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Xmas 2016

HO, HO, HO… my dear friend!

Are you helping Santa?

Merry Christmas and may many more good elves ring in a triumphant New Year 2017 for you and yours.

My sister continues building the Northern California record for audio books checked out from the library.  When not listening to those, talk shows, or University of San Francisco lectures, she pushes to improve the training of the company that supplies her 2+/- day a week assistants.  Marlene also trains her disability assistants on the importance of attending their union meetings, which recently helped improved their wages to $13/hours on the way to $15 over the ensuing year or so.

Solar sales angel Spencer Smith and his Apple-baited wife Nancy continue taking Marlene to fund raising dinner functions of the do-good agencies they support.

Resting enuff, Santa?

Many years ago, my Kaiser Primary Care Doctor said something  like, “Tell me if I’m correct, you are planning on running as hard as you can for as long as you can till everything wears out, right?”

I laughed, and didn’t put much thought into the last part of his sentence.  I am paying more attention to sentence endings now, and may even now be serving some kind of sentence, which my mom warned me about as she kept imploring “Rest more… Take it easy… Take a nap…”  

(If you are lucky enough to have a wonderful mother, pay attention .to even her offhanded remarks.  Somehow, even those are prescient.)

Instead of having my worn shoulder and torn rotator cuff repaired with stitches, I decided abouta year back to go out on my right limb by using my buttock’s bone marrow and stem cells to try to repair my former sling-shooting right shoulder.  But…  Due to a variety of reasons, which may include my jocular induced Ignatian (“Get up and run it off, Hunn, you rainbow chaser…”) approach to health and healing, my shoulder is still defined in largely Latin and Greek derivatives in November of 2016 by some in the medical world as:

“There is superimposed interstitial signal within the conjoined fibers of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendon measuring 1.1 cm transverse by 1.0 cm AP suggesting greater than 50% partial thickness tear. Previously seen signal involving the distal anterior fibers of the supraspinatus tendon appears less discrete. Thickening of the subscapularis tendon compatible with tendinosis. There is interstitial tear with mild medial subluxation of the proximal fibers of the long head of biceps tendon. Teres minor tendon…”

Even Saint Ignatius High’s boot camp Latin training conducted by my favorite SI Drill Sergeant, Mr. Leonard, failed to make my aging amyloid-free, I hope, brain easily “comprendo” what is going on in the above stew of words… But, it ain’t that good, and that’s without mentioning this clean hippie’s hip.

Where’s that Elysium cure-it-all machine when you need it?

Feel free to translate into grade school English, with which I still have trouble, so I’ll know how to start slinging stuff again.

Statistically, it is likely that a little less than half of you who voted, voted for Donald Trump and that mesmerizing beauty that stalks him on the elevator.  Since President-elect Trump likes to tweet, here’s a lovely tweety-bird like Christmas gift that won’t cost you anything and will save bloodshed, expensive military dollars, and heartbreak year-round.

During Christmas and through the New Year, why not tweet 140 characters to some of President-elect’s twitter sites or those related, such as:

#Trump, #realDonaldTrump, #Russians, #trumptrain, #uniteforAmerica, #trumpwatch

Ask him and those twitter followers to use their connections with Putin to build a program that People’s Lobby influenced Congresswoman Boxer to introduce as HR 1807 in 1989.

Here are some possible 140 characterish tweets to copy, paste, adjust, and tweet to the above and other addresses of your choosing:

Nixon opens China. Trump melts Russia via http://peopleslobby.us/awsc  & benefits nation & world via http://peopleslobby.us/awsc

Serve in space why not on earth? http://peopleslobby.us/awsc/aspc Bring back http://peopleslobby.us/hr-1807-1989-american-soviet-peace-corps/

Open the U.S.  To National Service   http://peopleslobby.us/awsc/ & Russia to Peace Corpsing with us http://peopleslobby.us/awsc/aspc

Why not shift military competition to the field of peaceful development http://peopleslobby.us/awsc/why/ & #climate care?

Tweet Trump.  Santa’s serious, tweet him.  Urge Trump to open Russia to peacedful service.  Tweet your congresspersons.  Tweet the media.  This Special Season, start helping the elves and St. Nick by helping build a band of do-gooders worldwide and turning out more reformed Scrooges and inspired Popeyes.  Thanks to George Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ hospitality (captured my AirBaha), I spent a September week in DC with 22 Congressional staffs pushing  People’s Lobby’s robust  American World Service Corps National Service Congressional Proposal and urging them to reintroduce its US-Russian Peace Corps Proposal .

Daughter cries & survives.

With the world awash with homeless children, wars, refugees, collapsing glaciers, etc., isn’t it the right season to move the world’s two superpowers toward peaceful service and greatness?

Tired Syrian kids hoping bombs don’t fly.

Signing this reopened AWSCNS petition would also make Santa smile… https://www.change.org/p/field-21-million-american-world-service-jobs-corps-volunteers-over-the-next-27-years?te=npf

To help in other ways, click here: http://peopleslobby.us/how-help/fund-intern-chair/

Merry Christmas and may a Happy & Healthy New Year be with you.

Dwayne Hunn

Santa smiles at the triumphal thought of seeing a US-Russian Peace Corps reintroduced and gifted to the world.

Joe Sixpack Belches On NIMBYism

COASTAL POST –  SEPTEMBER 17, 1990

Joe Sixpack Belches On NIMBYism

As some of you know, Joe Sixpack re­cently took a job with OLTP (Office of Long Term Paining) in Sacramento. His job de­scription, outside of his after hours environ­mental responsibility for crushing his weekly average of 47 aluminum cans, in­cludes “Monitoring the Progress of Pain in the Capitol of NIMBYism.”

Aware of Maria through his advancing politics/law studies at the BAR (earned through seminar work at Smiley’s Schoo­ner, The Cantina, and the Alvarado Inn), Joe was miffed by his job description. In May he asked his boss, Ulysses Stephen Shirkit, this question:

“Sir, how does one monitor pain in the Capitol of NIMBYism when everyone

knows that everyone wants to live in that idyllic oasis. I mean, everyone knows that every 4th car in Marin is a BMer or Porsche, that every one either has a twin screw, 6 sleeper cabin cruiser or a hot tub, that even the torn and tattered Levis wearers are mil­lionaire rock stars or have cultivated millions through other magical habits…How can I monitor pain there?”

Mr. U.S. Shirkit explained to Joe that he had to get by the surface superficialities and into the basics of life, which Joe’s studies for the BAR should have made him aware.

