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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/31/10

Masters of Disasters -- Stranded on the Sidelines

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On an increasingly resource strapped planet where almost 7 billion of us are distantly related brothers and sisters, these kinds of painful narratives are more and more common:

Over 3,000 Americans died on September 11, 2001, because enough devilishly smart people had grown to be terrorists.

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Over 10,000 died and 80,000 were affected by a 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, with thousands more dying in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia."

Over 75,000 died after an earthquake in Pakistan in 2004.

Over 1,800 lost their lives and $80 billion of property was damaged thanks to 2005's Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

Over 654,965 Iraqi civilians died due to the effects of warfare by 2006.

Over 4,400 American soldiers died while 30-100,000 were wounded in Iraq.

Over 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are expected to suffer from PTSD, according to a recent Stanford University Study.

Over 1,100 Americans soldiers have died in Afghanistan thus far, while civilian war related deaths range from 13-33,000.

Over 300,000 Haitians died and over a million were left homeless after their earthquake in 2010.

Over ?____? barrels of blown oil (enter some horrendously large number, which maybe BP knows) is destroying a once thriving fishing and tourist industry, let alone a chunk of several eco-systems.

Over 15% of Americans are unemployed or underemployed, while the poorest of our richest 400 financial gimmickers and tax law influencers was paid $86.6 million, while he and the 399 above him averaged paying a perfectly legal effective tax rate of 15.3% in 2000.

If a disease or ignorance were causing this death and destruction, wouldn't it be practical to invest money in staving off or ending such?

If we anticipate more death and destruction ahead, wouldn't it be proactive to enlarge the response teams that can deal with such?

If we had cost effective teams that reduced the need and desire to war, wouldn't it be smart to expand them?

If we had programs that cost-effectively put Americans to work for a year or two while doing good and growing smarter in the process, shouldn't we invest immediately in them?

If we Americans expanded those teams, might we not influence other nations to do the same? Might we not star tmastering the aftereffects of disasters?

If reinstituting tax rates that existed under Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon, when our middle class was growing, would more than pay for fielding 21 million Americans of these team players, building jobs, characters, and morals over 27 years, shouldn't more Americans be pushing Congress to expand those teams?

We already have the teams to do this.

We just don't offer incentives to enough Americans and others, to sign up to play and learn on them. Here are just a few of the teams that deal with the effects of foul play, joblessness, destruction, environmental degradation, death, and most of the related causes that incite wars: Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFam, Mercy Corps, and State Conservation Corps, etc,..

In deep pockets and elsewhere, America still has the resources to involve a million dedicated, patriotic Americans to serve annually under the umbrella of the American World Service Corps (AWSC)

If we modestly invested in getting more Americans to serve in those teams under the AWSC umbrella, wouldn't life be a lot safer for the 7 billion brothers and sisters trying to get by in this increasingly environmentally and economically strapped Earth?

If you agree, why haven't you written your Congressional reps and asked them to sponsor People's Lobby's American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposals? Have you joined the Cause? Helped People's Lobby's ( spread the word?

If Mr. Smith went to Washington today, wouldn't he be proposing this type of simple, powerful, sensible legislation?

Lots of people complain about the state of the world. Few help to create the legislation that can change the world. Which are you?

Why not pick up Mr. Smith Goes to Washington again or for the first time. Ask yourself, for whom does your life toll? For the likes of Mr. Smith? His adoring legion of kids? Politician Mr. Paine? Media mogul Mr. Taylor? Mother Nature? No one?

If there's a God in the sky, some day It might like to know for whom your life tolled while life on earth roiled.


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Dwayne served in the Peace Corps in the slums of Mumbai, India, worked several Habitat Projects, and was on the start-up team of the California Conservation Corps. He has a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University, has been a builder, teacher, (more...)

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