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Digg: A thoughtful editorial on how America bashing has gone too far

Yesterday there was a Digg story, linking to an article over at the The Telegraph which had first been digged by johndi saying:

“I’ll be the first to admit many of our policies are misguided, and sometimes just wrong. I’ve traveled quite a bit, and haven’t found a country yet where the people like their government. Consider how you feel about your government, before you criticize Americans based on ours.”

Now, all that long intro – I have written only – to be able to post my response to that statement:

Dear johndi,

[Quote]Consider how you feel about your government, before you criticize Americans based on ours.[/Quote]

That isn’t a valuable statement at all. Most if not all countries might have some inner problems, and some problems with international relations. Yet no country with so much power, or closely so, tries to impose itself just as much on the rest of the world.

Just because there is no single military or economic power to challenge the United States in any way, doesn’t mean that they have the right to do just about anything they want. Be it CO2 emissions (Kyoto – ever heart of it?), warfare (Afghanistan & Iraq), or human rights (Guantanamo).

Was it another country who would allow itself such disrespectful actions against other countries; was it another country to try to interfere in situations and places where it better had to keep its social and demographic ideas out; was it another country with a politician which would claim that you are either with or against us; the politicians would be removed from their positions, and the countries would face embargoes from whatever nation on earth. Not so the United States.

To me, in all honesty, and without any offense meant, the United States is acting and arguing as a young teenager. Feeling omnipotent yet not facing the consequences or the dangers of its actions. Acting egocentrically and claiming that nobody understands why they are acting so.

Note that this is a political problem; I do fully understand and acknowledge that the decisions made by whatever president in office is not always the opinions and the path the population would have chosen.

The poison paradox

Well, this is everything but a long blog entry, I swear…

Basically all I want to make available on the net is something I read in the National GeographicMagazine (May 2005). In the article “The poison paradox” you can read what already many people know, namely:

Even oxygen has a sinister side.

but what follows is more interesting, at least for me:

“Oxygen is the ultimate toxin,” says Michael Trush, a toxicologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Oxygen combines with food to produce energy, but our bodies also produce oxygen radicals – atoms with an extra electron that damage biomolecules, DNS, proteins, and lipids. “We are oxidizing all the time,” says Trush. “The biochemical price of breathing is aging.“. Which is to say, we rust.

The interesting part is the one in italics.

I can blame authorities for trying…

I came across a very interesting piece of writing by Russ Nelson in which he writes about why it is not correct to assume that: “You can’t blame authorities for trying [to stop terrorism using methods which are not constitutional].”. I must admit that in some ways his view on things makes sense. However, I can not imagine that it is easy to stop thinking about counter fighting terrorism once one as been close to an attack.

A little quotation, just to be sure it will not be taken offline. ;-)

Yes, I can. They know that what they are doing is a senseless waste of taxpayer dollars. Being terrified by terrorism is exactly and precisely the goal of terrorism. It is clear to anybody with two brain cells to rub together that individuals have substantial ability to kill many other individuals. It is clear to anybody with three brain cells to rub together that if you stop them from doing one thing, they will move on to do another.

How do you stop terrorism?

By not being terrified. By not overreacting. By not giving up essential liberties to obtain a little temporary safety. By not wasting treasure on useless tactics.

We are a country which kills 20,000 of its own citizens yearly with guns, and we don’t ban guns. We are a country which kill 50,000 of its own citizens yearly with cars, and we don’t ban cars. Heck, 30,000 US citizens kill themselves each year on purpose.

If terrorists came to America and killed 1,000 people a year, it wouldn’t even begin to show up on the causes of death. We can safely ignore terrorism. Rational public policy would have put the money spent combatting terrorism into something more sensible, like a billion for energy research, another billion for alternative energy subsidization, another billion for mixed-mode transportation.

The above was published on Dave Farber’s IP list. I received several “attaboy”s and one comment saying “Anyone with a single brain cell would agree that we need to stop terror.” I disagree. Do we need to stop earthquakes? Hurricanes? Tornados? Volcanos? Blizzards? Or do we need to survive them?

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