Joe’s first assignment turned out to be study­ing the St. Vincent’s/Silveira (SVS) initia­tive launched by Robert Marx, obviously a cousin of Groucho Marx. The basic he stud­ied on SVS was land and the future of little kids’ lives.

The other basic his boss wanted to awaken him to was more down and dirty—politics. His computer analysis and tutoring from U.S. gave him his first lesson in illogical (termed “stupid” by BAR friends) land use planning. Joe’s computer monitor informed him that passage of the SVS initiative would cause an SOS to be floated by: low and moderate income households—Marin’s most endangered species; the Catholic Youth Organization—which is trying to continue generating finances to help troubled kids; the embryonic rail system—the long term answer to gridlocked 101, air pollution, and someone named Sadham Pastrami Who-sane.

Joe learned a lot in that assignment. So much so that he had to crash more than his normal after-work quota of six light, empty aluminum cans against his sweaty forehead. Today he thought he might have a similar post work need.

“Joe, find out what’s behind these stories from the Coastal Post saying that the Marin Conservation League, Sierra Club and Audubon Society are against the Marin Sales Tax, which will put 52 percent of its revenues into making railroads operational again in the North Bay,” U.S. said, as he handed Joe a stack of papers and a 1.44 megabyte computer disk.

Joe rubbed his bloodshot eyes, went to his 486 chip powered, LAN networked, laptop computer and asked his first question.

“Why are these environmental groups against the train? Isn’t the train more envi­ronmentally sound than a bunch of people driving around in cars?”

Against the liquid gel video came, “That is the same question former Mill Valley Mayor Ruth Schneider publicly asked a MCL spokesperson. MCL’s standard an­swer avoids the ‘environmental’ question by claiming a train would be growth induc­ing. Therefore, MCL says don’t let the train happen until there is ‘more’ growth con­trol.”

“Does Marin have a growth problem?” Joe input on the keyboard.

Red bold letters flashed on the screen: “I TOLD YOU THIS BEFORE, STUPID!…Marin’s population growth has average 4/l0ths of 1 percent per year for the last 15 years, equaling about 1,000 people per year. Only 4 percent of the total of 12 percent of developable land remains to be developed. 2 percent of that is flat land lying along the railroad right-of-way which these environmental groups and Groucho Marx’s cousin want to acquire for open space. This potential acquisition will bring 90 percent of Marin’s land into “sorely” needed open space.

Incidentally, California’s population grows about 2,000 persons per day. Most of them, however, don’t earn $90,000 a year and have $30,000 for a downpayment to allow them to purchase the median priced Marin home. Most of them are normal, hard working families who are only allowed to drive through Marin.”

A bit embarrassed by the computer, Joe read some of U.S.’s reports before inputting another question. One of the reports dealt with the National Sierra Club calling for housing and commercial development along lines. Joe input: “Why is the Marin Sierra Club against mixed use develop­ments at SVS and other suggested sites when their national chapter says that is how we must sensitively handle future growth throughout the nation?”

A gentle green filled the screen: “GLAD YOU ARE DOING SOME READING, JOE. IF MORE PEOPLE HAD TIME TO READ AND LOGICALLY ASSEMBLE THEIR THOUGHTS, INSTEAD OF BEING STUCK IN TRAFFIC AND GRINDING JOBS, I WOULDN’T NEED TO WASTE SO MANY PIXELS ON THE SCREEN. The Regional Sierra Club looks on the Marin Sierra Club as an anomaly in the environmental movement. In more basic BAR studies talk, of which you are more familiar, they would on this crucial 20th century issue of energy conservation, logi­cal land uses, and jobs/ housing balance be called an environmental hypocrite by any intelligent, logical, sober, poker player who knows how to call a spade a spade.”

Confused by so much information, and thirsty, Joe input “Does that mean the Sales Tax will win even with opposition from these recognized Mann environmental groups?”

“Joe, reread what I said earlier about what the National and Regional Sierra Club chapters say are the development patterns that can address out affordable housing, traffic and air pollution problems. Then, if you use environmental facts to draw logical conclu­sions, you will begin referring to these groups as “so-called” environmental groups.

‘To you question: If voters read in depth and understand the Marin Sales Tax Issues and use logic and common sense, they will pass the Marin Sales Tax. Politics, however, more often is determined by emotion and rhetoric rather than facts, real long term needs, logic, and common sense.”

Joe was thinking about that answer when he glanced at the clock. It was 5:05. Earlier the afternoon heat had him looking forward to his couch, a few beers, the Giants game and his favorite show, “Married With Chil­dren.”

“Enough of this serious stuff, I’m outta here.”

DWAYNE HUNN

(Dwayne sweats over affordable housing and traffic issues with Novato Ecumenical Housing. He sometimes studies and quenches his thirst with Joe. He recycles, too.)

ISOJI Suppport

ISOJI and Multi-Disciplinary Team, August 8, 2016
Congress Huffman:

Re: Support for The People’s Lobby/Dwayne Hunn’s “American World Service Corps (AWSC) National Service proposal”

Dwayne Hunn as presented his proposal to the ISOJI (e-so-gee) MDT on several occasions and the response has always be affirmative and supportive if not a necessary ingredient into plight of our straying teens and young adults

Collectively we would like to see this proposal forwarded for consideration by Congress as a viable, well thought-out social-economic support system, and certainly, an option for our young people.

ISOJI surmises the lack of technical and vocational tracks in high school and the 30 to 40% students not wanting to/or cannot attend college puts many students at a disadvantage in transitioning into the workforce. Add to that, the evidences that says 75 to 80% of high-schoolers leave the learning environment with low self-esteem, which means low resiliency skills and reduced motivation, which leaves them unsure about self and the future, and indeed, in need of an environment where they feel useful and have the time to acquire a sense of discipline that helps them sort out their life’s path.

Without question, the compelling arguments, from our point of view, lies in the large numbers unemployed and underemployed and the 35 to 40 % of students NOT wanting or UNABLE to attend college or an advanced technical-vocational training institution.

We see the general disposition, unrest, and the higher levels of negative self-worth and low personal efficacy reflected in societal conditions that too often manifests itself in criminal inclinations – and we know how hard it is for young people to overcome what happens to them when they become enwrapped in a discriminatory criminal justice system.

A number of groups such as Peace Corp, Cross Cultural Solutions, United Planet Abroad, AmeriCorps, National Association of Community Health Centers, The Corp Network, City Year, The Red Cross, State Conservation Corps and multiple non-profits and other charitable works often lack the type of centrality or direct volunteer arm needed to address America’s systemic need to structure healthy and productive youth-to-adult pathways.

