What good comes from military spending?

Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter member, Joel Inman, wrote the following letter to the Corvallis Gazette-Times editor. It was published May 7, 2017. We believe Joel presents a case that would appeal to fiscal conservatives and libertarians as well. If you follow the link to the comments section, you will note this argument does not resonate well with war hawks.

Letter: What good comes from military spending?

Apr 25, 2017 Updated May 6, 2017

As the president has outlined his suggested budget for the federal government, it is useful to reflect on the purpose of government spending.

In short, the government should either seek to solve a problem with spending or not spend at all and reduce the deficit. This is nonpartisan common sense.

So we should ask ourselves, “what problem is the president solving by increasing the defense budget?” The United States already outspends every possible enemy by factors of 4 or 5 to 1. NATO, which Donald Trump has criticized as being weak, outspends Russia by a factor of 8 to 1. There simply is no problem in defense that needs to be solved with more spending. In fact, it is easily the worst use of America’s economic might.

However, there are other problems in our community, our state, country, and the world where spending could be part of the solution. None of these get the attention they deserve in the president’s budget.

If you believe that the government, at all levels, should either solve problems or get out of the way, you will oppose the president’s budget priorities. No matter your political affiliations, you can see that no greater good can from increasing an already overwhelming military budget.

Joel Inman

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DQP Rejected by Intrepid Museum

The Intrepid is just another propaganda tool if the M-I-C. Any attempt to present both sides of a military issue is simply a deceptive ploy to suggest the pentagon and its contractors are putting the best interests of the American people first. They are not. Profit margin and number of units sold (bought with our taxes) are all that matter to these people. Period.

drones quilt project

Last July the Drones Quilt Project was contacted by the Aviation Curator of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum expressing interest in exhibiting the DQP as part of their 2017 exhibit on drones. (See post from 4 Oct 16 on this site). He said that the Intrepid Museum was “endeavoring to show both sides of the armed drone controversy as equally as possible.” He went on to add that they felt “…that the power of the quilt project is exactly what they required to give this debate a level argument.”
However, in mid-March, 2017, the project was notified that the quilts would not be displayed after all, because there was no room for them in the museum’s drone exhibit.

It extremely disappointing that the museum has decided not to include the DQP.  The exhibit will be seen by thousands of people, and now those people may never know about the…

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A sad loss…

April 8 update:  Good article in the LBCC Commuter paper. A memorial is set for this Thuqrsday, Apr. 13, 4:30pm at LBCC, Albany. More details TBA.

Our VFP chapter and local Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) branch are mourning the loss of our newest and youngest member, Dakota Tyger. Dakota took his own life on April 4, 2017 at his home in Albany, Oregon.

From Dakota’s Facebook page

This was a remarkable man, vastly more mature, world savvy and well read than his twenty one years would suggest. In the short time we knew him, he expressed sincere empathy with, and understanding of, the plight of oppressed and working folk.

We cannot speculate about what persuaded Dakota to end his life, but his death is tallied along with the roughly twenty veterans who take their lives every single day.

We knew this was a special guy when he took the microphone during the Q&A session following a recent presentation by Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Although the incidents in question predated his enlistment in the Army, Dakota wanted to apologize for the 2010 wanton murders of innocent Afghan civilians by what was known in this Army unit as the “Kill Team.”

We quickly sought an opportunity to get to know Dakota better and over coffee we learned of his interest in joining both Veterans For Peace and the Industrial Workers of the World.

Dakota soon took time away from his studies at Linn-Benton Community College and his favorite pastime of weight lifting to attend the Corvallis-Albany IWW event known as Wobbly Class Act and an IWW membership meeting. He was very interested in local activism and other ways to express his solidarity with, and empathy for, workers struggling under the yoke of the capitalist system.

Despite our short time together, we gained immense respect and admiration for this peace-loving veteran and his loss is felt very deeply.

Dakota Thomas Tyger, Presente!

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Corvallis honors Dr. King and the “Beyond Vietnam” speech

April 4, 2017

Photos of today’s rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech.

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Memorial Events in Honor of Military Veteran and Water Protector killed by the Police Last Month

At the intersection of war resistance and environmental justice, we sadly report the death of our Brother, Jim Marker — Presenté!

Sabal Trail Resistance #StopSabalTrail #NoMorePipelines

Honoring the Life and Mourning the Loss of Jim Marker

james-markerJames “Jim” Leroy Marker, 66, military veteran, father, humanitarian, environmentalist, water protector. Killed by Citrus County Sheriff officers on February 26, 2017.

Please join Sabal Trail Resistance (STR), Vets For Peace and other activists in honoring James “Jim” L. Marker by continuing to stand against the oil and gas pipelines that he lost his life fighting on Feb 26, 2017.

Community Remembering on Sunday, March 26, 1pm at the Pruitt Memorial site in Halpata Tastanaki Preserve, on mile north of the Withlacoochee River. Enter at Pruitt Trailhead, off of SR 484. Park in picnic area, hike 0.5 miles to memorial site.(Please bring a song, story or poem to share, along with food or beverage to share.)

Demonstration at Dunnellon Compressor Station construction site on Monday, March 27, 10 a.m. Located along SR 200. Click here for map image.

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4th Year Anniversary of the Drones Quilt Project

Please check out the ‘Exhibit Photos’ menu tab and ‘The Exhibit on Tour’ for upcoming exhibit dates.

drones quilt project

Maezol Khan by Toby Blome

The Drones Quilt Project was created 4 years ago as a way to remember the thousands of people who have been murdered by missiles launched from American combat drones. The use of combat drones is immoral, illegal and ineffective, yet the U.S. continues to use them, killing countless people whose names they don’t know, and don’t want to know.
Combat drones were first used by President Bush, then expanded rapidly during the Obama administration. Recently President Trump gave carte blanch to the CIA to target and kill people with drones.
As long as people continue to be murdered by drones, the Drones Quilt Project will continue in an effort to educate the public, and to remember the victims, named and unnamed.

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Speaking tour of Oregon and California starting next week!

We’re really looking forward to the visit of Reiner Braun and Kevin Martin. Please join us for these discussions.

PEACE ACTION'S GROUNDSWELL

International Peace Bureau Co-President Reiner Braun, a longtime leader in the German and European peace movements, and Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund President Kevin Martin will be on a speaking and organizing tour with local peace groups and activists in Oregon and California starting next Tuesday, March 14. Please come on out if you are nearby, and spread the word to friends, family or colleagues who might be interested.

Corvallis, March 14-15

International Security and Nuclear Weapons in the Trump Years
– a public lecture with Reiner Braun and Kevin Martin
Tuesday, March 14,  7:00 p.m.
Location:  Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, in the Social Hall; 2945 NW Circle Blvd, Corvallis; parking lot available.

March 15, 11-1 p.m.
Location: Oregon State University Memorial Union, 2501 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331 MU #213 Pan Afrikan Room is reserved from 11-1 p.m.
Bring your own lunch or snack and…

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