Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quakers for War

I'm on an email alert list for a group called "Friends Committee on National Legislation." They are basically the same people as the American Friends Service Committees.

The email they sent me staggered me. They are trying to get me to contact my Congress-critters to support "new, transformative vision that President Barack Obama laid out for this country in his budget proposal for 2010."

This is the same budget that increases Pentagon spending by $22 billion. I never thought I'd see the day that the Quakers would contact me and urge me to support a budget that RAISES Pentagon spending.

I'd say that they want me to support increased spending on the wars, but technically, that's not true. The Democrats have already broken their earlier promise to bring the wars 'on-budget'. Instead, the Democrats are doing exactly what Bush did and are asking for another $200 billion of 'off-budget', 'emergency' supplemental money to continue to fight the wars this year and next.

This is the same budget that increases Homeland Security spending by 6%

The Department of Homeland Security will receive $42.7 billion in discretionary spending for 2010, a 6 percent increase over 2009. The increase may be only 1.2 percent after Congress completes appropriations for 2009, according to the Associated Press. While the document describes how some of the homeland security money will be spent, intelligence spending is classified.

Dont' be fooled it the percentage increase goes 'down' to 1.2%. That just means that our lovely Democratic Congress is likely to spend even more on Homeland Security in 2009. Thus the 2010 money represents less of an increase over what we'll waste on this pork-barrel in 2009.

The words 'discretionary spending' are worrisome. That must mean there is non-discretionary spending, or perhaps compulsory spending in the Dept of Homeland of Security. I understand non-discretionary spending that keeps people fed or with shelter. But, for the Dept of Homeland Security? I'd say that whole department is 'discretionary'. Doesn't mean we shouldn't spend anything here. But, surely in a collapsing economy with out-of-control government deficits, almost all of this can be called 'discretionary'.

"Intelligence" spending is classified. Of course, most other nations know pretty much what we spend on this, so this is more about not telling the American tax-payers how much we spend on this. But this particular bit about what they want to do is fascinating.

Facilitates information Sharing. The President’s 2010 Budget will support initiatives to improve the sharing of intelligence, including terrorist-related information, with Federal, State, local, tribal and foreign partners. These efforts include advancing the National Suspicious Activity reporting Initiative; establishing agency-based, outcome-oriented performance targets for information sharing; and institutionalizing the use of
effective business practices.

This is exactly the programs that end up with Quakers on Terrorism Watch Lists and with records on file with what used to be called "Terrorism task forces" around the country.

Amazing, the Quakers seemed to have bought into Obama-mania so completely that they are urging me to contact my Congress-critters and beg them to support the budget that promises to spend even more money collecting and sharing information about groups like the Quakers.

Absolutely amazing.


KDelphi said...

Scary,Samson!! I called the AFSC (I went to a Quaker college)to tell them that they were on the Watch List here in dayton. I marched with them against the Iraq invasion 3 times. We watched Homeland Security take videos of us.

Then, they sent me an Obamania letter--STUNNING! I got off their mailing list about a year ago.

They, do , indeed, sound like the Terrorist Quakers! If this keeps up, Obama cold prove to be worse for true progressive change than the GOP...he'll pacificy some of them (I didnt think the Quakers!!)enough to prevent the change this country should really be clamoring for, bleeding for, not in Iraq---and we wil be right back where Clinton left us, in more militaRY invasions and less money...I watch these Obamamania kids--who raised them??? lol

Samson said...

This is what I saw during the Clinton era. A strong coalition for RIGHT-WING efforts is created when you get a right-ward leaning Democrat in the White House.

They get way too much support for their efforts from Democrats who want to 'support' their President. This creates what we are seeing now, something like 300 to 350 votes in Congress as they join the Republicans.

Meanwhile, all the Republicans do is move further to the right. No matter how right-wing the Democrats become, the Republicans just move further. So, they scream and hollar against the programs they'd have supported if it was there party in the White House. They push 'compromise' even further to the right. Then in the end, when they've made everything as far right as possible, they join the Democrats in voting for it.

This is how we got NAFTA, WTO, Welfare Reform, etc during the Clinton years.

When you sit back and look at the system as a whole, while under a Democrat, they don't try to steal everything like when they get a Republican in power, but the more controversial issues that the Republicans can't pass on their own get passed in times like these.

It looks like an Obama 'success' in this area will be bringing back the draft, aka 'national service'.

Samson said...

Hope your move went well. Last did that a few years ago, so I sympathize. I might be doing it myself again, depending on this economy and my ability to pay for this condo I live in.

Wow, small world. My family lives in Dayton these days. Got a relative who works for Univ of Dayton, so my close family has all settled in around there.