Page 13 - the Noise December 2017
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Straight out of General “Mad Dog” Mattis’ desktop recycle bin is the proposal that holds . the fire line to firepower, and probably would’ve earned a two-bit foreign correspon- dent his 4th “fake news” star if only he hadn’t been caught up in an online scrabble game with Steve Bannon.
Currently, the United States Forest Service is budgeted with $4.9 Billion, which is $787 Million less than what it was budgeted last year. The Military Industrial Complex, meanwhile, is currently budgeted $640 Billion. The Forest Service budget, therefore makes up slightly more than 0.07% of the MIC budget, yet the Forest Service is charged with putting out more and more forest fires every year.
The MIC, however, stores trillions of dollars of applied research and technology, namely in aircraft and advanced aviation machinery, currently grounded in multiple countries across the world, and utilized for one of two missions: either reconnaissance, or to bomb an enemy into submission.
This past summer and autumn, the American West realized the dire straits its forests are in, and just how ill-equipped the Forest Service is to deal with the ravages of wild fire. As California can testify, generations of old growth are now under ash; and Arizona bears wit- ness to hundreds of thousands of pristine acreage gone up in smoke, just since this time last year. In 2016, there were 308,245 acres burned in Arizona; 5.5 million acres burned throughout the country.
All the carnage in the homeland begs the question: “Where is Homeland Security, when your home is on fire?”
At the time of this writing, 400,000 soldiers are stationed overseas along with an unspec- ified number of aircraft, which likely number in the thousands, but whose actual statistics are not disclosed to the public. Indeed, over $18.5 billion — more than three times the Forest Service Budget — is spent on “Military Intelligence” whose budgetary details are not available “for national security reasons.” These same Military Intelligence Operations brought about an incorrect analysis of Saddam Hussein’s weaponry and participation in
the 9/11 attacks, precipitating the last two foreign wars — wars which might be remem- bered, are highly complicit in the continued depletion of the United States Treasury and the increasing of the National Debt, now at over $20.5 trillion, and counting.
Simply utilizing the aircraft and personnel at times of Homeland Crisis, like when a for- est fire hits — would reduce dramatically the time and level of devastation to a given area of the Homeland, whether it be in the Ponderosas near Prescott or the Pinot of Sonoma.
Imagine, within the first 24 hours of a sited wildfire, F-22s and F-13s come screaming in, quickly parching a fire with rains of hydrogen and oxygen, not hydrogen and sulfur. An emergency response team of 100,000 soldiers are flown into the fire-besieged land, charged with mopping pine needles around homes, instead of mopping up blood on the streets of a foreign city.
Then, instead of a long-term station in a far-flung Arab or Asian country [none of which to the date of this writing have ever launched a missile toward the United States, and could be reasonably considered by international law as “no immediate threat” to the Homeland], US Armed Forces are armed with Sawz-Alls and Chippers to clean the forests near grand- ma’s house, sweeping the dry brush and deadwood causing the undeniable “immediate threat” of wildfires in the first place.
Estimates place a “Forest Service Priority” rider on the current budget as 1/10th of the Military Industrial Complex Budget proposed by Senator John McCain — $64 Billion; a small price to pay for a Homeland Security that pays for itself in quality of life, property value, and local economic dividends.
— $69,000,000,000 would be the equivalent of 1,380,000 (1.3 million) jobs paying $50,000 per year; enough to provide housing and a decent living to soldiers and civilians who wish to make a difference in the stewarding of the Homeland; ensuring a vital future for the spaces that are our Nation’s Natural Treasures.
A real jobs bill for the middle class, preserving the land and preserving the peace. | the NOISE arts & news | DECEMBER 2017 • 13

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