Tag Archives: training

combat

combat

I am reading a book that I should have read in high school. It falls into line behind another book I should have read in high school, and a third one in which I am making slow progress. (I’m listening.) 

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I went to a very good high school and had one very very good teacher for AP English who was an Army veteran and who introduced me to writing, literature, and World War One war poems in a way that no one else did.

My AP History teacher was a veteran of World War One (his arm was permanently damaged in battle and he wore an early prosthetic forearm in a sling, inert and dysfunctional, perhaps for me the next level in empathy after Farragut’s Theorem).

Either one of these live human beings who taught me on a daily basis might have stood in for the fictional high school instructor of History and Moral Philosophy described in Starship Troopers.

The author described high school classes I wish were available to me, but weren’t. The course in survival preparation described in Tunnel in the Sky is unlike anything offered even today by small companies of preppers and former soldiers; the final exam was its climax.

 

Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is topically resurgent online today and has also spin off movies, role-playing games, and more.  But here today I’m focused on the book and the philosophies.

And the reason that I’m reading this book and looking at the phenomenon of its resurgence is simple: we’re going to war.

And we have not yet begun to even glimpse the final exam for that course.

We’ve been at war for a long time. We are a warring nation.  We like war.  Many of our elite get rich through war.  They foster and incite violence, conflict and hatred regularly. There is a long tradition among the extremely wealthy of funding both sides of a war at the same time. They probably get some form of perverse enjoyment out of the sacrifices of humans to their fantasies of power. Henry Kissinger has a quote or two about these things. Mike Rivero has published an article on war and bankers. Today’s alternative news will bring you forecasts of impending war with Russia (and perhaps China, or both).  Many people are aware of and concerned about the Soros-driven waves of Islamist refugees into Europe. The EU and NATO are described as the modern-day version of the Third Reich.

Others are concerned about waves of immigrants from various countries and cultures arriving via the US southern border. Imigration out of Asia into the Pacific Northwest has been forecast. War, weather and color revolutions have put a lot of peole on the march.

Civil war is forecast; the CONUS military exercises like Jade Helm have been widely discussed. Political change and degradation of rights enumerated under the Constitutiuon, itself widely degraded and no longer deemed worthy of protection by many, will be visible on the streets of the nation’s Capitol as a new President is inaurgurated (or perhaps assassinated, if you read some people).

So an old piece of science fiction that isn’t much younger than I am and that describes political and other virtues of military discipline and training comes into sharp focus for an individual concerned about the well-being of his family.

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source of image: http://futurewarstories.blogspot.com/2013/08/fws-topics-powered-armor.html

“… Science fiction is a useful tool of cultural criticism in that it posits future worlds so as to reflect contemporary social concerns.”

Masters’ thesis in literature

http://scholarworks.uno.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2322&context=td 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYFcV004RfU

http://theessential.com.au/media/articles/123/starship-troopers-3.jpg prepared for insertion

“War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it’s not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It’s never a soldier’s business to decide when or where or how–or why–he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people–“older and wiser heads,” as they say–supply the control.”

Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

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source of image: http://futurewarstories.blogspot.com/2013/08/fws-topics-powered-armor.html

“LANCE CPL. STEVEN West steps into a remote enemy hideout clad in a 350-pound exoskeleton, sensors piercing the darkness and displaying digital info on his helmet visor, until a shock of static feedback knocks him to the dirty floor. A band of locals surround him with pipes and rebar. “The feedback stopped, leaving his ears ringing, and grainy video feed warped back into view as he was struck again. And again.”

This scene isn’t pulled from the latest Clancy-esque techno-thriller, but a short story written as part of a new Marine Corps exercise using science fiction to think about possible threats 15 to 30 years in the future.

“Water’s a Fightin’ Word” recounts what happens when a squad of Marines on a humanitarian mission in Africa gets surrounded during a global freshwater shortage. The author slips in glimpses of military technology in its infancy today, such as the exoskeleton, electromagnetic pulse weapons, and combat-ready robots, and combines it with likely geopolitical scenarios, such as conflict over water and other environmental resources.

Officers at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory/Futures Directorate in Quantico, Va., came up with the idea last year to host a sci-fi contest to spur creativity, as well as get uniformed Marines to conceive of threats in a different way. A total of 84 entries were narrowed down to 18 finalists, who were paired with professional sci-fi writers—including “World War Z’s” Max Brooks—during a workshop co-hosted by the Atlantic Council. After months of editing, the top three stories were collected in “Science Fiction Futures: Marine Corps Security Environment Forecast 2030-2045″ and published online [ http://www.mcwl.marines.mil/Portals/34/Documents/FuturesAssessment/Marine%20Corps%20Science%20Fiction%20Futures%202016_12_9.pdf?ver=2016-12-09-105855-733 ].

