War, Imperialism, Common Cause and Politics

lemming.png

Years ago I wrote an essay titled, "I just wrote a check for U.S. Imperialism and War". It was around April 15th of a year during the Neverending War Period, of which we currently reside, when I had to write a check to cover the federal taxes owed the previous year.

Taxpayers of course foot the bill for U.S. imperialism under the guise of keeping them safe and protecting our freedoms and democracy. They pay for the over $700 billion per year Department of Defense (DOD) budget, the budgets for the National Security Agency (NSA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Veterans Administration (VA)and a huge list of subsidiary functions that contribute to the overall military/security/intelligence complex. Nearly every federal agency has some kind of "homeland" security responsibilities woven into their missions now in the New American Century.

Combine the DOD budget with all the other budgets of the U.S. government military/security/intelligence functions and it adds to well over One Trillion per year. That equates to over 70% of the federal discretionary budget. It's estimated a typical family of four pays an average of $9,000 per year for these "services" to keep them safe.

That doesn't include all the state, city and county taxes that go to homeland security related functions, as well as the non-monetary costs for living in a fascist police state intent on ruling the world by force.

##################################

A friend came over the other day, the father of my granddaughter's best friend, to drop off his daughter for an overnighter. We're not good friends, more like friendly acquaintances. We talked a little about sports and the NFL came up, their season has just started. He said he was boycotting the NFL because of Colin Kapernick and others who have been "disrespecting" the flag. He said they're making it political and he doesn't want any part of that in football.

I told him I thought they shouldn't play the national anthem at professional sporting events any longer. It's become absurd with all the Land of the free, God Bless America bullshit permeating the atmosphere. I told him that's what was making it political, not Kapernick and the others who refuse to stand at attention like fucking lemmings. Our conversation ended pretty quickly after that.

I decided to watch one of the NFL games playing on 9/11, "Monday NIght Football". I couldn't do it. From the very beginning, they were showing political propaganda videos about 9/11 and the military, military jets were flying over the stadium, a giant flag the size of the entire football field was being waved up and down by military, police, and firefighters, and then they had everyone stand to RESPECT the flag of the United States Empire with a rousing rendition of God Bless America followed by the national anthem.

I turned it off, he was right, the NFL is too political for me too.

#################################

When Trump voters finally figure out they've been scammed, what are they going to do? I saw that question posed earlier relative to seeking a common cause among the "99%". There have been those on the left who have been encouraging an alliance with Trump voters and others on the right because, after all, we all have the same thing in common. The establishment. So when the Trump voters finally come to their senses and realize they've been scammed, like Obama voters before them, that is when the left and the right can reach a common cause, join together and fight the oligarchy. The question comes up, what common cause would there be with people who still support Donald Trump? Um. If they haven't got it by now, I don't think they ever will. I'm not wasting my time, we don't need them. Not yet. Try getting those who are more closely aligned organized first, then go from there. There are always different sides in a revolution. Besides, they voted for a billionaire, how un-anti-establishment can you get.

###############################

There's a new Gallup poll out gauging "Americans' Support for Military Action Against North Korea". The question they pose is:

"If the United States does not accomplish its goals regarding North Korea with economic and diplomatic efforts, would you favor or oppose using military action against North Korea?"

http://www.gallup.com/poll/219134/back-military-action-north-korea-2003....

The results are disappointing, of course. Fifty eight percent favor military action if their rulers goals are not accomplished. Gallup points out that's up from 2003 when only 47% were clinically insane.

The interesting part is in 2003, only 59% of republicans supported such action while now it's up to a whopping 81%. Democrats stayed fairly steady with 41% in 2003 down to 37% now, while independents went from 41% in 2003 to 56% now.

What does that mean? It means we have a lot of dumb shits in this country for one. It also means we better fucking hope Margaret Meade was right:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

up
27 users have voted.

Comments

mimi's picture

up
11 users have voted.

"“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” - Ghandi

Big Al's picture

@mimi vielen dank.

up
8 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@mimi

what a beautiful response to such a tragic plight.

up
8 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@janis b

up
0 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

We should make common cause with a much larger voting block - people who didn't vote in 2016.

