Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trump at the UN

It looks like Trump finally realized he needs the rest of the world to succeed in de-nuking N. Korea.
Yet he used the word “sovereign” or its variants 19 times in his speech before the UN yesterday (averaging nearly once every two minutes).  He also asserted that, for all the U.N.’s noble intentions, “the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition.”
Someone should remind him that it was not ‘the nation state’ that achieved the greatest improvement in our human condition. It has been the application of science and engineering.  Particularly when focused on public health and safety rooted in the context of the Golden Rule. 
When the nation state uses science and engineering to protect itself instead of all humanity, we get nations with increasingly powerful weapons that any state, and now any group or agitated individual, can use to mass murder millions.
Only when the nation state applies its powers to the fundamental principle of ‘liberty and justice for all’ instead of its own special interests will the human condition be improved -- and sustained -- for generations to come. 
To achieve this mission look to the words of the Declaration of Independence and rewrite any Constitution that ignores the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”.
The UN does have many noble intentions.  Unfortunately, it has always maintained it’s prime directive; the protection of national sovereignty, not human rights.   The UN protection of human rights isn’t even a low level action priority, and that’s the way nation states like it.

Re-engineer this specific UN failing and the human condition will rise like the morning sun.  . 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Why I wanted Trump to be President.

TRUMP:  Why I wanted Trump to be elected.
People are going to think I’m crazy for the things I’m about to write (some already think I’m crazy).  But I want to go on record for recognizing the obvious.
Here’s the three reasons I repeatedly rationalized a Trump victory both before and after his election. 
Frist, without a radical transformation of our nation’s political systems and structures our comfy way of life will end catastrophically.   More than a year before Trump’s victory a U.S. Senator stated in a hearing on C-Span that US national security experts were surveyed to rank what they believed were the greatest threats to our national security.  Terrorism ranked #1.  But, second, above all other threats (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Climate Change…) was our own “government dysfunction”.  
After three decades of my own detailed study of global issues, all national security threats, the US Constitution, and the behavior of politicians, I would suggest that the number one barrier to our own security is our own government‘s dysfunction. 
It continues to ignore the fundamental principle offered in our Declaration of Independence:  the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and the “Self-Evident” “Truths” that all people are equally, and “endowed” with “certain inalienable rights” --  fundamental human rights that government must protect, and if ignored…will lead to catastrophic consequences.     The Civil are already cost more American lives than all other wars since then combined.  Combine our endless war against terrorism (an ideology that cannot be eradicated with weapons) with the evolution of weaponry…and we are quickly running out of time to get on the right course.  It may already be too late.  But the sooner we recognize the inevitable failure of our current course of action/inaction, the sooner we can get on the right course (“liberty and justice for all” just as all Americans have repeatedly pledged to our flag). 
 Any rational and well educated American today would have to acknowledge that our budget deficit, agricultural system, two party political system, aging infrastructure, health/medical care system …are each unsustainable. 
Our government (of, for, and by the people) relies primarily on reactionary measures to deal with most problems.  The Constitution was designed for slow responses.  Partisan rancor has made it almost unmovable.   Even predictable problems with inevitable catastrophic consequences like terrorism, WMD proliferation, pandemics, or climate change get little to no action.   Even under the best circumstances, and effective proactive efforts of our nation acting alone cannot deal effectively in stopping or preventing any of these.  Most global threats are immune to US policies because of a fundamental flaw in our U.S. Constitution.   It is based on an imaginary concept of independence.  A condition that exists nowhere in nature.   Every system and structure in our bodies is dependent upon multiple other systems and structures we depend on from our homes on out into the heavens. 
 Interdependence is the fundamental nature of our existence.  Global threats cannot be prevented from impacting ‘independent’ nations using ‘independent’ agencies.  This major flaw is at the heart of both our existing national and international political systems and structures.
I don’t believe it will be fixed without catastrophic consequences.  Trump was the best man to take us their quickly.    And, given the exponentially accelerating pace of the evolution of weaponry, its increasing affordability, availability, and unprecedented power from various combinations of dual use technologies (imagine bio weapons delivered by drones) … The sooner it happens the less lives will be lost and the better chance we will have of rebuilding while redesigning both our national and global systems and structures. 
I understand why others voted for him.  Many sensed the need for such radical change.  Trump was a logical gamble.  And, if I’m wrong about Trump, and he transforms himself into the perfect leader to deal with the interdependent global threats we all face, he will have single handedly destroyed the alt principles that have driven both the GOP and the Democrats to lock horns I a death match.  And, we will all benefit.   Trumps initial words at the UN today suggest he understands the need for a reformed UN.  I’m just not sure he will reform it in the way it needs to be reformed.  (See Transforming the United Nations System: Designs for a Workable World:  By Joe Schwartzberg   http://unu.edu/publications/books/transforming-the-united-nations-system-designs-for-a-workable-world.html#overview  
The list of Trump errors and lies is long.  But he has done some things right. 
1.       He didn’t offer to the public or the world our strategy for continuing our war effort in Afghanistan.  A fundamental principle helpful in any contest is not telling your competition what you are going to do.   Babe Ruth confidence in combat is a strategy for failure.
2.       He is relying on good Generals to inspire our enemies to the negotiating table
3.       I believe the statues representing the Confederacy should stand… and become evidence of the foolishness of our nation not following fundamental principles.  That civil war cost more American lives than all wars since then combined.  If Germany can keep and learn from the Gates and ovens of Austwitz, Americans should be able to keep and learn from the statues of traitorous Confederate Generals.
4.       Sometimes being just a little crazy/unpredictable when squaring off against hostile opponent can reduce their interest in a hostile entanglement.   Being unpredictable to your opponents can have its advantages.
5.       His last words regarding DACA were promising.
6.       His initial words at the UN were promising. 
 With Trump in office we win in the long run either way.  Either his ineptness or his genius brings about the radical transformation of the US Constitution and the UN Charter to put ‘justice for all’ and a sustainable environment ahead  of short term national interests and corporate profits.  Or, he destroys the GOP and the Democratic Partys by offering radical policies neither would have adopted without his outside the box thinking.

