Ideas


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Iraq and Afghanistan war spending and homeland security have comprised more than 25% of the Government debt increase since 2001.
Why?
We are covering the cost of the wars with borrowing.
Remember those Bush Tax Cuts? Yup.
George W slashed taxes in 2001 and 2003. And when government revenue is choked off while undertaking two new wars funded by borrowing, debt will pile on fast.

And where is the money going? Well…
The Pentagon has not once produced a clean financial audit since government auditing began twenty years ago. And from what we do know through congressional investigations it is estimated that 25% of wartime contractors is wasted or misspent.

On September 18th of 2011, Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote in the LA Times an essay titled “A Costly War Machine.” There they write,
“The invasion of Iraq and the resulting instability in the Persian Gulf were among the factors that pushed oil prices up from about $30 a barrel in 2003 to historic highs five years later…Higher oil prices threatened to depress U.S. economic activity, prompting the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates and loosen regulations. These policies were major contributors to the housing bubble and the financial collapse that followed.”

There are costs of war beyond any monetary evaluation. The human costs bore by our military service members and their families are great and as a nation and as individuals we must hold dear the honor and memory of each member of our Armed Forces that have given their lives.
Currently, an average of 18 veterans commit suicide every day and every month 1,000 veterans attempt suicide.
Since 2002 an estimated 200,000 service members have sustained traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Over 12 percent of veterans deployed after 2001 are currently unemployed.

Since 2001, at least 20% of the US’ soldiers experience the symptoms of PTSD.
These symptoms include insomnia, depression, and bouts of rage.
Although women are twice as likely as men to develop combat related PTSD, currently that are less likely to seek medical treatment for it.

The face of the US’ human toll in war is often that of the soldiers but the repercussions of service in the armed forces also dramatically affects the veterans’ families.
Research suggests that children of service members are at higher risk of behavioral disorders, violent aggression, and learning disabilities.
The spouses of military service members are as adversely affected by drug and alcohol abuse as the veterans themselves.
The marriages of service members are twice as likely as their civilian peers to end in divorce.
Domestic violence surfaces in the relationships of veterans and their partners four times as often as their civilian peers.

As a nation, we have the power to choose how we conduct ourselves in the world.
We have the power to vote for political leadership who are committed to ending the US’ pattern of violent incursions around the world.
We have the power to demand from our leaders and corporations that war profiteering be made illegal.
We have the power to demand of our government that the VA be well funded and effectively run to ensure the best possible treatment of all our service members.
We can motivate and lead within our communities of faith to serve the veteran population.
We can tell our elected officials that we desire our taxes to support better lives for those at home in the US and those abroad.

*I want to recognize that this post does not include the costs to the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere due to US military violence. The lives, cultures, and well being of all people are important and I sought to focus this post on the US perspective.
Challenges met by some in our Armed Forces–and source for some of this post’s information:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/veterans-challenges/

How the US’ militarism is damaging our nation’s economy and quality of life–and source for this post:
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/18/opinion/la-oe–bilmes-war-cost-20110918
By Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz
Veteran and Families
http://www.veteransandfamilies.org/home.html

Veterans For Peace
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

 

Parents, I feel your pain.
Yes, we now live in a surveillance society.
Just when we thought we could be as emotionally and physically abusive as we wanted to be in the safety of our own homes,
the Internet shows up and ruins all the fun.
Dammit!

Take as an example Judge William Adams.
He’s a judge in family court and gets to decide when a person is fit to be a parent.
And like all reasonable people, he liked to come home and beat his daughter into submission.
No biggie.
Until, that is, his daughter caught it on tape and shared it on the internet.
Damn you Prying Eyes of Accountability!

Or what about Freemon Everett Seay who like everyone else liked to hack away at his daughter
with a wooden sword for hours?
That’s just good ol’ fashioned parenting right there.
But when his daughter took pictures of her injuries and posted them to the internet,
here comes other people with their ‘laws, common sense, decency, humanity, and love.’

Wasn’t the world much easier when parents could hide behind four walls and abuse their children in private?
If this pattern continues, soon we’ll see people video taping police officers to hold them accountable too!
 

