"War is the greatest threat to public health." - Gino Strada, Italian war surgeon and founder of the UN-recognized Italian NGO Emergency

Monday, October 5, 2009

Take Time for Peace


There is a lot going on this week. For one thing, it is the International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space, also known as Keep Space for Peace Week. Coinciding with Keep Space for Peace Week is the anniversary of the United States invasion (8 years and no end in sight) of Afghanistan (October 7th). Members of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will be leafleting outside the the U.S. District Courthouse in Tacoma, Washington for Keep Space for Peace Week on October 7th.

One of the visual aids we will have is a long, narrow strip of paper graphically showing the vast discrepancy between U.S. military spending and every other spending category. The One Minute for Peace campaign is a project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) to raise awareness of the 57 percent of the U.S. budget devoted to systems of violence, aggression, and military might. The campaign also hopes to raise $1.9 million, the equivalent on ONE MINUTE of what the U.S. military spent last year.

Just think - in a little more time (one minute) than the average visitor spends on this cheesy blog, the U.S. government spends $1.9 MILLION!!! The immorality of squandering our treasure, both economic and human, while there are very real, unmet needs both at home and abroad, is beyond comprehension. While we allocate 57% for the military, here is how much goes to a few other areas:
  • 6% - Health and Human Services
  • 4% - Housing and Urban Development
  • 4% - Education
  • 2% - Energy
  • 2% - Agriculture
  • 1% - Environmental Protection Agency

With the increased spending on militarizing space, which includes missile defense and the rapidly growing use of unmanned drones, there are no signs that military spending will decrease in my lifetime. And each of us pays for it. If you made $50,000 last year, approximately $2440 of your taxes went toward military spending (source: AFSC). Where would you like to see those tax dollars go??? Click here for more budget details.

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a Quaker Lobby in the public interest. That's right; there is at least one lobbying organization that you can trust. They "seek a world free of war and the threat of war, a society with equity and justice for all, a community where every person's potential may be fulfilled, and an earth restored." You won't find a defense industry lobbyist anywhere with those values!

So here are your assignments for this week:

  1. Check out Bruce Gagnon's Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.
  2. See how much of our money is going down the rabbit hole at One Minute for Peace.
  3. Take Two Minutes for Peace in Afghanistan at FCNL.

Taking Time for Peace,


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