Property Tax

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Rich Le on June 9, 2006 - 1:03pm

On my street, houses sold for $300,000 and up since construction some years back. How is it possible that some people are paying only about $800 in property taxes per year? I would appreciate it if some expert could elucidate for me. Thanks.

Submitted by powayseller on June 9, 2006 - 5:42pm.

Proposition 13, passed by voters in 1987, caps the annual property tax increase to 1-3%, or something like that. It's fair to older people, who can count on a steady property tax increase, and won't get boosted out of their home because their fixed income can't cover the rising property taxes.

But it's unfair to new buyers, and it has caused CA schools to have one of the lowest fundings in the nation. Our schools are a mess because of this.

Warren Buffett has criticized this Prop too. He says he pays less in taxes on his $3 mill home in Laguna Niguel than his $100K house in Omaha, NE. Taxes in Omaha, NE are 3%, and here they are close to 1%.

Submitted by PD on June 9, 2006 - 5:48pm.

A friend of mine sold his house to guy who was selling his old house and buying a property of the same value so that he could keep his taxes at the rate of his old home. I'm not sure how this worked out but it may explain your neighbors taxes.

Submitted by North County Jim on June 10, 2006 - 10:18am.

...and it has caused CA schools to have one of the lowest fundings in the nation. Our schools are a mess because of this.

I think you've bought into the spin put out by the education lobby. There's plenty of money for K-12 in this state IMO.

He says he pays less in taxes on his $3 mill home in Laguna Niguel than his $100K house in Omaha, NE

Does Nebraska have an income tax? California taxes income at a relatively high rate. We also tax sales at a high rate.

I don't think anyone can make the case that California is a low-tax state.

State government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

Submitted by sunsetbeachguy2 on June 10, 2006 - 10:27am.

Prop 13 is great for the residential side and not kicking grandma out of her house.

 

There are several egregious loopholes that should be plugged.

 Cash-out refi should be a basis for value re-assessment.  That would seriously crimp the bubble and irresponsible borrowing.

 Secondly, most commercial property is held in an LLC that holds title.  When commercial owners want to sell, they sell the LLC and the deed never changes at the County and taxes never get re-assessed at the sale value.

 This should be plugged and was part of Warren Buffet's proposal when he was still an economic advisor to the Governor.

Submitted by powayseller on June 10, 2006 - 3:13pm.

Jim, I don't buy into any of the education lobby. I despise them, and their lies. I go by what I see at my kids' schools. Poway is supposed to be one of the best school districts in the County, and we have no PE, music, or art lessons, except what is paid by the PTA and private parent fundraising. Our entire computer lab is from money raised at a parent silent auction. The middle school doesn't have a science lab. The band instruments are in disrepair. And until recently, when Prop U was finally passed, our schools looked like they were in a ghetto. Our school has music taught be a parent after school, art program and materials purchased by PTA. Our kiln, clay, and paints are donated. The PE teacher and computer lab teacher are funded by the PTA. What happens to a school that doesn't have an active PTA, or that can't afford these programs?

In San Diego, only parents who can afford to add to the public school budget, will get PE, art, music for their kids.

Oh, and don't expect your kids to go to the library before or after school, because the librarian is paid only 30 hours per week, so the library is open only during school hours. Since most homework must be researched on the internet and typed, all kids need a computer at home. Don't count on the computer lab at the middle school, either, because there is 1 computer for every 500 kids.

The middle school was built for 600 kids,not 850, so the 6th graders don't get lockers and have to carry 20 lb. backpacks around all day. Some parents donated canopies, so they could eat in the shade, since the cafeteria is only large enough for 600 kids.

I could go on and on. Obviously you don't have any kids in public school, or you wouldn't have made such an erroneous statement that our school are adequately funded.

Maybe the education money goes to administration. It sure isn't getting to the classroom. Either we're seriously underfunded or very wasteful in admin.

Submitted by PD on June 10, 2006 - 5:38pm.

