Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pandemics/bioterrorism/infectious diseases NOT equal to threat of War or Climate Change

The threat of infectious diseases, pandemics and bioterrorism (“When nature is the terrorist” WPost editorial, 2-24-17)   []    should not be held on the same “level as preventing nuclear war or climate change”.  Why?  Because they represent a greater threat to individual, national, and global security than wars or climate change combined.  Even if one considers the inevitable escalation of global interactions between war and climate change. 
Few people remember that shortly after the attacks on 9-11 former …Collin Powel told the UN that HIV/AIDS was a greater threat to national and global security than al Qaeda.  It was because that RNA based virus (with a 3% mutation rate) contributes directly to the failure of nation states which sustains the spawning ground for every strain of violent extremists.
Consider the inevitable emergence of a single pandemic that could be equal to -  or potentially greater than -- the impact of the so called “Spanish Flu” of 1918.  According to historians that pandemic played a major role in stopping World War I while killing more US soldiers than the war itself and killing nearly 500,000 Americans back home in about 16 months.  Imagine how such a pandemic today would freeze any ongoing war including the war against climate change.
Just the inevitable loss of our antibiotic arsenal alone (not mentioned in the Post editorial) could lead to an existential threat of civilization as we know it -- if it happens before breakthroughs in bioengineering new solutions to combat all infectious diseases.   But remember,  it is just such breakthroughs added to existing advancements in biotechnology that make bioterrorism a greater threat than a nuclear terrorist attack or a limited nuclear exchange.   Imagine a genetically engineered virus that would kill anyone who had not received the vaccine that was bioengineered by the same scientists intending to protect only their nation (N. Korea?), their terrorist group (ISIS?), or their environmental cult who feel threatened by the current dominance and trajectory of world powers.
There are at least three mental problems most policy makers and their electorate must overcome to rationally and effectively respond to all individual, national and global security threats.   First, we must stop thinking that these threats are independent of one another and urgently invest in global prevention and preparation efforts.   This could best be accomplished by enforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or fully funding and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals as rapidly as humanly possible.  These threats (pandemics, war, terrorism and climate change) that all nations face cannot be effectively addressed by independent national policies.   Independent government and institutional policies will fail in multiple aspects of offering a comprehensive global approach. 
Second, we must do what we know we must do.  Abide by that fundamental “Self-evident” “Truths” in our Declaration of Independence,  that all people are created equal (ie. With a body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Last, we must learn and persistently remember the greatest human achievement in history.  The eradication of Smallpox in 1977 (official in 1980).  Up until then nature’s smallpox had killed more people globally in the 20th century than both World Wars, all murders, revolutions, and genocides combined.   The US invested $32 million in this global eradication campaign which (according to a 1997 GAO report) had saved $17 billion dollars in US tax payer money by then.   No longer needing to pay to protect the lives of US children yielded these unbelievable health and economic returns to all Americans that continues today.  And here’s the astounding fact that needs to be remembered.  If just one nation, religious group, or remote family had rejected this global vaccination effort, this natural terrorist would still be circulating among us today.  It still exists in some laboratories.   And, given the natural evolution of all pathogens and human’s increasing technological prowess in changing them (google ‘Weaponized Smallpox’) means that Smallpox, or variations of any pandemic like virus, will remain a threat -- unless we are as indiscriminate in taking care of one another globally as viruses are to infecting us if our body temperature is 98.6 degrees.

In conclusion I offer the profound words of Nell Temple Brown, former head of the WHO office in Washington DC.  She said “Pathogens change.  Can we?” 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mexican child killed by US Border Agent not a crime?

Supreme Court considers case of a shot fired in U.S. that killed a teenager in Mexico   

