America's War Games
The United States' military expenditures today account for about 40 percent of the world total. In 2012, the US spent some $682bn on its military - an amount more than what was spent by the next 13 countries combined.
Now that the war in Iraq is over and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will be complete in 2014, the stage might therefore appear to be set for a decrease in US defense spending.
Even in Washington DC, many have argued that the defense budget can be cut substantially and the resulting "peace dividend" could be diverted to more pressing domestic concerns, such as dealing with the nation's continuing economic problems.
"It goes without saying that in our opinion the inevitability of a crisis is entirely beyond doubt; nor, considering the present world scope of American capitalism, do we think it is out of the question that the very next crisis will attain extremely great depth and sharpness. But there is no justification whatsoever for the attempt to conclude from this that the hegemony of North America will be restricted or weakened. Such a conclusion can lead only to the grossest strategical errors.
Just the contrary is the case. In the period of crisis the hegemony of the United States will operate more completely, more openly, and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom. The United States will seek to overcome and extricate herself from her difficulties and maladies primarily at the expense of Europe, regardless of whether this occurs in Asia, Canada, South America, Australia, or Europe itself, or whether this takes place peacefully or through war.
We must clearly understand that if the first period of American intervention had the effect of stabilization and pacification on Europe, which to a considerable extent still remains in force today, and may even recur episodically and become stronger (particularly in the event of new defeats of the proletariat), the general line of American policy, particularly in time of its own economic difficulties and crisis, will engender the deepest convulsions in Europe as well as over the entire world."
The Third International After Lenin
WE DIDN'T SEE IT COMING!
Terrorism in the U.S. is a myth which suits the military defence industry. The U.S. spends as much on military as the rest of the world combined. There are over 1 million jobs in the weapons manufacturing industry, therefore they need wars in order to keep this industry going. Great documentary..
If you have Google Chrome and would like to watch this (or anything off Al Jazeera), download the extention Hola! Better Internet. It allows you to make your computer look as if it is browsing from any country - I chose the UK - and then you are allowed to watch the video. Al Jazeera now runs its own American website and has satellite/cable options available, but I prefer the old Al Jazeera. Sadly, they sold out.
I did not need to see this video anyway. I have known this is the worst of the worst for military expenditures and I know why. War is big business and killing people is profitable and bankers make billions from it.
The biggest business in the free world is in the production and manufacture and sale of military weapons. When is enough enough?? There is no country in the world in their right minds would mess with the USA. Maybe it is time to spend more on the people as opposed to big business. Great Documentary Thanks to its producers !!!.
There's a bunch like this. Some of them have comments below them that show they were able to be viewed in the past.
See how many videos you can watch on YouTube now when you search on HAARP... almost nothing. Google sucks.
cant even watch this video in my country...what the heck? i thought i was able to watch something like this in America..... hard times are coming
I wish my country America would take care of business at home and quit trying to control the rest of the world! We have the worst politicians in the world!
We don't have politicians. We have EMF controlled robots. Be sure to watch Who Is Elisa Lam?
An accurate review of military thinking and spending that will fall on deaf ears for those unwilling or unable to see the big picture for what it is!
Let say that lower intelligence people from Europe and rest of the world went to the USA, to find happines.Let say that USA buying intelligence.Let say that this people teaching word "democracy" to the people who inwented this political society.Let say that only "Democracy" which they have is in their mouth and news.And we all know , how the Greece,Rome,Egypt,Otoman Empire,Naci Germany finished they "Dreams"........."Democracy" , ha,ha,ha..try again in opossite direction
Dont know what u r talking about!
what hes trying to say is democracy is basically 2 wolfs and a sheep deciding whats for dinner, its bull s*it, nobody knows what the other half says so the people in control can blind us with this bulls*it and put there law or agenda on us regardless, im from the uk, amercia is a republic, or it should be, individual freedom, thats what true freedom is, maybe there bent leaders realised we had more control over are citezens with are queens bulls*it democracy and followed suit,
It is expensive to impose "liberty and freedom" with bombs and bullets.The Military is deified in America: all who serve in the military are automatically heroes. "Terrorism" is our new "Communism."
The players change, but the USA's game remains the same.
Spot on Jason. Back of the net! And...when all your manufacturing has been exported and everyone works in the service industry, there is no real productivity. The war machine creates jobs, sure, but in the public sector - paid for by tax dollars of the private sector, which (again) is primarily in the service industry. So there's no real growth and tons of debt and an unstoppable deficit...America will eat itself from the inside (imo) without anyone else saying a word (the size of the 'beast' means no one would dare, but regardless... )
Here's a great line for the rest of the world looking on: "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggy', till you can find a rock." ...there's a lot of diplomacy and military barking going on.
What a whole lot of BULL-SH....
I love that you can call BS on people like Dwight D. Eisenhower or Pierre Sprey, what are you, like a barista at Starbucks?
Chuck Spinney has the voice of reason, and he doesn't hesitate to answer questions, bluntly and to the point.
