Election Message from Connecticut and Massachusetts: Cut the Military Budget!
November 12, 2012
Megan Iorio / Just Foreign Policy & Richard Kane / Writing for Godot
At the polls Tuesday, I had the opportunity to cast a vote on one of the most important issues facing the country today. No, I'm not talking about the presidential race. I'm talking about the US military budget. Voters in 91 Massachusetts towns and in New Haven, CT, were asked whether Congress should redirect funds from the military budget to human needs. And we New Englanders overwhelmingly voted "Hell Yeah!"
New Haven, CT, & 91 MA Town Voters
Tell Congress: Cut the Military Budget!
Megan Iorio / Just Foreign Policy
(November 8, 2012) -- At the polls Tuesday, I had the opportunity to cast a vote on one of the most important issues facing the country today. No, I'm not talking about the presidential race. I'm talking about an issue the two presidential candidates only superficially addressed during this long campaign season: the US military budget.
Voters in 91 Massachusetts towns and in New Haven, CT, were asked whether Congress should redirect funds from the military budget to human needs. And we New Englanders overwhelmingly voted "Hell Yeah!"
The ballot referendum in Massachusetts was organized by the Budget for All Massachusetts Coalition, which is reporting preliminary results that 556,000 Massachusetts voters (or 74%) answered "yes", while only 190,930 (26%) said "no". In New Haven, the margin was even wider.
The New Haven Register reports that 23,398 city residents (or 85%) voted "yes," while only 15% of voters (4,152 residents) voted "no." The New Haven ballot referendum was organized by the Greater New Haven Peace Council, City of New Haven Peace Commission, and Promoting Enduring Peace.
Both of the ballot questions asked voters whether Congress should reduce military spending and increase and protect spending on human needs, such as Social Security and Medicare. Although the referendums are non-binding, they send a strong signal to Massachusetts and Connecticut representatives that reducing the military budget must be made a priority in the next Congress, and that efforts to save Pentagon spending from the cutting board by offering up cuts to necessary domestic programs will not be tolerated.
Here's the text of the Massachusetts ballot question:
Shall the state Representative (or Senator) from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon the Congress and the President to:
1. Prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits, or to housing, food and unemployment assistance;
2. Create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, housing, renewable energy, transportation and other public services;
3. Provide new revenues for these purposes and to reduce the long-term federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, ending offshore tax havens, and raising taxes on incomes over $250,000; and
4. Redirect military spending to these domestic needs by reducing the military budget, ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing US troops home safely now.
And here is the question New Haven residents were asked:
Shall Congress reduce military spending; transfer funds to convert to civilian production; create jobs to rebuild our infrastructure; meet pressing human needs?
World Peace! The Opportune Moment is Now
Peace Won Locally, State, and Nationally
Only Third Party Victory Would be Better News
Commentary by Richard Kane / Writing for Godot & Reader Supported News
(November 7, 2012 03:02) -- There have been a lot of celebrations this November! Young people do vote after all! Gay Marriage is much sweeter at the ballot box!
But there is one celebration that has not yet sunk in. Peace won! Only slightly at the National Level, since the Third Party vote didn't determine anything except in Florida, but with Senators, Reps and ballot initiatives as well.
There was a hysterical Virgina ad, "Anti-Defense Organization Comes To Kaine's Aid." The local Republicans boldly posted, as proof, Council for a Liveable World's website near the top of the ad. Many of those clicking on the ad ending up thinking highly about, even joining the Liveable World campaign.
Livable World won big around the county, but where they lost, I discovered something incredible -- peace won instead of the peace organization. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, voted against Afghan troop surge funding, earlier against continued funding of the Iraq War and the Cuban embargo, but not for the UN, which Better World wanted.
Peace Voter had lecturing Kathy Boockvar running for a PA Rep as she was enthusiastically agreeing with what they were telling her, while her opponent ran ads that she would blindly support Obama's wars. Since she had been prominent in telling people that she urged President Obama to stop Ahmadinejad from speaking at the UN during Yom Kipper, the peace leaders forgot to lecture her about the importance of the UN.
The anti-Islamophobic scorecard was 100%. This is a basic change in US attitude. America finally learned that you don't make yourself more secure by baiting, taunting and insulting those you disagree with, such as depicting historic religious leaders as porn stars. The film created a different new world then the film expected. The October Surprise totally failed in making Democrats look weak on foreign policy besides failing to get Romney elected.
Today, not when Obama first began serving in 2009, is the time for celebrations about peace victories, including victories in mental attitude? The only major bad news is that third parties didn't gain permanent ballot status in many places. The peace movement had high hopes with Obama and apparently is afraid to hope again.
January 2009 was a very difficult time for Obama to start off positively on the peace issue. Peace groups won't admit that the hawks are sometimes right in claiming it is bad to look weak. This is awkward news that has never been before attempted to be put in a peace article.
South Koreans and Filipinos are the prime candidates for kidnappers because kidnappers know that those government will not get involved except to help pay or guarantee the ransom payment, Al Qaeda dream for the West which both hawks and doves ignore is to help the borrow-crazy west become hopelessly bankrupt.
Neither Hawks or Doves noticed that bin Laden's plans (recovered from his hideout) to derail trains was a way to attack the US without risking a draft, a far more cheap way to fight than a volunteer army or and incredibly expensive private contractor fighting force. If the looming deadlock between the Republican House and Obama occurs that will be another bad moment to leave Afghanistan with al Qaeda feeling especially bold.
The last best moment was when bin Laden was killed. If Americans had started leaving and al Qaeda suicide attacked the withdrawing troops to get the US back on the road to bankruptcy, the Taliban would have at that point attacked al Qaeda for not letting the US leave. The US must choose peace at another moment from an economic meltdown. The fact that USSR collapsed right after it left Afghanistan still inspires terrorists against Russia today.
Al Qaeda claims that the only way for the Muslim World not to be hopelessly picked on by the west is through absolute ruthlessness. That mindset threatens Saudis. Iranians and every sane government on earth. Perhaps other counties could take the lead and not wait for the US to try to create peace.
Iran might offer to end its Iranian enrichment program, accept the US offer to redesign its reactors for less cheatable nuclear fuel in return for major concessions from the US, such as no veto of any joint Russia-Chinese Security Council resolution trying to create peace in Syria, and end to all blockades including the embargo on Cuba and the freeing of US and other Western political prisoners.
The economic embargo on Cuba besides hurting Cuba hurts the US and a future without falling-domino-like currency collapse. Cuba might look at minority representation in Philadelphia and some other places and modify its system to mandate one non-Communist Party candidate with the highest votes, get into the Cuban Assembly.
Or there could be three overseas slots, where every oversees Cuban who could get to Cuba or a Cuban embassy or consulate such as in Canada, would have one vote to choose the three highest vote-getters for the new three new overseas reps in the Cuban Assembly, encouraging Cuban-Americans to demand a US Cuban embassy, and a consulate in New Jersey and Miami.
Maybe the Taliban could start a world peace moment rolling by appointing Afghan President Karzai the Mayor of Kabul (his unofficial title anyway) and suggest Karzai suggest that the multimillion dollar rent for the US refueling center in Kyrgyzstan, be instead a year's rent for Kabul to be semi-autonomous like Hong Kong is to China, allowing US to make the next peace step.
Once the peace movement was of the mindset for a Kucinich-Ron-Paul election team. Cheering Jeff Flakes victory instead of calling it a tea party victory will save us all from a very grim future. Celebrating the peace victories this November will be fun and give us more to celebrate in the future. Now is the time for peace, or perhaps next New Years Day, or a related religious holiday's present to the world be peace at last.
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