Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hezballah's suprise. What's after missiles?

If Iran’s playing “chess” (A Middle East chess match: Understanding Hezbollah’s strategy” 7-27-06) Israel is about to get checked. If Hezbollah is holding back its more powerful, long-range and accurate missiles as Thomas Lipscomb suggests, their use - an escalation of weapons technology against Israel - won’t stop with more advanced missiles.

But, what did Israel expect building a fence/wall…for protection? Did they really think their enemies wouldn’t find a way to get over it? Israel could develop a sophisticated missile defense system but eventually, nuclear and biological weapons will be created, purchased or stolen and then a medieval catapult would be sufficient to deliver these WMD against the Jewish state and its persecuted citizens.

Israel could chose to further escalate its violence and use it’s nuclear weapons to preempt any suspected enemies. But this would generate more innocent deaths than Hitler’s gas chambers and Israel would lose any high ground it may have once had. And, eventually, their enemies would use such carnage to justify Israel’s destruction and final annihilation.

Those who live by the sword…might start thinking of another path. That of international law. Not the UN kind enforceable only with sanctions that are either as lethal as war and completely ineffective but a global law that holds individuals accountable for their actions.

When someone throws a rock they are not shot with rubber bullets. When a family is killed on a beach by an explosion there is a credible investigation and fair trial to determine those responsible. When a suicide bomber kills civilians those who assisted him are hunted down and captured for trail, not assassinated with acceptable collateral damage.

Time is running out. Lethal technology is advancing far faster than our political systems can adapt. Make law, not war. When one side takes a stand that they are willing to die for what they believe but not willing to kill, they will get the vote (and support) of the majority of the world’s people. Those who are willing to kill innocent people (intentionally or unintentionally) will continue to be the criminals that the world despises.

Peace in the Middle East won’t come from more or less weapons. It will come from justice. Justice that comes from a democratic process and applied fairly in the protection of inalienable human rights.

Government is broken. World federation is fix.

Harlan Ullman’s “Where stands the party of Democrats?” (7-27-06) should be required reading for all Americans. I’ve heard/read no one else who so clearly explains the problem we all face – our “government is broken”.

And, as Ulman states, Democrats do have more to offer in achieving national security than the Republican ‘shot first, talk later’ strategy. But as Ullman points out, Democrats can’t come up with anything that is “marketable” and that ‘might actually work’.

But Democrat failure to come up with any “alternative national security policies” has more to do with their lack of courage than their “Will Rogers” acclaimed ‘disorganization’. Democrats can’t outline what is needed to preserve both America’s freedoms and security in a hyper-globalized world because they can’t convince themselves or the American people by November that we need a federal world government. Their plan is to get elected with no plan running against the Republican’s failing plan.

The real flaw underlying our broken government isn’t party loyalty. It’s much worse. It’s every American politician’s unquestioned loyalty to the imaginary concepts of ‘national sovereignty’ and ‘independence’ (the foundational concepts of our government’s structure and function) instead of the reality of a hyper globalized interdependent world that we all actually live in.

Our government’s broke because it’s based on imaginary concepts. ‘Independence’ only exists in our minds and in our government’s documents...not the real world. Our government can’t deal in any adequate way with the real threats of globalization (terrorism, pandemics, climate change, poverty, immigration, crime, extremist religions, proliferation of WMD…) without fair and enforceable global rules and regulations. These however, would require an elected global government able of legislating and fairly enforcing the protection of inalienable human rights. And, this would require an international police force and a means to finance it -- global taxes.

Given most American’s aversion to global government and our loyalty to the illusion of ‘national sovereignty’ it will likely persist until an interdependent world provides us with the reality of far more pain, suffering and loss of freedoms. So, the Democrats are gutless and the Republican are in error. Both are unwilling to fix what’s broken. Perhaps its time to stock up on nonperishable goods.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Who started it? Who's winning?

We could go back 3000 years or limit our observations to the most significant sparks over since the last spat of violence. After Israel’s withdraw from Gaza things were relatively quite except for an occasional mortar or rocked fired from Gaza into Israel and the occasional Israel assassination or abduction of suspected Palestinian/Hamas hostiles with special forces, artillery or air strikes.

