Friday, 3/8/13, Public Square

defense budgets


by | March 8, 2013 · 6:00 am

24 responses to “Friday, 3/8/13, Public Square

  1. We pay a lot to defend ourselves from one another.

    I’ve always thought we’re all probably more the same than we’re allowed to discover easily. I feel that around our world there are may families living in fear. I read a short piece about Camden, NJ this morning. That small city near Philadelphia was called the poorest in the nation. The piece talked about children who don’t get to go outside to play because it’s too dangerous, in the middle of the day… Last year was the bloodiest in Camden’s history; the city of just 77,000 had 67 homicides. On average someone was shot every 33 hours. And even if a family chanced the danger of the streets to walk away they can’t scrape together enough funds to leave.

    In America. As in war-tern countries, as in third world countries, as in places where the entire day is spent walking many miles for a bucket of water.

    Yet we spend a lot to defend ourselves from one another.

  2. Has everyone read the recently released reports of the wasteful spending of the recent wars?

    The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan found that up to $60 billion in US war funds were lost due to waste, fraud, and abuse. One report found that one in every six contracting and grant dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan has been wasted.

    Yet, all across the world, including in America, there are human beings who aren’t safe for all kinds of reasons that war does nothing to change.

  3. rick liebst

    Now there is a debate about defending ourselves against ourselves! The subject of the use of drones within the United States. The principle of the use of drones is the use in areas where to send in ground troops to handle the situation. Would involve too many dangers and hardships, that would mean the lost of life and extreme actions such as an invasion.

    But is that the case within the United States? To think that there would be a necessity of the use of a unmanned and unthinking devise. To take out a perceived threat to the good of the country within the very country that is being defended. In the country that is thought to be the right and just? Kind of like the ole saying, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

    • Have you been reading all the articles about the growing groups of well-armed Americans who want to overthrow our government? They sound far more dangerous to me than so-called terrorists in other countries. I think you’re right that the enemy is us.

      The drone program needs to be well regulated, just as guns need to be well regulated. Neither our government nor American citizens should be able to go on killing sprees. I try to imagine how I would feel if Cheney were in charge and I know I would not trust him to make good decisions. So let’s push for good control of violent weapons.

      • indypendent

        Hell – we do not even have the political will – or the moral will? – to regulate guns in this country.

        But the sad part is – is usually these Fundy Christian Evangelinuts who are leading the charge against gun regulations.

      • rick liebst

        How true, I went through a period I thought that everyone was against me.
        But it was because I did not understand what had happen to me and thinngs did not make sense to me. I did have the excuse of having a brain injury from the heart attack. But unless a large number have suffered brain damage how could it be explainned an entire group being that delusional?

      • indypendent

        In the case of these Far Right Wingers – I suspect they are a bunch of fear-filled folks who have been stoked and primed 24/7 by those on Hate Talk Radio and Foxxies in the Hen House to hate anyone who does not look exactly like them and who do not worship God the exact same way they do.

        And the threat of losing your immortal soul (like these preachers do) is a very big factor in how to control any group of peoples’ actions.

        Fear and a lack of education makes the people sheeple but those who are making millions of the manipulation of these people know exactly what they are doing…..and they are the most dangerous ones to watch out for.

  4. This is a blog post about being a woman, being a parent, having choices about reproductive rights, it even speaks to the age-old legacy of sexual shame. I tried to find a -snip- to maybe interest you in reading this short one page story. I couldn’t take a -snip- out because it all flows and each part leads to the next part which all together makes the story. It’s a personal story and it would surprise me a lot if everyone who reads it doesn’t identify with at least a part of it.

    • (From the story [blog post] linked above): As I said to my gay friend last election cycle: “Jesus, Sergio, we’re going to figure out this gay thing before we figure out if I have control over my own uterus!”

      I don’t think the fight for civil rights for the LGBT community has been easy or fast. I do think we’re seeing progress finally after years of persecution, years of heartache for many. Lives were put on hold and damaged irreparably. People died in this effort! Others lived through times of misery when they thought death might have been more humane.

      The question I have is: If there are new laws giving new rights and even if those new laws seemed to offer equality, would that be true? Would it be lasting? We know the victories of civil rights for blacks and women’s rights have been empty victories, temporary at best. We know the battles we thought had been fought and won and decided and made law need to be fought all over again. There are republicans in our world. They don’t quit fighting in their efforts to make many of us second class citizens.

      • indypendent

        As long as those who oppose gay rights use the argument that gays are demanding ‘special rights’ – that does not help the ability to even sit down and discuss what changes/policies are needed.

        There are many Repbublicans/Christians/Catholics that I know who always say – why should gays get special rights?

        And the gay marriage issue is not about a special right – it is equal rights.

        Until – and unless – that part of the opposition to gay rights argument is eliminated from any debate – nothing will be changed – IMHO

        And – really – I can understand why people do not want to give special rights to one certain group – I would not like that either.

