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HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Governing the Revolutions

Hey Barry:

Looks like a few countries will be installing brand new governments. I'm sure y'all will issue real congratulations and offer them any help they want.

That's all good so long as we don't be Ugly Americans about it. Here's the thing - we are not 'xactly seen as squeaky clean bearers of gifts in that area. After all, we are shooting and bombing people in at least two countries today and also we are big supporters of Israel.

So whatever we say or do is gonna be looked at real suspiciously. Hillary's all over that so we don't have to belabor it.

The rest of this is not about you, even though you may be interested.

It's a little out of my league of economic policies, but I'm gonna offer some ideas directly to the folks who will be running those countries soon. Maybe the ideas can be useful.

IT'S HARD - SO KEEP SOME FOLKS

Managing a country where your people just kicked out the people who ran the place is real hard. There's a temptation to arrest and ban anyone who was in the prior government. Only trouble is: they know what to do.

It's worth trying to keep some experts around so the country will run smoothly. It's a balancing act to keep the experts from the prior government in their job AND be sure they are loyal to the new government. And it'll be even harder when tribes are involved. Remember that most of the former regime's supporters just wanted a job and said what they had to say.

Suggestion: Make sure all the critical decisions require at least two people to sign off. Don't let any single person decide critical issues. And make sure one of the signers is loyal to the new government. For those folks from the prior government, make them sign a loyalty oath and personally interview them to decide if you can trust them. Do this with respect and sincerity. Together with requiring at least two people to approve major decisions, that should reduce problems.

Whenever you're in doubt about a person with critical skills, remember the world is full of expats who would love a good paying job. Hire a foreigner who has no connection in the country to run a technical operation.

THE OTHER GUYS ARE CROOKS

Of course they are. That's why your revolution won the war.

Now, you need to show compassion and grace. Do not torture or execute them. Do put them on trial for all their crimes and then put them in jail. Seize all their illegally gained assets. Any property they acquired while acting in an official capacity should be forfeit.

Don't waste time on vendettas. You have a lot of work that needs your attention. If you act wisely you will get respect from your people and from the international community - both of which are more important than lynching some petty crook.

MODERATING HOPE

Your followers want everything to change right now. If you encourage that feeling, you will disappoint them. It is inevitable; reality will always lag behind dreams. The difficulty for you is that when your follower's hopes run ahead of your delivering results, you may be the next government to suffer revolution.

Here's a two prong approach to that problem. First, frequently give speeches and press conferences where you list all the difficulties in running the country. The goal is to educate people about how hard it is and to simultaneously reduce their expectation about the pace of change.

Second, create real job openings and create real help for people who want to start small businesses. Your goal is to give some of your followers a real path to a good life. That will mean some new bureaucracies and maybe some help from expats. As word of the new programs spreads throughout your followers, it will reduece frustrations.

The combination of reducing expectations and simultaneously providing real opportunities makes it easier to keep the peace.

REDUCE CORRUPTION

A lot of money was leaving your country because some former government officials were stealing it and sending it to Swiss banks.

Of course, you will put those officials on trial. Then the big question is how to prevent a new generation of crooks.

One good answer is to create an open bidding process. In other words whenever there is a government contract to be awarded, award it to the highest bidder or lowest cost provider depending on the contract.

If the bidding process is public with a public review of the contracts, then corruption is less liklely.

ELECTIONS

Hold elections as quickly and as often as possible. Officials at every level should be elected - national, provincial, local.

Anyone who has authority should be elected by the people over whom he has authority. The only permissable deviation is when an election is so obviously crooked that the results will not represent the will of the people.

FREE PRESS

Please take a lesson from the USA. A free press is critical to any honest government. reporters are the eyes and ears of the public. They are what makes any government action subject to review. If there is no free press, there will be more corruption.

Everyone in the world wants you to succeed. Don't be shy about asking for help.

Your pal,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

U S Policy in Post Revolutionary Africa, Asia

Hey Barry:

The revolutions will end soon. Now's the time to think about what the world will look like in a year or two.

Pretty much there will be two possibilities. We can hope that most of the countries will implement stable, representative governments similar to Turkey and Indonesia.

Middle East expert and Professor of Political Science at East Tennessee State University Dilshod A. Achilov has suggested that both countries can be models for future secular, representative governments; read an interview here: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/117500/20110301/turkey-indonesia-arab-revolt.htm

The other possibility is that some dictators will survive and continue to torture their populations.

The best policy for our national security is for the US to establish contacts with each of the revolutionary movements immediately. The goal should be to see how we can help them create hope in their country without co-opting their energy. There is no doubt that countries where people hope for a better future are less likely to produce terrorists.

I want to repeat that: our national security is established ONLY when people in poor countries have hope for their future. People with no hope breed terrorists. Plain and simple, Barry; no doubt about it.

If we retreat to our past practice of choosing autocrats and dictators who say they will protect our commercial interests we will be attacked increasingly. And, we will deserve it.

We gotta be on the right side Barry. The world is changing fast. The world's population has grown from about 2 billion in 1950 to a projected 10 billion in 2150.

Last time I looked, there is no more water, oil or land being made Barry. That gonna mean we looking at more wars over survival coming down the road.

It's another big choice, Barry.

One you will make. Just you.

Please chose wisely.

Your pal,