7-12-04The US and Soviets have created a huge supply of weapons in the world market. During the cold war this would have been complicated to control, but now it's just ridiculous. The US and Soviets are currently in a competition to be the world's largest exporter of arms. This is sort of like competing over who can stab themselves more times in the foot. Our government subsidizes arms exports, and arms development, under the excuse of "national security" and because "competing international companies also get subsidies". We then sell those arms to countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Libya, Colombia, etc. which are sort of our allies at the moment, but that are very unstable, and where our arms are likely to be used against us in the future. In every war since WW2, we have faced primarily US, Soviet, and Chinese weapons. At this point we've created a huge supply of weapons in the 3rd world, but it's not too late. We must 1) make treaties with the other major suppliers to put heavy limits on arms exports. 3rd world countries should not be able to easily purchase arms from "the west". 2) stop subsidizing exports of arms; if anything, they should have extra tarriffs - other countries should be paying us extra for arms, we should not have our taxes funneling cash into arms developers and foreign armies. 3) stop the illegal government programs which allow sales of forbidden arms, like armor-piercing 50 caliber rifles, etc. (these are already illegal under international treaties, but the US continues to export them through non-enforcement). 4) stop the US government loan and grant programs that help foreign countries buy US arms, as we've done in Turkey, Israel, Libya, Indonesia, Signapore, etc. Any argument that these programs are needed to keep our arms industry strong is ridiculous, because the arms sold overseas are not even the arms that our government buys any more, they are solely sold for the profit of the military-industrial complex.
They're showing a new ridiculous Republican attack add on TV here, continuing the line of showing nothing but attack adds. This one is really hillarious, classic political manipulation. It's about how John Kerry has missed all these votes (since he started campaigning). The first nice bit is they say "he has the worst attendance record of any senator", then they show the little asterisk (since he started campaigning); of course they don't mention that that's totally standard practice for any senator or congressman running for President; Bob Dole did the same thing; they also don't mention that our Pres Mr. Bush has the worst attendance record at his job of any modern President!! The next bit is another bit of silly political manipulation; they start mentioning all the "important bills" that Kerry has missed the vote on, as if missing those votes means he's against them, and they turn the bills into silly tear-jerker summaries, like "Kerry missed the bill that supports puppies; do you want a President who doesn't like puppies?". I'm Charles Bloom and I support this message.