Introduction, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator perspectives on heaven and hell

The root cause of what we observe in the form of increasing violence can be associated with the message from both Muslims and Christians regarding heaven and hell.  It is far more important to focus on our moral living on earth then imagining what happens after we die.

Whether we start millions of years ago as hominids or hundreds of thousands of years ago as modern humans, the concept of heaven or hell is relatively new.  The four ancient civilizations five thousand years ago focused on elaborate burials.  The Chinese and the Indians both focused on living moral lives (Confucius was quoted as saying we don’t know enough about our living so don’t worry about what happens after we die.  Karma is an Indian concept of accumulating moral brownie points while living in order to be reincarnated into a “better” life until we reach perfection.)  Egyptians spent a lot of time dreaming about eternal life and was among the first to document their beliefs in “The Book of the Dead” but they focused more on mummification and elaborate burials.

Iranian prophet Zoroaster (generally believed to have lived between 3,000-4,000 years ago) introduced the concept of a soul walking across a bridge 3-4 days after death.  If a soul can cross this bridge, eternal heaven is waiting.  Eternal hell awaits a soul that falls off this bridge.  Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) started out in a quiet Sheol during the equivalent of purgatory prior to judgment day.  It was probably too boring to have such an uneventful place called Sheol so Abrahamic religions became more and more descriptive of heaven and hell.

Today, Christians and Muslims preach paths to a glamourous heaven reserved only for believers or despicable hell for non-believers.  The most memorable line from the movie “The Vertical Limit” was the script that explicitly said all of humanity would go to hell under these conditions.  Not only would all Chinese and Indians be condemned to hell because they are neither Christians nor Muslims, all Christians are condemned to hell by Muslims, and all Muslims are condemned to hell by Christians.

The Moral Innovator motto is:  Thrive with knowledge of your places in the world.  Do the right things and make it better.  Please follow The Golden Rule and focus on your morally innovative behavior during your lifetimes.  You will get what you deserve when you die.  Heaven does not take reservations.

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diversity, Introduction, Opportunity, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator proposal for changing the world – one child at a time

We are clearly seeing increasing violence both domestically within the USA and worldwide these days. While the call for peace and calm can help get these incidents out of the immediate news headlines, we need a sustainable morally innovative solution that can take several generations if adults elect to work together, or several centuries if we collectively focus on educating our children.

Today, about one third of humanity follows the Christian faith.  This trend started over 500 years ago when the corrupt Spanish Pope Alexander VI declared that Spain and Portugal owned the world outside Europe in the Tordesillas Treaty.  The first ones to contest this declaration were other European Christians who innovatively created the corrupt State-sponsored Dutch East India Company and the even more corrupt British East India Company to gather resources needed to industrialize the world.  We know, for example, it was the British government who gave monopoly power to the British East India Company that produced opium in India and sold the illicit drugs into China (and almost bankrupted the Chinese economy).  The immoral Japanese military also helped take over 70,000 tons of silver out of China through illegal distribution of opium.

Another 20% of humanity today follows the Muslim faith, and Islam is the world’s fastest growing faith.  Since the first OPEC price increase in 1973, our newly industrialized world developed an insatiable appetite for fossil fuel, and an average US$2 trillion dollars per year have been transferred to Muslims each year.  Each time we fill up our car with fuel, or turn on the air conditioner anywhere in the world, we contribute to the demand for fossil fuel and eventually maintain or sustain the status quo that transfers wealth to the Muslims.  Another impact is global climate change which is a by-product of our industrialization and exasperates the fact that we are 20,000 years into the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle of global warming today.

On a global scale, our most severe conflict has been driven by the Christians’ and Muslims’ efforts to convert all humans.  Unless we create a way that allow humans to believe in both Christianity and Islam, there is no way humanity can have peace when two significant faiths strive to convert the entire humanity into one faith.  Within this framework, the declaration of independence by Israel in 1948 was like introducing a spark in a fuel tank.  While the role (and population) of Israel has been similar to Hong Kong for the British Protestant Christians during the opium war, USA has added plenty of oxygen to the spark in a fuel tank when President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq that spread the conflict between Christians and Muslims like forest fires.

Now is not the time to double down on our faith without reason.  We need to let our children thrive with knowledge of their places in the world in order to make the right decisions and make the world better.  Let us not baptize our infant children nor declare heaven belongs exclusively to any one faith,  claimed by both Christians and Muslims.  There is an alternative sustainable path to peace.