I'm glad this doc was only 25 minutes because I found its subject so depressing.
The US defense budget is set to decline by 31% by 2017.
- Center for Strategic and International Studies
from "America's staggering defense budget, in charts" Washington Post, 7 Jan 2013
A little at odds with the doc.
It is set to decline due to the sequester, which they say they will remove before it has time to really take effect. As a result senator after senator and military spokespersons galore are screaming bloody murder threatening that we will no longer be a global power and the bad guys will surely come and get us... yadda, yadda, yadda... Even with this decline our military remains bloated and wasteful, a point made obvious by this and many other documentaries as well as pundits and critics of the military for years now. I think this doc was exactly inline with reality.
No. the decline is not due to the sequester. The sequester does increase the decline obviously but defense spending cuts were already in place before sequester. The article explains that. But you are missing what I'm trying to convey.
Why was this fact not discussed in the doc? Do you think it is not pertinent? Should have been the first thing out of the reporter's mouth.
I am making no judgement here about what size the budget should be (much lower if you wish to know) and I can't discuss what you say will happen in the future because that is speculation.
This reporter is not reporting - he's editorializing. He asks more leading questions than a bad lawyer. Some of his questions are "conclusion" questions where he implicitly telegraphs the conclusion he wishes the interviewed to respond with.
You and I most likely have the same opinion regarding defense spending but I'm not going to take this crap reporting from anybody, Al Jazeera or otherwise. I want to know the facts and I'll draw my own conclusions. This guy omitted the most important fact and I'm calling him on it.
O.K., so you agree with the spirit of what he is saying, the content he is trying to get across- that the defense budget is bloated and wasteful and that those in charge of the military budget use congressmen who need jobs for their districts and foreign involvement in projects in order to fleece the American taxpayer by making it very difficult to cut projects which are obviously wasteful and at times even dangerous? So you're complaining because he failed to mention a small cut that got inflated by the sequester? He really should have brought it up because it only goes to prove his point further. For decades now we have tried to cut military spending through normal, more delicate and subtle, legislation that would not lead to job loss or decrease our fighting capabilities in negative ways but, our dysfunctional government refused right along with our military. So finally it gets basically caught up in the middle of some p1ssin contest between the parties over taxation versus spending cuts and as a result we get the sequester, which will cost jobs and could negatively impact our defenses if it stays in place. This isn't functional government, and it certainly does not bode well for our military nor our politicians, or the system in general for that matter. You're right, they should have mentioned it.
31% is not a small cut. It is a major cut and he didn't bring it up because it would have undermined the entire arc of his story. I fully understand the problem with the defense department and again it isn't the sequester that's bringing about the cuts.
By not discussing the cuts three things have happened 1) the reporter has no credibility 2) we weren't given the facts, 3) without the facts we cannot make informed conclusions. Sounds a whole lot like mainstream media don't you think?
31% is not enough. The US military is a waste of human resources. It does look good on a GDP, to spend money making bombs, spend more dropping them, and then spend more (at the debt of the bombed country) to rebuild. Halliburton made Billions from the war in Iraq.
Biggest conflict of interest I've ever seen, The US war machine.
If we measure economies on a happiness index, rather than GDP, we'll find Costa Rica is on top.
Just think of all the worlds problems that could be solved by the divestiture of US military power. From capital to oil consumption.
Sure, I'd rather that the US has the military vs. North Korea (for now), but that doesn't change the fact that its still a complete waste of human ingenuity, resources and effort. As well as becoming something that can (and does) undermine democracy.
I agree with all you say but it doesn't excuse the reporter's leaving out the most important fact.
Which do you want? An honest reporting of the facts or an opinion piece that preaches to the choir?
I don't listen to one source of media as my sole source of information. I like to be eclectic, see what they say all over the world (thank you internet), and make as informed a decision as possible.
I think we have a serious conflict of interest in the US war machine. It seems to have become a nation that espouses peace, but derives it's economy from war. The single largest consumer of oil in the US is the military... no wonder they had to invade the Middle East to secure a source (just one small example). Enemy's are running out in the Middle East, eyes to Asia.
The US has more military bases around the world in every country, and wonders at the terrorism that ensues. hhmmmm......
If China had a military base in Texas, and projected their national interests upon the US population via "threat" of military presences, how many "insurgent groups" and "terrorist groups" would spring up to attack the invaders? Is it not reasonable that China ramps up their military to be able to counter US presence that could (not that it would yet) nuke them off the planet? No wonder N.K. wants at least one.
I also question every manufactured reason to enter war. The US has been doing it for a long time and it really started around the 70's and especially with Vietnam.
The only people that can change this, are the people of the US. No other nation can get the US government to change direction.
