My position on Afghanistan is we need to get out.  There will be those of you who disagree with me, but please let me explain why I have come to this position before you dismiss me.

Afghanistan is the size of Texas.  The number of roads in the country, however, equate to roads in Texas in the 1930s.  Not much there.  If you’ve ever read an autobiography about Lincoln or know a little history about the Civil War, you probably know Lincoln was behind the building of the railroads during the war.  Why?  Troop and supply movements.  There weren’t enough roads and supplies and troops couldn’t be moved fast enough.

Warlords, Inc. below explains what we’re dealing with in Afghanistan.  Paying a mafia style protection racket to move supplies for our troops with money that ends up in the hands of a shadow militia, corrupt government officials and even the Taliban is not going to help us win the war.

Beyond that issue, the election of Karzai is in question, his brother is running a drug operation and billions of dollars are reportedly leaving the tarmac at the airport each day.  Dollars that once belonged to the American taxpayer.

We’re sending our troops out on an impossible mission and we did so without even knowing the culture of the country.  We didn’t do any better in Iraq, either. This should have been an intelligence operation from the start.  We can’t change the past, but we should change the future.  Bring the troops home, they deserve no less for the sacrifices they’ve made for their country.

Afghanistan – A Country Study (Research completed January 1986) Updated 8/08
Malalai Joya:  The woman who will not be silenced 7/09
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction 10/09
Understanding Afghanistan: The Importance of Tribal Culture and Structure in Security and Governance 11/09
The Secret US War in Pakistan 12/09
Afghan Lobby Scam 1/10
How US military funds are ending up in the hands of the Taliban 1/10
Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy 1/10
GAO-10-613R Afghanistan’s Security Environment 5/10
Warlords, Inc. 6/10
The Strategic Framework for U.S. Efforts in Afghanistan 6/10
War in Afghanistan- Strategy, Military Operations, and Issues for Congress 6/10

This is an excellent paper providing the pros and cons of private contractors and their role throughout our history.

Public War, Private Fight? The United States and Private Military Companies 2005

If you’re ready to get into the weeds of what happened, why it happened, who knew it was going to happen (so you can wonder why nothing was done when they might have been able to do something to lessen the fall), then these links are for you.

Be warned – if you thought you were angry before – you’ll probably be even angrier after you get through this material.

Both parties were to blame – not everyone in each party, but certainly enough blame to go around on both sides of the aisle and right up to both administrations.

Of course, the Gramms made out like bandits, I’m sure.  Wendy Gramm ruled her agency would not regulate derivatives, then resigned within days of that ruling to go to work for Enron – the very company that was the first to benefit from that decision.

With the repeal of Glass Steagall under her husband’s “Gramm – Leach – Bliley Act – insurance companies were allowed to get into the banking industry – and where was Mrs. Gramm – sitting on the board of State Farm Insurance.

Shortly after her husband left the Senate, he ended up working for UBS (United Bank of Scotland).

My, my…here’s a couple who are surely sitting pretty while the rest of us aren’t.

New Leverage Ratio Won’t be Enough to Stop Overconfident Bankers 11/1/09
The Great Depression And The Great Recession 10/30/09
Bill Moyers Journal interview with Rep. March Kaptur & Simon Johnson, former economist with the IMF 10/09/09
Baseline Scenario 10/09/09
Who Owns Your Mortgage? “Produce The Note” Movement Helps Stall Foreclosures 9/22/09
Waking up to discover the mortgage market was a giant criminal enterprise 9/22/09
Credit Swaps Lose Crisis Stigma as Confidence Returns 9/16/09
Cuomo Subpoenas Bank Of America Board Members 9/16/09
Warren Buffett On The Economy: “Three Or Four Years From Now Everything Will Be Fine” (VIDEO) 9/15/09
Deflating our way to Prosperity: Five Major Sectors of our Economy Pointing to Demand Destruction Price Deflation. Education, Wages, Housing, Stocks, and Automobiles. 6/23/09   (Interactive Pie Chart here)
The Quiet Coup by Simon Johnson 5/09
Dispute Settlement in the World Trade 9/06
Putting U.S. Corporate Taxes in Perspective 10/27/08
Community Reinvestment Act had nothing to do with subprime crisis 9/29/08
Evidence Shows That Tax Cuts Lose Revenue 7/28/08
Bernanke on the Origins of the Subprime Mortgage Turmoil 3/24/08
Ben Bernanke on The Community Reinvestment Act: Its Evolution and New Challenges 3/30/07
National Debt Graph
Center on Budget & Policy Priority
Economic Policy Institute
Institute for Policy Studies
Investing for Success Examining a Federal Capital Budget and a National Infrastructure Bank

It’s time for our educational system to catch up to the 21st Century.

We can make no better investment in our future than providing our youth a free college education.

Too many of our students give up without fulfilling their potential. They know they will be unable to pay for a higher education and they fear taking the risk of loans. If education is available to them, nothing will stop them from working to attain a brighter future.

We need to expand our options – a brick and mortar university is not a necessity for all students; we need to utilize the new learning tools available – perhaps it’s time to retire the blackboard that has been with us for a hundred years.  Kids are way past a blackboard now even before they enter kindergarten.

For those who don’t want to go to college, we need to provide vocational education expanding partnerships with trade organizations like electricians and plumbers to teach these skills to the next generation of workers.

In addition to those who need an education, we have millions of students across the country drowning in student loan debt in an economy that is still shedding jobs.  We must do something for these students.  Low simple interest loans that can be put in abeyance until the economy recovers and they can find jobs, would be a start.  Payments based on a percentage of income would help others.  And those who are facing other challenges, such a serious illness or disability, they should be allowed to discharge this debt in bankruptcy.

Teacher Shortage Areas 3/10
Transforming America’s Community Colleges
Chef Proves School Lunch Can Be Healthy, Cheap
Studying in the US: A Free Year at a Community College
Community College Initiative
Committee for Education Funding
CFE Budget Response 2010
Education Matters
U.S. Gets Tough On Failure to Repay Student Loans

Here you’ll find links to resources for health care information that we still need to consider.  There is still much reform needed in our health care system – we need to identify those problems and look for solutions – and we need to dispel the myths that have been perpetrated by those whose agenda is profit, not health care.

National Health Service Corps Washington Locations
Medicare Intermediary-Carrier Directory
Physicians’ Beliefs and U.S. Health Care Reform — A National Survey
Doctors on Coverage — Physicians’ Views on a New Public Insurance Option and Medicare Expansion
The Myth About Medical Malpractice insurance
The Cost of Lack of Health Care – A Study by the American College of Physicians Full Report – here
Research & Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry – A CBO Study (your tax dollars subsidizing PhRMA)
Why Don’t We Enforce Existing Drug Price Controls? – The Bayh-Dole Act
Saying ‘sorry’ pays off for U.S. doctors
Bait and Switch
Three “Inconvenient Truths” about Health Care
Who Are the Authors of the HELP Bill?
The Cost Conundrum
Bill Moyers sits down with Trudy Lieberman and Marcia Angell
Wendell Potter on Profits Before Patients
Sicko, The Movie
Medicare Drug Program Costing Less Than Estimates, U.S. Says 1/7/07
State Discipline of Physicians: Assessing State Medical Boards through Case Studies
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Summary
Is Obama Care really a GOP plan in sheep’s clothing? 4/10

1 comment. Leave a Reply

  1. This site is awesome.

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