I came home from the El Paso County Lincoln Day Dinner and told my wife, who didn't attend, that Dick Wadhams had told the crowd that Mark Udall had been a co-sponsor of a bill with Dennis Kucinich to establish a Cabinet level "Department of Peace!"
She told me that the story was so wild that I had best do some research before I wrote about it.
These folks have thought this thing out thoroughly, what with a "Peace" academy located in San Francisco and all. The school song will be "Puff, the Magic Dragon. The school flower will be the marijuana leaf. The mascot will be the Prebles Jumping Mouse.
It will have its own versions of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, one based on the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkeys, and another regarding student possession and use of bongs. The recent Supreme Court ruling notwithstanding, students will get higher grades if they wear "Bong 4 Peace" armbands.
The first academy superintendant will be Admiral Ward Churchill.
Football is far too violent for a peace academy, so when it "plays" the other academies for the Commander in Chief's trophy, it will simply forfeit.
Fatigue uniforms will be pink camouflage. Dress uniforms will be two toned similar to the Army's Dress Blue Uniform except that it will have light yellow trousers with a slightly darker yellow jacket. Where the Army Dress Blues has a cavalry yellow band sewn on the outside of each leg, the Peace service will have a florescent yellow stripe sewn up the back of its jacket, inside and out. Because of its emphasis on recycling, the expectation is that officers, upon resignation or retirement, can wear their uniforms and act as flagmen during road construction. Cynics have already observed that their education will best qualify them for that occupation.
Where other services call out "Bou yaah" and "Garry Owen" when saluting, Peace officers will simply say "chirrrp," answered by "tweet-tweet."
Of course we are having fun with this parody at Mark Udall's expense, but he is serious:
There aren't ten honorably discharged veterans in the state who will vote for Mark Udall when they learn of this flight of fantasy. He can take as many photos with soldiers as he likes, but it won't help.
The secretary of the Department of Peace also would develop a peace education curriculum to include the civil rights movement in the United States, how peace agreements have worked to stop conflict and to work with teachers to help students work on peace through reflection and conflict resolutions.
A highlight of that would be a Peace Academy, which would provide a four-year course of instruction in peace education, after which graduates would be required to serve five years in public service in domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution programs...
The department would be responsible for developing policies that address domestic violence, child abuse and mistreatment of the elderly, create new policies to reduce drug and alcohol abuse, protect animals from violence, develop new approaches to deal with gun-related violence and develop programs that address school violence, gangs and racial violence and violence against gays and lesbians...
Methods would include mediation, nonviolent intervention and encouraging communities, religious groups and nongovernmental organizations to develop initiatives.