Think again thinkagainagain. Since when have Congress' stated plans and goals been matters of fact? Why should a reporter give serious consideration to speculations by highly unreliable and secretive politicians? The title of your source even refers to the "staggering defense budget" and that is what the documentary is about. Here is a more realistic analysis of the likely direction of the U.S.' future "defense" budget from Reason:
The CBO projections (see Table 1.3 here, or Table 1.5 in
the new CBO
projections) about the impact of sequestration show that in the
worst-case scenario (if all the cuts are applied to the baseline in
the law), there will be initial reductions between FY 2012 and
FY 2013, but that defense spending will continue to grow in nominal
terms for all years after. After
sequestration, the FY 2013 defense budget will be comparable to its
FY 2006 level (in real terms). Adjusted for inflation, over
the next ten years, the spending is projected to remain relatively
And recall that total defense
spending has jacked up some 70 percent in the 21st century, so
we're relatively loaded for bear when it comes to military power.
It's also worth noting that the U.S. currently spends something
like 40 percent of the planet's spending on defense.
If you are to cite the CBO projections you really should read them and not rely on sites such as Reason for I know they haven't read them.
Please don't try to use a politicized (libertarian) web site as a source with me.
Wow, your cherished site CSIS is NOT politicized? It's a who's who of military-promoting politicians:
The current president and CEO of CSIS is John Hamre, former Deputy Secretary of Defense. He has held the position since April 2000.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Sam Nunn, a former Democratic Senator from Georgia and longtime chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services. Its board of trustees includes many former senior government officials including Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, William Cohen, George Argyros and Brent Scowcroft. Its Transnational Threats Director is Arnaud de Borchgrave.
You are really playing coy to act like you honestly believe the military is going to be making substantial reductions. And that's your basis for denouncing the credibility of this doc?
You profess to know me better than I know myself.
I may have gone a bit overboard. But it will truly be the shock of my life the day the military complex makes major budgetary reductions and a great pleasure should they significantly curtail their violent/murderous activities.
You know this is just too easy. If my source is so horrible how come the very article from Reason, your source, cites it as a source. You are so blindingly stupid that you didn't notice that.
Nothing could prove my point more. You sat there and trashed your own source and didn't even know it and would never have known it. My god man it had a highlighted link in your source that would take you to my source and you didn't even check it. Exactly the point I am trying to make.
I assume I'm getting somewhere when the other party in a debate resorts to straw man arguments [ " If my source is so horrible" vs. "Wow, your cherished site CSIS is NOT politicized?"] So, I was merely questioning your criteria for discarding my source (that it's "politicized") by pointing out that your source could be characterized as being "politicized". Obviously, I was suggesting that concerning military budget projections, you will be hard-pressed to find an article that is not "politicized". Apart from your fictitious setup, there is no real person---Peter Wilson---who is so "blindingly stupid" that he called another man's source "horrible" and "trashed" his use of it, then went on to use a source to defend his own argument that linked to the "horrible" and "trashed" source. Was there anything else of interest, apart from straw man and ad hominem attacks?
Still don't realize what you've done. Didn't think you would. Straw man? I would call it more of a sucker punch. My girlfriend bet me a six-pack that you would catch on. It's not often she is wrong and I did enjoy the beer.
Just as I've been saying people buy into things without even a moment's thought and they don't question. You posted a citation and I posted a citation. You didn't take the time to examine your own citation much less mine. But I checked yours. Now had you checked mine you would have found not only was your source based on my citation but also the same CBO source you had been told by some political rag to quote. The CSIS quote came from a chart from the very same CBO report you used as a source. In other words the CBO report was stating the defense budget was to decline by 31% not CSIS. You would have seen that had you just clicked on the link. But you didn't and I won a six-pack by knowing that you wouldn't. In other words you walked right into it so don't put the blame on me.
I do apologize for the name calling. It was unwarranted and ill-mannered. I'm sorry.
"Since when have Congress' stated plans and
goals been matters of fact? Why should a reporter give serious
consideration to speculations by highly unreliable and secretive
politicians? The title of your source even refers to the "staggering
defense budget" and that is what the documentary is about." I thus remind you of the actual point I was making. I then added an example of more extensive analysis that one might consider beyond your simplistic "decline by 31%" as shown in the CSIS chart you referred to. I never challenged the legitimacy of your sources. I challenged the oversimplification of the analysis---simply a reduction of 31% by 2017 and your myopic focus on that speculation. And ultimately I was challenging your assertion that a documentary maker should be forthcoming by presenting speculative forecasts by politicians in his doc. I want docs that show and tell what is actually happening. It is of little service to present promises and assurances provided by politicians (notoriously unreliable indicators of reality). Your irrelevant sideshow is lost on me, so I am recovering quickly from your so-called "sucker punch". Your straw man is taking a beating I guess (from your perspective).
Of course, what is likely at issue here is my advocacy for consistent respect of basic human rights of actual human beings at the expense of government/corporate/banker control. You seem to favor government/corporate/banker control at the expense of respect for basic human rights which keeps us at loggerheads (and in my opinion leads you away from honest discussion and into the realm of distracting shenanigans).
