by ilene - September 26th, 2010 2:50 pm
Courtes of Washington’s Blog
[And see also Washington's 9-11 post if you missed it, here.]
We’ve been told that 9/11 changed everything.
Is it true?
- The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11. Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before9/11, and inserted "crap" in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before9/11. And top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change one month after Bush took office
- Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11
- The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11
- Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
- Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
- Cheney and the rest of the neocons lamented - before 9/11 - that America could not truly project its power globally without the justification of a "new Pearl Harbor"
- The decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11
- The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons — and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes — all before 9/11
- The government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouths before 9/11
- Cheney was in charge of all counter-terrorism programs for the United States before (and on) 9/11. See this Department of State announcement, this CNN article andthis essay
- It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence, but is an effective way to terrorize people
So did 9/11 really "change everything"? Or was it simply an excuse to implement existing plans?
by ilene - December 29th, 2009 4:19 pm
Courtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog
End of Year Epiphanies
At the end of every calendar year we experience a rush of forecasts on the likely direction of various markets and stocks for the next year. You can find thousands of such forecasts on the internet and you can’t pick up a paper without someone or other opining on the subject. In fact, no matter what your preference, you’ll doubtless find someone out there predicting whatever you want.
The uselessness of these predictions was carefully explained by the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, two and half thousand years ago. Not letting death, the lack of Ancient Greek stockmarkets or the fact he lived in an economy based on slavery get in the way of a good analogy, Socrates noted that he, at least, knew what he didn’t know. Which in investment analysis terms is about as close to an epiphany as you’re likely to get.
From Socrates to Rumsfeld
Socrates seems, as far as we can tell, to have spent his life in philosophical musings, preferring to spend his time asking the supposed wise men of Athens for their insights rather than doing anything more economically useful. His conclusion was, largely, that they didn’t know very much – an insight that echoes down the ages. They, on the other hand, decided that they didn’t like a smartass and the result is a lesson to would-be gadflies the world over.
In particular he seems to have annoyed the powerful by informing them that he knew something they didn’t. Having already upset them by showing up exactly how dim they were he then compounded his crimes by revealing his secret: “I know what I do not know”. If this sounds familiar, you’d be right:
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”
It’s long way from Socrates to investment analysis via Donald Rumsfeld but I think we’ve just managed it.
The Known Unknowns of the Market