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a murder case that will highlight what remains the greatest flaw in the U.S. Constitution. This case is a window into how catastrophically flawed this supremely worshiped blueprint for our nation has been since day one. 
Upon its creation, and for decades after, our nation legally considered African-Americans only 3/5 of a human being and allowed them to be treated worse than cattle. That supreme error cost more American lives than World War I and WW II combined and, to this day, continues to plague our nation with prejudices and injustices, in individuals and institutions, that continue to take innocent lives and instill mistrust at every level of the US government. 
The creation of our ‘great’ nation was based on the fundamental principle that all people are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." These “self-evident truths” should be simple enough for even President 45 to grasp. 
The Court’s decision is whether it should handle the case of an innocent 15 year old Mexican child murdered on Mexican soil by an official US Border Patrol agent who discharged his firearm from US soil
Paul Ryan often says “The outcome of one’s life should not be determined by the place of their birth." GOP leaders often say that "Our government doesn’t give us our rights. Our rights were given by God -- and the purpose of our government is to protect those rights."
The Court decision on Tuesday will show if these "Supreme” human beings fully understand the increasing existential dilemma that our nation faces between choosing "justice for all" or continuing to make and enforce unjust laws.
Inscribed on the exterior of the U.S. Dept. of Justice is something that should be posted in every room of the Supreme Court. “Justice is the great interest of man on earth. Wherever her temple stands, there is a foundation for social security, general happiness, and the improvement and progress of our race.” 
Here’s another quote that should be recited by Supreme Court justices prior to each case. “Slavery was legal. Colonialism was legal. The Holocaust was legal. Apartheid was legal. Legality is a matter of power, not justice. Sustainable human and national security is not a function of military power. It is a function of justice. And, that is what makes us and our nation great.”  Anonymous.
So much wisdom in words, yet so much hypocrisy in action by both major political parties, proud libertarians, and even the Green Party. FYI: I’m registered Green and I’ve spoken to several CATO Institute intellectuals who believed that the US Constitution only protects US citizens and it should not be altered.  That’s national libertarianism, not true libertarianism -- and just as flawed as the U.S. Constitution. 
In defense of CATO, I often praise its 1997 report by Ivan Eland that clearly documented the terrorist blow back consequences of US interventions abroad. According to that report, 48 of the 50 terrorist attacks against the US between 1985 and 1995 -- were a retaliation against US military interventions abroad. The other two were home grown violent extremists: one reacting to the injustices of the US government at home and abroad (Timothy McVeigh who considered himself a US patriot). The other, Ted Kaczynski , the Unabomber, reacting to what he perceived as the evils of our nation’s increasing dependence on modern technology. 
It’s important to note here that most US national security experts today believe that terrorism and our own nation’s “dysfunctional government” are the top two threats to our national security. Both greater than Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and climate change. Most also agree that our nation’s greatest vulnerabilities are our over-dependence on advanced technologies and how they can be easily used or abused to recruit or enable home grown terrorists with unprecedented destructive/disruptive power. 
In this light, our nation’s original commitment to "justice for all" needs be taken seriously and urgently codified.  Failing that, Americans should not be surprised at the continuing loss of both our freedoms and our security, regardless of who is President, in Congress, or sits on the Supreme Court. 
Security is no longer a function of armies, armaments, or disarmament. Security it is a function of justice. If we don’t codify justice by law, individuals, groups, or nations will seek an informal type of justice more accurately labeled revenge. 
So, whatever the Court’s decision, it and the American people should fully recognize that "making America great again” will not happen by our unwavering and persistent thoughts and actions that have unjust consequences of people outside our borders. It will not be achieved by doubling or tripling our military budget or its destructive capacity.   Our unexamined assumption that human beings without US citizenship and outside our borders do NOT possess the same invaluable rights that we do is a receipt for unprecedented and increasingly lethal catastrophic consequences. 
Making America great again can only be accomplished by consistent laws and actions that enforce this great ideal. Such idealism is not just pragmatic, it is essential to the survival of our nation.
For further inspiration and wisdom in support of making our nation great for the first time read these quotes:
"Law is often the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." --Thomas Jefferson to I. Tiffany, 1819  
"I say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy. You can only punish. I warn you that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys everyone it touches -- its upholders as well as its defiers." -- Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee. Source: the book, Inherit the Wind

"We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal."  - Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Why We Can't Wait, 1963
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere... There are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." - Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (April 16, 1963)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Trump Jokes: What else makes up everything?

I am not a funny person (although my daughter says I look funny). But I love jokes.  I just have difficulty remembering them to share with others and with good delivery.

Getting my delivery down may never happen, but, as a scientist and political activist I believe I have relatively good observation skills in listening for jokes.   And, I’ve heard very few circulating in the general public about President ‘45’.   It’s slightly funny that someone refuses to say his name and offered others a descriptive nick name.  But, I can’t help but wonder why there isn’t a flurry of jokes.   (I made one up, but it’s yet to go viral (go to the last paragraph to need to see it now).

