TedDraft

Ted draft.  Pictures = Powerpoint background.

Ordinary People Doing the Extraordinary ISBN No. 0-9717239-9-0
“Write its laws…”

What if…

 

"Why not?"
“Why not?”

 

What if…  Ed Koupal, People’s Lobby’s co-founder, who revived the initiative process for grassroots organizations, had lived beyond his 48th year in 1976 and continued teaching us his mantra:

“This country runs on laws.  If you want to change the country, write its laws.”

What if…  John Kennedy had served eight years instead of barely three, and continued inspiring generations with his words:

“And so, 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.”

Would this former People’s Lobby and Peace Corps volunteer be “TED asking” you to pester Congress to introduce and enact the American World Service Corps National Service Proposal and field a million Americans a year into peaceful National Service by dramatically expanding the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Mercy Corps, and other local and national do-good organizations?

During my senior year in college in the mid 60’s, buddies told me that a couple FBI agents were asking questions about me.  Fortunately, they did not hover-up that much disparaging information, which led me to spending about 15 hours a day for three months doing Peace Corps Urban Community Development training out of Columbia University, with field training in South Bronx and Harlem.  Training was intended to prepare us for the slums of then Bombay, India.

On two of our training sessions from high powered Columbia University professors, I fell asleep.

On one of those occasions I was jolted awake when the professor said, “Fifty percent of India’s beggars are purposefully maimed.”

I asked where he got that statistic.  He said, “Government of India.”

I asked, “How does the government of India get that statistic?  Do they go around and ask mothers did they maim their kid today?”  He didn’t know.

I asked if he had ever been to India.  He said no.  Know-it-all me cockily rested my case.

Then I went to serve in India.

My first day introduced me to that little girl with the pussy, bloody, jagged hole in the side of her cheek the size of a Kennedy silver dollar.

Near her street beat, I watched armadas of skateboards carrying children and adults with chopped off ankles, knees, hands… using their skateboards to latch onto cars and beg for rupees at Church Gate Railroad Station.

I saw families of four and five living in pipes and cardboard shanties everywhere.

… Stared at beggars with seemingly gouged eyes begging on crowded trains and buses.

… Gave late night rupees to the men eating from 5’ piles of garbage near Bombay’s financial district.

… Stared at the woman lying next to the curb of the bridge over which a thousand people must have tread each hour.  She lay on her back, had tattered rags covering part of her breast and had nothing else.  I thought she was dead.  Maybe I stared for a minute or two, until many people gathered to stare at me.

At a village railroad station, I stared hard at the father until he finally stopped his little daughter from licking her fourth scoop of her own mashed potato consistency diarrhea.

To borrow a few words from national service proponent and First Lady Michelle Obama, this is not, “The world as it should be.”

How can we move closer to a “Should-be world?”

What if… we built a robust, peaceful national service program and incentivized a million Americans aged 18 through 70 + to annually serve by dramatically increasing the size of already proven organizations like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, effective local non-profits, in-need schools, etc.,

What if … AWSC’s volunteers working as full time teachers’ assistants could tutor, mentor, expand Head Start to the other 50% of un-served Head Start children, help at crowded, overburdened physical therapy centers of hospitals, and engage with local community development movements?

What if… this proposed AWSC National Service Proposal required an investment of $700 billion over its proposed legislated life of 27 years to field 21 million Americans doing good at home and abroad?

OnlySuperRichSave

GiversGatesClintonLucasBranson

What if … we took  up Nader’s call and benefitted from the Buffet and Gates Giving Pledge movement and publically posted  voluntary AWSC spread sheets reflecting what amount the world’s richest, Forbes 400, top celebrities and athletes, biggest corporations, etc.,  would “voluntarily” give to this escrowed account to underwrite AWSC National Service?

How much would just the Forbes 400 Richest Americans need to invest in “serving Americans” to make a safer, saner world?

1.1% of Forbes 2014 wealth donated annually totally funds 27 years of 21 million AWSCs doing good.
1.1% of Forbes 2014 wealth donated annually totally funds 27 years of 21 million AWSCs doing good.

A voluntary annual donation of about 1.15% of “just the Forbes 400’s wealth” would cover the 27 year $700 billion investment in the world’s future.

What if …. This inspired other nations to replicate such a doing-good investment?

We have our troops serving with others in NATO and the UN. Have multi-nation astronauts serving together.

What if… we resurrected Congresswoman Boxer’s People’s Lobby inspired House Resolution 1807 of 1989 and built a US Russian Peace Corps?

US Soviet Peace Corps Proposal
US Soviet Peace Corps Proposal

Why not do the same with Japan, Canada, Iran, Cuba… name your country and get the world to start building 21st century, peaceful, development-oriented armies needed to foster diplomacy, build the foundations of peace, and battle climate weirding.

Isn’t it time you asked yourself and Congress that George Bernard Shaw question that Robert Kennedy often borrowed?

AWSC global erasing

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’

But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’”

We have 1.4 million active military doing full-time national service.   That’s 4/10th of 1%… or

.44% OR 1 OUT OF 229 Americans doing military national service.  Our troops battle a lot.  Many come home with PTSD.

Maybe they must battle too much because not enough of the rest of us make the world a friendlier and safer place for them.

Depending on what stats one uses, our Greatest Generation had 33-50+% of their generation doing national service.  It is a big part of what made them the Greatest Generation.

Isn’t it time to start building 21st century armies that use their arms to teach, nurse, spread clean energy, build Habitat homes and latrines, and respond to an angered Mother Nature?

Most who serve in our military, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or related organizations believe more should serve…  So why don’t we use the American World Service Corps National Service Proposal to build those service numbers?

Many congresspersons object to investing tax dollars in do-good projects…  But with the AWSC National Service Proposal, in an age of growing financial inequities, we have a non-traditional, voluntary funding mechanism that could fund the whole, or a significant part of, a national service program that could develop a safer and more prosperous world.

Hopefully, you are asking yourself “Why don’t we do this?”

