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10 October 2010


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Al Spafford

Heard today that Gen Jones resigned on Fri, effective in 2 wks, due to background he gave Woodward on new book. Jones did not like the "waterbugs" blocking him from access to the Pres. Any further info on this being picked up? New guy at NSA appears to be totally a political creature.

robt willmann

The time period in which to file a claim and an application for retroactive stop-loss special pay has been extended from 21 October 2010 to 3 December 2010.


Military service members whose term of service was involuntarily extended at any time from 11 September 2001 to 30 September 2009 can be eligible for $500 per month in retroactive pay.

The main website is at--


I had originally noted this back on 26 September, and now the time period has been extended in which you can file a request for the money.



Either way, it looks like the economy has been shot in the crotch and left to bleed out in the bathtub.

How much more inertia does our way of life have to run on? Read a good article about the average normal middle class person saying "Forget it, not playing by the rules anymore" and that seems like a pretty good sign of the end tims.

William R. Cumming

What conclusions should be drawn from the heavy turnover of senior staff in the administration?


From the sounds of the NPR report Friday Obama wants advice he wants to hear and not the truthful opinions of a professional.


I have a question about drone strikes in Pakistan.

Say we read in the paper that 5 militants were killed in a strike, how do we confirm this? Does the Pak Army or police confirm this? After the strike, do we drop special forces into the area to count bodies and obtain DNA samples (especially if it's suspected that one of the dead is bin Laden or Zawahiri)?

Is it a guestimate?


There have been a couple of good 'economics' posts on other blogs that are related, one to Obama's, or perhaps more accurately 'institutional' changes in the financial sector and another on undergraduate education in the Ivy League. I think combined they help explain quite a bit of middle class anger over thier exploitation.



different clue

In general we have been told not to merely post other things here as if this were a bulletin board, which it is not. But I found two links so interesting I will risk offering them and saying why; and perhaps they will be considered valuable enough to the readership as to merit printing.

We have been invited at times to consider issues around oil . . its price movements or availability or other things. Here is an extensive set of facts and interconversions about and between oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, units of energy, etc.; called Oil Industry Conversions.

On very rare occasion the subject has been food. Since cast iron makes good food better, I offer this article I just found on how to pick, use, and maintain cast iron cookware.


Donald Duck meets Glen Beck:




"totally a political creature".

Even his wife who is Jill Biden's chief of staff is a total political creature.

But then again so is the position of the national security adviser.

Then again so are the Joint Chief's of Staff. The day's of "Do your duty as you see it, and damn the consequences. George S. Patton Jr." are buried with him in Germany....


Arab regime credibility hanging by its last invisible thread

Norbert N, Salamon

A summation of the NO rule of law in banking:

Adam L Silverman

Tyler: I would recommend this excellent article, which illuminates your point:



I am sooo tired of the crooks, the crooks we have in our governmental structure from the bottom to the very top, the crooks we have in the financial arena, the crooks we have in the business arena, the crooks we have in the lobby/advice arena. All of them make me want to puke as well as string them up to the nearest heavy oak tree. Sadly it appears no State Governor/State Legislatures/State Attorneys has any backbone about them to take on the crooks on behalf of those of our fellow Americans who are being shafted to the max by the crooks. Those crooks have blood on their hands, the deaths of innocents whose only crimes were being honest and trying to live by the rules of the society they were born/raised/lived in.

We have crooks in the White House who sell out our nation for the foreign policy of a foreign nation and its interests, not America's interests.

We have crooks in the Congress that take foreign gold and make laws that berate Americans and further the cause and interests of foreign interests and crooks, not working oh behalf of America's interests.

We have crooks in DOJ so bad they run water with they walk, a DOJ who are a ball-less bunch who are afraid of their own shadows and not willing to prosecute those crooks that have permeated our government.

We have crooks in the FBI that are afraid to investigate/prosecute those in government and DOJ who have sold out our nation to foreign and crooked entities, they are however eager to place antiquated tracking devices on college kids and antiwar activists. My old bud who was career FBI and who is now deceased would roll in his grave today if he could see how crooked that his FBI has become. Herb would agree with you and say you were right, they have become an American MI5.

