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.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Transnational crime requires global police and human rights

Dear Editor,
Brian Finlay (Washington Times 10-19-11) accurately describes the array of serious national threats of the “global circulatory system” carrying “illicit products” like narcotics, WMD components, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and sex services or slave labor “from one corner of the globe to another”.
Unfortunately, his approach to lessen these threats will require a Nazi like global police force implementing intrusive inspections that will be essential to effectively discovering and apprehending anyone who trying to use the current “rapid and efficient movement of goods” for selling their ‘bads’.
And, given the ‘dual-use’ capacity of all ‘goods’ for doing either good or evil Finlay’s approach would require a global contraband enforcement strategy that would need to determine the intent of both the buyers and sellers. Without the invention of a perfected truth machine, less perfect intrusive interrogations techniques would be the primary tool of any global intelligence gathering system. In the end, this would not only prove costly and ineffective, but would also destroy any semblance of freedom, trade and privacy as basic human rights. The consequences of such a strategy could be worse than the current disease in every respect.
A far more effective solution to transnational threats was drafted and agreed to over 60 years ago shortly after the world witnessed the horrors of a world war, a holocaust and the use of unprecedented nuclear explosives. An American women, Eleanor Roosevelt drafted and helped pass the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was intended to prevent future threats. It was, and remains today, just a good and viable idea. What it needs is a mechanism for global enforcement. When governments violate these basic human rights they need to be held accountable.
The world could use existing supply chains to deliver such basic rights like universal access to education, clean water, basic health services, sanitation, and adequate nutrition. And doing so would eliminate the worst consequences of poverty and injustice which would greatly reduce the conditions that inspire bad intents, as well as provide a much larger pool of people freely willing to cooperate with efforts to catch the truly bad people.
The creation of a new global financial transaction tax could fund these most basic of human rights and lay the foundation for real freedom and security. Such a tax would also help limit the legal flow ‘financial services’ that have so far only served the rich and left the other 99% of us with a global recession. A Global Marshall Plan would bring far more freedom and security to the world than any transnational “enhanced screeing” or “intelligence assets”.

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