The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jeff Martinek Letter 9/14/04

To The Editors:

As the Republican National Convention made abundantly clear, President Bush intends to ignore his abysmal economic record and run the last leg of his reelection campaign almost entirely on the proposition that only he is capable of maintaining the safety and security of the American public.

Vice-President Cheney went as far as to suggest that a “wrong choice” in the upcoming election could mean that the U.S. would be “hit again . . . in a way that will be devastating.” His message was inescapable: John Kerry can’t and won’t keep you safe.

But has the Bush administration and the Republican Congress, really made us safer? Let’s look at the facts.

According the Department of Homeland Security’s own records, Bush cut funding to the Office of Domestic Preparedness, which supplies a variety of first-responder grants to state and local governments, by $800 million, from $4.4 billion in 2004 to $3.6 billion in 2005. In addition, Bush cut state and local domestic preparedness grants by $975 million in his 2005 budget, from $2.4 billion in 2004 to $1.43 billion in 2005.

Coming closer to home, The Bush budget cuts $17,846,848 from homeland security formula grants in Missouri. These grants provide police, firefighters and emergency management teams with the training and equipment they need to keep communities safe. He also cut state and local grant funding for first responder training, exercise, and technical assistance by nearly half, from $320 million in 2004 to $178 million in 2005.

Shame on the President for funneling billions towards an unnecessary and ill-conceived war Iraq while simultaneously cutting taxes on the richest Americans (the only war-time tax cut in history). It has forced the Bush administration to make cuts in the very government functions that we need more than ever to keep ourselves safe.

Jeff Martinek
Joplin

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