We have watched this president, like so many before him, drop bombs and hurl missiles at different countries in Asia and Africa. The picture below of US missiles striking Damascus would be perfectly at home in a Hollywood blockbuster about an technologically-advanced alien civilization attacking a human society with less firepower.
Few of these movies ever explore what is going on back home in these alien societies. Do their leaders starve their bug-eyed young of resources in learning, so they have more pliable cannon fodder? Do their military-industrial-complexes have bug-shaped lobbyists who ease the path to war, knowing there are billions to be made from restocking the armories? Do their leaders employ surveillance and intimidation against tentacled peace-activists? Do they have families where one sibling works on starving schools while another builds a mercenary army and profits from war?
Because that is what we are doing in the USA.
Since only two of my twelve-year old Freshman Literature books have covers, my more artistic 9th graders have helpfully drawn illustrations as the new covers. So yes, we do need funding. Or a duct tape budget at least. #OklahomaTeachersWalkout pic.twitter.com/SbkMtwlGjH
— Travis McMahan (@T_Mc06) April 3, 2018
The New York Times asked teachers to send in pictures and stories of decrepit classrooms, and they got dozens. Some of the most shocking responses are collected here: 25-Year-Old Textbooks and Holes in the Ceiling: Inside America’s Public Schools
Tennessee, Kathryn Vaughn, art teacher
Salary: $50,000 with 11 years of experience
Annual out-of-pocket expenses: $1,500
I am a public-school teacher in the rural South. I’ve had to become incredibly resourceful with the supplies. Teaching art to about 800 students on a $100-a-year budget is difficult. I do receive some donations from the families at my school, but my school is Title I and the families don’t have a lot to give.
I personally have to work several additional jobs to survive and support my veteran husband. We live in a modest house, I drive a 15-year-old car, and despite all of that, even with my master’s degree, some months we are not food secure. — www.nytimes.com/…
As teachers and schools struggle, the Trump administration plans to increase the US military budget to $716 Billion this year.
Right at the center of this shameful scam to impoverish our schools and re-direct the funds to wage war on other countries, are Erik Prince and Betsy Devos.
Devos is Trump’s Education Secretary. Her brother Erik Prince is a war profiteer who created a mercenary army when Bush/Cheney started the Iraq war. Prince is a good friend of Dick Cheney’s and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky suggested last month that Erik Prince and Blackwater were directly involved in a secret assassination and torture program run out of Cheney’s office.
Trump and Devos are planning billions in cuts to education funding, at the precise moment we understand just how under-resourced so many of our schools are.
Two programs would see the steepest cuts: Title II—used in part to recruit and retain teachers and support principals—and the 21st Century Learning Centers block grants, which pay for enrichment programs during non-school hours, particularly in high-poverty communities. — www.theatlantic.com/…
On the other hand, Trump’s budget expands funding for war and war materiel. Erik Prince is a Trump ally who seems to have acted as a go-between for the Trump campaign with Russia. Prince has been pitching a plan to have his mercenary army build a private air force and intelligence agency which would bill the US taxpayer. .
A mercenary force in Afghanistan would comprise about 5,500 contractors and 90 aircraft, Prince told USA Today. Contractors, paid by the U.S. government, would wear Afghan uniforms, he said, and his air force would attack hostile entities only with approval from the Afghan government.
He’s also suggested appointing a viceroy to direct the campaign. In the White House, two of Trump’s top officials, chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, have advocated the idea. — www.washingtonpost.com/…
In Iraq, employees of the company Prince helped start (Blackwater/Xe) were responsible for killing several Iraqi civilians.
MLK warned about the corrosive effects of such misplaced priorities decades ago.
Never has a single family exemplified this corrupt, destructive, anti-human agenda, more than the Devos/Prince family.
I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin—we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered. […]
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation. It will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.
A true revolution of values will lay a hand on the world order and say of war, “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.