So here’s my question.  Why are there so few Trump jokes?   Yes!  The late night TV shows are ripe with gut-splitting one liners and talented POTUS impersonations.  But none(?) on the street?
It could be my proximity to the Washington DC beltway.  Everyone is either scared for their jobs, scared of being on a POTUS hit list, or fearful of our new leader bringing about the end of the world.  Or, it could be, that he IS the joke.  

In watching or listening to him it’s hard not to turn it off and just smile -- in disbelief.   But even that’s overlaying unprecedented uncertainty.  Uncertainty would have still existed if Hillary was fairly elected.  And not just uncertainty that his words don’t appear to have any real meaning. But, unprecedented uncertainty simply because this clown was elected by 63 million voters with questionable eligibility.  Oh, you think only Democrats and Russians are capable of rigging an election?
According to an expert on evaluating State Department employees for security clearances, our 45th POTUS would fail.  And fail on multiple ‘red flag’ categories.   But now he has access to the nuclear football and ‘the button’ that could ruin everyone’s afternoon, and he really isn’t that funny.  The joke appears to be on us, expecting our ‘We the people’ system would keep us safe, proud, and free.  Unfortunately, it can’t.  Why?   Ready for some ‘truths?’.   We have the capacity to 1) believe anything, 2) be easily distracted from what’s important, 3) don’t do what we know we should do, 4) put party loyalty ahead of patriotism, 5) put ourselves or our nation ahead of all others in the world, 6) seek immediate comfort instead of doing the right thing, and  7) fail to codify fundamental principles into our Constitution’s design of our government system and structures (I warned you I wasn’t funny).  

But here’s my joke anyway:  What do ‘Trump and atoms have in common?’  Answer:  ‘They both make up everything.’   My son he gave an even better answer. “They both have a tiny nucleus and are surrounded by a cloud of negativity.”   Another person offered the punchline, “Neither has a single functioning brain cell”.  I’m sure there are others but I need to think about nonperishable foods and essential medicines I need to stockpile soon.     

I’ve since altered my joke since I learned that everything in the universe is not only made up of atoms, but 'systems and structures based on fundamental principles'.   So here's the upgraded joke. 'What do Trump, Atoms and “Systems, structures, and fundamental principles” have in common?  They all make up everything.  (hint: If we make anything from skyscrapers to governments, without adhering to fundamental principles, there will be catastrophic failures.  

So, here’s the serious punch line:  Until ‘we the people’ codify into our Constitution the fundamental principle that our nation was founded on (the “Self-evident” “Truths” that all people are created equal and endowed  with certain inalienable rights to ‘life, liberty’ and equal justice under the law”) neither our freedoms or our security will be sustainable.

Obviously that's not a joke.  It is a call to action.  We must build a wall! 
A wall so great it will keep the orange haired clown from crashing our system by damaging any one of the other seven structures that are all essential to sustaining our freedoms, security, prosperity, and our earthly life support systems. 

1    1.   A Congress that truly represents ‘we the people’ and not moneyed interests.
2.       An educated electorate that can distinguish between fake news and reality.
3.       A justice system that is truly just, and not just enforcing an unjust legal system.
4.       Freedom of the press
5.       Trust in science and its genius method for discovering what real and what works.
6.       Public trust in all of the above.
7.       Liberty and justice for all (not just American citizens) as we have all pledged.

If this call to action missed your funny bone, Please assist us in building that wall.  I pretty sure Mexico will help pay for it.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Ten reasons why humanitarianism is a ‘peace’ issue

Ten reasons why humanitarianism is a ‘peace’ issue

1. Easily preventable hunger and poverty is a personal security nightmare that continues to fuel wars, revolutions and genocides long after the big wars ended.

2. Wealthy nations and the life styles of their average consumers are the largest producers of environmental problems as well as a small group of Americans that focus on ‘peace’ with virtually no attention to justice.

3. Economic injustice is the largest driver of infant mortality in the world which is the greatest driver of failed states and emerging conflicts.

4. Wars are fought primarily for economic power out of a fear of a government or it’s people’s experiencing economic insecurity or instability… which is intimately bound up with an unyielding desire for ‘peace through strength’ or, peace at any price.

5. So called “Peace and Justice” efforts focus 98% of their time and money on disarmament issues and self-promotion while spending virtually nothing on pursuing ‘liberty and justice for all’.

