America’s Military-Industrial Addiction

Polls show that Americans are tired of endless wars in faraway lands, but many cheer President Trump’s showering money on the Pentagon and its contractors, a paradox that President Eisenhower foresaw, writes JP Sottile.

By JP Sottile

The Military-Industrial Complex has loomed over America ever since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of its growing influence during his prescient farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961. The Vietnam War followed shortly thereafter, and its bloody consequences cemented the image of the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) as a faceless cadre of profit-seeking warmongers who’ve wrested control of the foreign policy. That was certainly borne out by the war’s utter senselessness … and by tales of profiteering by well-connected contractors like Brown & Root.

President Dwight Eisenhower delivering his farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961.

Over five decades, four major wars and a dozen-odd interventions later, we often talk about the Military-Industrial Complex as if we’re referring to a nefarious, flag-draped Death Star floating just beyond the reach of helpless Americans who’d generally prefer that war was not, as the great Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler aptly put it, little more than a money-making “racket.”

The feeling of powerlessness that the MIC engenders in “average Americans” makes a lot of sense if you just follow the money coming out of Capitol Hill. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) tabulated all “defense-related spending” for both 2017 and 2018, and it hit nearly $1.1 trillion for each of the two years. The “defense-related” part is important because the annual National Defense Authorization Act, a.k.a. the defense budget, doesn’t fully account for all the various forms of national security spending that gets peppered around a half-dozen agencies.

It’s a phenomenon that noted Pentagon watchdog William Hartung has tracked for years. He recently dissected it into “no less than 10 categories of national security spending.” Amazingly only one of those is the actual Pentagon budget. The others include spending on wars, on homeland security, on military aid, on intelligence, on nukes, on recruitment, on veterans, on interest payments and on “other defense” — which includes “a number of flows of defense-related funding that go to agencies other than the Pentagon.”

Perhaps most amazingly, Hartung noted in TomDisptach that the inflation-adjusted “base” defense budgets of the last couple years is “higher than at the height of President Ronald Reagan’s massive buildup of the 1980s and is now nearing the post-World War II funding peak.” And that’s just the “base” budget, meaning the roughly $600 billion “defense-only” portion of the overall package. Like POGO, Hartung puts an annual price tag of nearly $1.1 trillion on the whole enchilada of military-related spending.

The MIC’s ‘Swamp Creatures’

To secure their share of this grandiloquent banquet, the defense industry’s lobbyists stampede Capitol Hill like well-heeled wildebeest, each jockeying for a plum position at the trough. This year, a robust collection of 208 defense companies spent $93,937,493 to deploy 728 “reported” lobbyists (apparently some go unreported) to feed this year’s trumped-up, $700 billion defense-only budget, according to OpenSecrets.org. Last year they spent $128,845,198 to secure their profitable pieces of the government pie.

The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Defense Department, as viewed with the Potomac River and Washington, D.C., in the background. (Defense Department photo)

And this reliable yearly harvest, along with the revolving doors connecting defense contractors with Capitol Hill, K Street and the Pentagon, is why so many critics blame the masters of war behind the MIC for turning war into a cash machine.

But the cash machine is not confined to the Beltway. There are ATM branches around the country. Much in the way it lavishes Congress with lobbying largesse, the defense industry works hand-in-glove with the Pentagon to spread the appropriations around the nation. This “spread the wealth” strategy may be equally as important as the “inside the Beltway” lobbying that garners so much of our attention and disdain.

Just go to U.S. Department of Defense’s contract announcement webpage on any weekday to get a good sense of the “contracts valued at $7 million or more” that are “announced each business day at 5 p.m.” A recent survey of these “awards” found the usual suspects like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The MIC was well-represented. But many millions of dollars were also “won” by companies most Americans have never heard of … like this sampling from one day at the end of October:

  • Longbow LLC, Orlando Florida, got $183,474,414 for radar electronic units with the stipulation that work will be performed in Orlando, Florida.
  • Gradkell Systems Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, got $75,000,000 for systems operations and maintenance at Fort Belvoir, Virginia
  • Dawson Federal Inc., San Antonio, Texas; and A&H-Ambica JV LLC, Livonia, Michigan; and Frontier Services Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, will share a $45,000,000 for repair and alternations for land ports of entry in North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • TRAX International Corp., Las Vegas, Nevada, got a $9,203,652 contract modification for non-personal test support services that will be performed in Yuma, Arizona, and Fort Greely, Alaska,
  • Railroad Construction Co. Inc., Paterson, New Jersey, got a $9,344,963 contract modification for base operations support services to be performed in Colts Neck, New Jersey.
  • Belleville Shoe Co., Belleville, Illinois, got $63,973,889 for hot-weather combat boots that will be made in Illinois.
  • American Apparel Inc., Selma, Alabama, got $48,411,186 for combat utility uniforms that will be made in Alabama.
  • National Industries for the Blind, Alexandria, Virginia, got a $12,884,595 contract modification to make and advanced combat helmet pad suspension system. The “locations of performance” are Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Sharing the Largesse

Clearly, the DoD is large enough, and smart enough, to award contracts to companies throughout the 50 states. Yes, it is a function of the sheer size or, more forebodingly, the utter “pervasiveness” of the military in American life. But it is also a strategy. And it’s a tactic readily apparent in a contract recently awarded to Raytheon.

U.S. Capitol.

On Oct. 31, 2017, they got a $29,455,672 contract modification for missions systems equipment; computing environment hardware; and software research, test and development. The modification stipulates that the work will spread around the country to “Portsmouth, Rhode Island (46 percent); Tewksbury, Massachusetts (36 percent); Marlboro, Massachusetts (6 percent); Port Hueneme, California (5 percent); San Diego, California (4 percent); and Bath, Maine (3 percent).”

Frankly, it’s a brilliant move that began in the Cold War. The more Congressional districts that got defense dollars, the more votes the defense budget was likely to receive on Capitol Hill. Over time, it evolved into its own underlying rationale for the budget.

As veteran journalist William Greider wrote in the Aug. 16, 1984 issue of Rolling Stone, “The entire political system, including liberals as well as conservatives, is held hostage by the politics of defense spending. Even the most well intentioned are captive to it. And this is a fundamental reason why the Pentagon budget is irrationally bloated and why America is mobilizing for war in a time of peace.”

The peace-time mobilization Greider referred to was the Reagan build-up that, as William Hartung noted, is currently being surpassed by America’s “War on Terror” binge. Then, as now … the US was at peace at home, meddling around the world and running up a huge bill in the process. And then, as now … the spending seems unstoppable.

