Thursday, January 24, 2008

We're Getting Hosed, Folks

Here's a list of the world's top 10 military spenders and the approximate amounts each country currently budgets for its military establishment:

1. United States (FY08 budget), $623 billion
2. China (2004), $65 billion
3. Russia, $50 billion
4. France (2005), $45 billion
5. Japan (2007), $41.75 billion
6. Germany (2003), $35.1 billion
7. Italy (2003), $28.2 billion
8. South Korea (2003), $21.1 billion
9. India (2005 est.), $19 billion
10. Saudi Arabia (2005 est.), $18 billion

We spend about ten times as much on military expenditures than our closest competitor in this regard, and we spend more than the nine other leaders in military spending *combined* -- by a long shot. This, of course, is utterly fucking ridiculous. Folks, we don't need to spend this much. Did you know that we could solve *all* our financial problems in this country with that money, including health care, social security, education, etc., by a long shot, if we chose to spend the money now allocated to military spending on the former tasks instead? We're getting hosed, folks. The only people profiting are the weapons-building corporations who lobby their asses of for our tax money to pay for their "products".

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Game

A few days ago my buddies son, who's about 18 months, came up to me holding a toy gun making shooting noises. I grab my stomach and yell, "Ahhh you got me!" and fall to ground. He laughs and laughs. He's a cute little guy and normally I never thought about it, but do we treat death as if it were a game? I work a frew hours a week in a video game store and some of the most popular games are very violent. Even the cartoonish games involve you going around and killing other people or beings (ie. Legend Of Zelda, Mario Brothers, etc.). I remember getting together with the youthgroup kids I worked with almost on a daily basis and having Halo parties where the object of the game track down your oponents and kill them either with grenades, a rocket launcher, various guns or even a well placed hit to the back of the head. We'd cheer like crazy as bodies went flying. And I wonder, "Am I too desensitized to violence?"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What's Going On?

I realize that I have not posted here in a loooong time. Many months ago you guys asked me to explain my feelings on the war and how I got there since I was admittedly so wishy-washy on the subject. As much as I hate to say it I haven't given it much thought. In fact, I haven't been giving the war in Iraq much thought. Which makes me wonder if in our world of sensory overload have I finally become desensitized to this whole thought of evil and harm and destruction? As a Christian I am supposed to show compassion to those in need, pray for peace, protect the weak, etc. I see myself getting more tired and bored of the usual arguments I hear on TV day in and day out. Dems think we should leave which means all the work done so far will go to crap. The Reps want to stay which means more violence in the long run. And I am left thinking, "Is this even our problem anymore? Let's just build our fence, become more self reliant, and move on." I know that is not the answer either.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

protest yesterday

I totally should have annouced it on here, but there were BIG protests yesterday against the War in Iraq and the inevitable War in Iran. I think they were held in like 8 cities in the US. It was amazing. 30,000 people marching down Market Street in San Francisco, chanting, singing, shouting....all peacefully. There were amazing speakers there too. I had never met a mother of a killed soldier in Iraq before, and it was so moving. I could just see her on that day when the soldiers came to her door to tell her that her son was dead. Cindy Sheehan was there and that was cool. She did a good job of encouraging everyone.

But there was relatively no news coverage in the major news sources (surprised?). We need to take a bigger stand especially now since the government is planning a war with Iran and they wont give two shits if 50,000 people protest, because the other 260 million people in the US are supporting them through their silence.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Genocide: it's not a moral issue, it's a political one!

White House: Genocide resolution would hurt relations with key ally

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush and key figures in his administration lobbied hard Wednesday against a House resolution that labels the killings of Armenians in Turkey during World War I as "genocide." President Bush urges the House not to pass a resolution he says would harm U.S. relations with Turkey.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/10/us.turkey.armenians/index.html


I am no Armenian historian, so perhaps there is substantive ambiguity over what happened during WWI. However, given what I have read to date, reported events from that time period give every indication that an Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks did indeed take place.

Yet today the Bush administration is urging the House not to pass a resolution acknowledging what happened. This is completely reminiscent of the bumbling and avoidance of the term 'genocide' of the Clinton administration during the Rwandan genocide. It is also completely consistent with the lackadaisical effort the west has made to stop the genocide in Sudan.

In short, if politicians' political ends are not advanced by calling out even obvious and egregious evils, they will cower and avoid doing so, thus belying their total lack of moral backbone.

How depressing.