How can you challenge anything? You haven't read my source, you haven't fact-checked your source, and you sure the hell haven't read the CBO report. You don't even have a clue as to what you are "challenging".
You don't pay attention because I told you twice it is a CBO chart (from the exact same report you cite) which shows the 31% decline, not CSIS.
You continue on and on and you haven't spent the first minute fact-checking your own source much less my source and the CBO report. Yet you are going to sit there and pretend you have the same information that I have. That is absurd. Come back when you've spent a little time and effort.
I looked at the CBO report online 2 days ago and saw that 'Reason' indeed got their analysis from it. I could memorize it and it still won't matter concerning the points I made in my first and following posts. I watched General Powell's presentation on wmd's in Iraq. I listened to Obama's speeches: "As president, I will close Guantanamo, reject the
Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Our
Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a
framework for dealing with the terrorists," "Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end" Blah blah blah...What they are doing is what matters. It's called reality. Politicians don't make contracts with us. They keep secrets, they lie, they make phoney promises. The media is owned by business/government partnerships known as corporations, and they pass the BS on to us. Congress doesn't make a budget for years out and honor that budget. Have you noticed? I am reiterating the same point I originally made; you haven't addressed it without your little diversionary games.
You are not making the same point. Your point was that my statement of a 31% decline was wrong and then quoted something from the CBO report to show my point was wrong. Everything else you've said is beside that point. This has nothing to do at all with what your opinion of lawmakers is.
I still stand with my original statement and you have shown no evidence to the contrary. The CBO report is my evidence. I am not the one diverting from the point of contention. You are.
The reporter purposely avoided the fact that the defense budget is set to decline. That is crap reporting.
Here is the only part of my statement I can think of that you are referring to: "Here is a more realistic analysis of the likely direction of the U.S.' future "defense" budget from Reason:" ANALYSIS. Your analysis was "hey this chart says defense spending will decrease 31 % by 2017. It is therefore a fact that defense spending will decrease 31% by 2017", and I contended there is more to the story than just that simplistic chart representation. Where do I question the existence of that chart? Now to further my point, the CBO report back in 2004 projected an average annual increase of 2.7 percent for defense spending (2004-2013). In reality of course, the increase was drastically higher each of those years. As I repeat in my replies, politicians' statements of intentions are worth a grain of salt. Set up another straw man to get some more beer from your girlfriend (I saw the 31% chart early on and obviously never challenged its existence)
Did you look at the CBO projection chart right below it? Of course not.
You need to learn the definition of straw man.
Your initial argument was that a credible doc must disclose political speculations such as CBO projection charts, and I clearly countered that a credible doc must attempt to describe the reality of the subject at hand and offered an alternative analysis of the CBO report to show the worth of speculative forecasting. You proceeded to distort and mischaracterize my argument to discredit me as a seeker of greater truths, or in other words, to knock down "my" argument. I think that falls under "straw man", and I still await any counter to my actual argument
Lies, lies, lies and double speak. "Anti access denial" have you ever heard such nonsense? If China set up "anti access denial" in the pacific...omg. It would be termed "offensive aggression"... but welcomed (for its assistance in increasing budgets). This is an aggressive stance, by the US under the guise of maintaining peace. It is pre-emptive, hostile and threatening.
@20:05 there is a powerpoint slide. That slide reads:
Single or multiple LOEs (Line of Effort [!!]) - In Parallel and/or Sequentially:
LOE1 Disrupt C4ISR Networks -> Gain Decision Advantage.
LOE2 Destroy Capabilities -> Regain freedom of action.
LOE3 Defeat employed weapons ->Sustain offensive operations
You Again! Geeezzzz.
:) ...and your point is?
I'm an early riser DigiWongaDude. I just wanted something to wake up to, a message waiting for me when I got up this morning and I knew by what I posted there would be one, and now you've got one too wake up to, too. So there :)
The pivot to Asia serves as a reminder that any threat to the American financial system will result in a military response. The Chinese hold an enormous amount of American debt. At some point, the US may choose to allow the dollar to depreciate significantly against other currencies. The Chinese might be tempted to dump US treasuries, destroying the American economy. However, I believe the Chinese would rather take a financial beating than risk total destruction of their country with potential casualties in the billions.
Not a single one of these bigwig CEOs from these several defense companies in this short doc deigned to speak with Aljazeera about the issues of overspending and political manipulation raised therein.
What a huge shock that is.
It's a race to see which ends first. The US runs out of credit or the US runs out of paranoia. I'm guessing the first will happen and the second will become reality. As soon as the US can no longer fund the global empire and the US people are drained of all asserts, certain groups will take that opportunity for revenge. But this game can still be sustained for several more decades.
slowly slowly catchy monkey. Several decades? I doubt that very much. If I were to make a prediction...oh why not... I would say less than 10 years...max. They're too itchy finger, power hungry and deluded for this to go on that long...oh and broke.
I live next door to the U.S.
