Archive: 03/2011

We Are Poor, Part II


We now have a $14 trillion debt, over half of which derives from military expenditures. This year we have a budget proposal of over $1 trillion for military and military-related costs ($700 billion for the Pentagon itself). The U.S. together with our allies—Britain and the European Union, India, Israel, Egypt, South Korea and our cohorts in the war on al Qaida—account for 75 percent of the world’s military spending. Our closest ‘non-ally,’ China, spends barely a sixth of what we spend.

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Cut the Military Budget in Half

With the House of Representatives poised to slash federal spending to reduce the deficit, Nebraskans for Peace held a Valentine’s Day news conference at the State Capitol to spot-light the first place Congress should start cutting: America’s bloated military budget. The following four statements delivered at the news conference detail the mix of flawed thinking, misplaced priorities and pork barrel spending that is needlessly driving our government to the brink of bankruptcy and threatening to gut its role as an instrument of justice.

Why Isn’t Military Spending on the Chopping Block?

by Hendrik Van den Berg
UNL Professor of Economics

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White House Shines Light on Bullying Issue

With all of the devastating news coming out of Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, as well as all of the protests taking place around the country in response to the attack on public union employees, some important news about anti-bullying efforts in this country got passed over. In the March 8, 2011 issue of the Lincoln Journal Star, an article entitled UNL prof to share bullying research at White House reported that a UN-L associate professor of psychology and well-known bullying expert, Susan Swearer, was going to Washington, D.C. to join a panel of researchers at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. Swearer said about the conference, "It's great that the Obama administration is putting a lot of effort into understanding and preventing bullying behaviors in kids. I think certainly drawing national attention to the issue is really important because bullying is really prevalent in a lot of communities." 

In a follow-up article entitled Obama: Bullying not inevitable part of growing up, in the March 10, 2011 edition of the Lincoln Journal Star, it was reported that " of the nation's students, or 13 million children, have been bullied. The issue has gained increased attention in recent years in part because of the effect of new technologies such as Facebook and Twitter, and because of high-profile coverage of young people who have committed suicide after being bullied. Experts say young people who are bullied are more likely to have trouble in school, abuse drugs and alcohol, and have health issues. Obama has warned that failing to address bullying puts the nation at risk of falling behind other countries in academics and college readiness." 

Having bullying in our schools making headlines in the news will help us keep this issue at the forefont of people's minds. This is an important issue, one that we must not stop working on until all of our children can go to school in a safe and bully-free environment.

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StratCom and Stuxnet


By: Loring Wirbel- Citizens for Peace in Space, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Lost amid the rash of media reports on the protests engulfing the Middle East and North Africa was a little February news item noting that the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran was at risk of a nuclear meltdown. The predicted danger, it turns out, was not the result of poor construction or the fault of an ill-trained crew.  It was instead an unintended ‘side effect’ of an attack launched by Israel with the help of StratCom’s “Cyber Command” to cripple Iran’s nuclear capabilities with a computer worm—a rogue program similar to a virus.  

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