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Chuck W.

Dec 1: World AIDS Day

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AIDS (or the HIV virus that causes it) is an infectious disease that should have woken humanity up to our collective challenge to save civilization two decades ago when it was first recognized in the US in San Francisco, CA.   It didn’t then but still can if we understand how the biology of this virus connects us with each other — and the rest of the world in multiple ways.

By Chuck Woolery, Activist, not TV Host

World AIDS Day offers us yet another opportunity to understand it and what’s needed to prevent inevitable catastrophic consequences if we keep ignoring the obvious lessons that this and other viruses repeatedly offer us.  Fundamentally, viruses are “change-causing” agents.  AIDS is one of the best.  But first some simple biology.

We often take life (and our health) for granted.  We shouldn’t.  Life anywhere in this cold and dark universe is miraculous, rare and infinitely vulnerable.  Every human has over 20,000 different proteins vital for one’s health, procreation, and survival.   A virus has fewer than 200.  And every cell of every person and every other cellular organism in every domain of on earth is vulnerable to viral infections.

Humans want things to stay the same.  We get annoyed when unexpected things happen.  But real life and the entire physical universe is in a constant state of change.  Life forms that fail to adapt face extinction. We are no exception.  There are two fundamental avenues of change.  Natural selection and human selection.   Nature’s environmental changes select the DNA with favorable traits.  We humans can change the environment to compensate for weakness in our DNA.

The natural environment favored the evolution of a primate viral infection that didn’t kill the primates infected in the deep rain forest of Africa.  But it became lethal to the human primates that were infected with it while eating lesser primates.  But it did so in a very slow way allowing it to be spread further when these advanced primates mated.  And in the early 1980s this virus started slowly killing gay men in San Francisco. Within 30 years it had killed 39 million people.  Still far short of the records of the 1918 flu which killed nearly 100 million people. Or smallpox which killed over 300 million people in 70 years of the last century (more than all the wars and genocides combined during 100 years of the last century).

But this virus remains with us today for two unique reasons.   First, it hides in the very cells that are supposed to detect it and destroy it.  Viruses have been the greatest threat to all larger life forms of the planet since the beginning.  And immune systems in larger organisms evolved to fight them.  But this type of virus’s high mutation rate resulted in unique strains that infiltrated and fooled the immune system cells with even the most effective anti-virus proficiencies.   Second, the virus didn’t immediately kill its host.  It lingered for a long time without harming any host characteristic that would inhibit its capacity for acquiring sex partners over an extended period of time.

Viruses, likely being the first earthly life form, remain the smallest semblance of life.  They have survived and thrived through every environmental change in earth’s history.  They will do so until the earth’s temperature is hot enough to break their molecular bonds (about 500 degrees F).  Our immune system, like our 11 other biological systems, fail catastrophically at about 110 degrees.   We must learn to adapt to viruses toughness, resilience, and ever evolving killing capacity.

We face other existential threats and create more with each new technology we create.  And just because its modern technology doesn’t mean it doesn’t help viruses spread.  Modern invasive medical procedures greatly enable viruses and other infectious agents.

Nosocomial (hospital acquired infections) kill about 100,000 Americans each year.  Modern food processing and transportation have done the same enabling mass contamination and rapid distribution of infectious agents annually to one in six Americans (about 50 million people) 3,000 of whom will die.  Other modern factors like air travel enable their rapid spread globally.  Combine this with increased human incursion into remote environmental habitats exposing their ‘civilized’ immune systems unknown pathogens and their rapid return to densely populated cities and catastrophic consequences are inevitable. In this sense our minds belief that what we don’t see won’t hurt us is lethal.

The greatest advance in human history was the invention of the microscope followed by the invention of technologies to provide clean water and safe removal of waste (the flush toilet).  But again, advances in chemistry and biology have created modern substances that again empower natures pathogens.  Both advanced chemical and biological substances facilitate the mutation rate of existing pathogens.  Chemicals mutate their DNA and RNA.  Antibiotics kill most bacterial pathogens but in the case of Tuberculosis (one in every three people in the world have this bacterium in their bodies) the wrong or unsupervised use and abuse of antibiotics to treat TB has resulted in strains of TB that must be removed  surgically. And those operated on only have a 50% survival rate.   The HIV virus kicks into high gear when it infects anyone whose health has already been compromised by TB, malnutrition, or some other immune system inhibitor (chemical, biological, environmental, nutritional, economic, political, criminal, military, cultural, or religious).  In other words…anything that doesn’t abide by the fundamental principles inherent in both the “Laws of Nature and Natures God”.

The evolution of pathogens is inevitable regardless of our technological advances.  Advances which too often even accelerate their evolution.   Sometimes intentionally.  Advances in bio and cyber technologies have enabled an increasing global capacity to create designer biological weapons.  Pathogens that make nature’s killers look benign.  Nature’s small pox killed about 3% of those it infected. Weaponized Smallpox perfected by the former Soviet Union was designed to kill over 90%.  The evolution of war ensures the evolution of weaponry, including biological.  As long as war remains an earthly option our species vulnerability is exacerbated in multiple ways (think computer viruses which have much in common with biological viruses).