Your office can look at this proposal as a complementary necessity to, without question, the need to build a national infrastructure nationally that serves a myriad of social-economic needs. This AWSCNS program could present a national image for addressing youth, many of whom seem to occupy a social vacuum rife with drugs, violent media, social disconnectedness, separated from the health and welfare attributes that our nation has promised.

For all these reasons, ISOJI and the Multi-Disciplinary Team and our CITT “Collective Impact” Community Equity Building Team, endorses fully, this proposal.

In closing, as a former Air Force intelligence manager let me add another reason this AWSCNS program should be implemented. Whereas the military use to be a haven, an option for growing into a healthy manhood, the military and/or war environment too often today does not provide that route. Service as depicted in this proposed bill offers a healthy route, while providing human resources to our overwhelmed non-profits and presenting to the public a government that looks and acts effective, outreaching, and caring.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Moncrief, Director
ISOJI 415 883-1757

Spread the word?

Jackson Browne lyrically laments in “Lives in the Balance”…

I’ve been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you’ve seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war…

boxdogoodorgs3

What if we introduced and passed People’s Lobby American World Service Corps National Service (AWSCNS) Congressional Proposal  and that sent a million paid Yankee volunteers a year to national serve in such organizations as:

Would the ability to hook Americans into wars lessen?

People’s Lobby successfully pushed Congresswoman Boxer to introduce HR1807, the US-USSR Peace Corps in 1989.

When explained and thought about huge pluralities of voters support AWSCNS and joint Peace Corps, especially in this age of climate and refugee challenges.

Why not build armies that develope peacefully ?
190 nations and no joint Peace Corps? Isn’t it time for building ?

Our problem is we lack prominent voices spreading the message of good will such enacted programs could do.

Might you consider using your voice to spread the word?

Isn’t it time to go big with Peace?

Raining volunteers who grow good stuff.
Raining volunteers who grow good stuff.

UnorthodoxFinancing

From the American World service Corps National Service Congressional Proposal

(G)                Donations by the Forbes Richest Americans  (The  2% Forbes 400 Solution)                                                                Over the last 30+ years, the wealth of America’s richest taxpayers has increased disproportionately as compared to the stagnated and declining wealth increase among America’s low and middle classes.  Fed Chair Allan Greenspan expressed his concern about the increasing income and wealth disparity between upper and lower classes in his March 2, 2005 testimony before Congress.  His answer to spreading wealth was to increase educational opportunities for Americans.  As Greenspan noted, the GI Bill of Educational Rights gave America an opportunity to build and strengthen their middle class.  The AWSC proposals increase America’s educational quality and capacity, while building our economy and national character

(H)                Consequently, a public web site linked to the AWSC web site will list the Forbes Richest 400 Americans, who have benefited most from our nation’s human and physical infrastructure.  Merely to be on this list in 2015, one had to be a BILLIONAIRE worth 1.7 billion.

Those who live in luxury bestowed in large part by the skill and education of all Americans will be asked at the web site, “What have you contributed this year to help make the world safer for today and tomorrow’s children?   Each month the web site will list donations that America’s richest have made to implementing the AWSC and reducing its cost to America’s taxpayers.

(I)                      Donations by certain low tax paying corporations.  — A large number of Fortune 500 corporations annually pay little or no taxes, according to such organizations as Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).  At the AWSC website, with additional information supplied by other relevant federal agencies and information sources, those corporations who have paid none, little, or received federal tax paybacks (negative taxes) for the past five years would be listed.  This section of the AWSC web site would strongly urge these light or none paying corporations to contribute to underwriting the cost of making the world safer for them, their businesses, and their children.  The site will remind them, including their stockholders, that by doing good — companies can do well.

These donations would be listed alongside their researched nominal and effective corporate tax rates and tax payments.  Such socially conscious donations could significantly reduce the AWSC’s cost.  For those who paid little, none, or negative taxes, Congress should not allow the donations to be tax deductible.  (See http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2016/03/07/27-giant-profitable-companies-paid-no-taxes/81399094/  for some details.)

(J)                    An AWSC spreadsheet for America’s highest compensated celebrities.

(K)                  An AWSC spreadsheet for America’s highest compensated athletes.

(L)                   An AWSC spreadsheet for America’s highest compensated CEOsCould these donate to AWSCNS escrowed account? http://www.forbes.com/lists/2012/12/ceo-compensation-12_rank.html  An AWSC spreadsheet listing CEO compensations of those who have received federal bail outs.

(M)                Charitable Trusts, Philanthropic Foundations, etc.  – Trusts and foundations may find the American World Service Corps meshes well with their goals of improving world and nation and reflect that in grants and donations.  If the Gates Foundation wants to eradicate AIDS, a robust army of American volunteers can make that happen by doing the hard, face-to-face groundwork.  If we want to reverse climate degradation, we will need more than 4,000 power point presenters, we will need tens of thousands of AWSC volunteers working daily for years with a variety of effective NGOs.  Foundations’ contributions to those NGOs (non-governmental organizations) working under the AWSC umbrella would also be listed at the AWSC site.

12)           Daily Stipend Costs of AWSC volunteers serving in NGOs

Initially, this AWSC proposal leaves the daily service stipends paid to those who volunteer for NGO service as the NGO’s funding responsibility.  However, the unorthodox (or as yet non-traditional) funding mechanisms listed here offer NGOs another means of funding some or all of their volunteers’ daily stipend expenses, as our proposed 2% Forbes 400 Donation graphic depicts.  Congress could allow those donated funds to cover daily stipend costs.

 

DC9-16

The American World Service Corps National Service  (AWSCNS) Congressional Proposal  opens up filled jobs, provides new jobs, trains and educates for the environmentally beneficial jobs and needs of the future, makes stronger friends and neighbors with enhanced civic IQs.

Over ten years ago, People’s Lobby started working on the AWSCNS Congressional Proposal with a unanimous endorsement from the 2006 California State Democratic Convention.

This Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) did not think that a decade later I’d still be pushing to enact this needed, overwhelmingly good, and cost effective piece of legislation.

The AWSCNS would ramp up over seven years by adding about 150,000 paid volunteers per year.  In the seventh year, one million volunteers would serve annually through already effective do-good organizations, such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Americans Friends Service Committee, TechnoServe, Heifer, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, State Conservation Corps, In-Need Schools, Hospitals Therapy Wards, Homes for the Elderly, etc.  After 20 years of one million serving annually, directly addressing needs, and building sustainability, Congress would consider the AWSCNS for sun-setting after its 27th year.