Bottom line:  It’s not Trump’s fault we are here. It is our own fault (we the people) because we allowed national and global conditions to deteriorate for decades without focusing on fundamental principles.   We were too comfortable and too busy doing other things besides being responsible citizens and voters. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution

"Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, of course, lays out the delegated, enumerated, and therefore limited powers of Congress. Only through a deliberate misreading of the general welfare and commerce clauses of the Constitution has the federal government been allowed to overreach its authority and extend its tendrils into every corner of civil society." -- Edward H. Crane, Founder and president of the Cato Institute.    Source: A Constitution of Liberty, Cato Institute 1995 Annual Report

This quote reflects the mental flaw/myth of believing specific systems and structures of American life are independent of one another.  In realty every aspect of commerce and the general welfare of ‘we the people” have an impact on “Every corner” of every aspect of our society and ultimately, the world.   Harmful elements emerging from either can threaten both the freedoms and security of the entire world.  Consider the risks fueled by antibiotic resistance exacerbated by unregulated cross border sales/distribution mixed with pockets of poverty, ignorance and/or violence.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Words should mean something!

If an asteroid threatened earth and humanity there would be many things to discuss, design, and build.   We would obviously need to engineer sustainable systems and structures in space or underground that could mimic our planets current life supporting conditions for the necessary bout.  
For this vital task, the first and most important system needed would be an effective communications system.    A language (system) relying on flawless structures (words) that mean only one thing.  A definition that everyone agreeing on and understands.   Imagine trying to build any complex system with a large group of people, each with different perspectives using essential tools and/or materials lacking precise names, labels, or descriptions.   
Human survival would depend on all systems and structures designed from the fundamental principles of science, technology, engineering, and religious faith.   In the unforgiving void of space or the earth’s crust, failure of any system or structure caused by miscommunications could be an extinction event.   In this context, our nation’s founding Fathers words, “Self-evident” “truths”, and the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” become profoundly relevant.   Their failure however, to engineer these principles into our U.S. Constitution was catastrophic. Our failure to apply them today in our foreign policy will be even more deadly.
Imagine different groups of arguing about the meaning of ‘right to life’ or ‘peace through strength’.   Without using precise words with indisputable meaning -- productive debate would be impossible.  This is the exact dilemma we face today with multiple potentially catastrophic problems  (WMD proliferation, Artificial intelligence, climate change, or nuclear exchange to name a few).
Given this, our highest personal, national and global priority should be health.  The health of our bodies, environment, economy, legal system, cooperative culture, and communication’s systems. 
And, in this context, our current debate around “Health Care” will never be resolved.  This two word phrase has no precise definition or meaning.  And, each word misleads.   Real ‘Health’ is about prevention -- preventing illness and injury not just preventing death once our bodies systems and structures have been unconsciously or consciously abused.
Free access to clean air and water, nutritious food, vaccinations and medical checkups is a fundamental human right.  And, maintaining a healthy population and environment is essential to preserving our individual and national prosperity and security (promoting the general welfare and forming a more perfect union).    In my view, anyone who takes unnecessary risks with their health (or the health of others) by over eating, eating junk food, smoking, avoiding exercise, abusing drugs, or texting while driving should have no free access to medical attention.  There is not enough money in the world to accommodate the blatant human irresponsibility of even 10% of all Americans.   Our so called “Health Care System” is unsustainable.  It threatens our economic security, and thus our national security.

