Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Nov 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

SamFarrNewThe death of Osama bin Laden has initiated a conversation about our role in Afghanistan and the money that has been spent. Are you in favor of reducing defense spending? If so, by how much?

The death of Osama bin Laden not only landed a major blow against threats posed by al-Qaeda, but it gave comfort and some sense of closure to thousands of families that were affected by the devastating 9/11 attacks. And for the hundreds of thousands of soldiers that have unflinchingly marched into countless battles in Afghanistan, it gave them a renewed sense of pride and purpose for their service and sacrifice.

Our country met the news with a collective sigh of relief, but it is clear that protecting our nation against violent extremism is not over. But after a decade of fighting in Afghanistan, and nation building in Iraq and intervening in other hot spots in the Middle East, it is time we learn from our past.

The valuable lesson we have learned is that any serious national security strategy must see past military confirmation, and look to uplift the communities that are breeding extremism at home and around the world. That means reevaluating and reprioritizing defense spending to reflect a foreign policy strategy that is actively engaged in winning hearts and minds, and not just dropping bombs.

Last week, the House voted on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes $690 billion in defense spending. While the bill contains important funding allocations to protect our men and women in uniform, if falls far short of steering our nation in a new course of sustainable peace.

At a time of deep budget cuts targeting the safety nets for seniors and the disadvantaged, it is only fair that we also look at the high price tag of defense spending. Our current path is not only unsustainable at home, but also shortsighted in securing long-term security threats abroad.

I continue to have hope that our nation will shift its course, end its military engagements, and finally seek to address the root causes of the threats facing our nation.

We just celebrated Memorial Day. What is congress doing to help memorialize the men and women who have given their lives for our country?

I have always believed that our nation has an obligation to honor the sacrifice and commitment made by generations of men and women in uniform that have fought to protect our nation’s ideals and way of life. For that reason, I have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Central Coast veterans to make the dream of the Fort Ord Veterans Cemetery a reality.

After years of facing budgetary and policy roadblocks, that included constant negotiations bouncing back from D.C. to Sacramento to the Central Coast, the Fort Ord Veterans Cemetery now has a roadmap with a potential path of starting construction as early as September 2012. Even though we have not yet crossed the finished line, and tough work still lies ahead, the great progress we have made gives me hope that this dream will in fact soon be a reality for thousands of dedicated veterans who have worked to give their fellow soldiers the final resting place worthy of their service.

Memorial Day allows us an opportunity to honor and remember our fallen heroes. But as our country continues to be engaged in a war in Afghanistan, actively involved in Iraq, and selectively intervening in Libya, Memorial Day also reminds us of our ongoing responsibility to honor our returning soldiers.

Last week, I was proud to cast my vote in support of the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act, which will give young veterans the opportunity to pursue higher education and the tools to build successful lives after their unwavering service. I am also happy to report that the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide additional support to injured veterans through the New Family Caregiver Program, which will give veterans the resources to receive care in their homes.

Being a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee has also given me the platform to continue to champion the cause of veterans through the most direct vehicle for increasing funding for veteran programs.

From the skies of Libya to the urban battlefields of Baghdad and Kabul, brave Americans have pledged to sacrifice and risk their lives for our country, and to never leave a fellow soldier behind. On Memorial Day, and everyday, let it be our continued pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Good Times Holiday Giving

Giving Where It Helps

 

Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of November 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Round About Now

The glory of persimmons, plus Ivéta scone mix and lunch at Assembly

 

What charities would you like to see people support this season?

Judy Allen, Scotts Valley, Consulting

 

Big Basin Vineyards

I was just in the process of purchasing a bottle of Big Basin’s 2012 Homestead in Vinocruz when Matt Ryan walked into the store. Ryan manages the tasting room, sales and the mailing list at Big Basin, and, considering the popularity of their wines, he’s a very busy man.

 

Ashby Confections

Local chocolate maker talks chocolate and self control