What is that alternative path?  We start with a very difficult challenge to understand and morally develop the age-appropriate motivations of our children.  In order to invoke the motivation hierarchy introduced by Abraham Maslow last century in a measurable way, let us try to map humanity into Maslow’s hierarchical layers of needs measured by wealth of humans.  We know that money cannot buy happiness, so these numbers should be modified by non-financial parameters:

  1. Two billion (~30%) humans on earth living below poverty. The number one focus for these two billion humans is to secure food for survival.  This is Maslow’s physiological layer.
  2. Five billion (~70%) humans seek safety through employment, police/fire protection, access to health care, investments, among other things. This is Maslow’s safety layer.
  3. Twelve million (~0.1%) millionaires living on earth seek friendship and family, among other things. This is Maslow’s love/belonging layer.
  4. 2,000 billionaires seek respect, confidence and achievements, among other things. This is Maslow’s esteem layer.  Donald Trump wants the US Presidency to try to excel in this layer.
  5. Essentially no one is free of prejudice and take actions based on facts, possibly except the Gates Foundation supported by Warren Buffet. This is Maslow’s self-actualization layer.

These layers cut across all humanity (including Christians and Muslims) and exist everywhere on earth, including the USA, the largest economy on earth.  Trying to separate African Americans and Caucasian Americans will not work.  It is not a matter of “Black Lives Matter Too” versus “All Lives Matter.”  We need hope and opportunities that differ among humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.

No line can be drawn for humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.  However, we can provide opportunities for our children living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy to seek their aspirations through education.  As long as our children learn the universally accepted Golden Rule (do unto others what you want others to do unto you) and believe there is hope to achieve their aspirations, we gain trust to respect our second amendment rights to bear arms, while reducing violence between police and citizens.  By adding moral innovations to the education curriculum, indiscriminate shootings in school will decline when our children and adults have the Golden Rule in mind.

Changes should be visible when we add the Moral Innovations framework into our education curriculum, including the Golden Rule.  Please encourage our children to do the right things as they thrive with knowledge of their places in the world.

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Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovator Perspectives on Race Relations

Focusing on skin color within the USA is insufficient to improve race relations. By looking globally we can gain knowledge from our past to make future improvements with integrity, and re-discover we must follow a universally accepted Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

The worst human atrocity committed against fellow humans took place 300-500 years ago after European Christians committed genocide in the Americas in the name of Christianity (worse than World War II, World War I, Holocaust, Chinese Cultural Revolution, etc.).  Up to 100 million humans perished which represent 80% of Native Americans and Africans transported to the Americas as slaves. There is scant record of many rich pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas (e.g. 5,000 year old Sacred City of Caral in Supe Valley, Peru), and Africa’s population was flat between the years 1600-1850 while the rest of the world’s population more than doubled. Why is Columbus, who never set foot on USA soil, celebrated in the USA? Why is Andrew Jackson, who spent his life killing Native Americans, celebrated on $20 dollar bills? Why is Lord Jeff Amherst (1717-1797) a namesake for a city in Massachusetts? Amherst approved the intentional distribution of blankets used by smallpox victims to Native Americans and proclaimed his willingness to adopt “any other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.” His grandnephew Bill (1773-1857) inherited Jeff’s title of Lord in 1797, and went to China in 1816 where he failed to negotiate trade with China which ignited The Opium Wars, then he went on to India and commanded the first Burmese War of 1824 that killed 15,000 British soldiers at a cost of £13 million.

60% of all humans born in the last 200 years have followed Christianity or Islam, much more than the rest of the world largely represented by Indians and Chinese. The key innovation that drove human progress was industrialization which was led by USA/European Christians. The largest transfer of wealth through this industrialization was the forced import of opium into China (against Chinese laws), backed by gunboats, to take an estimated (2014) retail value of $2 trillion per year from China, mostly during the reign of Empress Dowager Cixi who ruled China for 50 years. China fell from the largest economy on earth in the year 1820 with 35% of global GDP to almost declaring bankruptcy in 1902 if not for a 39 year financing to pay Christian countries like Russia and Germany for the suppression of the patriotic Chinese Boxers’ Rebellion. USA also received payment, but returned some to help establish Qinghua University, a top school in China. USA became the global leader with 27-35% of global GDP between the years 1950-2001 on the shoulders of the largest middle class on earth after Henry Ford started to pay premium wages to his workers, but had to share its wealth mostly with Muslims beginning in 1973 when the OPEC cartel steeply increased prices. An estimated (2014) $1 trillion per year cash profit has been paid to OPEC to quench the thirst for energy to sustain industrialization. Both Christians and Muslims have concentrated their wealth in the last 40 years to widen the wealth gap, as the USA/worldwide Christians squeeze the middle class and a super majority of Muslims remain in poverty. Meanwhile, China has lifted more humans out of poverty than the rest of the world by sacrificing their environment.

