: 20030504 Proud to be an American, by Frida Berrigan : Common Dreams,
with a few Star Lightning
News Flashes from, Good Works On Earth -
Date : Sun, 4 May 2003 15:34:30 -0700
From : Good Works On Earth
To : Our emailing list and web site visitors.
* This is Good Works On Earth's message of
Five Four Two Thousand Three
* Main Attraction : Proud
to be an American ....
by : Frida Berrigan : Common Dreams
Senior Research Associate at the
World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center.
Greetings from Good Works On Earth
Proud to be American? Not While it Chooses Bombs Over
by : Frida Berrigan
CommonDreams.org | Opinion
Friday 2 May 2003
Jay Garner wants us to be proud. The man in charge of rebuilding
Iraq was quoted in the New York Times on Thursday saying,
'We ought to look in the mirror and get proud, and stick out our
chests and suck in our bellies and say, 'Damn, we're Americans.''
Well Jay, I am sorry to say that I am not feeling it. American soldiers
shooting unarmed Iraqi demonstrators and killing at least 17 in two
separate incidents. American police officers firing rubber and wooden
bullets at unarmed American demonstrators outside of Oakland.
Thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in a so-called precision war for
liberation. A multibillion dollar empire building effort underway in
that is masked as a humanitarian reconstruction effort, while children
are hungry, seniors are without medication, and education is less and
less accessible right here in USA.
There are people profiting from war- and Jay Garner the proud
American is one of them. And there are those who are not.
General Jay Garner the head of the Pentagon's new
Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance.
In that capacity he is overseeing and coordinating the relief and
rebuilding efforts in Iraq. He is also a personal friend of
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
He is also the president of SY Coleman, a subsidiary of
L-3 Communications, a high tech defense contractor that
specializes in missile-defense systems and makes the targeting
systems for conventional weapons. He is not retired from that
position, he is on 'leave' or on 'loan.' And he is profiting from war.
In February Garner's company announced that its revenue in the
most recent quarter had soared to $1.3 billion-up from $705 million
a year ago. They attribute the windfall to a doubling of military
communications and electronics sales. Overall, the company expects
a 20% increase in sales and earnings this year.
This is good news for the company and its stockholders,
but how can the people of Iraq trust a man who has garnered
millions making the targeting systems for missiles that destroyed
If the Bush administration were to consciously set out to pick
a person most likely to raise questions about the legitimacy of
the post-war rebuilding process, they could not have selected
a better man for the job than Jay Garner. As one observer noted,
'If it's not a conflict of interest, it's certainly being tone deaf.'
The weapons industry companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing,
Raytheon and Northrop-Grumman are also pretty tone deaf.
With the country on a permanent war footing, the sky is literally
the limit for America's second most heavily subsidized industry.
A new report from United for a Fair Economy,
'More Bucks for the Bang: CEO Pay at Top Defense Contractors,'
found that the boys with the big guns making the big bucks.
Median CEO pay at the 37 largest defense contractors rose
79 percent from 2001 to 2002, while overall CEO pay climbed
only 6 percent. The typical U.S. CEO made $3.7 million in 2002, while
the typical defense industry CEO got $5.4 million.
The average Army private risking his or her life in Iraq is paid just
$19,585- just about the national poverty rate. The average defense
CEO made 577 times as much in 2002, or $11,297,548.
So, we know who is benefiting from war- but who is on the losing side?
We are. We are more insecure and more threatened than ever before.
There is plenty of cash to pay for war and empire building in Iraq,
but when it comes to meeting the American public's need for
housing, health care, food, education and other necessities,
the cash drawer is empty.
The Bush administration asked Congress to provide the Pentagon
with $399.1 billion for 2004. That is a huge amount of money.
That is more than a billion dollars a day.
That is more than $12,000 a second - a year of college tuition.
To put it in relationship to what other countries spend,
the U.S. military budget is almost seven times larger than
what the second largest spender- Russia budgets for defense.
It is more than 26 times the combined spending of the seven
countries the Pentagon identifies as enemies. The Congressional
Budget Office estimates that military spending will continue to
increase at an average of 8% a year through the end of the decade.
Meaning that by 2010, the military budget will top out at almost
The military budget does NOT include the costs of war in Iraq.
The administration has put those costs in a separate $75 billion
The United States is spending more than a billion dollars a day
on the military, while a whole spectrum of domestic needs are
severely under-funded. As the Congress prepares to figure pay
top dollar for war, they are planning cuts in just about everything
else, including veterans benefits and education.
House Republicans are suggesting $14.6 billion in cuts to
veterans programs, including money for disabilities caused
by war wounds, rehabilitation and health care, pensions for low
income veterans, education and housing benefits,
and even burial benefits.
They are also proposing to cut the education budget by
10.2 percent below the already reduced level proposed by President
We see the effects of budget cuts and neglect already.
According to the Children's Defense Fund, nearly one million
black children live in dire and extreme poverty. In an alarming
increase over 2000, the economic circumstances of black
children further deteriorated so that more families were living
on just over $7,000 a year-- that is half the national poverty line
of $14,100 for a family of three.
I developed a factsheet for the War Resisters League that compares
what the United States spends on war to the costs of educating and
caring for children.
