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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mission Impossible for Dept of Homeland Security



David Ignatius correctly stated “This imbalance needs to be fixed” (“The security point man” David Ignatius, Washington Post, 6-17-15).  From his list of vulnerabilities in airline, cyber and Whitehouse security, it should be obvious to all that Jeh Johnson, the new Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security has an impossible mission.
It’s mission impossible because in reality his effectiveness is ‘dependent’ on other individuals, agencies, technologies, corporations and even those in other nations to being effective 100% of the time.  And, those wanting to do great harm to our so called ‘independent’ nation have increasing global access to increasingly powerful, affordable, miniaturized, robotized and anonymous dual-use technologies -- technologies relatively easily convertible to WMD.  And, these potential mass murderers only have to be effective one percent of the time.  Knocking airplanes our of our skies, hijacking our governments computers or bringing our nation to its knees economically or biologically is virtually inevitable.
Our so called ‘exceptional’ nation will remain increasingly vulnerable to terrorists because we actually believe we are the exception to a trilemma that governs reality with its own “code of accountability”.   
Americans expect without question three things; freedom, security and independence.  In reality we can only have two at a time.  Our persistent reliance on ‘independent’ agencies, systems and governments in an irreversibly interdependent world ensures we will continually be trying to seek a ‘freedom/security’ balance; a balance that cannot be achieved with independent policies. 
We create this unresolvable real world dilemma because we accept without question the illusion of independence; an illusion that forces us to sacrifice freedom for security or security for freedom, but will inevitably result in our sacrifice of both in a futile attempt to retain our independence.
When our original 13 independent states decided to form a federal government some 260 years ago each state sacrificed some sovereignty (independence) to a federal government that promised to put human rights above states’ rights - and resolve state squabbles with laws (the rule of law) instead of arms (the law of force).  Inevitably, a civil war between those states arose because one group of states insisted on putting states’ rights above human rights and chose independence from the federation.
If the United States continues to insist on a confederation of nation states globally with over 200 independent government system to exist peacefully in an entirely interdependent world without sacrificing human rights our future is dim.  As long as human rights remain subordinate to the rights of nation states in our interdependent world, our nation and all Americans will never again see a rational balance between freedom and security.  With the 4th of July quickly approaching our celebration of ‘independence’ needs to reexamined.  Our highly valued human desires of freedom and security are impossible to achieve using independent agencies, policies and corporations in a confederated world where other so called ‘independent’ nations are allowed to do anything they want, especially if they are armed with nuclear weapons.  Our current UN system of global governance and unenforceable ‘international law’ supports this insanity.  As Mr. Ignatius concludes “This imbalance needs to be fixed”.

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