We do not differentiate Arabs from Jews in the Middle East by skin color. The Chinese, Koreans and other Asians hate the Japanese not because of the color of their skin, but because the Japanese captured and forced over 400,000 women into 400 locations where they were raped by Japanese soldiers multiple times every day until they died. (In Yunnan, China, each Japanese soldier was given two tickets every week to rape innocent females in one of these 400 locations, and these tickets have been shown on documentaries and can still be inspected.)  The Japanese also massacred ~300,000 civilians and raped over 20,000 females in Nanjing, China over a 40 day period where soldiers competed for how many civilians they killed. While forgiveness is a virtue, the Japanese have not atoned for their atrocities. In fact, convicted war criminals in the International Court of Justice are memorialized in a Japanese shrine where top government officials visit every year. This is akin to the USA making August 6th and 9th as Little Boy and Fat Man (codenames for the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) Holidays with celebratory parades that killed 129,000 Japanese.  To get a glimpse of The Golden Rule, just look at the Japanese reaction to the gang rape of local girls near the Okinawa US Military Base by US Military Servicemen.  A reason the largest US Military Base in Asia is moving is due to the strong opposition of the local residents against these isolated incidents of raping local girls.  Of course, going back one more step, US Military should never have been stationed in Okinawa in the first place because Japan was supposed to be “expelled from all … territories taken by violence and greed…” based on the November 27th 1943 Cairo Declaration which the Allies dictated in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration which was the term of the Japanese unconditional surrender announced in Japanese radio on August 15th, 1945 and signed on the deck of USS Missouri on September 2nd, 1943.  Okinawa, as we know it today, was unilaterally taken by Japan in 1879 and renamed Okinawa Prefecture from the former Kingdom of Ryukyu.  Japan forced the King of Ryukyu Sho Tai (1843-1901) to move to Tokyo in 1897, even as Ryukyu paid tributes to China for over 450 years, with the last tribute left Ryukyu in the year 1874.  This is the subject of another blog…

How do we not focus on skin color or geography? We still have the American Dream where anyone can maximize their potential within their own lifetime. We think of people like Bill Gates, but he left a legacy of monopolistic practices at Microsoft. We can improve race relations by creating a network that focuses on opportunities with positive legacies while following the Golden Rule.  Use the Golden Rule as the foundation of our great society.  We clearly forgot the Golden Rule when policemen used excessive force to kill innocent citizens in Missouri, New York, Ohio and other places.

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Innovators World, Overview, Warrior World

Moral Innovators views on World Order

Moral Innovators balance continuous improvement with integrity. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi have been the best known moral innovators. In the business world, among the better known Moral Innovators is Henry Ford who, as he built the Model T cars, helped create the world’s largest middle class that drove consumer spending that contributed to USA’s world leading 32-35% of Global GDP between the years 1950-2001. China’s open market economy that started in 1978 gave business executives an alternative that squeezed our middle class, exasperating the wealth gap today.

The largest contributor to the wealth gap, on a global basis, is the OPEC oligopoly/cartel. With roughly 25-33% of 30-40 million barrels/day production for about 40 years at average profit margin on each barrel of between $50-$100/barrel, the total pure profit transferred to mostly the top 1% of Muslims who control the oil and gas is roughly the same as our total national debt of $12.6 trillion in 2014!

This peacetime transfer of wealth is by far the largest reason the wealth gap has increased on a global basis. The media has focused on large investments made to sustain oil production, including fracking. The world’s largest philanthropist, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is also the largest shareholder of ExxonMobil, an oil/gas giant. Every time we pump gas in a gas station, or turn on our HVAC system, we contribute to the consumption which helps OPEC sustain their pricing and financing various activities under the name of Islam. The media does not cover this partly because all the major oil and gas companies earn significant profit in refining and distributing the oil and gas products to our gas and power stations.

