AGAIN, MATERIAL FORWARDED. MY COMMENTS ARE IN CAPS TO AVOID CONFUSION. THE DOD AUTORIZATION BILL IS CURRENTLY BEING DEBATED IN THE SENATE. IN ADDITION TO FUNDING FOR MISSILE DEFENSE DISCUSSED BELOW, THE WHITE HOUSE IS ASKING FOR NEARLY 100 MILLION FOR NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND WEAPONS PROGRAMS. WHERE ARE ALL OF THE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES??? THIS REPRESENTS A MONUMENTAL WASTE AT BEST. WITH TROOPS UNDER FIRE IN THE FIELD, SPENDING THIS KIND OF MONEY WHEN US TROOPS HAVE TO WAIT FOR MONTHS TO GET THE CERAMIC INSERTS FOR THEIR BODY ARMOR IS CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. President Bush wants to spend $10 billion on Star Wars this year. That's enough to provide health insurance to all uninsured kids in our country. Could it ever work? Nobody knows. The President is in such a rush that the first phase of the Star Wars program can't even be operationally tested. We have to take it on faith. THIS REPRESENTS A CHANGE IN POLICY FROM PAST ADMINISTRATIONS, REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT ALIKE. THE PENTAGON USED TO USE THE "FLY BEFORE YOU BUY" STANDARD FOR WEAPONS AQUISITION. IT BEGS THE QUESTION: WHO'S GETTING RICH OFF THIS BOONDOGLE? Background on Star Wars: The Bush administration plans to deploy a national missile defense system in California and Alaska by September 2004. America's taxpayers have already sunk $130 billion into this program, with nothing to show for it. This year's budget request by the administration for Star Wars is another $10.2 billion. Thomas Christie, director of the Pentagon's testing office, has admitted to Congress that there is no way to determine whether the system will work. To learn more about Star Wars, go to http://126.96.36.199/pages/16_571.html To see how the money spent on Star Wars could be invested in human needs programs in your community, go to http://database.nationalpriorities.org/cgi-bin/WebObjects/NPP.woa/wa/tradeoff.