Security, Risk, and Bayes…oh my! January 6, 2017Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
Tags: adaptive, Bayes, conditional, DHS, hacking, Manunta, probability, risk, security, statistics, threat
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According to Dr. Giovanni Manunta, the term security does not yet have a commonly accepted definition and evokes numerous connotations among practitioners. Although often not well defined, the relationship between security and risk is well accepted among business, government, and security professionals (Department of Homeland Security, 2008). While providing fodder for debate to those tasked with the security of information assets, the ambiguous definition of security and the differences in risk analysis techniques create significant challenges to effectively protecting assets.
The practical relationship between security, risk, and decision making is articulated well by the US Department of Homeland Security as it is described as an approach for making and security decisions (DHS, 2008). This is further established in the NIST 800-37 Risk Management Framework:
“…For operational plans development, the combination of threats, vulnerabilities, and impacts must be evaluated in order to identify important trends and decide where effort should be applied to eliminate or reduce threat capabilities; eliminate or reduce vulnerabilities; and assess, coordinate, and deconflict all cyberspace operations…” (NIST, 2010. p. 3). (emphasis added) (more…)
Tags: democacy, index, Israel, jewish, john kerry, palestinians, polity, two state, west bank
On December 28th, 2016, while speaking on the Two State system proposed in Israel US Secretary of State John Kerry made the curious (frightening?) statement that Israel: “…can be Jewish or it can be democratic- It cannot be both.” The clear implication is that there is a binary choice (in Kerry’s mind) that Israel (and ostensibly every other nation in the World?) can either embrace religion or democracy – but not both. This concept necessitates some debate on what, exactly, “democracy” is and means.
To understand governance and democracy it is important to understand the concepts. First, let me make a bold statement (explained later in this article so keep reading)..”democracy is NOT a binary concept. A democratic country is not “Either democratic OR XYZ. Democracy is gauged on a scale.”
Democracy, while seemingly simple, can be a quite difficult concept to explain especially when considering the many different governments in the World. First…let’s understand democracy from a common source. Wikipedia states that Democracy:
“… is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.”
A better resource (sorry Wikipedia) is the Center for Systemic Peace’s Polity IV project. The Polity IV project dataset compiles information from 1800-2015 related to various aspect of regimes. As stated on their website: “The Polity conceptual scheme is unique in that it examines concomitant qualities of democratic and autocratic authority in governing institutions, rather than discreet and mutually exclusive forms of governance.” The Polity project attempts to quantify and qualify governance and code them based upon their level of autocracy to democracy.
Democracy, as described by the Polity study, is defined by three factors. Each democratic government may implement these in different ways and in differing amounts. Democracy requires the “…existence of Processes and Institutions through which citizens can 1) affect their government 2) constrain the power exercised by the executive and 3) guarantee civil liberties.” (BTW: You can read this in Dr. Heather Mark’s Dissertation found here.)
There are numerous forms and styles of democratic governments. There are direct democracies in which citizens take part in the process directly. There are representative democracies (like the US) where the citizens vote for representatives who then represent the interests of their constituents. Each of these general types of government then have sub-types.
The US is a Presidential Republic, the UK is a Parliamentary Republic, and so on. It is much like dogs. All Rottweillers are dogs but not all dogs are Rottweillers. So is a Poodle more of a dog than a German Shepard? It is this type of question that the Polity study addresses. The Polity study ranks each form of government based upon the ‘democratization’ of the government. Countries can be more autocratic or more democratic. All governments will find themselves somewhere on the spectrum.
Governments with a score of +6 to +10 are counted as democracies, with the higher scores representing more democratic governments. A perfect 10 is reserved for those that are absolutely democratic. Those who range from a -5 to a +5 are considered Anocracies. As Polity states: “Anocracies are a middling category rather than a distinct form of governance. They are countries whose governments are neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic but, rather, combine an, often, incoherent mix of democratic and autocratic traits and practices.” Those with a score -6 to a -10 are Autocratic with a -10 representing complete autocracy.
All governments will fall somewhere in the spectrum. Simply because the United States is a Presidential Republic does NOT mean we are NOT a democracy any more than the ugly dog down the street is NOT a dog because it does not look like my rugged, handsome, purebred Rottweiler.
So where does Israel fall in the spectrum? Great question. Israel has, since its founding, been coded by Polity as a “perfect 10” through 2013 with only a dip to a 9 between 1965 and roughly 2000. In short, according to Polity, Israel is considered the “most” democratic country in the world! Even if one uses the UK’s Economic Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index Israel is ranked at #34 in the world with a score of 7.77 out of 10 which make it a ‘Flawed Democracy” but..still democratic.
It is simply naïve and irresponsible for the sitting US Secretary of State to declare that a country must adhere to a single tenant to be considered ‘democratic’. It is not supported by definition, research, nor by the objective facts.
You can see the regime trends by country and year in the graphic below.
Great Gift Idea! www.AmericanBuiltClothing.com December 16, 2016Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
Tags: American, American built, clothing, gear, Marine, PATRIOT, Purple Heart, SDVOSB, sniper, Trump, Veteran owned
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If you are still hunting for that perfect Christmas, Hanukkah, or Festivus gift..here is another great idea. How about a T-Shirt, Hoodie or even some Leggings for that special person or even your own selfish self?!
American Built is a Veteran owned company founded by Nick Carson who is both a Purple Heart Recipient and Marine Scout/Sniper. American Built specializes in Patriot and American styled clothing and gear manufactured and finished in the United States of America! “Be Proud Of What You Wear, Be Proud Of Where You’re From” is American Built’s motto! The company is founded and managed on these ideals.
Their designs are unique and the prices are very competitive. They have great hats, and other gear, as well. Make sure you check out their site at www.AmericanBuiltClothing.com Here is a better deal for readers of this page only…if you use Promo code proudamerican you get 20% off AND free shipping on orders over $50! (I have no dog in this fight so don’t think I am getting anything in return…just trying to help my readers!)
Check them out today and pass the word!
Holiday Gift Book Recommendations December 15, 2016Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
Tags: best seller, books, Gwynne, History, mary roach, Recommended books, Zuckoff
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As we march toward Christmas, Hanukkah and, for some, even Festivus (you know…for the rest of us)..books are always great gifts. Here are some of the better books that I have read over the past ten years or so that could make a reader and history buff happy. Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season! I had to add some Mary Roach 😉 Have fun!
Enhanced Interrogation – A Book Review December 12, 2016Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
Tags: 911, bin laden, CIA, EIT, Enhanced Interrogation, James Mitchell, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, KSM, Torture, waterboarding
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Like most Americans I was horrified at the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks that killed over 3,000 people. In the aftermath of the attacks, the US Government embarked on a mission to kill or capture terrorist leaders and stop another attack. One of the most controversial measures approved to gain information was called ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ and included, specifically, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and physical coercion. When knowledge of this program broke, it caused an uproar in the US. In fact, the US Senate Intelligence Committee put out a report that called the process torture.
With the publication of Dr. James Mitchell’s (PhD) book Enhanced Interrogation, the reader finally gets a first hand look at the who, what, where, why, and when of the EI program. Before I purchased and read the book, I had some very pointed views on the idea of EI and waterboarding. Reading the book caused me to really think about what I knew about the program and people involved. The writing was great and the story was really insightful. I think Dr. Mitchell did a great job on this book and telling a very difficult story. Here is a great interview with Dr. Mitchell. If you have any interest in this subject, you need to pick up this book!