In 2009 Congress implemented the Ted Kennedy Serve America Act.  Nonetheless, even at its proposed unmet largest, the Kennedy Serve America Act is 1/4th the size of what is called for in the AWSCNS Proposal,  and, as we warned, its budget was whittled on soon after memories of Senator Ted Kennedy faded.

Could you set up a time to meet with the Senato/Congressman, Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, or appropriate senior staffer during the week of September 18th-24th in hopes of building additional support for the AWSCNS Proposal?

The AWSC National Service Proposal would stimulate and strengthen America’s ability to peacefully and economically solve problems.  With its proposed coming-of-age non-traditional funding mechanisms moved further along by Gates and Buffet pushing their Giving Pledge, enacting teh proposed AWSCNS  could cost effectively involve the richest .1% in voluntarily building worldwide sustainability.  A summary of some of these benefits is here.

For a PowerPoint overview of the essence of the AWSCNS Proposal, view the first 12 slides at this link.

When I discuss the details of the AWSCNS Proposal to large audiences, they overwhelmingly support it.  It would do the same among the constituent audiences of those visionary congresspersons who push, introduce, and support it.

Included in the AWSCNS Proposal is a call for other nations to deploy their own similar armies peacefully on the battlefields of need.  In 1989 People’s Lobby was instrumental in moving visionary Congresswoman Boxer to introduce HR 1807, calling for the creation of a US-USSR Peace Corps.  Recently, we have asked her to do it again before she retires, but her ride into the sunset may be too close.

Therefore, we’d like to see whether you would be interested in resurrecting this visionary piece of HR1807 legislation.  Imagine how much more beneficial Bear and Eagle relations would be today if 20,000+ Americans, Soviet Unioners, and Russians had served together by 2016. View 8 slides on the US-Russian Peace Corps here.

It is never too late to start something that could do a lot of good. Investing in volunteers in do-good groups in turbulent political and climate challenged environments often returns the most good, especially in communities with needs.

We look forward to meeting with you or appropriate DC staff in September.  Thanks.

Dwayne Hunn Ph.D.

People’s Lobby Executive Director

415-383-7880

Represented by Congressman Huffman, California’s 2nd

CASA housing explained

Workplace Housing

Skylark Meadows, Novato sets state affordable ownership record
Skylark Meadows, Novato sets state affordable ownership record

Affordably Owned by not-super rich folks

Section 8 rental subsidies for generations?

Section 8 tax dollars taken from your taxed wallet to help low income households for generations?

Or

Own a home and its appreciation in the North Bay?

One time financial partnership assist to boost your toward financial independence?

FANNIE MAE

(Federal National

Mortgage Association)

1990 Blue Book National Model

CASA (Community Assisted

Shared Appreciation)

FANNIE MAE recommends emulating CASA across the nation

What is CASA?

Allows low and moderate income households to share in the benefits of homeownership in overpriced areas.

How?

The household buys in partnership with a non-profit, public benefit trust fund, foundation or public agency.

Why?

Allows civil servants, teachers, nurses, small businessman to live in their work community, share great American dream of equity appreciation thereby building true community and reducing traffic and environmental pollution caused by forced commutes to distant housing.

Town house, condo, starter home costs $225,000.

3 person household =  $40,000 income, good credit

Saved, family gift     =  $20,000 down

 Qualifies $125,000 9% mortgage, $1,0005 monthly

 Sales price                   $225,000

Less down & mortgage    -(20,000+125,000)

Shortfall                        $80,000

$80,000 = from Affordable Ownership Fund (CASA)

Funded from?

MCFoundation Affordable Ownership Trust Fund

Redevelopment Agency Fund

Open Space District or replica

Marin’s Most Pressing Need Trust Fund

Developer in-lieu fees…

Combination of above

How repaid?

Deferred principle and interest 2nd mortgage

“Sleeping Second Mortgage”

How is financial independence gained by homeowner?

Homeowner shares proportionally in appreciation.

20,000 down + 125,000 mortgageHomeowner’s share

$225,000 Sales Price                         Unit Sales Price

$145,000          =      65% homeowner’s share

$225,000

Homeowner will live in home, maintain and care for it, take tax write-offs, and if and when he/she sells it reap 65% of the appreciation.

How is solvency of CASA (Workplace/Affordable Ownership Housing Fund) maintained to continue program?

CASA contributed $80,000 toward purchase price.

$80,000    =  35% CASA’s share

$225,000

At sale CASA will receive 35% of appreciation which will return to the CASA fund to provide funds to repurchase that same or another house for the low/moderate income household seeking affordable ownership housing at that time.

X years later the CASA assisted buyer sells

Selling Price  =             $400,000

Less original costs         -225,000

Appreciation                 $175,000

CASA fund receive 35% or $61,250

of appreciation/contingent interest to assist next low/moderate income buyer.

Homeowner receives 65% of the appreciation or $113,750 to buy another home.

General Plan Update

San Rafael should add this to Housing Element as:

  • Corner stone of its affordable housing program.
  • In-lieu fee contribution to CASA Fund should be option available to developers rather than just prescribed %age of low income units in their developments
  • Benefits employers whose employees want to own and not commute long distances.
  • Adds option to developer’s available tools.
  • Workers prefer owning to renting.
  • Builds community pride.

Fund this program via:

  • Budgeting it as line item
  • Transferring some Redevelopment Agency funds to it
  • Proactively pressing the Marin Community Foundation to fund it
  • Educating the community on the more pressing need to fund it versus such less needed well-funded programs such as the Open Space Acquisition Fund.

The dearth of affordable housing – and the traffic congestion it causes – is Marin’s most pressing need – not more open space.

The family is best educational source children will ever be exposed to.

The house you live in is the schoolhouse you’ll learn the most from.

Every family should have the opportunity to proudly own a home near where they work.

To build strong families and the benefits they bring to the community, this should be a priority program in every General Plan and every endowed public benefit agency in pricey Marin.

3 person household =  $40,000 income, good credit

Saved, family gift     =  $20,000 down

 Qualifies $125,000 9% mortgage, $1,0005 monthly

 Sales price                   $225,000

Less down & mortgage    -(20,000+125,000)

Shortfall                        $80,000

$80,000 = from Affordable Ownership Fund (CASA)

Funded from?

