Journal: Hubris Loses to Angst & Reality–Every Time

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Last Shake for Last Coin

British student held over alleged airline bomb attempt

Nigerian man reportedly linked to al-Qaida in custody after foiled terror attempt on transatlantic flight to Detroit

Police identified the suspect as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, 23. It is understood that he is an engineering student at University College London.

One official said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over US soil.

Failed terror attack…Blizzard warning…Fuel spill in Alaskan waters

ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) — Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials say the components of a failed explosive were apparently mixed onboard an international flight bound for Detroit. Passengers subdued a Nigerian man who was apparently burned when the device fizzled, but didn't explode.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. counterterrorism officials are trying to figure out if the failed bombing of an international flight preparing to land in Detroit reveals a serious new threat. Even though it burned but didn't explode, investigators wonder how the mixture allegedly used by a Nigerian man evaded detection

Phi Beta Iota: In the time immediately following 9/11 it was clearly established by multiple parties that our asymmetric opponents were spending $1 for every $500,000 we spent.  Today we speculate that the ratio is closer to $1 (them) to $5 million (us).  We lack a grasp of reality; we lack a strategy; we lack a force structure; and above all, we lack the moral high ground.  Imperial Hubris is what happens when government get “too big to fail” and then promptly collapse because they suffer from a culture that turns disaster into catastrophe.  Terrorism is the LEAST of our problems, but for the sake of avoiding argument we accept the United Nations High Level Panel's conclusion that terrorism is number nine out of ten high-level threats to humanity.  What we do every day to ourselves is easily a million times more threatening, more costly, and more immoral than anything a single terrorist or terrorist group–whatever their motivations–might do.  The BAD DECISIONS made by government are the real sucking chest wound for society, both in terms of perpetuating catastrophic industrial and weather changing practices, and in terms of failing to meet the fundamental needs of people who–if empowered with connectivity and education–would create infinite wealth in every clime and place.

POVERTY is the top level threat; it is directly associated with a lack of INTEGRITY among both the 44 dictators on the planet (notably including most of the Middle Eastern regimes that join Israel in perpetuating genocide and other atrocities against the Palestinians, and among the Western powers all too happy to accomodate dictators for short-term financial gain.

History and the literature are clear: empires collapse when they lose touch with reality and ignore the basic needs of the population, the latter a power that cannot be suppressed by any imperial power forever.

Virtually every book reviewed on this web site bears on this fundamental confrontation between imperial hubris and the angst of billions.  Trotsky liked to say that “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”  We have adapted that: “Corrupt dictators and their imperial friends may not be interested in reality, but reality is interested in them.”  Every single day that we deny the truth, the costs for achieving a prosperous world at peace go up.

2008 Chapter: Annotated Bibliography on Reality

Review: The Crisis of Western Culture

Review: The Next Catastrophe–Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters

Review: Acts of God–The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America

Review: Catastrophe & Culture–The Anthropology of Disaster

Review: Collapse–How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror

Review: The Cheating Culture–Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead

Review: The Marketing of Evil–How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom (Hardcover)

Review: Dying to Win–The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Hardcover)

Review: Phantom Soldier–The Enemy’s Answer to U.S. Firepower

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