If that group can be motivated to vote then that's a winning formula.

up
11 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@gjohnsit Foreign Policy which might pick up voters for the ex Sanders campaign alumni group.

up
10 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

janis b's picture

up
8 users have voted.

the endless regime change wars. He pointed out that the money should be spent here at home on jobs & infra-structure. HRC was a war hawk. A lot of folks chose Trump on that basis.
The fact that Trump has betrayed his election promises does not mean that a lot of his voters agree with where he's gone.
I thought the main point of your post here was that these wars are a stupid waste of our resources. Why turn your back on a huge block of voters who agree with you? Especially when Bernie & Liz are completely silent on the subject!
Chris Hedges continues to point out that a mass rejection of the MIC & global capitalism is what it will take to save the planet. I think he's right YMMV
PS It took a lot of us years to figure out that Obama was a complete B.S. artist. Why not give the Trump voters more than a few months to realize they were conned?

up
14 users have voted.

chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.

Big Al's picture

@chuckutzman @chuckutzman want to end capitalist oriented U.S. imperialism. As I've said since Trump started running, it was always a mixed bag. They've agreed with Trump about a border wall to keep Muslims and Mexicans out which indicates they support the war OF terror. They've agreed with him about North Korea (see poll results for republicans and indies), they've agreed with him about "re-building the military" which means supporting the capitalist empire, about nuclear weapons, about the China pivot, etc. They still support him, like Obama supporters, even though he is a verified war criminal at this point.

In that way they've been exactly like most Obama supporters who claimed to have bought his antiwar rhetoric when he was campaigning only to see him continue what started under Bush and Clinton. But it didn't matter, now check out Obama's approval rating among democrats - 80%. They've supported Obama's wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere and still do. They haven't learned a thing relative to war and imperialism. I will not ally myself with the democratic or republican parties.

So I'm not turning my back on anyone really, I'm saying most Trump supporters, especially those still supporting him, do not come close to agreeing with much of anything I believe in. If they're that far gone to still be supporting a psycho billionaire tweeter, then we don't have much in common.

up
10 users have voted.

@Big Al
anything but a politically sophisticated lot. In their defense however, it must be admitted that the R+D monopoly on federal power has never offered any of us a great deal of choice -- neither in matters of Congressional corruption, nor in matters of war and peace, nor in regard to our ubiquitous Surveillance State... etc.

But first things first: In order to break the stranglehold that the Deep State imposes on both sides of the US Duopoly, and across the polical spectrum, some sort of a Third Force will be necessary. I do see the rudiments of something like this forming, primarily from a very widespread disgust with the status quo, and a growing recognition that somehow, things need to change. I do not however, see this Force emerging as a unified or ideologically consistent "Party".

The Duopoly, or "status quo" is far too powerful and too entrenched, to be broken or even seriously challenged by any wave of discontent that is divided against itself by a variety of often conflicting agendas. What's necessary IMO, in order to pull a real resistence together, is a non-ideological "Leader" with enough personal integrity and charisma to reach across the R/D divide, and draw people together in the common cause of fighting a hopelessly corrupt Duopoly, and the vicious War Machine that largely controls it.

At the moment, I'm looking seriously at Jesse Ventura as perhaps being a suitable candidate for this role. This guy has got quite an amazing resume, he's is about as unconventional as it's possible to be, and he's on fire. He is now hosting a new show on the RT network, where he's not pulling any punches, and is sounding very ambitious. I think his persona might very well resonate, and have broad appeal across the American heartland. And he positively loathes both the Democratic and Republican parties. Check him out, and say what you think.

up
2 users have voted.

native

Big Al's picture

@native Watched the first few but don't have time right now, will finish later. There's plenty of commonality when it comes to what we're against, what we don't like and what we think the problems are. But what to do about it and what should replace or change the current is the problem. I don't know enough about him to know what his agenda would be. Is he against capitalism, for socialism, against Empire, against inequality, against ALL war, against oligarchy, for democracy, for this current political system or for something different, etc.
So I don't know, will reserve judgment but keep this in mind.

up
4 users have voted.

