Friday, July 25, 2008

Critique of the news media's coverage, written to CNN via e-mail at when they asked for critiques.
I believe you can go deeper. Every news channel and reporter is parroting the same information and we rarely get anything new. Consider, that you state polls about McCain being percieved as better for foreign relations and this perpetuates the perception. However, if you examine in your report the true credentials of Obama and McCain, you might be revealing something. Obama has a Master's Degree in Foreign Affairs from Columbia University and is on the Foreign Affairs Committee in Congress. Obama is a foreign affairs expert, with a life long interest, and thus his ideas that seem to go frequently right - do so - because he is not just a lawyer, but also an expert on foreign affairs.
When you report polls you engage the conformity theory of social-psychology. People actually begin to believe things because others believe it. However, you can go deeper.
You could also play the c-span recordings of the senate hearings when McCain was coming to the conclusion that we needed a surge. He was really upset. Our army was clearing one area, the insurgents were running away, then they would clear another area, and the insurgents would run back to place we cleared before. He said, "What are we playing here, a giant game of whack-a-mol." If candidates make a claim to something, you can show the actual clips on your web-site in full if need be, or link to c-span.
You can go deeper on what the surge was. The strategy of the US military up until that point was to secure key people, not secure the country. The surge was the idea that we should move from a personal security role to an actual national security role, with forward bases. It wasn't about the number of troops, it was about the fact that we decieded not to play defense anymore.
You could examine how, when the Democrats started calling for withdrawl from Iraq, it may have caused the politicians there to begin to think, if they didn't get their country right and American's left - their necks could be on the line. What effect did it have when Democrats started calling for withdrawl?
You and the media report the stories as seperate things; this is the side of one, this is the other side. But, do you ever synthesize the ideas and note that maybe, one person saying they will stay, another saying we will leave - creates a lever - like a good cop/bad cop situation - that may actually compel the Iraqi's to prepare for us to leave?
What you did not report is that Iraqi generals made a plan to maintain power in case the American's precipitously withdrew. If more people knew this, maybe this idea would come up. We could help them boldster, and implement that plan - over a longer period of time than a precipitous withdrawl, and then we could leave.
In the debate - you let people frame the words about things however they want to. With the war, we should be looking for an exit strategy. You should be asking the candidates. What is your exit strategy?
Obama's strategy is to withdrawl with a massive diplomatic surge to tie things together.
McCain's strategy is to prepare the conditions first and then start withdrawing. But, he doesn't say anything about massive diplomatic efforts. The problems in the country currently, are mostly political in nature.
You cover every bombing that the terrorists do and show it in full detail and run it over and over and over again. If the "Terrorists," aim is to create terror - then when you run their attacks globally - which is what they hope you will do - you give them a platform for generating mass terror across the globe. And all they have to do is blow up a few bombs on a street corner.
In Asymetric warfare - you are allowing yourself to be manipulated that way.
What about providing coverage with a few more real people? You always bring on people who are paid by someone involved with the specific issue at hand. They often are spouting a party line - hammering the talking points. So instead of having dialogue and thoughts on an issue, you often have people competing to get their talking points out more forcefully. More exciting? Perhaps... but, you are destroying the capacity for real intellectual discourse through your approach.
I would like to see a more round table approach. Get people with ideas on there that are not talking points. Then you will be doing the real work of reporting and looking at topics.
Benjamin Corey Feinblum

Monday, July 21, 2008

Heroin? A National Security Issue?
Most of the heroin that infects our society and destroys lives in America comes from Afghanistan.
Is this considered a national security issue?
Or, is it only a national security issue when people are blown up all at once in front of us?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Education leeds to more money for you and more taxes for the government.
We both benefit. Both you and I - in the government should be putting whatever investment we need to make certain we have the most highly trained workforce in this country.
People in jail don't come back after getting a high school diploma.
We need to create a momentum of developing all the talent and ability in every American.
Education can be a form of trade on the economy that forms the backbone of the economy - rather than regular consumerism.
New Textbooks, jobs for writers, jobs for printers, transporting them, you create jobs.
New schools, new construction, new furniture, new computers, new jobs.
Education can replace part of consumerism in the economy.
We can shape how we consume knowledge instead of a myriad of other things that leave worse by-products.
What is the winning factor?
Obama will balance out any advantage among white voters with John McCain.
Neither will gain a huge leed there.
But, if Obama is balanced out there and a massive quantity of the population - black people - all vote for Obama and there is high turnout -
What happens?
He only needs to win by one vote.
If Obama is behind by 9% in the white vote and the black vote rolls in and 100% comes for him, he will win.
The black vote could actually be enough power that, the white voters balance each other out, and the black voters determine the election.
Consider what has been occuring in American Idol.
We have had many black winners.
This will be a similar situation.
All Obama has to do is chew away at McCain's leadership areas amongst white voters, and maintain his standing with black voters - and he wins by a large margin.
The black voter block - in this case it is a block - may block McCain from becoming President.
How does Obama win by a Land Slide?
Economic Strength as an Obligation for National Security and an Obligation of the Commander in Chief.
After answering on Military points, returning at the end of each major statement to a pocket book issue.
As commander in Chief, I will be focused on energy at home - because it will create jobs, money for Americans, and security through independance from other countries.
America is more secure when more Americans have good jobs. That pays taxes, which funds our government and our military.
So, we do better in every way when our economy at home and how you are doing in your life, financially is taken into account.
How you are doing at home, your physical health, health care, financial situation, job stability, is the foundation for our national security.
As commander in chief I won't take my eyes off the foundation of our national security - you, your ability to work, your ability to earn a living, pay taxes, and keep our country economically strong.
So, I will do everything I can to keep this economy strong as the foundation to my national security plan.
Obama will win. My prediction is made today.
McCain will climb back several times and not go down without a serious fight, but he will go down.
Obama is going straight for the juggular.
McCain is seen by the public as having one major strength over Obama.
Obama is succesfully targeting the only place where McCain polls as being ahead.
If Obama narrows the gap on that even a little bit and keeps McCain fighting on that, we all know McCain is clueless on the economy already and has very little to say.
If McCain were to gain momentum on the economy, Obama could just match his message, improve on it, and deliver it better.
So, Obama is succeeding at going after McCain on the Commander and Chief level of being President.
7/17/2008 be it predicted here.
Obama will be the next President of the United States and by that time, he will have changed everything.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Iran: Cohort Perspective

Fact: 70% of the population in Iran is under the age of 30.

Reality: American leaders who are interacting with Iran are at least a generation or two older.

The American leaders come from a time when they witnessed as adults and had to work on the hostage crisis and other problems with Iran.

The Iranians are in a young and fresh cohort.

There is an asymetry here - in that Americans may pride themselves on remembering and learning from past problems - when

the Iranian population wasn't old enough or even born - to be able to remember most of them.

This young cohort in Iran over time could put more and more pressure on the government there and shift the policies.

I think Iran is an easier out than we may have anticipated.

Conclusion: The young cohort in Iran will have a capacity for new directions, flexibility, and changes of leadership - not possible if it was an older more rooted population.

Consider: The population is not filled with old - hard -liner Yassar Arafats - who have 60 years of war under their belt.

The potential for change exists.

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