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, October 29, 2012

Romney the "Peace" President?

Will Mitt Romney be the new “Peace” president worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize?  He said “peace” 12 times in the last debate focused on Foreign policy.  Or, is Mitt just gunning for votes knowing most Americans are weary and/or fearful of war? 
In the same debate Romney mentioned Israel 34 times with no mention of the EU, biological or cyber weapons, or climate change?  Is our greatest national security threat really a nuclear armed Iran or a nuclear armed Pakistan as a failed state?
Mitt agreed with at least ten of President Obama’s foreign policies.   Was this an attempt to steal over unhappy Obama supporters? 
If the Obama Administration is negligibly guilty of the loss of four American lives in Bengazi then the loss of nearly 3000 American lives on September 11, 2001 and another 6000 since then can be put on President Bush’s shoulders.
Mr. Romney may have brilliant tactics to win votes but what does this tell us about how a President Romney would deal with any number of national security crisis? 
The means of human destruction are exponentially increased with the matrix of biotechnology, robotics, cyber and eventually nano based weapons for which defensive tactics are catastrophically limited….and offensive efforts are ultimately counterproductive.   
It was encouraging that Mitt adminitted "we cannot kill our way" to victory in the war on terrorism and that it would take a greater focus on our resources 'over there' on development, education, rule of law, just as Obama has done.
It’s unfortunate however that no Presidential candidate (democrat, republican, libertarian, constitution party, green part…) have offered no other rational option.  Our original 13 colonies faced a similar dilemma over 200 years ago.  Transforming a confederation of 13 independent states to a federation had its problems.  But it got us this far.  Expanding that genius to the global level is the only sane option forward. 
It’s unfortunate that biblical scripture paints this as the path to the anti-Christ and Armageddon.  It’s a belief system that is taking us straight to hell.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Rumsfled airbrushes and distorts actual record

Donald Rumsfeld’s full page op-ed (“Obama is Wrong for America”, Oct. 5, 2012) had two clearly accurate sentences -- “This campaign has focused too little on national security policy.” And,  “We live in a dangerous world.”  Most other sentences appear to be his own “airbrushing and distortion of the actual record” of “the world situation today”, “how we got here”,  and what’s need in the future to ensure maximum freedom, security and prosperity for all.
In our past, Mr. Rumsfeld implies that Al Qaeda’s  9-11 attack was an unexpected event based on “ideology” , “excuses” and “weak, convenient justifications”.    In fact, it was the Administration he served that chose to ignore repeated intelligence threat analysis and bi-partisan commission warnings prior to 9-11 that specifically anticipated mass murder attacks on American soil.  And, every honest inquiry noted that Middle East hostility toward America was largely motivated by grievances Muslims accumulated as a result of an overly militaristic US foreign policy -- including our past and present support for repressive regimes (Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel…) that were intolerant of basic human rights for Muslims and too often lethal to hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim men, women and children.  By airbrushing this reality, Rumsfeld would have the next President also ignore the first rule of war, to know your enemy, which would have us repeat past errors of judgment.
And, Al Qaeda was not motivated by our military weakness.   On 9-11 under Bush and Rumsfeld we had the strongest military in the world.   It was their grievances aided by Osama Bin Laden’s belief that they could break us economically and divide us politically that fully inspired their attack.     The Bush Administration’s decision to wage a war against an unbeatable tactic helped them on both accounts.  But it was our preemptive invasion of Iraq that really demonstrated our nation’s weakness of relying on military power to achieve our goal.  The most powerful military in the world didn’t stop them on 9-11 and couldn’t stop IEDs in Iraq.  And, a US military ten times more powerful  today can’t defend us against IEDs, cyber, chemical or biological attacks by lone wolfs here or rogue nations anywhere, if they are so powerfully motivated.   We must stop making more enemies and start winning the hearts and minds of people and allies in every corner of the world and all 50 US states.   President Bush, our military and President Obama have been moving in that direction since 2007.  It appears Rumsfeld would have a President Romney take us backward.
Mr. Rumsfeld implies that the current decline of America started with President Obama.  At 80 years old he can be forgiven for forgetting our economic decline started on his bosses watch.   Actually, it may have started administrations earlier when capitalist lovers and leaders put profits ahead of patriotism.  To the degree any party in power worships profits or national sovereignty over the inalienable rights of “we the people” everywhere, is the degree to which everyone and every nation will reap diminished freedoms and security in the future.   
What made our nation great was an ideology expressed clearly in our Declaration of Independence.   Unfortunately, this most righteous, noble and powerful ideology hasn’t always been implemented by our Constitution, our economic policy, our foreign policy or our nation’s use of military force.   In a world where ‘sovereign’ national borders mean nothing to infectious diseases, toxic pollutants, climate change, economic chaos, religious extremist or cyber criminals, perhaps it’s time we move beyond the ‘national sovereignty is supreme’ model.   Even our own nation’s Department of Defense, energy and business sectors agree on the value and passage of the Law of the Seas Treaty.   
Come November we need a leader that will recognize the fact of our interdependence in every aspect of modern life in this era of unbridled globalization.  At this point, it doesn’t look like either major party candidate is up to the task.  But Obama appears to be moving forward.  I vote that Rumsfeld and Romney don’t take us back.