Friday, February 8, 2013

Name Change: Now Just "Platform"

This blog, which covers the beliefs and philosophy of the Party of Commons, a.k.a. the Good Orthodox Party, will now just be called Platform.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Issues & Policies

These short essays about issues and policies were first published in 2004 - 2005 by the Commoner Committee for Political Affairs. The precursor organization before the inception of the the Party of Commons on Nov. 23, 2006.


I - Foreign Policy Gone Awry

II - Marine Life and the Oceans

III - Guinea Pigs are U.S.

IV - The Bill of Rights

V - Bellwether of the People

VI - The Shaky Economy

VII - The Measure of Science

VIII - No Empire

IX - Unprecedented: The Bush Administration's International Obstructionism

X - Youth and Civilization
I - Foreign Policy Gone Awry:
--- International cooperation has been diminished through a policy of empire. The Bush Administration has belittled the U.N., shown a disdain for treaties and is making the prevalence of weapons of mass destruction, as a deterrent or otherwise, more so through a doctrine of supposed “preemptive” attacks, shown through the unwarranted war in Iraq, a war based on misrepresentations and distortion; and the nation gets caught up in a maelstrom that has only worsened problems (there was no evidence connecting Iraq to the Sept. 11th attacks). Ending the occupation of Iraq should be a national priority and should be done forthwith.
--- In violation of the article 6’s in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and, in turn, the U.S. Constitution, the Bush Administration, with a "do as I say, not as I do" attitude, has drawn up plans for “low-yield” nuclear weapons and makes little pretense for their own fondness for weapons of mass destruction, of which our nation has more of than any other. The fascination for world domination undercuts respect for the sovereignty of nations and threatens to unleash currents that will thrust the world into a torrent of crisis. The fascination for nuclear weapons threatens world civilization.
--- The Commoner Committee for Political Affairs (CCPA) adheres to the natural law of self-defense, but national security should not be construed as some imperial doctrine based on the whims of the presidency. That is why the CCPA believes that the War Powers Act should be strengthened in favor of the constitutional right of Congress to decide war. Self-defense is the right of all, but nation states have an obligation to know the difference between self-defense and futile chaos. Preemption is an option of self-defense, but only if it is actually preemption, which, by definition, is a protective measure, not a ploy of hegemony.
--- Among other things detrimental to controlling weapons of mass destruction, like withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and scuttling the Biological Weapons Convention Protocol, the Bush Administration has blocked the proposed bi-lateral destruction of thousands of nuclear warheads that could have been brought about through the Russia - U.S. Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (SORT) of 2002, which turned out to be little more than a storage agreement, and one that dismayingly enhances the possibility of stealth and sabotage. This administration has done nothing to advance the cause of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans the testing of all nuclear weapons; a treaty the U.S. Senate has never ratified despite support for it all around the world. Doing little, if anything, to bring non-NPT nuclear holders into the international nuclear security regime; to the contrary, it seems unconcerned about those nuclear armaments even while, ironically, menacing and intimidating some countries who make strides toward joining the nuclear club. Even refusing a sensible non-aggression treaty with North Korea in exchange for the latter's dismantling of their nuclear weapons program.
--- Before the nation embarks on a policy of wars of non-proliferation and disarmament, there should be an effort to get a worldwide consensus for enforcing international laws, treaties and protocol, regarding weapons of mass destruction in a non-discriminatory way, with unified international support, and the nuclear holders, themselves, abiding by the NPT and other international treaties and protocol regarding weapons of mass destruction. If all of the nuclear holders, NPT signatories or not, do not take the rational step of working towards multilateral reductions or complete disarmament of their own nuclear arsenals, which would be best brought about through diplomatic consensus, the incentive for non-proliferation will be lost.

II - Marine Life and the Oceans:
--- In their zeal to dominate every corner of the globe, the Bush Administration has approved plans for the Navy to use the LFA (low frequency active) sonar system to detect submarines around the world. The LFA system is different than conventional sonar due to the enormous and hazardous noise bombardment it causes in the oceans and seas, which is extremely irritating to marine life, particularly whales, including bursting of eardrums, upsetting habitat, and causing widespread marine illness and death.
--- Now, the government wants to expand this system to cover the entire world. It is bad enough that the world's oceans are already under great stress and decline through other sources of man-made pollution, marine mismanagement and global warming. The fishermen of Washington State, indeed, those all over the world, can ill afford these disastrous overall oceanic environmental policies. First it's the whales, then it's the land mammals that are not already extinct, including homo sapiens.

III - Guinea Pigs are U.S.:
--- In a scientific experiment that no one asked our permission to be in, the Congress and the Bush Administration have continued letting Monsanto Corporation (the largest contributor of genetically modified food production) and others inundate the U.S. food market with genetically modified foods, an unnatural interplay of agriculture and biology, despite warnings from many scientists that such tinkering with Mother Nature could be detrimental to human, animal and plant organisms and the environment.
--- Kellogg’s and General Mills’ cereals, and Hershey’s candy bars, among many others, have these GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients. Yet, the Congress won’t so much as mandate labeling for genetically modified foods, so that we can choose whether or not to be consumers, let alone an outright ban, because they are hand-in-hand with Monsanto Corporation and the other biotech companies that make huge political contributions {Monsanto Corp. is the same corporation recently found liable by an Alabama jury for the PCB contamination in Anniston, Alabama, which included the charges of negligence, nuisance, wantonness and suppression of the truth. Still, the Environmental Protection Agency treats this company with kid gloves}. They won't let us choose whether or not to eat genetically modified foods, because they know very well that we would reject their pseudo-science.

