Monday, March 15, 2004

War on Drugs

A statement by Mary Alice Herbert, Socialist Party Candidate for Vice President of the United States

15 March 2004

As socialists, we should not be drawn into supporting any aspect of the war on drugs--especially any attempt to further militarize our borders. A heightened military or police presence increases racial profiling and intimidation and does little to prevent the flow of drugs. Our prisons reflect the racism of our legal system because, while 85% of drug offenders are white and 15% people of color, 15% of those imprisoned on drug charges are white and 85% are people of color.

This is not really a war on drugs but a war on people. If decreasing drug use in the U S were really the goal, why aren't prevention and rehabilitation programs sufficiently funded? Why isn't addiction treated as a medical problem instead of a crime? Our socialist goals of eliminating poverty and creating meaningful work and space in society for everyone would be the most effective way to eliminate drug use. The need many in capitalist society feel for an escape from the grind of life and the lure of money fuel the drug economy...

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Sunday, March 14, 2004

No Child Left Behind

A statement by Mary Alice Herbert, Socialist Party Candidate for Vice President of the United States

14 March 2004

One of the goals of the Socialist Party-USA is providing free high quality public education from pre-school through college. We understand that it takes well-educated citizens to carry on the participatory democracy from below that we advocate. The Bush administration's top-down mandates for local schools, with their reliance on standardized tests are in opposition to the democratic student-centered classrooms we envision. No funds are allocated for school repairs or new construction, for adding teachers so that class sizes can be reduced, or, perhaps most importantly of all, to reduce or eliminate poverty.

We must seriously oppose the cruelly misnamed "No Child Left Behind" initiative, otherwise known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The stated goals are that every student will make "Adequate Yearly Progress". For the students this involves yearly standardized testing and for the participating schools must show progress in 39 different areas. One of these is a low to zero dropout rate. The model for this national plan is the education system of Texas implemented there while Bush was governor...

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Monday, March 1, 2004

Reproductive Choice

A statement by Mary Alice Herbert, Socialist Party Candidate for Vice President of the United States

01 March 2004

As a feminist and a socialist, I regard government regulation of women's reproductive lives as a last stand of the male chauvinism inherent in the corporate capitalist system we live under. The idea that women can not be trusted with these decisions would have no place in a democratic socialist society. Gender equity won't be achieved until women have control over their own bodies and the societal support they need for the choices they make.

We feminists are not "pro-abortion", but when women are denied information, access to birth control or are the victims of male violence, we believe they have the right to end an unwanted pregnancy...

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