The stories share common themes of political chaos, a rising China, a less-powerful and more inward-looking United States, conflicts over environmental resources, and the growth of megacities in the developing world. For Marines, who are the first US boots on the ground in the toughest situations, the toughest challenges may stem from the latter.

“It will not be like Fallujah or Hue City,” said Marine Lt. Col. Patrick Kirchner, citing intense block-by-block conflicts in Iraq 2004 and Vietnam 1968. “But more like Manhattan, and not on a weekend.” Kirchner’s comments came at a panel on the sci-fi Marine warfighting project at the Atlantic Council in Washington. “You can’t pick out the enemy and you can’t just shoot him. You’ve got to figure out how to clear a skyscraper. You can’t just hang green t-shirts or chem-lites in the window and say it’s clear. We have to find out how to figure out this kind of situations.”

More:

https://www.wired.com/2017/01/better-way-marines-prepare-future-wars-sci-fi/ 

 

Music:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onGWF8mz1Zw 

 

“Robert Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’ is the only novel on the required reading list at the Army War College and Annapolis for the study of small force tactics.” 

“Small Unit Tactics” by Will Serwetman is available as a free download on the Internet.

On YouTube, you can find hours of assessment by major national think tanks on Russian military capabilities, hybrid warfare, urban warfare and the growth of mega-cities, and I probably only scratched that surface

YouTube is also resplendent with videos on squad tactics, urban warfare techniques, land navigation, and more.  Books and classes are available on community squad formation, how to conduct local “intel”, etc.  In today’s world, whether in the military or on the home front, we must consider the role and presence of women.

Preparing for war has become part of our culture. 

Somebody wants to bring combat upon you.

Are you ready for it?

Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is a story about boot camp and military duty.

“COMBAT – that means life and death with people actively seeking to destroy you.”  Learning how to survive combat  is a serious business involving “the teaching of serious skills in a dynamic, live-fire environment. It takes tough men [and women[ to have first acquired the skills in order to teach them and it takes tough men [and women] to maintain order, discipline and safety in an environment to teach those skills.”

Starship Troopers: Thoughts #1

Note that I am not an expert in, nor have I ever experienced combat. 

 

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source of image:  http://breakingdefense.com/tag/marine-future/ 

“… Advanced sensors, air/land/sea vehicles that can stay on alert for extended periods of time, and immediate battle damage assessment have changed the rules of warfare — as well as what is considered acceptable collateral damage.

All these factors make it easier to control violence. But it’s up to the politicians to tell the military what purpose the violence serves, and that hasn’t gotten any easier. Sun Tzu himself warned about it, saying, “He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” However, Sun Tzu never had to deal with satellite communications, a 24-hour news cycle, or a pesky thing called democracy.”

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a13103/starship-troopers-is-the-new-the-art-of-war/ 

[Ed.: But we don’t have a democracy, and never did; we have what’s left of a constitutional republic….]

 

Heinlein’s tidy piece of science fiction offers lessons in civilian leadership.

 

8 Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Tips from Starship Troopers

Oct 21, 2015

Robert Heinlein’s science fiction classic Starship Troopers, published in December 1959, is a permanent fixture on military reading lists among the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Starship Troopers describes how Johnnie Rico starts as a private in the Mobile Infantry, an Earth-based military force that serves as a galactic and heavily armed raiding force. The Mobile Infantry was similar to a WWII Marine Raider force or the Army Rangers of WWII – high on firepower, shock tactics, and infantry force.  The essence of Starship Troopers was a fight for survival of the human race across the galaxy.  Humans were threatened by a race of intelligent, highly skilled, and ferocious spider-like creatures (“Bugs”).  Standing in their way, the front line of Earth’s defense forces, was the Mobile Infantry.  The Mobile Infantry could be considered as interstellar Marines, transported from plant to planet in huge starships and then “parachuted” from planetary orbit.  On the ground, the Mobile Infantry fought in incredible, 2,000 lb, powered, armored suits.

Starship Troopers showed us that, despite the technology, being in the Infantry was still the Infantry with constant hard work, impossible odds, and zero thanks.  The Mobile Infantry fought and trained as Infantry has always done: outnumbered, in the cold and dark, and against incredible odds to save the human race and each other.  Starship Troopers made its way into the modern military lexicon more than a decade ago, most notably during the U.S. involvement in Somalia, where local Somali militia were referenced as “Skinnies” in comparison to one of the antagonist militaries that the Earth forces fought against in the opening chapters of the book.

Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is a great refresher on some of the truly vital and critical skill sets that veterans bring to organizations in their post-military careers. If you are on the first day or your 10th year of your military transition, be sure to look down this list to contribute all you can.  There are 8 key insights that matter to how effective military veterans can be in business and their second careers.