PS is right. We have an art teacher and music teacher for 1/3 of the school year but only because it is paid for through fundraising. Parents donate a lot of the school supplies.

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 10, 2006 - 6:14pm.

My child comes home with fundraisers almost everyday. The reason why it is so important to live in a good school district is to have parents capable and willing to support what isnt funded. Its one fo the reasons I wont move for 20 years.

Submitted by powayseller on June 10, 2006 - 11:47pm.

In Arizona, school funding was always deemed unfair, because property taxes went to that school district, instead of being distributed by the state as in CA.

Still, the inequities persist. As sdrealtor pointed out, only the school districts with parents who can afford supplies and fundraisers, have the materials the kids really need.

Funding is still unfair, because it is INSUFFICIENT. For too long, our voters, most of whom have no kids, thought they don't want to pay for the education of other people's kids and voted down new taxes and other education reform. What these people fail to realize is that they need to educate the very people who social security contributions will support them in old age. With 20% of CAs not finishing high school, who will support them in old age? Who will make our economy? It is short sighted to covet money from kids' education, just because of some resentment of other people's kids. Even Thornberg scolds this view, and here I agree with him.

Submitted by equalizer on June 11, 2006 - 12:34am.

It was 1977 timeframe, NOT 1987.

Submitted by PerryChase on June 11, 2006 - 12:39am.

How about taking some money out of defense for education?

Personally, I refuse to vote for any kind of tax increase. And, yes, I'm not happy to pay for other people's children's education. Most people are not qualified to have children. If we had a population decrease for once, real estate would not be so expensive and the damage to the environment would be much reduced.

In life, we need licensing (i.e. qualifications) to do almost anything, even cut hair. But there's no pre-requisite for having children -- one of our most important responsiblities we could have. Sex and, voila, out pops a child. Many couples actually think that having a child will "fix" problems in their relationships. Go figure.

I would support legislation requiring the adoption of a child before one could have a natural child.... But don't think that would be constitutional.....

Submitted by lostkitty on June 11, 2006 - 6:37am.

This is why everyone is leaving CA:

Here in NY my kids attend small elementary schools - we have only two classes per grade, K - 6 in our building. At our school, we have a full-time orchestra teacher. She runs a 4th grade orchestra, a 5th/6th grade orchestra, and teaches semi-private string lessons throughout the week -- no more than 1-3 kids at a time.

We also have a full-time band instructor. Same format as above. 4th grade band, 5th/6th grade band, and semi-private lessons for all brass/wind/percission throughout the week.

We also have a full-time "Music teacher" who runs three seperate choirs, 4th, 5th, and 6th, the school plays, and also teaches all grades to sing and read music.

We have two art teachers, one full-time, and one who splits her time between our school and another in the district, but is a full-time employee.

We have two PE teachers, same as above, one full-time, one who splits their time.

We have full computer lab, excellent library, etc etc etc... I could go on and on.

My oldest started Jr High this year, and all the small elementary schools get funneled into one campus. I was bracing for the worst having only my experience with schools in Del mar and Coronado for reference. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found this year:

Excellent course selection.
Regular and advanced course offerings in all areas, even in music and art!

Excellent science labs, and seperate science lab and science class times allotted during the week (like college).

My daughter plays in three orchestras since she takes private lessons elsewhere and does not need the private lessons they offer at her school throughout the school day. They have one full-time orchestra teacher (so many kids have dropped out by this level in the strings - but the orchestra is still huge). He runs the 7th grade orchestra, 8th grade orchestra, a "chamber orchestra" for kids who have outside private lessons, and an 'audition only' orchestra for 7th/8th combined.

Band instruments are more popular, so there are TWO full-time band instructors. One who does all of the above for 7th grade, except they run an "A" band and a "B" band because so many kids are involved, and another instructor who spends full-time doing the same for the 8th graders. each band teacher stays with his same group for both years that the kids are at the jr high...