And as an unnamed “arms-control lobbyist” told Grieder, “It’s a fact of life. I don’t see how you can ask members of Congress to vote against their own districts. If I were a member of Congress, I might vote that way, too.”

Essentially, members of Congress act as secondary lobbyists for the defense industry by making sure their constituents have a vested interest in seeing the defense budget is both robust and untouchable. But they are not alone. Because the states also reap what the Pentagon sows … and, in the wake of the massive post-9/11 splurge, they’ve begun quantifying the impact of defense spending on their economies. It helps them make their specific case for keeping the spigot open.

Enter the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which notes, or touts, that the Department of Defense (DoD) “operates more than 420 military installations in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.” Additionally, the NCSL is understandably impressed by a DoD analysis that found the department’s “$408 billion on payroll and contracts in Fiscal Year 2015” translated into “approximately 2.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).”

And they’ve become a clearinghouse for state governments’ economic impact studies of defense spending. Here’s a sampling of recent data compiled on the NSCL website:

  • In 2015, for example, military installations in North Carolinasupported 578,000 jobs, $34 billion in personal income and $66 billion in gross state product. This amounts to roughly 10 percent of the state’s overall economy.
  • In 2014, Coloradolawmakers appropriated $300,000 in state funds to examine the comprehensive value of military activities across the state’s seven major installations. The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs released its study in May 2015, reporting a total economic impact of $27 billion.
  • Kentuckyhas also taken steps to measure military activity, releasing its fifth study in June 2016. The military spent approximately $12 billion in Kentucky during 2014-15. With 38,700 active duty and civilian employees, military employment exceeds the next largest state employer by more than 21,000 jobs.
  • In Michigan, for example, defense spending in Fiscal Year 2014 supported 105,000 jobs, added more than $9 billion in gross state product and created nearly $10 billion in personal income. A 2016 study sponsored by the Michigan Defense Center presents a statewide strategy to preserve Army and Air National Guard facilities following a future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round as well as to attract new missions. 

Electoral Impact

But that’s not all. According to the DoD study cited above, the biggest recipients of DoD dollars are (in order): Virginia, California, Texas, Maryland and Florida. And among the top 18 host states for military bases, electorally important states like California, Florida and Texas lead the nation.

President Trump speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Nov. 1, 2017, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Trump’s right and son-in-law Jared Kushner seated in the background. (Screen shot from whitehouse.gov)

And that’s the real rub … this has an electoral impact. Because the constituency for defense spending isn’t just the 1 percent percent of Americans who actively serve in the military or 7 percent of Americans who’ve served sometime in their lives, but it is also the millions of Americans who directly or indirectly make a living off of the “defense-related” largesse that passes through the Pentagon like grass through a goose.

It’s a dirty little secret that Donald Trump exploited throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. Somehow, he was able to criticize wasting money on foreign wars and the neoconservative interventionism of the Bushes, the neoliberal interventionism of Hillary Clinton, and, at the same time, moan endlessly about the “depleted” military despite “years of record-high spending.” He went on to promise a massive increase in the defense budget, a massive increase in naval construction and a huge nuclear arsenal.

And, much to the approval of many Americans, he’s delivered. A Morning Consult/Politico poll showed increased defense spending was the most popular among a variety of spending priorities presented to voters … even as voters express trepidation about the coming of another war. A pair of NBC News/Survey Monkey polls found that 76 percent of Americans are “worried” the United States “will become engaged in a major war in the next four years” and only 25 percent want America to become “more active” in world affairs.

More to the point, only 20 percent of Americans wanted to increase the troop level in Afghanistan after Trump’s stay-the-course speech in August, but Gallup’s three decade-long tracking poll found that the belief the U.S. spends “too little” on defense is at its highest point (37 percent) since it spiked after 9/11 (41 percent). The previous highpoint was 51 percent in 1981 when Ronald Reagan was elected in no small part on the promise of a major build-up.

So, if Americans generally don’t support wars or engagement in the world, why do they seem to reflexively support massive military budgets?

Frankly, look no further than Trump’s mantra of “jobs, jobs, jobs.” He says it when he lords over the sale of weapon systems to foreign powers or he visits a naval shipyard or goes to one of his post-election rallies to proclaim to “We’re building up our military like never before.” Frankly, he’s giving the people what they want. Although they may be war-weary, they’ve not tired of the dispersal system that Greider wrote about during Reagan’s big spree.

Ultimately, it means that the dreaded Military-Industrial Complex isn’t just a shadowy cabal manipulating policies against the will of the American people. Nor is the “racket” exclusive to an elite group of Deep State swamp things. Instead, the military and the vast economic network it feeds presents a far more “complex” issue that involves millions of self-interested Americans in much the way Eisenhower predicted, but few are willing to truly forsake.

JP Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. He blogs at Newsvandal.com or you can follow him on Twitter, http://twitter/newsvandal.

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73 comments for “America’s Military-Industrial Addiction

  1. Sally Snyder
    December 1, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Here is an article that looks at how much money U.S. taxpayers transfer to Lockheed Martin:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/10/lockheed-martin-taxpayers-defense.html

    It is this spending that has created this corporate behemoth.

  2. mike k
    December 1, 2017 at 11:58 am

    The Capitalist Money Slave State is also Militarist Big Brother is Watching YOU State. Television is an ideal means to indoctrinate and control the populace. The “Educational” system makes you into a conformist know-nothing, ready to love your slavery to a system that is destroying you and your world.

    If you doubt what I said above, try talking truth and reality to some of your empty headed, brainwashed zombie associates. They are the living proof of the effectiveness of the Lords of Death’s program of mind control.

    • Nancy
      December 1, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      The indoctrination of the populace is almost complete, mike. The plethora of media outlets, including the internet, are great tools for finding the truth, but let’s face it, there are just too few of us seeking it.
      I’m sorry to sound so negative and would truly love to be wrong about this.

  3. mike k
    December 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Feeling helpless in the face of all this darkness is just another cop out for the selfish ego. Denial is just a way to avoid human responsibility. We are called to meet this critical challenge – or else.

