Spent & Approved War-Spending - About $600 billion of US taxpayers' funds. President Bush is expected to request another $200 billion for 2008, which would bring the cumulative total to close to $800 billion.
U.S. Monthly Spending in Iraq - $12 billion, in 2007
U.S. Daily Spending in Iraq - over $200 million, in 2007
Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq - $390,000 (Congressional Research Service
i woke this morning to news about a new warbucks request by the administration ... numbers that cannot be understood by one who agonizes over spending more than twenty for a new pair of teaching trousers ... who holds that a tie must never be more expensive than a shirt ... the number i heard in my waking moment was $393 million dollars per day ... though i can't yet find that verified in what i've quickly read ... roll that number around in yr brain for awhile ...
hyper-naive questions: where does this money actually come from ... and when does it run out?
hyper-naive hypothetical: much could happen if this much money were spent on projects that contributed some positive good to the people of this and other nations.
Update: i walk down to breakfast and find a huge number stretched across the top of The Daily Herald ... it seems that over the past ten years, the state has collected more than 171 billion dollars for public education ... $171,139,150,195.00 ... just for comparison's sake ... i'm not sure what to make of it exactly
i'm not trying to make any iron-clad argument in these pages ... i'm just collecting elements that have been persuasive to me ... or statements that best express (more coherently than i could) my gut-level response to the present war ... which i take to be both immoral and illegal ... for what it's worth ...
after listening to dal lamagna's story on This American Life, i visited his campaign site and found this presentation ... these are individual voices from iraq ... i'm not sure how much weight they carry ... though the introductions of each at the beginning suggest that many of them "represent" significant populations ... i find it refreshing and hopeful to hear their voices ... i think iraqis are generally regarded by americans (portrayed in the media) as voiceless in the midst of an unending chaos ... at the very least, this video shows they aren't ...
and the ten-point plan makes sense to me ... but then ... what do i know?
The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you, is, that it scatters your force. It loses your time and blurs the impression of your character. If you maintain a dead church, contribute to a dead Bible-Society, vote with a great party either for the Government or against it, spread your table like base housekeepers,—under all these screens, I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are: and, of course, so much force is withdrawn from your proper life. But do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. A man must consider what a blindman’s-buff is this game of conformity. If I know your sect, I anticipate your argument. I hear a preacher announce for his text and topic the expediency of one of the institutions of his church. Do I not know beforehand that not possibly can he say a new and spontaneous word? Do I not know that with all this ostentation of examining the grounds of the institution, he will do no such thing? Do I not know that he is pledged to himself not to look but at one side,—the permitted side, not as a man, but as a parish minister? He is a retained attorney, and these airs of the bench are the emptiest affectation. Well, most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion. This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars. Their every truth is not quite true. Their two is not the real two, their four not the real four: so that every word they say chagrins us, and we know not where to begin to set them right. Meantime nature is not slow to equip us in the prison-uniform of the party to which we adhere. We come to wear one cut of face and figure, and acquire by degrees the gentlest asinine expression. There is a mortifying experience in particular which does not fail to wreak itself also in the general history; I mean “the foolish face of praise,” the forced smile which we put on in company where we do not feel at ease in answer to conversation which does not interest us. The muscles, not spontaneously moved, but moved by a low usurping wilfulness, grow tight about the outline of the face with the most disagreeable sensation.
here's a cogent, angry statement by joseph duemer ... that takes the current dangerous platitude to task ... makes me weary & somewhat ashamed of my longterm failure to speak more directly against the obscenity of this war ... and wondering what petty fears account for that failure ...
oh well ... platitudes ... better late than never ... a new leaf ... a stitch in ... what next?
Here is the scariest part of this case. The standard for suspending the most basic of human rights is that a school official determines that the act or message may interfere with the educational mission of the school.What is the school's "educational mission." Why does it deserve special protection?Can a student disagree in a social studies class without fear of suspension? Political or religious views could be considered disruptive.Can a student's education rights be terminated for telling a joke? Should social studies teachers debate Supreme Court cases in class? May a student oppose standardized testing or write a critical review of the school play? Is a student allowed to cry when she receives word that a parent has been killed in Iraq? Is that disruptive?Is a student allowed to email her friend that she doesn't like her teacher? Can she write a letter to the newspaper complaining that the principal is corrupt, a bully or worse? Are there any whistleblower protections for students?What if a parent opposes standardized testing or raises concerns during a parent teacher conference? Can the school take legal action against their child?How is a child going to develop moral behavior if he/she never gets to make a decision without fear of enormous sanctions? How does one become a productive citizen when educated in a repressive undemocratic environment?