More importantly, hopefully, you will tomorrow and consistently thereafter pester and vote for a Congress that will get more Americans involved in robust AWSC National Service.

Was that butterfly who stung like a bee, Mohammed Ali, right when he said?

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

wscwantsmulti40k

Remember, “If you want to change the country, write its laws.”

And if you want help make some lives better, involve yourself in meaningful service.

Thank you.

 

 

 

Extraordinary Ed Joyce

Who wheeled the initiative process out of the political junk heap and into the toolbox of contemporary democracy?

This inspirational, muscular, charismatic, jocular, peddler of provocative ideas…

An ex-car salesman, jazz musician and band leader, muckraking political crusader and his seemingly calmer wife Joyce…

Ed Koupal would publicly dissect the most comfortable and pompous of politicians, and crunch their careers.  He grew from choirboy to the nation’s foremost initiative crusader.   He taught Howard Jarvis techniques on how to make Prop 13 win.

Caliifornia's Political Reform Act 1974
People’s Lobby, Common Cause, Jerry Brown garnered 70%.

His organization directed the passage of California’s Political Reform Initiative, establishing political campaign reform and the Fair Political Practices Commission. He taught Ralph Nader and Jerry Brown how to use the initiative and play political hardball.  He built 40-50 people and kids into People’s Lobby which Nader referred to as the “best grassroots organization in the nation.”  People’s Lobby directed Western Bloc to stop the licensing of new nuclear power plants, while having the first and only Senate Hearings on implementing a National Initiative Process, Senate Joint Resolution 67 of 1977.

PLI organizes 3 days of hearings on SJ Res 67 in 1977 on National Initiative movement
PLI’s National Initiative Hearings of 1977

This condensed book, Ordinary People Doing the Extraordinary : The Story of Ed and Joyce Koupal and the Initiative Process, tells more about a great and unique husband and wife team.  The book was released for the 2002 campaign launch of the proposed National Initiative for Democracy.

 

Greg Brockbank

I have known and admired Dwayne Hunn for many years as an activist, and was an early supporter of his World Service Corps proposal. It seems clear to me a national service proposal such as this, with military service as one of the options,would provide invaluable experience to our own citizens in making them better citizens of the world, and also to help so many other countries in so many other ways. In fact, it may not only be the best way, but perhaps the only way, to help undo the damage done to our national reputation in recent years.

 Greg Brockbank, President of the: College of Marin Board of Trustees, Social Justice Center of Marin, Marin Democrat Club, Marin Coalition, and candidate for Chair of Democratic Central Committee of Marin. (* Titles are for identification purposes; does not imply organizational endorsement.) 10-05

Marginal 50% Tax Rate

If enacted, People’s Lobby’s  Fair Tax Bracket Re-institution Act (FTBRA) would add an IRS tax bracket so that:

  1. Those amounts earned over $5 million annually will be taxed at a 50% flat rate
  2. Those amounts earned over $10 million annually will be taxed at a 70% flat rate.
  3. These will be flat tax rate brackets with no deductions, so that loopholes do not allow the effective tax rate to be significantly less than IRS codes purportedly call for on the rich.

The $5 million household would have to struggle by on a net income of about $4 million per year; the $200 million household on about $126,500,000 per year;  the $1 billion household on about $646,500,000 per year.

If we had kept the site even more progressive tax rates that existed during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon administrations, we would not have the wealth disparity and economic breakdowns that we are having today.

If FTBRA existed, net income would look something like this.
Income Ested Tax % FTBRA % FTBRA % Net Ested
20% 50% 70% Income
$1,000,000 $200,000 $800,000
$2,000,000 $400,000 $1,600,000
$3,000,000 $600,000 $2,400,000
$4,000,000 $800,000 $3,200,000
$5,000,000 $1,000,000 $4,000,000
$10,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $6,500,000
$20,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $7,000,000 $9,500,000
$50,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $21,000,000 $25,500,000
$100,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $35,000,000 $61,500,000
$200,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $70,000,000 $126,500,000
$500,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $210,000,000 $286,500,000
$1,000,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $350,000,000 $646,500,000
The second thing to note is that the overall tax rates are really not that high. Contrary to concerns about socialism or a government takeover, the richest Americans, those earning an average of $345 million in 2007, paid about 16.5 percent in federal income taxes.

Today’s top tax bracket, depending on whether Bush’s tax cuts expire or not in January 2011, are supposed to pay 35% now or 39.6% if the Clinton rates are reinstated.

As a recent IRS tax analysis by the Quick & the ED shows:  “The second thing to note is that the overall tax rates are really not that high. Contrary to concerns about socialism or a government takeover, the richest Americans, those earning an average of $345 million in 2007, paid about 16.5 percent in federal income taxes.”  http://www.quickanded.com/2010/02/effective-tax-rates-of-the-richest-400-americans.html

Forbes comes to a similar conclusion, as do tax experts like Author David Cay Johnston of Perfectly Legal

Richest 400 Earn More, Pay Lower Tax Rate

Janet Novack, 01.29.09, 05:00 PM EST

Top earners on average pulled in $263 million each in 2006, the IRS reports.

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The 400 highest-earning taxpayers in the U.S. reported a record $105 billion in total adjusted gross income in 2006, but they paid just $18 billion in tax, new Internal Revenue Service figures show. That works out to an average federal income tax bite of 17%–the lowest rate paid by the richest 400 during the 15-year period covered by the IRS statistics. The average federal tax bite on the top 400 was 30% in 1995 and 23% in 2002.  http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/29/irs-high-income-personal-finance-taxes_0129_wealthy_americans.html

AWSC summary

“This country runs on laws.  If you want to change the country, write its laws.”

Ed & Joyce Koupal, founders of People’s Lobby

(Draft page… rebuilding site.)

Early in 2005 People’s Lobby (PLI )initiated the American World Service Corps National Service Congressional Proposal (AWSCNS) .  It is neither a direct nor indirect initiative with which People’s Lobby has had past successes.