    • Mild-ly - Facetious
      December 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      I heartily agree, mike k. – but it’s typical these days that everyone’s comment enters an AI analysis/algorithm.
      (Galileo’s Dark Labyrinth)

  4. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    December 1, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    It seems to me that AMERICANS just like to keep recycling same topics with same points made again and again but with no progress made whatsoever ……………It is just like when a mass shooting happens…….You hear the same thing….Gun Control…..Mental Health Issues………some emotional words on ALL sides….then all go back to sleep till the next mass shooting!!………….Everybody in the world knows that WAR is an AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE BECAUSE IT HAS BECOME A BUSINESS FOR MANY AMERICANS……………which part of this simple statement is hard to understand?!…….In fact any average AMERICAN knows that one of the best ways to make money in AMERICA is to do BUSINESS with the Military/ Industrial/ security/ prison/ intelligence complex…………….plain and simple…………….

    • Steve
      December 5, 2017 at 3:42 am

      Most, if not all, of those mass shootings are staged by the FBI, DHS. You can prove that 2007 Va Tech and 2014 UC Santa Barbara shootings are hoaxes by checking official FBI statistics. Sandy Hook and the Boston bombing have been taken apart as was Orlando. Mainstream media is complicit in a bid to control our minds to reject the 2nd amendment and divide society.

      • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
        December 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm

        fine but my point is that Americans love to keep recycling the same topics WITHOUT providing and doing something to change things. Everybody knows that war is a business run by the “imperialists” and the heads of those “Imperialists are the BANKERS”……..To change that, we need to put the BANKERS out of business…………..the first step for that is to do two things:

        1- Use Credit Unions and community banks for your own banking needs NOT WALL STREET BANKS.

        2- Join the effort to create State-Owned Banks like the one in North Dakota. That way, the public money goes into a publicly-owned bank where the profit goes back to the people. State governments and city governments all over the US bank with Wall Street banks which take the profit to themselves…………….

        What part of that is too hard to understand?!…..http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/

  5. December 1, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    NATO gets an “Award.”
    More info at links below.
    ————————————————————————-
    November 30, 2017
    The War Criminals of the World Stage Receive an “Award”
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/11/the-war-criminals-of-world-stage.html

  6. Skip Scott
    December 1, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    The money that is spent on this horrendous death machine is money that could be spent in positive pursuits like public education, free health care, high speed rail, renewable energy, public broadband, fighting poverty, and on and on. It is not only that the money and labor is wasted on killing others, it keeps us from advancing our own society.

    • Sam F
      December 1, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Yes, the same investment can be constructive rather than destructive, and the same people will support it.

      If the US had spent the billions wasted on war since WWII, on building the roads, schools, and hospitals of the developing nations, we would have eliminated poverty for the poorest half of humanity, a true American century, and we would have no enemies. Instead we have willfully killed over six million innocents for nothing, have destroyed democracies and replaced them with dictators, and have allowed the MIC/Israel/WallSt oligarchy to control our former democracy with campaign bribes, control of mass media to promote violence as patriotism, promiscuous surveillance, and militarized police. They have destroyed America and have spent all we could borrow on destruction for their personal gain. We have the lowest per capita foreign aid of all developed nations, almost all of it military “aid,” a total of less than one meal a year for the world’s poorest.

      Simply re-purposing 80 percent of our military to construction would leave us the most powerful nation, accomplish reparations to the nations we have destroyed, and eliminate extreme poverty, with no immediate change in much of the military budget or personnel.

      Americans must destroy the oligarchy that controls elections and mass media, for such tyrants speak and respond only to force. Their only concession since WWII was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because they were afraid of the riots in the cities, so they pretended to be persuaded by the likes of MLK. But now they have militarized the police and ignore all protest. There will be no progress until the poorest rise in rebellion to terrorize the rich, and infiltrate police and national guard to deny force to oligarchy.

      • Herman
        December 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm

        Sam F, agree with most of what you wrote except:

        “Simply re-purposing 80 percent of our military to construction would leave us the most powerful nation, accomplish reparations to the nations we have destroyed, and eliminate extreme poverty, with no immediate change in much of the military budget or personnel.”

        It’s hard to be optimistic, but downsizing the military has to be a frontal assault coupled with the kinds of spending you suggest. Repurposing, if anyone bought it, and the generals and admirals might in the short run, means the budget is there to return to the kind of spending that is going on now. Gotta be a clean break. Can’t imagine how it will happen, but that is the only way it can have a lasting effect.

        • Sam F
          December 1, 2017 at 6:39 pm

          Yes, it would be a political tightrope to re-purpose the military, but much easier to sell to militarists than cutting them 80% and then creating a vast foreign aid program from scratch. They keep their ranks, homes, pensions, and so would not rebel outright. The military industries have to make a fast switch to other equipment over two years. Restructure the agencies after two years so that most facilities and staff are not officially military but with perhaps some military reserve functions. Then adjust things after another two years so that they are aid agencies with no military ranks or training.

          The other big advantage is that no one would accept such a huge aid program otherwise, whereas it seems a natural outgrowth of the huge military budget, with no adverse economic effects. And the chickenhawks can rest easy at first that remobilization is possible during those first four years, then more slowly thereafter, should any real threat emerge.

      • Dave P.
        December 3, 2017 at 1:55 pm

        Sam F – Excellent, Well said.

  7. Tom Welsh
    December 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    “When under the pretext of fraternity, the legal code imposes mutual sacrifices on the citizens, human nature is not thereby abrogated. Everyone will then direct his efforts toward contributing little to, and taking much from, the common fund of sacrifices. Now, is it the most unfortunate who gains from this struggle? Certainly not, but rather the most influential and calculating”.

    – Frédéric Bastiat (“Justice and fraternity”, in Journal des Économistes, 15 June 1848, page 324)

    • Josue
      December 1, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      B hhhh b b in B-) :-) b :/B-) B-) B-) bank b .. B-) n Nunn bomb b k .:/..bible hmmmm mmn nmm. b bbmbbbm B-) kb B-) bkbbbmbbb B-) mbbbbbbb bbbbmbbmbmb B-)..hmm bkmbbbbkbbmbbbmbkkbbbbmbbbbbbbbbb Nunn bank B-) B-) B-) bnbbbbbmbmbbbbkbnbkbnbbbbkmn B-) m mm..m..m m..mmm…..’m …’……m………..m…….m…. m..mmm…..’m . N. Mbeki.B-) m mm bbmbbbm bl m mm b B-) .m/ b mbbbbbbb mmm m m B-) mbbbbbbb m B-) nmm :/b hmmm hmmm B-) bank b .B-) m hmmmm mbbbbbbb m nmm jkkkkkjkkkkk k mmmmmbmmbnnnnn B-) mm/ mm’m

      Op

  8. Tom Welsh
    December 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    The chilling words of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”, written in 1963 for the album “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”, ring just as true today as ever. Sadly.