1  The Entire Team Works On The Primary Mission.

The motto of the Mobile Infantry is, “Everybody drops and everybody fights.” On numerous drops, all of Rico’s unit went into combat.  Regular soldiers, but also cooks, administrative personnel, and even Chaplain’s – everyone fought.  From an organizational standpoint, this was the sheer genius from the Mobile Infantry. Literally, 100% of the organization was dedicated to its primary purpose of combat. The concept of “everybody fights” was a simple and valuable reminder that the majority of your organization should be dedicated to its mission.

Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition.  When you come into a new company or organization, how much of your job should be dedicated to doing what your company does for its customers? If your primary job reinforce safety standards on oil rigs, then how much of your time do you actually spend enforcing and training on oil rig safety standards? In the military and in the corporate world, it can be very, very easy to be distracted by activities that take time and effort, but do not contribute to the primary purpose of your organization towards its customers.

1  Performance in The Present, Not In The Past, Is All Important

Every person in the mobile infantry, and society at large, was judged by what they did, how they performed, and how well they followed orders. This focus on performance as the sole benchmark of personal value weas refreshing. In Heinlein’s sci-fi future, you could be rich or poor, from a great family or a questionable one, or have a PhD or a high school degree, and the only thing that mattered in the mobile infantry was well you performed.  In business, you can have a great corporate culture but if the product was bad, the customer service ineffective, or the company was not innovative, then you failed.  For both business and the military, performance was everything.

Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition.  Performance was a central driving criteria for veterans because no matter that you were a crewmember on a destroyer or an Apache Helicopter pilot, what mattered was how well you performed your current job. Don’t worry about how your background compares to others in your organization. Worry about how well you perform and always seek to improve.

1  Difference And Diversity Is A Non-Issue In The Modern Workplace

Starship Troopers gets some diversity and gender issues right and others completely wrong.  Gender, physical disability, and race played significant roles throughout the book. Women were allowed to perform all combat roles, even direct ground combat. However, there were barely any women in the Mobile Infantry because they were better suited for more vital military roles, like being starship pilots, serving in military intelligence, or weapons development. Women, it turns out, were even more valuable than men in effective combat performance and outcomes. The most important, strategic positions were reserved for women.

What Heinlein missed was the concept that a woman would want a direct combat position?  If Heinlein had ever met Ronda Rousey, then the whole Mobile Infantry might have been women.  The vast majority of Rico’s teachers were disabled combat veterans.  His Strategy instructor was the best military strategist who only happened to be blind. If anything, according to Rico, it made him a better strategist. Based on the concept of superior job performance that permeates the book, disability was an illogical reason to exclude anyone, because everyone’s value was based on how they performed.

Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition.  For military veterans, we are used to dealing with gender, diversity, and other issues on a daily basis.  Military members, like the Mobile Infantry, are used to dealing with different races and religions.  Veterans will need to work with other non-veteran civilians to have their military service fully understood and how it contributes to their current workplace.  Veterans will need to strive at times to be open and understanding with others as they explain and demonstrate the value of their service for their employer’s success.  The lesson from Starship Troopers was that when an organization unites under a compelling mission, truly focuses on performance, then difference does not apply.

5 More Lessons at Military One Click.  Content Provided Courtesy of Military One Click: http://militaryoneclick.com/8-military-to-civilian-career-lessons/ 

http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/military-transition/famous-veteran-robert-a-heinlein.html 

“… A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual’s instinct to survive–and nowhere else!–and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and resolve all conflicts. We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race . . . . The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual.”

Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 

 

 

 

If it is true, as Heinlein says, that “The noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war’s desolation”, then a lot of us have a lot of thinking and work to do, even those of us who are physically impaired, elderly, or otherwise not inclined to sign up for some physically-punishing romp up and down some hills in the Appalachians, the Rockies, or even the flatlands.

With or without training, with or without armaments, in forthcoming wars, civil or otherwise, you will have to be mindful, self-aware, alert, prepared, and trained in the use and maintenance of your arms, your legs, your heart, your lungs, and your brain.

“It is a basic function of self defense and your job as an adult member of your family/ community. It is not a responsibility to be handed off the the police, or the State. When you do, it is all too easy to take that responsibility and capability away from you entirely, by disarming you and making you incapable of self defense. Whether by physically disarming you, or brainwashing your mind, you are gelded.”

https://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/2015/04/starship-troopers-thoughts-1/ 

Isn’t that in parallel with one of my most favored quotes from Tim Gallwey in Summon The Magic ?

One’s true capacity for moving,

or being moved, can be achieved

only when one’s commitment to others

is in fact connected to and derived from

his primary commitment to himself. 

When we find this kind of alignment of purpose,

there is a harmony of motivation

that can provide the fuel and clarity

to overcome great obstacles

in the pursuit of great challenge.

from The Inner Game of Work, by W. Timothy Gallwey

 

If your nation unleashes an environment — whether or not you are its target or merely it witness — of engineered super-soldiers, the use of drones, EMP and other directed-energy weapons, artificial intelligence and cyberwar, robotic military vehicles, drones and neuroweapons, are you ready?