HIV is an RNA based virus with a 3% mutation rate.  There are about 2 billion replications of the virus every day (20,000 mutations) in each infected person.  The virus continues to change.  We are lucky it is not an airborne virus.  So far.

Viruses (biological and cyber) consist of the tiniest packets of information (DNA or bits).  Hundreds, sometimes thousands of viruses can fit inside one cell (or computer).  Viruses reproduce faster and in greater numbers than any other life form.   If a person gets infected with a flu virus, they could have up to 100 trillion flu viruses in their body within a few days (more than 10,000 times the number of people on earth).   This hyper reproduction rate contributes greatly to the virus’s survivability in two ways. Obviously, high numbers.  But, more important, genetic variability due to natural or environmentally induced errors made while multiplying.  IMPORTANT!  All pathogens are NOT the immutable structures that we usually envision in our minds.  They change relatively rapidly.  Not intentionally like we can but don’t, but through random mistakes in their nonsexual (un enjoyable?) process of reproduction resulting in ‘copy errors’ or mutations.

HIV has a special advantage.  All life forms on earth are based on only two genetic blue prints.  DNA or RNA.  DNA usually uses RNA to make copies of itself with few mistakes.  But RNA can also make copies of RNA but makes more mistakes (mutations).  HIV is an RNA based resulting in far more mutations.


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Errors/mutations may sound like a bad thing. They usually are.  But occasionally (and I mean rarely) mutations are a good thing for the survival of that entity by providing a small but protective survival advantage to that one entity.  And then it reproduces by the thousands.

Mutations increase the genetic variability of every life form.   It is life’s primary survival mechanism to nature’s inevitable environmental changes.  But now humans are changing the environment.  And those humans who don’t believe we humans as a whole don’t have that much power are contributing to our cultural and political capacity to change/adapt to the coming changes.  This is not rocket science.  Things change. So should we.  Or we will need a lot more rockets to save our species if we trash mother earth or create weapons (bio, cyber, nano, AI…) that destroy civilization first.  Rockets are not a bad idea.  Earth does have an expiration date.  But everything on it need not go extinct.  Advances in technology if focused on mimicking nature’s genius can carry us beyond this solar system…if we learn the ultimate principle of life, cooperation trumps competition.   Both fundamental drivers got us this far.  But things change.  Now cooperation is infinitely more important than competition which will end us.

The greatest survival advantage in this context is diversity.  And, improving our species genetic diversity depends on sexual reproduction.  White supremists have it backwards.  Their genetic purity is extremely vulnerable to extinction.  But, part of the destructive genius of the HIV virus (and other STDs) is its hijacking of the evolutionary strategy of sexual reproduction.  Multiple sex partners and sharing of needles is as harmful to our survival as racism, sexism, and prejudice.   We are free to do and think however we like but we will never be free of the consequences.

The other genius quality of the HIV virus, its glacially slow rate of degrading the body’s immune system response in developing symptoms, is like depending on the US military to defend the United States from terrorist attacks while employing ISIS agents to operate within the NSA.  It would be advantageous for the NSA to have diversity of thinking (including former ISIS operatives who had the wisdom to ‘change’ sides) to assist in detecting hostile ISIS efforts to infiltrate our expanding vulnerabilities (because we refuse to change).

We were warned!   Shortly after the Sept, 11, 2001 attacks on the US, General Collin Powell was speaking at the UN.  He called HIV/AIDS a greater threat to U.S. national security than Al Qaeda.   He wasn’t referring to the AIDS high mutation rate of 1% (an average untreated HIV infected individual has about 2 billion replications of the viruses in their body on any given day) potentially producing over 20,000 variations of the virus in each person every day!!!   He was referring to the failed states that AIDS created in Africa which provides fertile ground for Al Qaeda expansion.

Our lack of interest in the health and security of those in poverty on the African continent allowed the spread of HIV for decades.   African nations impoverished by corrupt dictator or unfair trade practices that the US supported – and wars or genocides that we either ignored or facilitated, eventually had US consequences.

My wife and I were expecting our first child in the early 1980s while living in San Francisco.  I had friends in the gay community but never had a reason to fear AIDS.  Not, until a few months after our daughter was born.  We received a letter from the hospital to come in for an HIV test.  My wife had received a blood transfusion during the birthing.  The blood supply was not being monitored before then.  We were lucky.

But it wasn’t smart that US foreign, trade and military policy had largely neglected the majority of people in Africa.  If we had been interested in their health, we could have detected the spread of HIV/AIDS at least 3 decades before it started killing Americans.  The economic costs of this virus and others imported mostly by US tourists, soldiers and business travelers returning home is far greater than the costs of preventing the spread of these infectious threats (including terrorism) by investing in global public health, nutrition and education programs.

The US military has four rational pillars for dealing with threats.  Early detection.  Rapid response. Research and development (to ensure we have the best means of detection and response). And, Prevention.  Pandemics and the spread of new and re-emerging infectious diseases like AIDS, TB, measles, or polio (just to name a few) require the same approach.   In fact, every threat does.

We have three places to address the threats we face.  We can wait until they get to our lungs or loved ones (very expensive and often ineffective).  We can try to stop them by sealing our borders and stopping all trade and air travel (extremely costly and ineffective).   We can invest in prevention efforts beyond our shores (by far the cheapest and most effective means of saving US tax dollars and lives).

