Friday, June 16, 2017
How Deep Is The Swamp?
We are approaching the five month mark for Donald Trump's administration.
Most people are well aware of the battle between Trump and the Democrats, the main stream media and the Washington establishment.
During my recent road trip I was discussing the impact of living "inside the beltway" versus "outside the beltway"
with a variety of people that I met along the way. Most people aren't aware of how deep the "swamp" is that
Trump has to address.
Many people understand
that many very visible people, liberal progressive media, celebrity Democrats and Democrat politicians, are doing everything
in their power to slow Trump down and push him out of office if possible. But most people don't understand the depth
of the animosity against Trump within the bowels of the government and the people that live and work "inside the
beltway". I think a very good way to assess the depth of the "swamp" is to look at the 2016
Presidential voting results for the area where most of the people working for and with the government live.
District of Columbia - Clinton 92.8%
Montgomery County, MD - Clinton
76.4% Trump 19.8%
Prince Georges County,
MD - Clinton 89.1% Trump 8.5%
VA - Clinton 75.6% Trump 17.5%
VA - Clinton 75.8% Trump 16.6%
City, VA - Clinton 66.3% Trump 30.8%
County, VA - Clinton 64.4% Trump 28.6%
Church City, VA - Clinton 75.0% Trump 17.1%
analysis isn't perfect because the beltway runs through Montgomery, Prince Georges and Fairfax County but I think
the analysis makes the point. It will be extremely difficult for Trump or any senior elected official to fundamentally
change our Federal Government because the people that live in the DC area and work inside and with the
government don't want it changed. It is well known that many experienced bureaucrats have learned how to outlast
administrations that attempt to limit their growth or put them out of business.
The outcome of the current budget negotiations in the Congress will give us great insight as to
how much "swamp" draining is really going to occur. I will be shocked if there is any meaningful change
in government spending patterns other than to increase spending in certain areas like the Defense Department. The "swamp"
doesn't want to be drained no matter what happened in the election and who is sitting in the Oval Office in
the White House.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Contact in the Desert - Addendum
On June 5 I published an article on my experiences at the 2017
Contact in the Desert Conference. In that article and blog I didn't mention that I attended a seminar and panel discussion
featuring Kathleen Marden. I also bought a book by Ms. Marden and Stanton T. Friedman titled Fact, Fiction, And
Flying Saucers - The Truth Behind The Misinformation, Distortion, and Derision By Debunkers, Government Agencies, and Conspiracy
Conmen. I waited to mention Ms. Marden and the book until I had a chance to read the book on my recently completed
road trip/cruise. Ms. Marden presented a very different image than many of the presenters at Contact. She was
always professional, logical and stuck to the facts as she knows them. I purchased the book directly from
her at her book table and I enjoyed my brief discussion with her.
The most important part of the book title is the secondary part, The Truth Behind The Misinformation,
Distortion, and Derision By Debunkers, Government Agencies, and Conspiracy Conmen. This book is probably the most
completely researched, most logically presented and most convincing of the books I have read in this general subject matter.
This book is focused on what happened within the UFO research community form Roswell in the late 1940s through the 1970s.
It is very clear that the US government and certain individuals attempted to deflect the interest of US citizens in this
subject. The government specifically attempted to discredit extremely creditable people and attempted to destroy them personally
if they did not "obey" the edicts of government agencies. There is a lot of extremely substantive information
in the book and I don't plan to repeat it here. But there are two points I took from the book that I believe everyone
with an interest in this topic should understand.
1979 a memo related to Project Blue Book written by USAF General Carroll Bolender on October 20, 1969 was uncovered
by researcher Richard Todd under a FOIA request. These are the two critical points in Bolender's memo:
"1. Moreover, reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect
national security are reported in accordance with JANAP 146 and Air Force Manual 55-11 and are not part of the Blue Book System.
2. Termination of Project Blue Book would
leave no official federal office to receive reports of UFOs. However, as already stated, reports of UFOs which could
affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose."
The bottom line is that the famous Project
Blue Book was not the repository of all of the Air Force UFO reports during its existence and the most highly classified
reports were never in its system.
second item relates to the release of classified material by US government agencies. "There have also been strange claims
that there is no government cover-up of UFO evidence. This claim is easily refuted by, among other things, the simple fact
that NSA has refused to release 99 percent of the text of 156 TOP SECRET UMBRA NSA UFO documents and that dozens
of old, almost completely redacted TOP SECRET CIA UFO documents were "released."" If there is nothing
to hide there is nothing to redact. The only reason redactions take place is because the government has information
that it doesn't want to disclose. The US government is known to be hiding highly classified information related to UFOs!
