Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Peace: it's not just the right thing, it's 100% less stupid

Today's post title is inspired by (stolen from) a great post by Mark Gisleson on Norwegianity. The post is entitled: "Peace-iness as usual" and "Peace: it's not just the right thing, it's 100% less stupid" is the below the masthead slogan on norwegianity today.

I agree. It is time for Klobuchar to commit to some form of peace-seeking policy. It is time for the Republicans to realize that they love war because they believe it is their best route to achieving sustainable peace. It is no longer a left-wing issue. It is what we are all after, it is just that some of us are willing to take a few more helicopter rides through exotic locales to achieve it. Others are willing to go to Washington and legislate for it (at least I hope so...).

While we have to sort through this from our frames of reference in North America, we have to understand that many of the threatening movements afoot in parts of the world we don't understand as well as we should are also motivated by a desire for peace. Peace and Freedom: it is what we all want for ourselves and our children. Total, constant and enduring global war seems like the least likely way to achieve it for anyone.

My sense of the cost of not understanding what we perceive to be threatening is the loss of our freedom, the increase of desperation and desolation on the part of America that becomes more intensely scrutinized and made to feel unwelcome, and the retreat of peace as a future on the glowing horizon.

Choose to create a dawn and not a dusk. Confront your fear by trying to understand yourself and what you fear. Write up your own message of hope (as a blog post or new blog of your own, or a fanzine or broadsheet that you could distribute at the State Fair and/or your favorite coffeeshops). Have a hope and cultivate the hopefulness of others that our fundamental political processes will work and serve our common interest in peace and security in the upcoming September 12th primaries in Minnesota and New York.

Our democracy will not survive unless all of us are more fully engaged in the process, and in the creation and promotion of ideas and goals for public policy. Democracy gets better when it listens to and incorporate the ideas and energies of people outside the specialist political class. Since our democracy derives all of its authority and power from the natural rights of natural human beings and not from artificial entities like corporations and non-profit think-tanks, it is important that the electorate also creates its own propaganda and processes it on its own natural authority, and not artificial corporate media 'consensus'. That's the real opening and responsibility for the amateur blogger or pamphleteer, and we need you to join us if you have the time and and energy to participate in any fashion. The more gritty and true, real world experience you have to offer the better, as long as you are a real human, a real citizen (and entitled to legally influence the political process through your own independent contribution of free speech). And individual blogs are really free and also unregulated by election law at this point.

The leading candidate for governor in the Minnesota DFL's September 12th primary contest, State Senator Becky Lourey has made a strong statement in favor of a peace policy, calling it the Minnesota Peace Initiative:

Three key concepts provide the foundation for the Minnesota Peace Initiative:

1. Demand that the compromised mission of the National Guard return to its appropriate state role, keeping the peace here and responding to emergencies within our state borders. The Governor is commander-in-chief of the Minnesota National Guard. Our Governor should join in a coalition of governors who will step up and challenge the improper, over-extended use of state militia.

2. Make a real state commitment to the 3,500 Minnesota veterans coming home from the war, and the military families who have struggled with financial and emotional hardships. Businesses and entire communities have suffered as so many non-career military men and women have been sent to battle in the Middle East. In Minnesota alone, an estimated 4,300 veterans are homeless or near homeless.

3. Strengthen domestic energy policies to achieve self-sufficiency, implementing aggressive conservation measures. The impact of high energy prices threatens the domestic economy, and Minnesota is especially vulnerable because our state is the number one importer of electricity in the nation. For the sake of domestic security, use of energy alternatives and conservation measures must be stepped up. Research and policy goals should promote sustainable agriculture policies, and alternatives such as ethanol and biofuels.

"As we learned this week, nearly all governors object to further federalization of the National Guard," Lourey said. "Now, it is time to push further by sending the message that the National Guard's role has been seriously abused by President Bush in the Iraq.



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