Rick Maze / Marine Corps Times & Buzzflash – 2006-10-06 23:20:26
Group: Spend More on Troops, Less on Projects
Rick Maze / Marine Corps Times
(June 05, 2006) — With congressional negotiators hoping to complete a wartime funding bill by Friday, a public policy group is trying to get lawmakers to spend more money on gear for ground troops by eliminating pet projects.
The Project On Government Oversight, known as POGO, sent a letter to Congress on Friday asking House and Senate negotiators to remove a Senate provision that orders the purchase of three V-22 Ospreys by cutting $230 million from funding for night-vision goggles, lightly armored vehicles and other equipment replacements.
Work on the wartime supplemental appropriations bill, which would give the Defense Department about $67 billion, has moved very slowly because the House and Senate passed dramatically different versions of the bill. Both versions include many changes and additions from the Bush administration’s proposal.
The Senate mostly added items to the administration request, ending up with a final bill that includes about $106 billion in spending on defense programs, natural disasters and other off-budget spending. But funding for the Osprey was an example of diverting money for another purpose.
The Senate Appropriations Committee justified the shift in funds by saying the Osprey is the planned replacement for the CH-46E and CH-53D helicopters that have experienced heavy battle losses and wear and tear from ongoing operations. The two helicopters are no longer in development, and the committee wants to accelerate the V-22, which has completed operational testing and entered full-rate production.
The total cost of the House bill is about $94 billion, about what the Bush administration requested, because it included offsets for the spending that it added. For example, it cut $1.9 billion in funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay for some nondefense additions.
The Defense Department and the services, particularly the Army and Marine Corps that have sustained the biggest costs from military operations, had pressed Congress to complete the emergency spending bill by Memorial Day. Instead, lawmakers left town for a weeklong break without finishing the bill.
Now, House and Senate negotiators plan to meet late Tuesday in an effort to reach an agreement, with the House expected to vote on a compromise bill — if it is available — as early as Friday.
POGO’s letter about the shifting funds says this “is an example of a government expenditure that would be irresponsible and would waste taxpayer dollars.”
The letter, signed by Danielle Brian, POGO’s executive director, says the Osprey “has an unacceptably high failure rate and high cost,” and asks lawmakers to remove “this wrongheaded provision.”
“Removing the provision would help avoid placing the troops who are fighting on our behalf in even more danger unnecessarily,” the letter says.
It’s Mourning in America
(September 29, 2006) — Just as it is hard to fully comprehend the grief of a beloved friend or relative killed needlessly in an accident, it is excruciatingly painful to try to come to terms with the pernicious betrayal of our Constitution and liberty that occurred in the Senate on Thursday, September 28.
9/11 or betrayals in Congress this is not the best place to focus our energy
1 — We have an economy deeply in debt
2 — At about 1 billion dollars a day, it goes more into debt
3 — One way to distract the public is to focus on outside enemies
4 — We must not be so, distracted
5 — We have an education program, “Every child left behind”
6 — This program dumbs down America
7 — We read that parents who do not sign an exemption, have detailed information sent to the military for recruitment and other nasty behaviors
8 — There are disenfranchised young American males who can only express themselves by removing their mufflers and buzzing around us
9 — As we have lost most of our manufacturing jobs overseas, we cannot provide these people a decent wage
10 — Meanwhile, especially among the black population, woman keep having babies, without decent child support
11 — Capitalists have sewn up the ownership of capital, and it is only by owning capital that one has any appreciable wealth
12 — The ownership of houses and/or stocks is not the same thing, their prices have peaked
13 — Both the prices of houses and stocks will plummet along with a large drop in the US dollar
14 — We, thereby, invite anarchy here
15 — There could literally be “blood in the streets”
16 — Already record numbers of foreclosures are throwing folk out of homes in MA
17 — Where will they go?