Then came the explosion on the Gaza beach that killed seven Palestinian family members gathered there for a picnic. Because of conflicting evidence there is still doubt about the source of the explosion but specific evidence does exist that points to an Israel shell as the source of death (Computerized hospital records show the first patients were admitted at 5:05 pm conflicting with the IDF aerial surveillance timing suggesting their cannon fire was not to blame. And, 155mm artillery shell shrapnel found by investigators and confirmed by Human Rights Watch military expert, Marc Garlasco, a former official at the US Defense Intelligence Agency.)

The Israeli government expressed grief over the loss of innocent lives but claims it’s gunners are innocent and it is unwilling to reopen an initial Israel probe that ‘documented’ such innocence. To make matters even worse Israel refusal to permit another independent team of investigators to examine the evidence. This only adds more suspicion to their claims.

According to Time magazine (June 26, 2006) it was shortly after this shelling that “Izzadine al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, the Palestinian Authority’s ruling party, abandoned a 16 month cease-fire with Israel” and “in the ensuing series of reprisals, rockets fired into Israel by Palestinian militants injured one Israeli civilian, and an Israeli air strike killed 11 people, including two militants.”

Then came the incursion of Hamas into Israeli territory where they killed two Israeli solders and returned with one soldier prisoner. This sparked a major military assault from southern Israel into Gaza.

The next escalation is Hezbollah’s successful attack on Israeli soldiers in northern Israel to kill and capture Israeli soldiers. According to Israel it was their abduction of two Israeli solders that justified another large Israeli military assault on southern Lebanon to degrade or eliminate all Hezbollah forces but killing far more innocent Lebanese in the process. This violence was met with hundreds of Hezbollah rockets fired into Israel killing still more Israeli civilians.

Next Israel invades southern Lebanon with ground forces to root out the Hezbollah, something the Lebanese Army couldn’t do as a mandate of UN Security Council Resolution 1559 after Israel’s withdraw from Lebanon six years ago…16 years after its last invasion of Lebanon in the 1980s. That invasion was an act of Israeli aggression in response to sporadic Palestinian attacks from Lebanon. This was the invasion that led to the creation of Hezbollah in the first place.

What will this new wave of violence create in the Middle East? In the United States? It’s not going to be peace any where, anytime soon.

Points of special interest:
1. Both Hamas and Hezbollah’s initial attacks on Israel targeted soldiers and not civilians. Only after Israel’s accidental killing of many innocent civilians in Gaza and Lebanon, did the so called ‘terrorists’ resort to indiscriminate weapons that mainly kill civilians. It is certain that at the end of this spat of violence, far more innocent people will be killed with smart bombs (many supplied by the US) that with indiscriminate missiles supplied by Iran and Syria.
2. Hezbollah’s acquisition of increasingly sophisticated missiles (silkworm) that hit an Israeli ship indicates a growing capacity for tactical (strategic?) military targeting.
3. Hezbollah were certainly emboldened by Israel’s withdraw from Lebanon 6 years ago but they can’t help but be inspired by what the Iraqi resistance is doing to the most powerful and sophisticated army in the world in Iraq.
4. Middle East military experts seem to agree that Hezbollah is essentially a force of fewer than 2000 with many more Islamic militants sympathetic to their fight. They must be begging for an Israeli ground assault where they can demonstrate their prowess and weapons (new?) and thankful that Isreal air and artillery assaults are killing civilians which will only help add Islamic militants to their own ranks.
5. Israel could use evidence of Iranian weapons support of Hezbollah to launch pre-emptive strikes on Iranian nuclear capabilities. It is almost certain the US would assist or stand by happily while such attacks were conducted. Iran would not sit by ideally and Americans would pay a severe cost in both gas prices and future terrorist attacks on our homeland and other American interests around the world.
6. Bin Laden must be partying like hell.

A second Jewish holocaust?

Victor Davis Hanson’s statement “since there will be no second Holocaust” (Patience wearing thin, 7-22-06) misses the simple and depressing fact that advances in biotechnology and continued Middle East violence makes another Jewish Holocaust almost inevitable.

Most fear an Iranian nuclear devise launched or smuggled into Israel to obliterate the Jews and their homeland, but a far more lethal and inexpensive means of genocide is a real and growing possibility.

Scientists are already making medicines capable of targeting diseases specific to individuals of African ancestry. And, there are a number of genetic disease and genetic trait markers specific to the Jewish population. A designer biological weapon won’t wipe out the Jewish people but it could make Hitler’ efforts look extremely inefficient.