MCFoundation Affordable Ownership Trust Fund

Redevelopment Agency Fund

Open Space District or replica

Marin’s Most Pressing Need Trust Fund

Developer in-lieu fees…

Combination of above

How repaid?

Deferred principle and interest 2nd mortgage

“Sleeping Second Mortgage”

How is financial independence gained by homeowner?

Homeowner shares proportionally in appreciation.

20,000 down + 125,000 mortgageHomeowner’s share

$225,000 Sales Price                         Unit Sales Price

$145,000          =      65% homeowner’s share

$225,000

Homeowner will live in home, maintain and care for it, take tax write-offs, and if and when he/she sells it reap 65% of the appreciation.

 

CASA program a model

Novato Advance       May 9, 1990

Viewpoint

 CASA program a model

        By DWAYNE HUNN

Some interesting things have been happening at Novato Ecumenical Housing recently. Last month NEH was notified by the Federal National Mortgage Association (FANNIE MAE) that our Community Assisted Shared Appreciation (CASA) home ownership program for low and moderate income households will re recognized in FANNIE MAE’S  1990 Blue Book as one of two national models shared equity home ownership programs. FANNIE MAE uses its prestigious annual publication to recognize programs that it believes should be emulated by other cities across the nation.

The national recognition does not come without some irony. For years, NEH  has struggled to obtain additional funds to expand our CASA program in Novato and throughout the county. So many political, environmental, and bureaucratic boulders have been placed in our path that we often feel like Sisyphus, the mythological figure who was compelled to roll a stone to the top of a slope, the stone always escaping him near the top and rolling down again.

Perhaps the uphill fight, taking place among the rolling hills of exclusive Marin, is part of the reason the program has been recognized. CASA has assisted more than 60 low and moderate income families in purchasing their first homes in Novato. Families earning as low as 34% of Marin’s median income have purchased homes through this deferred principal and interest second mortgage home ownership program. Our average second mortgage assistance been $37,000 per family and their average income has been $22,700.

NEH is proud of the award. We are prouder, however, that we have been able to help many starting families obtain the Great American Dream. Our assisted owners are not, as our uninformed opponents like to portray them, low-lifes. They are nurses, sheriff and police department employees, private entrepreneurs, secretaries, hard-working, single moms, etc. They are essential service providers and they have an almost  non-existent mortgage failure rate.

NEH has been able to raise more than $2 million to fund this program. The sources from which we raised the funds might help explain to some who oppose our work why we often argue on behalf of sensible, long-term environmentally sound developments. Source of Affordable Ownership Housing Trust Funds:

  • 53 percent developer contributions. Densities have been cut so drastically in Novato that no new sources of in-lieu fees are foreseen in the near future.
  • 18 percent Community Development Block Grants. We have not received and additional CDBG funds since 1984.
  • 15 percent NEH’s recapture of its equity share and second mortgage. Soon NEH will be the second largest supplier to its own program. Unfortunately, that means the program is not growing to handle the increased need.
  • 11 percent San Francisco Foundation. The San Francisco Foundation was replaced by the Marin Community Foundation.
  • 4 percent Marin Community Foundation.

As you can see, most of our funds which allow us to assist Novato residents in purchasing their own Novato homes come from developer contributions. When reasonable densities are drastically reduced to such a low point  that developers cannot justify the expense of affordable unit development or developers are not required to contribute in-lieu fees, we cannot help balance the jobs/housing imbalance.

The Brookside development is an example of how drastic density reductions hurt Novato’s ability to balance housing with the purchasing power of local residents. Ten years ago Brookside was approved for 120 units, of which 34 were  to be affordable. The Novato City Council then cut the allowed development to 70 units on 59 acres with no affordable units. Now come “concerned” citizens want the density to be cut to 0 units and want to you to assess yourself a parcel tax to purchase the Brookside  land for open space.

This desire for more open space is taking place in a county where more than 84 percent of the land is set aside in open space, agriculture reserve and park land. The petitions are being gathered in a city where, in 1980, the city averaged four units per acre and where today that average has dropped to about 2.4 units per developed acre. Politics, like awards, often has an ironic character to it.

For more information, call 892-8136.

 

 

 

Canal Alliance Wilson

CanalAllianceLetterHead

 

May 5, 2016

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to support People’s Lobby’s American World Service Corps (AWSC) National Service Proposal.

By implementing a national service program, communities can engage their residents in community service through nonprofit organizations and receive a stipend for their work.

National service would be a wonderful way for young people to acquire skills and insights as full-time national service volunteers while becoming part of the service fabric that helps knit our nation together.

As a nation we seem to be losing the cohesiveness that grew out of the Greatest Generation. That cohesiveness grew in no small part from the tremendous number of Americans who did a variety of National Service projects at home and abroad.

I hope you will support bringing character-enriching national service back to America.

Thanks for your consideration.

Tom Wilson, Executive Director

Canal Alliance

(415) 306-0426

91 Larkspur Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

FA2

Foreign, Domestic, Climatic, and Image Affairs

Only in movies?

If a movie were made with an enemy from an unreachable solar system raining down tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, droughts, nuclear disasters, armies of crazed terrorists… leaving swarms of refugees, homeless families, hungry children, mangled bodies amidst increased inequities; how long into the movie would it be before the self-proclaimed greatest nation added an army of do-gooders to address tragedies and heartbreaks and lead other nations to do the same?

Why don’t we address the results of ugly acts, of warfare, of nature’s anger that repairs and removes the causes of such acts by building a new international army that marches to change the psyche of continuous warfare and lets people get to know, work with, and care for people as brothers and sisters?

JFK great because…

Many believe he would have been one of our greatest presidents. He would have removed us from Vietnam more quickly, replaced the privately controlled Federal Reserve, chopped off some of the CIA’s hidden tentacles, and nipped in the bud the flow of power to the rich, entrenched, and connected.

There is, however, a grander reason for his greatness that more clearly fulfills the visions of Camelot.  Had JFK had 2,900 rather than 1,000 days to implement his visions, the reason he would have been one of our greatest lies in the army and spirit he was building.  The Peace Corps.

Kennedy wanted the Peace Corp, “The  toughest job you’ll ever love,” to quickly grow to “a million.” Then, he told former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, who was on the start-up team of the Peace Corps, it would be considered “significant.”

Kennedy possessed the charisma and communication skills to build that kind and size army.  With his assassination, the momentum to “peace corporatize” this different army into the world of nations quickly decelerated.  His challenge that other nations should do the same kind of service building,  “…but what together we can do for the betterment of mankind…,”  died with him.

