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.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

What if we had a world Constitution and bill of rights?

Andrew Napolitano asked some great questions (What if we didn’t have a Constitution? Washington Times, May 21, 2015) but he missed the most important.  What if we had a world constitution with the same characteristics and intentions our own Constitution was created with.
It’s true most Americans have lost sight of, or never learned, the true purpose of our federal government -- To protect ‘we the people’ against the abuse of government and all other threats to our freedom and security.  Judge Napolitano’s error however is not applying his sound logic (that “our rights are natural components of our humanity”) to all of humanity.   His words make it self-evident that Americans are not the only people deserving the protection of such rights.
We are, as he suggests, “perfectly free”.  But we will never be free of the consequences of our actions or our nation’s actions.   If our freedom harms the lives of others they do in reality have the freedom to harm us back.  Without our taking serious responsibility for our actions, or the actions of our own government, we cannot expect to maintain our security.  
And, if others who do not distinguish themselves as soldiers and blend in with the general population use their freedom to threaten our security, it should be obvious that our own freedoms will be at risk at the hands of our own government as it tries to protect us.
A Constitution designed to protect only the rights of Americans is essentially a suicide document.  Our freedom to burn oil, pollute the oceans, ban other nation’s from acquiring WMD, bomb or invade them if they try, or fill all the world’s air space with drones or satellites, is a recipe for disaster.
Our Constitution cannot keep us safe and free if we refuse to grant those same primal cravings to everyone on earth.  Only a world constitution with an enforceable bill of human rights can maximize both our freedoms and our security.
The Judges last two question are profound. “What if all this is … right under our noses?  What do we do about it?  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Real world not deterred by military budget.

Fred Hiatt didn’t get the memo (“A military budget or the real world” Washington Post 5-18-2015).  War has changed!   It’s hard to believe that 14 years after 9-11 and the rise of ISIS that anyone could suggest ‘deterrence’ is still a rational security strategy.  With the advancement of technology, religious extremism and overall global lawlessness even nuclear powered nations can no longer be deterred from violating human rights and the sovereignty of other nations.   And, the ‘real world’ has other far greater threats to our national security and personal freedoms than war.  ISIS, Ebola, and climate change cannot be deterred either. They can however be prevented. 
After the horrors of World War II (all-out kinetic war, genocide, nuclear weapons) those who survived gathered in San Francisco and New York and created an institution and a piece of paper intended to prevent war.   
Unfortunately the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) were never given any power to actually produce this profoundly worthwhile goal. What if the laws of our federal government and its bill of rights were not enforceable?
If the UN and it’s bill of rights had been given the same powers that our own nation’s Founders believed were the essential for freedom and security, a federation of states with enforceable laws instead of confederation of states without, we would have a far more civilized world today.  Our nation’s founder’s erred in ignoring the premise of their original Declaration of Independence, the ideal of inalienable human rights, did result in a war to correct that.  And now Mr. Hiatt, and most others ‘in the know’ are making the same error.  They refuse to apply this universal principle to the global level.  They continue to believe that a state’s right (to wage war with its inevitable collateral damage) should remain superior to the protection of human rights (which war by its very nature ignores).
They refuse to grasp this profound fact.   No amount of US military power (or foreign military power) can ensure our, or any other nation’s security or protect our fundamental freedoms while ignoring global injustice on so many levels.   I’m guessing that if we had acted on the global adoption of UDHR 70 years ago that the global enforcement of the UDHR could have prevented 90% of the “real world” threats we face today (war, pandemic diseases, climate change, and terrorism -with its continuing evolution of weaponry and proliferation of WMD).  And, humanity would have been infinitely better at responding to threats we cannot prevent (earthquakes, tsunamis, asteroids…).   But now, it may be too late.  The forces of ignorance, greed, nationalism, extremist religious beliefs, and our continued addiction to powerless global institutions appear too great for our species to overcome.  
Instead of quoting “Robert Gates and more than 80 other defense experts” on the “grave and growing danger to our national security” Mr. Hiatt should have been quoting Bill Gates, Bill Joy, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight D. Eisenhower and dozens of other profound thinkers regarding the only ‘real world’ path to sustain both our freedoms and our security.  Make world law, not world war.