If oil and gas are truly competitively priced as a consumer commodity, we reduce our national debt, and weaken the financial resources available to sustain the high growth of Islam which has the worst wealth gap among their communities of 1.6 billion believers/followers (which in turn, encourage more extremist activities like Al Qaeda, ISIL, …) We are decades behind in a strategic energy policy to mitigate the influence of OPEC cartel, partly because companies like ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell have self-interests to preserve the status quo, and partly because each President has a maximum of 10 years, or two full terms (which may not deliver results for strategic energy policy initiatives).

Dr. Henry Kissinger’s most recent book, “World Order,” tries to use Westphalia Peace Treaty of 1648 as a reference framework for world order. He did not mention once the OPEC cartel as the root cause of “World Disorder.” Maintaining equilibrium between power and legitimacy under the Westphalia approach ignores the fundamental problems with the world today.

Let’s confront the issues until they are resolved, not avoiding the issues with a framework based on about 200 European Christians seeking to preserve status quo. The status quo can not be sustained, and we will need Moral Innovators.

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Innovators World, Warrior World

Evolution of Abrahamic religions Scripture

We know that Abrahamic religions basically mean Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Christianity has Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant major branches plus hybrids like Church of the East (that started as Nestorians), and Islam has Sunni and Shiite major branches. How do we find the moral foundation(s) of these religions? We start with the written scripture for their followers.
Abrahamic religions began with Judaism. Many Jews believe the first Jew was Abraham, a person born in the city of Ur in current day Iraq about 4,000 years ago, 1,000 years before the Hebrew language became a language. We donot know how the Jews created its calendar (the first day was the birthday of Adam or the first human created by God in the Abrahamic religions – this year (2014) is the year 5774 in the Jewish calendar). We also do not know when exactly Judaism started to teach its faith (be very careful reading the words and spellings in Judaism because they can be confusing with multiple meanings). Judaism, like other religions started as an oral (i.e. not a written) teaching, and the Hebrew word for teaching is torah. In other words, we donot know when oral torah began, other than it cannot be older than 4,000 years if Abraham was declared the first Jew, making all Abrahamic religions younger than India’s Hindu religion, for example. This assumes the first language of Judaism was not Hebrew.
2,400 years ago, there was apparently a “great synagogue” meeting to discuss what should be included in the scripture, presumably in Hebrew. The reference that this meeting took place appeared in the Mishnah component of Talmud which was first published 1,800 years ago. This could be the first written draft of the Jewish scripture.
Around the time the Second Temple was destroyed at 70ce, there was concern that Jewish culture may not survive. This fear facilitated a more rigorous effort to write down the Jewish tradition.
1,800 years ago, the first attempt to write the Jewish scripture was redacted by Rabbi Judah haNasi that became the Mishnah, written in Tannaitic Hebrew. This was the accepted core text component of the Talmud which should not change.
1,500 years ago, Talmud’s core text (i.e. Mishnah) added commentaries and notes that are called Gemara. There were two versions of the Gemara – one by Israeli scholars 350-400ce, and one by Babylonian scholars ~500ce. Unless specified otherwise, the Babylonian version of the Gemara is the accepted version of Gemara. These are the commentaries and notes in both Hebrew and Aramaic languages that form the second part of the Talmud. Some core text (i.e. Mishnah) is not supported by commentaries and notes (i.e. Gemara). In other words, Mishnah plus Gemara are the two components to the Talmud. However, the term Talmud could mean Gemara alone, or the Mishnah and Gemara as printed together. The oldest full (Israeli or Jerusalem) Talmud manuscript we know I’d dated 1289ce, known as the Leiden Talmud. The oldest full (Babylonian) Talmud manuscript we know is dated 1342ce, known as Munich Talmud (Cod.hebr. 95). The entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates in 6 orders. In standard print it is over 6,200 pages long.
1,000-1,200 years ago, a group of Jewish scholars led by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher (?-960ce) and Moshe ben Naphtali (890-940ce) created and published the 24 book Masoretic Text Hebrew Bible.
Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic Christians all reference primarily the Masoretic Text Hebrew Bible with the acronym Tanakh (5 books of Moses or Pentateuch or Chumash or Torah (Ta in the acronym), 8 books of Prophets or Neviim (na in the acronym), plus 11 books of Writing or Ketuvim (kh in the acronym)). The first seven books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges) are in the same order for Tanakh, Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic Christian Old Testaments. The other 17 books of Tanakh are all in the Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic Old Testaments except in different order and sometimes split into two (e.g. Samual and Kings were split into 1Samual 2Samual, and 1Kings 2Kings, etc.). Catholics also used seven books (from Septuagint) which came from the Greek and not Hebrew origin. When Protestants reformed Christianity, they removed the 7 Books of Greek origin from Septuagint that the Catholics used in the Old Testament. Therefore there are 39 Old Testament books in the Protestant Bible.
800 years ago, Mosheh ben Maimon, aka Moses Maimonides (1135-1203 ce) created Halakha or Jewish Law when he lived in Egypt. This version is called Mishneh Torah (not to be confused with Mishnah, Torah, Talmud, Gemara, etc). Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic Christians do not use this Halakha, even though Maimonides was known to have influenced Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). For example, Aquinas specifically referred to Maimonides in the book “Commentary on the Sentences.” Aquinas had an important role to incorporate Aristotle’s philosophies and ethics into Christianity.
In summary:
1) Judaism has the Talmud (Mishnah and Gemara), Masoretic Text Tanakh, and the Mishneh Torah (aka Halakha) written between 2,400 – 800 years ago.
2) Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians rely mostly on the 1,000 year old Masoretic Text Hebrew Bible for the Old Testament. The New Testament is a separate story of Greek and Latin versions. For example, the King James English Bible was based on a 12th century incomplete Greek version of the New Testament that includes at least one page of Latin translated back into Greek before the Greek was translated into English.
3) Muslims use a completely separate source for their scripture Koran (or Quran) which traces back to 610ce when Archangel Gabriel facilitated a dialogue between Allah (God) and Mohammad (570-632ce) in a dark cave. The first caliph Abu Bakr (573-634ce) directed Zayd ibn Thabit (610-660ce) who was Mohammad’s personal scribe to collect the verses and produced the first hand-written manuscript of the Quran. Under the third caliph Uthman ibn Affan (577-656ce), Abu Bakr prepared a standard copy of the Quran, both in scripta defective Arabic in simple lines and strokes, completely different than today’s Arabic script. The Arabic script as we know it today, the scripta plena, was not perfected until the middle of the 9th century. Another original version of the Quran was written based on chronological order by Ali ibn Abi Talib (~601-661ce) who was the cousin and son-in-law of Mohammad. The order of the Ali Quran differed from the Abu Quran, but Uthman’s standardized version written by Abu Bakr was accepted without objections. It is believed that Jesus is an accepted prophet in the Quran, but not a God.
It would be interesting to explore the original source of the Quran, especially in the context of how Jesus was recognized as a prophet, not son of God. It seems the two ways Mohammad would know Jesus as a prophet would have to be 1) told by Allah or 2) told directly or indirectly by Jesus followers.