I hope I'm dead before all hell breaks loose.
anyone who has studied history knows it is always the same story. Too much expansion, inflated military budget and eventually decline. Roman empire anyone? It just bothers me because any educated person can see the pattern, is the administration stupid or is this just inevitable?
There are several theories as to what caused the fall of the Roman Empire. You mentioned one, here's another: weak borders, invasions, attacks from Barbarian hordes, bad leadership, a lack of foresight regarding foreign policy, etc.
People with a more refined understanding of history will also point out that there is an enormous difference between America and the Roman Empire.
You missed a couple key problems---heavy taxation to support increasing numbers of unproductive bureaucrats along with government-enforced use of watered-down currency. That sounds familiar. "Bad leadership"? Yep. Lack of foresight regarding foreign policy? Mm hmm. As far as the invading hordes. U.S. policy makers manufacture them for now. You've heard of the "War on Terror"?
You probably think you're the smartest kid in your high school history class but when you grow up you'll realize that you're nothing more than a conspiracy theorist / terror apologist. You people are clowns. The war on terror is as real as it gets. Just because our enemy doesn't wear a uniform does not mean we aren't at war. Cowards like you defend these terrorists, downplay the threat, blame American foreign policy (and let me guess, Israel) for the woes of the world and end up playing right into the hands of these barbaric monsters who would kill you and your family in less than a heartbeat if they had the chance.
I do not defend any terrorists. I abhor every act of terrorism---consistently. Here is the official U.S. definition of terrorism:
Official United States Government Definition of Terrorism
"[An] act of terrorism, means any activity that (A)
involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a
violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, or
that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction
of the United States or of any State; and (B) appears to be intended (i)
to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the
policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect
the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping."
(United States Code Congressional and Administrative News, 98th Congress, Second Session, 1984, Oct. 19, volume 2; par. 3077, 98 STAT. 2707 [West Publishing Co., 1984])
According to the definition, the U.S. military has engaged in thousands of acts of terrorism since WWII ended. Keep in mind that I am using the U.S. Congress' own definition! The terrorist actions have resulted in millions of deaths. I do NOT defend those actions, nor the actions that continue today. I abhor the acts of muslim groups that have resulted in thousands of injuries and deaths as well. Maybe you have a different definition of terrorism which I would be interested to know.
anyone who has studied history knows it is always the same story. Too much expansion, inflated military budget and eventually decline. Roman empire anyone? It just bothers me because any educated person can see the pattern, is the administration s*upid or is this just inevitable?
It is so obvious that our government and the defense industries plan to keep us mired in eternal conflict with someone, for many reasons. The defense companies get to make their money, senators get to procure jobs for their states, and it helps expand executive powers and control over us citizens. If they can keep us in perpetual fear they can eventually convince us to give up all kinds of rights, claiming they make us less safe. They have already managed to pass the patriot act and are currently building huge structures in which to store our digital conversations which they intercepted in the name of security, of course. I would say, "This has to stop, we must band together- yatta, yatta, yatta..." but, in reality, I think it is hopeless. The way things have been working lately it is rather apparent that just because the vast majority of citizens want something to change doesn't mean it will any longer. Winning political support really doesn't matter, congress and the rest of government do as they please whether we like it or not.That was just made very apparent by the background check legislation that failed to pass when ninety percent of the American people supported it, that is according to many different polls on both the left and right. The same thing will happen here, even if the majority stands up for cutting the defense budget it will never happen, period. In my opinion they have and will again kill to avoid such cuts in their budget. I think JFK learned the hard way just how powerful and willing these people are to protect themselves and their power.
That data center will be in Utah, is scheduled to be up and running in Sept of this year, and will essentially be bottomless and able to intercept and store every form of electronic communication there is, from anywhere in the world.
Isn't it great to be on the winning team, one that can be so trusted implicitly to follow the will of the governed? I've had nights where I've stayed awake thinking about how lucky I am, or days when I've sat around for a while with a glazed eye, speechless, a deer caught in the headlights of my good fortune.
The last I read, defense spending in this country, with cost overruns, amounts to a trillion a year right now, and so, whenever it happens, it's an entirely necessary bye-bye to such superfluous and suspect bullsh-t as pretty much any program you can think of that does not profit the defense industry in some way.
But it's fantastic, isn't it? Listen, I can eat cake everyday now if I like, and have about a thousand reality tv programs to choose from, which activities are only the very beginning of the available diversions in the vast amusement park for mor*ns constituting the greatest nation the earth has ever seen.
For best enjoyment, I recommend the MSM Roller Coaster, piled higher and deeper, with more fearful twists and turns, than any in the world, and not thinking too much.
Bread and circuses
This post was in reply to Pysmythe not meant for tomregit, sorry.As horrible as that data center might seem it's not all that bad. Number one you would expect any govt. to want a way to protect its self interest., all the citizens etc. If you have no bad intentions and mean no harm this kind of thing is meaningless. Just like me, I don't own a gun but I do want the right to carry one. I was in war I know what I will do with a gun. These gun laws and permits are funny a joke. If I feel the need to pick up a gun there will be no need for an application to get a permit!
