David Brin's worried ....
November 28, 2005 3:37 PM   Subscribe

David Brin -- hoping to rescue modernity Quote: -- "... I have spoken before of the blatant -- and yet never-reported -- pattern shown by more than a hundred members of the United States Congress, appointing young cadets to the US Military Academies according to one criterion above all others -- their depth of religious zealotry. This infusion of young officers who believe in a coming apocalypse is discreetly worrisome at West Point and Annapolis, but it has already had newsworthy effects at the Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs. A town that is also now known as a main locus and training center for fanatics bent on dominating American civilization. (see) This coincidence... one of many that simply cannot be coincidence... should be tallied and noted. See also this in recent -- 11/26 -- news "... Among the steps already taken by the Pentagon that enhanced its domestic capabilities was the establishment after 9/11 of Northern Command, or Northcom, in Colorado Springs, to provide military forces to help in reacting to terrorist threats in the continental United States. Today, Northcom's intelligence centers in Colorado and Texas fuse reports from CIFA, the FBI and other U.S. agencies, and are staffed by 290 intelligence analysts. That is more than the roughly 200 analysts working for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and far more than those at the Department of Homeland Security...."
posted by hank (29 comments total)

 
If anyone can be bothered reading all that, can you please post an executive summary? kthx.
posted by The Monkey at 3:39 PM on November 28, 2005


IMHO, you should have ended the lead after "religious zealotry" and put the rest on a "more inside". The second link doesn't really have anything to do with the rest of the post, either. I think.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:41 PM on November 28, 2005


"Smasm"?
posted by Gator at 3:43 PM on November 28, 2005


[more inside] is your friend, hank.

Also, I think the writer meant "spasm"?

And the incomplete sentences are an annoyance. I'll read the link, but can you tell me why I should? It's a post to a blog entry, and a blog entry by somebody I've never heard of. Could you tell me upfront why I should take his opinion seriously? Because he's writing about something that is in itself interesting, I will take a look, but this really could have been a better constructed post.
posted by jokeefe at 3:43 PM on November 28, 2005


Brin is a noted physicist, SF writer, and author of an important book-essay on privacy rights and ethics, "The Transparent Society". He is a respected writer on issues of security, openness and freedom.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:46 PM on November 28, 2005


And further: Here I assumed that I was going to read something long and something reasonably well argued. Wrong on both counts. This FPP was a bit pointless, no?
posted by jokeefe at 3:47 PM on November 28, 2005


Also: Thanks SOL. I'll make a note of that.
posted by jokeefe at 3:48 PM on November 28, 2005


Also: yeah, jokeefe, the FPP was more than a bit pointless. Brin posted something interesting to his blog but didn't expand on it. Not worth linking to.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:50 PM on November 28, 2005


Firefox (Windows 2000, FF version 1.5rc3) isn't recognizing paragraph breaks when posting here today, sorry; I got distracted and forgot to properly break the post.

As Solid- says, Brin is someone you may find interesting -- he's got quite a track record as a scientist and writer.

He's been documenting how the apocalyptic/fundamentalist true believers have been purging the military officer corps, how many longtime professionals have retired, been dead-ended or otherwise taken out -- and how the upcoming military academy students, chosen by Congressional appointment, are also heavily weighed toward fundamentalist religion.

And he's trying to get the damn shortsighted liberals, as well as the remaining conservatives, to pay attention to the risk if things go as he sees them going.
posted by hank at 4:02 PM on November 28, 2005


Hank don't worry, the crew will never be happy.
posted by darkmatter at 4:05 PM on November 28, 2005


I pointed to it because he's inviting people to a conversation that might interest some here. The Search function used within his blog will find earlier mention of the issues that he's now pulling together -- in particular the fundamentalist purge of moderate Republicans from the military officer corps.

To find background, start with the pointer there to his own web page (not weblog): http://www.davidbrin.com -- for his published material and links. Fiction, and nonfiction.
posted by hank at 4:11 PM on November 28, 2005


He's been documenting how the apocalyptic/fundamentalist true believers have been purging the military officer corps, how many longtime professionals have retired, been dead-ended or otherwise taken out -- and how the upcoming military academy students, chosen by Congressional appointment, are also heavily weighed toward fundamentalist religion.

Now that-- plus links to his webpage with background material-- would have been the basis for a fine FPP.
posted by jokeefe at 4:17 PM on November 28, 2005


fuse reports from CIFA, the FBI and other U.S. agencies

Should it have read CIA or is there some intelligence agency with an F in the acronym that I'm not aware of?
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:20 PM on November 28, 2005


fuse reports from CIFA, the FBI and other U.S. agencies

Should it have read CIA or is there some intelligence agency with an F in the acronym that I'm not aware of?
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:20 PM on November 28, 2005


I think the CIFA he's talking about is the Comite International de Recherche et d'Etude de Facteurs de l'Ambiance. They control the Boy Scouts and are in turn controlled by the Fifth International under the aegis of the Gnomes of Zurich.
posted by solid-one-love at 4:29 PM on November 28, 2005


Heinlein tidbit referenced in the link
posted by gimonca at 4:37 PM on November 28, 2005




posted by Gator at 4:41 PM on November 28, 2005


From the FPP's linked WaPo article:

One CIFA activity, threat assessments, involves using "leading edge information technologies and data harvesting," according to a February 2004 Pentagon budget document. This involves "exploiting commercial data" with the help of outside contractors including White Oak Technologies Inc. of Silver Spring, and MZM Inc., a Washington-based research organization, according to the Pentagon document.

