Letters to the Editor
When the Bush administration came into office it inherited a $284 billion budget surplus. Today the national debt is close to $9 trillion ” and counting!
This week, Congress held hearings on the Homeland Security and Defense Department’s disgraceful lack of fiscal accountability. The Department of Defense is on the carpet for accounting discrepancies totaling $94 billion. Six billion of this amount is under criminal investigation. Seems our faithful contractors in Iraq have been dipping deeply into the taxpayers’ pockets.
Bush’s proposed defense funding, if passed, will bring 2008 war spending to nearly $190 billion. This will become the largest single-year total for the Afghan/Iraq wars, an increase of 15 percent over 2007. Meanwhile, the saber-rattling against Iran (the one country in the region with a viable grass roots movement for democracy) grows ever louder.
Is anyone else afraid ” and angry? Why would we give more money to a spendthrift department which cannot even account for itself now? While Congress mouths, “End the war,” it is poised to embolden Bush, who now holds the power to declare war without congressional sanction, to make an even more reckless move. This time he threatens aggression toward Iran, a country far more dangerous than Iraq. And this with an exhausted and depleted force.
Can we afford to extend the travesty in Iraq or, worse yet, another war? I call on citizens to contact our Senators and demand that they limit “defense” spending, disabling the insane spree which is bankrupting this country both morally and economically. While they’re at it, they should rescind the president’s power to declare war on his/her own, something the Constitution never intended.
This does not mean we don’t support our beleaguered troops. It means we care for them by ending the slaughter and bringing them home to recover and rejoin their families.
In regards to Mark Talbott’s letter of Sept. 27, I agree that you can control external behavior with legislation. But that’s the only thing I agree about with Mark.
The “war on drugs” that Nixon started when he spawned the D.E.A. has definitely negatively affected the behavior of millions of U.S. citizens. It has turned nonviolent, taxpaying family members who smoke a little harmless reefer, into felons who cost us $50 thousand per year to imprison, so we can turn over well-rounded criminals upon society.
Drug laws create the black market that inherently begets violence in our communities. They make manufacture and distribution profitable, while making the prison industry prosperous. People like Mark, who want everyone strictly regulated, are putting the guns in the hands of those gang-banging punks.
If the threat of losing one’s job, home, health, family and ultimately one’s life, doesn’t deter people, what chance does inane, counterproductive morality legislation have? If drug addiction is a sickness, why don’t we build hospitals instead of prisons?
The war was always doomed to failure, because it is a war that we wage on ourselves.
My boss just came to me with a fantastic idea. Instead of having to deal with the beautiful animal known as the bear every year, why don’t we feed them? Isn’t there a way to plant berries, fruit trees, etc., in the higher country away from our towns? If we feed them in their natural habitat (excluding our homes), they might be less prone to come into our towns to eat.
I’m sure that plenty of money could be raised by donations to buy these plants. My boss said he would be the first to donate. Of course, volunteers would be needed to go into the high country to do the planting. These plants would take a few years to totally mature, but it would be better than doing nothing to help them out.
If you are a very organized person and are willing to spend the time and effort to organize this project, you have my employer’s support, and I’m sure many others would come forward to help also.
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