    Come, you masters of war
    You that build the big guns
    You that build the death planes
    You that build all the bombs
    You that hide behind walls
    You that hide behind desks
    I just want you to know
    I can see through your masks

    You that never done nothin’
    But build to destroy
    You play with my world
    Like it’s your little toy
    You put a gun in my hand
    And you hide from my eyes
    And you turn and run farther
    When the fast bullets fly

    Like Judas of old
    You lie and deceive
    A world war can be won
    You want me to believe
    But I see through your eyes
    And I see through your brain
    Like I see through the water
    That runs down my drain

    You fasten all the triggers
    For the others to fire
    Then you sit back and watch
    While the death count gets higher
    You hide in your mansion
    While the young peoples’ blood
    Flows out of their bodies
    And is buried in the mud

    You’ve thrown the worst fear
    That can ever be hurled
    Fear to bring children
    Into the world
    For threatenin’ my baby
    Unborn and unnamed
    You ain’t worth the blood
    That runs in your veins

    How much do I know
    To talk out of turn?
    You might say that I’m young
    You might say I’m unlearned
    But there’s one thing I know
    Though I’m younger than you
    That even Jesus would never
    Forgive what you do

    Let me ask you one question
    Is your money that good?
    Will it buy you forgiveness?
    Do you think that it could?
    I think you will find
    When your death takes its toll
    All the money you made
    Will never buy back your soul

    And I hope that you die
    And your death will come soon
    I’ll follow your casket
    On a pale afternoon
    I’ll watch while you’re lowered
    Down to your deathbed
    And I’ll stand over your grave
    ‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead

    • Abe
      December 1, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      On January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his farewell address from the Oval Office. In this speech, he warned that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

      Bob Dylan wrote “Masters of War” over the winter of 1962–63. The song was released on the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in the spring of 1963.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exm7FN-t3PY

      In an interview, published in USA Today on September 10, 2001 Dylan linked his song “Masters of War” to Eisenhower’s speech, saying:

      “‘Masters of War’… is supposed to be a pacifistic song against war. It’s not an anti-war song. It’s speaking against what Eisenhower was calling a military-industrial complex as he was making his exit from the presidency. That spirit was in the air, and I picked it up.”

      • Seer
        December 1, 2017 at 3:56 pm

        Another reason to focus on the words and not on the speaker…

    • Seer
      December 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Never ceases to raise goosebumps!

      The lyrics need to be plastered everywhere.

      I don’t know which is better, this Dylan song, or Mark Twain’s War Prayer.

      Anyway, thanks for posting that, Tom.

    • Mild-ly - Facetious
      December 1, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”, written in 1963,

      Introduced a Massively Egalitarian era of
      United States history and opened points of departure

      from acceptance to the ‘status quo/follow-flow
      and a hold-your-breath- and close your eyes leap into

      The Great American National Debate over ‘Racial Equality’ –

      Dylan opened many doors and minds –
      James Baldwin wasn’t seen, at all and/
      Bob Marley genius/ murdered by the CIA

      Samuel P. Huntington wrote a little treatise named, The Crisis of Democracy.
      His ideas let to the “Reagan Era” — John Lennon was horribly Murdered.

      Then they exploded the genocidal weapon of $1.00 “Crack” / and
      Millions of Perpetually Unemployed People became Permanently Disabled.

      Masters of War and Warfare Masters _ addicted to the company’s U work 4
      ?how can there be peace when the devil never cease 2 Bring U W/him???

      masters-of-war.

  9. john wilson
    December 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    You can’t get rid of or drastically scale down the industrial complex war machine as long as you don’t have democracy. You don’t have democracy in America because in order to stand for election for the congress, Senate or presidency you have to be very very rich, which means only a handful of people get to become part of the government. Even worse, the US has a phenomenon known loosely as, ‘the deep state which is large group of non elected people who wield enormous power, such that they even appear to control the office of the president itself. In the UK we do the democracy thing rather better although the odds against the common man being elected are pretty well stacked against him, unless he/she is a member of a political party to which he/she has sworn allegiance. However, currently anyone in the UK can stand for parliament provided he or she has the money for a deposit of £500 (say, $450 dollars) and can get about a 100 or so people to sign for him or her in support. Many ordinary folk do stand as independents and some are very colourful, but even the most bizarre of them get to take the stage at the count of the vote and shake hands with whoever has won, even if its the prime minister herself or himself. Of course, big money talks over here as well insofar as those with the cash can get their message over much better. Sadly, even with this real opportunity for a real democratic change, the two party system always wins out. We all need proportional representation and this would mean most of the small parties would get seats in parliament (or the congress or the Senate). When the government doesn’t have a majority and has to seek support from the smaller parities, insane and egregious legislation doesn’t get through.

    • Pinokkio
      December 7, 2017 at 8:13 am

      The US democratic system was founded and installed (1738) in order to prevent that common people could take over the power in the US , so the rich people protected themselves against the labour people. The election system as we know today has NOT been changed nor adapted ever since. The American democracy is a fake democracy as Trump said before he went for president. Now he remains silent, knowing that he took advantage of the same system as entertainer. He succeeded and my fear is that he will do it again!! Divide and rule is his device. Up to now a great succes …to him at least.

  10. mike
    December 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    As much as I admire Ike sharing this revelation with us, I wish he had done so before he built MIC.

    • December 1, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Ike didn’t just do that. Even more to the degree he tried to control the MIC, he did so with the Spying-Overthrowing Complex. Don’t forget Iran, Guatemala and other coups on his watch. Don’t forget Bay of Pigs planning started on his watch.

      • Seer
        December 1, 2017 at 3:32 pm

        BUT… imagine a POTUS today leaving the stage and, regardless of their action in office, reciting such words. One has to wonder, though, of what real value such has when, apparently, those words continue to fail to persuade rational action. Sure, in the end it’ll be good fodder for quipping “I told you so.”

  11. Drew Hunkins
    December 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I think I remember reading somwhere that Ike actually wanted to refer to it as the “Military-Industrial-MEDIA Complex” but shortened it for brevity’s sake.

    The media aspect of it is often overlooked (not by fans of CN of course) and it would have been more accurate and served history better if Ike would have kept the media in the equation.

