As I’ve written many times before, I grew up around the military industrial complex. I am a Navy brat and am still a Navy Football fan. (Pretty much the only team I care about these days.) I know the squeal of an F-14 as it banks in at sunset to land with its wings open. I can practically recite Top Gun to you. At one point I thought I might want to be a navy SEAL. My mother used to take us to the beach and we’d watch the giant hovercrafts ramp over the dunes. I used to go surfing right next to a gunnery range. (No joke. The break is called Pendleton and one could watch the shells splash into the water just to the south.) The point is when I post articles about the Military Industrial Complex I do not come from a position of ignorance. I do not come from a place of jaded familiarity either. But I am a tax payer. And it disturbs me that the weapons industry is the juggernaut of cronyism it is. It’s not healthy for our republic. To say the least.
It concerns me even more to think that war is perpetuated officially because behind the scenes powerful interests want to see warfare continue. I don’t want to believe that’s true. Most Americans don’t want to believe that’s true. And it may even be less true than many critics believe. But I think most informed individuals think that the MIC drives foreign policy at least to some extent. And even some is pretty messed up and not the way it should be in the United States.
Congress, Republican and Democrat, just can’t stop spending taxpayer money. Both the money of today’s taxpayers and that of tomorrow’s. And then a few generations after that too.
Republicans (and I mean everyday voting Republicans) need to break their addiction to defense spending. Despite the spin we hear all the time we have plenty of fat to cut in the military budget. Heck, the Pentagon recently admitted to just losing $45 BILLION because it checked the wrong box on some accounting forms. And this is what we know about.
Bases should be closed. Weapons systems should be cut. But this would mean annoying some congresspeople and the defense contractors which are cozy with the congresspeople.
And that’s what this is all about. Not “military readiness.”
How great would it be if the Libertarians were included? How much more fun? How much more real?
Include the Greens too and the debates this go’round will be much more valuable for the average voter. Of course it’s a shot right at the heart of the 2 party duopoly and so will be fought to the bayonets by the old guard.
Republican, Democrat, or other, why would anyone want a “cool” president? Somehow this is supposed to be a positive. I don’t know about you, but in my experience “cool” parents were always terrible, same for “cool” teachers, the “cool” kids, and pretty much everyone else who was deemed to be “cool.” (By someone or themselves.)
Do you want a “cool” doctor? Or a “cool” financial advisor. No way. You want them to be highly knowledgeable, with at least a tinge of real nerdiness. You want competence. Why? Because your health and financial security is tied in intimately with ability of these people to do their jobs. I’d rather have a surgeon who enjoys chess than one who likes Jay-Z. (Not that Jay-Z is in any way cool.)
Why then do some feel that a “cool” president is a good thing? Supposedly, and according to the compliant media Obama is/was cool. I never felt that. I guess though that since he wasn’t some lame (sic) white guy that made him relatively “cool.” I guess.
I have to admit that taxes annoy me generally, though I pay them dutifully with a smile on my face. But the income tax makes me want to expel bile. Why should the government tax productivity? If one is trying to pay for a home, cars, sending the kids to college, trying to start or grow a business, why would we layer a giant bill on top of these efforts? Why would we reduce people’s ability to make their particular corner of the world better?
Because we need to wage global wars? Because agriculture needs more subsidies? Because government employees need even more lavish pensions? Because we must wage a federal war on drugs? Because corporations need more welfare. Because the gainfully employable need more welfare? Because we need to fund massive bureaucracies which are only really interested in protecting their interests and making life hell for the people they “regulate?” Because we need to fund an unbelievably inefficient healthcare system which operates in a socialist la la land of pricing? Because we need to fund Social Security because people have spent their lives being over taxed and so haven’t been able to save for retirement? And so on.
(Update: I changed the headline of this post because it was very close to mean spirited. We try to avoid being that way here.)
Pot is not harmless. It is a drug. It impairs one’s senses (or at least skews them). People can become psychologically addicted to pot. (But not physically.)
However it should be legal for probably hundreds of reasons, not the least of which being that no one has ever died from an overdose of cannabis.
Many millions of people have died however from eating too much sugar, and fat, and bread Mr. Governor.
Sorry, but this is not indicative of a healthy, free society.
We’ve covered the TPP negotiations a few times. From Hollywood – which is seeking to expand draconian copyright around the world, to Pharma, to the big industrial companies, everyone is in on this thing, except apparently the public.
Attached is the podcast of an interview I recently did with Marc Clair at Lions of Liberty, an excellent resource for the freedom inclined. I encourage everyone to check them out.
This week has been an interesting one on Fox News with both Megyn Kelly and Charles Krauthammer going full out after Rand Paul. Paul’s poll numbers are rising while the other GOP hopefuls are declining and this concerns the pro-war wing of the GOP. It’s getting later and later in the game and the big government GOP candidates are not gaining the traction that it was assumed they would gain. That this attack from Fox coincides with a spate of neoconservative attack ads from the “Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America” (Check this website out) in early primary states, is probably not a coincidence.
What is particularly absurd, objectively speaking, is the assertion by Charles Krauthammer (someone for whom I have a significant degree of respect) that Paul has more in common with Obama on foreign policy than the pro-war, big government wing of the GOP. This is obviously not true. For the most part Obama and the neoconservatives have been quite close on policy. The war in Libya. The proposed (but halted thanks to the American and British people) bombing of Syria. The arming of “moderate” rebels in the Levant. The drone war in Yemen. Etc. Aside from the talks with Iran, which is a desperate attempt by the president to establish some sort of “legacy,” Obama has been Bush II lite. Obama’s policy has basically been a neoconservative policy. Even if Netanyahu and the President don’t like each other.
Many people wrongly believe that politics is to a large extent a battle between government and business. That the 2 represent opposite dispositions. This is a foolish notion. Business and government are more often partners than adversaries. Especially now.
But crony capitalism has a long history in this country.
Is there anyone in the universe who was thinking, “Hey, you know what? I think they’re going to indict Lois Lerner.”
The truth is some (many) people just want someone to make decisions for them. I am unsure if it is a genetic disposition or whether it is socialization or whether it is both. All I know is some people do not want to control their own lives. They are more comfortable with someone at the helm. They are comforted by a horizon which is limited and defined by others.
Strangely these same people also want to limit the lives of those who prefer to be free.
I quite like Daniel Hannan. He has long been a champion of free thinking and free markets. His speech a couple of years ago at CPAC was excellent.
This op-ed is pretty good too.
The leadership within both major parties view the “populists” within their ranks as annoyances. Jeb Bush and his crowd and Hillary Clinton and her crowd have a similar disdain for the people who want actual change come 2016. Jeb and Hillary are the establishment. They are the anointed. They represent the long time infrastructure of their respective parties.
Vested interests within the parties know where they stand with both candidates. These interests know that the boat won’t really be rocked by either one. The people who run the parties are safe, so long as none of the rabble rousers slip through. The rabble rousers must be beaten down and beaten back.