Kennedy’s momentum helped the Peace Corps reach its apex of about 15,000 volunteers in the field in 1966, a paltry number compared to what Kennedy envisioned; and a number that has bumped downhill since, so that in 2016 it stands at about 6,800.

Kennedy was often heard saying, “I’d rather send the Peace Corps than the Marine Corps.”

Without JFK’s drive and charisma, the numbers went the other way.  During the Vietnam era of August 1964 to May 1975, 9,087,000 military personnel were on active duty.

http://www.nationalvietnamveteransfoundation.org/statistics.htm

From 1950-2000, 118.82 million billets (with “billet” defined as one serviceman for one year) were assigned overseas.  http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2004/10/global-us-troop-deployment-1950-2003

What if the idea of sending Peace Corps to the world’s troubled spots to contain poverty and “isms” had been imprinted into the American international relations psyche during JFK’s Camelot Era?

What if that kind of national service had been fielded much more often as an answer to “what you can do for your country, ” rather than carrying a gun into what too often has been trumped-up wars?

Over the decades, how much cheaper would peaceful, development-oriented national service have been than bloodying our troops behind armadas, stealth bombers, and drones?

What if a man of Kennedy’s vision and communication skills had talked to Ho Chi Minh, who supposedly admired America so much that he had worked his way over as a young man on a merchant marine ship to see the country he admired?

What if the power of America and JFK’S vision pulled Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem together? Imagine if Kennedy had said to them these words that reverberated in his heart:

“I’d rather send 10,000 Peace Corps Volunteers to North and South Vietnam than escalate into war.  Imagine what our Peace Corps Volunteers and your farmers and workers can do together to make the Mekong River Delta, Asia’s rice basket, and surrounding nations flourish. Let us build and plant rather than arm and napalm.”

Would the world be healthier today if decades back we had established a common sense army that invaded doing development rather than destruction?  Would such public policy action have lived up to JFK’s words that inspired the world, and especially its poor, to hang pictures of him on their walls in Mumbai, Cairo, Cape Town, etc.?

Would our nation and world be smarter, healthier, and richer had tens of millions of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) brought their insights, knowledge, and good will  home?

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.  My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

Since 1776 the USA has been at war for 222 of its 239 years.  Through 93% of our nationhood, have we been sending the right armies into the world?  Have we even built the right army for the 21st century?

Was the warning from a retired five-star Army general, who directed the allies on D-Day, knowledgeably led  the nation as president for 8 years, and in his farewell White House speech stressed the lurking danger of the growing union of a  military-industrial complex, not enough to reverse the march to a Terminatorish society?

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

Consistently, Republican Ike sought to cut the Pentagon’s budget by pressing on us common sense visuals such as:

“The jet plane that roars overhead costs three quarters of a million dollars. That’s more than a man will make in his lifetime. What world can afford this kind of thing for long?”

Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Gates (2005-2011) echoed Ike’s concerns

“Does the number of warships we have, and are building, really put America at risk, when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined — 11 of which are our partners and allies?

Is it a dire threat that by 2020, the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?”

When military spending budgeted to Cyber Security, Energy Dept., Homeland Security, State Dept., Veterans Affairs, and the Overseas Contingency Fund are added to the Department of Defense’s budget for 2015, the total equals $763.9 BILLION.  (http://useconomy.about.com/od/usfederalbudget/p/military_budget.htm

In 2013 spending on the Department of Defense, War, and nuclear consumed 57% of the Discretionary Budget, add Veterans Affairs and it reaches 62%.  This does not include interest payments on our National Debt related to wars.  http://www.oneminuteforpeace.org/budget

From 1950-2000 we placed 118.9 million Americans into active military service (2.33 million annual average), according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Spread out over 700+ world-wide bases, we use their bodies, blood, and physical and mental wounds to expensively implement foreign policies, while polluting the atmosphere fueling an awesome armada.  During George W’s Iraq War, the cost of fielding an active duty Star Wars clad soldier climbed to $1 million each.

Each of the addition 9,800 troops assigned to Afghanistan in 2015 is estimated to cost $2.04 million. Ike must be regurgitating.

When JFK created the Peace Corps through Executive Order on March 1, 1961 he said,

“The life will not be easy, but it will be rich and satisfying. For every…American who participates in the Peace Corps…will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation and a condition of peace.”

To offset our militant numbers barely 220,000 PCVs have served by 2016.

Sandaled 21st Century Army Needed?

Why don’t we mount a similar, albeit more modest financial effort that leaves a modest environmental footprint, to field a million Americans a year at home and abroad into peaceful, development oriented, common sense, cost effective national service through already proven non-profits that contains crazed “isms,” dramatically reduces wars, and works to rebuild the havoc an angry Mother Nature is dumping on people?

JFK’s Peace Corps and other existing do-good service corps have proven we can do this today for $30-40,000 per sandal wearing volunteer, whose wounds are generally limited to empathy-induced domestic or reverse culture shock.

If the answer continues being, ”We can’t bother doing that, because we have so many radical, crazed “…ists” to kill,” then Camelot will be replaced by Dronealot.  Droning a lot over time increases the odds that the stealth enemies such droning produces will, in time, cause America’s ascendancy to stall and then fall.

 “…Ask forgiveness later.”

Most often our public policy seems to be:  “Kill ‘em first… Ask forgiveness later” or expect they’ll forget the loss of loved ones.

Our policy post-911 should have been a thorough investigation augmented by a worldwide police action, including swiftly dropping our Special Forces into those areas where some of those involved were reported to be. It should not have been an invasion into uninvolved Iraq, which promised to open a hornet’s nest for the violence prone and gold mine for greedy war profiteers in a part of the world that was so anxious for jobs that many easily fell into the ranks of crazed terrorists.

When specious fear centric arguments are made and big media ignores or fails to fund investigative reporting, we tend to march off to another trumped-up war, where the .5% who have served in recent wars suffer most.  The minuscule percentage who serves, mostly the low and middle classes, often unknowingly, bear much more of wars costs than the connected, politically aware, and war hawks do.

Adding to war’s bloody stain, our recent wars have not been over what’s right but more over the benefits accruing to the .5% at the top end of the economic spectrum.

Before “kill ‘em” is decided upon, the electorate should know:  What are ‘killings’ long-term effects? Who benefits?  Who suffers? Who pays?

