Saturday, December 19, 2009

What does it take to learn?

by Rich Miles

So I'm sitting here multitasking, that is, watching TV and reading blogs etc., and all of a sudden, two HUGE (to me) obvious thoughts pop up out of the mire, to wit:

1) Most Americans don't realize why we're at war, and

2) Almost no one has made the obvious connection between the fact that Joe Lieberman is from Connecticut and the fact that he is doing his level best to defeat national health care reform legislation.

Let us address #1 first. It's traditional, after all:

Ever hear the expression "Defense industries"? Ever given any serious thought to what it means?

It means billions of tax dollars flowing from government coffers into the hands of privately owned corporations and private individuals. I mean, in the worst of times for the nation, it's absolutely necessary that things flow that way.

But in the BUSH of times, in which we've been living for 8 of the past 9 years, the money was made to flow in that direction, no matter the need for national security, etc.

And this is what it seems most people don't realize. They can spot when there is government waste in other areas, but for some reason it doesn't occur to them that the treasury can be deliberately drained in time of war.

This seems obvious to me, and perhaps to you as well - but do you remember the last time someone pointed it out in no uncertain terms? That "we're being robbed by being at war"?

I don't think I ever saw that. But it's true nonetheless. The Iraq War, and now the Afghan War, are nothing more - NOTHING more - than ways for unscrupulous war profiteers to appear to be serving the national interest while in reality robbing the country. And American soldiers are dying in service of this venal enterprise.

You see, the Bush administration was all about the money. In fact, it's arguable that every administration since, oh I don't know, Washington was all about the money. But Bush (and his pals) were just that much more obvious in his ways of robbing us. In fact, that was what pissed me off the most about him and his pals: he robbed us, then laughed at us when we noticed our wallets were a little light. Or missing.

See, everyone knew he and his cronies were robbing us. It's just that damn few people knew they were using the armed forces and the federal procurement system to do it.

Which brings us to point 2: Joe Lieberman is from Connecticut. You know - the INSURANCE capital of the nation?

And you remember how he surpassed all expectations for fundraising when he ran against, and almost lost to, Ned Lamont?

Gee, I wonder how all that happened? Don't you?

So there are your two obvious points for the day. Not very elegantly presented, perhaps, but true nonetheless. At least as far as I can tell.

And even without proof, don't the above two points make perfect sense? Doesn't even require too much in the way of paranoia, does it?

How do we stop it? How do we make the corruption in our government stop?

Because it's everywhere, and it's killing us.


Old Scout said...

To stop the corruption we must reject the concept that government is bad. Government is good. No profit motive. Merit hiring practices. Jobs stay here. Increased general level of local employment.

Government began down sizing when the armed & uniformed services quit doing KP and started out sourcing the job to local unskilled civilians. They then began contracting Mess Hall operations and then guard duty as installation security instead of guard duty or MP patrols.

We are 'in love with' down-sizing. reagan began preaching it 30 years ago and politicians "have seen the light". The line budget item keeps going down and the level of federal, state, county & local government employment goes down. Government services are performed via internet or phone using credit cards to make payments or adjustments.

Pretty soon the trashmen are going to be commuting from India instead of Mexico. That 9000 mile trip in a trash truck is one helluva commute.

My point in support of Rad is simply that to address the issue, government just start hiring and the influence of contractors is exhausted. Although Rad has been energized by war, as a warrior I see the problem as more pervasive: perverting the cause of peace. As a temporary wartime exercise there is no rational opposition. The rationale that the government will takover the operation is part of the reason for the contractor in the first place.

My favorite apocryphal story about contractors comes from the FEMA responce to Katrina in New Orleans and its follow-up hurricane that hit the 'Taxus' coast:
A contractor, having negotiated a contract with a front-end of 25% of the value of the work as a 'get started' fee and no penalty for non-performance and partial payments on time intervals, not performance parameters, left for Tahiti to recruit his workforce. He is still there and still receiving contract payments since he has yet to complete recruitment efforts. And the press still thinks that Brownie's job was finished when he got fired. Hell NO!!!!!! He's still on the job, even though he's out of office.

Government is only bad, in my experience, when it is controlled by republicanz & republican'ts. In the republican't model, profits of the recontractors are recycled as political donations to PAC's & re-relection funds. They are deductable funding by enterprise organizations and legally accepted funds - made so by the beneficiaries of these funds. If that wasn't a conflict of interest that got passed the gate-keepers, I could not ever define one.

kentondem1 said...

President "Ike" warned everyone about this very issue, he called it the Military-Industrial Complex.
His warning was never heeded. So we got just what he said we would get.

As long as we allow money to so freely flow into the Political system, we are doomed to be ruled by the Corporations.

Health Care Reform, and Financial Regulations for Wall Street are just the latest examples. We get lip service from the politicians who are bankrolled by their Corporate masters.