While our endless and expensive elections, Superstorm Sandy and gun violence against children dominated 2012, here are 10 things we can accomplish in 2013 which will help 99+ percent of Americans: [spoiler alert -- most of my wishes for 2012 turned out to be fantasies, but bear with me, it's my post!]:
1. The president in his January, 2013 Inaugural and State of the Union Addresses should call for strict new regulations on the sale of guns and ammo while ramping up mental health care resources and screening for violent behaviors; and,
2. for an end to the wars in Iraq (where American contractors now outnumber our troops but cost 5-10 times as much -- bring them all home!) and Afghanistan (where, like the British and Soviet Empires, America and NATO have lost both the war and expended a huge part of our national treasure); and,
3. for de-linking foreign aid to U.S. national security policy and commercial interests while targeting human needs in much the same way the Gates Foundation targets various diseases in Africa; and,
4. for recognition that the 50+ year-old embargo of Cuba should be dismantled as a failure which has done violence to U.S. interests in Latin America over its entire history (don't shrug! This is the lowest hanging fruit on the U.S. foreign policy tree and by far the easiest to remedy); and,
5. for letting us go over the "cliff" and back to Clinton-era tax levels because we need to pay for both the wars we voters allowed to go forward and for the benefits like great health care, quality education, social security and the modern infrastructure we all want as Americans; but while also re-regulating our banks and the financial casinos we've created through hedge funds, derivatives, credit default swaps, tax free foreign safe harbors for corporate profits and the other "funny money porn" which deregulation has allowed to develop over the past 20 years; and,
6. for getting the states and the federal government out of our bedrooms, far away from our love lives and our bodies; and,
7. for respecting religious and nonreligious diversity while not legislatively promoting private beliefs and private behaviors; and,
8. for acknowledging that effective government requires an informed populace and proposing better, cheaper and less corrupting ways than just cyclical elections to involve citizens in their democracy; and,
9. for acknowledging that lifelong learning is for everyone, not just laid-off factory workers; and,
10. for each of us to fill in what personal commitment we can make in 2013 to make the above 9 hopes a reality....
Happy New Year!