The title of Chapter 11 of the book is The
Push For Disclosure and Its Possible Ramifications. In this Chapter the authors analyze the potential impact of disclosure
of US government contact with ETs. They discuss their views of those that want to push for full disclosure as soon as
possible like Dr. Steven Greer. They appear wary of Greer's approach. They have concerns that not all
ETs are benevolent and that giving all the technical know how that the US has obtained from ETs to the world would not be
in our national interest. The work of Friedman and Marden supports Greer's highly documented work but it appears
that they recommend a more cautious approach when it comes to full disclosure. Their views are worth thinking
I highly recommend this
book to anyone that wants to investigate this subject matter in a greater level of detail.
Monday, June 5, 2017
Contact in the Desert
Check out my new article, Contact in the Desert. Dr. Steven
M. Greer and many other well known people participated as well. I had a very interesting four days in the
California desert in late May.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Robert B. Parker Novels
Robert B. Parker is famous for creating the Spenser novels.
He also wrote the Jesse Stone (small town Police Chief) and Sunny Randall (female private investigator) series of
novels. During the writing of these series the storylines and characters overlapped and they became one integrated
series of novels by the end. I recently decided to read all of the 15 novels in the Jesse Stone/Sunny Randall series
that were written by Parker before his death. It was very helpful that we have several large used book
stores in the Washington, DC metro area. The novels deal with adult relationship issues and many of the
characters have significant human flaws. And there is a lot a action as well.
Since Tom Selleck plays Jesse Stone on TV many of us have at least some
feel for the Jesse Stone character. The Jesse Stone character in the novels is much younger than Selleck was when he
started playing Jesse Stone. If you are looking for a diversion from your "heavier" reading you might find
it fun to try the Jesse Stone/Sunny Randall series from the beginning. The novels are:
Night Passage - Jesse Stone - 1997
Trouble in Paradise - Jesse Stone - 1998
Honor - Sunny Randall - 1999
- Sunny Randall - 2000
Death in Paradise -
Jesse Stone - 2001
Shrink Rap - Sunny Randall
Stone Cold - Jesse Stone - 2003
Melancholy Baby - Sunny Randall - 2004
Sea Change - Jesse Stone - 2006
Screen - Sunny Randall - 2006
- Jesse Stone - 2007
Spare Change - Sunny
Randall - 2007
Stranger in Paradise - Jesse
Stone - 2008
Night and Day - Jesse Stone -
Split Image - Jesse Stone - 2010
Since the characters eventually overlap
between the two series and by the end it becomes essentially one continuing story, it is interesting to note that
late in the Sunny Randall series there is a major inconsistency in a subplot that is never resolved properly. The issue
is simply ignored in the next book in the combined series. The question is why Parker would create an obvious flaw in
the continuing story. Maybe the novel in question was written at a different time and held for later publication
and Parker didn't bother to rewrite that subplot. If you decide to read the novels in order maybe you will
find the inconsistency as well.
hope everyone enjoys their summer reading list.
Monday, May 1, 2017
During the past year I have discussed three of Ayn Rand's four
novels on this blog. Today I will discuss her fourth novel, Anthem. Anthem isn't truly a novel.
One could call it a novelette, novella or an extended short story. It doesn't compare in any way to Rand's other
novels. Anthem was written in 1937 during the time Rand was developing the plot for The Fountainhead.
Anthem was originally published in
England in book form in 1938. Rand could not find a publisher in the US in the late 1930s. Apparently, it was
too anti-socialist for the Communist sympathizers running the publishing industry at the time. The novel was finally
published in pamphlet form in the US in 1946 by a conservative publisher. It was finally published in hardback
in the US in 1953. I read a paperback edition that includes a marked up version of Rand's original British
version of the novel. Rand rewrote a significant amount of the book before the US publication. The fundamental
message of the book didn't change but Rand made numerous edits to the text.
Anthem is set in the future. A future where collectivism has taken
control of society and completely subjugated the rights, desires and egos of individuals. Every individual and
all human activity is required to benefit the collective. It is all about "We". The word "I"
cannot be spoken. Unless a committee agrees to a establish something as fact, it is false by definition. There
is no such thing as individual freedom of anything.
What kind of society do we want? What role do we want the government to have in regulating our lives?
Where is the balance between social responsibility and individual freedoms? These and many other questions are posed
by the works of Ayn Rand. Anthem is Rand's least important novel but it is part of her collective works.
Her message is clear - collectivism is the enemy of free people.