“Kill ‘em…  Ask forgiveness later,” may have worked pretty well pre-21st century, when the warer is protected by large oceans. But warfare’s terrain is growing more complicated daily as drones, chemical agents, nuke plant targets, internet economic dependencies, kidnappings, beheadings, virginal post-life attractions, public relations hero making, two legged suicide bombers delivery systems, dumbed-down myopic religious interpretations, military industrial estate money makers, monetized political puppets, climate weirding, poverty, refugee burdening, proliferating craziness becomes part of or connected to usable weapons systems…

In the March/April 2007 Issue of Mother Jones, Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank referenced the then most recent State Department report on global terrorism, stating that the goal of the United States is to identify, target, and prevent the spread of “jihadist groups focused on attacking the United States or its allies [and those groups that] view governments and leaders in the Muslim world as their primary targets.”

“Yet, since the invasion of Iraq, attacks by such groups have risen more than sevenfold around the world. And though few Americans have been killed by jihadist terrorists in the past three years it is wishful thinking to believe that this will continue to be the case, given the continued determination of militant jihadists to target the country they see as their main enemy. We will be living with the consequences of the Iraq debacle for more than a decade.”

In the eight years since that article/report, has dangerous crazed terrorism lessen, hardened, or spread?  If you’ve been in a cushy MTV trance, be informed that the situation has worsened, even while dramatically increasing costly resource allocation to combatting crazed terrorism and its complexities.

Albert Einstein defined one of our public policies saying, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Do we need different or at least additional strategies?

From 1950 – 2000, 198.8 million Americans have ‘served” our nation’s military corps.

During the recent Iraq debacle over 2.5million have served, Of those, more than a third were deployed more than once, so you may need to multiply that by about 3 to get a more accurate body count of those who have served (7.5 million).

“When I say 2.5 million people have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, jaws drop,” said Paul Rieckhoff, the chief executive officer of the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “I know which lines are going to get gasps, and that’s one of them. I don’t think they appreciate how many people have served, and particularly the number who have had repeated deployments. You’ve had an unprecedented demand on a small population. The general public has been incredibly isolated from those who served.”

In fact, as of last year nearly 37,000 Americans had been deployed more than five times, among them 10,000 members of guard or Reserve units. Records also show that 400,000 service members have done three or more deployments.

http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15442/how-many-americans-served-in-the-afgan-and-iraq-wars-from-2001-to-2013

No matter the cost, continue doing what you’re doing?

In the book The Three Trillion Dollar War ($3-5): The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (2008), coauthored by Linda Bilmes and Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, that cost was pegged between $3-5 trillion. Bilmes in a follow up 2013 Harvard Study pushes that economy rotting out number to $6 trillion because of costs related to:

  • Over a quarter of a million troops have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which, in many cases, were combined with PTSD, posing greater problems in treatment and recovery
  • Constituting a particularly grim facet of this mental health crisis is the doubling of the suicide rate for US Army personnel, with many who attempted suicide suffering serious injuries,” opine the report authors.
  • Massive direct spending on the two imperialist interventions continues. With over 60,000 US troops remaining in Afghanistan, it is estimated that the cost of deploying one American soldier for one year in this war amounts to $1 million.
  • About 2.5 million men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and just over 1.5 million had left active duty by September 2012. Of those, more than half were receiving government medical care, and one out of every two veterans had already applied for permanent disability benefits.
  • “The U.S. has already borrowed some $2 trillion to finance the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and the associated defense build-up — a major component of the $9 trillion U.S. debt accrued since 2001,” she writes. Any accounting of other macroeconomic costs associated with the wars, such as the impact of higher oil prices on aggregate demand, would easily bring the total to $6 trillion.

All this is done with very little service to America by 99.5% of the populace – who have not served. Many of those non-servers rave about how “exceptional” they are as they dodge the potholes of “national service free” America, as Karl W. Eikenberry and David M. Kennedy point out in their May 26, 2013 New York Times Op-ed:  Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart.

For nearly two generations, no American has been obligated to join up, and few do. Less than 0.5 percent of the population serves in the armed forces, compared with more than 12 percent during World War II. Even fewer of the privileged and powerful shoulder arms.  In 1975, 70 percent of members of Congress had some military service; today, just 20 percent do, and only a handful of their children are in uniform.

With all that money spent on the .5% of Americans, what’s the feeling of our soldiers who went off to a trumped-up and consequently prolonged Iraq/Afghanistan war?  USA’s April 20, 2015 edition headlined Today’s Soldiers hate their jobs and detailed that 52% felt pessimistic about their future.

http://www.pressreader.com/usa/usa-today-us-edition/20150417/283274571276949/TextView

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/04/16/army-survey-morale/24897455/

Did sending our troops quash or quell the problems and problem makers? When one sources thinkbynumbers.org  one finds that from 1993-2005 troop increases tracked with suicide bombing increases; and extensive research gathered at this Washingtonblog verifies that increases in foreign military intervention tracks with increased terroristic responses.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/u-s-war-on-terror-has-increased-terrorism.html

The Greatest Generation was…

The Greatest Generation was great because Mother Liberty accepted almost all to a bustling nation with room to grow, almost everywhere immigrants worked at building community, almost all suffered and fought through the depression.  Almost all flocked together to win the war.  Whether across the ocean or at home, almost all Americans served.  They served in reverse proportion to the numbers who fight hardships at home or abroad today.  They fought in a country that had nowhere near today’s income inequality.

The Greatest Generation was… because almost all shared directly or indirectly in the horrible images of war and warring, in the mangling of soldiers and citizens’ bodies and minds, in the tears a soldier delivered envelop brought to a mother’s eyes at the screened door, in the bruising building of the implements of warfare…  And tax paying and war bond buying to pay for a necessary war was shared by all, including taxing the very rich at high rates.

Between 2000 – 2015, with our population at 320 million, 1.4 million Americans do active national service in our military, about 0.44% of our population.

Back among the Greatest Generation, whose character and characters we are losing, the case can be made that about 32.65%+ of the Greatest Generation performed some form of national service.

Almost everyone experienced life that gave support to the Pledge that we were becoming, “… One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Those words, penned in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist Minister and Christian Socialist, were intended to keep the nation marching toward good health and opportunity for all.

Today former Commander of International Forces in Afghanistan, General Stan McChrystal, echoes what many others have been suggesting.

“Today, the need for such a common experience of citizenship is more poignant than ever.  We are drifting apart.  Contrary to the illusion of constant connectivity, Americans are isolated—geographically, ethnically, economically, religiously, and culturally.  An affluent student from Greenwich, Connecticut will never meet a student from Harlem…

Most historians would agree that a Great Leap toward the “One nation…” happened in the 1940’s, when about 2.3 million drew upon the earth for sustenance.