Damn! and I was have such a lovely Sunday.
Wald0 the part about the NRA over riding 90%, of the United States citizens wishes; please tell me its not true.
It is. The politicians are too afraid they'll lose their seats if they oppose it. And his poll numbers are accurate, if not slightly underestimated.
We need to stop allowing the corporation to contribute money to political anything. The Corporations sole purpose is self serving and has NO! respect or concern for the United States Citizens at large; confirmed by its self serving actions. The corporation employ's sometimes thousands of people. People of different political beliefs and life styles. This is in your face corrupt as it gets! Do we really want the people we send to Washington to look out for our best interest, (Right or Left wing), on the corporations pay roll? I don't like using of old worn out buzz phrases but this one fits so well, "That's a no brainier" !
With the advent of the internet the people running for office can ask for and receive money directly from the people they represent and stand to gain. directly one on one.
A huge flaw in the system; when we put money's value over the spirit of the individual; Sorry I will not be weighed on that scale. The "conservative" is a shallow mind set that lives a totally synthetic existence. Some how we have allowed profit to infuse into our health care, we have allowed profit to infuse into our legal system, we have allowed profit to infuse into our natural resources we have allowed profit to infuse into our education; All of the above benefits only a segment of the United States population! (those that have the "money" to partake) The above; Health, Law, Education and Natural Resources Belong To And are Entitlements Of Each And Every Person In This country. no matter a persons portion of contribution, not in these matters! A Persons Spirit Will Not Be Sold Off Or Judged By The value of a dollar!! Now if you want to hose me on that new car or those Yo Yo's you have for sale have at it!!
Agreed. Corporations are irredeemably psychopathic, concerned with only one single thing, and as far as I can see, this is pretty much all the world now is, in terms of real power. And it'd be great if we had more than a snowball's chance in hell of getting publicly-funded elections put through as law, but how on earth could we get that done, when the people profiting from the status quo are the ones who'd have to vote on it? I suppose we could call for a new constitutional convention, if enough states got onboard with it, to put a stop to where it is we appear to be heading, but I don't hold out much hope for that. Revolutions, serious revolutions, are damned messy things with uncertain outcomes, but the more time that passes, the more I start to think it's the only thing that will get through to entrenched power, and when you've got a government that won't do the will of its people anymore, sooner or later you're going to have a big problem.
War is an exchange of ideology. It's the point where push comes to phuk shove. At that point a lot gets done. And your right, it's asking too much from the people who benefit from the laws now in place to change them!
Very perplexing? The alternative to war might be allowing the dollar to dominate the spirit? War does not mean to fire guns. War could mean to stop purchasing stuff? War could mean to stop purchasing a targeted corporations stuff until it goes out of existence. Talk about finance reform! This would have to be well thought out, companies that would not effect the rest of the over all economy or at a minimum. A lot can be done and everything legal and above board.
I mentioned a very similar idea on these forums about a year ago. What I had in mind was really said more for ironic purposes, probably, or out of despair, but the gist of it entailed some kind of a general strike by a very large percentage of the entire population of the country, just for a day or two, in occupations not vital to safety, or national security, etc... An impossible thing like that would be sure to wreak plenty of economic havoc (too much, I'm sure, among other things), and would appear to stand a fair chance of showing those who think they own us from the bottom up precisely were the real power has been all along. Impractical, I know. Even madness, if you really think about it. But, sure, even smaller incursions similar to it might serve to provoke a little fear into certain quarters that sorely need a good dose of it.
My only problem with this is boycotting puts innocent people out of work.
Is there any way around that?
The govt. pays them unemployment for the most part. War is hell as the old saying goes. Some have to get hurt in the process I suppose? All I am stating is we the people can form our own union. One that they can't bust up. If we are going to let these money punks kick us around and decide what they will pay us we might as well fight!!! Remember this, They have something to loose and we have nothing to loose. And don't say your house because the bank owns that! You have nothing to loose and they have much to loose! That's why we'll win!
That's the spirit!
I can't believe I said that? three hours ago I was a different person I guess? mm! And to make things worse bringmeredwine, (below), bought right into it!
The United States led the way in the concept of the separation of Church and state. Yet this same country is now the main supporter of the corporation's right to involve itself in the governance of a nation. As far as I can see, there isn't much difference. If the corporation can meddle in the affairs of state, to it's own advantage, they might as well allow the church to do the same. They traded one organization for another and the results seem to be about the same. How is it that a nation that brags about individual freedom for its citizens, allows those freedoms to be trampled by big business? It would seem that there must be a new way of thinking when it comes to how we elect those who are to govern our countries.