The many threats we face from nature (pandemics, antibiotic resistance, hurricanes…) and human nature (bioterrorism, climate change, opioids, war, genocide…) could be largely prevented with truly ‘universal’ access to real health care (clean water, sanitation, education, and basic health services).   This is not about economics.  It’s about justice.   No justice…no peace.   As Americans we have a ll pledged “Liberty and justice for all”.  It’s either that or health for none. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What's missing from David Swanson's of the Dunkirk film

What’s missing from David Swanson’s assessment of Dunkirk Film:

David’s assessment is correct.  But it is also lethally flawed and a grand disservice to those who really seek peace on earth.   David conveniently ignores the far greater killer of humans and other persistent threats to humanity, some of which are a prime driver of war.  Poverty related starvation and easily preventable malnutrition and infectious diseases take roughly ten lives the lives of those lost in war. 
The Spanish Flu killed as many as 50 million people around the world during the WW I.  Many historians believe it was the primary reason the war ended.  Armies could no longer fight and the nations that supported them were crippled in supplying them.  More US soldiers died from the Spanish Flu than from the war itself.  That flu killed upwards of 600,000 Americans in just two years.
Smallpox alone killed more people in 70 years of the last century than all the wars, revolutions and genocides combined in 100 years of century. 
Both the film and Mr. Swanson ignore the fact that poverty and hunger in Germany led to Hitler’s rise.  They both also ignore the genius of those who offered humanity shortly after Hitler’s defeat, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as the best means of preventing future wars.  
Today there are nearly 20 million people in danger of starvation, mostly a result of wars that could have been prevented if the peace movement had put the protection of human rights above their fantasy of disarming the world.
A majority of war deaths are caused by preventable infectious diseases.  But sanctions, a favorite means of governments to punish other nations for their behavior or weapons development-  can be more deadly than war to innocent people in those sanctioned nations.  And today, sanctions are the primary tool the world uses to discourage the production of nuclear weapons.  War remains an option.  The second Gulf War launched by the US in 2003 was to disarm another nation of WMD.  Prior to that US shock and awe invasion, Iraq had already used chemical weapons against another nation (Iran) and even its own people (the Kurds) using some US assistance (materials and intelligence reports) and zero US condemnation in the UN.
Using Mr. Swanson’s logic it appears that he and peace activists who think like him are more interested in outlawing or abolishing weapons than saving human lives or preventing war.  They actually believe that they can stop wars by reducing the human capacity to make weapons. This is as silly others who believe more weapons will stop war.   Both of these perspectives would be laughable if they weren’t so dangerous to human security and our fundamental freedoms. 
Global justice (the universal enforcement of human rights) is the only workable path to maximizing human freedom, security, prosperity and sustainability. 
One fundamental human rights is the right to protect one’s self (family and friends) from an abusive government (their own or someone else’s).  That is reason alone NOT to take the path of disarmament. But, given the dual use nature of every technology a far greater reason exists.  It’s impossible to eliminate the means of mass murder.  Disarmament is at a fool’s errand.   But it appears nothing will stop Peace activist from spending their limited resources (members, time, money, and energy) on trying to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile the average Joe’s capacity to create WMD from biological, chemical, cyber, robotics and even conventional technologies (IEDs)  is off the chart easy and affordable.  And all of these dual use technologies are increasingly powerful, affordable, and ubiquitous every day. 
Peace activists also tend to ignore the growing injustices (restrictions of freedom and gross violations of human rights) that drive lethal grievances. Human insecurity from poverty, illiteracy, repression, and gross ignorance push people in pain to seek the means of mass murder.  And everyday technologies (cars, trucks, knives, and house hold chemicals…) are easily acquired if the will is there to abuse them. 
If Mr. Swanson and other such peace activist put more emphasis on reducing that human will…by focusing on real human security through the global protecting the  most fundamental human rights (to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness via Justice) they wouldn’t need to worry about the pursuit of any weapon.
“Once the mechanics and the fundamental causes of wars – of all wars – are realized, the futility and childishness of the passionate debates about armament and disarmament must be apparent to all. If human society were organized so that relations between groups and units in contact were regulated by democratically controlled law and legal institutions, then modern science could go ahead, devise and produce the most devastating weapons, and there would be no war. But if we allow sovereign rights to reside in the separate units and groups without regulating their relations by law, then we can prohibit every weapon, even a penknife, and people will beat out each other’s brains with clubs.”    Emory Reves, The Anatomy of Peace, 1945
“People must bring a machete, a spear, an arrow, a hoe, spades, rakes, nails, truncheons, electric irons, barbed wire, stones, and the like, in order, dear listeners, to kill Rawandan Tutsis.” (A Hutu’s call to arms quoted in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, August 19, 1998, p. A-18)