@Big Al
Hence (I think) his crossover appeal. He is passionately against US imperialism. He is also a 9/11 Truther. An ex-Navy Seal & a big supporter of rank-and-file enlisted military. Very patriotic in that sense. Pals around with Willie Nelson. Something of an outlaw biker. Not a diehard anti-capitalist, but a severe critic of big banks & transnational corporations. A one-term Governor of Minnesota, as an Independent ...I don't know how he pulled that off. A life-long activist, and yes, a Professional Wrestler for several years. A plain-spoken, no-bullshit sort of character... very much a "working class" persona. Very smart, and fiercely opinionated.

up
6 users have voted.

native

detroitmechworks's picture

@native Although the media will scream about how he was awful because of the 9/11.

From what I understand he pushed a lot of public works. I can approve of that.

He strikes me as a good local politician. He tried to improve his state, and part of that was not going out and looking for a war. He's in my opinion, the BEST kind of libertarian. One that understands that collective action benefits everyone, therefore is in his best interest to support.

Of course, YMMV. And If you believe the 9/11 official account, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I have to let go because of a family emergency.

up
4 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

@detroitmechworks
on that bridge deal. As far as popular fiction goes, the 9/11 Report wasn't exactly a best-seller. I guess it did alright, but Stephen King could probably have written it better.

up
3 users have voted.

native

dkmich's picture

Did all of the pilgrims have a mutant stupid gene? They oppose health care, peace, and income equality. I think I belong on Mars or in Denmark. Even there, they must be horrified by America and its brain-dead populace.

up
6 users have voted.

*donate *follow us on Twitter *like us on Facebook *dump Google

TheOtherMaven's picture

@dkmich
Jamestown was settled in 1607 (and barely survived by the skin of its teeth, several times, before 1620 and at least once after). Perhaps that's where the garrison-state, "hostile universe", "some men are naturally superior to others" BS really comes from.

up
3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@TheOtherMaven

Jamestown was settled in 1607 (and barely survived by the skin of its teeth, several times, before 1620 and at least once after). Perhaps that's where the garrison-state, "hostile universe", "some men are naturally superior to others" BS really comes from.

Naw, that crap they brought with 'em from merrie olde England, where it came from. Hostile universe, garrison state, inherently depraved human nature, the whole Calvinist screed: it entered British culture from the Puritans and had contaminated the whole of British culture by the height of the reign of James VI/I.

Witness how Britain herself behaved, even with respect to her own colonies and colonists, during the Stuart and earlier Hanoverian reigns.... Bad

up
2 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

thanatokephaloides's picture

@dkmich

Did all of the pilgrims have a mutant stupid gene? They oppose health care, peace, and income equality.

The Pilgrims were a subset of the Puritan movement. A subset which found that the regular order Puritans weren't fundamentalist enough Calvinists.

Let's review good old Sir Thomas Overbury on the Puritans:

: A Puritan Is a diseased piece of Apocrypha: bind him to the Bible, and he corrupts the whole text; ignorance, and fat feed are his founders; he nurses, railing, rabies,
and round breeches; his life is but a borrowed blast of wind, for between two
religions, as between two doors, he is ever whistling. Truly whose child he is,
is yet unknown, for willingly his faith allows no father:
only thus far his pedigree is found.

source

In other words, yes, they were quite pro-stupid.

And, as TheOtherMaven points out, they weren't alone among the Colonists. The Calvinist Prosperity Badspell found lots of fertile ground in British North America.

Bad

up
4 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

detroitmechworks's picture

Specifically "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"?

Honestly, I'm amazed at the similarities between Earth/Moon and Urban/Rural interaction these days. It's the rare bird that can go from one to the other with no major shifts in attitude.
Lots of people so convinced that their way is the ONLY way, and that the other side is nothing but fools and delusionals...

Of course, that myth was used to rile up the Loonies against the Earth, so it had its uses. I honestly think a legal separation from those that will not help might be a good concept.