In for a penny, in for a pound, why the hell not? And churches already don't pay taxes, so they'd fit right in. Bank of America, FedEx, Exxon/Mobil, Pfizer, Verizon, and Microsoft all paid zero in taxes this year, and some of these even received refunds from the government.
But such things as that and the defense budget, et al., aren't the real problem in this country, of course. Why, it's those goddamned 47% we've got who are just useless leaches, unconscionable drains on the purses of all those masters of the universe, that's who it is!
I've been told by people more politically adept than I am that real political change might have a chance if we start from the ground up, in local elections, voting for 3rd party candidates, and so on, being patient and biding our time, waiting to work up to the state and national levels, where we might eventually put candidates with real chances of getting elected in numbers significant enough to make a difference, and I hope they're right, but I don't know. I guess I subscribe to the old view about what almost always happens to people once they get a taste of power, and I guess I feel like the very best people for this country are those who would never run for office.
Isn't that the truth!
there's a HUGE problem with that idea: corporations are collectives of PEOPLE. you can't curtail political activities of just one set of folks working as a collective body (granted, an incredibly greedy, corrupt, self serving body). if you curtail the access of any one group, you have to curtail access to ALL groups. i honestly have no problem with that, but i'm sure i'm a member of a very small minority. most folks want their "pet group" to be able to influence government. allow any, you MUST allow all, or you practice discrimination.
take the MONEY out of politics is the answer. remove donations, pacs, and all the other "gimmes". outlaw ANY manner of political advertising. but then you curtail political speech (a huge "no no" here). where do you draw the line?
if you allow only personal funds of the individual to be spent, then such vermin as the koch bros still have a huge advantage over all. do you limit influence to only geographic areas you can demonstrate "skin in the game"? then the corporate big wigs have influence available EVERYWHERE, as do the walmarts and burger kings.
the "system" was designed from day 1 to allow the rich and powerful to exert undue influence compared to the "man in the street". that's what the USA has ALWAYS been about. since the first continental congress, it's been a government by, of and for the RICH PEOPLE. they might put their toady in as a "beard", but it has always been "their country", and ALWAYS will be. to vote you had to be white, and own land. if you owned slaves, you got 3/5 of an extra vote to use for each of them. over the past 2 1/4 centuries they added "simulated participation" for others, but the fact is: if you "aint got the dough, you don't have a say". now, who has the dough?
Your preaching to the choir but aren't we all. There are things that can be done within the parameter of the law. To go into logistics' here is not important. What is important is Who is willing to step up to the plate, implement, recruit and direct the process? Not me I'm just your average everyday arm chair quarterback.
i guess you miss my point. things as they exist now, here, politically speaking, are EXACTLY "as they are supposed to be". fairness, "democratic ideals", and all that other civics class propaganda is just window dressing. that's chum for us fish to chew on while the net encircles us, the purse line is drawn tight, and the winch begins to haul us into the hold. "chumps, it's what's for dinner!" and always has been.
if the status quo is so horrific and unbearable, then take up arms, knock those in power off the throne, and rebuild. of course, then we all have to give up those comforts we take for granted, because we become "the united states of somalia".
pulling off a revolution would be the "easy part" (and it would be a blood bath rivaled by nothing in history), by far, because this "union" would very rapidly become a free for all power struggle that would make a mad max movie look like "the little mermaid". could you spend a decade or 2 ducking the rifle fire of your neighbor? enduring sectarian bloodshed? without a job, a phone, a computer, electricity, a monetary system? would you want your children to endure such a scenario? your parents? your friends?
such fantasies as "3rd party grassroots takeovers" sound great, but can NEVER happen, the game is rigged to absolutely prevent them. "they" have NO problem "eating their own" who cross the party line (ask elliot spitzer), what do you think would be the fate of a "rogue outsider" or 60? if the character assassinations failed, then any candidate who didnt live in a pope-mobile would have his hair parted by a jacketed soft point, and those that did would be shelled or subject to "accidental drone strike". that is the reality of the situation. the stakes are much too big to allow ANY interference aside from the "simulated outsiders" they currently use to shut up the peons.
it's a game of "3 card monte", and they run the most skilled table ever seen. "find the queen"? i think not
Harry you sound futile pal. That's not good.
futile? nah, i don't think so. i am, however, a realist. i also understand all too well that often "the dog you know is less dangerous than the one you don't".
do you think banging pots with spoons in the street will bring change here? i hope not. the "game" as played here in the USA is about the most sophisticated con ever played. it props itself up with conditions that few other places or systems on earth can hope to duplicate. there is a system of balkanization of effort, ideals, production, and consumption that exist nowhere else.
let's say our business community decided to "punish" those bucking their stranglehold on the country. without their money handling efforts, crops don't get planted. those already grown don't get transported. energy is not distributed once stockpiles in situ are exhausted. where i live in sunny south florida, we'd have lots of sugar, some citrus, and meat. in the midwest, lots of grain. in the southwest, rice and meat. wildcats could pump crude oil in many areas, but would be unable to refine it to useful fuels. areas rich in natural gas would have plenty of heat, but little of the materials required to convert vehicles to use it for fuel. the population centers (cities) would have only a surplus of starving masses. the balkanization of production and consumption would ensure localized surpluses of useless levels of rotting commodities, or starving bodies.