It is a congressional proposal that benefits America and the world and raises the public policy IQ for both and requires introduction through visionary legislators.  Enacting the AWSC Congressional Proposals would:

  • Remind citizens that they are the ultimate source of laws;
  •  Involve citizens in healthy civic affairs;
  • Strengthen the thinning character and patriotic fabric of the nation;
  • Address the root causes of terror, refugee  tragedies, climate devastation, etc.;
  • Press red and blue-staters, red-necks and blue-noses and humans of all pigments into working on and learning from pressing domestic and international problems;  
  • Build a one million strong all volunteer peaceful national service corps by inspiring  more to serve in already existing do-good organizations such as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, FINCA, TechnoServe, Fuller Center for Housing, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, U.N. Refugee Agency, American Friends Service Committee,  as well as in local non-profits, schools, homes for aged, physical therapy wards, penal institutions, etc.
  • Involve rich and poor, young and old , red necks and blue noses in service to the nation and world that will dramatically raise national and international civic actions and IQs.   

***

The American World Service Corps Congressional Proposal neither establishes a big new bureaucracy nor is expensive.

It is not merely shorthand for a bigger Peace Corps, although it will make the Peace Corp much bigger than it has ever been.

It is envisioned as a small administrative office that does some marketing, disseminates paychecks to its full time volunteers, and takes care of their tuition and other post service grants and gratuities. It is a moniker, a name tag that allows us to model what should be the new 21st century army that  we and other nations should be sending out into the world. If one makes such service meaningful, it  can be as or more valuable than most college educations.

Its primary raison d’etre is to send many more volunteers to rub shoulders and do good through the already existing and effective do-good organizations such as  those mentioned above.

These organizations know what to do with additional full time human resources.

This AWSC Umbrella heightens the effectiveness of these groups by enlarging them at a time when complexities and needs are growing.  As the Greatest Generation passes, we need to involve the push-button, play-game generation as well as the more mature in active service, which builds the nation’s character and prepares us to better handle the real world.

 Summary

The American World Service Corps National Service  (AWSCNS) Congressional Proposal would field a robust, peaceful, productive, paid volunteer army of American do-gooders who would choose to serve at home or abroad.  It would reduce conflicts, address needs, and make life easier for our military and healthier for our citizens.  It is NOT another program or large bureaucracy.  It is merely an umbrella, a moniker that feeds more volunteers into proven existing do-good organizations and non-profits.

How Fund?

In addition to the traditional revenue streams listed in the AWSCNS proposal that would fund this investment in our people and world, we have added nontraditional, voluntary, revenue streams that could fund this entire generation-long National Service Program without taxing Americans.

The Gates & Buffett Giving Pledge has helped PLI’s long effort to establish a  publically displayed Socially Conscious Giving Spreadsheet whose fund are escrowed to only be spent on AWSC volunteers who serve.  Click though to view the Forbes .0006% Powerpoint.

Undersized yesterday –>today’s growing problems

John Kennedy told former Senator Harris Wofford that he wanted the Peace Corps to reach 100,000 a year because, “It would then be considered serious.  In one decade, it would reach 1 million volunteers.”  In the last 54+ years, only about 220,000 PCVs have trained and served, meaning perhaps 180,000+ have completed service.  For more than a generation, we have failed to come close to implementing a vision that would cost effectively and dramatically reduce poverty, ignorance, hatred, and terrorist recruitment.  We missed the opportunity to dramatically increase our public policy IQ, understand the dynamics of the Global Village and its economies, and reduce the hatred fired at our troops, and care for and understand environmental needs.

We are leaving big problems to the next generation.  We owe them a big, but cost effective, AWSCNS solution.

Think of your favorite local non-profits. Could they accomplish more good if they had one or a few full time volunteers aged from a fresh 18 to an experienced 70+?  Could they enrich your community and raise its public policy IQ?

Joint Peace Corps

PLI’s AWSCNS Proposal urges that other nations emulate similar national service programs.  Imagine what could happen if the nations of the world built robust national service programs that rivaled the size of it militaries.

Imagine if People’s Lobby’s successful efforts in 1989 to have Congresswoman Boxer introduce HR1807, the US-Soviet Peace Corps, had grown over the years.  Imagine how much safer and saner today’s world would be.

In July of 2016,  PLI discussed with Senator Boxer’s staff  the possibility of reintroducing an updated HR 1807 .  Give her a call and express your support before she leaves office .

If you would like to read 60+OpEds detailing benefits of an AWSC, click OEN OpEds.  For some videos, click videos.  For one of several 30 minute overviews at the videos link, try this Mel Presents.

If able and willing, press your candidates or respected celebrities to help move this AWSC solution.  Thanks.

  Power Point  Summary

Today we have tooo many who pontificate about what should be done to address foreign and domestic needs who have little or no grassroots experience with those problems.  A robust AWSC National Service program smartens our and other nations in how to more cost effectively and peacefully address domestic and world problems.

Click  Why Need AWSC Umbrella

to view Power Point overview of why AWSC National Service umbrella is needed, including reference to non-traditional funding mechanisms that piggy-back on the Gates Buffet Giving Pledge –>

Uber-rich <2% solution for world peace  Will super-rich step up?

Embeded chart reflecting how the Forbes 400 alone, using one of the AWSC Congressional Proposal’s non-traditional funding mechanisms could easily fund this wise AWSCNS investment.

How to fund without taxing:

forbes006funds

 

Q&As

Q& As

Questions? Contact dh@peopleslobby.us

  1. Why bother with an AWSC,  we have the Ted Kennedy National Service Act of 2009.

The Ted Kennedy National Service Act made “some” laudatory steps forward, but has since been marginalized, click here for more details.

2.  Why even introduce the World Service Corps legislation?It is too long a shot to have a Congressperson carry the legislation.

