Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Greatest Security Threats to the United States

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

The greatest security threats to the United States are not from nuclear weapons but from cyber space and domestic terrorism. The Russian interference in the 2016 elections through email hacking and domestic terrorism by white nationalists in Charlottesville, VA are manifestations of the real threats to our security and the union.

Excerpts from my book, The Beltway Beast, published in 2014

While Washington continues to fight its previous, ongoing wars, the real threats of the 21st century will not be meeting us at the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Our greatest threats will come from cyberspace and domestic terrorism, not the ones we currently attribute to the Muslims, but the ones that we have not even started thinking about.

Cyber Threats
“Cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation. In short, America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cyber security,” President Obama said on May 29, 2009. The inescapable fact is that modern man has entered a new frontier, the world of virtual reality, where billions have 24/7 access to much of that is happening on the planet. The cyber world creates equilibrium among strong and weak nations, rogue elements, and non-state actors around the globe. Everyone with an Internet connection is on equal footing in terms of access—and can use it for either the benefit or detriment of humanity. At some point, the Pentagon will have to stop gazing at the rearview mirror and start looking into the 21st century, where the real world is now firmly planted… (more…)

The Beltway Beast review by the Kirkus Reviews

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Dec 10, 2014 – A political treatise that laments how America’s democracy inadequately represents its citizens and calls for the creation of a third party.

In his debut effort, Moon catalogs a host of familiar ailments that he believes currently infect the body politic, including corruption, fiscal irresponsibility, a chronically under-performing educational system, monumental debt and partisan stalemates. However, he unconventionally identifies the principal political challenge of our time as the disenfranchisement of citizens, particularly neglected minorities. He marshals impressive statistical evidence in favor of his thesis that government aggrandizement has come at the expense of voter power. (more…)

The Beltway Beast review by the San Francisco Book Review

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

According to a Gallup poll in October 2013, only 26% believe that two major parties adequately represent Americans, and 60% of Americans think a third party is needed. This book is designed to be a platform for the 74% of Americans who are yearning for an option outside of the two-party monopoly.

And so, Munir Moon succinctly states the purpose for his excellent, thoughtful book. There is a bit of a trend recently in books that look to re-invent the clearly flawed political systems in the Western democracies. (You may disagree with that statement, or at least the latter part of it, but do keep reading.) As I write this review, the number one best-seller in the UK is Russell Brand’s Revolution. Brand calls for a boycott of all established institutions, including a refusal to cast votes in elections contested among elite parties. So in many ways, both Moon and Brand are coming from the same place while heading in only slightly different directions. (more…)

Illogical Logic of Our Iraq Policy

Monday, November 17th, 2014

November 17, 2014 – We attacked Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11 to remove Saddam Hussein who presumably represented a potential threat to us by having weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Even though there was no imminent threat to the homeland, our leaders decided to make it so and off we went to attack a sovereign nation. We found out later that he had no WMDs and had nothing to do with 9/11 as acknowledged by then President Bush. In the meantime, the narrative was changed and the attack became a freedom agenda for the Middle East instead of protecting American people from a potential threat. The project was called Operation Iraqi Freedom. Never mind that the Iraqis did not ask us to free them, nor did the American people authorize our government to do so. Furthermore, our leaders then decided to occupy Iraq and build a nation in the western image and democracy, ignoring thousands of years of Middle Eastern history. (more…)

The Beltway Beast review by the FOREWORD REVIEWS

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

October 30, 2014 – The Beltway Beast: A Challenge to Our Democracy by Munir Moon is a concise look at a litany of problems with the American political system—and a glimpse at a possible solution.

Moon’s main goal is to argue against political polarization. Rather than pointing a finger at one party, individual, issue, or belief system, Moon attacks the beast that is Washington, DC: “the Military-Industrial Complex, multinational corporations, lobbyists, media, and Congress.” If it feels like a lot to tackle in one slim volume, it is; but Moon puts all these oft-discussed issues in one place in order to prime Americans for his proposed solution: a third party.

Moon asserts that The People’s Party of America could help restore balance. The PPA, as Moon presents it, would be people-centered, focusing on “equality, fairness, freedom, and justice.” Throughout the book, Moon presents practical details behind those abstractions—but he doesn’t provide all the specifics, as this is to be an open movement, a community rather than one man’s opinion. (more…)

The Beltway Beast

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 – One cannot underestimate the power of the Beltway Beast, whose tentacles tap into every city, county, and state. But there is so much more to the Beltway Beast’s immensity and complexity. The Beltway consists of Washington, D.C., and surrounding counties, and the Beast includes defense contractors, lobbyists, Wall Street, think tanks, advocacy groups, journalists, foreign agents, and everyone else who wants something from our government. All of these congregate in the Beltway and are actively engaged in soliciting legislative favors and taxpayers’ money. Then there is Congress and the White House, which both need the lobbyists and Wall Street for campaign funds. All of these groups are living in a bubble that makes the Beltway Beast. (more…)

Understanding Other People

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

The last 11 years have proven that Iraqi leaders are not willing to work together. Yet, we are still telling them to do so. Never mind that the Shiite-Sunni conflict has existed for over 1000 years. As former Defense Secretary and the architect of the Vietnam War Robert McNamara said, “I don’t think we understand the Moslems – Moslem fundamentalist, I don’t think we in America understand the Chinese, I am not sure if we understand the Russians. For God’s sake try to understand other people.” (more…)

Freedom to Choose our Leaders

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

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We are supposed to be a democracy “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” U.S. lawmakers are all for more competition–just as long as they do not have to compete. This reality is underscored by the incumbency rate of almost 80% in the House and the Senate since 1964, according to a study by the Center for Responsive Politics. (more…)

Glass Ceiling in U.S. Congress

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

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There has been a lot of talk about a glass ceiling against women in business and corporate boardrooms. This week’s block by the Senate for a bill that would strengthen equal pay for women is a good example of the challenges we face regarding this issue. Moreover, very little has been discussed about women’s representation when it comes to making policies and laws. The U.S. Senate, one of the two legislative bodies, is represented by a small elite group of rich old men. Women comprise 20 percent of the Senate and 19 percent of the House of Representatives even though they make up 51 percent of the population. Sadly, the U.S. is ranked 91 in the percentage of women in the national legislatures, according to a report by American University, Men Rule – The Continued Under-Representation of Women in U.S. Politics. (more…)

Flip Side of the Minimum-Wage Debate

Monday, September 8th, 2014

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Something that Washington does not want you to know about and hopes that nobody else will discuss during the minimum-wage debate is take-home pay after taxes for low-wage earners. Washington claims that Americans should be paid living wages so that they can live a decent life. However, it is not willing to give up its share of the booty that it would collect from the same low-wage earners it claims to help.

For example, the federal government will collect at least 15 percent of the increased income from those low-wage earners through payroll tax. In other words, if the minimum wage goes up by a dollar, the federal government will take away, directly or indirectly, at least 15 cents of that additional dollar from the working poor.

Asking large corporations, which are in business to make money, to pay additional wages is like asking them to be saints. Government mandates do not have a major impact on large corporations, since they will figure out a way around them. After all, they can rent lawmakers; one former senator famously declared, “My vote can’t be bought, but it can be rented.” On the other hand, politicians do not pay anything from their pockets either. They will just give the money to one group and take it from another, but not from the special-interest groups that finance their campaigns. (more…)