Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just a Regular Joe

I get asked a lot: "Well, if one can't vote for either of the major candidates based on their disagreements with Catholic moral and social teaching, who is there to vote for?" Just offering a possibility here so that people are aware that there are other options out there. Meet Joe Schriner:

Hispanic Immigration
~ amnesty for illegal immigrants and family reunification.
~ living wage, optimal working conditions, benefits, adequate housing for all new arrivals.
~ “temporary worker program,” with border check points, etc., for those who want to work here, but keep their citizenship south of the border
~ Help Latin America Drive! Mobilization of much more help (humanitarian aid, Peace Corps, Sister City projects) for countries south of the border to help them with sustainability. (Many people don’t want to leave country, family, culture… but their kids are hungry, or the political oppression has gotten to be too much)
~ Establishment of a “North American Union” (NAU) between Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Central America, similar to the evolving European Union (EU). This would be for the purpose of inspiring more joint environmental conservation projects, more joint business ventures, more tourism (especially eco-tourism) to help boost poorer economies, more cultural exchange and, most importantly, it would promote much more general camaraderie between nations

Healing the family
~set of multi-dimensional, community programs to foster and support emotional health
~”Healthy Community Projects” (like the model we researched in Glendive, Montana) in towns across America
~”Take A Stand for Kids” programs (like the one we researched on the Monterey Peninsula in California) in towns across America
~expanded and improved tiered systems of recovery options (state and federally funded) in each county
~establish “Collaborative Medical Models” (like the one we researched in Grand Junction, Colorado, at the Marrilac Clinic) that combines medical work with psycho-social assessments and referral
~regular classes (k-12) on the dynamics of healthy families
~regular parenting classes at a high school level

~ increase local food production for local consumption
~ ban health and eco-system damaging farm chemicals
~ increase organic growing significantly
~ create more farm labor jobs at “living wages"
~ convert to smaller farms and smaller farm technology
~ teach farming classes in country and city schools
~ heighten focus on farmland preservation
~ implement more “urban farming”
~ develop more permacultures, including on the White House grounds
~ phase out subsidies for “conventional farming” and redirect money toward more organic start-ups, farmland preservation and the development of more small, non-polluting farm implement technology
~ shift society back to an agrarian based one

~ More creative, and extensive, programs to curb alcohol and drug addiction (significant numbers (as much as 60%) of prisoners committed crimes under the influence)
~ Vast array of programs to end poverty
~ More "Community Oriented Policing" programs, and more Citizen Crime Prevention programs (Crime Alert, Crime Stoppers)
~ Peace time military to aid inner city police (in gang zones, etc.)
~ Increased focus on "Restorative Justice" prisoner rehabilitation, instead of 'dead-end' warehousing

U.S. Department of Peace
~Establish a cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace
~Four year Peace Academy on a par with military academies
~Study panels to assess causes of: war, terrorism, inner city violence, domestic violence
~Commitment to worldwide social justice, public health, environmental sustainability
~Stepped up Peace Corps work
~Promotion of many collegiate level (and other) "Cross Cultural Emersion Experiences"
~"Adopt a Country" programs for students grades 7-12
~Bolster American Field Service; U.S. People Ambassadors, International Student Exchange
and similar existing peace-building programs
~Teach about non-violent direct actions and increase grassroots peacemaking efforts.
~Inspire multi-dimensional models to build much more peace in families, schools and on the
streets of America
~Lobby for a decrease in American offensive weapons (including nuclear weapons)

~ adhere only to "just war" criteria.
~ Make military more field proficient and cost effective
~ U.S. takes the lead in nuclear disarmament.
~ More help for those who have served.

Energy Policy
~ Sign Kyoto Protocol, and spark a grassroots "Energy Reduction Movement" in America
~ Way more clean, renewable energy (solar, wind, wave action, "no" to nuclear)
~ More: clean biomass fuels, alternative vehicles, mass transportation, "Walkable Communities"

Native Americans
~ a heartfelt formal apology to Native Americans for past atrocities
~ Land give backs and Native American relocation moratorium
~Creative land give-backs (for instance, subsidies to help finance Native American land restoration projects like the White Earth Land Recovery Project in Minnesota)
~ Much improved healthcare and alcohol and drug treatment on the Reservations
~ More programs to reverse poverty and establish sustainability on the Reservations
~ Spark a nationwide “Native American Renaissance”
~ Native American Commission to revise history books
~ Many more grade school and high school classes on Native American history and culture
~ Collegiate level minors and majors in Native American Studies
~ National “Native American History Month”
Gotta love that part about adhering only to "just war" teaching. So no more saying there are only two options.

Nathan O'Halloran, SJ

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