The main focus of international attention must move beyond the symptoms of weapons proliferation to its causes. It may seem easier to control supply, yet it is demand that raises the tide of proliferation. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for Jan-Feb 1999, p. 76, "Book Note" on Kosta Tsipis and Philip Morrison's book, "Reason Enough for Hope."

"We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women."  Thích Nhất Hạnh

“What’s Missing from Dunkirk Film”.  By David Swanson

Monday, May 29, 2017

Flaws of the U.S. Constitution and growing threats they exacerbate

Robert J. Samuelson’s economic expertise offers little value in evaluating the stability of our democracy. First, it is technically a Republic.   Our U.S. Constitution was engineered from political principles that were didn’t always match fundamental principles (“Impeachment remains an uneasy choice” Washington Post 5-29-17) like those the Founding Fathers identified in the Declaration of Independence.   All engineering feats (be they bridges, buildings or bureaucracies) must adhere to fundamental principles in their construction to avoid catastrophic failure. 
All systems and structures (natural or man-made) depend on the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” to survive the inevitable stresses of the real world pressures that will inevitably stress them.  And when systems or structures fail it can lead to catastrophic consequences across other systems and structures. 
When Haitians followed an economic principle of not using rebar in building construction to save money, more Haitians died in 15 minutes from the earth quake than both Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   The catastrophic consequences of that fatal error reverberates today in multiple systems and structures in Haiti’s economic, political, health, education and foreign policy arenas.   
Our linear human minds which are mostly dominated by western and religious thinking usually fail to grasp that all systems and structures are inherently dependent on dozens of other systems and structures (both natural and man-made).
Our nation’s founding fathers stated in the Declaration of Independence the most fundamental principle in sustaining peaceful human relationships .  Then they failed to incporate them into the construction of the our Constitution.  It failed to follow the “ Laws of Natures and Nature’s God’s” “self-evident truths” ‘that all people are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…’  This flaw eventually cost more US lives than all other US wars combined.   That flaw was mostly corrected in application to national affairs.  But, it remains a catastrophic flaw today in impacting billions of human beings beyond our indefensible borders.
George Mason (ally of James Madison and George Washington) who drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights recognized this fatal flaw early on and was one of three who refused to sign the U.S. Constitution.  His wisdom is reflected in his words:  "Now all acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice, are, in our laws, and must be in the nature of things, considered as void. The laws of nature are the laws of God: A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to him from whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are in conscience bound to disobey. Such have been the adjudications of our courts of justice."
The list of recent reports below documents both the threats we face now and in the future (some preventable and others inevitable).  Some reports offer means of threat prevention by recommending transformation of both national and international systems and structures based on fundamental principles such as ‘justice for all’.  These will be essential in forming a more perfect union capable of preventing some threats, and responding to, and recovering from others that cannot be prevented.