If we had a macroscope that would allow all Americans to see the invisible forces now threatening us (terrorism, tribalism, global poverty, Cyber threats, WMD proliferation, toxins, species extinctions, polluted oceans, weapons in space…) like the microscope did hundreds of years ago, we would have the second greatest global revolution in protecting human freedom and security.

And the most effective means of limiting or eliminating most of those destructive global forces is funding the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the world’s governments have already agreed to.  It would be the best investment humanity could make to protect our own health, wealth and cherished freedoms which our nation has always promised as a ‘more perfect union’ with liberty and justice for all.

Global competition will still have its place.  In the Olympics and in nations competing to provide the money, technology, or services to make sure the 17 SDGs are all met before 2030.

“Things change.  Can we?”  –Nell Temple Brown, WHO”s Washington DC office Director.

About the Author

Chuck Wooley (not the Game show host)
Chuck’s professional grassroots organizing and advocacy successes on global health issues led to his elected position on the respected Action Board of the American Public Health Association (membership of 120,000 US Health Professionals). Later he was then elected by his peers to Chair the United Nation’s Association Council of Organizations (over 110 US based NGOs representing a collective membership of over 25 million Americans). His focus has been connecting local and global issues to US national security interests and using non-partisan fundamental principles to advance public thinking and US policy on vital systems and structures essential to forming a more perfect union.

Chuck credits much of his successes to his mother’s love and his background in Biology and wrestling. He qualified for the Olympic Trials only to find out he was seriously not qualified – but was honored to make it that far coming from a childhood of obesity and sloth. “We are all”, he says “always wrestling with issues and concerns our entire lives. Or we should be — given the persistent changes in our bodies and the world.” “Loving persistence” and “ruthless compassion” are two qualities his mentors offered him. Perhaps to his detriment he usually offers what people need to hear instead of what they want to hear. Chuck is an avid quote collector… one of his many favorites — “Science is my passion, politics my duty.” Thomas Jefferson

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Chuck W.

“We hold” this truth “to be Self-evident.”

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Our U.S. Constitution has not formed a perfect union.

Instead, it has created an increasingly dysfunctional and stubbornly divided people within a collection of 50 unique and troubled states. With the continued contempt on Capitol Hill, it would be hard to find any U.S. citizen with the opinion that our government is doing what’s needed to “insure domestic tranquility.” Covid19 crushed the intent to “provide for the common defense.” And our cognitive divisions make it impossible to “promote” our “general welfare.” Our Constitution has allowed our military to enter into endless wars because we have valued the law of force instead of the force of law to end violent extremism. These efforts to preempt attacks instead of preventing them are at the core of our Constitution’s failure to secure the “Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” The absence of justice in our laws combined with our 4th Amendment (our unyielding desire for privacy) makes our Constitution a virtual suicide pact.

By  “The Other” Chuck Woolery

How will we stop corruption from undermining our economic system, a white supremist engineering a bioweapon targeting Blacks or Jews, a cyberattack on our nation’s critical infrastructure, or a spy from exposing any other vulnerable aspects of any system vital to our nation’s security? Can we drone strike suspects? We do this in other countries.
Do we really believe that will make us sustainably safe?

Trust is the glue that holds any relationship, civilization, or democracy together. It depends on truths we can all agree on. Today, however, we believe firmly in different realities. Facts about our political party, religion, economic philosophy…that we are willing to kill and die for. And there appears to be no means of reversing this polarization. It may even be growing as gun sales have skyrocketed and bullets are now hard to find.

“We the people” have never been more divided since our civil war. The consequences already include a drop in life expectancy approaching that of World War II. This was mainly due to an elected President that could have prevented it. And he still believes (along with millions of followers) that the election was rigged, and he should still be President.

But it’s worse than that. Even before Trump’s presidency, our nation’s top national security experts ranked our own government’s dysfunction as our nation’s second most significant security threat (terrorism was #1). And before Trump, the U.S. Surgeon General stated that our nation’s most significant health risk was “loneliness.” This suggests there is something even more dysfunctional than our Constitution.

Understanding the fundamental cause of each of these problems (and others) is now more valuable than winning any partisan debate, tweaking any budget lines, or changing any particular law among the thousands that our Constitutional process has codified in the last 70 years.

Something needs to change fast, given the escalation of domestic and international threats. We need systemic change. A comprehensive change. A transformational change in the very fundamental operating principles of our Constitution and what we believe in.

This question keeps coming to mind. How free, secure, or healthy can we be if we are well adjusted to a profoundly dysfunctional political system and nationalist culture?

No sane individual would now wager we will make the needed changes anytime soon. Buckle up, buttercup! Things are going to continue to get worse. Much worse before we fix it.

A catastrophic collapse of our economy or our 245-year-old political system is no longer unthinkable. It is as predictable as a pandemic had been. Both, inevitable. Given both the structural and systemic flaws in our Constitution and its persistent failure to abide by the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” – another pandemic and our systems collapse are both inevitable.
How many people would ride on an airplane that they knew was engineered by a committee that understood the forces of gravity yet failed to abide by it during the aircraft’s construction? Our founding fathers understood the forces of nature and nature’s God. They all signed the document based on such self-evident truths found in the Declaration of Independence. Then they engineered a government that ignored them.

