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Chuck W.

Nov 17: International Truth Day

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“Is God Dead?” was a 1966 Time magazine’s cover story.  Fifty years later, two months after Trump’s election, their cover story “Is Truth Dead” appeared.    Truth will never die, but we will if continue to ignore it.   The more we know about and understand the “self-evident” “Truths” expressed in our Declaration of Independence, the more freedom and security we and our children will inherit.    

In high school history we may have learned about the founders political trade-off made, counting black slaves as only 3/5ths of a human in exchange for a federated United States.  They sacrificed reason for “a more perfect union” over a confederation of states that had existed in increasing chaos for over 100 years.  It was a good idea at the time. But that conscious rejection of the profound self-evident truth forthcoming from the “laws of Nature and Nature’s God” didn’t end well.  In fact, it hasn’t ended at all.  It sparked a civil war that initially cost more American lives than all the wars our nation has fought in since then, combined.  

Their creation of a third set of laws within the U.S. Constitution continues to this day to avoid the other two law sets (nature and nature’s God).  Our Constitution’s persistent application of ‘untruths’ such as treating the lives of non US citizens as less valuable, will not end well.   Our laws continue to condone a perpetual global war against a tactic (terrorism) that can never be defeated. 

Given our increasing dependence on so many things in so many ways and the growing global access by damn near anyone, to unprecedented killing capacity, our war against terrorism is a war that we can only lose. 

Ignoring fundamental truths not only threaten our security.  It is killing our freedoms.  This seeming unsolvable dilemma only exists because of a profound untruth we believe in without question.  The untruth of ‘independence’.  Our nation was founded on this mental construct that exists nowhere in the known universe.  It is implanted in our minds and imprinted in our culture as a principle.  But it is a inherently flawed principle.  

It is an illusion recognized by both ancient spiritual prophets and modern scientific giants. 

Leonardo de Vinci once said “Realize how to see.  Understand that everything connects with everything else.”  

Albert Einstein observed that   “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.”


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Without acknowledging and acting on the fundamental principle that we are all interdependent, our flawed concept of independence prohibits us from resolving the freedom/security dilemma.  The answer is quite simple but enormously difficult.    Sustainably maximizing our freedoms and security requires us to be responsible with our freedom.  Maintaining a mental concept and our government can do what it pleases around the world without consequences is a dangerous delusion in a world of unprecedented capacity for WMD.  No walls or military power in the world can stop a biological or cyber attack by a committed adversary. 

Risking blasphemy, we should modify the biblical passage, ‘the truth will set us free – and keep us safe, if we are responsible with our God given freedom.’  God bless America?   Why?  Do we deserve it because of who we are, or what we have done? 

I don’t believe it is a coincidence that the foundational commitment of every major religion is the golden rule of ‘do unto others…”.   Do Americans really believe that others in the world can use drones to murder us without a fair trial?  We do it to them.

As the Cold War heated up U. S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson said “The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.”  

Can we assert that ‘wisdom’ in our Constitution might look like the self-evident truths found in our Declaration of Independence?

Why is it so difficult grasping the profound value of these self-evident Truths?   Could it be that our innate selfish pleasure-seeking desires overwhelm our innate biological capacity for reason and expectoration of justice? 

Americans believe that the purpose of government is to protect the fundamental rights of ‘we the people’.  Patriotism and nationalism (what Einstein called the “measles of humanity”) has us unconsciously turn this fundamental human right of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” into only an American right.  What consequences should we expect from such foolishness? 

If we are serious about maximizing both our freedom and our security we must recognized the value of one simple word.   Justice.   In three words “justice for all”.    And given that God gave us freedom, the freedom to choose good or bad, it makes sense that we should all pledge those five profound words before our nation’s symbolic flag, every time we stand before it.  “Liberty and justice for all”.  Profound!

Only a delusional, ignorant, arrogant, or forgetful soul would believe that some people are undeserving of inalienable rights.  TRUTH: Governments do not give us rights.   That they are a gift of nature and nature’s God. 

Truth Day is not official. But it should be.  And it should be every day.  Yet we now have a President close the nuclear launch codes who averages nearly 10 untruths per day.  And before the midterm elections he was calling the other party a threat to our nation.

His followers of patriots, nationalists and white supremacist believe they are special.  Technically they’re special ed.   At best, arguing with nature and nature’s God only makes them sound crazy.   At worse, the outcome is suicidal.  Nature and God are rarely forgiving.  You can only defy gravity or justice temporarily. 

