The Gypsy's Caravan
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Link for you
Monday, September 21, 2009
I write letters
That they have voluntarily decided to forgo searching for and reporting real news, and instead have taken the "HE SAID SHE SAID" shortcut to reportage is their own corporate fault, and I don't want my precious tax dollars bailing out people who DO NOT DO THEIR JOBS and thereby bankrupt their businesses.
Fancy how that works. Can I get a bailout by refusing to do MY job???
NO MORE TAX MONEY GOING TO BANKS AND FINANCIAL(read gambling) HOUSES
NO MORE TAX MONEY GOING TO RICH PEOPLE WHO DON'T DO THEIR JOBS
NO MORE $$$$ TO PUSH STUPID FUNDAMENTALIST PROSCRIPTIONS
NO MORE TAX CUTS FOR THE TOP 1% OF THE RICHEST PEOPLE
We The People need our government to act in OUR behalf, not in the best interests of mega corporations and greedy power-mongers. If we cannot get our duly elected representatives to act in our best interests, then we must needs start a campaign finance reform movement in order to combat the corruption and chaos that monied interests are making of our political process.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Tale of Two Vids
I've been trying for weeks to snap a pic that shows the plethora of wild bees that are going gaga over my tiny star alliums, but nothing shows unless the pic's moving... You can really start to see the bees at around 30 seconds.
Friday, September 11, 2009
The Long Awaited
Thursday, September 10, 2009
How about "NOTHING"
Annual funding for U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, 2002: $20.8 billion.
Annual funding for U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, 2009: $60.2 billion.
Total funds for U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, 2002-2009: $228.2 billion.
War-fighting funds requested by the Obama administration for 2010: $68 billion (a figure which will, for the first time since 2003, exceed funds requested for Iraq).
Funds recently requested by U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry for non-military spending in Afghanistan, 2010: $2.5 billion.
Funds spent since 2001 on Afghan "reconstruction": $38 billion ("more than half of it on training and equipping Afghan security forces").
Percentage of U.S. funding in Afghanistan that has gone for military purposes: Nearly 90%.
Estimated U.S. funds needed to support and upgrade Afghan forces for the next decade: $4 billion a year ("with a like sum for development") according to former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West. (According to the Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon, "It's a reasonable guess that for 20 years, we essentially will have to fund half the Afghan budget.")(my ems)
Afghan gross national product: $23 billion ("the size of Boise" Idaho's, writes columnist George Will) -- about $3 billion of it from opium production.
Annual budget of the Afghan government: $600 million.
Maintenance cost for the force of 450,000 Afghan soldiers and police U.S. generals dream of creating: approximately 500% of the Afghan budget.
(*so, even if we train them and get them inspired, the Afghan govt will not be able to afford to keep paying them*)
Amount spent on police "mentoring and training" since 2001: $10 billion.
Percentage of the more than 400 Afghan National Police units "still incapable of running their operations independently": 75% (2008 figures). (*this is about how well we're doing in Iraq, too*)
Cost of the latest upgrade of Bagram Air Base (an old Soviet base that has become the largest American base in Afghanistan): $220 million.
Cost of a single recent Pentagon contract to DynCorp International Inc. and Fluor Corporation "to build and support U.S. military bases throughout Afghanistan": up to $15 billion.
The Next War
The price tag the Obama administration's budget team reportedly put on U.S. future wars almost every year through 2019: More than $100 billion a year.
The cost of equipping seven Army brigades with a Boeing advanced coordinated system of hand-held drones, robots, sensors, and other battlefield surveillance equipment over the next two years: $2 billion.
Date when all 73 Army active and reserve brigades will be equipped with the system: 2025.