This is not a hige jr high either. Only five of these small elementary schools funnel into the jr high... I could go on and on and on about the programs here, but just this insight into how they run the music program alone should give you an glimpse of how they run the academic programs as well...

Yes, this is public school, and yes, our taxes are the highest in the nation (and yes, we are cold in the winter!). However, housing is less expensive, so it is a wash. Actually, it is a wash only financially - we feel that we are ahead otherwise....

Submitted by lostkitty on June 11, 2006 - 6:35am.

PerryChase-

You said, "Personally, I refuse to vote for any kind of tax increase. And, yes, I'm not happy to pay for other people's children's education. Most people are not qualified to have children."

Educating the entire population of a nation is for the greater good of the society, which, in the end, is for your own good as well. I do not understand your point of view at all.

Submitted by powayseller on June 11, 2006 - 7:44am.

PerryChase, it's great to have your here, even more so because you are right on!! I've got the same saying: people need a license to cut hair, but anyone is allowed to have a child. I used to get so mad when I saw someone bottlefeeding, but I'm getting less judgmental.

I agree that our huge defense budget is stealing money from education. Unfortunately, my fellow Americans love their military. I'm puzzled why we don't have marches every weekend against the war in Iraq and the military budget. Why do we need to be in almost every country in the world? What other nation has a military that big? What other nation even needs it? Why do we need to have such a big military, if we really are so nice? Shouldn't everybody LOVE us?

Instead of thinking of paying for other people's kids' education, switch to realize you are paying to educate those whose paychecks will be taxed for your Medicare and social security. When they are working, they will pay you back, and the more educated the are, the more they can pay you in entitlements. They will discover the drugs that will heal you, improve cars to run on non-polluting fuels, etc.

My friend with horses said she didn't think it was fair that the government provides a child tax credit, and not a horse tax credit, because her horses cost as much to feed as a child. I agree. I don't know why the government subsidizes children. Or houses. Or any of the other things that it decides are useful.

Submitted by PD on June 11, 2006 - 8:00am.

Cutting defense invites a raft of other problems. Education needs more money but you don’t rob Peter to pay Paul. Our armed forces are stretched extremely thin. They work unbelievable hours because they are short on both people and equipment. I could go on and on.

There are many problems with our education system. I recently attended a talk with the Principle. She said that one of their main budgeting problems is the requirement that all schools must provide full time assistance to kids with disabilities. What this means is that if a child has a mental or physical disability, the school has to pay for a full time employee to accompany that child through their day as they participate in regular classrooms. This costs the schools huge amounts of money but they DO NOT GET REIMBURSED for the extra expense. They have to take the money out of other programs like music, computers and supplies. It is good program but it should be separately funded as each child who qualifies takes a big chunk out of the school's budget. My kids school is so desperate for money that they send notes home to parents telling them to send their kids to school if their temp us under 100 degrees because the school loses money with each absence.

Submitted by powayseller on June 11, 2006 - 8:14am.

PD, are you a military family, or why do you think we should spend 50% of our budget on defense?

Defending what?

Doesn't Switzerland have anything to defend? Why don't they even need a military?

Do we have foreign military in the US, as the US has in almost every other country? Do we have Japanese military, German military, Italian military on bases in the US, in California anywhere? Why not?

Submitted by PD on June 11, 2006 - 9:04am.

PS, countries who do not have a strong military rely heavily on their allies for defense. There are a few countries able to walk a fine line without a military but the key word here is FEW and they have special circumstances.

The US has enormous natural resources and assets that we need to protect. The biggest asset we protect is our people. The world is full of power hungry vicious people who will do anything and hurt anybody for gain. Witness Saddam Hussein and what he did to his own people. Further, he invaded Kuwait because he could and did not think anyone would stop him. What was his next step? Saudi Arabia? What would have happened to the world economies when Saddam Hussein held so much oil? Hitler did the same thing. At first, no one stopped him. If the US had not entered WWII when we did, they would be speaking German in all of Europe.