CIFA=Counter Intelligence Field Activity, a leisure service of the DOD to harvest data on you, The Viewers. Please note that "research organization" MZM, Inc., has been generously funding newly-disgraced Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
posted by rdone at 4:42 PM on November 28, 2005


The Monkey writes "If anyone can be bothered reading all that, can you please post an executive summary? kthx."

Look, I like to vote, and to spout off about my views, but I'll be damned if I'll go to the trouble of sitting in my easy chair and actually learning about the issues! I'm an Amuricun, damnit! I have cheetos to eat. And Reality TV to watch!

Hell, I'm so lazy that if hank goes to the trouble of putting together links so can infirm myself, I'll be the first commenter, complaining it's all too complicated for me to bother to understand. 'Cause I'm a proud Amuricun, damnit!

I'll even add a snarky "kthx" to prove my contempt for anyone who tries to give me the tools to think for myself.

But don't you dare say that my opinion and my vote aren't as good as anyone's! I'm Amuricun, and we all got the equality! kthx!
posted by orthogonality at 4:46 PM on November 28, 2005


Working link re MZM, Inc. and Cunningham. The gentlemen responsible for the previous tags have been sacked.
posted by rdone at 4:52 PM on November 28, 2005


An example from the conversation Brin invites people to join:

Here's Brin, replying in the Comments developing at his blog, said in response to one knee-jerk comment. In the quote below, the ellipses are his (he uses them where I would use dashes, making quoting a bit confusing):

QUOTE:

Rob, Please don't do that. You know darn well that I consider "conservatism" to be a very different thing than the monstrous coalition that is currently ruling us. The great tragedy of our times is that the Democrats have utterly failed to make this point to fifty million honest and sincere American conservatives.

This failure IS the point of my coming series.

Try to imagine the difficult situation that TODAY faces honest trade unionists in Venezuela, a country that has been taken over by monsters of the left. Many of them are writhing in discomfort - as you are - but get angry when their friends make general aspersions toward liberalism or the left -- as YOU get angry when people make general aspersions toward conservatism.

Alas, the discomfort of those honest lefties in Venezuela is not our concern. We have a right to expect courage from them. It is time for them to stand up and recognize that their time of heroism has come. As it did for honest and patriotic American liberals in 1947. To cut their links with monsters and make temporary alliance with the "other side".

This can be hard to do. The "right" in Venezuela is nasty and rapacious. But the trade unionists there MUST do the right thing...

...as honest American conservatives must do it here, now, and save the greatest civilization in history.

Honestly, Rob, there are many issues to talk about, but I have never seen a situation so dire. The time for American conservatives is NOW! To show what you are made of.

END QUOTE
posted by hank at 5:58 PM on November 28, 2005


My son is at USAFA and I know for a fact he has self-identified pagans and atheists as classmates. Diversity is alive and well there. It's in no danger of becoming a "Christian school."
posted by konolia at 6:54 PM on November 28, 2005


But rape is A-OK.
posted by bardic at 7:14 PM on November 28, 2005


konolia - It depends on what you mean by "diversity". I'm sure there remain a few pagans or atheists here and there amidst the growing cadres of the faithful, sure, but to fufill the rigorous truth value of your statement your son could have as few as 4 classmates who fit into that exotic category still somehow allowed to exist there on a slender thread of thinning theocratic forbearance.
posted by troutfishing at 8:49 PM on November 28, 2005


Let me ask you this - as a Christian : do you really, in your heart and before God, as you think of God, believe your words there to be true and honest ?

Careful now.
posted by troutfishing at 9:02 PM on November 28, 2005


CIFA is the Pentagon's office for blog-reading.
posted by dhartung at 9:37 PM on November 28, 2005


You know what is amazing? Self-Identified Christians who follow up stories like the Harpers piece above with platitudes.

"It's all ok, we really accept you heathen scum. So long as you accept some small things like; groups on your sidewalk to prayer-bully you out of your home, copies of the new testament left for Jews because after 2005 years obviously the problem is that Jews just haven't heard about Jesus, oh and by the way we are declaring and ideological war where our opinion is the only valid one and your opinions are the results of demon infestation. Amen! Now let's bomb brown people because we're the only zealot religion allowed on this planet (and we want the oil.)"
posted by BeerGrin at 7:04 AM on November 29, 2005


Aw, when I was about eight, I liked David Brin's sci-fi books and wrote him an email, and he wrote back very politely, so he's cool in my books.
posted by ITheCosmos at 7:49 AM on November 29, 2005


I think it's awesome that Orthogonality snarked me like that. Especiall as I'm not American, and my complaint was actually that the post was a freaking text monster sitting on the front page.
posted by The Monkey at 7:42 PM on November 29, 2005


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