According to most former U.S. Presidents, Abraham Lincoln is the most popular U.S. President. This is because he presided over the correction of a fundamental flaw in our Constitution’s original design. A design flaw resulted in more dead Americans than all the wars our nation has fought in since then—Combined! Now a virus has killed even more than that in less than two years. Why? Because “we the people’ believed our powerful military, our economic system, our wealth would keep us safe. And we ignored history, science, the fundamentals of the faith (do unto others), and the flag pledge…” liberty and justice for all” that every American has said out loud hundreds of times with their hand over their heart.

Abraham Lincoln once wrote, our ‘Declaration of Independence is our “Apple of Gold.” Our Constitution is its “frame of Silver.”

Yet our elected officials, public servants, and military personal swear an oath to protect the Constitution. Not us. Not the environment on which we all depend. But on a fundamentally flawed document. A document that frames the codification of unjust laws and the protection of God-given inalienable rights. But only for U.S. citizens. And we wonder why tens of thousands if not millions of people in the world hate us enough to want to kill us. Murder us in large numbers.

Our only way forward as a united nation in this troubled world is to accept the pain and suffering our country has caused. We are asking forgiveness for our crimes against humanity. Slavery. We are not keeping our word “40 acres and a mule”. Stealing the land of ‘first Americans,’ breaking our treaties with them, then systematically destroying their cultures and heritage. Our interventionist wars are intended to protect our interests or preempt other nations without sufficient evidence, resulting in millions of civilian deaths in dozens of countries. Then, we re-engineered our Constitution to codify new laws. Laws and codes that effectively mirror those laws based on the “Truths” that ‘we hold to be self-evident.

Erase a few words from our political vocabulary. Words like independence, terrorism, and happiness. Replace them with “separation, mass murder, health. Imagine how different our culture and nation would be today if our Declaration of Independence had been called our Declaration of Separation. The concept of independence is so ingrained into our brains we believe it’s real. Yet, it exists nowhere in the known universe. Yet our Constitution considers our 50 states some level of ‘independence’ on some issues. And every nation in the world has a right to their ‘national sovereignty’ (independence) unless our Constitution is used to justify our nation violating it.

Then imagine what things would be like if Thomas Jefferson had listened to his friend Dr. Benjamin Rush (also a signer of the Declaration). Rush suggested that he change “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” to the pursuit of “Health.”
We have thoroughly abused the word ‘happiness’ as it was meant in previous times. Those alive at this nation’s creation believed ‘happiness’ to be ‘finding one’s purpose in serving the community as ‘finding one’s bliss.

And what if the founders had followed Thomas Paine’s assertion that the only legitimate use of government is protecting human “freedom and security.” Our Constitution would have never allowed the slaughter of innocent people anywhere.

And the word we have worshipped yet butchered most is ‘freedom.’ We persist in ignoring the dozens of quotes that the founders and those before them they had thoroughly studied, that stress the importance of being responsible with one’s freedom – or it would be lost. Surprisingly, another word mentioned in their archived documents (over 120,000) said ‘virtue’ 6000 times. More times than freedom! Then, it implied that good men were needed to maintain God’s given freedoms.

Here’s another self-evident truth. We cannot stop the accelerating global forces that now penetrate our national borders effortlessly without breaking ourselves economically. No amount of money in the world can prevent the consequences of biological, cyber, environmental, criminal, or economic contagion from crossing our borders as if they were not there. In reality, our borders are political lines drawn on maps. But, unfortunately, the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God do not recognize map lines.
The exponential growth of technology – combined with its increasing affordability, availability, power, multi-use capacity, dependence building, norm busting, and unavoidable globally disrupting influences cannot be stopped militarily or with walls. And most are an inevitable and unstoppable assault on human privacy.

Our mind’s illusion that globalization on steroids can be stopped with hyper-nationalism will fail. And fail catastrophically. No nation can effectively address the escalating battery of globalized threats humanity now faces.

Our current global governance system ensures failure. And the costs in blood and treasure are nearly unimaginable. If we fail to reduce these risks, they will continue to relieve us. Instead, it will vastly increase us as refugees.

It is possible that our so-called ‘independent nations’ could rally and address the most popular environmental threat these days, global warming. But it’s not possible to stop pandemics, the evolution of weapons, and war – without every nation, village, and individual in the world being held accountable for any injustices or overt violations of inalienable human rights.

Since we have ignored or refused to codify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, our only reliable path is to work as diligently as possible to fund and comprehensively achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

This is quite possible if most progressive groups in the U.S. and around joined into one single movement. For example, a movement of movements as Naomi Klein called for in 2014 during the Climate March in N.Y. city and hundreds of cities worldwide. Together such a movement could convince most of the world’s governments to freeze and then seize much of the illicit funds stashed in offshore accounts exposed by the Pandora papers.

 

A 2014 study estimated that as much as $32 trillion had been stashed there by kleptocrats, oligarchs, crime cartels, extremist groups, and ultra-rich capitalists avoiding taxes. Corruption and privacy in those – and now in cryptocurrencies – undermine every aspect of humanity’s freedom, security, prosperity, and sustainability.

