Blog – Rants and Ravings 2017-09-12T20:14:47+00:00

Rants & Ravings

Strategic Patience

Strategy, an oft used and abused word.  Governments are condemned for failing to develop coherent national security strategies, CEO’s find themselves sitting roadside seeking employment for not sketching the appropriate business strategy, and military tacticians are frequently condemned for not developing the appropriate strategy. All of which begs the question, [...]

Dying for Democracy

More people have died in the name of ideology than religion.  A contemporary truism.  Prior to the 21st century historians and statisticians would have been hard pressed to render evidence sufficient to make this case.  Then we had Hitler, Stalin and Mao.  And a growing global population that made travesty [...]

Losing when you’re winning

Solace and solutions—two endgames not likely to be found on a battlefield.  And, yet, that is exactly what Syria’s Bashar al-Assad expects to extract from his four years of running gun battles.  Or perhaps that is what his Alawite followers are demanding from Assad.  The bastard stepchildren of Islam’s Shia [...]

Ignore Anthropologists and Sociologists at Your Own Peril

There is a pecking order in academia.  Particularly amongst those employed in “research-oriented” institutions of higher learning.  “Hard” sciences—think biology, chemistry, and physics—always draw a winning card over “soft” sciences—like anthropology, political science and sociology.  One set of professors wears white lab coats and draw large research grants…the other shuffles [...]

Sound Track for Osiris

Like many authors, I tend to work with music running in the background.  Typically, classical or acoustic guitar.  Am a big Segovia fan.  (Look him up…Andreas Segovia – 1893-1987…arguably the greatest Spanish guitar player of all time.)  Classical and guitar come to the front of my selections as I find [...]

Memorandums worth Remembering

We are, arguably, engaged in the least memorable scrabble in American political history.  As some of you may recall, I crawled out of the great morass known as the U.S. Intelligence Community and fled to the West Coast as a means of scraping the bureaucratic barnacles from my thick skin.  [...]

Persistence becomes Permanent

Back in the day, we called this mission creep.  It was that break-point during a deployment where you knew visits to the latest “garden spot,” were no longer going to be temporary or irregular.  Time to set up a chow hall, request workout equipment, and hope Washington DC will hire [...]

Shutter the State Department

Imagine, I’m sitting in the kitchen table at 0430…told you I don’t sleep…and on page eight of the New York Times is a top of the fold article decrying the demise of our State Department.  I yawn, stretch, and go fetch another cup of coffee.  Going to require caffeine to [...]

“Shithole” States

God bless Donald Trump.  He guarantees I will never have a shortage of material to contemplate.  Consider, for instance this latest kerfuffle over what constitutes a “shithole” nation.  We know from the White House reports that at least Haiti and Nigeria make the list.  Or make the Donald’s list.  I’m [...]

Feeding the “Fake News” Frenzy

Charlie Manson dies, and we say goodbye to the 60s.  Michael Wolff publishes Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and we dash headlong into the 1970s.  Hunter S. Thompson—the father of “gonzo journalism”—would assuredly approve of Wolff’s saga.  A whiff of truth enhanced by an imagination of the [...]

You cannot undo that which is undone

Victory is such a transient thing.  Particularly when your adversary appears willing to suffer blows and arrows with little regard for self.  This is where we stand today on the outskirts of Fallujah. Yes, that Fallujah.  The city decried for starting Iraq’s own intifada by slaughtering four Blackwater contractors back [...]

Dying for Allah

Arguments that seem to have no end.  When will human kind expand beyond the capacity to harvest sustainable resupply?  Climate change.  Where the next nuclear weapon be employed.  The best form of governance.  Is religion responsible for the largest loss of human life? Intractable contention suitable for after dinner discussion [...]

The 60’s are now officially dead…long live the 60s

It finally happened, the 1960s came to a close.  With a whimper in a Bakersfield hospital ward.   Charles Manson is dead.  We may all now listen to Helter Skelter without hesitation.  And not just the version U2 recorded with Bono’s admonition that he was “taking the song back.” Tough old [...]

Churchill Was Wrong

There is a bit of smug philosophical security politicians from any “democracy” bring to a collection of international leaders.  Elected officeholders all seemingly subscribe to Winston Churchill’s adage: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” They should drop the charade; Churchill was wrong. I am no [...]

Pyongyang Perished

Ahhh, the council of wise and wild have gathered.  Imagine, the “intellectuals” of foreign policy sitting just across the table from Donald Trump’s collective of over-fed, isolationist, ideologues.  Rush Limbaugh’s wet dream.  (A thought I will have to strike from my imagination if there is any intent of sleeping tonight.) [...]