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Overview

Moral Innovator Decisions

Life is a continuous learning process.  We strive for continuous improvements when making decisions, and we usually find from experience that we have blind spots.  Moral Innovators make decisions based on what we think is the right thing to do to make the world a better place.  While we can believe that we never make mistakes because we decide based on the best available information at the time we make decisions, the shortcoming of this view is the fact that often we make assumptions (based on our beliefs) when we make decisions.  It is these assumptions that can either be validated or wrong. 

All humans were born on earth without knowledge.  For about the first 20 years of life, we develop “beliefs” that hopefully we can reinforce/validate through our experiences.  When we go to schools, workplaces, places of worship, and other places to make friends, we gain experiences and learn different perspectives of the “truths” as we know them.  Since each one of us has difference experiences, we are exposed to different “truths.”  When we validate our beliefs with our experiences (or truths), that is when we gain knowledge.  It is important that we understand this (see the Venn Diagram below):

               Knowledge Venn Diagram        

KEY POINT:  We try our best to make decisions based on knowledge, but many decisions must be made with assumptions.  We buy name brands because we assume they have higher value (last longer, look prettier, comes with a warranty, etc).  We buy a home because we assume the house will appreciate and the interest expense and taxes can be deducted from income taxes, lowering the total cost of ownership.  We pay taxes and expect services from our government.  We donate time/money to religious institutions to reinforce our moral standards and faith.

Remember there is one Golden Rule endorsed by most religions, agnostics and atheists:

Do unto others what you want others to do unto you

Each of us may elect to have our own personal relationship with God, and that cannot be questioned.  However, religious institutions (Churches, Synagogues, Temples, Mosques, etc.) that help us define our relationships with our faith have additional motives to strengthen our beliefs sufficiently to receive our donations of our time or money to support their cause(s).  Moral Innovators do not blindly follow what we are told in religious institutions which often confuse beliefs with knowledge.

