College students, & high-school seniors and juniors–Enter this contest for an
to participate in our annual assembly in Washington D.C., discussing:
“THE U.S. CONGRESS, GLOBAL PROBLEMS, &
GOVERNING THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY”
MARCH 17-18, 2 0 1 1
—LEARN ABOUT HOW THE U.S. CONGRESS WORKS, HOW THE U.N. WORKS, &
HOW THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT WORKS.
—WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO PREVENT GENOCIDE, GET RID OF WARS &
NUCLEAR WEAPONS, SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT, ETC.?
—CAN THE U.N. GOVERN THE WORLD? WHO SHOULD DO THAT?
—ON FRIDAY VISIT & LOBBY YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS—
Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis will provide transportation, registration, meals, & lodging forany college student or for a high-school junior or senior to participate in the Citizens for Global Solutions national assembly in Washington DC.
The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 17, so you should be able to leave St. Louis Wednesday. Theconference ends Friday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m., so you could be back that night if you wish. If you want to do sightseeing in Washington on Saturday, we will also provide hotel lodging for you for Saturday night (but not extra meals). The cherry blossoms will be at their best. Getting to & from the St. Louis airport is your responsibility.
If you want to be a contestant for this all-expenses-paid trip, write a 3-5 page printed essay (double-spaced) consisting of 2 parts. In the first part tell us about your background and accomplishments. Why would you be a good person for us to send to this meeting? In the second part share with us your thinking about one or more of the problems our world community faces and how we and our government might deal with them more effectively.
For more information about CGS see our website at <http://www.globalsolutions.org>.
In exchange for this subsidy, CGS of St. Louis expects you to give us a brief written report about the conference & what you learned from it. (This gets published in our local newsletter.) Send your essay to: Ronald J. Glossop, 8894 Berkay Avenue, Jennings, MO 63136-5004 or preferably by e-mail to: <email@example.com>Be sure to include your home address and home telephone number.
For more information, call (314) 869-2303. Deadline: Noon March 5, 2011. Winner(s) will be notified by March 8, 2011.
PANEL DISCUSSES PERMANENT WAR POLICY, THE DEFICIT, AND TAXES
By Jane Mendelson
(with a little bit of editing by Ron Glossop)
On October 21, WILPF, along with St. Louis Citizens for Global Solutions, sponsored a panel entitled “Taxes, the Deficit, and Permanent War” at the University City public library. Panel members were Woody Powell, former national Executive Director of Veterans for Peace; Bob Reinhold, civil rights and labor attorney; and Ruth Ehresman, director of health and budget policy for The Missouri Budget Project. Mary Jane Schutzius, local WILPF Chair and the evening’s moderator, encouraged attendees to assimilate the facts presented, consider their consequences, and try to find connections among them. Thus challenged, we were treated to three disparate but related topics.
Woody Powell dissected the national “war economy,” its consequences and possible alternatives. This economy is “built on the premise of perpetual war,” with the Defense Department spending “700+billions…to maintain 800 bases in 135 countries…and conduct two wars” while “making things that wear out and blow up,” providing short-term employment, and destroying many of our young families. This is “opposed to a peace-time economy that makes things that people can actually use to better their lives, increasing employment.” He pointed out that while we do not seem to be safer or better off, there is no interest in Washington to change these priorities to meet the needs of our people.
Woody described his own thinking and work. Believing that our own “top-heavy system” may eventually collapse, and tired of the futility of trying to move an unresponsive government, Woody has found it more profound, personally, to encourage people to cooperate on a community level. He sees endless opportunities for doing so if one only looks around; for example in community gardening through Gateway Greening or in helping veterans find the resources to start small businesses. His handout listed others. He left us focusing, not on hope for things unattainable, but on gratitude for the promise of reachable goals.
Bob Reinhold spoke about the Bush tax cuts: what they have meant and where they stand now. Apparently 1/3 of all the tax cuts of 2001went to the wealthiest in our society. The budget crises that Missouri, Illinois and other states are suffering are at least partially a result of the loss of federal revenue in the form of grants that were available to states before these cuts. On January 1, 2011, all the Bush tax cuts will expire unless renewed. The Obama administration wants to renew all except those for the wealthiest who make over $250,000 a year. Republicans, supposedly fiscal conservatives, want the very rich to retain their cuts too, saying they will use the money to create new jobs. Bob pointed out that this is unlikely unless these business owners think the jobs will increase their profit. Keeping these cuts will worsen the deficit, forcing the rest of us to pay much higher sales taxes, the most regressive form of taxation.
The Tea Partiers’ solution is to sharply reduce all government spending, but they are vague about where to cut. It’s unlikely they would agree to curb spending on the Afghanistan war, Social Security, Medicare, highways, etc. Libertarians want to eliminate the military, but integrating all service members back into society in already strapped states is not realistic. Again, unreasonably high sales taxes would result. Bob does want to reduce defense spending. He believes people need to recognize their common interests, such as the environment. He would like to see us investing in world federalism: justice for all through the United Nations. Most importantly, he would prefer that President Obama veto renewing all tax cuts, thus leading us to a more just and peaceful society.