Israel’s only chance is to make more friends in the world…not more enemies. It’s current military reaction killing hundreds of innocent civilians in response to a few killed and kidnapped soldieries is an unbelievable error of action. Inaction would have also been an error but there is one action that wouldn’t have been.

The commission of an independent investigation into the bomb blast that killed 7 Palestinian family members on a Gaza beach as they picnicked there. If one want to look for the spark that ignited that latest round of violence, one need look no further than that explosion and the continued confusion and conflicting evidence around the source of the blast.

To late to go back now and start over but such a ‘law based’ approach could lead to sanity and a road block to further escalations of violence, war and the loss of innocent life in the future…IF we are fortunate/lucky/clever enough to get this one stopped before igniting World War IV.

Imagine what would have happened if after the beach explosion Israel would have halted all its military actions against Gaza to allow a complete investigation of the accident. And, if Israeli gunners were found to be in error, someone in Israel would be held accountable and surviving grieved Palestinian parties fairly compensated. If after that Hamas chose to retaliate with indiscriminate killing…they then would be the ones starting war and world opinion would likely be against them.

Here’s a plan.
First. Israel must be generous AND just for a change. It would return ALL of the land it acquired since its’ original creation in 1948 and actively assist in the nation building of a new Palestinian state with the world’s assistance … and the world’s agreement that any threat to Israel or the Jewish people would be met with universal force and cooperation. Should that global commitment fail to materialize, Israel has the right to use it’s nuclear capacity as needed to defend itself from any and all threats.

Second. “Never again”, means “NEVER again” Indict and prosecute anyone who calls for the elimination of Israel or the Jewish people. Hate mongering will not be tolerated by any state or political party and the world (all UN member states) will unite against it, with force if needed to bring such genocidal instigators to justice before the International Criminal Court.

Third: Give the Palestinians something worth losing. Any Jewish death at the hands of Muslim mass murderers would result in Israel being compensated by 10 hectares/acres from the new Palestinian state for each Jewish life lost. And, the Israel government would get to choose which ten hectares. Example: Ten Israeli’s killed by a suicide bomber. One hundred hectares annexed permanently to the state of Israel with the universal agreement of no take backs or give backs. Any attempt of a take back would be met with 100% resistance by the UN and all its member states, including 100% military support of the US and any other nations agreeing to risk troops. Funding for any forceful defense or forceful policing offence to capture guilty mass murder planning parties would be paid for out of the new Palestinian state’s budget IF it refused to take such effective action on its own.

Time is not on Israel or the Jews side. Offensive weapons capacities (conventional, nuclear, chemical or biological) are evolving rapidly and will always be ahead of defensive capabilities.

The longer Israel waits to make serious peace with those in the world that hate it the harder it will be to stop future wars and eventual genocide. War is not the answer. Enforceable International law stands a chance. About the only sane chance we have.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Veto the Hypocritical President

Hypocrisy is standard operating procedure for the Bush Administration so the first time use of his veto to stop federal funding of stem-cell research should not come as a shock.

When Bush draws a standing ovation from the East Room of the White House by saying “if this bill would have become law, American taxpayers would, for the first time in our history, be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos, and I’m not going to allow it” the first thing that comes to many minds is his gross inconsistency of not lifting a finger to stop the ‘deliberate destruction of human embryos” with private funding.

But if Bush were really serious and consistent about protecting the ‘unborn’ there is the more obvious and lethal means of ‘deliberate’ human embryo destruction that is directly related to war, hunger, pollution, disease and our unquestioned funding for the state of Israel.
The Bush Administration can’t plead ignorance about the Israeli government’s use of funds for aborting Israeli fetuses. For decades American taxpayers have been compelled to fund the ‘deliberate destruction of human embryos’ in Israel.

Then there is the direct and indirect ravages of war (see US invasion and unwanted occupation of Iraq) that undoubtedly destroys human embryos. Many, while still in their mother’s wombs. Knowing that collateral damage is an unavoidable outcome of war, a war of choice is one that chooses to use American taxpayers to fund the known destruction of human embryos, not to mention the destruction of other innocent lives.