Do you think we are so protected by our oceans that no one will come here? What would happen if we had an undefended boarder to the south and no military? Would we all “just get along?” Do you know that we have already had a war with Mexico? Do you think that Mexico would never invade? We have already been invaded, albeit by a peaceful, steady invasion of people. There would probably be temporary joy in the streets and hysterical waving of the Mexican flag in downtown SD when the Mexican army marched through. No doubt there would be thousands helping the Mexican army take over. But after a while, when our great cities are being run by the corrupt Mexican government, there would not be so much joy.

Much of the world’s stability is directly related to the deterance posed by our military as well as other strong militaries like China and Russia. It maintains a status quo. Are you going to invade country A when you know country B will come after you? If it were not for the US, China would have long since invaded Tiawan. Japan also relies heavily on the US for defence. Without us, do you think they would be safe from China or Russia?

China is a warlike giant. Chinese people believe themselves to be superior to all other races. Without a strong military in other countries to keep them in check, I guarantee there would be a yellow tide flowing from their borders.

As for maintaining bases around the world, it strengthens our defensive position and acts as a further deterrence. In most cases, our bases are in countries that we have previously defeated in war. In the past, the victor kept ALL the spoils. We have only kept tiny slices of it – our bases. Two thousand years from now, when historians talk about the United States, they will probably be saying how stupid we were for not keeping ALL that we had gained, solidifying our position.

People who believe that we do not need a strong military are history denialists. They are human nature denialists.

Powayseller, you use historical data as evidence to support your prediction of a future housing crash, yet you deny the overwhelming historical data that paints a picture of unending war, violence, subjugation, cruelty and empire expansion. War is never going to end until humans are extinguished and those who do not protect themselves are fools.

A few great quotes by Winston Churchill:

An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as though nothing ever happened.

One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, then you will reduce the danger by half.

Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Submitted by PerryChase on June 11, 2006 - 9:44am.

Back to the original post on property tax, I beleive that elderly homeowners in California can most their old assessments with them when they move to a new home. I'm not sure the process of the doing that, but I think that's what is happening when some people pay very little tax in expensive new neighborhood where prices couldn't have been that low to begin with.

I don't have any children nor did I buy an expensive house rencently so I can afford to travel the world. One reason Americans are not loved is because we are loud and obnoxious. Bravado is part of our culture but think of it in local terms. How would you like it if there were a foreign military presence in your town, a noise neighclub serving foreign troups in your neighborhood, and your daughters having sex with foreign servicemen for money?

Many point to Japan and Germany as successes of military occupation. However, I think that they are exceptions rather than the rule. Generally, history shows that occupation never works.

One of my best friends is a military pilot. Of course, he's very pro-military but even he is hopeless about the situation in Iraq. We have a bet going... We'll let history be the judge and in 10 years, I'll get my free dinner on him. While there's still debate over Vietnam, the preponderance of opinion is that was a very costly mistake.

Special interests is what keeps housing and the military very costly to all of us taxpayers.

Submitted by lindismith on June 11, 2006 - 9:50am.

PD,
Just wondering if you have ever traveled outside the US? And when I say traveled, I don't mean a cruise to Puerto Rico, I mean, spent time in a foreign country, learning about it's culture and people, whether on holiday or for business.
Just curious.

Submitted by Lickitysplit on June 11, 2006 - 10:15am.

PerryChase & PowaySeller -

In regards to your views on merit-based state regulation of human reproduction... these views are called eugenics. These ideas have a long history in this country and elsewhere. I'd encourage you to look into the history of these ideas and the outcomes of their application.

Submitted by picpoule on June 11, 2006 - 10:23am.

Ditto to North County Jim.

Submitted by picpoule on June 11, 2006 - 10:21am.