Ruth Ehresman educated us about the plight of the Missouri budget and the work of her organization, The Missouri Budget Project. State revenues have declined seriously in the last four years, and the outlook remains grim through 2012. This is in spite of $1.2 billion in federal stabilization money, which is rapidly being depleted. This year it took $931 million in cuts to balance the state’s budget. Next year $500 million more will be cut, followed by another $300 million. Many services are suffering, such as schools, transportation, Parents As Teachers programs, college scholarships, programs for mental illness, etc. Causes of these cuts include a national recession, record high levels of unemployment, tax cuts and credits, and an outmoded tax policy. Some changes the Missouri Budget Project advocates are a revised and more equitable state income tax, and removing exemptions for corporations, businesses, and individuals; for example, currently Missouri doesn’t tax internet and catalog sales, and our cigarette tax ranks fiftieth in the country. Someone who owns a yacht longer than 25 ft. pays no tax because in an emergency, the Coast Guard can commandeer it! She also pointed out that Jeanette Mott Oxford’s progressive income tax bill finally received a civil and respectful hearing this year. You can learn more about the Missouri Budget Project’s valuable work at http://www.mobudget.org.
Many useful questions and comments ensued. We left with plenty of food for thought on the wartime economy, personal alternatives, and federal and state budgets, and the possible connections among them.
“HOW TO ELIMINATE NUCLEAR WEAPONS SOON, & WAR SOON THEREAFTER”
By Tad Daley, J.D., Ph.D., Writing Fellow for the Nobel Peace Laureate Organization “International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War”
Author of APOCALYPSE NEVER: FORGING THE PATH TO A NUCLEAR
WEAPON-FREE WORLD (Rutgers Univ. Press, 2010)
WHEN: SUNDAY AFTERNOON, APRIL 3, 2011
3:45 p.m. – Informal reception & refreshments
4:00 – Tad Daley’s talk followed by discussion
5:30 – Buffet turkey dinner (Reservation form below)
6:30 – Annual CGS of St. Louis Business Meeting
WHERE: THE ETHICAL SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS
9001 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, Missouri 63117
(3/4 mile west of the north end of Galleria Shopping Center)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
RESERVATION FORM for BUFFET DINNER, April 3 meeting
(Deadline for receipt of this form is 1:00 p.m. Thursday, March 31)
Printed Name(s) ________________________________________________
Telephone (_____) _____________ e-mail: ________________________
No. of Turkey Dinners _______ No. of Vegetarian Dinners _______
(Turkey dressing, salad, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, whole wheat rolls, blueberry cobbler, beverage; also
cheese & raw vegetables for vegetarians.)
The price for each dinner is $11.00 (except $4.00 for students).
Make check out to “Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis”
and send it with this form to
Dr. David Oughton, 1130 Big Sky Drive, Fenton MO 63026.
For info, contact Ron Glossop at 314/869-2303 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>
or Dave Oughton at 636/717-0165 or <email@example.com>.
ESSENTIALS OF A WORLD CONSTITUTION
At our October 16 meeting at the home of Joe and Yvonne to discuss “What issues would need to be addressed when trying to develop a constitution for a world federation?” Bill Bartholomew presented a list of “Essentials for a World Constitution” which was generally agreed to be very good. He found the list in a publication of the American Movement for World Government. Ron tracked the article to a man in Britain named Ian Hackett <firstname.lastname@example.org>, but he did not respond to an e-mail message asking whether he himself had created the list or had just found it somewhere. But in any case here is the list:
Ten Essentials of a World Constitution
1. A Bill of Rights.
2. A popularly elected legislature to enact world laws.
3. A world court to interpret those laws, with compulsory jurisdiction over world disputes.
4. A civilian executive branch with the power to enforce world laws directly upon individuals.
5. A system of checks and balances to prevent the abuse of power by any branch of the world government.
6. The control of all weapons of mass destruction by the world government, with the disarmament of all nations, under careful inspection down to the level required for internal policing.
7. Carefully defined and limited power of taxation to support those functions necessary to world peace and the solution of problems affecting, to a vital degree, the welfare of all mankind.
8. Reasonable provision for amendments.
9. Participation in the world federal government to be open at all times to all nations.
10. All power not expressly delegated to the world government to be reserved to the nations and their peoples, thus leaving each nation to choose its own political, social, and economic systems.
A REAL DANGER
KATHY KILPATRIC’S LETTER IN DECEMBER 12, 2010 POST-DISPATCH, PAGE A22
Jim Talent’s November 19 opinion piece attacks President Obama for his “extreme ideology on nuclear weapons.” I find itindicative of Talent’s own extreme right-wing ideology as a paid spokesperson for the Heritage Foundation that he describes Obama’s effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons as an ideology.
As is made vividly clear in recently published books like Tad Daley’s APOCALYPSE NEVER, the future existence of humanity is threatened if we don’t get rid of all nuclear weapons as soon as possible. As long as these weapons are available, they are eventually going to get used–by terrorists or by some aggressive national leader or by accident or in an international dispute such as between India and Pakistan, or between Israel and Iran, or between China and the U.S.A. That is not ideology; that is down-to-earth rational thinking about a real danger.
The importance of ratifying the new START is that that action can get us on the road to ridding the world of all nuclear weapons. Failure of the Senate to ratify this treaty would undermine this good chance to start moving toward the elimination of this danger Many political and military leaders in this country (both Republican and Democrat) are supporting ratification of this treaty. It is time for the Cold War Warriors to get out of the way and as John Lennon sang, “Give Peace a Chance.” (Her letter was only one of seven letters responding to Talent’s hawkish view.)
NATIONAL CGS HAS NEWLY REVISED WEB-PAGE
Our national CGS organization has revised its web-page, but the old address has been retained: <http://www.globalsolutions.org>. Information about the World Federalist Institute can be found under “About Us” on the left.