6. The avoidance of the need for global justice and the protection of everyone’s human rights is a primary driver of fears and conflicts in the world, which is a primary driver of military spending.

7. The so called ‘Peace and Justice” movement cannot resolve disputes within their own organizations and still struggle to come together into a national movement that speaks with one voice…let alone any real focus on justice.

8. To successfully address the greatest threats to current human or national security (infectious diseases, terrorism, WMD proliferation, economic instability, government dysfunction, failed states and climate change) the ‘Peace and Justice’ movement must take a more comprehensive view of what ‘security’ really means, and how important a comprehensive approach is needed to address all the security threats people face.  This will require a unifying effort demanding ‘liberty and justice for all’ with a sustainable environment, before disarming nations, or a singular focus on preventing a nuclear war that might never happen.

9. To achieve a peaceful transition to a just and sustainable economy the ‘peace and justice’ movement will need to see the importance of social and economic justice (protecting human rights) which is the only realistic way to maximize both freedom and security in an irreversibly interdependent world.   And just as importantly, this can be achieved without first tapping/cutting current military spending.  A singular quest for ‘peace’ will continue to be ineffective while most people’s priority is maximize both their freedom and security from a growing list of threats equal to or greater than war.

10.  The death of a child from any cause is the most terrifying of all human experiences. Every day nearly 15,000 children under 5 years old die from easily preventable malnutrition and infectious diseases. This daily death toll dwarfs the total number of people of all ages killed in the world each day by war, revolution, genocide and climate change combined.  And, in spite of a Presidential Commission and other prestigious studies clearly warning about the long term consequences of world hunger, poverty and their associated spread of infectious diseases, the peace community continues to demand disarmament as a prerequisite to addressing this greatest of all human tragedies. And, while their math may work out, the realities of any cuts from US defense spending being invested in the global necessities of clean water, sanitation, basic health care services, and primary education for all children now in  need…is virtually zero.  Given our own nation’s real and perceived need for funding various projects/programs -- or cutting the federal deficit -- the only way our US government would appropriate adequate funds for such a humanitarian or environmental effort is if they were convinced, without a doubt, that every aspect of our personal and national security depends on ending the worst aspects of global economic and environmental injustices. And, without the ‘peace’ movement fully on board…a ‘movement of movements’ is unlikely to rally in time to avoid global chaos.

The US peace movement (if it can be called that) must stop avoiding the connection between their quest for world peace and the prerequisite need for justice in our nation’s domestic, foreign, environmental, and immigration policies.

(FYI:  This was in response to another piece offered by the "peace" community earlier today -- posted below.)

9 reasons why militarism is an environmental issue:  Michael Eisenscher   2-17-17:

1. War is an environmental nightmare that continues to poison people
and the planet long after the fighting ends.

2. The Pentagon is the largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world.

3. The Pentagon is the largest emitter of CO2 gases in the world.

4. Wars are fought for oil and other energy resources. The U.S. drive
for global hegemony is intimately bound up with its aim to control
energy resources.

5. The military consumes 54% of all discretionary spending.  War and
preparation for war divert financial and human resources needed to meet
social needs (including investment in renewable energy and a
sustainable energy system).

6. The manufacture of arms and other military gear adds considerably to
the carbon burden of the world.

7. The military-industrial complex is fully integrated with and
dependent upon the fossil fuel energy complex, serving as its enforcer
as well as its client.

8. To successfully address the climate crisis requires creating a
sustainable new economy, but that is impossible so long as our economy
remains dominated by the military-industrial-security-energy complex.

9. To achieve a just transition to a new sustainable economy will
require the environmental movement see its connection to movements
for social justice, economic justice and peace.  The quest for peace is
also a social justice struggle.

The environmental movement must stop avoiding the connection between our militarized foreign policy and the challenge of climate change.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Authoritarianism and SDG 16.

Why the rise of authoritarianism is a global catastrophe
By Garry Kasparov and Thor Halvorssen, Washington Post. February 13

An opinion piece of great value.  Below is a"Letter to the Editor" to the Washington Post that is unlikely to get printed. 