Many pieces of legislation originate with constituents.  Corporate lobbyists draft innumerable pieces of legislation to benefit their clients, in which well-funded ALEC  (American Legislative Exchange Council) specializes.  True persons, versus constitutionally debatable corporate persons, have every right to have their representatives carry legislation.   Congressional reps are our employees.

If passage of this legislation is debatable, then have the debate begin.  Attentive debate forces thinking.  Thinking can lead to understanding.  Deeper understanding improves the nation and world.

3. We don’t need another big government program.Why start a new bureaucratic program?

This is structured as a public – non profit joint venture, using existing organizations that have stellar service records to help more Americans combat terror and ignorance by doing what American do best — serve at home and abroad.  It does not start a new, big government program.  It expands the solid, beneficial experiences American can live and learn within existing do-good organizations.  The WSC funnels America’s best resources – can-do, productive Americans into serving America and the world’s needs.

4.  America doesn’t have the revenue to fund this.We already have a huge deficit.  Why shouldn’t we just save the money?

The failure to implement a policy such as this decades ago is the reason we have humongous war costs, and this contributes to our soaring deficits.  This is a long tern answer to reducing our future monetary and human costs, and it is immediately more cost effective than resorting to costly warfare.

By 2004 the yearly cost of maintaining each of our 1.4 million volunteer military just in the Defense Department budget touched $300,000. When the conservatively estimated war supplemental, off budget costs, and some of the veterans and social costs are added to the 2006 military budget, the annual costs of maintaining each of military personnel soars over $600,000 annually. See  “It’s the economy, stupid..” in Coverage section for detailed numbers.

The cost of maintaining a Peace Corps volunteer for a year is about ten percent (about $40,000 per year) of maintaining a military personnel, and there are no-post service social, medical, physiological, or educational costs, only benefits.

By 1970, when President Kennedy wanted one million Peace Corps volunteers to be serving in the world, we had over 400,000 soldiers in Vietnam.  The conservatively portrayed Vietnam War budget item was $16,260,000,000, making the cost per American soldier just in Vietnam over $39.000.  The cost of a PCV at that time was $7,700.  With just 20% of that year’s Vietnam War budget, we could have put 420,000 PCVs into the world in just that year.

Changing the world through the Army or Maine Corps is bloody expensive. World Service Corps is cost effective and all but irrefutable.  It is the means to reducing future costly expenditures.  It is how you cost effectively build and rebuild nations.

5. We do enough for the world, and the world doesn’t appreciate us enough as it is.Why should we waste our time, energy, and money on helping more?

Much of the world sees our foreign aid and policies as manipulative and premised on American corporations earning and controlling their economies.   Our service programs are not viewed in such a negative way.  The WSC will send red blooded Americans, from red and blue states, to serve at home and abroad. They will not be viewed as corporatizers.  They will not be giving handouts with string attached.  They will help where help is needed.  They will, in the proverbial sense, be helping people fish within their own cultures, not handing our American fish.

Although a dangerously increasing number of world citizens are disliking our policies, most world citizens still “like Americans.”  We cannot allow ignorance and terrorist ideas to subvert and win the hearts and minds of the world citizens who “like Americans.”

Our best foreign policy lies in letting the world know the true character of Americans doing service.  The AWSC is the antidote to the terrorists spreading ignorance about America and our being ignorant about the diverse and complex world.

6.  Since Peace Corps volunteers will be an agency that makes up part of the WSC international service, how many PCVs have and are serving in troubled spots like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq?

From 1961-67, 462 PCVs served in Pakistan. None since.

From 1962-1979, 1,739 served in Afghanistan.  None since.

From 1962-1976, 1,863 served in Iran.  None since.

PCVs were never diplomatically placed in Iraq, North Korea, Cuba or Palestine and Israel.

In all of North Africa and the Middle East, they have only served in Morocco and Jordan.

In the fourteen nations from Egypt to Iran, 432+ million people reside.  To offset the image they are developing of America, 39 PCVs serve in Jordan.  That is about 1 for every 111 million people.

Today’s Peace Corps has only 7,733 serving in 71 countries. .. (Since 1961 only 178,000 trainees and volunteers have served in 138 countries.)

If you want to win the hearts of the troubled world, do you think it might be helpful to work amidst them in their mean streets and arid fields?

7.  Is it Christian to just wait till violence erupts against you and then just drop bombs?

Had we had a hundred thousand PCVs serving in these nations by now, as Kennedy envisioned, do you believe we would have lost about 2,000 American lives, unnumbered maimed and wounded, be looking at a conservatively covered $500 billion war bill over the last few years, and be looking forward to untold medical and social costs for our vets?

Peacefully warring against the causes of terror is always much cheaper and healthier than warring.  The longer one puts off peacefully warring, the more expensive becomes the later military cost.

8.  We shouldn’t even suggest peaceful, productive national service, even if it would benefit America or the world because it might induce this administration to return the draft.

In the 2004 Congress a bill and resolution were introduced to resurrect and rebuild the Selective Service System (draft).  an extra $28 million in funds was directed to revive Selective Service offices.

Legislation is already on the table in both the House and the Senate, in the form of twin bills SB89 and HR 163, “in order to staff up for a protracted war on terrorism,” writes Adam Stutz, from Project Censored.  Meanwhile, the Selective Service System has received an extra $28 million in funds for this year’s budget to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide and put “troops on the ground in 85% of all American high schools to make sure no one between 18-25 years old slips through the cracks. Schools cannot very easily claim conscientious objector status, by the way. “Buried deep in the 670 pages of the No Child Left Behind Act there is a provision which requires that public high schools give military recruiters access to facilities and also contact information for every student — or else face a cutoff of federal aid,” writes Connor Freff Cochran of AlterNet.

U.S. Preparing For Military Draft in Spring of 2005, “Legislation in the works: Selective Service System already mobilizing,”  May 6, 2004 Issue, Utne Reader.

In 2005 the former Marine UNSCOM weapons inspector Scott Ritter said the we should get ready for the draft and said on Randi Rhodes Air America that he believes plans have been discussed in the Executive Office to attack Iran by mid-June.  He accused Secretary of State Rice of lying when she claimed that plans have not been laid for such an attack.