We know that Christianity did not start in English.  Professor Bart Ehrman found verses in English that were never in the best known original language of the bible.  So, if we read only English, and English has these verses that were not in the best known original version, we have been reading something that should not be in the bible.

The next question is:  How important are these missed verses and/or mis-translated verses?  We know that Mormons believe the Garden of Eden is in St. Louis, Missouri.  Professor Ehrman shares that King James Bible was translated from poorly copied manuscripts to provide more leniency to adultery for the Anglicans in Britain.  We know that Protestants excluded the Septuagint in the Old Testament compared to the Catholics.  We know that Syria, Ethiopia and other countries have different books for the bible.  We know that there is no archaeological evidence to support the stories in the Exodus which is a central theme of the bible.  We know that Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh predates the bible.  We know that a story similar to Noah’s flood is in the Epic of Gilgamesh.  We know that a place like the Garden of Eden is in the Epic of Gilgamesh.  We know that there were millions of humans on earth when both the Jews (through their calendar) and genealogy calculations (by Irish Archbishop Ussher (1581-1656)) based on the bible point to the first human Adam was on earth 6,000 years ago. We know the original Sumerian cuneiform writing was not Semitic, and Sargon I was the Semitic Akkadian Conqueror who changed the writing that evolved to eventually English.

If we focus only on beliefs instead of knowledge, the most obvious issue is the fact that both Muslims and Christians want to convert all humans on earth to their faith.  It is not possible to believe in both Islam and Christianity at the same time.  Since Muslims condemn non-Muslims to go to hell, and Christians condemn non-Christians to go to hell, it is logical to conclude that all humans would be condemned to go to hell, a lose-lose proposition. 

Comparing Abrahamic religions to others:  We know that Hindu (Sanskrit) writing is older than the first known (Hebrew) writing of the Bible.  We know that Chinese writing (i.e. not cave paintings) started close to 10,000 years ago with symbols (the most well-known is the Tai Chi symbol in South Korea’s flag today), and counting with strings and knots (that the South Americans called the Quipu about 5,000 years ago) before the Chinese started writing as we know their writing today.  The Chinese also wrote the first known controlled use of fire by hominids was 1.8 million years ago in Shanxi Province, China, in a November 1998 article of Acta Athropologica Sinica.

Current illustrations:  Our definition of human rights and our desire to apply this definition worldwide within our democratic government is an assumption.  We need facts from our data base to convert this assumption into common knowledge.  Hedrick Smith’s book “Who Stole the American Dream” claims we are losing

1)     our democracy as our government listens more and more to the wealthiest 1% of Americans who captured 93% of our gains in 2010, the first year of the current economic recovery , and

2)     the breadth of our wealth as our middle class has suffered through the widening wealth gap.

While the USA sponsored the Marshall Plan after World War II, we can no longer afford to spend trillions of dollars on ill-defined missions.  USA chose to support Yassar Arafat to represent the Palestinians, ignoring the democratic majority elected representatives from the more radical Hamas in certain regions.  USA supported Nationalist China, South Vietnam, Philippines’ Marcos and Iran’s Shah that did not have the majority support of the Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipinos and Iranians, respectively.  USA has very bad intelligence to pursue terrorists with ill-defined missions in Iraq and Afghanistan when Osama bin Laden lived for years in Pakistan and Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction.  USA lost credibility and wasted trillions of dollars without winning the support of the local people.  We should demand clear mandates from Syrians and Ukrainians to define the objectives of interest with majority support of the local people as we discuss involvement from USA and our allies. 

If we estimate we spent US$5 trillion in these ill-defined wars in today’s dollars, each of the 300 million Americans (including every infant) would get $17,000, and our deficit would be that much lower.  Using Hedrick Smith’s wealth allocation, the 1% of Americans who commanded 93% of gains in 2010 surely did not pay for 93% of the US$5 trillion to finance our wars.  That, in a nutshell, is not reflective of a democracy where the voter turnout is more typically 50% in recent elections.  The Tea Party, with a minority of the Republican Party, shut down our government in 2013.  This is Minority Tyranny.

Let us take a step back and expand our search for knowledge, instead of relying on beliefs and assumptions which will lead to conflicts instead of harmony.

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