the staff are “detailed” from other federal departments and agencies, and budgetary expenses are often charged elsewhere, for example Defense Department staff for the White House Military Office. Ballpark estimates indicate some 2,000 to 2,500 persons serve in EOP staff positions with policy-making responsibilities, with a budget of $300 to $400 million (George W. Bush’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2005 was for $341 million in support of 1,850 personnel).


Senior staff within the Executive Office of the President have the title Assistant to the President, second-level staff have the title Deputy Assistant to the President, and third-level staff have the title Special Assistant to the President.

Very few EOP (Executive Office of the President) officials are required to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, although there are a handful of exceptions to this rule (e.g., the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Chair and members of the Council of Economic Advisers, and the United States Trade Representative). The core White House Staff appointments do not require Senate approval. The staff of the Executive Office of the President is managed by the White House Chief of Staff.

The information in the following table is current as of April 12, 2014. Only principal executives are listed; for subordinate officers, see individual office pages.

Agency Principal executive Incumbent

Council of Economic Advisers Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman

National Security Council Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Susan Rice

Council on Environmental Quality Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Michael Boots

Executive Residence staff White House Chief Usher Angella Reid

Office of Administration Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Administration Cathy Solomon

Office of Management and Budget Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan

Office of National Drug Control Policy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli

Office of Science and Technology Policy Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr. John Holdren

Office of the United States Trade Representative United States Trade Representative Michael Froman

Office of the Vice President of the United States Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President Steve Ricchetti

White House Office Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough

White House Office

Office of the Chief of Staff
Office of the National Security Advisor
Domestic Policy Council
National Economic Council
Office of Cabinet Affairs
Office of Communications
Office of Information Technology
Office of Digital Strategy
Office of the First Lady
Office of Legislative Affairs
Office of Management and Administration
Office of Political Strategy and Outreach
Office of Presidential Personnel
Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs
Office of Scheduling and Advance
Office of the Staff Secretary
Oval Office operations
White House Counsel

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