Connect the dots. See the web of life. Work for justice for all. Or prepare for the consequences. Know that no matter how much we invest in resilience – it will not be enough.

It is past time we shed the 400-year-old dysfunctional global governance system of national sovereignty. And put in place an international rule of law where the protection of human rights (freedom and security) and the environment is above the rights of nations and corporations to do as they please.

Mission impossible…yes. What else are you going to do? Build a bunker?

“The Other” Chuck Woolery (not the Game show host)

Chuck’s professional grassroots organizing and advocacy successes on global health issues led to his elected position on the respected Action Board of the American Public Health Association (membership of 120,000 US Health Professionals). Later he was then elected by his peers to Chair the United Nation’s Association Council of Organizations (over 110 US based NGOs representing a collective membership of over 25 million Americans). His focus has been connecting local and global issues to US national security interests and using non-partisan fundamental principles to advance public thinking and US policy on vital systems and structures essential to forming a more perfect union and sustainable environment.


Chuck credits much of his successes to his mother’s love, father’s violence, the study of Biology and wrestling (having qualified for the 1972 Olympic Trials only to find out he was seriously not qualified – but was honored to make it that far after a childhood of obesity and sloth.) “We are all”, he says “always wrestling with issues and concerns our entire life. Or we should be — given the persistent changes in our bodies and the world.” “Loving persistence” and “ruthless compassion” are two qualities his mentors offered him. Admittedly to his detriment he usually offers people what they need to know instead of what they want to hear. Chuck is an avid quote collector… one of his many favorites — “Science is my passion, politics my duty.” Thomas Jefferson

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Chuck W.

The Interconnected structure of reality

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Post 9/11: Truth or Continued Consequences?

What did 9-11, Covid19, the Covid variants, the end of our 20-year war in Afghanistan, recent extreme weather events globally, and a decline in democracy in many nations all have in common?  First, they were all predictable, predicted, and preventable. Second, more costly blood and treasure consequences are yet to come – unless we understand the root cause and urgently act on it.

By “The Other” Chuck Woolery

Everyone who was conscious on September 11, 2001, recalls the events of that day. But understanding both the origins and the results of 9/11 is far more important than any acts of remembrance that we might perform. If we truly care to honor those who died and suffered on that unforgettable day, we must use our powers of understanding to develop sustainable strategies for preventing the next terrorizing event that might occur. Understanding must matter more than body counts.

The Post’s lead editorial of 9/11 cites Abraham Lincoln’s statement that, when combating danger “the best defense (against the dangers of his time) …lay in cultivating robust ‘reverence for the Constitution and laws,’ ” as well as his hopes that doing so “would inspire and sustain the people’s commitment to liberty and equality.”

In his writings, Lincoln also described the Declaration of Independence as “our apple of gold” and the Constitution as its “frame of silver.” To my mind, these analogies reflect our foundational goal of equality for all people, as invoked in the Declaration.   But our “rule of law, as detailed in the Constitution ignores both the concept of justice and humanities inalienable rights.  The Constitution’s reliance on the proposition of independence — a deeply flawed concept rooted deeply in our minds has not delivered justice or consistently protected human rights since its creation.  From the start it was engineered into every level of our nation’s government.

Many Americans today proclaim their allegiance to individual liberty at the freedom to infect others in their communities.  For a significant portion US citizens “independence” has come to denote the license to act irresponsibly without regard for the medical, environmental, or economic consequences their actions on others (rejecting masks, refusing vaccinations, or denying climate change).

This prevalent fusion of “freedom” with “self-gratification” has long consequences for rest of the world too. For many decades our foreign and military policies have disparaged other cultures as unworthy of the respect and privilege that we ourselves take for granted; we’ve dismissed foreign casualties as “collateral damage”, communist or terrorist sympathizers, or humans irrelevant to our nation’s interests.

My studies as a biologist and student of the natural world have made the fundamental flaws in our Constitution to be “self-evident”.  They consistently ignore the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” expressed in the first paragraph of our “Apple of Gold” the Declaration of Independence.   Interdependence is at the heart of nature’s laws. Chief Seattle (1780-1866), the head of the Duwamish and Suquamish nations, saw this clearly: “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”   Yet most of us ignore our irreversible global interdependence environmentally, economically, militarily, and health wise.   Without being responsible with our freedoms abroad we cannot expect to sustainably preserve our freedom, security, or prosperity here.

Until we grasp the wisdom and survival value of putting the global protection of human rights and the environment above the protection of national sovereignty and corporate power, our vulnerability to the kind of dangers inflicted on 9/11 will grow.  Sustaining what quality of life that remains and improving it for ourselves and our children we must abandon the illusion of independence.

 

Our interdependence within this nation and on this planet is accelerating and irreversible. Nearly every troubling trend we are experiencing today is a symptom of our delusion of separation. There is a medical term for this mental condition – anosognosia.  It is when someone is unaware of their own mental health condition.  In a world with the accelerating evolution of weapons, pathogens, failing democracies, and civil strife It’s time for a wake-up call.

