Tonight’s Olean Times Herald had a front page item that proclaimed that our new federal budget will break Medicare. The Times Herald is a pretty conservative paper. They have been unabashed apologists for much of the Bush agenda. Earlier today I read that for the first time in American history the defense budget has 12 zeros in it. That’s a one-trillion dollar budget for war. We’re not really defending anything except the status quo. The status quo in the United States is the military-industrial complex. We’re not fighting conventional forces yet we continue to fund battleships, aircraft carriers, submarines as if we were still locked head to head with the former Soviet Union.
Truth be told the largest entitlement program in this country is the defense industry. Actually they ought to be called the offense industry. No other country in the world spends anything close to what we spend on war and weapons and no other country has over 700 bases spread all over the world. If even our allies had military bases in our country our own people would get mighty tired of that very soon. We have bases in Britain, Germany, Korea, the Phillipines, Iraq, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and the list goes on. We have more weapons and weapons of mass destruction than any country in this world. What are they really for? Do they really keep us safer? Why don’t the Canadians and Mexicans have bases in the United States? Why don’t Canada and Mexico have worldwide bases? What about the British? Why don’t the Chinese have bases all around the globe?
Seems like the other countries actually take care of their folks. They spend their tax dollars on infrastructure and businesses. Maybe that’s why we lag the world in broadband penetration. Maybe that’s why our health care system is in such a rut. Maybe that’s why we have millions of uninsured.
Lent is a time of new beginnings. Maybe we can’t win at the ballot box, maybe we don’t have much say in such disastrous policies, but we can pray and meditate. Gandhi once said if one percent of the world would meditate we could end war. Maybe we can. Would you like to try?