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22Jun/19Off

National Identity

Posted by Nate

I just came from our family reunion and want to share some thoughts.

It was great as it have been for many years.

But I thought of it in the light of current events in our country.

A populist President

The rise of hate, intolerance, isolationism.

Anti-immigration policies, growing divisions in American society.

Family reunion

Meeting relatives that came from different parts of the country

I look around

Old and young

White, Asian, Hispanic

Jews, Christians, atheists

Straight, gay, lesbian,transgender

Big, loud, joyful, friendly crowd.

Talking, playing games, eating and drinking.

Enjoying time together

So free, open, uninhibited.

And I thought about our country

Not the country we came from – the soviet Union

No. It was never OUR country.

I thought about America.

The country where all these people are accepted as equals.

I am watching young people

They don't see skin color, sexual orientation

They don't see race or religion

None of this matters.

They see each other.

They see relatives, friends.

This is America I thought, real America.

This is America that accepted us...Russian Jewish refugees.

This is America where we feel free.

Our new home, real home.

Home we did not have before.

Home for our children and grandchildren

I want it to be the America that we came to.

To raise our family, to build a new life.

I want it to be “America the beautiful”, the beacon of the world.

The shiny city on the hill.

And I thought about current events, the face of America under the current regime.

Who are we? How do you define an American?

What is America's national identity?

I am looking at my relatives, my friends.

Americans.

The microcosm of the world.

America is exceptional because it represents the World.

And it is beautiful, it shows the way, the future for humanity.

It is young, energetic, colorful, open.

And we need to do all we can to keep it this way.

To not allow the dark, rigid and hateful side of America to take ower.

New populism and preservation of identity.

There is a wave of populism washing over the world. From the Philippines to Brazil, from Hungary to US, populists got into power on promises to save their country’s national identity.

But let's take a look at history. Great civilizations, powerful empires. Where are they? Check the history of any nation. For how long does any nation exist in its present form, language? Babylonians, Philistines, Incas, Mayans – where are they?

Nothing is forever. The world is changing, population moves around. The Earth is changing constantly. Societies are changing and people move. And that is how it should be.

As many as half of the world's 7,000 languages are expected to be extinct by the end of this century; it is estimated that one language dies out every 14 days. Endangered languages, much like endangered species of plants or animals, are on the brink of extinction. Apr 15, 2013 https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_languages

And it is inevitable as the world becomes smaller. What race, what nationality is America, Canada, Australia? How about the EU?

It is a tide populists and racists (same) will not be able to stop. History, reality is against them. Global economy, the internet, social media, transportation and climate change will mix up the planet population and no wall will stop it.

So let's embrace it. The brave new world. Children are born without hate. Children don't know races, religious differences. Children do not have preconceptions. We adults teach our children. And then they go into the world. And many discard these biases, these preconceptions. They, our children, accept the world, accept each other without hate and bias. They, the new generation, will build the better world.

I hope.

They will lead.

10Jun/190

Crisis situation is fast approaching.

Posted by Nate

Perfect storm

Am I an alarmist? Yes, the whole world should be alarmed. Every year the possibility of a global cataclysm is increasing. Below I will list shortly the trigger points.

Climate change.

In a decade climate change will cause catastrophic events such as floods, famine, drought, fires and a huge increase in migration around the world.

“The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. “ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report

Pandemic due to mobility of people around the planet

Dangers of a catastrophic pandemic are increasing with population growth.

“The last 30 years have seen a steady increase in the frequency and diversity of disease outbreaks. With an unprecedented mobility of people, products, and food, the myriad of disease-causing microorganisms are also increasingly mobile. No nation is immune to this growing global threat that can be posed by an isolated outbreak of an infectious disease in a seemingly remote part of the world. “ https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/pandemics

Our dependence on technology

The more our civilization depends on technology the more vulnerable it becomes. Cyber attacks on our crucial infrastructure like power grids that will effectively shut down the country.

“Imagine one of our large cities with no power, no water, no phones, no email, no texting, no food, no refrigeration, limited currency exchange, no functioning hospitals, no sanitation services, no public transportation and no effective law enforcement. Now imagine dozens of our large cities, perhaps all the large cities in, say, the eastern half of the country, in that predicament. “ https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/06/21/the_intersecting_threats_in_our_cyber-connected_world_137312.html

Attack on satellites – weather forecasts, communications, GPS.

GPS networks if compromised will effectively disable our defense and offense capabilities.

Consider the following scenario. China and Russia might deploy an outsized fleet of, say, 50 to 100 specialized spacecraft in peacetime and station some near U.S. satellites. There is currently no agreement to stop these spacecraft from sidling up to U.S. satellites and lurking at an arbitrarily close distance. Once these spacecraft are in position, they could quickly attack U.S. satellites from such close proximity that the U.S. would have no time to mount a defense. https://spacenews.com/growing-u-s-satellite-vulnerability-the-silent-apocalypse-next/

End of the new world order

After the WWII the new world order was created under the leadership of the United states. United Nations, NATO, World Trade Organization and many others that are able to solve grievances and conflicts between countries peacefully.

“If we lose the American-guaranteed collection of laws, democratic values, economic and defense treaties that have produced seven unprecedented decades of peace and prosperity, you’ll wonder why you ever worried about anything else.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookmanville/2018/10/14/why-a-crumbling-world-order-urgently-needs-u-s-leadership/#601804452e61

Danger of major conflict due to erosion of global trade and rise in nationalism.

