by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

A country that can spend $13 billion on one single warship while millions go hungry every day and countless others are homeless and living on the streets is a country that has absolutely no moral compass. Especially since that same country keeps cutting benefits for those who are down on their luck.

The warship, which will debut in 2016, is called the USS Gerald Ford, named for the president who pardoned Richard Nixon AKA Tricky Dick after he was forced to resign, in lieu of being impeached, because conversations he recorded in his White House office made it clear that he was knee deep in a cover up of the Watergate break-in. 

The USS Gerald Ford is the most expensive warship ever developed by this nation or, in fact, any other country on the planet. The ship will also be one of the largest ever built. It will consume tons of the world’s precious resources, which isn’t good for the planet, and displace over 100,000 tons of water when it’s afloat (ditto). It will carry a 4,400 member crew and up to 75 aircraft. It’s a monster of a killing machine for a nation that has been at war for 214 of its 229 years (assuming 1776 was its birth date), or 90% of the time it has existed. 

Not only is USS Gerald Ford gobbling up billions of taxpayer dollars, but the wars in the Middle East cost us $8 million per hour, for a total so far of almost $2 trillion since 2001.The military and security together consume 60% of the national budget. Meanwhile, 15% of Americans (47 million people) live every day below the poverty line. That means they earn less than $24,000 a year. For blacks and Latinos, the rate of poverty is more like 20%. Hunger, or food insecurity as it’s called now, exists in 14% of American households. 

Across the country, homelessness is rampant. Here in San Francisco, there are nearly 7,000 people living without a roof over their heads. Of these, almost 3,000 are children living in vans with their families. Children who go to public schools by day and study by flashlight at night. 

Yet despite this immense poverty, the Republican Party, controlled by the tea baggers and their ilk, continues to attack social programs that help the poor and working class, including food stamps, welfare, child care and college Pell grants. Love they neighbor as thyself obviously doesn’t apply when that neighbor is poor. Just as “pro-life” doesn’t include the lives of people who work at Planned Parenthood.

To these Republicans and some Democrats, it’s perfectly okay to feed the gluttonous generals in the Pentagons who want bigger and more expensive weapons to kill everyone on the planet who gets in the way of corporate America’s desire to make more and more profits or secure more and more oil, but it’s not all right to give people a helping hand when they need it. The generals and their comrades in Congress and their CEO buddies in the corporate world receive hefty pensions when they retire. They’ll never go hungry.  

One thing you can count on in America: there’s always plenty of money to kill people, but a scarcity of it to feed or house them.

Views: 229

Comment by Zanelle on November 29, 2015 at 10:25pm

Oh, so well reported.  Thank you.  Makes me sick.

Comment by nerd cred on November 29, 2015 at 11:33pm

Yeah but ... jobs - they create jobs.  
And priorities.  Protecting freedom. Liberty. 
It's a dangerous world.  
We have enemies. Trying to hurt us.


Comment by nerd cred on November 29, 2015 at 11:34pm

p.s. I wonder what a ship like that actually does. Just shoot guns? Is it also an aircraft carrier?

Comment by koshersalaami on November 30, 2015 at 5:28am
If it carries up to 75 aircraft, presumably
Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on November 30, 2015 at 8:10am

It's what the Navy calls  the lead ship of her class of United States Navysupercarriers.

Comment by Hannu Virtanen on November 30, 2015 at 8:54am


You wrote:

"Here in SF, there are nearly 7,000 people living without a roof over their heads."

How big is the population there nowadays?

The problem of homelessness is nowadays really world wide.

For example in Delhi, the capital of India there are about one hundred and fifty thousand (150 000) people without a roof over their heads. The current population of Delhi is according to latest census 18,248,290.

Please see:

Even in such a small place as in Helsinki, the capital of Finland the number of homeless was 3,500 at year-end 2014.

The population of Helsinki is only about 630 000.

Comment by Tommi Avicolli Mecca on November 30, 2015 at 9:04am

the population of SF is about 800,000. Yes, homelessness is worldwide, but when a country spends $13 billion on a warship while millions are homeless and hungry, you have to wonder about that country's priorities and morality.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on November 30, 2015 at 9:12am

The USS Gerald Ford is a tragic waste of money. San Francisco has plenty of problems with their homeless population, but here's a note of ironic hope; with well over 50,000 homeless in Southern California, not counting the poor folks who are couch surfing with family and friends, the Poobahs who run the shelters on Skid Row in Downtown LA are running amok with what to do about the $100 million in new funding.

"You can build permanent supportive housing and get about 108 units for 108 people, but it's going to take years to obtain the rights and then build that," he says with a nod to the current housing crisis also facing Los Angeles. 

"Or for $40 million, you can build two Union Rescue Missions and help 1,600 people at a time," says Rev. Bales.

Both agree, however, that the city's pledge of $100 million should only be the start of its commitment to ending homelessness.

"The biggest thing we need in L.A. is we need a change of heart," says Rev. Bales.

Here's the latest irony, the average rent for a one bedroom apartment within 10 miles of downtown LA, where services for the homeless are centered, is now $2324 a month and going up.  Now Section 8 housing vouchers are no longer being accepted by landlords because they can make much more money renting on the open market.

Comment by Hannu Virtanen on November 30, 2015 at 9:40am

"You can build permanent supportive housing and get about 108 units for 108 people, but it's going to take years to obtain the rights and then build that,"

In India in many areas owned by the state or by a city you can build at you will and if you can proof that you managed somehow sustain there a certain time, they will let you to stay there. I don't know the law system exactly, but it goes roughly like that. Here, where I'm living the problems of obtaining rights for building seem to be quite similar as in the us.

The biggest social problem worldwide seems to be that biggest money and best engineering knowledge is invested in weapons. I don't know about any country, which is really free of that problem, even if the us seems to be really the worst in that respect.The us is investing for weapons about the same amount as the rest of the world combined.

In the crazy place where I'm living I read about ten years ago a survey, which says that the social support for the national army here is the highest among industrialized countries. Fortunately we don't have more money for investing in weapons. 

Comment by Tommi Avicolli Mecca on November 30, 2015 at 9:46am

Yes, we always find ways to fund war but never to end homelessness or hunger. a defect in humanity.


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