    MIMC

    • Groucho
      December 1, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      I believe he originally called it the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex but was advised that was too incendiary.

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 1, 2017 at 2:14 pm

        Yes, you’re correct, I’m wrong. Now I remember. Perhaps it was wishful thinking on my part since the media are such complicit bloodsuckers in all this. Thanks for the correction.

        • Groucho
          December 1, 2017 at 2:24 pm

          If you did it today you would definitely add in the media piece. It’s never been perfect obviously but they have definitely been subsumed as a key piece of the puzzle – the MIC’s communication department.

          • Seer
            December 1, 2017 at 3:34 pm

            The media has been complicit in war crimes WAY before Ike. NYT has always been a tool by the oligarchs to push for the death of others’ children in order to serve Their interests.

  12. NavyVet
    December 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Any major reduction to military spending, then, must include serious investment in jobs as well. Both are needed changes to fiscal policy anyway, so this seems like a political change that could gain some traction. I have heard it said that there are more efficient ways to create jobs than investment in war, but have not researched this myself. The citation of such studies would be revelant to and improve this article. Here’s to dreaming of a peaceful world *hic hiccup*. Cheers!

    • Sam F
      December 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Investment in construction creates a large number of jobs for less educated persons, destroys nothing, and raises the standard of living. It requires similar heavy equipment manufacturing and less white collar work, but can be balanced with investment in high tech work such as medical research. The result is vastly superior to military investment where that exceeds what is needed to deal with real risks. The US has almost no enemies not of its own making, and has the most secure borders in the world.

      • Seer
        December 1, 2017 at 3:46 pm

        BUT, it’s all predicated on feeding growth! How long are you going to keep building? To see how this goes just look to what has been happening over in China (ghost cities and such). Sure, nothing is perfect, but on the other hand I don’t see how continuing to deficit spend (something that will STOP when the USD loses its reserve currency status) is good for the future. Debt levels -go ahead, take a quick survey of folks around you- are high, people are swamped with debt.

        In no way should anything I say be construed as supporting the MIC. Keep in mind that spending on more roads and other infrastructure does NOT directly lead to improved trade balance. Weapons sales DO bring in export dollars. And THIS is why there is this insane push (Trump running around the globe dancing with despots in order to pimp weapons) for weapons sales, even though they end up being used against US citizens. Read between the lines: this is all pure desperation. There’s nothing left in the hat to pull out. As Zappa put it, the curtain will be pulled back and all we’ll see is a big wall.

        The end of growth was never going to be pretty.

        • Sam F
          December 1, 2017 at 6:55 pm

          Trade deficits require other policies. They must be eliminated by producing something that the world needs other than weapons (except for any uncorrupted democracies among our allies), such as the products of R&D in medicine, semiconductors, agriculture, etc.

          Ending deficit spending will reduce standards of living to a sustainable level, reducing luxury spending and requiring socialized medicine. Over a generation or two, that will free up people to do something productive like R&D and public service instead of living on markups, rent, interest and broker fees.

          My sense is that we do not need “growth” at all, it is simply beneficial where sustainable. We need efficiency, where we are instead wasting most people’s lives with unproductive activity. We can build what we need here and overseas, which will take generations, then gradually move to employ more people in R&D, reduce the work week, etc.

          • Seer
            December 1, 2017 at 10:29 pm

            Sam, I have spent years trying to imagine how a world could go forward w/o growth. In order for people to be engaged in things things have to be made, which means materials and energy inputs are required. How will a “sustainable” level be determined, and who decides?

            “gradually move to employ more people in R&D, reduce the work week, etc.”

            The aim of R&D is ultimately a production of something. Something has to come out the end of the process. And, again, there needs to be material and energy inputs. We have 7+ billion humans on the planet. The picture is much bigger and more complicated than our typical thinking concerns itself with (usually US-centric).

            I suppose that we could build things up such that robots would work for us. But, how many of “us?” Can we make it to 10 billion? How about 15 billion? There IS a limit. And this is where any “solutions” fall apart, there’s no mechanism for determining what constitutes a sustainable population number. I don’t think that I have enough faith in humanity to figure this out, and, it seems that many are still waiting for cosmic/heavenly guidance handling this: I just state that Nature will ultimately adjust our numbers- next glacial period, if nothing sooner occurs, will likely do it.

          • Sam F
            December 2, 2017 at 9:58 am

            Yes, the R&D must lead to production of valuable goods and services such as medicines, computers, sustainable foods and materials to improve standards of living.

            We can sustain some further population growth as less developed nations follow our path toward zero population growth, despite the warming effects upon certain regions, although there are worrisome effects as large forests are replaced with crop fields. As you note, natural processes must be predicted and we must be prepared.

            Our greatest problems are in the structure of government, which seldom reflects the interests of the people or makes beneficial policies. We must create a rational democracy as a first step.

          • Seer
            December 2, 2017 at 1:44 pm

            Sam, the flattening out of population growth presents an issue in that less young people are born while there becomes an increasing population of older people. Although my concerns/thoughts aren’t based on Logan’s Run, I cannot help but think of that movie when I think of this issue. Would it, perhaps, be that we just have to go through one big wave of older folks dying out before we can really establish some sort of equilibrium? Again, this is nothing I want to even attempt to “solve.” And when one figures that there will almost certainly be a smaller population in the future it becomes clear that most of our current infrastructure (some/much? of which won’t carry forward) will be far in excess of what is needed. Consider that most of what we’re currently operating does so based on an economies of scale volume; as that volume decreases the leverages from economies of scale decrease (and it’s not a linear decrease, just as it wasn’t a linear increase when going “up”). Younger people will be faced with much higher operational costs WHILE trying to switch over to new infrastructure. And keep in mind that more money/energy into new/old infrastructure is money that doesn’t go into R&D for products for exportation (revenues). Our “expenses” will balloon as our ability to pull in revenues decreases.

            W/o growth, an increase in the total size of the pie, someone HAS to experience a negative trade balance in order for someone to experience a positive trade balance. Can there be balanced trade all across the board? Even with some global governing structure (can you say New World Order?) I’d find this more than a bit tricky to do with some sort of global state structure; and with independent, “nation” states it’s even less likely.

          • Sam F
            December 2, 2017 at 7:46 pm

            By construction I was referring to overseas infrastructure as foreign aid: schools, hospitals, railroads and some roads, all built in appropriate phases. Granted that one should not build superhighways in Ghana until needed.