In mid-June 2004 the Selective Service offices were told to be ready to be operational.

That (invading Iran) , he says, will mandate the inevitable re-institution of a draft. “A breakdown of our military’s ability to handle these adventures. Congress will be confronted with that and congress will have to take action. So, the blame will be thrust on the shoulders of congress, and the Bush administration will say ‘Well, we didn’t want this’. But, it had to happen.”

Arms Inspector Turned Peace Activist Says Get Ready for the Draft, Published on Saturday, March 19, 2005 by the Hudson Valley News (New York.

  1. If a military draft returns, shouldn’t an alternative already be passed into law and working.  The work of the WSC would make life easier for the strong military by giving them fewer crisises to face and thereby keeping their morale high.  We need a strong military.  The military needs a corps of peaceful, productive volunteers, so that their job is clearer and safer.

—–  under construction, not completed…

9. . How many people currently volunteer on an annual basis for the organizations (e.g., Habitat for Humanity) that will be covered by this bill?

Peace Corps since till 2016 = 220,000 PCVstrained and served since its 1961 inception.  Best year 1969 with about 15,000.  Since then budget and emphasis cut.

2016 = 6,800

Americorps

Headstart  60% of eligible pre-school children are in Head             Start, and only 3% of eligible infants and toddlers are in Early            Head Start. In Maryland, about 25% of eligible children under the       age of six are in Head Start and Early Head Start.

Head Start is for the poorest children  74% of Head Start families are at or below the poverty level. These children are often the farthest behind in learning to read and learning the alphabet. Yet       Head Start makes a difference: in one year these students go from             the 16th percentile in vocabulary to almost the national norm.

Mikulski Says Bush Head Start Budget Forces Local Communities to Make “Bad Choices” 22-Jul-2003 CONTACT: Melissa Schwartz

http://mikulski.senate.gov

President’s 2005 budget provides just enough money to allow Head start  to reach a mere half of all eligible children.

Habitat volunteers

9.  How do the stipend/pay and benefits (e.g., educational) earned in the program compare to those received by people volunteering for military service?

In 2006 Congressman Murtha has used $150,000 figure to estimate signing/educational bonuses used to attract military recruits, which has been increasingly difficult.

Depending on what “kickers” one includes, military recruits are offered from 20,000 to 40,000 to 90,000 to $162,000 in signing and educational bonuses to volunteer.

ABC News: Army Offers Bigger Bonuses for Enlistment January 22, 2006 |

Last year the Army fell 7,000 recruits short of its goal of 80,000 new troops, the largest recruiting shortfall in decades….

Last month Congress approved a doubling of Army signing bonuses, meaning a new recruit could earn as much as $40,000 just for signing on the dotted line.The amount is $20,000 for new reservists. An active duty soldier with a hard-to-fill job who meets all the right criteria could earn a staggering $90,000 for re-enlisting…

Also, the Army will boost the amount of student loans it can repay to $65,000. This amount, when combined with the Montgomery GI Bill, will offer recruits up to $72,424 to pursue a higher education…

Source:  ABC News: Army Offers Bigger Bonuses for Enlistment January 22, 2006 | Get Your Local News and Weather

10. How much will the program cost under the primary bill assuming the participation rates the bill anticipates and including accrual for benefits as they are earned?

America’s World Service Corps (AWSC) would ramp up by about 140,000 per year until it meets its quotient of one million Americans serving annually under the umbrella of AWSC.

AWSC full time working volunteers would serve through existing, established organizations who already have much of the infrastructure in place to place full time volunteers into effective service.  In some cases:

  • Ramping up to handle more volunteers should not costs these organizations much since much or most of their infrastructure is already in place.
  • There would be some additional costs to handle the additional volunteers.Over the course of a few years these additional per volunteer costs should fall as economies of scale settle in.  So in time the per volunteer cost will not add much to their existing per volunteer costs.
  • In many cases, assistance from domestic communities and foreign nations, who will be grateful for the volunteers work, will be expected. and may provide housing and other amenities that keep costs in check.

Half of AWSC organizations are Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs).

  • Daily living expenses of volunteers to these organizations would be borne by NGOs thereby reducing those costs from federal responsibility.
  • Daily living expense of volunteers choosing to work in the governmental organizations would be a federal or state governmental cost.

Educational investment bonus:

The Federal government will be responsible for paying the cash readjustment allowance as well as the promised educational/tuition bonus for completing two years WSC service.  Amounting to:

  • Two years of community college tuition and fees which in 2004 was estimated at $2,076 annually at public community college.(E:\World Service\Research Downloads\AACC Community college Facts.htm  )
  • Two years of public college or university tuition and fees which in 2004 averaged approximately $6,600 nationwide.

E:\World Service\Research Downloads\College costs 4yr school spike – Oct_ 19, 2004.htm

  • Consequently, the federal government would be responsible for an investment of approximately$17.200 in America’s best foreign and domestic policy resource – its can-do people.

Annual per volunteer living costs

Estimates to support a full-time domestic or international serving volunteer range from $20,000 to $40,000 (approximate annual cost to support a PCV today). When cost efficiencies are melded with extra costs, a fair estimated gross estimated cost for an AWSC volunteer annual cost is:

  • $30,000 per volunteer.

Estimating that half of AWSC volunteers choose to serve in NGOs halves this annual daily maintenance cost per volunteer to:

  • $15,000 per volunteer.

Readjustment allowance

An readjustment allowance will be given to each full-time volunteer who completes service that is equivalent to that received by a Peace Corps volunteer.  In 2005, a PCV who completed two years of service received a cash readjustment of about $6,500.

