Posted tagged ‘US’

Should American Airlines be American owned?

July 11, 2008

I’m not talking about selling AA to a foreign investor, I’m talking straight up communism.

Should we nationalize the airlines? Now you’ve probably heard all the news on CNN or in the New York Times about how airlines are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The only reason they’re staying afloat is because of the fact that the U.S. government, using your tax dollars is making sure these companies don’t go bankrupt.

Meanwhile the CEO makes $6,500,000.00 in a failing business. Now talk about overpaid and under performing. A-rod, you’re off the hook. When your company is losing $328,000,000.00 do you really think you deserve making six figures?

You’re probably thinking, lets nationalize already! This is such a joke. However, think about that…. (more…)

Mexico is Burning; Que Viva La Vida!

June 21, 2008

Heavily armed men walk the streets, police and soldiers are constantly under fire. Government leaders have been assassinated and average people are afraid to leave their homes. Mass graves are found, and kidnapped victims are found headless with evidence of torture. It’s not Kabul, Fallujah, or even Baghdad.

It’s Juárez, Mexico which is right across the river from El Paso, Texas. That is too close to home for many Americans who fear Mexico’s crackdown on the drug cartels, which have run these border towns for years, will lead to escalating violence here on our side of the border.

This year more than 600 people have been killed by the drug cartels in the violence. The soldiers and police who protect the innocent fear for their lives to the point where they wear ski masks and bandannas on their faces in order to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal on their families.

Everyone knows that the drug problem in America is only fueling the violence and our “war on drugs” is not exactly going well. Maybe one day we’ll win a war.

It seems as if the Mexican police which have worked together with the F.B.I. and other American law enforcement agencies might be better off learning from the Italians. The Italians experienced something like this when they cracked down on the Sicilian mafia. They should work together to learn from their mistakes and implement what worked well for them.

Mexico is going to have to start cracking down on corrupt police officers who cost the lives of law abiding Mexicans and Americans in order to turn a quick profit. It is sad to see that a Democracy has to endure something like this, but only a democracy would confront them. Any other form of government would either look the other way or attempt to make a profit themselves.

The U.S. government should stop funding a failing war in Iraq and start helping out our neighbors to the south. We have to remember that this violence could spill over our borders and that is not something anyone wants to see.

You have to realize that when your neighbors house is burning, you’re not going to worry about how much he’s going to pay you to use your hose. Put out the fire first, wake up America, this is something we need to pay attention to. You complain about illegal immigrants, how about making Mexico livable so that they wouldn’t want to leave their homes and families behind in order to make a living?

Mexico Police

Afghanistan… the forgotten war

June 6, 2008

For those of you who forgot, we are still at war in Afghanistan. Now in its 6th year 443 brave Americans have lost their lives in this war according to the latest AP figures.

Lately U.S. Marines have been fighting an upsurge in violence from the Taliban. They entered the Helmand province for the first time in years. Now the Marines aren’t alone in their fight, they’re joined by the ISA. 53,000 troops from different countries make up the ISAF or International Security Assistance Force which is in charge of Afghanistan. The ISAF has 1/3 the number of foreign troops in Iraq, yet Afghanistan is 50 percent larger and has 4 million more people.

Just to give you an idea of what these men and women have to go through. Some of these Marines are in the 4th week of what was supposed to be a 3 to 5 day campaign. These men are living off the land with no running water or no electricity as they fight Taliban soldiers who are reinforced and replaced as they cross over from Pakistan.

These are the same soldiers who when they come home are at times denied medical treatment. Soldiers who give everything to their country and get very little in return.

It’s not just American soldiers who are short changed. Recently UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been under fire from his own Generals. In an article from the London Times General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army compared the payment of his soldiers to traffic police in London.

It turns out that the traffic police or police constables have a starting salary of £21,009. Which at the current exchange rate comes out to $10,500 a year. The average soldier makes £16,227 which comes out to about $8,000 a year. Now considering the job, you have to realize that these brave soldiers are underpaid.

Do you really think someone who is handing out tickets in London should get paid more than someone who is fighting Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan for this 30th day in a row without running water and electricity? Now I know the police constables probably do a heck of a job, but lets be realistic.

Gordon Brown replied “We will do everything in our power in the years to come to recognize the great individual contribution that is made by all the members of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.”

Now American troops in Afghanistan have been ignored as much as British troops. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have nothing in their websites about Afghanistan. I believe it truly has been forgotten, for all of the talk he does about Iraq he is eerily silent about Afghanistan and NATO. I do commend Barack Obama for saying that he will withdraw troops from Iraq and place some of those troops in Afghanistan in order to relieve the soldiers who have fought much longer than they were expecting to.

Today I just ask you that when you hear people arguing about Iraq and what to do, just say “Hey what about Afghanistan?” Don’t forget the brave soldiers there, don’t forget their sacrifice, don’t’ forget the war.

Chris Puntarelli, reporting for St. John’s College Democrats.