1.      How Western Civilization could collapse: (April 18, 2017)  Some possible precipitating factors are already in place. How the West reacts to them will determine the world’s future, says Rachel Nuwer.  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170418-how-western-civilisation-could-collapse 
2.      Global Catastrophic Risks 2017:  (May 2017) Global Challenges Foundation’s Annual Report  https://globalchallenges.org/en/our-work/annual-report   (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GA8VmYLhEs)

3.     Peril and Promise: Emerging Technologies and WMD (May 2017)  By Natasha Bajema and Diane DiEuliis |  Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction.   http://wmdcenter.ndu.edu/Media/News/Article/1181150/peril-and-promise-emerging-technologies-and-wmd/

4.      2017 Global Risk Report: (January 2017)   https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2017  The Global Risks Report 2017 features perspectives from nearly 750 experts on the perceived impact and likelihood of 30 prevalent global risks as well as 13 underlying trends that could amplify them or alter the interconnections between them over a 10-year timeframe.
5.      Pulling Together: The Multilateral System and Its Future:  (September 2016) By the Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM):   This report  is put out by the successor to the International Peace Academy, renamed International Peace Institute.    https://www.ipinst.org/2016/09/icm-final-report

6.      Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance: (June 2015)  Co-Chairs, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Nigerian Foreign Minister and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari.  Report: http://www.stimson.org/programs/global-security-justice-and-governance    Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKmucDk_6Lo&feature=youtu.be
7.       One Young World Summit: Ron Garan keynote talk. (Oct 2012)  Pittsburg  PA/Johannesburg South Africa  http://www.rongaran.com/speaking/

President Trump’s (or any President’s) commitment to put America first instead of human rights first in US foreign policy literately locks Americans into a perpetual war - the war against terrorism.  Terrorism is a tactic that can never be eliminated and its evolution is easily predictable.  No one should doubt that it will eventually cost millions of American lives, our most basic freedoms, and our cherished prosperity as violent extremists gain access to, and increasing willingness to use, the growing variety of WMD’s detailed in the 3rd report above.
Either we transform our U.S. Constitution and all of our nation’s systems and structures to protect the inalienable rights of all the world’s people (and our specie’s life support system) or we will face the devastating consequences of continued global injustices. 
Time is running out.  The acceleration of technology advancements and global events far outpaces our national and global system’s capacity to deal with them.   Our linear thinking must make a revolutionary leap, the same that our Founding Fathers took when they began walking down the path to a ‘more perfect union’.   Short of this transformation, the next best thing we can do is bring all of our existing systems and structures to bear on quickly, holistically, and comprehensively achieve the 17 Sustainable Development goals before the year 2030. 

We must train our minds to:
1.       Connect the dots (systems  and structures). 
2.       See the web (of our global interdependence). 
3.       Work for justice (“Liberty and Justice for all” is a fundamental principle).
4.       Prepare for the catastrophic consequences (of systems and structural) if we fail.  
Political principles (‘Peace through Strength’ or ‘America First’) must never override the fundamental principles of the” Laws of Nature and Natures God” that all people are created equal and deserving of certain rights that no government should take away.

Faith in science, engineering, and our common origins is our only means of maximizing freedom, security and future prosperity for all.    

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cyber Security is an oxymoron

Robert Samuelson’s view confirms the fact that ‘cyber security’ is an oxymoron (America’s Dangerous Internet Delusion”  Washington Post 5-22-17).   The fact is all technologies are a “double edged sword”.   The concept of dual use technology has been around since the invention of fire.  Our greatest risk may be from bio technology which shares many of the same characterizes as cyber.   There is a solution.  A solution that we are in greater denial about, even though sages and profits of been promoting it for thousands of years – the ideal of justice.  
Given the trillions of vital systems and structures inside and outside our bodies that we depend on every second of every day for our safety and survival, the very concept of security itself is an problematic.   But ‘justice for all’ is something that can greatly improve our chances – and with minimal loss of our freedoms (privacy, seeking comfort, ease of task, and prosperity). 
We need a global justice system.   ‘No justice, no peace’ is not just a slogan.   It’s a fundamental essential to improving any hope of maximizing human security everywhere.  

The dual use nature of all technology means security will never be achieved via disarmament (liberal view) or more armaments (conservative view).   Perhaps it’s time to rid ourselves and our U.S. Constitution of the illusionary concept of ‘independence’.   This is an illusionary concept that only exists in our minds and in our government policy.   Our increasing dependence on cyber and other forms of powerful technology, all globally available, means our American ideal of putting human rights over states’ rights must include the whole world.   Our persistent denial and refusal to institute this fundamental principle is the greatest threat to both our freedom and our security.