We are what we do
According to a recent Bloomberg report, the future looks grim for many children now living in California:
California teachers organized protests in more than a dozen cities today as about 26,000 may lose their jobs because of spending cuts the Legislature approved last month to keep the state from running out of money.
School districts across the most-populous U.S. state have been warning thousands of teachers that they may be fired as a result of California's declining tax collections. The plan signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last month cut $8.4 billion from schools and community colleges out of $15 billion trimmed from state spending through June 2010.
It seems that the Obama stimulus lacks the funds needed to educate well the young. Yet America certainly has money to fund those things the Obama government considers important. For instance, the New York Times reports that:
The protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are forcing the Obama administration to rethink what for more than two decades has been a central premise of American strategy: that the nation need only prepare to fight two major wars at a time.
This is an odd response to the current situation. It is strange because one might expect that failures of this degree and number would motivate the Obama administration to abandon the militarism which generated the debacles. Why, one might ask, given the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, must the United States consider fighting two or more major wars at any given time? Why has the supposedly realistic Obama administration chosen to deepen its commitment to war-preparation and war-making? What enemies does America have that the country must always plan for war as well as to muster the will needed to make war anywhere in the world? As it turns out, every country and nearly everyone is a possible enemy:
"We have to do many things simultaneously if our goal is to remain the ultimate guarantor of international security," Mr. Donnelly [a policy 'expert' at the American Enterprise Institute] said. "The hedge against a rising China requires a very different kind of force than fighting an irregular war in Afghanistan or invading Iraq or building partnership capacity in Africa."
The United States of America — "…the ultimate guarantor of international security...." This pretentious assertion, one that emerges so easily from the mouths of many right-wing ideologues, concisely expresses the utter madness one can find these days in Washington, DC. The idea comes by its insanity with comparative ease since the United States currently guarantees no one's security, is effectively bankrupt and loses most of those wars it chooses to fight. America is, in fact, the major source of the insecurity which saturates the world today. The global presence of this threat, a threat which originates in Washington and serves the interests of the American elite, is just one legacy of the Bush regime's totalizing militarism, a governmental style the Obama administration has yet to repudiate.
In any case, it ought to be clear that, when it comes to spending to maintain America's empire, neither major party would fail to sacrifice military effectiveness in order to provide for the well-being of the children they allegedly represent.