maandag, oktober 06, 2003

(sans commentaire cynique)

•$3.6 million for 600 radios and phones ($6,000 each). Administration has requested $3.6 million for 400 handheld radios and 200 satellite phones at an average cost of $6,000 each. According to Businessweek on May 12, "When Baghdad's telephone system was knocked out during the war, small-time Iraqi businessmen ordered up satellite phones from Jordan for $900 each.

•$33,000 a piece for 80 pick-up trucks. Administration has requested $2.64 million for 80 pick-up trucks at a cost of $33,000 each. Prices in the United States for a new truck begin at $14,000.

•$2 million for museums and memorials - Administration has requested $1 million for "Memory Foundation" to record Saddam's atrocities, $500,000 for a memorial marking atrocities his son committed against Iraqi athletes, and $500,000 for a memorial at Abu Gharaib prison.

•$50,000 per prison bed - double average U.S. cost. Administration has requested $400 million to build two 4,000 bed prisons for a cost of $50,000 per prison bed. The Federal Bureau of Prisons estimates that incarceration in high security prisons in the United States costs $26,134 annually.

•$10,000 per month for business school - more than double monthly cost of Harvard Business School. Administration has requested $20 million to teach a 4-week course business course at a cost of $10,000 per student. Tuition at Harvard Business School costs less than $4,000 a month.

•$200,000 per person witness protection - nearly 20 times cost of U.S. program. Administration has requested $100 million to protect 100 families with average of 5 members per family. Per person cost of protection is $200,000. The U.S. Federal Witness Protection program costs $10,273 per person and the Iraq's GDP per capita is $2,400.

•$10 million for 48 bureaucrats ($200,000 per bureaucrat). Administration has requested $10 million to establish an office for 48 staffers to "regulate and inspect the standards and training of the guards of public facilities." Cost per staffer of $208,333.

•$333 for a month of half days of computer training. $55 million for computer training, including $40 million for a $333/month half day course. American community colleges charge between $100 - $200 for computer training (6 months, three hours a week).

•$1500 per student for a 6-month English class - at least 50 percent greater than U.S. cost. Administration has requested $30 million to enroll 20,000 students in a 6 month English class in Iraq. American community colleges charge between $500 and $1000 for a comparable ESL course.

•$9 million for a state-of-the-art Iraqi postal service. Per capita, this amount is greater than the federal government spends annually on the U.S. Postal Service.

SOURCE: Office of Senate Democratic Leader - September 30, 2003


excerpt from To Shout In the Ruins
by Louis Aragon

Let's spit the two of us let's spit
On what we loved
On what we loved the two of us
Yes because this poem the two of us
Is a waltz tune and I imagine
What is dark and incomparable passing between us
Like a dialogue of mirrors abandoned
In a baggage-claim somewhere say Foligno
Or Bourboule in the Auvergne
Certain names are charged with a distant thunder
Yes let's spit the two of us on these immense landscapes
Where little rented cars cruise by
Yes because something must still
Some thing
Reconcile us yes let's spit
The two of us it's a waltz
A kind of convenient sob
Let's spit let's spit tiny automobiles
Let's spit that's an order
A waltz of mirrors
A dialogue in the void
Listen to these immense landscapes where the wind
Cries over what we loved
One of them is a horse leaning its elbow on the earth
The other a deadman shaking out linen the other
The trail of your footprints I remember a deserted village
On the shoulder of a scorched mountain
I remember your shoulder
I remember your elbow your linen your footprints
I remember a town where there was no horse
I remember your look which scorched
My deserted heart a dead Mazeppa whom a horse
Carries away like that day on the mountain
Drunkenness sped my run through the martyred oaks
Which bled prophetically while day
Light fell mute over the blue trucks
I remember so many things
So many evenings rooms walks rages
So many stops in worthless places
Where in spite of everything the spirit of mystery rose up
Like the cry of a blind child in a remote train depot

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