IV - The Bill of Rights:
--- The nation should be wary of the apparent plans that are being made for a police state, guided by the continuing attacks on the Constitution's libertarian Bill of Rights. The former head of the Central Command, Tommy Franks (Bush's top general of the Iraq invasion), has all but said that the Constitution would be overthrown in the event of a catastrophe, and the Bush-Ashcroft Justice Department has drawn up legislation, commonly referred to as "Patriot Act II," to broaden the anti-civil liberties "Patriot Act I."
--- Among other drastic measures, according to draft legislation that was drawn up, the government wants detention powers without identifying detainees or court intervention, whether or not they are U.S. citizens (remember the Argentina Disappeared) -- a complete dereliction of the Bill of Rights. Although, some precautions are warranted in national security cases, indefinite detention without either criminal or military court intervention, or without working within the framework of the Geneva Convention, is beyond the pale. Meanwhile, the Bush Administration and Congress are busy trying to pack the federal courts with anti-civil libertarian judge nominees, apparently, in order to uphold these blatant unconstitutional measures.
--- As the electronic bugging of the Philadelphia mayor's office and the harassment at Drake University may indicate, the Bush Administration's Justice Dept. will not demur in authorizing all sorts of spurious surveillance on political opponents and dissidents of the loyal opposition. This is an administration that has drawn up plans to put in a computer spy program, whereby the government could keep track of the movements and personal habits of citizens. The CCPA opposes executive orders that repeal constitutional safeguards and rights and those portions of the Patriot Act that do the same. Common sense security revamps are necessary, but not repeal of the Bill of Rights.
--- Chairman C. Mark Greene has reviewed censorship and First Amendment issues extensively, and understands that maintaining the libertarian values of our nation is paramount, values that can be strengthened through socially responsible influences.

V - Bellwether of the People:
--- The same special interests that stand against a national health insurance program and affordable housing (housing which would be more for community cohesion than profits), and against environmental conservation will be ever present in today's elections. They are behind the increasing militarizing of the economy, instead of building community and national infrastructure, housing and sustainable energy structures.
--- This is why the voters may turn to candidates of the people in future elections. The CCPA stands with citizens-in-general for progressive economics, affordable housing, protection of the environment, nuclear disarmament and a withdrawal from associations with fascist regimes, and from the imperial Pax Americana. Washington State and Alaska, through the CCPA, can be the bellwether around the nation for a politics of the people.

VI - The Shaky Economy:
--- It is apparent that some in Congress have an agenda of defunding the federal treasury in order to get rid of institutions and programs that help the states, the environment, health, education, and citizens-in-general. Not only that, pro-globilization economic policies have discarded the surplus, in place at the beginning of the millennium, and increased unemployment since then. The awful trio of globilization that goes by the names (acronyms) of GATT, NAFTA and WTO has made the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs practically a matter of course for big business; now they are working full-time on sending other types of jobs out of the country, such as engineering, and various analytical and processing jobs. It's past time that we have a political party that will speak out and vote against these kind of policies that keeps citizens-in-general from getting jobs.

VII - The Measure of Science:
--- The CCPA opposes genetically modified foods, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, the idea of atomic weaponry, and, by implication, the excesses of scientists in general. Science has been and will continue to be important to the development of society and individual lives, but that does not mean that scientists should have an unchecked scientific realm regardless of the implications for the rest of us.

VIII - No Empire:
--- The CCPA has a dynamic economically progressive, culturally conservative, and moralistic foreign policy vision for America, bringing forth a call to withdraw from the Pax Americana, including a dramatic reduction in the 400 billion dollar "Pax Americana" budget, and will move for universal cooperation in the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction all over the world, including those of our own nation, and bring concrete action to stave off environmental degradation. Populist voices like William Jennings Bryan, the late statesmen of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the present-day Ralph Nader, long-time consumer and political activist, have led the way for progressive change in America. In the tradition of Bryan, Chairman C. Mark Greene has been one of the most outspoken opponents of imperialism and any undertaking by our government of authoritarian rule, domestic or foreign.

IX - Unprecedented: The Bush Administration's International Obstructionism:
--- The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has done well in stopping wide proliferation, has been essentially sabotaged by the Bush Administration; and now, North Korea has balked altogether, and countries like Japan and Brazil, among others, have been contemplating nuclear weapons for themselves. In contrast to both Republican and Democratic administrations since World War II, the Bush Administration has practically torn apart the concept of cooperative international security institutions, fostering bitter dissent even among allies. Their "preemptive" doctrine has bred tension, distrust and fear around the world, bringing momentum, in diverse places, to crossing the threshold of nuclear arms.
--- If the Congress does not exactly feel that foreign policy is the preserve of a self-appointed emperor of the world and his consuls, neither are they making a strong enough case for upholding the natural law of the right of sovereignty of nations, nor asserting their rights to intervene in foreign policy decisions, particularly, in regards to war. Only a few will assert the rights of Congress in accordance with the checks and balances system of the Constitution. U.S. citizens, by and large, want the government to respect the sovereignty of nations and to make progress in regards to international nuclear weapons non-proliferation. Although, non-proliferation is not likely without being balanced by disarmament, which is exactly what the NPT calls for. It’s past time for the will of the people to supercede the will of the politicians who are leading us into disaster.

X - Youth and Civilization:
--- Addressing young people and the issues that will effect the future has long been central to the Greene campaigns. It is one thing, for instance, to extract limited fossil fuels, ad infinitum, without regard for future supplies or the effect on the environment, particularly global warming, and another thing to balance the use of energy resources by acting on the concerns for the implications of uncontrolled usage. Just as it is one thing for elderly congressmen and senators to turn their backs on international accords to control and eliminate nuclear weaponry and other weapons of mass destruction in order to maintain an extreme militaristic posture, but another thing to realize, through history, that such an extreme posture has often led to the ruin of nations that took such a course.

[First published in 2004-2005 and updated on 2/27/05.]

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