Archive for March 23rd, 2011

Today I read two interesting articles.  One is about the use of telephones and the other about the costs of a “war” in Libya.
The first is titled: “Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You” and appeared at NYTimes.com.  Basically, it’s about how fewer and fewer people are using their phones to talk to anyone.  Mainly, it’s stated, because we are moving away from land lines and moving to cell phones and text messaging.  I’m not sure if the premise is valid, but I am (myself) a rare case in that I rarely use the phone and send fewer than one text message per day.  By comparison, my wife sends several hundred per month and all three of my kids send over 3,000 per month (EACH!).
I must admit even without a cell phone, I wouldn’t use the home phone.  For one thing, almost no one ever calls me.  And for another, most of the calls I do get are for charities and / or election campaigns and / or bogus business schemes / deals to help me refinance my mortgage or credit cards.  Anyway, I found the article an interesting read – as were the comments in reply.
The second article: “Costs of Libya operation already piling up” appeared at GovExec.com.  The article puts forward the first day and on-going cost of Operation Odyssey Dawn (pretty much as I proposed earlier) at over $100M for the first day and $30 to $100M per week because we are only providing no-fly coverage along the coast of Libya (where the oil fields and pipelines AND the rebels are located).  If we had to enforce the no-fly zone coverage over the whole country, the estimate is $100 to $300M per week!!
On the one hand, I don’t want to see upwards of 100,000 Libyans butchered by Gaddafi’s tanks and army, but on the other hand I wonder how many teachers, police and firemen (let alone bridges, roads and healthcare) we could be paying for with the $30 to $100M per WEEK we seem to be able to spend on this effort.
Being a cynic, I just think we’re getting close to the use by date on these 400 to 500 cruise missiles we’re going to burn-up during the next few months and I guess the President is being advised he might as well use them and pay to replace them as opposed to just dumping them in a land fill in Arizona or Nevada.  At least they’re made in America, so making the replacements will force the Republicans to pay for American jobs.
As a matter of fact, I think we should incorporate all American social programs (healthcare, education, etc) through the Department of Defense and then see if the Republicans will dare to cut the defense budget.  We could even do the same with some non-social programs like transportation, communications and food and drugs.  All of them have at least indirect influence on Defense – we have to have healthy high school graduates to join the military (healthcare, food and drugs and education) and we have to have decent roads to move food and weapons from farms and munitions plants to our bases and ports.  It’s a natural!!
While I am, of course, just  joking, it does give one pause to imagine the votes in Congress for cuts in military spending then.  Doesn’t it?
Finally, I’m going to be slightly rearranging my links to set up and move items to a Charities group.  Just in case you don’t notice the change…  Today’s addition is not really a charity (because it’s funded by the government), but I think it’s an interesting site.  It’s called U.S. AID.  Check it out…
“All I am saying, is give peace a chance…”

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If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of giants.
    —    Sir Isaac Newton
(Letter to Robert Hook, 5 Feb. 1676)

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