Yesterday I wrote an entry about breaking the 5th Commandment (“Thou shalt not kill.”) within the context of America’s poor environmental track record and it’s ongoing fatal ramifications. Today the theme continues… San Francisco Chronicle reporter James Sterngold wrote a front page piece this week about a Bush administration proposal to build more than 1,000 replacement nuclear warheads that will cost taxpayers “hundreds of billions” of dollars over the next few decades. The claim (although this is being disputed) is that the current arsenal of warheads have undergone readioactive decay, weakening the explosive force of the bombs, according to the Chronicle article. A question here: Are we the same country that has been telling a good number of other countries that they can’t have nuclear weapons? Perhaps a bit of, oh, duality? Anyway… According to a History Channel Magazine story, Albert Enstein regretted the role he played in developing the atomic bomb. (He had sent a letter to President Roosevelt recommending the atomic bomb be made. “I made one great mistake in my life…,” he said in retrospect.) Since then, the U.S. alone has spent $4 trillion between 1940 and 1995 on its nuclear weapons program, also according the the History Channel Magazine piece. Another question: If I as an American citizen has gotten behind a military ideology that has allowed for the latter build up (or I just tacitly sat back for that matter), have I broken the 5th Commandment? That is, let’s say I know, or at least am generally aware, that 24,000 people starve to death in the world every day and scores more die from drinking contaminated water in the Third World. However, I’m more worried about my own protection and am willing to ok the expenditure of “trillions” of dollars on these nuclear weapons — when the money could keep millions of children from starving to death. Given this, haven’t I, indeed, broken the spirit, if not the letter, of “Thou Shalt Not Kill?” You see, we can allow death by our ommission, selfishness, fear… Note: I just saw a bumber sticker that said “Altered State University …where all you can do is smile, smile, smile.” Yes, we’re still in California.