Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Literature, Military, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Explaining Intelligence, Herbert E. Meyer, Hillsdale College
Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. He is a recipient of the U.S .National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the author of several books, including Real-World Intelligence and Hard Thinking, and many of his speeches are available on YouTube.
In the most recent copy of Imprimus, an excerpt from a recent speech on Intelligence is fascinating. “How Intelligence Works (When It Does)”
Just utter the word “intelligence” and most people conjure up images of spies, secret satellites peering down on foreign cities and terrorist camps, and rooms full of young technocrats reading private emails and listening to private conversations. These images are accurate, but they reflect the tools and techniques of our intelligence service, rather than its purpose.
To understand its purpose, think of a jumbo jet flying at night through turbulent skies—thunder clouds, lightning, other airplanes streaking in all directions and at all altitudes. To navigate through this, the pilot and his crew rely on their radar—the instrument that paints a picture of their environment, enabling them to see what’s going on around them and what lies ahead so they can chart a safe course. Radar doesn’t tell the captain and his crew what to do, but it gives them the accurate information they’ll need to make good decisions.
Our intelligence service is our nation’s radar. Its purpose is to provide the president and his national security team with an accurate picture of what’s going on in the world and what’s likely to happen in the days, months, and years ahead. The assumption is that if the president and his team have this information, they can chart a safe course for our country. And if they can see the distant future soon enough and clearly enough—and if they don’t like what they see—they can take steps to change the future before it happens.
Good intelligence is a combination, he says, of information and insight. Information is the raw material, while insight is the finished product.The key to producing good intelligence lies in getting this combination of information and insight right. …You start with a thesis—in other words you decide what you want to know, then you send your collectors out to get it. The key is asking the right question.
In the period from the end of World War II until 1981, every president’s objective had been not to lose the Cold War. If things were no worse when a president left office than when he took office—he’d done a good job. President Reagan, instead, wanted to win the Cold War. He had switched from Defense to Offense. His Director of Central Intelligence asked the CIA’s Soviet Division two questions. Where is the Soviet Union weak? and Where is it most vulnerable? The answer he received was: We don’t know. No one’s ever asked this before.
You can read the rest of this most interesting post at the link above.
Imprimus is a brief publication from Hillsdale College delivered to your email once a month. You can subscribe, it’s free. They also offer a number of free courses you can take. Hillsdale receives no federal money, remains stubbornly independent and teaches subjects like the Constitution and American History, things like that. No safe spaces, no riots. Excellent professors. Real education.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Health Care, Law, Regulation, Science/Technology, The United States | Tags: An Outstading Nomination, Dr. S, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Trump's Appointments
President Trump has selected a physician who is a policy expert to run the Food and Drug Administration—which may be one of the toughest jobs in Washington. Dr. Gottleib served as a deputy commissioner at the FDA during the G.W. Bush Administration, and has worked at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and writes regularly on physician autonomy, drug prices, antibiotic development and more. In other words, he’s familiar with the problems. We’ll see if he can fix them.
One of Dr. Gottlieb’s priorities will be moving generic medicines to market, and competition is the best way to reduce the price of treatments like the now infamous EpiPen. About 10% of 1,300 branded drugs “have seen patents expire but still face zero generic competition,” Dr. Gottlieb wrote in the Journal last year. “New regulations have, in many cases, made it no longer economically viable for more than one generic firm to enter the market.” Now he can roll back such arbitrary directives.
Dr. Gottlieb has also suggested that the FDA should explain its reasoning when declining to approve a drug. FDA does not release a rejection notice known as a complete response letter. The rule ostensibly exists to protect manufacturers, but the silence allows the agency and a company to peddle divergent tales about what happened. The public is left with minimal information and FDA can operate without fear of accountability.
The need for new antibiotics is dire, and a bureaucracy overburdened with regulation and fearful of accountability is not the way to get things moving. The FDA has been overburdened with caution ever since the thalidomide scandal in the ’60s. Thalidomide was a tranquilizer, marketed as a mild sleeping pill safe even for pregnant women, but it turned out to cause thousands of babies to be born with malformed or missing limbs. Careful testing for safety is essential, but getting drugs to market to save lives is also important. Avoidance of accountability is not.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Energy, Environment, European Union, Global Warming, Immigration, Junk Science, Law, Media Bias, National Security, Science/Technology, The United States | Tags: Change Is Happening, Immigration News, Science News
—The Senate has confirmed Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior. It’s his first day on the job and he already signed two orders. One overturns the ban on using lead bullets for hunting, and bans fishermen from using lead sinkers on their lines. One of Obama’s little tricks on his very last day in office, via the Fish and Wildlife Administration.