President Bush has asked Congress for $75 billion to pay the
initial costs of the war in Iraq. For that same amount, we could
hire 1,155,715 Elementary School Teachers to educate America's
Five days of war in Iraq = Eliminate illiteracy world wide ($1.1 billion)
($5 billion, World Game Institute)
2.8 hours of war in Iraq = Nutrition supplements for 200,000 families
($45.8 million per hour) ($130 million, Center on Budget and
1 minute of war in Iraq = Headstart Education for 115 children
($763,000 a minute) ($6,633 per child, National Priorities Project)
1 second of war in Iraq = Twice what U.S. spends per year, per child
($12,730 per second) in primary education ($6,043, Digest of Ed. Stats)
We have a lot of work to undo the damage, repair the hurt and rectify
the imbalances of the 'bombs over bread' policies of the Bush
administration. Until we do that it will be hard for me to take Jay
pep talk seriously.
Frida Berrigan is a Senior Research Associate at the
World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center.
Muslims rescued Baghdad's Jewish Community Center
by : Agence France Presse
April 13th, 2003
BAGHDAD - Iraqi Muslims came to the aid of Baghdad's
tiny Jewish community on Saturday, chasing out looters
trying to sack its cultural center in the heart of the capital.
'At 3:00 a.m., I saw two men, one with a beard, on the
roof of the Jewish community house and I cried out to my
friend, 'Hossam, bring the Kalashnikovs!'' said Hassam
Neither Hassan nor Hossam, who is the guard at the
center, was armed at the time but the threat worked in
scaring off the intruders. Two hours later, the looters
returned again and Hassan Kassem used the trick once more.
The center is located in a freshly painted white house on
a lane off Rashid Street in Baghdad's old town. Two days
ago, amid rampant looting in the capital, neighbors
removed the sign reading 'Special Committee for the
Religious Affairs of Ezra Menahem Daniel' to make the
premises less conspicuous.
On Friday at about 10:30 a.m., two men seized an
opportunity created by the guard's mid-morning break to
try to force open the door in a first attempt to burgle the
center. 'We came over right way and asked them what
they wanted,' said Abdallah Nurredin, 50.
They tried to explain that they wanted to talk to the guard,
Nurredin said, 'but when they saw the look we were
giving them, they left without saying another word.'
Hossam the guard left to look for a real gun in case the
persistent thieves returned.
'The Jews have always lived here, in this house, and it is
only normal that we should protect them,' said Ibrahim
Mohamad, 36, who works in a small undergarments
factory near the center of town.
Currently, about 50 Jews live in Iraq.
Source Page :
No longer available
From the manuscript, Letters Let Seer See ... by Will I Am
'Linda Goodman's DEMOCRATIC and REPUBLICAN still exist
as I write this sentence in 1997, and still now, in 2001, 2002
and 2003. Linda revealed a little bit from each to show they
ARE RATED A COMIC in the DEMOCRATIC case, and
ARE AN INCURABLE CLAN in the REPUBLICAN.
'To this I add the serious note that it is no wonder we had a
nuclear arms race with the likes of the A DEMOCRAT ...
A COMRADE TO AN ATOMIC RACE and,
IN A REPUBLICAN, A NUCLEAR CLAN RACE AN
ALIEN RACE IN A NUCLEAR CLUB.
'The word REPUBLICAN even told us that we would have
AN EPIC NUCLEAR CLEANUP IN AN UNCLEAR REPUBLICAN ERA
That era is now upon us and still now there is new REPUBLICAN
talk of new NUCLEAR weapons and power facilities, and this
despite the fact that our NUCLEAR CLAN has yet to LEARN
how to safely store the mountains of nuclear waste.
AN EPIC NUCLEAR CLEANUP IN A REPUBLICAN NUCLEAR RACE.
http://www.goodworksonearth.org/democratic.html Both the DEMOCRATIC & REPUBLICAN Star Arts are very revealing.
Brace yoursElf if you still identify yoursElf as either.
'Democracy is a sacred word ... the republican parties and
democratic parties are not the highest awarenesses in name.
Statesmen and Statesweomen are infinitely more capable than
that in creating healings in the ways of things upon Mother Earth
with our nation's peoples in peace.'
Copyright WFS 2003
To see the image we are calling the EASTER'S TERRESA
please visit : http://www.goodworksonearth.org/easter.html The image comes up after the 2003 rendition of EASTER'S STAR ARTS
TERRESA is defined on that page.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We suggest to nations all to create
a global project :
The ReFlowerings of Iraq
Creating in harmony with Mother Nature
Cleanings and creatings in the sunrises
Cleanings and creatings in the sunsets
Playful dancings, Loving joys
Our one globe's healings
Begins here in Iraq
Invitations Sent to all Nations
To Draw Together in the Healings
On February 21st, 2003, the United States Total National Debt was:
$ 6,400,000,000,000. This many $1 federal reserve notes
will make a stack
4,343,434.43434 miles high.
Do you know our national debt total is now?
Do you care?
We don't have enough gold to cover our ass on this ...
And we no longer use gold as our standard of value.
We don't have enough trees to print the money!
The definition of DOLLAR is 1/20th of an ounce of gold.
Our national debt is in terms of Federal Reserve Notes.
Fact is, it isn't money. It is a debt, a federal reserve NOTE.
Federal Reserve? It ain't Federal. It is not our government's
issue of value. It is a private corporations issue of debt
upon us, upon our government, our collective us.
http://www.goodworksonearth.org/taxpayers.html Mostly, America spends this money for death and destruction.
We are the caretakers of Mother Earth's Gardens All
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Posting date : 20030504
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Burnishings to the
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Have you read the Star Art of AMERICANS
North Americans, South Americans, Eastern Americans,
Western Americans or Central Americans ...
It's a scream, as Americans care ...
It's a song in the songster's care.
Can an anthem heal the hate ?
Can a ballad suspend time ?
A healing anthem can ..
An able ballad can ... AMERICANS The Star Art