And last but not least in numbers are the human embryos destroyed by the Bush Administrations deliberate cuts to environmental programs and nutrition programs that obviously and without question protect and nourish the growth of human embryos. Here the Bush Administration has deliberately used American taxpayers to allow the destruction of human embryos on a local and global scale.

It’s unfortunate the American people can’t veto the President. It would be the first time in American history that American taxpayers have been compelled to deliberately oust a hypocritical President.

Pay global tax now, or pay in lives/freedom later

If waste and corruption are the definitive arguments for doing away with taxes our federal government would have went out of business long ago.

Richard Rahn makes a grand effort to scare us with the loss of our “national sovereignty” from a “global tax tyranny” (July 19, 2006) but fails to mention the vital global need to address real horrendous threats to our health, wealth, freedoms and security from the lethal factors of unregulated globalization.

Image the cost to each US state if the budget for our national Highway, port or air traffic control systems were dependent upon voluntary state contributions. Image the cost in human lives and personal treasures if our nations food supply and disease control efforts were left to each state because our nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Environmental protection agencies were left to the whims of state appropriators.

Now imagine a United Nations working to stem the tide of inevitable pandemics, terrorism, proliferating weapons of mass destruction, organized international crime and potentially catastrophic environmental changes … with the budget and staff the size of Disney world. And, 100% of that budget dependent on voluntary sources.

Now calculate the cost to our economy, our loss of freedoms and the loss of American life when the UN fails to adequately prevent or respond to a new mutation of the bird flu that could kill as many as 3 million Americans.

We can pay now (in some form of global taxes), or we can pay far more later in lives, dollars and loss of personal freedoms and prosperity as a result of any number of factors that are undeterred and unrestrained by Rahn’s supreme ideal of national sovereignty.

The stupidity and ignorance of highly educated and intelligent people never ceases to amaze me. Who in their right mind wouldn’t trade the concept of ‘national sovereignty’ (an imaginary idea that only exists in our heads and on paper) for the most basic of all human desires -- freedom and security. Perhaps when Rahn and other anti-global tax advocates do the math, they will understand the inevitable dynamics of the trilemma we are all faced with. Freedom, security, and sovereignty. We can pick any two we want. But we cannot have all three. Which two will you chose?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

World War 4?

As the bodies in Gaza, Lebanon, Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq pile up it’s hard not to see America’s own responsibility for the increase in killings.

By waging ‘war’ against mass murderers like Osama Bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein we opened the door for other nation states with powerful militaries to use and abuse their power as they see fit. Russia’s war against the Chechens and Israel’s war against Hamas and Hezbollah are justified as ‘self defense’. Each state accepts with little afterthought the inevitable loss of innocent lives that come with waging war. To those on the receiving end, war is terrorism.

Then, those waging so called ‘terrorist’ actions are given warrior status by the waging of war against them. This only compliments and emboldens them. Fact is, they are mass murdering thugs committing lethal crimes. Hate inspired crimes. But, crimes no more hate inspiring that the collateral damage our weapons are causing in Iraq, Lebanon and/or Gaza. War is a crime. A crime against humanity.

American's play an even greater role when US foreign aid dollars pay a significant portion of the bills the Israeli war machine rings up in crushing both guilty and innocent lives whenever and wherever they are used.

To the innocent people in both Gaza and Lebanon it is the Israeli bombers that are the terrorists. Just as a suicide bomber commits mass murder a F-16 accomplishes the same from a greater distance. Even more so when a massive war machine is used to respond to the capture of only three Israeli soldiers. War should never be the legal means of rescuing hostages. And, the three captured Israeli soldiers are hostages, as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert claims.

What happens when hostages are taken within our country? Is our military immediately unleashed? When the Iranian students took 50 Americans hostage for over 440 days several decades ago, the US didn’t go in the next day with guns blazing to punish the Iranian people for the criminal acts of a few. At that time our policy makers were intelligent enough to know that such an attack would only lead to a far larger conflict. We got our hostages back…and the only loss of lives were American’s brave enough to risk their lives in a rescue attempt that would not have mass murdered others.

If the Israeli leaders really cared about its soldiers, it would jump at a prisoner exchange.

The Jewish people deserved a homeland after World War II. But, the Palestinians didn’t deserve to lose theirs. And, since 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian and other Arab women, men and children have been murdered and maimed by Israeli bullets, bombs and missiles. And, Americans have spent hundreds of billions to provide these. Far fewer Jews have been killed by Palestinian bombers. This is an enormous injustice that must be handled through lawyers and a court rather than weapons on a battle field or village.