When the readjustment cash allowance + Annual per volunteer living costs +  Educational investment bonus  is totaled, the amount of federal responsibility amounts to: ($15,000+$17,200 + $6,500 = $38,700)

Depending on how one views the value and importance of education, $17,200 of that government expenditure on formally educating Americans may not be considered a cost, but a long term investment in America’s economic future, insight and resiliency.  If you believe in the value of investing in education for you, your child or your nation’s future, then the $38,700 cost tumbles back to not being a cost but to being an “earned investment.”   So the cost to the Federal coffers may again be estimated at about:

  • $15,000

Depending on how one values the education/service Americans receive by serving in pockets of need and the:

*     Cost saving benefits and reduction in future domestic costs such service accrues to local communities.

*     Reductions in international disdain, hatred, and ignorance such service does.

*     Strong likelihood that such service could erase the next trillions of dollar expenditure another kind of
Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq war causes.

Then the $15,000 annual volunteer maintenance cost might be consider minimal or zero.  If you believe such service and investment benefits local and foreign needs, dependency on foreign aid, military incursions, etc., and thereby reduces America’s resource and human costs, then the $15,000 may fall to:

  • Below $15,000 and in some analysis amount to $0. per volunteer cost and a net savings to our nation.

About a half dozen states have Conservation Corps programs.     (California has a CCC whose budget and outreach has fallen since about 1992. ??check) Some AWSC volunteers may choose to do their service through them, further reducing the federal annual service cost.  Those states with existing programs whoalready have an infrastructure in place willl find a slight increase in costs, but they will also find that they are better able to preserve, prepare, and conserve state environmental and social needs, thereby reducing future costs.

Depending on one’s perspective about the importance of repairing levies, improving streams and trails, involving young in conservation and appropriate technology projects, the added state costs will be

  • Nominal or negligible state costs where CC programs already exist.
  • And cause federal day-to-day costs to fall.

Increasing participation in state conservation corps (as will participation in all the other AWSC organizations) also gives states the ability to better prepare for and more quickly recover from natural disasters that seem to be increasing.  Better preparation and recovery reduces the economic costs of disasters.  Quicker recovery cost effectively re-ignites business and economic recovery, which reduces federal costs.

Implementing the AWSC legislation may inspire more states to institute state conservations corps, so that their states young people who volunteer to serve their state and nation via conservation and appropriate technology work could benefit from the federal educational bonuses.  This would reduce federal day-to-day costs and keep the educational bonuses costs the same.  In effect, this would be another reduction to federal costs in implementing the AWSC program.

  • Slight reduction in federal costs.

One year volunteers

How many ot the AWSC volunteers would choose to serve for one, two, or extend for a third year?

Using the assumption that half would choose to serve for one year and half for two years (of couse, this could vary and we hope most do two years  but until our crystal ball clears up or GAO shows up this is merely a simplified estimate), the federal educational bonus cost would be halved for half of the volunteers.  So, after serving a year, the federal education/tuitition investment payments would be  $17.200/2 = $8,600 rather than $17 .200.  After ramping up to one million volunteers over the AWSC initial ramp up period of seven years, the eight and ninth year and every year thereafter would see a cost reduction of approximately:

  • $8,600,000,000per year
  • Or a reduction in educational investment/bonus of $8.600. for each of approximately a half million volunteers.

If a quarter choose to serve on year the annual saving would be:

  • $4,300,000,000 per year.

Ancillary cost benefits/reductions

Some well-off baby boomers, retirees, etc. may decide not to take the bonuses they have earned and instead choose to dedicate it to a community educational scholarship fund or foundation or if they were deep-rooted believers in laissez faire could choose to return it to the federal treasury.   Donating it to others education would strengthen the nation and reduce crime, causing a savings.  Since few seem to live by often expressed beliefs of pure volunteering and not accepting government investments, the savings here may be nominal.

  • Nominal savings

Financial mechanism savings

The three sources of financing provide further cost savings.

  1. Federal Tax Revenues
  2. AWSC web site listing Low or Non-Taxpaying large Corporations.

Using research from CTJ (Citizens for Tax Justice), Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy ((ITEP). and government sources, which relying on public informing, will asks these corporations what they will donate to underwriting, without further tax deductions,  to reduce taxpayers contribution to funding AWSC.

Corporate Income Taxes in the Bush Years, released Sept. 22 by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, finds 82 of 275 companies CTJ examined enjoyed at least one year in 2001–2003 in which they paid no federal income taxes yet received billions of dollars in outright tax rebates. In 2003 alone, 46 of the companies paid no federal income taxes and in some cases, received tax rebates.

The companies, all on the Fortune 500 list, were profitable in each of the three years analyzed.

  1. AWSC web site listing the Forbes Richest.

This web site will list what Forbes Richest donate to underwrite the building of AWSC.  Several billionaires and multimillionaires, from the likes of Gates,  Buffet, Soros, Turner, Walmart family members, etc, might contribute to funding the cost of sending and investing in America’s best resources – its people – in order to build a safer, saner world in which business grows.

One should not discount the strong possibility that billions could be raised by funding mechanisms #2 & #3.  Each year perhaps $1-4 billion could be raised via Funding Sources 2 & 3.  Estimated reduction in federal costs:

  • $1.000,000,000. – 4,000,000,000 federal cost reduction.

Summary of Costs

Depending on your perspective as to whether the costs of the AWSC lean heavily toward long-term cost reducing “investments” or non-beneficial social  andthereby “pure costs,”  totaling the above cost/savings estimates would place the annual per volunteer costs somewhere between $0 – $20,000 per volunteer. Using the mid line as an estimate puts the cost at:

  • $10,000 annual volunteer cost

By the seventh year when the AWSC would have a full one million Americans serving this estimated cost would be:

  • $10,000,000,000 per year.

Reducing the $10 billion amount by the education investment bonuses that would be forgone by those who are One year volunteers reduces that annual cost by $4,300,000,000 per year to:

  • $5,700,000,000 per year.

Reducing the $5.7 billion amount by the mid-range estimate of $2 billion of donated funds received by low/non-tax paying corporations and mega wealthy brings this total to:

  • $3,700,000 per year

This $3.7 billion averages to about two weeks worth of Iraqi War costs over the 2004-2006 years.