Are you left of bang ?

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“… To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy….”

Resources:

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2534973-starship-troopers 

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Starship_Troopers 

https://www.part-time-commander.com/17-quotes-and-leadership-lessons-from-the-book-starship-troopers/ 

https://www.abebooks.com/products/isbn/9780425071588 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Troopers 

http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Robert_Heinlein 

http://www.heinleinsociety.org 

http://www.thesullenbell.com/2016/05/26/reverse-engineering-humanity/ 

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attraction destruction

attraction destruction

Barack Obama ended opium eradication efforts in Afghanistan in 2009, effectively green lighting Afghan opium production and the Afghan heroin trade. By 2010, all US efforts to eradicate Afghan opium ceased. It has been US policy to allow Afghan opium growing and the heroin trade since. US heroin deaths tripled from 3,036 in 2010 to 10,574 in 2014 as a result.

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Vanda Felbab-Brown at the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank that often writes reports supporting the Obama Administration, penned “No Easy Exit: Drugs and Counternarcotics Strategies in Afghanistan” in advance of the April 2016 UN Summit on Drugs (UNGASS). No way out for Uncle Sam is more like it. The report is notable for what it omits, which is any mention of the heroin epidemic, the deadliest illicit drug epidemic in history, or any of the tens of thousands of Americans killed by heroin since Obama took office.

The Bush Administration had an Afghan opium eradication program in effect, carried out by DynCorp. Obama didn’t renew DynCorp’s eradication contracts, effectively ending all US efforts to eradicate opium. (Afghan government eradication efforts in 2014, resulted in 1.1% of the Afghan opium crop being eradicated. The NY Times reported that the Afghan government will no longer eradicate opium crops as of 2016.) Heroin is made from opium.

Ms. Felbab-Brown might as well have said “let them eat cake” to the tens of thousands of Americans killed by heroin since 2009, the millions now hooked on heroin and the tens of millions living in terror because of loved ones now hooked on this deadly poison.

US policy changed to permit opium growing and the heroin trade during Obama’s first year in office, as a way to minimize US troop casualties in Afghanistan. And to maximize US civilian casualties in the US from heroin.

The CIA defines blowback as the ‘consequences at home of operations overseas.’

Since ending eradication efforts, US heroin deaths shot up from 3,036 (2010) to 5,925 (2012) to 10,574 in 2014. The heroin death toll continues to shoot up as does the number of heroin users, from the 1,500,000 US heroin users in 2010 to 4,500,000 users in 2015. As heroin deaths under Obama tripled, so has heroin usage.

There were 7,600 hectares of Afghan opium poppies when the War in Afghanistan began in 2001. (1 hectare = 2.5 US acres.) In 2009, there were 123,000 hectares. By 2014, Afghan poppy fields spread to 224,000 hectares resulting in a bumper crop of 6,400 tons of opium, enough to make 640,000 kilograms of heroin, thanks to Obama. Opium yields far greater profit than foods like wheat or corn, so opium production will continue to rise without serious eradication efforts.

Afghanistan is by far the number one producer of opium and heroin. Total worldwide opium production was 7,554 tons in 2014, of which 85% came from Afghanistan. The remaining 1,154 tons are primarily from Myanmar, Laos, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam.

Mexico produced 162 tons of opium in 2014, enough to make 16,200 kilograms of heroin. An average heroin addict takes 0.15 kg of heroin a year, meaning Mexican heroin could only supply 108,000 heroin addicts. Heroin from Mexico cannot supply even 10% of US heroin demand.

Yet the DEA claims most heroin in the US is from Mexico. I asked Barbara Carreno and Russell Baer at the DEA questions like how such a mathematical impossibility was told by the DEA. They dodged many questions, claiming only 4% of heroin is from Afghanistan and the rest is mostly from Mexico. Carreno and Baer acknowledged 90% of heroin in Canada is from Afghanistan, but wouldn’t acknowledge that the USA has a border with Canada, only with Mexico.

We’re getting hit with the largest ever illicit drug epidemic in American history and the DEA is asleep at the wheel.

USA’s now #1 for heroin use. US heroin demand is 415,000 kilograms a year. The whole world, except Afghanistan, could only produce 115,400 kilograms of heroin (2014), not enough for even a third of the mushrooming US demand. Most heroin in the US is coming from US-occupied Afghanistan, there is no other mathematical possibility. There is no other physical possibility.

Carreno and Baer stated “we are a small press office with many queries to answer, and your line of questioning is expanding. I’m sorry to have to say that we will not able to assist you further.” I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information about what the DEA has been doing (if anything) about Afghan opium and heroin.