Dear Editor,

Kasparov and Halvorssen (“The Rise of authoritarianism is a global catastrophe” 2-14-17) are correct.  Authoritarianism “is one of the largest – if not the largest--challenges facing humanity”.  Unfortunately they didn’t mention the specific Sustainable Development Goal (#16) that works against tyranny.  That’s a problem.  
Their commitment to protection human rights could make a monstrous difference for humanity if they made achieving Goal  16 and all the other SDGs their primary call to action.  Only a comprehensive approach could eliminate most of the human sufferings they listed.  

They were correct that there is “no Army of activists” working to change that.   But one is being mobilized.  As founder of the ‘435 Campaign for Global Justice” five organizations now form a nucleus of what we hope will become a ‘movement of movements’.   Initially we are seeking leaders for a ‘Hill Corps’ of individuals willing to mobilize proactivists within each of the 435 US Congressional Districts. Their goal will be to move the SDGs to the top of the US foreign policy agenda by creating the missing “political will” to achieve all of the 17 SDGs by the year 2030.  Our tactic is to document by each Congressional District, a variety of specific local impacts from the array of global forces that horrific human suffering and criminal authoritarian regimes create in so many nations.  Most of these global forces such as pandemic diseases, terrorism, climate change, failed states, WMD proliferation, and economic instability are serious national security threats to our nation and we intend to document how US investment abroad in preventing these crimes is far cheaper in lives and dollars than addressing them here.  

We were warned of these threats decades ago by President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 Presidential Commission on World Hunger.   It mentioned such links to our own national security fourteen times, and summarized, “In the final analysis, unless Americans -- as citizens of an increasingly interdependent world -- place far higher priority on overcoming world hunger, its effects will no longer remain remote or unfamiliar.  Nor can we wait until we reach the brink of the precipice; the major actions required do not lend themselves to crisis planning, patchwork management, or emergency financing... The hour is late.  Age-old forces of poverty, disease, inequity, and hunger continue to challenge the world.  Our humanity demands that we act upon these challenges now...”

Our intent is to salvage the best aspects of civilization globally.  This can only be done as you have both asserted if the protection human rights is held as a higher priority than the protection of Authoritarian states that have little or no respect for them.  Our loyalty needs to be to maximizing the freedom and security of all people.  Not to the domination of national leader over their people.

That was actually the ideal that created the United States.  The "self-evident" "Truths" that all people are created equal….and the purpose of government is to protect the natural rights of all people.  Until we establish this fundamental principle into a democratically authorized world federation focused on a bill of rights mirroring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- massive human suffering will continue, and chaos will reign regardless of the style of leadership of any nation state.  And it won't end well for our species. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