Use the AWSC to eliminate one war over the next generation and we give our economic and human resources room to boom.

Putting eight months of funding the present Iraq War into a lock box would fund the AWSC for about 27 years.

Were a detailed cost/benefit analysis done, the AWSC would cost even less than the $3.7 billion annual estimate listed here.

Were long term, hidden, supplemental, etc costs (see PLEF WSC showing cost per MP at $600,000 annually) of the Iraq War included in these calculations it would take only a few months of an Iraq War to cover all of the AWSC costs.

IF the AWSC keeps us out of one war each generation or two, how does one enter the savings in loved ones, blood, and dollars?

Robert Redford SJRes67

 PART 6.—ADDITIONAL CORRESPONDENCE AND STATEMENTS

 From Voter Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Hearings Committee on the Judiciary

SJ RES 67

 NOVEMBER 10, 1977.

Senator JAMES AR0UBEZK,

U.S. Senate, Washington., D.C.

 Dear SENATOR: Thank you very much for your letter and for the copy of the National Initiative Amendment.

I agree with you that this is a very important piece of legislation. It has been my experience that one of the major problems for citizens who are concerned with the issues facing our country has been their feeling that they really can’t have much of an effect. This bill would give people an open channel into the legislative process, and give them the opportunity to be heard.

This is something that I heartily support and I wish you the best of luck in your efforts.

Sincerely,

ROBERT REDFORD.

Court cases

California’s People’s Lobby’s cut its wisdom teeth on the initiative process trying to qualify two Clean Environment Initiatives.  The second was successfully qualified in 1972, when signature gatherers themselves had to also cross verify the signatures collected with voter registration books.

In those campaigns, People’s Lobby added lawsuits to its arsenal of political reform making, thanks to the volunteer efforts of attorney Roger Jon Diamond.  Among his more prominent People’s Lobby cases are two Diamond v. Bland cases (links and case analysis to be added), which established shopping centers as the functional equivalent of town centers for signature gatherers.

The Clean Environment Initiative (CEI) of 1972 was one of the early precursors of the nuclear moratorium movement.  The CEI lost at the polls to a well-financed opposition campaign. Nonetheless, all of the clean environment changes it called for have come to pass — although in many cases it took years for them to be implemented.

The loss to big money caused People’s Lobby’s to focus its next initiative campaign to lessen the impact of  big money in campaigns.  In 1974 People’s Lobby successfully led a triumvirate of themselves, gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and Common Cause to pass the Political Reform Act of 1974 by 70 %.  Called one of the toughest campaign reform laws in the country at that time, it established California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. (www.fppca.ca.gov)

Over the years Common Cause and others have worked to update and improve campaign laws.  Lawsuits have weakened and strengthened the initial 1974 Proposition 9 Political Reform Act.   Money and the power, influence and perceptions it buys was the crux of the political reform problem decades ago and remains the core problem today.   Some of the lawsuits that deal with  campaign reform issues will be listed here.

Click for summary of Buckley v Valeo 1976

Contribution limits okay.  Campaign expenditures protected by the First Amendment.

Click here for full text of:  Buckley v Valeo 1976:

Click for summary of Nixon v. Shrink 2000  

Contribution limits okay.  The perception of big money corrupting the political system carries some weight.

Click here for  full text of:  Nixon v. Shrink 2000:

Court cases filed by People’s Lobby:

1.          People’s Lobby v. Joe Gonzalves, LASC No. 104128 (1974); (LASC=Los Angeles Superior Court)

2.          Fair Political Practices Commission v. Superior Court, 25 Cal.3d 33 (1979);

3.          People’s Lobby v. The May Department Stores, LASC No. WEC30641 (1974;

4.          People’s Lobby v. Legislature of the State of California, Sacramento Superior Court No. 246263 (1974);

5.          Los Angeles County Fair Association v. People’s Lobby, LASC No. EAC112O5 (1970);

6.                   People’s Lobby v. Board of Supervisors, 30 Cal.App.3d 869 (1973);

7.                   People’s Lobby v. Post, California Supreme Court No. SAC7937;

8.                   People’s Lobby v. Ed Reinecke, LASC No. CA000151 (1974);

9.          People’s Lobby v. Ed Reinecke, LASC No. WEC25264 (1972);

10.        Helena Rubenstin International v. Younger, 71 Cal.App.3d 406 (1977);

11.        People’s Lobby v.Younger, LASC No. 98983 and Second Civil No. 45770 (Court of Appeal);

12.         People’s Lobby v. Standard Oil Company, LASC No. C24291     (1972);

13.         People’s Lobby v. Public Utilities Commission,  76 PUC 414 (1974);

14.         People’s Lobby v. Texaco,  LASC No. 984102 (1970);

15.         People’s Lobby v. Younger,  California Supreme Court No. SF23174 (1974);

16.         People’s Lobby v. Younger,  LASC No. 98983;

17.         Koupal v. Rosales,  LASC No. C138728;

18.        Koupal v. Los Angeles Air Pollution Control District,  USDC, Central District of California No. 70-92-FW (1970);

19.         Danielson v. Alioto,  San Francisco Superior Court No. 580381 and 680369 (1974);

20.         Diamond v. Bland,  3 Cal. 3d 653 (1970) and 11 Cal. 3d 331 (1974);

Joyce resigns LA Energy Comm.

People’s Lobby Press Release March 25, 1976

JOYCE KOUPAL RESIGNS FROM LOS ANGELES COUNTY

 ENERGY COMMISSION

Joyce Koupal, Los Angeles County Energy Commissioner and Co-Director of the Western Bloc Safe Energy Initiative Campaign1 today resigned from the Los Angeles County Energy Commission. In a letter to Commission Chairman John Foster, Ms. Koupal. charged today that, “today’s Commission hearings on Proposition 15, the Nuclear Safeguards Initiative, are a sham and a disservice to the people of California.”