Under California law, if you're over 55 and move to another residence in the same county, you can keep the same property tax rate as your former residence. This can sometimes apply to moving to another residence in another county, although some counties refuse to extend this reciprocity.

Submitted by PD on June 11, 2006 - 10:29am.

lindismith, I have spent time in 10 countries, other than the US. I have traveled to some of them more than once. I make no claims to being a world traveler as I have not visited Asia or Africa. I do not live in an insulated bubble, happy to ignore world events, strife, famine and the threat of war.

My husband has traveled the world extensively and we have spent much time discussing what he has seen.

I am fairly well versed in history and have a good understanding of where the world is today and how we got there.

Submitted by picpoule on June 11, 2006 - 10:38am.

PD, you're so right. Spending for defense is among the primary responsibilities of the federal government. It's right there in the Preamble to the Constitution. But education funding is something for the individuals states to provide at least in theory (don't even ask me about the US Dept. of Education). The reason the educational system is so inefficient in California is that the school districts are top-heavy with administrative costs for the bureaucracy that it creates an imbalance when it comes to the classroom environment.

Just as an aside, people having children who shouldn't have them is a big problem causing many social ills, but to me it would seem a bit heavy handed for the government to dictate who should have children. Enforcing the borders and penalizing employers who employ illegals would have done a lot to mitigate this problem in California. It's too far gone now, though.

Submitted by powayseller on June 11, 2006 - 11:02am.

PD, what I see from history is that war kills people. I see that Switzerland is a prosperous country, with leading medical technologies, and high education, and they have no military at all.

I think we should have a military for defense, but everything we are doing these days is offense.

The US has not learned from its mistakes at all. I find this the saddest thing, and the one reason I have not obtained my US citizenship. I am still a German citizen, only because I disagree with the war-mongering and military emphasis of this country. The American people are too supportive of the military.

The military drains our economy, for it doesn't produce anything. It wastes GDP, as does buying and selling homes to each other.

The courageous and bright men and women of the military could be more produtive making alternative fuels, than learning combat missions.

As far as defending our border to the South, you've got to be making a joke That border is a sieve. Osama bin Laden, when he comes back, will come through the Otay Mesa border.

I think it is good to go after Osama, but why invade an entire country? Rumsfeld is not as smart as people think - he miscalculated the insurgency, and did not send enough troops in the beginning. I'm not for the war, but he promoted it, and he executed poorly. He just checkerboarded the troops all over Iraq to respond to each insurgency outbreak, all the while strenghtening their resolve.

So you believe that others have a small military because they rely on the US when they need? Then please prove your point. When did the US defend the borders of Italy, Germany, Switzerland in response to an invasion on those countries? In recent history, when did anyone try to invade any of those countries? They learned from the world wars, and mind their own business. They do not want to repeat history by meddling in other countries' foreign affairs.

Just remember that billions are made off war, by US corporations. They are eager for the war to continue.

But the military does not improve the standard of living. It siphons off resources from education social programs, research and development. Without the military, our taxes would be cut in half.

With a smaller and smarter military, I would feel safer. I think that we make enemies by our foreign policy. People like Osama are angry at our meddling in the Middle East, and their attacks are revenge on what we did before.

It's best to just remain at peace with all nations. We need more negotiators, and fewer fighters, more R&D engineers and less combatants.

I find it ironic that Bush is kiling in the name of God, which is supposed to represent Love. He believes God wants him to fight the war.

PD, again I ask you if you are a military family, or from where comes your strong conviction of the military?

My beliefs just come from being against fighting and war, and a distrust of the reasons that our country goes to war. I constantly feel they lie to me. Iraq is another example. Our President said we need to find WMD, and that was the reason we went to Iraq. But after realizing they were not there, Bush did not apologize or withdraw. He kept on. So what was the real reason for Iraq war?

