Nothing, Zero, Zilch

Were the 4,500 dead, tens of thousands of wounded, tens of thousands with PTSD and its concomitant problems, including domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidality, worth the . . . absolutely nothing, zero, zilch . . . we achieved in return for it? Was the $2,000,000,000,000 we’ve already spent, and the estimated $4,000,000,000,000 we’re going to spend caring for the men we’ve broken worth the . . . absolutely nothing, zero, zilch . . . we achieved in return for it? Well, to KBR, Haliburton, and Blackwater (later Xe, later Academi — why does it keep rebranding?), it was! Who wants to pay out more profits to war profiteers? Let’s do it! Fuck yeah!

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“We have been engaged in the Islamic world, at least since 1980, in a military project based on the assumption that the adroit use of American hard power can somehow pacify or fix this part of the world. We can now examine more that three decades of this effort. Let’s look at what U.S. Military intervention in Iraq has achieved, in Afghanistan has achieved, in Somalia has achieved, in Lebanon has achieved, in Libya has achieved, and ask ourselves a very simple question: is the region becoming more stable? Is it becoming more democratic? Are we alleviating, reducing the prevalence of anti-Americanism? If the answer is yes, then let’s keep trying. But If the answer to those questions is no, then maybe it’s time for us to recognize that this larger military project is failing, and is not going to succeed simply by trying harder.”

–Andrew Bacevich, retired U.S. Army Colonel / Professor of History, Boston University

The full story: http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/22/world/meast/iraq-crisis/

Bring More Peace!

The Middle Eastern country known as “Iraq” is presently in flames, with its second largest city already falling to Sunni militants, and those militants now eyeing key oil-producing cities. This nation, “Iraq,” is strategically located and has some of the world’s largest remaining oil reserves. I don’t say these things lightly, because utilizing the power of the Pentagon is always a serious decision. However, due to the national chaos there, and the deplorable internecine killing, and the potential benefits of gaining favorable oil contracts that could prove advantageous at home, maybe we should consider going to war with this country, “Iraq,” to bring peace to it?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/iraq.html?_r=0

Wal*Mart: Cheap Blenders!

Am I supposed to accept with a straight face that the company acting as the retail front of a Communist country supplier-of-shitty-goods is somehow on the side of U.S. veterans? Between the Korean War and Vietnam, weren’t over 300,000 U.S. veterans killed or wounded trying to stop Communism? Well, I guess so long as all of us disgusting, ignorant shitheads get to continue temporarily using and then throwing away crummy, planned-obsolescence shit, fuck those young men. They certainly died for nothing at all. Cheap blenders, though.

Wal*Mart cares!:  http://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/veterans-military-families/charitable-giving

Pentagon v. NASA

Department of Preemptive Military Aggression and Drone-Killing Innocent Brown-Skinned Foreign Civilians (a.k.a., ‘Department of Defense’) budget: $495 Billion. National Aeronautics and Space Administration budget: $17 Billion (and a lot of that is rocket science, which serves to, oh nevermind).

As a proxy: odds are 29:1 we’ll kill each other on this tiny rock in the universal hinterlands before we find another one suitable for us to live on. Kill each other over which hairless primates ‘own’ portions of the planet against other primates (nevermind the other species, they can go where they want, but we get to shoot at them with devices the vast majority of us couldn’t figure out how to make ourselves), and which primate gets to command the other primates in a showing of anachronistic, bullshit social dominance (a.k.a., politics in a democracy, naked force in an autocracy, or ‘the boss’ in a workplace hierarchy).

Popcorn anyone?

Fantasia and Psilocybin

I hold this truth to be self-evident: with the exception of ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ Walt Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ stands unparalleled as nutritious food for psilocybin eyes. Also, tangentially: in 1940, cinema-goers were viewing an intellectual discourse, with audio-visual examples, on the synesthesic experience of sound. Also also tangentially: these same persons went on to win the chief example of a morally-justified war, became a college-educated society in an unprecedented fashion (in many colleges that were still fully-paid for by a progressive income tax, before Saint Reagan dashed his holy sword upon that), and proceeded, through the organization of labor and a belief in some strange thing called a ‘social contract,’ to bring about the healthiest middle class and distribution of wealth our country has ever known.

Us? We have ‘White House Down’ with Channing Tatum and President Jamie Fox shooting automatic weapons at cartoon villains. (No offense to Mr. Tatum or Mr. Fox, who seem to be nice fellows.) Now please just throw some bread at me and let me watch the lions eat the Christians in ravenous peace.

U.S. Military = Miami Heat

The U.S. Military is like the Miami Heat, if you replaced the Heat’s six weakest players with Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Tim Duncan, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, and a remote-controlled robot replica of a 1993-season Michael Jordan that indiscriminately dunks on both opposing players and spectators not even in the game, and also made the citizens of Miami pay for the team with their tax dollars. An invincible dream team that could never be beat. But how much of that salary and roster could you safely slash while still being guaranteed the championship?

http://pgpf.org/sites/default/files/sitecore/media%20library/PGPF/Chart-Archive/0053_defense-comparison.pdf