Our human-created construct of independence is responsible for our persistent failure to understand and respond effectively to nearly every danger we face (pandemics, pollution, terrorism, cyber security, economic stability, drug trade, refugee flows, food insecurity, extreme weather events…), each with lethal and unfavorable consequences for all — both here and abroad.

We can no longer simply react when disaster strikes. We can no longer build back to what we had before. It’s imperative now that we build forward in ways that prevent dangers and conserve limited resources.  It is our only means of maximizing any sustainable prospects of freedom, security, and prosperity for ourselves and our posterity.  Most nations have agreed to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030.  It is the only comprehensive set of solutions we have, and humanity is not on track to meet them.  Time is not on our side…and e may not get another chance.

The truth of our interdependence can set us free.  Ignoring it will only have more unfavorable consequences.

 

Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half of the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.”   -Albert Einstein.  As quoted in Quantum Reality, Beyond the New Physics, p. 250.

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Chuck W.

Truth or Consequences

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“At the root cause of our problems is the failure to recognize that Independence is a man made concept. The truth of our reality is that everything is connected to everything and therefore, everything impacts everything.  Every action impacts the whole. Mobilized is firmly rooted in this natural law.”

Everyday a new story of systematic breakdown, of tragedy, a shooting, a broken system, the election of incompetent psychopaths, media companies at war with each other,  it’s a constant struggle to keep up with it all.

We can stand high atop a mountain and cream “What the F%&K is going on here?” or we can go down the rabbit hole and discover the root cause–the epicenter of all of our inherent, continual and on-going problems.

The Age of Consequences of Systematic Failure: Our existing situations are not problems. They are Consequences

By Chuck Woolery, Former Chair, United Nations Assn., Council of Organizations (not the TV host!) and Steven Jay, Creative Director, Mobilized

Summary:  After the Great Depression and the end of WWII the general sense of the common good generated by these crises gradually disappeared from public discussion (with the exception of the civil rights forces that yielded some important civil progress).

America’s success in the world and our fear of Communism helped fuel individualism, greed, and selfishness (the illusion of individual separation from the whole). This largely un-examined mind set eclipsed the ‘united we stand’ American character. It was an aberration of logic, compassion, and empathy that basically steamrolled American politics into the train wreck we have today. Recently, technology greatly accelerated this trend that had been well established by a largely unregulated capitalism system that had spread the dangerous meme of Independence globally for the past few decades.

The tragic and lethal consequences are now upon us. And instead of recognizing our collective mental flaw that got us here, and confronting it, many people have doubled down on it. They want to make American Great Again by going back to the comforts, conditions, and selfish mindset that tragically nurtured our disconnect from reality. The truth that “United We Stand” is still stands. Divided we will fall And, this time it will be a hard fall. One we may not recover from.

  • Trump is not the problem. He’s a consequence. And…
  • Climate change isn’t the problem. It’s a consequence.
  • Unprecedented obesity rates, opioid deaths, mass shootings, and suicides rates are not emergencies. They are consequences.
  • Flint, Michigan’s contaminated water, Honeybees’ Colony Collapse Disorder, Florida’s red tide are not environmental problems. They’re consequences.
  • The continuing wars in Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria are all consequences.
  • Radical extremism, nuclear proliferation, and Russian cyber hacks are not national security threats. Growing economic inequality, fake news, and loss of privacy are not dilemmas.

That’s right, they are consequences.

  • All of these, and most of the other problems that we are now encountering at breakneck pace in newspapers and in our lives are the inevitable consequences of our thinking and actions.

They are the result of our collective failure to do what we know is needed to prevent such problems.

All Americans have solemnly pledged dozens, if not hundreds of times, “Liberty and Justice for all”. But our desire for comfort, wealth, distractions, popularity, and freedom comes with all too real life and death consequences.

Americans love freedom. Some freedoms have arguably been worth the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives and trillions of our tax dollars. But it has been our overindulgence in freedom without responsibility that is the fundamental cause of our (and the world’s) growing list of profoundly dangerous, destructive, unhealthy, and increasingly lethal consequences. Unforgiving consequences that were predictable and often warned about. Costly consequences that were, and remain, related to a simple conceptual flaw within our mental calculations.

We believe and act as if we are independent. As Americans, we reinforce that sentiment every 4th of July. And yet, as a concept, independence has no foundation … in sane thought or practical application in the known universe.

It is this unyielding faith in, allegiance to, and reflexive defense of this flawed principle that essentially disconnects us from much of our personal, civil, environmental, social, and economic responsibilities. Like Neo in the Matrix, we all sense something isn’t right… but can’t see the truth;

In reality every aspect of our lives is dependent on other people, the environment, our nation’s laws, and most importantly, the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” as expressed in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.

The growing mass of undesirable consequences that threaten our freedom, security and prosperity were as inevitable as they were unintentional. But they are only self-evident if we are honest about reality.

Our Founding Fathers called reality “Self-Evident…Truths” based on the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. Their catastrophic error was failing to codify this wisdom into their new government blueprint — the U.S. Constitution. The consequence was a civil war that killed more Americans than all the wars our nation has fought in since then, combined. And some of the consequences remain with us today.