Bush's tough-guy stance is primitive. Last month, Bush was still telling Iran that all options are on the table, hinting at nuclear options that could bust underground bunkers. Iran countered with threatening to cut off oil supplies. Fearful that oil disruptions would completely decimate our economy, the US promised that if Iran would stop nuclear production, they would eliminate a decades-old embargo, and would again sell airplanes to Iran. Iran has spent several days considering this proposal, and it shows promise.

So you see, you don't need primitive cave man brute force, such as weapons and militaries to make deals. You can use your higher functions, your intellect, your productivity (airplanes) and resources (oil) to entice other nations to make deals. This is the way I think we should move toward.

A real foreign relations department will reduce military reliance, and be in the position that other countries want to stay on our good side because they desire our trade, our intelligent designs and products, patents, creativity, etc. This is the high road, and will guarantee prosperity and world peace through our intelligence, not our brute strength.

Submitted by lostkitty on June 11, 2006 - 10:43am.

PerryChase-

I am sorry about my tone in my post to you. Just reread it and it sounds awful! I agree that the spending could come from other areas of the current budget(including defense) and would be better spent on education... I only disagreed about the comment about financing "other people's children's educations"... I think there is value in education that reaches far beyond the individual. The rewards of innovation by future adults Americans educated in public schools will benefit us all.

Submitted by picpoule on June 11, 2006 - 10:53am.

"One reason Americans are not loved is because we are loud and obnoxious."

Perry, have you heard any German tourists lately? Talking about loud and obnoxious! Have you been in an English pub with everyone drunk and therefore yelling and insulting you because you're an American? Have you been to Italy lately? They're not exactly a quiet bunch. Americans are quiet and polite as mice compared any of these groups. But let's move away from the stereotyping and note this: speaking of Germans, as I recall, some citizens of German towns were screaming like pigs in protest when they thought we were going to close our bases down.

The reason we are disliked is because of trendy, virulent anti-Americanism fostered by ignorance, bigotry, and anti-capitalism. We're hated because so far we've managed to buck the trend of centralized governments taking more and more of people's individual freedoms away. Today, the only people it's okay to be a bigot against is Americans and oh, yes, "the Jews."

Submitted by PD on June 11, 2006 - 11:32am.

Peace through love? Peace through love works with your children but it not going to work with the guy about to rape you before the eyes of your children and with the blood of your husband on his hands.

I hardly know where to start. Powayseller, it seems that you have not read my previous posts. Negotiation is a first, second, third step but there comes a time when it no longer works. Once again, people who refuse to see the need for a strong military are history and human nature denialists.

You are a German citizen yet you seem to completely ignore the atrocities committed by the German people within living memory. In fact, you seem to have completely glossed over this highly regrettable fact while denigrating the country in which you live – a country that has guaranteed prosperity, education, freedom and safely for you and your children. You have mentioned before how wonderful Germany is that they currently spend so much more on education than on their military. Why, then, do you not proceed with all haste to take advantage of such forward thinking and install your family in Berlin?

Hmm….Sweetness as a negotiator’s tool. I’m sure if the Kurds had been a little sweeter to Saddam Hussein he would not have gassed them. The same with Jews. If only they had been sweeter to the SS who broke down their doors and dragged them off. Perhaps sweetness and love would have turned Pol Pot in great big Teddy Bear. Stalin felt so much love for his people that he thought nothing of letting millions starve.

Do you think that the radical Muslims would not invade and take over our country if they could? It was not long ago that the poor women in Afghanistan were denied medical care and beaten with chains. Perhaps they were not sweet enough or did not project enough love. Perhaps they needed more negotiation skills.

I realize that my tone is growing harsh but I am totally dumbfounded by the blindness of your post.

My husband is a proud member of the United States military. He has served in Iraq and nearly been killed in service to his country. My husband did not want to go to Iraq, but he realized that if he did not participate in an attempt to stamp out this threat, then our son and daughter would have to face a much greater threat later. There comes a time when it is either fight or be subjugated.

Submitted by picpoule on June 11, 2006 - 12:08pm.

I think Switzerland still has mandatory military service and every household has a weapon.

