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!