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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

South China Sea 'international law' ruling isn't law.

Paul Gewirtz makes the common error of assuming international law is actually law (“Law can’t solve the South China Sea Conflict” Washington Post 7-13-16).  It is not.  By definition, law is enforceable.  International law, which Mr. Gewirtz repeated refers to as “law” doesn’t possess that fundamental requirement.
International law should be called something else.  This oxymoronic phrase only confuses people and nations by suggesting that such ‘law’ actually means anything other than a optimistic arraignment.   This only perpetuates the unexamined assumption that it possesses some special power.  It has none other than creating unwarranted hope.  
Repeatedly we hear from policy makers about the supreme value of the “rule of law”.  That it should be hour highest aspiration to escape chaos and calamity. 
Unfortunately, the ‘rule of law’ is not the supreme paradigm now governing the behavior of nations, corporations or other global entities like ISIS or Al Qaeda.   The world’s increasing chaos is largely the result of our infatuation with the concept of  ‘national sovereignty’ which is essentially ‘lawlessness between nations’.    It can be functionally defined as the right of any nation to do anything it wants, anytime it wants, to anyone (or any place) it wants .  Especially if it has nuclear weapons or is willing to risk war to get its way.   Examining any global threat trend suggests our trust in this concept is clearly misplaced.
Our mental blunder is assuming ‘sovereignty’ is the proprietorship of nations.  It is not.  It is the fundamental possession of every human being.  Many believe it to be a gift from God.   A means to determine who they want to be associated with and for what purpose.  This is a fundamental aspect of human freedom.   Nations only put limits on it.
If we continue to limit our sovereign powers to the national level where we live and refuse to apply a small portion of it to an authentic world government we will never know peace and our fundamental desire for freedom and security will be perpetually endangered.
National sovereignty assumes each nation is ‘independent’ of other nations.  It is a flawed mental construct that has no useful application in an irreversible and rapidly increasingly interdependent world.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Spirt of 1775 not enough. Need the wisdom to enforce liberty and justice for all...globally.

Dear Editor,
The US doesn’t need “an infusion of the spirit of 1775” (Editorial title 7-4-16).  It needs an infusion of the wisdom needed to act on that spirit -- both at home and abroad. 
Tragically the “essential ideals” of our revolution were only legalized for white, wealthy males.   And since then this nation has rarely stood forcefully with other people in the world by enforcing such self-evident universal ideals.  Too often our nation has stood with other governments that rejected these grand ideals in protecting our own interests or national sovereignty. 
The greatest ideal our founding fathers gifted to us was the concept of federation -  a political system that places the rule of law above the law of force.  Unfortunately, they left out one vital element of the ‘rule of law’ essential for sustaining such a genius system -- liberty and Justice for all.  
The only way the US should “engage with the world” would be to first mobilize domestically the “courage, self-sacrifice, [and] attention to the common good” of all humans who share this irreversibly interdependent world with us.   Without this immediate infusion of domestic wisdom our own federation will be increasingly at risk from the human injustices we continue to ignore elsewhere and to frequently exacerbate.