I also asked the DEA people if they know how bad the heroin epidemic’s gotten or have any sense of urgency about it, they dodged these questions too. An American now gets killed every 32 minutes by heroin. Carreno and Baer seemed like they couldn’t care less and they don’t feel like answering most questions asked.

Perhaps the DEA people would answer questions (or plead the 5th) at Congressional Hearings.

Basic math shows that Mexico cannot produce enough heroin for even 1/10th of US demand. Besides 4,500,000 American heroin users (2,500,000 addicts and 2,000,000 casual users) and 10,000+ US heroin deaths a year, are the tens of millions of loved ones and neighbors living through hell because of this biggest ever drug epidemic in history.

One New Yorker summed it up “with heroin addicts on every block now, it’s like a zombie invasion.” One small American town has 190 HIV+ people due to IV narcotics use. The War in Afghanistan is the longest ever war in US history and the “collateral damage” of Americans being killed by Afghan heroin is shooting up.

Afghanistan has been known as the Graveyard of the Empires since Alexander the Great. Afghan heroin may yet destroy the American Empire. Since Obama green lighted Afghan opium and heroin, crime’s been shooting up in many places like Baltimore, considered to be ground zero for the heroin epidemic and the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the nation.

False narratives have proliferated recently about the heroin epidemic. One such narrative is ‘the Mexicans did it.’ Mexico, producing enough opium for 16.2 tons of heroin (2014), has enough for only 4% of current US heroin demand. The Mexicans didn’t do the heroin epidemic. (Colombia produced 2 tons of heroin in 2014, not enough for even 1% of the US heroin market.)

Another false narrative, ‘the doctors did it’ alleges patients got hooked on painkillers then turned to heroin. Not true. Only 3.6% of patients taking narcotic painkillers go on to take heroin.

‘Myanmar did it.’ Myanmar, a distant 2nd for heroin production, produced enough opium for 67 tons of heroin (2014), not enough for even 1/4th of US demand. Plus, Myanmar’s heroin goes to Asia, Australia and Europe. Not US.

“Genetics did it” which says ‘10% of people are prone to addiction, so genetics is the reason for the heroin epidemic.’ Human genetics hasn’t changed much the past 15 years. What has changed is Afghan opium production shot up from 7,600 hectares (2001) to 224,000 hectares (2014), a 29-fold increase.

‘Treatment is the solution.’ Treatment is a few fingers in a dyke that has sprung millions of holes. As Afghan heroin floods in, heroin use shoots up.

In Afghanistan, where heroin’s been as readily available as Coca-Cola since 2009, 8% of the people are addicted to narcotics. Following the footsteps of US policy in Afghanistan would mean 8% of the US population, 25,500,000 Americans, becoming addicted, which would be more like a zombie victory than a zombie invasion and would solidify Obama’s legacy as Heroin Dealer In Chief.

‘Decriminalize’ and “marijuana is like heroin” are additional narratives, about marijuana legalization in some places and Portugal’s decriminalization of personal possession of all drugs in 2001. Heroin’s not marijuana and trafficking tons of heroin is not personal possession. Apples and oranges.

Heroin is physically addictive within 30 days of daily use. Heroin kills 40x more than cocaine does and over 100x more than marijuana. Just as there are vast differences between swallowing a pint-size OJ, a Heineken or 3 liters of rum, so too there are vast differences between drugs. Decriminalizing personal possession of drugs is not comparable to decriminalizing trafficking tons of heroin.

Heroin traffickers no doubt want decriminalization instead of life imprisonment just as the makers of the world’s #1 narco state, Afghanistan, want people confused and distracted away from what they did.

The latest DEA narratives: ‘W-18 did it’ and ‘heroin deaths are over-reported’. Synthetics like W-18 are a drop in the overflowing heroin epidemic bucket. Heroin breaks down to morphine in the body within hours, gets recorded by American coroners as morphine (prescription drug) overdoses, resulting in under-reporting of heroin deaths by as much as 100%. The real US heroin death count in 2014 was closer to 20,000 than to 10,574.

It’s as if the recent media flurry of false narratives and distracting narratives have been to try to confuse and distract people away from the most lethal ever illicit drug epidemic (the heroin epidemic 2009-present), Afghanistan (source of 85% of all heroin) and how the heroin is getting to US. It appears as if certain elements within the US government are afraid of the epidemic of Afghan heroin being discussed and Congressional Hearings, sanctions (or worse) for what they did in making Afghanistan into the deadliest narco state ever in human history.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan until Fall 2001. In mid-2000, the Taliban outlawed opium, within a year it was all but gone, from 91,000 hectares (1999) to 7,600 hectares (2001). Since the Taliban effectively outlawed opium within a year, then why hasn’t the latest US-supported Afghan regime and US Administration done the same?

If serious efforts are not made to eradicate heroin at it’s source, then the heroin epidemic will get worse.

