Vail Daily letter: We can do better
Edgar Allen Poe wrote, “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.”Substitute “lore” with “war” and you have the sorry state of affairs that faces our country today. First, because most of us don’t have a child fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, we are willing to let others do battle, some for a mind-boggling number of tours. Recently an Army sergeant was killed served his 12, yes 12th, tour in Iraq. He was killed on his 12th tour. If we had a draft, this war would be over. Rich parents would not put up with participation of their children in this debacle. The cost in human suffering and American dollars is unacceptable.While China races ahead with control of much of our capital, the world’s fastest super-computer, the largest investment in green technology all funded by their government R&D, our bridges are collapsing, our water pipes in major cities are crumbling, our roadways are in an extensive state of disrepair, and our education system does not offer a world-class education to American children who need to compete in the technology-centered, innovation rewarding 21st century. Here, some argue that climate change, exacerbated by human pollution, is a hoax. China doesn’t think so.The wars in Iraq (remember the promises of the last administration: “mission accomplished,” “flowers in the streets,” “Saddam Hussein, friend of Bin Laden, removed,” etc.?) and Afghanistan have cost $1.278 trillion unbudgeted in the Congress. Do you wonder what that money could do for us now? Today, we listen to Republicans call for “fiscal responsibility,” as if they were trying to return us to the good old days when they were in charge and our financial house was in order. The good old days? Deregulation that led to the subprime morass? No SEC oversight of anything? Tax cuts in the middle of two wars and absolutely no sacrifice on the part of anyone but our troops and their families? Taking our eye off the ball in Afghanistan for an oil hegemony excursion into Iraq? Censoring of scientific documentation of climate change threats? The list is long; our window of opportunity to reverse the damage is closing. Could it be that we need new priorities?Sadly, I note what consumes us in this election cycle? The threat of gay marriage, legalized pot and whether or not Jefferson was in favor of separation of church and state. I wonder what keeps China up at night.John Hartley Eagle
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