Yes, the US states really need to think about getting a separation, quite possibly leading to divorce and remarriage. The partners in this marriage are not living up to their part of it, and keep heading over to beat up the folks all over town. We need to stop giving them the money to do so. They wanna do it, they can pony up their own cab fare and place to sleep, far as I'm concerned.

up
5 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

The Aspie Corner's picture

They'll be more than happy to suck dick for money if they can watch SJWs, black people, women, gay people, the disabled....hell, just about anybody who isn't a rich white guy or a rich white guy with a shitty orange spray tan is ripe for their picking.

That goes double for Billary supporters. They don't give a shit what pro-war corporate dick suckers get elected as long as they're black or a woman. Or both. Either way, the rich white guys will be controlling both sides from behind the scenes, as they've done since Bacon's Rebellion.

up
3 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

― Chris Hedges

for some reason he left out the military destroying freedom
police destroying peoples rights.

up
8 users have voted.

“Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who DO study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.” Unknown.

Wink's picture

once or twice before here, but... I flip it to the History Channel during the 7th inning stretch of the Yankees game becuz my beloved Yankees have been running "Patriotic 7th inning" for 15 fucking years now as a yellow ribbon symbol /gesture of waiting for the boys to come home (women, too, of course). Well, of course they ain't never coming home, becuz when G. Dubya said "perpetual war" he meant just that. And, it's irritating as hell to watch the Yankees drag out yet another gunny sargeant out to Home Plate to get a little recognition from the fans for serving a tour or three in the sandbox. Stop it, Yankees. Just stop it.

up
5 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Wink

I've prolly mentioned this once or twice before here, but... I flip it to the History Channel during the 7th inning stretch of the Yankees game

Have you caught them actually broadcasting history, or is it all Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, Forged in Fire, Ancient Aliens, American [nose[ Pickers, et cetera ad nauseam?

I agitated to get History available in Colorado Springs. After a few years of really good stuff, (during the "where the past comes alive" days) I've been a little disappointed since.

But then, I'm not a super big fan of most "reality" TV.

up
5 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Wink's picture

@thanatokephaloides
any real history stuff. But it's just for a few mins., then it's back to the game.

up
1 user has voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

Wink's picture

@Wink
the History Channel becuz that program just happens to be on ch.55, where the Yanks (Yes) happen to be on ch. 58. So, it's an easy channel switch. 58 to 55 and back.

up
1 user has voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

So it is not surprising that most are ill-informed. Just look at the vote in congress to sanction Russia for something that probably never happened (and was certainly never proved).
I'm suggesting that the few of us that take the time to get informed & involved need to get beyond labels, name-calling, and Identity Politics and focus on what's really important.

IMHO that would be the MIC's endless wars, the corruption of the political process by big money, and global capitalism's unfettered greed at the expense of everything else(environment, jobs, infra-structure, and our nation's economic health).

I certainly don't think that would include all Trump voters or HRC voters, but it probably does include the vast majority of the country. We will need millions of people in the streets in non-violent protest to overthrow the current system, but it is the only viable solution I see at present.

up
5 users have voted.

chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.

Big Al's picture

@chuckutzman will include people from both demographics if they want to drop their affiliation with the oligarchy via the two oligarchy parties.

up
4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@chuckutzman

that shows that this Russian interference was cooked up by the Hillary campaign? I have heard that this was what her campaign people's idea to explain why she lost the election, but I don't remember where this came from.
Anyone?
If there's solid proof that this was just made up, then why hasn't it been published, or has it and it's been dismissed?

The point is that they haven't shown any proof that this actually happened.
Hillary was on Rachel's show last night and she again said that 17 intelligence agencies agree that Russia interfered with the election, but this has been debunked. It's only 3 and Clapper is the one who is spreading this bullshit. Certainly this has to be against some type of law.

up
4 users have voted.

a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

Wink's picture

@snoopydawg
but IIRC, it seems there was a story from somebody - Assange, possibly - that it was DWS that started the Russia story as a way to distract from the stunning beatdown Hillary and Establishment Dems received at the hands of The Donald.

up
1 user has voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

up
2 users have voted.

chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.

It is pretty ease to get the result you want like that. HRC will continue to beat the Russia, Russia drum but it is a lost cause.

up
2 users have voted.

chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.