I haven’t seen it yet. Definitely going on my list, though.
If you enjoyed it, you’d probably also enjoy this fascinating BBC documentary, The Atheism Tapes.
Each episode is an interview with a different well-known atheist, from philosophy (Daniel Dennett) to biology (Dawkins, of course) and physics (Steven Weinburg). It’s interesting to see how so many different people have used the knowledge of their field effectively to disprove the notion of God.
Being that it’s a BBC documentary it can get rather dry, yet it never loses its poignancy.
Granted, it’s based on a study done by the Cato Institute. But it makes sense.
Gist: Portugal decriminalized all drugs. For possession of small amounts, you go in front of a panel. They recommend you get (state-sponsored) treatment. You can say yes, or you can say no. There are no penalties for saying no, save that you’ll probably be up in front of the panel again soon.
Before this, they had the largest (by portion of population) amount of hard drug users in Europe.
Focusing on treatment instead of incarceration (which only causes a downward spiral instead of rehabilitation) is the way to go, IMHO.
But spending has increased completely out of proportion with the need, he said. “During the Cold War, 26 percent of military spending in the world was American; now it’s 41 percent. So we have fewer enemies and we’re spending more money.”
The key to defense budget cutting, Frank said, is to attack the notion that the U.S. military needs to be everywhere in the world militarily. “If you let them insist that there is a need for worldwide military engagement, we will be at a disadvantage when we fight the specific fights” to cut programs, he said.
Once you drop that notion, he said, “I believe we would save over $100 billion a year over what’s been proposed.”
This is a question about more than the military budget. This is a fundamental question of the nature of American Empire — including whether it exists at all. It makes sense that the defense budget has increased markedly since the end of the Cold War — maintaining an empire is actually more expensive than squaring off against a single massive enemy.
If we want to maintain our empire we must continue to spend to support it. Or we can decide to scale back our ambition, and thereby reduce the strain on our treasury. Both are reasonable options.
“Sadly, Congress has made a habit of spending every dollar of new FIPSE money on pork projects like the “John P. Murtha Institute of Homeland Security” at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, named for the veteran lawmaker who has elevated the practice of sending taxpayer money to hometown cronies and contributors to a fine art.”— Kevin Carey, “That Old College Lie”