Besides prioritizing eradication first, which will take a year if done in earnest, there are additional solutions.

Second, outlaw precursor chemicals, like acetic anhydride, needed to make heroin from opium. The chemicals to make methaqualone were outlawed in the 1980s. Methaqualone overdoses then stopped.

Third, US government and government-chartered planes can be searched.

Fourth, buying opium for medical morphine in the meantime, until eradication is complete, will alleviate this surge of heroin shocking and awing America.

Fifth, millions of addicts need treatment. There aren’t enough inpatient beds or outpatient seats for even 1/8th of the surge in narcotic users. $25 billion constructs 100,000 inpatient treatment beds and $10 billion annually provides another million seats in outpatient treatment. So far, Obama has ponied up less than 1% of the money needed for treatment, only $0.116 billion, for the heroin disaster he made. Day late, dollar short.

Sixth, decriminalizing personal possession in order to focus on big heroin traffickers would result in lower overall prison costs and fewer non-violent drug users serving expensive lengthy sentences.

US government agencies and departments involved in Afghanistan, 2000 to present, can come clean and tell all about Afghan opium and heroin.

One giant step forward would be Congressional Hearings to determine facts:

1)how did Afghan opium surge from 7,600 hectares to 224,000 hectares, 2) why did annual heroin deaths surge from 1,779 to 10,574 on up,

3)how did the Taliban effectively eradicate Afghan opium within a year, 4) why hasn’t the current Administration done likewise,

5)what exactly have the DEA, CIA and DoD been doing about Afghan opium and heroin, and

6) why did Obama green light the Afghan opium trade and heroin trade leading to the most lethal illicit drug epidemic ever.

The UN has been given the power to hold inquiries focusing on getting honest answers to honest questions and voting on censure or sanctions against the US government and current Afghanistan regime until opium is eradicated as it was under the Taliban in 2001.

Obama green lighted the end of US eradication efforts against Afghan opium in 2009, which green lighted the Afghan opium and heroin trade, which green lighted the deadliest illicit drug epidemic ever. The 10,000+ Americans getting killed every year by heroin, that’s just “collateral damage” to “the little people” from the lingering War in Afghanistan, Mr. President?

Eradicate the Afghan opium crops, stat, the way the Taliban eradicated the Afghan opium crops, within a year. No need to re-invent the wheel on this one.

SOURCE: SUBMITTED BY WILLIAM EDSTROM

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Obama_Green_Lighted_the_Heroin_Epidemic/ 

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What nurtures a natural desire to learn?

Hands-on engagement in an effort to create or accomplish something worthwhile.

Eric Booth, in The Everyday Work of Art

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WEDNESDAY, AUG 19, 2015 03:01 PM EDT

Monsanto has a new pesticide that manipulates genes. What could go wrong?

An “RNA interference” spray avoids regulations on GM crops

NASSIR ISAF

Here are two things that cause a lot of controversy: Genetically modifying organisms and spraying pesticides. So of course some scientists asked, “What if we could do both at the same time?” The scientists in question are Keri San Miguel and Jeffrey G. Scott of Cornell University, who in June published a paper in Pest Management Science, describing how they successfully protected potato plants from the Colorado potato beetle by spraying them with a substance that interferes with the beetle’s DNA, through a process called RNA interference, or RNAi.

RNAi takes advantage of RNA’s essential role in mediating the expression of genes. In 1997, Andrew Fire and Craig Mello discovered that they could use tailored RNA strands to “silence” specific gene expressions, cutting off the process of life at its very roots. This brought them the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2006, but by this time RNAi was already being used to modify plants, and eventually new genes were inserted into crops that would induce RNAi in the insects that eat them.

The idea that plants could be modified to themselves modify other organisms is perhaps one of the unsettling concepts driving the growing backlash against GM crops, particularly in Europe (Scotland recently announced a GM ban.) RNAi sprays theoretically avoid existing GM regulations by skipping the crops and modifying the pests directly. Unsurprisingly, agribusiness giant Monsanto is already on board, hoping to have a product on the market by 2020. They’re even trying to preempt opposition, sending a letter to regulators saying that, “humans have been eating RNA as long as we have been eating.” But according to Technology Review it might not be that easy.

Not everyone is convinced, though, that applying RNA will be commercially feasible or any less controversial than genetic modification. “The public is not accepting GMOs, and this could be more alarming. People are going to say you are taking the RNA and spraying this in the open,” says Kassim Al-Khatib, a plant physiologist at the University of California, Davis. “The acceptance of biotech has to be there before you can deliver another approach. This isn’t a technology for tomorrow. It’s for the day after tomorrow.”