We have a crooked Supreme Court that shields and protects crooked business perps and crooked politicians and foreign interests. All you have to do is read some of the SCOTUS determinations to see that glaring reality.

We have a crooked U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Round-Table who have sold their souls for foreign gold, and have encouraged for the last 50 years the 'outsourcing and dismantling' of America's jobs and industries to both successive White Houses and Congress. They are part-n-parcel to blame for it. They have been working at it steadily since the mid 50s.

Mom and Pop and Youngster America are the innocents suffering because of those who could, but instead won't do what is right nor seek to prosecute those that do the wrong.

And R Whitman wondered why some of us on your blog were 'pessimistic'.


Different Clue,

Good benchmarks. I think the fluctuations in market prices are more complex, as to cookware - I'd have to say no to cast iron and go with stainless steel. I have saladmaster myself, thanks to the ex.


This Presidency is not going to end well.

Obama is going to confuse his personal interest with national interest. There is now absolutely no doubt that he is a raving narcissist and he is progressively replacing anyone who reports to him with more narcissists. This is a recipe for national disaster.

Telling quotes:

Podestas take on Obama from Woodwards book - this is the lack of empathy I've written about coming out:

"He was unsentimental and capable of being ruthless. Podesta was not sure Obama felt anything, especially in his gut. He intellectualized and then charted the path forward, essentially picking up the emotions of others and translating them into ideas."


I can't find it again, but Gen. Jones odious replacement is also a narcissist. There is a quote where either Gates or Jones berates Donilon for not recognising the hard work of his subordinates - another typical trait.

Then there is the 24/7 work style, which is another trait I have personally experienced.

Please do not laugh this off as mere "Politics" that goes with the territory. It is quite different from that because it is all about feeding the ego of the man in the middle. What ultimately happens to narcissists is that their sense of entitlement coupled with their lack of empathy leads them into a bad decision.

By "bad decision", I mean an "Oh my G-d, why would anyone do something so obviously monumentally stupid?" type of decision. Pray that when Obama inevitably does do this, he only destroys himself and doesn't take America with him.

Nancy K

Walrus, all politicians are narcissists.
Please go buy a DSM-4, I'm sick of always hearing about narcissists. Couldn't someone be obsessive compulsive or delusional for a change.

Norbert N, Salamon

Dr Silverman:

Thanks for the link, I read it yesterday. However I wish to point you to a class action case in Kentucky:


It is unfortunately very long [214 pagers] does not leave any stone uncovered.

Adam L Silverman

Walrus: perhaps you'd care to share with us the results from all of these people's, whom you've not actually met, MMPI tests? May I recommend to you and anyone else interested, this short essay explaining the problems with pop psychology behavioral profiling:

For those in a hurry, here's the spoiler: it doesn't work, there's no empirical evidence to support it, and it was established through an act of applied research hackery so bad as to essentially be a fraud.

Full disclaimer: I have, at the doctoral level, some training in social behavioralism/social psych (the old, empirically valid kind) and was exposed to criminological psychology at a young age as that's what my Dad did.

Patrick Lang


Actually, I think non-Ph.D.s have a right to opinions. pl

Adam L Silverman

Sir: I'm not saying they don't. In fact I associate with few PhDs; most of my friends - either purely social or work based - don't have graduate or professional degrees. Moreover, I generally agree with a lot of Walrus's comments, but trying to diagnose personality disorders in people one has never met is something that reputable psychologists and psychiatrists don't do. One would think that should be warning enough to the rest of us.

As we've discussed offline my understanding of many of the issues dealt with on SST changed once I moved into being a practitioner. The people most responsible for my sucess as a practitioner, include one gentleman with masters level education (you), the late SFC (ret) Terry Caldwell - my ASO who I learned more about small team operations and applying my knowledge base to actual irregular warfare planning and operations, several retired Civil Affairs personnel who had bachelors' degrees only and who, when they realized I didn't need to be trained on the toolkit instead took the time to actually teach me a good chunk of what my job should be, and my team mates: two of which don't have even bachelors' degrees, two with them, and one with a masters. These are the folks I'm indebted too and having a PhD or not or a masters or a bachelors makes no difference. Which is another thing I learned from my Dad.