And White supremacist are particularly ignorant.   A fundamental principle (self-evident Truth) of biology is evolution’s survival of the fittest.   They seem to believe a monoculture of whites is superior to a wide diversity of humans.  Talk about suicidal. 

Things change, but not fundamental principles.   Real staying power and fitness is in genetic diversity, not genetic purity (see biological consequences of inbreeding vs hybrids).   

If our nation is about freedom, which our elected officials remind us of frequently, then telling the truth is essential to maintaining it.   Maintaining a government based on the flawed concept of independence?  That’s simply nuts.

If we attempt to redefine the word ‘truth’ to mean anything we personally believe, and allow others to believe differently, don’t expect things to work.   How is our government working now?  The consensus of most US national security experts puts our own nation’s dysfunctional government as the second greatest threat to our security.   

 Personal relationships, legal contracts, and each level of our government depends on trust.  Trust is the glue that holds our society, economy, government and environment together.  And trust is a function of truth.

How many people trust our so-called ‘justice system’?  Can we trust it to be just?  Inscribed above the entrance to the US Dept. of Justice, Washington DC you will find “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.  (can we assume it meant human race?)  

But, complain to any lawyer that you expected justice in your verdict and if they can refrain from laughing, they will inform you of that “we have a legal system.  Not a justice system”. 

A nearly self-evident truth that if you go to trial in the US you are better off being rich and guilty than innocent and poor.  Paradoxically, before anyone testifies in court they must first agree to “tell the Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help [you] God?”   The tragic truth is they will indeed need God’s help once they are within our ‘justice system’.

It’s long been known that war is the enemy of truth.  Lies and deception may win wars, but it will never end war itself.   Then we continue to ignore the fact that lies and deception are often precursors to war.   When self-evident truths like ‘justice for all’ is ignored, wars become inevitable.   At least one Founding Father understood this.  Thomas Jefferson wasn’t smiling when he said, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”  

It’s not the Russians, Chinese, Iran or N. Korea that we have to worry about.  Our greatest threat is our persistent choice to ignore fundamental truths.   Fake news, conspiracy theory, and popular ideas that sound good, dominate our social media and personal dialogue.  Human creativity in ideas and objects can be profitable, but do they really serve our unity as a people.  Our capacity and inclination to believe ANYTHING that validates our existing thoughts and beliefs, no matter how untrue they are, can be lethal.

Using our creative inventiveness, we have built systems and structures that are incompatible with the health of nature’s systems and God’s structures (us).   Violations of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God are punishable by disability, disease, and even death.   Humans have reached a point in our evolution where our own systems (AI) and structures (dual-use technologies) may do us in before nature’s verdict. 

Fundamentally, humankind needs a new operating system.  One based on fundamental truths that all recognize as obvious for our survival.  We will not make it if a majority or even a minority is continually operating from, ignorance, indifference, lies, or conspiracy theory.

Find whatever non-violent means are possible to wake people and your policy makers up to our need for systemic change.   Truthfully, they must already know that tweaking our existing system can’t work.  Why else would they support a President so unlike any other ever elected. 

The global application of truth would be humanity fulfilling the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  We can pay to achieve them  now, or we will likely pay an incomprehensible price later if we wait.

IF it is to be it is up to we.  A movement of movements has the capacity to create the political will to fund the SDGs using the $32 trillion locked in offshore accounts by kleptocrats, crime cartels, and wealthy capitalists avoiding taxes. 

“Be aware of this truth that the people on this earth could be joyous, if only they would live rationally and if they would contribute mutually to each others’ welfare.”    Kurt Vonnegut

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” – Malcolm X

“Truth is not determined by majority vote”: Doug Gwyn

“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it”  Mohandas Gandhi

“Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude.  In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.”   Goethe 

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself”: Thomas Jefferson

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” – Ron Paul

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”  Buddha

“the truth will set you free” Jesus Christ.

Can we best gauge a “Truth” by its ability to ensure the survival of our species?  Unfortunately, it appears we allow our feelings to determine our truth without really examining the facts.

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Chuck W.

The United Nations system: What’s Gone Wrong? What’s Gone Right?