One study finds that multilateral trade openness in fact lowers the probability of dyadic conflict with the bilateral trade partner, and by a larger magnitude than bilateral trade does alone. An increase in global trade openness by 10% from the world mean value decreases the probability of the dyad's military conflict by about 2.6% from its predicted mean.https://voxeu.org/article/globalisation-promotes-peace

The problem is exacerbated by Trump’s divisive international and domestic policies.

Diminishing alliances’ ability to effectively contain adversaries such as China and Russia who are cooperating to weaken our Western alliance. Hampering world ability to react in a pandemic situation.

These are dangerous times and the only way for humanity to deal with the crisis is to act together, to have a common plan of action. No country will be able to deal with this scope of cataclysms by itself. And that is why the Trump administration isolationists policies are so dangerous for America and the world.

2Jun/190

Answering Trump Supporter

Posted by Nate

Trump Supporter: Believe me, that never ever , for all eight years of this man’s "presidency", did I say a bad word about him. Like all Americans we pinned our hopes on him. A young, energetic, charming , educated, family man ... with new, wise ideas for the prosperity of our country ... everything that the average American could know about him , and certainly not a politician. Eight years of hope and what are the results? The country's economy continued to fall, the budget deficit grew by leaps and bounds ... The question of racism in the country has always been, but during the years of the Obama presidency, it became an epidemic, and Al Sharpton was the main adviser on these matters for the president. Who he is? A handsome, slim, young, representative President of America in a yarmulke visited the most holy places of Israel. By the way, he was accepted with respect! I don’t even want to speak about the hospitality of Obama in relation to the guests from Israel. He was so penetrated with “love" for Israel that he was not even able to come to the meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and listen to his speech at the Congress. If you don't love Israel , it means you don't respect and hate jews... it’s called anti-Semitism . Obama carried out his plans regularly: His dealings with Iran and other similar countries, accepted hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Muslim countries all over the world ... What made these people leave their countries? And everything had to be done in 8 years. Yes, and he did not forget to send money to his "friend" on the last day of his Presidency .

You and I probably are of the same age, same religion, we even came from the same city long ago, brought our children to this country for happiness, for confidence in the future, etc. Tell me that I am wrong . Perhaps these eight years were wonderful and successful, that the previous president was honest and loyal to our country and people. Tell me your opinion.

Answer to Trump Supporter: Thank you for your passionate reply. Yes, I am from Lvov, came to the USA in 1979. Yes, I came here looking for freedom, choice, peace, opportunity and prosperity. We probably can find common friends, acquaintances, common interests, common love for Israel. I did vote for Obama, maybe for different reasons than you describe above. I was tired of wars with no end, with no purpose, I was worried about a destabilized Middle East as a result of these wars. I was worried about our economy because of military and wars spending. I was worried about our population because of so many lives lost in these wars, so many families suffering because of these wars, so many veterans with horrible wounds to heal, artificial limbs, because of these wars. And what did we achieve? Economic recession of 2007-2008. When Obama came to the White House his first test was to stabilize banks, to save the auto industry..The economy never fell during Obama, it was growing. Not as fast as it could, because of the bank regulations and other regulations put in place by his administration. The budget deficit grew, but only because of the recession caused by the Bush Administration. At the end of Obama’s time in the White House, the deficit was going down. The stock market was going up all the time steadily during Obama, not up and down like now.. I love Israel, but I am a Jew. I don’t look to non-Jews to love Israel, but I want them to respect the country and to understand why we, Jews, need our country. Obama understood the necessity of Israel. He signed a record financial package for Israel of $38B. He authorized to deliver to Israel the latest anti-missile systems. He could have done more, by better representing the US during meetings with Netanyahu, he could have be more forceful with Muslim countries in the region, he could have a different policy towards Libya and Syria, but it is a history now. He could have negotiated a better deal with Iran (but don't forget that there were other countries involved). Now we don't even have a plan after removing US from the deal. I do believe that Obama was an honest President, loyal, doing his best to represent and lead the country. History will judge him. He was not the best, he could have been more decisive, more compelling, less of a professor, and yes, he tried to represent everybody in this country: white, black, Hispanics, native Americans, poor, rich, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu and so on. Now, our new President, Mr. Trump, is an absolutely different personality. Yes, it matters that the President said publicly over 10K lies and does not care about that as long as the people cheer (and this is only in 2-1/2 years). It matters when the President supports KKK and white-supremacists, yes he condemns them only after he is forced by his advisers. It matters that the words of the President give strength to such hate groups, it matters that the President condemns anti-semitic deeds only after he is forced by his staff. It matters that the President is uneducated in government, history of this country, history of the world. He is not Republican, he is not Democrat, he is a populist and it is very dangerous, because he incites a mob mentality. He is dangerous President, because his words "press - enemy of the people" is the mentality of a dictator or a mob boss. He is bad for the economy, because he is an isolationist. It never worked, it has lead only to the recession. He is not negotiating, he is a bully, which is very dangerous, because it makes China stronger economically and soon militarily. His friends are Putin, Kim, Orban - all dictators. He does not love Israel, he left it to Kushner. But, if the time comes to throw Israel under the bus, he will not hesitate. You’re probably not even reading all of this. So, I will stop right here. 

   
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