World Interfaith Harmony Week

Adapted from original writing by Rene Wadlow.  Any mistakes are this bloggers.
The UN designated the first week of February as World Interfaith Harmony Week.  It was first celebrated at the UN in 2012 and God knows we needed it. 
It’s recognition arose from a resolution proposed by Jordan and adopted unanimously on 20 October 2010.  The resolution recalls the UN efforts promoting a culture of peace and nonviolence and the importance of the “Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.”  As the then Deputy Secretary-General Aska-Rose Migino said at the first celebration “Although faith is the glue that often bonds communities and cultures around the world, it is too often used as an excuse to emphasize differences and deepen divisions.  Only by finding common cause in mutual respect for shared spiritual and moral values can we hope for harmony among nations and peoples.”
There has always been a hope that understanding among leaders of different religious communities would lead to human security and cooperation.  One of the early efforts was planned and convened by Akbar, the Mogul emperor of India.  In 1578, he built the ‘Tarda-Khana’ (House of Discussion) and on Thursday evenings in the winter months he presided over meetings at which were gathered representatives of the religions of India.
Closer to our time, the first session of the World’s Parliament of Religions was held in Chicago in September 1893 (for 17 days) and ended with the 4,000 participants chanting “Peace on earth, good-will to men.”   Vivekananda in his address saw an end to “sectarianism, bigotry and its horrible descendant, fanaticism…I fervently hope that the bell that toiled this morning in honor of this convention, be the death-knell to all fanaticism, to all persecution with the sword or the pen, and to all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal”.[1]
After all the destruction of the First World War and the creation of the League of Nations, the Church Peace Union founded by Andrew Carnegie held a 1928 multi-faith congress in Geneva with representatives of religions and secretariat staff of the League
“to devise means by which men of all religious faiths may work together to remove existing obstacles to peace; to stimulate international cooperation for peace and the triumph of right; to secure international justice, to increase goodwill, and thus to bring about in all the world a fuller realization of the brotherhood of man.”
The Chinese Confucian delegate Dr Chen Huang-Chang stressed that “There are divisions of territories, but not of peoples as all people belong to one family.  Therefore, peoples of the world, irrespective of their nationalities, should migrate freely, and should not be excluded by any nation.  This is a fundamental means of unifying the whole world.” He stressed that Chinese culture could play an important role in the creation of a harmonious world culture.  In an earlier period, the Sung dynasty (960-1279) there was a conscious effort to bring together into a harmonious framework currents of thought that existed in China but often as separate and sometimes hostile schools of thought: Confucianism, Buddhism, philosophical Taoism and religious Taoism. These efforts were called Tao hsuch, the study of Tao – an effort later called by Western scholars as “Neo-Confucianism.”
The representative of the Religious Association of Japan, Professor T. Tomoeda, presented a resolution from a 1928 Japanese Religious Congress which stated “International peace is the fundamental condition for the welfare of mankind.  The League of Nations is the most effective machinery to bring about this condition.  The Congress considers that all Governments should endeavor  to settle international problems by international cooperation based upon a diplomacy animated by the principles and spirit of the Covenant of the League of Nations.”[2]
It has been said that courage does not always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’. The process of making peace requires a spirit of reconciliation, a genuine intention to search for a common ground.  Religious organizations, as governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations, are often deadlocked in a ‘dialogue of the deaf’ unless we advance our means of communication so as to respect the fears and needs of others.
Today, we are faced with the challenge of creating a global world community based on a sense, in a large number of people, of an identification as citizens of the world.  In the past, tribal membership, national affiliation, racial affinity, and religious community have all shown themselves capable of creating a sense of identity which enables individuals to move beyond individual ego-centrism. However, often these identities have been built by stressing an “us-together” against a “them-over there” mentality.  My tribe excludes others by definition of what my tribe is.  Today, we also see a religious ‘tribal-nationalism’ which strengths an ‘us/them’ division. It will not be easy to move beyond these confrontations. The World Interfaith Harmony Week provides us with the opportunity for a realistic look at the steps to be taken. It is an opportunity to open new paths to unify the aspirations of humanity. We hold that peace can be achieved through opening our hearts and minds to a broader perspective. We are one human race, and we inhabit one world.  That we are all God’s children, whether we know it or not.

Government exists to protect our natural rights. Not outlaw them.

Natural rights.  What are they?   They belong to everybody!
They are the rights that every human is born with regardless of one’s nationality, sex, skin color, religious beliefs, or income level.
They are the rights that this nation’s Founding Fathers referred to as  ‘self-evident’ ‘truths’ in our Declaration of Independence.
When they created the U.S. Constitution they failed to incorporate this fundamental principle into it.  That error resulted in more American deaths than both World War I and WW II combined.
Today’s US law makers failure to incorporate this same fundamental principle into our foreign policy and military operations -- creates or contributes to much of the violence, infectious diseases, border problems, environmental concerns, and other security threats that could have been prevented if human rights globally were more important than short term US interests.
Below is an opinion piece by a highly respected Conservative columnist George Will that makes a fool proof case that human rights are not just American rights.  He’s making a case for what our nation and government should stand for.   Bless our nation’s founders for the 9th Amendment.  But most importantly, the Declaration of Independence.  We must forgive them for the grave mistake early on.  Now it’s up to us to correct it for those who come after us.
“Life, liberty, and Justice for all” or security and sustainability for none.
Achieving the SDGs is the best shot we have at maximizing freedom and security for all -- for generations to come.  Be the one that makes sure your own Member of Congress can never forgets this.

