Monday, June 21, 2004

Ok, a real post now. I came across this article when I was flying out to see Makigirl last week. Here's Wayne Biddle from the May 2004 issue of Harpers (not online) talking about the FY 2005 defense spending authorization legislation:

"It might be of interest that the 2005 defense bill contains $341 million for work on the B-2 Stealth bmber, which was developed twenty years ago to drop H-bombs on Moscow; $4.7 billion for the next generation F-22 "Raptor" jet fighter which will enhance the superiority of American warplanes in the skies where they have not been challenged in the least bit by any existing or potential rival for a generation; $1.75 billion for the V-22 "Osprey" tilt-rotor aircraft that has slaughtered its test crews for decades; $2.6 billion for the new Virginia-class attack submarine that has no foe whatsoever; and $10.2 billion for "Star Wars" anti-missile defense that, well, requires no reason at all by now. These programs alone total nearly $20 billion, about the level of Havrard Univerisity's endowment and greater than the GNP of most nations. There will be little or nothing said about these programs as the budget wends its way through Congress for enactment next fall."

This type of poor governance is what pushes us into the false dichotomy of "Hubble or Mars". The fact that defense spending is not openly criticized, but hastily and quietly approved under the cover of "strong on terrorism", is what keeps us from rising to our true potential as a country. We're allowed and encouraged to question the necessity of public education and anti-poverty programs, but question this military spending, and you're suddenly soft on terroism or communism, or whatever. When people get around to learning some math and truely questioning where their money goes in their own government, then maybe we'll get somewhere.



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