Back in the 40’s glaciers were bigger, flooding heavily populated areas less prevalent, fracked water unknown, climate weirding not yet believed by 98%+ of scientists, monstrous wealth disparity not so garish.

In 2015 with 90% of glaciers shrinking, flooding and earthquakes consistently devastating millions of lives, fracked water igniting from taps as well as on Oklahoma quake-ridden plains, 7.3+ billion earthlings ought to be doing much more than just talking about and suffering from climate weirding.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/himalayan-glaciers-growing.htm

Rivals in size our active military…

In April of 2015 Nepal had a devastating earthquake, with continuing aftershocks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/27/world/asia/nepal-earthquake-katmandu.html?_r=0

Imagine if the American World Service Corps Congressional (AWSC) National Service Proposal (AWSC Proposal) had been enacted years ago. The Peace Corps, International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, Oxfam, American Friends Service Committee, Mercy Corps, UN aid agencies, home for the aged, hospital therapy wards, etc., would have thousands of additional volunteers of all ages that they could quickly allocate to assist quake-ravaged Nepal, as well as help with refugee resettlement problems throbbing throughout the world, alleviate domestic poverty, etc.

Isn’t it time to build a voluntary national service program, which the AWSC Proposal does, that rivals in size our voluntary active military 1.46 million service program?

How much would a million Americans doing AWSC national service at home and abroad deflate the Internet propaganda being used by crazed terrorists who view violence as the primary means to change society?

How much smarter would such robust in-field experience make our present and future public policy decisions?

How much could other small and large national powers be influenced to emulate the US by introducing their own ROBUST national service programs?

Would it be healthy for the planet if we pushed other nations to compete (for lack of a better word)  and comingle with the US with their own peaceful national service programs, rather than through increasing budgets for expensive and bloody military corps?

How much richer would the earth be if Russians, Iranians, Chinese, Israelis, etc., served side-by-side in joint American/(pick a nation) national service for a year or two of their lives.

Might Palestine be less of cauldron and mess if an American/Soviet Peace Corps been operating their for the last 20+ years?

Building the Eagle’s… and Bear … and other nations’ mettle

In the late 80’s People’s Lobby (PLI) pushed legislation to establish an American Soviet Peace Corps (ASPC) that would have Soviets and Americans serve together as PCVs. PLI assumed that if such service and friendship bonds were established 10-30,000+ times, the odds of these two giant nations warring or reaping worldwide havoc would diminish significantly.  A wise and peace loving Congresswoman Boxer expressed her interest in this 1984 letter and expressed her vision in this 1988 letter.  In 1989 she introduced HR1807 to form a US Soviet Peace Corps (USSPC).

From community groups, to elected officials, to former Peace Corps directors, to the Soviet Consulate, etc., great support existed for initiating an USSPC.  Then, as the Soviet Union imploded, the legislation withered away.

By missing the late 1980s opportunity to build a corps that Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha would have preferred, we continued playing out Charlie Wilson’s wars and ushered in a bare-chested Putin who we engaged in playing chess by moving tanks, soldiers, missiles, and military alliances around as if reheating Cold War habits was smart progress.

Are the world’s powers learning fast enough that building together is healthier for the human race than bombing each other?

Shouldn’t America lead the way in building a robust American World Service Corps peaceful service umbrella, push other nations to do the same, and willingly have our Peace Corps volunteers serve alongside volunteers from other nations?

Wouldn’t such AWSC National Service enhance our and their understanding of world needs and provide means of addressing those needs that are hundreds of times cheaper than relying on military answers to world problems?

Recently a nuclear accord between Iran and us was brought home to the United States Senate, a daring gamble on diplomacy and development vs. warplomacy and destruction.

Wouldn’t it be great if during this encouraging era our diplomats offered to the overwhelmingly young nation of 80 million Iranians seeking employment, rapprochement, and understanding that they consider joining us in an American-Iranian Peace Corps?

Why don’t we revive the American Soviet Peace Corps?

While we have let the military industrial estate psyche make many areas too dangerous to deploy AWSC volunteers to today, we must find ways to send larger platoons like Peace Corps, Habitat, Doctors without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, FINCA, Heifer, American Friends Service, TechnoServe, etc., under the American World Service Corps National Service umbrella or moniker  into troubled areas in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, etc., to contain and eventually snuff out crazy “isms.”

Let Americans choose to do the same domestically under that same proud AWSC National Service moniker as we count  a million Americans a year doing full-time, paid national service via already existing Americorps, VISTA, Habitat, Head Start, and address needs as Candy Strippers, volunteers at homes for the aged, hospitals’ therapy departments, etc.

In short, the AWSC National Service Proposal has long seemed to this Returned Peace Corps Volunteer the most cost effective way to dramatically grow the Peace Corps to the size which JFK envisioned it should “quickly” reach.

It DOES NOT create a huge new program, which many in Congress would attack.  It does NOT draft national service volunteers, which so many in Congress claim to oppose.

It DOES give Americans a myriad of good choices in which to do full-time voluntary service, choices which so many in Congress opine is high on their list of legislative requirements.

It WILL make life easier for soldiers and Americans everywhere.

It WILL raise the nation’s public policy IQ, which has long needed a healthy injection of hands on smartening.

It WILL cut the costs of making friends, MAKE more friends, and reduce the cost in dark blood and money spent in ferreting out good information in this era of crazed terrorism.

In this 2016 window where increasing American inequities are finally being discussed with some intensity on the presidential campaign trail and among the very richest (read Buffett, Gates, and the 130+ billionaires dedicating some of their money to doing good), one of the AWSC National Service Proposal’s unorthodox funding mechanisms could, with a sliver of a donation from America’s wealthiest 400, fund 21,000,000 Americans doing national service for 27  years, which is approximately a $700 billion investment.

That may sound like a large number, but over a generation a handful of people have thatlaying around as chump change.  Using that chump change as Pope Francis would make life more heavenly for about 7 billion people.

War has seldom been the answer.  Peaceful service and its understandings and benefits has. We’re just not doing enough of it.  AWSC National Service can move the world toward getting enough to “just do it.”

If development is the new name for peace, war and preparations for war are the major enemy of the healthy development of peoples.  If we take the common good of all humanity as our norm, instead of individual greed, peace would be possible.

Pope Francis