Judge William Adams: Beating into submission like whoa!
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57316508/texas-judge-beating-video-causing-outrage/?tag=cbsnewsLeadStoriesAreaMain


Freemon Everett Seay: Conan the Douche
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/19/national/main20122803.shtml?tag=re1.channel

 

You can call Judge William Adams’ office and tell them he is unfit for service as a judge:

361-790-0138

 

 

Start a zine
Raise a cocker spaniel
Trip on smoked banana peels
Pour boiling hot herbal tea into a garden plot and wait for a gazebo to grow
Ignite a sunset
Propose to a garden gnome
Visit the elderly and make them my unwitting models for my “Waiting to Expire” website
Knit a child a sweater made from human hair
Dine among kittens
Take one deep breathe and fourteen little ones then drink three gluten free beers
Join a pottery class only to drop it because “glazing is so passe and its required!”
Recycle jokes I heard from Carlos Mencia as karma
Bury secrets in my closet
Amputate
Pull someone’s finger whether they want me to or not
Listen to the Beatles Rubber Soul album four times in a row in the dark
Watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 with the sound off with “Dark Side of The Moon” playing
Howl at a sunrise
Light a fire, run away
Put books I don’t want in a bookstore
Sing to the mailperson through the mailslot
Stand in the shower
Write the first sentence of a novel
Dance like people are watching when no one is
Eat ice cream soup
Nap until morning
Raise a family of ducks, cause a divorce and some delinquency
Fly a kite in a lightning storm with the string attached to an electric eel as justice
Fly paper airplanes into airport bathroom stalls
Go to the zoo and ask mournfully: “Who’s really in the cage? Really?”
Daydream, night terror, nocturnally emit, daywalk, moonwalk
Sit in a bathtub
Go window shopping for windows
Swim in a stranger’s eyes
Crank call a relative
Eat popcorn without butter to prove it can be done
Found a museum
Watch a little league game and talk loudly about how commercialized the sport is
Pick a peck of pickled peppers
Plant a tree, chop it down, call it a day
Write a letter to Santa, address it to myself, read it when it arrives and get busy making dolls
BBQ!
Watch “Scooby Doo” and really you know, like ‘feel it,’ man
Watch “Swingblade” as romance
Make a pizza and deliver it to a stranger’s house
Eat mac n’ cheese off a frisbee
Buy a parrot and teach it to say “I love you”–and really mean it this time
Play croquet with a flamingo
Play golf with a mango
Play possum at the library
Baby sit a chair
Prospect for gold in my friend’s house
Study my hand for an hour and think about Carl Sagan
Practice flesh origami
Play guitar with a pool cue
Look up ways to lance boils on the internet
Tell a librarian to lower their voice
Ruin a joke
Tape a note to a public bathroom’s toilet reading: “Carpe Diem”
Listen to punk for once in my life, goddammit
Solve the riddle of the Sphinx
Read the Bible backwards
Wash the ground around a parked car
Whistle a merry little tune
Make a scrapbook of my toenail clippings
Paint furniture!
Draw an insensitive cartoon, release it, then retract it with a poorly worded apology
Put a bandaid under my left eye
Go to a church and raise my hand to ask questions during the sermon
Offer a cemetery to volunteer as a Zombie Lookout
Eavesdrop on others
Ride the bus all day, nap off and on
Watch Judge Judy and learn a thing or two about real life, man
Befriend a fish
Bowl for fish
Fish for compliments
Gamble on a game of “Risk”
Collect comics that feature Wolverine because “I can identify with him.”
Cake!
Trace the outline of my face and features in the mirror, enter parallel universe
Sew some drapes, y’all!
Lift 12oz. weights
Donate blood
Play volleyball in jeans, then motorcycle away and make love in silhouette
Exorcise
Watch “Space Jam” in slow motion
Write the Wall Street Journal an Op-Ed piece about my opinions, feelings, fears
Deep fat fryer!
Hangout at the grocery store and supermarket shuffle with people in a hurry
Watch a cat give birth while smoking a clove cigarette and making critiques
Listen to AM radio
Eat the watermelon seeds at a watermelon seed spitting contest
Ghost ride the whip
Smile!
Make lists

 

 

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