Reconsidering Time, History and Politics

Citizens of Western societies almost universally share a few common assumptions.  Time “passes,” history “evolves,” and politics are “progressive.”  Allow me to begin with the latter and return to the former. Some of you may recall Francis Fukuyama, an American political scientist who currently resides at Stanford University.  In 1989, [...]

Proclivity for Inhumanity

I would argue that there is no “original sin.”  We are not all born guilty of faults committed by our forefathers.  That’s just rubbish intended to rush you into a church, mosque or temple.  However, while not all men are born to be evil, some rise to the occasion.  My [...]

Technology and Theology

Crawl out from the bits and bytes.  Ignore your service provider.  Turn off the social media and, for god’s sake, don’t go near Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google.  Or so the New York Times would have us believe.  According to the Times, Amazon determines what you will purchase, Apple controls [...]

We knew this was coming…

Watch the videos from Las Vegas…humans flocked like sheep to the slaughter.  One shooter, multiple weapons, no declared affiliation or cause…until it was too late for more than 50 civilians who likely never knew what happened. This is the voice of terror, the voice of a revolution.  Which, sadly [...]

Tremor Within

Fear, I have long argued, is an irrational emotion.  Flight or fight.  The coward choses flight, an engaged soul opts to fight.  Yes, yes…and this leads us to where?  Imagine a new Islamic caliphate or a Trump administration.  Who flew and who fought?   Still asking that question?  Stop reading newspapers [...]

Does Mosul Matter?

By Eric C. Anderson War is waged in fits and starts. Combat veterans will often explain this as moments of terror surrounded by days of boredom. Constant engagement with an adversary wears down both the aggressor and defender—at a pace that cannot be maintained—unless you lived through Leningrad, Stalingrad…and now [...]

Targeting the Financial Industry: Operation Python

As most of you saw last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren grilled Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, calling him to resign and face criminal charges for his ‘negligence.’ Over 5,300 employees of Wells Fargo were found creating false accounts and opening up said accounts without the customers’ knowledge. This act of [...]

Crossing the $10 Trillion Mark

Now that the global tally of negative-interest debt issued has passed the $10 trillion mark, it might be worth taking a moment to reflect the yet unknown implications posed by the intrusion of...reality. Interest rates in the EU, Switzerland, Japan, and now Germany have dipped into negative territory almost in [...]

Election 2016: Alien Queen vs. Swamp Thing

Sludgefeast ’16 (otherwise known as the US presidential election) has finally shaken out all fellow-traveling parasites in favor of two alpha vermin—the Alien Queen and Swamp Thing. As the face of their respective political parties, each boasts a distinctive pedigree: the former a career politician who consistently shows that she [...]

The Role of Fear Suspense Magazine

Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift. —Dante Alighieri, “The Inferno” A somewhat paradoxical title for an article. For how can “fear” (from the protoGermanic feraz or “danger”), understood as intrinsically unsettling, disruptive, or even paralyzing in both its chilling transitive [...]

What Is The Subduction Zone?

Six years after the legislative abortion otherwise known as Dodd-Frank was excreted into being, its tentacles show no signs of tiring. The latest arm-twistings of the financial sector by regulators now infesting corporate boardrooms manifest as an arbitrary failing grade for most banks for attempting to comply with the “living [...]

Living Room Debris

I am in the midst of fleeing the East Coast in hopes of finding philosophical solace at a wooden boat-building school. Not Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but rather an honest appraisal of life and the fury that swirls above Washington DC.

SLICK

Consider two recent developments in the energy sector. In the first instance, shareholders in oil-producing giant Chevron (ticker: CVX) voted to give the largest amongst themselves (those lucky few owning 3% or more shares for three years minimum) the ability to nominate directors for up to 25% of the seats on the board.

SLICK REDUX

Copyright 2015, Chuck Dorris, all rights reserved. There’s an old adage that adaptation in the energy market occurs when sweet crude averages $70 a barrel.  At that cost point, the alternative-energy folks (tree-huggers) suddenly find wind and solar to be profitable and practitioners of black magic (frackers and slant drillers) start [...]

A TALK WITH LISA SCOTTOLINE

“No, I didn’t base it on a real case. I never base anything on real cases. I never do any ripped-from-the-headlines stuff.” So states bestselling, Edgar Award-winning crime novelist Lisa Scottoline during a breathless interview between parking lot and podium, where she will expound upon her latest thriller Every Fifteen [...]

Eric Anderson Interview

ERIC C. ANDERSON, formerly a senior analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, is an Air Force reservist and national security consultant, as well as a teacher at the National Defense Intelligence College.