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Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials

Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials     The United States has a unique position amongst the countries of the world;...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Minor Updates to "Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials"

I have included some minor updates to this post on the social media site, Steemit.


These changes include some pictures of extremist groups and some personal notes that weren't applicable to the school assignment which formed the basis of the post.

Also included, a pic of H. Clinton being led off in handcuffs by an FBI agent, an arrest that should have been made long ago.  The FBI simply did not adhere to their sworn oath.

Monday, January 9, 2017

A fictional break from study

I took some time off to complete a story I started long ago.  My Western adventure (adult themes)

I have been working on fiction more than on study lately, but I will be releasing an updated version of my thesis, The Effects Of Hoover's Bureaucratic Tactics On COINTELPRO Operations: A Comparison Between NEW LEFT and WHITE HATE, on Amazon in the next two weeks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Steemit Verification

This post is meant to verify my identity as @stevescoins on Steemit.com

I have reprised or updated several articles form this site there, and also provide samples of my fictional work in sci-fi, horror, and fantasy

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

So what happens when security needs are valued over the needs of liberty?

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?
 Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” -- Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn Quotes (Author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Removing Some Data from Zotero

I will be removing some data from my Zotero database regarding privacy methods that can be used for criminal activity.

On one hand, I included the material for the sake of completeness.  However, at the same time, the misfeasance (if not malfeasance) of the security community in ignoring identified terror threats (Tsarnaevs, Mateen, Hasan, etc) while using illegal and ineffective bulk collection methods against the public at large led me to include the methods in place for privacy's sake.

I have long believed that the privacy versus security balance in this country is far out of whack.

I have been reexamining the relationship between cybercrime and terror financing, and have decided to go ahead and remove some of the material I consider to be the most dangerous.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Break, with some rent-seeking reading.

Sorry for the delay in posting; I have been working on a book, and I keep digressing down research paths.

Here is some reading to keep you busy in the meantime, focusing on the concept of rent-seeking. The major issue with this research is that it doesn't focus on the government movers that facilitate rent-seeking, but rather on the businesses that benefit from it. Understanding this phenomena requires that the participation of politicians and bureaucrats be fully explored.

An another issue is that rent-seeking isn't studied in the context of the welfare-bureaucracy-NGO complex, or rent-seeking in terms of government services in themselves. 

Finally, the material is a bit short on the "Baptists and bootleggers" aspect of rent-seeking. When my attention span drifts back this way, I hope to add more literature dealing with these deficiencies.

And away we go:

Calderón, & Chong. (n.d.). Do Democracies Breed Rent-Seeking Behavior? Chowdhury, F. L. (2006). Corrupt bureaucracy and privatization of tax enforcement in Bangladesh. Dhaka: Pathak Shamabesh.

Congleton, R. D., Hillman, A. L., & Konrad, K. A. (2008). Forty years of research on rent seeking: an overview. The Theory of Rent Seeking: Forty Years of Research, 1, 1–42. Cowen, T., & Tabarrok, A. (1999). The opportunity costs of rent seeking. Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, 17, 121–127.

Hillman, A. L., & Ursprung, H. W. (2015). The political economy of an idea: The case of rent seeking. Retrieved from http://rdc1.net/Tullock%20Memorial%20Conference/Hillman%20rent%20seeking%20Tullock%20memorial%20conference%20(3).pdf Hillman, A., &

Ursprung, H. (n.d.). Rent seeking: The idea, the reality, and the ideological resistance. Hillman.Rent seeking.2015.pdf. (n.d.). Khan. (n.d.). Chapter 2. Rent-Seeking as Process. Krueger, A. O. (1974). The political economy of the rent-seeking society. The American Economic Review, 64(3), 291–303.

Mbaku, J. M. (1998). Corruption and rent-seeking. In The political dimension of economic growth (pp. 193–211). Springer. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-349-26284-7_10

McPhail, E., & Farrant, A. (2012). The Servants of Obama’s Machinery: F.A. Hayek’s the Road to Serfdom Revisited? (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. ID 2139285). Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2139285

Pasour Jr, E. C. (1987). Rent seeking: Some conceptual problems and implications. The Review of Austrian Economics, 1(1), 123–143.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Obligations of government in balancing liberty and security

The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he is able to protect them.
Thomas Hobbes, “Leviathan”

Obligations of government in balancing liberty and security

The name of this course, terrorism and homeland security, gives us the purpose of the class.  At this point in the term, as we discuss the definitions and causes of terror, we need to begin understanding how governments respond to terror and how they should respond to terror.  What is the point of a government that does not protect its citizens?  As American students, we will move into the concepts and organization of homeland security later in the term, but it will aid us to understand those concepts more fully if we keep in mind the purposes of government as we discuss the gestalt of terrorism.