18 — We allow everyone to bear arms — imagine anarchy and arms
19 — Our retail chain industry bristles even at providing any “benefits” and they pay, often, at minimum wage
20 — These retailers sell, mainly, goods made overseas
21 — If it is made in the USA today, it won’t be soon
22 — A drop in the dollar does improve our exports, but, only if we have anything left to sell
23 — Our movies are a symptom of a decedent culture, so while we have a huge movie industry, Islamists and others don’t want our sex and violence messages They realize that these messages are a symptom of an ailing culture, not of a healthy one
24 — Biotechnology is promising, but, profits from mapping the human genome are still illusive
25 — Public schools are increasing being run by bullies, as penal colonies, as the youth is rebelling against a society without deep values
26 — Everyone is bowling alone
27 — Nearly everyone is an “Overspent American”
28 — The vehicles that most Americans drive are throwback images of HumVs they saw in Desert Storm Many of us look at the massive grill-work of these vehicles and can’t even bear to be on the same roads as they
29 — Two family workers, while raising the employment of women and fairness, provide a “nanny state” of child care Precious human values are not being transmitted to our children They are feeling alienated, and, not the alienation of the 60’s which was by “choice” but more just a vacuum of values
30 — Music has gone to hell We have disenfranchised blacks telling us either how disenfranchised they are, or, how much they like big butts on their women Either way, the males want the sex without any sense of obligation and this is without the means to support the family
31 — Congress has been in gridlock for over twenty years There has been abolutely no positive legislation in that time
32 — A pension reform act has been passed that asks impoverished US companies to fund, unfunded pensions, or to force workers into 401(k)’s And, the investment community sees that as a license to further sell overpriced stocks to those who can least afford the risks Meanwhile the stock market goes up, driven by those funds at risk
33 — The innovative entrepreneurs have been crushed by the behemoths Microsoft has run out of competitors to either squash or buy up Now, they are in a mode of copycat where recent products, such as competition to iPod, is a copy-down
34 — Meanwhile, no one interacts in the streets Millions are wearing their iPods and tuning into messages that were created when this country felt good about itself These are ostriches, with heads in their earphones Others listen to the sexist lyrics and 10 year old girls are dressing like women, or worse Exposed bellies, butts, any everything else is such a distraction in schools that some in Boston are calling for dress codes How does one learn in such an environment?
35 — The “credit industry” is the “debt industry” It has continually said to adults and students, buy now, pay later
While this is wise with a decent down payment on a house, we have zero down payments and loans that don’t even require the full interest to be paid each month Buy now; pay later How? Redlining of risky borrowers is massive The banks simply raise the rates, say 11%, and accept the losses But, what does this do to the borrowers?
36 — Alarmed. The bankers backed one of the most anti-consumer bankruptcy laws ever enacted in this country They get the consumer to overbuy, and then get the Congress to protect them against their own ill-wills
So, let me see if I have this right The country is going to hell in a hand basket, and the majority of Americans simply want the price of gasoline to go down
This sounds like a prescription for a 3rd World War
Americans either have to eat dog food for the next 30 years in hovels, or, they can bomb the hell out of everyone that gets in their way
Welcome to America
W Curtiss Priest
PS: Best place to focus one’s energy? We need to invoke a true civil war in America Those of us who see how the arrogance and attitude of many has created these very problems need to imprison, not the ones driven into crime, but the ones that have driven out the American Dream
1 – Every loud car driver should be promptly arrested.
2 – Every debtor should be put into stocks (the wooden ones) and be taunted for their misbehaviors.
3 – Every lender to those debtors should be put into stocks (the wooden ones) and taunted for their misbehaviors.
4 – It should become OK, not to work as hard, and to actually take joy in raising children but not too many
5 – Energy sustainability should be enacted, now. All fossil fuels should be saved as valuable chemicals Have you ever studied an oil or coal “tree”? There are thousands of useful chemicals that just go up in smoke.
6 – People should walk and bicycle Travel should be limited to a “few vacations” to “exotic places” And hopefully before they are polluted Why do people need to travel so far? Partly, they travel far because the family, which used to stay in one place, is now smeared across an entirely too large nation.
7 – Reinstitute the front porch of houses. Once those noisy cars are gone, you’ll actually be able to sit there in peace and talk with the neighbors.
8 – Neighbors should help neighbors Instead of bringing in expensive contractors, let’s get together and do something for the neighborhood You might even find the conversation interesting, and communal.
I could go on —
W Curtiss Priest, Director, CITS Research Affiliate, Comparative Media Studies, MIT Center for Information, Technology & Society 466 Pleasant St, Melrose, MA 02176 781-662-4044 BMSLIB@MITEDU http://Cybertrailsorg