There’s an additional queasy footnote: lots of organisms have gene sequences in common. The Cornell study itself notes that their potato bug spray would also kill the common house fly. What about their effect on humans? “That can be tested,” Professor of Biology Saskia Hogenhout told New Scientist. “With all technologies, there’s always a risk… My opinion is the RNAi approach would be a better option than pesticides that are less specific.” Such less-specific pesticides might include neonicotinoids, a leading killer of honeybees. Let’s just hope we don’t kill ourselves in the process.

https://www.salon.com/2015/08/19/monsanto_has_a_new_pesticide_that_manipulates_genes_what_could_go_wrong/ 

via

https://twitter.com/TrinedayKris 

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http://en.people.cn/NMediaFile/2016/0422/FOREIGN201604222041000489232277510.jpg

The 1.49-meter-tall, 78-kg “AnBot” has a maximum speed of 18 km per hour. It can patrol at a speed of 1 km per hour and has battery capacity of 8 hours.

The security robot is capable of autonomous patrol, intelligent monitoring, emergency calls, auto recharging and has optional modules for environmental monitoring, biochemical detection and clearing explosives.

An electrical anti-riot device can be activated through remote control if a threat is detected. Shouting for help in the patrol area or pushing the robot’s emergency button will alert the police immediately.

Breakthroughs in low-cost autonomous navigation and positioning as well as intelligent video surveillance have contributed to the development of the robot, said Xiao Xiangjiang, director of the Institute of Electromechanical Engineering and Automation of the National University of Defense Technology.

Other highlights of the robot include its ability to react during emergencies, according to Xiao.

Wei Quansheng, an officer from Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, said the robot guard can be used in many public places such as airports, stations and subways to help with police officers’ anti-riot missions.

The robot is jointly developed by the National University of Defense Technology and a robotics company in central China’s Hunan Province.

The university began researching robotics theory and technology in the 1980s. The school is hoping to continue to build up China’s intelligent security service robots to promote development of the robot industry and upgrades to the country’s security industry, according to Xiao.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/China_Unveils_Anti-Riot_Security_Robot_That_Will_Patrol_Public_Places 

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As Brain-Computer Interface is rapidly developed worldwide, mind-controlled drones turn into sports and weapons of today.

Florida University hosted a sporting event that might give a start to a new generation of high-technology sport involving latest trademark inventions of 21st century — drones and consumer-grade brain-computer interface (BCI).

Drones have become a trademark of 21st century, since development of low-weight, high-capacity batteries and small sophisticated electronic controllers allowed to construct fairly cheap yet very easy to control flying device.

[snip]

It turned out that brain can be taught to reproduce many specific states of mind — or thoughts — that can be repeatedly interpreted into digital commands. By changing their state of mind, operators can control virtually every device. The limits of such ability to control is yet to be determined.

The technology is already a matter of interest of military R&D across the globe, with both US and Russian military institutions developing tele-operated (read mind-controlled) drones for troops assistance. The idea of a mind-controlled strike drone hovering along an armed exo-skeleton-packed trooper  might change the shape of battlefield so dramatically, it was even made a basis of a story of a AAA-class computer video game a couple of years ago. What is important is that it might not be as much of a fantasy, but of a reality.

Watch mind-controlled drone in action in “Voennaya Priyomka” show from Zvezda TV channel, published on March, 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VxZ0rwOcZQ

http://sputniknews.com/science/20160424/1038510301/Mind-Controlled-Drones-Sports-Warfare.html 

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Japan’s Next Generation of Farmers Could Be Robots

April 23rd, 2016 by Kevin

Via: Bloomberg:

As the average age of farmers globally creeps higher and retirement looms, Japan has a solution: robots and driver-less tractors.

The Group-of-Seven agriculture ministers meet in Japan’s northern prefecture of Niigata this weekend for the first time in seven years to discuss how to meet increasing food demand as aging farmers retire without successors. With the average age of Japanese farmers now 67, Agriculture Minister Hiroshi Moriyama will outline his idea of replacing retiring growers with Japanese-developed autonomous tractors and backpack-carried robots.

Posted in Collapse, Economy, Food, Rise of the Machines, Technology

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What motivates people to take action?

by Jon Rappoport

April 23, 2016

First, what kind of motivation am I talking about?

I’m talking about the urge to pursue a goal to change things for the better. An urge that goes beyond the simple desire to belong to a group; that goes beyond the desire to reflect the pronouncements of authority; that goes beyond a need to bolster the status quo.

Eliminating those motivations, we are left with something that involves an individual taking a stand—and making his position public.

His position, his beliefs, his principles, his ideas.

The problem centers on his family, friends, colleagues, co-workers. To some degree, he feels enmeshed in a group, and that group would take a dim view of his ideas and actions. In the territory of his thoughts, he’s emerged from the shadows of conformity; but in the world? That’s a different story.

What would “they” think of him? What would they say? What would they do?

Is he willing to risk fracturing his relationships?

Is he willing to risk “being misunderstood?”