Far more Americans will die from preventable causes in the years ahead related to global factors SUCH AS terrorism, pandemics, climate change, wars, and poverty because the the systems and structures that our Constitution protects today on both the national and international level still fail to codify the wisdom of “liberty and justice for all” in a world of irrefutable and irreversible interdependence.

Interdependence … is accelerating because exponential advances in technology are accelerating, while our government’s capacity for change (or adaptation to change) has virtually stopped, and in some arenas … actually reversing.

The illusion of Independence underlies most of our thinking, planning, policy making, and actions.

We assume without question our individual, budgetary, institutional, and national independence. The endless war against terrorism (a tactic that cannot be defeated) only accelerates our loss of freedom and security. Our modern world of unprecedented and increasingly powerful, affordable and ubiquitous technological capacity for WMD creation – and the increasing difficulty in accurately attributing the identity of the attacker, puts everything at risk.

Imagine the loss of lives, freedom, and prosperity from a bioterrorist attack or global pandemic as bad, or worse than the 1918 Flu epidemic. Unlike nuclear war, such a biosecurity threat is inevitable. And, we remain lethally unprepared for a catastrophe that will NEGATIVELY affect every system and structure in our bodies, our homes, our economies and THE world.
We have based our policies on the illusion of independence (a concept created by humans, not existing in nature) instead of obeying nature’s fundamental principles that are used in science and technology to engineer things that work to save and protect life, and make our lives more comfortable, profitable, and secure. … It is the flawed human principle of independence that leads to our abuse and misuse of the amazing science and technology that creates most of our problems. Often with catastrophic results, but still preventable … if we had followed the laws of nature and nature’s God.

Now imagine a government engineered on the fundamental principles offered in the Declaration of Independence. A government that … soundly embraces and promotes the responsibility of inclusion with ‘liberty and justice for all’.


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Some have asserted that the primary fundamental principle in both the laws of nature and nature’s God is justice. The basis of every major religion is the Golden Rule of do unto others as you would have them do to you. And anyone experiencing an injustice doesn’t need to be a religious believer to understand the supreme value of this. Our US Justice Department offers two quotes engraved in its exterior’s stone.

“Justice is found in the rights bestowed by nature upon man. Liberty is maintained in security of justice.”

And,

“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.”

Yet our federal (and lower) systems and structures of justice are profoundly unjust. In reality we have a legal system in which it is better to be guilty and rich than innocent and poor. Many of our laws are unjust. And unacceptable injustices can also be found in our national economic, electoral, education, healthcare, agriculture, military, foreign policy, and intelligence systems and structures. Is it really any wonder that things don’t work, Trump was elected, wars persist, the environment is trashed, and our society is ailing?
Every time I see or hear of another failing in our nation, a phrase I heard last year comes to mind; ;“How healthy can we be if we are well adjusted to a profoundly sick society?” We are afflicted with a mental illness; Our capacity to believe anything! Literally, anything. Fake news and conspiracy theory should make that stunningly clear…but so should our worship of the illusion of independence.

In reality, every system and structure in our body, our house, our environment, and our world is interconnected and interdependent on the health and sustainable functioning of a just world. Our … mind’s illusion of independence … disconnects us from our bodies’ vital needs; Love, peace, community, … and nature’s vital systems and structures that we have largely taken for granted. Natural systems that maintain our planet’s capacity for sustaining all life, human health, future prosperity, and ultimately our species survival.

There is … zero guarantee … our nation will last.

The Federalists worried that hostile nations could exploit any domestic divisions. George Washington warned in his farewell address that partisan “factions” could rip the country apart. James Madison feared that liberty could be lost by the “gradual and silent encroachments of those in power.” John Adams said, “There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide”. But, many in our Republic praise democracy, and rightfully blame both parties that are dominating our flawed two-party system that’s giving us the consequences we are suffering today. Some are proposing the creation of “People’s Party”. They put too much promise in the will of the ,masses and offer a platform based on creative progressive ideas that are largely devoid of fundamental principles. In other words – they are engineering a political party that relies on creative and popular proposals that could win a majority – but completely incapable of transforming the profound flaws in our current system and structures, on both the national and international levels.

FYI: Earth itself has an expiration date. And we the American people (and probably most of the world) still reflect the opinion offered in the second paragraph of their Declaration of Independence which states “accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.”

The bad news however is that Unfortunately, the suffering that’s coming in our age of Consequences may be so great that our species may expire long, long before Earth. With the consequences of the acceleration of technology (WMD proliferation and AI) already knocking on our door, the majority of Americans or people in the world may not even get the chance to suffer the full effects of climate change. Because of multiple factors, time is NOT on our side.

If you are seeking the most practical action to take, a ‘justice for all’ system won’t be welcomed immediately by many policy makers or political parties. This would require the legal protection of all inalienable human rights …by the force.

What can be done is funding the provision of those rights by the force of political will. President Roosevelt offered the basics in his four freedoms speech; freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and … fear.”

Universal access to clean water, safe sanitation, adequate food, access to basic health services, basic education, and an equal opportunity to earn a living wage would be a great start. The fastest, most affordable, practical, and effective means of maximizing such ‘Liberty and Justice for all” here and abroad, thus laying the foundation for maximizing everyone’s freedom and security is the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed to by every nation in 2015 for achievement by 2030.

