Category Archives: Uncategorized

AWSCNS Proposal Summary

This is how a summary for the proposed American World Service Corps National Service (AWSCNS) Congressional Proposal  could potentially look.

Introduced in 201?

American World Service Corps National Service (AWSCNS) Congressional Proposal   – provides the opportunity for every U.S. citizen, and every other person residing in the United States, between the ages of 18 and 74 to perform a 1-2-year period of peaceful, non-militarized, voluntary national service. National service opportunities are provided through civilian service in a federal, state, or local government programs or with community-based agencies, 501-c-3s, or entities as outlined in the proposal who are engaged in meeting human, educational, environmental, public safety needs. and job and development goals at home and abroad.  Uses transferable educational, housing, health, tax credit, etc., incentives to build, over a seven-year period, the AWSCNS to one million volunteers per year.  Includes as part of its funding mechanisms a nontraditional, social media, and web-driven spreadsheet donation system to voluntarily inspire the Forbes 400, and other mega-rich groups and individuals, to voluntarily underwrite an investment in 21,000,000 Americans doing peaceful national service over a generation.  Proposes that this robust, peaceful national service program be used to inspire complementary national service programs by other nations; so that the world shifts the emphasis from relying on military solutions to vexing problems to peaceful development oriented solutions that national service armies can provide.  Requires each person, before induction, to be examined physically and mentally for classification for fitness to perform.

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.)

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.

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

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.

 

 

 

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.”

California State Senator Carol Migden

From California State Senator Carol Migden

July 12, 2007

 Mr. Dwayne Hunn, Executive Director

Peoples Lobby, Inc.

359 Jean Street

Mill Valley, CA 94941 

 Dear Mr. Hunn:

 As your State Senator, I would like to express my support for the American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposals initiated by citizens and the People’s Lobby.  In California and across the nation, we have many unaddressed needs that will exacerbate the challenges we will face tomorrow. 

 To address those challenges adequately, we need to involve more Americans and Californians in addressing domestic as well as international concerns. Doing so not only improves the world, it also increases our understanding of the complexities facing us at home and abroad.

 The AWSC Congressional Proposals for Americans provide an opportunity for Americans to learn about and address the growing number of problems that are lying on our doorstep.  By having a million Americans a year voluntarily work in effective governmental and non-governmental organizations, the program provides can-do Americans with the capacity and insights to produce significant improvements in each state, our nation, and the world.

 We need to inspire more California Conservation Corps members to work on many of our basic infrastructure needs in our parks and on our levees, with appropriate technology.  We need more Headstart teachers and assistants, and more Americorps volunteers to work on environmental needs. We need concerned volunteers to be rewarded with funds for education, down-payments on homes, medical savings and IRA account deposits.

 Today, Americans are increasingly aware that the political process needs more citizen involvement to offset the lopsided power of special interests.  People’s Lobby reflects the level of civic involvement that allows Americans to help create laws that benefit all of us.

 For these reasons, I strongly encourage citizens and our Congress to add the AWSC Congressional Proposals to our nation’s toolbox.  We can make a lot of progress in our world, and the AWSC involves Americans in building our capacity to fix those needs peacefully. 

Sincerely,

 Carole Migden

Senator, 3rd District

 

 

He Kept His Eyes Open, and Ended Up in the Peace Corps

October 15, 1969 Glendora Press

 He Kept His Eyes Open, and Ended Up in the Peace Corps

(Editors Note: For several issues the Glendora Press has carried articles by Glendora High School teacher Dwayne Hunn in which he describes his impressions as a Peace Corps worker in India. He now turns to other aspects of his Peace Corps experience, starting with his entrance and training.)

By DWAYNE HUNN

“Keep your eyes and ears open. Maybe you’ll learn something.”

Those words beam over my Peace Corps experience like a spotlight. They were given to me by a friend of the family that I once met and haven’t seen since. The more of the Peace Corps I experienced, the brighter and more often that thought lit my path.

During my sophomore year in college, due in part in the charisma President Kennedy conveyed, I decided I would like to apply and be ready for the Peace Corps upon graduation.

The years flew by, and I was faced with stepping outside of the gilded world of academia. By then I was toying with the idea of attending graduate school. Since I was in the studying mood, I feared leaving school might make it tough to return to. But I was also tired of vicariously learning things from books and wanted to taste some real life. It did not take much to convince me to follow the more exciting path. It might be said that it only took a pretty girl.