Most people stop at this point, reconsider, and fall back into line. They see The Group as the final arbiter of what they’re permitted to do.

But they’re missing something.

Some far more basic. Something that comes earlier.

As individuals, do they see that they have individual power?

Or not?

Do they understand they have the capacity to act independently in the world? And that these actions have strength?

Or not?

Because if they don’t see that, then where would they stand?

And next, do they realize they can form a vision of what they want to do—and do they sense this vision has power?

What I’m talking about here has nothing to do with making an assessment of the likelihood of success or victory versus the numbers of people who are asleep or who defend the status quo. That calculation is, at bottom, an excuse for doing nothing.

If sheer numbers were the deciding factor, all action would be rejected.

Boiling down the basis of motivation comes to this: does the individual realize he is an individual? Does he realize it in greater and greater degrees?

If not, he’ll root around in the forest and never form an independent vision.

A vast overemphasis on his “interdependence with others” will sentence him to grinding out his days.

The “individual who is first and foremost a part of the group” is a fiction. It becomes a convenient fiction for many. It rationalizes avoiding uncomfortable circumstances.

There is the old saw: with great power comes great responsibility. There is some truth in that, but in most cases people are urged to consider responsibility in a way that chokes off their power. The responsibility is directed toward group-duties.

The individual’s responsibility is toward himself. Then, assuming his own power, he can act. Then he can think about his connection to others—but even so, how much is there to think about, if he is forwarding a vision to make things better?

Critics will drag up examples of individuals who enacted destructive visions. But what do these criticisms add up to? The discovery that there are bad apples in the bunch? This is no revelation. Is the crazy dictator a justification for damning all individual action? Of course not.

Where does individual power come from? It comes from the creative urge, the creative impulse. This is deeper than the notion of solving problems. It’s deeper than mechanical resolutions.

If the major part of the last 10,000 years of human history has been dedicated to submerging the individual, then turning the formula right side up is not going to be a Sunday picnic.

Understood. But the reversal has to start somewhere. It certainly isn’t going to start from the program of a group. That would be a root contradiction.

The longer a person waits for a spark of inspiration to jolt him into action, the less likely it is that he’ll cross the threshold into a new life.

Placing a “we” before an “I” may at first appear to be a strategy for exiting an old life, but it soon fades in the glaze of conformity that groups insist on.

Powerful groups can exist—when they are composed of powerful independent individuals, but the group does not give birth to the individual.

It never has.

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/what-motivates-people-to-take-action/ 

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Individuals do not sacrifice their personal interests to the larger team vision; rather, the shared vision becomes an extension of their personal visions. In fact, alignment is the necessary condition before empowering individuals can empower the whole team.

The discipline of team learning involves mastering dialogue and discussion, the two distinct ways that teams converse. In dialogue , there is the free and creative exploration of complex and subtle issues, a deep “listening” to one another, suspending one’s own views. By contrast, in discussion , different views are presented and defended; there is only a search for the best decision that must be made at this time. Dialogue and discussion are potentially complementary, but most teams lack the ability to distinguish between the two and move consciously between them.

Team learning also involves learning how to deal creatively with the powerful forces opposing productive dialogue and discussion on working teams.  For example, when faced with conflict, team members frequently either “smooth over” differences or “speak out” in a “no-holds-barred”, “winner-takeall” free-for-all. Yet the very defensive routines that thwart learning also hold great potential for fostering learning, if we can only learn how to unlock the energy they contain. Inquiry and reflection skills begin to release this energy, which can then be focused in dialogue and discussion.

Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

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“… Without a highly inquisitive mind motivated to find the solutions to unanswered or seemingly unanswerable questions, and the proper analytical methods to pick apart your adversary, your analysis of information of intelligence value will be found wanting….. keep in mind that your adversaries may be building a pattern of life for you, too.  Do a SPACE Analysis on yourself and identify the patterns you set and how they could be exploited.  Humans are creatures of habit, so be sure to identify the habits or patterns you exhibit. SPACE Analysis can be used to find patterns and associations for a multitude of things, not just gang activities.  Put it in your analytic toolbox and apply it to real world situations that affect your community.”

https://www.oathkeepers.org/community-security-toolkit-space-analysis/ 

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http://www.launchleads.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/teamwork.png 

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The Future of Browser-based 3D – No Additional Plugins Needed!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z15hG0F3EO8&list=PL35A62A2A9699B788 

It’s a series…

{**}

Revolutionizing Small Group Training

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_Ejpofv_mo&list=PL35A62A2A9699B788&index=23 

the last in the series

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Regaining Control – Through Training

Jason Van Tatenhove

https://www.oathkeepers.org/regaining-control-through-training/ 

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“The highest level of awareness is precisely what is necessary to accelerate personal change, growth and toughening.”

James E. Loehr, Ed.D.

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“… in which the Other is dead.”