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To better understand the inner workings and problems with the U.N. system, we asked a few poignant questions of “The Other” Chuck Woolery. The one who was 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) and the Action Board of the American Public Health Association (membership of 120,000 US Health Professionals).  He had spent three decades working with non-profits and other NGO’s advocating for a stronger United Nations for addressing global issues.
 

Many people have put hope on the U.N. systems to solve our ongoing crises. Why is this not a good idea, and how and why is the U.N. platform ineffective?

Ideas can be hopeful. The U.N. was a good idea. The prevention of problems is something everyone knows needs to happen. But that requires long-term thinking and effective action. Unfortunately, the U.N. was never given any power other than providing a peaceful gathering of nationals to work on problems they agreed on.  Any UN solution depended on the voluntary action and funding of those nations. The UN can help coordinate practical efforts but then takes the blame when things go wrong.

 

The UN lead the global campaign that eradicated Smallpox. It succeeded because of truly universal cooperation, coordination, and adequate volunteer funding.  I believe the most recent UN success story was in 2015.  Back then stakeholders on many issues at every government level from every nation came together and worked out a plan to maximize preventive efforts that could get humanity to the year 2030 with minimum difficulties/crisis. The bad news on these 17 Sustainable Development Goals is that few people in the U.S. have ever heard of them. If they have, they fall into four basic categories.

  1. Those who favor their particular goal believing it is the most important of the 17.  Unfortunately, each of these 17 goals requires equal, sustained, and urgent efforts.  And each is underfunded.
  2. Those who don’t believe they are sufficient.
  3. Those who don’t believe they will ever happen.
  4. And some who are suggesting the only rational means of achieving them.  These rapidly hit mental constructs in other’s minds that make effective action unlikely if not impossible.

 

Year after year progressive advocates focus on one sector or another.  Climate, water, peace, human rights, democracy, health, etc.

Why are these ineffective? What would you do to create an effective system that could detect problems before they start and invest in efforts that prevent it from occurring? 

From a U.S. perspective…Events are ineffective even if they are large. Ultimately, they are competing for limited resources with other movements for media attention, donations, access to policymakers or other influential people.

This strategy cannot effectively generate sufficient political within a majority of U.S. Congressional Districts and states.

 

Do egos get in the way of effective coordinated actions? I think it’s more a paycheck or cognitive dissonance issue. Leaders are hired to produce results in a particular arena. They can make a big splash.  But what is urgently needed is a movement that brings other movements together into one. A movement of all movements.  Otherwise singularly grand impacts by one movement (like Climate Change) will continue to distract from the importance and urgency of other vital movements.  Note how quickly the emergence of COVID19 muted every other movement (pro-democracy, regional wars, the evolution of weaponry, US debt…) or quickly exposed our failures in others (health care, infrastructure, pay gaps, supply chains).    Now the increasing urgency on vital action to address increasing climate emergencies are muting those.

We need a comprehensive, holistic, and global approach to human, environmental, economic, and political health. And sustainability.

 

What is the U.N. good at accomplishing?  Bringing together interested parties focused on global concerns/issues.

 

What is your greatest dissatisfaction through what you have experienced in organizing? Your biggest satisfactions?

The greatest dissatisfaction is knowing that all of the comprehensive studies that have been done by bi-partisan Presidential/congressional commissions, prestige entities like the National Academy of Sciences, and intellectual think tanks from multiple nations have always given us wise recommendations. Humanity knows what to do. But we don’t do it.  Short term thinking, national interests, political partisanship, and flawed political systems won’t allow it.

My personal awakening and satisfaction came from discovering how open our political system actually is.  Citizens simply don’t grasp the fact that a well-organized, informed, and lovingly persistent movement can create political will to achieve specific ends. My hopes are that Mobilized can spark such a movement.  That enough progressives, moderates, libertarians, and even conservatives will finally grasp the reality that things are going to get much worse…unless we unite under the realization that everything is interconnected!  Everything is interdependent!  And everything, including all of us, are vulnerable.

 

How would you title the editorial we are creating here with your words in a way that would lead people into concerted actions?

  • “Connecting the Dots. See the web of life. Doing what’s needed.  Or prepare for catastrophic consequences.”
  • Disobeying he Laws of Nature and Nature’s God will not end well.
  • We face a Trilemma:  Freedom, Security, and Independence. Which two do you want?
  • Human Rights and the environment vs national sovereignty.
  • Government openness and accountability. Or oblivion.
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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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