Powayseller, I just want you to think about some things. Sometimes war is necessary and has very good consequences. For instance, WWII wiped out Nazism and Fascism in Europe. Because of WWII, Japan went from a feudal to society to become one of our strongest friends. Our Civil War held the Union together and ended slavery. Little girls in Afghanistan can go to school now, women are in the legislature in Afghanistan, an impossibility under the Taliban. There are no more rape rooms and killing rooms in Iraq and Saddam Hussein will not be able to go to war with his neighbors anymore. None of this would have been possible without war. I'm all for peace, but sometimes peace can only be attained by war.

Submitted by PD on June 11, 2006 - 12:38pm.

Well said, picpoule.

Submitted by powayseller on June 11, 2006 - 6:44pm.

PD, now I understand why you are attacking me. Your husband is in the military. Therefore, nothing I say can influence your thinking.

However, while I asked a lot of questions, you attacked my intelligence. You say I am a denialist, that I did not read your posts, I glossed over regrettable fact, I denigrate this country, the blindness of my post.

The problem comes when people are so emotionally invested in supporting the military that they attack anyone who disagrees with them. Free speech? Perhaps, but at the cost of being labeled blind and denigrating?

I said I love this country, but not the foreign policy. Our foreign policy is despised all over the world. Have you any idea why? It's the war mongering mentality, the constant meddling. Have you read Overthrow? Then you will realize the negative consequences of US meddling in foreign affairs.

Because of my disapproval of the military actions, you want me to return to Berlin. I've never even been to Berlin. Why should I go there now?

Should everyone who disagrees with you go back to their home country? Should all blacks who don't like war go back to Africa? Isn't it called free speech to say your mind?

Should all protesters return to their countries, too? My husband hates the Iraq war also, and his ancestors are from Norway. Perhaps he should go to Norway after he drops me off in Berlin?

You say I ignore the atrocities of the German people. Huh??? You lost me there.

I find that pro-war people attack anti-war people as being unpatriotic. Why is war patriotic? Can someone be patriotic and despise war and the military cause?

I can understand that your husband did not want to go to Iraq. Does he have the freedom to resist? Or would he be court martialed? How much freedom does a military member have to question, or is blind adherence required? I don't think it's worth it for him to risk his life for Iraq. I hope you will not call me any more names, but he has a duty to ensure his safety so he can raise his kids. Iraq is not worth dying for. Bush would never send his own daughters there, I can guarantee that. At some point, the military personnel must stand up and say, "I love my country and I will defend it, but I refuse to engage in offensive hostile war for your misguided mission, Mr. Bush".

I wish for your husband's safety. I'm sorry if I agitate you. I just don't see the point of all this weapon stuff. It's all hostile offense, the way I see it.

Look, if Iraq and Iran are such a threat, why aren't the allies concerned? Why doesn't Russia care about Iran's nuclear project? Why is China negotiating with them? It must be because Iran is speaking the truth: they are working on peaceful nuclear projects. If they weren't, wouldn't Germany, England, and their neighboring countries be in arms? Why is the US usually the first one to want a war? Why not a war in Nigeria? Don't we have atrocities there?

PD, if you really want to make the world better, go and improve the economies of these oppressed nations. Their terrorists are a result of a lack of hope and opportunity. The US could divert the bomb-making money to economic opportunities. Build a coalition with them, teach them to farm, educate their kids, bring healthcare technologies. This is what I mean with love. I don't mean you go and hug them all, although you could :) I mean you go and help them, so they don't want to come and hurt you. No nation goes to hunt down its allies! You figure out how to make every country your allly, either by needing you for trade, or for support (food, medicine, education). I know this is a different way to think, but the military could take this approach.

Please don't think that you must support Bush's ideas to love your country. It's okay to not blindly follow him. Bush is evil. So is war. Just because Afghanis kill each other, doesn't mean we must do it also. Aren't we above that?

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