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Lytton Plaza gathering honors war dead

Original post made on Aug 29, 2007

People displayed signs protesting the war in Iraq and read the names of soldiers who died in Iraq at a vigil Tuesday evening in Lytton Plaza in downtown Palo Alto. Photos by Marjan Sadoughi/Palo Alto Weekly.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 2:37 PM

Comments (16)

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Posted by Alice Smith
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 29, 2007 at 5:07 pm

The vigil also read out the War Toll from 1 January 2007 until the 18th August 2007, by day, where these young people were from and how many were also injured. Details on the Iraqi dead of course have not been forthcoming by this administration, so we can only guess at the devastation and personal toll on that sad country.

Many people attended, and those with whom I spoke found the reading out of the War Toll by small groups (5 or 6 separate circles with 15-20 in each circle) by young and old alike, including many veterans, especially moving.

Thank you for covering this special event. Sadly it won't be the last. But it reminds us all that the cost in human life, and the cost in tax dollars diverted from education, housing, infrastructures such as roads, safety and bridges, is incalculable.

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 29, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Sadly, democracy costs blood..more sadly, dictatorships cost more blood.

In this case, our honorable and brave volunteers are dying and being wounded helping the Iraqis, who are dying at 15 times the rate, achieve their united and democratic Iraq.

I don't know how much longer I can support it, myself, but as long as progress is being made ( and it is) and we are clearly on the way out, and as long as it is a volunteer military..I support it.

I predict we are down to less than 50,000 troops there in one year..probably 30,000.

As for the cost to Iraqi lives... the most conservative number that even the strongest Saddam defenders accept is that at least 300,000 Iraqis were killed by Saddam, not counting the 400,000 killed in wars he started, and the 400,000 Persian lives killed in the Iraq-Iran war. Over a million dead Muslims, at the very least. An average of 70,000 per year.

Even if we double the Iraq "body count" that is accepted as "valid"( which is somewhere around 60,000, 50,000 fewer deaths per year than under Saddam), there are 120,000 dead Iraqis from this war for their liberation from Saddam and his faction. They are not going meekly to their deaths..they are dying in battle they have chosen ( they are not conscripted), they are dying in lines to join, they are dying as policemen, and they are dying as innocents being blown up by extremists, not by us.

If they want us to leave, we will, but all we are hearing is their ELECTED government begging us to stay to help, and begging us to stop undercutting their and our efforts by constantly emboldening the very people they are fighting with us. The ones wanting us to leave are the UNELECTED.

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Posted by Perspective.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 29, 2007 at 5:26 pm

The military budget, by the way, is 17% of our Federal budget..the health and education budget is ..don't quite remember, somebody correct me if I am wrong, ..47%? And that is just FEDERAL. States bear most of the responsibility for funding health and education. Defunding the military and dividing it up evenly between education and everything else would increase our Federal education budget by how much? Someone do the math, but it is a very small percentage increase to the overall education budget. That bumper sticker is old.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 29, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Prespective, I think you'll find that military spending is closer to 41 percent of the current federal budget, and I don't believe that includes overrides for the Iraq adventure -- so it's in the neighborhood of $500 billion plus & I don't think it includes veterans affairs. The federal education budget is closer to $56 billion.

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Posted by Give me facts
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 30, 2007 at 5:28 am

We Palo Altan need to be educated... Can someone PLEASE post numbers FEDERAL education and military budgets.
Please cite your reference.

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Posted by Numbers
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2007 at 5:44 am

US Budgets 2007

Deptartment of Defence (DOD): Total Funding $439.3 Billion +6.9%.

Department of Energy (DOE): spends an additional $23.4 Billion during FY2007 for the development, maintenance and production of nuclear warheads.

Department of Education(ED): currently administers a budget of about $67.2 billion per year—$57.5 billion in discretionary appropriations and $9.7 billion in mandatory appropriations—and operates programs that touch on every area and level of education.

The post above by "Perspective" is grossly WRONG.

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Posted by Gail Sredanovic
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 30, 2007 at 8:55 am

Prior to the sixties stand-alone programs like Social Security and Medicare were not included in the report of the federal budget. This has the effect of disguising the percent of income tax dollars spent on the military.

While it is true that their funds are siphoned off to cover other budget items, they are designed to be self financing so that their inclusion in the budget is deceptive.

Besides the fact, correctly pointed out by one commentator that the Iraq war is off-budget, there are many costs of war to society and the taxpayer that are not covered by the miltary. One such is the cost of medical care to wounded veterans after they are discharged. It should be free, but it isn't.
Granny Gail

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Posted by Kim McCall
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 30, 2007 at 10:53 am

I wonder how "Perspective" figures that we are making progress? The injection of more troops into a certain area may (temporarily) quell violence in that area, although even that is doubtful, as we only count certain kinds of violence in tabulating results. But the violence in other areas and the general underlying resentment of the occupation force only increase. And none of the purported military progress matters a whit without political progress. And I regret to say that there seems less than none of that. The "surge" is NOT having the results it was billed as providing.

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Web Link

Federal budget for k-12 education is approx 5% of all taxpayer spending on k-12 education. Total taxfunded ( including State taxes) k-12 spending per year is about $536 billion, add the taxpayer spending on post high school, and it comes to a total of about $900 billion per year on education we pay for out of taxes. Add, as i mentionned above in my original post, health and human services spending on the Fed level ( let alone the State level), and we add another $543 billion in tax funds.

Now, comparing apples to oranges, as I had originally stated..the total Health, Human Services and Education FEDERAL budget ( remember, this is only additional States funds) is about $600 Billion of a $2 Trillion budget..I was wrong, and was remembering stats that had to do with adding in the OTHER entitlement programs in our Fed budget ( housing assistance etc), but the point still remains that our Military spending is still much less of a percentage of our Fed budget than even just health and human services/education.

Military per year 439 Billion, percent of Fed Taxes 23% ( Of course, this varies from year to year and is higher right now)

To be fair, i just thought of National Guard Service..not sure where that comes from and how much more that is..but that is a State choice, not Federal.

Education by taxes per year 900 Billion.

Not saying this is right or wrong or should be more in one or less in the other, just tired of hearing the belief that we spend much more on military than we do on education, let alone on education, health and human services and all the other entitlement programs we have.

Lost my better site to quote, so here is another older one

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Web Link

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2007 at 1:20 pm

Web Link

This is the one I meant to link you to. Sorry.

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2007 at 1:29 pm

Web Link

Above is page 332 of prior link..A summary by category of our Fed budget.

Wow, now that I have the current budget, I see that DOD IS actually around 18% of Federal Budget...I go back to my original statements on percent of Federal Budget on our Military, which includes all the health care benefits and retired also.

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2007 at 1:31 pm

page 22, sorry

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Posted by yet more perspective
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Aug 30, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Here is yet more perspective from another perspective lover:

Web Link

Californians pay about $3,500 per every man, woman and child in State and Local taxes. If you assume that the average for the nation is a lot less, since we are one of the highest taxed states, then let's assume that every man, woman and child in the US pays about $3,000/person in their State and Local Taxes.

We have 300,000,000 people now. Times $3,000 = An additional 900,000,000,000 or almost 1 Trillion that America pays in taxes above the Federal taxes. So, we spend 2.7 trillion in Fed taxes and another 1 Trillion ( at least, I was being very conservative) in State and local taxes for a total of about 3.7 Trillion in taxes. If you put the military budget as a percent of THAT number, it is 1/2 that of education (if it is true, the link to the Education site above that claims that America spends about 900 Billion per year in Education kinder through post high school ed). Or, put another way, our military is 13% and our education is 24% of our total tax expenditure.

Comments? One i can think of right off is that there is something wrong can our total education spending be the total of our total State and local Taxes when only 5% comes from the Feds?

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Posted by Peter
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 2, 2007 at 1:12 am

More pictures of the event here:
Web Link

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Posted by without
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 14, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I went by the plaza Friday, and the fence that was up earlier in the week is now taken down, and the usual vagrant and mentally unstable people are loitering about. Renovate away, but I would rather go to a plaza where I wont be accosted by strange vagrants and drunks.

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