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.

Monday, September 27, 2010

9-11 didn't cause US decline:

Was 9/15 a greater game changer than 9/11? Many believe that the collapse of the World Trade Towers on 9-11, 2001 changed the world. Looking at the numbers after the collapse of Lehman Brothers on 9-15, 2008 suggests it was. After 9-11 the US global political and economic dominance re-surged. The financial crisis sparked by Lehman’s insolvency however, forced our nation to acknowledge our limits. The rising economies of China and other rival nations while the US economy is drained by an endless war against an extremist group who’s only real hope is to break us economically and divide us politically is progressing faster than they had ever dreamed of. 9-11 and a small number of extremists the world over didn’t cost us our future. Our reliance on a greed inspired unregulated economic system and waging an endless war against a tactic did.

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How will our great grand children judge us?

I believe they will first judge us on our refusal to end the most horrific of all human experiences…the death of tens of thousands of children each day from easily preventable malnutrition and hunger related infectious diseases…in an era when so much, could be done for so many, for so little cost. Even today more than 40 years after we (the world and the US) committed to ending world hunger, 22,000 children still die every day. We (the US and the world) agreed to achieve the measurable, affordable and achievable year 2000 goals pledged at the 1990 World Summit for Children and then failed to make good on the promise. We again failed to meet a similar set of affordable goals set for 2025 (the Millennium Development Goals) that could have cut child deaths by 15,000 a day, full well knowing that achieving such goals would have made the world freer, safer and more prosperous for all.
Second, future generations will judge us as temporarily insane for not abandoning war as a means of solving differences between nations. A federation of nations using the global rule of law to address disagreements was virtually ignored because of an irrational fear of world government. It will be impossible for future generations to understand why we continued our mass worshiping of national sovereignty when it’s predictable consequence was continued genocide, war, hunger, terrorism, disease and environmental destruction.
Third, future generations will judge Americans harshly regarding our insistence on maintaining the global status quo of US supremacy when the universal ideal of inalienable human rights (the real power that created our nation) could have been our nation’s logical legacy to the world. Our nation’s persistent denial regarding the known benefits of global cooperation, the rule of law, the golden rule, and the cost saving aspect of problem prevention, will be mind numbing looking back.
Last, our nation’s collective political decision to wage war against a tactic will be seen as the most irrational means of maintaining a decades long addiction to burning a finite ancient resource. A polluting resource that helped fund our enemies and altered for worse a stable global climate that all humanity depended on.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pandora's box not only option on Iran

This week U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) exposed his enormous and lethal ignorance regarding Iran's capacity for responding to any US or Israeli military attack on its sovereign soil. He said "If you use military force against Iran, you've opened up Pandora's box. If you allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon, you've emptied Pandora's box. I'd rather open up Pandora's box than empty it.

Senator Graham appears to be oblivious to Iran's capacity for biological warfare...or even conventional or cyber attacks against our oil lifeline. Attacking Iran would likely result in the emptying of Pandora's box. Iran's possession of nuclear weapons is not the problem. The real threat is Iran's leaders genocidal threats. They should be held accountable for the extremely serious crime of inciting genocide.

But without world law...the only other option is world chaos. Opening or emptying pandora's box... isn't the only two options we have. Indicting criminals and putting them into a box is not an impossible option. We just have to overcome our fear of world government. The threat of Pandora's box should help us overcome that fear.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Koran burning and WMD don't mix.

“Assessing the Terrorist Threat”, a report released today summarized by it’s authors and the co-chairs of the 9-11 Commission states “Threats are measured by intent and capabilities. Al-Qaeda continues to hope to inflict mass-casualty attacks in the United States. Indeed, al-Qaeda leaders have said since 9/11 that the U.S. is owed millions of deaths because of its supposed crimes against Islam. However, the group’s capabilities to implement such a large-scale attack are currently far less formidable than they were nine years ago or indeed at any time since.”

Their analysis stands in stark contrast to another report detailing the growing risk from the increasing ease and affordability of creating and abusing synthetic pathogens which is matched with an apparent decreasing capacity to control such likelihood of abuse.

It appears warnings from biology experts are trumped by political wishful thinking. The Al Qaeda threat has certainly morphed into a more ubiquitous animal but given its mission and determination that doesn’t mean it won’t continue to morph, or has stopped its quest for WMD or weapons of mass disruption.

We quickly forget that Al Qaeda isn’t trying to destroy us literally. They hope to break us economically and divide us politically. It appears we are heading down this path in spite of Al Qaeda, but even a failed bio-terror effort by Al Qaeda or any affiliate will spur more federal spending, expensive regulation, privacy intrusions, lethal overreaction and ultimately political division.

The ultimate answer is dealing with them as the mass murderers they really are. Waging war against them only raises them to ‘warrior’ status…while creating more killers with each collateral damage victim from our ‘war’ related actions.

Preemptive wars, assassin drone attacks and Koran burnings only make more enemies. We need more friends in far away places (and now at home) willing to help us catch these mass murderers…not join them.