Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

SamFarrNewWhat is your position on the National Defense Authorization Act?

After more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is one very important lesson our nation must acknowledge: Our national security cannot live and die by the sword. Tanks and bombs alone will not ensure peace and security at home or abroad. It is time that our national security strategy and defense budget reflect these realities.  

Our nation’s brave men and women in uniform have served with an unwavering commitment to defend our country’s ideals and way of life. After years of sacrifice, we now owe them a path home. I am encouraged that President Obama has announced a timeline to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, but I hope this is only the start of a new direction for our national security.

The National Defense Authorization Act is the legislative vehicle to guide our national security policy in a new direction. Defense spending accounts for more than 50 percent of the funds Congress appropriates every year, and 20 percent of total government spending, which reflects our nation’s intention to lead with force. That is the message we are sending the world and to the American people.  

Year after year we are faced with the same dilemma: continue to support bloated military budgets and cut domestic programs, or set our nation on a new course. The outcome is clear: increases in defense spending have forced our nation to divert limited fiscal resources away from projects and programs that invest in education, infrastructure and the future of our county. What we have to show for the sacrifice are valuable lives lost and military interventions that have produced limited results and no long-term security.  

As calls for the federal government to get its fiscal house in order continue to sound louder, one thing has become clear. We cannot continue to increase defense spending, and to invest in our country’s future. We simply cannot do both. The “guns and butter” approach didn’t work a generation ago during the Vietnam War. It won’t work now.

How we move forward will require that we evaluate our values, and answer fundamental questions about our priorities. We can continue to go down the road of building an expanded military force, that does nothing to help our fiscal solvency problem; or we can set a new course that emphasizes diplomacy and ground-up assistance abroad, and helps us reduce our budget deficit. I strongly support the latter.   

As a return Peace Corps volunteer, I have seen firsthand what the power of friendship and a helping hand can do to uplift entire communities. These types of missions have the capability to show the world an inspiring, uplifting side of humanity that reflects our better nature. Service to others can be our great common cause of global peace and development.

Furthermore, diplomatic and humanitarian interventions are cost-effective, proven ways to decrease the duration of conflict, bring lasting security to war-torn areas, and reduce the devastating impacts to our service members. This needs to be our priority, and the place to start is by cutting our purchasing of guns and bombs. Instead we need to focus on the apparatus of our military that builds cultural bridges and closes gaps of misunderstanding.

Our nation needs a new guiding principle to drive our foreign policy. Building up our defense has proven that it is not sustainable fiscal policy or foreign policy. I will continue to voice my support of defense budget cuts, and continue to champion efforts that support diplomatic and humanitarian paths towards peace and security.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals