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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Letter to Congressman Duncan Hunter

(This is a letter I sent to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R. California, after reading a USA Today article on problems associated with the US Missle-Defense system. Some in the Bush administration have discussed the possibility of using the system we have should North Korea carry out its missle launch test.)

Dear Rep. Hunter,

I am writing to you in response to your statements in the June 21st edition of USA Today. The article entitled “U.S. still working kinks out of defense shield”, ends with the following facts:

 Last year, the program exceeded its budget by $365 million.
 It delivered fewer interceptors than planned.
 The interceptors delivered are unproven.
 Their assembly, according to the GAO, lacked adequate oversight leading to the possibility of shoddy parts being used.

You are quoted as claiming that a limited anti-missile capability is better than none at all. In other words, even though the program is over budget and of dubious value, we should be grateful for having it at all.

Fair enough.

Suppose that a report came out that a federal food assistance program had the following problems:

 The program was $36 million over budge
 Despite this, the program helped fewer people than it was designed to help.
 The nutrition the program delivered was inadequate
 The program’s administrative cost exceeded the number of people it helped.

Should this happen, would you be willing to claim that this nation should be grateful that we are trying to do something to help the problem of hunger in America. Or perhaps you would call for the scrapping of a program so inadequate, so inefficient, so mired in problems.

If it works for guns, shouldn’t it also work for butter?


Mr. Lynn Green
The Village, Oklahoma

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