17 December 2008

Guns vs. Butter

Here we are again, the same old question. We can borrow trillions of dollars from foreign nations and risk thousands upon thousands of the lives of our young people in pursuit of an illegal, un-winnable, and absurd war, but when Sen. Clinton proposes universal healthcare, or Pres-Elect Obama proposes rebuilding our failing infrastructure or fixing the toilets in our elementary schools so the kids don't risk epidemic disease going to public schools in the supposed richest country on earth, the republicans shout, "Oh, heavens no! We can't. The Economy!!!!"

So, Desi, 'splain it to me, please. Why is it good for the economy to dig a hole (war) and fill it up (with the body and bones of civilian people who we've murdered) but it is not good for the economy to build houses for the homeless, provide in-home assistance for the disabled and elderly, educate, really educate our children so they can think and make reasoned judgments, as the framers of the Constitution hoped for, rebuild our failing bridges, solve our energy problems, and otherwise strengthen our people and our physical plant in this country. I mean, here's a thought. Drug treatment and job therapy for people instead of prison?

If you want to make yourself entirely nuts on the subject, may I suggest http://armscontrolcenter.org/? But this is not rocket science. There are 80 billion, that's billion with a "b" (which rhymes with a "p" and that stands for pool, friends, trouble, folks, we got trouble...) there are 80 billion landmines in the world. The majority of which we built, bought and planted. Can we grow a good tomato? Not so much. But we can plant a landmine that will blow the legs off a small child playing soccer in a field next to the school in their village in virtually anywhere in the second or third world, thanks to the United States. If you want to help, http://www.banminesusa.org/, in honor of her Royal Highness, Diana, Princess of Wales, Tender of the True Flame, etc.

Change? Change would be from guns to butter (not that butter is all that great for us, either! I've long said forget oil. It's when we run out of sugar that this country will screech to a stone halt). Schools. Real education. Drug treatment for aging homeless Vietnam Veterans. Hey, there's an idea. Health care for everyone, including the vets of Iraq and Afghanistan. Shall I go on? I could list a thousand things we could do with this money before I spend the money we give out to Dig Hole Fill with Bones, Inc. every year. As Dr. Helen Caldicott has shown until she is blue pink and purple in the face, there's plenty of money to do the things we should be doing. We just have to quit making our economy run on fear. Prisons. War. Police. Oh, and get me started about the police. If your car gets stolen, you will receive a telephone call from the police three, maybe four days hence. If you park your car illegally, however, it will be three, maybe four minutes hence that they ticket you. And, as happened recently to one friend who sassed the cop for this very thing, you will lose your license for a month for fighting with a meter maid.

Am I ranting? Oh, I daresay. But I promise, if someone could please tell me what the difference is, why doing useful, helpful, important things is "bad" and evil insane immoral things is "good" for the economy, I'll shut up about it. Why oh why is it good for the economy to murder innocent people and squander our resources, but bad for the economy to rebuild our schools, factories, homes, small businesses? Can anybody anybody out there please clue me in on this?

<[p>And just a note. ANOTHER thing I was very disappointed in President Clinton about, refusing to sign the landmines ban. If you want more info about that, http://www.commondreams.org/views02/1021-04.htm. Somehow, I suspect he thinks there's a moral offset because he's working on global AIDS. Nope. Not in my book. He let us down by not keeping his pants zipped when he knew the neocons were after any little thing, and he let us down by refusing to sign the landmines ban.

Note: My ole pal Kathy Reilley figured out the reason Adsense keeps sending me Wal-Mart and Sam's Club ads (neither of which I shop at or endorse): They sell both guns AND butter! Of course!


Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Mugsy,

Ah yes . . . "The richest country on earth." Sort of. On the surface. But you and I know that the surface of things don't mean squat! In terms of per capita Gross National Product, I suppose you can call us "the richest," but our economy . . . well, you already know what story THAT tells. And it AIN'T pretty or rich.

The war. "What is it good for? . . . Nothin'!" And as you also know, it is one of the many entanglements that have helped push us over the edge into our current mess--and that AIN'T pretty or rich either.

IEDs. There are some working to better detect and remove those from the planet. But, yeah, it's crazier than a shithouse rat that they are there in the first place. We just make messes that we have to go back and clean up. Problem is, once we go back to clean up the mess we left, the mess we left has multiplied exponentially.

The answer to your question? The heart of a great body of people has grown cold. We have become a world of reactionaries. "We," collectively as the human race, stopped thinking about the consequences of our actions a long, long time ago. . . . "So bye-bye, miss american pie . . . drove my chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry . . ."

Anonymous said...

It is a mystery. In fact, there is a huge black box in the Pentagon budget that most members of Congress are not cleared to know what it is.

There are many things President Clinton did that disappointed me. I sadly removed the bumper sticker shortly into his second term. His ending welfare as we knew it was fine during the boom, sort of, but now that we are busting, we are seeing families with children sleeping on the street. Have you checked the temperature lately? There is more, but his zipper was the least of the disappointments. Not delivering on health care or coming up with a strategy to get a Congress elected he would work with were much bigger.

How can I vote for YOU, Mugsy? You know what needs to be said, you just need to be saying it in the Senate. Well maybe you have better things to do. Which I do understand. I just wish I could hear your voice coming out of any of the 100. Maybe you could freelance speeches?

Elizabeth Bennett

Mugsy Peabody said...

Ah, Elizabeth, you are sweet. My buddy Bonnie was bemoaning the fact tonight that representative government is a failure because of how easy it is to lobby/influence/buy off our representatives (among other things). But of course Plato was right, it's a cycle, and we're well past the time of the people standing up. I'd freelance speeches, sure. Know anyone who is hiring?

mary lou said...

people call obama a socialist as if that were a bad thing. i wish he were.

elizabeth, it is good to see comments from you again. same to mugsy.