When I started this blog, my purpose was to communicate my feelings on whatever topics held my interest, which is usually sports and comedy. This is very different from 20 years ago, when I was 19, when my interests were sports, comedy, and tits. Of course, tits were most important to me during my first year of life, whenever I got hungry. After 1, I reached the age where the unelected FCC kindly protected me against such damaging images as tits, without them having to be asked. I was fortunately too old (over 18) to have been ruined by Janet Jackson’s tit briefly shown at the Superbowl, although I guess under age 2 would have been ok, as they see breasts everyday. I hope none of the kids between 2 and 18 saw that, so they could enjoy their wholesome images of broken bones sticking through football padding in 3 separate slo-motion angles. Now I have much less interest in tits, even naked ones. Oh yes lady, those are very nice – you still aren’t getting ahead of me in line.
But lately, I cannot see how I, or any American, can avoid being deeply involved in politics. As a bachelor, I can readily equate this situation to taking out the trash. Sure Mothers always tell you to take out the trash, but it only really needs to be attended to when the garbage builds so high that the stench and weight of it makes it difficult to comfortably live. That is where we are in America now. Everybody needs to get involved in cleaning up this mess.
Many of the major issues in this country have slowly and subtly worsened since Reagan took over in 1980 and then exploded with Bush 2.
One of these worsening issues is the establishment of an unconstitutional state religion, a fundamentalist sect of Christianity. To be fair, it was Carter that allowed fundamentalism into the White House, but the Christian Coalition began with Reagan. As a side note, the other thing that bothers me from Carter’s presidency is the absolute political failure of the attempt to sacrifice now for the betterment of the long term. This Tactic will be needed, if we are to deal with large issues such as Global Warming, but has been considered political suicide since Carter.
Another issue is corporate control over every aspect of American life, including: how we get our information, how we are educated as kids; how laws are made, how laws are implemented, and almost everything else. Another issue is today’s topic, and the 2nd on my list of issues to be addressed by any presidential candidate, the military.
War culture. Leaving aside the contributions made to other countries’ war efforts, the United States spends approximately half of the world’s war budget, and much more than half if you include other budgetary items that are used for war purposes and ‘emergency’ funds. Oh, and let’s make this clear, when I say the United States, I mean you and I pay, and large companies receive, the money - like GE (owns NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, etc). Who we are fighting is irrelevant to these companies, only that we keep the gigantic payments up. What makes it more disgraceful is the way this money is used.
1) This money is not for the soldiers, or ‘troops’ as is the new term. The Bush administration has slashed funding for health care and all other benefits for the soldiers. Corporate Democrats have been complicit in this, as usual. The term ‘support our troops’ means give money to war profiteers, like Haliburton, Titan, or Kelloggs. When news employees hide behind, ‘you hate our troops’, they mean ‘Don’t infringe on my employer’s profits, I want to keep my job’. Sometimes these news employees get out of line with their employers and get fired (Dan Rather is one)
2) The ‘enemy’ doesn’t matter, but the fear does. When I was a kid the cold war was the provided reason for the high military budget. Reagan scared us with descriptions of nuclear rockets just off the coast of Florida, aimed at us. The prior generation had to hide under desks as kids, to practice survival of a nuclear attack. When the Soviet Union was too weak to use as an enemy, naturally the military budget should be decreased. Nope, not according to this pdf U.S. budget over time. Clinton increased the budget, so did both Bushes. After the Soviet Union, the enemy became small countries in South America, mainly. Today, the enemy is ‘Terrorists”, which could belong to any country, I guess, and can never be eliminated, – constant threat and war.
3) Destroys human life in horrible ways. Although corporate McNews never reports it, the most conservative estimate is that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in this recent war, mostly women, children, and elderly. This is a third world country that has never attacked or threatened the United States, whose people died because Bush’s (Oil) and Cheney’s (Haliburton) employers needed to increase profit. That is sick.
4) The United States military is ineffective in every way but making money for certain big companies. Iraq is a third world country, who had been devastated by 10 years of UN sanctions, resulting in many deaths – and the United States multi trillion dollar military couldn’t defeat it? What will happen if we need to fight a real war against a real enemy? We are fucked! But who provided biological and other weapons to Saddam? That’s right, U.S. military. And who trained Osama bin Laden to kill and gave him lots of money to start his own army? Yep, U.S. military. Whomever is running the military, they need to be tried for treason, while we get someone who cares about the American people in charge.
For a presidential candidate to get my vote or to be seen by me as a serious candidate, he/she must have a plan to dramatically reduce the military budget, while increasing the quality of their services. The plan would need to deal with war profiteers like Haliburton, both in the future with oversight and fair bidding, and backward with criminal proceedings. Many polls show that this what the people want, and simply ignore it, as the candidates have done, is anti-democracy.