Our great nation is based on justice and the rule of law. We should expect no less for all others we share this tiny planet with.

Everyone has a right to defend themselves. Everyone has an inalienable right to fight for land and freedom. No one should have the right to wage war. Doing such is a crime against humanity. A hate crime of the worst order. Mass collective punishment of civilians was the normal operating procedure of the Nazis. They were tried for their crimes. Others should be tried today.

Peace in the Middle East is possible, but not through war. Law is the only sane path to lasting peace. War will only lead to Armageddon (think genetically targeted biological weapons).

We could wait for the second coming. Chances are, our actions have already blown that possibility. He’d probably just end up as collateral damage anyway.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lions and taxes and bears…Oh my!

No taxation without representation.

That was a buggy sticker our founding father’s quoted in rejecting the King’s taxing demands on the colonist’s labors and profits. It’s also the same quote Frank Gaffney Jr. uses in rejecting any kind of global tax regardless of their intended use (Hidden Agenda, Washington Times 7-11-06). Gaffney’s primary fear is that the leaders at the upcoming G-8 will have “the imposition of global taxes” on their “agenda”. Lions and taxes and bears…Oh my!

I will ignore Gaffney’s profound hypocrisy in failing to advocate for DC statehood on exactly the same ‘representationless’ taxed grounds, but I can’t ignore his profound carelessness in failing to differentiate between the King of England’s punishing taxes on American colonists 230 years ago and the extraordinary US national security benefits of a global tax on a micro-minority of hyper-wealthy Americans today.

His fetish with “national sovereignty’ in an era of hyper-globalization where national borders are irrelevant to terrorists, pandemics, climate change, illegal drugs and economic instability, would be humorous if it weren’t so lethal.

Making matters even worse, our short sightedness Congress is spending the vast majority of federal tax revenues at home and less than 2% beyond our shores where smart investments in prevention could dramatically reduce or eliminate some of the most lethal forces threatening our freedoms, security and prosperity today.

If you think failing to prepare for the inevitable hurricane hitting New Orleans was stupid and/or criminal (costing Americans lives and far more tax dollars than just building the damn levies that everyone knew was needed) just wait till the Bird Flu hits. Failing to make no-brainer global investments in prevention and preparation for inevitable pandemics (man made or natural) will be horrendously more expensive in both lives and dollars. A real crime against humanity…and the American people.

But raise taxes? Hell no. Not even on the one in ten thousand Americans who buy and sell foreign currencies in a global gambling scheme where over $1.8 TRILLION dollars a DAY crossing international borders WITHOUT any restriction or representation. This is about 20 times the daily volume of goods and services traded across borders each day). People like George Soros who made his billions in currency trading also sees the value in such a micro tax on currency trades for humanitarian reasons. Even if the microtax’s original purpose was to reduce the risk of global economic insatiability… yet another serious threat to US national security.

You don’t believe unregulated global currency trading is a risk to our national security? Read the Hart Rudmann Commission’s first report (officially known as the Bi-Partisan Presidential Commission on National Security in the 21st century). You know, the same one that only 6 months prior to 9-11 warned Americans that we should prepare to die in large numbers on American soil as a result of terrorism.

No one listened then. Let’s hope some of the leaders at the G-8 Summit are listening now. Infectious diseases remain the single greatest killer of people today. Most of these deaths are children under the age of 5 in impoverished conditions…the same conditions that incubate pathogens, genocide, environmental decline and terrorists that have no respect for the concept of national sovereignty. Too bad Gaffney still has that at the top of his agenda.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"US defeat" predicted...NOT "advocated"

William Hawkins needs to learn that there is a world of difference between “advocating” and predicting.

Leftists, liberals and progressives are not, as he implies in his op-ed titled “Advocating a global U.S. defeat” (July 6, 2006).

What many on the left, some in the middle and even some on the right are ‘predicting’ that the Bush Administration’s US foreign policy actions will inevitably lead to a number of conflicts and worsen threats that ‘will’ result in decline in US power if not a resounding US defeat in war. Aspirations of global empire, combined with several other eminent factors related to unregulated hyper-globalization (free trade of dual use technologies, lack of standard enforceable global operating procedures regarding control of WMD, pandemics, international crime, genocide or currency flows).