            The concept of “balanced trade all across the board” between nations of distinct material standards of living may be implemented in part by import tariffs based upon the difference in standards of living, and used to assist the poorest in the poorer nation, so that the equivalent product has a nearly equivalent price at the destination. So any windfalls due to cheap labor in the producer nation go to eliminate that problem.

            That system works best after we have required product quality engineering advice and posted quality ratings to get sales licenses, so that producers can concentrate on and compete for efficiency rather than for quality deception as we have now. With the rating system in place, the importer has to meet the same standard, the expected market price (cost/effectiveness) is clear, the tariff is fair, and the profit goes back to assist the exploited labor pool.

  13. Zachary Smith
    December 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I don’t know enough about the Military Industrial Complex to comment much except to suspect that author JP Sottile likely understates the problem.

    I think I do resent giving much credit to Eisenhower. His complaining about his very own ‘baby’ is kind of like Obama making a speech denouncing ISIS.

    I believe Eisenhower was a very capable man, but that he was also a slippery and dishonest politician. And I believe he was as lazy as he could decently manage while in the White House. Maybe he was totally in the loop with all the dreadful things the CIA was doing at the time with Iran and Cuba, but without researching the matter I suspect he simply let them run wild. On his watch clunker duds like the Century Series of fighters and the B-58 bomber came into being. The latter was fast, small, expensive, and virtually useless.

    I’ve read that Eisenhower’s inspiration for the Interstate Highway system was the Nazi Autobahns he found and admired in post-WW2. Creating them to facilitate troop movements was a very expensive thing, and isn’t usually counted as belonging in the MIC. In the process of spending all that money for his new highways he destroyed the passenger rail system in the US. Once upon a time a person could buy a train ticket at a very nearby location and go anywhere in the US. NOT ANYMORE!

    I don’t doubt the sincerity of Eisenhower’s late conversion to sanity with the MIC, but I feel that his being present at the creation needs to be kept in mind. Deathbed conversions like his don’t impress me nearly as much as extended periods of living in virtue.

  14. Ol' Hippy
    December 1, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    This hungry beast,(the MIC) gets hungrier every day, year by year, Soon this beast will devour itself in a insane insatiable vampiric lust and take down everything within it’s vast grasp. Allegorical yes, but I don’t have other word, to describe the nightmare the country has become. Trouble is there’s noway to halt the downward spiral towards collapse and yes it’s coming as sure as the Moon and Sun; the only question remaining is; how far?

  15. Seer
    December 1, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    “And, much to the approval of many Americans, he’s delivered. A Morning Consult/Politico poll showed increased defense spending was the most popular among a variety of spending priorities presented to voters … even as voters express trepidation about the coming of another war. A pair of NBC News/Survey Monkey polls found that 76 percent of Americans are “worried” the United States “will become engaged in a major war in the next four years” and only 25 percent want America to become “more active” in world affairs.”

    Brought to mind Bertrand Russell’s attack on MAD. He framed his logic saying that it was the logic of a small town getting together to agree to unleash several rabid dogs in the hopes of eradicating the existing rabid dog. What the hell do people expect will happen with all these weapons expenditures other than in what they are intended to be used for- death? We want the “good” without the “bad.”

    The more this kind of stuff goes on the more I’m hoping (which is a desire for an outcome over which I have absolutely no control over, let alone it being nearly outside of cosmic probabilities) that “JC” does return and whack down all these f*ckers. I’d be happy to chase them all down to, and past, the gates of hell.

    • mike k
      December 1, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Run ’em all out of town, eh? Good idea. But what if they don’t want to go? They don’t. And some of us have been waiting for JC for a long time now. Maybe his flying saucer got lost in the Ort Cloud?

      • Seer
        December 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm

        Yeah, I mean, if stuff like this doesn’t do it then what the hell will?

        I was thinking of running them further than just out of town :-) (they wouldn’t be in anyone’s town any longer)

  16. December 1, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    BRAVO !!! Mr. Sottile !
    This indeed is the “dirty little secret” that really is not a secret, but is
    clearly right in front of us. A society where the BIGGEST BUSINESS
    is THE MANUFACTURE OF THE TOOLS OF DEATH, and the citizens
    in that society rejoice that they have JOBS in the INDUSTRY OF DEATH.
    And so it goes ON and ON and ON.

    • mike k
      December 1, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Maybe that’s what Hell is like – a big arms factory with holocaust and torture chamber annexes? But I thought all that was for later, after one’s death – why is it happening now??

      • mike k
        December 1, 2017 at 4:19 pm

        Where ARE we, anyway?!

        • mike k
          December 1, 2017 at 4:20 pm

          And WHO is making this nightmare happen?

          • mike k
            December 1, 2017 at 4:21 pm

            Maybe we should ask Pogo, he seems pretty smart, for a possum…..

  17. December 1, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    April 26, 2017
    The Maniacs of Militarism

    “War is madness” – Pope Francis

    The maniacs of militarism are creating wars
    Countries are bombed by warmongering whores
    Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries too
    Are hell holes of the earth, “The work,” of this insane crew

    Enabled by politicians in positions of power
    These well dressed war criminals hide and cower
    The generals salute their political masters
    Then the brainwashed obey these bemedaled disasters

    Cities are destroyed and reduced to rubble
    Where are the perpetrators that created all this trouble?
    They are residing in luxury and given fancy titles
    War crimes trials are needed, and are so vital

    But this is not happening: the system is corrupted
    And these evil beings, by some are worshiped
    Blood-soaked villains that never do the fighting
    They are the “experts” that do the inciting

    They are the producers of death and destruction
    Others are profiteers of all the bloody actions
    Missiles, bombs and horrendous weapons
    There is no end to the endless aggression

    Millions are dead, and millions are homeless
    Millions are refugees, and all this is atrocious
    Once they had jobs, families, and homes as well
    Then their countries were bombed by the agents from hell

    Setting the world on fire is what these war arsonists do
    The money for their depredations comes from me and you
    They have made us all accessories to their criminal acts
    Our Taxes are the blood money and that is a fact

    Will the people ever say: “We have had enough”?
    And put all these villains in secure handcuffs
    Then lock them up in maximum security prisons
    Then, we can say “goodbye” to the maniacs of militarism…
    [more info at link below]

    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/04/the-maniacs-of-militarism.html

    • Seer
      December 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Does the Pope know history, that the Catholic Church has had its hands in MANY human atrocities? (Gott Mit Uns)

  18. Emitt Ime
    December 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    all this money spent on “defense” and yet the country was (allegedly) foiled by some religious zealots with flying lessons in cessnas and box cutters

  19. December 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    The question, I believe is this, when are the war criminals going to be arrested for plotting and planning illegal wars and financing terrorists? See info link below.
    ————————————————————————
    October 2, 2016
    “The Evidence of the Planning of Wars against Countries by Powerful War Criminals’
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

  20. December 1, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    More info below:
    —————————————————————————
    “Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.[i]… Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, December 8, 2016,Press Release.
    https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/video-rep-tulsi-gabbard-introduces-legislation-stop-arming-terrorists

  21. December 1, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    We are “THE WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION”

    Our economy is underwritten by war, weapons and killing. We don’t want to know what is happening in our name, with our tax money, sustaining our lifestyle.