In a statement before the Commission this morning Ms. Koupal moved that the Commission extend its hearings until May 1st, in order to assemble a hearing panel of experts to “ consider the atomic energy issue before making a recommendation to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. I say this because I, as a citizen, have a conflict of interest on this issue, I say this because both my husband and myself have worked for safe nu­clear power. And I say this because we know, in a very personal way, the issue which we are addressing.”

Ms. Koupal went on to say that, “My husband and I have worked to qualify safe energy initiatives in 16 states, and my husband has spent his life in pursuit of true se1f-government and a humane society and is now dying of cancer0 My husband will die of the very disease that we consider when we discuss atomic energy and its consequences.”

In addition, Ms. Koupal stated that, “I know that in spite of the conflicts of interest, and the billions of taxpayers’ dollars that have been poured into the nuclear industry, we must seriously consider the question of whether atomic power is safe, reliable

and economical. And I know that this commission, by its hastily conceived hearings, is only paying lip service to the issue.”

Concluded Ms. Koupal, “Our kangaroo court system of govern­ment is once again in motion, and I will not be a party to it.”

Xmas 2015

santa sleighHello friend!

May you and yours have good health well beyond this Holiday Season.

Although she still mails Christmas cards, my sister now has a computer thanks to Lighthouse for the Blind.  She also has volunteer Spencer, the solar guy, who brings some levity and sunshine into her life as he reads her internet stuff, emails, and wonders about her weird friends…

She recently beat back a cancer scare, as she continues being the trooper pushing her walker and tipping the army of taxicab drivers (sorry Uber) that shuttle her to University of San Francisco lectures, medical checkups, and meetings with her friends in town.

For me, there may not be a Habitat build on this year’s list thanks to bone on bone right shoulder and a rotator cuff tear, which I always thought belonged to those Moby-ized pitchers who flung hard from the starboard..

Most of you who are reading this have been exposed to Christian traditions, especially during this Holiday Season.  You know that Jesus was raised by an adopted father, Joseph, a ”Teckton,” or builder.  Joseph was a stonemason, carpenter, or likely combination of the two.  He built stuff, likely housing, perhaps so future families would not have to be born in mangers.

Christ in the House of His Parents ('The Carpenter's Shop') 1849-50 Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896 Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and various subscribers 1921 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N03584
Christ in the House of His Parents (‘The Carpenter’s Shop’) 1849-50 Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896 Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and various subscribers 1921 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N03584

When Jesus Christ was born about 2,000 years ago, about 300 million roamed the earth. According to the Bible, the Lord ARMED a sandal wearing gang of 12 with not only the words of brotherhood but supposedly the power to perform miracles.  They were sent out to spread peace and build things that would make life more comfortable for innocent babies and children, in the hopes that they would grow up with innocence and goodwill.

Jesus did not build an army of soldiers and drones.  He didn’t encourage the Roman Empire to expand its war making abilities.  He pushed people to do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.

Today there are about seven billion people, who, in many ways are ravaging the earth.  Shouldn’t America, the Roman Empire of its time, field an army of one million sandaled Americans to spread peace and build healthy things for the innocents?

It cost us over $1 million per active military volunteer per year to be engaged in battles, without calculating PTSD related costs.

Instead of building a new, big bureaucracy, the  AWSC Congressionnal Proposal  would send  A LOT more paid volunteers to  Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, effective local non-profits, in-need schools, hospital therapy centers, homes for the aged, etc.     Fielding a million Americans a year under this AWSC umbrella would cost about $40,000 per year.

It’s a gift to the world that keeps giving all year long.  It cultivates compassion, raises our public policy IQ, responds  to devastations, helps refugees, wins hearts and minds, and thereby stunts terrorist recruitment.

AWSC global ask not220x289

Imagine how much different today’s world would be had we been doing such a robust NATIONAL SERVICE CORPS for 30, 40, 50 years…

One of the few times Jesus expressed anger was at the money changers in the Temple.

jesusMoneyChangers

https://openclipart.org/detail/225861/jesus-casting-out-money-changers

Under the AWSC Proposal The Forbes 400 could fund the fielding of 21,000,000 doing good, paid American volunteers for 27 years by donating 1.1% of their wealth to the cause of protecting innocents.  What would Jesus say?

Would you support such voluntary funding by America’s uber-rich?

Want to help make the AWSC Proposal become  law, spreading gifts and little miracles all year long?

Pester Congress.  Spread the word via media.  Use any of People’s Lobby’s Opeds that express something akin to your feelings and put them out in social media, forward them to Congress and candidates.  Ask candidates where they stand.

Want to fund a People’s Lobby’s (PLI) intern, who could help with spreading the word?

Prayers accepted, but we are pretty sure God, as busy as he is, is pushing us humans to do more than kneeling to deliver some good amidst the myriad of problems clanging around down here.

Neither Santa nor Jesus delivers what the world needs without a lot more of us being involved.

jesusvsSantaLifts

volunteerDevelopesSkills

deedsPrayersMcAfee

Pope Francis

“We are close to Christmas,” he said. “There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.”

“What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?” the pontiff asked. “Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers.”

Christmas festivities are “all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war.”

“War can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be — a little here, a little there — there is no justification.”

“God weeps,” the pope concluded, “Jesus weeps,” for those whose sole purpose on this planet is to wage war, but who cynically deny that that’s their intent.

May you and yours have peace and good health.

Gifts received:

Fr. Nelson’s boys. NorCal video “Breaking bread.” Dec. 2015

Or paste  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTu1DNoASSo&list=PLHcV3zsz2X9wKNj8s97pY6yPiYir9Pv19&index=5

Hiding from Mom.  “Too idealistic.”  August 2015

Or paste https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAH-vPSSY8w&index=2&list=PLHcV3zsz2X9xHndBb26AyPRpVGkKNb-dX

Want to sign the AWSC petition? http://www.change.org/petitions/view/field_21_million_american_world_service_corps_volunteers_over_the_next_27_years

Change.org will forward a note to your Congressperson.

"Take the initiative."