Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Sep 05th
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

 

You Are What You Post

Online personality algorithms put astrological profiles to shame, but UCSC psychologists are raising questions about sharing personal data

 

Venus Direct, Mercury Retro Soon, Honoring Our Labors

As Burning Man (nine days, Aug. 30-Sept. 7 in the sign of Virgo) burns in the hot white desert sands, a petal of the rose created by retrograde Venus and the twelve-petaled Sun in Virgo’s petals unfold. All of us are on the burning ground (Leo) in the womb (cave of the heart) of the mother (Virgo), gestating for humanity once again (each year) a new state of consciousness. Both Virgo and Cancer, feminine (receptive energies) signs, are from our last solar system (Pleiades). When humanity first appeared on Earth we were nurtured by the mother, a matriarchy of energies (on islands in the Pacific). Eve, Isis and Mary are part of the lineages of our ancient Mother. Overseen by the Pleiades, the Earth (matter, mater, the mother) in that last solar system was imbued with intelligence (Ray 3). As we move toward autumn, another mother, Ceres realizes she has mere weeks left with her beloved daughter, Persephone. Persimmon and pomegranate trees prepare for autumn, their colors signs of hope as the light each day continues to dim. Sunday, Venus in Leo turns stationary direct, yet continues in her shadow until Oct. 9 (when retrograde Mercury turns direct). Slowly our newly assessed values emerge from the Venus retrograde. We thought in Venus retro how to use our resources more effectively. Mercury retrogrades Sept. 17. Monday is Labor Day. Let us honor the labor of everyone, all life a “labor.” Let us honor Labor Day and all those who have “served” (labored for) us this past year. We honor their labors. We honor the labor of our parents, those who have loved us. We honor our own labors, too. We are all in service, we are all laboring. We are all valuable.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 4

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

 

Sushi Garden

Local sushi empire expands to Scotts Valley

 

Do you overshare online?

I don’t think so. I just post things about my life, like successful things. Sometimes I just like sharing different news that I find interesting, or favorite artists, clothes, music. I like to post photos. Natalia Delgado, Santa Cruz, Server

 

McIntyre Vineyards

I recently met up with three friends for dinner at Sanderlings at Seascape Beach Resort. We chose to eat outside so we could watch the sun set over the ocean, but the Aptos fog rolled in and swallowed it up.

 

Sustainable Supper

The Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper series supports its award-winning programs