— In a new paper (Stein et al.,2017), scientists find that Arctic sea ice retreat and advance is modulated by variations in solar activity. The sea ice extent is only slightly less than during the coldest centuries of the Little Ice Age (1600s to 1800s).
— 20 new papers affirm that Modern Climate is in phase with Natural Variability. The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute used only observational evidence. They found that Arctic sea ice concentration anomalies were as low or lower in the early 1950s than they have been during recent decades.
—Dr. Susan Crockford, Canadian wildlife expert, has released the latest finding on polar bears. Since 2005, the estimated polar bear population has risen from about 22,500 to about 30,000. The bears are doing just fine, and the Global Warming Policy Foundation is calling on the U.S. Administration to re-assess the ‘endangered species’ status of polar bears.
—Since President’s Trump’s travel order was lifted, more than 1,800 refugees from the 7 countries the Obama Administration listed as sources of terrorism have entered the U.S.
— Those who advocate accepting far greater numbers of refugees claim that no terrorists have attacked the U.S. from those countries. To the contrary, a Study from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) confirms that 72 terrorists have been convicted in terror cases, in a sharp contrast with assertions by the Ninth Circuit judges who blocked the President’s executive order. The law clearly states that the president may order exactly what he did.
— When President Trump told the Department of Homeland Security Staff on January 24 after he signed two executive orders on immigration enforcement that “This is a law-enforcement agency.” The assembled ICE agents, Border Patrol officers and others burst into applause. That tells you a great deal about how badly Obama gutted immigration enforcement and how devastating that was to employee morale.
— The European Union has told their member states to detain more migrants before deportation. A year ago most European countries were patting themselves on the back for being so open, welcoming and compassionate about the million and a half refugees they allowed into their countries, with no vetting. Terrorist attacks, big ones, have been worldwide news. The riots, attacks on women, rapes have become common and are mostly swept under the rug. Well over a million refugees and migrants are placing a severe drain on state finances and the people are beginning to realize that all is not what they expected. Germany is in the process of deporting tens of thousands of migrants who arrived in 2015. The German taxpayer has had the expense of feeding, clothing, housing and educating the 800,000 migrants welcomed with open arms by Chancellor Merkel. Can they send them back home? Or is it too late.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Democrat Corruption, Energy, Environment, History, Junk Science, Media Bias, Progressives, Regulation, The United States | Tags: A Pointless Protest Ends, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, The Dakota Access Pipeline
It takes a fair amount of garbage to fill 240 rollout dumpsters, and the protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota left a mess. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend more than $1 million to clean up the debris left by protesters who succeeded in temporarily shutting down the construction of the pipeline under orders from President Barack Obama. We apparently cannot bill President Obama, and the taxpayers will once again have to pay for the cleanup. They left behind not only their old food supplies, but tents, teepees, building materials, personal belongings, human waste and even trucks and motor homes. They also left behind their pets—dogs and puppies—but animal rescue agencies have stepped in for those.
It was all so pointless. The light, sweet crude oil is being transported from the Bakken/Three Forks production area in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The state of the art 30 inch underground 1,172-mile pipeline will eliminate 500-740 rail cars and/or over 250 trucks needed to transport the oil every day. 99.98% of the pipeline is installed on privately owned property in North Dakota,South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The remaining 0.02% is owned by the federal government. None is owned by the Standing Rock Sioux. It runs 5′ under the Missouri River next to an existing pipeline. The pipeline has created 12,000 construction jobs during building.
The Standing Rock Sioux wanted publicity and to call attention to their gripe about historical loss of their lands, and environmentalists who regard oil as particularly evil, and publicity-seeking film people flocked to the site to get media attention. Once winter set in, they pretty much lost interest, and there you are—another million dollar bill for the taxpayers— from people too lazy to clean up after themselves.
Filed under: Energy, Environment, News, Science/Technology, Technology, The United States | Tags: Dramatic Spillway, Oroville Dam, Raw Power
The pictures of the Oroville Dam spillway and the power of the vast rush of water are both beautiful and frightening. It seemed sure that the dam would collapse. So many people were evacuated. Climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer had very thorough coverage at his website: www.drroyspencer.com . Lots of pictures, diagrams, charts to show the watershed of the dam, the damage to the spillway, the history, everything the armchair geologist might want to know and more. A little raw nature is a nice relief after all the raw emotion on the streets.
Filed under: Blogging, Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, Politics, Science/Technology, Technology, The United States | Tags: Incentives Matter, Praeger University, Professor Burton Folsom