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|February 26-March 4, 2009 email@example.com
• See Jim Hightower
• Danish Plan
Danish’s troubling ideas
(Re: “Fight unemployment like FDR,” Danish Plan, Feb. 12.) I was disturbed by Danish’s column (which may have been a lame attempt at satire, à la Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”), but equally disturbed by the responses to it.
WWII was fought by men with guns — roughly 16.5 million of them. The U.S. also employed 17 million workers in defense plants, so 27 percent of the population was directly employed in war work. That’s why the unemployment rate went down. We built 296,000 airplanes, 102,000 tanks, 2.5 million trucks, many millions of guns and hundreds of ships. We raised $129 billion in war bonds to pay for all this. Military spending was 38 percent of GDP in 1944.
The WWIII Danish envisions in Asia would be fought largely by stand-off automated weapon systems manned by the 3 million military personnel we employ now, about half of them active reservists. We’re now fighting two wars with just 30,000 armored vehicles of one sort or another, and about 18,000 aircrafts, not all of them manned. Total military spending is about 4 percent of GDP. We could triple our defense spending and not make much of dent in unemployment.
But if Paul is ready to enlist, he should go for it.
Paul Danish’s last two articles, as usual, would be more appropriate in the conservative press than in Boulder’s “independent” Weekly. First, Danish argues that because science is showing the effects of global warming to be worse and longer than first expected, there is even more reason to do nothing about climate change. Indeed, Danish’s solution to global heating — building more power plants to run air conditioners on a hot planet — is exactly the wrong direction that we as a society should be taking.
Many respected analysts are arguing that the costs of doing nothing will far outweigh the costs of addressing the problem of climate change.
In his last article, Danish suggests that doubling the military budget would fix the economy. Danish has obviously chosen to ignore the effects of the massive buildup of defense expenditures during the Bush error (era), as well as the $600 billion spent on the Iraq war, which is estimated to run to $3 trillion before it’s over. It is this type of spending that is running our economy into the ground, forcing civilians to sacrifice their standard of living for out-of-control militarism. Again, Danish’s solution runs contrary to evidence. It was, after all, the post-war conversion from military to civilian infrastructure that pulled the U.S. fully out of the Depression and led to a strong post-war economy. We should do the same now: end the wars and cut defense spending.
Certainly Mr. Sallo, the publisher of the Weekly, could find a better fit for Boulder’s progressive readers than the increasingly cynical Danish. By doing so, he could add a positive voice and useful ideas to our local news.
Huzzah to Paul Danish for calling for more war preparations as a way to fix the economy! With one small caveat:
Instead of a war where we slaughter a bunch of people and appropriate their resources in the name of freedom and democracy, we can declare war on carbon emissions and our dependence on oil. This will help us win the war on poverty and the war on terror and make the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan obsolete.
I’m not sure that’s what Paul Danish had in mind.
E. Scott MacInis/Longmont
In response to Paul Danish’s piece about fighting unemployment like FDR: I agree broadly speaking, but war is a hell of away to do it. How about a war on climate change: retooling plants for alternative energy devices, wind turbines, solar panels, cars, grants for entrepreneurs, and a WPA for the actual installers? Better than guns and tanks. Anyhow, wars end. New energy jobs won’t for a long time.
(Re: “Chicago Seven conspiracies,” restaurant review, Feb. 19.) Old Chicago? Really? Did the time finally come that Clay Fong has run out of unique restaurants in Boulder County to review or what? So what’s next? Chili’s? No, no, wait a minute, how about Red Lobster and their new wood-fire grill menu — yeah, that’s the ticket.
John M. Truhlar/Lafayette
Phelps should not apologize
(Re: “Phelps should move to Boulder,” ICUMI, Feb. 26.) Olympian Michael Phelps is in good company. The list of professional athletes caught using marijuana is long. Could it be that drug warriors have been lying about marijuana’s health impact? They’ve definitely been lying about the deterrent value of marijuana prohibition.
The United States has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available to adults over 18. Marijuana prohibition is built on lies, beginning with the reefer madness myths of the 1930s and continuing to this day with government anti-drug propaganda masquerading as science.
As an admitted former pot smoker, President Obama no doubt knows the truth about marijuana. Truthfully, marijuana is easily the least harmful recreational drug, legal or otherwise. If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, marijuana would be legal. The question is, will Obama bring change or will he continue to subsidize the prejudices of culture warriors?
Robert Sharpe /Arlington, Va.
Michael Phelps owes no apology to anyone for taking a toke. The people who owe the world an explanation are drug crusaders who punish victimless “crimes.”
The very idea of punishing people when there is no injury to their fellow man is contrary to the Bible — Exodus 21:23: “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise” (Also see Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21).
With a “marijuana crime,” no eyes have been gouged out. There are no broken teeth, no maiming and no victims at all. According to the scriptures, using marijuana is not a sin nor a crime.
Michael Phelps has harmed no one and owes no admission of guilt to anyone. Drug crusaders on the other hand have the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of their drug prohibition policy to account for.
Ralph Givens/Daly City, Calif.
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