now, let's examine "social balkanization". one need only listen to "vox populii" in the various regions of the country. the red hate the blue, the blue despise the red, the middle class fear the poor, the poor resent all. thus, the grain belt will use their commodity surplus as a weapon against their perceived "enemies", as will all the other areas with their "rivals"and excess production over what they can consume. do you honestly envision it as more likely that effort (and precious energy reserves) will be used to "share" surpluses, or in attempts to seize the surpluses of "rivals/enemies"?
now, examine the various potential "goals" of revolt. some would desire "libertarian free for all", others "socialist utopia", others still theocratic totalitarianism, and still others our current "american ideal". do you honestly picture the "christian reconstructionist" aligned assisting or laying siege to san francisco? do you see the libertarian and "red" being able to peacefully coexist? do you see the "status quo patriot" aligning with any other? examine history, and name a single revolution without a single, cohesive, agreed upon "end game scenario" that did not degenerate into factional struggle for power.
our society relies ENTIRELY on the centralized control systems that are in place for everything. there is no production, or commerce without credit. there is no energy without commerce. for most, the same applies to food of ANY kind.
above is just a small sampling of the glaringly obvious, INEVITABLE pitfalls of "bringing down the machine" by force. do you envision the current power holders ceding to real reform without it? those corporations you wish to disenfranchise control production, transportation, commerce, and energy. "we the people" control our bowels.
i have long been dissatisfied with "how it works", and have spent countless hours pondering for a WORKABLE solution. the answer is: unless you are willing to stomach the scenario i spelled out above, unless you have a willingness as cold as that of mao, stalin or hitler to suffer through a long period of incredible national suffering, along with the fortitude and support to emerge from the "mad max times" victorious, there is none.
Your summation of the current human condition is excellent. You demonstrate a deep and honest concern in your posts. I believe you are unfettered by academic degrees and corporate/government ties to corrupt agendas (which inevitably lead one astray of the "truth"). I think our biggest frustration is this: The great majority of our fellow humans take a pass on reality and opt for "hope" as a solution to acts of violation. If they come to learn an organization is hitting innocent people on the head with a hammer, it's happening more and more often, they will "hope" the situation improves rather than take action until their own heads are being cracked by the hammer. Some will be moved to write a letter to the organization stating their disapproval and "hope" will move them to accept the organization's assurances they will modify the policy. This explains the ridiculous degrees of inhumanity that have occurred (and continue to occur) with little resistance. Combine this with people's tendency to take sides---"my side" is entitled to respect for basic human rights/"your side" is not worthy of that same respect (because...fill in whatever rationale works) and you truly have a population malleable for a "government" leadership's perversely corrupt schemes. My work involves educating people to awaken to a calling to consistently defend the innocent and promote free and peaceful interaction among humans. I would like to have as many people on board as possible while we run headlong into a series of inevitable and tragic crises that surely comprise our future. A more generally just human experience based on a prevailing respect for each others' basic human rights (true ownership of their bodies, minds and honorably-acquired properties) is not for our generation, but it becomes more realized with each newly-awakened individual.
Everything you have stated/posted is a result of something else you don't realize. I know that sounds like an attack on your statement but not really.
How does it sound like an attack? It sounds like "I have great wisdom that you are lacking, however you are not yet worthy nor capable to grasp the insights I am privy to" sort of BS. I am honestly seeking to understand the destructive path we are on, as I shared with Harry, and am interested in drawing people out for their insightful discoveries. So, what is that "something" I don't realize?
Peter, You just don't know you don't know. Your thinking is wrong at core level.
Okay, I think I've read all your posts. I see no special insight whatsoever to back up your mysterious "you don't know" "you just don't know". You got duped into helping murder millions of villagers in Vietnam. You are duped by our "democracy" that violates our basic human rights on every level---from the phoney money system that we are coerced into using to the "government" claim upon our very bodies, minds and properties. You don't even seem to get that corporations are business/government partnerships, that they make their corrupt gains by utilizing the already existing corrupt force of government. Most people, including you, think it is okay for "government" to violate the basic human rights of peaceful people ( you did it big time in Vietnam). Seeing this, established businesses partner with government to utilize that very violational power, the power that is generally accepted by your average gutless lazy "thinker". Voila: Corporations. As I stated in my first post, it will take some generations for wisdom to gain ground on the mass hypnosis of democracy. When that time comes, people will no longer tolerate being owned by a "special" class of humans otherwise known as "government". People will insist that the administrators they have chosen for their community will have to respect each person's basic human rights (the right of true ownership of their respective bodies, minds and honorably-acquired properties.) For now, there are too many folks like you taking opposing action to have any hope in our lifetimes.