April 28, 2006
By True Majority
TrueMajority was founded by Ben Cohen, of Ben and Jerry's. It is a grassroots education and advocacy project of Priorities, Inc. The central objective is to increase America's investment in programs that benefit our children by cutting Cold War weapons systems and shifting the savings. That's just 15% of the Pentagon budget but would make $60 billion available every year to meet children's basic needs.
::::::::Ten Principles Explained
1. Attack World Hunger and Poverty as if Our Life Depends on It: It Does.
Anchor our foreign policy in the compassion for the poor that unites all the world's religions. Reduce the debts of impoverished countries. Shift foreign aid from buying weapons to feeding people.
2. Champion the Rights of Every Child, Woman and Man.
Make America stand for justice, not expediency. Stop turning a blind eye to governments that abuse their own people. Ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. If punishing a foreign tyrant means, in actual practice, punishing the women and children who are his victims, desist, and find another path.
3. End our Obstructionism to the World's Treaties.
Throw America's full weight behind the United Nations, the only political body that holds all the worlds nations in the age of globalization. If the United States participates in the United Nations more effectively and fully, other nations will follow suit. Pay our U.N. dues on time and without conditions. Withdraw our lonely opposition to the landmine ban, Kyoto Protocol to halt global warming, and International Criminal Court. Show once again the "decent respect for the opinions of mankind" that our Declaration of Independence affirms.
4. Reduce our Dependence on Oil & Lead the World to an Age of Renewable Energy.
Oil holds us hostage to regimes hated by their own people; their hatred transfers to us. America is 5% of the world's people but we generate 25% of the pollution that causes global warming. It's our duty to lead. We will reduce our energy consumption 25% by 2010. Make a Moon Mission scale commitment to develop solar and wind power technologies. Set and meet a goal of generating 20% of our energy from renewable sources by 2010.
5. Close the Book on the Cold War and Ease the Nuclear Nightmare.
Cast a cold eye on giant weapons designed to destroy giant enemies that no longer exist. Cancel obsolete Cold War weapons. We applaud the nuclear force cuts announced by President Bush, but even 2,000 warheads poised and aimed at Russia are unwise. We squander $35 billion a year on this obsolete arsenal. Save half of that money, take our missiles off "launch on warning" and invite all nuclear nations to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban.
6. Renounce Star Wars and the Militarization of Space.
After spending $134 billion dollars (twice our lifetime commitment to cancer research!) our military has nothing to show for its obsession with a dubious Missile Defense but the deep suspicions of our new allies. Enough is enough.
7. Make Globalization Work for, not against, Working People.
Open the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to the public. Let sunshine into the councils of the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Affirm that the welfare of the planet's people supersedes corporate patents and profits.
8. Ensure Equal Treatment Under Law for All.
Vigorously enforce and strengthen the nations civil rights laws that guarantee freedom from discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation or physical ability. Reform Americas criminal justice system laws so that justice is no longer systematically dispensed in a way that disadvantages minorities.
9. Get Money out of Politics.
Curtail the vast corrupting influence of corporate campaign contributions, which make Congress beholden to private interests. Enact public campaign financing--we can fund it entirely by closing a single offshore corporate tax loophole!
10. Close the Gap between Rich and Poor Kids at Home.
All these words will ring hollow to the world if America does not close the chasm between rich and poor in our own society. We will fully fund Head Start and health insurance for the millions of American children who can't get either. We will invest the money needed to build and nourish schools worthy of this great nation.
TrueMajoritys principles are endorsed by Greenpeace, Rock the Vote, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Peace Action, the National Head Start Association, Global Exchange, The Interfaith Alliance, The Nation magazine, Sojourners, Rainforest Action Network, Women's Action for New Directions (WAND), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), National Council of La Raza, and a long and growing list of Americans.
Submitter: Joan Brunwasser
Submitters Website: http://www.opednews.com/author/author79.html
Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of transparency and the ability to accurately check and authenticate the vote cast, these systems can alter election results and therefore are simply antithetical to democratic principles and functioning.
While the news is often quite depressing, Joan nevertheless strives to maintain her mantra: "Grab life now in an exuberant embrace!"
Joan has been Election Integrity Editor for OpEdNews since December, 2005. Her articles also appear at Huffington Post, RepublicMedia.TV and Scoop.co.nz.