        But – that’s the problem – huh? Not all groups are given equal rights – so when those who are demanding equal rights are then labeled as those who only want special rights – of course there will be opposition.,

      • indypendent

        What I find laughable and pathetic is watching these White Republican Male Fundy Christians actually try to say their are being persecuted…

        Seriously, dude, in America ?

  5. The second chart does make the first one look less scary.

    The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever Isn’t Scary Enough

  6. indypendent

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the graphic of military budgets – my grandpa warned us (he died in 1971) that all this talk about the Russians being Communist and coming to get us was hogwash. The real threat to America is China.

    But – apparently – their military budget is smaller than ours…..But China has more power than just miliatry – they have money……….

    and the USA seems to have a problem not knowing how to spend our money wisely?

    But……..things could be worse……we could have Mitt Romney in the White House and he would have added $4 trillion to that military budget and those GOP Yapping Dogs we see today demonizing Obama for too much spending would be applauding and high-fivng good ol’ Mittster.

    Didn’t Cheney say that Reagan proved deficits don’t matter?

    IIRC – Reagan’s biggest blowout of the budget was on the military?

    ST. Ronnie Raygun……Now there was a real weenie..

  7. indypendent

    I have mixed feelings about this drone policy. If we know there are terrorist groups within America and they are about to strike – are we supposed to just assume there is an American citizen with them – so we cannot do anything?

    Once these terrorists learn that our policy is not to strike if there is an American with them – what do you think this group will do from now on – do you get think they’ll get some stupid American to go along with them or maybe kidnap an American so then our president cannot legally go after this group before they strike?

    When Rand Paul talked about someone’s cafe experience should not be threatened because the president has the power to use drones…

    That is like saying the president is watching our every move – at every moment o the day – and all I can say is – WOW , that must be some sophisticated surveillance equipment to be doing that.

    And to think – he was only a ‘community organizer’ that could not do anything….but now he has all this power???

    I have lost loved ones to the Vietnam War – if the use of drones could have prevented any one of those deaths – Oh Hell Yes I would approve of the use of drones.

    • I don’t expect to know enough to have an accurate opinion on drone warfare. I expect people with greater expertise and knowledge to make the decisions. I’m not trained in law enforcement, definitely not in military maneuvers, and (as should be) I’m not privy to the affairs of national security. I also don’t expect anyone to respect the opinions of a person (me!) who thinks hugs all around and mutual respect for all humanity is sufficient. 🙂

      • indypendent

        I’m with you fnord – I don’t know enough enough about how these things works -but we also don’t know everything that is going on around the world (and the president and his staff do know things)

        And I agree wtih you – the general public does not have the right to know everything that the president is privy to…

        That’s where our votes count the most – we need to make sure we are putting people into power that are not Bat-Crap Crazy…

    • rick liebst

      What bothers me it the thought of there would be no need to look the thought of enemy in the eye. There would be nothing personal about killing the enemy…. No humanity if you would say to killing. It would take the idea to the level of a video game. Once done you could simply turn off the game system and move on. Killing another human being should never be an easy thing.

      • indypendent

        I’m with you there…Rick. We often don’t think of the consequences of our actions today.

        Just like my current situation with my house – our FHA loan was approved to buy my house in 2009 but I was just told by an appraiser two days ago that this house should have never passed FHA requiremetns due to obvious code violations – which the appraiser acknowledged were pre-existing. We were totally shocked when he told us these things.

        This current appraiser told us that we got a bad appraisal in 2009.

        Which is well and good for the sellers – huh? But now in 2013, we either have to pay to bring the house up to code (which is something the Sellers should have done in 2009) or only market the house to cash or conventional loan buyers.

        Yeah – good luck on that one….huh?

        I remember our realtor telling us that the sellers did not want to go FHA but their realtor told them that they had to take FHA in order to sell the house faster. Hmmm….do you think they found just the right appraiser to make that happen?

        Hey – these were the same sellers that took a sump pump from the crawlspace and we did not realize it until the first bad rains came and we had water seeping through the basement walls.

        I swear to God – we saw a sump pump when we looked into the crawl space when we looked at the house and made the deal. I remember thinking on our final walk-through before closing that the door to the crawl space was covered up.

        Now I know why…..

        But…….back to my original thought – the actions people take today have lasting consequences years down the road….

        Which is why….this drone policy needs to be investigated and regulated on a daily basis – if needed.

        Checks and balances of power – isn’t that what we thought our government was based on?

  8. indypendent

    Each time I log into this thread, I look at that graphic on how much money we spend on our mililtary .

    I just have to ask – if we are so exceptional because God has blessed his favorite/chosen people – then why do we feel the need to way-outspend all the other countries on the planet?

    Do we not have enough faith in our God to protect us? Or are we those dog and pony church people that justify being bullies by claiming that God likes us best?

    • I think it is obscene!

      • indypendent

        What is more obscene is that Mitt Romney actually ran on the proposal to add an addition $4 trillion to the military budget…

        And not one peep of outrage about that massive federal spending from the CONS – huh?

  9. An interesting map which shows the top 100 metro areas with government and military workers as a percentage of total employment, 2012. Do you think the DC area is in the number one position? You can zoom in or out.