Seventy years ago (December 10, 1948) the world approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was offered in the context of world security. Those who experienced World War II, the holocaust, and a new weapon that could vaporize 100,000 people in a second understood the essentials of ‘justice for all’ as a preventive measure. Unfortunately, they (and we) were … given an international system (and structures) committed to protecting national sovereignty (another human created concept). The system has failed to protect humanities God’s given inalienable human rights. This structural flaw in the UN resembles the original flaw in the US Constitution that led to our catastrophic Civil War.

It’s obvious that we will not get an enforceable Global Bill of Rights any time soon. But we could virtually enforce most essential human rights by funding the SDGs. The growing array of global threats to our freedom and security demand we to this as rapidly as possible.

A set of less ambitious but, measurable, achievable, and affordable goals were set for the year 2000 a the 1990 World Summit for Children. Even though all governments at the time signed a pledge to make the resources available, few of the goals were fully funded or achieved. Another more ambitious set of “Millennium Development Goals” were set in 2000 for the year 2015. These were also shorted and the wars, terrorism, climate change, refugees, starvation, revolutions, state failures, infectious diseases, international crime and genocides we see around the world today ARE largely a consequence. If we fail this time in achieving the SDG’s our deteriorating global conditions may overwhelm any chance of our children setting things right.
The depressing news is that achieving the SDG’s will cost trillions that governments cannot spare.

The exciting news is that they don’t need to.

Governments just need the political will to freeze and seize a good portion of the $32 trillion dollars that is now stashed in offshore bank accounts by kleptocrats (dictators and their cronies), drug cartels (illegal gains), and wealthy capitalist (legally and illegally avoiding taxes) that should be going to basic government services.

The political will could be generated if the general public is aware that their nation’s security and cherished freedoms depend more on meeting the SDGs than on more military spending or a new “Space Force” branch of the US military.

That level of political will in the US will require a movement of movements of informed and active citizens recognizing that voting is the least powerful civil action they can take. Petitioning our elected officials is infinitely better than protesting, resisting, or counter protesting. If the peace, environment, and economic/social justice movements combined in petitioning their elected Members of Congress (and those running for office) a dysfunctional congress could actually prove useful. And we would finally have a government of “We the people” …”with liberty and justice for all”.

Essentially, it truly doesn’t matter who is in office or what party they belong to if fundamental principles are codified into laws, budgets, and all government action.

Given the multiple threats we face as individuals, nations and a species it must be clear that few can be stopped with military power. And, many are exacerbated by its unprincipled use.
Our primary goal as voters and citizens must be to recognize our global interdependence and the profound value of “liberty and Justice for all”. Make it your personal goal to educate your policy makers on this fundamental reality.

Connect the dots (we are all connected). See the web of life (all systems and structures are connected). Work for justice (for all) …or prepare for the consequences (which will inevitably be catastrophic).

Chuck Woolery, Former Chair ,United Nations Association, Council of Organizations
Steven Jay, Founder and Creative Director, Mobilized.news
___________________________________________________________________
Mobilized is creating a collaborative constructive solutions network dedicated to our collective human potential, economic and ecologic justice, and human rights. We are a network of media producers, investigative journalists, deep-thinkers, scientists and pro-active organizers who believe that an enlightened and well-informed populous is important for a society to truly flourish and are committed to working towards bringing it about. Please join us as a collaborator in creation of a better world: It’s Free to sign up, your registration will never be compromised. Share the news of solutions and empower a brighter tomorrow, today. Click here to sign up!

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Mobilized TV

Mobilized TV on Free Speech TV  takes a deep look at our world, the consequences of human activity on our planet, and how we can reverse and prevent existing and future crises from occurring. Mobilized reveals life on our planet as a system of systems which all work together for the optimal health of the whole. The show delves into deep conversations with change-makers so people can clearly take concerted actions.

Produced by Steven Jay and hosted by Jeff Van Treese.

Mobilized’s TV series Mobilized TV  premieres on Free Speech TV on Friday, October 15, 2021. All episodes appear:

Fridays 9:30 PM Eastern (USA/Canada)

Saturdays; 6:30 PM (Eastern USA/Canada)

Sundays: 8:30 AM Eastern (USA/Canada)

October 15, 16, 27
Many communities of native Americans have been subject to irreparable harm, and now there are some who are trying to indoctrinate them into their form of religion. We take a deep dive into conversation with Lakota Sioux Tribeswoman, Davidica Little Spotted Horse as she brings us up to speed of issues that should concern us all.

October 22, 23, 24
The overwhelming news being shoved down our throats on a daily basis is having a debilitating effect our our mental and emotional health. While many people seem to feel powerless, there are a lot of actions that people can take. Mobilized.news gives you a front row seat to the change that you can create in the world when we speak with Rob Moir, Executive Director of leading environmental organization, The Ocean River Institute.

October 29, 30, 31
Architect Buckminster Fuller said “”Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. IF we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.” So how can builders, architects and people in the construction industries learn from nature’s design and create healthy living systems that actually work with the natural landscape and ecosystem instead of against it? Mobilized.news takes a deep dive in conversation with Nickson Otieno of Niko Green in Nairobi, Kenya.

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