Patrick Lang


Life educates, not schools. As Clausewitz observed, schools are a poor substitute. I learned more from sergeants than anyone else. pl


With the greatest respect, I'm 60 years old. I'm not going to get into an argument about qualifications.

Narcissistic personality disorder can be found in the DSM -4. I do not believe in pop psychology any more than the next man.

I have personally been run over by Two of these creatures in my life. The first was in a business situation about Ten years ago. I was recounting to a couple of New York head Hunters I know about what I saw as aberrant behaviour by a nationally prominent (and decorated) superior I was working for - being asked to get credit reports in secret on co - workers, being asked to lie. Social bullying incidents, deliberate persecution and victimisation of subordinates, taking credit for the work of others, poisonous people skills when managing "down" while cultivating a perfect image when managing "up" for that next promotion or board appointment. Then of course there was the rapid turnover of their personal staff until they found a creature who would do their dirty work. At one stage their chief of staff was going to take them to court. The guys from New York told me about NPD and gave me references in management theory books that are hardly "pop psychology" - I am not talking "one minute manager" stuff.

I finally fell foul of this creature myself after they asked me to falsify my negative due diligence report and recommend a $10 million investment opportunity. The person would get a seat on the board of a venture capital firm had we gone ahead and they really coveted that. I refused.

In my personal life I got run over by a female who "calibrates" themselves very quickly to what people want to see and hear. It is only after Six months that you realise they are crazy as a bed bug and a liar to boot. Yet this is not withstanding the fact that she was a multi millionaire who owns property all over the world - and fights with her tenants on a far too regular basis. I was even asked as late as Two weeks ago to assist at a hearing where she wanted to persecute a penniless tenant for a lousy thousand bucks while she was on holidays in Turkey.

In my social life, I cross paths with another nationally known and decorated business figure who has the same malady. His lack of empathy resulted in an incident that became national headlines. I can't describe it because he would be instantly recognisable.

The common characteristics are a complete lack of empathy and a sense of entitlement a mile wide. This allows them to perform the most unspeakable acts with no personal guilt whatsoever.

You must understand that this is not about having a "strong narcissistic drive", all politicians and performers need that. It is the absence of empathy and a sense of entitlement, as Leona "Taxes are for little people" Hemsley famously demonstrated.

This has nothing to do with intelligence and hard work. NPD sufferers are often brilliant hard workers. However, they leave a trail of human wreckage behind them and ultimately damage any organisation unlucky enough to employ them. To put it another way, what sort of person deliberately aids and abets the destruction of the American financial system, causing misery fr millions, yet whines about their own problems? What sort of person, after presiding over a catastrophic oil spill whines about "wanting their life back"? Do we see a pattern here? Yes we do.
Since my own encounters, I've done limited research and I believe it is quite easy to spot them at a distance. The trouble is that common people simply disbelieve that a person who appears to be a paragon on many levels could actually have a very dark side.

Watch Gen. Lute and Amb. Eikenberry and anyone else capable of speaking truth to power follow Jones out the White House door. Watch for continued Obama gaffes about the poor and unemployed.

The snag for Obama is that it is not possible for him to differentiate between his own interests and American national interests. It is possible that with self awareness and the cultivation of frank and fearless advisors he could compensate. The Donilon appointment indicates that this is not happening and that his circle is shrinking.

Pray that he doesn't take America with him when he fails.

Adam L Silverman

Walrus: I'm not arguing that your identifications of President Obama's deficiencies as a leader aren't correct, nor your life experiences, nor negative interactions with folks with too much power for their or anyone else's own good. All I'm indicating is that making psychological assessments from a distance.


@ Adam

That was indeed the article I read.

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