Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Bonfire of Waste

Last night I returned from Seattle - visiting Dad and other tribe members. Until I get my photos and my adjectives together, here's some food for thought:

PARADE estimated that the current crop of presidential candidates (19, at last count) will spend approximately $1 billion in their frantic reach for the White House. The editors took a quick look at what else that money could buy:

* Treatment and prevention for more than 150 million cases of malaria in Africa
* Basic health insurance for 250,000 Americans
* More than 415 million school lunches for U.S. school children
* Nearly 6,700 new, fully armored Humvees for U.S. troops
* Hurricane relief for our compadres down south - foreign nations offered nearly $1B in aid post-Katrina

This perspective gave me the same queasy feeling I get after viewing crappy Hollywood schlock. You know the kind where the whole film reeks of half-assedness and the entire cast phones it in?

Inevitably, I torture myself with what could be accomplished on just the catering budget alone. "Thousands of dollars in bagels, fruit and sandwiches ... and for what?!?" I shake my head, disgusted by the waste of perfectly useful greenbacks.

Same shit, different venue.


Kath said...

Yeah...tell me about it!

As politically plugged in as I am, I am overwhelmed with all the 'politiking' that is going on right now.

Geesh, it's not even 2008 yet. I guess this is what it means when they say "It's gonna get worse before it gets better".

Hope all is well with your dad and the rest of your tribe.

Welcome back honey!

Howard said...

Just more proof that America is way past its prime.

History repeating...

ClizBiz said...

Yeah, I feel bad that I'm not as amped up as everyone else is on the political front but I simply cannot endure suspended rage through 2009. Last time, I became so deeply entrenched that my organs began eating one another. This time, I'm saving up.

Kath said...

I compare the 2008 Elections to running a marathon. You have to pace it with participation, fundraising, what have you.. otherwise you will burn out when you're needed the most.

I'm already signed up to volunteer for one campaign, can see myself signing up for one more, and will be active in whatever activities Drinking Liberally, Screening Liberally and Reading Liberally sponsors as the DNC convention approaches.

Still, I'm gonna pace myself.

Fang Bastardson said...

Your post brought to mind an email exchange I had earlier tonight with my Republican pal The Last Boy Scout...

Have you ever read the "help wanted" ads in The Economist? Crazy stuff. Lots of executive positions at liberal think tanks delving into African poverty and that sort of thing. Many positions that make you wonder, "Why does this job even exist? (And I wonder how much more money it pays than what I'm doing right now.)"

I will give this to conservative think tanks over liberal ones: they seem to have more concrete, realize-able goals than, say, solving African poverty. Again, it’s the conservative mindset to set achievable goals then march inexorably toward them till they are achieved or you perish in the attempt. By setting out to achieve a clearly unachievable goal (ie: saving the world in one capacity or another), liberals give themselves a free pass to fail at the onset.

What I think would be cool is if the same three-dimensional thinking that conned us into Iraq, say, was applied to some hippie-dippie cause like ending world hunger. The only thing missing from the equation is, How do we make it profitable to solve world hunger? As soon as we figure that out – and not just profitable, but G.E., Exxon and Haliburton profitable – we could get anything done.

Anonymous said...

Not only can that money be spent in much more needed places, so could the time of one of the canidates Bill Richardson, Gov. of NM. He certainly isn't here much and from the self-promoting add that reached Time Square - "New Mexico,.....come see what I've done with it" with the desert in the background,..... as if he put it there himself. Or the "needed" jet that the dept of transportation in the state of NM has paid for........Hummm, you think the state ranked third in poverty level could have used that money somewhere else??? He just makes my skin crawl!!!!!! He's been using NM and its money since shortly after his term as gov began to self-promote to a presidential canidate.
My prediction,...he won't come even close to making the final cut.


ClizBiz said...

God, Fang you are correct - the right has to have the bottom line squared away first. In the end, that sounds the most American, sad to say.

FO - thanks for weighing in on Richardson. I've been meaning to ask you about him. That 'desert' ad - I can see why that would bug.