May our differences unite,
not separate us

     

Peace Today

Compare the Candidates

Why vote for me and not one of the better known candidates who are better funded and, at least on that basis, have arguably a better chance of winning? Here are some reasons.

General

1. I've had the opportunity to delve into the workings of today's war machine with extensive reading not conspiracy theorists, but respected sources like Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson and Ambassador Chas. Freeman. If people knew what's really going on with the wars, they'd be in the streets demanding a new government! It's worse than you imagine. Our government is completely out of control invading countries and causing death and destruction on a massive scale for the sake of banks, oil, and corporations. It is insanely evil and it's our duty as human beings and citizens to take action to stop it. This immediate moral and humanitarian need takes precedence over all other policy issues, including health care and immigration.

2. Ask yourself: what how would Martin Luther King vote in the present election? Would he vote for one of the other 8 candidates -- who merely offer standard rhetoric on hot-button issues? Or a candidate who is taking a stand on the one issue that rises above the rest in importance, and on which there can by no room for doubt: it is our moral obligation to stop, or if not stop then to at least resist, unjust and massively harmful wars.

3. The Establishment is intentionally raising contentious issues to distract and divide the American public -- with the express aim of maintaining its control over us. If there were a real will among Washington politicians, for example, to solve immigration, they could. But the agenda is to keep us distracted and angry, and meanwhile the corporate wars rage on. It's okay that Americans have different views on things like health care and minimum wage. But we can and must all join together on the issues that really count -- and nothing today counts more than stopping war.

4. You are responsible for the actions of officials you vote for. If you vote against war, then your name isn't on the bombs that are being dropped on innocent people.

5. Even as a single indvidual, staunchly committed, I could make an impact ('A person armed with Truth is a majority.') But as there are several current antiwar members of Congress (e.g., Barbara Lee), I could work with them for even greater effect.

6. On every substantive issue, my platform is at least as strong (and arguably stronger) as those of my Democrat and Republican opponents.

7. Ask yourself: do I really want just another 'warm body' in Congress, who will vote as the party bosses dictate? Or would I rather have an accomplished and creative thinker, who is equipped to offer leadership in solving the difficult social and ideological issues our country faces today? I have demonstrated my proficiency as an original thinker on a variety of topics, and have authored over 200 articles on subjects ranging from sociology and political science to Plato. When you hire someone at work, you look for the most skilled person you can find. Why approach choosing your Representative any differently?

Democrats

Salud Carbajal wants to make college education more available. He has no experience in the field, merely wants to throw money at the problem (e.g., an expanded Pell Grant program), and doesn't understand that more basic structural changes are needed. On the other hand, I'm both a former university professor, and have also founded the advocacy group Californians for Higher Education Reform to fight for lower tuition and better treatment of students. I've taken the lead in documenting tuition hyperinflation in the UC and CalState systems. I've also outlined steps to cut tuition in half, making college education more available to everyone. To begin with, we need to eliminate undergraduate student loans -- which are a racket by which universities have been able to raise tuitions arbitrarily, with students borrowing to pay whatever they charge. I offer radical but realistic solutions, as opposed to Carbajal's naive belief that we should simply expand the broken status quo.

The same is true for health care. I have 25 years' experience in health research. I follow the scientific and technical literature, and know that what we need today is more emphasis on prevention, research on personalized medicine, and more patient involvement in treatment. Experts agree that these things can reduce health care costs by as much as 50%, making treatment more available to all.

Helene Schneider has a fairly conventional progressive platform. She is strong on women's right to choose, and protecting the environment. While I by no means encourage abortion from the moral standpoint, I also believe that no credible theory of government can give the state the authority to require that a woman carry a fetus against her will. A 'right to life' of a fetus cannot abrogate the woman's right to authority over her body. (Consider, for example, that the government could never require one to donate a kidney to another person, even if that would save the other person's life.)

Not only is my commitment to the environment at least as strong as Schneider's, but I can back this up with my scientific background. For example, I agree that the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is inherently risky, and needs to be phased out as soon as possible. As a statistician, I've spoken with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and have verified that they don't actually have reliable estimates of the probability of an accident there. They like people to think the odds of an accident are like one in a million, but they're not. Looking into the scientific literature, and also performing my own calculations, it appears that the statistical risk of a serious accident happening at Diablo Canyon, if it operates another 20 years, could be as high as one chance in 200. Considering the vast negative consequences of such an accident, that degree of risk is simply too high.

Schneider is for diversity, I'm for diversity.

Helene's unconditional support of Israel is worrisome. I believe the best way we can support Israel is to help them formulate more moderate policies toward the Palestinians.

She's been silent on the war issue. Why? To not denounce unjust war is to permit it to continue.

Bill Ostrander's special interests are climate change and campaign finance reform. For climate change he advocates changes in farming practices; I believe that's good, but there is an even more urgent need to help other countries stop deforestation (currently an area the size of Great Britain is deforested each year!) On this issue, then, we are about equal.

Bill wants to use public money for campaigns and to reverse Citizen's United. I believe these steps fail to address more basic systemic problems. Political parties would still find ways to abuse laws, and would still campaign irresponsibly (with attack ads, etc). I believe we should start by banning television political ads completely; they degrade elections by trying to influence voters with emotion over reason, and are obsolete anyway in the internet age. On this issue, then, we're again about equal.

But Ostrander says nothing about the wars.

Republicans

Katcho Achadjian is a nice guy -- everyone agrees on that. But being a nice guy doesn't mean someone is qualified to represent you in Congress. At the level of issues and ideas, Katcho is weak. He's more or less who conservatives vote for to avoid electing a Democrat, and not much more. Frankly, he seems to think he's running for Godfather, as though the point of being a Representative is to do a lot of special favors, rather than to get involved in difficult and complex national policy issues that have a huge effect on the present and future of our country.

On the other hand, I have clear and well thought-out positions based on a solid knowledge of the Constitution and US History. Ask Katcho if he's read the Federalist Papers or the writings of Thomas Jefferson. I have. That makes a difference.

As a independent green/libertarian I'm for decentralized government -- state and county level -- and I distrust the federal government. I support Second Amendment rights for that reason.

I'm for low taxes too -- a flat tax.

But I'm speaking out against the wars for profit that are ruining our country. Why isn't Katcho?

Justin Fareed is still young, and his vision at present is pretty vague (like "offering 21st Century solutions" -- what does that actually mean). He seems to represent the same traditional Republican views that even conservatives (e.g., Trump fans) today are rejecting.

Others

As for Steve Isakson, Matt Kokkonen and Benjamin Lucas, I may add more, but for now would leave it with saying it's hard to see them really going to Congress and operating effectively in that environment.

Last updated May 29; not yet edited.


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