Although modern politics attempts to portray this otherwise, the primary function of the Constitution of the United States of America is to defend its citizenry.   The Preamble of the document makes providing for the common defense one of the defined purposes of the underlying law of the land.  Madison makes this duty to protect clear in explaining Constitutional framework in The Federalist No. 10; protection of man and his property "is the first object of government" (Hamilton, Madison, & Jay, 2001, p. 42).  Heyman (2001) explains the legal and philosophical background of this view in terms of English common law and Locke’s view of the social contract.

However, we should also note that the Constitution sets other principles as primary functions of our government; establishing justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, and securing liberty are the concepts that concern us in this discussion.  The concept of protecting liberty must be balanced by the duty to protect the citizenry, and this balance must be weighed in terms of justice and tranquility.  Riley (2012) asserts that a written set of laws, as exemplified by our Constitution, is the best method of preventing tyranny.  Separation of powers is another concept that prevents tyranny.  We should remember that America is a Republic, not a democracy.  Sutherland (1951) argues that Americans must make constant calculations of risk in deciding security policy.  You should know that many laws and policies of the United Sates have been determined later to be unconstitutional and abandoned…and that the constitutionality of some of these have been restored at later times.  Politics, and not adherence to the Constitution, has created much of this law and policy.

Willis (2009) contends that here will always be tension in the balance between liberty and security.  Willis places this tension in the realm of struggle for political power, but also demonstrates that a restriction on liberty for some groups leads to an increase in security for others in the case of gangs preying on pensioners.  Lopach and Luckowski (2006) suggest several facets of understanding to study to help grasp the balance, including but not limited to: national security, liberty, separation of powers, rule of law, growth complex, and civil virtue.  We are not going to cover all of these in class, but feel free to ask!

From our earlier discussion, we have seen policy set with the purpose of protecting the citizen, but that had the actual effect of harming his liberty.  As we advance through the term, you will be exposed to specific cases debates in which this balance may apply.  Is the policy of banning Muslims from immigrating to this country an act of protecting America, or is it a case of lost liberty?  Does the PATRIOT Act harm liberty, or protect Americans?  Why was the NSA spying on all Americans rather than focusing on known security threats?   Do, or should, aliens (whether they be legal or illegal) have the same set of rights as American citizens?  What about American citizens fighting under a foreign banner?  One thing to keep in mind that any given policy may have both the results of security and liberty, neither effect, either effect, or even a balance of tensions that must be maintained.  For example, one possibility in a tension of policy may be to temporally ban Muslims from entering while fixing the systems of vetting that would satisfy both needs of America in terms of security and liberty.  For you as a student, a policy maker, or a first responder, understanding the purposes of government and the effects of politics on how those purposes are achieved is necessary to understand how to respond to terror, or for any other threat to American security and liberty.

Under our current educational standards, it is possible that many students do not have a full understanding of liberty.  Such students should not feel ignorant.  West (1965) notes that before the concept can sensibly be discussed, there must a definition of liberty, and further notes that there are two conflicting notions of liberty in the positive and negative senses.  Political actors may seek to define liberty in words that justify their own policies.  In interpretations of liberty for the American system of governance, therefore we should look to the sources that the Founders defined the terms, Hobbes, Locke, and the evolving English tradition.  Two notes here; first, it is NOT required to read this material for this course…it is hard reading, but it is also worth the time for your own understanding.  Second, Hobbes is often interpreted as being an absolute statist (a person who finds all social solutions to be found in the power of the state), but Harrington (2005) argues that it is the idea of liberty that puts Hobbes’s philosophy into full sensibility.

So we have looked at the underlying function of government, the stated purposes of the Constitution in American government and the reasoning behind those purposes, the inherent tension between security and liberty, some possible examples of that tension in the war on terror, and sources of information to explain the idea of liberty.  We have touched upon, but not gone into detail, the implication of political influences upon these subjects.  As we discuss terrorism, it’s effects upon our country, and how to counter the threat of terrorism, we can keep these concepts in mind.

References and Suggested Reading:

Hamilton, A., Madison, J., & Jay, J. (2001). The Federalist Papers. Hazleton, PA: Pennsylvania State University.

Harrington, R. (2005). Hobbes and liberty: the subject’s sphere of liberty in Leviathan. Retrieved from http://www.artificialhorizon.org

Heyman, S. J. (1991). The first duty of government: protection, liberty and the Fourteenth Amendment. Duke Law Journal, 507–571.

Lopach, J. J., & Luckowski, J. A. (2006). national security and civil liberty: striking the balance. The Social Studies, 97(6), 245–248.

Riley, C. J. (2012). Constitutional law as a bulwark against tyranny: The American experience. Moreana, 49(189/190), 89–116.

Sutherland Jr., A. E. (1951). Freedom and internal security. Harvard Law Review, 64(3), 383–416.

West, E. G. (1965). Liberty and education: John Stuart Mill’s dilemma. Philosophy, 40(152), 129–142.

Wills, M. (2009). Language and the politics of liberty and security. Public Policy Research, 16(1), 34–37. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-540X.2009.00552.x