“Gorsuch’s chance to correct Scalia on the Constitution

“Where Scalia was wrong”  By George F. Will, Washington Post.   February 2, 2017
With an asperity born of exasperation, Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote, “If you want aspirations, you can read the Declaration of Independence,” but “there is no such philosophizing in our Constitution,” which is “a practical and pragmatic charter of government.” Scalia was wrong, and much depends on Neil Gorsuch not resembling Scalia in this regard. Gorsuch can endorse Scalia’s originalism, construing the Constitution’s text and structure as it was understood by its framers and ratifiers, without embracing Scalia’s misunderstanding of this:
There is no philosophizing in the Constitution — until the Founders’ philosophy is infused into it by construing the document as a charter of government for a nation that is, in Lincoln’s formulation, dedicated to a proposition that Scalia implicitly disparaged as impractical and unpragmatic. The proposition is that all persons are created equal in their possession of natural rights, which the government is instituted to “secure” — the Declaration’s word. In Lincoln’s formulation, the Constitution is the “frame of silver” for the “apple of gold” that is the Declaration.  Silver is valuable and frames are important, but gold is more precious and frames derive their importance from what they frame.
The drama of American democracy derives from the tension between the natural rights of the individual and the constructed right of the community to make such laws as the majority desires. Natural rights are affirmed by the Declaration;  majority rule, circumscribed and modulated, is constructed by the Constitution, and a properly engaged judiciary is duty-bound to declare majority acts invalid when they abridge natural rights.
In Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing to be a justice, she was asked if she believes there are natural rights that are not among the rights the Constitution enumerates. She replied: “I don’t have a view of what are natural rights, independent of the Constitution.” Using a foggy double negative, she added: “I’m not saying I do not believe that there are rights preexisting the Constitution and the laws, but my job as a justice is to enforce the Constitution and the laws.” And: “I think that the question of what I believe as to what people’s rights are outside the Constitution and the laws — that you should not want me to act in any way on the basis of such a belief.”
Well. Natural rights, which are grounded in nature, are thus “independent of” the Constitution. They are not, however, “outside” of it because its paramount purpose is the protection of those rights.
The Ninth Amendment says: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” If you believe, as Robert Bork did, that this amendment is a meaningless “inkblot,” you must believe that the framers were slapdash draftsmen about this, and only this, provision.  Scalia believed that “the whole theory of democracy . . . is that the majority rules. . . . You protect minorities only because the majority determines that there are certain minority positions that deserve protection. . . . The minority loses, except to the extent that the majority, in its document of government, has agreed to accord the minority rights.”
If that is the “whole theory” of democracy, then democratic theory is uninteresting. What is interesting begins with the institutional and cultural measures necessary to increase the likelihood that majorities will be reasonable and respectful of the natural rights of those in the minority. It is the judiciary’s job to construe the “document of government” — the frame of silver — in the light cast by the apple of gold.
With the Declaration, Americans ceased claiming the rights of aggrieved Englishmen and began asserting rights that are universal because they are natural, meaning necessary for the flourishing of human nature. The Constitution is America’s fundamental law but not its first law. The Declaration appears on Page 1 of Volume 1 of the U.S. Statutes at Large and it is at the head of the United States Code under the caption “The Organic Laws of the United States.” Since the 1864 admission of Nevada to statehood, every state’s admission has been conditioned on adoption of a constitution consistent with the U.S. Constitution — and the Declaration.
The Constitutional Convention met in the room where the Declaration was debated and endorsed, and the Constitution implements what the Declaration initiated. Gorsuch will occupy much of the jurisprudential space Scalia so admirably did. But having earned a doctorate in philosophy and jurisprudence at Oxford studying under John Finnis, author of the book “Natural Law and Natural Rights,” perhaps Gorsuch will effect a philosophic correction.
Dear Editor, 

George Will’s assertion that “Scalia was wrong” (“Gorsuch’s chance to correct Scalia on the Constitution2-2-17) has profound implications at both the national and global levels.  Early on, our nation’s founding father’s failure to incorporate into the US Constitution the “proposition” (and ‘self-evident truth’) that all people are created equal’ -- ended up costing more American lives than World War I and WW II combined.
Looking at the world today, it seems self-evident that most threats to our freedom, security and prosperity (war, terrorism, pandemics, economic instability, climate disruptions, border insecurity…) are caused by that same proposition being excluded in both our foreign policy and military adventures since WW II. 
After the horrors of that world war, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created with that proposition in mind, with the intent to prevent future generations from war and other scourges.  Unfortunately, any real protection of human rights was overridden by the creation of a rigged system with national sovereignty (government interests) put far above the protection of universal inalienable human rights.   It remains so today.  No wonder ‘we the people’ have lost trust in institutions at both the national and global level, and now fear what populist powers might do.
Without the rapid transformation of both the US Constitution and the UN Charter to correct this flaw no one’s freedom or security will remain secure.