During my senior year in college one of my duties was to set up a schedule and guide the Peace Corps recruiter around campus. It happened that the recruiter was coming during the week of mid-term exams and that the recruiter was a she. I had received an 8xl0 photo along with some background information by the Peace Corps about her.

She, in her picture, was no raving beauty. So with some smooth talking, and on a predominantly male campus one does not need to be too smooth. I was able to gather a contingent of males to guide her through her two and one-half days on campus. I was relieved. Now I could catch up on some studying.

The morning she arrived I was in my grubby face and clothes — male campuses specialized in this attire — and happy to be going to an office to study. Happy, that is, until I saw what I had scheduled my first escort to escort. With poise to burn and looks that would have about 400 of our 1100 males take application blanks, she introduced herself.

Such a schedule I had ‘hustled’ to arrange! From that morning on I had nothing but volunteers to show her around, when I would have gladly handled the job myself.

She had two tremendous years in the Corps, and for my interest in government, teaching, and experiences she highly recommended it for me. Later I found out that part of her experience included engagement to the son at a Philippine Air Force general. Pressure from the general broke the engagement.

About 10 days after receiving my college diploma I found myself aboard a humid DC-3, then sitting through a winding, hour-long car drive into the hills of Vermont, and then looking on what was to be my new home, which consisted of three cabins, a barn and a house, for the next three months.

I bunked with six guys in a large room of one of the cab­ins, four were engineers, one was an economics major, and one had been a construction foreman. The foreman had a vocabulary as relevant to the construction industry as our college educations were to the dictionary industry. Big Red, otherwise known as sandpaper mouth, was a good man to have around — as long as beer was within walking distance.

Within six weeks we had about 175 hours of language training, and Bengali had replaced French as my second most communicable language. We had not done much practical building during the first six weeks but I and a few others had learned, for the others it was like a refresher course, theories of building with primitive materials and labor.

Excuse me, we did build one edifice during those weeks and that was a rock bridge to span the river below the hill we lived on. We built this not as a training project but for a very American reason. Without the bridge it was a 21/2 mile walk to the only beer joint in a 10 mile radius. Our finished effort would not have done the most underdeveloped nation in the world any credit.

Every minute of training seemed to be filled. When the last lecture-discussion group broke-up around 10 p.m. we had only 81/2 hours before Toby would welcome us to a new day. He would, to the clang if a triangle bell, beckon us out into the cold Vermont mornings.

Toby Tobias was quite a character. He was a Negro married to a white girl. Each morning he would greet us, with his muscles pooping on top of other muscles – all of which were majestic, in a different athletic outfit. He had sweat suits from the universities of Hawaii, West Virginia, Ohio State, Southern California, etc. Judging from his wardrobe you figured he had three trunks just to store his muscle out­fits.

One day before our language table started I asked, “Toby, where are you from?” His answer was something like, “I started for West Virginia in football in 60, 61, 62; played guard on the basketball team in 61, 62; was All-Amer­ican football in 61, 62; made the AAU team in wrestling and table tennis in 63.” I did not have the heart or the courage to repeat my question, and, anyway, it was a neat answer, Toby was a neat guy.

During our intensive training there was a great deal of comradeship developing, and the learning atmosphere seemed so much stronger than college. We felt we were a lit­tle special yet not so special that we thought we knew more of what he had to learn than our trainers, lecturers, returned volunteers. They openly admitted they couldn’t prepare us for what we might encounter, and we eagerly tried to soak in as much as we could for what we might encounter. They were open and frank with us, and we were likewise with them. If we wanted to probe a certain subject, they would pursue it with as much knowledge as they had or until we thought we understood.

Many of the foreign affairs and Asian experts ended their talks to us by expressing their envy. Most of what they spoke was hand-me-down knowledge. They envied, though some said they were not sure they could do it, us and our generation for having the opportunity to learn first-hand about some of the world.

The cold mornings and cold showers, Toby and his runs through the forest, the guys, the volleyball tournament, the give-and-take of discussion groups, the insights into a foreign culture, the top-notch lecturers, the experiences returned vol­unteers conveyed to us, the search for girls in the sleepy town of Brattleboro—it was a rich experience and my first taste of the Peace Corps.