    The question is not simply who benefits from the end result of the wars but from the total action of the wars. The bottom line is the bottom line. Our men and women have lined the coffers of big business and the very wealthy. And often the result of the conflict also lines the coffers of big business and the very wealthy while the common people live with wounds physical, psychological and spiritual.
    Blinding ourselves, some of us gain employment, some gain access to materials and goodies from the low paying labor and natural resources purloined as a results of our bullying, aggressions and our arms sales. Dulled by inertia, seduced by promises of “trickle down”, conned by propaganda, we are numbed by the narcotic of things. Grabbing the coat tails and gladly distracted by the “red carpet glitter”, we aspire to emulate the merchants and bankers of war. And we keep silent.
    http://sunweber.blogspot.com/2017/05/riding-bomb.html

  22. Mike
    December 2, 2017 at 12:42 am

    In his farewell address, Ike specifically stated he was addressing “two” new threats. The MIC is only the first. Immediately afterward, he states “Akin to AND largely responsible for the change in our industrial military posture” is ____________. Probably 10% of readers know can fill in the blank despite its largely responsible for the MIC. The Eisenhower .gov archive page says the speech was 10 minutes long which is where the MIC waning ends. His 2nd threat did not resonate with the public at the time. But it certainly should be clear today. Hopefully readers will go to Youtube and watch the full 16 minute video, and pay attention to the whole thing. Eisenhower spent 6 months writing the speech. We should not allow ‘historians’ determine what the ” relevant 2 minutes” are.

  23. geeyp
    December 2, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Ike and JFK were the two great Presidents in my lifetime. And I mean great statesmen and leaders with vision. They wanted what is right for this country. The military manufacturers list what they do in multi-redundant terms and categories to puff up their diversity and all-encompassing one stop shops. They are now, with the financial institutions, too large to fail. If the economy tanks, I would much rather it happen ’cause THEY went out of commission then some other reason.

  24. geeyp
    December 2, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Also see Ike’s peace speech that he gave at the start of his administration.

  25. December 2, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Makes one wonder if the coup attempted in the 1930’s and exposed by General Smedley D. Butler was not ultimately successful during and after WWII?

  26. December 2, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    More info at link below.
    —————————————————————-
    A MORALLY RUDDERLESS AMERICA

    by Scott McPhersonNovember 30, 2017

    https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/morally-rudderless-america/

  27. Bob Beal
    December 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Read all about it!! Defense Stocks Surge

  28. December 2, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Unfortunately, Ike was taken over by the two Dulles brothers, John Foster as his Secy of State and Allen as CIA chief, both who would overthrow any government that didn’t play to US corporate interests, including assassinations if necessary — e.g. Patrice Lumumba who just wanted to help his fellow Congolese out of the shadows of the murderous Belgian colonialists, among other nightmares those two concocted to set the murderous USA pattern of today.

    Wonderful Christian nation, the US: “Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war, with the Cross of Jesus going on before”. I remember those words planted into my little kid’s brain. The smiting God of the Old Testament prevails to this day.

    • D.H. Fabian
      December 3, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      The US just expropriated the word, “Christian.” US policies and ideology tend to be the direct opposite of what Christ taught.

  29. Zachary Smith
    December 3, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I didn’t see anything here about the F-35. Talk about a money pit! And a special feature is that the Air Force is getting the equivalent of a hand-held Kindle. The actual “book” remains in the possession of the manufacturer.

    Understanding how a weapon system works is key to properly maintaining it, and for a system that is heavily reliant on software and computing power this means the maintenance personnel would need access to all of the system’s technical information. But manufacturers don’t want to hand over the data to anyone, citing intellectual property rights.

    By withholding this information, the prime contractor makes itself the only outfit capable of providing the necessary support services. No other company can compete for even one of the support contracts because the government is unable to specify the required needs.

    Spare parts have an order backlog ranging from many months to years. The mere thought of going to war with this turkey is a nightmare.

    h**p://warisboring.com/48277-2/

    The situation resembles the US medical system in being the most expensive in the world, yet far less capable. That’s what happens when a huge Profit Gouge is jammed into the works. This headline tells a big story all by itself:

    Basic US Military Problem: Most Expensive Does Not Equal Best
    In numerous areas US weapon systems just don’t measure up, despite being the most expensive solution available

    YAL-1 airborne laser is an example of a costly effort going down the drain. The $5-billion airborne laser is in the boneyard.

    MRAP (mine resistant ambush protected) is another example of boondoggle. The nearly $50 billion investment in MRAPs appears to make no sense. The heavily-protected vehicles were no more effective at reducing casualties than the medium armored vehicles being three times as expensive. Many MRAP vehicles have been given to partner forces or sold for scrap.

    Stryker is the backbone of the Army. After so many years in service, it still lacks firepower and protection. 90 Strykers were lost in Afghanistan, where the enemy had no armor vehicles, aviation, artillery or effective anti-tank weapons. The vehicle has thin skin. A Stryker is useless against a tank. It is not designed to maneuver against other combat vehicles and is doomed to be outgunned by the enemy. It has no air defense protection. What it is good for is an unanswered question.

    The US Army is poorly protected from air threats. THAAD is good only for missile defense, not air defense. Patriot PAC-3 is destined to counter tactical ballistic and cruise missiles. It has very limited capability against aircraft. Aircraft-capable PAC-1 and PAC-2 are either upgraded to the PAC-3 variant or sold abroad. There is nothing left but short-range shoulder-fired portable Stingers, with a range of 8 km and a maximum altitude of 4 km. This is a very serious drawback to make the troops extremely vulnerable to airstrikes.