China is on the accent economically, politically and militarily. Other nations hostile to US policy, especially those with large volumes of oil, oil needs and/or US currency, will unite “to shape world events to …[their] advantage” just as Hawkins suggest we do. Does he really expect them not to?
The solution isn’t a perpetual race for global dominance in an increasingly unregulated global environment of unprecedented dangers (WMD proliferation, terrorism, pandemics, climate change, international crime, economic instability...) with every nation relying on its “strength” to fend for itself.
Real security against these inevitable catastrophic threats rests in the creation and enforcement of international standards that promote and enforce “liberty and justice for all” people and nations. That’s when American’s will begin to see the overwhelming advantages in international cooperation versus our aspirations of empire.
Time is NOT on our side. It would be most wise and prudent to work globally for a true federation of nation states before the more horrific consequences of global chaos set in. This is precisely what our nation’s founding fathers did 230 years ago when they realized a confederation of states was inadequate to deal with larger threats (The British) or even the local problems between states (currency differences, border disputes, water rights…).

The greatest example of a predictable US empire failure is its intention to win a global war against a local tactic. The US cannot be the world’s policeman (Genocide in Darfur, Nukes in Iran, WMD in Iraq, Missiles in N. Korea, Bird flu in China…) yet the world vitally needs an adequate and capable policing force.
Russia’s recent declaration to hunt down and kill terrorists anywhere in the world after the abduction and murder of their 4 soldiers in Iraq demonstrates this quite clearly. What will happen when their special operations forces run into our FBI al Qaeda implants? Why can Israel capture and detain thousands of Palestinian political leaders and civilians but their enemies can’t even capture and detain one soldier. This global free for all in war/policing strategy bound for Armageddon.
The question Americans must answer. Do we want to aspire to be an empire (think Rome) or work for a more realistic security and protection of freedoms (think founding fathers).
There is a world of difference between prediction and advocacy. Hawkins ‘solution’ of empire is actually advocating for our inevitable defeat. This is a reliable prediction.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Launched on the 4th of July.

We were fortunate not to see any immediate fireworks from NASA’s launch vehicle today but the fireworks likely to emerge from SE Asia as a result of N. Korea’s two launches may yet light up the northern hemisphere.

Why? Because the US believes nothing should threaten its monopolies on the missile and nuclear weapons technology that it uses to dominate the world and any potential rival.

So what is the difference between a space shuttle launch and a test warhead launch? Virtually nothing except the content of the vehicle and the intent of the owner.

So if the dunces in North Korea had announced their launches as test vehicles for space exploration or satellite placement above earth’s warming wouldn’t have been such an issue. Unless we don’t trust the N. Koreans. And then, it would be a big question.

Pre-empt, or not to pre-empt. That is the question on many minds today.

How dependent is our safety and security on the policy choices of N. Korean nut cases? Just as dependent as they are on the nutcases in charge of US policy who believe we can launch a knockout blow on N. Korea without setting off a spectacular fireworks chain reaction that would kill millions.

So who’s going to make all the world’s inspections to ensure that any rocket launch anywhere doesn’t carry military capabilities or intentions into space? Is this yet another role of the US empire? Who will pay for it? Given all the other more affordable, undetectable and accurate means of delivering WMD... would a Department of Global Missile Inspection even be worth it.

Or, should we launch another war based on the iffy intelligence that some other nation’s capacity and intention are a potential threat to US interests?

The inevitable threats we face from China’s hyper economic and military growth, the increasing risk from natural or intentional pandemics, or the possible catastrophic consequences from global warming are far more imminent a risk. I know missile defense is a sexy issue but perhaps we shouldn’t focus so much attention on thrusting phallic symbols.

With that image in mind...Enjoy your fireworks. And remember our emergency health care system isn’t capable of even dealing with the 11,000 fireworks related accidents that will likely occur to day as we celebrate the entirely mythical mental construct of “Independence”. What really exists is our hyper interdependent world. The sooner we learn that and the sooner we form the global alliances capable of working to prevent (not pre-empt) threats.... the sooner we will be able to build a world were our freedoms and our security can be maximized.

Ignoring this fundamental reality we may just have to wait for an invasion from another planet to bring us together as the one world that we really are.