    The only “solution” being considered is to throw even more money at the Military Industrial Complex. This is mismanagement on the grandest level.

  30. D.H. Fabian
    December 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Well, we’re not so industrial anymore. Corporations have been shipping out jobs since the 1980s — we’ve lost over 5 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000. I guess the military/weapons industries are doing quite well, however.

  31. Zachary Smith
    December 3, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Exclusive: Pentagon evaluating U.S. West Coast missile defense sites – officials

    The hyping of the “threat” to the Homeland of the Free from North Korea is starting to make sense. Building these local ABM systems is going to cost a fortune, and cause their part of the MIC to get even wealthier. But hey, if California is going to get “protection”, what about the East Coast?

    Congress Is Asking for an East Coast Missile Defense Site (That the Pentagon Doesn’t Want)

    Can’t be too careful! But what about Chicago? Houston? Miami? Are we going to throw those patriotic Americans to the wolves? Surely not! A dinky little system in Alaska is all we have now. Protecting Sarah Palin and nobody else isn’t fair. Just ignore all the nay-sayers.

    America’s Missile Defenses Against North Korea Have a Big Problem (They Only Work Half the Time)

    To be precise, they work only half the time under perfect conditions. Like the “defense” knowing when and from what direction the incoming missile will come. Like the total absence of any believable/realistic complications like jamming or decoys and some others best left unmentioned because Homeland Security is everywhere.

    This Missile Defense is about making scads of money for the MIC, and for that to work out the pitch must be made that the North Koreans are frothing-at-the-mouth insane and can’t possibly be “deterred” by the reality of overwhelming retaliation.

    Doesn’t work worth a damn. CHECK
    Makes tons of money for the MIC. CHECK
    Will need constant “upgrading” and “expansion”. CHECK

    Maybe I’m wrong, and this is a winner in the same class as the F-35.

  32. Tom O'Neill
    December 3, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Sottile’s detail-rich article provides conclusive evidence against one of our favorite notions these days: that we average American citizens are “innocent.” I’ve read elaborate statements from gifted writers in the “progressive” camp who say that the problems of our time are “systemic” and so solutions too must be systemic. Individual choices make little or no difference, one way or the other, they say. Whether I eat meat, dispose of trash conscientiously, waste water, take frequent airplane trips, drive a huge car, or care about Doctors Without Borders could not matter less, they conveniently proclaim. What I glean from Sottile’s article is that our chosen lifestyle has everything to do with continuation of our reptilian approach to foreign policy–deciding all over the world just who can do what, and when they can do it, and in alliance with what group of others. What this article makes clear to me is that our intuitive sense of things–that the individual’s behavior and example are important–is founded in data that is evident to everyone whose eyes are open. As Thoreau, Gandhi, MLK, Sartre, and George Carlin all insisted, our exercise of freedom is decisive. Gandhi put the matter with wonderful economy: “Be the solution you envision.”

  33. Kelli
    December 4, 2017 at 12:09 am

    We are a nation of sociopaths.
    Lacking empathy for the crimes against humanity across the globe and yet our monetary gluttony will be what destroys us.
    The NDAA and now with this tax fraud plan that will gut Medicare, social security and Medicaid, to pay for corporations and the wealthy among us to have a tax cut in the midst of the worst humanitarian crisis in America with income inequality and a violation of human rights with homelessness at its highest since the great depression, we hunger for more and more build up more and more WAR.

    We will have millions more on the street when these cuts take effect. It will be noticeable to every American and immediately

    People complain and complain about Trump, yet the policies he has implemented will be cheered as welfare reform.

    This government is a reflection of US.

  34. K Lee
    December 4, 2017 at 10:12 am

    “If you’re not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek’s free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom.” ~ Michael Hudson

    Forty years of this rentier economy is what must change. The “Crisis of Democracy” (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYFxtNgOeiI ) during the 60’s decade led to the famous Lewis Powell memo, a call to arms for the corporate sector to defend against an activated democracy, since human rights and environmental protections are viewed as threats to profits.

    No amount of monetary QE is going to kickstart job growth. The only answer is a return to strong fiscal policy to inject new money into our dilapidated public sector. Forget the financial myths about deficits and debt ceilings, “going broke” and other lies that’ve been used to perpetuate the withholding of government funding. End the teaching of these myths to economics students in mainstream universities. In fact, the media, politicians, professors and mainstream economists are nothing more than PR agents for this sham economic policy. End neoliberalism and the fascist takeover of the world will subside.

    https://renegadeinc.com/j-is-for-junk-economics/

  35. December 4, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Not to worry. The CIA will save us from the MIC.

  36. Pinokkio
    December 7, 2017 at 7:39 am

    If we look at the history of the US it is not abnormal the country is what it is today. The USA is proud to its (white) founders that fleed from Europe to start a new live in another country. Most of the settlers were poor, streetless and wanted to gain profits asap! Others were convicted criminals who were forced to work in the overseas colony some escaped. It was all crap. Then the colonists began to exploit the country by first commiting an genocide on the natives – Indians!! And they were proud of it!! Then a massive slavery was organised to get cheap labour so the white “bosses” became rich. After the civil wars slavery was officially abolished but the discrimination of coloured people still goes on. A contrast and contradiction with their constitution – freedom for all!! Even today the spirit of violence and conquering by force is in the mind of many American people,!! 1893 the US took a coup d’ état on Hawaii and made it their country!! After WO II the US saw Europe as a future consumer market for their economy. So they started their Marshall plan to support Europe monetary. At the same time Europe became economically dependent from the US. and but also properous!!! The were addicts of the US economy.At the same time the cold war started and Europe became, being member of the allied forces, part of the NATO and was indoctrinated for more than half a century that the USSR was bad and evil. So The USA could stand their imperialistic idea’s and even expanding them. Every in the world they installed military bases – wherever their insterests could be damaged – but they didn’t allow any foreign nation to install any military base in the USA. All this politics made that there was a great need for military equipment. And so the economy of the US is based for 50 % or more on military orders. That makes them vulnerable. Certainly now the map of the world is redrawn. The USA needs war situations instead of peace, so they don’t want peace in the Middle East asap. That is why Trumpie the presidential clown, is making deals with the Saoudi Arabs and the Jews!! So the war situation can be extended. The same time he is hustling the US with his his reduction of the company taxes so he and other ultrariches can make bigger profits, without hiring more employees. All this on the taxpayer’s back! He even exceeds his father’s dirty activities!! “Making America bigger” Whose America??

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